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24-year-old engineer saves 80% of his income and plans to retire by 30 with $1 million

A 24-year-old Google employee has been living out of a 128-square-foot truck for over a year to save on rent.

Brandon — who asked to withhold his last name to maintain his privacy — pays no rent and no electricity bills. His only fixed living cost is truck insurance, which is $121 a month.

As a result, the software engineer saves about 82% of his income, he estimates, which has allowed him to pay off $22,000 of student loans and get a head start on investing.

Brandon moved inside this 2006 Ford a year and a half ago to save on rent.
Courtesy of Brandon
Brandon moved inside this 2006 Ford a year and a half ago to save on rent.

"Mint.com puts [my net worth] at $121,532.89 between investments and cash, minus any credit cards I haven't paid off this month," Brandon tells CNBC.

He maxes out his 401(k) each year, puts money into a Roth IRA and brokerage account, and contributes to a health savings account (HSA), he details on his blog.

After taxes and all the pre-tax investments, "my take-home pay is about $2,000 a month," he writes. "In the Bay Area, that would hardly cover rent and basic living expenses…if I had them."

"It's a nice reminder that my lifestyle really is accelerating my ability to build the future I want, at no (or maybe even a negative) cost to my happiness," he says.

Brooks Kraft | Getty Images

At this savings rate, Brandon says he could retire by 30 with a little over $1 million.

However, he's hesitant to say he's "retiring early."

"My attention span is way too short to actually retire," Brandon tells CNBC. "What I'm doing is working towards financial independence, so that I can stop working and still afford to feed and clothe myself, living off of my investments for the rest of my life."

At that point, he plans to travel, he tells CNBC. "I'll travel with a laptop, and work on all the personal projects I have going (like my blog), and probably pick up some contract work for fun," he says. "I've seen woefully little of the world, and I'd like to change that."