Which Man Are You?

Job security is dead. You are one earnings call, one technological innovation, and one denouncement away from losing your job. Hopefully you have a skill that allows you to be re-employed immediately, but most men are not immune to such a sudden lost. Let’s take a look at what happens when two men netting $5,000 a month lose their jobs at the same time.

The first man works for the government and lives alone in an expensive condo. He likes the finer things in life and is quick to pick up the tab when going out with friends. He spends $4,500 a month and saves $500. He’s read that saving 10% is better than the American average of 4%. In one year, he has $6,000 saved.

The second man works as a bartender at a popular club. He lives with four roommates. He wishes he could live alone, but the club industry isn’t stable and he doesn’t know how long his current gig will last. He makes it a point to network with other bartenders to get as many free drinks as he can when going out. He spends $2,500 a month and saves $2,500. In one year, he has $30,000.

Both lose their job at the same time. The first man enters a full-blown panic, because he only has one-and-a-half months of money to survive, which simply isn’t enough time to find a job in his bureaucratic field. The second man, while upset at the loss of his job, knows he can take a one year vacation without a single change to his lifestyle.

Which strategy is superior? The man who has no leeway but lives a high-profile lifestyle, or the man with a large savings but basic lifestyle? The answer you receive from them will likely depend on whether they are fully employed or not.

I live like the second man. I save about half of my income, preparing myself for possible irrelevancy if game gets outlawed or my books stop selling. I have created a fund where I can live for several years without income. I figure that that’s enough time to come up with a new way to provide for myself.

Do I wish I had a luxury condo, a BMW, and all the accouterments of rich living? I sure wouldn’t say no if you gave them to me, but I refuse to spend more than 50% of my income on living. It’s hard, because I know I can spend more, but I rather live simply with security than live lavishly with anxiety. I find it hard to imagine how people live paycheck to paycheck, knowing that their life will be in total turmoil if something bad happens. If I have a bad month—or even a bad year—you wouldn’t even notice a change in my output or demeanor.

Financial freedom is the most important type of freedom, because it lubricates all other forms of freedom. You have to be able to walk away from anyone who tries to limit you, whether your boss or your critics, and still live on your own terms. You can’t do that when your monthly expenses are so large that you spend most of your earnings. Unless you can go a year without any income, you are in a very fragile economic state. I lived like that before, but I won’t do it again.

Read Next: There Are No Rules

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eli
eli
6 years ago

On top of this, those taking an large debts simply because that is the norm in North America is akin to a self-imposed prison sentence. I find it odd for someone to take on a huge mortgage (10% down payment or something similar) and enslave themselves to mortgage payments for 20-25 years, all to say they own something, which is more myth than reality. Its nothing more than a levered speculative bet on the future price of real estate and mortgage rates, something most are ill-equipped to do. The freedom of rent is enormous. Being flexible and able to move around. I can’t think of any other part of the world that has the same personal debt culture as the U.S. and Canada.

Gabriel
Gabriel
6 years ago
Reply to  eli

I don´t know in the US, but in countries like Argentina, where things can go wrong all the time, having your own house is a must. Being able to live for a couple of years without working is not enough when you are older because you can be out of a job for more than that.

I guess in the U.S it´s the same. the problem is people does the same as they do with their lifestyle. The get a mortgage for a house that its beyond their means.

The thing most inmigrants did when they came here to Argentina still rings true. Live between your means, save, with those savings buy a small house and make it a decent place to live. Keep saving, and with those savings continue progressing.

Of course that culture is now looked down. Nobody wants to accept that in reality they are poor and have to progress that way.

Progressing brings more happiness that the latest IPhone.

eli
eli
6 years ago
Reply to  Gabriel

Does the house in Argentina hold value in dollar terms? i.e the blue rate is now close to 10:1 from being near par in the early 2000s. I think if i was in Argentina, i would want to have my savings in dollars or euros somehow.

Gabriel
Gabriel
6 years ago
Reply to  eli

Yes, nowadays saving in pesos is pointless.

Pablo Martin Podhorzer
Pablo Martin Podhorzer
6 years ago
Reply to  Gabriel

Unless you have Bonos PBI en pesos. 65% nominal, with low risk for the next year, maybe 40% real (if you count inflation as being 25%). That is not a bad proposition at all.

