Finding a Place to Live for Free (12 Surprising Options!)

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The world is a vast place, with many places to see and live in. Some are better than others, while some will end up costing you a lot of money. But what if you could find a place to live for free? Now that would be amazing. But is finding a place to live for free even an option. It sure is. Here are ten possibilities where you might find a place to live for free.

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Finding a Place to Live for Free


You don’t have any money or you don’t want to spend any money.

I get it. Rent and mortgages are terribly expensive and they might be out of your current range.

So, what are some options for you? 

Here are a few that might fit your specific situation.

1. Living with Family

If you have a family member who will let you live with them rent-free, then you should consider this option.

Living with someone that is related to you can be a great way to save money, but also a bad way to save money.

If you don’t get along well with the person that you might get to live with for free, but it might just cost you your peace of mind.

You’ll have to decide whether or not the stress and hassle are worth it.

2. Sleeping on a Friend’s Sofa

This sounds like a good idea, at least in theory.

The problem with this is that it’s only a short-term solution.

There are only so many nights you can stay on someone else’s couch before it will start to wear on your friendship.

If you can figure out a way to make your friend’s life easier while you’re there, then this could be the deal for you.

Or you could offer to clean or do other chores, so you aren’t just sponging off your friend.

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3. Working in Exchange for Living Somewhere

If you have an opportunity to exchange work for a place to live, then look into it seriously.

The negotiation is going to be a lot of work, but sometimes it can be worth it.

Typically you might find a homeowner that will give you a place to sleep in exchange for work you can do around the house or yard.

Another option is to manage an apartment building. There are lots of small apartment houses that need managers.

I know several people who did this in Florida.

They got to live for free and the job wasn’t all that taxing.

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4. Living in a Van

There are plenty of people who live in their cars or vans.

Some do it by choice and others don’t have any other options.

It’s not the most comfortable place to live.

If you are living in your car and have enough money to put gas in it, then this could be the option that works for you.

If you have a job that is close by, then this might be a very cheap option.

There are even homeless people that sleep in their cars at night and work during the day.

The danger here is if you are in a city that doesn’t allow it. You might get a knock on your window by a police officer in the middle of the night.

You could get a ticket or just be told to move on.

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5. Living in a Tent

If you don’t mind sleeping on the ground then living in a tent is an option.

It’s surprising how much money you can save living in a tent.

If you have to be outside for some reason, this could be the best place to make it happen.

The hardest part is finding an area that allows camping.

Most cities will have some sort of public camping area or a place where people go camping all the time.

You will just need to look around for an area like this and hope that no one beats you there first.

If a friend or a family member has a piece of land, they might let you put your tent there.

You don’t need to have your own property for this to work out for you.

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6. Living in a Homeless Shelter

If you can avoid it, then you should do so.

You are going to be around people that you wouldn’t choose to be around.

You’re also going to be forced into an environment that will make it difficult for you to stay clean and healthy.

It’s hard enough to be homeless without having to deal with people that might compromise your safety.

Homelessness is no joke, and shelters, while doing their best, are not always safe. 

This is especially true of women on their own.

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7. Traveling the Country in Your Car

If living in your car is all that you need, then traveling the country might be possible for you.

Many people do this and make money by working odd jobs when they can.

There are many jobs in the United States that you could do on the road; you just have to do a little research to find them.

If you enjoy traveling and meeting new people, then this is a great option for you.

I actually knew a woman that lived in her car for 9 years. She did this on purpose.

My friend cleaned houses for a living, so she could take a shower at the home before she cleaned the bathroom.

She would even invite a friend to spend the night in the car with her from time to time.

Even though she was making good money at the time, this seemed like the right option for her.

Again, be careful as some towns don’t allow you to park overnight just anywhere.

Residential areas might have hours when you can park and after those hours you could be towed.

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8. Sleeping on the Beach

If you spend enough time at the beach, it makes sense to just spend the night there.

The only thing is that you have to find an area where you are allowed to do this.

If you can find a place where it’s ok to spend the night, then this might be a place where you can save money.

You will need a sleeping bag and some sort of tent or something else to keep yourself covered if you don’t want sand all over your body in the morning.

When I lived on the beach (in an apartment – not on the actual beach) there were bathrooms and shower areas for beachgoers. 

If you are sleeping there, you could use these facilities as well. 

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9. House Sitting

House sitting is a great option.

Check out house sitting options online at sites such as

A lot of the people looking for house sitters are going to be gone from their homes for a couple of weeks to a few months.

That means you won’t have to always be moving around. 

Chances are you will also have to take care of their pets.

Even so, it is a great way to live for free.

I’ve always wanted to do this and travel around the world. Maybe one day…

10. Couch Surfing

Couch surfing is a little more complicated than it seems.

If you have friends or family that will let you stay in their homes for free, then this is easy to do. It’s a little harder to find a place to stay if you don’t know anyone.

You could try contacting hostels in the area and see if they would be interested in hosting you in exchange for work or something else.

It’s not likely that any of these places will take you in though, so just keep your expectations low when trying to find somewhere to couch surf.

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11. Sleep in a Shipping Container

Shipping containers can be a great place to stay if you have one nearby.

These are usually used to ship things back and forth at ports, but they can also be used as a homeless shelter.

If you have a shipping container near your home that isn’t being used, you might be able to sneak inside and set up a living space.

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12. Become a Traveling Salesman

Some traveling salespeople are giving an expense account that pays for their sleeping accommodations. 

If you find a situation like this, you can live for free, but you will have to work for it.

It might be an interesting way to see the country.

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To Sum it All Up:

If you’re looking for a place to live for free, then you’re going to have to think outside the box, that is unless you decide to live in one. There are a number of options from living with family to sleeping in a shipping container or even a tent. Decide what is right for you and then go for it. Just make sure you stay safe.

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