Living in Car, Is It That Bad?

Hey guys I'm a 20yr old
I have to be out of home in a year, I currently work full time at a pub in a shopping center as a apprentice chef (not good for money wise) I go to gym there (showers, toilets etc.), There is laundromats and everything else needed
My question is, instead of paying 100s of dollars a week for rent, is it easier to live in a car say on a side street and hire out a storage container to store all my unecessary items? For a 1/8th of the price of renting each month
I have a Mitsubishi Challenger (triton in wagon body) I would spend 1-2k decking it out to live in
Is this a smart idea? Or am I just dreaming?
Thanks
Morgan

Comments

  • +44

    Its a good idea, I would do it. But with nosy people you need to plan for stealth camping, eg a normal work van. Or pay for a cheap driveway to park at night. You also have to park with protection. A drunk driver hit my normally parked van on the street in front of my house..

    • +1

      Yeah been thinking about this as one of the hurdles doing it
      Have yet to think of a solution

      • +1

        I would just put a mattress in the back of a normal van, and cover the back window with something, or I wasl looking at those vehicles like a ute that have lockable cover and a high up out of view long back seat, perfect for sleeping It may be called a dual cab ute.

      • +2

        Have yet to think of a solution

        For me, although just thinking about it, is what and how to do the laundry my yet unsolved issue. I feel Laundromats are not as hygienic as I am so not much of a choice there. Still thinking.

        I believe you have an absolute great idea. Not easy but wanting is doing. And doing is achieving.
        Also, as mentioned above, a van of some kind will be hell of a lot better. As you are not intending to travel much any old, real cheap could do.
        Leave the van parked and do all errands with a bike, a scooter (kick or electric) or on foot.

        • Having a run down van is going to be much more suspicious and will be more expensive to maintain I think in the long run
          Thanks for the help though

          • +7

            @Chef Freeman: Challenger would be big enough to fit a mattress in the back. If you've got all the ammenities you need you should be ok. What you're doing, depending on where you live, might be illegal. Even if its not you might get disturbed by people who spot you. Ideally if you could block the view to the back half of the car and put some advertising on the side and back windows to block anyone looking in, and you're groovy.

            Alternatively you could sell the Challenger for at tradie special White Hiace Van with a roof rack and no back windows, throw a pipe on top of it so it looks like a plumber/cabler van, and put the rest into decking it out with a battery setup and a mattress/storage, and you'll never get caught unless you're in the same place overnight for weeks at a time. Just move over a street every few nights and you'll be groovy

      • +5

        For privacy, get some one-way window prints for a random, fake, low-demand business idea, e.g. blind cleaning, plus a fake/dead phone number printed on the side. You won't look suspicious when parked in a suburban street overnight, and thieves will probably not be interested in stealing the supposed blind cleaning equipment inside.

  • +149

    It may be possible logistically speaking for a short time, but it's probably not good for your mental health and wellbeing.

    How would friends visit you? How would family visit you? How would you be romantically involved with anyone? You would be homeless and I can't imagine that being very good for your self esteem.

    • +68

      Didn't really add that into the equation, might have to think about that, that's a great argument against

      • +39

        This. Watched a documentary few years ago about people who live in the cars. The most dangerous thing is you'd get comfortable (or rather get used to it) at one point and that prevents you from treating that as a temporary setting, stops you from striving to get out of the situation (i.e. getting better jobs?). There are people who initially planned to live in their cars for a few weeks while looking for a new job, but then ended up staying there for 15 years, essentially becoming permanently homeless.

        • Yes, and when you do go to get a unit, without climbing the society ladder, share houses and whatnot, it makes it doubly difficult.

        • +2

          I once lived in a tent for 5 months (cycling across various countries, camping in the tent, my main expense was food). While I got used to it and I learned that I didn't really need many possessions in life, by the end of it I really wanted to stay in one place and have a proper roof over my head and a real bed. The first real bed I had after that was a 3-star hotel and believe me, that bed felt like I was floating on air. (Ended up coming home for my sister's wedding and getting a job in Sydney.)

