Mr. Money Mustache: Hero or Foolish?

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HomerJ
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Re: Mr. Money Mustache: Hero or Foolish?

Post by HomerJ »

"Some people have a way with words while others.... um... er.... um.... not have way, I guess..."

-Steve Martin
Ivygirl
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Re: Mr. Money Mustache: Hero or Foolish?

Post by Ivygirl »

Thank you for your kind comment Wildebeest. I'm kind of new here and still trying to figure out what I have to offer the Bogleheads. All I got is what I have.

Mr. MM's promise is more than just that he will tell you a story. He says, "You poor sap. Why dwell in the gloom of ordinariness any longer? I live in the magical realm of Mustachia. You should live there too. Follow me, watch where I put my feet, step where I step, and when I say jump, don't ask how high, just JUMP. I promise you will land upright on your commuter bike, furiously pedaling, gaining wealth, health, and wisdom with every mile. Others will envy you, but you will just smile, because you know the secret they are too frightened and inadequate to learn."

He doesn't really say that, of course. I mean he does say it but he's joking.

That's a hell of a fictive dream to break. I hope he knows what he's doing.
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Random Musings
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Re: Mr. Money Mustache: Hero or Foolish?

Post by Random Musings »

Ivygirl wrote:Thank you for your kind comment Wildebeest. I'm kind of new here and still trying to figure out what I have to offer the Bogleheads. All I got is what I have.

Mr. MM's promise is more than just that he will tell you a story. He says, "You poor sap. Why dwell in the gloom of ordinariness any longer? I live in the magical realm of Mustachia. You should live there too. Follow me, watch where I put my feet, step where I step, and when I say jump, don't ask how high, just JUMP. I promise you will land upright on your commuter bike, furiously pedaling, gaining wealth, health, and wisdom with every mile. Others will envy you, but you will just smile, because you know the secret they are too frightened and inadequate to learn."

He doesn't really say that, of course. I mean he does say it but he's joking.

That's a hell of a fictive dream to break. I hope he knows what he's doing.
With the internet, this allows many more to try since the barriers to entry are low, but in the end, only a few are decent at it. Then, of course, there are certain reality TV shows, radio shows and so on that play the same game.

OTOH, when a good Boglehead tells you to jump, you better do it..........

RM
I figure the odds be fifty-fifty I just might have something to say. FZ
physicsgal
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Re: Mr. Money Mustache: Hero or Foolish?

Post by physicsgal »

Mr. FI wrote:Alright,

I had to sign up for this forum just to respond to this.
Ivygirl wrote:I would like to hear from Mr. MM's fans, if some are still following this thread - and remember, I am one of his fans to a large degree.

If prosperity changes your Mr. Money Mustache, will you still love him?
I am a big fan. And I suppose on the outside chance MMM does change his ways because of his prosperity, it would be a bit disheartening. That said, I don't see it happening. This http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2013/04/ ... m-so-rich/ article sums up why I think that.

Anyways, this talk of his demise and having enemies...he's not an empire. Outside of being murdered, what exactly could his "enemies" do to him? This isn't some Greek Tragedy. This is real life.
That was a great post, thanks for sharing. I'm a recent fan of MMM so I haven't read all his posts. I don't know why there are so many haters out there but I guess haters gotta hate. He's saying he is HAPPIER spending less and being more efficient but having his freedom. I actually love my work most of the time (I'm a scientist so when things get super frustrating sometimes it gets to me), but I still want to work towards an early retirement because I want the freedom to pursue other things with my time before I get older and I want to have time for my kids when I have them. Life is short and I only know of this one shot so it's pretty sad that we all have to be wage slaves for so long just to buy more stuff if that stuff isn't even making you happy. He's saying, if that stuff isn't actually making you happy, why are you trading freedom for it? Don't split hairs over this that and the other because you miss the basic message. Trade money for stuff now or save money now and buy yourself freedom sooner. If it's a big sacrifice for you, don't do it. But many would be surprised how much stuff they can give up and still be happy.

Everyone says we need to all be consumers to keep our economy going, but what if we could all just have less stuff, all work less, and all be happier, have more time with our families and strengthen our local communities.

If stuff actually makes you happy then you don't need or want his advice and that's fine. Just keep working so you can keep buying more stuff and paying someone else to raise your kids; your life, your choice. His blog is basically a modern version of "Your Money or Your Life", which is an AMAZING book that changed my perspective on money. There's also Early Retirement Extreme and I just found this neat site Financial Mentor for anyone who wants a similar perspective from a different personality.

These early retirement guys always remind me of the monologue from the beginning of the movie Trainspotting http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0117951/quotes, except without the heroin obviously (yucky!!!!). Change your perspective and you realize all this stuff we are told we NEED isn't necessary, but you need to change your perspective, think out of the box and really get to know yourself to figure out what will make YOU happy. There is no right answer but just doing what is expected and what you are told is probably not the right answer. But I've always been a rebel so I guess I am attracted to other rebellious types who don't fit into society's mold and walk to the beat of their own drums.
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Re: Mr. Money Mustache: Hero or Foolish?

Post by KyleAAA »

physicsgal wrote: Everyone says we need to all be consumers to keep our economy going, but what if we could all just have less stuff, all work less, and all be happier, have more time with our families and strengthen our local communities.

I think this would actually make people less happy, but that's another discussion. Despite all their complaining, people like working.
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Re: Mr. Money Mustache: Hero or Foolish?

