Author Topic: Affluent Homeless - A Mustachian Trend?  (Read 2571 times)

BicycleB

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1098
  • Location: Live Music Capital of the World
  • Older than the internet, but not wiser... yet
Affluent Homeless - A Mustachian Trend?
« on: April 23, 2019, 10:30:01 AM »
Article discusses someone who intentionally sleeps in PodShare, has very few possessions, but owns a business. Is described as an example of a possible trend towards the "affluent homeless". Is this Mustachian? A trend? Badass? Something you would do?

https://www.npr.org/2019/04/23/715107132/the-affluent-homeless-a-sleeping-pod-a-hired-desk-and-a-handful-of-clothes

Also, has anyone done a case study or other calculation of what this lifestyle costs? Is there a body of discussion somewhere?

sailinlight

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 79
Re: Affluent Homeless - A Mustachian Trend?
« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2019, 10:49:55 AM »
That doesn't seem like a particularly financially efficient lifestyle. For example using a laundry service instead of a laundromat or buying a used washer. I'm sure Wework desks are much more expensive than renting a small office. Surprisingly click-bait article from NPR. He's not homeless at all, he just rents a shared room with other people with a shorter than average lease period; millions of young people do that. Calling it a pod doesn't really change anything

dcheesi

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 820
Re: Affluent Homeless - A Mustachian Trend?
« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2019, 11:12:24 AM »
That doesn't seem like a particularly financially efficient lifestyle. For example using a laundry service instead of a laundromat or buying a used washer. I'm sure Wework desks are much more expensive than renting a small office. Surprisingly click-bait article from NPR. He's not homeless at all, he just rents a shared room with other people with a shorter than average lease period; millions of young people do that. Calling it a pod doesn't really change anything
Yeah, "homeless" is a bit of a stretch. Perhaps "nomadic" would be a better description? They didn't really get into his individual motivations, but I'm guessing that the lack of long-term attachments is a big part of it.

Judging the financial efficiency is hard without looking at his specific setup as a whole. He only has a couple of changes of clothes, which eliminates the need for storage and allows him to rent a sleeping "pod" rather than a whole room and/or closet. It also changes the laundry equation, since he'd be traveling to the laundromat very frequently (possibly incurring bus fare each time) and paying for a whole commercial-sized washer & dryer to wash a single set of clothes at a time. Assuming the laundry service is charging at least partially per-item, he's going to have a fairly small payout there, and when you factor in time savings, he's probably coming out ahead.
« Last Edit: April 23, 2019, 11:22:45 AM by dcheesi »

spartana

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 286
  • Retired at 42
Re: Affluent Homeless - A Mustachian Trend?
« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2019, 12:08:06 PM »
This has definitely been a thing in my old hood in SoCal for years - especially amongst the Asian community members and students. It worked almost like a hostel in that each person paid for their bed in a shared room with several other beds for a limited time period (usually monthly) but they werent part of the overall lease. It allowed people to save their often professional incomes to buy houses eventually. I think its a brilliant idea and not a new thing at all (except for upper and middle class white people perhaps). Here in expensive Calif you see a lot of high paid professional living in unusual ways to save money - including in their cars in the company parking lot.

MonkeyJenga

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8107
  • Location: Don't Ask
  • Resting up for 2020
Re: Affluent Homeless - A Mustachian Trend?
« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2019, 12:52:22 PM »
He's definitely not homeless, and he's spending a decent chunk of money on this.

PodShare: $1,000/mo
WeWork (hot desk, no consistent office space): $350-450/mo

I found some nice apartment shares in West Hollywood for $1,000-1,100. Furnished shared spaces, so no start-up costs for furniture/kitchen supplies, and some furnished bedrooms too. In theory, he could rent a private room and set up a workspace in the corner or in the living room. There are also gyms in walking distance, saving on the rideshare costs.

There might be other advantages to WeWork (free coffee?), and maybe he likes sharing a bedroom with a bunch of strangers, but I couldn't do that long-term. I like having roommates, and I've stayed in hostels and on friends' couches, but I would never pay a grand a month to share an actual bedroom. It's too hard to sleep, annoying to constantly lock up my stuff, and the other people sharing the room can be super messy. I would do it for a much lower price if I was desperate.

Enigma

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 470
  • Age: 39
  • Location: Clarksville, TN
Re: Affluent Homeless - A Mustachian Trend?
« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2019, 01:19:40 PM »
Interesting article.  Hard to imagine it is that expensive.  I lived in DC with a studio apt for $1300/month a couple of years ago.  Then again I couldnt see myself renting a bed in DC for $1000.  I do feel kind of bad for the kid.  Seems like a waste that or he doesnt want to settle in Cali.

remizidae

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 204
Re: Affluent Homeless - A Mustachian Trend?
« Reply #6 on: April 26, 2019, 08:03:21 AM »
First of all, the headline is ridiculous. A person is not "homeless" because he chooses not to own very much. That trivializes the situation of the truly homeless.

