One of the most important decisions you can make in regards to reaching financial independence is selecting a city to live in that maximizes your net income. Common sense tells you not to live in bloody New York, Vancouver or San Francisco, for example, if you are earning minimum wage. That being said, I’m a firm believer that you need to love where you live, and money shouldn’t be the only factor in your decision (though it should be a big one!).
From a financial sense, my choice of city, Vancouver, has to be one of the worst financial decisions most people can make. Not only is it one of the most expensive cities to live in, salaries here are also fairly crappy, to say the least. According to Stats Canada, Vancouver ranks 22nd out of the 28 major cities based on average income for a two adult household, below the average for all of Canada. Clearly then, virtually anywhere else in Canada likely pays more and if not, is considerably cheaper than Vancouver.
So why on earth do we choose to live here? Well, partly because Mrs. Miser works in tech, and Canada’s tech scene is largely concentrated in either Toronto or Vancouver. But mainly, because we bloody love Vancouver!
So many people don’t love where they live, or compromise to live in places purely because they make more money. This is fine in the short-term, but long-term I would be gouging my eyes out if I worked in a city I didn’t like, just to earn more money. For example, our family could earn more money in Toronto for sure, but we hated Toronto when we visited. To us Toronto is ugly, dirty, smelly, busy, freezing in winter, boiling in summer and has virtually no nature. If we moved there, sure we’d earn more and spend less, but we would be bloody miserable too.
So, why do we choose Vancouver when we know we could earn more and spend less elsewhere? Well, where do you start? [Read more…] about Love Where You Live