Author Topic: Case Study - I live in a van. How soon can I retire?  (Read 10170 times)

GoConfidently

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 198
Re: Case Study - I live in a van. How soon can I retire?
« Reply #50 on: January 03, 2018, 12:21:25 PM »
Potential side hustles:

If you can carve out those 2-3 hours during the middle of the day (and it sounds like maybe you can since the job is flexible), what about dog walking? There are plenty of professionals with pets that need an afternoon break and it's low stress.

Or if it needs to be morning/afternoon work, what about a grocery store? You could do mindless stocking type work and possibly get access to reduced price food (employee discount or ugly produce, dented cans, etc.) that could help cut your food costs even more.

No brainer - coffee shop. They have early morning shifts and some offer good medical benefits.

AirBnB Experience Host - Guided hikes for tourists. Portland is the perfect location for this and all you have to do is learn how to be entertaining and confident for small groups of non-experienced hikers who want to look at waterfalls. You may need to work out the transportation issue, but that cost could be rolled into the experience. Or guided city tours on bike if you don't want to hire a van.

Bracken_Joy

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 9621
  • Location: Oregon
Re: Case Study - I live in a van. How soon can I retire?
« Reply #51 on: January 03, 2018, 12:24:00 PM »
Potential side hustles:

If you can carve out those 2-3 hours during the middle of the day (and it sounds like maybe you can since the job is flexible), what about dog walking? There are plenty of professionals with pets that need an afternoon break and it's low stress.

Or if it needs to be morning/afternoon work, what about a grocery store? You could do mindless stocking type work and possibly get access to reduced price food (employee discount or ugly produce, dented cans, etc.) that could help cut your food costs even more.

No brainer - coffee shop. They have early morning shifts and some offer good medical benefits.

AirBnB Experience Host - Guided hikes for tourists. Portland is the perfect location for this and all you have to do is learn how to be entertaining and confident for small groups of non-experienced hikers who want to look at waterfalls. You may need to work out the transportation issue, but that cost could be rolled into the experience. Or guided city tours on bike if you don't want to hire a van.

Might have to wait until the waterfalls open again, after that whole ginormous fire in the gorge thing ;)

But yes, I highly recommend looking into something like Rover as a potential side hustle.

Or, finding meaningful work that also respects you and your time and your value ;) (I say, as someone who will probably make within like $1k of your projected earnings this year... #pot/kettle)

monstermonster

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4069
  • Age: 31
  • Location: The People's Republic of Portland (Oregon)
Re: Case Study - I live in a van. How soon can I retire?
« Reply #52 on: January 03, 2018, 05:36:07 PM »
Hey I am following as a lower-income mustachian, also in Portland, also used to live in a non-functional RV, a tree, and a cardboard geodesic dome.

..Does your $575 on health include your insurance premiums?

Wess

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 60
  • Age: 30
Re: Case Study - I live in a van. How soon can I retire?
« Reply #53 on: January 03, 2018, 09:15:14 PM »
Grocery store is a GENIUS IDEA and I will be researching. I'm worried about the commitment-level (sometimes I really DO work 15-hour days and want to still be flexible and available to do that when needed) but the poetic balance of working at a grocery store would just be too perfect.

Looking into Wag and Rover as very likely possibilities, and this AirBnb experience thing is a whole new world that I'm going to need to take some time to learn about.

Hi, monstermonster!! Shockingly, no. That's my health spending with FREE HEALTH INSURANCE (Thanks, Obama). That's therapy costs plus my back. I have a little chronic back issue that can be occasionally debilitating (that's not an understatement -- it's really no big deal most of the time, until I tweak it tying my shoes every six months or so), and I am doing the "smart" thing and throwing as much physical therapy and acupuncture and body-healing and this-and-that yoga and this-and-that suspended exercise class at it to see if anything will make it just go away. ACA covers the acupuncture (!) but that's it (doesn't cover the counseling either). It's hard to know with the health stuff whether something is a splurge or whether it's an investment, and I'm a little bit scared to let the ruthless optimization of my budget touch my spine and pelvis. I guess... It's more important to me to have a body that can do everything I want it to than to have financial independence. Of course, I'm absolutely sure there's a balance somewhere in between $575 and $0 that will help me have both things more easily.

