Van Life Monthly Spending Breakdown

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It can be really difficult to gauge a monthly budget for a lifestyle that you haven’t experienced yet. I know it was super hard for me before actually living on the road to figure out how much I would need to make each month. Obviously there’s not one correct answer and yours will be different. But I figured it would be beneficial to at least show you mine to help with your own monthly breakdown. I travel at least a little almost every day and have my fair share of bills. So this is what monthly van life expenses look like with a little advice on how to save before you ever hit the road.

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MY MONTHLY EXPENSES

I broke this down in two categories. Fixed costs are the things I cannot change. Bills that have to be paid every month no matter my financial situation. Variable costs are the things that can fluctuate depending on how much I’m traveling, eating out, etc.

Fixed Costs

$ 680 Monthly
  • Van Payment $250
  • Van Insurance $100
  • Student Loan $300
  • Subscriptions (i.e. netflix, etc) $30

Variable Costs

$ 920 Monthly
  • Food $300
  • Gas $400
  • Dog Misc. (i.e. food, etc.) $120
  • Miscellaneous $100

MONTHLY TOTAL: $1,600

This “My Money For My Life” course was designed to get your finances more organized and put you on track to start tackling your dream. I highly recommend it for anyone ready for a lot more financial freedom. There are several accountability worksheets and tons of advice to get you where you want to be.

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SAVING UP FOR VAN LIFE

I had no clue what I was going to do to make money on the road but I was determined to figure it out. In the meantime though, I needed to save as much money as possible to pay for the build and last me until I got a permanent income figured out. These are all the things that I did to leave with a pretty hefty savings account when I got on the road. Sticking to these and holding yourself accountable is the difference between living your dream or staying where you’re at. 

  • Selling all your furniture. You don’t need it anymore. If there’s anything you can use for your build, keep it and lower the cost for your van conversion. But sell absolutely everything else. I went 2 weeks with almost no furniture in my apartment because I was selling anything I could!
  • Stop spending extra money. No more Starbucks on your way to work. Spending money on random things is always the one that takes the most discipline. If you have to, keep your cards at home and only carry $20 in case of emergency. Impulse buys will can make a huge difference when added up.
  • Sell any extra clothes. I put clothes on Poshmark, Facebook marketplace, took them to Plato’s closet. Cut your closet in half. And then cut in half again.
  • Start hustling. I babysat on the weekends, worked my full- time job during the week, and built this website when I got home. Start doing anything you can to make extra money.

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