Mustache on the Move: The Evil Mister Money

Aha! I see there is an imitator trying to cash in on Mr. Money Mustache’s fame.

When biking home from the library today, I passed through the border where the nice Big Trees and Historic Buildings and Cafes part of town degrades to the regular free-for-all capitalism-and-urban-sprawl section which characterizes most of the country.

And there it was, springing up in a building that had sat abandoned for a year or two. Something called Mister Money. Or, Mister M$ney, I suppose, depending on how you are supposed to read that O.

Mister Money is yet another one of those predatory “Financial services for the Severely Mentally Impaired” chains, where you go in and ask for a $100 advance on your next paycheck, and they provide it for a $15 fee. If you work it out with compounding, that’s only a 3,685% annual interest rate for such a loan!

Of course, all MMM readers will be amazed at the concept of anyone with a job not even being able to make it through two weeks to their next paycheck. Because really, didn’t you know how much you were earning BEFORE you went out and bought too much shit? But the concept of entire national chains of stores to service this need, dozens of these chains, each putting up dozens of locations in every crappy little town in the country. THAT is the kind of amazement that just leaves me with a blank, drooling face.

But I have more for you. Check out these choice words from their website:

“Payday loans are a quick easy way to get that emergency cash.  Americans do a pretty good job of managing their money, although most of us need occasional help for those unexpected times.”

Uh-huh. They sure are “expecting” a lot of “unexpected times” with that many locations nationwide. I wonder if the writer was able to keep a straight face while typing out that little gem.

On the bright side, the commercial property adjacent to this one is still vacant. I’m thinking of opening up my first Mr. Money Mustache franchise right there, and having my sign list the same services. Except when you come in and actually ask for a loan, I PUNCH YOU IN THE FACE AND TELL YOU TO WISE THE FUCK UP AND GO SELL SOME OF YOUR SHIT INSTEAD OF BORROWING MORE MONEY!

That would take care of the educational aspect of my business. I would also do community improvement, which would consist of welding shut the doors of Mister Money, to further protect people from accidentally screwing themselves over with predatory loans.

As my business grows, I can expand into the areas of Auto Finance and Credit Cards as well. Would you come work for me?

Amusing Update: After I wrote this article, it was apparently translated into British and appeared on a blog called “Simple Living in Suffolk”. I found out when the author linked to this article from his own! You can read the results here.

Welcome New Readers! Take a look around. Feeling Hardcore? Start at the first article and read your way through using the links at the bottom of each article. Casual Sampler? Browse the complete list of all posts since the beginning of time. Hope to see you around here more often. ~ Love, Mr. Money Mustache

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25 Responses to “Mustache on the Move: The Evil Mister Money”

  1. Mr. Frugal Toque May 16, 2011 at 7:49 pm #

    Seeing as how Mr. Money Mustache’s Punch You In The Face business would probably be a non profit, you might want to register it as a 501(c)(3) charity.

    I think, then, that I would volunteer to work there as long as I could get a receipt for my time (for tax deduction purposes).

    Would you provide volunteers with some sort of knuckle padding?

  2. Greg R May 18, 2011 at 11:52 am #

    This is hilarious.

    I once went with a guy to one of these establishments. His ‘unexpected’ addiction to cigarettes was the reason for the exchange. But I must say, the transaction seemed kind of official and secretive, like he was doing something important while I stood there, seemingly unable to comprehend.

    If I was smart I would have given him $100 and said, look, pay me $115 tomorrow and we’ll call it even. He would have been so grateful, maybe even referred all is equally cash rich friends my way.

    I guess shock and despair when observing this great money exhange institution prevented me from seizing the moment.

    How do I get a franchise?

  3. ermine May 25, 2011 at 3:47 am #

    Man, I got a great laugh out of that. There are a lot of vacant stores in my town, and I need to get myself a set of boxing gloves and set up the same store. I thought I was an arrogant SOB when I said high gas prices are great because they get all those other suckers off the roads but this one takes the cream, bravo!

    • MMM May 25, 2011 at 11:23 pm #

      Thanks Ermine! I see you have made a nice article on the same topic on your own blog, so I added a link from this article to yours. Very funny!

  4. Brandy May 25, 2011 at 9:24 am #

    LOL…I just found your blog. I was really laughing out loud. “Because really, didn’t you know how much you were earning BEFORE you went out and bought too much shit?”

