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HOT TOPIC Living in a van down by the river

Rabby

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I'll have plenty of time to follow that link when I'm living in a van down by the river!

Such a great skit.

@bdb I see no problem with going minimalist, especially if you feel optimistic and "up" in natural surroundings. We don't need a lot of distractions when we're starting things. Logistically, if I were doing this, I would make sure I had good shower facilities, and maybe a coworking/reading space (library even) nearby for when the van felt cramped or isolated.
 

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Vitaly the Winne

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I'll have plenty of time to follow that link when I'm living in a van down by the river!

Such a great skit.

@bdb I see no problem with going minimalist, especially if you feel optimistic and "up" in natural surroundings. We don't need a lot of distractions when we're starting things. Logistically, if I were doing this, I would make sure I had good shower facilities, and maybe a coworking/reading space (library even) nearby for when the van felt cramped or isolated.
Hahaha, it gets me every time :).

As far as minimalism goes it can actually be a huge advantage in this sense. You eliminate a lot of things that are wasting your time or crowding your space, and only leaving room for the bare essentials and the things that you're really looking forward to. Like Bruce Lee once said, eliminate the non essentials, instead of adding more.
 

ChrisV

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This thread has me legit reassessing my whole life.

It would be totally awesome to just pimp out a Mercedes Sprinter van and travel the country

Apparantly this is a big thing now. I thought I was the only one who would love doing that:


P.S. - there are some wicked hot girls doing this 'Van Life' thing

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UG8QnjT57UY

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3AYEq9s2kLo
 
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bdb

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I'll have plenty of time to follow that link when I'm living in a van down by the river!

Such a great skit.

@bdb I see no problem with going minimalist, especially if you feel optimistic and "up" in natural surroundings. We don't need a lot of distractions when we're starting things. Logistically, if I were doing this, I would make sure I had good shower facilities, and maybe a coworking/reading space (library even) nearby for when the van felt cramped or isolated.
Appreciate the input man.

The more I read about this the more it makes sense to at least try it for some months.

1) It allows you to work and bootstrap your business with peace of mind. No need to pay for rent every month. No need to sign a 1 year lease or worry about mortgage.

2) As you said, it forces you to become minimalist. You cannot buy things as you'd be able to do in an apartment.

3) You wont get complacent. Living in a car/van is not a long term solution so I believe in some way it will force you to give your 100%.

Personally right now my biggest fear is losing the job and having to pay rent or mortgage without having any mobility. My lease will end soon so I'm seeing if this is doable or not.

The way I see it though ( I might be wrong ) is that this lifestyle would only be possible for 100% digital startups. If you are selling tangible products yourself this might not be a good idea.
 
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reedracer

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Appreciate the input man.

The more I read about this the more it makes sense to at least try it for some months.

1) It allows you to work and bootstrap your business with peace of mind. No need to pay for rent every month. No need to sign a 1 year lease or worry about mortgage.

2) As you said, it forces you to become minimalist. You cannot buy things as you'd be able to do in an apartment.

3) You wont get complacent. Living in a car/van is not a long term solution so I believe in some way it will force you to give your 100%.

Personally right now my biggest fear is losing the job and having to pay rent or mortgage without having any mobility. My lease will end soon so I'm seeing if this is doable or not.

The way I see it though ( I might be wrong ) is that this lifestyle would only be possible for 100% digital startups. If you are selling tangible products yourself this might not be a good idea.
Any of the interpersonal trades, too. Coaching, consulting, masseuse, and we've all seen the mobile dog groomers, lol
 

splok

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How did you get mail, and have your car registered?
Google mail scanning. There are plenty of services that will accept your mail and scan it, so you can access it online. They'll also forward anything you want forwarded. I started using one for a US address when I was living overseas, but when I came back, I kept it. For me, this is MUCH better than normal mail even if you have a stable address. Never deal with junkmail again, have archived copies of all your important mails automatically, etc. Fantastic service for the money. You'd have to sort something else out for anything that needs a physical address, but there have only been a couple of times where my mailing address being in a different state was an issue.

