Saturday, December 7, 2013

Why I Hate Mr Money Mustache

Why I'm Jealous of Mr Money Mustache and Hate Him at the Same Time Part I of Many. 

Let's keep it simple I think retiring at 30 is amazing and I'm jealous.  Now here's why I think many of the concepts used don't work for the majority. 

Riding a bike to save $10,000 just doesn't happen.  Here's how this scenario works for someone who lives in Chicago.  I like 8 miles from work, I jump on my bike and ride to work sweating like a mad man in the 20 degree weather.  I get to work after my hour long trip, take of my coat and drenched shirt, well I don't want to spend any money so I go to work and smell like I haven't showered in days.  This doesn't work!  What do you expect people to shower in the sink?  Move closer to my place of work.....Great idea I just raised my 
rent/mortgage by about $1000, new article would how I spent $12,000 year but Bike to Work.  I'm not even going to mention people who live in the Suburbs or Rural Area. 

Here's a better article title and one that appeals to the every day person.  How I Saved 1 Million Dollars Riding the Train, Walking to Work, Driving a Beater!!! 

Here's the 3 options you will run into and here's how we can save some money doing it. 

1.  You live far enough away from work and public transportation that you have to drive, not peddle 30 miles to save $10,000 and die of frost bite on your way to work, your not Lance Armstrong, this ain't happening.  

So in my eyes having a car payment is just about one of the worst things you can do to get stuck in a rut for probably the rest of your life, check out my decision and pros and cons of selling my Benzo de Lorenzo).  So I had the luxury of living in the city and selling my vehicle, most people don't.  So if this is you we need to downsize, sell your car and get a beater, like a 1997 Mercury Tracer perhaps, a fine vehicle if you ask me.  In my Blog(  which says that if you have a car loan that it should be only 10% of your income, so if you have 1 car and make 50K(average American Income), you are allowed to have a $5000 loan, the rest must be paid for in cash.  If there are 2 members and 2 cars are needed this would still be the same since there are 2 vehicles, assuming the house hold income is 100K, the total car loan allowed would be 10K.  But that's my criteria if you were to buy today.  If you want to really WIN, you can't have a car payment, I don't care if it's 0%, you owe some rich guy at the bank money, period.  Sell your car and get a cheaper one, that's it 1 sentence.(Side note I'm not including Van or Car Pooling but also great ways to save money)

2.  You live in the City, but you can't or won't Ride your Bike or Walk to Work.  That's cool, you are going to save money and be almost as cool as Captain Planet. 

So you are most likely taking Public Transportation, train or bus or fairy for those really cool people you are saving money and the environment.  Using Chicago as an example it costs $100/month for  a pass to ride every in the entire city of Chicago, which is amazing in itself.  But get this my work says we like the environment and want to save you a couple extra dollars we will give you $30 month to get to work.  That's crazy I'm now down to $70 month to get to work, but wait there's more(Insert Realllly Cool Infomercial Here), any money that is taken out is taken out pre-tax which is not only reducing my overall taxed income but lowering the cost of the monthly pass.  Based off the criteria I filled out on I have no idea what tax bracket I'm in, 25% just felt correct.  So I'm paying $52.50 month to travel in the city and if you live in Chicago this covers pretty much everything.  So what you spend on a tank of gas I spend on getting to work, it's worth hanging out with strangers for 45 minutes while I listen to a podcast or read my book. 


3.  You Do Live Close Enough to Work to Bike or Walk, and apparently save $10,000 a year, spend this on Twinkies and Malt Liquor please. 

Being able to walk or ride your bike is pretty exciting, it doesn't work for everyone, but if you have the option to make that choice consider yourself in a good place.  It can certainly save you a few dollars in expenses and get you a little exercise which is what FFD(Finance and Fitness Dreams people, getting the FFD tattoo tomorrow?) is all about.  I would not however pick up where you are living now and move closer to work, but if it's an option to consider in your purchase or rental decision.  For example when I first moved to Chicago I had 2 options, both similar places in nice neighborhoods, 1 was a 10 minute walk and the other was a 20 minute bus ride, made my decision so much easier, but remember that every one's work can change from year to year, which it did for me, less than a year later.   

So in Summary I think Mr Money Mustache is correct that you can save some money by riding your bike to work or wherever, but that's just not a reality for 99% of the population.  Henry Ford and George Stephenson invented cars and trains, whatever mode of transport you are using let's make sure it's paid off or is a low number on the budget.  Comments are appreciated even if you think I'm crazy or agree with me completely.  Thanks for reading. 

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