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What Does Your Work Truck Say About You?

c4500-partytimeTo my Brothers of the construction trades, the oil industry, the armed forces, and even plain old civilian office jobs.

I was hoping it wouldn’t come to this, because I think we should all be free to make our own choices. But with the recent oil boom and bust, and the even bigger housing boom we are just starting to roll with here in the ‘States, there’s a big chunk of your money at stake, and I’d rather see you hold onto it instead of seeing it go up in smoke. So I’m just going to put this out there nice and clear:

Your Work Truck is Killing You, and making you look like a Big Dumbass in the process.

Now don’t get me wrong – not every work truck is a money-burning rolling clown circus with a 24/7 fireworks show shooting out of its roof telling the world how dumb you are. Only about 99% of them. So if you’re fortunate enough to already be in that top 1% who knows how to buy and operate a real work truck, you can just laugh along with me and then share the lesson with our other Brothers* when you get out of class.

“So what’s wrong with my truck?”

I know how you feel – trucks are fun, and everybody has ’em. How could this be wrong? To figure it out, let’s review the basics of what a truck is really supposed to accomplish.

  1. To make you money.
  2. To make you look good in front of other people.

You could get more complicated and start talking about horses and cupholders, but if you break it all the way down, those two points above are why we buy trucks.

You could say a truck needs to carry you and your crew to work, or haul your tools, materials and trailers. But why are you delivering yourself to work? Why are you bringing the tools and materials in the first place? To make money. These machines are business tools, designed to make us a profit.

And you could pretend a truck is only a business tool, but that would be ignoring the fact that your choice of truck says something about you – to the ladies, to other men, and to your employer. Or if you’re doing well, to the customers of the business you own yourself. What message do you want to convey to these people?

So Where’s the Problem?

The problem arises when you don’t understand the Two Commandments of Truck Ownership, and buy yourself something that doesn’t really meet those goals.

The Money

r+r-concrete

Look at this truck, compared to the one at the top of the article. Which guy would you rather hire to build a foundation for you?

A truck makes money by carrying as much shit as possible, safely, to your destination. This allows you to earn a good day’s pay. But the truck also costs you money, which is taking back a portion of that paycheck. The amount you get to keep for yourself is your profit. Since your goal is a nice fat profit, you obviously want to pick the truck that burns the smallest amount of your hard-earned cash.

The Looking Good

But you also want to enjoy the driving, right? You want good handling, a comfortable interior, and you want other people to see how well you are doing.  Maybe some flashy accessories and huge off-road tires, because hey, why wouldn’t you want to give your truck superpowers?

And this is the downfall of most truck-owning men. Because a truck that makes you a lot of money, and a truck that handles and accelerates (or climbs 45 degree boulder fields) and has the comfort of a car, are two completely opposite things. In fact, they are so far apart, that the more flashy and comfortable your truck becomes, the more obvious it becomes that you are not using it to make money.

In other words, you are telling the world you’re a big fake. Or at least that you’re too dumb to know the difference. Neither of these is a very impressive message to send.

How to Choose The Right Tool for the Job

So now we know a truck is a tool. It’s a tool for carrying heavy shit, and making money. We can take the emotions of vehicle ownership out of it by just comparing it to a drill.

When I need to make a small, precise hole in something, I’ll grab my smallest drill – currently this little Ryobi 18V deal. It’s the perfect tool for the job: lightweight, plenty tough as I’ve built quite a few houses with these things, and it only set me back about 50 bucks.ryobi

Of course, sometimes you need more power. To drill through a concrete foundation, I use this hammer drill. It does stuff the little cordless could only dream of, but in exchange it is so big you have to angle it properly to even carry it through a doorframe.

hammerdrill-crop2

Then when things get really tough, I use the drill press. I have a Ridgid 15″ machine, which is the largest one I could find. With this thing, I can drill 50 half-inch holes through half-inch steel plate without breaking a sweat. On the downside, it weighs 163 pounds.

Now, when I need to drill a few small holes to set some hinges, which of these drills do you think I grab? Of course, I use the little Ryobi.

And yet, when a man buys a 360-horsepower pickup truck and uses it for anything smaller than hauling an excavating machine, this is what he is doing:

drillpress

The Wrong Tool for the Job: this is what you are doing, if you use a full-sized pickup truck for anything smaller than hauling multi-ton loads. And I’m not even going to mention the folly of using a pickup truck to commute to an office job. Fuck.

In Ecuador, they know how to use trucks.

In Ecuador, they know how to use trucks.

See, when you buy a truck, you look smart only at those moments you are maxing that thing out. Payload and towing load at 100% of rated capacity, 16-foot lumber on the roof rack, and the cabin full to the limits of comfort. At that moment, the truck is earning the money you paid for it. Unfortunately for most gentlemen, this moment is Never.

At all other moments, you’re showing you bought too much truck. You are using the 163 pound drill press to countersink tiny screws in a door frame. You are wasting your own money and looking to the rest of the world like a dumbass who can’t choose the right truck. And unfortunately for most truck owners, this is Always.

For every inch you raise the suspension or every bump in tire size, you’re burning up thousands of your own dollars. For every extra horsepower you have on tap, the story is the same. If you want proof, just look at what the professionals use: real trucks that make millions of dollars for the owners who run fleets of them look like this:

Walmart is run by billionaires - they know how to use trucks.

Walmart is run by billionaires – they know how to use trucks.

Note the design of this real truck. As low to the ground as possible. Tires designed to roll easily on pavement, because pavement – not dirt – is where you make money. An engine big enough to haul the most profitable load, but no bigger. Fully loaded, these things take well over a minute to get to 65MPH – so why are you paying so much to get your work truck there in under ten seconds?

Sure, motor power is fun. But you know what is much more fun? Money power. Just by making different truck choices, you can end up with hundreds of thousands of dollars in the bank, or invested in your business making more money for you. At that point, your employees will be driving your fleet of slow trucks, while you can kick back with a fast car if you choose to do so.

Examples of Badass vs. Stupid Work Trucks

Now for the fun part of the lesson. All of this makes more sense if we go through a few real-world examples, and explain what they say about the man who drives them.

The Ridiculously Overpriced New Truck:

new_66

Only $66,610 (plus taxes/fees) after rebate!

Trucks like this scream, “I am a sucker for shiny toys and am horrible with my money!”

The new truck market is such a racket. I recently biked by this Ford “Super Duty” at the local dealership, and was astounded at the price. At over $70 grand including tax, this thing is an insane money pit. The depreciation alone in the first year is more than most of its customers actually manage to take home from their jobs. Even if you need to tow 20,000 pounds,  you can get an equally useful used truck, a trailer, and a Bobcat or small track-drive excavator to start your landscaping or concrete business for this much coin.

