Man saves £1000 a month (by sleeping on shelf)
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An IT worker has claimed he saves £1000 a month - by sleeping on a shelf in his van.
London is expensive if you want to rent, eat or just generally breathes. But this man has found a way round paying extortionate rents, or living with others. The only drawback is he has to sleep on a shelf, like some uncooked pasta, and can't go to the toilet after 7pm.
Alex Hill works for an IT firm in London, and for the last nine months he has lived in his van like a hippie. He decided to do this after having a trial run of sleeping in his car for a few weeks:
“I was planning to cycle around Europe for a few months last summer and had already handed in the notice for my flat. The plan was to stay with friends until I got another flat, but I decided to try out living in my car for a few weeks and showering at work.”
After deciding this was a perfectly acceptable way to live, he upgraded his car to a spacious van.
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"Wanna come back to my place? I have over one beanbags..." | Images via SWNS
The toilet situation
Alex, 24 and from Gloucestershire, is able to stay clean by showering at work during the weeks and (hopefully) at friends during the weekends. But he says he can't drink after 7pm on most days, in case it makes him need the toilet:
“Not drinking after 7pm is an easy way to get around [the toilet situation]. Supermarket toilets are the cleanest things ever.”
Despite being able to keep clean, he's been hesitant to tell his colleagues about his living situation.
“They had no idea. I tend to get a split reaction. People think I’m an idiot but others say it’s awesome and they wish they had the balls to do it.”
Wifi, full sized bed and a plug
Far from being a terrible way to live, Alex says he is enjoying his van-house, having lived there since September.
“Being in my van, every night I can go out with friends and generally just do more stuff. It’s much more fun than cooking for one, watching shit TV and then sleeping for £600 a month rent. I can enjoy London and still have spare money.”
Alex's van is fitted out with a solar powered generator, a bed, mobile WiFi, and a single plug he can use for his laptop or his heater (but not both at the same time - it's be warm or be entertained in this van). He has no way to cook food in his home, but makes do.
“I wouldn’t recommend it to everyone. The most important thing for me was that I could shower everyday [at the office], but it depends what you feel you need. If you can fill up every single evening a week and effectively just have a place to sleep, then sure, go for it.”
The van in all its glory, whilst Alex casually reads an AA road map on his bed-shelf.
Being able to drive his bed and park it wherever he wants it has given Alex a lot of freedom, spare cash and an incredibly short commute.
“I tend to sleep in residential streets, the van just looks like any other van so no one notices. Even if they did, you can trust British people to be British and not bother you. I tend to park close to work, but it depends what I’m doing the night before. I just drive the van to work from there daily.”
Alex occasionally gets knocks on the van windows from the police (because it looks suspicious), but since there are no laws against sleeping in your vehicle he is generally left alone.
Image via SWNS
Whilst it's still possible for Alex to shower at work and toilet in supermarkets, Alex will continue to save thousands of pounds in rent a year (and avoid living with housemates).