'Homeless' Woman Lives In Her Car And Works Two Full-Time Jobs To Save Money And Pay Off Her Debt

She has committed to making sacrifices to achieve her goals.

woman sits in back of van admiring ocean view simonapilollatnf / Canva

Many people feel drawn to the idea of car or van life because it offers the thrilling and freeing opportunity to trade a stable home for experiences traveling the country. 

While this lifestyle offers individuals the chance to save money on rent and explore the wonders of our country, it’s not always as glamorous as it seems.

One woman has been working two full-time jobs to pay off her debt and save money. She has prepared herself to live in her car full-time by living at home three days a week and waiting until her lease expires at the end of this month.


The ‘homeless’ woman took to TikTok to document her journey to becoming financially free.

Jade, who goes by @jadeincar, made her first post on her account in March as she sat in her car, asking the car and van life community for any tips and advice they could offer her as she willingly embarked on her path to living in her car and working overtime to pay off her debt.

“I am homeless, and I’m living a double life,” she began her video. “I will be [living in my car] full-time, and I'm very excited to do it. I will make my money and then get a place eventually, but I have some goals and bills that I really want to pay off first, and with today’s economy, it just doesn’t seem like it’s possible at this moment for me to do both.”


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In another video, Jade offered some additional context to her situation as she got ready for her second job in her car.

“I could not control my finances when I was younger,” she explained. “I got a credit card with 29.6% interest and that ended up turning into me having shopping habits and tattoos … That interest accumulated into something higher and higher every day.”


She emphasized how the economic crisis has made it excessively difficult for individuals to get out of debt, leading her to resort to this lifestyle.

@jadeincar How i got in this position and how im going ti get out of it. #vanlife #carlifestyle #debtfree #debtfreejourney ♬ original sound - jadeincar

Working full-time at a homeless shelter by day and as a server overnight, she is gradually saving her money to pay off her debt and eventually save up for an emergency fund.

She explained that she doesn’t get much financial help from her mom, who is working hard to support herself, and her dad is not involved in her life. She refuses to get into a relationship to financially rely on another person, so this is her best option to get herself out of the thousands of dollars in debt she dug herself into.


“I think it’s very important that people understand what they want in their life and try to achieve those goals,” she said. “If that means becoming uncomfortable for a while, do it.”

In another video, Jade revealed some of the challenges this lifestyle has invited into her experience and the changes she has implemented to take care of her needs.

Naturally, working two full-time jobs can certainly take a toll on an individual’s physical and mental health. Jade opened up honestly about how her busy work schedule has begun catching up to her, leading her to reevaluate some of her decisions and make some changes.

Jade posted a video in mid-April admitting she has paid off $6,000 in debt in one month alone, but she addressed the price she’s had to pay in the process. 

@jadeincar If you’re compromising anything that’s depleting the light in you - cut it the efff out. You’re more important and can grow way brighter if you say good-riddance to negative energy. I took a sick day today to be able to go outside in the sunshine and fuel my soul again and decidet to cut some things out. #wellnesstips #wellnessjourney #debtfreejourney #financialfreedom #carlife #vanlifetravel ♬ original sound - jadeincar

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“My circadian rhythm is so off that when I have a chance to sleep, I sleep,” she added. “But I’m starting to get sick … and it’s due to all of these things.”

In essence, anyone can work hard to accomplish their goals, but eventually, burnout will catch up to them. As Jade demonstrated, it’s necessary to take action and prioritize your well-being above anything else when things become too draining.

“I’m reevaluating what makes sense in my life, and that is not two full-time jobs,” she revealed. “So I put in my three weeks at the shelter. I can still achieve my goals by surviving off of serving, it just might take me a little bit longer, but I’m not willing to risk my health or my well-being anymore.”

Within two months, Jade paid off $8,000 of debt, excluding student loan debt, and she took to TikTok to celebrate her achievement.

“I did it! I’m debt-free, and you can do it, too! This is like the most exciting thing for me as an average human living in debt in this 70th percentile of just all Americans struggling day by day,” she shared. “It’s very possible to get out of debt, and, let me tell you — it’s not easy.”


She explained how she sacrificed having a home and her time by working two full-time jobs, one of which she eventually chose to quit, and her efforts to find other sources of supplemental income, like cleaning homes.

@jadeincar I told myself I’d be debt free in two months (except stufent loans) but i have offically paid off all credit cards, medical bills, car loans and friends! If you need support in your journey, I’m here! Next step, saving an emergency fund! #debtfree #debtfreejourney #financialfreedom ♬ original sound - jadeincar

“I have no time for my friends, no time for my family,” she expressed. “I have literally just been hibernating in a hole, but it is possible.”

Moving forward, Jade’s next goal is to build a $10,000 emergency savings fund in three months by saving $112 a day in her cash binder through the tip money she earns as a server and additional funds from cleaning houses on the side.


She is additionally committing to budgeting better and writing down her schedule and actions in a planner so she can stay organized and hold herself accountable.

@jadeincar Next goal! $10,000 saving ls in three months. Is it doable? Lets find out! #debtfreejourney #debtfree ♬ original sound - jadeincar

“This is a really hard journey, but it's super fun and super exciting,” she admitted.

While it’s certainly challenging, Jade emphasized that a short-term experience of discomfort and hard work is worth the sacrifice if it means building your mental strength, achieving your goals, and being in a much better financial position in the future. Hard work will always pay off as long as one stays disciplined, patient, dedicated, and faithful in the process.


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Francesca Duarte is a writer on YourTango's news and entertainment team based in Orlando, FL. She covers lifestyle, human-interest, adventure, and spirituality topics.