Living is a pretty expensive pastime and living in Tel Aviv is even more costly. Ranked as the number one most expensive city in Israel and, according to Mercer’s annual cost-of-living survey, the 18th most expensive city in the world. Only two places behind New York where the minimum hourly wage is the equivalent of around 35 new Israel Shekels compared to 25 NIS in Israel. This could be considered by some as a little insane.
So, with that in mind, here are 8 (not all foolproof) ways to live for free in Tel Aviv.
- Marry Well – Obviously the first choice for all young upwardly mobile, pleasant looking guys and girls out there. As I often tell my 11 year old daughter ‘marry a billionaire, divorce him, get half and then fall in love’. It’s actually part of my own retirement plan too as I’m relying on her to come feed me soup once I get placed in an old age home. Obviously I do this with no pressure and just use good old fashioned Jewish guilt.
- Free Amenities – Reduce the cost of water by using the free showers located on the beach. If, at any time, a bath is required then take a dip in the fountain at The Dizen-goof Center. There have been plenty of mermen spotted taking a dip there in recent weeks. Apparently if you pour in bubble bath while the fountains are flowing, you’ll be able to work up a nice creamy lather.
- Tent City – This phenomena started a few years back and was a big tourist attraction on Rothschild Boulevard. People took to the streets to protest social injustice and the high cost of living. Yair Lapid became the poster boy of the protests until he was in a position to completely out tax the poor and working classes until they all left and went back to work. Tent city became a thing of the past but there are still a few happy campers left in a small area not too far from the Mercaz Savidor train station located by Arlozorov.
- Beach-Side Tarot Readings – technically not classified as work due to the fact that no one has ever opened a small business with the tax authority claiming that they read tarot cards on a cardboard box by the beach. There must be a gazillion soul searchers walking along the Herbert Samuel Promenade wondering what life holds in store for them. If you’ve lived in Tel Aviv for more than six months, you’re probably qualified to tell them without the use of Tarot cards. But hey, a good prop goes a long way!
- Bar-Room Bullshit Hustle – I’m not saying that this is easy but, in the right circumstances, in the right place, at the right time, it’s not too difficult to strike up a conversation in a bar and potentially be the receiver of free drinks. Obviously not wanting to sound too sexist, this usually works better for females than males and better still if you have blond hair, a good smile and the ability to charm and feign interest in the lives of others.
- Free Parking – If you’re a Tel Aviv resident with a car you may have experienced just a tad of difficulty finding somewhere to park, unless you have a private parking space (which, if you do, you should sublet by the hour). So, just in case you didn’t know – the city operate a ‘first parking fine is free’ policy providing that your vehicle has a Tel Aviv residents parking permit. This is actually true and possibly the most useful piece of advice in this article.
- Couchsurfing – Personally I’ve never tried this myself but I do know a handful of people who claim that this is the best way to see the world. The principle is that couches are offered for free inside the domiciles of fellow couchsufers to weary travelers passing through cities. Tel Aviv is one of the cities where couchsurfing has taken off. As long as the traveler or the tenant don’t turn out to be psychopathic serial killers, it’s all good!
- Free Workouts – As the plan to get the people of Tel Aviv fitter hots up, the city council has placed workout equipment in a number of strategic locations around the city. These outdoor gyms consist of aerobic style machinery and a variety of workout bars. According to an undisclosed source, these areas have become prime venues for meeting like-minded fitness fanatics and have led to more than one ‘happy ending’.
Coming soon, the seven deadly sins of living and working in Tel Aviv.