Author Topic: Do pets fit in Mustachian living?  (Read 25087 times)

smalllife

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Re: Do pets fit in Mustachian living?
« Reply #50 on: July 16, 2012, 02:59:09 PM »

Kids cost money and are optional and therefore a choice that is no different than any other possession when looking at it from a financial perspective....that said my kids add way more value to my existence.  If your sole existence is to be frugal and retire early then don't have kids, but there is more to life.



To me this reads as "if your only reason not to have kids is to save money than you are missing out on life", implying that if one doesn't have kids than their life isn't complete or they are missing out on something they must want.  My point is that not everyone wants kids and that there are plenty of non-financial reasons to forego parenthood.

totoro

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Re: Do pets fit in Mustachian living?
« Reply #51 on: July 16, 2012, 02:59:38 PM »
We have a dog half-time.  We share costs like vet and pet insurance equally.  We each have her fifty percent of the time.  I travel every other week so she is never kenneled. They travel frequently too so it works for them.  We both make her food ourselves from the same recipe.   

Our share of the cost is:
30/month for food
25/month for vet insurance (covers non-routine matters)
10/month for shots/check-up/raw bones
12/month for grooming

I think this is pretty frugal if you are going to have a dog and allows us to have a very flexible lifestyle. 


tooqk4u22

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Re: Do pets fit in Mustachian living?
« Reply #52 on: July 16, 2012, 03:24:56 PM »

Kids cost money and are optional and therefore a choice that is no different than any other possession when looking at it from a financial perspective....that said my kids add way more value to my existence.  If your sole existence is to be frugal and retire early then don't have kids, but there is more to life.



To me this reads as "if your only reason not to have kids is to save money than you are missing out on life", implying that if one doesn't have kids than their life isn't complete or they are missing out on something they must want.  My point is that not everyone wants kids and that there are plenty of non-financial reasons to forego parenthood.

I think if that was my intention I would said something along the lines of ...you can't place a value on having kids....or...we are put on this earth by god/nature (depends on your view) for solely for reproduction....or life is life for anyone without kids is meaningless....or, I would have said it exactly like you did. 

If that is what I meant I don't think I would have correlated having kids with consumerism such that the choice of having kids is no different than having cable, which to be clear is exactly my view.  So having children is worth more to me than retiring early/earlier.   I also get why people don't want kids.  To each their own.

tooqk4u22

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Re: Do pets fit in Mustachian living?
« Reply #53 on: July 16, 2012, 03:35:48 PM »
We have a dog half-time.  We share costs like vet and pet insurance equally.  We each have her fifty percent of the time.  I travel every other week so she is never kenneled. They travel frequently too so it works for them.  We both make her food ourselves from the same recipe.   

Our share of the cost is:
30/month for food
25/month for vet insurance (covers non-routine matters)
10/month for shots/check-up/raw bones
12/month for grooming

I think this is pretty frugal if you are going to have a dog and allows us to have a very flexible lifestyle.

At 4% SWR you need $23k to have your share of the dog in FIRE - that's all you need to know and if it is good for you then awesome.

stashless

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Re: Do pets fit in Mustachian living?
« Reply #54 on: July 16, 2012, 03:50:05 PM »
We've had dogs for years.  They were spoiled rotten and treated as our children before we had actual children.  Since the kids came along the dogs have been reduced to normal dog status and I would literally give them away if I knew the new owners would take care of them.  They have cost us a small fortune over the years but were still cheap compared to all the money I just flat wasted (I've only recently become enamored with trying to save and plan for retirement).

Our dogs are larger and therefore a bigger pain to deal with for travel and such.  Over the years we've spent a lot in trying to make sure we had vehicles large enough to haul them around with our gear, putting toppers on trucks, etc.

