I moved away from the Mpls/St.Paul area as the cost of living was too high in comparison to the wages. I easily make as much in North Dakota as I made in Mn. but the cost of living is much much better. If you like wide open spaces and a sense that you have gotten away from the rat race, this is the place to be.
There are a few drawbacks. In western North Dakota, it is hard to find housing. There is a real housing crisis going on. The oil boom has made it hard to find anything to rent as many of the oil people have taken up the vast majority of available places to rent. Also the cost of living has gone up some because of the oil as well. Industry is good and I guess it is a nice problem to have there be more jobs than can be supported by the communities for a place to live concidering that jobs are harder to come by in many other places.
The people are laid back and see the world in a no-nonsense sort of way. It is kind of like stepping back in time coming here. I have learned to always have cash on hand or my check book as some places do not accept a check card. One place where I orded food thinking I would be able to pay by card had no problem letting me get my food and come back with cash a few days later. That would not happen in the Twin Cities unless it was family that owned the place.
I have to do alot of driving living in a rural area for shopping and work. Nothing is close by. So far I am still much further ahead even with the gas prices as they are.
Over all I am very glad I made this move. My daughter has always dreamed of having a horse and now she has one. It is being boarded out at a friends place until we get our own place. There is plenty of opportunity for country living here. Again, the housing piece is the only real problem. I am lucky to have friends here that have provided a place for us to be until I can find something. In the end it would be sad to have to leave a good job and lifestyle I love all because I couldn't find a place to live in the school district the kids are in.