This post may contain affiliate links which means that sproutinue.com may make a small commission at no extra cost to you. We only promote products that we love and feel will benefit our readers. Please read our Disclosure Policy for more information.
Who wouldn’t want to live cheaply, considering the high cost of living due to the raging inflation rates? You can start by redeeming yourself from the physical possessions you don’t need. You can comfortably fit in an RV or small apartment. After surviving without these possessions, you’ll notice that you never even needed them in the first place.
Most people can adapt surprisingly quickly to a new environment. Besides, living in an RV is the cheapest way to live. The money you get from purging the stuff you don’t need can go toward moving costs like buying an RV or creating an emergency fund.
This post explores the cheapest way to live, tips to save money, and frugal ways to live alone. Read through!
What’s the Cheapest Way to Live? 11 Ways to Live Cheap
Do you want to reduce your living expenses? Here are some affordable housing options you might want to consider.
It is important to note that not all these alternatives will be the right fit for every individual. Some may not be applicable to your condition.
Therefore, as you go through this guide, consider the realities of your current life to define which option will work for you.
1. Live in an RV
Living in an RV has gained tremendous popularity over the last few years. Instead of using your RV for vacation purposes only, you can choose to make it your new home all year. This means you’ll be living rent-free.
You’ll have the potential to save because an average RV can cost way less than a usual home. Besides, you benefit from the freedom of having a functional home on the move.
Provided you are okay with the limited space and the necessity to find a place to park every night, you can lead an adventurous life on the road by living in a trailer or motorhome.
2. Living in a Truck is a New Trend
Living in a truck is easy, especially if you are alone. This offers the benefits of an RV, even though it provides limited space (based on the kind of truck you own).
Even though the upfront cost might be necessary to revamp the truck to fit your needs, you will save a lot of money with this option. While you might need to transform the truck into a motorhome, this can be completed for a few bucks.
3. Live Frugally on a Bus
Another Cheapest way to live is to transform a bus into a home. It may be possible to get a cheap old school bus, but ensure it’s in good working condition to serve the purpose.
Then, transforming the seating space into a home can be a fun DIY project. However, you need to have basic skills and equipment for this project.
4. Stay in a Duplex
Stay in a duplex if you love traditional housing plans but still want to save a few dollars. With this option, you will live in a permanent apartment, but since it is divided into two sections, you’ll reduce your monthly costs.
If you have money to invest, you can purchase a duplex where you can live in one unit and rent out the other. This is the best way to make passive income. The only drawback of renting out is that you’ll become a property manager, something you might not want to.
5. Live in a Tiny Home
Tiny homes are gaining tremendous popularity. These are small houses that you can move from one location to another.
While you must invest cash upfront in constructing the home, the costs are a fraction of what you could have spent to own a traditional home.
However, remember that you’ll need space available for the house to sit, either on private land you own or a property meant for tiny homeowners. Not all properties are zoned for tiny homes. Therefore check out the legal details before you start the project.
6. Be a Full-Time Caregiver
Working as a full-time caregiver is another amazing way to save a few bucks. You’ll offer care to another individual on a full-time arrangement, and you will get free housing and compensation for your services. This is both a job opportunity and a housing alternative.
It is important to note that you must be qualified to offer the services and need to be motivated to work in this field.
A conventional and simple way to cut down on housing expenses is to share a room with friends. If you come across a house to live in with a monthly rent of $1200, you can divide it in half by getting one roommate. Or you can reduce the costs to $400 by having two roommates.
Sharing your space with friends helps you save on housing costs and food expenses if you decide to make meals and utilize leftovers.
8. Live with Family or Friends
You probably have family and friends living in large homes. How about you ask for a place to live? If they have an extra room they don’t use, you may want to rent a room in their house at a low rate.
However, this plan can work with the right combination of lifestyles and personalities, so explain the details prior to moving in. Finding the right individuals you intend to share a home with is crucial.
9. Transform a Storage Container Into a Home
This might sound somewhat strange at first glance, but it’s not different from the idea of tiny homes. You’ll use a used storage container to build a home.
Unless you are experienced and extremely handy in DIY projects, you might need to hire a professional to assist you in converting the container into a livable space. It’s also vital to consider where the container will sit when it’s ready.
10. Live as a Minimalist
If you are like most Americans who like to over-consume everything, even your housing expenses, it’s time to stop.
Irrespective of your living condition, strive to live minimally. This includes reducing housing expenses such as modern furniture or the newest appliances. If you are searching for cheap ways to live, try living minimally.
11. Be a Nomad
If you are adventurous, having no home is a good option. Living as a nomad is like living on the road, moving from location to location, interacting with new people, and getting new opportunities.
However, this isn’t for everyone since many people tend to be consoled by having one particular place they call home.
The option might not be a sustainable housing alternative in the long run. However, spending two years this way will help you save some cash while creating an unforgettable experience.
What’s the Cheapest Way to Live on Your Own?
Maybe circumstances have pushed you to live on your own. However, don’t panic! You can live cheaply even too. Here is how!
1. Try to Live Small
If you stay alone, one of the cheapest ways to live is to limit your space or home size.
You can save money on housing expenses by removing unnecessary space, particularly if the house is cooled and heated with central air. Living in a small house will limit the money you spend on furniture to keep the room occupied.
2. Live in a Private Estate Sitter
The cheapest housing alternative is not to reduce housing costs to zero. If you are lucky to get this gig, you will eliminate your housing expenses by working as a live-in private estate sitter or manager.