The Jacked up Boy Toy

IMG_20150402_113652901

“I’m bad with money, AND I don’t ever use my truck for real work!”

A truck like this leads a predictable life. It starts out as a ridiculously overpriced new truck (see above). After taking a $50,000 depreciation hit, the original owner trades it for a newer truck with a bigger loan, and a younger man comes in and buys it for $25,000, also on credit. He then spends another $15,000 on customization, making the truck less stable on the highway and the cargo bed even more useless.

Next he blows $15,000 on gas, then eventually runs into money problems and tries to sell it. After months of fruitless advertising, he gives up and lets it go for $9,000, which doesn’t even cover the loan he has on it. He may go bankrupt.  Meanwhile, the miniscule 6-foot cargo bed has never carried anything larger than a washer/dryer and a couch, as shown by its immaculate $450 decorator bedliner treatment.

The Millionaire Business Owner’s Workhorse

w4500

“I have a successful business, so please step aside as I have shit to do.” The Isuzu standard truck (sold in the US as Chevrolet W4500)

Meanwhile, quietly working in the background while this clown circus goes on are real trucks like this one. Notice how this W4500 (which costs less than a “Super Duty”) does not waste space on any bullshit. Instead of a 14-foot hood and cab up front with a uselessly small cargo bed in the back (all Hat and no Cattle), this truck reverses the ratio. These carry ten times the cargo of American-style pickups, while using less gas and being easier to maneuver into tight spots. You can also get them with dump or box beds, and they will haul a hell of a trailer as well. Depreciation is much slower with these, so you can buy a used one, and sell it many years later for almost the same price if you keep it maintained.

The Future Millionaire’s Truck

If you are earlier in your career or don’t frequently load and unload multi-ton cargo loads with a forklift, you can do very well with a truck like this:

Mazda B2300 or Ford Ranger - ideal work trucks

“I generally carry less than two tons, and I like to keep the money I earn from working” – Mazda B2300 or Ford Ranger – ideal work trucks. But avoid the 4-wheel-drive and V-6 engine options. Keep that money for yourself.

This beauty is owned by one of the guys who built the foundation for a house I’m currently helping out with. Note the fully loaded cargo bed and the excellent roof rack. This truck has a 4-cylinder engine, 5-speed manual transmission and will deliver reasonable 30MPG efficiency if you drive it properly. Lower height means easier loading and unloading and better handling. Lower cost (under 5 grand on the used market) means much more money for you.

My own Work Trucks

Here's my van collecting 1200 pounds of logs for firewood.

“I think minivans are a ridiculous invention for carrying 60-pound kids, but great inventions for heavy construction work.”  Here’s my van collecting 1200 pounds of logs for firewood.

At this stage with plenty in the bank, I have grown soft and have a bit more truck than I need. It’s a 1999 Honda van with 140,000 miles on it. I bought it for $4,800 four years ago, and current market value is maybe 3 grand. Less than what the juniors with no money spend on their wheels and tires alone.

And this thing can work. I have carried over 2,500 pounds comfortably, it can lock up a full selection of tools and keep them dry, and with the seats out you can close the rear door on 12-foot pieces of lumber or a stack of 20 full sheets of plywood. This is the truck I use now, but most of my carpentry career was done with something far less luxurious.

El Amarillo

The Amarillo - more than enough for 90% of truck users.

“I live my life to the fullest and waste nothing on silly frills” – The Amarillo – more than enough for 95% of truck users.

Back when money was tighter (I only had $700,000 in the bank but at least my house was paid off), I had this older truck – a 1984 Nissan compact pickup. This thing built multiple houses and kitchens, carried steel girders and landscaping materials,  and protected me from weather of all seasons. It has an aftermarket cupholder on the driveshaft hump which is currently full of hardened surf wax and 10 Peso coins.

And I didn’t even own it. I borrowed it for five years (in exchange for upkeep) from a good friend, who had earlier used it to cross the Continental Divide and Death Valley on his way to Mexico’s Baja Peninsula, where the truck served as his beachside home for an extended surfing-based stay.

So heed my advice, men of all ages who are not yet millionaires and wish they were. Your truck may be the biggest obstacle in your way.

The size of your truck is inversely proportional to the size of your wallet. Which one of the two would you rather supersize?

Related Reading (now that you realize you probably don’t need a truck at all):

Top 10 Cars for Smart People

Turning a Little Car into a Big One

 

* I speak mostly to men in this article, because they are the primary victims of the pickup truck racket. But women are not immune – they just tend to fall into the “SUV and Minivan” trap more often.

  • Peter April 30, 2015, 1:38 am

    For a moment there I thought you were pointing at me, but then you OK-ed the Ranger and called it a sensible truck – thanks. Around my place, the F150 (or any other truck for that matter) is not the most sold car anywhere close, and in fact, a Ranger is considered big and an F150 is humongous. Most of the time I use my Ranger to carry stuff that could fit in any car (or no stuff at all), but on occasion I use it to carry big stuff (rental property renovation stuff like kitchens or furniture) or dirty stuff (garden trash, old furniture) around. It is a 4×4, but also a manual (as most cars around here), diesel, and when I bought it (new) it was a late model with a big deduction as the shop wanted to sell; plus I plan to keep it as long as possible.

    There is (another?) very good reason for the truck; in my country, it is much cheaper to operate a truck from within a company than a ‘normal’ vehicle (sedan, SUV, …), due to tax regulations. I am saving €1000 each year on taxes and maintenance within my company, and even more privately (taxes I have to pay to the government because my company allows me to use the truck for non-company stuff).

    Reply
  • AS April 30, 2015, 2:46 am

    You can also trade your truck for a cargo bike. In Nantes there is a group called “Boîtes à vélo” that would be translated in “cyclist firms” and there is a plumber !
    Here is there website (in french though) : https://lesboitesavelo.wordpress.com/
    In fact he says that most of his work is to make little repairs that need only some tools that prefectly fit in a cargo bike.

    In paris I know a boiler manufacturer delivers with cargo bikes because it is the fastest way.

    Finally in Rennes (still in France, it’s where I live), a firm offers bike moves within the city (I read the blog, so I think you did yourself moved in the same city). It’s way less expensive as they don’t charge fuel and avery trucks operating costs.

    Of course, cargo bikes can’t do everything, but they could probably do way more than curently…

    Reply
    • Chris I May 1, 2015, 9:07 am

      We have quite a few contractors in Portland that use cargo bikes. I have moved orchard ladders and 10ft lumber with my Surly Big Dummy.

