With the housing market still in a rather questionable situation, many consumers are seeking cheaper alternatives to buying or renting a house or apartment. Housing is normally one of a consumer’s largest expenses and can certainly be a budget buster.
But if you are willing to think outside the box, being a conventional living space, then you might be able to greatly reduce your housing costs.
The arrangement might not be perfect and it might not be for the rest of your life, but selecting one of these cheap housing options could be a great way for you to economize, pay off debt or build your savings.
Long Term Camping
If you are a fan of nature and live in an area with a mild climate, then the camping lifestyle might appeal to you. The cost of a tent, a camp stove and a few camping chairs can all be purchased for around $200. Then all you need is an understanding friend with a yard or a local campground. The campground will cost you a little bit more but in most cases you would then have access to showers, running water and bathroom facilities. In some areas, you might even find a campsite which offers electric hook up. Staying in a friend’s yard might be asking a bit much but it would also be a great way for that person to make a little extra cash without having a roommate in the house. A few months of camping would allow you to reduce your monthly housing expense substantially and save a great deal of money.
A Custom Truck to Call Home
If you are not a fan of the great outdoors but want to save some money, then consider purchasing a box truck to turn into an apartment on wheels. This option is more geared toward a person who is working in a large office complex which offers shower facilities such as in an onsite gym. But a standard box truck offers plenty of height to allow for comfortable movement and can be customized to create a living area as well as storage and sleeping areas. The initial cost of the truck might seem a bit high but if you are going to live in it for a year or more then it will be very cost effective. You can look at the investment as being equivalent to paying about $1,000 a month in rent for less than a year. But also realize that you will not be paying utilities so that is an additional savings.
Choose to Roam
If you are unemployed or working remotely on a not so regular basis, then you might consider being “homeless” by choice. This is basically a person who has no need to be in a specific area for any reason and chooses to travel, find cheap or free places to stay and just see what they come across. This might not be a long-term living solution, but if you are single and have the desire to explore then this could be a great adventure and an affordable one as well. Another variation of this plan is to rent a storage unit and live in it. This is an option which allows you to live a more nomadic lifestyle in a part of the country which has more inclement weather. You would have a place to sleep out of the elements and more than likely access to a bathroom.
The Adventures of a Mobile Home
If you enjoy traveling around but don’t want to rely on public facilities, then you might want to look into owning a mobile home as your primary residence. This allows you to cook your own meals, escape the weather and also bathe in your own home. The initial investment might be a bit larger but after you pay for the RV you are free to travel about and can locate very affordable or even free places to park. There are some large chain stores which allow free parking in their lots for a few days as well as some very affordable campgrounds. You might even find that you could run a mobile business such as being a handyman for other RV residents, working as a tradesman or even making crafts and selling them at various craft shows.
Life on the High Sea
If you love the water then a boat might be your choice for affordable living. Space is small but the scenery would be idyllic. And again, you have the ability to pull up anchor and relocate at will. This is basically the same as living in a motor home but in this case, you are living on the water. The only caveat for this lifestyle is that you are familiar with how to safely operate the boat and that you are familiar with the repairs and maintenance that a boat requires.
Become a Surf Bum
The term couch surfing is becoming more popular among the younger crowd. It is the idea that you will have no permanent place to live but that you will bunk in with friends and family. If you have very few possessions or are happy to put your stuff into storage then this might work as a money saving option for a few months or even more. The biggest factor is having a large group of people who are willing to put you up for a few nights or more. Then you just want to be sure that you don’t overstay your welcome at any one place.
Find Your Ideal Solution
Not every person could live in a small space or a space that does not have all of the latest amenities or creature comforts. But if you are willing to work with some unusual ideas then you can find many cheap housing options. You just need to select the option that is right for you and choose to make it work to meet your needs. Saving for a conventional home, paying off debt or building your savings are all possible if you seek cheap housing options.