The secret to living in NYC for $5,000/year: Dumpster dive, own a house in France

What if every dumpster diver you meet is a secret millionaire? via Flickr user lafleur
What if every dumpster diver you meet is a secret millionaire? via Flickr user lafleur

With New York, and Brooklyn in particular, becoming more expensive every day, you have to wonder how you can possibly survive here without being a billionaire. You can live with a lot of roommates. You can never go out to eat, ever. You can read websites that exist to find you a job and some of the cheaper ways to get by here. The Guardian might have found the ultimate broke survivor, Marie, a woman who’s survived comfortably here for the last eight years on just $5,000/year. Wow! That’s not a lot of money at all, what does Marie do to make it? She uh…lives rent-free with a friend/benefactor and has the security of a home in Paris that she rents out. Well then!

In a supreme act of trolling, The Guardian presents Marie, an illegal immigrant from Paris, as freeing herself from “the American philosophy of incessant consumption,” and doing it all on just $5,000/year here in one of America’s most expensive cities. We thought it was impressive, after all, when Amy Hayden told us she lived in Manhattan for $1,000/month and that’s $7,000 more per year than Marie does things. Can you do this?  Mabye! The only catch is that you have to find a benevolent landlord who’ll give you a room for free in exchange for odd jobs and hauling bags of dumpster dove food. Oh and there’s one other thing:

“She receives rent from a house she owns in France”

The secret, it seems, to living a middle class life in New York City is having the security provided by being in a better financial situation than most middle class people would dare to dream of nowadays. Marie told The Guardian she doesn’t use that rental income, but let’s not sit here and pretend that knowing you can just go back to the home you own in Europe doesn’t make it much easier to pedal around Brooklyn, dumpster diving your days away. Not that we don’t appreciate the advice, really. We’re gonna call up our French real estate broker right this instance to try and help us find a place so that we can start living rent-free in Brooklyn by the end of the year.

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