How To Make Your Dollar Stretch Living on the Road

So you saved up enough money to start living on the road. You are excited and ready. Then it hits you, “This funding won’t last forever. What do I do?” In this article I will provide you the information you need to make your dollar stretch while living on the road.

Making being frugal part of your life
Being frugal will help stretch out your money while living on the road.

Make Being Frugal Part of Your Life

Being frugal while living on the road can really help your dollar go a long way. By keeping things simple and even bland you won’t spend money on the extras. Here are some basic ideas to being frugal:

  • Thrift Stores
  • Do a work for stay instead of paying for sites
  • Batch cook instead of eating out
  • Use coupons 
  • Look for clearance and discounted items.

Check out this article for more information on being frugal while living on the road. Also check out this article for tips on downsizing.

Hack away at the unessentials...
Being a minimalist shows you what you need in life so you are not spending it on the wants.

Hack Away At The Unessentials…Think Minimalism

This one can go side by side with being frugal. Minimalism is basically living with less. When you live with less you don’t need to spend money on items or services you don’t need while living on the road. Here are some key points to keep in mind about taking the minimalist route:

  • Think about what you need not want in life. We need food, clothing, shelter and water. Items for work, health, etc, will be different for everyone.
  • Having minimal amount of stuff means you are not paying for the extras you don’t need.
  • You are less likely to overspend when having a minimalist mind and lifestyle.

Check out this living a zero waste lifestyle article to get more ideas to minimalize your life while living on the road.

Buy in bulk and quality
Buying quality items that will last a long time will help stretch your funding by not repurchasing that item.

Buy In Bulk and Quality

When you do your resupply in town try to buy in bulk. That is of course if you have the space to do so. It may cost more in the beginning but saves you money in the end.

Also buy better quality items. For example:

  • Hiking or Camping Gear- This could range from backpacks to tents and everything in between.
    • Solar-having a good solar power system not only can last you a long time but save you money since you don’t have to use electricity or have to buy propane. Some areas may be more solar friendly than others when it comes to weather. Check out this article for the best solar ideas.
    • Kitchen Items such as blenders or kitchenware
    • Shoes-This especially goes for hiking, sport or work shoes. Of course check the thrift stores 1st because you may find the quality brand you are looking for.
  • Clothing-Again check the thrift stores before paying full price.

These are just a few examples to keep in mind when buying quality as opposed to buying something at a cheap price and then having to repurchase that item again.

Dont travel as much
Staying in one spot longer will save you gas money while living on the road.

Don’t Travel As Much

Gas prices as well as wear and tear on your vehicle can make your money go down the drain…….and quick! Consider these ideas while you are living on the road:

  • Stay on free public land for 2 weeks instead of 2 days.
  • If you stay at paid campgrounds look into weekly or monthly rates. They may be cheaper in the long run compared to daily.
  • Stay in one spot until you reach your financial goals.

Find creative ways to make money....
Being a digital nomad is one of many ways to earn an income while living on the road.

Find Creative Ways To Make Money Living On The Road

Your funding will probably not last a lifetime while living on the road. That means you may have to make some type of income to not only support your current income but support you when you are older. Don’t worry, here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Be a Digital Nomad-Basically your workplace is online and wherever an internet connection is. Examples of digital nomad jobs are a programmer, website designer, SEO specialist, or a customer support representative.
  • Become a Freelancer-This option you can utilize both the digital and physical world. Examples of a freelancer would be a writer, a tutor, a transcriber, or an illustrator.
  • Do seasonal work in whatever areas you travel to-This could be seasonal retail or restaurant work, working at ski lodges or summer resorts, campgrounds, the list could go on.
  • Odd End Jobs-These jobs include but are not limited to pet sitting, craigslist jobs, delivering food or being a personal taxi service.
  • Stick with a 9 to 5-If you do not want to travel then stick with your day job.

There are so many options out there when it comes to working and living on the road. These are just a few examples above that can help get you started. Here are some more work ideas when living on the road.

Consider investing 1
Investing in real estate is one way of making passive income while living on the road.

Consider Investing

No I don’t mean hit the stock market while living on the road. Unless you want to of course. There are many ways to invest your money to make it a sort of passive income while you do little or no work. Here are some ways to invest your money while living on the road:

  • Bonds-Basically you are loaning money for a certain amount of time and you get that money plus interest. Treasury securities are issued by the government where other bonds can be issued by another entity like a corporation.
  • Real Estate-Real estate is a good source of passive income while you are on the road. Better yet, if you have a house and are downsizing, consider keeping your house to rent out to someone to generate income.
  • Become an Affiliate-If you have a website, a blog or even make videos for a living you can earn side income through an affiliates program. You pretty much will earn a commission by posting a merchant’s website link if someone purchases something from that link on your site.

Consider investing 2
Investing in a business could help you earn some extra income.

  • Invest in a Business– This could be either starting your own business or investing in an already established business.
  • Stocks-If you invest in lets say an Amazon stock you share ownership of the business, so whatever they profit you can profit a percentage as well.
  • Put your money in a high yield savings account or money marketing account-Instead of putting your money in a regular savings account, which won’t give you much interest, try an online bank that will give you a higher interest rate. Most physical banks may only give less than .1% APY(annual percentage yield) where an online bank could earn you up to 1.7% to 2.5% APY.

The beauty with this option is you can have a versatile portfolio all the while earning your normal income. It’s a good way to make money and keep up with inflation without doing much. One thing to keep in mind is patience and go for the long term to get the most money out of your investments. 

As always, put in some extra research before doing any of these investing options that way you can fully understand what you are getting into.


There you go. Making your dollar stretch while living on the road can be very easy once you put your mind to it. You may have to use multiple methods to get the right fit with your lifestyle. So don’t wait until your funding runs out. Start building that cash while you are living on the road.