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      • Amanda May 1, 2015, 1:55 pm

        We also have a vibrant move-by-bike social scene in Portland. No need to hire a firm — just offer coffee and donuts at the start and beer and chili at the end, and (if it’s a nice day) 20-60 folks will show up with an assortment of cargo bikes, trailers, large backpacks, etc. and help you move as much of your household as possible. Couches, beds, washers and dryers all get moved this way and there’s usually some friendly competition for who gets to carry the biggest stuff. It’s a blast.

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  • Cline April 30, 2015, 5:46 am

    Ok, I will probably get flamed for this, BUT this post is the perfect time to share my unique view on Mustachianism (did I spell that right). I guess I am a recreational Mustachian. I don’t retire because I like what I do and I have some expensive hobbies that I would have to give up. One of the biggest reasons I could retire if I wanted to is following this vehicular philosophy. I’m an independent Insurance Agent. Most people in my line of work do the Overpriced New Fill In the Blank and then brag about it until it is two years old and trade it for something else of the same category. On the other hand I don’t buy anything that doesn’t make me money. I have a fleet of Mini Coopers that I put graphics on that serve as advertising and I can quantify that they have made me money (I say fleet because if you give a normal person a car as part of their compensation package they are enslaved to you because they spend every other nickel and could never leave you, ad to that they are advertising everywhere they go) My personal family car? A 10 year old SUV that has depreciated 60k. I keep it in great shape (still have some advertising on it) and people assume I’m rich because I bought it new and have just kept it because I’m quirky. Instead I’m rich because I bought it old for 8k. I always volunteer to drive when taking clients to play golf, or team mates to the race track (see, expensive hobbies) and they marvel at the condition of my old truck and how much better it rides than there new 65k monthy payment trap but they do get about 4 Mpg than me.! While I’m confessing, I just bought a 2002 super car that I’ve wanted since I was a kid. I’ll sell it in a couple of years and probably not loose more than 2k and gotten a ton of fun with it while impressing my contemporaries because no way they could afford an 120k car (cost me 23k) and of course it is used for advertising.

    If I ever give up Golf and Motor Racing (I’ll probably keep the motorcycle, again a 2003 BMW that people on there 30k bikes marvel at (Doctors are the best, they buy a BMW put 8k on it in it in 12 years and sell them for next to nothing) I’ll join you guys as a true Mustachian, probably in Costa Rica.

    Reply
  • Becky April 30, 2015, 6:05 am

    I’ve been thinking about bringing this up on the forum for a while, but this article is directly on point, so I’ll put it here. Has anyone seen the “fake focus group” truck commercial where they put a picture of the same guy in front of a small sedan and a different picture of the same guy in front of a clown-truck and ask the focus group “what do you think about each of these guys?” Well, guess want, all the women want to have sex with the truck guy, but not the sedan guy. The kids think the truck guy would own a bad-ass rotweiler but the sedan guy would own a lame parakeet. Guess what? You should buy a truck if you want to be perceived as cool and sexy!

    That commercial disgusts me, and I rant and rave every time I see it. To me, the guy in front of the truck looks like an irresponsible, poor, douche, while the guy in front of the sedan is probably a decent human being. Car commercials in general seem to have gotten just awful lately, but maybe I’m reading too much MMM and it’s warping my mind.

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    • Well-T April 30, 2015, 5:50 pm

      GM should fire that ad company. That particular ad is quite egregious. Would you rather date the Corolla guy or the GMC Canyon guy? Absolute stupidness. They also have a horrendous one where the focus group is “surprised” that all these great features are in a Chevrolet. The guy is standing in front of a car with a big bowtie badge and says “Chevrolet, really? It’s not a BMW?” Yes, the badge on the car should be kind of a giveaway. Like you can’t recognize a crappy Equinox when you see one. Ridiculous.

      Reply
    • Mr. Money Mustache April 30, 2015, 6:37 pm

      Glad to hear it, Becky! That’s what the blog is all about – challenging the social norms that are currently promoted by advertising. Except I have the advantage – actual facts, logic, science, etc. are on my side.

      As a thinking person, if you see someone step out of a clown truck you can immediately tell they are not overly good at independent thinking and math. Once this characterization becomes mainstream the sales of clown trucks will of course drop to zero – because why would you want to be seen in this way?

      Reply
  • Gordo April 30, 2015, 6:16 am

    Don’t forget that almost any car, even a small efficiency model, can have an aftermarket hitch added, and an inexpensive 4×8 trailer (harbor freight for example) can move almost anything you’d ever need/want to move. I moved over 10,000 lbs of firewood last year with a Toyota echo, just got 2 massive loads of free compost, have helped people move their belongings to a new house, lots of lumber trips, furniture, hot water heater, etc.

    Reply
    • Becky April 30, 2015, 6:21 am

      Too true! In the 1990’s my Dad ran his landscaping business with a Buick with a trailer hitch for YEARS. Embarressing being picked up from middle school in that thing? A little. A pretty awesome, mustachian decision with a focus on making money using stuff he already had? Definitely.

      Reply
    • Chris April 30, 2015, 9:51 am

      I see a lot of people recommending wildly overloading a small vehicle with heavy stuff, towing a trailer when not advised, etc. You can do it with light loads and flat surfaces over short distances, but don’t be stupid about it. You cause an accident because you put 1500lbs of shit in a 400lb sock and blew a tire or lost your brakes, or your trailer full of mulch wagged the dog into the car in the next lane, and some lawyer is going to be making you buy the defendant 10 F-150s due to willful negligence. At minimum, rent something that’s rated to carry the load you need to carry.

      Reply
      • Dr. JB April 30, 2015, 12:19 pm

        This sounds more like an insurance salesman tactics or insular soccer mom fear than data. How can data drive the decision? Is carrying 6001 lbs when the GWR is 6000 lbs going to cause an indefensible litigation? Better yet, is there a good way to determine towing capacity of a bicycle or than loading to the point of failure?

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  • Money Saving April 30, 2015, 6:21 am

    Lol at the drill press picture – I almost spit out my coffee! I think a half-way decent looking truck gives a contractor a certain amount of credibility to customers, but it is very easy to go overboard and go from a $15,000 truck to a $66,000 truck as you pointed out!

    Reply
  • TurnedMyLifeAround April 30, 2015, 10:34 am

    A most profound posting… I was doing volunteer work to collect for a charity outside of a gas station last Saturday. I was amazed at seeing so many trucks pull in. Many were 2014 or newer F250/2500 pickups with a single person. Some were definitely being used for construction, but most were just show pieces so they could impress people with their “machoism” (is that a word??) i.e. 99% were driven by men.