For anyone looking into this, do some research into the truck and travel trailer option. A lot of people don't even consider this since most of the RVs that you see for sale are really expensive, but you can find old travel trailers on craigslist for just a couple of k. It's a bit more complicated, but you'll have a much higher quality of life. You probably won't be able to live in a starbucks parking lot for a couple of weeks at a time, but you can also drive off in the middle of nowhere for a couple of weeks instead (also google BLM land, if you aren't familiar). It also gives you the ability to drop the trailer and drive around in a normal vehicle when needed.
 

EarlOfChina

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If I was young and didn't have dependents, I'd SO do this.
 

Kak

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I thought I would let this go, but I’m not going to.

Am I the only one willing to point out the paradox of a group of people dedicated to millionaire entrepreneurship advocating living in a van?

If you want to travel the country in an RV, do it by choice, in a cool RV. Not out of some notion that you need to save $600 in rent money for your “business.”

This reminds me of the dumpster diving thread where someone was proud of themselves for finding a 10 year old MacBook that “worked.”

I know, I’m a relic. I live in a home, have a wife, have good grammar, buy my own computers and wear suits sometimes.

“Gasp! Suits are uncomfortable. Grammar nazis are stoopid. I know, let’s live in a f****ng van and go dumpster diving! Oneitis!”

Living in a van doesn't make you cool, it makes you homeless.
 
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Andy Black

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My favourite trips ever were motorbike trips. You realise how little stuff you need. Just wash clothes every night. Or buy new ones Jack Reacher style.

I planned a 3 month solo bike trip round Europe, but some scumbags set fire to a car near my bike and a couple of other things happened that made me think I’d better skip that trip.

Even last year I toyed with the idea of getting a van and kitting it out as an office I could work in, and drive to different places and work there for the day.

I like the idea of being able to live in a van and tour a country or two, growing my business at the same time. I’m amazed and thankful how much can be done remotely, even with just a phone.
 

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Rabby

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@Kak I don't know that the OP is doing this just to save $600... I read it more as a way to eliminate distraction and do something he wants to do along with starting his company. Like Thoreau staying at Walden Pond while he wrote... well yeah, Walden Pond. I agree it's not worth it to save money this way. There are as many problems (electricity, running water) as benefits (no reason not to work because wth else are you gonna do in a van). It might be worth it for someone who needs a change of scenery though. And temporary... not for years, I imagine.
 
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Kak

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@Kak I don't know that the OP is doing this just to save $600... I read it more as a way to eliminate distraction and do something he wants to do along with starting his company. Like Thoreau staying at Walden Pond while he wrote... well yeah, Walden Pond. I agree it's not worth it to save money this way. There are as many problems (electricity, running water) as benefits (no reason not to work because wth else are you gonna do in a van). It might be worth it for someone who needs a change of scenery though. And temporary... not for years, I imagine.
I see the point everyone is trying to make, but I call bullshit. If you can't take care of business at home you are not going to do any better just because you live in a van. It is an excuse, an action fake and a dodge of responsibility.

"I'm movin' to a van to grow my empire." Yeah ok. Let me know when the millions start flowing and be sure to bring your food stamps with you.
 
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YoungPadawan

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bdb

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I see the point everyone is trying to make, but I call bullshit. If you can't take care of business at home you are not going to do any better just because you live in a van. It is an excuse, an action fake and a dodge of responsibility.

"I'm movin' to a van to grow my empire." Yeah ok. Let me know when the millions start flowing and be sure to bring your food stamps with you.
:rofl: Maybe it's not about growing an empire but more like cutting costs while at the same time focusing on starting the business.

I earn an ok wage but I am poor, no major assets, so not having to pay 700 bucks every month plus utility bills in addition to all the rest of expenses is a big plus.

Say you have 15k dollars saved up and your monthly expenses are 1400 bucks (rent + car + food + misc). If you are looking at quitting your job and going full time on the business then:

15000 / 1400 = about 10.5 months of full time work on your business

if you remove rent plus utilities, say 700 a month for the cheapest rent.
your total expenses will be close to 700 bucks.

15000 / 700 = about 21 months of fulltime work on your business

In addition to that being out there in a self imposed homelessness kind of makes it very real, so you kind of have to work. Some people say to focus on other things that you can do while having a fulltime job. Well personally the only thing I can do is development & art, both take time, lots of it to get something off the ground.

