Rent prices in the Bay Area are pretty unforgiving – even for Google employees.
What’s also true of Google employees is that they’re rarely home, which means you’re essentially paying at least $2,000 a month for the privilege of sleeping in a box. And that’s about it.
One man, however, has taken an alternative approach to living. Brandon, a 23-year-old software engineer at Google, has taken up residence in a 2006 Ford truck that’s parked at the company’s office in San Francisco. He used his signing bonus to buy the truck for $13,000 in mid-May and will broke even today according to calculations derived from his savings clock.
As of this writing, he’s amassed net savings of just over $200.
“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.”
The financial benefit has been astronomical.
His only fixed cost is around $150 a month for truck insurance; his phone bill is covered by Google and he’s able to eat and shower at work. A battery pack charges a few essentials – headphones and cell phone – and he’s able to save around 90% of his after-tax income, which he commits to paying off student loans and investments. In four months, he’s been able to erase over $8,000 of his debt.
The perks aren’t just monetary, either.
At just 128 square feet, the truck is still bigger than any space Brandon’s lived in previously. Brandon’s commute is just a few seconds by foot, and he believes being forced out of his comfort zone will be especially valuable when he pursues his long-term goals.
“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,” he wrote on his blog, ‘Thoughts From Inside the Box’. “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.”
Indeed. You do you, Brandon.