[Instagram] van life? 1-5K a month, unlimited rainy day fund (daddy’s wallet). Real van lifer? 400- 1kish per month. 500 -10k rainy day fund. – HighRandomthoughts1)
There are many answers to this question, and the only real answer is what it costs YOU to live a nomadic life.
The general pattern is you can do things a cheap way, an average way, or an expensive way depending on your lifestyle.
|vehicle||what you own||what you buy||what you finance|
|build||minimal build||DIY build||factory build|
|food||scratch cooking||cooking with some eating out||eating out|
|campsites||boondocking||public campgrounds||private campgrounds|
|fuel||staying put||moving occasionally||always on the go|
In this category you can find members of the Cheap RV Living forum, Social Security beneficiaries, disabled veterans, private pensioners, and minimalists. Boondocking or stealth camping is the norm. A campground with hookups is a rare indulgence. Often found in the company of a dog, sometimes found in loose groups of fellow boondockers.
The boondocking/snowbirding lifestyle can be about $500/mo for folks who are willing to:
Modern working-age nomads usually get by in this range. They will sometimes boondock, sometimes park in Walmart lots, and sometimes stay in reasonable parks with hookups.
People who boondock in large Class A or fifth wheel RVs may fit in this category.
It is possible to spend way more than $2000/month but in general this category is inhabited by the comfortably retired. They can afford to drive expensive RVs and put down anchor in nice campgrounds (or even resorts!) with full hookups. Sometimes the less-eager partner needed to be bribed with luxury features.3)
Also in this section: Instragrammers and trustafarians4) who are able to pawn off expenses onto tax writeoffs, sponsorships, or family trusts.
[note: this is not tax advice, do your own research]
Living on small amounts of income may result in your owing no federal income tax “as long as your [earned] income is less than your standard deduction” ($12,200 in 2019, or $13,850. for those 65+).5) This is just over the $1000/mo mark described above.
Even if filing isn't required, it may be a good idea since it starts the IRS 3 year statute of limitations timer on audits.6)
State of domicile will affect whether or not you pay state income tax.
V.A. disability payments are non-taxable (“not included in your gross income”).7)
Social Security payments
In most cases, if you only receive Social Security benefits then you would not have any [federally] taxable income and therefore would not need to file a tax return.8) States that do not tax SS income.
Having earned income in addition to SS income can result in paying taxes on some amount of SS.
Taxes must be paid on self-employment income over $400 total, even though clients don't have to issue the 1099-MISC until payments reach $600.9)