What is the cheapest way to live alone? How does one go about finding affordable housing in a big city? What types of neighborhoods work best for individuals looking to rent or buy on their own? These are just some of the questions you might find yourself asking as you decide whether living alone is right for your lifestyle.

The “cheap ways to live on your own” is a question that has been asked many times. In this blog, I will be giving you the cheapest way to live alone and where to look for them.



It may be wonderful to live alone. Sure, paying for your own apartment costs more, but if you can figure out how to live alone cheaply, the independence and freedom you’ll get may be well worth the extra cost. 

One of the cheapest housing options I could locate, my first single flat was a small attic space that looked like a railroad tunnel. I slept on a fold-out couch, although the distance to the beach was just three minutes.

Although the utilities and rent were inexpensive, I never gave these two alternative solo living options any thought.

There are three main things to think about if you’re searching for the cheapest method to live alone. And even if your finances are tight, if you can do all three, you could really be able to afford living alone. 

Focus on these 3 areas for the cheapest way to live alone:

1. Create financial habits that allow you to live within your means.

2. Pick the least expensive site that meets your demands.

3. Your budget is impacted by how well you manage your time.

Money Routines for Living Within Your Means

According to a Lending Tree report, 44% of millennials earning between $100,000 and $149,000 still depend on their paychecks. 

It’s not necessary to spend all of your money on Cheerios to live alone. However, without a plan for spending and saving, it’s simple to fall victim to lifestyle inflation. when a raise in wages is accompanied with increased expenditure and debt.

In fact, Bloomberg also did a study and found that 1/3 of all consumers making over $250k are also living paycheck to paycheck. Crazy isn’t it? So it’s not just a phase. It’s possible to be “rich” and spend all your earning years unable to build wealth if you don’t manage your income. 

Here are five money management strategies that will enable you to live frugally today while yet planning for the future:

1. Create a simple budget to help you manage your expenses

Knowing and managing where your money is going is the greatest approach to keep living costs down whether or not you live alone. 

Making a budget is not a way to limit your life. Sure, it’ll help you keep your expenses under control, but it’s also a terrific technique to make yourself make choices.

Even if you may not be able to afford everything, you can. 

A budget will encourage you to concentrate on your top priorities for the next year or two. Saying no to things that won’t help you get there is simpler after you’ve accomplished that.

The difference between your income and spending will eventually widen as you continue to make adjustments to living costs. In the near future, you will start paying cash for the things that mean the most.

Here are 10 free budget templates that will all make it simple for you to keep track of your monthly spending.

2. Setting goals may help you stay out of debt

When you have friends who drive brand-new cars and another who buys a couch big enough to fit a family, it might be difficult to live on a budget. But using credit to purchase such merchandise is equivalent to wearing ankle weights. 

You have less flexibility the more debt you take on. Your options in life start to become more limited until your only option is to continue working a 9 to 5 job for the next 20 years in order to pay everything off. 

Choosing where you want to be in two or three years will help you avoid falling into this trap.

Start a family, move to a new place, work in a certain field… Spending choices become simpler if your path is set. FOMO is no longer a problem. 

Even if you’re watching the game on your friend’s 70-inch TV, you’ll still appreciate it more if you know that you’re working every day for something valuable rather than simply to cover your expenses.  

Check out these resources for advice on balancing your budget with your particular values: 

Values Based Budget – How to Manage Money and Do Things You Love.

3. Pay Yourself First: An Easy Way to Decrease Expenses


One of the first things to go when attempting to live on a budget is savings. “Building it into the budget is too difficult. Maybe when I am paid more.

Surprising costs are one of the main causes of budget failure. Your budget may be completely destroyed by an unexpected auto repair, dental work, or family visit. 

Emergencies are always around the corner. But if you can pay for them from a source other than your checking account, suddenly your budget becomes predictable. 

Even though it may seem impossible, setting up a separate account and making little weekly deposits will make a significant difference. You’ll be less likely to use credit cards since you’ll always have enough money for regular necessities like rent, utilities, and food.

Surprisingly quickly after starting an automatic deposit into an emergency fund, you’ll have a sizeable sum of money there. Additionally, you’ll take on less debt when your budget is predictable.

Here is how we configured our automatic emergency fund such that we hardly noticed the deposit. 

