110 comments

Weekend Edition: Where do we Go Now?

Oh, Hi there.

It’s the weekend, which means we can talk about whatever we like, with no pressure for life-changing articles. Whew.

I thought this would be a nice time to share a few bits of information on the state of this blog and of Mustachianism itself, with some speculation about the future as well.

1: Yay! 10,000 RSS Subscribers
At LAST, the semi-meaningless feedburner count (that orange logo on the right sidebar of the main page) has ticked above 10,000. Although it does not function as a count of how many people are reading the blog, it does at least correlate with the growth in readership. And I’ve always considered 10,000 to be a blog that had “really made it”. So here we are.

Are you wondering what RSS even is? It stands for Really Simple Syndication, and it is a way that frequent website readers keep up with multiple blogs without having to visit the actual websites every day. If you use a personalized portal like iGoogle, you can arrange to have your Mr. Money Mustache articles appear aside your daily weather, news, stock updates, and other blogs feeds. RSS also makes reading on small-screen mobile devices convenient, if you use things like Feeddler for the iPhone or gReader for Android, or any number of thousands of other free options. If you ever need to, you can sign up for the MMM RSS feed at this link.

2: Whoa: 1.2 million Page Views per Month
Things have been getting crazy around here, with the site easily surpassing a million page views per month, and still growing due to crazy forwarding from users and media outlets. With numbers like that, anecdotal evidence suggests that this  might soon become the biggest non-corporate-owned personal finance blog in the US. Or maybe not. But either way, it’s worth celebrating all of those millions.

3. A plan for the future of Blog Moneymaking
As we’ve discussed in the past, people can make some real money off of these things. A blog with this traffic, appropriately spammified, could earn over $300,000 per year. Even with the current lower-key setup, I think the income has just hit $2000/month, matching the entirety of the MMM family’s spending. So I thought it would be fun for us to make some plans together for this large and probably ever-growing amount of income.

  • 3a) Mr. and Mrs. Money Mustache shall get paid for working on the blog, although the amount shall not exceed $2000 per month, no matter how big it gets. I’m not sure why, but we still find it motivating to get paid at least a small salary for our work. Especially since the size of this blog job has displaced much of our other hobby activities, some of which provided (technically unneeded) income. However, the cash will end up being saved and invested anyway, with the scope and creativity of investments increasing over time.
  • 3b) The blog shall have a budget for paying for its own expenses (web hosting, science experiments, paying people to help with technical issues, any promotional/conference travel, etc.). Not to exceed $1000 per month except in extremely fun circumstances that you’ll get to read about.
  • 3c) 100% of all surplus income beyond this level shall go to a new charitable fund called the Money Mustache Foundation, that will try to do good in the world. Articles on the details are coming up this week, but it’s based on some reading I’ve been doing on the Gates foundation, and the book called The Life You Can Save.
  • 3d) To start out the Mustache Foundation, I’ve just transferred $10,000 of the blog’s past earnings into a new investment account, where we can use it to generate some exciting returns, then use the proceeds for a series of ongoing donations. So we all get to learn about investing, AND efficient ways to donate surplus income over the coming months. If we’re smart enough, we might even be able to figure out how to structure it as a trust or nonprofit in the longer-term.

It’s an exciting next leg of this blog-writing journey, and I’m happy to have you along for the ride!

 

  • Lance @ Money Life and More September 22, 2012, 5:08 pm

    Congrats! That is an awesome goal. I believe Free Money Finance also donates most (if not all) of his blog earnings to charity so he might be a good resource for you.

    10,000 RSS subscribers is a huge deal. I was happy when I got past 100 :) I only have to multiply that by 100 to get there haha!

    Reply
  • Brandy September 22, 2012, 5:13 pm

    Awesome!!!

    Reply
  • 20's Finances September 22, 2012, 5:14 pm

    I like the idea of investing earnings and then donating the dividends from the invested money!

    Reply
  • David September 22, 2012, 5:16 pm

    Super cool. I’d be curious to hear about how the “backend” of these things are setup. (Trusts, non-profits, etc.)