Pablo Martin Podhorzer
Pablo Martin Podhorzer
6 years ago
Reply to  eli

They hold value and even increases it in desirable spots, but liquidity is a big problem right now. I would only own if you would live in that place and you really liked it.

lufty
lufty
6 years ago
Reply to  eli

Buying assets is an excellent way to safeguard against inflation. Rent is practically pissing money down the drain. Obviously you want to buy a house in a place with long term inherent value: good weather, stable diversified job market, potentially a view. You don’t get to save all of the money you put into the house, because of interest payments but keeping even 90% of that money you funnel into living costs mean that long term you are much better off. Naturally buying isn’t for everyone, but if you are planning on remaining in a place for a multi year stretch you would be foolish to write off buying as an option

Pablo Martin Podhorzer
Pablo Martin Podhorzer
6 years ago
Reply to  lufty

Problem is that property prices in desirable spots have skyrocketed all over the world. Not an issue if you want to live in a far away place. But if you want to enjoy the best of a city, maybe it is better to rent.

Marcel
Marcel
6 years ago
Reply to  eli

Buddy , you’re wrong. Try Australia, particularly Sydney where I am from. At the moment mortagages are in the range of 800 , 000 plus! and that is being conservative. The suburb I live with my parents, our house cost $200K to 220K back in 1991 when purchased. now worth more than 1.2 million! I do agree 100% on enslavement with debt, ie. being a slave for a long time.

Mike Key ツ
Mike Key ツ
6 years ago

I started off 10 yrs ago saving 10% of my income, I bumped that up to 15% then 20% and for the last 5 yrs I’ve been saving 50% of my income. I live on 35% and I have 15% which is just play money almost every month. Live below you means. My nest egg and investments have grown and I feel better about my bank account than I do trying to be a poser who pretends he’s rich. I know I can go without work for more than 2 years.

Tom Dane
Tom Dane
6 years ago

Read the memoirs of Larry Holmes. He lived like the second man and I picked it up after reading it. Muhammad Ali lived like the first man, earned a lot more, but are now broke because of spending too much.

JackBlack
JackBlack
6 years ago

I worked like the first man but saved like the second man. I just spent the last ten years as a well-paid corporate drone and managed to save up 500K+ … I have minimal expenses/debt but am unsure about what to do next … it’s almost like getting out of prison, I’m still a little disoriented by my freedom …

sam
sam
6 years ago
Reply to  JackBlack

It’s a tricky thing to not get addicted to sucking on the teat, though. I’m in the same boat. 30 with $500K+ in savings and no binding responsibilities. Theoretically I could do many things. In practice I seem to lack the balls and fantasize about getting canned.

Anand_Kumar
Anand_Kumar
6 years ago
Reply to  sam

Wow, which company you work for ?,. I am 28 years of age, and an indian guy, i make very less money and i have very less money with me…In my entire life i never held a job in India which paid me more than $800 …

Lacedric Loadsmore
Lacedric Loadsmore
6 years ago
Reply to  sam

Dude your crazy if you don’t travel, get a great portfolio manager from a non USSA bank (Credit Suisse comes to mind), and/ or start your own business. You could buy a fast food franchise with that much hard cash and easily see $300-650k annually in a good location or get into Commercial transport of cars (I knew a Hiatiannwho had 450k worth of trucks and trailers running. And made 400k annually). F corporate Murica.

Bob
Bob
6 years ago

Tell me more about this commercial transport of cars business.

Purple Penguin
Purple Penguin
6 years ago

He says he has half a million and already doesn’t know what to do with it, why would he start a business?

But your right for the first part, with that amount, a good portefolio would keep him a passive income and he could travel or maybe write a book.

Life is great when you reach that point !

Brave New Zionist World
Brave New Zionist World
6 years ago
Reply to  JackBlack

Do you invest with a good portfolio manager? Any major financial services International entity based in Europe or Asia should give you 8-15% annual returns.
Of course the Patriot Act Neu Soviet Murica shit companies like Headward Jones act like giving you 7% is a miracle. Total bs-7% is barely inflation. Thank the kosher nostra at the federal reserve. And People wonder why Murica is hated internationally?

