Incompatibility between drinking and ERE

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Demosthenes
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Incompatibility between drinking and ERE

Post by Demosthenes » Fri May 11, 2018 8:25 am

I've been a beer home brewer for 4 years, and on here since 2015. For some reason it never hit me as to how much drinking affects your finances even if you brew your drinks yourself. I'll break down my homebrewing expenses over time:

2015:
Equipment: $970
Ingredients: $1199

2016 (January to March):
Equipment: $48
Ingredients: $213

I stopped keeping track of expenses after that because they became too sporadic, but I think it's safe to say ongoing expenses are $1000 per year. Also the startup cost of ~$2000

In order to continue this practice into perpetuity, I would have to make an additional $25,000. That might not seem like a lot to some, but that's 1/7th of a Jacob, so it certainly seems like a lot to him. It's also a totally frivolous expense, it's entirely unnecessary to drink and it's bad for your health.

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C40
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Re: Incompatibility between drinking and ERE

Post by C40 » Fri May 11, 2018 8:30 am

It doesn't matter if it's a lot of money to Jacob.

How long would it take you to (keep) work(ing) to save that $25,000? Do you want to work that much more in order to fund the beer habit? Or - is ther other spending you'd wand to reduce in order to fund the beer?

It's not an incompatibility. It's just a choice.

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Demosthenes
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Re: Incompatibility between drinking and ERE

Post by Demosthenes » Fri May 11, 2018 9:01 am

Consider however the web of goals concept. How would drinking benefit your web of goals? You could argue that drinking increases sociability with your friends. It's difficult to place this "get drunk with your friends" on your web of goals though.

ffj
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Re: Incompatibility between drinking and ERE

Post by ffj » Fri May 11, 2018 9:19 am

How much do you drink? Please tell me that you have lots of friends that free-load off of you? :D

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theanimal
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Re: Incompatibility between drinking and ERE

Post by theanimal » Fri May 11, 2018 9:24 am

It's certainly not incompatible. I have even had a glass off wine that was made by Jacob himself. Making wine appears to be far less costly than brewing beer. But as others have said, find a way to work it into your web of goals. Maybe you use what you brew as an opportunity to make new relationships and maintain ones of old. Think of how you can make this hobby not only net zero in cost, but one in which you profit. Note that I am not solely relating to the financial aspects.

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Demosthenes
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Re: Incompatibility between drinking and ERE

Post by Demosthenes » Fri May 11, 2018 9:47 am

@ffj
I used to drink a beer a day and a couple on the weekends, but I quit a couple weeks ago.

@theanimal
Selling your alcohol is prohibited in many places, so it is difficult to turn the hobby into something that is zero cost/profitable. I considered the possibility of selling wort (unfermented beer), but it sells for a fraction of the cost of the fermented stuff. There are easier ways to make $15 an hour.

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theanimal
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Re: Incompatibility between drinking and ERE

Post by theanimal » Fri May 11, 2018 10:10 am

@D- As I said, I wasn't speaking in strictly financial means in terms of removing your cost or profiting. Gaining new friends would be cost zero and profitable. That's an easy example. I'm sure there are other ways. There will be a cost, but that doesn't mean you don't derive a benefit from it. Think broadly.

Laura Ingalls
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Re: Incompatibility between drinking and ERE

Post by Laura Ingalls » Fri May 11, 2018 10:39 am

I think you need to put Home brewing in the same category as keeping chickens. I have had people ask me what my expenses are on a dozen eggs. If the person has traditional pets my response is, How many eggs has your dog laid?

If you enjoy the process and the product keep brewing. If you enjoyed the learning or the community and you are over it sell your equipment to someone else and explore other interests. Just consider it part of your journey through life.

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Demosthenes
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Re: Incompatibility between drinking and ERE

Post by Demosthenes » Fri May 11, 2018 10:56 am

I suppose I should have stressed that I'm primarily speaking about the Extreme side of ERE. Lots of people on here can retire early and still imbibe on occasion, or even often. It's another beast entirely to ERE within a handful of years while also including drinking as part of your plan. I totally understand that your living expenses, cars, and food are the first expenses that need to be confronted and tackled. But for the serious EREr quitting drinking would be a positive move in the web of goals.

