My Next Home Is Going To Be A Hotel And Save $925 Per Month

by Hank Coleman

my next home may be a hotel room to save moneyBecause of the day job that I have, I tend to bounce around from one location to another fairly quickly. There are often times when I am working or going to a class for just a couple of months at a time.

So, of course, I’m not going to put down any type of roots in that instance. I could rent an apartment on a month to month lease, but the number and quality of those types of apartments are not always the best.

So, I started thinking about hotels. I have always been fascinated by the extended stay hotels in particulars. Every time I drive by one with a sign advertising their weekly rates, I always think about how much money I could save each month by simply just living in a hotel.

I know that it is a strange thought, but bear with me for a minute. There are so many little, everyday expenses that cost both homeowners and renters. Let’s be honest, owning a home is very expensive with a lot of things other than our mortgages that we have to pay for.

The same is often true for renters but not quite to the same extent. Homeowners and even renters are nickeled and dimed every month with the upkeep, maintenance, and luxuries that fill our homes and lives and drain out budgets one monthly bill at a time.

So, just how much could you save by living in a hotel? I’ve put together a quick list of monthly expenses that you would not have to pay if you lived in a hotel.

Monthly Savings From Living In A Hotel

    1. Electricity – $150
    2. Water – $25
    3. Cable with movie channels – $125
    4. Internet – $40
    5. Maid Service – $100
    6. Lawn Care – $100
    7. Standard Phone Service – $20
    8. Gym Membership – $40
    9. Homeowners Insurance – $40
    10. Private Mortgage Insurance – $100
    11. Security Alarm Company – $35
    12. Breakfast every morning – $150 ($5 x 30)

TOTAL SAVINGS = $925

Extra Benefits From Living In A Hotel

There are a few benefits that you may find a little hard to quantify, or these added luxuries are some things that you wouldn’t normally spend your money one but they are included when living in a hotel.

  1. Swimming pool
  2. Fresh towels
  3. Clean bed sheets

Okay, I readily admit that living long-term in a hotel is not for everyone. And, the figures that I have quoted are taken out of my experiences and daily life, and I admit that everyone probably has some different numbers from their monthly budget. What type or quality of hotel room do you receive for $200 per week or less?

Many people have mortgages that far exceed $800 per month, and their homes equally as beautiful as the reflected price you pay in mortgages. But, isn’t it an interesting idea to live in a hotel room nevertheless. Many people do not consider all of the savings that can be an added bonus. Many people do not consider all of the little things that we spend our money on every month when we rent or buy a home. They are items that we tend to take for granted, but these costs can quickly add up.

Search Here for Hotels.com Best Hotel Deals!

Did I miss any savings? Do you think I’m totally out to lunch? Leave me a comment below…

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About Hank Coleman

Hank Coleman is the founder of Money Q&A, an Iraq combat veteran, a Dr. Pepper addict, and a self-proclaimed investing junkie. He has written extensively for many nationally known financial websites and publications. Hank holds a Master’s Degree in Finance and is currently pursuing his Certified Financial Planner credentials. Email him directly at Hank[at]MoneyQandA.com.


Hank Coleman has written 525 articles on Money Q&A. Learn more about Money Q&A on Twitter @MoneyQandA and @HankColeman.


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{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

J. Money

haha, I think about it all the time myself!! if I weren’t married, I’d have done it by now ;) try it out and then let us know what happens!! I want to know!!!! haha…

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Kristin

I lived in an extended-stay hotel for a 10-week stretch of time and then a 12-week stretch of time as part of summer internship programs over subsequent summers. I have no idea what the weekly or monthly rate was, but the director was pretty tightfisted so he had to have gotten a good deal on a non-very-extravagant hotel in the first place after taking into account a government rate. (Looking at the website says $44/night for a room with a queen for a two-month stay). The first time I had a roommate and the second I had a much smaller room for myself. A couple of notes from my experience:

- Our sheets were changed and the room was cleaned once a week, not daily.
- There was no breakfast or daily newspaper.
- The wireless internet was pretty sub-par. It wasn’t fast enough to stream video on it. The cable was pretty basic.
- The laundry machines were a dollar wash and a dollar dry.
- The gym was tiny and pretty much unusable.
- The kitchen was tiny and didn’t have many appliances/utensils, so each summer I had to buy a bunch of stuff just to be able to cook simple stuff.