But to get to the substance--yes, it can be Mustachian to choose to rent many of your possessions. It can be hard for homeowners who have lived in the same large house for decades to understand this, but owning stuff has costs, not just in the initial money cost, but the cost, but in having to find space for it, care for it, move with it and, if you move, find new housing big enough to store all your stuff.

This is why I have a gym membership--common Mustachian advice is that I should just buy thousands of dollars worth of stuff, store it in my garage, and then, presumably, find some way to sell or transport hundreds of pounds of weights when I move. That sounds like a whole hell of a lot of work and expense when I can rent an entire large gym's worth of equipment for $40/month. It's a lot better than what any home gym has; I never have to clean it or maintain it; and it'll still be there if I move. Apartment dwellers also don't have the option of buying a washer/dryer, and a lack of free parking makes car ownership more expensive.

So yeah--consider your life situation, and renting anything may well be better than buying. 

KCM5

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 868
Re: Affluent Homeless - A Mustachian Trend?
« Reply #7 on: April 26, 2019, 08:29:43 AM »
It's certainly a different lifestyle. Probably not particularly efficient from a monetary standpoint, though, as others have pointed out.

I lived in a hostel in Scotland for a while. There were two parts of the hostel - short stay for those who were really just traveling, and long stay who paid by the week or month. It made sense at the time as I wasn't staying long. It was about 1/2 to 2/3 the cost of renting a private room in an apartment. Only I was sharing with a half dozen other people per room. We had access to laundry (cost one pound per load) and to shared kitchens/shared bathrooms/shared common room. I liked it as I didn't know anyone and met a lot of people. So I could see it as a legit lifestyle choice for someone who is rather social. You also tend to meet a specific type of people in these situations - the itinerant crowd is its own sort of ecosystem. So if a person likes socializing in those circles, it can make sense.

Dicey

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 9968
  • Age: 61
  • Location: NorCal
Re: Affluent Homeless - A Mustachian Trend?
« Reply #8 on: April 29, 2019, 11:51:21 AM »
He's definitely not homeless, and he's spending a decent chunk of money on this.

PodShare: $1,000/mo
WeWork (hot desk, no consistent office space): $350-450/mo

I found some nice apartment shares in West Hollywood for $1,000-1,100. Furnished shared spaces, so no start-up costs for furniture/kitchen supplies, and some furnished bedrooms too. In theory, he could rent a private room and set up a workspace in the corner or in the living room. There are also gyms in walking distance, saving on the rideshare costs.

There might be other advantages to WeWork (free coffee?), and maybe he likes sharing a bedroom with a bunch of strangers, but I couldn't do that long-term. I like having roommates, and I've stayed in hostels and on friends' couches, but I would never pay a grand a month to share an actual bedroom. It's too hard to sleep, annoying to constantly lock up my stuff, and the other people sharing the room can be super messy. I would do it for a much lower price if I was desperate.
MJ, I love your response. It figures that a badass mustachian is already doing it better.

robartsd

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2257
  • Location: Sacramento, CA
Re: Affluent Homeless - A Mustachian Trend?
« Reply #9 on: April 29, 2019, 01:51:14 PM »
This is why I have a gym membership--common Mustachian advice is that I should just buy thousands of dollars worth of stuff, store it in my garage, and then, presumably, find some way to sell or transport hundreds of pounds of weights when I move.
You are right, if you want to work out on expensive equipment, a gym membership is probably more cost effective than owning the equipment; however, the common mustachian advice is not to depend on expensive equipment for your workout.

Get your cardio as part of your transportation (bike, run, walk, etc.), use body weight for a lot of resistance training, perhaps own some resistance bands and free weights (preferably purchased used). I suppose that buying a bike and accessories sufficient to replace a car easily could push mustachian costs into the thousands of dollars - MMM's bike trailer alone is $1125, though most of the utility can be gained with trailers costing far less - but this is spending on transportation equipment, not fitness equipment.

Slow2FIRE

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 243
Re: Affluent Homeless - A Mustachian Trend?
« Reply #10 on: April 30, 2019, 09:13:57 AM »

This is why I have a gym membership--common Mustachian advice is that I should just buy thousands of dollars worth of stuff, store it in my garage, and then, presumably, find some way to sell or transport hundreds of pounds of weights when I move. That sounds like a whole hell of a lot of work and expense when I can rent an entire large gym's worth of equipment for $40/month. It's a lot better than what any home gym has; I never have to clean it or maintain it; and it'll still be there if I move.

