When it comes to saving money and making sacrifices, most of us consider getting a smaller place, eating at home more often, or commuting long distances. But what about living in a van? Sounds a little crazy right? It’s not as weird as you think.
There are people out there that have chosen to live in their vans to save money and live a simpler life. We aren’t talking about just any run-of-the-mill van either. These are custom-built Mercedes sprinter vans with beds, tables, storage lockers, and everything you need to live in them full-time.
The Good Stuff
There are many reasons why living in a van could be a good decision for you. Here are some of the good stuff that comes with living in a van: – No more mortgage payments: This is the biggest reason why people decide to get rid of their house and live in a van.
Getting rid of your mortgage payments and rent is one of the biggest things you will notice in your bank account and it feels great. If you decide to buy a van, you will likely have a much higher price tag than a normal house, but you will also have something that is much more flexible and movable.
No more lawn mowing: If you love gardening, you might miss the yearly mowing of the lawn. But if you are like most people, you could do without that extra work. In fact, with a van, you can garden inside your van, or even try hydroponics (growing plants with water instead of soil). Hydroponics is normally done in greenhouses, but with a van, you can do it inside your van.
Travel wherever you want: One of the best things about living in a van is that you can hit the road and travel to wherever you want. You don’t have to worry about keeping up with a job and a house, you can just live in your van and go wherever you want.
Build Confidence and Discipline
Living in a van down by the river will help you build confidence and discipline. Many people that live in vans do so as a challenge to themselves and to build confidence.
- Other people live in vans too: There are lots of different people out there that live in vans. From surfers to software engineers, there are lots of people that do this. It’s not as crazy as it might seem.
- You don’t have to do it forever: If you are worried about doing it for a long time, you don’t have to. It only takes a few months to save up enough money to get out of debt and buy a house.
- It builds discipline because you have to be very efficient in your van. There is no place for clutter. You can’t afford a big house, so you have to get creative with how you use the space you have. This requires discipline.
Vans Are Tiny
If you’re claustrophobic, living in a van is not for you. Vans are simply not spacious. Of course, this is something to keep in mind if you have any sort of allergies or breathing conditions. But even if you don’t, living in a tinier-than-tiny space can be very stressful and tiring.
And if you’re living with a partner in a van, things can get very complicated if you’re both stressed out by the lack of space. Keep in mind that there are larger vans out there, but they’re definitely not cheap. You may want to consider a motorhome or R.V. if you need more space.
You May Get Constantly Dirty
For the most part, living in a van involves constantly being surrounded by dust and dirt. You’ll probably have a constant layer of it coating your clothes, shoes, and anything else that’s on the floor. Of course, it’s possible to keep things clean, but only if you have the time and resources to do so. If you have a job, kids, or any other responsibilities, keeping your van clean can quickly become a low priority.
You’ll start leaving it till the last minute to clean, and then things will only get messy again right after. And, cleaning or dealing with the constant layer of dust and dirt can be very stressful and tiring. It’s a very big con of living in a van down by the river, but it’s certainly something you can work towards fixing.
People May Judge You For Living in a Van
This one is a little bit subjective, but for the most part, people will definitely judge you for living in a van. They may judge you for it behind your back, but there are chances that they’ll do it to your face as well. You should expect to be labeled as “the crazy homeless person”.
You should also expect that people may not want to associate with you, let alone allow you to park near them. But you know what? Screw those people. Not everyone will like you, and that’s ok. Sure, it sucks when people judge you, but it’s not worth letting it get to you. You’re living your life, so keep doing that.
Vans Aren’t Very Good at Keeping Things Warm or Cool
Depending on where you live, this con of living in a van may be more relevant than others. This is particularly true if you live in a very warm place. Vans aren’t made to keep warm temperatures out. They aren’t made to keep cool temperatures out either.
They’re just vans, and for the most part, they’re pretty average in this area. If you want your van to keep you cool in the summer, you may have to invest in cooling products. Think fans, water misters, and ice coolers. And if you want your van to keep you warm in the winter, you’ll have to invest in heaters. This can get very expensive.
Your Back and Joints Will Take a Beating from the Van Life
If you’re sitting down for the majority of the day, your back and joints will take a beating. Now, if you have a van that has a bed in it, this isn’t as bad. But for the most part, people who live in their vans sit on the floor. If you have a job that requires you to work at a desk, you can look into getting a standing desk.
This will help your back with sitting down in your van. It won’t completely fix it, but it’ll help. And if you have back or joint issues, living in a van is not for you. You may be able to make it work for a few years, but in the long run, you’re just going to make things worse.
Not so Good Stuff
Staying clean can be challenging: It can be challenging to stay clean with limited water and space. There are some people that shower in their van and others that use baby wipes to stay clean. You can also use a dry shampoo to help keep yourself smelling fresh.
Safety concerns when living in a van: You want to make sure that your van is safe and secure. Some van dwellers install a lockbox or safe to keep their valuables safe when parked. You also want to make sure that your van has good locks and is parked in a safe area.
When living in a van down by the river, you need to be disciplined and efficient with the space that you have. You need to be able to maximize your space and only keep the things that you really need. You also need to be able to keep yourself clean and safe in your van. Overall, living in a van is a great way to live a simpler life, have more freedom, and save money.