We quit our jobs to live in a van – we save thousands on rent and bills

A COUPLE quit their jobs to live in a van, saving them thousands of pounds in rent and utility bills.

Ryan Sibley, 28, and Laura Rigby, 27, left London while their friends were buying a house and settling down.

Ryan Sibley and Laura Rigby live in a converted van

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Ryan Sibley and Laura Rigby live in a converted vanCredit: mediadrumimages/VehicleAdventure
They left their jobs in London on the road for life

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They left their jobs in London on the road for lifeCredit: mediadrumimages/VehicleAdventure

In August 2022, they said goodbye to the nine-to-five and moved on to the 2010 Citroen Relay L3H2 that transformed them.

The purchase of the van in June 2018 cost them £3,300 and £12,000 to make it habitable.

But they spend much less each month than in the capital, which makes it all worth it.

After testing the trailer on short trips, former entertainment manager Ryan and former elementary school teacher Laura took the dive and made it their home.

We turned our Luton van into a luxury home in which we live for £5,000.
We're saving a fortune by living in a van - some campgrounds cost as much as a coffee

Since leaving England on 10 August, they have traveled 13,600 miles and visited 10 countries, including France, Portugal and Croatia.

The couple describe themselves as smart savers who have budgeted to ensure their lifestyle is satisfying yet easy on the wallet.

“We can save money by not paying for hotel or accommodation when traveling somewhere, and therefore we have more money in our budget for sightseeing, food and drink.

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“We budget £500 a month for a living and try to stick to it as much as we can.

“This £500 includes diesel, meals, excursions, toll roads and accommodation at any campsite.

“If we were working and living in London as we did before, we would have had to rent or buy a place there.

“Living and traveling in our van is still cheaper than owning a house in London, and since we’ve both been saving for an apartment or house since we started working, we’ve decided to use some of that savings to fund this trip.”

According to Rightmove data, the average monthly rent for a two-bedroom flat in London is currently £2,226.

Adding in the bills and commute costs, that comes up to £3,000.

However, while saving some money, things aren’t always easy, and Ryan and Laura’s travels have not been unhindered.

Not only do they have to consider fuel and other maintenance costs, they also have to consider where to sleep while repairs are being made.

Living and traveling in our van is still cheaper than owning a house in London.

“Since the van is both our home and our vehicle, we rely on the van to work well mechanically, so when we had problems recently, we lost not only our car but also our house while it was in the garage for repairs,” they said. .

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“We also have to think carefully about where we can park the van during the night so that it does not disturb others or cause any inconvenience.

“We make sure we are mindful of our water use and waste, and we should include regular replenishment and disposal of our waste in our travel plans.”

Moreover, the duo had to navigate the Schengen Agreement while exploring post-Brexit Europe.

Ryan said: “We had to ensure that we did not stay in the Schengen countries for more than 90 days in any 180-day rolling period.

“This means we have to adapt our travel plans and move to non-Schengen countries for the winter.”

But the couple’s passion and effort to make the most of their van life and the support they receive from their family and friends keep them going.

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‘FREEDOM’

“Our friends and family were really supportive in our choice to travel and do it in our own van,” they said.

“We also had the chance to meet a lot of lovely and supportive people, both through social media and while traveling.

“A minibus gives us the freedom to travel and see new places that we both want to do before we settle down.

“We are in an age where many of our friends are settling down and buying homes, but before we did that we felt we wanted to see more of the world.

“It’s been great to see so many countries we’ve never been to before.”

They continued: “We meet many different people from many different cultures, countries and walks of life, who also travel or live in caravans or places we visit.

“Because we travel full-time in our van, we can travel more slowly and stay longer in areas we enjoy.

“We have the freedom to explore places we always wanted to go but couldn’t find time for work.

“We bring everything we need with us and we don’t have to worry about having to leave some items behind that don’t fit in our suitcase.

“No matter where we are in the world, we enjoy the comfort of being at home in the minibus.”

Double with self-converted 2010 Citroen Relay L3H2

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Double with self-converted 2010 Citroen Relay L3H2Credit: mediadrumimages/VehicleAdventure
It cost them £12,000 to convert the vehicle into a home.

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It cost them £12,000 to convert the vehicle into a home.Credit: mediadrumimages/VehicleAdventure
The couple left the UK in August 2022.

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The couple left the UK in August 2022.Credit: mediadrumimages/VehicleAdventure
So far, they have visited 10 countries, including France, Portugal and Croatia.

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So far, they have visited 10 countries, including France, Portugal and Croatia.Credit: mediadrumimages/VehicleAdventure
Ryan and Laura allocate £1,000 a month between them

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Ryan and Laura allocate £1,000 a month between themCredit: mediadrumimages/VehicleAdventure
The vans before they turned it into their favorite home

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The vans before they turned it into their favorite homeCredit: mediadrumimages/VehicleAdventure
Laura poses in the van in front of the snow-capped mountains.

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Laura poses in the van in front of the snow-capped mountains.Credit: mediadrumimages/VehicleAdventure



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