Save Money

Student lives on £800 yacht to save on rent

We love hearing money saving stories from students. But Joe’s story has to take the biscuit!

Do you struggle to find the money for a deposit, or simply hate the idea of throwing money at landlords? Perhaps it’s the 8am inspections and viewings that ruffle your feathers.

Well, consider taking a leaf out of Joe Pearce’s book. He didn’t pay rent. That’s because this is the student who bought a yacht to live on while studying at Aberystwyth.

Joe lived on his boat for 14 months while he completed his Masters in Physical Geography. He found ‘The Golden Cloud’ – still seaworthy at 42 years old – online for just £800. That’s the equivalent of just two months’ rent (and as the owner, he can always sell the yacht on).

The only rent he pays now is £1 a day to keep his yacht in the harbour.


The student was sharing a flat with his girlfriend, but after they split up he couldn’t afford the rent on his own. So Joe made the decision to save money and live on a boat instead, saving a huge £5,600 on rent so far.

He describes living in the boat as “luxury camping”, like being in a “wooden tent”. The parties he’s hosted have already gone down in Aber legend!


Joe thinking out of the ordinary to find a way to save money is an inspiration to us all. Granted, the Manchester canals might not be as welcoming to a 23-foot yacht as a Welsh seaside town, but it does go to show that you can always find a money saving alternative to what everyone else does.

For many students, there’s really no reason why you couldn’t apply the same, bold move and live in a van while studying. Or just go all out Ray Mears and live under canopy in the local forest!

If you’re a little more traditional, head over to our student accommodation section for lots more money-saving tips.

Yacht a bit too small for your liking? Check out these students living on a houseboat in London!