monstermonster

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4069
  • Age: 31
  • Location: The People's Republic of Portland (Oregon)
Re: Case Study - I live in a van. How soon can I retire?
« Reply #54 on: January 04, 2018, 09:33:30 AM »
I have a lot of experience in grocery and can tell you the following things:
  • Employee discount at New Seasons of 10%
  • Employee discount at Whole Foods of 15% plus excellent access to the hot bar pre/post work plus stock benefits (which is now amazon stock!)
  • Safeway has an employee discount of 5% only on Safeway-brand items and is a union shop
  • Fred Meyers is a union shop and has health insurance for part-time (though pretty high part time) but I'm not sure about the employeee discount
  • Green Zebra (I know the owner) has free hot bar shift per meal  - not sure of discount

I would not look into grocery if you're worried about needing to call out regularly because they really are shift work, but they are very very open to part-time work and the benefits are often pretty good for minimum wage work. Early morning hours are common for receiving. In grocery you almost always have to work Sundays since it is the most crazy day by far, but some stores are still old-school enough you get paid extra on Sunday. You do often have to work holidays but it's often a bidding system for which holidays you want off. Almost all pay extra - up to double time -  on holidays.

Having worked many jobs like the one you're describing and having to work through my guilt at not always being 100% available, though, your job does NOT pay you enough to need you to be available at a moment's notice for overtime shifts. You might feel awful about this, but people in caring positions and in the social sector head themselves for burn out when they're living just above poverty level and also can never take time away. Please remember you're better at your job if you implement boundaries. I used to live at my job as a residential social worker and I *STILL* needed to find ways to create time to be "off".

You are not paid an on-call-every-hour salary and the expectation that you might have other shift work should be a given at your salary level. You're not setting your organization up for success long-term if they can only rely on you all the time.

maizeman

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2806
Re: Case Study - I live in a van. How soon can I retire?
« Reply #55 on: January 04, 2018, 11:22:55 AM »
You're not setting your organization up for success long-term if they can only rely on you all the time.

This point is important. I've been on the other side of this, where I was peripherally involved in a business where there was a job done by one employee who was clearly making well below market rate and working a lot more than 40 hours a week on a rather low salary. While in the short term it was good for the bottom line, in the long term it was terrible for the business, because they kept advertising for other people to work at equivalent conditions, which they couldn't fill, and they weren't willing to increase the salary/decrease job responsibilities to something that would let them hire other staff because then either that staff member would feel exploited or they'd have to given him a huge raise without him asking for one, which went against all of their management training.

TL;DR Having an employee willing to work for extremely below market rate (when you looked at total hours works vs total compensation), basically prevented management from doing what would have been needed to scale the organization.*

*Yes, alternatively the same story is a lesson in questionable management practices, but you can control your own thoughts and actions you cannot control the thoughts and actions of whoever your boss's boss is.

monstermonster

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4069
  • Age: 31
  • Location: The People's Republic of Portland (Oregon)
Re: Case Study - I live in a van. How soon can I retire?
« Reply #56 on: January 04, 2018, 11:34:27 AM »
When I left my last non-profit job, they had to replace me with 3 FT staff - 2 of which were making more than I had been - in order to get as much work done as I had alone.

I say this not to brag about my effectiveness but to point out that even the nicest, sweetest organizations who claim they don't have the money to have more staff will have to figure it out if you leave. Either work gets left undone or they hire more people when they realize it.

Wess

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 60
  • Age: 30
Re: Case Study - I live in a van. How soon can I retire?
« Reply #57 on: January 05, 2018, 08:46:00 PM »
Ok, I didn't mean for that last comment about the commitment level to be misleading. I don't feel obligated to be available every second of every day -- I WANT to be involved if there's work going on, and I won't be happy if I've boxed myself into having to show up for some other job while there's a cool project going on at work. It's not guilt, it's FOMO. The pressure for me to be at work is that I like being at work. I'm not begrudgingly giving up my entire life because I feel like I have to single-handedly save the world, I'm there all day because there's no place I'd rather be.

