Cleo Murphy writing on financial freedom

On my last visit to New York City – a place I love dearly – I decided I wanted to stay in the heart of the action, Manhattan.

You could say I have a sense of style and taste that go well beyond my budget.

But I find that there are ways and means of living the high life without paying top dollar.

I have traveled business class on someone else’s dime…dined out in style as someone else’s guest…and once I even got free tickets to a Cirque du Soleil performance in Florida.

I know that folks who are not chained to the desk from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. are free to go to the movies on a Wednesday afternoon when tickets are discounted…and they know exactly when you can go to museums without paying.

Once, when I was shopping for sushi trays for my supper, a complete stranger came up close behind me and muttered something inaudible in my ear.

“What?” I asked.

“Half price after 5.30 p.m.,” he hissed.

It was 5.20 p.m. I nodded my thanks, conspiratorially, took a stroll around the block and returned for the best tray of seafood for half its original price.

Really, we spend money very foolishly when we’re in a hurry. Those who take it slowly are the smart ones.

But back to Manhattan…

For my short visit I decided to seek out accommodation on Airbnb.

Airbnb began back in 2007, when its founders Joe Gebbia and Brian Chesky offered airbed accommodation in their home. It was during a busy conference week in San Francisco when hotels were fully booked.

The room-sharing website evolved into something far more fancy – you can get some seriously luxurious places at a bargain price – and thousands of people all over the world are making money from their spare rooms…or saving money on their trips.

In my case, I got an airbed in a tiny Manhattan apartment. The host was delightful and I had use of the apartment all day while she was out to work.

So I browsed the art galleries of Chelsea, walked the High Line where you can listen to free music in the sunshine, and had my lunch in Chelsea market on more than one of the days.

And the best bit…$50 a night.

In Chelsea.

I kid you not.

Oh yes, when you pay attention, there are more ways to live well on a low budget than ever before.

Image: ©iStock.com/smena-8m

 

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