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Re: Incompatibility between drinking and ERE

Post by 2Birds1Stone » Fri May 11, 2018 12:32 pm

Hmmm, I definitely spend a solid $100-200/month on happy hours and good booze for home.

0 regrets and still maintain a 75-80% savings rate. It's all about priorities. Too much of my social circle enjoys hanging out at a nice bar sipping a $3 craft beer during happy hour. We also frequent the local breweries during the summer. I budget it under "entertainment" and don't see any issues with it, as long as it's not preventing you from reaching your financial goals.

Seppia
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Re: Incompatibility between drinking and ERE

Post by Seppia » Fri May 11, 2018 12:36 pm

$1000 per year in beers seems like a ton of money (or a ton of beer).
I can buy very decent quality beer for 0.5€ per beer by buying mostly on promo here in Italy, and iirc the costs in the USA are similar if not lower.
How many beers do you drink per day?

I am not counting beers out as I almost never go to the pub, and all pub expenses go into my “eating out” budget.

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Re: Incompatibility between drinking and ERE

Post by DSKla » Fri May 11, 2018 12:45 pm

Sharing your delicious homebrews with people might make them inclined to offer up their own time, skills, and resources to you when you need them. There are, of course, other ways to show generosity and build relationships, but if this is the one that appeals to you the most, is it really such a disaster?

Now that your startup costs are out of the way, could you find ways to reduce your ingredient costs? Growing some of your own hops if you're in the right climate (and NOT brewing expensive hop bombs)? Find a few yeast strains you like and keep a jug of each bubbling away at all times so you don't buy a new starter each batch? Experiment with styles that use a cheaper grain bill? I'm assuming you already recycle your bottles.

For example, I've brewed a really good saison that was light on the grain bill, not terribly hoppy, and the yeast loves to ferment hot, as in up to the low 90's instead of 65 degrees, which saves effort and possibly money on keeping the fermenters cool.

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Demosthenes
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Re: Incompatibility between drinking and ERE

Post by Demosthenes » Fri May 11, 2018 12:53 pm

@2birds1stone
That's quite impressive! I've been away from the drinking social circles for years now so I suppose I've forgotten how groups like these can fit into your web of goals. I have a hard time justifying any entertainment budget for my own life as I've identified that it gives me very little enjoyment. I figured other folks here were like minded.

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Re: Incompatibility between drinking and ERE

Post by suomalainen » Fri May 11, 2018 1:31 pm

For me it's hard to say that anything is "incompatible" with ERE. ERE is more of a toolbox to help you achieve your goals, is it not? It doesn't appear to me to be a religion that says "you can do this, but not that. You can eat lentils, but not black beans. You can drink water, but not beer." If you enjoy a beer more than the money it costs, how does that NOT fit in a web of goals? If you enjoy the money more than the beer, well then the better choice is clear. This seems to me to be all about preferences, and everyone's preferences are their own, so you can't really say that any particular preference is "incompatible" with ERE, unless you say that to be ERE you have to be just like Jacob.

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Re: Incompatibility between drinking and ERE

Post by 2Birds1Stone » Fri May 11, 2018 1:37 pm

@Seppia
I drink mostly IPA's, stouts, and other various craft beers.

When on sale here in HCOL area of NY a 12 pack of good beer is about $14-18, and a 6 pack is usually ~$10-12. There is also 9% sales tax and a $.05 deposit per bottle.

At a bar a decent pint of beer is normally $6-9, and usually 50% off during happy hour.

@Demosthenes
I wouldn't say the social circle itself is centered around drinking, but rather social circles from other activities tend to enjoy getting together for it. I'm part of a running club, a triathlon team, a leadership group at work, and a network of friends and acquaintances from various walks of life that enjoy getting together for a pint or two. Here on Long Island, especially this time of year, it's very nice to sit outside in a beer garden enjoying a cold one. Gone are the days of binge drinking, or getting together simply with the purpose of getting drunk.