Having said that, I have not made my mind. :rofl:

Thanks a lot for the feedback.
 

Kak

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Well personally the only thing I can do is...
Why do you think you can only do that? Who decided that? Why?
 

ChrisV

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I thought I would let this go, but I’m not going to.

Am I the only one willing to point out the paradox of a group of people dedicated to millionaire entrepreneurship advocating living in a van?

If you want to travel the country in an RV, do it by choice, in a cool RV. Not out of some notion that you need to save $600 in rent money for your “business.”

This reminds me of the dumpster diving thread where someone was proud of themselves for finding a 10 year old MacBook that “worked.”

I know, I’m a relic. I live in a home, have a wife, have good grammar, buy my own computers and wear suits sometimes.

“Gasp! Suits are uncomfortable. Grammar nazis are stoopid. I know, let’s live in a f****ng van and go dumpster diving! Oneitis!”

Living in a van doesn't make you cool, it makes you homeless.
No I've looked into the RV thing a while back and considered doing it.. they're too clunky. And it's not so much about saving money as it would be badass to just go where ever you want. I'm a home owner. I honestly hate it. I hate being tied down.
 

ChrisV

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I see the point everyone is trying to make, but I call bullshit. If you can't take care of business at home you are not going to do any better just because you live in a van. It is an excuse, an action fake and a dodge of responsibility.

"I'm movin' to a van to grow my empire." Yeah ok. Let me know when the millions start flowing and be sure to bring your food stamps with you.
No he makes a good point. I mean I don't know where the hell you guys live that you're getting rent for $600/mo, but I live in New York. Here a 1 bedroom will run you ~$1500/mo. By cutting that cost you can likely quit whatever job you have and actually have time to work on whatever business you're planning. I did the same shit. Sold my place, banked the money, and took a bunch of Data Science classes with all the free time I had. Smartest shit I ever did. You strike me as someone who comes from a wealthy family, and if that's so, it would be harder to understand. I come from a well-to-do family as well, so I can't even fully understand. Like if the shit ever were to really hit the fan for me, I could call my family and have them bail me out. But not everyone has that, so he's doing what he needs to do.

But the rest of us aren't talking about saving money.. we just think it would be badass. 'By choice.'

Yea, whatever.. RV. We’re basically talking about converting a Sprinter into an RV. I think all of us do pretty alright financially. We’re not talking about taking the “Free Candy” van and putting down a piss-stained mattress. We're talking a nice little mobile setup.

25648

I'm with the RV thing but RVs are too big. Like an RV you can’t even park anywhere aside from RV parks. It’s like “okay i’m here with my RV.. beep beep, do you have 6 parking spots i can borrow?”

25649


Plus If you’re under the age of 76, you should not have one of those.

But back to the OP, there are plenty of people on here who moved back in with their parents in order to have time to do their thing. Same principle, he just obviously doesn't have that option.

So yes, I definitely advocate it. You’re gonna have to sacrifice in the beginning stages of a business. I’m sure he prefers living in his comfortable apartment, but the fact that he’s willing to suck it up for a year and live basically in a shithole is doing what you have to do to get where you want to get. But I will admit your posts cracked me up.
 
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No I've looked into the RV thing a while back and considered doing it.. they're too clunky. And it's not so much about saving money as it would be badass to just go where ever you want. I'm a home owner. I honestly hate it. I hate being tied down.
I've been looking into RVs but yeah they are clunky and expensive. I've read people saying even new RVs are made cheaply. If I had money I would start a conversion company :)

In some ways I am afraid to be tied down too.
Very recently I was living in a big city in Texas and had a 1 year lease on an apartment. A few months later I lost my job and I couldn't find anything in the city, the offers I was getting were from other cities and in order to break the lease I needed to pay something like 6000 dollars. In the end I managed to find an ok job but it was an extremely stressful time, having to pay rent and not having a job for months is just awful.
 