Pablo Martin Podhorzer
Pablo Martin Podhorzer
6 years ago

Inflation is not 3%? Since BODEN 2015 Argie bonds give 7% annually, I would think that 7% is not the inflation rate in USD. Still, 8-15% for relatively safe investments, it seems doable.

Michael Drumel
Michael Drumel
6 years ago
Reply to  JackBlack

JackBlack grace us with :
1.line of work … make sure you clarify what kind of worthless work you had been doing for that company, so that all of us not born in the country that fistfucks the entire world so that it’s entitled citizens ask for more money, more rights, more freedom to move around so that they can fuck our poor women, FULLY UNDERSTAND the ridiculously easy way by which you people make a lot of money in the US, without having put any real effort into any education.
2.what is your education
3.how you REALLY managed to get into that position. Cut the crap. Give us the truth.

or GTFO immediately … this post smells so US it makes me want to puke

JackBlack
JackBlack
6 years ago
Reply to  Michael Drumel

LOL u mad bro?

lester jones
lester jones
6 years ago
Reply to  Michael Drumel

@michael, the USA is the land of immigrants an many succesful people came here from other lands like India to steal American jobs and put Americans out of work. Many US jobs are exported abroad to land of cheap labor like Asia. Its the 99% of Americans who are poor and fucked. Education and experience doesnt help.

Nick
6 years ago
Reply to  JackBlack

You could live abroad for 15-20 years off of that very comfortably. If I were you I’d quit my job (if you haven’t already) or renegotiate a very favorable situation that gives you time to pursue your interests. Start working on an independent business and if you’re unsure what to do, definitely don’t make any dramatic financial decisions. Read a lot of books on a variety of subjects, get a number of opinions from financial advisors and then make your next move.

Whether or not you ultimately decide to relocate, I think travel is the very best way to stimulate your mind and generate ideas. Don’t just sightsee but spend a number of weeks or months at a time in specific places to get a feel for the culture. Good luck man. Great situation to be in.

Pablo Martin Podhorzer
Pablo Martin Podhorzer
6 years ago
Reply to  Nick

If you invest (and not get crazy about it, or too greedy), you can live your entire life with a base of 500k.

Harkness
Harkness
6 years ago

What kind of start up capital do you have to have to get that kind of scenario? On a base wage of $30 grand a year, it doesn’t seem very profitable.

Pablo Martin Podhorzer
Pablo Martin Podhorzer
6 years ago
Reply to  Harkness

Can you save 500 USD per month? That is around 4,300 ARS per month, in one year: 51,000 ARS being conservative. YPF, the main oil company of Argentina, went from 85 pesos in December 2012 to 260 pesos last week. That is, your 51,000 pesos would become 156,000 pesos, or something like 17,000 USD (depending on the exchange at each moment, but take into account that the local YPF stock is calculated with the ADR in New York multiplied by the implicit dollar rate, so the stock was 8 USD in December and almost 30 USD now, look it in Google Finance). Investing in YPF was one of the safest bets I ever did, it was so obvious that some people did not believed it.

Or what about Google, or 3D printer companies?

Ok, lets say conservative 3rd world USD-linked bonds: they give something like 7% or 8% annually in dollars. Ype, not too much, without reinvesting it is only 420 USD per year if you save 500 USD per month. BUT, doing 7% annually (with almost zero risk) is only the minimum you can make once you get into markets.

In Buenos Aires 30K annual means something like 22,500 pesos per month. For a single guy that´s an upper middle class lifestyle (“blue” parallel dollar rate, you take your USD from an ATM in Uruguay and spend it in Argentina, once every 3 months).

Pablo Martin Podhorzer
Pablo Martin Podhorzer
6 years ago
Reply to  JackBlack

500k in Argie dollar bonds gives you 35k annually without reinvestment (since it pays every 6 months). Discounting inflation (3%) it is 20k anually, with gives you 1,666 USD per month. At black market rates for Argentina, that is 16,000 Pesos, which for a single man means living like a middle-high class local, renting a nice apartment in the nice part of town (4000 pesos + 1000 expenses) with a swimming pool and maybe a gym, near all the best spots for nightlife, plus 10,000 Pesos to live. In Thailand it means almost 50,000 baht, which is pretty good for a single guy that wants adventure (staying in 2 star guesthouses and doing a lot of internal cheap travelling, renting scooters and doing all the islands, I spent 30,000 baht per month; staying and renting would be a lot cheaper).

