Hi my name is Chris, and right now I’m a man in transition. I graduated college in May of 2013 and am still scrambling to find a job that sticks. I’ve given up on finding my “dream job” for the moment because I know that kind of stuff takes time. What I’m looking for now is a job that will keep me busy, put some money in my pocket, and hopefully if I’m lucky, give me a reason to get up in the morning. But sadly, hitting this “tri-fecta” in this economy, in my niche field, is a challenge so many people today are familiar with. So instead of blowing my money on an apartment I don’t need, I have chosen to live out of my car. I call it Hotel Prius.
Efficiency. It’s no mystery that the Toyota Prius is one of the most fuel efficient vehicles on the road (and surprisingly spacious too). It was the reason I bought it in the first place. This May, I needed to move my things (and my girlfriends things) from Boston, Ma to Austin, Tx in the cheapest way possible. After hours of research, I decided the Toyota Prius was my best option and finally bought one during the last week of my senior year in college. To maximize my space economy I bought an old roof rack from a friend, mounted both our mountain bikes to the top, and took a two-and-a-half week road trip across the East coast in a carefully thought out, efficiently packed, Toyota Prius while stopping at National Parks and landmarks along the way. I learned many valuable life lessons about traveling, but perhaps the most valuable, is that if you really wanted to, if you had to, you could actually live in one of these things. So after about 6 months of bouncing around, from part time job to part time job, desperately trying to make rent and catch up on the huge spike in my car insurance, I was left with two options, 1. continue doing what I was doing (which was clearly going nowhere), OR 2. cut back on “necessary” spending and wait this thing out. And that is exactly what it comes down to, “necessary spending.” The truth of the matter is, in any other part of the world, having a home (not to be confused with a roof) is a luxury – A luxury, that on average costs you hundreds, sometimes thousands of dollars a month to keep, and for the most part is not, or ever will be your own. So why pay it? Apartments, from my experience (and I’ve had dozens), are not worth the return on investment, unless renting to own. So, because I don’t want to pay (a.k.a can’t afford) rent at the moment, this is my best solution.
Another reason I choose to live in my car is it doesn’t limit me. Having the mobility to go anywhere means I can literally keep my options open to take a job anywhere. Most apartments come with lease agreements and lease agreements usually mean contracts, and contracts means – getting tied down. If something were to fall through with a job (like they have been lately) and I’m in a lease agreement, that’s just more money I have to come up with. It’s just not worth it. Yes, I’m aware of temporary (non-lease/contract apartments) but still there are deposits and application fees and other nonsense that I’d have to pay for and quite frankly, I’d just rather live in my car. It gives me options and in this economy it’s good to leave those options open.
So what about food, warmth, showers, electricity, coffee, laundry? Where do you go when it rains? Where do you take your morning poops? What about money? Where do you park? So many questions it seems like and I want to answer them all. I will. In time. But honestly, I’m still figuring things out along the way. I don’t claim to know everything, but I do know some stuff and what I happen to know, helps me very much in situations like this.
So here is the deal, when I learn something useful, or interesting, or funny, or whatever, I’ll share it. I’ll post it to this blog and just see what happens.
So if ya want, tag along for the ride – metaphorically that is, because this baby only fits UNO.