Author Topic: An Anti-Mustachian Week Experiment  (Read 4597 times)

wing117

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An Anti-Mustachian Week Experiment
« on: September 23, 2013, 08:30:00 AM »
Last week I completed what I am going to call an Experiment In Anti-Mustchianism. It wasn't fully Anti-Mustchian, nor was it a full week - I couldn’t do it. It lasted Tuesday - Saturday.

I took last week off work and my uncle came into town and was previously a high-end restaurant owner will a pension for wanting to try ‘great food’ of the area - without going into details, I was going to foot the bill on this trip. On the flip side, our other entertainment consisted of hiking over 30 miles that week - but I put a lot of miles on the car to reach some great mountain hikes and we drank good wine/beer/scotch in the evenings in front of a bonfire.

All ‘n all I spent $550 on food/dining, gas and “shopping” in 5 days. Holy crap on a stick, batman! That’s insane! It actually puts a knot in my stomach again just by looking at the numbers. Money aside we ate more, ate unhealthy, I worked out less (aside from the 30 miles of hiking I did not ride my bike at all) and even gained 4 pounds!

Luckily, I had prepared for this expenditure, knowing months in advance that this week was coming, and was not taken totally by surprise. But it was still difficult to do.

It did, however, put some significant stress on my relationship with the SO, but also showed how far we have come from our purely anti-mustchaian thinking. After an unusually expensive dinner, my SO was freaking out, feeling guilty and was completely taken aback that we would spend such money on dining. “You’ve made me so frugal,” she said. “It makes me sick spending money like that!”

By Sunday we immediately fell back into our mustachian spending habits and felt better - we cleaned out our fridge (as things had spoiled), went grocery shopping and cooked at home, prepped for this week’s lunches, did laundry, prepped the bike for work and finished up the day with netflix and a book. I was absolutely amazed how spending money now stresses us out, rather than making us feel better.

Looking back, I have no idea how I spent money and lived anti-mustchaian before. It’s crazy to think about.

I don’t believe I’ll be doing another Experiment like this in the foreseeable future. It just wasn't anywhere close to being fun or enjoyable in any way.

Albert

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Re: An Anti-Mustachian Week Experiment
« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2013, 11:41:27 AM »
I just had a similar "experiment". Spent about 750 euros in three days entertaining my mother and niece also paying for everybody.  The funny thing is that there wasn't really anything particularly extravagant. I paid for two nights in a hotel in Italy, two train tickets to get there, three meals in a restaurant plus some smaller expenses like boat and funicular tickets as well as a bit of food from a grocery store. The trip was enjoyable and I don't really regret it, but next time they visit I'll find some cheaper entertainment options.

Now back to normal until at least Christmas...

Jamesqf

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Re: An Anti-Mustachian Week Experiment
« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2013, 12:04:26 PM »
All ‘n all I spent $550 on food/dining, gas and “shopping” in 5 days. Holy crap on a stick, batman! That’s insane!

Not if you think of it as an investment in persuading prosperous uncle to leave you major bucks in his will :-)

gooki

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Re: An Anti-Mustachian Week Experiment
« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2013, 09:58:37 PM »
If that $550 covered the two of you, and you lived like that every day for a year. Your annual spend per person would be $20,000 per person.

Somehow that seems reasonable. What am I missing?

innkeeper77

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Re: An Anti-Mustachian Week Experiment
« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2013, 11:12:23 PM »
If that $550 covered the two of you, and you lived like that every day for a year. Your annual spend per person would be $20,000 per person.

Somehow that seems reasonable. What am I missing?

It is unreasonable in that it is $20,000 per person, with no health insurance, no housing, no clothing or other long term wear items, etc. Merely $40,000 for two people on just luxuries is where the ridiculousness comes in.

Nords

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Re: An Anti-Mustachian Week Experiment
« Reply #5 on: September 24, 2013, 01:08:37 AM »
Looking back, I have no idea how I spent money and lived anti-mustchaian before. It’s crazy to think about.
I don’t believe I’ll be doing another Experiment like this in the foreseeable future. It just wasn't anywhere close to being fun or enjoyable in any way.
Sounds like a very good experience, and one not to be eagerly greeted again. 

Now let's look at it from the other side.  If you reach FI with a 90% success rate, that means 9/10 times you'll have more than you need.  When you begin living off your portfolio then you're probably already in a mindset (and with skills) that can handle the 1/10.  How do you plan to handle the 9/10 "excess" situations?

I don't have a good answer myself, but the question comes up whenever spouse and I are buying plane tickets for a trip to the Mainland.

wing117

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Re: An Anti-Mustachian Week Experiment
« Reply #6 on: September 24, 2013, 07:10:53 AM »
If that $550 covered the two of you, and you lived like that every day for a year. Your annual spend per person would be $20,000 per person.

Somehow that seems reasonable. What am I missing?

It is unreasonable in that it is $20,000 per person, with no health insurance, no housing, no clothing or other long term wear items, etc. Merely $40,000 for two people on just luxuries is where the ridiculousness comes in.

