lifestyle

Woman who earns over $300,000 a year chooses to live in a van


Jasmine bought her van last summer (Picture: Jasmine Wilson / SWNS.COM)

When you hear someone lives in their van, your first thought might be that it’s a money-saving measure.

But Jasmine Wilson, 28, could definitely afford a proper house, considering she earns $300,000 (around £220,000) a year.

So rather than moving into a van out of need, for the senior product designer from Battle Creek, Michigan, van life is a choice.

‘I always really liked road trips because my mom used to drive from Michigan to California multiple times a year to visit family and it stuck with me,’ said Jasmine.

‘During quarantine we were stuck in the house, and I decided to go for it.’

In the first lockdowns of 2020, Jasmine bought a van and spent two months turning it into a home.

This included installing a full-sized bed, a 34-inch monitor for gaming, a collapsible sink, a fridge-freezer combo (tucked inside one of the benches), side and back windows, a ceiling fan, and security cameras.

There’s no kitchen, but Jasmine has a camper stove, and there’s running water with a full shower area and toilet – so she’s totally capable of living in the van full-time.

‘I actually go to the gym every day but there’s a full shower when you lift the lid up,’ she said.

‘I honestly haven’t used it, but it’s there, so I could go off grid for a while and be perfectly okay.

She spent two months transforming the van into a home on wheels (Picture: Jasmine Wilson / SWNS.COM)
She doesn’t plan for this to be a forever thing (Picture: Jasmine Wilson / SWNS.COM)

‘I have everything that a regular house has, but the goal wasn’t for it to be a tiny home, it was to be a hang out spot that I travel in.

‘People can hang out without feeling like they’re in your home, because I built it during quarantine when the goal was to get out of the house.’

Jasmine estimates she spent between $10,000 to $15,000 adapting the van’s interior, on top of the $25,000 to purchase it.

Once the van was ready, Jasmine hit the road (Picture: Jasmine Wilson / SWNS.COM)

She headed out on the road on December 1, with the goal to visit every national park in the country this year.

Jasmine often parks along beaches at night, but has also stayed in RV parks, parking lots and even wineries and breweries through a group she has a membership with.

While many people have told Jasmine that she should just buy a house, as she makes so much money, she’s happy staying in her van for now.

‘I don’t want a house because I don’t like staying in one place for a long time,’ she said.

Jasmine says people often assume she lives in a van to save money, but that’s not the case (Picture: Jasmine Wilson / SWNS.COM)

‘I’m not doing this to save money, I’m here for experiences and travel and the goal for me was to get out of the house.

‘The goal is to get out and explore, it’s not to live the exact same life as someone else.’

Although she is having the time of her life, Jasmine doesn’t plan to live the rest of her life in her van.

‘This is more so a phase than anything,’ she added.

‘I do plan to buy land and build a house on it, and maybe eventually turn it into an RV park for other people like this, but I’ll still always have my van to leave if I want.’

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