For many, the thought of living in your car is tantamount to homelessness, this Google employee has embraced it as a means to saving money. (Google employee perks help.)
Google perks make it an easy decision
Google is famous for the benefits it offers to its employees: a cafeteria, there are many, which feature a store of gourmet and healthful options at all times of the day, a state of the art gym equipped, as most are, with showers and a spa, a…well the list goes on and…I would love to work there.
The Bay Area by contrast, offers a lot but as much as anything offers ridiculous rents and living expenses.
As a result, a reasonably new hire of 23 years (Brandon S., he’s not disclosed his full name) has opted for what works in order to avoid the staggering rents for an apartment he was rarely using when interning at the tech giant in 2014…a box truck in the parking lot of the Google campus.
“For all the money I’m spending on this apartment, I’m hardly ever there!” Brandon wrote on his blog. “I wake up, catch the first GBus to Google, work out, eat breakfast, work, eat lunch, work, eat dinner, hang out at Google, and eventually take a bus home, pack my gym bag for the next day, and go to sleep.
Brandon’s decision was partially motivated by reading about the experience of another Google employee, Ben Discoe, a programmer who spent over a year living out of a van in Google’s parking lot. (Hardly the Chris Farley character who “lives in a van down by the river” given Google’s perk package.) He also read that once Discoe was discovered by Google security nothing was said or done to discourage this living arrangement.
Break even point realized
“Thoughts from Inside the Box.” is a blog written by Brandon S. which details the choice to purchase a 16′ box truck with the largest “bedroom” he’s ever lived in measuring 128 square feet inside his wheeled domicile.
His blogging has developed a bit of a following, but more importantly has seen Brandon chronicle his arrival at a break even point given the roughly $10,000 he spent in its purchase and renovation and its singular monthly expense ($121 for insurance.) To put that in perspective, the average rent for a studio in Mountain View (home to Google) is $2,000 a month not including utilities and other expenses.
As of today, he’s actually up $170 and now the real savings will begin.
Social pariah and Google outcast?
Not really. While that possibility topped his list when he made his decision to move into the truck, he seems to have gotten over it. He went so far as to invite a few of his Google friends/colleagues over for a few beers. No food was served as Brandon S. has a two-fold reason why not: he’s made an ironclad decision to not have any thing to eat in his “house” to stave off a potential rodent problem and, presumably because food inside is free.
“I’ve been continually surprised at how receptive people are to the whole concept of living in a car,” Brandon wrote, delighted over overcoming his initial fears, “The way I pursue, and find happiness, is by going to sleep a better person than I was when I woke up.”