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bdb

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Why do you think you can only do that? Who decided that? Why?
I mean that is something I am currently paid to do professionally, coding and art. Sadly I haven't had any luck with any of my past side projects mainly due to lack of time. Released a bunch of small apps and none of them made any good money. That's why I believe that I need time to actually tackle more meaningful projects.
 
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No he makes a good point. I mean I don't know where the hell you guys live that you're getting rent for $600/mo, but I live in New York. Here a 1 bedroom will run you ~$1500/mo. By cutting that cost you can likely quit whatever job you have and actually have time to work on whatever business you're planning. I did the same shit. Sold my place, banked the money, and took a bunch of Data Science classes with all the free time I had. Smartest shit I ever did. You strike me as someone who comes from a wealthy family, and if that's so it would be harder to understand. I come from a well-to-do family as well, so I can't even fully understand.

It's not a long term solution, especially if you want a family, but it would sure as shit be fun for a year or two.
You can get that low in some of those lonely Texas towns. If you move to a big city, like Houston or Dallas, that will get you a single room in airbnb (600-800 usd a month).

Its great that you made such a big decision, selling your stuff and going all in your business. Is your business related to AI / Machine Learning ?
 

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ChrisV

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Its great that you made such a big decision, selling your stuff and going all in your business. Is your business related to AI / Machine Learning ?
It was a long story. I was commuting like an hour and a half every day where I lived, and I realllllllyyyy needed to get work done. It wasn’t even some noble sacrificial shit it was just literally impossible to get anything done between the commute and everything else. Re: the business, I'll message you since I don't talk too much about it on the forums.
 

Neng Her

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There's a Youtube channel call Thehomelessfirefighter and he is located around my town. Pretty cool perspective.
 
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lewj24

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:rofl: Maybe it's not about growing an empire but more like cutting costs while at the same time focusing on starting the business.

I earn an ok wage but I am poor, no major assets, so not having to pay 700 bucks every month plus utility bills in addition to all the rest of expenses is a big plus.

Say you have 15k dollars saved up and your monthly expenses are 1400 bucks (rent + car + food + misc). If you are looking at quitting your job and going full time on the business then:

15000 / 1400 = about 10.5 months of full time work on your business

if you remove rent plus utilities, say 700 a month for the cheapest rent.
your total expenses will be close to 700 bucks.

15000 / 700 = about 21 months of fulltime work on your business

In addition to that being out there in a self imposed homelessness kind of makes it very real, so you kind of have to work. Some people say to focus on other things that you can do while having a fulltime job. Well personally the only thing I can do is development & art, both take time, lots of it to get something off the ground.

Having said that, I have not made my mind. :rofl:

Thanks a lot for the feedback.
Are these your real numbers? I can't tell if you just made these numbers up or not.

This idea seems idiotic unless the numbers actually add up. This is the most important question. Do the numbers work? How much will you actually save by doing this? How much will it cost? How much time will you save? How much time will it cost?

You're dancing around the real questions. You're "mentally masturbating" and not considering that it might not be so green on the other side.

Things you disregard now will become more time consuming and challenging. Things like cooking, showering, doing laundry, sleeping, etc. They could even cost you more money or more time. What's your plan for these things? How much will they cost?

I feel like it will cost you more than you think and you will end up working a job while now living in your car. A step back for no reason.

Lets say you will save tons of money and, using your numbers above, you will now have 21 months to work on your business instead of 10.5. Is this even a big deal? I don't think it should take you longer than 10 months to start making money on your business. If it does, your living situation isn't the problem.

If you have 10 months saved up why don't you quit your job, stay in your place and if you don't make a penny in 6 months throw in the towel and give yourself 4 months to find a new job. Then rinse and repeat.
 

Rabby

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I see the point everyone is trying to make, but I call bullshit. If you can't take care of business at home you are not going to do any better just because you live in a van. It is an excuse, an action fake and a dodge of responsibility.

"I'm movin' to a van to grow my empire." Yeah ok. Let me know when the millions start flowing and be sure to bring your food stamps with you.
Ok, you may have me there. It does sound fun though. Also the SNL skit. I might burst a kidney laughing if I watch that one more time. It never gets old.
 
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Are these your real numbers? I can't tell if you just made these numbers up or not.

