I didn’t fit into the working world, and in a bid to escape, I came up with some interesting ideas.
Like, quitting my job and living in a van as a nomad.
Disclosure: Based on personal opinion, not to be taken as advice. Seek a professional if required.
Quit My Job & Live In A Van
The idea was to live without a job. Without any income.
I wanted to find a way to survive with what money I had, ’til kingdom come.
My net worth was about £54K. Not exactly financial independence money.
On top, I had a wife and puppy to think about.
For this to work, I needed to:
- Purchase some sort of dwelling in the UK
- Be able to feed the family for life
- Be able to pay the bills for life
So, what was the plan?
Living In A Van, UK
We didn’t have much money, so a van made sense.
I had seen retirees in their 50s living in their caravans. I thought we would do the same, just on a reduced budget.
We would stay in holiday locations, and live very much as they did.
I thought I could buy a suitable van for around £15K.
I did some research, and at the time you couldn’t just pick up and decide to live in a van -not in the UK.
One rule was that you couldn’t stay in the same place for a certain period of time.
But that wasn’t a problem. In fact, it was one of the draws to living in a van, the freedom to live a nomadic life.
Also, if we couldn’t do it in the UK we could move to a country more suitable.
I would need to purchase the right vehicle because, at the time, I knew very little about engines and didn’t have the money for repairs.
To that end, I earmarked £5k to act as a backup fund for the van. That was money set aside for repairs as-and-when they were needed.
Finally on the van front, we would only move from place to place as required to by the rules. It was how I would conserve the van and save on fuel.
Basically, if I was allowed to remain in a location for a period of time, I would. Then leave just before the due date.
I’m already £20K down in this hypothetical. Time to think about how we could live forever with a van and £34K.
Surviving Without An Income, Living As A Nomad
The idea was to minimise all reoccurring costs.
Food was food. We’d have to set aside money for that.
It was at this point in the plan that I’d have to give up on that NO-INCOME clause. We’d need some kind of online business. Something we could do remotely, even if it was just online surveys.
I couldn’t see how we’d stretch the food money to last a lifetime… grow veggies on a roof-rack?
But I thought, if we could cover the cost of food eventually, like in a few years time, then the overall plan might work.
An online business required the internet. From what I could see, a dongle was the best option. Although, it was another reoccurring cost.
The other thing we needed was access to a shower -but gym membership could solve that problem.
In-fact, gym membership would solve a few problems. It means no mess in the van (showering), a place to workout, and a place to sit when it’s raining -maybe even a place to work online.
The Total Costs Of Living In A Van
This is a breakdown of what I figured were the total costs of living in a van in the UK.
This was how I thought I could spread that net worth across a lifetime.
VAN RESERVE: £5K
REOCCURRING MONTHLY COSTS
GYM MEMBERSHIP: £70 for 2 people (nationwide)
ROAD TAX/INSURANCE: £60 (guesstimate)
The yearly burn from reoccurring costs would be £4,800.
I’d put £30K, of the £34K I had left, into a long-term savings account in hope of accruing a reasonable return. I would have kept the rest out to cover the cost of living for that first year.
In theory, £30K at 3% would offer £900 per year.
In practice, I’d be lucky to keep up with inflation (another reason for the online surveys).
With some basic online surveying (and tasking), the £34K would have lasted for 7 years. But, the goal was to use the first year to find a way to cover the yearly cost of living.
A number of fallback options came to mind, like holiday crafts markets, regional farming help and seasonal shop work.
The goal would’ve been to make money online. To establish some sort of business before it came to those fallback options.
I thought a blog could work – sharing our lifestyle with the world.
Van Living To Escape The Race Rat
I spent more time than I should have, thinking up that plan, and I have a million more.
What actually happened is, I woke up the next morning and went into work. Then the next. And the next.
But something good did come of it: I learned a little bit more.
Looking back, I can see a few things we implemented from this story -and that’s how we finally found freedom.
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