British students amass an average of $25,000 worth of debt, which is just $2,000 short of American visitors to universities, but one clever UK student, Joe Pearce, decided to escape the burden of debt that comes with graduating from school by living on a boat.
Pearce bought the 23-foot sailboat for $16,000 after working in a hotel that gave him a free room in exchange for working there, and it helped him whilst he studied hydrography as an undergraduate.
Pearce stated, “Most people have parents for financial support, but my dad lost his sight with multiple sclerosis and he used to be the breadwinner, so there [was] no financial backup.”
The Englishman didn’t want to go into any debt before he studied his Master’s, so he sought a way to take of the close to $6,000 cost to study there.
Pearce had recently split up with his live-in girlfriend, which increased his expenses, to which he remarked, “My girlfriend and I shared rent of £100 ($150) per week, so when we split, I was left with £400 ($600) a month. I [knew I] wouldn’t have enough to finish my Master’s.”
He then went on to reveal why he chose to live on the vessel, stating, “I’ve always had a soft spot for the sea, and [boating] is in my heart. My best memories as a child were … going out on my dad’s boat, kayaking around the coast and estuaries of the island and visiting my grandpa in Cornwall with his moorings and boats … So I wondered, what if?”
Pearce believes that he saved around $8,500 by living on the boat, which started after he want able to reduce the cost of the ship, The Golden Cloud, down by $3,400 to just $1,200, and, despite the creaky conditions of the vessel, it managed to survive during his stint at university.
Pearce graduated with his Masters in December 2012, and, even though he was broke, he was totally debt-free.
[Image via Joe Pearce]