Google employee finds home in a truck in company’s parking lot, saving him 90% of his income
Bengaluru, India | Red Newswire | Dec 21, 2015 Last Updated at 11:01 PM IST.
Brandon (23 years old) had to move from Massachusetts to Bay Area post-appointment as software engineer at Google. When it came to accommodation, he had to rule out the idea of settling for San Francisco apartment which was overpriced.
So guess what? He made a 128 sq. foot truck his home.
The idea struck Brandon’s mind while he was interning at google and staying at a cheap corporate housing that was costing him $2,000 per month. He says, “I realized I was paying an exorbitant amount of money for the apartment I was staying in — and I was almost never home. 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.”
He started with this truck as soon as he came to knew that he would be working full time. After a year later he purchased a 2006 Ford which cost him $10,000. This he paid with his signing bonus. According to his blog “Thoughts from Inside the Box”, 21st October is his “break-even point”.
The one fixed cost that he has to pay is $121 per month. Rest his phone bill is handled by Google and he doesn’t use electricity. He explains, “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 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.”
He adds “The main things that I have are a bed, a dresser, and I built a coat rack to hang up my clothes. Besides that, and a few stuffed animals, there’s pretty much nothing in there.”
As for eating and showering, that’s all available on google campus. He uses the corporate gym and shower.
Brandon says significant savings come from few expenses. He says, “I’m going for a target of saving about 90% of my after-tax income, and throwing that in student loans and investments.”
He had taken a study loan worth $22,434 out of which he has already paid $16,449 in just 4 months. Brandon says, “As a conservative estimate (and taking bonuses into consideration), I expect to have them paid off within the next six months, saving thousands of dollars over the standard 10-year, or even 20-year plans.”
With his savings he is also able to dine at fine places in San Francisco. Another advantage is Brandon’s commute is very-very short – just a few seconds which is certainly better than hours of traffic.
The only drawback is space and other modern conveniences of AC, heating, bathroom etc. But according to Brandon, this is the largest bedroom he has ever lived in and given he comes home just to sleep; this is not a big trade-off.
Brandon says his truck, not only forces him outside of comfort zone but also gives him financial freedom. He says, “If I do plan on traveling the world, I’ll need to be comfortable with unconventional living situations, and this is certainly a good place to start. Plus, there is never going to be a better time in my life for me to try this. I’m young, flexible, and I don’t have to worry about this decision affecting anyone else in my life.”
It’s been 5 months for Brandon living in his truck and he is not thinking of stopping it any sooner. Living in a truck in your company’s campus definitely has its own perks.