Episode 60: How Much Does Van Life Cost? Real Life Examples and Money Saving Tips

Are you ready to save money and live the van life?  In episode 60 of The Wayward Home Podcast, I share my personal budget for life on the road, as well as some money-saving hacks I’ve discovered along the way.

Of course, expenses for nomadic living can vary greatly depending on your lifestyle, just as they can in any living situation.  But the beauty of van life is how flexible and customizable it is.  And you have the significant advantage of saving money on rent or mortgage!

Van life is not one-size-fits-all; the cost of this lifestyle can be tailored according to your choice of van, driving habits, and camping style, among other factors.  But the expenses don’t stop at the van. We’ll also tackle the costs of groceries, health insurance, internet and cell phone service, and how you can optimize these for your life on the road.

Whether you’re a seasoned road tripper or considering van life for the first time, I promise this episode is brimming with useful tips and insights to help you save money while living a life of freedom and adventure.

Links Mentioned in this Podcast:

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What We Discuss in Episode 60 of The Wayward Home Podcast:

  • Kristin starts out by sharing her story of living in an apartment in San Francisco, and to moving into her Prius to save money.
  • Kristin talks about the importance of purchasing a vehicle and doing a build that fits within your budget. When she started making money from her online business, she upgraded to a Chevy Astro van, and then a 4×4 Sprinter.
  • Next, Kristin breaks down the key expenses for van life:
    • Fuel – this can vary significantly based on how much and how often you drive
    • Food – this also varies depending on where you shop, but you can control this expense by cooking your own meals vs. eating out often
    • Camping fees – this can range from $20-$80 per night, but it can also be completely free if you want to boondock.  Harvest Hosts is another great option for staying at a farm, winery or brewery for a low annual membership (and buying a few items from your host).
    • Vehicle maintenance – Basics include oil changes, filters, etc; but this can increase depending on the age and mileage of your vehicle
    • Internet and cell phone service – This can be a significant expense for vanlifers. Kristin uses Starlink for $145/month and Visible Wireless for $25/month.
    • Storage costs – this varies depending on the size and location of your storage unit. Or save on this cost entirely if you can downsize to fit totally within your van!
    • Health insurance – This can be a tricky one for nomads, depending on what’s available in your state of residence. Kristin uses Zion Health Share for $165 per month.
  • The beauty of vanlife is how flexible and customizable it is – you can make it as expensive or cheap as you want or need.
  • Overall, it’s a great lifestyle for saving money since you don’t have to pay rent or mortagage!

The Wayward Home Podcast Links and Resources

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