Mustachian Googler lives in a van while working in Google and saves 90% of his income

In recent Mustachian news, a Google engineer called Brandon received his 15 minutes of fame when he was found to be living inside a 16-foot 2006 Ford truck and lived in the Google parking lot for free.

Unless you have been living under a rock, you’d know that it’s common knowledge that Google pays its employees well and provides one of the healthiest, happiest and most productive work environments possible. Living in a truck was an option that Brandon subjected himself to.

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Brandon’s story in a nutshell

While Brandon was interning at Google last summer, he was living in the cheapest corporate housing offered: two bedrooms and four people for about $65 a night (roughly $2,000 a month). Like most Googlers, Brandon spends very little time in his apartment for the exorbitant amount of rent he spends on the apartment.

Once he knew he was coming back to Google to work full-time, he started plotting for a solution as the rental situation in the Bay Area is very expensive. Inspired by the experience of Ben Discoe, a programmer who spent 13 months living out of a conversion van in the Google parking lot, Brandon bought a truck for $10,000 (which was easily paid for with his sign-on bonus) and ‘moved into’ the parking lot in Google.

Making full use of Google’s amenities

Brandon’s idea was that the only shelter he really needed was a place to sleep, and “company perks could provide the rest.” He eats all 3 meals at work and takes a shower every morning after working out in the corporate gym. He charges all his electronic equipment in the office and they last through the night so he never really needed a lot of electricity in his truck, if any.

By the way, Brandon’s never late for work since the office is just minutes away from his ‘home’.

Saving 90% of his income

As Brandon is able to avoid paying crazy rental fees and makes full use of Google’s amenities, he saves about 90% of his income and puts that money into paying off his student loan and building his investment portfolio. It also allows him to enjoy the San Francisco life better, dining in nicer restaurants with the money he would have spent on rent.

“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 writes in his blog. “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.”


  1. Hi MickeyJ

    Interesting. I think living in a van is restricted by singapore law and buying & maintaining a van is more expensive too. Having the aircon running with moving will produce toxic air?

    I like his creativity though 🙂

    1. Thanks for your comments.

      Is living in a van illegal in Singapore? I imagine it’s possible to buy a cheap van that’s going to be scrapped in a few years and then live in it. But that means no air-conditioning though. Though it would be hard to find an employer with office facilities to the likes of Google.

      1. I am only guessing. Maybe it is fine to stay in a van as residential property? I know a van can only be bought for commercial purpose in Singapore. Example, by a registered company?

        1. Well, I guess it’s fine to park your van somewhere and sleep in it. Registering a business is just $65 for first year and $20 for each subsequent year. Used van are going for around $40,000-$60,000 and those with COE ending in 1-2 years are less than $20,000. Not that it can’t be done, but depends on whether anyone wants to do it, I suppose. It’s unconventional in Singapore. That’s for sure.

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