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Moving to paradise with an empty wallet may sound impossible, but with strategic planning and resourcefulness, you may be able to make the dream a reality. In this comprehensive guide, we will walk through everything you need to know to move to Hawaii even if you have little money saved up.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: Look for temporary housing and work opportunities before arriving, research public assistance programs, take advantage of Hawaii’s sharing economy, and be prepared to live very frugally at first.

Research Housing Options

When planning to move to Hawaii with no money, one of the first and most important steps is to research housing options. Finding affordable housing in Hawaii can be challenging, but with some research and creativity, it is possible to find suitable accommodations. Here are a few strategies to consider:

Look for temporary accommodations

If you don’t have the funds to secure a long-term rental right away, consider looking for temporary accommodations. This could include staying in a hostel, renting a room through Airbnb, or finding short-term rentals. Temporary accommodations can give you time to explore the area and search for more permanent housing options without breaking the bank.

Consider getting a roommate

Another option to make moving to Hawaii more affordable is to consider getting a roommate. Sharing living expenses with someone else can significantly reduce the financial burden. You can find potential roommates through online platforms, local community groups, or classified ads. Just be sure to choose a roommate who is reliable and compatible with your lifestyle.

Pet or house sit

If you are open to new experiences and don’t mind some flexibility in your living arrangements, consider pet or house sitting. Many homeowners in Hawaii are in need of trustworthy individuals to take care of their homes or pets while they are away. In exchange for your services, you may be able to stay rent-free. Websites like and can connect you with homeowners in need of sitters.

Remember, when researching housing options, it’s essential to consider your budget, desired location, and lifestyle preferences. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box and explore unconventional options. Moving to Hawaii with no money may require some creativity, but it can lead to exciting and rewarding experiences.

Find Ways to Earn Income

When moving to Hawaii with no money, it is essential to find ways to earn income to support yourself. Here are a few strategies you can consider:

Search job boards before arriving

Prior to your move, take advantage of online job boards and websites that cater specifically to Hawaii job opportunities. This will allow you to explore potential employment options and even secure a job before you arrive. Websites like Hawaii Job Engine and Hawaii Jobs on Demand provide a wide range of job listings across various industries.

Consider short-term gigs

In addition to traditional full-time employment, consider taking on short-term gigs or freelance work to supplement your income. Websites like Upwork and Guru offer opportunities for remote work, allowing you to work from anywhere, including Hawaii. This flexibility can be particularly beneficial when you are just starting out and need to generate income quickly.

Offer your skills and services

If you have specific skills or expertise, consider offering your services as a freelancer or starting your own small business. Whether you are a graphic designer, writer, photographer, or have other marketable skills, there is always a demand for talented individuals in Hawaii. Utilize platforms like Fiverr or Thumbtack to connect with potential clients and showcase your work.

Remember, moving to Hawaii with no money may require some creativity and flexibility. By exploring different avenues for earning income, you can increase your chances of financial stability and make your dream of living in Hawaii a reality.

Leverage Public Assistance Programs

If you are considering moving to Hawaii with limited funds, leveraging public assistance programs can be a great resource to help you get started. These programs are designed to provide temporary support to individuals and families in need. By taking advantage of these services, you can ease some of the financial burdens associated with moving and living in a new place.

Apply for food stamps

One of the first steps you can take is to apply for food stamps, also known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). This program provides eligible individuals and families with funds to purchase nutritious food. By receiving assistance with your grocery expenses, you can allocate your limited funds towards other essential needs.

Look into rental assistance

Rental assistance programs can be instrumental in helping you secure affordable housing in Hawaii. These programs provide financial support, such as vouchers or subsidies, to help individuals and families cover their rent. Research the different rental assistance programs available in Hawaii and apply for those that align with your specific needs and circumstances.

Use public transportation

In Hawaii, public transportation is a viable option for getting around the islands. By utilizing buses, shuttles, and other forms of public transportation, you can save a significant amount of money on transportation costs. Additionally, public transportation allows you to explore the beautiful sights and attractions of Hawaii without the added expense of owning a car.

