Tag Archives: rooming

Living on the cheap

Recently I made a new male friend. This is rare for me as I am weary about having any new friends at this age. I have a complete collector’s set of useful, useless, user and multi-dimensional friends already.

Now this middle aged gentleman by all appearances is worldly, charismatic, youthful and self-driven. We had great conversations mostly about women, real estate, cars, investing, religion, politics and other middle aged guy stuff that I enjoy talking about.

One day he offers me a used jacket. I didn’t need or want it, but I did not want to offend. He goes into the trunk of his coupe and I notice it is filled with duffel bags and knapsacks neatly arranged in a stack. It seemed strange to me immediately that someone would keep so much stuff in his car. Admittedly I am a hoarder, and I still found that weird. This wasn’t hoarding, hoarders don’t keep things so methodical.

On another occasion, he invited me to go to the gym. I said what the heck, I can work out for free and have light conversation with a like minded person. So we went to the gym. He did what I thought to be non-productive exercises, that neither contributed to his aerobic or aesthetic improvement. Being the control freak I am, I had to restrain myself from saying ‘What are you doing bro?’ so eventually he finished his special workout and went to the showers. I continued my free workout and did some treadmill and some abdominal work. He was in the shower for maybe 25 minutes, which seemed like a long time to take a shower in a gym. He informed me that he goes to the gym, every single day. That was also strange as even a wimp like myself knows muscle has to rest.

All of the times we met up to have beers or talk shop we were at his office. He mentioned that he is in the office almost 24/7. That’s when I put it together that this guy was sleeping in his office(his military experience helps), showering at the gym and storing his personal effects in his car.

I found it to be economically ingenious and Ted Kaczynski like creepy at the same time. His overhead breaks down something like the following(approximately):

Old Car(Already paid off) – $0/ month

Car Insurance(Out of state) – $50/month

Car registration/tax(Out of state) – $10/month

Office space(works there) – $0/month

Food(Hes skinny) – $500/month

Gym membership – $20/month

Internet(office, starbucks, etc) – $0/month

Cable(Youtube, see above) – $0/month

Cellphone – $80/month

Gasoline – $100/month

So totaling all of the above assumptions comes up to $760/month  to live in New York. He could potentially work at a job paying $6.33/hour(before taxes) and pull it off. I am so impressed by the ingenuity that I really don’t care why he chooses to live this way. I have heard of tent cities growing in the woods of New Jersey, people living in RVs, people renting rooms, but not people showering at the gym and living in their office and car. The phrase [necessity is the mother of invention] seems to always ring true. Especially in a high rent market such as NYC, you have to be an inventor.

One bedroom studious in the dankest of areas go for close to $1200. Rooming and sharing bathrooms and kitchens start at $800. Your romantic life may suffer as ladies don’t want to snuggle at your office but you could amass a significant amount of saving in a short time and eventually purchase a home. The possibilities are endless when you have cash.

In conclusion. You can make it in New York. You just have to think outside of the box, small apartment or cubicle.

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