Economics of Living in a Van

vanlife economics

Many people live in tiny vans for a variety of reason: some like the bohemian lifestyle, some think of it as a way to spend less while some live in a van to travel around and explore new places. Whatever the motive may be behind your van dwelling, it is important to understand the economics of it.

Initial Investment

First of all you will need some money to start living in a van because obviously you are going to need a van. And the bitter truth is that van’s can be a bit expensive. Even those dilapidated old ones from the 80s can cost quite some fortune. This is one major reason that puts people off from starting living in a van. In case you already have a van, then you are good to go. But for those who do not own a van, buying an old and inexpensive one can be a plausible solution.

However, you will have to cash out some money for modifications and repairs, if any, which can cost up to $2000. Why so much money for modifications? For starters, you will need to buy stuff like sleeping bags, utensils, a power source, may be a heater etc. If there are any damages, you might have to send it to a garage beforehand.

Comparing the Costs

The important thing to do before embarking on the living in a van journey is to calculate the costs and compare it with other choices. If buying a van, repairing it and maintaining it costs more than your yearly rent, you might want to think again about it. But even after some initial investment, you are able to save money as compared to living in a house or apartment then by all means go for the van option. The good thing about van is that you will avoid the parking fee as RVs in contrast can put you down around $25 per night easily.

Funds for Future Repairs

One more thing to keep in mind is to keep some money as an emergency fund in case your van breaks down, especially, if you knowingly skipped some repairs. If you make sure everything in the van is fine then you do not have to worry about calling a mechanic every now and then. The maintenance costs depend on you as an owner how well you keep the van. If you drive it around a lot then also count in fuel costs in your budget.

Breaking Even

It is highly likely that you will break even soon enough besides saving money because of the van. Like other cars, the value of the van will not depreciate much while it is with you. In fact, it might be of more value if you have done some serious repairing and revamping on it. You can always sell it and get your money back even after a couple of months provided the condition is good.

Understanding money matters before indulging into anything is wise but sometimes your motivation to do something is more about the experience than the money. It all comes down to you whether you are setting off on a van for adventure or saving money.

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