If you reinvest, you can go higher. If instead you go for GDP linked bonds in dollars, you go a lot higher. If you invest in local stocks (YPF, for example), you can go a lot higher still. If you dabble in short-term moderately risky stuff (like buying stock of the electrical company because of a rumor, and selling one month later), simply put, you can be a fucking millionaire.

Donnyboy
Donnyboy
6 years ago
Reply to  JackBlack

Good for you Jack! I was in your shoes as well but was stupid enough to believe that it would never end and at age 40 – SURPRISE! – it ended. I’m still rebuilding, but my comeback will be huge. I have NO debt, and expenses are cut to the bone. “That which does not kill you makes you stronger”

Disabuse
Disabuse
6 years ago

A bartender making $5000/mo!? Where do I sign up? Would my Masters degree help me get that gig?

Roosh_V
Roosh_V
6 years ago
Reply to  Disabuse

I worked in the bar industry for a short while, and you’d be surprised how much you can make. I did state the man worked at a “popular” club. Taking home $500 a weekend night isn’t a stretch.

Sean
Sean
6 years ago
Reply to  Roosh_V

Bottle service girls, female bartender nicer VIP hostess easily make that kind of cash.(I’d label them as attention whores tho) For Guys it’s hard but doable.

Joey
Joey
6 years ago
Reply to  Roosh_V

There are 10 weekends in each of your months?

lester jones
lester jones
6 years ago
Reply to  Joey

re read. $500/ weekend night = $1000 weekend. That kind of money is only doable in a few large cities at very popular clubs. Most bartenders make less.

Johnny
Johnny
6 years ago
Reply to  Roosh_V

As an introvert were you not in a living hell having to chat up all those people to like you in order to get decent tips?

Viceroy
Viceroy
6 years ago
Reply to  Disabuse

I’ve worked in hospitality since I was 17. That’s top percentile income if you average out all bartenders in the USA. Something close to it is feasible. 1.5-2k a month is a good number once you factor in national average, available jobs, then subtract that from your own work ethic and skills, which are hopefully well above-average.

Jimmy V
Jimmy V
6 years ago
Reply to  Viceroy

That’s because most places are Nowhereville USA broke ass back water shit holes. A bartender who couldn’t make $500/night on a weekend in a hopping metro (Vegas, LA, NY) is either incompetent or works at a total dive. In Nowhereville USA they’d be lucky to squeeze 25k/yr. If you’ve ever been to a Starbucks in Atlanta or LA its amazing the high levels of tips for even barista but in Chumpville USA I can go to Starbucks and see like 4 $1s and some pennies all day. All this back water towns are so ugly and tacky.

Viceroy
Viceroy
6 years ago
Reply to  Jimmy V

There is a much higher cost of living in a place like Vegas.

awakened
awakened
6 years ago
Reply to  Jimmy V

Back off with the “backwater”. Your not using the word correctly and it makes you sound like a metrosexual hipster.

mike
mike
6 years ago

nothing feels as good as having a ‘fuck you’ fund.

thecaptainpower
6 years ago
Reply to  mike

Agreed…

Adrien
Adrien
6 years ago

Spending 90% of your salary and have an expensive lifestyle is ok if you are not afraid to go back to a poorer situation when you lose your job. Flexibility is the key that makes able to enjoy every situation, from rich to a humble life.

kolo
kolo
6 years ago
Reply to  Adrien

I don’t think ‘flexible’ is a word that can ever be applied to someone who works for the government – panic, sucking and acting the helpless victim at this ‘unforeseeable’ circumstances is probably built into their plans implicitly

Jeremy
Jeremy
6 years ago

Somehow, financial freedom is entirely ignored by our modern workforce. They seem to be incapable of recognizing taxation as theft and a restriction on individual financial freedom. They seem incapable of understanding how significant savings have mental health benefits. They seem incapable of understanding how lavish lifestyles are inherently wasteful.

