So let’s talk about this post

Business Insider provides us some food for thought today in an article about how one 20-something, Madeleine, is saving a ton of money on rent and utilities by hopping from friend’s apartment to friend’s apartment in New York City.

First, let’s talk about the most (initially) disturbing part of this post: the young woman, Madeline, is a staffer at Business Insider! Gah! Why should she have to do this if she has a job!

Well the comforting truth is she probably doesn’t HAVE to do this. It seems like she wants to do it. It’s a lifestyle choice.

On second thought, if she was truly rolling in the dough, it seems unlikely that she’d want to be effectively homeless. Unless she’s really, really super frugal. Or she has tons of student debt and wants to get rid of it pronto. OK enough speculating.

So does this work? Madeleine says her friends don’t mind her surfing because she doesn’t stay for long and she helps out with dinner, laundry, etc. And the only bad thing that’s happened is she’s lost some of her stuff. Generally, though she’s saving money! Hoorah!

Certainly there’s a stigma to this type of approach. Take commenter SoInspiredByYou’s comment:

You are a scumbag leach

Well that’s a little cruel, no? But at least it’s not as creepy as commenter Big Kahuna’s comment:

she can surf my couch any time!

A very nuanced and interesting response comes from commenter DeDe who writes:

I think that approach is a lot more common in younger people nowadays … In an apartment, you aren’t really using much electricity/heating and if you can sing for your supper, well that’s OK if you don’t cause any hassle to a lot of people … A few changes of clothes, make-up and meds – what else do you really need? I mean really? … It’s easy to scold but it’s awfully hard to make it in NY these days.

I happen to agree mostly with DeDe. Though I certainly wouldn’t try this lifestyle myself, I think if it works for Madeleine than all power to her. It IS hard to make it in NY, and sometimes you’ve got to do what you’ve go to do.

You’ve got to hand it to this generation. If nothing else, we’re very resourceful.


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