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‘I ditched my life in London and now live off-grid – it saves me £6k a year’ | UK | News


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Shannon Lane, 29, was sick of paying £900-a-month for a room in a three-bedroom apartment in Clapton, East London.

The artist said she was looking for somewhere “more affordable” with space for her and her pug, Gilbert, two.

She took out a loan to buy a £24k 30ft narrowboat which she moved into in January 2023.

She says she now saves £500-a-month and travels around the Grand Union Canal – moving every two weeks.

 

But it’s not all been smooth-sailing and Shannon says she experienced “boat blues” as she grappled with freezing weather, learning to move the boat, emptying the toilet and refilling her water.

Shannon, an artist, currently based in Hackney, East London, said: “I was paying £900-a-month for a room, I thought ‘this is ridiculous’.

“I was thinking of other options that were more affordable with space that me and my dog could live in comfortably.

“As soon as I saw the boat advertised I knew it was one for me, I spent £24k and I worked out that my loan repayments are £300-a-month.

“That is a huge difference to what I was paying back in my houseshare and this is something I now own.”

Shannon was living in a shared house with two friends – originally paying £900-a-month until her landlord upped her rent to £1,000-a-month.

She was walking around the Kings Cross canal in October 2022 when she came across a narrowboat for sale.

Shannon said it was a “no-brainer” to move onto a boat and is now saving thousands a year.

She said: “I saw the boat and thought ‘what if?’.

“I texted the owner and we set up a viewing for the following week.

“As soon as I saw the boat itself I saw it was £24k and I worked out that paying my loan from the bank to afford it would be £300-a-month.

“That is a massive saving from what I was paying in my houseshare.”

Shannon moved onto the boat in January 2023 and said she was experiencing the “boat blues”.

“It was a huge learning curve, I like to call it my boat blues,” Shannon said.

“I thought it was going to be amazing and I would have all this freedom but when you come down to it you have all this hard work.

“It was January too so I was freezing, I didn’t know how to move the boat, empty the toilet or fill up the water.

“The best thing about boat life is the community, it is so nice to each other – if it wasn’t for them I don’t think I could have done it.”

Shannon said she loves the freedom of being on the boat and said her family weren’t shocked by her decision.

She said: “I am a spontaneous person, they were hesitant at first but they trusted my judgement.

“That solidified when they visited and they said it was such a nice way of life.

“I have made some of my best friends in the community, it is the freedom you get.

“I love the fact I can travel whenever I want and the summers are absolutely amazing.”

Shannon said she would love to live on the boat for the rest of her life and doesn’t like the idea of going back to paying traditional bills.

Shannon said: “I don’t like the idea of going back and paying traditional bills.

“At the minute I am just filling up gas whenever I need and my electricity comes from my solar panel.

“But, in order to live with my boyfriend I might have to as I am not sure he wants to move onto the boat.

“In a dream world I would live to here forever but I am not sure that is what my partner wants.”

Finances while renting a room in a houseshare –
Rent per month – £900
Share of bills per month – £100

Finances now living on a narrowboat –
Monthly loan repayment – £300
Gas – £40 every four months – so £10-a-month
Electricity – Free as generated by solar panels

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