Living near the beach appeals to many people who want a slower, healthier lifestyle. However, the cost of living and property prices can be daunting. But living year-round at the beach doesn’t have to be an elusive dream.
You can move to the beach with little money if you plan carefully. It requires researching affordable locations, be willing to downsize and be creative about where you get your income. Also, as you embrace beach life, many expenses from city living will be eliminated.
Living near the beach on a budget requires lifestyle changes, such as a wiliness to cook at home rather than eat out all the time. Also, some beach towns cost more than others. Looking at places more remote or with cooler weather could produce more affordable options.
7 Ways to Save Money While Living at the Beach
1. No gym membership
Regardless of whether you will become a surfer or just take daily walks on the beach, living by the sea promotes an active outdoor lifestyle. The only thing you might need is to buy some home weights, and you’ve got a well-rounded workout without having to hit the gym.
2. Less eating out
A slower lifestyle means you have time to cook healthy and tasty meals. Rather than eating out, pack a picnic and enjoy it with the ultimate views and ambiance.
3. Cut back on entertainment expenses
Waterparks, amusement parks, movie theaters, and indoor play areas all cost money. But living near the beach can provide plenty of free outdoor entertainment. Rollerblade and bicycle on promenades and boardwalks. Take a swim in nature’s own ultimate aquarium. Hold bonfire parties and play ultimate Frisbee.
4. Embrace casual dressing
Beach life is a casual lifestyle, reducing the need for so many fancy outfits. Even on the rare night dining out, the dress code is far more relaxed than it is in flashy cities. Also, beach towns have a temperate climate, meaning you won’t need clothing for extreme temperatures.
You don’t need to get away from it all when you are living your dream. Rather than forking out for expensive travel and accommodation, take days off to enjoy the area you now call home. Also, since you live there, you can take advantage of off-season prices for the more “touristy” activities while also avoiding the crowds.
6. Spend less on utilities
As mentioned above, coastal climates are temperate, which means you don’t get the extreme temperatures experienced further inland. Thus, you don’t need as much heating, and come summer, many towns can easily “beat the heat” by opening windows and doors for natural ventilation. Not running an air conditioner can save a load of money.
7. Buy or rent a smaller property
When you live a more outdoor lifestyle, you don’t need so much elbow room in your home. Also, with the beach right there, you no longer need such a big garden or yard to play or host parties in. The beach is right there to meet up with friends and burn off extra energy.
7 Ways to Make Extra Money While Living at the Beach
1. Airbnb or other micro-subletting options
Beach towns are tourist towns. Take advantage of this by renting out a spare room. Also, when you visit relatives for Thanksgiving or Christmas, you have an opportunity to use your home as a way to pay for the travel.
Lastly, when you do want a break from staycations, having a home near the beach makes you a good candidate for house swapping. This allows you to visit a new place without having to fork out for pricy accommodation.
2. Turn your creative hobby into profit
Tourists are in the mood to spend money. If you are a photographer or a painter, your local art could make a tourist’s heart sing and their wallet open. Other craft ideas, such as jewelry made from seashells, could be a way to supplement your income.
3. Rent your driveway
Depending on where you live, your driveway might be valuable real estate. In the high tourist season, parking can be nearly impossible to find. So offer up your driveway to a desperate tourist – for a price.
4. Pet sit
People often don’t want to leave their pets behind or put them in kennels. But not every activity they want to do is pet-friendly. Rather than worrying about locking their pet in a room that their beloved might destroy, offer your services as a sitter. Just like parents booking a sitter for their toddler so they can enjoy a fancy meal to peace, so can pet owners.
5. Start a sand runner biz
During the tourist season, especially on the weekends, people are lugging a day’s worth of snacks, chairs, and entertainment from their car to the beach. It’s heavy and hot work, and most people haven’t brought a cart or wheelbarrow to help haul it.
So take some inspiration from Ryan Barca and Spencer LaBarber and start a sand runner business. You offer to haul people’s stuff from car to the sand for a price. Best bit? You will be in excellent shape by the time the tourist season is over.
6. Be a part-time caretaker for vacation homes
Not everyone who owns beach property lives at the beach full-time. Nor does everyone employ house sitters and full-time caretakers. Sometimes people just want someone who will check on the property from time to time and make sure the lawn is getting mowed, and the windows are boarded up if there is a storm. So turn yourself into the affordable peace-of-mind solution.
7. Plant Sitting Service
As above, not everyone who moves to the beach lives there full-time. Also, some people of a certain wealth will travel on vacations for a few months at a time. Offer to babysit their potted plants while they are away.
7 Cheaper Beach Towns
Not all beach towns cost the same. Places like Malibu, California, Paia, Hawaii, and Old Greenwich, Connecticut, are where the super-wealthy like to play. But there are more affordable seaside options out there, depending on your needs. Here are seven examples to consider.
1. Gold Beach, Oregon
Gold Beach has just under 2,500 people and a below-average cost of living, with a median house cost of $284,300.
2. Westport, Washington
Westport is another small town with just over 2,000 people. The cost of living is below the national average, and the median house cost is $186,100.
3. Lubec, Maine
Another small town, with only 1,395. The cost of living is 15.3% less than the national average, with a median home price of $150,100.
4. Atlantic City, New Jersey
With a population of 39,075, this is a good option for people that like their towns a bit bigger. The cost of living is 21.7% below the national average, with the medium house price only $81,700.
5. Biloxi, Mississippi
For those craving a warmer climate, consider Biloxi, which has a population of 45,328. The average cost of living is 15.9% less than the national average, and the median house price is $138,600.
6. Grand Isle, Louisiana
You want lots of water, Grand Isle has it. It has only 760 people and a below national average cost of living. The median house price is $171,100.
7. Pensacola, Florida
Another choice for those wanting that warm southern weather. The population is 52,689, with the cost of living about 12.7% less than the national average. The median house price is $144,600.
You don’t need to be filthy rich to move to achieve your dream of living at the beach. You simply need to choose your location wisely, be willing to make some lifestyle changes, and, perhaps, consider a side hustle to supplement your income.