There really isn't anything to "clean it or maintain it" other than wiping it down with a rag.
Most expensive equipment at a gym is really not any better (and sometimes worse) than what you would have in a home gym.
I've had my home gym setup for 14 years now and what I buy used on craigslist I sell for the same price I paid for it back on craigslist.  Total cost of my current setup (including 2 changes of large pieces of the gym over the 14 years) is around $1700 (I posted pictures elsewhere on this forum).  14 years of $40/month gym dues is $6700.  I've moved twice and would say the marginal "add on cost" of moving the gym could be maybe $200 each time (out of roughly $3000 in moving costs).

Looks like I made the financially correct choice FOR ME

Plus I don't have to deal with people on their phones (taking pictures, watching videos, texting, talking), waiting for equipment, someone leaving a puddle of their disgusting sweat on the equipment (so much for not having to clean up anything with a gym membership).  How about when you want a specific piece of equipment and the gym doesn't have it?  Ever try to do squats, cleans or deadlift at a Planet Fitness?  Does your gym have a weighted setup for dips or chinups (I've been told before that I couldn't bring my own bands or a dog leash for supporting weights when doing chin ups because of "liability").

Missy B

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 178
Re: Affluent Homeless - A Mustachian Trend?
« Reply #11 on: May 23, 2019, 10:44:12 PM »
And here I was all excited, thinking "Oh, someone has sold their $3-million west side Vancouver house and moved into their van so they can invest it all." How disappointing.

GuitarStv

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 13377
  • Age: 38
  • Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Re: Affluent Homeless - A Mustachian Trend?
« Reply #12 on: May 27, 2019, 01:35:42 PM »

This is why I have a gym membership--common Mustachian advice is that I should just buy thousands of dollars worth of stuff, store it in my garage, and then, presumably, find some way to sell or transport hundreds of pounds of weights when I move. That sounds like a whole hell of a lot of work and expense when I can rent an entire large gym's worth of equipment for $40/month. It's a lot better than what any home gym has; I never have to clean it or maintain it; and it'll still be there if I move.

There really isn't anything to "clean it or maintain it" other than wiping it down with a rag.
Most expensive equipment at a gym is really not any better (and sometimes worse) than what you would have in a home gym.
I've had my home gym setup for 14 years now and what I buy used on craigslist I sell for the same price I paid for it back on craigslist.  Total cost of my current setup (including 2 changes of large pieces of the gym over the 14 years) is around $1700 (I posted pictures elsewhere on this forum).  14 years of $40/month gym dues is $6700.  I've moved twice and would say the marginal "add on cost" of moving the gym could be maybe $200 each time (out of roughly $3000 in moving costs).

Looks like I made the financially correct choice FOR ME

Plus I don't have to deal with people on their phones (taking pictures, watching videos, texting, talking), waiting for equipment, someone leaving a puddle of their disgusting sweat on the equipment (so much for not having to clean up anything with a gym membership).  How about when you want a specific piece of equipment and the gym doesn't have it?  Ever try to do squats, cleans or deadlift at a Planet Fitness?  Does your gym have a weighted setup for dips or chinups (I've been told before that I couldn't bring my own bands or a dog leash for supporting weights when doing chin ups because of "liability").

I have a home gym, and don't entirely disagree with your comments . . . but what is the cost 14 years of space (I'm guessing at least a couple hundred square ft) to house all of your equipment?  You're not factoring that into your equation.  When you go to a gym, you don't just buy use of the equipment . . . you buy space to use the equipment.

FLOW

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 37
Re: Affluent Homeless - A Mustachian Trend?
« Reply #13 on: May 27, 2019, 02:33:01 PM »
When did NPR become Buzzfeed?

spartana

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 286
  • Retired at 42
Re: Affluent Homeless - A Mustachian Trend?
« Reply #14 on: May 28, 2019, 03:20:00 PM »
And here I was all excited, thinking "Oh, someone has sold their $3-million west side Vancouver house and moved into their van so they can invest it all." How disappointing.
I think there are quite a few on the MMM forums who've done that. Maybe not sold a $3 million dollar house to go live in a van (down by the river) but sold something in the $500k to $1 million range.

Wrenchturner

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 101
  • Age: 31
  • Location: Canada
Re: Affluent Homeless - A Mustachian Trend?
« Reply #15 on: May 29, 2019, 06:45:46 AM »
I've considered renting a room and working seasonally to facilitate a barebones seasonal small business.  Winters are better in South East Asia than the Canadian prairies!