Wednesday 14 March 2012

Tight Fist Tip #47: Don't Drink Light Beer

Wasting money is so hot right now.

There's nothing like the introduction of a completely inessential product to test Tight Fist techniques. It's not immediately clear why anyone at Budweiser thought that Bud Light Platinum was a great idea, but it presents an interesting possibility: marketed as higher alcohol and lower calorie, this is potentially an efficient purchase. Let's break it down.

When considering what to buy, the metric is simple: most alcohol per dollar. Since we're considering light beers, we'll also vaguely consider the calorie count, as some of you people out there prefer to waste your money by eating too much food. As we will be just comparing various brands of Budweiser, we will not consider taste. That is because all these beers taste like crap. (Prices taken from

Budweiser, 12oz: $1.00. Avb 5% = .6 oz alcohol; 145 Calories
Ounces of Alcohol/Dollar = .6; Calories/Oz alcohol = 241.67

Bud Light, 12oz: $1.00. Avb 4.2% = .504 oz alcohol; 115 Calories
Ounces of Alcohol/Dollar = .504; Calories/Oz alcohol = 228.17

Bud Light Platinum, 12oz: $1.17. Avb 6% = .72 oz alcohol; 137 Calories
Ounces of Alcohol/Dollar = .61; Calories/Oz alcohol = 190.28

What's the takeaway message? Well, purchasing Bud Light is completely idiotic. Not only is it more expensive to get drunk, but saves you almost no calories over normal Bud. The new Bud Light Platinum, however, is not such a bad deal. It has basically the same amount of alcohol per dollar, but fewer calories for those who care. This analysis also relies on Bud Light Platinum being only 17% more expensive than normal Budweiser. If that wedge is greater, stick with the normal Bud.

In case you've forgotten, check out previous posts on efficient drinking here and here.

For a related perspective on Bud Light Platinum, check out my friends at J Street Beer.

Thursday 8 March 2012

Tight Fist Tip #46: Buy An Ugly House in a Shady Neighborhood

Chez Le Tight Fist

While David Ricardo's ideas on rent may have fallen out of fashion, I think we can all agree that a little part of us dies every time we write a rent check. Your landlord is likely doing nothing but sitting on his ass and feeling the money roll in from all his rental properties.

So what's a Tight Fist to do? (And no, I'm not going to suggest living under a cardboard box.) Get in on that action! If you choose carefully, in this market (see: historically low interest rates) you can get a house that basically pays for itself. The trick is to realize that housing prices are inflated by rich, confused yuppies. The house a Tight-Fister buys has to be filled with things that will freak yuppies out.
Nasty Carpet + Unnecessary Walls = HOTT!

What are they? Well first, you need to find a neighborhood where yuppies think they are going to get stabbed. (Hint, look for brown people.) And the kitchen will have no trace of either granite of stainless steel. Because you know what people love overpaying for? Granite! (So much sexier than those other rocks.) Also, find a place with a low bathroom/bedroom ratio. Even though you probably spend 3% of your waking hours in your bathroom, people will pay like 50 grand just to make sure that the other 97% of the time that place is VACANT. Finally, make sure whatever you buy is straight up ugly. The ugly discount is money in the bank.

Now you may ask: where the hell do I find the money for a down payment? Well my friends, The Tight Fist was started a bit under three years ago. Had you been following my instructions and living by the code, you would have built up a nest egg by now. And as long as you've got the nest egg, you might as well live in it. No nest egg? Well you'd better start at the beginning.