She lives in a van so as not to pay rent and saves over 13,000 euros a year -
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She lives in a van so as not to pay rent and saves over 13,000 euros a year

October 13, 2021 • By Alison Forde

Rental costs have become a luxury on today's wages. There are many young people who are looking for alternative solutions to avoid having to work just to see a large part of their salary go out in a monthly fee to the owner of the property where they live. A young woman from New Zealand had a simple idea: she decided to live in a van so that she could live freely and, possibly, save to buy her own property. Of course, you need to know how to adapt to living in a confined space and put up with some inconveniences, but the savings at the end of the month are truly amazing.

Brittany Cosgrove, 27, from Wellington, New Zealand, worked eight hours a day as a stylist, only to see most of her salary go out in rent for a "damp, smelly and cramped" studio apartment. How many people are living in her condition? So she decided to do something to improve her financial situation. She bought a van for £6,000, fitted it out and started a new life in her own vehicle.

Of course it's about organizing a space where she can keep the bare minimum of stuff required to live and it might seem small for many people. "Small?" Said Brittany, "you should see the size of some apartments that are being rented. They are no bigger than a closet, but they are rented out as if they were houses. Space is, for me, above all a matter of organization."

Of course they are not all hearts and flowers. For example, there is no real comfortable bathroom. But our New Zealand stylist has thought of this too. "This is only a problem in the colder winter months," explained Brittany. "In this period, you need to find a campsite or a service area where you can take advantage of the bathroom facilities. I have to say that there are a lot of nice places where you can have a good shower!" In the summer, this enterprising woman uses a portable shower that allows her total autonomy.

If we look at it financially, it is easy to see the benefits of this lifestyle choice. The van costs Brittany around £50 a week, which also includes maintenance, petrol and parking. A much lower cost than rental prices than in Wellington, which in Brittany's hometown can cost as much as £100 a week for a shared room.


“When I came up with this idea,” Brittany said, “I was hoping to buy a nice new car. But when I saw this 1991 Nissan I immediately fell in love with it. Today in my space I feel really good, autonomous and independent. A solution that I would recommend to all young people who are determined to better organize their lives."

Now do your math: how much would you save without paying a rent (with all the associated expenses) each month?

Tags: Curious Stories

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