4. Food Prices: A Simple Way to Reduce Monthly Costs

What is the greatest monthly cost for you?

Rent or a mortgage, most likely, but I’ll wager that food comes in second or third. 

This is so that “food” may refer to much more than simply groceries. The cost of eating out, delivery, convenience shops, work lunches, and snacks may significantly increase monthly grocery expenses. 

You won’t need to go to another shop to get food since you’ll get all you need in one trip to the grocery store. It is the easiest approach to quickly reduce your living expenses.

By planning our meals and snacks before we went shopping rather than simply purchasing what we felt we needed, we were able to start saving $300 a month straight immediately. 

Meal preparation doesn’t have to be difficult or costly. Our $5 Meal Plan is used. They offer new recipes every week, complete with materials and directions, for $5 each month. The app creates a shopping list of all the items needed to prepare the meals when I choose the ones I want to make.

Now I merely compare the components on that list to what I already have. We’ll have everything we need for meals and snacks for the next week or two once I make only one trip to the grocery. Nearly none of the meals take more than 20 minutes to prepare and are all $2 or less per person every meal.

Making a meal plan is a smart move that can instantly save hundreds of dollars off most budgets.

5. Less Freedom Equals More Stuff

Although it may not seem appealing to live on a budget, are our attempts to become “wealthy” truly something to aspire to when you take these statistics into account?

  • 300,000 objects are crammed into the typical family’s house today, which is quadruple the size of homes from 50 years ago.
  • Most residents of houses with two-car garages are unable to park their vehicles inside of them.
  • Storage facilities are one of the industries with the quickest growth.
  • The average credit card debt is approximately $15,000, yet we’re trying to get all those goods.

To put that in perspective, if you were to pay the minimum each month of about 3% of the balance, payments would start at $450 a month, and take 19 years to pay off. 

Since the majority of individuals don’t have $400 in cash on hand, I’m betting there are also many important items on our bucket lists that we’ll never get to accomplish.

I’m not advocating living out of a bag, but being frugal doesn’t have to mean going without. It can include making a conscious decision to spend money on items that uplift us or encourage us to advance rather than those that serve as anchors.

Cheaper Alternatives to Living

Here are some of the most affordable methods to practically live for free. Then, whether you’re paying rent or a mortgage, we’ll go through some of the greatest methods to live frugally.

One of the Cheapest Ways to Live Rent Free Is Through House Sitting

House sitting is among the cheapest ways to live alone if you don't have lots of your own furniture.

Living in someone else’s house while they’re abroad is one of the most affordable ways to live alone. House sitting is a technique to drastically reduce your living expenses if you don’t have many belongings and need a somewhere to stay for a short time, such as a few weeks to a few months.

You may need to pay for the upkeep of your pets or plants, so this could not be entirely free. However, many individuals just want their house to seem occupied for security concerns. 

Apart from food, you won’t have many additional living expenditures. While your living expenses are as near to You’ll have almost no living expenses other than food. The homeowner pays for things like electricity and the water bill while your living costs are as close to zero as you can get. as you can get, the homeowner is responsible for items like the water bill and power. 

One of the greatest places to start if you can work remotely and don’t have many belongings is home sitting.

Take a look at HouseSitter to see what’s available.

Obtain Living Space by Working as a Live-In Caretaker


In that you won’t have to pay for accommodation, being a live-in property manager is comparable to house sitting. In return for housekeeping, gardening, or property upkeep, you will be given a place to live.

This kind of job is often available at a big estate where the owner may avoid paying many employees to do different activities.

How much of your time will be needed for property management activities is one item to think about. If so, how will you pay for other things if it’s a full-time job?

Cost-Free Living as a Live-in Nanny

Taking a job as a live-in nanny is a cheap way to live in exchange for caring for kids or seniors.

Almost no living costs still apply to live-in nannies. By looking after children, senior citizens, or maybe even pets, you can cover your housing expenses.

You’ll probably be subjected to a background investigation if you’ll be looking after children or the elderly. If you’re contemplating a job in caregiving, this could be a fantastic opportunity for you.

Care.com and Zip Recruiter are two locations where you may begin your search.

Earn Money as a Guide for Outdoor Adventures

Hiring on as a hiking guide comes with room, board, and free travel to lots of national parks.

