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Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Bankrupt!: The Big Payback

I have posted more than a few times about what I see as the emerging New American Dream: Freedom from Debt!

Seattle Times reports on an extreme (maybe), and amusing (sorta) example of a dude who is so committed to getting out from under the debt that he's been living in his truck for nearly 19 months, skirting rules against sleeping in vehicles while otherwise living the life of a mainstream student and full-time employee.

"Even though I had a good job, I was tired of living paycheck to paycheck and not making any headway with my credit cards," says truck-dweller Andy Bussell.

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. He had racked up more than $10,000 in credit-card debt and was struggling to pay for school and save money. So on July 29, 2005, he started living in his truck, with the goal of lasting one year.

Most mornings, Bussell heads to the university gym to shower, shave and brush his teeth. Then he heads to class, and later to work. Evenings are often spent rock climbing or doing yoga, visiting friends or studying in the student union, which has wireless Internet access. Then he heads back to the truck, which he parks in a variety of locations, and plays guitar, reads with a battery-powered headlamp or watches DVDs on his laptop.

His mail goes to a post-office box. What he misses most are a kitchen and a bathroom. To deal with the former, he buys food such as yogurt and fruit in small quantities; for as regards the latter, he takes advantage of public facilities. On occasion, he has resorted to employing an empty Gatorade bottle.

On the bright side, after 19 months of peeing in Gatorade bottles and eating yogurt, Bussell's credit card debt is nearly paid off.

via Consumerist

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