Post by Clearly_Irrational »

KyleAAA wrote:Despite all their complaining, people like working.
I'd want to make the distinction between "work" as defined by trading your time for money you need to buy the necessities of life, and "work" that you might do if you were financially independent. I'm not saying most people would instantly become couch potatoes but I think only a small fraction would do things exactly the way they do now.
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Re: Mr. Money Mustache: Hero or Foolish?

Post by KyleAAA »

Clearly_Irrational wrote:
KyleAAA wrote:Despite all their complaining, people like working.
I'd want to make the distinction between "work" as defined by trading your time for money you need to buy the necessities of life, and "work" that you might do if you were financially independent. I'm not saying most people would instantly become couch potatoes but I think only a small fraction would do things exactly the way they do now.
I would actually be willing to bet the opposite. We'll never know, I suppose.
Curlyq
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Re: Mr. Money Mustache: Hero or Foolish?

Post by Curlyq »

KyleAAA wrote:
physicsgal wrote: Everyone says we need to all be consumers to keep our economy going, but what if we could all just have less stuff, all work less, and all be happier, have more time with our families and strengthen our local communities.

I think this would actually make people less happy, but that's another discussion. Despite all their complaining, people like working.
I like working too, but it's on my terms now. Strategies learned or reinforced from the BH and particularly MMM site have helped me stay at a part-time status when my full-time job was eliminated. Others can work all they want! :sharebeer
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hoppy08520
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Re: Mr. Money Mustache: Hero or Foolish?

Post by hoppy08520 »

physicsgal wrote:...Life is short and I only know of this one shot so it's pretty sad that we all have to be wage slaves for so long just to buy more stuff if that stuff isn't even making you happy. He's saying, if that stuff isn't actually making you happy, why are you trading freedom for it? Don't split hairs over this that and the other because you miss the basic message. Trade money for stuff now or save money now and buy yourself freedom sooner. If it's a big sacrifice for you, don't do it. But many would be surprised how much stuff they can give up and still be happy.

Everyone says we need to all be consumers to keep our economy going, but what if we could all just have less stuff, all work less, and all be happier, have more time with our families and strengthen our local communities...
Great post physicsgal. I'm on your wavelength too, or at least I try. That's what I like about MMM. Many personal finance blogs seem to get into minutae about coupon clipping, which is great, and MMM does some of that too, but he also writes very effectively about the Big Questions too and that's what I like about him and that's what separates him from the thousands of other personal finance blogs out there.
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Clearly_Irrational
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Re: Mr. Money Mustache: Hero or Foolish?

Post by Clearly_Irrational »

KyleAAA wrote:I would actually be willing to bet the opposite. We'll never know, I suppose.
Obviously some people have fulfilling jobs that they enjoy, but here are some large swaths of the population I think 95% would quit tomorrow if they could:

Fast Food Workers
Long Haul Truckers
Janitorial Staff
Low End Retail Sales
Waiters/Waitresses
Dishwashers
Seasonal Farm Workers
Cashiers
Maids & Housecleaners
Parking Lot Attendents
Fork Truck Drivers
Warehouse pickers
Slaughterhouse workers
Landscaping workers
Receptionists

There are probably tons of higher end blue collar and white collar workers that would choose to do something else instead as well. Looking at lottery winners, rich kids with trust funds, early retirees and those who unexpectedly inherit a large sum, employment rates are much lower and of different character than they are in the rest of the population. On the flip side, I think most professors would stay, a lot of doctors would probably just choose a slower paced more patient oriented style and so on. It all depends on what sort of intrinsic satisfaction you get out of your job.
Ivygirl
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Re: Mr. Money Mustache: Hero or Foolish?

Post by Ivygirl »

Evidently the fictive dream is a real literary term. I must have retained it from my last literature class many years ago. It's not mine.
rnitz
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Re: Mr. Money Mustache: Hero or Foolish?

Post by rnitz »

physicsgal wrote:
Mr. FI wrote:Alright,

I had to sign up for this forum just to respond to this.
Ivygirl wrote:I would like to hear from Mr. MM's fans, if some are still following this thread - and remember, I am one of his fans to a large degree.

If prosperity changes your Mr. Money Mustache, will you still love him?
I am a big fan. And I suppose on the outside chance MMM does change his ways because of his prosperity, it would be a bit disheartening. That said, I don't see it happening. This http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2013/04/ ... m-so-rich/ article sums up why I think that.

Anyways, this talk of his demise and having enemies...he's not an empire. Outside of being murdered, what exactly could his "enemies" do to him? This isn't some Greek Tragedy. This is real life.
That was a great post, thanks for sharing. I'm a recent fan of MMM so I haven't read all his posts. I don't know why there are so many haters out there but I guess haters gotta hate. He's saying he is HAPPIER spending less and being more efficient but having his freedom. I actually love my work most of the time (I'm a scientist so when things get super frustrating sometimes it gets to me), but I still want to work towards an early retirement because I want the freedom to pursue other things with my time before I get older and I want to have time for my kids when I have them. Life is short and I only know of this one shot so it's pretty sad that we all have to be wage slaves for so long just to buy more stuff if that stuff isn't even making you happy. He's saying, if that stuff isn't actually making you happy, why are you trading freedom for it? Don't split hairs over this that and the other because you miss the basic message. Trade money for stuff now or save money now and buy yourself freedom sooner. If it's a big sacrifice for you, don't do it. But many would be surprised how much stuff they can give up and still be happy.

