I gave up normal life to live on a barge… I save £800-a-month in bills but there’s a drawback | The Sun

AN ARTIST gave up her normal life and £1,000-a-month rent to live on a barge – and she's saving thousands.

But Shannon Lane, 28, says there have been huge drawbacks with life on her 30-foot canal boat since she bought it nine months ago.

The engine was broken when she first exchanged keys, the interior needed improving and she didn't even know how to get the boat through a lock.

Shannon has to move her boat between locations every two weeks to follow licencing rules in London.

And the 4G signal is patchy, leaving her scrambling to find a good wi-fi café when she needs to work from home.

She told the Sun Online: "The first night I moved in I thought what the hell have I done."

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She couldn't figure out how to get her electrics to work and at one point ended up blindly making her way through a 20-minute tunnel because her headlights don't switch on.

She added: "There have been incredibly stressful moments. I moved in in January and I had to learn how to use the stove fire.

"I'd envisioned this amazing life and suddenly everything was actually really hard."

But Shannon was saving thousands.

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She'd made the shock decision to move after seeing the boat's for sale sign during a walk along the canal in King's Cross, north London.

"I've always been interested in the off-grid lifestyle. I looked around it there and then and fell in love," she said.

Shannon got a £12,000 bank loan and poured her savings into buying the £24,000 boat.

But now she's paying just £266-a-month – even in the winter – on her home.

Her boat licence is £800-a-year and in the winter gas and coal costs her £100-a-month.

Then she's paying her loan back to the bank with £200-a-month instalments.

The boat licence covered use of water filling stations and facilities to empty her toilet.

And because she moves the boat to a new position every two weeks she doesn't have to pay mooring fees.

She said: "My electricity all comes from solar panels and then everything else is normal household spending like food and toiletries."

Shannon's family weren't surprised when she revealed she'd bought a boat after getting fed up of her £1,000-a-month London rent.

In fact her mum told her her boat-loving granddad would be proud, she revealed.

She said: "My family weren't surprised because I've always made strange decisions.

"My granddad actually had a boat and used to do a similar thing. I was so close to my grandad so I wanted to do this for his legacy.

"My mum says he'd be proud of me which makes me feel emotional.

"My friends think it's amazing. When people come over and see the toilet they're not keen because you have to open a valve and it's not a normal flush.

"A lot of people know it's not for them but whose going to say no to drinking a glass of wine on the roof as we manoeuvre through the canal."

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It comes after two best friends turned an old canal boat into a luxury Airbnb as a side hustle.

And a fitness fanatic revealed the most common question she is asked about her life on a boat.

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