4 Money Tips for Van Life

Just as the grass always looks greener on the other side, van life can look thrilling and romantic from the outside.  Yes, there are practical benefits of turning a van into a home. But, that means a lot of research and a budget. If you’d love to be on wheels, start by thinking about finances before anything else.

Here, we’ll discuss a few tips to afford the cost of van life without getting into financial trouble. So, here we go:

Evaluate your needs and budget

What are your needs and how much you can afford to spend on a van? Calculate the cost of converting a van into a home with the basic amenities. If you can convert it yourself, you can save a lot of money. Otherwise, shop around for a conversion company that fits your budget.

List of the basic things that you want to have in your van. This will help you decide the type of vehicle you want to be in.  A few things to consider before converting, will it accommodate an oven, toilet, bed, shower, refrigerator, etc.?

A large vehicle can accommodate a wide variety of amenities. But that comes at a higher price tag.

Pay in cash

The best way to save money on a van is to pay in cash. What if you don’t have the cash to buy a van? Or, what if you want to save that cash for the conversion? Well, in that case, you can look for financing options. You can even ask the dealer for their recommendations.

Auto lenders won’t give you money for a conversion van. Other financial institutions may refuse to issue loans for vans used for work. So what other options do you have?

You can apply for an RV loan, which is typically used for financing a recreational vehicle. But is that enough to cover your conversion cost? Converting a van’s interior into a home is undoubtedly expensive. Only the sky’s the limit here. If an RV loan or cash is not enough to cover your entire expenses, you can take out an unsecured personal loan for the rest.

You can apply for unsecured personal loans online within a few clicks. These loans usually get processed quickly, and you can expect to get the money fast. However, there are a few things that you need to keep in mind.

  • Personal loan interest rates can be as low as 10% and as high as 32%. It all depends upon your credit score.
  • You can expect to find a personal loan at a 10% interest rate with an excellent credit score. A 750 plus credit score is usually considered a stellar credit score.
  • However, if your credit score is below 600, then lenders may charge as much as a 32% interest rate on personal loans.
  • If you can qualify for a large loan, you can use the entire amount for buying a van and converting it into a home. Usually, unsecured personal loans don’t require collateral, so lenders are less likely to ask you about the van. Even then, to be on the safe side, it’s best to read the loan agreement carefully to avoid breaching the contract unknowingly.

Buy an RV insurance policy

An RV insurance policy gives you protection in the event of a loss or an accident. It helps you cover the cost arising out of a breakdown.

Shop around for the cheapest RV insurance policy in town. Browse online to find the various ways to grab discounts. When you spend a significant amount of time of the year on the road, an RV insurance policy is a must.

Build an emergency fund

Unexpected expenses are bound to come when you are on road 24/7. Those expenses are enough to break your budget. Many people assume they are done with expenses after the conversion. But that is a myth.

Expenses actually begin after you hit the road. Unless you set aside an amount to build an emergency fund, it will be tough to cover your unforeseen expenses.


Some other ways to reduce the cost of van life include cooking meals instead of eating out, paying for fuel from the cheapest gas stations in cash, and planning must-dos ahead of time.

When you are on the road for hours a day, the temptation to eat nice meals from restaurants is great. But that would chip away your savings fast. So it makes sense to learn a few quick and delicious recipes.  You can also easily locate the cheapest gas stations from Google Maps. And when you pay for gas in cash, the fuel stations are likely to give you discounts.  Keeping a solid plan on the road is the best way to keep yourself on track with your budget while you’re still learning the ropes.


Author Bio

Lyle Solomon has considerable litigation experience as well as substantial hands-on knowledge and expertise in legal analysis and writing. He graduated from the University of the Pacific’s McGeorge School of Law and now serves as a principal attorney for the Oak View Law Group (https://www.ovlg.com)


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