FrugalFrugal Living 101

New Life in a Small Town

It’s been four months since I last posted! These last four months have been the craziest four months ever! We sold our previous house, and have started a new life in a small town.

If you’ve been around a little while, or follow on Insta, you know we moved to a teeny tiny town an hour away. And so far, it’s been amazing! We had been living in a 3 bedroom house, for all 6 of us, with my husband also working from home. We lived in the town we both grew up in, which was a suburb of Toronto. It was busy, and expensive, and was quickly becoming the life we didn’t want for our family. It was tough leaving the town we knew, the friends our kids had made, and just about all our family, but it’s been the best decision for us.

Our New Life

We now have a house that’s over 4000 square feet including a finished basement (where my husband finally has a proper home office!). I’ve got my dream kitchen with an 8×4 island, and my husband has his dream home theatre in the basement (check out my Instagram for all the pics!).

It hasn’t all been smooth sailing though. Leading up to moving day, we had a stomach bug roll through the house. On moving day, my husband woke up with it, we had only hired movers for unloading the truck at the new house, so this was not ideal, and 2 kids got it by mid-morning. My poor parents had to handle them (including a horrible hour-long drive up to the new house with puking kids!) My husband somehow managed to drive the 26 foot rented moving truck the hour to the new house without dying. I’m still not sure how he made it!

The next couple of weeks were filled with complete exhaustion, both physically and emotionally. The stomach bug continued through the house as we tried to unpack enough to live regularly. The kids were in and out of school being sick, which made it hard for them to adjust to their new school and make new friends. We had issues with appliances being delivered broken, so we had no stove for a few days. But because of this, we got to try out all of the new restaurants in our new town!

We wondered if we’d made the right decision and if the chaos would ever settle.

But it did! And after two weeks it felt like we had always lived here: 90% of the house was unpacked, the kids loved their new school and made friends, and on weekends we explored the other tiny towns around us. We love our little neighbourhood and our new town! We’ve adjusted our routines based on living further from most amenities and some of the kids’ activities, and plan our week around trips into the nearby city. We’ve already made some pretty great friends in our new neighbourhood; it truly feels like home.

The kids can go to the park down the street by themselves or go ride their bikes to their friends’ house, and we are ok with them going alone. Our old street was so busy, people would speed everywhere and not watch out for kids. We rarely felt safe letting them play in the front of the house without us being out there too!

Now, we have a basketball net at the end our of the driveway, and our kids can just go out and play and not worry about traffic because it’s such a quiet street. Everyone is friendly, we’ve gotten to know the local shop owners and teachers and our new Parish. It truly feels like a community that cares about one another and values how tight-knit it is. We don’t take any of this for granted; we know how special a community like this is.

Let’s Talk Money

It’s been interesting financially too. We sold our smaller home for more than our brand new much larger one cost (location location location!). We were able to use that difference to cover closing costs and moving expense as well as buying new appliances and furniture for the new house. We also used a large chunk to significantly pay down our mortgage. So while still have a small mortgage, we should be mortgage-free by the time we are 40, which is incredible!

We also knew that moving from the suburbs to a small town would change how we spend our money: some things would cost more out here, but some things would cost less.

Here’s what we’ve found so far:

  • We moved into a bigger home which costs more to run.
  • I can’t have the windows open as much as I’d like to save on A/C since we live in a dusty construction site.
  • We got sod sooner than we expected, so that upped our water bill right away.
  • The kids’ activities and summer camps have cost less than what we would have paid in our old town.
  • Groceries run about the same at Costco/Walmart/No Frills but I have to drive further to get to those stores.
  • We drive further to get to things, but it’s highway driving vs city driving which is better gas mileage.
  • We also had the added expense of purchasing a new car. So we are back to having a car payment, which is unfortunate, but we have been driving our new Subaru Impreza more than the van because it is much better on gas (though if all 6 of us go out, we have to take the van).

I can’t wait to look at how everything balances out financially over the next few months as we live here longer, and adjust even more. I am going to get back to being more frugal, and DIYing and making things from scratch more regularly. I have a much quieter spot for my computer as well, so hopefully, more blogging happens and I can share this journey with you all. And maybe I’ll even venture back to my Etsy shop now that I have a proper craft room I can be creative in.

Make sure to follow along on Instagram, since it’s much easier to post regularly over there. I’ve been sharing frugal tips, keto stuff, and of course lots of house stuff. There are loads of pics of the new house as we’ve been setting up and decorating rooms!

We truly feel blessed to have been able to pull off this move into our dream home. All our frugality over the last 10 years (as you’ve witnessed on this blog) has paid off, and we are so happy with our new life in a small town.

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