Living A-La Cart in Phoenix, Arizona?

What does it mean to live a-la-cart? In short terms, it means to leave free of contracts. It means to be free of all the long term obligations. It’s the prepaid plan, but its for real life. I don’t know about you, but I, personally, don’t like being forced into long term financial relationships that I don’t really want. The purpose of this article is to inform readers how to live a-la cart in Phoenix.

Removing the use of long contracts from your everyday life needs, allow you to live more in the moment. People need a number of things in order to survive. According to an article from Skilled Survival, humans can survive any scenario with 5 things; oxygen, water, food, shelter, and self-defense. Since, I’m speaking about ‘day to day’ survival and not just ‘life and death’ survival in this blog post; I would like to add entertainment, clothing, transportation, and human interaction to the list also.

In this article, we’ll discuss a few ways to be contract free in shelter, in transportation, and in communication.

Contract-Free Shelter

Everybody needs a place of residence to sleep, to provide them warmth, and to store their personal belongings. This place does not have to be attached to you in the form of a lease or mortgage. There are a number of contract free or short term living arrangements that can be made locally. Generally speaking, these options are more costly due to their being no long term contract. Companies are usually willing to cut you some financial slack, when there’s a ‘promise to pay’ long term contract involved.

One option is Corporate or Month-to-Month housing. Corporate housing is the same as month-to-month, it’s made with business professionals in mind. These options are residences that are available to rent, fully furnished or unfurnished, on a month to month basis. Locally, I’ve even seen some week-to-week options. These options are available within hotels that offer extended stay options and on AirBnB.

Another option for housing without a contract, is staying with a friend or relative. You could arrange to rent a room on a month-to-month basis or they may even offered you their space with no financial strings at all. In this option, you would have to be more considerate of the other house residents and their lifestyles, in order for the arrangement to be successful. It would also be best to go into such an agreement with a plan of action; as in what you hope to gain from it.

Or if you’re brave enough, you can take it day by day. Make living arrangements in a pay as you go kind of method; where what you make, where you can find work, and what local options you have available will determine your stay every night. It could vary literally every night from an Airbnb to someone’s couch; it’s like playing Russian roulette. It’s the riskiest of options, but it also allows you the most freedom.

Contract Free Transportation

In big cities, such as Phoenix, Arizona having public transportation is imperative. Depending on what part of the city you live in, you may or may not be able to travel where you need to by your feet alone. That alone can be detrimental to your stay in the valley. In that situation, you will need to consider the local transportation options you have available.

One contract free form of transportation would be public transportation. Valley Metro is the local public transit company; they offer numerous travel options including the light rail and the bus. They give the travelers of Phoenix the choice to either pay per ride or obtain passes; the passes can last a day, a week or a month at a time. The drawback to public transportation is it’s made for public use, meaning they operate based on the needs of the general public. Also, you should know, there are certain hours they don’t operate and there are certain parts of the valley they don’t travel.

Another transportation option offered locally is ride sharing. This form of transportation is on demand and certainly more ‘private’ than public transportation. Rideshare companies offer us the option to order a ride as needed from local drivers, in their personal vehicles, all from an app in our smartphones. The local news has shown many Uber and Lyft horror stories; robberies, assaults, and kidnappings. I would suggest, if you decide to choose this option, short term or long term, prepare a plan of action to protect yourself.

A last resort option for contract free transportation is to ask the people around you, who have reliable transportation. You could ask to use a friend or family members vehicle in exchange for money, goods, or services as needed. Depending on the relationship you have with who you choose to ask, you may not have to give anything and you may even luck out with somebody, who doesn’t like to drive in the first place. This option would be considered a last resort, as you are forced to work off the schedules of others and it’s probably the least dependable method of transportation. I personally despise depending on others for transportation, but to each’s own.

Contract Free Communication

In today’s age, there are so many high tech ways to communicate with other people. The two biggest ways to interact with others include by cell phone and by internet. So how can you by pass contract plans and not interrupt you communication?

You could always opt for a prepaid cellular plan. This allows you to go month to month while still having access to the necessary features; such as unlimited data, unlimited text, and unlimited minutes. If you wish to save more money you could always get rid of some features, but the unlimited everything plans are far more affordable than in the beginning when they were just introduced. It’s almost pointless to not have unlimited everything.

Internet providers also offer month to month plans. However, it usually comes at a greater cost. Cox charged me an additional $10 monthly to be a month to month customer versus being in a 12 month contract.


Living a life with less contractual obligations grants you a sense of freedom. Think about how constricting a year long rental contract is. No matter what, for the next twelve months you owe a property manager $1000 or so. Anything can happen within that time period; you could lose your job, you could fall ill, or you could find somewhere else you would much rather stay. Even then, you still owe for the duration of the contract.

Living without contracts allow you the chance to live in the moment. Instead of getting caught up in what or who you will owe for the rest of the year, you can focus on what’s most important right now. Thus, freeing up more of you finances to invest in more desirable things. Going to a job can get less stressful when you feel like you’re getting more out of it than a life of paycheck to paycheck.

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