If you’re thinking about making the move to a rural area, you’re probably wondering about the cost of living. Is it cheaper to live in a rural area? The answer is, it depends. There are a number of factors that can affect the cost of living in a rural area.
With the recent inflation, the price of many things has really jumped up even in rural areas.
Other factors include the availability of jobs, the cost of housing, and the cost of groceries in a rural area. Let’s take a closer look at each of these factors.
The Availability of Jobs
One of the biggest factors affecting the cost of living in a rural area is the availability of jobs. In general, there are fewer job opportunities in rural areas than there are in urban areas. However, many people start their own business in the area as well.
This means that you may have to commute further to get to work or take a pay cut to find a job that’s closer to home. Driving further does not make it cheaper to live in a rural area.
However, this isn’t always the case. The availability of jobs also depends on the industry you’re in. For example, if you work in agriculture or forestry, you’re more likely to find work in a rural area than if you work in retail or hospitality.
Again, in our area in Northern New England, restaurants have window signs up all the time for help wanted. The same at the grocery store which recently added self-serve check-outs. I can tell you not many people were happy about it either.
However, if you can work from home, it may not be an issue for you if you have access to good internet service or more expensive satellite service.
The Cost of Housing On Living In A Rural Area
Another factor that can affect the cost of living in a rural area is the cost of housing. In general, housing costs are lower in rural areas than they are in urban areas. This is because the land is cheaper and there is less demand for housing in rural areas.
However, this isn’t always the case. The cost of housing also depends on the availability of housing and land.
For example, if there are few houses available for sale or rent in a rural area, prices will be higher than if there is an abundance of houses on the market.
Where we live the price of rent and houses has skyrocketed as there is a housing and rental shortage. That makes it definitely not cheaper to live in a rural area today.
A few months ago we received our new property tax bill. Our taxes went up 40%! That was a shock.
When we first moved 3+ years ago it was cheaper to live in a rural area than our old suburban neighborhood.
Many people that moved in from other states drove up the pricing in the area. Not only that, but they voted to pass everything that was on the agenda at the polls. So naturally it all cost more money and the property taxes were increased.
I had met with the tax accessor and learned that the cost of diesel really increased the town budget as well for snow removal and school buses, etc.
The Cost Of Groceries Makes It Not Cheaper To Live In A Rural Area
The final factor that can affect the cost of living in a rural area is the cost of groceries. In general, groceries are more expensive in rural areas than they are in urban areas because there is less competition among grocery stores.
This means that grocery stores can charge more for their products without fear of losing customers to another store.
However, this isn’t always the case. The cost of groceries also depends on the distance to the nearest grocery store. For example, if there is only one grocery store within driving distance, prices will be higher than if there are multiple stores within driving distance.
Of course, if you don’t have any local markets around you will probably pay more but there are ways to save money on groceries by stocking up on sale items and storing food to last longer.
Fewer Amenities At A Higher Price
Fewer amenities and services are another cost to add to the factor. Another downside of living in a rural area is that there are often fewer amenities and services available compared to urban areas.
This can include things like grocery stores, banks, gas stations, etc.
The cost of driving to these services and amenities may cost you a lot of gasoline to get there. Not only that but the time it will take you if you work is also a consideration. You never know what may cross your path on a rural road as you are driving.
So, if you’re used to having everything at your fingertips, living in a rural area might not be for you.
Less Places To Shop May Save You Money
Sometimes, I think it is cheaper to live in a rural area as you cannot stop for fast food or coffee anywhere nearby. You have to drive about an hour to reach any MacDonalds or Donut Donuts.
Back where we used to live, you could stop at them at almost every corner, so the temptation was high to spend more money.
Conclusion – Is It Cheaper To Live In A Rural Area?
So, is it cheaper to live in a rural area? The answer is, it depends on your situation. There are a number of factors that can affect the cost of living in a rural area, including the availability of jobs, the cost of housing, and the cost of groceries.
If you’re thinking about making the move to a rural area, weigh these factors carefully to see if it’s right for you. Do some shopping in the rural area first and ask around.
Check out the local tax rates as well.
I’d love to hear from you about the affordability of living in your rural area today. Some rural areas may be cheaper to live in. I’d love to hear about them. Please drop a comment so we can discuss it below.