Living for nothing: Ideas from traveling that could be used at home

I’ve been traveling now for some time and in order to keep myself on the road I employ a fair few techniques to spend less. I’m not planning on stopping anytime soon but I have started to realise that there are no reasons why some of my budget travel ideas can’t just be used to slash budgets in everyday living.

Don’t pay any rent or mortgage costs

Rent is one of the biggest balance killers and if you are in a low wage job or jobless there is pretty much no hope to meet those costs. I’ve been traveling in a way that I spend large amounts of time paying no rent at all.

There are many schemes for volunteering in exchange for board and sometimes food. The most basic is something like working in a hostel for 2-3 hours a day in exchange for food. I wrote about my experience with this on my new travel site EverydayNomad. This kind of work may fit if you work an afternoon or evening job. If you don’t have a job at all then you could do Wwoofing until you found a job. This entails working for 4-5 hours a day for food and accommodation. Find them locally and you can literally live for free whilst job hunting. is another option for finding very similar opportunities.

So these options are not that flexible but there is another that could potentially work alongside your job and that is housesitting. You may be required to look after pets and tend to gardens but you may find a few months of free accommodation  Getting into it can be tricky but reading a guide like the one, Break Free: The Ultimate Guide to Housesitting, from Globetrotter Girls is a great start or just going for it yourself.

Spend way less on food

OK, so if you try something like wwoofing you can save on food but you may not have the time for that. I can give you all the tips about bulk buying and things and you should do all this but a very important thing is to get good at making a few very nutritious basic healthy meals. Hummus is an example, it’s super cheap and quick to make. I find these simple easy meals like pasta and bean sauce on rice can be whipped up for cheap in almost any kitchen no matter how understocked.

Go vegetarian, replacing meat with beans is a great saver. Things like brown over white rice is initially more expensive but I think it fills you up quicker so also stick to whole foods and you’ll eat less.

They say don’t drink your calories, well don’t drink your dollars either! Just suck it up and drink water. Squeeze some lemon into it if you want a little taste.

Get free entertainment

I love doing things but I try not to pay for it. At home it’s easy to not follow what’s going on in your area bt seriously start digging and you’ll possibly find an abundance of free festivals, events, movie screenings and more. Just plan your social calendar around these and take food and drinks with you and your costs will keep on staying low.

So they are simple but solid tips. Do you have anything to add or questions to ask?

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Hey, I'm Forest, owner and writer at I used to be a graphic designer but now I travel a fair bit and blog for a living. I love all the standard other stuff such as movies, music and socialising :).

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