How I make MONEY living the Bus Life.
If you read the blog about how much I strongly dislike invasive and disruptive advertising, I thought this week I would cover how I make money while living the Bus Life.
In April of 2015 I quit my job as a Station Trainer at the Seattle Airport in Washington. I was considered "Below-the-wing" ground crew, responsible for training new hires to work around the Aircraft on the tarmac, load and unload luggage, drive equipment around the airport, and assist customers along their journey. It was a great job with great health care benefits, free and discounted flights, a 401k with employer matched funds, extremely flexible schedule and a fun atmosphere. I worked here for about 2.5 years before I needed a completely different life.
It was too loud, too hectic, and I no longer wanted to exist as simply a number, a "Human Resource" for a Big Company. I wanted a different sort of life; simpler. That meant quitting my job and buying a school bus to convert into a Tiny Home.
A month before I quit, I bought a School bus to convert into a Motor Home. My parent's and I started on the conversion in May, and in August of 2015, a few months after quitting my job, I hit the road with the fully converted Big Blue Bus. I'm coming up on my 3 Year Bus Life Rebirth day. In that time, I have had to be crafty and ingenious to be able to afford all the diesel that the Big Blue Bus drinks, pay for accommodations/parking, food, and overall daily expenses.
I knew that I would be able to find my way and succeed at Tiny Living in a School Bus. But how? I've tried several things so far. I have realized there is quite a difference between earning a steady paycheck through a time clocked job, and working towards earning through several streams of Passion Income.
Making Money the last two and a half years, I have:
Sold all Natural, hand-poured Soy candles and other crafts. Selling to people I met on the road and on my Etsy store (Mostly when parked and have a steady way to send mail.)
Worked temporarily as telephone customer service for a Vape Company, trouble shooting their merchandise and answering e-mails, as well as help with their shipping. I could have worked here longer, but I did not enjoy the atmosphere.
Became a Day Laborer (removing overgrown weeds mostly) at a Bonsai Nursery, as well as part time photographer for them.
Home Show Convention where the Bus was on display, giving attendees the chance to tour the bus and get a feel for Tiny Living. Able to sell SkoolieLove Store shirts and other merchandise. I was also paid an honorarium to attend.
Blogging and writing a memoir/ short stories, moving towards a professional writing gig. STEEMIT!!
Collected what little was over from my Tax Return and Piggy Bank
Tapped into my inheritance (Thanks for the support Mom and Dad!)
Grown my hair out for Scientific Hippie Research - Still unpaid.
Run down my Savings/Gambling
Donate my beard hair every 3 months
What can you take away from my experiences the last 2.5 years living in a converted school bus?
If you do not have a considerable amount of savings and/or a "job"/way to make money, I would NOT get anywhere near a Converted Bus/Tiny Home to live in.
A flat tire, cracked windshield, engine trouble, $300 oil changes, etc can DRAIN/RUIN your finances QUICK.
A couple words on SAVING(s):
When I started the bus build, I had about $24,000 in savings. That is just about gone, 3 years later.
On a limited income and budget, lack of savings, it doesn't only come down to how much you MAKE, but how much you SPEND. My spending has drastically decreased, as I reuse, reduce and recycle what I can. I eat out less, I think about everything that I bring into the Bus and how much space it takes up. It's a whole lifestyle and mindset change to go from an apartment/house with a stable, predictable income - to living job to job, work to work. It takes a strong will, motivation, determination and a willingness to wait and endure with less. I believe that's the beauty of downsizing and Living Tiny, rearranging priorities.
Free campsites, parking with friends, sleeping at Truck Stops, asking for help and reaching out to the community can save you time and money. People living on the road, whether Bus Lifer's, Van Lifer's, and other unconventional lifer's, all share a love for experiences and spending time with like minded people. Being on the road has provided me with such wonderful experiences, bonding and sharing stories with people who are also living smaller, but experiencing the world at large.
My current attitude is WORK and HUSTLE. Becoming the CEO, Manager, Marketing Director, Social Media Manager, Website Builder, Content Creator, Graphic Designer of my own Brand and Lifestyle, I am currently running my own Website and Blog (https://www.skoolielove.com/), along with my E-Commerce Store @ SkoolieLove Store (https://skoolienation.com/)
This is currently my main focus and plan for making money to support the bus life. I've come across several folks on the road that do website marketing, blogging, photography, and search engine optimization work. As long as they have Wi-Fi and power for their laptops, they are able to work.
How I felt quitting my job.
For a while after I quit my job, I felt worthless. "All" I was doing was parking in the woods, reading a book, cooking and focusing on my meals, playing music, and writing. I was no longer earning controllable, steady money, and each mile I drove made me think about how much diesel money that is. I felt like I was no longer contributing and felt ashamed for not holding a traditional job. I had to get over that feeling, that anxiety. That fear of somehow not doing enough, doing too little, enjoying myself a little too much.
That's when I came to know about PLEASURE and WEALTH. I realized how much more pleasure my life had now. Everything is better. Looks better, smells better, tastes better. Life through BUS LIFE lenses is fantastic. I may not be rich in paper currency or coins, but I've met so many wonderful people along the way, and have a shitload of stories to share. I am much happier than I ever was before. Not clocking in, while being able to travel, and working hard to create several streams of income has been paramount to living a healthier and more rounded life. I am much happier than I ever was before.
Somehow, in some way, you'll find out what you need to be doing, and when you need to be doing it. That much I've learned living the Bus Life.
Support the Supporters; The Movers and the Shakers.
I recently signed with Amazon for their free Affiliate Program. SkoolieLove now has the opportunity to earn affiliate fees and credits toward advertising. Amazon is actively helping self-starters and entrepreneurs, like myself, to accomplish their dreams.
Oh I get by with a little help from my friends.
Mm I get high with a little help from my friends.
Thank you so much for coming through! Greatest of luck to you creating your own work and finding out ways to become wealthy.