10 Tips for Living Well in A Motel Full Time On A Budget

by | Last updated Mar 10, 2023

After the pandemic, many people have lost their jobs and could not pay their rent and mortgage. The government provides an unemployment benefit for these people, but it is far from what they would make if they still had a job. Some went back to their family home, others went to stay with their friends, and others moved into cheap motels. This article will look at how you can survive in a motel without breaking the bank.

Tips for Living Well in A Motel Full Time On A Budget

If you are reading this, you are more than likely you may have lost your job and are now tight on money, which means you cannot afford to rent anymore. That is ok as there are options, one of them being to move into a motel. It is a cheaper option than a hotel and will keep a roof over your head until you get a new job or figure out new living arrangements. If you are nervous about moving into a motel, do not worry, as we will provide some simple tips to help you live well in a motel full time on a budget.

1. Bills are included

Firstly, you must be aware that all bills are included. You are saving money by moving into a motel as you will not have to pay for electricity, the internet, or the bins. This is great as it is one less worry for you. All you need to worry about is paying the rent on time to the motel. The likes of hot water also, you will never have to worry about having cold showers because you missed your payment. There will be unlimited internet usage, so at least this will give you a chance to look for a new job or relax and enjoy your favorite tv shows.

2. Safety first

You have to remember that you are not living in a hotel, and security in a motel is just not the same. You are not in your own house where you can have cameras set up or security alarms installed. It is vital you take precautions and never have important information lying around.

Do not leave your wallet, money, or ID lying around. It would be best if you kept these secure and with you at all times when you leave the motel. When you are in the room, make sure to lock your doors always to avoid someone stumbling in by accident or trying to get in on purpose against your will.

No security guards are walking around or keeping an eye on the building at night-time. Always make sure you are being careful and intelligent about keeping safe. It is also a good idea to make some friends, as there may be others living in the motel who are in the same situation as you. You can keep each other company and look out for one another.

3. Pay your rent weekly or monthly

Is crucial you pay a lump sum either weekly or monthly for your rent at the motel. This is to cover yourself so that you know you have paid. You do not want to run out of money and have to explain to the manager why you are paying late or getting kicked out due to non-payment.

Weekly or monthly payments will mean you can feel secure in the fact that you have a roof over your head for another week or month. Government payments always come through weekly, which means you can budget your money and make sure you have enough for rent, food, and any transport costs.

4. Location is key

It would help if you stayed in a motel as close to the city as possible. Living near the center will help because you will not have to pay for taxis, buses, or trains, and you will be closer to all the necessary shops and can walk wherever you need to. So you can save money on more important things. A central location is also good if searching for jobs. 

Some essential places are open that will require staff, such as grocery shops, petrol stations, and pharmacies. If you happen to have a car, you could pick up a food delivery job in the evenings, which will bring in extra income. Location is key here also as you do not want to be too far away from the job or where you have to deliver. Motels are the favorite accommodation if you are planning a cross-country road trip without breaking the bank and safe.

5. Kitchenette is necessary

When searching for a motel, make sure they have a kitchenette as this is vital in saving money while living there. If you keep going out for dinners, you will never be able to save, and unfortunately, you will run out of money quite quickly. Check our guide about the best frugal living tips that will help you some cash for emergency expenses. 

The kitchenette is crucial because you can buy your groceries for a set price each week to make your meals at home and save you a fortune. You can use the extra money for gas or the following rent due in the motel.

For $50 a week, you could stock up on quick and easy meals to last you the week. Vegetables, fruit, rice, yogurts, chicken, and noodles are all cheap enough to make quick meals out of, and that is all you need to survive. You could also do meal prep, where you eat a special lunch and dinner all week and then change it up the following week ( a very cost-efficient and nutritious way of living0.

The good thing about a motel is that they usually serve breakfast, which means you only need to worry about lunch and dinner. Another important fact is that this breakfast would usually be in the form of a buffet. You could take some extra food for yourself for snacks or consume it when you do not want to spend too much on shopping.

6. Make sure there is a fridge

Every room in a motel should have a small fridge, but make sure to triple-check before you move in because otherwise, you will not have anywhere to store your food, making your life much harder than it needs to be.

If there is no fridge, you minimize yourself to pot noodles and unhealthy food. Excellent foods like meats, eggs, and milk will not last without an actual fridge, and you will have to keep spending money on buying more food or going out for meals at all times.

7. Go for a walk

Walking has nothing to do with a budget, which is more for your mental & physical health. Go for a walk as much as you can because you will go crazy sitting in the same room all the time. Clearing your head will help you develop new ideas on how to get yourself a new job and get yourself out of living in a motel.

If you are stressing about budgeting your money, a walk will do you a world of good. Motels can be pretty depressing when you are in them for a long time, so it is vital to keep some of a routine to keep your mind healthy and fit.

8. Check for a job in the motel

You never know, the motel could be looking for some extra staff to help out around the place. These types of jobs do not require experience. Cleaning and making a bed you do daily, either way, may as well try to make some money out of it. They may need someone to help out in the kitchen during breakfast, including washing dishes or cleaning the kitchen after the breakfast run. Getting a job could help you make extra cash while you are staying there. If you have free time, you can start an online business, especially dropshipping e-commerce, which is easy and highly profitable.

9. Wash your own clothes

Do not pay for your laundry to be washed. You are just wasting money this way. More than likely, you will have a sink, a bath, or both. It is simple to buy washing powder, soak your clothes in the bath, wash them with your hands, and rinse when done. You can hang these up on your clothes horse and dry them.

Washing clothes yourself is a much more convenient way of getting your laundry done instead of spending an extra $20 to $40 paying someone else to do your laundry for you. You can use that money wisely somewhere else or put it into your savings.

10. Get a smaller room

Always opt for the smaller room as it will be cheaper. Make sure it has a fridge and a kitchenette but try to go smaller because it will work out so much more affordable for you. Depending on which motel you choose, you could be looking at a weekly cost of $200 to $350. Sometimes they have deals if you opt for the monthly stay or even the weekly stay and pay the amount upfront. You could be saving a lot by doing it this way because of the discount applied.


Motels are a great option when put into a situation where you have to move out of your home or have a very tight budget. There are ways you can make your stay more pleasant if following the above tips. You can also end up saving money by doing simple things such as washing your clothes, not eating out, and paying rent upfront weekly or monthly.

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