San Francisco takes a LOT of heat in the press for being expensive. A lot of my friends lament about how much money they’d be saving if they lived in a cheaper place.
These folks search Craigslist rentals and browse Zillow for how more square feet they could afford in Tampa, Dallas, and Green Bay.
Here’s the catch, there’s no hidden secret. There’s no arbitrage. Moving to a town with cheaper cost of living means lower wages. That said, there's a lot of value in having a better qualify of life and the size of your paycheck doesn't define your success.
Feeling squeezed financially and worrying about the future is stressful - regardless of your zip code. Moving to a new city to save money comes with a lot of sacrifice and it isn’t the best choice for most people.
Financial stress is best faced head on or else it will pop up again and again and again.
Beginning with a financial plan and outlining your future goals will help you determine how much you need to save, how much you need to earn, and what can be changed to get you to the goal post.
If part of your goal is moving to small city and owning a home, then a thoughtful financial plan will help you take that step with confidence.
If staying in a high-cost metropolitan area makes you happy and provides opportunities for you and your family, a sound financial plan will provide guidance for the years to come.