      • +10

        The fact that you CAN do van life might be an incredibly eye-opening and heart-opening experience, you realise you're resilient, need very much less than you thought. And there are perks!

        And you have more time to think.

        But if you do van life, use that time to think about all those important questions above (even if you don't do van life lol)

        Ask a friend if they can help?
        Move back in with family?
        Contact the local community centre for assistance?
        Talk to the real estate agents in your area and explain what you're looking for?
        Department of human services (or what welfare calls itself now) has housing which is strictly available for lower income individuals.

        If you are in crisis, contact a shelter, lifeline, or post here (don't stay silent).

        • +6

          Does the thrashed term of "van life" still apply when you're not travelling? When it's just your regular job in the same area with the regular or semi-regular schedule?
          I feel there is much less excitement or glamor in those cases, last time I was in California I saw heaps of "van lifers" but really they were just homeless living in cars and vans under overpasses and in back streets of industrial areas.
          I thought that mostly van life was about travel and exploration, which isn't really what OP is doing, so the experience would differ greatly from what you might see on instagram and could be much harder to deal with day to day with a job over moving places every few days and seeing different stuff, or being able to get away from some places etc.

          • +2

            @91rs: In terms of the physical locations you can visit, you're absolutely right

            I was talking more about minimalism or asceticism in general

            But yeah, nobody should have to work and live in their car, I'd love to find a way that doesn't happen

            Anyone with solid ideas let me know yeah?

    • +48

      How would friends visit you?

      At the Drive-In.

      • -1

        JV (and everyone else), you didn't notice that Morgan Freeman is on OZbargain?

        Not sure if it's a joke post, but Morgan Freeman surely has a place to live?

    • +1

      How would friends visit you? How would family visit you? How would you be romantically involved with anyone?

      Tell them the address you parked your car. easy.

      Even easier to sell things too since you don't have a house to let a would be grudge person to come back if they're not happy with their bought item…

    • +11

      You would be homeless

      Incorrect.
      The term is houseless which is very different.

      The filthy rich drive their +$4,000,000 motor-homes for months at a time. Free and easy. Not a worry in life.

      Those sailing around the world for years and years are free as well.

      Those jumping from cruise to cruise are free as well.

      Houselessness is not homelessness.

      • +34

        True, but OP isn't talking about living in a luxury 4mill motor-home without a worry in life, or a sailing ship, or taking an extended holiday on a series of expensive cruise ships.

        OP is talking about sleeping in the back of a Mitsubishi wagon while working full-time and relying on public toilets. Whether that is best described as homeless or houseless probably comes down to how it makes OP feel. I suspect that it won't be good for his self-esteem in the long run.

        • +12

          I wouldn't consider myself homeless, homeless to me is not having a place to sleep in/stay in, like living on the street not having something over your head and doors you can lock to make yourself feel safe at night
          Houseless seems a bit more suitable
          I do have a choice to go into a rental
          But I want to save money for my future and this seems to be the best way to do so
          I'm unsure at this point whether it's going to work or how long it will last for

          • +5

            @Chef Freeman: I certainly wish you the best with whatever you decide.

            • @wizzy: Thanks mate I'll keep this thread updated

              • +9

                @Chef Freeman: I've been giving your situation quite a bit of thought.

                Other than the potential problems with your mental health and wellbeing in general that I mentioned above (which I think are significant and worry me greatly), it also occurred to me that although living in a car will save you money on rent, it will also prevent you from making savings in other areas.

                For example, I always buy non-perishable items in bulk when they go on sale. The toothpaste we use normally costs $7 for the largest tube, but it goes on sale for $3.50 a few times per year - so I buy 10 when it's on sale. That's a saving of $35.

                By doing that for every single non-perishable item we use (tissues, toothbrushes, canned food, cleaning items, shampoo, soap, laundry detergent etc), I end up saving quite a bit of money over the year. I also buy things in the largest packet size they make because they are usually cheaper per unit price than the smaller packets.

                You won't be able to do that because you can't store all those items. You will have to buy things as you need them regardless of the price, and only in packet sizes that you have room to store.