Remember, taking advantage of public assistance programs is not a sign of weakness or failure. These programs exist to provide temporary support to individuals and families who may be facing financial challenges. By utilizing these resources, you can take steps towards building a better future for yourself and your loved ones in the beautiful state of Hawaii.

Live Frugally

One of the key ways to move to Hawaii with no money is to live frugally. By adopting a frugal lifestyle, you can save money and make your dream of living in paradise a reality. Here are some tips on how to live frugally:

Cook cheap meals at home

Eating out can be expensive, especially in a place like Hawaii where the cost of living is high. One way to save money is by cooking cheap meals at home. Instead of dining at restaurants, try exploring local farmers markets and grocery stores for fresh and affordable ingredients. By cooking your own meals, you not only save money but also have the opportunity to explore Hawaiian cuisine and learn new cooking techniques.

Limit leisure activities

While living in Hawaii offers a plethora of exciting activities and attractions, it’s important to limit your leisure activities to save money. Instead of constantly going out and spending money on entertainment, consider exploring the natural beauty of the islands. Hawaii is known for its stunning beaches, hiking trails, and waterfalls. Take advantage of these free or low-cost activities to enjoy the beauty of the islands without breaking the bank.

Share/borrow instead of buying new

Another way to save money when moving to Hawaii with no money is by sharing or borrowing items instead of buying new. Look for online communities or local groups where people share or borrow items they no longer need. This can include furniture, tools, appliances, or even vehicles. By borrowing or sharing, you can save money on purchasing new items and also contribute to a more sustainable lifestyle.

Take Advantage of Hawaii’s Sharing Economy

Moving to Hawaii with no money may seem like a daunting task, but there are creative ways to make it happen. One of the best ways to stretch your limited funds is by taking advantage of Hawaii’s sharing economy. This innovative concept allows individuals to share resources, skills, and services, creating a sense of community and mutual support. By tapping into the sharing economy, you can find opportunities to enjoy free activities, access necessary items, and even trade your skills for goods or services.

Find free activities on social media

Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are great resources for finding free activities in Hawaii. Many local communities and organizations post about upcoming events, workshops, and gatherings that are open to the public. By joining relevant groups or following the right accounts, you can stay updated on the latest opportunities to explore the beauty of Hawaii without spending a dime. From beach cleanups to hiking excursions, there are plenty of chances to have fun and connect with like-minded individuals who share your passion for the islands.

Join Buy Nothing groups

Buy Nothing groups have gained popularity in recent years as a way to reduce waste and foster a sense of community. These groups, which can be found on platforms like Facebook, allow members to give away items they no longer need or request items they require. By joining a Buy Nothing group in Hawaii, you can access essential items for your move or daily life without spending any money. From furniture to kitchen appliances, you may be surprised by the generosity of your neighbors and the resources available within your community.

Trade skills and services

Another way to make the most of Hawaii’s sharing economy is by trading your skills and services with others. Maybe you’re a talented photographer, a skilled handyman, or a great cook. By offering your expertise to others, you can receive valuable goods or services in return. Websites and platforms like Craigslist and TaskRabbit can help you find opportunities to trade your skills and connect with individuals who are willing to barter. This not only allows you to save money but also fosters a sense of community and collaboration.

Remember, moving to Hawaii with no money may require some creativity and resourcefulness, but it’s not impossible. By taking advantage of Hawaii’s sharing economy, finding free activities on social media, joining Buy Nothing groups, and trading skills and services, you can make your dream of living in paradise a reality without breaking the bank.


Moving to Hawaii without savings may require sacrifices, resourcefulness and a very frugal lifestyle at first. But with strategic planning, leveraging public assistance, finding temporary housing and income sources, and embracing the local sharing economy, you may be able to gradually establish yourself in paradise. While challenging, with an adventurous spirit and some clever planning, the dream of living in Hawaii can be attainable even on a shoestring budget.

The keys are being flexible, resourceful, and open to alternative housing and income sources. With a little luck and aloha spirit, you’ll be hanging ten on the waves of your new Hawaiian home in no time.

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