Most engineers live within the expanse of their salary by staying in a comfy apartment. But spare Brandon. This young engineer is different.
Brandon is a 24-year-old Silicon Valley engineer who chose to live in a 128-square foot truck. He’s been staying there for over a year now, slowly customizing his truck with features like a sunroof, bed, coat rack, dresser and lots of storage bags.
He based his mobile home in Google’s parking lot for almost a year, now moving around the local community. He makes sure that he doesn’t get any suspicion from neighbors with his unorthodox home, which he describes:
“Box trucks are well-suited to a wide range of activities. Need to make an area more sketchy? Park a box truck there and watch the surrounding property values plummet. Worried you don’t own enough things covered in graffiti? Buy a box truck, they’re magnets for impromptu community art sessions. Got some stuff to move? I know seven satisfied customers who can testify that Brandon’s Ad Hoc Moving Service™ comes in handy on occasion. Box trucks are great for hauling crap around…just not in the literal sense.”
But the greatest takeaway with his unconventional living is that he could save, save, save. He stays in his box truck without the fixed living cost of rent and electricity bills, and only pays $121 a month for his truck insurance. That’s all.
With this setup, the Google software engineer is able to save about 82% of his income. This allowed him to pay $22,000 of student loans and turn to investing his money.
According to Mint.com, Brandon now has a net worth of $121,532.89 between investments and cash, minus the credit cards that Brandon hasn’t paid off this month.
He religiously pays for his 401k, which is a retirement savings plan sponsored by an employer, puts money into a Roth IRA and brokerage account, and contributes to a health savings account (HSA).
Without the tax and all the pre-tax investment, Brandon bags about $2,000 a month. He said, “In the Bay Area, that would hardly cover rent and basic living expenses…if I had them.”
Despite his lifestyle that is focused in building his future, he says that this has no cost to his happiness.
If only Brandon could continue this savings rate, it’s not impossible that he could retire by 30 years with a little more than $1 million. But that’s not what Brandon really has in mind.
He says through CNBC, “My attention span is way too short to actually retire. What I’m doing is working towards financial independence, so that I can stop working and still afford to feed and clothe myself, living off of my investments for the rest of my life.”
When that time comes, Brandon tells that he plans to travel with a laptop, and work on his personal projects like his blog. Perhaps even get contract work ‘for fun’, he adds. “I’ve seen woefully little of the world, and I’d like to change that.”
Brandon’s last name is left undisclosed to maintain his privacy.
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