                So I am wondering if living in cheap shared accommodation or a boarding house for $100-200 per week, and then buying in bulk and large packet sizes (which you can store in your room), might actually work out to be about the same cost overall as living in a car and buying things at full price as you need them?

                I think it's worth doing the maths on that.

                • +1

                  @wizzy: I haven't added in the cost of groceries and stuff, I can see where you're coming from
                  I've had a look at sharehouses /rooms to rent nearby my work and it's all looking like 150+ a week
                  With the cheapest one being a 2 minute walk to work
                  (Which seems pretty good)

                  • +6

                    @Chef Freeman: wizzy… I won't exaggerate, being homeless/houseless sucks. Sleeping in your car is much better than sleeping on the streets, or certain shelters.

                    BUT! sleeping in your car should only be a VERY temporary solution. Maybe a day, week, a month, or two. It's got too many downsides. Van-Life is glorified by stupid instahores and snapidiots, but it is much more accommodating than a Mitsubishi Challenger. You could potentially do a stealth van, and live in it for longer (eg upto 3 years, like a degree) to save money from rent.

                    There's a big clause with this.
                    It requires you to already have a competent van, which usually isn't cheap ($10k), especially in today's market ($15k). And then there's the whole cost of the conversion ($5k). Then you'll need a house, supplies, and tools available in the meantime to do it from, usually takes 3-5 weeks for a conversion. On top of this, you might WANT to also have a motorbike ($6k) to do most of your commutes, especially to embarrassing places so people don't judge your house/van. Then you will have to make sure you have $10k in emergency fund available at all times. And last of all, you will end up spending some extra money for gym showers, laundromats, and junk food take out (extra $5k/year spending).

                    All up, this is $50k+ spending in your first year. That's money you don't have. So it's not very feesible. But the second/third year gets easier financially ($5k ?) speaking. And when you're done, you will have some difficulty selling your Van, but with depreciation, you should be able to recoup $10k from it, $5k from the motorbike, and maybe hold onto your $10k emergency fund. That's a best case scenario of recouping $25k from that initial $50k. But over three years it is going to cost you around $40k over three years for this housing/freedom, speaking conservatively.

                    I don't want to judge your circumstances, but perhaps the best route of action is you sell off item you don't want and need. Sleep in your car for a month. Then move into a Share-house and live with strangers/housemates. Let's say it's $200/week, so that's $11k per year. Over three years that's $35k, which is less than the figure above. Let's add $5k/year for food…

                    …and we're now at $50k/3years, which is much more value for money than #vanlife since you get much more for only a little extra money.

                • @wizzy: I'm sure he can find room for ten tubes of toothpaste.

                  • @sackrace: Yes but I'm talking about doing that for every single non-perishable item, not just toothpaste. A saving of $35 dollars on toothpaste isn't that much on its own, but it adds up to quite a bit of savings when you bulk buy every single non-perishable item when it goes on sale. I have a house and sometimes it's hard for me to store bulk items. It would be impossible in a car.

                    • @wizzy: Yeah we all get the premise, but the idea that buying bougie toothpaste in bulk, or whatever it may be, is worth more than rent is daft.

                      • @sackrace:

                        Yeah we all get the premise

                        Cool, but you commented on toothpaste storage.

                        bougie toothpaste

                        It's not really the point, but for the record I don't buy bougie toothpaste. It's just regular toothpaste in a very big tube.

                        but the idea that buying bougie toothpaste in bulk, or whatever it may be, is worth more than rent is daft

                        Well it's how I survived when I was his age and saved money for a deposit on a house. I still do it now so we can stretch our money as far as we can. Call me daft if you want, but it has worked for me.

                        If your rent is cheap because you live in a boarding house or shared accommodation (which is what I suggested), plus you save as much money as you can through other techniques such as bulk buying necessities, your cost of living can be very minimal.

                • @wizzy: He'd have so much more money by not paying rent, that any saving by buying in bulk would be insignificant in comparison. Especially for one person as there's no way any of us, even living in a house, could consume that amount of stuff, every week, to match the savings by not renting. A single person would have to buy so much stuff it would expire before we used it.

