One way to live on $1,000.00 a month in the US would be to radically lower or eliminate your mortgage or rent, as well as your utility bill. Here are a few ways to do that.
CAMP OUT People call it Thirteen Mile, because it is 13 miles west of downtown Las Vegas, but officially it is named the Red Rock Canyon Campground. To get there, drive one mile south on Moenkapi Road
from its intersection with West Charleston Road. The place is open for check-in 24 hours a day. Check-in is unattended; you simply deposit money in an envelope. Except for the group sites, they do not take reservations. This government-run campsite is closed in the heat of summer (June, July, and August) possibly because it is unpaved and unshaded. There is no power available, either. There are pit toilets and water faucets, but no showers. It costs $10 a night for a campsite, whether RV or tent, and campers may have up to ten persons at a site. That works out to $1 a night each, if you have like-minded friends. Campers may stay up to two weeks. After that they may migrate to campsites at Valley of Fire, or possibly squat in the desert. The fear is that this campground will be modernized, causing prices to rise.
ANCHOR OUT If Las Vegas sounds gritty, get a boat and anchor out. This is very much like camping out, except that you are on a rat boat you bought cheap, or one you built yourself. Anchoring out seems to be tolerated in most of the secluded sloughs around the San Francisco bay and in the Sacramento delta, particularly if no hiking path comes near, if you are discreet, and if you have a tank for your black water. Here too, there are no showers and no power, although it is possible to rig such things if you're handy. Did Treasure Island
appeal to you as a child? This lifestyle involves a lot of paddling.
OUT ON THE SLABS Slab City was a naval base during World War II. Now it is a huge intermittently paved area near the Salton Sea
in California. RVers and tent campers stay here completely free, for as long as they like. It is at the end of the road six or eight miles east of Niland, which is on the east side of the Salton Sea. There is no water and no power, but there is bathing in a geothermal pool. Some people find the public art here quite striking. The surrounding area is still a Naval Artillery Range.
In any of these places your $1,000 dollars a month would make you an aristocrat. If you are fantasizing about the free life, you might enjoy renting a thoughtful documentary called Off the Grid: Life on the Mesa. This is an intimate look at the lives of some people who live that way in New Mexico. One of them talks about his life goal of living on $100 a month or less. The scenes of several friends hiking five miles to bathe in the Rio Grande are particularly illuminating.