I will counter this that I also stayed in an extended-stay hotel when a house we were going to buy fell through about a week prior to the closing date, but our house was being sold and everything packed up still. We stayed in a hotel for two months or so while we were looking for a new place. That one had daily maid service and simple breakfasts and dinners in a main building, with a much larger kitchen in the unit. But that was probably more expensive and it was for more people (our family of four) than the other place.

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Monroe on a Budget

Some people who live in hotels are on the verge of being homeless; and that’s either their last gasp of normalcy before they are forced to a shelter or living on the streets, or their first step back.

Example: I have a friend who ended up living on the streets when a job he expected after a move across country fell through. Part of his struggle back to employment and having his own apartment again was living in a hotel room for awhile.
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South County Girl

My husbands father had to do that for a while because of his job. I’ve learned that business hotels have much nicer luxuries in terms of basics. (Better free breakfasts, larger fridges in room, and even microwaves and your own coffee pot).

Next time we take a vacation and need a hotel, we are staying business.
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Careful Cents

I love this idea and I have often thought about this option myself. The savings you pointed out are quite significant, but the big winner for me is always having prompt maid service, fresh towels and clean sheets. I would pay a housekeeper almost daily if I could afford it, so for me those are huge benefits.

I’ve seen a hotel near where I live go for $199 weekly rate so for basically $800 a month you get all the amenities. My apartment rent + utilities and etc is over $1,000. I think you make a great point!
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Hank

I originally thought that I was all alone with this idea until I wrote the article, and then bloggers and friends started mentioning how they had thought about it too. The savings have the potential to be quite good. One thing that I would dread though are all those crazy taxes that cities seem to put on hotel rooms. So, there is a potential for costs to start to creap up.

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Drew

My family and I live in an extended stay hotel that is VERY nice. We were originally transitioning from another city so we needed to stay in a hotel during that time. As time went by, we kept extending our stay because of this or that. Now, almost a year later, we are still here. The staff is soooo nice and go far beyond what is expected. We meet new people all the time, and I have made many friends for life. A lot of them stay awhile and return because of work projects so it isn’t always meet a person then they are gone forever. Not only are the people great, the staff turnover rate is almost zero so we are very close to the people that run this place. The amenties are great. Indoor pool, game room, family tv room , extremely nice gym, free breakfast and dinner (including alcohol). The food is not the normal hotel food. It is really good and always changing. They do a deep clean once a week, but they make up the beds, take out the trash and do the dishes everyday (I don’t always use this because it is our home and I don’t expect someone to pick up after us everyday, but it is available and I use it enough to appreciate it). It is a huge suite. Two bedrooms, two full baths, full kitchen, flat screens in all three rooms, beautiful updated décor, dishes, towels, etc…everything. The laundry facility is free and is super nice too. All new front loading machines and hang bar baskets for wheeling laundry. Not to mention they have laundry baskets in the room as well. I have added personal touches over time as well…oh yeah master has king and kids room two queens and pull out couch. all restoration hardware furniture with lots of storage even big closets and vanities w drawers. Nice outdoor space as well with basketball court, courtyard with nice grills and furniture…you get the picture. anyway, we are in no hurry to move anymore bc it has been a wonderful experience and well worth the cost which is reasonable for what is offered and deeply discounted bc we have bn here a long time. shuttle service too. they actually fixed my bike once wo even asking bc they store it for me and noticed it was flat!! also, they have storage units on every floor which we use as well. so nice. me, husband and two young kids are happy hotel dwellers. we are not homeless and not financially unstable which is what most people assume when u say u live in hotel.

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Edward Antrobus

I left a message in Google+, but I figured I should probably comment here.

I’m sure rates vary around the country, but here, the cheapest weekly rate I’ve found is $226+tax and internet is not included, but requires an extra $10/week fee. So internet winds up costing about the same as for home, except your sharing it with 100 other people.