Everyone says we need to all be consumers to keep our economy going, but what if we could all just have less stuff, all work less, and all be happier, have more time with our families and strengthen our local communities.

If stuff actually makes you happy then you don't need or want his advice and that's fine. Just keep working so you can keep buying more stuff and paying someone else to raise your kids; your life, your choice. His blog is basically a modern version of "Your Money or Your Life", which is an AMAZING book that changed my perspective on money. There's also Early Retirement Extreme and I just found this neat site Financial Mentor for anyone who wants a similar perspective from a different personality.

These early retirement guys always remind me of the monologue from the beginning of the movie Trainspotting http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0117951/quotes, except without the heroin obviously (yucky!!!!). Change your perspective and you realize all this stuff we are told we NEED isn't necessary, but you need to change your perspective, think out of the box and really get to know yourself to figure out what will make YOU happy. There is no right answer but just doing what is expected and what you are told is probably not the right answer. But I've always been a rebel so I guess I am attracted to other rebellious types who don't fit into society's mold and walk to the beat of their own drums.
There's this new blogger you should read - he's great, really talks to the new thoughts of just simplifying your lifestyle to what's important and necessary to you. I think he blogs under the name HDThoreau at a website called Walden or something: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walden He's onto something new - I think he got it from MMM, actually. I don't think he makes the revenue that MMM make from his blog, but he's good nonetheless (even though he's a bit of a copycat). :happy
physicsgal
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Re: Mr. Money Mustache: Hero or Foolish?

Post by physicsgal »

rnitz wrote: There's this new blogger you should read - he's great, really talks to the new thoughts of just simplifying your lifestyle to what's important and necessary to you. I think he blogs under the name HDThoreau at a website called Walden or something: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walden He's onto something new - I think he got it from MMM, actually. I don't think he makes the revenue that MMM make from his blog, but he's good nonetheless (even though he's a bit of a copycat). :happy
Well, it's really hard to find stuff on this guy because only stuff on the real Thoreau is popping up. I did find this post which was good but I don't think that's the right guy
http://voices.yahoo.com/taking-19th-cen ... 99419.html. I like this quote:
"I think the vast majority of us shove our true intentions, dreams, and aspirations down to places so far within ourselves, and for so long a time, that even if we did have the possibility, either financial or otherwise, to explore these goals, we would no longer know how to do so. Many of us hide behind the security of our stable jobs and safety nets of sure things and steady paychecks. And because we waste our money on consumer goods to keep us content while the days of our lives are slowly whittled away, we diminish the ability to provide ourselves, by way of financial stability and security, the opportunity to explore our dreams and possibly to achieve our true goals."

I guess this is where brave entrepreneurs are way ahead of the game as they pursue their dreams anyways even though they are risky. I have many dreams, hopes, and experiences I want to have before I croak and I'm only really just now, after reading those blogs, starting to take those dreams seriously as something I can realistically try to accomplish. For that I think he and others like him are heroes. When I write my first book I will dedicate it to him.
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weenie
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Re: Mr. Money Mustache: Hero or Foolish?

Post by weenie »

I wish my 25 year old self had come across MMM, instead of spiralling into credit card debt through buying 'stuff' and yet more 'stuff' that I didn't really need.

I'm fairly certain that some of his words of advice would have helped me pay off said debts a lot quicker, instead of the 15 years that it actually took.

I've missed the ERE boat by miles but if I can retire a few years earlier than planned by following the bits of his advice that are applicable to me on how to live frugally, generating passive income, while still enjoying life and being happy, then he's no fool in my eyes.
Scandium
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Re: Mr. Money Mustache: Hero or Foolish?

Post by Scandium »

Ivygirl wrote:
Scandium wrote: Maybe it's just me, but I think you're reading a little too much into this, MMM or money in general. He blogs about efficient living, with a somewhat abrasive attitude...

I don't believe in evil, or that money has any power over us. We make our own decisions about it, and MMM is just one source of input about it. He can be entertaining and offer some ideas, good or bad. That's all it really is.
There is something you are not accounting for, Scandium. That is "the fictive dream." I'm sure that literary critics have a real name for it, but that is what I call it. The fictive dream is induced when someone makes you a promise of an intriguing or exciting story. "Listen to me, and I will tell you something wonderful." "Read this, and I will take you on an imaginative journey into Oz." "Come with me, and I will take you along The Way of the Mustachian, and show you everything there is to see in this wild and wonderful place."

Have you ever thrown a book across the room because the mystery novelist withheld a vital clue, and cheated you out of your chance to unmask the murderer yourself? Have you ever walked out of a movie because it wasted your time with tedious characters and unlikely plot? Have you ever closed a newspaper in disgust because of a story about a politician, who promised well, and seemed to deliver, but was revealed as just another scummy little huckster? Your anger was caused by the breaking of the fictive dream. If you've never felt that anger - well, you had better check your pulse. You're too calm, and you might be dead.

Bloggers deliberately induce the fictive dream in their readers. They count on it. Idle clicks do not build a blog, dedicated readers who keep coming back do. Bloggers fan the flames of the fictive dream in their readers' imaginations on purpose to induce a sense of intimacy, belonging, and buy-in. Then they turn it into cash.

