The downsizing trend is not going anywhere – if you still need to be told that after seeing how well it plays and pays on social media. The world is heading towards a new financial downturn, with the housing crisis worsening as the cost of living spikes. Many of us will be cutting down our expenses, if we’re not doing it already, and that may include relocating.
If this new viral story is any indication, we’re about to witness a deluge of (mostly) young people turning vanlifers and tiny house dwellers. Ollie and Tessie, two 23-year-olds from Bristol, England, are making a strong argument for this, saying that they estimate to save up to £8,000 (roughly $9,200 at the current exchange rate) a year by ditching their house and moving into a van conversion.
Wales Online), they still live in a shared rental house, but they’ve already made arrangements for their next home, which just so happens to have wheels. It’s a Ford Transit that had already been converted when they bought it, so they only had to do a proper clean-up and whatever improvements they deemed necessary. The total cost of the move is of £15,000 ($17,200), but the two consider it an investment into their future.
For starters, the van came with solar panels on the roof, as well as a charger that connects to an alternator in the engine. They will also be relying on a gas canister for the oven, and a wood burner that will double as cooktop and heater, but neither involves an expense comparable to having to pay a monthly bill for gas.
As for those saying that vanlife is proving too expensive right now due to the fluctuating price of gasoline, that’s not actually a problem for them because they don’t really plan to travel all that much. They might head out to see Europe next year, but for the time being, the focus is on not getting themselves into debt just so they can have a roof over their head.
This sounds very dramatic, but Ollie and Tessie are excited about the lifestyle change. To further cut down expenses, Ollie, who works as a delivery driver, did whatever work was still needed on the van himself. He lists adding a shower room and moving the toilet inside it, upgrading the audio system, and fitting a king-size mattress in the rear, where the bedroom area is. Photos show an interior that is cramped but still cozy, with a certain rustic, log cabin vibe thanks to the use of plywood for the walls and ceiling and, of course, that wood burner.
“It's definitely big enough for the two of us, we have just had to be strict with ourselves on what we actually need,” Ollie explains. “We have stripped back a lot on our possessions to make this work, but it's quite liberating only keeping the things you really need. We're really excited for the adventures to come, and are looking forward to having some more money in our pocket as a result of our change of lifestyle.”
Cutting expenses by downsizing, whichever way it is achieved, is definitely not for everyone, but at least it’s an option. And many will be using it.