This idea seems idiotic unless the numbers actually add up. This is the most important question. Do the numbers work? How much will you actually save by doing this? How much will it cost? How much time will you save? How much time will it cost?

You're dancing around the real questions. You're "mentally masturbating" and not considering that it might not be so green on the other side.

Things you disregard now will become more time consuming and challenging. Things like cooking, showering, doing laundry, sleeping, etc. They could even cost you more money or more time. What's your plan for these things? How much will they cost?

I feel like it will cost you more than you think and you will end up working a job while now living in your car. A step back for no reason.

Lets say you will save tons of money and, using your numbers above, you will now have 21 months to work on your business instead of 10.5. Is this even a big deal? I don't think it should take you longer than 10 months to start making money on your business. If it does, your living situation isn't the problem.

If you have 10 months saved up why don't you quit your job, stay in your place and if you don't make a penny in 6 months throw in the towel and give yourself 4 months to find a new job. Then rinse and repeat.
:rofl: Let's throw some real numbers

- My current rent is around 900 a month for a cheap apartment under a 1 year lease. If you add internet and utilities, its ends up being about 1200 dollars a month.

- In addition to that I pay around 160 bucks for vehicle insurance and around 200 dollars a month in gas.

- 350 bucks roughly for food

- Finally about 100 bucks for gym and cell phone plan

1200 + 160 + 200 + 350 + 100 = ~2010 USD per month

If I remove the apartment out of the equation I'm left with:

160 + 200 + 350 + 100 = 810 USD per month

Let's round it up to 1000 USD for other expenses like paying for a small storage unit or more gas etc.

In total it would be around, 1000 USD per month living out of the car/van.

Showering can be done at the gym, just need a 24 hour gym plan and you can shower every day after exercising.

Food, there is definitely going to be a change of diet, lots of cheap vegetables, seeds, nuts, healthy shakes and the like. For storage there are things like these,

Amazon.com: Alpicool C20 Portable Refrigerator 21 Quart(20 Liter) Vehicle, Car, Truck, RV, Boat, Mini fridge freezer for Driving, Travel, Fishing, Outdoor and Home use -12/24V DC and 110-240 AC: Kitchen & Dining

How much would I save ? around 15k a year. It's not about saving for me though (although its related), its more about allowing you to quit the job and go fulltime into whatever you want with minimal expenses. Also if you are into that lifestyle you can play around with your expenses, want to save more money ? eat cheaper food, drive less etc.

As NengHer above said (great youtuber btw) some people do it for the money, specially in the bay area.

Thanks for your thoughts.
 
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lewj24

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:rofl: Let's throw some real numbers

- My current rent is around 900 a month for a cheap apartment under a 1 year lease. If you add internet and utilities, its ends up being about 1200 dollars a month.

- In addition to that I pay around 160 bucks for vehicle insurance and around 200 dollars a month in gas.

- 350 bucks roughly for food

- Finally about 100 bucks for gym and cell phone plan

1200 + 160 + 200 + 350 + 100 = ~2010 USD per month

If I remove the apartment out of the equation I'm left with:

160 + 200 + 350 + 100 = 810 USD per month

Let's round it up to 1000 USD for other expenses like paying for a small storage unit or more gas etc.

In total it would be around, 1000 USD per month living out of the car/van.

Showering can be done at the gym, just need a 24 hour gym plan and you can shower every day after exercising.

Food, there is definitely going to be a change of diet, lots of cheap vegetables, seeds, nuts, healthy shakes and the like. For storage there are things like these,

Amazon.com: Alpicool C20 Portable Refrigerator 21 Quart(20 Liter) Vehicle, Car, Truck, RV, Boat, Mini fridge freezer for Driving, Travel, Fishing, Outdoor and Home use -12/24V DC and 110-240 AC: Kitchen & Dining

How much would I save ? around 15k a year. It's not about saving for me though (although its related), its more about allowing you to quit the job and go fulltime into whatever you want with minimal expenses. Also if you are into that lifestyle you can play around with your expenses, want to save more money ? eat cheaper food, drive less etc.

As NengHer above said (great youtuber btw) some people do it for the money, specially in the bay area.