All is OK so long as the fictive dream is maintained, people know they have to pay for their enjoyment, it doesn't make them mad when an author or actor or televangelist or blogger makes money. But if the fictive dream is betrayed, if the promise is not kept, the awakening is very unpleasant for the dreamer.
eh, sure..
I don't engage in this kind of philosophizing about a silly blog. I apply things as they seem reasonable to me. But maybe I'm the only one that haven't been bamboozled by a politician or late-night-TV salesman.. Someone might trick me some day, but so far I'm too skeptical of any authority to be taken in. If you're worried about it perhaps best to say away.
(ps: And as an engineer I have little imagination, there is only Data..)
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Devil's Advocate
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Re: Mr. Money Mustache: Hero or Foolish?

Post by Devil's Advocate »

Speaking of his blog has anybody had any difficulties getting on his blog or forums? I seem not to be able to get on.

DA
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hoppy08520
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Re: Mr. Money Mustache: Hero or Foolish?

Post by hoppy08520 »

Just for kicks, I tried to count the Hero and Foolish count, and came up with the following tally:

Positive 56
Neutral 6
Negative 8

These counts are distinct for each user, so if one user posted three negative posts, then it would count as "1". Obviously many posts are a bit subjective; if the sentiment was a little good and a little bad, then I classified it as Neutral. If the poster didn't really take sides but merely commented on his summer job as a lifeguard, then I didn't count it at all.

What's interesting is that before doing this tally, I would have guessed that the tally was more 50/50. That makes me thing the negative voices posted more and the positive people posted less, or less stridently, than the dissenters.
Mingus
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Re: Mr. Money Mustache: Hero or Foolish?

Post by Mingus »

KyleAAA wrote:
physicsgal wrote: Everyone says we need to all be consumers to keep our economy going, but what if we could all just have less stuff, all work less, and all be happier, have more time with our families and strengthen our local communities.

I think this would actually make people less happy, but that's another discussion. Despite all their complaining, people like working.
I think people like to feel productive and have a sense of accomplishment. That can be had through waking up and trading your hours for a wage, or the way a friend of mine from ages ago who practiced guitar twelve hours a day perfecting scales achieved accomplishment.
collinser
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Re: Mr. Money Mustache: Hero or Foolish?

Post by collinser »

Count my vote on the "hero" side. I find his writing refreshing and entertaining. Of course, it's easy to nit pick and worry wort about some specifics, but that's not the point to me. More than anything, I think he is an evangelist for a positive attitude. I actually find irony in the fact that many of his fans seem to be people who hate their jobs and are willing to "trade" a frugal lifestyle for a early way out -- they miss the point that what really makes MMM happy is his attitude, not his work situation. I find a lot of truth in the way he equates happiness to time and freedom, not objects, but also think his philosophy can be applied to any degree (i.e. you don't have to live on $xxx/year; you just have to recognize the freedom in downsizing and simplifying).
Rodc
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Re: Mr. Money Mustache: Hero or Foolish?

Post by Rodc »

Mingus wrote:
KyleAAA wrote:
physicsgal wrote: Everyone says we need to all be consumers to keep our economy going, but what if we could all just have less stuff, all work less, and all be happier, have more time with our families and strengthen our local communities.

I think this would actually make people less happy, but that's another discussion. Despite all their complaining, people like working.
I think people like to feel productive and have a sense of accomplishment. That can be had through waking up and trading your hours for a wage, or the way a friend of mine from ages ago who practiced guitar twelve hours a day perfecting scales achieved accomplishment.
Just to add a little to this: It seems from what you read that many people (maybe men mostly) suffer in retirement for just this reason. Most people just don't have it together enough to make and execute a plan to be productive with their lives, getting enough social ties, etc. without some outside force providing some structure. A job provides the structure many need, they just don't realize it at the time.
We live a world with knowledge of the future markets has less than one significant figure. And people will still and always demand answers to three significant digits.
IlliniDave
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Re: Mr. Money Mustache: Hero or Foolish?

Post by IlliniDave »

HomerJ wrote: And that's the only issue I have with MMM... He's NOT living a 25k lifestyle... People living a 25k lifestyle do not get to go to Greece or Hawaii. He is indeed living very frugally, and could still be an inspiration to people without having to do fuzzy math. He claims living on 25k a year for decades is a great life... I say he doesn't really know if it is, since he's living a higher standard of living than that.
I think that's a big part of his point, that one can live a somewhat above median lifestyle in most of the ways that matter without spending $50-$60K per year or more to do it. I don't know much about the Greece trip you refer too, but I know people who have traveled extensively in Italy despite an income of < 1/2 the median household income. I know another person who probably spent the median US household income on an extended trip to Italy as well.
Don't do something. Just stand there!
mikefixac
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Re: Mr. Money Mustache: Hero or Foolish?

Post by mikefixac »

Of the few financial bookmarks on my computer, one is Bogleheads and the other is Mr Money Mustache. So yes, MMM-Hero.

Lots of very smart people on this board and great information. Being familiar with MMM too, I'm surprised by some of the negative and completely untrue comments about MMM.

MMM has been nothing more than a great tool on how to manage life. He doesn't say this is how it should be, it's my way or the highway etc, it's just a lot of great ideas that allows me to look at life in a way that I've never quite thought of before.