    Reply
  • Bryce September 22, 2012, 5:18 pm

    The Gates Foundation is an excellent source for inspiration, but I’m not sure it’s the best example for non-billionaire givers to emulate. givewell.org is an excellent source for how to get the most mileage out of charitable donations.

    Reply
    • Mr. Everyday Dollar September 23, 2012, 12:42 pm

      From one Mr. to another, great job! I second GiveWell and want to mention Charity Navigator too. After using these sites, I started giving directly to charities I want to support based on the poor ratings and high overhead expenses of some of the charities my employer pushes.

      Reply
  • Joshua Liu September 22, 2012, 5:24 pm

    Amazing, thanks for sharing the great news!

    Reply
  • Jamie September 22, 2012, 5:28 pm

    Very happy for your transition and all the info that has been provided to your readers. Just remember where you started and how you got there…. Cheers!

    Reply
  • Baughman September 22, 2012, 5:37 pm

    How about an unbiased MMM recommends section? You’re FI. You’re satiated. You have no need for extra wealth. How about putting good credit cards that don’t pay referral commissions alongside the ones that pay comissions? … my favorite credit card, the fidelity AMEX, which apparently doesn’t giver referral comissions.

    I still think that the MMM approved baseline budget would be a valuable feature to your blog (if not the most valuable feature for initiating change in people), integrated with specific product recommendations. For example, VOIP: $0/year: OBi100 (Alternatively $40/year for Ooma). Prepaid Phones: $50/year AT&T, T-Mobile, Tracfone, etc.

    Kudos to all you do.

    One closing thought. There is much money to be made by linking to Amazon products. I have no experience with it personally, but people have entire business around that simple idea. You could add a revenue source to your foundation by linking to frugality-empowering products such as Ooma or the OBi100 on amazon.

    I’m preaching to the choir, but you’d be hard pressed to find a better long-term investment vehicle than https://personal.vanguard.com/us/funds/vanguard/TargetRetirementList

    Reply
    • Mr. Money Mustache September 22, 2012, 6:39 pm

      Hey Baughman.. the Recommends section is not biased. And the credit cards subsection of it is just the best cards I currently have referral permission for, sorted in order of goodness. What you don’t see are the 100+ other cards, which offer less value to readers even while possibly having higher referral fees. (The existing card vendors don’t like to see non-approved links on the same page as approved ones)

      But I do want to get this blog re-approved for Amex and Chase cards as well. This could create MEGA income for the charitable foundation!

      In the mean time, the non-income-earning-links are:

      Fidelity Amex: https://www.fidelity.com/cash-management/american-express-cards

      Chase Sapphire Preferred: https://creditcards.chase.com/sapphire

      Reply
      • Baughman September 22, 2012, 8:06 pm

        So here’s a draft of what I was thinking. Not terribly fancy nor terribly insightful, but it’s an idea of how to help people towards the path of FI.

        https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AvcT4r94U92fdDVIdzVkRXlQcmd6ZThyTTZiM0c4LUE#gid=0

        The spreadsheet is dumbed down, but I’m sure that fellow readers could add much to it. It’s ugly, but I’m sure that something much prettier could be illustrated to convey the point.

        Reply
        • Mr. Money Mustache September 23, 2012, 3:58 pm

          I had a look – your “baseline lifestyles” spreadsheet looks really good! Let’s see if any other users take off with it and make a fancy version. (Networthify guy, are you there? :-))

          Reply
          • Baughman September 23, 2012, 8:32 pm

            I think that this budget is the central theme missing from your blog linking all of this (important) big picture independence thinking with practicality and implementation. An additional feature that could be added to the spreadsheet is linking to posts that you’ve done on each subject. (Utilities -> working outside is A/C. Fuel expenses -> You are all idiots for commuting and driving SUVs, etc).

            What I like about it is that it serves as a good baseline for discussion with folks. All case studies should be deviations from a pre-approved baseline budget like this. If people really want help, they should modify their lives in accordance with the baseline. I can’t tell you how many times that my friends have asked me for something like this to see how I pull it off.

