We sold our UK home and possessions to move Bali – now our rent is just £2,000 a YEAR and we’re building villas homes on our own land
- Matt and Carlie from Manchester, took the bold step to live ‘financially free’
- READ MORE: We moved into a tiny home to save money – it’s NOT that cheap
A thrifty couple who sold their home and valuables so they could move to Bali say their rent is now just a dreamy £2,000 a year.
Matt Dearing, 36, and partner, Carlie Donnelley, 35, originally from Manchester, took the bold step so they could live ‘financially free’ after growing tired of ‘living to work’.
The couple didn’t think twice about selling their three-bedroom home for £365,000, or swapping a life of constant bills for the year-round tourism and hot weather that Indonesia has to offer.
The move also enables the parents to spend as much time as possible with their three children Lincoln, seven, Delilah, four and Adelaide, one.
They booked one-way tickets in November last year, even though relatives thought they were ‘mad’ and didn’t believe they’d go through with it.
Matt Dearing, 36, and partner, Carlie Donnelley, 35, from Manchester, sold their home and valuables so they could move to Bali and pay £2000 a year on rent (Pictured at Manchester airport before the move: Matt, Carlie and their three children Lincoln, seven, Delilah, four and Adelaide, one)
The thrifty couple took the bold step so they could live ‘financially free’ after growing tired of ‘living to work’. Now they enjoy leisure activities such as this at a waterfall (Pictured: the family of five in Bali)
With the money saved on rent, the pair are now planning to build their very own home which will save them £236,000 overall – a whopping £263,000 less than in the UK (Pictured: a plan of the villa they are building)
Matt, a joiner, now living in Ubud, said: ‘This was something we have wanted to do for years.
‘A couple of times we would go over to Spain, and I was looking for cave houses as I wanted to go off grid.
‘In the UK it got to the point where I wasn’t spending much time with my kids. I would spend about an hour with them before bedtime.
‘I was constantly chasing bills and working. I did a lot of research into Bali as it has all-year-round tourism, and the weather is great’.
He adds that it was finally time to ‘escape the rat race’ which had him working ’10 hours, seven days a week sometimes’.
In March 2023, after much research, the couple found a three-bedroom house in Bali to rent for just £2,000 a year, as well as a nearby 1,200 square-foot plot of land for £100,000.
With the money saved on rent, the pair are now planning to build their very own home which will save them £236,000 overall.
They’re constructing two four or five-bedroom villas, while they have a three-bedroom house on separate land for the family to live in while the building is underway.
Carlie Donnelley and Matt Dearing with their kids Lincoln, Delilah and Adelaide, visiting a temple in Bali
The move has enabled the parents to spend as much time as possible with their three kids
‘The return on your investment here is amazing’ continued Matt.
‘We sold the UK house we were living in and doing up for £365,000. With that money, we were able to buy a 1,200 square foot plot of land to build two villas on.
‘We have struck gold – this is everything we want. For us, being financially free is literally freedom to do whatever we want with the kids, compared to working 10 hours, seven days a week sometimes’.
‘I have always dreamed of dropping the kids off at school and picking them up – I can do that here.
‘The people here are lovely and show a lot of gratitude – it ticked all the right boxes’.
His partner Carlie, a beautician, says things have been ‘exciting’ since the migration and concedes that it is a much ‘different’ life. Still, she’s ‘loving life’.
She continued: ‘I spent more time with the kids while he was at work, we were missing out on having Mark with us.
‘It is great, I am loving life, the weather and just exploring different things. We are outdoorsy’.
Matt says his children are enjoying new experiences like playing outdoors and visiting rice fields. Here, Lincoln takes a dive into a pool
The family have more free time for fun activities like visits to the jungle compared to when Matt worked ’10 hours, seven days a week sometimes’ in the UK
At age 24, Matt fantasised about earning a sufficient income, and having enough savings and investments to live a comfortable life.
By 36, reality hit, and even though the savvy father owned a staggering five house in Manchester, his dreams quickly turned sour when he realised he was nowhere near where he wanted to be.
He said: ‘At the time I owned five houses in Manchester, and I realised that in order for me to be financially free I would need 10 of those but I wanted to do it quicker.
‘I was working so hard at home, I didn’t have much of a social life. I didn’t really go out partying – my main goal was that I wanted to be financially free.
‘It was something I have been pushing for the last 10 years. Because of the cost of living in Bali, it is something we will achieve quicker’.
When Matt and Carly told their family about the move, he says they told them to ‘stop being silly’. But nothing could stop the pair, who say every weekend is a ‘family weekend’ since they travelled.
‘We told everyone we were going to book a one-way ticket to Bali, and everyone was calling us mad’ said Matt.
‘For me, the world is so big, and life is so short, I hate the fact kids are indoors so much.
The couple had to pull the children from school before taking on their new life in Bali. Here, Lincoln feeds a deer
Matt says there is one disadvantage of uprooting his family to live in a new country: ‘We don’t have that support network anymore’. Still, the family have each other, and recently had a swell time with a monkey
‘When I was a kid, I would be out all the time, you don’t get much of that in the UK.
‘Every weekend is now a family weekend , We go to a different beach or waterfall, and we feel like we have struck gold.
‘Back in Manchester I would not let my kids out of the garden, now they are out all the time, they are playing in rice fields – they had never experienced that before’.
When the family first arrived in Bali, they spent three months touring the sights and visiting Canggu and Lovina Beach, before settling down in Ubud, Bali.
Matt reflects on having to pull the children from school before taking on their new life.
He added: ‘Another reason we left when we did is my oldest is seven and then I have a four and a one-year-old.
‘I thought if leave it any longer, I was worried they would develop a relationship with friends, and we wouldn’t be able to take them away in the future.
‘We really have got lucky here, the people are amazing. My children are enjoying school and we are making a lot of good friends here’.
Still, Matt says there is one disadvantage of uprooting his family to live in a new country.
‘The only thing about being out in Bali is you don’t have that support network anymore.
‘We are hoping we get to the point where we can fly our family here and we are planning on coming back to the UK for two to three months at a time.’
The couple are sharing their journey on their TikTok – @serenitylivingbali – in the hope they will inspire other people to take the same leap.
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