    I do have a disagreement on your post. For those owners of a truck that are truly using it for work, I would use your drill analogy. You may need a variety of sizes of trucks depending on the job you’ve been hired to do. So what should you do? Do you need a different sized truck to meet your needs as you have your 3 different drills? No… I would buy the truck that meets a majority of my work needs and use a rental service for anything requiring a vehicle larger than what I currently own. That way you don’t need to own a variety of “tools”. I think you missed that point. Otherwise, you were dead on!

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  • Joe Average April 30, 2015, 10:36 am

    Used to make furniture deliveries in an Isuzu cab over truck as depicted in the article. Was a ~150 HP four cylinder turbo deisel with a four speed automatic. The truck did a great job and had reasonably good fuel economy – better than some “regular trucks” I’ve driven. It put up with alot of abuse and neglect too. Thought that if I ever started a business and needed a truck I’d buy a used flat bed version of that truck but with a manual transmission (I prefer a clutch).

    http://forum.ih8mud.com/threads/new-thule-trailer.152609/page-2

    I recommend a little trailer like those. Has satisfied 100% of my needs for years. Has a standard American open utility trailer before this. The Thule/Brenderup style trailer was a big move up in utility for me (dry storage and lockable sums it up).

    Reply
  • Jeff April 30, 2015, 10:48 am

    I thought this was kind of a stupid, whiny article. Then I took a drive to Home Depot in my minivan and couldn’t stop laughing at all the absurd trucks. Great post as usual.

    Reply
  • Deb April 30, 2015, 10:49 am

    Great article IMO! Love the funny logic. I live in a mid sized midwestern city and have been noticing more of these gigantic Infinity QI80 SUV’s around here, so much that my friend and I looked up the dealership that sells them to see how many they have and what they cost. Mid range for this car was something like 70 grand, and at the top price range was $90,000. INSANE! Almost the mortgage on my house! I keep seeing more and more huge Hummers here too gaaaahhh!

    This keeping up with the Jones’s thing is so laughable. If there are so many of these monstrosities on the roads I just think to myself, ok these people are up to their nose in debt and in denial or spending every last penny and have little to no savings. Not worth it for me.

    I drive a 2006 Saturn Ion with 78,000 miles. I’ve put a ladder in that thing, multiple loads of landscaping bricks and at one point filled the car with 17 bags of landscaping mulch! I kept going back into the store to buy more because I kept finding more space! The car is still like new and it just goes : )

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  • SomeRandom April 30, 2015, 10:49 am

    As a mining engineer, I spend a good deal of time undertaking equipment trade-off studies for operating and future mines; truck a vs truck b etc. Considering haulage capacity, speed, and capital and operating costs etc it becomes very clear, quite quickly which truck makes the most sense. If only every ding bat out there considering a jacked up useless POS truck would do the same. I can only imagine how quickly I’d be fired if i used the same logic as them.

    Reply
    • Allen May 5, 2015, 2:41 pm

      Ha, fellow mining engineer here doing similar work. What’s your alma mater? SIU here.

      Reply
  • evan April 30, 2015, 10:58 am

    I generally agree with your assessment however a DIESEL pickup is different than a gas pickup and if you take a look at a Diesel f-250 it gets better gas mileage per pound than a prius and the resale value is over 10K for a 15 year old truck in working order. These trucks also get well over 500K properly maintained. I agree to let someone eat the depreciation but after 5 years the DP expense is not much considering the resale value for a well maintained pickup is incredibly high….

    Reply
  • Victor April 30, 2015, 12:41 pm

    Good point. I own a stupid 1.000cc car that takes me from and to work, and college and all. I’m saving to buy an used half beaten truck, because they don’t pay taxes (i’m in latrin america) and I’ll use it to haul stuff from/to my “small farm” as well as collect “usables” from dumpster diving. No way I’m buying a new car/truck whatever, i don’t need bells and whistles, just a flat bed to fill with stuff.

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  • zenyata April 30, 2015, 1:12 pm

    I find the whole car / truck culture thing seems to have taken on a pretty violent and mean-spirited attitude – I’m not quite old enough to know what it was really like during the glory days of muscle cars etc. but it seemed at least a bit more innocent. Now it’s just one situation after another of apparently disenfranchised people bullying their way to the self perceived status of road warrior hero or some such nonsense…. Meanwhile the people still trying to be productive in society can hardly get to work by bike or car without being badgered in one form or another by these clowns (of the clown car realm).

    However – I’ve also had the realization that there must be money to be made of off this – aftermarket and performance parts for cars and trucks are something that I’ve personally known several people to not be able to give up even as they rub their last couple nickels together… So I’ve thought it would be a fun experiment to play around with a few stocks that contribute to my FIRE on the backs of their lift kits, obnoxious mufflers, and $5000 wheel sets. So keep on keepin’ on clown car clowns – I’m looking forward to you contributing to my ‘stache while you cement your place amongst the 95% complainypants crew.

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  • Keith April 30, 2015, 1:15 pm

    I think every group has a sub group of douche bags. Diesel truck owners who turn the fuel screw up so they can “roll coal ” that is when the black smoke pours out of the exhaust. But my favorite sub group is the wanna be pro cyclist.
    ON YOUR LEFT!!!!
    As four full decked out wanna be pro cyclists speed past me in matching US Post office uniforms, I thought lets add up the cost to ride around in a circle at full speed.
    Bike Orbea Orca M-11 $ 11,000
    Race uniform $280
    Race shoes $300
    Race gloves $50
    Race leg sleeves $50 (so you can wear shorts and still cover your legs)
    So $11,680 x 4 to speed around in circles and end up at the same start point I was on my $80 Craigslist bike.

    I say the next sub group we get on is the hikers with $100 patagonia t-shirts and $500 north face jackets, douche bags.

    Reply
    • Mr. Money Mustache April 30, 2015, 6:41 pm

      I sort of agree, Keith.. except the Bicycle Consumer Suckers are committing a much smaller foul – wasting their money on small trinkets rather than massive hunks of steel and fossil fuels. For the most part, they affect only their own wallets (while enriching bike company owners).

      Car and Truck clowns kill the planet for everyone, and enrich truck and oil company owners who can then enhance the destructive loop.

      Reply
    • Doug May 1, 2015, 8:28 am

      Keep in mind that the vast majority of cyclists are more like myself, riding a 30 year old Raleigh bike, wearing the same clothes as I wear everywhere else, the one possible exception is being shirtless on hot summer days. The extra vitamin D from the sun keeps my bones strong if I should wipe out, and the relative wind cools me as much as an expensive to run car air conditioner. Much the same goes for hiking, my everyday winter boots are fine for all trails, even muddy ones. How else could I save up enough money for fun things I do like hiking in Iceland or biking in Thailand?