                  We might buy 20kg of chicken breast because it's on sale for $7/kg. He buys just 1 at full price of $9/kg, but he only buys it when he wants to eat it. So he needs no power to run a fridge, paying no rent, maybe a few $ in fuel to move to/from the supermarket. His saving blows our measly $2/kg saving on 10kg of chicken ($20 total) out of the water.

                  He also saves by only buying what he needs. Because we probably have a fridge full of partially-used condiments, a freezer full of stuff that requires electricity 24/7 to maintain… where he'd probably drive to Colesworths (which is open late most places), walk in and buy one steak, 1 carrot, 2 potatoes, etc and cook it in the car park (in case he forgot something he can just walk back in). When his meal is finished there's nothing left to store. He could even buy perishable things like mayo, use only a small amount, then throw the rest away… buy another bottle tomorrow night, and still be miles ahead of us in $ saved.

                  • @Faulty P xel: Electricity, other utilities, and furniture are usually included if you're boarding. If you're only paying $80 per week in board (as suggested elsewhere https://www.ozbargain.com.au/comment/11374820/redir), with everything included, plus you are saving by other means such as bulk buying on sale, your costs are very minimal.

                    OP already plans to spend $1000-2000 just to make the car suitable to sleep in. That's 3-6 months worth of board.

                    He will be 3-6 months behind right from the beginning, plus he misses out on other ways to save.

                    That $20 in chicken savings you mention is 1/4 of his weekly board, and covers almost 2 weeks of the gym membership he is paying at $13 per week https://www.ozbargain.com.au/comment/11358138/redir - which he has to keep paying if he lives in a car because it is the way he plans to shower and go to the toilet. The $35 toothpaste example I gave is just under half his weekly board, and covers 2 1/2 weeks of his gym membership.

                    I'm suggesting that he gives this some thought and really does the maths on his various options.

                  • @Faulty P xel:

                    We might buy 20kg of chicken breast because it's on sale for $7/kg. He buys just 1 at full price of $9/kg, but he only buys it when he wants to eat it. So he needs no power to run a fridge, paying no rent, maybe a few $ in fuel to move to/from the supermarket. His saving blows our measly $2/kg saving on 10kg of chicken ($20 total) out of the water.

                    What if it was like $2/kg for 20kg of chicken breast? Would he still lose out even though buying full price and use when needed and not worry about storage issues?

          • +4

            @Chef Freeman: Living in a car is homeless, no matter how you try to justify it because your car has locks on the doors.

            Living in a Mitsubishi Challenger is not even remotely like living in a Van either, so any comparisons to "van life" are bad.

            Don't do it. It won't end well. You also can't just park your car and live in it in most places. People will report you and you'll be forced to constantly move to new streets/suburbs.

          • @Chef Freeman: Just keep in mind saving money isn't always a good idea. Cash loses value quickly, always good to have some saved though. Best strategy over the coming years to build wealth is to buy assets and invest in yourself

          • @Chef Freeman: Social interaction is a must.
            Living in a car is not a situation to do as something easy.
            Even if you do save some money.
            Try living in a tent for a bit to see if you would really want to do it.
            Give couch surfing a go, just to see.
            Most people who are homeless in the US prefer to be in a warmer climate.
            (Not the same I know).
            But when it rains you will want ear plugs and without shade, how hot will you car be in summer?
            In Brisbane in Fortitude Valley accommodation is cheaper in one room places?
            People used to use their gas stoves (just a daily cost) to heat their one room places.

      • +1

        Most of those people have homes to come back to or enough financial freedom that it's the same thing. While laundromats/the gym/public toilets might all be nearby and accessible now, as a long term-solution there are a huge number of factors outside of OPs control.

      • +14

        Incorrect
        The term is homeless

        A person is considered to be homeless in Australia if they:

        • do not have access to safe, secure adequate housing, or, if the only housing they have access to damages, or is likely to damage, their health.
        • are in circumstances which threaten or adversely affect the adequacy, safety, security, or affordability of their home.
        • have no security of tenure – that is, they have no legal right to continued occupation of their living area.
        • -1

          A person is considered to be homeless in Australia if they:

          Funny thing that is.
          Because EVERYBODY talks about "those sleeping rough", never heard about "those homeless". Cretinism to its best.