            For the record (and understandably so), the google doc proposal has been bastardized. I don’t consider a $50/month cell phone plan per adult to be anything close to resembling frugality. We live in a period of practically non-stop Wifi you $50/month data-plan and perpetually next-generation iphone craving (with associated 0.1mm smaller thickness) drones!

            Here’s the original file if people care (click “Download” in upper right corner after clicking link. For the record, Dropbox is one of the best products in the world):
            https://www.dropbox.com/s/09vuiohob7vllsn/Baughman%2527s%20take%20on%20what%20a%20MMM%20Approved%20Budget%20might%20look%20like.xlsx

            If MMM could sharpen the pencil and coordinate with someone web savvy, this tool could easily be the culminating point of your blog. Obviously, the thing gets no traction from your disciples if you don’t add your personal input to such a tool.

            Or perhaps I’m overstating the value of a baseline budget that tells people not to spend money.

            Reply
            • Mr. Money Mustache September 23, 2012, 9:02 pm

              Yeah, that sounds like maybe a LITTLE bit of overstatement.. I betcha this blog works not because of Charts of Numbers, but because of Magic Sequences of Words. But I still see your point :-)

              The original “baseline budget” with links to other articles, is simply the chart of my family’s own spending: http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/01/16/exposed-the-mmm-familys-2011-spending/

              But obviously it could be improved, since every situation is different.

              Hey! Imagine this idea:

              We crowdsource the information by doing a poll of readers, who would input their own stats and their own expenses. Then build a data-mining tool where you could slide some sliders to set a desired income and spending level, and see where your fellow Mustachians are allocating their own dollars across the main categories.

              A simpler way to accomplish that would be for a quorum of frugality experts to coordinate in the forum, and come up with the tool using their own understanding of spending.

              Sounds complicated.. but cool too. Anyone is welcome to write it. I’m too busy having my fun with magic sequences of words for now.

              Reply
              • Freeyourchains September 24, 2012, 1:10 pm

                Asking for free labor are we? lol jk, (though Cnn does it with Ireports, and youtube does it with it’s users)

                This Spreadsheet is a great idea, and the User Survey Interface of using sliders on the categories is a cool idea, then inputting the reader surveys into an overall database showing results (in a post or Tab) will give the FI followers further proof to none believers that it can be done.

                Turns out, I am an “Extreme Frugal” category along with Jacob at earlyretirementextreme.

                Fuel costs? Utilities? I’m off the grid, lol, and making extra passive income from my Off the grid Systems (simple to the know hows,DIYers, Military Forward Operating Basers learning self-sufficiency, and survivalists.) Knowledge applied to free, donated, other’s “trash” reuse equals Wealth too!
                Don’t throw away that old computer, donate it to me! (For example, i can refurbish the ever increasing in value RAM, and make the clean HDD into an external mobile drive.)

              • Baughman September 25, 2012, 8:43 am

                I’ve also thought about the survey method to hone in on the right numbers. But actual implementation of the idea made my head hurt.

                For the record, I think that your method of only listing mortgage interest on your family budget as an expense is a bit bogus. When you have your mortgage paid off (I forget if you’ve done that already), your housing expenses will go to zero (aside from taxes & repairs). But your sitting on a 500k house. There are very real opportunity costs for continuing to own the home, like forgone rental income. For the vast majority of us mere mortals, outright home ownership is a few years down the horizon for us, so your family budget is not very helpful to us. By only including interest, you’re also neglecting the opportunity cost of having your equity tied up in a house, which is appreciating at the rate of inflation. If you could get a 3% real return in the stock market, you’re failing to account for this difference. Finally, most people move pretty frequently. A lot of this supposed “equity” gets gobbled up with real estate commissions as they change houses every 5 years. I acknowledge that you are listing actual cash expenses, but listing the market value of mortgage/rent would be more economically insightful for the public (i.e. mere mortals).

