Last Update: 12/13/2016

How to Make Money While Traveling in a Van – Part 2

Ground-level view of flowers and grass, van on road blurry in background

“I needs money! How do I make my money, money, money on the road!?” That’s what’s keepin’ ya’ll up at night. True as far as it goes.

But if you want van life freedom, the first goddamn thing you need to do is stop spending so much. Don’t get that under control, you’ll never make enough cash, no way, no how. Greed is a bottomless pit.

?? #Vanlife question? Contact Vanholio! direct !!

No. 1 – Reduce Your Needs

So in this here Part 2 of the “How to Make Money While Traveling in a Van,” I’m addressing No. 1 of the 5 ways to make money anywhere, anytime: Reduce Your Needs. It’s called “voluntary simplicity.” Google that!

No, I ain’t talkin’ about living dirt-ass poor. Voluntary simplicity is about figuring out how be smarter with your time and money. Spend on what you do need and enjoy. But spend less or zero on what you don’t care for. That’s it!

What’s YOUR Voluntary Simplicity?

Now, that’s the trick, ain’t it? What helped Vanholio was this book: “Your Money or Your Life,” by Vickie Robin and Joe Dominguez. You can get the same info free at the Financial Integrity website.

It’s a 9 Step program to really figure out what you want, what you need, and what’s a fucking waste of your time and money – To YOU. Having done that, you’ll know exactly how much money you need.

Then the program guides you to financial independence. You’ll build up investments while cutting down expenses until you no longer need to work. Except as much as you enjoy.

Vanholio ain’t quite at the end yet, but he’s getting there.

Wisdom of a 40 Year Rubbertramp

Randy Vining is a nomad who’s been rubbertramping for 40 years. He ain’t worked in all that time! The man figured out his own version of what “Your Money or Your Life” teaches four decades ago, then quit the rat race forever.

Randy’s big on frugality first. He generally lives on only $500 a month. Below is a poem he wrote summing it all up.


is like a leaky bucket beneath a water spout.
The running water is the income, expense, is the leakage out.

And the measure of your wealth is,
How long could you hold out if some sadness fortune turned off the water spout?

Most folks focus on the spigot seeking increase of the flow…
I focus my attention on the leaky stand below.

I have sought to plug my bucket. Reducing my expenses,
holding in my savings like a cowboy mending fences.

With patience I waited for bargains, didn’t count on Lady Luck.
Lived well below my means, getting bang for every buck.

And when the water rising in my bucket reached that calculated mark,
I left behind all drudgery and flew off like a lark…

So I think my wealth is great because my needs are small,
and I won’t have to work again with any luck at all.


can purchase freedom, if you have the guts to buy it.
I know folks with beaucoup bucks too afraid to try it.

But I purchased freedom with the savings in my pail,
and across highway seas of adventure…

in my land yacht, I will sail.

Randy's got this and other poems in a free collection on Amazon, "Forty Years a Nomad: Poems From the Road."

Read the 6-Part Series

Part 1: Overview — Part 2: Reduce Your Needs — Part 3: Do Things Yourself — Part 4: Sell Goods or Services — Part 5: Invest or Loan Capital — Part 6: Get Others to Support You

Also See ...

Save Money, Gas, and Globe – Slow Down!
Financial Integrity (New Road Map Foundation)
Choosing Voluntary Simplicity (blog)

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