Living expenses are…well expensive. After rent, utility bills and food most would be lucky to have enough money left to buy themselves a luxuriously rich cup of gas station coffee. We spend most of our waking hours working for a paycheck that we then spend on a place that we only go to for a few hours a day. So why bother paying it at all? Now you’re getting the picture! These people thought the exact same thing so instead of working to pay for a living space, they just made their workplace home. Here are a few of those incredible stories.
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The American Dream can be an elusive one if not a complete pipe dream. Such was the case of a young professional that moved to L.A. to chase his version of the illusion. Creating a precarious Jenga tower of student loans, he added on rent and car payment. He worked two jobs, accruing 60 hour work weeks and he wasn’t exactly living the big time. He stayed in a shoe-box apartment, had a modest car and was struggling tooth and nail to stay above water.
One day the Jenga tower came crashing down. After having his identity stolen, increasing his debt due to a surgical procedure he needed and on top of everything his company cut raises and bonuses, he found himself at a financial impasse. Anonymous Terry K. inspired by the story of Young U.S. Senators converting their Washington D.C. offices into makeshift living spaces, decided to take a leap of financial faith. He rented out his itsy bitsy apartment and moved into his cubicle. For 500 days (or an entire summer) Terry K. would sleep in his office on the floor of his cubicle, wake up before anyone else did, go to the gym exercise, shower and leave. He found his new living accommodations immensely liberating.
Before he lived in his office, he aspired to write and travel but he could never afford it. However, his finances would now allow for it now that he was living in his place of employment. He started thinking about taking this “rent-free” lifestyle as he called it to another level. He started fitting out the back of his pick-up truck to be a livable space and good thing he did too. The company Terry K. worked and lived at eventually went under, but he wasn’t without a shelter as his truck was decked out with a camper shell with tinted windows, a bed, shelving, water and a bookshelf. He now travels around California and works 20 hours a week while pursuing his passion for writing.
AWOL at AOL
AWOL at AOL
For all of you young, bright eyed children in the room, AOL was basically what Yahoo! was which is basically what Google is. A huge internet search engine and browser that essentially owned the internet with their wide-spread presence, how does that pertain to our subject though? Well, You need a huge faceless corporation to do what this young tech dude did, which was live rent-free at the corporate offices.
Eric Simmons had a great idea for a tech company that would use videos and web content to teach children more natively (as they are heavily exposed to both of those) and more efficiently. He was awarded $20.000 and entry to a tech incubator for four months, but after four months and $20.000 the project was still in development. He was left without any partners, no funding for his idea/company and without a home or money, far away from his native Chicago.
Simons realized that his identification I.D. still worked though, so he saw an opportunity and seized it. Due to the enormous staff and constant flow of new people into the facility he was sure that he could live there undetected and surprisingly he wasn’t for two whole months. Due to the facilities cafes, gym and comfortable couches (for sleeping) Eric was always clean, well fed and rested at no cost what-so-ever. The first month he lived in the AOL Campus he spent only $30 on living costs. Eventually, an overly observant security officer ejected young Eric and his I.D. badge was taken, but shortly after Eric was awarded $50.000 for his startup because of the tenacity he displayed by living at AOL. Some call it tenacity others call it cheap.
The Google Squatters
If Google had a real world equivalent, it would probably be a hippie computer engineering professor. It doesn’t abide by the old rules of employment where the only way to motivate slack-jawed yokels is to crack a whip, threaten them and personally berate them. No, Google treats their employees to butterfly hugs and rainbow kisses.
For those unfamiliar with Google’s Mountain View Headquarters it offers amenities like: Valet Parking with free bikes that you can use to peddle yourself around the Googleplex. Two on-site organic gardens that provide ingredients for the over 30 restaurants and cafes on campus, which are free for employees. As well as huge parks with self-driving cars.
It’s like a much cooler Disney land. So it makes sense that someone would refuse to leave there even after work. Well, there have been many cases where Google employees have taken advantage of the campus’ amenities to varying degrees of audacity. From the relatively innocuous action of living in their car, to the straight up f*ck the system guy who lived out of a Camper/RV for three years during which time he saved enough money to buy a freaking house.
Not that he was trashy or anything da dum tsk! But seriously folk this professor named Jeff Wilson threw out the idea…get it threw out…of living a conventional life and decided to spend a year living in a modified dumpster. He left behind his huge home, got a divorce (probably because most people don’t enjoy sharing a house smaller than a gas station bathroom that used to house garbage) and got rid of many of his worldly possessions.
He claims his life changed profoundly and significantly as he was allowed more free time, he spent more time socializing instead of being home and eventually came to enjoy the financial freedom that came from paying lower rent, utilities and less on transportation to work. If you would like to dive deeper into the dumpster project, you can visit this link. DIVE DEEPEEER get it?
If you know of any other fascinating stories of corporate people that managed to live rent free, let me know in the comment section below.