I left Van Life to live in my car and now I make $4,000 a month

  • Billie Webb is a TikToker who filmed herself participating in van life last year.
  • Now she has raffled off her van to live in a 2015 Mazda, blaming soaring gas prices.
  • Webb, who earns around $4,000 a month from brand deals, ordered a Tesla Model 3 to live in.

A TikToker left his domiciled existence last year to join the van life movement. Now, with an income stream of $4,000 a month and a clean slate of debt, she’s taken the plunge to live in her car. Soon she will call Tesla her home.

Billie Webb is a TikToker and content creator who has been on the road for a year, in a mix of her 1990 Chevy G20 pickup truck and her 2015 Mazda car.

Webb has now raffled off his van for $6 a ticket, selling nearly 2,900 in total, before moving into his Mazda, as his master plan to live in his own Tesla continues to take off.

From van life to car life

Billie Webb dragging out of her Chevy G20 car.

Webb lived in a 1990 Chevy 20 pickup truck, but the high cost of gas made the trip too expensive for her.

Billie Webb

Webb moved into her van as restrictions eased last year, citing high rental costs and low wages at the various odd jobs she previously worked.

“I would even refuse to go out with friends for lunch because I was so worried about not having enough rent,” Webb told Insider. “But then I started meeting other van lifers who were also content creators and saw how much they were traveling and wanted to join them.”

Van living has become more popular following the pandemic and rising rents and house prices. But that backfired on some, with one nomad telling Insider that she became homeless after trying to live in her van.

Webb quit the pickup truck life as gas prices soared, with his Chevy going 7 to 10 miles per gallon and costing him more than $100 to fill up. “I don’t know if it’s a very smart move for anyone to live in a van right now, especially if you’re traveling.”

Billie Webb sitting in the trunk of her 2015 Mazda.

Webb now lives in a 2015 Mazda, where she also lived before buying the pickup truck.

Billie Webb

Living in a car is therefore a surprising pivot, given the small space, lack of amenities, and similar pressure from gas prices.

“Now I’m pretty used to it. So living in the Mazda, it’s not great for me. The only thing I wish was easier was the temperature,” Webb said.

With a Planet Fitness membership of $20 a month, Webb can also still shower regularly. Gym memberships are a must for anyone joining life in a van or car, she said. She also does housework sometimes.

The TikToker, however, was also able to get rid of her car, credit card and student loan debt of around $10,000 because she avoided paying rent and built a TikTok of 700,000 people who allowed him to pick up brand deals.

Webb earns around $1,500 for every brand deal she signs for her TikTok channel. She will usually do two or three a month, focusing on car accessories. His biggest deal recently netted him $5,000 for a partnership. Insider looked at his agent’s contracts and emails.

Camping in a Tesla

Coming back to a car was not easy. But despite the warmer temperatures Webb had to deal with, she said: ‘I’m pretty low maintenance as a person so I don’t like that I don’t need a king-size bed , I don’t need a giant closet.”

The Tesla Model 3.

Webb plans to live in a Tesla Model 3 from the end of the year.

Xing Yun/Costfoto/Future Publishing via Getty Images

But Webb hopes his troubles will be over when his Tesla Model 3 arrives in September.

Tesla’s camp mode allows the car to regulate its temperature and airflow overnight, making it a more natural hotel than its Mazda, and also making commuting much cheaper.

“Obviously the gas bill will be much lower or non-existent, the electric bill will be lower than the gas bill and the temperature issues will be solved. It will be really cool, I’m very excited about it.”


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