Roadside Riches – How to Save Money Living in a Van

People choose different ways to put money aside. Some opt to move to a smaller apartment or parents’ house, while others cut their expenses by staying away from eating out and buying new clothes. Some others even go extreme (at first glance) and try living in a van. 

Vanlife is a tremendous way to save a buck and get an unforgettable experience. Trying this way of living can broaden your horizons, help you meet lovely and inspiring people, and become a part of a beautiful community of all ages.

In this article, we cast light on how to lead an efficient and enjoyable van life and save enough resources for your goals.

Discussing Different Types of Vans Suitable for Living

In choosing a cost-efficient van life, focus on the vehicle itself first. A car selection will vary depending on your budget, occupation, endeavors, and requirements. If you’re single, we’d recommend considering something relatively compact and invisible for the surroundings. Small and medium-size vans are perfect for living in comfort. 


Traveling Non-Stop?

Many people wrongly believe that if you have a van, you must always be on the road. That’s just not true. Countless van dwellers are pretty static because of studies and/or work. 

“Why live in a van if you are tied to one place?” you might ask. The van life lets you live wherever you want, however long you want. You can, for instance, anchor down to a specific place with beautiful scenery for a week and work from there, enjoying the tranquility and picturesque views. 

Remote work is real, especially for nomads, as it can help you live in surplus and explore new stunning places. If you haven’t landed a remote position yet, ensure you first organize your camper so that you have a dedicated place to work. Once ready to begin your job-looking process, use a resume maker to design professional and attention-getting applications. And don’t restrict yourself to online options. You might as well pay attention to seasonal work.

So the answer is no, you don’t need to travel non-stop when living in a van unless you feel like it.

The Importance of Purchasing a Cost-Effective and Reliable Van

Although not a new way of living, a nomadic lifestyle has been in the spotlight. We can now observe numerous fancy campers and RVs with fully equipped kitchens, bathrooms, toilets, and giant TV screens. That’s not an option for you if you’re looking to save money. 

You need to pay close attention to a van, which must be sturdy, reliable, and cost-effective. You don’t just want to purchase a good-looking vehicle, as maintaining it might be expensive and arduous. So, ensure to find something that will serve you without significant issues. Vehicles like RAM ProMaster City (Fiat Doblo), Ford Transit (or Transit Connect), Fiat Ducato, Nissan NV (NV200), and Volkswagen Transporter are your go-to options.

Suggestions for Affordable Materials and Tools for Van Conversion

Whatever your purpose of van dwelling is, you need to make your vehicle comfortable for living 24/7. Hence, dealing with things like insulation and flooring is non-negotiable. You want to make the inside warm and noise-free, especially when the temperature drops. There are various materials to insulate your van. Sheep wool is an excellent, environmentally friendly material to keep your space toasty. 


Also, don’t shy away from using repurposed wood and second-hand furniture when organizing the inside space. Giving it a unique touch will make a space quirky and engaging.

A Note on Typical Expenses – Fuel, Insurance, Maintenance

You don’t want to realize your vehicle is a gas guzzler once you buy it. So, educating yourself on everyday expenses, such as fuel, insurance, and maintenance, is crucial. We’d also advise you to know your car better, i.e., what’s under the hood and how it operates. Move car across country often have their own issues. Some models have weak alternators, while others might have problems with transmissions. Instead of panicking, learn what you can do to fix it yourself.

Meal Planning and Cooking

Creating a kitchen inside a van is important and manageable. All you need is a gas stove and a flat surface. However, it’s crucial to understand that your kitchen will not be nearly as big as your apartment’s. Every inch counts, so make informed decisions about where to place it. And don’t forget about the refrigerator; you need a cool area to keep your food. 

Regarding meal cooking, you’d be best prepping for days and putting your cooked food in containers and fridge. Not only will you save time and money by cooking in a batch, but you will also extend the life of food. The best way to do so is to cook one-pot dishes. Equip yourself with a solid cast-iron skillet; it’s a healthy and efficient way of cooking, especially when on the road. Besides, you don’t have to clean it diligently. A swipe or two with a wet paper towel usually does the job. 


Finally, remember to build a ventilation system. The temperature difference between the inside and outside will cause condensation, so having air circulation is essential. The venting system will also eliminate the smell from cooking, preventing garlic and onion aromas from permeating your clothes and sheets.


Being a van dweller can save money and give you an eye-opening experience, but you must approach this way of living consciously. Choosing the right-sized van is among the most important tasks if you don’t want resources siphoning for regular maintenance. 

In conclusion, living in a van isn’t just about saving money; it’s about embarking on a memorable journey. Remember, it doesn’t mean constant travel; you can anchor down and work remotely, all while enjoying breathtaking scenery. Choose a reliable, cost-effective van, insulate and personalize your space, and budget wisely for expenses. Good luck saving resources and savoring life’s wonders!