I Won’t Be Living in a Van in Florida this Winter

van interiorI was planning to be writing a post this month about my plan to spend this winter living in a van in Florida. Unfortunately, that plan has fallen through.

The plan started when I was offered the opportunity to work my tax job remotely this tax season. Since this  gave me the option to work basically anywhere with an internet connection I decided I would like to live somewhere warmer than Kansas City for the winter months.  I’ve also wanted to give van living another try. That led to me deciding to live in Florida in a van for the winter.  The weather would have been great for living in the van. My expenses would have been low and my job would have paid the same which would have allowed me to save money/pay down loans at a good rate. This plan has now been scrapped since I was informed there won’t be any remote tax positions this year after all leaving me without a job.  Luckily, this notice didn’t come any later since I had just that morning looked at a van that I was seriously considering buying. Procrastination worked in my favor this time.

Now I need to figure out what I’ll do instead. I’ve thought of several options but I’m not sure which -if any- of the options I will take. The first option is to just stay here in Kansas City and drive for Uber and keep working at my FBA business. This would be the easiest option.  One drawback is that although Uber and FBA should make me enough money to pay my expenses I don’t think I’ll make enough money from them to make much progress on paying down my loans or saving money. Another drawback is that I’d still be in KC for the winter and I’d really like to get out of the cold weather.

Another option is to go to Florida (or maybe Texas) anyway and figure out how to make money once I’m there. Since I don’t have certainty of the tax job income I wouldn’t buy a van. I’d make a bed in my car and live out of my car. There is enough room in my HHR to sleep comfortably, but it would be pretty cramped to live out of. One good thing about this option is that if it didn’t work out I could come back to KC and I wouldn’t be out much money.

A third option would be to live in Guatemala for the winter. I know from experience that I could rent a room for about $100 a month and would be able to live very cheaply there. The airfare there and back would negate quite a bit of the savings though.  Also, I wouldn’t have a reliable way to make money there.  Perhaps, the biggest drawback to this option is that I would be committed to staying for the winter. If I changed my mind it would be quite expensive to change my plane ticket.

One more option would be to stay in Kansas City and find another job. This would be the most practical option. I don’t like this option much though. I’d really like to get out of KC for a while this winter and I’m doubtful that I could find a job that I like ok and pays well.

I’m sure there are more options than what I’ve listed here. Let me know what you think of these options and if you have any other options to share I’d love to hear them.

8 thoughts on “I Won’t Be Living in a Van in Florida this Winter”

  1. Too bad about the tax job. I know that has to be a let down. I had forgotten that you lived in Guatemala briefly. Would love to hear more about that experience – how did you pass the time? Were there any awkward language barrier moments? Did you generate any income last time you were there?

    • Jon – Yeah, it was definitely a let down. I have a post on my Guatemala experience somewhere way back in the archives. I taught English while I was there. It was better as a way to pass time than as a way to make money. I made about $1.50 an hour which was a tiny amount of pay even way back in 1996. I knew very little Spanish when I arrived there, but I slowly learned some and could have basic conversations by the time I left. Unfortunately, I’ve forgotten most of it now since I haven’t been using it.

  2. Just come to Florida. There are jobs here and as long as you are open to and don’t mind working 3 part-time jobs you’ll be fine. You can find everything from work outside i.e. lawn stuff to part time contracting. I’m just not sure living in a van is the best idea. You can find an apartment here in the tampabay area as cheap as 580 a month (if you want to be alone) cheaper if you share or rent a room (which I think would be your best solution.) If you don’t like the area i.e. to congested you can move to another area of FL.

  3. Donna – Thanks for the suggestion. I might still come to visit, but I don’t think I’ll move. I think I have better potential to make money here. That being said, if I were to find a good opportunity when I visit I’d consider making the move.

  4. Isabella – I’d like to know what she is selling too. I’ll have to check out her site in more detail. I’m having a hard time ramping up my FBA business. I will keep everyone updated on how it goes.

  5. Andy, they do taxes in Florida…I would think that experience would translate anywhere in the U.S. Since you really want to skip the cold weather — and it’s supposed to be worse than than usual this season, at least according to weather forecasters around here — why not try it for at least a month or two? All you’d be out would be the gas to drive down there, if you were careful. Especially if you found work there — and I’d bet you would.

  6. Cindy – My tax job isn’t a tax preparation job, although I suppose my experience would qualify me to prepare taxes. I might apply online for a few Florida tax jobs and head down if anything sounds promising.


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