          By the way,

          secure adequate housing

          what is that? for whom? who decides? who assess? what standards?

    • +8

      Well, at least he can eliminate the gold diggers immediately. That would be a + no?

      • +6

        I heard of a bloke who would take his dates 'back to his place' in a really wealthy street with expensive homes etc. and then when pulling up outside the nicest house in the street would be like "oh no! my parents are back early from the beech house. we cant stay here. lets go back to your place instead."

    • +3

      How would friends visit you?

      They have these things now called telephones.

      "Where are you parked today?"
      "At the beach."
      "K. See ya in a few."

      You don't meet new people by sitting at home in front of a TV or phone. But you do by sitting in a vehicle doing those things. Or by going out - which he'd still do.

      How would you be romantically involved with anyone? You would be homeless and I can't imagine that being very good for your self esteem.

      Nonsense. Not only are there heaps of people living "van life" today, but my experience was the complete opposite. I lived in my car soon after leaving school and had a great time. First I had ALL my money to myself. Next I met more new people, got invited to parties, etc than at any other time in my life. Had two girlfriends (both loony evil bitches, but so much for the romantic "problem").

      Mental health depends on how your life (in this case "home") makes you feel. If it frustrates and depresses you paying rent (or eating 2-minute noodles to repay a home loan) then a mansion with ocean views is worse than a tent in the bush. There's nothing good for your state of mind about paying rent to repay someone else's investment loan, but with all the responsibility of maintaining THEIR asset, plus being dictated to every 3 months by real estate agents who invade your space, walk around ticking boxes and grunting in disapproval you didn't clean the oven good enough this week, living with at least $250 less of your money per week, plus working 4-6 days then maintaining the place in what's supposed to be your spare time only to fall asleep exhausted… living the rat race in other words.

      Van life people on youtube often cite a weight lifted upon getting rid of all their "stuff" and living an uncomplicated life. If that's not one definition of good mental health, I don't know what is.

      I probably wouldn't do it in a car. At least a van, next choice up is one you can stand up in and have your own toilet and shower (even if you rarely use it, you'll want it when you get sick). Next choice up would be a small bus like a Toyota Coaster, and next would be a light truck. All on a car license. (Anything above a car license can't park in cities for more than an hour without being fined, and same for most suburban streets if neighbours complain to local council/police.)

      • You totally glossed over caravans, and people living in those trailer trash homes. Should we just call those people 'minimalists' as well?

      • They have these things now called telephones

        No need to be rude.

        I was expressing genuine concern for OP's health and wellbeing.

        I respect and appreciate your point of view. I just have a different point of view.

        • Wasn't being rude. ;-p (That's text for ya.) A healthy state of mind is different for everyone. Some people can't cope if their lawn isn't perfect. Others can't cope mowing one.

  • +20

    At least get a van.

  • +1

    Toilet, shower and kitchen.

    • Kitchen part is done as I'm able to use the kitchen I work in, same as the other 2

      • +1

        Will the pub mind you using their kitchen for all your daily meals?

        • I typically have breakfast (my own) and lunch (work provided) whenever I'm working, so I can't see an extra meal after the day is done to be a problem, if not I can invest In a camp kitchen as I already have all the items needed

          • +11

            @Chef Freeman: Do you work 7 days a week? What are you going to do on your days off? Cooking on a camp kitchen will be quite onerous after a while and probably bad for you as you can't have fresh food without a fridge. You'll be eating canned soup etc.

            • @Quantumcat: I work 5 days a week
              A fridge would be on the books to buy
              I normally go out and about with some friends on my day off, planning on getting into hiking again to stay fit

      • Both of which were closed for long periods due to COVID.

        Unlikely to be the last pandemic considering climate change and the exponential over population of the planet

  • +17

    Lots of councils will bollox you for it

    but if I was going to do it I'd sell teh challenger and buy a kitted Hiace van or Coaster bus

  • +40

    Overall I like the money saving idea, this is Ozbargain afterall.

