Kate Hashimoto is a Japanese female accountant living in New York City, USA. The woman was famous when she shared about her thrifty lifestyle. Despite having a good income, Kate only spends 200 USD/month to survive in this lavish city. From getting furniture from landfills to dumpsters driving for free food, the woman was able to buy an apartment just because of doing so.
Instead of paying hundreds of dollars for a bed, she sleeps on a pile of old yoga mats she’d picked up on the street, and her dining table is a pile of old magazines.
Kate also hasn’t had to buy any new clothes in more than eight years and refuses to buy personal hygiene products. Instead, she asks for them on free giveaway sites or receives giveaways from promotional events. “I’m a fan of the gift shop,” she said.
Oddly enough, Hashimoto admits that she doesn’t buy toilet paper or tissues because she “doesn’t believe in spending money on something you’ll throw away”.
She only uses soap and a spray bottle to clean. She also recycles paper that she used in public bathrooms to dry her hands. As for the laundry, Kate does not spend 3 USD each time she takes it to the shop. Instead, she washes them in the bathtub.
A dumpster diver
The female accountant also avoids having to pay for food at all costs. After work, she disguises herself as a beggar, filtering trash bags outside restaurants and supermarkets in some posh neighborhoods.
“Stores often throw away a lot of high-quality food, including organic and beautifully prepared foods.”
Kate says she only takes “hygienic” foods, which come in sealed packages, without any interference. Thanks to that, she gets to eat really high-class food that she would never have to pay for, such as grapes, avocado… If her friends invite her to eat out, she will try to refuse except when they pay for the meal.
Kate’s harsh cost-cutting measures cost her just $200 a month, while the average cost of living for a person in her area is about $1,341 if not included house rent.
Kate has been sticking to this thrifty lifestyle for years after losing her job in the great recession in the late 2000s. From there, she chose a lifestyle of minimizing expenses in order to survive in New York City. After years of saving, the accountant was able to buy an apartment in one of the most expensive cities in the world.
Despite criticism and derision from others, she believes that she is leading a comfortable life and is not dependent on material things.