‘I couldn’t afford rent in cramped flat so moved to van and saved £11k in a year’

A woman struggled to make the rent of her “damp, smelly and cramped” flat – so she decided to move to a van instead.

Brittany Cosgrove made the decision as her $500 rent (around £270) began taking its toll.

The 27-year-old, from Wellington, New Zealand, purchased a 1991 Nissan van for $6,000 (around £3,220)

It costs around £50 a week for her to live there as she only has to pay for registration, maintenance, petrol and parking.

And while Brittany has to use a portable shower or campground facilities to wash, she says the space isn’t much smaller than the flat she was living in before.

She has a large bed, kitchenette and toilet, as well as plenty of storage space.

Taking the leap of faith has definitely been worth it financially – as Brittany has been able to save an impressive £11,000 in a year.

The fashion designer, who runs her own business called Nope Sisters Clothing, also loves the freedom of being on the road.

She told FEMAIL: “I have so much time now, once you cut out the rent factor you can have spare money which is nice or you can have an extra day or two off a week.

“When you are constantly working there is no time to sleep or look after yourself properly – I don’t know how people are supposed to thrive in that environment.”

Brittany doesn’t plan to return to renting any time soon.

Brittany Cosgrove
Brittany’s 1991 Nissan van cost just over £3,200
(Image: brattycosgrove /Instagram)
Brittany Cosgrove
Brittany loves the freedom of life on the open road
(Image: brattycosgrove /Instagram)

She said: “It is a lot of work to put in and doesn’t seem worth it, I find more than enough satisfaction in the van and doing some house sitting.”

The business owner is planning a trip to travel across New Zealand and meet some friends and family along the way.

For others looking to follow in her footsteps, she recommends testing out the lifestyle first.

Booking a short trip and seeing how you adjust to life on the road are great ways to get started without making any drastic decisions.

Brittany Cosgrove
Brittany posts updates of her lifestyle on social media
(Image: brattycosgrove /Instagram)

She also recommends downloading the Camper Mate app to find sites where you can access hot showers.

Learning to cook one-pan dishes is essential as there’s not much room in van kitchens.

You should also be willing to keep the space tidy – as you have a lot less to work with when clutter is everywhere.

You can follow Brittany’s journey on her TikTok page here.


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