    Some random thoughts :

    • Where are you going to park the car? Many councils do not allow this. Some residents may get p!ssed off someone is camping at their kerb.
    • Toilets. These aren't just required when you go to the gym, what is the back up?
    • What happens when one pulls a root? in the shaggn wagon? May turn off some.
    • It may get cold or hot. Leaving windows open may be a security issue. I do not know your gender.
    • Food / water storage - how is this going to happen? Eating out is very expensive and may eat away at any savings.
    • Petrol is very expensive, you may have to drive a lot more than usual, eroding savings gained again.
    • Clothes where will you store them.
    • Some places need you to have a residential address, what will you put? Where will you get mail if you still get snail mail? Or Amazon deliveries?
    • -15

      Where are you going to park the car? Many councils do not allow this. Some residents may get p!ssed off someone is camping at their kerb.

      as long as the vehicle is parked legally and has valid rego Council won't do anything.

      • +14

        They evict people in Melbourne on the beaches and other suburbs all the time for it .. People in their 2 million bux houses dont like people living free with the same view

        You'd need to pick your location..

      • +5

        Yes they will.
        Camping in your car isn't legal everywhere.

        Queensland has a specific law that states you cannot sleep in your car unless you are in a designated camping ground.

        • +3

          These comments frequently come up in motorhome groups. It's pretty simple. Curtain the windows and don't answer the door. How are they going to prove you're inside… smash the window and drag you out? Just don't make it obvious with fold up chairs, cooking on the street, running TVs and lights, etc and there's no proof it's not just an empty parked car of someone inside a house in that street. Oh and we're also told constantly to "stop, revive, survive". So they can whine all they like. If you're exhausted we're TOLD to pull over and rest. Just don't wear pajamas and look like you're camping. Pull up after dark, black out the windows, wear headphones for TV, change location frequently, and no-one will even know you're there to complain. Just another empty parked vehicle.

      • You will absolutely be asked to move on at the least, or issued with a ticket if you camp out.

        • +3

          Black out the windows. Don't get out if somebody knocks on the window. Simples.

    • +3

      I'm planning on asking around to see if I can park on someones property for some sort of payment, if not then I'll just have to move the car, I park on the side street from 9-9 5 days a week for work so I can't see why I couldn't leave it there overnight everynow and then

      The pub I work at is open till 3am every night, so toilets would be covered by that not to mention the gym is 24/7 so I can go whenever needed

      I haven't had a relationship in the past, and I don't see me getting into one anytime soon,

      I'm a single male 20yrs old, I thought about getting some insulation on the windows to block out the heat/keep in the cool etc. A 12v air-cooler is always an option as I already have a 12v system in my car that runs off a house solar panel

      Food and water is dealt with as before/after work I can cook food in the kitchen, if not then a gas
      cartridge burner is always an option

      I drive 50km a day for work so I don't think fuel will be an problem tbh

      I only have a few clothes, work clothes and a few everyday clothes for the occasional going out

      Probably will have to hire out a post box at a post office or if I'm on someones land I can ask them

      • +1

        Can you park in the pub's carpark? That way you also save on petrol!

        • Yes,I park nearby, less than a 5 min walk for work

          • @Chef Freeman: Sorry, I thought you were driving 50km a day to work. I was like, "what??" I reckon it'll be pretty fun for awhile. Drive to Bondi for an evening swim. Then wake up in the morning for another swim. Like driving a caravan but smaller and more convenient. My uncle used to have a panel van with a mattress in the back for when he had to work away from home.

            • +1

              @Transient: Sorry I drive 25km each way from where I live at the moment
              I park nearby for the day
              Parking nearby saves approx $8 in fuel a day

              • @Chef Freeman: ok. Does the pub have a shower? Sorry, when I asked, can you park in the pub's carpark, I meant overnight. That way you don't have to park on the street.

                • +3

                  @Transient: The pub is integrated into a shopping center
                  Similar to Westfield parking rates
                  I can park overnight at Westfield after 5pm and leave before 9am for free or pay $5 a day for parking
                  Or I can park on the side streets nearby
                  The shopping center has a gym above the pub which is 24/7 so I can shower and toilet there

                  • +2

                    @Chef Freeman: cool. sounds like you got it worked out!

