How to Relocate With No Money

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Relocating to a new city without money is challenging, but entirely doable with a little innovation and creativity. You need persistence and an open mind to try new things like crashing on strangers' couches. Lodging, transportation, and even food can all be free during relocation if you are willing to give up some creature comforts and step outside your comfort zone. In exchange, be a gracious guest and foster those new connections as you get settled in your new city.

  • Read the classifieds, such as listings on Craigslist.org, in your new city under the real estate section. Look for people willing to barter for your rent in exchange for cleaning, cooking, painting a room, or other manual labor. Ask a friend if she has any acquaintances who might barter for rent in your new city.

  • Visit a site like CouchSurfing.com and look for verified members who will let you crash on a couch or spare bedroom for a week at a time for free.

  • Look for a car share or driving gig in the classifieds, such as on Craigslist.org, for a free ride to your new city. Drop off the car in the new city and the owner pays for all gas and other expenses in exchange for your time.

  • Sell as many of your belongings as possible to earn money, save on expenses, and make couch crashing easier with less luggage in tow.

  • Volunteer, work in a soup kitchen, or participate in a focus group to earn a free lunch or extra cash while you're getting settled and looking for work in your new city.

Tips & Warnings

  • Always ask your network of friends and acquaintances via Facebook, Twitter and word of mouth to find people they know to crash with before opting to stay with total strangers.
  • If you're planning to couch surf or stay with strangers, use extreme caution. Use a system like CouchSurfing.com that verifies its members and allows others to leave feedback on experiences with each other. Speak on the phone or video Skype beforehand to ensure that you are comfortable with the situation. Never stay with someone you're uncomfortable around.

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