My trailer was a money hog, slowly “nickel and diming” me to death.
DISCLAIMER: These are individual results of a six month trial to move out of the trailer and cut costs. These are real savings, however they might not reflect your circumstances in any way.
2) My current light bill is artificially low – I just pay Dad what he asks: $20 a month to cover the difference of what I use vs. the old bill. You may be able to achieve a similar savings with solar panels.
3) Because of the cheap electricity and robust van insulation, I only use propane for initial warm-ups and electricity for the overnights. If you use just a propane heater, you might spend a lot more or a lot less depending on where you live and how many hours a day you heat.
4) Note the cell phone change. I was in a contract paying $72 a month. By switching to pay in advance at the same company ( and paying WAY in advance – 60 days), I get unlimited voice and text for $41.54 a month. Wow! The difference pays for the gym fees…Cool!
The moral of this story is you can save a lot of money per month if you can find a free place to park or perhaps rent a little land from a friend. Not driving the van a lot of miles helped save on the gas. Free electricity is a good thing via solar panels – I can add them later if I have to… If I lose the free parking at Dad’s, there is also a backup plan at my buddy’s farm for a small contribution per month. The savings can continue.
One other lesson from this exercise is that if you can save money, you can work less. I’m at a job on my feet 100% of the time. It is difficult. Until the weight is further reduced, I can comfortably live on 20 hours per week without raiding the savings too much. Camping in the van has saved a lot of money and helped the physical and mental outlook tremendously.