Living on $25K? How can that be? Oh he must be lying. In all due respect, I believe that a lot more than someone who's 65, NW of $5MM and to read on this board it might be too early to retire. (Maybe exaggerating, but you get my drift.)

And I've had at least 1 comment deleted from MMM. That's OK, I'm a big boy and it's his blog.
Ivygirl
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Re: Mr. Money Mustache: Hero or Foolish?

Post by Ivygirl »

Scandium wrote:eh, sure.. I don't engage in this kind of philosophizing about a silly blog. I apply things as they seem reasonable to me. But maybe I'm the only one that haven't been bamboozled by a politician or late-night-TV salesman.. Someone might trick me some day, but so far I'm too skeptical of any authority to be taken in. If you're worried about it perhaps best to say away. (ps: And as an engineer I have little imagination, there is only Data..)
To be human is to love a good story. Stories are medicine. We get sick without them.

Why do human beings need to dream? You can see a cat or dog dream: their paws flexing; their noses wrinkling; little jerks from their legs; their eyes roaming under their eyelids; what are they doing? They are reconnecting with dogness and catness: the sniffing, the stalking, the pouncing, the sudden dismay of something passing quickly overhead (am I predator now or prey?). They are integrating their memories, speculations, fears, experiences, with their identities as dog or cat.

People who are prevented from dreaming forget who they are. Their personality goes to pieces. Stories are lucid dreaming, happy or tragic reconnection with our own selves and other people. Stories are older than engineering and we need them more.

Mr. MM's blog is not silly, not at all.
IMD801
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Re: Mr. Money Mustache: Hero or Foolish?

Post by IMD801 »

Ivygirl wrote:
Scandium wrote:eh, sure.. I don't engage in this kind of philosophizing about a silly blog. I apply things as they seem reasonable to me. But maybe I'm the only one that haven't been bamboozled by a politician or late-night-TV salesman.. Someone might trick me some day, but so far I'm too skeptical of any authority to be taken in. If you're worried about it perhaps best to say away. (ps: And as an engineer I have little imagination, there is only Data..)
To be human is to love a good story. Stories are medicine. We get sick without them.

Why do human beings need to dream? You can see a cat or dog dream: their paws flexing; their noses wrinkling; little jerks from their legs; their eyes roaming under their eyelids; what are they doing? They are reconnecting with dogness and catness: the sniffing, the stalking, the pouncing, the sudden dismay of something passing quickly overhead (am I predator now or prey?). They are integrating their memories, speculations, fears, experiences, with their identities as dog or cat.

People who are prevented from dreaming forget who they are. Their personality goes to pieces. Stories are lucid dreaming, happy or tragic reconnection with our own selves and other people. Stories are older than engineering and we need them more.

Mr. MM's blog is not silly, not at all.
Well said. You're a good writer.
Ivygirl
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Re: Mr. Money Mustache: Hero or Foolish?

Post by Ivygirl »

IMD801 wrote: Well said. You're a good writer.
Thank you for your kind comment IMD801.

Maybe I should start a blog? I hear people get rich that way. :P
Ivygirl
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Re: Mr. Money Mustache: Hero or Foolish?

Post by Ivygirl »

hoppy08520 wrote:Just for kicks, I tried to count the Hero and Foolish count, and came up with the following tally:

Positive 56
Neutral 6
Negative 8

These counts are distinct for each user, so if one user posted three negative posts, then it would count as "1". Obviously many posts are a bit subjective; if the sentiment was a little good and a little bad, then I classified it as Neutral. If the poster didn't really take sides but merely commented on his summer job as a lifeguard, then I didn't count it at all.

What's interesting is that before doing this tally, I would have guessed that the tally was more 50/50. That makes me thing the negative voices posted more and the positive people posted less, or less stridently, than the dissenters.
I wonder which category you put me in? Because my goal was not to be positive, neutral, or negative, but to say something hopefully useful toward understanding Mr. MM and the phenomenon he represents. Categories are less useful than what people actually say. Did my points I raised cause you to think a little differently about him? Something more nuanced than "Hero"? Because he doesn't meet the standard of hero, not yet. That's a very high standard.
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Hub
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Re: Mr. Money Mustache: Hero or Foolish?

Post by Hub »

freddie, those people you mention saving only 10-15% are living hyper-consumer lifestyles. MMM doesnt even attempt to relate to the credit card debt crowd that you're viewing as the 2/20 hyper-consumers.
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Re: Mr. Money Mustache: Hero or Foolish?

Post by freddie »

Is MMM a hyper consumer also? After all he is living a lifestyle that is something like 300% higher than what the government thinks is reasonable for a family of 3:) If you want to call people that will be able to retire at 60 (more like 50 if they were willing to live some place with 200k houses instead of 900k ones) hyperconsumers feel free.

Personally I hate the race to the bottom effect that shows up on the early retirement/frugality websites. They seem to miss the point of not letting money run your life.

Hub wrote:freddie, those people you mention saving only 10-15% are living hyper-consumer lifestyles. MMM doesnt even attempt to relate to the credit card debt crowd that you're viewing as the 2/20 hyper-consumers.
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Re: Mr. Money Mustache: Hero or Foolish?

Post by ginmqi »

freddie wrote:Personally I hate the race to the bottom effect that shows up on the early retirement/frugality websites. They seem to miss the point of not letting money run your life.
Agreed. It's useful for those who are way over-spending, but the attitude of labeling everyone as idiots who spends money on things that the MMM crowd disagrees with is quite counter-productive.

