My 4 Income Streams to afford full-time Vanlife.

Daniel J. Schwarz
3 min readMar 18, 2024

Since I live full-time in my van, I get a lot of questions about how I can afford this lifestyle and what I do for a living. So I decided to write an article about it.

Photo by Daniel J. Schwarz on Unsplash

My income streams are shifting from time to time, but 4 of them are very steady at the moment, so thought I will just write a little bit about them.

Before I dive into it I want to add that I started to build those income streams way before I moved into the van. Already during my studies, I tried to find ways to work location independently. I also watched a lot of videos and read a lot of blog posts of people who already made this dream come true, and they helped me a lot.

Hopefully, this article will help you too!

So let’s get right into it and let’s start with the biggest part of my income.

Freelance Work

I am a Freelancer and create Social AR Effects for my customers. To get clients I offer my services on Fiverr. Which is a great platform to get your service in front of many eyes. The projects I work on usually take me 1 to 4 days to finish. This gives me a lot of freedom, because I am not bound to one customer for a longer period.


I still see photography as a hobby, but in the last few years, I built a little income with it. I sell photo licenses and upload pictures to the Unsplash Plus program. Sometimes I also do content creation jobs for customers.

Those 2 income streams are more or less on the active site of my income because here I have to trade my time for money.
But I also have 2 passive income streams, where I have to put work in first and money comes in over time.


During my studies I started a Gaming YouTube channel, where I uploaded videos of me playing games on my smartphone, this channel took off and brought me into the world of YouTube.
But after some years I realised that I was never a real gamer and so I stopped uploading to this channel.

Nevertheless, I liked the process of creating videos and building a community around a certain topic. So I started a tutorial channel where I upload videos on how to create AR Effects for Instagram and TikTok.

The next step here would be building a stand-alone online course that I can sell, which already leads me to the next income stream.

Online Shops

I am also running 2 online shops where I sell digital products. Those products are also linked to my YouTube channel, because I sell pre programmed AR Effects and templates, which can be easily modified by the buyer.

Those are the 4 income streams which are giving me the freedom to live on the open road for a longer period of time. And all I need is my laptop and a good internet connection.

Thanks for reading!
- Daniel