7 April 2016

25-year-old avoids rent and flatmates by moving into an old van

Jamie Waddington, a 25-year-old ex-soldier, ditched high rents and annoying flatmates for a life on the road and a £10-per-day lifestyle.
jamie waddingtonCredit: Jamie Waddington/ Mercury PressAfter what he’s described as an ‘early mid-life crisis’, Jamie Waddington from Leeds decided he’d had enough of spending up to £800 a month on rent just to share a flat with people he didn’t get on with.

Check out our guide on how to deal with tricky housemates.

In a quest to reduce costs and become almost self-sustainable, Jamie spent £750 on an old rusty LDV Convoy and (with the help of his dad) transformed the van into his home.

He originally wanted a camper van, but realised that this would set him back thousands, so opted for a van instead.

How much Jamie actually spent refurbishing the van – which he kitted out with a cooker, hob, fridge and fold out sofa bed for him to sleep on – hasn’t been disclosed, but he has revealed that he worked 80-hour weeks doing various jobs such as working as a film extra and a fireman to raise money for the project.

He and his dad spent the best part of three months on the conversion, and he’s been living in it since January.petrolJamie’s frugal existence could almost be considered self-sustainable, were it not for the fact that he doesn’t have a toilet and still needs to cough up for petrol. He claims he spends less than £10 per day, and feeds himself by working for farmers across the UK in exchange for food.

It does sounds like a pretty lonely existence to us, but he seems very content with his new frugal lifestyle:

It is better than a house-share with people I don’t get on with or know well […] My van has everything a regular house would have except smaller – though the living area is probably bigger than student halls and some flatshares I know.

He’s not wrong there!

Want to know more about how young people in the UK are beating rising rental prices? Read more on how one student lives on a yacht and another in a tent to save on rent!

Are you struggling to fork out for housing as a student in the UK? We have a whole range of articles on student housing to help lighten the load.

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