Personally, I wouldn't say we'll never have another pet, but we'll certainly never have 85+ pound dogs again.  But even the small ones will cramp your traveling style.  And god forbid you like national parks, because they've pretty much made it completely pointless to visit one with a pet any more, even in the back-country.
« Last Edit: July 16, 2012, 04:18:00 PM by stashless »

SpendyMcSpend

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Re: Do pets fit in Mustachian living?
« Reply #55 on: July 16, 2012, 04:30:50 PM »
I think pets are fine and can be members of the family, but know what you are getting into.   I have a friend who complains constantly about how much it costs to board, have the dog walked or  pay vet bills.  These things are not emergencies.  Everyone should be setting aside money for these bills, because if you have a pet they will need to go to the vet, eat, be walked, etc.  It's not a surprise and no need to complain/be outraged about it and the $ when it happens.

totoro

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Re: Do pets fit in Mustachian living?
« Reply #56 on: July 16, 2012, 05:29:09 PM »
We have a dog half-time.  We share costs like vet and pet insurance equally.  We each have her fifty percent of the time.  I travel every other week so she is never kenneled. They travel frequently too so it works for them.  We both make her food ourselves from the same recipe.   

Our share of the cost is:
30/month for food
25/month for vet insurance (covers non-routine matters)
10/month for shots/check-up/raw bones
12/month for grooming

I think this is pretty frugal if you are going to have a dog and allows us to have a very flexible lifestyle.

At 4% SWR you need $23k to have your share of the dog in FIRE - that's all you need to know and if it is good for you then awesome.

I'm not sure of these acronyms.  If you are trying to state that 23k would need to be set aside to generate the income required to pay for the dog over the next seven years (remaining lifespan we hope), then I'm fine with that.  I don't really look at lives I'm responsible for in the same light as utility bills.  I can cut costs somewhat but quality of life benefits for some expenditures have to be added back in to the equation. 

In my case, my quality of life factors that I am more than willing to work and pay for are my dog, my children, my house and my garden.  While I am frugal, I am conscious of the fact that life is time limited and quality of relationships with those I love is pretty key for me.  Kids bring that for me more than anything else.  My own earlier early retirement is not worth not having kids or a pet. 

For those that choose not to have children or pets because they would prefer to retire early, I think that is just fine too.

darkelenchus

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Re: Do pets fit in Mustachian living?
« Reply #57 on: July 16, 2012, 06:24:10 PM »
Q: Do pets fit in Mustachian living?

A: Depends. If caring for animals is a passion of yours, it's not a waste of money. They may also provide instrumental value in the sense that they help cut costs. For instance, keeping a dog might be cheaper than paying for an alarm system, but just as effective.

Comparing pets and children is in most cases comparing apples and oranges (there are some cases where kids are just as much a commodity to parents as pets are to the typical pet owner). Pets are like infants that never get past infancy. That is to say, the relationship will be vastly one-sided, with limited reciprocation. With the possible exception of some higher primates, it can never go beyond the level of emotional trivialities. In the case of a child, there is much more potential as the he/she grows beyond infancy, even if the child suffers from a mental disorder.

Perpetual_Student

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Re: Do pets fit in Mustachian living?
« Reply #58 on: July 16, 2012, 07:19:03 PM »
In the sense that Mustachian living entails care for the planet, absolutely not. 

Fuck that.  We are here and not going anywhere.  If our existence destroys the planet then we will ultimately pay the ultimate price.  Don't get me wrong we should be mindful but in the sense that we depend on earth and not the other way around.  But if we weren't here then it wouldn't really matter anyway.

You seem pretty angry there, tooqk4u22, but the data don't lie.

For example, many studies agree that having children is the surest way to send your carbon footprint soaring.  Here's a study from statisticians at Oregon State University: http://oregonstate.edu/ua/ncs/archives/2009/jul/family-planning-major-environmental-emphasis.

People are really attached to the idea of procreating, but I think it's worth mentioning for those who are on the fence about it that not only does a child-free life save money, but it also espouses the Mustachian value of environmental stewardship.  Many people do not realize that having children is a choice to be undertaken thoughtfully, not just another part of the Default Life Script.

