We are living through some really difficult times at the moment. People are losing their jobs and homes due to the pandemic. Covid-19 has forced businesses to shut due to lockdowns. This was meant to help reduce the spread of Covid but instead has forced small businesses to close permanently as they were not making any revenue. It has forced pubs, restaurants, nightclubs, and many more businesses to shut down.

Many people were let go because of this and are currently unemployed with no chance of getting another job as currently, everything is still shut. Because they have lost their jobs, they cannot 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.

Due to this, they have had to move out of their houses and look for places to live in. Some went back to their family home, others went to stay with their friends, and others moved into a motel. This article will look at what a motel is, how much it costs, and tips on how to live in one.

What is a Motel?

You may think a motel is the same as a hotel, but it is not. A hotel is large with hundreds of bedrooms designed specifically for tourists and usually tends to be quite expensive. Motels are much smaller, cheaper, and anyone can stay in one for whatever reason. Mainly motels are used as an overnight stop off to get some sleep and keep travelling the next day. Other times motels are used by families that live in them for weeks, months, and sometimes even years.

Motels do not have the same type of security that a hotel does because usually, they are only two store’s high. The rooms all face out towards the car park and the street. Unlike hotels, motels will only offer breakfast but no lunch or dinner. Most of the time there may not be room service either, but you can always check before making a decision to move in.

Tips on Living in a Motel on Budget

If you are reading this, then you are more than likely thinking about moving into a motel but not sure how to live in one on a budget. 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 can get a new job or figure out new living arrangements. If you are nervous about moving into a motel, do not worry as I will provide some tips to help you out on this new journey on budget with a guaranteed comfort.

1.Bills are included!

Firstly, it is essential that you are aware of the fact that all bills are included. You are actually saving money by moving into a motel as you will not have to pay for electricity, the internet, or the bins. Everything is already looked after in the weekly or monthly fee you are paying to the motel.

This is great as it is one less worry for you. All you need to worry about is paying your rent on time to the motel and everything else is looked after for you. 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 favourite tv shows. This is the great thing about motels, there are zero worries about missing bill payments because you could not afford them.


You have to remember that you are not living in a hotel. 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 precaution and make sure to never have important information laying around.

Do not leave your wallet, money, or ID laying around. You need to keep 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.

There are no security guards walking around or keeping an eye on the building at night-time. Always make sure you are being careful and smart 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!

It 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 worse yet, deal with getting kicked out of the motel 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 on a weekly basis, which means you can budget your money and make sure you have enough for rent, food, and any transport costs.

4.Location is key!

To avoid having to pay for transport all the time, pick a motel that is located centrally, or at least as close to the city as possible. This will help because you will not have to pay for taxis, buses, or trains. You will be closer to all the necessary shops and can walk wherever you need to.

This means you are constantly saving money for more important things. A central location is also good if searching for jobs. There are still some essential places open which 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.

5.Kitchenette is necessary!

When you are 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. We advice you to check our guide about the best frugal living tips that will help you some cash for emergency expenses.

The kitchenette is important because you can buy your groceries for a set price each week and make your lunches and dinners at home. This will save you a fortune. You can use the extra money for gas or simply to save for the next 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, yoghurts, chicken, and noodles are all cheap enough to make quick meals out of. That is all you need to survive. You could also do meal prep where you eat a particular lunch and dinner all week, and then change it up the following week. This is a very cost-efficient and nutritious way of living.

The good thing about a motel is that normally they serve breakfast, and this usually is included in your rent. That 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 keep to consume 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. This will just make your life much harder than it needs to be.

If there is no fridge, you are minimising yourself to pot noodles and really unhealthy food. This is due to the fact that other foods will not be able to last without an actual fridge. You will have to keep spending money on buying more food or actually going out for meals at all times.

7.Go for a walk!

This is nothing to do with a budget, this is more for your mental 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 come up with new ideas on how to get yourself a new job and getting 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 quite depressing when you are in them for a long period of time, so it is vital to keep somewhat of a routine to keep your mind healthy and keep yourself 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 really require experience. Cleaning and making a bed you do on a daily basis 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 which could include washing dishes or cleaning the kitchen after the breakfast run. This could help you in making a bit of extra cash while you are staying there.

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.

This 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. Obviously, make sure it has a fridge and a kitchenette but try to go smaller because it will work out so much cheaper for you and again the money you save can be used elsewhere.

How Much do Motels Cost?

You could be looking at a weekly cost of $200 to $350 depending on which motel you choose. 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 when put on 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 own clothes, not eating out, and paying rent upfront weekly or monthly.

Pin It on Pinterest