      Reply
  • Thomas April 30, 2015, 1:44 pm

    Right on MMM!!! I am laughing at myself and my big truck!! my favorite car is my 2005 honda element. high mileage beater that can take it and tons of room in that little thing!!

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  • Risky4me April 30, 2015, 3:16 pm

    Great article! Every day I see these behemoth ‘agriculture machinery’ trucks sporting exhaust stacks( I want to be a trucker when I grow up) and the new thing is megaphones on the exhaust (I put card in my bike spokes to make noise- but I was a child).
    When I did primarily construction we always had beater trucks – our motto was ‘Your money goes into your house, not our trucks’ and people appreciated the concept. The idea of having to have an exotic truck for your business image has led many to bankruptcy. The idea that you need a big truck to attract the opposite sex- just what type of person are you trying to attract? Do you know how small the average driver appears to be when driving an oversize truck?
    Go to just about anywhere else in the world and see the common sense shown when selecting a work truck- they are all only as big as the need to be to get the job done, and it pays when you try to drive or park in limited areas.

    If you do need to do the mega hauling occasionally, consider having a second truck parked until you need it. You can suspend the insurance and start it up on a days notice- get the job done and suspend and park- this can greatly reduce ownership cost.

    Other great frugal hauling aids are over the cab racks (and Iv’e seen them on cars) and a small trailer with a rack is great for occasional use.

    Reply
  • Green Girl April 30, 2015, 3:45 pm

    $70k for a truck?!?!? I could live happily and healthy over 5 years on that amount! What amazes me is that these huge truck owners don’t seem to know how to park them straight, stay in their lane, or notice pedestrians and cyclists. Or maybe they just don’t care, like they don’t care about their money or the environment. Great article.

    Reply
  • Dave Sipe April 30, 2015, 4:47 pm

    Hot dam I am a 1%er! And dint even know it, When taking 1200 pound steer or 800 pound hog to be processed.
    The right tool for this job is a 8 foot bed pickup with stock racks. I raise custom beef and pork.
    Wile you can haul a hog in a minivan beware they are nasty backseat drivers ; )

    Reply
  • Lisa April 30, 2015, 5:16 pm

    When I visited New Zealand I was curious to see how many passenger cars and small trucks were rigged to pull small utility trailers. So practical!

    Reply
  • OneShot April 30, 2015, 5:42 pm

    Interesting that MMM specifically mentioned the B2300. That has a ford iron-block engine, well known for it’s reliability and durability. I put 200k miles on one of those, and only retired it because it wouldn’t pass inspection due to suspension issues.

    The B2500 is also a 4-banger mazda ford ranger, but it’s a mazda aluminum-block engine, well known for being a piece of crap. The B2500 is bigger, it has more power, and it shats the bed much more frequently. Don’t buy anything with that engine.

    Reply
  • Kc April 30, 2015, 6:19 pm

    I own a snow removal company so I have to have power, underpowered plow trucks result in horrible gas mileage and you’ll kill the truck years earlier from abuse. I also keep a new fleet because older trucks aren’t reliable, I think I’ve been mustachian about it though. I only buy new left overs, typically already upfitted with a plow. Going this route I usuallg get trucks for 25-28k out the door that sticker for mid 40s. Good article though for pointing out to business owners to think about their spending.

    Reply
  • Paul S. April 30, 2015, 6:29 pm

    I drive a 2007 Corolla S which I bought new for far too much. It’s been almost 8 years and 140k miles. The thing still looks good and runs great. I’ve used it to tow a trailer and carry 8′ planks. I paid it off and fully got out of debt in 2010 and haven’t looked back. Don’t anticipate getting a new one for at least another 7 years. Fingers crossed.

    Reply
  • Happy driver April 30, 2015, 7:39 pm

    I have one of those “Super Duty” pick-up trucks. It cost me nothing and the gas is free. It’s called a company truck. Still, I don’t understand why people buy with their own money such gas heavy drinker vehicules. Also, 95% of the pick-up on the road don’t carry a cargo… Moreover the payload of those truck is very low, around 500 kg and 1000 kg for a “Super duty” truck. That’s a shame. Back in the day, a Peugeot 504 pickup could carry 1300 kg (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peugeot_504)… I should import one of those ;)

    Reply
  • Darren April 30, 2015, 10:48 pm

    I think for sheer economy, you can’t beat the 4×8 utility trailer that I bought. Hauls a half ton when I need it and folds up when I don’t. $400 bucks and it attaches to a trailer hitch on my car. I was really missing my old truck till I bought it, and now I will never go back. I realize that it doesn’t haul the really big heavy stuff, but there are other options when it comes up. As for impressing the ladies, no help there. I tricked my wife and bought it after we got married.

    Reply
    • Phil May 1, 2015, 10:30 pm

      I bought one of these fold up trailers from Harbor Freight. I fold it up and stow it in my garage. HOA won’t allow it to be kept in the driveway. Love it. My wife’s 4 cylinder Kia tows it great. I’ve owned trucks all my life and still have a Ranger 4 cyl 5 speed for my business. I have a home built tool drawer system in it and it always full of tools and equip. The trailer and car are easier to use than unloading the truck. Highly recommend the folding trailers.

      Reply
  • Britton May 1, 2015, 4:36 am

    You live in CO and it is an American oil worker thing. I recently went back to CO to visit my family and was shocked at the amount of fat people in HUGE trucks.

    Full disclosure. I have a stock 94 dodge Dakota 4×4. I use my truck off road because our property is steep, not paved and it rains often in the tropics.

    Reply
  • Esmee May 1, 2015, 8:25 am

    Thank you so much for this post! I live in a working class neighborhood where the houses are all worth between $110k and about $140k yet many people have at least $100,000 worth of shiny truck behemoths parked all over their yard. Its an odd situation to me.

    Reply
  • Danny May 1, 2015, 12:05 pm

    The horizontally operated “portable” drill press photo elicited a hearty lol here! Perfect analogy, bravo!

    Reply
  • AKrider May 1, 2015, 12:55 pm

    I currently have a Mazda3 with 55,500 miles that I paid $11555 for 2 years and 4 months ago. It is currently worth about 9k, realistically i’ll get 8.5 for it. The car is paid off. I am looking at selling and buying a used truck (more about the truck below)

    I bike to work everyday (even in the winter) and wherever else I can. The car leaves the driveway maybe 3 or 4 times a month. I think since last July 2014 I put on about 4000 miles, and a lot of those were long distance trips (Alaska is a huge state) and my girlfriend borrowing the car while hers was getting new tires (for about 3 weeks, long story).

    I have the opportunity to purchase a 99 Ford Ranger, 4wd, supercab with 100k miles on it. Looks to be in pretty good condition. Asking price is $2000.

