Living in a van can help you save money, however the cost can vary depending on what your needs are. Even the most basic van builds can cost several thousand dollars, including electrical systems, insulation, water storage, a kitchen, sleeping gear, and so on. But more elaborate van builds can cost upwards of one hundred thousand dollars. The van life is not without its challenges. To earn the same income as someone else, you will need to work twice as hard and convince people to let you hire them.