While out on a hike in the Great Smoky Mountains, I ran upon a man who was leading a team of eight people up Mount LeConte. He was employed by a corporation that flew him all over the nation to carry out this task. He has been compensated for his lodging, meals, and travel. 

He has visited practically all of the nation’s national parks in his capacity as a guide for outdoor adventures. He is also compensated to assist with setting up tents and cooking meals if a walk lasts many days. 

This might be an inexpensive way to live with absolutely no housing bills as you meet new acquaintances if you like hiking and want to travel the nation.

Find out more about becoming a guide for outdoor adventures.

Living On A Cruise Ship On A Budget

Working on a cruise ship is a way to earn money while having very low living expenses. You'll pay nothing for room, board and meals.

Working for a cruise company might be a chance to travel to exotic locations while building up your funds if you already lead a nomadic lifestyle. You’ll work long hours and be gone for extended periods of time, but your lodging and all meals are covered. 

A few months spent working on a cruise ship is a terrific opportunity to save practically all of your income and be ready for your next trip.

Visit some of the largest cruise companies’ recruitment pages:

  • Carnival
  • Disney
  • King Caribbean
  • Cunard
  • Dutch America

Volunteer for Military Service and Receive Free Accommodations

Joining a branch of the military service enables you to have very low living expenses for several years.

Joining the service isn’t technically living alone. But if you’re a single person unsure about your future, joining a branch of the service is not only a cheap way to live, it’s pretty much free

You would get compensation for learning a trade, you would undoubtedly travel, and you would depart after a few years with money for education.

I am aware of two persons who were in their twenties and searching for their calling. They enlisted and left with a skill that would allow them to support themselves. 

They developed lifelong friends while spending four years around the globe. They left with no debt, college benefits, and the chance to purchase a house with no down payment when they were ready.

Affordable Housing with a Minimal Payment

The last options were cheap places to live that not only don’t require a lot of money – they have almost no living expenses. The next options do require a monthly payment, but your cost of living can still be very low.

Renting a Room in a House

Renting a room in someone else's home is a low cost way to live while you save money on utilities.

Renting a room in someone’s house would be one of the most inexpensive living arrangements. This is a relatively affordable housing option if you can fit all of your belongings in a closet and beneath your bed.

It’s one of the finest ways to live close to where you need to be while maintaining relatively cheap monthly costs.

It goes without saying that sharing a kitchen and bathroom is a drawback. But if saving money is your first concern, it can be a fair compromise.     

You may try Spare Room, which allows you to search by zip code, rental price, and other criteria.

Couch Surfing: Live Cheaply and See the World


You probably believed that staying with a friend or family member for a short period of time for free constituted couch surfing. It turns out that you can couch surf in more than 200,000 towns worldwide!

You can live on the cheap like a nomad with the aid of CouchSurfing. Simply establish a profile and then look through hosts in any places you may like to visit. 

Simply submit a Couch Request after you’ve located an appropriate host. The Couchsurfing website has a wealth of information on how to be safe and what to look for in a host.

Additionally, you may add your own sofa as a host and change its availability at any time. Additionally, there are gatherings where you may meet other couch surfers and hosts if there are many hosts in a certain city.

Purchase a Duplex and Get a Tenant to Help Pay the Mortgage

Buying a duplex can help you to live cheaply when your tenant pays a big portion of your mortgage.

Although purchasing a duplex requires cash up front, it is undoubtedly a method to live inexpensively. Renting out a second living area in your house implies someone else is covering a significant portion of your mortgage.

The rental revenue might allow you to save enough of your own money to:

  • Establish a home emergency fund.
  • Create a personal emergency fund.
  • Clear your debt.
  • Start investing as soon as possible.

Not to mention the tax deduction for your loan’s mortgage interest as well as the increase in the property’s worth. Talk about a frugal lifestyle!

Purchase or Lease a Tiny House

Buying or renting a tiny house is a low-cost living arrangement if you're able to downsize your possessions.

A tiny home may cost roughly half as much to rent as an apartment or townhouse, which can easily exceed $2000 per month for a modest place.

But how little exactly is a tiny house?

Today’s typical family house is around 2400 square feet, whereas the typical small home is about 400 square feet. That is about equivalent to a typical two-car garage.

400 square feet may be set up very well if your goal is to live on a tight budget.

However, you should be certain that you are comfortable with a simple lifestyle. Renting a storage unit for the items you can’t fit in your small house may be counterproductive to your desire to live cheaply.

