The basic cost of living in some cities, like New York City, is almost double the $7.25 minimum wage. Double. How can anyone survive like that?
Well, thanks to technology, you don’t have to. More and more people are adopting the concept of “location independence,” or working remotely from anywhere.
You don’t have to suffer the high costs of living in places like Manhattan or Orange County if you have, or can establish, a remote career. This ability to move around can keep you free from debt — if you choose to live in places where the cost of living is less.
If you’re living and working on that same salary, but in a cheaper locale, you’ll whittle away debt faster and possibly get out from under Debt Mountain altogether.
Where Should You Relocate?
Every place has its unique blend of benefits and sacrifices. If you’re bent on the luxuries of a first world country, there are options in the states that offer fewer sacrifices. If you’re the adventurous type, exploring foreign countries can lead you to an an explorers’ life for bottom dollars.
Where should you consider living if you want a ticket to Debtless City?
Let’s look at some cities with a low cost of living.
1. Panama City, Panama – On the cost-of-living index, Panama City is 11% cheaper than the US average. They use the US dollar, so there’s no exchange to deal with, and the cheaper cost of living isn’t lost in currency translation. Bread and gas are less expensive. Panama City offers big city living, at rural costs. And you can drink the water (apparently a major selling point there).
2. Harlingen, TX - Harlingen, TX is a full 20% lower than the national average in cost of living, though you’ll see why when you Google it. It’s hardly booming with opportunity. A huge benefit? Harlingen is only 30 miles from the beautiful Gulf of Mexico.
3. Bucharest, Romania – Bucharest sits at 54% on the world cost-of-living index. While not as tropical as Panama, there’s promise for the area with low costs of gas and rent. You can enjoy the hustle and bustle of a big city without the stress of debt that comes with big city life back home.
4. Kathmandu, Nepal – Kathmandu is great for lovers of exotic lands and those who want to travel and live large on a small budget. There are adjustments to make, especially if you’re coming from the states, but the amounts of money you could amass might make those sacrifices worth it.
5. Mumbai, India – Another Asian city rounds out this list. The cost of bread and gas here are almost negligent (less than a third of the US). And this city offers more big city bustle than Harlingen and other low-cost US cities.
6. Memphis, TN – Memphis is one of the few lowest cost metro areas that’s located in the states. If the luxuries of America are a priority, along with saving as much as possible, Memphis might be for you.
7. Norman, OK – Norman is in the top five lowest cost cities on the index, and is a terrific option for people or families who choose the slower-paced life. Norman is driving distance to Oklahoma City, which makes this a viable choice for those who want to take it easy but still have access to city living.
So if you’re able to take your career location-independent, consider moving to one of these cities to earn a living, save money, and reach your goals faster.
Are you location independent? Where do you live?