    I love the gas mileage the Mazda gets me, but I do not love that it isn’t 4wd (Yes i know how much you all hate 4wd) but I live in Alaska and am a huge adventurer (skiing, biking, rafting), and it would allow me to get to my destinations in the winter and summer much much easier. (sand beaches, rough roads, deep snow). The car has roof rack for bikes and skis, and has treated me well so far.

    Is Jumping out of the 7 year old Mazda and into a 15 year old truck a wise decision? I guess it depends on how well the truck does mechanically.

    Thoughts?

    Reply
  • Dan S. May 1, 2015, 4:33 pm

    According to fueleconomy.gov, the best-rated Mazda 2300 pickup comes in at only 23 mpg overall. I know you can always do better if you drive it right under ideal conditions, but for the sake of clear communication and fair comparisons, I wish everyone would just use the EPA ratings.

    Reply
  • Timothy May 1, 2015, 11:43 pm

    Thanks for the kudos and compliments on trucks but I learn from the best of em. I wish I could see a video of you using the drill press clamped to the lawn chair!

    Reply
  • David McKenna May 2, 2015, 6:50 pm

    I’d love to know how often these trucks are actually doing jobs/tasks that could only be done by a truck. If this “truck duty cycle” was low enough, it’d make much more sense to drive a small car and rent a truck as needed.

    Reply
    • Joe Average May 3, 2015, 2:12 pm

      Great question. Did see a jacked up 3/4 ton 4wd turbo diesel crew cab yesterday pulling a 16ft foot tandem trailer hauling a loveseat… ;) Under utilized to say the least. Maybe he was going to pickup a cruise ship propeller across town? (we’re hours from the ocean, it’s a joke).

      Reply
  • Tom May 2, 2015, 6:50 pm

    I actually shopped for a truck recently. The prices and etc. of the whole thing (especially the not-so-pleasant dealership experience) helped me remember that my 11 year old Chevy Aveo (the one that comes with a clear title in the basement filing cabinet) will suit me just fine for several years to come.

    Reply
  • Frugal Bazooka May 3, 2015, 12:13 am

    lmao MMM

    gettin’ a little blog blowback from the politically correct/socially responsible faction of the Mustache World looks funny for some reason. Contrary to their comments, I hope you INCREASE the edge that attracted me to your blog because anyone who reads regularly knows that you’re dulled the edges somewhat over the years. The fact that you can still manage this kind of passion about truck frugality is a credit to your staying power. The average person in your position would have given up on trying to school the douchy car clowns long ago. Anyone who focuses on the medium instead of the message is missing the point anyway, so please, let the expletives fly. If nothing else it will help break up the politically correct monotony of the internet.

    Reply
    • Phil May 4, 2015, 10:32 am

      I agree with Frugal Bazooka. Keep the edge going. I know as a person who is fairly new to your forum, The edge is partly what caught my attention and keeps me reading. I have not had a chance to read all the replies and comments so your main posts are the draw for me. Even though MMM and I are obviously on different ends of the political spectrum, I still love the articles and I just filter out the liberal view points.. lol I am adapting many of the mustachian ways. Wife drives a KIA and I use a ford Ranger for my work vehicle. I have to drive 80 – 120 miles a day servicing customers so a good gas mileage vehicle is a must for me to make a profit on my business. It costs enough to run a business as it is so anything that cuts costs is the way to go. Rock on.

      Reply
  • Master Nerd May 3, 2015, 11:51 am

    For the typical DIY’er you can always rent a truck or even pay for delivery for the rare time you’re vehicle is too small to transport something. Even if you had to do that a couple times a year, it would still be vastly cheaper.

    Reply
  • funpatrol May 3, 2015, 2:54 pm

    Back when I was in the dating scene, I had a name for these guys in trucks. With much originality, I called them “Guy in truck guy”. This was a deal breaker. Not all guys in trucks are “guy in truck guy”, but you know them when you see them (Especially in Canada!). Guy in truck guy won’t go anywhere without his truck, which is hilarious. Going away for the weekend and everyone can fit in one vehicle? Everyone headed out to the same restaurant? Sorry, guy in truck guy doesn’t carpool. Does it make sense to take transit somewhere? Nope! impossible parking be damned. Guy in truck guy don’t do subways.

    “So, how was your date last night?”

    “meh, not good. Turns out he was a guy in truck guy.”

    “Oh, I’m sorry to hear that.”

    Reply
  • The Lazy Electrician May 4, 2015, 7:33 am

    I upsized my trucks a while ago. For years I had a 1995 Mitzubishi Might Max with a topper, 5 speed stick, 4 cylinder put put that got me around and could hold most things but 10′ pieces of conduit stuck out like a sore thumb. I added an 1998 S10 with topper, 5 speed, 4 cylinder put-put and alternated between the 2 as they broke down and needed repairs. Same thing with the conduit. I decided it was time to upgrade and picked up a 2006 F150 extended cab V8 6.5 foot bed automatic 2wd, paid cash $6k. Night and day with the little trucks. Comfortable, more space to carry and store tools, back seat to haul people, no more shifting and replacing clutches, quieter ride, safer, cruise control, electric windows can drive long distances without back getting sore by sitting on a bunch of springs and a seat that had only one position. My mileage went from 30 mpg to 15 mpg but I just raised my rate to pay for the extra gas used. Much classier ride (should a professional look like he is living paycheck to paycheck?). The little trucks have gone on to others that can use them as they see fit. As for a Ranger, I have one provided at my 40 hours per week work. It is a 6 cylinder automatic that isn’t any bigger than the little trucks, not at all comfortable to drive, gets 15 mpg, cost the same to buy and maintain as a much larger F150 and I wouldn’t take one if someone gave me one, same for the little trucks. I am so much happier for the change. I would never go buy a new truck due to the immediate depreciation.
    Not sure if my opinion will get published, it’s valid and an honest view of mine. I wouldn’t knock anyone for not being able to afford something nicer and more comfortable as a truck is a tool in business to make money.

    Reply
    • Joe Average May 7, 2015, 10:44 am

      Not here to disagree with anything you said but doesn’t conduit stick out of a full sized truck with a 6.5ft bed just like the little trucks? I always carry the long stuff on the ladder rack. Whatever makes you happy. ;)

      Reply
      • The lazy Electrician February 25, 2017, 8:08 pm

        Getting back to you. The trucks are still running strong and havae paid for themselves many times over. The conduit can be angled and just a few feet stick out and I haven’t had one fall out yet.

