Magnificent 7 Financial Reasons to Live in the City with Kids 

I am starting a new series today that I hope will become a staple of the site. As a high income earner, you have choices to some extent, where you choose to live.  Most high paying jobs are located in the cities in the United States.  You could choose the long drive into work and own your home on more land outside the city. The other option is to live close to work and take advantage of all the city has to offer. You might think that it is more expensive to live in the city, especially with children. In some areas that may be the case, but I am debuting  a new series today I call:


My goal is to give you some quick reference lists that you can further research and make better educated decisions about your finances and the care of your children.  Lets begin.


1. Free Entertainment

Our family currently lives in the seventh largest city in the U.S. There are countless forms of entertainment and if you know where to look it is all very inexpensive or free. The local symphony has free practices and even full performances for free on a regular basis. This is a great way to expose your children to some fantastic music and culture.  If you have a Bank of America credit or debit card

The Magnificent 7 financial reasons to live in the city with kids

Free BMX show in our City! You did have to let them jump you to get in though.

several cities throughout the U.S. have free museum admission for the card holder on the first full weekend of each month.  If your child is old enough to get an account with a debit card, he can get in free as well. Several of the churches in our area have summer movie nights with free admission and discounted or free snacks.  This has been a goto strategy for me when Mom has other obligations and I have Dad duty.  Shakespeare in the part, city festivals, free or $1 rodeo days are available in our city.  Local Parks in the form of skate/bike parks, nature trails and other playscapes like splash pads are available in most large cities as well. There are several apps that allow you to find local discount and free events. Here is a list at the the Krazy Coupon Lady.




2. Free Education

The Magnificent 7 financial reasons to live in the city with kids

Rock Climbing in the Park also Free

There are public libraries in the city. Movies, magazines, newspapers and books are all available. Online apps that allow you to download podcasts, radio dramas and Kindle books are available for free with your library card number. We have been to traveling art shows. Also, series of free art classes have been offered to get kids interested in the arts by the local art school. Local naturalists routinely have nature classes in the parks and conduct informational hikes on the flora and fauna in the city. Our small, private university has hosted an amazing lecture series with featured speaker such as David Cameron and Benjamin Netanyahu. Our state university has hosted astronomy classes and offered kids the opportunity to see amazing constellations through their powerful telescopes.


3. Potential for Less Transportation Costs

You have the opportunity to live closer to everything in the city. You could potentially live within five miles of your job, child’s school, grocery store/wholesale store, a local park and library.  If you walked or rode a bike to all these places you could take care of a huge percentage of your daily travels and spend nothing on gasoline or automotive wear and tear.

Also. you get the health benefits of exercising while you complete your daily activities. This teaches your children to take advantage of your home’s proximity to the places you travel most frequently and to not depend on a car every time you need to go somewhere. When you do need to get somewhere farther away, there are many more public transportation options. Whether it is a light rail, subway, bus system or cars for hire like Uber, there are many more options in the city than outside it.


4.  Better Medical Care 

There are alway more doctors inside a metropolitan area than in the rural areas. There tend to be more specialists as well.  You will have more options and the larger cities tend to have a broader range of comfort and quality in their medical facilities.  As high income professionals you might feel certain clinics and hospitals cater to professionals that value time over money and get you quick, quality care efficiently. If you live in a rural setting you might have one or two general doctors to choose from and need to travel into the city to see any kind of specialist.


5.  Better Access to Childcare

Whether you need child care centers or one parent is staying home, we all need help with childcare from time to time. There is the opportunity to live closer to friends and family in the city. There are a variety of child care services whether you want Montessori, nanny, or center directed care.  Chances are you will find the option you believe is the best for your child.


6. Higher Paying Jobs on Average for Parents

There tends to be more jobs and higher paying jobs in the city. Of course you are already a high income earner and so you don’t really need a job, but if for some reason you were laid off or wanted to change, you have a lot more options in the city. As for your children, when they grow older, they have many more opportunities to find well compensated work in the cities.  Education is also more beneficial in the cities. Just look at the earnings gap between metro and non-metropolitan jobs based on the level of education.  As one gets more education there is a bigger gap in the rural settings. The advanced degree individual is paid 25% less in the rural setting compared to the city on average.

The Magnificent 7 financial reasons to live in the city with kids



7. Better Access to Networking and Community

When you live where there are more people, there will naturally be more opportunity to meet people with similar goals and interest. When I sat down with my son and asked his potential interests for a career, he replied architecture, engineering, business and music, specifically drums.  We were able to rattle off at least one person that we know in each of those specialties who we could talk to about his or her vocation.  There is the potential for internships and mentoring programs in the areas your children have interest. If your child is interested in a very specific niche, there is more likely to be a person that knows about that small area in the cities.


Final Thoughts

Living in the city can be expensive. Housing costs and food costs are generally higher.  On the bright side, you can look in other areas of your life to be more frugal and reap the benefits of city life without overly increasing total costs of living.  What other parts of living in an urban setting do you enjoy? Comment Below.

Tom is a doctor, husband and father of five with a passion for parenting and finance. When he isn't skateboarding, riding BMX, or jumping on the trampoline with his kids, he is reading and writing about personal finance. He helps high income parents educate and mentor their kids to become financially, emotionally, and intellectually self sufficient.

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