Off The Grid In Manhattan!
If that's not an oxymoron I don't know what is!
Ok, Ok, I know that not many people are thinking of Manhattan when they think of going off the grid. But, I happen to love Manhattan and going off the grid to avoid expenses is just as important in the big city (maybe even more important) than it is in the country.
Manhattan is expensive, what better way to live here than to live here off the grid? The tax rate is around 40% so if you can get your housing, utilities, internet, cable, and food through an exchange or a bartering system...you are ahead of the 8 ball to use a cliché. If you can get paid in cash even better! If that's not off the grid I don't know what is!
How do you go off the grid in a big city like Manhattan without being homeless? It's not easy and to be perfectly honest I am using the term off-the-grid in the literary sense. Being off the grid in Manhattan means you don't pay rent or utilities and if you really play your cards right food either. Who cares if you built the house yourself, grew the garden or set up your solar panels if you can get all those things for an exchange of labor..that, to me, is being off the grid and that's what I've done in Manhattan for the past 5 or 6 years give or take a few breaks to wander the country.
Here's how it's done. You have to get a live-in job, it can be full-time or part-time but with a live-in job you don't pay the high rent, utilities or food in the city. Sure, if you do it part-time you're going to need to supplement your income but there are ways to do that too. There are a few jobs in particular that you'll want to consider.
I would suggest trying to get a nanny position through a private person but if you can't do that and you have to resort to an agency, well you can try it. But, I've never liked agencies and I've never used one. It used to be very easy to get a nanny job through Craigslist but now all the rich families in New York are using agencies so the pickins are few and far between but you can still find them. You just have to be diligent and check everyday.
Home Health Aid:
A Home Health Aid works with the elderly or the handicapped. This job usually requires a certificate or even a nurses degree. I never worked as a Home Health Aid because I didn't want to bath anyone or assist anyone with toiletry functions. I'm squeamish like that. So, if you are willing to do duties like that you could easily get your certificate and get a live-in job doing this.
This is the coup de gras in my opinion. Working as a Nanny is a lot of work, working as a Home Health Aid has..shall we say, unsavory duties, but working as a Paid Companion is the bomb! If you are a decent cook, a good companion and don't mind hanging out with an elderly person this is the job for you! I did this for 4 years and it was a good gig, let me tell you. I lived on Park Avenue, went to the Harvard club with my boss, the Metropolitan Museum of Art every Friday, drinking cocktails and eating hors deuvres and going to the Opera now and then. It was nice until he came down with dementia and died. That's one of the drawbacks of working with the elderly, they eventually die and you're out of a job!
The last position is one that I never had but there are a lot of openings in major cities like Manhattan for live-in housekeeping positions. Physically it is a demanding job but so is being a Nanny. In New York you can make a good salary as a live-in Nanny or as a Housekeeper or doing both.
Living off the grid in Manhattan is not easy and it can be quite uncomfortable at times, but it's worth it and it might be the only way to get your behind into the city.
So that's how it's done in New York City. I'm sure you could find something in these fields in other cities as well. So, the next time someone tells you that you can't go off the grid in the Manhattan, point them to this article and tell them nothing is impossible in New York City!
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