10 Money Hacks to Take Advantage of When Living in a Small Town

Whether you dream of living in a small town or already call one home, these tips can help improve your finances.
Updated April 11, 2024
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In many ways, life in a small town seems idyllic — less traffic, more time for yourself and a slower pace.

But in addition to the lifestyle benefits, trading in a big-city life for a home in the country might help you to save more money.

Following are some hacks that people living in small towns can use to improve their finances.

Start a small business

kite_rin/adobe african american man wearing backpack and taking pictures

When you live in a small town, you might find that you can start a local small business and face less competition than you would in the city.

For example, if you are a photographer, you might be able to set up shop as one of just a few professionals.

Opening a small business in a small town might make it easier to stand out, secure clients and build your business revenue. It is possible you will even corner the market.

Plan staycations

Klepikova/adobe woman swimming in lake on smokey evening with trees in background

If you've lived in a small town for a while, you might have forgotten all the charms that your area has to offer. Instead of planning a lavish and expensive vacation thousands of miles away, take time to explore your own backyard.

Whether your town boasts mountains for skiing, lakes for swimming, or trails for hiking, stay local and explore. You will save money and have a newfound appreciation for where you live.

Eat at home more often

NDABCREATIVITY/adobe african american family with children standing in kitchen cooking healthy food

Some people find that a lack of dining options is one of the challenges of living in a small town. But you can turn that fact into something positive for your wallet.

Instead of dining out after a long day at work, cook at home. Your meals likely will be cheaper and more healthful.

Drive to the city to stock up

fanjianhua/adobe highway full of cars surrounded with trees and skyscrapers in china

There is a lot to love about small-town living, but a plethora of shopping options usually isn't a perk of this lifestyle choice.

It’s possible that your small town might not have a Walmart or Costco that offers great bargains. If that’s true and you live within an hour or so of a big city, plan a trip or two to the city each month to stock up and take advantage of deals.

This way, you get the low-cost perks of living in a small town while still taking advantage of city amenities.

Pro tip: Before you fuel up for your drive into the city, use one of the best credit cards for gas so you can earn cash back and other perks.

Order more items online

Konstantin Yuganov/adobe woman shopping online on laptop using card

Just because you live in a small town doesn't mean that you don't have access to goods. Thanks to the internet, you can order the things you need and have them delivered.

From the comfort of your small-town home, compare items and find the best prices. You might have to wait a few days for the product to arrive, but that's a small price to pay to get the best deal.

Cut costs with cheaper housing

GutesaMilos/adobe young male real estate agent standing standing inside house handing keys to couple

Small towns usually offer cheaper housing options, especially compared to big cities. A house that costs $400,000 in a small town might list for double that price in a nearby city.

The fact that you can afford more in a small town might tempt you to buy a bigger house even if you don’t require it. Try to avoid making that mistake and instead focus on homes that are the size you want and need. 

Plant a large garden

mashiki/adobe private garden with green plants everywhere along with english style cottage in corner

Small-town living often means homes with bigger lot sizes. If that's true for your home, use the extra space and plant a garden.

You will reap the benefits of more time outside, fresh food and healthy living. You can't go wrong with planting your own food.

Work remotely for a higher salary

Girts/adobe young man working from home while talking on zoom meeting on desktop with laptop on table

Small towns offer a lot of lifestyle perks, especially a low cost of living. But they aren't known as places to find a lot of jobs with high salaries.

If that's true for your small town, try working remotely for a national or international company. You can save money by keeping living costs low while earning a higher salary. It's a win-win for your bank account.

Embrace a slow pace

Syda Productions/adobe woman relaxing on couch with pillows at home reading book

One of the top perks of small-town living is the slower pace of life. You don't need to rush anywhere or keep up with the Joneses.

Take advantage of the slower pace as a way to save more money. Instead of filling your calendar with expensive activities, opt for local free happenings. Or simply curl up with a book at home and enjoy the peace your small-town home offers.

Invite family and friends to visit

DC Studio/adobe friends enjoying while talking and eating snacks on table in meetup at home

If your family and friends live in a big city, they might appreciate the opportunity to gain a little solitude when visiting you.

So, invite the people close to you for a visit. You can share your home with folks you love while saving money by not having to travel to see them.

Bottom line

.shock/adobe happy african american woman at home looking out of window while holding cup of coffee

Every location has positives and negatives. But if you fantasize about small-town living — or if you already live that dream — take advantage of what the lifestyle offers.

For those hoping to move beyond money struggles or who simply want a quieter life, living in a small town and putting the hacks on this list to work might be the ticket to a happier, more financially sustainable future.

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