Well, having kids you obviously can't afford is anti-Mustachian.

Oh I absolutely agree...it is anti-Mustachian in every way.

bogart

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Re: Do pets fit in Mustachian living?
« Reply #59 on: July 16, 2012, 08:32:17 PM »
It didn't come up in the original thread, but I'll note too that depending on your pet(s), goals, and circumstances, the responsibilities (vet visits) and/or recreation (long walks in the woods with dog) they entail can be a major obstacle to gas-powered-vehicle-free living.
Since when does walking your dog require driving to a forest?

I didn't intend to imply that it does, which is why I used the word "recreation," though I'll note that the "entail" could imply some level of obligation.  I do value letting my dogs run off leash, for which options are limited in my (walkable) area ... but beyond that I enjoy walking in the woods with my dogs and there is no way I could get my dogs + myself to the woods I like to walk in without a car (riding a bike to access the trails would be easy by Mustachian standards, but I could not get my dogs there that way).  That, plus the "how do you get the dog to the vet" [or the kennel] question was really all I was trying to raise.

And yes, you could definitely have pets (and living situations) where these things were non-issues; my point was only that some pet preferences in some circumstances complicate fully embracing the MM approach to transportation.

smalllife

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Re: Do pets fit in Mustachian living?
« Reply #60 on: July 16, 2012, 08:43:43 PM »
And yes, you could definitely have pets (and living situations) where these things were non-issues; my point was only that some pet preferences in some circumstances complicate fully embracing the MM approach to transportation.

It depends on what you consider a MM approach to transportation.  I think relying on taxis for planned vet visits is entirely within Mustachian principles.  It's a bit harder with dogs, but even a "leisure" car will be relatively cheap to insure and run.

grantmeaname

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Re: Do pets fit in Mustachian living?
« Reply #61 on: July 17, 2012, 06:57:52 AM »
You seem pretty angry there, tooqk4u22, but the data don't lie.
This isn't a factual debate, this is a debate about your beliefs. Your beliefs are the reason that a 200-word PR summary of a scientifically shaky study is enough to 'make up your mind'- it's clearly already been made up. Again, if you want to debate whether or not human presence is incompatible with the success of the natural world, we can, but you can't take that statement as a given, assume that everyone will share your views, then base your argument from there. I'll say it again: if your listener accepts that premise, you have a reasonable argument. I don't happen to accept that premise, so unless you back your argument up and start it from some sort of common ground, the entire thing will mean nothing to me.

Quote
Many people do not realize that having children is a choice to be undertaken thoughtfully, not just another part of the Default Life Script.
We tend to not be so big on the Default Life Script around these parts. Hence the discussions on whether to pay for kids' schooling and putting off parenthood until after retirement, to name just two of the myriad examples. It's not respectful for you to assume that the people on this forum don't think before they do (especially given that it's an alternative lifestyle forum!), even if there's a kernel of truth in what you're saying for the population as a whole.

tooqk4u22

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Re: Do pets fit in Mustachian living?
« Reply #62 on: July 17, 2012, 08:29:55 AM »
I'm not sure of these acronyms.  If you are trying to state that 23k would need to be set aside to generate the income required to pay for the dog over the next seven years (remaining lifespan we hope), then I'm fine with that.  I don't really look at lives I'm responsible for in the same light as utility bills.  I can cut costs somewhat but quality of life benefits for some expenditures have to be added back in to the equation. 

Yes that is what I am saying, but I wouldn't advocate abandoning the pet to save some money just because your realize this. The sentiment only comes into play when initially choosing to buy a pet - after that you bear full responsibility and moral obligation for taking care of it (although doggy day spas probably don't count :).

tooqk4u22

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Re: Do pets fit in Mustachian living?
« Reply #63 on: July 17, 2012, 09:18:50 AM »
In the sense that Mustachian living entails care for the planet, absolutely not. 