Most recent MMM post:
After reading this blog for a while, you already know what’s good for you, but there is still the odd slip-up. A few hundred disappear here and there for the odd fancypants luxury, or a few thousand on trips or keeping the BMW X5 around because hey, you deserve it, and Mr. Money Mustache can’t actually see you driving it and bike over to punch you in the face.
Again MMM is now an established blog-personality and in order for him to keep his audience and command a unique brand of personal finance presence, he has to say these things and use almost hyperbole-like statements. The real life MMM, from a few posters here who have met the guy, seems to be much more mellow and agreeable. MMM, the online blogger vs MMM, the father/husband/early retiree are two different people.
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Re: Mr. Money Mustache: Hero or Foolish?

Post by KyleAAA »

ginmqi wrote: Again MMM is now an established blog-personality and in order for him to keep his audience and command a unique brand of personal finance presence, he has to say these things and use almost hyperbole-like statements. The real life MMM, from a few posters here who have met the guy, seems to be much more mellow and agreeable. MMM, the online blogger vs MMM, the father/husband/early retiree are two different people.
Tis true, the guy is pretty chill in person. I attended a session at a conference he gave once about building a blog by creating a cult, or something like that. So his blog persona definitely isn't random.
Last edited by KyleAAA on Mon Apr 21, 2014 11:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Mr. Money Mustache: Hero or Foolish?

Post by pezblanco »

ginmqi wrote:
freddie wrote:Personally I hate the race to the bottom effect that shows up on the early retirement/frugality websites. They seem to miss the point of not letting money run your life.
Agreed. It's useful for those who are way over-spending, but the attitude of labeling everyone as idiots who spends money on things that the MMM crowd disagrees with is quite counter-productive.

Most recent MMM post:
After reading this blog for a while, you already know what’s good for you, but there is still the odd slip-up. A few hundred disappear here and there for the odd fancypants luxury, or a few thousand on trips or keeping the BMW X5 around because hey, you deserve it, and Mr. Money Mustache can’t actually see you driving it and bike over to punch you in the face.
Again MMM is now an established blog-personality and in order for him to keep his audience and command a unique brand of personal finance presence, he has to say these things and use almost hyperbole-like statements. The real life MMM, from a few posters here who have met the guy, seems to be much more mellow and agreeable. MMM, the online blogger vs MMM, the father/husband/early retiree are two different people.
Agreed. Count me in the negative camp also. I find his blog to be an interesting mix of depressing, insulting, and irritating. Bogleheads provides a much better venue for any incentivizing that I need on on not wasting money, saving for the future, and sound investing.
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Re: Mr. Money Mustache: Hero or Foolish?

Post by HomerJ »

never mind
Last edited by HomerJ on Mon Apr 21, 2014 5:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Mr. Money Mustache: Hero or Foolish?

Post by ginmqi »

HomerJ wrote:That's pretty bad...

That's why I call him a hypocrite, as he takes a 2 week vacation to Hawaii with his family, but threatens to punch you in the face if YOU spend a few thousand on trips. If he did a few thousand dollars worth of work to pay for HIS trip, what's wrong with me spending a few thousand dollars of the money I get paid doing work to pay for my trip?
Lol, wow he went to Hawaii for vacation?

Not surprised. The worth and income/freebie generating status of his blog, MMM, is easily in the 6 or even 7 figures. So as another person has said before...he really does NOT live a 25k lifestyle at all.
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Re: Mr. Money Mustache: Hero or Foolish?

Post by Hub »

HomerJ wrote:
ginmqi wrote:Most recent MMM post:
After reading this blog for a while, you already know what’s good for you, but there is still the odd slip-up. A few hundred disappear here and there for the odd fancypants luxury, or a few thousand on trips or keeping the BMW X5 around because hey, you deserve it, and Mr. Money Mustache can’t actually see you driving it and bike over to punch you in the face.
That's pretty bad...

That's why I call him a hypocrite, as he takes a 2 week vacation to Hawaii with his family, but threatens to punch you in the face if YOU spend a few thousand on trips. If he did a few thousand dollars worth of work to pay for HIS trip, what's wrong with me spending a few thousand dollars of the money I get paid doing work to pay for my trip?
He's financially independent. His blog is for people that aspire to be. Nothing hypocritical there in the least. Ignoring the fact that he paid for the trip through bartering which has been hashed out already.
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Re: Mr. Money Mustache: Hero or Foolish?

Post by jbossie »

My problem with him is that it he feels disingenuous. Ostensibly his "target audience" is someone who is middle class(ish), as his argument boils down to "anyone can retire now, you just need to re-condition yourself, live frugally, and earn money in unusual ways"

However, that's really not true. He was not middle class when he retired - not even close. He was earning a very high income during his working years, and instead of living a high income lifestyle he did things like buy real estate in cash. Though his frugality is what's sustaining him now, it was his high salary that built the base that allowed him to be successful.

That's just not possible for someone in middle class. His "true" audience is really someone who has a lot of money already
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Re: Mr. Money Mustache: Hero or Foolish?

Post by sambb »

does he ever state how much he makes form the blog? I don't live like he does, but i admire his ability to help low-middle income people save more and spend less. we need more of that
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Re: Mr. Money Mustache: Hero or Foolish?