        Reply
  • Amy May 4, 2015, 3:41 pm

    HELP! Trying to decide what is the right decision for the long run. I have a 2010 Honda CRV with 66000 miles on it. I have two little kids and live in CO. I got it for resale value, mileage and AWD because I wanted to feel secure in the snow if I was alone in my car with the littles. I owe 9900 on it, 291/month. Do I sell and get something cheaper with better gas mileage? What about the AWD. Won’t whatever I get have more miles and possibly cost more to maintain? Any thoughts appreciated. Trying to do the best thing. Save the most money. Still feel safe with the mini mes.

    Reply
    • Joe Average May 7, 2015, 8:39 am

      1st – do you keep vehicles forever? You car could last north of 250K if driven with care and good maintenance. We are at 285K with our ’99 CR-V. To me – at some point – an old car quits depreciating. Everything is worth $1000 if it runs and drives okay and doesn’t look like it survived a zombie movie.

      2nd – What would you buy if you sold this ‘V? A $10K car? Still a car payment. Alternatively you could sell it and buy a $2000 car, drive it for a year saving the payment each month, then replace that car (now $1750 plus the payment you saved each month) and repeat every year or 18 months. its alot of work buying and selling cars but you’d be minus a car payment and work your way up to a nice car. This is a Dave Ramsey and friends solution. If car dealers “see you coming” and try to make the transaction complicated, time consuming and overly expensive – maybe you want to buy something like the CR-V once and keep it forever thus avoiding the dealership experience. I can’t stand the dealer experience. Bunch of sharks to me.

      3rd – The AWD system in the CR-V is a ~1 mpg penalty over the 2WD system. Big deal… A car will get better mileage but I would not worry so much about the AWD penalty.

      100000 miles @ 27 mpg = 3703 gallons of gas @ $2.5 = $9260 to drive 100K miles with AWD

      100000 miles @ 28 mpg = 3571 gallons of gas @ $2.5 = $8928 to drive 100K miles with 2WD

      That’s a ~$300 difference every 100K miles to drive the AWD version. $300 difference every ~8 years.

      100000 miles / 12500 miles per year = 8 years. $300 / 8 = $37.50

      So each year you’d save $37.50 per year driving the 2WD version.

      And the 4WD/AWD CR-V will need maintenance maybe twice every 100K miles (in my experience). That’s ~two quarts of the Honda Double Pump fluid which retails for around $14 each (even Amazon carries it). The service amounts to draining the rear differential and refilling it. Wipe the dirt off around the drain and fill plugs first. If you are a DIY handyman type it isn’t very hard at all. If you ever hear a “moan” from under the rear of the car during a U-turn in a parking lot – then the AWD is asking to be serviced very soon. Like within a week or so. The oil is worn out.

      So we are up to $300 for fuel, and less than $60 for two 4WD services every 100K miles. And if the 4WD driveshaft wears out (usually after 200K miles) it is a $350 part that again a DIY handyman type can replace. If you take it to Honda they’ll zap you for a price north of a thousand dollars. Go to Auto Zone or similar instead. Buy the part and install it yourself or take it to a DIY type and have them install it. Its ten easy bolts. No ramps or jacks necessary. My 12 year helped me last time and did most of the work.

      Folks here at MMM talk up snow tires pretty hard. I’d guess in CO they’ll do you alot of good. If I lived there I’d prefer snow tires AND AWD. There is a video on YouTube called: “Winter Tyres or 4×4: which is best? – Auto Express” Pretty convincing to me.

      4th – Comparing 32 mpg (car) to 27 mpg (CR-V), you’ll be using about 87 gallons more to drive the CR-V per year.

      15000 miles @ $2.50 per gallon that’s about $220 more to drive the CR-V instead of the more economical car. Do you drive 15000 miles per year? Not us. ;) Drive less, save more.

      4th – I can only estimate but I try to look at long term vehicle ownership costs. Total Cost of Ownership. This takes into account insurance, fuel, tire replacement costs, how durable a car is expected to be, etc. In our 17th year of CR-V ownership I’d say the total cost of ownership for our CR-V has been pretty low – even taking into account depreciation. It has not needed many repairs and parts have been reasonable in cost. Tires are not that expensive compared to other SUVs though they are a little more than an ordinary car. I buy long lasting tires too (80K mile tires).

      5th – Finally take all those savings and add them up and plug them into an investment calculator or a savings calculator. Does it add up to a significant amount of interest to you?

      I’m no money genius and perhaps Mr. MM will disagree but this is how I work out a car buying decision. Hope this was helpful. Good luck.

      Reply
  • tumblesue May 4, 2015, 8:05 pm

    I feel so bad for my friend….her husband went out and bought the most ridiculous clown car in the world – a Hummer. Yet their oven does not work and their house is so small they are using the bathroom for storage. Nothing is fixed in their house. She was furious!

    Reply
  • Tyler May 4, 2015, 8:52 pm

    I agree truck prices are outrageous, and yuppies belong in the sedan. But there are people that enjoy off-roading just like you enjoy bicycling. Not all lifted trucks are garage queens. Is it really a waste of money if the person enjoys the hobby, and makes money with the truck? I don’t think so.

    If things were perfect we’d have the diesel Hilux in the states. But the American automotive consumer is an idiot, and loans are cheap, so we get $35k+ base model trucks.

    Reply
  • Daniel B. May 5, 2015, 6:28 am

    In Brazil, little pickups are a very common and popular type of car. They are almost as equal as a normal car and usually have 4-cylinder motor varying from 1.3 to 1.8 liters (the popular ones have a 1.4 liter motor). They are cheap (if you compare to other cars in Brazil, since no car here is cheap), carry around 1700 pounds and some manufacturers offer discounts if you have a CNPJ (contractors) or buy a fleet.

    They do around 35 mpg (considering here that “gasoline’ are only sold with 25% of ethanol, by law, and it has a lower mileage than pure gasoline). Some models below, but there are others:

    Fiat Strada, the most popular:
    http://motordream.uol.com.br/upload/tm240614-04.jpg

    Chevrolet Montana:
    http://www.chevrolet.com.br/content/dam/Chevrolet/lat-am/Brazil/nscwebsite/pt/Home/PICKUPS/Montana%20Sport/Model%20Overview/02_images/2015-chevrolet-montana-monte-seu-configurador.jpg

    Ford Courier:
    http://www.lendomais.com.br/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Courier-2013-3.jpg

    Volkswagen Saveiro:
    http://mlb-s1-p.mlstatic.com/saveiro-startline-cs-2015-pronta-entrega-17969-MLB20146865939_082014-F.jpg

    Cheers,

    Reply
  • Michael Schofield May 5, 2015, 9:28 am

    I drive a 2005 Kia Spectra 5 hatchback. I have a cottage and do a lot of building a repairs around this property as well as my home.
    I built a small deck last weekend and fit everything I needed including all the 8′ decking inside and closed the hatch. Bought the car used
    for $3k with 135,000 kms on it (about 85,000 miles). I see guys all the time at Home Depot driving these
    huge, gas guzzling beasts…what a joke. Gas here in Nova Scotia, Canada is currently $1.15 a litre….they are spending their profits on
    a vehicle. You can’t get much more stupid than that.