Many of my social circles use it as a way to celebrate someone's birthday, retirement, going away party, etc. Dropping $15-20 on a happy our and spending 3-5 hours mingling with like minded people definitely helps strengthen those social bonds a bit.

I'm always looking for other activities to do with people, running, mountain biking, cycling, etc are also great ways to bond with your fellow man/woman, and also get exercise.

As with most things in life, it's all about finding a balance.

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Demosthenes
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Re: Incompatibility between drinking and ERE

Post by Demosthenes » Fri May 11, 2018 1:37 pm

@seppia
I used to drink about 10 beers a week or 43 beers a month. If you divide it out it's about $2 per beer. That's pretty cheap for micro brew quality beer in canada.

@DSKla
You certainly can brew some pretty cheap beers if you are cost conscious, but there's a fair amount of opportunity cost in just keeping the equipment. It takes up a lot of room so you are incentivised to move to a location with a large garage or driveway + lots of storage space. It takes a lot of time to brew + bottle or keg (even more start up cost) that you could be doing more productive things with. It's not necessarily a financial disaster to brew and drink your own, but if it goes against your ERE goals, why do it?

ffj
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Re: Incompatibility between drinking and ERE

Post by ffj » Fri May 11, 2018 5:03 pm

No judgement, but at first glance those numbers seemed excessive. But if you are literally home brewing every step of the process, I can see where the costs add up.

A five gallon batch for me lasts a long time but I only drink with certain meals and I don't have any friends, haha.

Scott 2
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Re: Incompatibility between drinking and ERE

Post by Scott 2 » Fri May 11, 2018 5:28 pm

I worked for a man who did some home brew. His friend was a chemical engineer, very into it, and provided all of the equipment. My boss would go over to the engineer's house, provide labor, and get beer in return. I'm not even sure he helped pay for bottles or ingredients. They won some regional contests, really enjoyed showing off the end product to people.

So an ERE path might be to turn it into a collective activity, where you share the costs with others. Maybe you can be the labor, or convince friends to provide the ingredients in exchange for instruction / sharing your equipment. Host a home brew party, task out the shopping, etc.

Part of developing your web of goals, is learning to trade in currency other than dollars.

$1000 a year for a hobby does fit in an extreme budget, btw. IIRC Jacob was spending that on martial arts or hockey.

Augustus
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Re: Incompatibility between drinking and ERE

Post by Augustus » Fri May 11, 2018 6:12 pm

How are you spending 70 per month? A recipe kit is 40 bucks, makes 5 gallons, 50 something bottles right? Shouldn't you be spending 40 per month instead? If you bought bulk I imagine you could cut that in half. Then there's the fruit wine thing where you buy pure juice at Costco, add sugar and yeast and put a co2 trap on it, a gallon or more for 10 bucks total cost and turns out 15% abv wine. Startup and equipment cost is like 5 bucks a year. 20 bucks a month + 5/yr, $245 per year, super cheap, definitely ere.

All that said, that's probably not healthy. I limit myself to a 6 pack every couple of weeks.

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Demosthenes
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Re: Incompatibility between drinking and ERE

Post by Demosthenes » Fri May 11, 2018 8:01 pm

$245 per year, super cheap, definitely ere.
I'm sure it's possible to brew in a cheaper manner than my first attempts in 2015. There's definitely a learning curve though and many of my first batches were dumpers.

I think the reason I'm getting so much push back here is the same reason why I stuck in it so long. It's much cheaper to home brew than to buy it from the store, and it's easy to rationalize the hobby by saying it's part of your web of goals. Drinking is so ingrained in our society that it's seen as a right of passage, a social lubricant, a central meeting place, etc.

If you replace this drinking hobby with smoking it starts to look a little darker. "I've been rolling my own cigarettes for 4 years! It's 50% cheaper than buying by the carton!" It's just a hobby that encourages you to do something that's bad for your body, while also making it more difficult on your finances. Why not just cut it at the source and stop entirely.

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