By Victor Ochieng
So, how does he achieve that? Well, to put it straight, he saves on rent. The 23 year-old, Brandon Oxendine, moved from Massachusetts to the Bay Area after landing a job as a software engineer with Google. Instead of going for those highly priced apartments that permeate San Francisco, he chose to live in the company parking lot, settling in a 128-square-feet truck.
Oxendine had earlier interned at Google, and lived with three others in the cheapest apartment that was offered, where he had to pay $65 a night, translating to close to $2,000 a month. That experience opened his eyes.
“I realized I was paying an exorbitant amount of money for the apartment I was staying in, and I was almost never home,” he says. “It’s really hard to justify throwing that kind of money away.”
Aware of his future at Google in San Francisco, Oxendine made plans to save as much as possible, and his idea was to find the cheapest accommodation. Living in a truck was his final decision. So, with his signing bonus, he purchased a 16-foot truck for $10,000.
You might be wondering how he manages to live in a truck, but he’d thought about every detail beforehand.
“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.”
Oh, and if you’re wondering how he makes his food and showers, that’s taken care of at Google’s campus, where he’s provided with breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and he also takes a shower in the morning at the gym.
Oxendine says that his extended family considers his idea insane, but that doesn’t worry him as he knows exactly what he’s doing. According to him, he needs to plan things well and attain his financial freedom while still in his 20s.
One of the things he’s been working on is clearing his student loans. When he graduated, he had $22,434 in student loans and was able to reduce it to $16,449 within a period of only four months. He says he’s planning to clear all the loans over the next six months.
Oxendine isn’t the only Google employee who lives in a parking lot. There are several reasons why several Google employees choose alternative accommodation. A few of these include too high rental rates, difficulty in finding housing, and of course, to save money.