Author Topic: Mustachian or Anti-Mustachian?  (Read 2125 times)

LizzyBee

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 65
Mustachian or Anti-Mustachian?
« on: March 31, 2013, 09:09:42 PM »
I have been contemplating some choices we've made that have both mustachian and anti-mustachian elements to them. I can't tell if the anti-mustachian aspects out-weigh the mustachian benefits. What do you think?

1) I took a new job that resulted in a $15,000 pay raise, but I have to drive all over the city to various sites. There is absolutely no chance for biking to work or taking public transportation because I would end up spending over half of my work day just commuting. I do get reimbursed for gas which more than covers my gas costs, but the environment and my car still take a beating and I end up stopping for snacks and drinks when I would have absolutely no temptation to do that if I were stationed at one location all day. Mustachian or anti-mustachian?

2) I signed up for a Costco membership even though the nearest Costco is 9 miles away. I try to limit my trips there to once a month and combine it with a visit with a friend since she lives just a few blocks away from the Costco. On the weeks I don't shop at Costco, I pick up fresh produce from a grocery store that is also inconveniently located (It's about 2 miles from the place where I pick up my son from daycare, but in the opposite direction of my house). The produce at this grocery store is up to 1/3 of the cost of the grocery store closest to my house. There are also minimal processed foods at this grocery store and the processed foods they do have are really expensive so I forgo them altogether and spend a lot less on impulse purchases then I would at the larger more convenient grocery store next to my house. Mustachian or antimustachian?

3) We take our son to a sitter that came highly recommended from a friend. My husband drops my son off. He would normally drive 1.5 miles to his job, but has to drive 4 miles to the sitter and then 4 miles back to work. I pick my son up each day and most of the sites that I visit for my job are not close to the sitter. Day care centers and home daycare centers closer to our home and his job range from $1,100-$1,500 a month. We pay $700 a month where we currently take our son. Mustachian or anti-mustachian?

I realize all of these examples have to do with driving excessively. We actually pride ourselves on living in the city because we live so close to our jobs and all of the places that we love (restaurants, parks, libraries, etc) so I feel a little silly driving so far to save or earn more money, although, I feel like the savings and the pay increase justifies the added driving somewhat.

Over the summer, when I'm off from work, I want to challenge myself to use my car sparingly. My son will be old enough for the bike trailer then (he's about 3 months old now) and, basically, the only thing I will have to drive for is to visit friends since they all opted to live way out in the suburbs. Over the summer, should I forgo the grocery store with cheap produce to save on gas at the closer, but more expensive grocery store? I can still shop at Costco on the days I visit my friend, but maybe I should give that membership up when it expires as well. Advice and suggestions are appreciated.

Hamster

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 623
Re: Mustachian or Anti-Mustachian?
« Reply #1 on: March 31, 2013, 09:32:37 PM »
If you want to do the simple math for cost/benefit in dollar terms, then use the IRS numbers and tell yourself it's costing you $0.55 per mile you drive. Multiply out the miles and see if you are saving anything. If you have a reasonably inexpensive and efficient car, then your costs are almost certainly less than the 55 cents per mile.

You could also add the value of your time for the extra driving and do the math.

That of course doesn't factor in the environmental costs. If you wanted to, you could buy carbon offsets to mitigate your impact/guilt of saving money at the cost of driving more (although burning more gas and trying to buy offsets seems a bit self-contradictory like buying "vitamin enriched white bread"). One site I looked at said ~140 gallons of gasoline = one ton of carbon. A quick google search showed costs of around $10-20 per ton for buying carbon offsets through various organizations. No idea how legit it is... YMMV

Jamesqf

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4047
Re: Mustachian or Anti-Mustachian?
« Reply #2 on: March 31, 2013, 09:46:00 PM »
On the environmental aspect, if you weren't doing the job, wouldn't it be done by someone else?  And probably by someone driving a less efficient car...

iamsoners

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 178
Re: Mustachian or Anti-Mustachian?
« Reply #3 on: April 01, 2013, 12:08:55 PM »
I would say take the job, bank the difference you save on gas money and put some snacks in the car so you avoid temptation. As noted, you'll probably do this more efficiently than others.

As for the other things, yes, increase your bike usage. I would use the closer grocery if it means keeping the car in the drive. Make a list so you avoid impulse purchases.

One mental trick I use is to try and see how long we can leave the car parked--it's a game to me to see how long I can keep the streak going.