I hate to sound like a tinfoil-hat prepper, but if you’re not saving 50% of your income, you’re not paying attention.

vilrouge
vilrouge
6 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy

In my country (France) we get approximately 40% of what the company actually pays for us once all tax is paied. Puting 50% aside is quite painful 😀

Pablo Martin Podhorzer
Pablo Martin Podhorzer
6 years ago
Reply to  vilrouge

But in return you receive a beautiful country that is livable, to enjoy in your free moments or when you decide to just stop working. Also, unemployment money high enough that you can take vacations to South East Asia with it.

M3
M3
6 years ago

Even if i won the lotto, i would not live the jet set lifestyle.

I have a motto – “Work to live, don’t live to work.”

My minimalist lifestyle allows me to enjoy my hobbies, workouts, blogging and pursuits within the minimum amount of time i have to devote to them. Taking on a bigger job with higher pay that increases commute time, and requires more time at the office/on the job.. would be a living death to someone like me. More money =/= happiness.

My freedom means that much to me.

Tampa
Tampa
6 years ago

Savings is great. IT’s good. But experiences are better. What’s to say i won’t drop dead of a heart attack or get hit by a bus in the next 10 years. Personaly i’d rather risk it and travel and do crazy shit then worry about how i’m going to live when i’m 70. It will work itself out.

thecaptainpower
6 years ago

Good point, i am a big saver also. But i would rather save while working the corporate job, weekends off, health insurance, severance pay, etc. But i agree on saving.

Tony D
Tony D
6 years ago

I’ve heard so many people say you can’t make a living teaching pickup. I’ve been doing it for four years. Selling products and running bootcamps? How do I do it? I pay $600 a month rent for a tiny bachelor. I cook at home. I don’t own a car, I ride a bike. When I travel I stay in hostels or couchsurf. I am a minimalist.

Michael Drumel
Michael Drumel
6 years ago
Reply to  Tony D

ANY MAN helping another man to achiece a comfortable lifestyle without getting anything out of it, is a complete beta ship follower.
Tell us more about the idiots you hustle by living for free in their homes, and about the pickup business that’s paying the bills …
—WHAT,you actually think we give A FLYING FUCK about reading you brag about your comfortable lifestyle ? Give us INFO on how to DUPLICATE it or GTFO !!

Nick
6 years ago
Reply to  Michael Drumel

You deserve a gold star for being a whiny bitch.

20th Level
20th Level
6 years ago

My younger years were 100% percent like the first man. Now I work like the first man but spend like the second….almost.

Saving 30% is doable but 50% is never goanna happen. I like my toys too much and where I live isn’t cheap.

Its a lifestyle choice man..a four month expense cash cushion plus 15% to the 401k.

The rest on cars, booze and bitches.

UncleElmer
UncleElmer
6 years ago

I have always referred to this as living the “Unemployment Lifestyle”. Works for me.

Jean Talon
Jean Talon
6 years ago

Roosh, you need to keep posting stuff like this. I think youve exhausted the gamut of game advice. Keep the insights coming

Michael Drumel
Michael Drumel
6 years ago
Reply to  Jean Talon

—He has not exhausted anything. Had he done that, then you and the rest of the lonely men in here would have had a chance of having CONSISTENT female presence in their lives. The sporadic-not consistent-existence of a woman in someone’s life is a plight the magnitude of which I am afraid you do not fully understand. It is certainly consistent with mild psychosis to not fully realise what the fuck is really going on in yout life..

Jean Talon
Jean Talon
6 years ago
Reply to  Michael Drumel

You’re assuming a lot there, boss. Who says I’m lonely? Your opinion here is overstated

lester jones
lester jones
6 years ago
Reply to  Michael Drumel

I’m not lonely, I have a great girl but I enjoy reading the ranting and spewing of the pathetics and roosh’s adventures staying in places for months where he doesnt get laid.

prepped
prepped
6 years ago

If you ever want to be the 2nd man, don’t get married! You’ll quickly find your financial anchor dragging you into negative savings territory. Add kids and make it worse.

lester jones
lester jones
6 years ago
Reply to  prepped

Or marry wealth

Blade
Blade
6 years ago

Make enough passive income that covers your basic survival necessities (water, food, housing, etc.) and you are a free man.