Post by Hub »

jbossie wrote:My problem with him is that it he feels disingenuous. Ostensibly his "target audience" is someone who is middle class(ish), as his argument boils down to "anyone can retire now, you just need to re-condition yourself, live frugally, and earn money in unusual ways"

However, that's really not true. He was not middle class when he retired - not even close. He was earning a very high income during his working years, and instead of living a high income lifestyle he did things like buy real estate in cash. Though his frugality is what's sustaining him now, it was his high salary that built the base that allowed him to be successful.

That's just not possible for someone in middle class. His "true" audience is really someone who has a lot of money already
not to be the official MMM defender of pg 5, but you have it wrong. From the get-go the MMM blog is aimed at college grads with nice salaries between $100k-$200k per household. The upper middle class of the young urban professionals.
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Re: Mr. Money Mustache: Hero or Foolish?

Post by Novine »

"That's just not possible for someone in middle class. His "true" audience is really someone who has a lot of money already"

I'm not a MMM follower but from what I've read on his site, I've read quite a bit that would help someone in the middle class retire sooner than they could otherwise. If the typical middle-class family did the following:

1. Prioritized retirement savings
2. Invested in low-cost index funds
3. Lived within or below their means
4. Lived and worked where they could be a one-car household

many people with middle class salaries could accelerate the date at which they could retire and be financially comfortable, if not financially independent.
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Re: Mr. Money Mustache: Hero or Foolish?

Post by freddie »

No one is going to argue that spending less makes it easier to retire. But so does making 150k/yr. Do the math sometimes on how long the middle class family making 60k/yr and spending 40k (rough approx of MMM budget with house value) takes to get to 1 million dollars. In pretty much any reasonable case you are looking at about 35 years. The reason MMM could do it in 10 years was because of high end salary and middle class budget. Could the middle class family cut their budget to like 20k/yr and do it in 15 years or so? In theory sure. But there is a reason why MMM doesn't go that low. It is a quality of life that most people would not chose if they had a choice.

Novine wrote:"That's just not possible for someone in middle class. His "true" audience is really someone who has a lot of money already"

I'm not a MMM follower but from what I've read on his site, I've read quite a bit that would help someone in the middle class retire sooner than they could otherwise. If the typical middle-class family did the following:

1. Prioritized retirement savings
2. Invested in low-cost index funds
3. Lived within or below their means
4. Lived and worked where they could be a one-car household

many people with middle class salaries could accelerate the date at which they could retire and be financially comfortable, if not financially independent.
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Re: Mr. Money Mustache: Hero or Foolish?

Post by cfs »

Novine wrote:"That's just not possible for someone in middle class. His "true" audience is really someone who has a lot of money already"

I'm not a MMM follower but from what I've read on his site, I've read quite a bit that would help someone in the middle class retire sooner than they could otherwise. If the typical middle-class family did the following:

1. Prioritized retirement savings
2. Invested in low-cost index funds
3. Lived within or below their means
4. Lived and worked where they could be a one-car household

many people with middle class salaries could accelerate the date at which they could retire and be financially comfortable, if not financially independent.
Okay, shipmates.

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Re: Mr. Money Mustache: Hero or Foolish?

Post by White Coat Investor »

sambb wrote:does he ever state how much he makes form the blog? I don't live like he does, but i admire his ability to help low-middle income people save more and spend less. we need more of that
I don't know how much he makes, and I know he has a ton of traffic, but the site seems DRAMATICALLY undermonetized to me. Almost no ads, just a link to a page with some low-key affiliate marketing stuff. I think the site could be a $200K a year site, but I don't think it is.
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Re: Mr. Money Mustache: Hero or Foolish?

Post by mosu »

.....
Last edited by mosu on Tue Apr 29, 2014 8:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Mr. Money Mustache: Hero or Foolish?

Post by Frugal Al »

mosu wrote:Two years ago he was making a bunch of money off of credit cards and his site hadn't truly blown up yet.
http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/06/ ... of-speech/
I really didn't have any opinion of him before, but I do now: definitely a hero...mixed in with some wonderful foolishness.
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Re: Mr. Money Mustache: Hero or Foolish?

Post by Grt2bOutdoors »

No real opinion, other than more power to him. It doesn't seem like he is living a terrible life, but try that lifestyle in other geographic locations and you'll find the quality of life to go right down the tubes.
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Re: Mr. Money Mustache: Hero or Foolish?

Post by thx1138 »

Grt2bOutdoors wrote:It doesn't seem like he is living a terrible life, but try that lifestyle in other geographic locations and you'll find the quality of life to go right down the tubes.
Yeah, that's a topic he revisits pretty frequently. Choose an early retirement location and situation with low expenses balanced with the quality of life you are looking for. Fortunately for him those two things (low cost high quality) align well since he just likes being outdoors a lot. For someone with other tastes it might be more challenging balancing act (e.g. don't make Broadway shows your retirement hobby).
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Re: Mr. Money Mustache: Hero or Foolish?

Post by BuckyBadger »

I think MMM is unpleasant and abrasive, and his one-size-fits-all approach for "early retirement" is really annoying.

His stance on cars is the thing that may drive me the most crazy.

There are a few select cases I can think of where a couple can plan and execute the "no car, live close to work" ideal. Two people in the service industry in a nice place where retail and good apartments are close to each other. But there is almost no case of two working advanced professionals where that would be the case - at least as far as I can think of.