An added cost of a motel that you probably don’t have to pay with a house: laundry. Last time I had to use a laudrymat, I think it cost $1.50/load to wash & dry. Three loads a week times 4 weeks adds another $18/month to your bill. And the budget hotel you can get for under $50/night ($1500/month) probably doesn’t have complimentary breakfast or a gym. And of course, how many hotel rooms have a stove? Which means dinner out, which has can eat up most of that $935 savings by itself.
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mysticaltyger

I think the “savings” you’ve posted are highly inflated. Electric bill? Mine for my apartment is less than $25 (I live in mild coastal California). Cable? I don’t have cable and don’t wand it. I don’t have maid service or lawn care, or a security alarm and lots of homeowners don’t have those, either. I don’t have a $40 gym membership, but I suspect a lot of people do. But no matter how you slice it, these are some seriously inflated numbers and I think you know it.

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Hank

These are the exact amounts that I pay from my own budget every month. They are not inflated. Everyone’s situation is different, and this represents mine. Thanks!
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MarkE

MysticalTyger, don’t assume that because the presented scenario does not meet your norms and expectations that they are purposefully inflated. I live in central Texas and here are some of my average expenses for a family of three:

Electricity – $350
Water – $130
Cable – $170

I’ve never calculated what I pay in lawn care, but it’s up there (grass is hard to grow in TX). Anyways, I wish my expenses were as low as what Hank posted, even if they are inflated (which I don’t believe they are).

Cheers!

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Tommy Z

I actually looked into this for myself a few years back. The monthly rate was incredibly expensive vs. the cost of renting a larger 1 bedroom apartment. The 1 bed, 1 bath apartment (about 900 sq feet) was $900/month and included heat, water, trash, etc. The smaller hotel room was around $1700/mo.

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Hank

Tommy – It is all location dependent. My costs were based on my 3 bedroom house in the Southeast with a lot more square footage than what you described. Also, there are a lot of different hotel rates around the country. You can find extended stay hotels in my area for as little as $800 in some instances.
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Monica

Cool subject, I have wondered about this as well. It was interesting to see the cost analysis, and read all the comments and different experiences that people have had doing this
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Wendy1969

The first 5 weeks you live in a hotel you pay the taxes, are we entitled to these taxes back since we have established residency?

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Drew

yes, it should be applied to your bill as a credit.

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Mary Kateri

I actually did this for a couple of months while apartment-hunting.

The place I stayed had a separate bedroom, a full kitchen (including full-size fridge, dishwasher, & 2-burner stove), all the pots, pans, dishes, utensils, etc. No oven, but I was able to bring in my own small toaster oven.

The laundry facilities were FREE, as well as a complimentary membership to the local YMCA nearby (for the entire duration of your stay).

Internet was excellent (& included in the cost of the room).

Cable also included movie channels… & there was a DVD player (& a free lending library of movies at the front dest!).

I got a basic breakfast & the paper every day… & the hotel was always clean, safe, and staffed by friendly people.

In addition to the savings already mentioned in the article, I also saved on the cost of paper towels, bathroom tissue, facial tissue, dishwasher detergent, soap, shampoo, conditioner (not to mention time saved on washing/drying big, slow-drying items like sheets & towels!).

I found that there was a large population of snow-birds that utilitze this as their ‘southern home’ in the winters (which makes great sense, since they don’t have to buy, furnish, insure, or worry about a 2nd home!).

I loved it so much that, when the lease on the apartment that I was originally looking for is up, I’m moving back. An interesting note on the taxes is that (at least in this part of FL), if you stay for longer than 6 months, you don’t pay taxes after that 6 months!

Another couple of advantages to keep in mind: No lease & no security deposits!

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Mary Kateri

I forgot to mention that I was able to connect my laptop to the printer in the business center & print for free (no more paper or ink costs!).