                Anyway, I know that people like your words a bunch, which is why you have a huge following. But I get the impression that you motivate people to do something, and then they scratch their heads on implementation. A buddy of mine, who is a fan of yours, is like that.

                Finally, the irony of this whole thing is that neither you nor I nor any true mustachian use budgets. It’s in our blood to be efficient and to not waste, so we all arrive at the optimality of frugality independently. The budget is a tool to train the non-mustachian in the art of mustachianism. In my spreadsheet, newbies would transition from “barely frugal” to “moderately frugal” to “ultra frugal” over time as their mustachian muscles develop.

              • Mr. Money Mustache September 25, 2012, 12:31 pm

                Baughman – the issue of how to account for the money tied up in owning a house has been covered over and over again in this blog.. most recently in this post:
                http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/06/01/raising-a-family-on-under-2000-per-year/

                You can account for it as an ongoing “opportunity cost”.. OR you can add it to the total number of dollars for “how much do I need to retire”, which is how I do the accounting. In either case, I think it is totally wrong to count mortgage principal payments as part of your monthly expenses – your house value is part of your net worth.

                In other words, I need a) a place to live, plus b) enough investment income to pay for upkeep and taxes on that place, plus all other living expenses.

                Or, you could NOT own the place you live, and allocate a larger amount of investments to cover rent (or mortgage interest), plus all the other stuff. Either way, the required net worth comes out the same in an area where cost of ownership is the same as cost of renting.

                Your other suggestions have been noted and they’re on the list of stuff to do. Just be patient, I’m already barely keeping up with this blog in the limited time I allow it to claim from real life!

    • Matt G September 23, 2012, 3:19 pm

      The 2% cash back Fidelity AmEx is where it’s at. 2% cash back, no limits, no annual fee …. it’s just straight up free money.

      Reply
      • 205guy September 24, 2012, 6:16 pm

        Continuing off topic: TANSTAAFL – there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch. Amex charges the highest fees to merchants 4-5% as opposed to 2-3% for regular CCs. That’s where those 2% come from. Essentially, most prices are inflated 5% to pay for CC “processing” fees, which include CC profits and card holder kickbacks.

        How much does it really cost to transfer money? Even an ATM card should charge a flat transaction fee. I’m advocating (and waiting for the day when) merchants pass on any and all CC fees customers, or inversely, give discounts (even larger than your kickbacks) to cash or ATM customers. That way, if you want the “convenience” and “protection” that a CC offers, you can pay for that service. I know I’d prefer to save 5% on most of my purchases.

        Back on topic: Very nice move, MMM, thank you for walking the walk and focusing on helping and educating in this country–it is definitely needed.

        Reply
        • Baughman September 25, 2012, 8:50 am

          I understand that there is no such thing as a free lunch.

          You don’t have to wait for the day when merchants pass along fees to customers. It’s already here. Merchants surely incorporate costs of transactions when pricing goods. Mastercard & Visa are cheaper than AMEX. When goods are priced, I’m sure merchants are sophisticated enough to take a weighted average of fees by usage when they set their prices.

          Using an AMEX creates an externality on those who use more efficient means. Much like driving a gas-guzzler car and omitting copious amounts of pollutants into the air. The full costs of using the AMEX and gas-guzzler are not internalized by the individual.

          You’re solution to offer discounts to those using efficient payment methods is a method of internalizing the externality. We’re not there yet, so Matt G and I will continue to impose externalities on the rest of you until the system is remedied.

          Reply
          • AA July 10, 2013, 9:21 am

            Reminds me of XoticPC, where I ordered my current laptop from. It was kind of a pain, but they offer a “3% discount” for paying via wire transfer or cashier’s check. You know they are doing that because of the merchant fees.

            (P.S. I’ve been very happy with my last two computers, both Sager/Clevo models. They are a very good value for the money. Just don’t buy them direct from Sager, last I looked they had an F rating by the BBB…)

            Reply
        • TomTX September 30, 2012, 7:37 am

          Certainly, using a credit card has a cost to the merchant. So does cash – when you pay with cash, the merchant has to keep change on hand, you spend more time per transaction when checking out, you have to then securely store the money (safe? lockbox?) as it is collected. You have to count the money at least twice. You have to physically courier the money to a bank, who then wants to count it again – after you wait in line awhile.