  5. Jessica May 26, 2011 at 2:26 pm #

    I just love your approach! I used to work in one of these type stores in 2003, it really opened my eyes to a lot…you would not believe how many of these uneducated patrons will renew their loan for years!!!! That’s 15 bucks every two weeks for borrowing the same 100 bucks, and even worse is that many of these loans were for $250 and i think the fee was something like $50.

    I am not without fault, prior to working at this place, I’d had a one-time loan because I desperately needed the cash for a quickie move out of the city. It really was an emergency.

    My advice to anyone who has an ongoing addiction to this loan, ie you’ve been renewing the same loan for months, is to drop the loan amounts over time (if you cant afford to pay the full). Each time you pay your fee, take a smaller loan, until you can pay back the smallest loan they offer. It hurts less this way, but still smarter to pay in full obviously.

  6. Anonymous July 15, 2011 at 10:21 pm #

    Your uneducated and disrespectful. Pawn shops are there to lend people money when they need it quickly. Not all those customers are drug addicts, or people who spent too much money on material possesions they didnt need. Lots of them are average, middle class working folks who really did have something come up that they couldnt afford to pay for until their next payday. What if they have no other way to get the money? Lots of people think pawn shops are great. Maybe you should take up a different hobby, your obviously not very good with this “young” blog.

    • MMM July 18, 2011 at 11:07 am #

      Niiiiiice. I was up late last night having fun considering so many possible responses to this comment. But in the end nothing could make fun of the comment more than the comment itself. It is perfect. Thank you for this masterpiece.

      • Jian September 17, 2013 at 9:17 pm #

        Mr. MMM,

        I’m disappointed to see this post, esp. this flippant response to your upset reader. Your post is dated from 2011, so I’m hoping back then you didn’t realize how devastating the Great Recession has been for the lower-middle class and the poor!

        People in retail and service industries really do not make enough to get by. We don’t need to get into those who work minimum wage. Of course, lots of them probably can use financial education too, but it wouldn’t even be on their priority list if they can’t put food on the table. We are lucky to have cushy corporate jobs (which you’re blessedly freed from), but not everyone is luck.

        I challenge you to go spend an hour or two at that sad, depressing loan shark store and observe their customers. I hope you’d come away feeling a bit different then. Sorry to be a no-fun scold, but I like your blog so much even though I only just discovered it, I hope the author doesn’t turn out to be some self-righteous smug without empathy for the less fortunate.

        • Hacksaw November 12, 2013 at 1:28 pm #

          I think you are vastly missing the entire point of this blog to say that people in retail and service don’t make enough to “get by”. IF you can’t put food on the table then financial education should be of the HIGHEST priorities! Taking these loans out at such ridiculous interest rates will certainly not help them “get by” in the future. Surely you see the cycle they are setting up for themselves?

        • Adrian M March 11, 2014 at 7:31 am #

          Don’t be a moron. You can get by even with minimum wage jobs in this country. You think going to a pawn shop charging 1000% interest is going to solve the problem? What people really need is to be able to learn a trade or gather some skills so they won’t have to be in a minimum wage job to begin with.

    • Peter January 4, 2012 at 1:57 pm #

      Just for the record, Anonymous, you started off with the wrong form of “You’re,” perhaps before assaulting someone else’s education you get your own ducks in a row.

      As for the topic at hand, I am a pretty laissez-faire kind of guy. However, in this case, I think payday loan businesses should be outlawed. This is usury at its worst.
      Couple that with my desire to force students to take a personal finance course before receiving a high school diploma, and we might be on our way to fixing the state of this country’s budget issues (both personal and government). In fact, if we force a finance course on everyone, we may not even need to waste the ink and paper on outlawing payday loan joints, you’d figure everyone would be smart enough to avoid them!

