Lowering the cost of living
As a closest spreadsheet fiend, I've been looking forward to the time when I had enough data to present a comparison of the living costs of town versus country.
I have kept a dedicated and categorised record of all income and expenditure since I had easy access to my digital bank statements using the free and open source accounting application GNUCash.
While I had a fair idea that it was costing us less to live out here in the country (notably rent and food) it is refreshing to see the cold hard numbers verify it as fact.
For the nine quarters prior to our relocation our average quarterly expense was just over $6000. Now it is about $3000.
That's a reduction of almost 50%!
The biggest contributors are groceries and rent. By purchasing our own house (without a bank loan) and growing all our own fruit, vegetables and eggs we are 'saving' $1000 per month.
That's the equivalent of an $18,000 salary increase!