          Reply
  • Tyler Karaszewski September 22, 2012, 5:38 pm

    Wow, congrats! I look forward to seeing how the charity project goes. Funny how FI had only led you into *more* sources of income than you had before. In my own life, I’ve just decided, with my wife, that we’re going to double down on paying off the mortgage as soon as possible. That’s where we’re headed next. Hopefully we can catch up to you in a few years.

    Reply
    • Freeyourchains September 24, 2012, 1:13 pm

      Nothing feels better then owning your own small house, except making Passive Income from it.

      Reply
  • Kevin September 22, 2012, 5:44 pm

    So very cool! Glad to hear that you won’t be ditching your principles and absconding off to a private island with ads spammed all over the blog. I’m also excited to hear about the mustache foundation and the possibilities that may contain. Just like a large number of your readers, I work in web development/tech – so if you ever need help with maintaining the blog or forum, let me know ;-)

    Very exciting!

    Reply
  • Heath September 22, 2012, 6:03 pm

    I like these ideas! They seem optimally suited to the spirit of your blog (which isn’t surprising, as you came up with them). I must say that I’m quite curious as to what exactly your charitable foundation will end up doing… Guess I’ll just have to wait like everyone else :-)

    Reply
  • Kandice September 22, 2012, 6:07 pm

    The happiest thing I’ve read in a long, long time.

    Reply
  • jlcollinsnh September 22, 2012, 6:17 pm

    Breathtaking numbers.

    Breathtaking accomplishment.

    Big time major league kudos.

    Maybe part of the budget should go towards the purchase of the MMM Electric Company Car. :)

    Reply
    • Mr. Money Mustache September 22, 2012, 6:43 pm

      Haha.. thanks JL! .. But I think buying a luxurious electric car would be stretching the idea of a “science projects for the blog” budget into a “Executive Perks for Mr. Money Mustache” budget.

      Maybe some parts for a homebrewed electric bike though – just sent off an email to an MMM reader who is rather hardcore in this department.

      Reply
    • Steve D September 24, 2012, 8:05 am

      mmm, let’s think big!

      how about an electric car / bike… company!

      I could see driving the 2015 electric Mustache-mobile.

      Reply
  • Helen September 22, 2012, 6:22 pm

    Congratulations! I only just found your site three days ago and am already so inspired and motivated. I have a lot of reading to do.
    Your choices with this ‘new’ stream of income are even more inspiring.

    Reply
  • U. N. Owen September 22, 2012, 6:25 pm

    Will there be the opportunity for those whose mustaches are not yet fully grown to contribute to the foundation? Promoting these ideas far and wide is a noble venture and I’m sure many of us would be willing to contribute (time, resources, etc.)

    Reply
    • Mr. Money Mustache September 22, 2012, 6:58 pm

      Hey UN Owen.. I don’t think the foundation would need to accept actual cash from people, since it will be a teaching device where we all learn how to give effectively together. So anyone who wants do make donations to the various causes, can make their own independently.

      But over time if I can get the act together, there will surely be chances to help out by providing skills.

      Meanwhile, just continuing to read this blog and share any posts that you find useful with others, is support enough!

      Reply
      • jlcollinsnh September 22, 2012, 7:22 pm

        on the off chance you Mr. MM or anybody else is interested this is how we set up our foundation:

        http://jlcollinsnh.wordpress.com/2012/02/08/how-to-give-like-a-billionaire/

        Reply
      • Anonymous September 23, 2012, 4:59 pm

        There exist huge economies of scale associated with group donations. Also, quite a few people would likely consider you a good judge of where the money should go. A charitable organization dedicated to heading off the consumption-into-debt problem before it starts, helping people disassociate income and spending, could be one of the highest-impact economic forces ever wielded. If at all possible, you should consider creating a full 501(c)3 charitable organization and letting others donate.