    I also am an avid cycle commuter, and it always seems that the larger the vehicle the faster and more dangerous they drive.

    Reply
  • A Car Guy May 5, 2015, 9:35 am

    Regretably we don’t get most of the best trucks out there.

    If buying new, I’d be quite happy with the global ford ranger diesel. 90% the size of an F150 but gets 40mpg and retails for around 20k with crank windows.

    http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2015/03/28/the-new-ford-ranger-that-you-cant-buy.aspx

    Reply
  • ChaseJuggler May 5, 2015, 12:44 pm

    I moved a pinball table in my Prius a few weeks ago. Even had enough spare room for a passenger in the back!!

    Reply
  • Christy May 5, 2015, 2:07 pm

    I live in the rural (farming) upper midwest. Drive into any parking lot and you see aisles of dumb-ass trucks, most of which are completely unnecessary — unless a farmer’s going to use them to haul a horse trailer. In which case, I yield the floor. Meanwhile, we haul our shit in a 2007 Honda Fit and our people in a Hyundai Sonata (which gets 31 mpg on its worst day).

    But the dumb ass truck award surely would go to the owner I witnessed parked in the lot of the grocery store next to my work today. Had to leave his truck running with the keys in it while he went in to get his Subway. He was probably in line for 10 minutes. Wish someone would take the thing for a joy ride and teach him a lesson.

    Reply
  • Shawn the pool guy May 6, 2015, 6:45 am

    No one is going to read this because I’m over 300 comments down, but I have a fleet of five work trucks that I do pool service with. Four of them are early 2000 Ford F150s that on a daily basis haul one guy and a bed full pool service chemical and equipment. before you kick my ass for driving such large trucks with only one person and basically stopping and starting all over town all day, take note that my four Ford trucks run on compressed natural gas which only costs $1.77 where I live. Which means my full-size pick ups get the equivalent of 30+ mpg. And my 5th truck is a 2000 2wd four-cylinder Toyota Tacoma with a camper shell. I will see you all at early retirement.

    Reply
    • Phil May 6, 2015, 7:10 am

      I read it.. just saying.. What does the conversion to CNG cost?

      Reply
      • shawnthepoolguy May 6, 2015, 8:12 am

        all of mine came ford factory converted, and my most expensive one was 5k on ebay. the rest i got on craigslist! it only costs me about $15 to go 200 miles, which is a full delivery route for me. i can go from st george utah to beaver utah and back, fully loaded with pool chemicals and/or pulling a small trailer for that price.

        Reply
  • Jerred May 7, 2015, 10:22 pm

    I’ll have you know that I read this post last night and then I woke up this morning from a terrible dream. I had a dream that I bought a ridiculous, brand new truck and a really stupid fancy trailer. I was terribly embarrassed and I could not understand how I could have done such a thing. It was a really horrible dream. I need to stop reading these posts before bed.

    Reply
    • Leslie May 9, 2015, 9:26 am

      At least it was a dream for you. It’s a sad reality for millions of others!

      Reply
  • Doug K May 9, 2015, 8:30 am

    This is a great article about why people do the things they do.

    But everyone has opinions and lifestyles. So my opinion:

    Wants vs. Needs. Why does everyone want a cell phone, ipad, large vehicles, big houses, etc.? What does a person need? There are many places and people in this world. Yes I agree that money is a huge factor in selling people more than what they need but just what they want. Thus we have these large vehicles and all the accessories that accommodate them. People fill up their fuel tanks every week and enjoy the name brand vehicle with all the luxury comforts.

    With all of these opportunities we (I consider myself a frugal person) observe and laugh. We enjoy trying to ridicule those that make different choices. I do enjoy pointing out how little I spend on food, how little I eat out, how much I am saving for retirement, and how beefy my investments are. But when do the choices we make define who we are? My choices: I rent a modest apartment, own just a computer, have a flip phone (no house phone), and never have purchased a piece of furniture in my short life. But I own a 2004 dodge 3500 turbo diesel truck. It has big tires, performance upgrades, and gets 19 mpg. Does this make me one of those terrible people?

    Or does this make me exactly what a mustachian aims to model? Saving and living a frugal lifestyle to obtain an end goal (Efficiency, retirement, etc.)? One of my short term goals was to own a diesel truck. I saved and obtained that goal. I drive 7 miles to work and have all living amenities and more within those 7 miles. I fill up my truck once a month at most and use our vw passat diesel on long trips (46mpg). So, please understand that there are folks out there that work like us and save like us. But please do not make absolute assumptions based on choices and differences. Maybe 99% and 1% is beginning to turn into 90% and 10%.

    Keep up the good work with the articles.

    Reply
  • Jesse May 11, 2015, 1:10 am

    I work for an environmental remediation company in the Canadian oilfield, I am required to drive long distances to work and do a lot of rough gravel road driving as well as off road driving in order to get to some sites. Our company gives us the option of driving a company truck (only for work) and never paying a dime for it. Or if we use a personal truck (that looks professional) they pay me $1300 / month plus all fuel. I bought a one year old 4×4 truck with about 30 000 km for around $28 000 (Financed over 3 years which will be covered by the monthly allowance). I was wondering if this is smart or not. 75% of mileage is for work so i can write off that percentage of maintaining / registration / insurance on the the truck for tax purposes. Finally, I have no other debt, rent a house, invest monthly in indexed mutual funds and do have the cash on hand to pay the truck off. I’m wondering if i should continue on as I am, pay down the loan and invest the additional income or sell my truck and drive a company truck but forgo the $1300/mo.
    Thanks

    Reply
  • Jonathan June 22, 2015, 1:41 pm

    My truck is a 2011 4X4 2.4 cyl. Tacoma that I use to its capacity all the time. I just bough a 580 lb. aluminum trailer in order to start towing 2500 lbs of firewood and whatever the hell I need to do on my homestead. I get all types of funny looks from people when they see my little 4 banger towing a 10′ trailer loaded with straw or wood or construction debris. The only concern I have is that I bought too new of a truck! I used to live in Colorado and I did like it for playing around in steep snowy valleys but now I am in Ohio and wish I had bought the 2WD. I’ve tried selling it on CL and nobody wants to pay for these overpriced imports, as they call them around here. In a very anti-mustachian fashion, I didn’t pay cash for it. BUT I just re-fi’d to 2.7% over 5 years…

    Reply

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