A 23-year-old Google software engineer saves money by living in a 128-square-foot truck in the company’s parking lot.
The Googler, who wishes to be identified by his first name, Brandon, saves 90% of his income by opting to live in a truck rather than paying for a pricey apartment in San Francisco, according to Business Insider.
Brandon, who started out as an intern at Google last summer, moved out from Massachusetts to the Bay area after he was an extended a full-time job offer from the company the following year. As an intern on the campus, Brandon was offered the most affordable corporate housing that included two bedrooms shared among four people. That broke down to about $65 per night and $2,000 in rent a month. He wrote on his blog “Thoughts from Inside the Box”:
“I don’t know exactly when I had the idea to live in a van, or where I first read about people who had done it. What I do remember, distinctly, is finding out how outrageously expensive it was to live in the Bay area. Let me set the stage: It’s 2014, and I’ve just found out that I’m going to be interning at Google in the summer. I start looking at the corporate housing options, and find out that the cheapest options are nearly $100 a night.”
That was how he came up with the idea of purchasing a 16-foot, 2006 Ford truck. Considering his former roommate’s advice that he not live in a car, Brandon began to have second thoughts. He proceeded to make a pros and cons list that he shared on his blog:
“Pros: Money Savings, Life Experience, Transportation and Proximity, Health Benefits,
Cons: Social Suicide, Inconvenience, Stress and Anxiety, Upfront Expenses, Good Luck Getting Laid”
He covered the $10,000 cost for the truck upfront with his signing bonus and predicted his break-even return of investment would tentatively be Oct. 21. His decision seems to be paying off as Brandon has been able to save thousands because his only bill, for the truck’s insurance, calls for a single payment of $121 a month. He explained on his frequently asked questions post that his lifestyle choice has cut out even having to pay an electric bill:
“I don’t actually own anything that needs to be plugged in. 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 (15,000 mAh) battery pack that I charge up at work every few days, and I use that to charge my headphones and cell phone at night.”
“My work laptop will last the night on a charge, and then I charge it at work. As I mentioned in a previous post, I could get a solar panel/power bank for real AC power, but I just don’t even know what I would use it for right now.”
As for other life necessities, Brandon eats, showers and works out all on Google’s campus.