I live in the wonderfully offbeat city of Portland, right in the thick of things. I love where I live, like LOVE LOVE where I live. I can walk anywhere I could possibly need or want, and our apartment is adorably vintage. My husband quite possibly loves it even more than I do.Problem is, I’m about to have to take a major pay-cut to intern for grad school. We’ll be losing a big chunk of income that, up until now, we’ve been putting towards paying off my husband’s student loans. We’ll still make ends meet, we just won’t really be able to save much.
It seems more financially responsible to move, but it’s good for our souls to live here.
All that to say, when is saving more important than living in a great place? -BigCityStudent
This is a struggle with which I am very familiar. I’m a born-and-raised Los Angeleno, and boy do I pay out the nose for it! But since I want to live near all my best friends, that guy I married works in “the industry,” and I’m just generally happy in my hometown, we “get by” instead of “thrive.”
Is it worth it? My answer: sometimes yes, sometimes no.
It’s worth it when I get to go on an evening hike with my best friends on a moment’s notice, and watch the sunset over the twinkling lights of a big city. It’s not worth it when I realize that I’ll never be able to afford a home anywhere in that big twinkling city. It’s worth it when I can take a relaxing beach day in January. It’s not worth it when it takes me almost two hours to drive the 10 miles back home.
I look at expensive city living like a lifestyle tax. As long as I’m not going broke, and it’s not having a negative impact on my family, then continually “getting by” is the price I’m willing to pay… for now.
What about you guys? How do you balance the idea of saving money with the desire to live in an expensive city?