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Cheapest Way To Live In 2024: 11 Best Hacks!

Cheapest Way to Live Cheap

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With the current state of the economy, you may find that you’re left with no money to save after settling a few utility bills and financing your lifestyle. 

The best way to deal with this is to live within or below your means. But how do you embrace minimalism without compromising your life’s quality?

My article delves into the cheapest ways to live this year. Living cheap may initially seem scary, but it’s an excellent way to save money and avoid unnecessary debt.

Whether you aim to free up more cash to settle a huge debt or create a safety net for the future, you’ve come to the right place. 

What Is the Cheapest Way To Live?

Whether you’re choosing to live frugality to build a solid financial foundation or simply desire to live a simple life, many options exist. 

Several people are joining courses and movements that encourage minimalism. For instance, you may find many 30-day minimalism challenge templates on sites like Pinterest. 

You can use such templates and find accountability partners to see you through your journey. 

It’s crucial to remember that the goal here isn’t to reduce the quality of life but to find fulfillment by getting rid of excess. 

Here are some of the best ways to live cheaply this year:

1. Move to a Cheaper City

Generally, living in an urban area will be more expensive than living in a rural area. You can also compare living costs in different metropolitan areas if you don’t want to go rural. 

For instance, according to Expatistan, the cost of living in Los Angeles is higher than in 77 cities in the USA. Comparing LA to a place like Idaho, you’ll likely spend over 30% more in LA.

Further, you’ll find that life in New York or San Francisco is more expensive than in LA. Research is vital in this option. Take your time to consider different factors and how moving will affect your lifestyle. 

It may seem like a huge and scary step, but relocating to a cheaper city may save you more money in the long run.

Finding cheaper housing alternatives in another city may be the solution to living from paycheck to paycheck.

Also, this could be an excellent way to explore new cities while reducing living expenses. However, you’ll incur moving expenses, which may be expensive. 

2. Find a Roommate

Another effective way to live cheaply is finding a roommate. You can cut your current expenditure by half by sharing housing, cleaning supplies, and groceries costs with someone. 

Picking a suitable roommate is crucial to avoiding misery and moving from one apartment to another. Sites like RoomMatch help find someone you’re compatible with.

Simply visit the website, enter your city, and answer a few questions to get matched to a roommate with similar values and interests. 

You can also use other sites like Roomster and Craigslist to broaden your options. However, take care to avoid scams. Don’t sign up for any service before you conduct thorough research. 

Living with someone you barely know may be unsettling initially, but the advantages of sharing your living space are extensive. 

Another alternative is renting your extra space on Neighbor. This earns you extra cash without the long-term commitment of having an actual roommate. 

3. Move Into a Smaller House

Tiny houses are becoming more popular due to the ease of maintenance and the cost-cutting benefit. 

According to Forbes, tiny houses cost about $50,000 on average, and you can incur less if you go for basic amenities alone. This is considerably lower than the US average home price of $298,000.

Another significant advantage of investing in a tiny house is their mobility. These houses can be placed on wheels to move from one area to another. 

Plus, they’re primarily designed to be more eco-friendly than traditional homes. They have a smaller carbon footprint and require less land, water, and energy. 

The only disadvantage of tiny houses is storage. You can maximize your space to create more storage space. Alternatively, consider renting cheap storage spaces or flipping items you don’t need. 

Living in a tiny house isn’t a solution for everyone, especially large families. Simply downsizing your home is enough to save a significant amount of money. 

You can move to a smaller apartment or rent out extra rooms on Airbnb.

4. Repair Rather Than Replace

I’m sure the first thought that comes to mind when an appliance or item in your home stops working is replacing it. Well, replacing every faulty item may be one of the things cutting into your paycheck. 

Repairing damaged items is cheaper and more effective. Even better is repairing yourself. 

You can learn basic DIY and repair skills on YouTube and Pinterest to save money on essential maintenance work. 