My husband and I went to school for a really long time in order to come out with PhDs and the ability to get high paying jobs. But we are in select fields. There aren't that many jobs in our respective fields, much less two in the same geographic location. And he works in industry and I work in hospitals. And the majority of the hospitals where I have worked are in really bad parts of cities - parts where I would NEVER consider living for safety, even ignoring the fact that I have no desire to live in the city and want a suburban yard for our pets and hobbies.

He spends so much time spouting his anti-car philosophy that it bothers me. There is no grey area for him. Cars are bad, people who drive them are idiots, and if you have a substantial commute? Well, he will absolutely tear you to SHREDS in his blogs. Those who drive are dumb, stupid, and foolish. There is nothing in between.

There is no way for us to avoid having cars and commuting. Well, he would probably tell us to quit our jobs and say "find jobs close to each other and buy a house within biking distance" with absolutely no consideration that it would be completely impossible for us to do this. I feel like he leads his readers down some primrose path where nothing bad ever happens and you can retire at 35 years old with less than a half a million in the bank. And I hope to god that the people who write in don't believe him.

The whole blog is completely black and white. Everything is about EXTREME early "retirement." Retirement so early and with such limited funds that one hiccup would throw the whole thing into chaos. "Retirement" that is living on $20k a year and vacations are only camping for free. There's no room for someone who wants to work at a high paying job and retire *somewhat* early and live on $80k a year. There's no room for a family like ours - high earners willing to work until we are 50 and then planning on retiring with the resources to have a fairly luxurious lifestyle. Given our stats, MMM would tear us apart. We spend more than his annual budget on travel and hobbies every year because we can afford to.

There's a lot of room between retiring at 35 and at 65, but it's like if you aren't shooting for 35, you're doing it all wrong.

I don't like how inflexible he is and I don't like his writing style. I think he gives dangerous and reckless advice. I dislike him greatly.

In my opinion, of course.
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Re: Mr. Money Mustache: Hero or Foolish?

Post by diasurfer »

BuckyBadger wrote:There's no room for someone who wants to work at a high paying job and retire *somewhat* early and live on $80k a year.
But aren't there already plenty of outlets catering to these people?

Personally I like the guy and think his overall message is a good one. (I wasn't aware of his blog until coming across this thread this morning). But I have always had a spot in my heart for an iconoclasts, and anti-establishment messages. I don't take offense if he thinks my wife and I are fools for commuting (we also have advanced degrees in specific fields where jobs in proximity are difficult to find). That's a writing persona and he seems to me to be the type of guy I'd like to share a (cheap) beer with.

In fact, he makes a point worth considering. Maybe one of us should quit so we can move closer to the other job and pull our kids out of daycare. I like reading things which challenge my conceptions.
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Re: Mr. Money Mustache: Hero or Foolish?

Post by tfb »

KyleAAA wrote:Tis true, the guy is pretty chill in person. I attended a session at a conference he gave once about building a blog by creating a cult, or something like that. So his blog persona definitely isn't random.
I remember that session. Here's the intro:
MMM wrote:People are naturally attracted to certain social situations. Places where they feel they belong, where they feel powerful, where they feel unique and distinct from the rest of the population, and where there is a strong leader that they can relate to. These characteristics seem to be what create cult followings - Greatful Dead (deadheads), Phish (Phish-heads), and even followers of the world’s major religions and also more wacky things like the cults of the 1970s and 80s.

By understanding the idea of building your blog as more than just a source of information - but as almost an entire identity for readers, you can create a more engaging reading experience for them (leading to more loyalty), and a more engaging writing experience for yourself (leading to more motivation). As a side effect, it can create runaway popularity with no need for self-promotion.
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Re: Mr. Money Mustache: Hero or Foolish?

Post by SRenaeP »

diasurfer wrote:In fact, he makes a point worth considering. Maybe one of us should quit so we can move closer to the other job and pull our kids out of daycare. I like reading things which challenge my conceptions.
I'm no MMM defender but the above is what I find appealing about his site/philosophy. I think people (myself included) do themselves a disservice by buying into the status quo without applying any critical thinking.

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Re: Mr. Money Mustache: Hero or Foolish?

Post by snowman »

I like the guy, I think he is doing great service to this country. I also happen to like his writing style, although I can understand how it can put off some people. I read his blog only occasionally (seems like I go there only after I read a thread about him on BH), and I don’t agree with everything he says. However, I don’t perceive him to be black and white at all – I understand and agree with overall message, while details around the edges can be adjusted individually.

His niche – and value – is that he combines financial advice with healthy lifestyle. He preaches taking control of your life, instead of the other way around. Most people in the US just don’t think that way – wants are becoming needs at a rapid pace, usually exceeding the rise in income. Debt becomes an acceptable outcome – after all, you are not an exception, everyone does it. There is no time to exercise either – most people gave up walking and biking long time ago, electing to drive their car even to the mailbox 300 yards away.

One needs to travel outside of this country to fully understand the difference between needs and wants. Also, one needs to travel outside of this country, pretty much anywhere in the world, to see just how fat and unhealthy Americans have become. The younger generation is not shaping up to be any better – after all, they are learning bad habits from us. It’s an epidemic that needs to be addressed sooner rather than later, and that’s where I see MMMs message having real positive impact: take control of your life, think outside of box, walk or bike whenever you can, focus on happiness not material stuff, LBYM, eat healthy, etc. Truly a hero.
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