Uncertain whether you could move into a little house? These suggestions might be helpful:

To get a sense of it, consider booking a little house on AirBNB.

Or check out Marie Kondo’s book, The Lifechanging Magic of Tidying Up. It’s intended to help you organize your possessions, but her process of creating order does a lot more than tidy up your closets. It’ll probably make you to consider why you buy so many things, and why you still own so many things that no longer serve a purpose in your life.

A brief summary of her method may be found in Can Konmari Help You to Find Money Success. It outlines the five stages you’ll take and how, after finishing them, you’ll probably be more certain of what you want out of life.   

Efficiency or studio apartments are more affordable than one-bedroom residences.


An efficiency or studio apartment is one option to live inexpensively and simply if this is your first time living alone. Additionally, it’s a cheap method to relocate closer to your desired location.

Studios and efficiency apartments often incorporate the living, sleeping, and dining areas. Although studios are a little bigger than efficiency apartments, they are both less expensive than one-bedroom apartments.

My first apartment had a small kitchen with a two-person table, one bathroom, and a pull-out sleeping couch. It was a cheap way to live for two years since most evenings my dog was the only one at the dinner table.

Many localities include studios or efficiency where a homeowner has divided a larger residence into multiple smaller ones. Even if you don’t have much storage space, reducing clutter might still be beneficial.

Look on websites like Apartments.com or Craigslist.

Reduce costs by renting out a portion of your home.

You could be on the other side of the argument. You live alone, but because of your limited resources, you are unable to put anything aside for the future. 

To reduce your living expenditures, you can think about renting a room.

You may try renting out your room via AirBnB to get a feel for it if you’re unsure if you’re ready for a month-to-month renter. You can get all the information you want on their website.

It could even be beneficial to utilize part of your equity to make certain changes, such as putting in a tiny bathroom or a separate entrance, depending on how much equity you have.

If You Can Manage Your Time Well, Living Alone Will Cost You Less

Managing your time well can help you to live cheaply.

“The only real asset you have is your time. The hours of your life.”  – Vicki Robin

Vicki Robin discussed the significance of fusing your personal principles with how you really conduct your life in her book, Your Money or Your Life.

We have so many goals that need both time and money. However, we only have a limited supply of each and almost limitless options.

So unless you can define what’s most important to you, it’s easy to reach in lots of unrelated directions, wondering why you’re never truly satisfied.

Creating a budget is easy. But fine tuning over time will probably involve thinking about how you spend your money and your time.

  • If your income falls short each month, you could pick up some shifts at a local store. But that means committing more hours away from home for a low wage. Starting your own side hustle from home has a much higher income potential, and it’s on your schedule.
  • Over time, a key factor might be your home’s location in relation to your employment. An hour-long commute costs a lot of money, eats up your free time, and makes it difficult to spend time honing other skills.
  • You may spend so much time attempting to seem wealthy that you’d never have the time or means to really accumulate money. Too much debt may limit your options since you’re obligated to make monthly payments on exorbitant costs.
  • The typical American watches television for 3.1 hours each day. There are around 8 hours left after accounting for sleep time and an average workday, which together take up about 16 of your 24 hours. Life is passing pretty quickly when you spend over half of your time on the couch.
  • I put off starting this webpage for a year after getting the idea. I didn’t believe I had the time to learn anything new since I am a single mom and work full-time. But a close examination of my personal schedule convinced me that even an hour a night may make a difference. Even slowly forming a habit might result in significant transformations.      

What activities take up time in your day? Traveling, standing in line, watching TV or using social media, taking on too many activities, and lacking limits…

As crucial as it is to stick to a budget, being economical with your time may have a significant impact on how your life develops. According to Robert Kiyosaki, the only difference between a wealthy and poor person is how they use their time.

The top priorities change every year. However, it seems that there is a link between how you spend your time and your ability to pay for the things you want to accomplish in life.

Related: Values Based Budget – How to Manage Money and Do the Things You Love


What kind of income is required to live alone?

Depending on where you want to live, you may calculate the wage you’ll need to live alone, but you should start by making a straightforward budget. 

Now, save for rent and utilities, make a list of all your monthly costs. Expenses include things like food, a phone, clothes, transportation, paying off debt, and personal care. all of your normal outlays.

