A 23-year-old Software Engineer who works for Google in San Francisco has eschewed renting an apartment in favour of sleeping in a truck in his employer’s parking lot. Brandon, who has withheld his surname and photo to maintain his anonymity, was struggling last Summer, living with four people in a 2-bedroom apartment and paying $2,000 per month, during his Google internship. He decided that there had to be a better way.
“I realized I was paying an exorbitant amount of money for the apartment I was staying in — and I was almost never home,” Brandon said. “It’s really hard to justify throwing that kind of money away. You’re essentially burning it — you’re not putting equity in anything and you’re not building it up for a future — and that was really hard for me to reconcile.”
Upon starting a full-time position at Google, Brendan purchased a 2006 Ford truck, with 157,000 miles on the clock, for $10,000, which amounted to his signing bonus from Google. Not as a vehicle, but as a home.
Brendan has no overheads – he does not drive his truck, uses no electricity, and his phone bill is covered by Google – and his only regular payment is the $121 a month car insurance. He eats, showers, and works out at his workplace campus. As of today, Brendan has “broke even” on his truck, at least according to his “savings clock”. His net savings, updated live on his blog, “Thoughts from Inside the Box”, were listed as $206.53 (rising every few seconds) at the time of writing.
“I don’t actually own anything that needs to be plugged in,” he explains. “The truck has a few built-in overhead lights, and I have a motion-sensitive battery-powered lamp I use at night. I have a small battery pack that I charge up at work every few days, and I use that to charge my headphones and cellphone at night. My work laptop will last the night on a charge, and then I charge it at work.”
Image courtesy of Thoughts from Inside the Box.