If you are looking to cut costs as a renter, rural living offers many financial benefits that are often overlooked. I have lived in both towns and rural settings and while both have their own benefits as well as cons, I will only be covering the financial benefits of rural living in this article. Rural living offers several bonuses that are difficult or non-existent in an urban or city setting.
7 Great Things About Rural Living
Cheaper Rent – Even if it is just a mile or so out of town, rural living usually offers cheaper rent as the locations are harder to rent out and are not nearly as high in demand as rentals within towns or city limits.
Foraging Opportunities – The opportunity to forage wild edibles is more abundant in the country. Depending on where you live, foraging may offer morel mushrooms, berries of all kinds, wild asparagus, nuts, apples, plums, pears, cherries and puffballs. Depending on how well you know your wild edibles, there is an array of other things more available in the country that would not be contaminated by pet feces or weed killing sprays, such as dandelion greens, nettles and watercress.
Yard Space – A rural rental usually offers more yard space than a rental in town, giving you more space to have a garden and perhaps a few chickens, which in turn lowers your monthly food bills. The more you can grow yourself, the less you need to spend in the stores.
Easier Going Landlords – I have found rural landlords to be easier going, allowing you to do a lot more than a city landlord would allow. We have had rural landlords allow a full scale small farm including pigs and goats on their rental lands. The more a rural landlord allows, the more financial benefit can be reaped.
Hunting and Fishing Opportunities – If you get to know the area and the rural land owners, many times this will lead to areas of hunting to help put meat in the freezer. Many times, if they will not allow you to hunt on their land, if they know you like wild game meats and you have become friends, they will give you portions of their own hunting. You may also be within easy walking or biking distance to a great fishing area!
Generous Neighbors – While there seems to be generous neighbors in most areas of the world, there is something to be said for the generosity of rural country folk. Many times, all it takes is for you to do something nice to help a neighbor out and you will be rewarded back in some small yet helpful ways.
For example, we have an elderly neighbor who we help out on a regular basis with yard work or simply baking her sweets. While we never ask for anything in return, she is always sending over bags of apples or fruits so we can continue our baking. It helps us out by giving us more fruit to make apple butter or pies and she knows she will get something delicious for it, as well.
Heating with Wood – While not all places would have wood burning heat, some rural rentals come with wood burners in them. This is always something to keep in mind when looking for rural rentals as wood heat is often much cheaper than other heating alternatives. Finding a place that offers a wood burner in it would be much more likely in a rural setting. It may be even possible to have it in a location where you could forage or cut most of your wood for free.
While this is in no way a complete list of all the financial benefits of living in rural settings, they are worth considering when making the choice of rural or urban renting. If you find a place only a few miles out of town, this still offers the opportunity to walk or bike to town, as well, to cut costs of driving all the time. We have found in our years of renting, that rural rentals consistently run at least $200 a month cheaper than any offered in town.
Carrie Hetu is not a financial expert, but has been passionate about finances since the age of 19 years old when a neighbor introduced her to taxes. From that time, she has made a point to increase her financial literacy into areas of frugal living, investing, real estate, budgeting and passive income. She currently blogs at Poor to Rich a Day at a Time and Simply Homeschooled.