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Student News

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 Press
After 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.

£10 a day budget

inside jamie waddington vanCredit: Jamie Waddington
Jamie’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! And as one enterprising young man showed, it's possible to live in a van as a student!

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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