Property owners are always busy traveling for business or other reasons, so they may not have the time to manage their rental property.
Your work will be managing the estate or property for a customer. This may also include supervising landscapers.
3. Cooperative Housing
Cooperative housing is another cheapest way to live on your own. The only thing about this option is that it’s rare. Besides, less than 1% of housing units in the US represent cooperative housing.
However, if you are lucky to reside in an area with this living arrangement, you’ll make out well. You’ll live alone with an affordable monthly payment, and you can save a lot of money.
4. Live-in Nurse
Are you a qualified nurse with the proper certifications? Then become a live-in nurse. These professionals are available 24/7 for patients that need monitoring and care.
For instance, dementia patients need medical attention 24/7. So, having live-in nurses is perfect for the patient and nurse.
The patient might not have to pay the professional a lot of money if the nurse lives in their residence. On the other hand, the nurse will have a place to stay for free or cheap. As a live-in nurse, you can save a lot of money by living in the patient’s home.
5. Stay With the Seniors
An exciting alternative you may need to consider is living with the seniors. The internet is flooded with websites where people who want home assistance allow young adults to live with them for free or discounted rent.
The family members will conduct a background check and interview the interested parties. If you get the gig, you will live rent-free while building a house.
You’ll be required to do things such as shopping, cooking, and cleaning. This arrangement is beneficial for everyone. You get affordable housing while the senior gets a companion.
Live Cheaply by Saving Money on Expenses
Even though utilities and house rent are the most costly living expenses, there are many other smart ways to reduce your living costs.
Prepare Your Meals to Save Money
You can save a lot on your monthly budget by cooking for yourself. While you might think eating out isn’t a big deal, the cost will pile up over the entire month.
If you can get used to cooking all your food, you’ll be surprised to notice how much you will save. Besides, homemade meals are healthier than what you eat at a restaurant. This means you will have the extra benefit of having a healthy diet.
Buy your food at farmers’ markets since you can get good deals and build relationships with gardeners and farmers.
Save Money on Insurance
Have a health insurance policy that makes sense for you. Choosing a high deductible or low premium plan is smart since you will have lower monthly payments.
However, that’s if you infrequently visit the doctor. But if you need frequent doctor visitations, the high deductible will be expensive.
Another way to save on insurance is by increasing your deductible on car insurance and keeping the least amount of insurance needed. Ensure you are protected in case of an accident.
Shop around for the best deals. Insurance firms are in business for profits. They don’t care about you or your wellbeing. Since you owe them nothing, being loyal has zero value. Once you shop around and find the best rates, return to your insurance firm and find out if they can offer a better deal.
Some studies show that 76% of people who took the time to search for insurance companies saved a lot of money. If you work from home and don’t drive frequently, you have better odds of getting discounted rates.
Cut Down Phone Subscription
Most people don’t utilize all the benefits and features of cell phone plans. So, you can go for a cheaper plan. If you work from home, use a WIFI connection instead of a cellular. Therefore, you won’t need much data.
Spend Less on Vacation
While you might love to take a vacation for relaxation and fun, it doesn’t have to be costly. Transportation is one of the most costly things on a trip. You can go somewhere within your area.
For example, if you have a camping trip, borrow or hire camping gear and company on government land for free.
Top Up Your Earnings With a Side Hustle
While this method is not for lowering expenses, increasing your earnings will help you save a large part of your monthly income. Rather than striving to live cheaply, you can make more money.
While it’s not that easier, you can still do it. Rather than spending hours every week on TikTok and Netflix, use that extra time to make a dollar. There are many legit online jobs that pay hourly.
Other Cheap Living Tips
There are numerous cheap living tips to help you save money. However, you need to formulate a plan and stick to it.
When you want to live frugally, you must strategize where you intend to live, have unique ways to save money and how you intend to live.
This post has highlighted many cheap living ideas, but the list is endless. You can stay in a typical home while you live frugally.
- Move Locations
If you reside in a town with a high cost of living, moving is one of the clever ways to live frugally.
Since this is a considerable commitment, you might find it hard to move. However, going to a town with a low living cost will lower your living costs by almost 50%.
Downsizing your house is another best way to reduce your living expenses and save for the future.
You can either rent out or sell your current home and go to a small house that is lesser expensive. This will help you save a large part of your income each month.
- Rent an Apartment and Negotiate
Negotiating rent works only in a saturated market or apartments.
If you are looking for a place to love and find many options, you might need to negotiate the rent with the real estate agent or landlord.
They might agree to offer you a discount provided you sign a longer lease. Most landlords will accept tenants who pay less to have their properties fully occupied.
Living frugally isn’t for everyone. Even though cutting the monthly spending sounds appealing, everything is always a give and take. As you cut down your expenditure, you’ll be forced to give up on things such as access to entertainment, comfort, and even space.
Eventually, how you opt to live is a personal choice. So, before making any significant change to your living arrangements, it’s important to consider what the changes will mean to your everyday reality.
Cheapest Way to Live FAQs
What Is the Cheapest Way To Live in the Us?
The cheapest way to live includes in the U.S. is:
- Finding affordable housing alternatives, such as living in an RV
- Transforming a container into a home
- Living in a tiny house
Where Can I Live for Free?
If you are homeless by choice, America has many places to live rent-free. They include buffalo, NY, Lincoln, KS, and Marquette, KS.
How Can I Live on My Own With No Money?
If you’re thinking of living alone but don’t have money, that’s totally understandable. Consider getting free housing in exchange for services as a private worker, working as a live-in nanny, or becoming a house sitter.