                  • +1

                    @Chef Freeman: Deal with people living in car and Vanlife clients. Get tradie style van as to get know to local people as a person lives in the van. If become known to police best change number plates help went police don't know you. I take it you work the night shift. So need sleep in day time really are going to need to pick your parks and spots.

                    • @nikey2k27: I work 9am-9pm, I had some potential ideas of parking locations in my mind

      • I park on the side street from 9-9 5 days a week for work so I can't see why I couldn't leave it there overnight everynow and then

        Carparks are private property, leaving a car parked in one overnight is very different to someone camping there.

      • +3

        I haven't had a relationship in the past, and I don't see me getting into one anytime soon

        If you start living in your car… then yeah, I also can't see this happening… ¯\_ (ツ)_/¯

        • +5

          Another way to save money I guess

      • +1

        I park on the side street from 9-9 5 days a week for work so I can't see why I couldn't leave it there overnight everynow and then.

        I believe sleeping like this is illegal in Brisbane and you can get fined (not sure if car-parks are also parks):
        "Council may issue you with a fine if you camp or sleep in your vehicle overnight on a road or park in Brisbane."
        https://www.brisbane.qld.gov.au/traffic-and-transport/parkin...

        Also you might need someone's help to secure a residential address for paperwork purposes.

        • PO box will sort that out. But prob cheaper to designate someones house and just set up a box for them to chuck your mail in.

          • +1

            @ProlapsedHeinous: It won’t sort that out, a number of financial services for example require a residential address and proof of that address.

      • "see if I can park on someones property for some sort of payment"… I think if you know someone who has a house with hassle free toilet access the above is the best idea, if you are intent on car living.
        Don't reveal your financial situation though.

  • +11

    hire out a storage container to store all my unecessary items

    Might as well sleep inside the storage container? Or a 24/7 storage unit? At least you'll be able to stretch.

    Not everything is about money. Is this lifestyle going to affect your wellbeing and ability to perform at work to get the promotion?

    • I'm not sure if I'm able to sleep in a storage unit, I'd have to park my car nearby as well,
      I have a simple life at the moment
      I wake up, go to work, come home, have dinner and relax until I go to bed, as far as work would be concerned I'd be cooking good for brekky and dinner and that's the only things that's changed

      • +8

        I slept in a storage unit when i moved out of home, its quiet and usually toilets on site and shower at the gym or work. I recommend it, they can ask you to not sleep in it but you just say i work at night and you are using documents stored in the unit. But 99% of the time, they usually don't notice or care

    • +3

      In most contracts for storage units it explicitly says you're not permitted to sleep in them and if you do, you will be evicted. They also like to put up the price every 3-6 months.

      At my storage unit (with national storage) the facility closes at 10pm and the gates won't open until 6am. There was a guy that lived in the storage unit behind mine. He had a pretty good set up until one day the power went out at 3am, he was unable to move his car out and got busted.

      I also found out later a lot of people were uneasy with him living in the unit and dobbed him in, especially when he started inviting friends over to the unit and turned it into a bachelor pad.

      I guess my point is, if you plan to do that be careful.

      • +1

        Yeah it's not on my books, id rather park on a side street than sleep in a storage unit

  • +1

    I live in a suburban area. There is a dual cab solid ute parked. You cant see in the back seat as is too high up. At the back is a lockable cover to store clothes etc.

    • +2

      You cant see in the back seat

      Peeping Pam?

    • Don’t knock as they may cook meth in it.

  • +8

    May be suitable for a short amount of time, though it would be best to rent a room, apartment, granny flat, etc. if you want to do this long term (more than a year). It is not the most mentally healthy to live in a vehicle for long periods of time.

    • +9

      Mental health seems like the biggest problem with this idea it seems

      • +2

        Are you choosing van life for a time?

        Possibly good for mental health

        Do you feel forced into van life for a time?

        Well feeling forced, and being squeezed for money, that is bad for mental health (might not have too much to do with van life per se)

        • It'd probably be for a time
          Maybe nothing more than 6 months
          I don't really have a plan past that to be honest
          I'm looking at buying some land but need to save for a deposit for that first

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