Guest Blog by Mandy Whitburn

I love the West Wales countryside and beaches and had always dreamed of living there one day. So, when the opportunity to move West came about 3 ½ years ago, some decisions had to be made.

I work at the Magenta office in Bridgend, so travel was one of the first things to consider. I don’t drive so public transport was the only option, I am lucky that there is a direct train from Burryport to the office. Train travel is not cheap, but as other costs are cheaper in West Wales these can be offset.

Overall the effect of the move was cost neutral.

Then I had to consider commuting time. How did I feel about spending long days out of the house and over 2 ½ hours on the train every day? I leave the house at 7am and get back about 7pm.  This time can be well used, I do my reading for book club, crochet blanket squares for needy causes and grandchildren, or simply just look out of the window at the spectacular views as the train runs along the beautiful Welsh coast. I regard this as “my time” when I can just prepare myself for the day or wind down at the end.

All in all, the trade-off is well worth it. I can walk to the beach in 10 minutes and have a lovely country park on my doorstep. I can see the sea from the train station platform and for most of the journey. The general pace of life is much slower here and it is great for my physical and mental wellbeing.

If you have a lifestyle goal and you are unsure whether to go for it, weigh up the pros and cons like I did and you might be pleasantly surprised.

A proper financial plan and cashflow forecast will help you decide whether you can achieve your dreams sooner rather than later!  We only have one life and it is for living.