Thanks for your thoughts.
Okay, so based off your numbers you save 15k per year. But you say you are going to quit your job so you actually will be losing 12k per year (not including money used to start a business). How long can you sustain that? Whats the plan if you go broke? Why not just keep your place and quit your job? Do you really have to live in your car to do this?
 

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Looking at your numbers I feel very lucky. I'm living in Brazil just 100km from Rio de Janeiro, paying just 300$ month for an apartment and i'm at 4 blocks from an amazing beach. the world is crazy. At the same time people pay 1500$ for one bedroom in new york wtf.
 

Brian Suh

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Hey guys,

I've been thinking about going full time with my business instead of dedicating my best hours to my slowlane job, but I need to pay for the roof over my head plus vehicle expenses and food every month. What do you guys think about living in a vehicle in order to quit my job, cut expenses and do actual work on the business every day?

I'm a developer and I'm finding it very hard to come home after a long day of work and start coding websites & apps for my business. I tried waking up earlier but again 3 hours a day (max I could do efficiently without it affecting my slowlane job) is not enough time to get some of these development projects to a MVP state. My biggest concern is not feeling comfortable in a vehicle, but then that might be an additional help in forcing me to put the long hours to get out of that self imposed homelessness.

I know this does not apply to those with families but has anyone done it in the past successfully ?
For those who have experience, Is it harder to get a business going if you are living in a vehicle ?
Is it nonsense ? would it be better to move to the cheapest apartment in the cheapest state instead ?
I’d say do it man. It will further remove the script telling you happiness is found in materialistic things. Happiness is found in the struggle onto the materialistic things
 

Andy Black

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:rofl: Let's throw some real numbers

- My current rent is around 900 a month for a cheap apartment under a 1 year lease. If you add internet and utilities, its ends up being about 1200 dollars a month.

- In addition to that I pay around 160 bucks for vehicle insurance and around 200 dollars a month in gas.

- 350 bucks roughly for food

- Finally about 100 bucks for gym and cell phone plan

1200 + 160 + 200 + 350 + 100 = ~2010 USD per month

If I remove the apartment out of the equation I'm left with:

160 + 200 + 350 + 100 = 810 USD per month

Let's round it up to 1000 USD for other expenses like paying for a small storage unit or more gas etc.

In total it would be around, 1000 USD per month living out of the car/van.

Showering can be done at the gym, just need a 24 hour gym plan and you can shower every day after exercising.

Food, there is definitely going to be a change of diet, lots of cheap vegetables, seeds, nuts, healthy shakes and the like. For storage there are things like these,

Amazon.com: Alpicool C20 Portable Refrigerator 21 Quart(20 Liter) Vehicle, Car, Truck, RV, Boat, Mini fridge freezer for Driving, Travel, Fishing, Outdoor and Home use -12/24V DC and 110-240 AC: Kitchen & Dining

How much would I save ? around 15k a year. It's not about saving for me though (although its related), its more about allowing you to quit the job and go fulltime into whatever you want with minimal expenses. Also if you are into that lifestyle you can play around with your expenses, want to save more money ? eat cheaper food, drive less etc.

As NengHer above said (great youtuber btw) some people do it for the money, specially in the bay area.

Thanks for your thoughts.
You’re talking about saving $1k/mth.

What can you do to earn an *extra* $1k/mth instead?

What if you put your ingenuity and energy into earning more money rather than saving money?

What do you need to do to get a client **this week** who will pay you $250/mth?

If you got an extra $250/mth client this week then what does that do to your runway?

Can you get a new $250/mth client each month? What would that do to your runway?

Can you get a new client each week? What would that look like in 3 months?


As much as I like the idea of the freedom (and cool factor) of having a mobile van office I could live in at a stretch, I think you’re asking yourself the wrong questions. Do it because you can, not because you need to.



The super computer between your ears is going to solve whatever questions you ask it.

What if you were to ask yourself better questions?
 
Last edited:

Andy Black

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Why do you think you can only do that? Who decided that? Why?
I’m with @Kak on this.

The job of the business owner is not to answer questions, but to ask better questions.

What if you were to ask yourself better questions?
 

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