The cost of replacing something may be less than repairing it regularly. Evaluate such scenarios and choose the option that leaves more money in your pocket.

5. Cook at Home

Cooking at home may save you a lot of money compared to eating out. 

Meal prepping in advance gives you more control over the ingredients and the overall cost of food. It also helps avoid impulse buying since everything is thought through in advance. 

You can also reduce food wastage by repurposing leftovers and keeping them in the fridge for the next time you come home late and don’t feel like cooking.

You can take advantage of discounts by buying items in bulk. I also like this idea since you can save money by purchasing multipurpose ingredients.

Besides saving money, the most significant advantage of cooking at home is that it’s healthier than ordering take-out or visiting a restaurant.

6. Live In a Recreational Vehicle

RVs have become more popular since the COVID-19 pandemic. Most people used them to escape quarantine and have an outdoorsy feeling. 

Living in an RV can be a viable housing option, especially if you already own one. If you’re considering purchasing one, buying a used one in good condition is better than a new RV. 

RVing can be relatively expensive in the long run. However, you can always find creative ways to reduce costs and leave some cash for saving. 

Some of the ways to make living in an RV less expensive include:

  • Search for free campsites 
  • Save money through campsite memberships
  • Move less to reduce fuel costs 
  • Stay longer in one place
  • Boondock on public lands

Living in an RV is a fantastic way to live cheaply this year, especially if you’re outdoorsy and want to travel more. 

You may encounter challenges with waste disposal and food, but it’s nothing that can’t be handled. 

Plus, if you own a house, you can rent it out with Airbnb to make extra cash as you cruise from place to place in your RV. 

7. Consider House Sitting 

Another cheapest way to live is house sitting. It’s an excellent way to travel and find free shelter. It offers the flexibility of traveling from one place to another while getting paid. 

Your job as a house sitter would entail caring for people’s houses while on vacation or work. 

You may only need to do basic tasks around the home, such as:

  • Watering plants 
  • Dusting the house 
  • Feeding the pets 
  • Answering the telephone 
  • Collecting the mail
Cheapest Way to Live

The best part about house sitting is it requires no educational background; anyone can do it. Most clients prefer a high school diploma and a driving license, though this isn’t always necessary. 

Sign up on platforms like Trusted House Sitters and HouseSitSearch to reduce living costs and get paid to travel.

8. Move In With Family

Living with your parents is one of the surest ways to live cheaply. You can contribute to living expenses, but the cost should be lower than living alone. 

This is a huge step and shouldn’t be a long-term solution unless it benefits you and your folks. 

Feel free to explore this option if you need time to strategize, clear your debts, and build a solid financial foundation to sustain yourself once you move out. 

You can also use the opportunity to break bad money habits that cause dents in your pockets and use that money to save up for your next move. 

9. Rent a Room in a Family Home

Many homeowners rent out extra rooms to reduce their mortgage bills. In most cases, such houses cost less than an average home. 

You may have to share your living space or a kitchen with the family, but it’s an excellent way to reduce housing expenses while having more privacy than living with a roommate. 

You must conduct thorough research on homeowners beforehand to determine how much you’ll need to share.

The homeowners may have some rules for their space. Adhering to such regulations is crucial to maintaining a healthy living environment. 

10. Become a Live-In Caregiver

Becoming a live-in caregiver is another best way to cut back on living expenses and live cheaply. 

People are always seeking caregivers for their aging friends and relatives. It’s, therefore, a great way to make extra cash because there’s a constant demand for caregivers.

Some of the duties you may need to perform as a caregiver include:

  • Preparing meals 
  • Administering medication to the patient
  • Cleaning the house 
  • Shopping 
  • Running errands 
  • Transporting clients to medical appointments 

This job doesn’t require an educational background, but clients’ requirements may vary. In most cases, you’ll need a driving license, a high school diploma, and basic first aid skills.

As a live-in caretaker, your employer provides free room and food, which helps you reduce living expenses and save more money. Plus, you get paid for your services. 

