Kimberley Marren, 31, is $1800 a month better off after swapping her rental property for a canal boat. Picture: @kimberleymarren
Kimberley Marren, 31, is $1800 a month better off after swapping her rental property for a canal boat. Picture: @kimberleymarren

Clever way this mum lives mortgage-free

A model has saved herself $1800 a month by buying a canal boat and doing it up herself.

Kimberley Marren, 31, paid $32,000 for the boat and spent $12,500 renovating it, using up her entire life savings, but now lives mortgage-free.

She lives on the boat with her partner Maarten and baby Willow in Hackney, East London, The Sun reports.

The mum-of-one, who works part-time as a model and actor, got sick of renting in London after 10 years and decided it was time for a change.

"I was renting in a property worth around £800,000 ($A1.4 million) and I felt so at home there but I just knew it was never really mine," she told the MailOnline.

After buying the canal boat, and putting in hours of hard labour, Ms Marren had the old barge converted into a stylish, comfortable home for her family, even doing the plumbing and electrics herself.

She got the idea after meeting a woman who lived on the river and used the extra money saved on rent to invest in her own business.

She started off with five pots of paint and got to work. Picture: Netflix
She started off with five pots of paint and got to work. Picture: Netflix

She started off by spending $180 on five pots of paint to transform the outside of the boat - but it was only then that she realised how much work it would take on the inside to make it liveable.

"It's just when you see something looking nice, you start seeing what the boat could become and it spurs you on," she said.

As there were no boat plumbers to hand, she had to learn on the job, teaching herself how to do the water and electrics.

She received a lot of help from fellow river-dwellers, with new neighbours chipping in on the complicated electrical work, as well as teaching her how to build a sofa and even bringing her lunch as she worked.

 

The boat has been transformed into a beautiful home for the young family. Picture: Netflix
The boat has been transformed into a beautiful home for the young family. Picture: Netflix

 

"Most of it you end up doing yourself," Ms Marren said. "But what was amazing was the amount of people living on the canals who stopped by to help."

Ms Marren moved into the boat before it was complete and came home to the barge with her newborn baby after giving birth.

"The first time we brought her home from hospital it was winter and I was worried it would be cold but it was absolutely fine. It's been challenging at times but she loves it," she said.

She spent her $1800-a-month savings on further renovations and the boat now has solar panels installed.

Ms Marren hopes to soon add a water filtration system that will make barge water suitable for use on the boat.

Other luxury features on board include a living area and two-person shower, bringing her total investment up to $57,000.

This article originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced with permission