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April 02, 2007


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In Boston, where I live, there are many historic properties that need in-house caretakers. So I know a number of people who live for free or low-cost doing that.

I grew up not far from the insanely expensive Palo Alto. I house sat for 6 months in college (friend went to Europe for 6 months), and the rest of the time lived with roommates to cut costs way down. I always roll my eyes though at pathetic attempts to live on minimum wage (Experiments) where they move into the crappiest apartment on the bad side of town. I rented a large house with roommates on the good side of town - had a room to myself even. But it cost 1/2 what a studio apartment would have cost me to live alone. just another strategy to save money in a pricey area. Doesn't have to be forever, but gets you on your feet.

Anyway, with the roomies I ended up doing lots of housesitting gigs for money as well - weeks/weekends. But yes it helps to get creative in expensive areas.

Living in other people's homes may be a way to get by and reduce one's living expenses, but you would be living a transients lifestyle, always on the move. However, if you can adapt to never having a place of your own and not knowing where you're going to be a few weeks/months from now, it's not a bad idea.

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