  7. Kevin October 14, 2011 at 2:09 am #

    Payday advances are fucking retarded, MMM, I have to agree. I’m a finance graduate who never was taught the lessons of money borrowing until I recently bought a home of my own, because frankly, I was always smart enough not to spend money I didn’t have (excepting of course a mortgage). But 3685%? That’s fucking ridiculous. I think your “business” would probably be better suited as a charity, as it is very hard to stay in a for-profit state where you treat your clientele as morons AND assault them. If you ever do open up shop in Maryland, however, I’d gladly work for you. Teaching myself about personal finance and growing my ‘stach has been a great sense of pride for me; I think working to educate others how to do the same would be the best sense of accomplishment I could have…

  8. BossnotBoss January 11, 2012 at 1:26 pm #

    I’m a graphic designer and when I see a logo with a letter replaced by something—I typically hate it—but to have it be Mister M$ney, and not Mi$ter Money (which would still make my physically ill)….. I guess you’d have to be mentally impaired to trust the company that gave that the green light.

    ps. caught the blog yesterday and am reading it start to finish; being 25 and as fugal as they get (bike everywhere, never go out, the whole thing. my mustache is 7yrs long), I can’t wait to chow down on more delicious savings building knowledge. Oops, some got caught in my stache—I’ll save it for later :)

  9. Partwaythere January 17, 2012 at 5:25 pm #

    Ok, I’m another newcomer reading my way thru here start to finish, including all the comments. I literally laughed til I cried at this post, then followed the link to “ermine’s” and laughed just as hard. Better than ANY comedy club anywhere. OMG. My husband asked me what I wanted to do for my birthday coming up (we hate hate hate gifts: “here, I wrecked the planet for you.”) and I told him “spend the day in my bathrobe reading MrMoneyMustache all the way thru without stopping”.

    I second Peter. We’ve got to start educating people to have a chance against what I call Pernicious Capitalism. If you would let me try to educate people first before punching them in the face, I would come work for you in a split second.

    • MMM January 17, 2012 at 9:13 pm #

      Very nice, Part Way. Thanks for laughing at my jokes – that’s really what makes this all fun to do.

    • msclydefrog February 25, 2012 at 3:03 am #

      Same here- newcomer reading through… when I should be in bed! So far I’ve found this blog to be hilarious, educational, and inspiring. As a female, I never thought I’d be excited about growing my own mustache!
      I also love the punching faces approach, even though I owe myself a few punches for some non-economical bulbs.

  10. FredHead March 13, 2012 at 2:08 am #

    I have to agree. I’m a finance graduate who never was taught the lessons of money borrowing until I recently bought a home of my own, because frankly, I was always smart enough not to spend money I didn’t have (excepting of course a mortgage). But 3685%? That’s fucking ridiculous. I think your “business” would probably be better suited as a charity, as it is very hard to stay in a for-profit state where you treat your clientele as morons AND assault them.

    • Adrian M March 11, 2014 at 7:33 am #

      Hey, people already shaft themselves daily. I’m sure they will line up for a punch in the face.

  11. Heather June 24, 2012 at 1:51 pm #

    Holy shit, I love this blog.

    • Margaret May 6, 2013 at 7:00 am #

      Definitely the best Personal Finance blog out there. Tells it like it is, Educational and Damn Funny. Who knew such a blog could even exist! Love it! ;)

      Margaret

  12. wispy mustache June 1, 2013 at 7:27 am #

    Actually this brings up an interesting idea, one that could be profitable, provide a much needed service (i.e. financial education), and could help a lot of people. Someone joked about setting up a non-profit punch in the face, but what if instead of literal you turned it into figurative. If you set up a non-profit and opened a financial advice service next door to these places you could run them out of business and do a lot of good in the community. Just sayin’.

  13. Scottish Lassie July 31, 2013 at 3:25 pm #

    Hi there
    I’m a newbie reader from Scotland, I love this blog this article is so funny! I’m working my way through from the beginning but this is my favourite one so far!

    Whilst I agree that people have to be pretty stupid to be dealing with these types of companies you must also have to be pretty desperate to use them….. overdrafts maxed out….credit cards at their limits and instead of dealing with the underlying problem, these loans are another way to burying their heads in the sand ……. My point being its delaying the inevitability that if you have debt problems they ain’t going away

    But i have to say that if people had a choice between getting a punch in the face or calling their creditors I’m sure many people would take the punch in the face! Scary stuff!

  14. Ruth September 7, 2013 at 7:29 am #

    I agree with you that these predatory lending places are a ripoff. How people can be so stupid to use them is beyond me. It makes me sick when I hear the Amscott commercial say something like, “always use cash advances responsibly” because it’s an oxymoron. And only a moron would use such a place to get ripped off and think he was doing him or herself a favor.

  15. GeauxBig November 25, 2013 at 2:20 pm #

    Laugh out loud funny there.
    If you haven’t already set up shop (since I’m a couple years behind) let us know where to go for our “spanking”.
    I feel like I need a punch in the face sometimes to get back on track.

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