WesternCancer
WesternCancer
6 years ago

More than anything else, what attracted me most to the way of life talked about in this part of the web was the promise of freedom.

I have friends already saddled by debt from cars, computers, new clothes and drinking, but whenever I tell them my plans to move across the country with nothing but a suitcase and a cellphone they wonder how.

I only ever have to show them my bank account balance as an explanation why I can go anywhere I want whenever I want.

Dante
Dante
6 years ago

Nice post. I love this kind of reading. I saved up money to live for 3 years without any earnings until bad things happened. And now I’m in a relatively comfortable situation. Now I work my ass of to lean as much as I can to become a successful entrepreneur in the next 2-3 years. I started my business 2 years ago when I had a job and it was a wise decision to start at that time. When I started I was unable to earn any $ from scratch in one month. Today I made 150$ and learned a lot more then 2 years ago obviously. It is not an consistent income but I will make it to that point in the future. And in 2-3 years from now I should learned much more then today and if I go broke with my savings in worst case I’m will be ready to fly to make enough every month to serve myself. At the moment I can not compensate my spendings on room, food even in a minimal lifestyle. But I bet on myself in the future because I control myself 100% and make the income turnaround happen.until my savings are gone. The turnaround is already happening as more as I learn to make money. Hope all you guys doing good in the future, saving is key! Every dollar saved is a freedom fighter for your future

PoorMan_Contractor
PoorMan_Contractor
6 years ago

You are true,My mother screwed my life with her lavish lifestyle while i have lived like a worker drone ..Now i have less than $10,000 to survive and i dont have a job,wish i could get some job somewhere,i will remember your post and will save 50 percent of my income from now

Ty
Ty
6 years ago

One year is the minimum I would say.
Culturally we in the USA are told that it is unmanly not to have your own place, nice car..etc..

How unmanly is it to be broke and without a roof over your head after they repo “your” car?

Glengarry
Glengarry
6 years ago

Great advice. The easiest way to get that cushion is to just not get expensive habits and saving 50% like a machine is a good way to do that. You can otherwise easily learn to blow a lot of money on crap without thinking about it.

Also, unless you’re working in finance, put your money somewhere you can leave it for a year or two without waking up in a sweat. Simple investments.

The next satisfying step on the ladder is when you realize you can be unemployed indefinitely. On your own dime, that is. All you make from then on just improves the cushion and your options.

TheLifestyleCompound.com
TheLifestyleCompound.com
6 years ago

I totally agree with this, I just turned 30 and it was my goal to be retired by now. Well i kind of reached my goal, I,m in The Phillipines at the moment travelling for at least the next 6 months, off to Thailand next. I’ve got income through real estate that I’ve built up over the last 7 years. It’s a very modest income but i can bootstrap my way to more income over here whilst living a great life on the cheap.

Brad Turner
Brad Turner
6 years ago

i love having money and saying fuck you to any dick or cunt that gets in my way. If someone fucks with me, I will fucking open them up and I know I have

Igniss
Igniss
6 years ago

I think this article is well intentioned but falls into the same trap as the movie “American Beauty” when the protagonist gives up his soul-sucking job, rich lifestyle and material wealth to pursue his inner peace…. and still comes home to an enormous house with great food and all the interesting stuff that money can buy instead of ending up homeless and freezing to death.

In other words, it assumes that the kind of material existence that allows a person to live frugally and spend only 50% of his money on living expenses is common. I maintain that it is not. Maybe in the USA, but most people in the world don’t actually live this way. In most cases, they both live frugally and have nothing to save at the end of the month. They have to live frugally just to survive.

It is surely possible to ruin yourself by not saving enough while having a job that earns you 5000 $ per month as this article describes, but most people can’t have that job in the first place. Instead, they earn 2500$ per month and spend it all… on living frugally.

Purple Penguin
Purple Penguin
6 years ago
Reply to  Igniss

Many people could save up 50% of their incomes if they had the willpower to do so.

I’m not american and I see everyday complaining they can’t save anything while they buy a brand a new german car every 4 years (which loses half of its value in that time) and live in an condo twice bigger as they need.