I like the perspective that it's not actually helpful to the organization long-term to have a worker at way less than market rate. And I especially like trying to imagine the differences between what I can contribute as a worker now and what I might be able to contribute if I reach FI. Boundaries are great! I promise I believe in all the Brene Brown. I'm working on it. It's just been tricky figuring out where I actually want those boundaries to be, when my own interests are so conflicted.

ElleFiji

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3377
  • Age: -166
  • Location: Always Winter
Re: Case Study - I live in a van. How soon can I retire?
« Reply #58 on: January 11, 2018, 09:01:39 AM »
I made a thing https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/journals/low-income-group-journal/

It can be renamed and modded as needed

2Birds1Stone

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4404
  • Age: 31
  • Location: Earth
  • K Thnx Bye
Re: Case Study - I live in a van. How soon can I retire?
« Reply #59 on: January 12, 2018, 11:49:55 AM »
What about getting a second job, that way you don't have the time to waste on unpaid tasks/or just sitting around at your place of employment.

Trader Joe's and Wholefoods start at $15/hr, and you will likely end up getting fed a lot for free. My SO works at TJ's 1 day a week just to pad her 401k.

If you could work 2 shifts a week that's an extra $6,000/yr in income and likely a bunch of free food.

An extra $6k/yr at your income level will shave more than a decade off your fire timeline.


civil4life

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 280
    • My Journal
Re: Case Study - I live in a van. How soon can I retire?
« Reply #60 on: January 12, 2018, 03:00:16 PM »
It sounds like you love what you do at work.  Is it something that you can break off onto your own and start your own business?

I think there are several house sitter type services that you can advertise your service. 

Pennyhoarder.com has a tone of money saving tips and stuff about side hustles?  It has a lot of advertisement though.

Could you share some of your hobbies or interest?  That would help for helping you find a side hustle.

Write a book sell on Amazon

Blog

Are you computer savvy?  Could you do computer repair or website design?

Sell stuff on Etsy

If you cut down the hours you could do dog/cat sitting.  Or it sounds like your work hours are very flexible.  What about taking a few hours off in the middle of the day to dog walk.  Also, I have heard there is a real market for pooper scoopers.

Secret shopper...that would help food costs.


libertarian4321

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1319
Re: Case Study - I live in a van. How soon can I retire?
« Reply #61 on: June 09, 2018, 10:34:19 PM »
Hopefully OP is happier with how his/her life turned turned out that Matt Foley's character:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xv2VIEY9-A8&t=138

Matt Foley was a great American.  A true inspiration not just for me, but for many Americans.

Wess

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 60
  • Age: 30
Re: Case Study - I live in a van. How soon can I retire?
« Reply #62 on: July 31, 2018, 05:22:13 PM »
UPDATE:  My part time paying but full-time hours job offered me a full time position :) :) :)

So now total income will be about $35K  <--WHAT.



maizeman

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2806
Re: Case Study - I live in a van. How soon can I retire?
« Reply #63 on: July 31, 2018, 05:29:03 PM »
Way to go, Wess!

Now do remember than even a full time position doesn't mean you can expect yourself to work every hour of every day. But fewer unpaid hours of work is an unalloyed good thing (and it can also feel great to realize folks recognize just how much value you've had to the organization).

Wess

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 60
  • Age: 30
Re: Case Study - I live in a van. How soon can I retire?
« Reply #64 on: August 01, 2018, 08:22:37 PM »
It feels SO GOOD. I'm excited about the savings implications, but I'm so much more excited to have earned the recognition and trust.

I also realized that the times when I really step back and look hard at how many actual hours I'm working are usually when I'm in the zone and working on a project that is all-consuming. My hours fluctuate a lot more than I usually recognize. Already this week, for instance, I've had two afternoons completely off because there's nothing I really needed to be doing and I wanted to watch Netflix and catch up on MMM.