        (Note that doing so does require a certain fraction of money to come from sources other than yourself. I suspect you won’t have too much trouble meeting that criteria.)

        Reply
  • CL September 22, 2012, 6:26 pm

    I’m looking forward to hearing more about the Mustache Foundation! In your post about what you’d do with way more money (http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/04/02/what-would-you-do-with-way-more-money/) you said that you’d like to do small thing to improve your local community. I’m a big fan of the idea to turn vacant lots into public orchards. I admit that I have a bit of an ulterior motive, since my sister’s future family will probably live near you. I think that idea is beautiful and useful. I live in Indiana, where there is no shortage of fruit trees. Literally, my grocery bill has been sliced to a quarter of what I’d otherwise spend by taking fruit from home. There are free orchards in Bloomington, IN where I live, too. I’d love to see the Longmont community have access to free, fresh fruit.

    Reply
    • Mr. Money Mustache September 22, 2012, 6:51 pm

      Yeah.. I still have plans for those local projects, but that would be stuff that I use the $2000/month personal income for instead of the charitable fund.

      For example, a historic 1890s brick commercial building on the finest block of my downtown just went up for sale. A 2600 square foot store with a 1200 square foot apartment above. Both rented long-term with good cashflow.

      I toured it and had amazing plans to renovate it and rent it to even better businesses and tenants as the downtown continues its revitalization. We might even take over the upper floor for our house! It would do great things for the town, and cashflow would be very good (asking price is only $349k).

      But, I couldn’t wrangle together QUITE enough cash to buy it without having to go into dangerous commercial loan debt. Over time, I’d like to build greater investment capital to be able to do deals like this one.

      In my view, however, it would be cheating to use the Mustache Foundation income to make an already-wealthy city like mine even nicer. I think of the MMF as more for helping actual poor countries or doing education/energy initiatives.

      Reply
      • CL September 22, 2012, 8:20 pm

        The Mustache Fund sounds great. Even if you will focus on using your personal income (or the amount designated as your personal income) for local community improvement, I’m still really happy about the Mustache Fund. I’ve been working with/fundraising for a couple of orphanages in Vietnam since I was 7. I think that Americans definitely have the opportunity to engage in high-impact projects for a very low cost in USD.

        I’d love to see you engage in some new developing world/education/energy initiatives. I’m excited to hear more. :)

        Reply
      • joseph September 23, 2012, 9:58 am

        Congratulations !

        Maybe, you could borrow from the MMF and pay back w/w/o interest.

        Reply
      • Marlene September 24, 2012, 1:43 am

        Congratulations for the reached numbers and great that you´re going to help others, that´s great!

        Maybe a hack would be: how can you do both on a tight budget? Help poorer countries, get education out there and have e.g. free orchards.

        My personal view is that the challenge is in taking care of nature – as long as there is enough left of that humans will find a way onward. In my view most of the projects in most countries mostly stimulate more overpopulation. (Not the education ones). So I´m looking forward to your posts.

        Reply
      • Karen September 27, 2012, 3:53 pm

        “I think of the MMF as more for helping actual poor countries or doing education/energy initiatives.”
        I’m so happy to read that. I wish more charitable organizations subscribed to the notion of helping the poorest first – all over the world, not just in our country. Reminds me of philosopher Thomas Pogge’s book “World Poverty and Human Rights”. If you haven’t read it it’s a must for anyone interested in these ideas.
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Poverty_and_Human_Rights
        Thanks for an awesome blog!

        Reply
  • Chris September 22, 2012, 6:43 pm

    Congrats Mustache family and proceed with confidence sir!

    Reply
  • James September 22, 2012, 7:08 pm

    Congrats! Excellent numbers, hard to believe the growth here in the year I’ve been reading. Glad to hear your plans, they sound solid to me!

    Reply
  • Spencer Transier September 22, 2012, 7:20 pm

    The Money Mustache Foundation sounds like a great idea! What kind of investment account did you put the initial $10,000 into?