Now that you have more possibilities for housing, you can determine whether your monthly income covers the cost of rent, electricity, and other costs. Remember to incorporate monthly contributions in your emergency fund since doing so will prevent you from getting on debt.

How Much Does It Cost to Live Alone?

If your funds are so limited that you can’t afford to consistently contribute to an emergency fund, don’t commit to an apartment or other living arrangement. 

Not having enough cash on hand for emergencies is one of the simplest ways to get into financial difficulties. It may rapidly get out of control if you need to start charging things on your credit card.

Living alone will almost certainly need certain lifestyle modifications. You should identify any areas where your own finances are leaking. Whatever keeps getting in the way of your finances—dining out, socializing, pricey hobbies, personal care—definitely there’s a less costly option.

Where Can I Live Alone and Afford It?

It relies on a few factors as to where you may live alone most affordably:

  • Where you work and how near is necessary.
  • Whether you drive your own vehicle, use the bus or train, or walk, how do you go to work, the store, or to see family or friends?

To know where to start your search and what kind of living space to seek for, you’ll need to know precisely how much money you make as well as information about your lifestyle.

How do individuals manage to live independently?

Calculate your income and spending, then keep track of it for a few months to see where you can make improvements. This is the best method to finance living alone.

It can take many months to adapt your spending, modify your way of life, and begin making tiny, frequent payments to your emergency fund. That’s crucial since it will help keep your costs predictable and eliminate any shocks from your budget. 

After that, you should do fast budget reviews once a week for 15 minutes to prepare for any unforeseen expenses and to just remain on top of things.

What can I do to earn enough money to live alone?

The likelihood is that you currently earn enough to live alone, but the only way to be sure is to know your actual income and planned costs. 

If it turns out that your salary does not now allow you to sustain living alone, there are several options to increase your income. 

You might consider the following side jobs that you can do on your own time:

  • 20 Side Hustle Ideas to Earn $100 a Day
  • 9 Highest Paying Jobs Delivering Food
  • What Products Can I Sell Online to Earn Money?

How Can I Survive on My Own Without Money?

Even while it can seem hard to live alone without any money, there are a few choices. Even though they may not have been your first option, if you’re in a bind, sometimes going backwards allows you to go ahead two steps. 

Some of the aforementioned choices would trade your work for lodging and meals. You may live inexpensively with practically no living expenditures by doing things like working as a live-in nanny, finding a job on a cruise ship, or enlisting in the military.

How Can I Afford My Own Apartment?

How much money you have available to spend on rent and utilities should be your first priority. You should already have a budget that details your usual spending and have had a few months to make any necessary modifications.

Here are 10 free budget templates that you may download if you haven’t already done so.

Don’t forget to include a cost for a donation to your emergency fund with each paycheck when figuring out how much you have available to spend on rent and utilities.

When you eventually move out on your own, you’ll experience wonderful independence and freedom, but you’ll also have a newfound sense of responsibility. Nobody is tapping you on the shoulder to suggest that maybe you shouldn’t purchase those shoes or go out to dinner this week.

But if you can manage your own home and make those lifestyle changes, it will all be worthwhile.

Living on a tight budget may lead to financial success.

Depending on your objectives, living simply may likely entail various things from year to year.

The objective is not to be thrifty only for the sake of being inexpensive.

Having a plan—both a financial and a personal one—will help you recognize when your efforts and resources are bringing you closer to your goals.

The danger of not having a plan, is that it’s hard to be intentional with your money when you don’t know what your priorities are.

Cheap living doesn’t have to entail years of living paycheck to paycheck. It could include skipping cable and cutting down on a few drinks at the bar so you can enroll in a course you’ve been wanting to take. Alternatively, go for an efficiency instead of a one-bedroom apartment so you can completely fund your Roth this year.

Before you get it perfect, conscious money management may include some hits and misses. But if you find your own style of inexpensive living, I’ll wager you’ll probably look back on your life with less regrets than your “rich” neighbors.

How to and Where to Look for the Cheapest Way to Live Alone [email protected] edited it on June 16th, 2022.

How and where to Find the Cheapest Way to Live Alone originally appeared on Common Cents Hub.

The “cheapest way to live in a city” is the most popular question that people ask themselves. There are many ways to find the cheapest place to live, such as looking up on websites like “The Economist”, or asking your friends.

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