War Of The Worlds

0 Flares Twitter 0 Facebook 0 Filament.io 0 Flares ×

In general I see the miles game, and the pursuit of early retirement/financial independence as very complementary. (Obviously.)

Early retirement is all about frugality. About making choices for freedom and against needless consumption. It’s about pursuing happiness.

teltta avattunaEarly Retirement Dream House

The miles game, on the other hand, allows one’s world not to shrink just because one’s budget does. It is about using clever solutions to extract the most travel value at the least cost. It’s also about pursuing happiness.

But there is conflict. Of course there is conflict.

Whereas the goal of the pursuit of early retirement is to pare down the unnecessary and embrace efficiency, The miles game is all about pursuing luxury. It’s about cherry picking the cream off of the most luxurious aspects of the travel industries most expensive delicacies.

The early retirement enthusiast endeavors to lead a spare life. To grow his own food. To renovate his own house. To fix his own car. To propel himself on his own bicycle. His favorite adjective is probably “lean.” He despairs at the thought of wasting money on unnecessary luxury. After all it would only make him soft, and in debt ; dependent.

The miles hound on the other hand , endeavors to extract the maximum pampering out of the minimum effort. He will complain if the pre-take off nuts are not warm enough. If the first class champagne is not Dom Perignon. If the business-class seat is not fully flat. His favorite adjective is definitely, “aspirational.”(Which kind of makes my skin crawl every time I read it .) He despairs at the thought of not being upgraded, after all he’s earned his status.

cashews-2Miles Hound Birthright

I think I’m more predisposed to the early retirement ethos. But I’m not ashamed to admit that I’d love to fly business class for free.

But within these two worlds there are times when the conflict comes to a head. When the goals are not aligned.

Say you want to take a flight from Portland to San Francisco to visit your parents. There’s a very cheap ticket on Virgin American for $175. But you could also transfer 25,000 ultimate rewards points to United and fly there for only five dollars in taxes.

Option one costs more money but would allow you preserve (and even add a few) miles.

Option two is nearly free. But you would be getting less than one cent per mile value from your Ultimate Rewards Points. This is a terrible redemption in terms of mile value.

I’ve faced this dilemma with my family of five and chosen option one.

But I think that next time I would probably choose option two.

After all in my current thinking, money is meant to be saved, and miles are meant to be burned.

Most miles junkies would say that I’m a stooge.

And most early retirement enthusiasts would never even consider option one.

And I agree with both of them. After all, I’m conflicted.

0 Flares Twitter 0 Facebook 0 Filament.io 0 Flares ×

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Visit Us On TwitterVisit Us On FacebookVisit Us On Google Plus