Becoming an au pair or live-in babysitter are also viable options. 

11. Become an On-Site Property Manager

Becoming an on-site property manager is an excellent way to cut living expenses while getting paid, especially if you’re hands-on. You get free or low-cost housing as part of the package.

As a property manager, you’d oversee the property operations and cater to complaints, repairs, and maintenance.  

An educational background isn’t entirely required in this line of work, especially if you manage a property that belongs to a friend or family member. 

However, if you wish for more professional experience and higher pay, a property management, real estate, or human resources background may prove invaluable. 

Tips for Living Cheaply

Now that you’re conversant with some of the cheapest ways to live, here are some tips to remember as you choose your venture:

  • Be flexible: Flexibility helps you adapt quickly to different settings. If one thing doesn’t work for you, explore other options.
  • Set clear goals: Having goals to aim at helps you stay motivated for your cause. Whether you want to save more or cut back on expenses, set clear goals to remain focused.
  • Work with a budget: Always create a budget to keep track of your expenditures and avoid unnecessary expenses.
  • Be gentle with yourself: Changing your lifestyle won’t happen overnight; you may be tempted to backslide. If this happens, be kind to yourself and remind yourself why you started.

Frequently Asked Questions 

What Is the Cheapest Way To Live Alone?

If you want to live cheaply without sharing your space with roommates, several options are worth considering. 

Some of the cheapest ways to live alone include:

  • Moving to a more affordable area
  • Downsizing your house
  • Becoming an on-site property operator
  • Cooking at home rather than eating out

What Is the Cheapest Way To Live With a Family?

Having a family may limit your options when it comes to living cheaply. However, you can find ways of cutting expenses without compromising your family’s quality of life. 

Here are some of the cheapest ways to live with a family:

  • Moving to a more affordable neighborhood
  • Embracing home-cooked meals 
  • Purchasing groceries in bulk
  • Growing your household’s food
  • Finding free entertainment options

What Is the Cheapest Way To Live on Your Own Land?

Having your own land lets you customize your house and property to your taste. It’s also a great place to start if you want to live cheaply. 

You can live cheaply on your land by doing the following:

  • Growing your vegetables
  • Learn basic repair and maintenance procedures
  • Rent out extra rooms 
  • Powering your home with renewable energy through companies like Arcadia. Get a $10 bill credit upon sign up.

What Is the Cheapest Way To Live Rent-Free?

You can live rent-free by:

  • Becoming an on-site property manager
  • Working as a live-in caregiver
  • Becoming an au pair
  • Becoming a live-in nanny
  • House sitting 
  • Trading your services for rent
  • Finding a job that covers housing
  • Living with your parents 

What Is the Cheapest Way for a Senior To Live?

Being a senior shouldn’t limit your options when it comes to minimalism. You can live cheaply as a senior by:

  • Downsizing your home 
  • Living in senior housing communities
  • Moving to a cheaper neighborhood

I Need a Place To Live ASAP. What Are My Options?

Whether you need to move in a few months or need emergency housing, several options are available. Some of them include:

  • Catholic worker communities
  • Homeless agencies 
  • HUD housing 
  • Volunteer with AmeriCorps or Peace Corps

How Can I Live as Cheaply as Possible?

Finding rent-free options is the best way to live cheaply since housing is expensive. Some rent-free jobs include:

  • House sitting
  • Babysitting 
  • On-site property managing 
  • Caregiving

Final Thoughts 

Finding the cheapest way to live helps you free up more cash for saving and building an emergency fund. 

As you can see above, many options exist whether you’re looking for a temporary solution to your financial problems or seeking a long-term way of life. 

Always do your due diligence and explore different options to find something that works for you. Be kind to yourself and set goals to keep you motivated in your cause.

Lydia is a personal finance expert and the founder of Sproutinue, a personal finance site helping you find legit ways to make money, save money, and achieve financial freedom. She has been featured on various major financial publications, including Investopedia, Business Insider, GoBankingRates, and more.

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