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mark

I live in an extended stay suite hotel – it is 2400.00/month including taxes but here is what I get -

modern kitchen with microwave, toaster, coffee maker, dishes, glasses, utensils, etc. / 2 double bed bedroom with tv (excellent beds, pillows, linens / living room with tv / fold-out couch, furniture, pictures, etc. / cable with hbo / power / water / phone / internet / security / office with computer, printer, fax, etc. – no more office expenses – / 40 soaps, 30 conditoner, 30 shampoo, 30 lotion, toilet paper, 60 bottled water per month, paper towels, coffee, popcorn, salt/pepper, condiments / daily maid service / daily towels, etc. – I only wash 1 load laundry per week / daily breakfast / dinner mon-thurs including beer and wine if you drink (food can be taken to my room to eat later includes fruit, snacks, etc. – my kids are with me 3-4 days week and they eat too / daily USA today / parking / gym / pool / landscaping / no maintenance of any kind – no more plumbers, painters, handymen, light bulbs, etc. and most importantly – TIME – I get to focus on my work or personal life instead of maintaining a home. I am still trying to find the downside -

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Phronsieone

This idea is intriguing. My husband HATES yard work and doesn’t do home maintainance. With our youngest graduating from HS this year, I think hotel living would be ideal. We stated in a 2 bedroom that sounds like the one Mark mentioned above, and LOVED it. Maybe we’ll sell the house and just Go!

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Phronsieone

And in the DFW area, our electric for a 2,100 sq. ft. House is $350/mo, water $120 on a slow month, cable and Internet $150, plus all the other bills, so I believe we could actually save some money for travel by living extended stay. Woo hoo!

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Bryan

Got the newsletter email on this subject and its funny because I too was starting to look into this option. Rentals where I live are scarce and outrageous. Hopefully a hotel is a better option while hoping/waiting for better rentals. As long as its a no smoking hotel.
It would be nice to say bye bye to terrible landlords.

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bjtinaustin

We provide a 2 bed 2 1/2 bath fully furnished, upscale, condo for rental by the week or month in central Texas. $3000/mo.
We are almost always booked by folks who want a home to live in while traveling. We have a small yard, washer dryer and all furnishings.

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prietok

Add items such as -
toilet paper
Kleenex
Shampoo
Bath soap and body lotion
Detergent for linens & towels
Coffee, Tea & cremora
Not to speak of having someone to receive your UPS packages at any time of the day….

Reply

Rick

This idea sounds VERY intriguing.

There are at least 2 major downsides to this path…
First, if you loose your job/income and living paycheck to paycheck and/or have very little reserve savings, (which is the majority of the country) then you will be out on the street much quicker than living in a home where you would have several months to find another job before the risk of foreclosure.

Secondly, retiring in a home that is paid for reduces your living expenses immensely, and brings greater piece of mind. (Which is important in retirement.)

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Caprice M.

I’m currently considering this for school purposes, but I am having trouble finding a place that would make the switch worth it. Extended stay charges more than my rent and expenses and hotels that are cheaper look as if they should charge by the hour. Any ideas on finding a suitable place?

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John C @ Action Economics

I routinely stay in hotels for about a month at a time while travelling for work. Fo rthe most part we aren’t in the nicer extended stay hotels, nut we typically at least have a microwave and fridge. Living in a hotel room at least to me gets old really fast. In your situation with the constant moving it may be a good deal, but if I had my preference I would much rather rent a house with a couple friends then live in a hotel room.
1. Hotel laundry machines are notoriously inefficient and at best a hotel will have 2 washers and dryers for 100 people. Then its off to the laundrymat, which is a giant time waster.
2. From time to time you will get a part crowd either above you, below you or next to you. Once again, no fun when you have work in the morning.
3. Limited food prep options. I stayed at one extended stay hotel where I had a stovetop which was great, but overall food prep is highly limited in a hotel room, and the food smells tend to linger.

I’m sure there are more but those are the top negatives that pop into my head. $200 a week is pretty low to me for an extended stay hotel, but I guess it depends on your area. My boss routinely pays over $100 a night for our rooms and its rare to have anything better than a standard room with a microwave and minifridge. At $100 a night, that works out to $3K for the month, certainly no savings there!
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