From Lucille Morigi blog
If you don't want to become a supermodel there is no need to spend much money in Second Life.
I have made a research joining Second Life with an alt - because I knew that if I had one linden I would eventually buy something and I was after freebies for newbies.
So Christina, my alt had to camp - yes, camp -for money.
Actually I found out that she got from a newbie to something pretty reasonable only going to some good stores, like
Bare Rose Tokyo HQ
Ghost, Ingenue, Alady, Tuli at Gossipgirl Sim and Gurl 6.
This is how Christina joined second life and she (I) was not happy with her look; She wanted to be different and have more outfits.
And after going to ETD, Gurl 6, Alady and Bare Rose, this is how she became:
These are 3 linden look all, including shape, skin, outfit, hair and shoes.
As I said: She is not a model, but she only went to places where freebies were available, either 1 linden or 0 linden.
She even bought a 1 linden photosphere to take her snapshots!
So, yes, I believe that you can live in sl and don't spend too much.
You can find more pictures here: