A 32-year-old man has revealed how he became completely debt-free by living in cars as part of a mortgage-free lifestyle.
Nicholas Bauer, of Coolidge, appeared on a recent episode of Big super life in Arizonawhich takes a “look at America’s affordable housing.”
He displayed a series of vehicles he lived in in his twenties and which he still keeps on his five-acre ‘paid off lot’.
The self-described ‘full-time desert dweller’, who now lives in a mobile home with his girlfriend and daughter, revealed he has now saved so much money living off-grid that he doesn’t have to work.
Nicholas Bauer, of Coolidge, appeared on a recent episode of Big Super Living In Arizona, which “takes a look at America’s affordable housing”
He showed off a series of vehicles that he lived in until his twenties and which he still keeps on his two-hectare ‘paid off property’ (photo)
Nick explained how everything on the property is ‘100 per cent paid off’, having been paid in full in cash.
He said he had recently become unemployed but claimed: ‘I don’t really have to worry about anything because there’s no rent and no mortgage.’
Nick revealed that he started out as an automotive engineer at a startup where he was “underpaid” $11.50 an hour, quickly racking up debt and closing down credit cards.
He decided to save his money by living in the parking lot outside his work in a car he had leased.
But then Nick said that in 2015 he decided he would pay back what he owed and “live a debt-free lifestyle forever by living in vehicles” in what he described as his “solution to the housing crisis.”
The first vehicle he lived in was a Dodge Dakota truck that he had driven since high school and which previously had a pop-up camper on the back.
He built the suspension from scratch, which sparked his interest in engineering and eventually led to him getting a job at a local automotive startup.
Nick said he often had to “pull all nighters,” so the CEO let him keep his Dodge Dakota, which he used more for off-roading, and a second “project vehicle” in the parking lot.
The ‘full-time desert dweller’, who now lives in a mobile home with his girlfriend and daughter, revealed he has now saved so much money living off-grid that he doesn’t have to work
Nick, who describes himself as ‘a bit of a hoarder’, still said his dream is ‘to live in the woods with 50 trucks’
The second truck, a 404 series Unimog, was equipped with a bed, wooden floor, 40-inch flat screen and internet.
But without a toilet, he was forced to urinate into a Nalgene water bottle and ‘time’ his other toilet breaks to use the facilities at work.
Ultimately, Nick decided he wanted to upgrade to be able to stand upright and have a bathroom on board, so he moved on to purchase another ‘project’.
This time, the addition to its growing fleet was an amalgamation of two different military trucks – “put together in a sort of Frankenstein device” with a 1987 Fleetwood Prowler trailer on the back.
It was only half finished at the time, which meant Nick was able to get it for a good price and put the finishing touches on it, including installing solar panels.
He had driven the truck – which he called “the dragon cart” – to San Francisco, but soon suffered a mechanical failure along the way.
The self-described “full-time desert dweller” was then forced to live in a Chevy pickup because he knew “it was going to be a big thing to fix the original structure.”
Nick’s 43-year-old girlfriend, who grew up in an Amish community, became pregnant and the couple decided raising a family in vehicles wasn’t suitable
Nick said the Chevy looked like a regular work camper, but was equipped with a folding bed, heater and CCTV cameras.
He lived in the “stealth camper” in the Planet Fitness parking lot while he saved up to repair his “dragon cart.”
“When you have no rent and no bills to pay, that money just piles up,” he said, wondering how he saved on utilities, homeowners insurance, mortgage and more.
But Nick’s 43-year-old girlfriend, who grew up in an Amish community, then became pregnant and the couple decided that raising a family in such a “bachelor camp” was not suitable.
Instead, they set up a more permanent base by building a mobile home on the property where he still keeps all his previous vehicles.
Nick, who describes himself as “a bit of a hoarder,” still said his dream is “to live in the woods with 50 trucks.”