A Google employee has opted to live in a ten-year-old truck in his office parking lot rather than pay rent in the Bay area.
The 23-year-old Software engineer Brandon decided to leave the $2,000-per-month shared housing he was sharing with three other interns, as he was rarely there, according to Business Insider.
"I realized I was paying an exorbitant amount of money for the apartment I was staying in – and I was almost never home," he told Business Insider. "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."
Housing prices in the San Francisco area have been skyrocketing in recent years, according to Curbed.
When he became a full-time employee, Brandon decided to buy a 16-foot box truck with 128 square feet of space and live out of it at his employer's parking lot.
Brandon, who documents his ongoing truck lifestyle experience in a blog, Thoughts from inside the box, says he relies on work for most of his basic needs including showers, bathrooms, food, laundry, and gym.
"I don't actually own anything that needs to be plugged in," he explains on his blog. "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 targets to keep 90 percent of his income, after tax, to pay off student loans and save for the future.
According to Business Insider, Brandon graduated with $22,434 worth of student loans, and has paid it down to $16,449 in just four months. He predicts that he will have the full amount paid within the next six months,
Student loan debts are a heavy burden on many Americans and the numbers are staggering. In a recent report, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau estimated that more than 41 million Americans collectively owe more than $1.2 trillion in student loan debt, making student loan debt the second-largest class of consumer debt behind mortgages. The Bureau estimates that more than one in four student loan borrowers are now delinquent or in default on a student loan.
Brandon isn’t sure how long he’ll live in the truck, but for now it provides a glimpse of financial freedom. He writes, “if I 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.”