Fuck that.  We are here and not going anywhere.  If our existence destroys the planet then we will ultimately pay the ultimate price.  Don't get me wrong we should be mindful but in the sense that we depend on earth and not the other way around.  But if we weren't here then it wouldn't really matter anyway.

You seem pretty angry there, tooqk4u22, but the data don't lie.

For example, many studies agree that having children is the surest way to send your carbon footprint soaring.  Here's a study from statisticians at Oregon State University: http://oregonstate.edu/ua/ncs/archives/2009/jul/family-planning-major-environmental-emphasis.

People are really attached to the idea of procreating, but I think it's worth mentioning for those who are on the fence about it that not only does a child-free life save money, but it also espouses the Mustachian value of environmental stewardship.  Many people do not realize that having children is a choice to be undertaken thoughtfully, not just another part of the Default Life Script.

Well, having kids you obviously can't afford is anti-Mustachian.

Oh I absolutely agree...it is anti-Mustachian in every way.


You seem pretty angry there, tooqk4u22, but the data don't lie.

For example, many studies agree that having children is the surest way to send your carbon footprint soaring.  Here's a study from statisticians at Oregon State University: http://oregonstate.edu/ua/ncs/archives/2009/jul/family-planning-major-environmental-emphasis.

People are really attached to the idea of procreating, but I think it's worth mentioning for those who are on the fence about it that not only does a child-free life save money, but it also espouses the Mustachian value of environmental stewardship.  Many people do not realize that having children is a choice to be undertaken thoughtfully, not just another part of the Default Life Script.

Well, having kids you obviously can't afford is anti-Mustachian.

Oh I absolutely agree...it is anti-Mustachian in every way.


Not angry just my position - if we are going to take environmentalism to the point of abandoning human existence then it doesn't really matter. I personally embace my existence and kinda don't want that to change, by all means if you want to make that choice then go ahead. And the baseless article that you reference starts about not having a child to save emissions but gets to the point that it is not the child but the way the child is raised (given them an SUV it raises emissions).  From article...“China and India right now are steadily increasing their carbon emissions and industrial development, and other developing nations may also continue to increase as they seek higher standards of living,” Murtaugh said.

Also I am not in the camp of procrating because we can, I was neutral on the idea of kids initially, kinda take it or leave it, but it was important to DW (procreator) so we did.  Not only did it change me but I went from indifference to pushing for the 2nd kid. 

I also agree that people that can't afford kids shouldn't have them, but I can't control other people. 

And setting all that aside, if humans didn't reproduce enough to have steady population growth then the economic system as we know it would slowly deteriorate - that may be good or bad depending on your view.  Besides I assure you that no matter how smart we are nature will find a way to pause/cure any imbalance - it has happened many times before.

Will

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Re: Do pets fit in Mustachian living?
« Reply #64 on: July 17, 2012, 09:24:05 AM »
Since we end up off-topic anyway...

Did grantmeaname just have a birthday?  Seems like it said age 19 until recently and now it is 20, so I guess I'll say Happy Birthday, Grant!

grantmeaname

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Re: Do pets fit in Mustachian living?
« Reply #65 on: July 17, 2012, 09:28:21 AM »
Seems like it said age 19 until recently and now it is 20, so I guess I'll say Happy Birthday, Grant!
Yeah, the forum does the math. I even get a snazzy cake icon once a year, all for the low low price of putting my date of birth online. Thanks for the well wishes!
I also agree that people that can't afford kids shouldn't have them, but I can't control other people.
Naw. People who can't afford kids should stop being stupid with their money. Any entry-level service-sector job's wages and food stamps are easily enough to raise a family if you really try and get the most out of your money instead of pissing it away on iPhones, junk food and booze. People who can't afford kids should have mandatory MMM reeducation programs. (Maybe I could be Bakari's welfare minister if he were king of America... until then, I can't control them any more than you can.)

tooqk4u22

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Re: Do pets fit in Mustachian living?
« Reply #66 on: July 17, 2012, 09:52:54 AM »
Naw. People who can't afford kids should stop being stupid with their money. Any entry-level service-sector job's wages and food stamps are easily enough to raise a family if you really try and get the most out of your money instead of pissing it away on iPhones, junk food and booze. People who can't afford kids should have mandatory MMM reeducation programs. (Maybe I could be Bakari's welfare minister if he were king of America... until then, I can't control them any more than you can.)