Correct, That's 40K/yr in just food/gas costs. The shopping included some kitschy items for him to take with him. Factor in my bills and expenses, and it comes out to 55.5K/yr for the two folks. That's a far cry from the 26K mark I'm aiming for (for two people) this year.

Sounds like a very good experience, and one not to be eagerly greeted again. 

Now let's look at it from the other side.  If you reach FI with a 90% success rate, that means 9/10 times you'll have more than you need.  When you begin living off your portfolio then you're probably already in a mindset (and with skills) that can handle the 1/10.  How do you plan to handle the 9/10 "excess" situations?

I don't have a good answer myself, but the question comes up whenever spouse and I are buying plane tickets for a trip to the Mainland.

I am working on overshooting my FI goal to help with the unknowns and also provide multiple sources of income. For instance, I am aiming at ~$22,000-$25,000 in expenses. I would like my 4% SFWR to be at ~30K, which will mean a much more substantial growth of my portfolio while I live, allowing me to have a couple of excess situations without issue and providing a buffer zone. Obviously that 4% SFWR number will continue to rise then.

The second aspect to that is generating another source of passive income. MMM has admitted he is living solely off of his rental investment, letting his index fund(s) grow leaps and bounds by not withdrawing from it. By now he has a much more than he needs in those investments to live off of. I'm beginning to investigate taking the same path, by having a secondary passive income source - rent collections - that will hopefully cover most, if not all, of my yearly expenses. Yet another buffer.

This comes out to ~$750,000 in investments, and several well maintained rental single family rental homes.

That's my working plan anyway. Subject to change without notice. :)

mpbaker22

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Re: An Anti-Mustachian Week Experiment
« Reply #7 on: September 24, 2013, 09:39:36 AM »
If that $550 covered the two of you, and you lived like that every day for a year. Your annual spend per person would be $20,000 per person.

Somehow that seems reasonable. What am I missing?

$20K will last me almost 2 years.  I do have employer paid HDHP, but their number doesn't include rent.

Left

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Re: An Anti-Mustachian Week Experiment
« Reply #8 on: September 24, 2013, 09:49:38 AM »
hm... I must be a bad mustachian... I don't see anything "wrong" with spending the money, I just don't go out of my way to do it. For me, that's a week of vacation time. Sure you spent the money, you'll make it back later, you might not spend a week with your uncle for a while. Even if you see him next week, if he knows you wouldn't do the same thing over and over, he's a good uncle and would probably be happy you spent time with him.

Sure I try to save money, but stockpiling money just so I have a large bank account number seems wasted if I'm afraid to spend it to enjoy life with it. And spending time with an uncle seems like it would count. But then again, I've only seen my uncles once in 20 years...

mpbaker22

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Re: An Anti-Mustachian Week Experiment
« Reply #9 on: September 24, 2013, 09:54:50 AM »
hm... I must be a bad mustachian... I don't see anything "wrong" with spending the money, I just don't go out of my way to do it. For me, that's a week of vacation time. Sure you spent the money, you'll make it back later, you might not spend a week with your uncle for a while. Even if you see him next week, if he knows you wouldn't do the same thing over and over, he's a good uncle and would probably be happy you spent time with him.

Sure I try to save money, but stockpiling money just so I have a large bank account number seems wasted if I'm afraid to spend it to enjoy life with it. And spending time with an uncle seems like it would count. But then again, I've only seen my uncles once in 20 years...

Agree with what you said.  When my brother visits we usually go to the wineries and spend $40-$80 on wine that lasts a week.  But that's maybe once or twice a year, and it doesn't add up to $20K/year.

wing117

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Re: An Anti-Mustachian Week Experiment
« Reply #10 on: September 24, 2013, 10:24:52 AM »
hm... I must be a bad mustachian... I don't see anything "wrong" with spending the money, I just don't go out of my way to do it. For me, that's a week of vacation time. Sure you spent the money, you'll make it back later, you might not spend a week with your uncle for a while. Even if you see him next week, if he knows you wouldn't do the same thing over and over, he's a good uncle and would probably be happy you spent time with him.

Sure I try to save money, but stockpiling money just so I have a large bank account number seems wasted if I'm afraid to spend it to enjoy life with it. And spending time with an uncle seems like it would count. But then again, I've only seen my uncles once in 20 years...

Also agreed, which is why I planned and prepared to do it! I love spending time with my uncle and wouldn't change last week at all. I had a blast!

My realization, though, was that I use to spend money like that all the time, not just for special occasions  - I specifically took him to restaurants I use to frequent and considered top-notch. The tension between the SO and I was also a surprise. With us becoming frugal and saving so much money, the arguments/heated discussions around expenditure and money in general had ceased. Spending large sums of cash on food/dining again brought some of that back. We are so much happier and stress free when being frugal.

If (when!) he came back down, I would probably scale back on the restaurants. We both enjoy cooking and would probably do that instead. The food alone was 480 dollars, so that's easy to reduce without an impact to the fun and enjoyment.  Our other entertainment is free - bonfires, hiking and talking.

Albert

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Re: An Anti-Mustachian Week Experiment
« Reply #11 on: September 24, 2013, 11:20:18 AM »
Hiking is free only if you live right next to a good hiking area and never want to go to another one.