How to live fabulously, for free, paying $0/month.

Possible? Yes.

Easy to do? No.

Simple to obtain?


Able to sustain as a lifestyle?


How is it possible?

I did it for about 6 months, living out of a hotel and travelling from city to city.

How did I do that? I was a consultant.

Consultants ALWAYS travel. So do sales people. My job offered me an opportunity that I just snatched immediately.

I ended up literally moving to where the project was located, and just staying in the hotel the whole time — weekdays, weekends, anywhere the project was. I was.

Clients LOVED it because I was there early on Monday, late on Fridays, when everyone else got in late on Monday and left early on Fridays to get home each week.

I also got comped for my per diems (food) each day (even on weekends), but all I got was a flight ticket there and back.

I was allowed to go back if I wanted every weekend for free as well, but I didn’t bother, and I’d have to stay with friends or my parents if I did, as I didn’t have an apartment any longer.

All I had was a single suitcase with my clothes and stuff (this is what sparked my minimalist mentality, I realized that I need very little to survive and be happy).

I bought pots and pans in the cities I stayed in (it’s why I love the Marriott Residence Inn with their full sized kitchens or kitchenettes), and I bought scrub brushes.


  • Rent — Paid by the client
  • Food each day — Paid by the client up to a certain amount each day, called a per diem
  • WiFi — Free in the hotel
  • TV — Free in the hotel
  • Cellphone — Paid for by the company I worked for
  • Laptop to surf internet — Company’s laptop
  • Flights there and back (one each) — Paid by the client
  • Gym — Free in hotel
  • Maid/Cleaning Service — Free in hotel
  • Toiletries — Free in the hotel but I had my own stuff too. Just thought I’d mention it.

… basically everything I needed to survive, and more. It was a pretty sweet deal.


  • Not seeing friends/family for months
  • Feeling alone in your hotel room
  • Feeling chained to a city you don’t know — being a tourist gets boring after a while
  • Not speaking the language
  • You cannot guarantee that you will be on a project NOT in your so-called “hometown”
  • …which means you have to either live with people, or try and find a place for only the 8-months for the project which is near impossible if leases sign for 12 months at a minimum


  • Very social people who are close to friends/family (I am sort of, but … not really, if that makes sense. I’m a bit introverted sometimes. I don’t need to go out or see people every weekend)
  • People who have a lot of stuff and cannot pack it into one suitcase
  • People who are attached to said stuff and cannot live without their very special bed or whatever
  • People who don’t cook somewhat (cannot eat at a restaurant every day, will get fat & go over per diem)
  • People with kids, spouses
  • People who don’t deal well with change and adventure (new cities every time)
  • People who basically need stability
  • People who cannot be alone by themselves in a hotel room
  • People who get bored easily (some projects last years)
  • People who hate new cities (what? some do!)

Other than that, it was fab.

I worked longer hours because I was bored, had nothing to do, so I did stellar on all of my projects and my managers were so thrilled with me (haha.. not near the end though!)

And you can see many different cities as a result.

I also lost weight by walking all around the city, exploring all the different parts of each place I was in. I dropped about 10 pounds in 3 months, just .. walking, and eating normally.

Although I have since put the weight back on, because of some really amazing meals I get to eat now.

That’s about it.

I stopped after 6 months, because I was put on a project in my so-called hometown (*rolls eyes*), even though it took me 2 hours to commute to the client site each day, I wasn’t reimbursed or allowed to charge a hotel or food.

So I went back to live with my parents for the duration of the project, paying them rent and paying for my own food etc.

It was either that, or pay for 12 months at $1200/month for rent and live there for only 8 (the project).

Then, I moved to be with BF in another city, and now I pay half of the rent there, but I don’t travel any longer, or at least.. I try not to, for business.

In the end, it only lasted 6 months, but it was just the right boost to make me see that life isn’t about stuff, and that’s what kind of sparked my interest in becoming more of a minimalist, and naturally, saved me at least $1500/month in rent, which is what I paid for the first year for my job as a consultant, not knowing entirely that I’d literally be away from my home for 12 months of a year.

It is not possible to do it forever, or even for a long time, because eventually, you are going to long for some roots in a city, or you’re going to meet someone (like me) and want to live with them and see them every weekend, and therefore, have to pay your half of the household bills.

Any questions? Comments?

About the Author

Just a girl trying to find a balance between being a Shopaholic and a Saver. I cleared $60,000 in 18 months earning $65,000 gross/year. Now I am self-employed, and you can read more about my story here, or visit my other blog: The Everyday Minimalist.