A designer feels “extremely fortunate” that her move into a vintage van saved her from rising energy bills amid the cost-of-living crisis.

Nicky Cash, 47, from Leeds, moved into her vintage motorhome in October 2021 and has since said her “slightly bonkers scheme” has “actually turned into a rather sensible plan” as others are faced with spiralling energy costs.

She told the PA news agency: “It’s made me incredibly grateful that I have more control over the increases to my living costs than most, especially with talks of an impending recession, which could make things worse.

“I do pay for electricity, which will rise as with everyone else, but I’m not heating/lighting a whole house and I have (a) 12v battery as well that I use as well as Propane gas.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Nicky Cash, 47, from Leeds, moved into her vintage motorhome in October 2021. Picture: PANicky Cash, 47, from Leeds, moved into her vintage motorhome in October 2021. Picture: PA (Image: PA)

“I feel extremely lucky that this what I thought was a slightly bonkers scheme of mine has actually turned into a rather sensible plan considering the situation as things have unfolded since.

“It’s certainly a lot less scary being in this position than if I had taken on the commitments of a rental. It’s a whole new way of life and one of the best things I’ve ever done.”

Ms Cash said the move was prompted by her struggle to find a place to live while being a self-employed, single applicant with two dogs.

“It was becoming clear that even if I did find something, the total cost was actually getting silly high for me to manage alone,” she said.

“The idea to live in a motorhome came to me as I follow a lot of Vanlife accounts – it seemed a bit crazy at first but little by little the idea took hold.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Undated handout photo of Nicky Cash's vintage van.Undated handout photo of Nicky Cash's vintage van. (Image: PA)

“It was important to me to have a base, though, so that was an important factor.”

While she is still based in Leeds, Ms Cash said living in her motorhome in the middle of a forest is “a bit like being on holiday every day” as it brought her greater wellbeing and calm.

The designer and professional furniture ‘upcycler’ has a separate car she uses to go to work, as her older van cannot “whizz around”.

She said: “My pitch is paid for up until October so again that is another stable cost but obviously I have to plan ahead for that and have cut back on spending on going out and other things.

“I have found being able to drive the van to people’s parties at home to stay over this summer has been a brilliant way to keep my costs down and particularly save on cabs.”

Before moving into her van last year, Ms Cash was looking at having to spend around £1,200 for rent and bills, even before bills began to soar during the cost-of-living crisis.

She said: “I imagine I might have ended up back at my parents’ for a time. They live on the other side of the country, too. It doesn’t bear thinking about.”

Ms Cash is renovating her vintage motorhome to suit her personal taste and has already re-covered all the seats, replaced the flooring and nearly completed her toilet/shower room.

She said: “I’ve always wanted to own my own home, to be able to renovate and decorate, but years of serial renting, then starting my own business, and then obviously recent events have made that impossible for me to do in the conventional way.

“I feel very fortunate actually that I hadn’t just somehow managed to scrape myself up and onto the property ladder because that is what we’re expected to do. I would be in a very tricky position now for certain trying to keep up with everything.”

Ms Cash was recently diagnosed with ADHD and said that living in her small home with less clutter is “easier to keep on top of” and does not overwhelm her as “a bigger place with more things can”.

She said: “I also love that it’s all mine and I feel free from losing my home again.

“I’ve rented for years and must have lived in over 30 addresses in my life so going through that again and continuing to feel transient was something I wanted out of but couldn’t afford to save for a mortgage.

“It’s something that has totally changed my life for the better.”

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to keep up with all the latest news.

Sign up to our newsletter to get updates sent straight to your inbox.

Have you got a story for us? Email newsdesk@telegraphandargus.co.ukcontact us here , WhatsApp us on 07720403052 or call us on 01274 705292.