Travel: This couple dreamed about frugally traveling around in a van — until reality smacked them in the face

Traveling the country, driving past corn fields and mom-and-pop shops until you reach the Grand Canyon. Pulling up the trunk, kicking off your shoes and cracking open a cold one, while dangling your feet into the dusty summer air. Sleeping under twinkly lights. Seems like a picture-perfect life, maybe even one built for Instagram, right?

It’s known as #vanlife — that is, traveling, or even living full time, in a van — and it’s seductive. At least it was for Lisa, a 43-year-old mom of one who works in pharmaceuticals, and her husband, a filmmaker.

Before they got married in their 30’s, Lisa, who lives in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, became more interested than she ever had before in personal finance.

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