From the desparation of the gutter to the plush luxury of the most successful fixers and operatives, the lifestyles of those not working for corporations vary from extreme to extreme. The wealth brought in by the lucky few is enough to inspire others, but in truth those with the greatest success rarely remain independent for long. With so much success they become attractive prospects to the corporations, which can offer the security of lucrative long-term contracts. And a few take the other tact, of turning wealth earned in 'shady' business into capital with which to develop their own legitimate businesses.

Living environments of course vary greatly. At the bottom of the rungs there is literally the street, from garbage-choked alleys to the abandoned and gang-infested highrises on the edges of every city. Above such destitution is the life of the nomads, with few possessions but their vehicles and the weapons with which they defend them. Those with more money live in apartments, especially the coffin-style units that became ubiquitous in city-centers after the advent of arcologies and orbital colonies and the flight from the suburbs.

Living on the street one does whatever one can do to get by. Life is unpredictable and hard, with few rules but many penalties. On the street, barter of goods or services is at least as common as exchanges of cash or credit. If you don't have a skill that you can trade for what you need, then you either beg, steal, or starve.

Healthcare is often sporadic at best for those living outside the umbrella of corporate employment. Trained physicians are almost always hired by the companies and 'asked' to sign contracts limiting when and on whom they can practice. Some companies sponsor 'pro bono' clinics on the street, but these are few and massively overcrowded. More often, a doctor must be found who is for some reason outside of company employment, one who lost a lucrative contract in circumstances often best left undiscovered.

Simstim is the most popular entertainment, and most can afford at least 3V (holographic or 3-D video) hardware and access to the Matrix. Sports are always popular as well, and live music and other art can usually be found in clubs and other venues.