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There's been a point in nearly ever big city dweller's life when they've thought fondly about leaving the bright lights behind and starting fresh in a small town. Of course, that move would come with many benefits – including a slower pace and stronger sense of community. But it comes with its own challenges, too. Debt potentially being one of them.
Fewer Employment Opportunities
Naturally, smaller cities and towns tend to have fewer jobs and employers than their metropolitan counterparts. With lower revenue and tighter budgets, the available opportunities also tend to pay less.
It's not unusual for a single employer to be the sole source of income for entire families – perhaps even the whole town. In the event of a major economic downturn, layoffs and reduced work arrangements can put significant strain on the household finances.
Having an emergency savings fund is always important, but even more so if you live in a small town.
Higher Living Expenses
The first instinct is to think small town living is less expensive. But that's not always the case.
Shops such as grocery stores and retailers are usually privately owned and lack the volume discounts, buying power and need to compete with their counterparts in big cities – meaning prices can be significantly higher. Also, services such as medical, dental or optometry are not guaranteed to be locally available, and specialty items such as appliances or car parts may also be limited. Something as simple as a regular appointment or buying new tires may require long-distance travel and potentially even overnight accommodation.
This all adds significantly to the final sticker price. It requires good planning skills to make the most out of every trip to the big city.
Making it Work
Living well in a small town begins with living on less. The most important skill for anyone who chooses this lifestyle is good budgeting. But it also requires a strong, resourceful nature, a willingness to lean on others in a time of need and an openness to doing the same for your neighbours. After all, that's what a community is for.
If you're thinking of making the move or adjusting to living in a small town, be sure to factor these considerations into your financial plan so you can avoid being caught off-guard and getting caught up in debt as a result.
If you're already living in a small town and are struggling to make ends meet, a Licensed Insolvency Trustee can help. Contact us for a no-obligation, Free Confidential Consultation. Together we'll discuss your unique situation and options available to achieve the financial fresh start you deserve. We can even gather the preliminary information by phone or email, so you can make the most of your travel time when you come to meet us in person.
Based out of Saskatoon,
Naida Kornuta is a Licensed Insolvency Trustee and Senior Vice-President at MNP LTD. To learn more about how MNP Debt can help, contact our local office at 306.664.8387 or toll-free at 310.DEBT (310.3328).
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*310-DEBT doesn’t operate in MB, NW ON and QC.
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