Brandon chose not to settle in an expensive apartment in San Francisco when he moved there from Massachusetts to begin his job as a software engineer at Google. His choice of flat? A 128 ft truck.
This 23-year-old first thought of the idea when he stayed at a cheap corporate housing as he was still finishing his internship in Google last summer in 2014. It was a two-bedroom apartment occupied by four people for about $2,000 per month.
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He realized that he was paying more than what he should, considering that he was almost never home. He found it hard to accept that he’s splurging a big amount of money on such thing, knowing he could have used it to build up for a future.
So Brandon started planning on getting a truck and how he can live there before he returned to San Francisco to take on a full-time job. He purchased a 16-foot 2006 Ford that could run up to 157,000 miles. He used his signing bonus to pay for his new truck, which cost $10,000.
Since he lived inside the truck, the only fixed amount Brandon had to pay was the $121 a month truck insurance, since his phone bill was being paid by Google and he did not need to use electricity.
“I don’t actually own anything that needs to be plugged in,” he simply explained. “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 only put up a bed, a coat rack to hang his clothes, a dresser, and some stuffed animals in his little home.
As for his personal hygiene and foods every day, he would have his morning showers inside a corporate gym and he takes all of his three meals at Google’s campus.
He believed that he could get a good amount of savings if he would have fewer expenses. He plans to save 90 percent of his income so he could use it to cover his student loans and make some investments.
With his unique lifestyle, Brandon was able to pay $16,449 of his $22,434 student loans in just four months. He said, “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,” he said.
Brandon also shared that having to pay no rent allowed him to indulge in fine dining in some of the San Francisco’s most famous restaurants.
Brandon’s truck is parked just on the periphery of Google’s campus, near enough for him to go to work on foot and save himself from the stressful San Francisco traffic. Although he had some issues with the security once, he was freed from all speculations after he presented them his corporate badge. Aside from that, Brandon’s truck lifestyle was never a problem for him.
Expectedly, living in such a low-cost housing had some downsides. Brandon doesn’t have an air-conditioner and bathroom in his truck. But the Google employee says 128 ft² is actually more spacious than all the rooms he has ever slept in; besides, the truck is only there so he’d have someplace to sleep.
Brandon’s newfound lifestyle encouraged him to go out of his comfort zone, something he had to learn as he hopes to one day travel around the world.
He is not totally sure as to when he will move out of his truck, but he’s sure he does not want to stop any sooner.
“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,” he said.