Mother moves into narrowboat with her son and saves £870 per month

Single mother, 38, who struggled with her bills moves into a narrowboat with her son, 8, and now saves £870 per month thanks to foraging and homeschooling

  • Hannah Bodsworth, from Leicester, moved on to her £18,500 narrowboat in 2017
  • The 38-year-old wanted a cheaper, slower and more simple way of life for her son
  • In an attempt to go off-grid, Hannah is now homeschooling son George, eight 

A mother has revealed how she’s saving £870 every month after deciding to move on to a narrowboat with her son for a cheaper way of life after struggling with bills while being a single parent.

Hannah Bodsworth, 38, from Leicester, was fed up with the stress of juggling parenting while trying to cover rent and other outgoings, and decided to embrace a life on the water.

She moved on to her £18,500 narrowboat in 2017 with her son George, now eight, for a cheaper, slower and more simple way of life, and has since seen her bills decrease by £870, compared to what they were when she was renting a two-bed home.

In an attempt to go off-grid, Hannah is now homeschooling her son from the boat and foraging for some of their food as they are not always near supermarkets when on the move. 

Hannah Bodsworth (pictured with her son on their boat), 38, from Leicester, was fed up with the stress of juggling parenting while trying to cover rent and other outgoings, and decided to embrace a life on the water

She moved on to her £18,500 narrowboat in 2017 with her son George (pictured), now eight, for a cheaper, slower and more simple way of life

She has since seen her bills decrease by £870, compared to what they were when she was renting a two-bed home. Pictured, inside the boat after renovations

In an attempt to go off-grid, Hannah is now homeschooling her son from the boat (pictured) and foraging for some of their food as they are not always near supermarkets when on the move

Hannah says life got stressful, she was burning out working in marketing with a photography studio business on the side just to cover the bills and lacked time to spend with her son.

She added: ‘My brother had moved on to a sailboat over ten years previous and I thought a boat home would be great for me and George for a better quality of life.

‘I was renting a nice two-bedroom house which I could afford when I was working full time, but this meant I would finish work and George would already be ready for bed.

‘My life was stressful and hectic. I was just living for the holidays and not living for each day. Since moving on to the boat our life is so much better. I feel like I have to pinch myself each day as I didn’t know it was possible to enjoy life this much.’

Hannah says life got stressful, she was burning out working in marketing with a photography studio business on the side just to cover the bills and lacked time to spend with her son. Pictured, George on the boat

Hannah (pictured) bought the narrowboat in 2017 for £18,500 with her savings and a small personal loan

She has spent the last three and a half years years renovating the boat and finally completed the renovations in April this year. Pictured, George’s room

Hannah (pictured with her son) said: ‘After buying the boat I quickly got George’s bedroom ready so that he could be comfortable and excited about moving in’

Hannah bought the narrowboat in 2017 for £18,500 with her savings and a small personal loan.

She has spent the last three and a half years years renovating the boat and finally completed the renovations in April this year.

Hannah said: ‘After buying the boat I quickly got George’s bedroom ready so that he could be comfortable and excited about moving in.

‘It was important that he had his own room, whereas my bedroom is also the living room, dining room and office.

‘Since schools shut due to coronavirus, I decided that I would continue to home school George. I can make his learning relevant to his way of life which makes it easier and he’s way more engaged too.


Hannah documents her journey on Instagram @narrowboatmama. Pictured, the mother’s boat before the makeover

Hannah (pictured on the boat before renovations) says it is easier for her to be a single parent while living on a narrowboat as her son is interested in boats, nature and engines


George loves getting involved in learning the locks and helping his mother wherever he can. Pictured, the boat before the renovations 

‘It suits our new lifestyle much better as we are constantly cruising which means we have to move at least one mile every two weeks. It also helps in our attempt to becoming totally off-grid.

‘At the moment we are 80 per cent of the way there as we currently still use gas, diesel and water. We try to make simple one-pot meals and have also recently started foraging for food as it’s not always easy to access supermarkets.

‘George loves helping and getting involved in this,’ the mother added.

Hannah, who documents her journey on Instagram @narrowboatmama, says it is easier for her to be a single parent while living on a narrowboat as her son is interested in boats, nature and engines.

George loves getting involved in learning the locks and helping his mother wherever he can.

Hannah, who now works as a freelance photographer, said: ‘George (pictured) had a moment like most kids where he wanted a big house with a swimming pool, but he loves our lifestyle now’

‘He gets to experience lots of different places and it opens his mind to different ways of life. It has been such a liberating experience,’ the mother, pictured with her son, added


Hannah’s work station, pictured left, and George on the narrowboat, pictured right

‘There were some concerns from people when I said we were going to move on to a narrowboat (pictured), but now everyone understands this is a good life for me and George,’ said Hannah

Hannah, who now works as a freelance photographer, said: ‘He had a moment like most kids where he wanted a big house with a swimming pool, but he loves our lifestyle now.

‘He gets to experience lots of different places and it opens his mind to different ways of life. It has been such a liberating experience.

‘The slowness of our life now is amazing. We are never in a rush for anything. Living a more simple life has made me so much happier.

‘We have a lot less money stress because if there is a period when I don’t have much work I know I can scale back massively while living on the boat. My outgoings are at least a quarter of what they were before.

‘There were some concerns from people when I said we were going to move on to a narrowboat, but now everyone understands this is a good life for me and George. And I can’t see us living any other way.’

Source: Read Full Article