Sleep in Truck: Student Pays Off Credit Card Debt
“Adapt or perish, now as ever, is nature’s inexorable imperative.” — H. G. Wells
Here’s some financial news of the strange just the down road from me. On Monday, Seema Mehta at the LA Times reported on how Andy Bussell is living in his truck in her feature: Homeless by Choice, O.C. Student Learns Self-Reliance.
She writes, “After a long day of film classes, working at the Apple Store, rock climbing at the gym and finishing homework in the student union, Cal State Fullerton senior Andy Bussell heads home ” to a white Toyota Tacoma with a twin-size mattress in the truck bed, a camper shell for protection and black curtains for privacy.”
Andy Bussell who is twenty six has been living in his truck for over 18 months to save money and pay off his credit cards.
Mehta continues, “The odyssey began in 2005. Bussell was working full time as a ‘Mac genius’ at the Apple Store in Newport Beach, sharing a $1,600-per-month apartment in Aliso Viejo. He had racked up more than $10,000 in credit card debt and was struggling to pay for school and save money for a three-month road trip. So on July 29, 2005, he started living in his truck, with the goal of lasting one year.”
Click over to the article if you’re interested in learning about the typical day of a person living in a truck. For purposes here, it’s good to know that “The credit card debt, which was part of the reason for his decision to live in a vehicle, is nearly paid off.”
And he’s quite possibly on his way to making some money. If you go to his blog (yes, he has WiFi access in the student union) which is aptly called GoTruckYourself.blogspot.com, you’ll learn that since Monday he has been contacted by representatives of CNN, Oprah, and even heard that Paramount might be interested. Way to go! I hope he’s able to leverage his 15 minutes of fame into a small fortune and a career path… since he graduates in a few months from college.
Okay, so Bussell was persistent and found a way to pay down his credit card debt, but in my opinion, living in one’s truck is the bastard cousin of camping and I couldn’t do it.
So how about living without a car to save money. WikiHow gives some ideas.
“Living without a car can be pretty tough, especially in the U.S., where public transportation is frequently lacking and where questionable urban planning has caused the average person to live far away from workplaces, schools, and markets. That said, it’s certainly possible, as long as you’re willing to change your lifestyle. Some of the suggestions below are easy for anybody, while others require more sacrifice.”
Here are a few steps to try:
1. Try using public transportation.
2. Research the accessibility to transit of different places when looking for a house or apartment.
3. Choose your workplace.
4. Buy a bike.
5. Buy a shopping cart or foldable wheeled tote so you can haul hefty loads from the grocery store to your home without breaking a sweat.
6. Make friends. It helps to have a friend with a car.
7. Consider participating in car sharing programs, such as i-Go, Flexcar or Zipcar.
8. Move to a city with a good public transit system, such as Chicago, New York, or Portland, Oregon.
Need some more motivation, then listen to Renee Montagne on NPR and her interview with Chris Balish, the author of How to Live Well Without Owning a Car: Save Money, Breathe Easier, and Get More Mileage Out of Life.
Cars… live in them or without them. Either way… save money!