If you’re unfamiliar with Mr. Money Mustache, he’s the man taking the internet by storm as a financial guru who successfully retired in 2005 at age 30. His name is Pete, and he describes himself as “a thirtysomething retiree who now writes about how we can all live a frugal yet Badass life of leisure.”
Several people I personally know have now subscribed to MMM’s (Mr. Money Mustache’s) way of living (or are at least trying to), and say that his philosophies and teachings have changed their financial views forever. How can it not? After reading several articles on his website, you might start to question your own financial decisions and direction that your life is going in. However, there’s never any reason to feel despair, his teachings are for people of all ages and payscales. Here are four priceless pieces of advice that I’ve found to be most advantageous.
Ridiculousness is Ubiquitous
This post, I imagine, was written to address critics of the MMM lifestyle. It goes over hypotheticals of two extreme views of wearers of red, and wearers of blue as a metaphor for those who live in extreme extravagance, and those who live in frugality, and how ridiculous they look to each other: “In one area, the Sheeple wear red costumes and fiercely criticize those who wear blue. But just on the next continent, blue-wearers are in the majority and they are beheading those who dare to wear red. Great books and ornate traditions are built to describe how wearing Red robes is The Way, which are cited authoritatively to discredit those who believe in Blue, and vice versa.”
This article was one that I didn’t think would apply to me, as I most definitely do not consider myself to be one that lives in extravagance, or frugal. What it did for me, however, is open my eyes to see that there are definitely attributes of the extravagant that I found myself subscribing to, and that we all subscribe to, even if we cannot afford the Ridiculousness, or it just didn’t make sense for us. The frivolity of it all that dawned on me is was struck me the most.
Renting vs. Buying
The subheading for this article is “If you have to ask, you should probably rent” and that sentence has been bouncing around my head since I read it a few weeks ago. Partly because I myself have been toying with the idea of getting out of the rent race, and settle down in a nice 2 bedroom townhome, hopefully within the next year. So I read this article thinking that it would sway me the direction that I wanted to go, but again, I realized I was being Ridiculous again. With a capital R.
Pete, who is Canadian, goes over the numbers in this article, and breaks down just how much home-ownership in the busy city of Toronto actually will cost you.
In the end, Pete says, “If you live in an area where houses cost more than $300,000, take a close look at the rent prices around the areas you currently drive. Budget your driving costs at at least a dollar per mile (80 cents/km in Canada to account for higher costs) because you absolutely must put a high value on your spare time to get ahead in life. Doing the math on life decisions like this was by far the biggest factor in my own early financial independence.”
Teach Your Children Well
In this article, Pete says, “As parents we are really in the business of producing the happiest and most capable adults we can, given the constraints of the real world. If my boy eventually ends up as happy with his lot in life as his parents are, we will be more than satisfied.” Which I think we can all agree that that’s the goal of all parents, but what most don’t know is how to help their children reach that point, and become successful adults. A huge part of it, as Pete says, is teaching your children about money the way that you wish you were taught.
Living by example, talking about higher education, making money, and where money goes are all lessons that he goes over in this article. Read it, and pass it on.
There are Investments with Instant Gratification
This article surprised me, because I really was expecting advice on investing. I should have known better, but hey, I’m kind of new to this. What’s talked about instead is mainly family, frugality, fanciness, and living a great life. Pete writes, “How can fanciness and frugality both exist at the same time?
It’s really simple, and best summed up with just a few more key F-words:
Focus, Festivity and Flow
It’s important to remember that life is about being happy and doing what you love, and taking it day-to-day. “Nowadays, I make a point of putting some good stuff on the stereo at appropriate times (the festive times) throughout the day. It’s easy to forget, but it is definitely worth remembering.”
Be happy, be frugal, be wise, and be kind.