Welcome to the next instalment of our ‘cost of living’ series, where we explore the cost of living in different cities and towns all around Australia. In this post, we will explore the cost of living in Fernvale QLD.
We moved to Fernvale from Brisbane nearly four years ago looking to get out of the fast-paced city lifestyle and to give our children a rural upbringing. We chose Fernvale over other rural areas as we loved the town and it is a good half way mark between our hometown in Toowoomba and our commitments and friends in Brisbane. Fernvale and surrounding areas offer loads of beautiful scenery and outdoor activities, it is close to creeks and dams for swimming, boating, fishing, and camping; it also has beautiful parks and an awesome running track along the old rail trail. We often see kangaroos, a huge range of birds and the odd koala. The country night sky is always breathtaking and the air is fresher and cleaner. The school has a great reputation and the real estate is much cheaper than Brisbane, even though it is rising very quickly.
We rent a lovely home on an acre in a spacious area of Fernvale. Houses like ours are few and far between, most renters are on much smaller blocks. To rent a home like ours in Brisbane, I would estimate it to cost at least 40-80% more depending on the suburb. We enjoy the affordable rent in an area where there is mostly homeowners with families. We plan to eventually buy a home in our current neighbourhood.
We also own a house in Toowoomba which we rent out.
Nearly three years ago we opened Rocket Fitness, our own functional training and boxing studio in Fernvale. It is continuously growing but still in the start up phase so we are working down business loans, paying off equipment and building up our business. When we first opened, Daniel was commuting to Brisbane to train clients and I was running my graphic and web design business to off set the expenses of a new business.
We are now in the position where Daniel no longer commutes and I no longer work in my old business, so our only income is our gym. This was a goal by three years and we are very excited to have achieved that.
Like most families, groceries are our main expense after rent and mortgage. We are very lucky to have Woolworths in our town so groceries are at standard prices and readily available. We also have awesome markets held weekly in the school ground with cheap fruit and vegies from local farmers for sale. We have a rough budget for our spending’s but our income week to week can vary hugely so it’s hard to be strict with a budget. I ring electricity, phone and insurance providers on a regular basis to make sure we are getting the best deal and diarise this as a job I must do, as the savings can be huge!
We have outgoing expenses set up on weekly direct debit/deposits as much as possible to help with cash flow. I think we are very ‘balanced’ with money; wherever possible we will save on outgoing expenses but we also love to visit friends and shoot off on short camping adventures.
Child care for our youngest child is expensive but much cheaper than the city. Costs for a three-year-old is $87/day in Fernvale, whereas I have been told that care in the city is $125/day. We are lucky that Fernvale has a wonderful state school so we do not pay school fees.
We expect our cost of living to decrease soon as we pay down business related loans, grow our business and both kids go to school (eliminating day care fees).
Any spare cash we have sits in an offset account so it reduces the home loan for our Toowoomba-based rental property. We have owned that house for nearly 10 years and expect it to be positively geared in the next financial year.
We love living and working in Fernvale and I’m very thankful that we made the move!
Many thanks to Jody for sharing!
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Fortress Financial Solutions founder Chris Black is an award-winning financial planner based in Toowoomba who specialises in superannuation, investing, business succession, cash flow management, retirement planning and personal insurances (including life insurance, income protection, total permanent disability and trauma insurance).
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