Author Topic: Advice for Beginner Mustachians in Houston  (Read 2933 times)

Arandur1992

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Advice for Beginner Mustachians in Houston
« on: July 04, 2015, 12:06:39 PM »
Howdy!

I'm a 22 year old with a B.A. in History and no real work experience (although I do have my Eagle Scout award which is helpful). I'm getting married in January, 2016 to a wonderful woman who currently works as a barista and doesn't have a college degree.

We have about $10,0000 in checking, savings, and a mutual fund (we're going to be moving some of that money to an index fund soon). We are also committed to the Mustachian principles of fruaglity, simplicity, and badassity. We are excited and motivated to cut back expenses as much as we can, to bike more, etc.

But we are both trying to figure out what to do for work.

One thought I've had is to become experienced at painting houses and then start a painting business (which would hopefully expand to tile work). My fiance would like the idea of teaming up with me on it since she likes blue collar work and we could just have a work truck as our vehicle and bike everywhere else.

My other thought is just to get a normal 9 to 5 job, move close to my work, sell my car, and bike to work everyday. My fiance could find a job close by as well and also bike to work.

Which of these options seems better (more feasible, more rewarding, etc)? Is there a third option that I'm not seeing?

And finally, are there any Houstonians or Texans who have any tips on being a Mustachian in such a commuter crazy city?

pbkmaine

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Re: Advice for Beginner Mustachians in Houston
« Reply #1 on: July 04, 2015, 12:12:43 PM »
Talk to friends of your parents about the jobs they have. Contact your school's alumni association for lists of alumni in the area. Call them. Offer to meet for coffee. Offer to buy the coffee. Dress nicely for the meeting, khakis and a button down shirt at the very least. Tell them you want to hear about the work they do, as you are exploring your options. Older people love to mentor young people. Take advantage of this.

Arandur1992

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Re: Advice for Beginner Mustachians in Houston
« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2015, 12:15:34 PM »
Thank you! I am getting in touch with my university's Alumni Career Service this week.

pbkmaine

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Re: Advice for Beginner Mustachians in Houston
« Reply #3 on: July 04, 2015, 01:16:08 PM »
Good! A few more thoughts. Address older alums as Mr. or Ms. Chances are, they will then ask you to call them by their first name. It's usually better to be formal first. Google them and their companies before you meet. Nothing impresses like preparation.

Noodle

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Re: Advice for Beginner Mustachians in Houston
« Reply #4 on: July 05, 2015, 10:11:31 AM »
As a boring old(er) person, my inclination would be to start with the 9-5 job to get regular income coming in and then work up to the independent business by starting as a side hustle. But you are young and energetic, have the advantages of two people working toward your goals and no children yet to occupy your time and energy so you have to opportunity to experiment a bit. Just keep those expenses low and have enough of a cushion to weather the ups and downs. If you plan to stay in Houston, keep in mind that although the Port and Medical Center are much more of a cushion to energy prices than the city used to have, it will always be a bit of a cyclical economy due to the oil industry so it's important to plan for that especially if you're running your own business.

As for Mustachian living in Houston, I firmly believe that every city has expensive aspects and cheap aspects...for instance, Manhattan real estate is insane but there are amazing opportunities for culture if you show some ingenuity. In Houston, the secret to happiness is figuring out how to avoid being on the roads at commuting time. The cheaper neighborhoods tend to be the gentrifying ones but you and your fiancee would have to decide where your comfort zone falls there. Houston isn't an awfully bike-friendly city yet and where you do find trails etc would often be in the more expensive neighborhoods. You used to be able to find small, cheap apartments (the kind with window air conditioners and no in-apartment laundry) sprinkled all over the place but a lot of those are coming down in the fancier neighborhoods and being replaced with expensive townhouses and condos. However, there are still places to be found with a little ingenuity.

If you can find reasonably priced housing that doesn't require a ton of expensive commuting, and do your best to keep the air conditioning costs under control (advantage to a small apartment, less space to cool!), overall I have found Houston prices to be comparable to other places so the general Mustachian principles apply.

surething22

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Re: Advice for Beginner Mustachians in Houston
« Reply #5 on: July 05, 2015, 10:35:36 AM »
25 y/o BA in History here. I really enjoyed my coursework and research but soon realized the employment opportunities are essentially just academia or museum work. Neither interested me, and I had a sales background. I found a job doing event management and fundraising for a large nonprofit and enjoy the work I do. There's a lot out there.  I like the idea of reaching out to alumni networking opportunities in your job search.

I second running home improvement as a side-hustle, I've personally found the stability of a salary and retirement benefits/matching to be consistent with my goals.

Congrats on your upcoming marriage!

Lady Fordragon

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Re: Advice for Beginner Mustachians in Houston
« Reply #6 on: July 05, 2015, 11:19:58 AM »
I agree with all of the advice already mentioned.  I would probably also side with Noodle in terms of getting a 9-5 job now and working the painting business as a side gig.  I'm currently working a 9-5 job in the hopes of starting my own business once my husband and I are FI.  Good luck with your endeavors!

zolotiyeruki

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Re: Advice for Beginner Mustachians in Houston
« Reply #7 on: July 05, 2015, 01:15:55 PM »
Houston's a great place for mustachians.  Cheap housing and low taxes FTW!

It may sound cliche, but what about exploring options in oil and gas?  You can make a *lot* of money with (relatively) few qualifications if you're willing to work offshore.