I Second that.

Jamesqf

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Re: Do pets fit in Mustachian living?
« Reply #67 on: July 17, 2012, 01:39:45 PM »
The sentiment only comes into play when initially choosing to buy a pet...

Though IMHO anyone who buys a "pet" (in quotes because I don't really think of my four-legged companions that way), especially someone who claims to be Mustachian, really needs their head/values examined.  Adoption is easy.  Indeed, for me it's been adoption by default, 'cause I'm a sucker for the old "Can you keep her for just a week or two, otherwise she'll have to go to the (sob!) pound?" trick, and then six or eight years later I'm digging another grave...

As for the rest, sure I need a car (and 4WD pickup) to get me and the critters to places where they can run free, but I would be going to these same sorts of places if I were alone.  Boarding & paying for people to walk them for me aren't issues: I know my neighbors will feed & otherwise take care of them if I have to be away, just as I return the favor for them when needed.  That's part of what makes us neighbors, instead of strangers whose houses happen to be nearby.

amr_ve

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Re: Do pets fit in Mustachian living?
« Reply #68 on: August 09, 2012, 05:15:31 PM »
So, I realize I'm a bit late on the conversation. Some thoughts from a vet student's perspective:

There are frugal ways to take care of pets; you just have to be careful how you do it. Encouraging people to go to the feed store and get livestock-grade ivermec is a terrible idea. If the concentration changes, your dog has collie somewhere in its background you don't know about (I'm going to refrain from the genetics of the MDR1 gene, but I will admit I'm a nerd and love to talk about it), if you don't look up or calculate the dosing correctly, your dog could die. I've seen too many people whose dogs have gone into seizures, comas, or died because someone forgot one of those little details. Obviously, the badasses in this forum wouldn't do that, but it's just not a good idea to mess with.

You should also talk to your vet about what diseases are in your area. Some locations don't really need lyme vaccines for their pets, others don't need bordetella, etc., depending on where you go and what you're doing with your dog. You can also have your vet walk you through the vaccines you get at the feed store (how to give them, what to get, etc.), but if you do that, keep the lot numbers, expiration date, and date/dose given so that if anything happens you've got the records to go from. Rabies vaccines are trickier and usually have to be done by a vet, but there are low-cost clinics everywhere if you look for them (some will even do low-cost spay/neuters).

Dogs are by nature scavengers; feeding them leftovers that are high-quality and balanced can be done, but once again you have to be careful that you're giving them a balanced meal. Overfeeding dogs can shorten their life by 2 years and make them prone to a host of other problems, even if they don't look like a blown-up balloon yet. And, as others have pointed out, it's totally Anti-Mustachian to waste all of that food/money on something that's easily preventable.

If you're dead-set on an animal, the shelter is actually the Mustachian way to go: an already vaccinated animal that's spayed or neutered and may even have had previous socialization and training (ours had already been through obedience and was house trained). And usually all that is only $50-100. If you had to provide that care yourself, it would cost much more. The caveat is that you don't know what the animal's history/genetics are, but I'm willing to live with that.

My husband made us calculate up the cost of the dog we have now (60 lb. collie mix) before he would even go to the shelter with me. Our number is about $750 a year right now, but adding the cost of vet care if I couldn't provide it myself easily pushes it up to $1000.

(And for the record, vets don't see dollar signs with pugs. They see them with English bulldogs. ;) )