Cars drive past traffic lights on a busy street, and bicycles pass by.

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It’s a drawback that needs careful consideration.

Key Point

  • Rent is so high that you may be tempted to leave the big city.
  • Consider other possible costs before moving to a smaller city.
  • From car loans to gas bills, transportation costs can add to your monthly bill.

A few years ago, a friend of mine abandoned New York City because the $3,200 monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment began to rise. He moved to a small city in upstate New York, where the cost of his rent could not only cover his mortgage payments, but also property taxes and homeowners insurance, and still had money left over.

But my friend is happy to move, but for one big reason, he’s not saving as much as he’d hoped. It’s also a pitfall you may encounter when moving from a big city to a smaller one.

Watch out for soaring transportation costs

When a friend of mine lived in New York City, he was spending about $100 a month on transportation. Because I was able to walk to another place using the subway that was always running.

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Within five blocks of my friend’s apartment, there were dozens of restaurants, coffee shops, several grocery stores, hardware stores, and other stores that made life easier. Now my friends say the nearest grocery store is almost a mile away. Hmm.

And he has a car That means he makes monthly car loan payments and also pays insurance and upkeep. But after all, he spends more than seven times as much on transportation as he did in one of the most expensive cities in the country.

Get ready to drive anywhere

Living in a big city often means paying a lot of money for not too much square footage. But it can also mean minimizing transportation costs. This is an advantage you may give up if you move to a smaller city to save on rent.

According to AAA, owning a car costs an average of $894 a month. Also, if you live in a place that is very cluttered with stuff, you may end up spending even more to keep your car tank full.

There are lifestyle changes that need to be adjusted as well. After moving to a smaller city, some people find that they are not physically active because they are constantly driving. But it can affect your health.

This is not to say that you should give up living in a cramped, overpriced apartment for the rest of your life just because you don’t need a car. However, you should understand the additional costs that can be incurred if you leave a big city with public transport and settle in a smaller one.

My friend is happy he moved from New York City. But he also raised big alarm bells when he found out how expensive owning his car was. And that’s something you don’t want to be caught off-guard by.

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