WOMAN who bought a Peaky Blinders boat and turned it into a tiny house saved thousands on rent and bills — but there’s a catch.
Elizabeth Earle, 34, has lived on the ancient ship called the Maggie for over a year and says her alternative lifestyle saves her tons of money.
The author and illustrator bought the 70ft boat for £35,000 and revealed in a TikTok that her total costs are only around £3,400 a year.
She said: “I was spending around £1,200 a month on rent, council tax and bills and had so little to set aside and save.”
“I just thought, will this be my life forever? I have a kitchen, a bathroom and a very comfortable bed.”
However, the boat is still heated by a coal fire, with a 16-pound sack of coal lasting about two weeks.
Elizabeth also buys around £117 a month for diesel and gas bottles.
This is needed to heat the water so she can take a warm shower while the water supply is free.
But while she’s saving tons of money, there’s one important feature her boat doesn’t have that could help her save even more.
Elizabeth added, “My plan is to eventually have solar power to back up the battery.”
Elizabeth is a freelance writer and illustrator specializing in watercolor and has her own writing and painting area on board.
“I am a self-employed artist and therefore my income can fluctuate.
“I know I can pay my bills and my boat payments, and that gives me some flexibility.”
“Every penny I put in here doesn’t go toward someone else’s bills or mortgage, it goes toward my future.”
To use the boat she pays £108 for her Canal and River Trust license fee and insurance for just £100 a year.
Other than that, her only major expense is paying back the loan on the boat herself.
Elizabeth travels from place to place and lives because the boat is as old as it was in the early 20th century – including only two showers a week.
She has previously said she bought “Maggie” from a close friend who is letting her pay back in installments.
As always, TikTokers were quick to hit the comments section and share their take on Elizabeth’s boating life.
Many were impressed and praised her as “very talented”.
Another commented: “What a great life!”
“I like the narrow boat life. Where do you start?” said a third.
Although Elizabeth admitted that old-school life is tough at times, she insisted she was “free and happy” even when covered in coal and mud.
She is releasing a YouTube series explaining life on the water and is hoping to travel around the UK to research the history of women in narrowboats.
Iain and Brioni Cameron, a couple from Scotland, gave up their boring lives to sail the Caribbean on a catamaran.
Meanwhile, another couple have saved £1,000 a month after swapping their Hertfordshire home for a boat.