    Reply
  • Amanda September 22, 2012, 7:54 pm

    You have now made it into my very small list of people who are actually using the internet to make a positive contribution to the world. The Life You Can Save is amazing and I’m so pleased to hear that you’re using your popularity for the betterment of society as a whole.

    Reply
  • Debt Free Teen September 22, 2012, 8:35 pm

    Congratulations! You rock. When I grow up I want to be you!!

    Reply
  • koreabound September 22, 2012, 10:09 pm

    Hey MMM,

    Just wanted to say I started following your blog a couple weeks ago and it has already begun to transform my life. My wife, son and I live in the downtown core of a mid-size Korean city (I’m Canadian). I have been in Korea since Nov. 2003, and have owned a car for 6 years. I detest driving here yet upgraded from a small Hyundai Click to a Hyundai Tucson SUV because I didn’t feel safe in a small vehicle with the way that people drive in my city. I decided to sell the SUV almost as soon as I began reading your blog. I’m buying a nice used bike from the city surplus store for $50. We are walking everywhere now and I feel a huge amount of negative feelings associated with driving here has been lifted from my life. This happened to coincide with our 2 month habit of going to the park at night, where I walk the track, my wife does outdoor aerobics class and our 5-year old son plays on the playground. I’ve gone from 230 pounds to 220 in the last month, thanks to not eating at night due to excercising instead and walking instead of driving, and not eating fast food. We also have a great bus and subway system here so there is literally zero reason to ever drive (taxis are crazy cheap, inter-city travel by bus or train is fast and cheap).

    On top of not driving and the healthier lifestyle, you have given me a new perspective and hope on returning to Canada in a little over a year from now. We have saved well in our time in Korea, and will excellerate our savings even more thanks to you. But the great thing is that I know that we can follow your example and live a great lifestyle affordably in my home country. My wife hates spending money, but I like your example of a frugal life but a rich one in substance. I know now that I can live in a city that I like (not the boom towns of Canada but the smaller cities) with a modest income, knowing we can easily live well on that money and our investment income.

    Your common-sense, thorough analysis is a breath of fresh air. Thank-you so much, and keep those articles coming!

    Reply
  • Happy September 22, 2012, 10:17 pm

    Authenticity and integrity are a big part of your success… this post confirms it yet again.

    Reply
    • Tina September 23, 2012, 8:36 am

      Yes, my thoughts exactly. Congrats, MMM!

      Reply
    • Osprey September 23, 2012, 1:14 pm

      Seconded! You are already doing superhero-level stuff here, it will be exciting to see the new developments. Congratulations!

      Reply
  • John September 22, 2012, 10:57 pm

    Congratulations! One of those 10,000 RSS subscribers here. I’ve been following for more than a year now, and since we’re FINALLY trying to figure out how in the holy hell we’ve ended up spending $5500 a month for a family of two + a dog in a very low cost of living part of the country, I suspect I’ll be pestering you before too long.

    Regardless, congrats again — you deserve every pageview and dollar earned from this venture.

    - John

    Reply
  • Random September 22, 2012, 10:57 pm

    Why not select a few worthy causes each month and let the community vote on which the money should go to?

    Reply
  • Alice September 22, 2012, 11:13 pm

    Just a quick note, iGoogle goes away as of November this year. Nothing really replaces it (I tried a couple of alternatives, Netvibes, didn’t cut it).

    So happy to see you are expanding and finding another way to share with others.

    Reply
    • CG September 23, 2012, 4:55 am

      Next year:

      iGoogle will not be available after November 1, 2013.

      Reply
  • slowitdown September 23, 2012, 6:03 am

    Congratulations on achieving this well-deserved milestone! I have been so inspired by this website on so many levels. But now I am even more impressed with you as a person that your next step will be to use the proceeds from the website towards creating a Foundation. Kudos!

    Reply
  • William @ Drop Dead Money September 23, 2012, 6:16 am

    Awesome milestone! Congrats, and kudos too for the “Mus-dation” :)

    Reply
  • lurker September 23, 2012, 7:05 am

    that is cool. and well deserved. congrats from Brooklyn NY.

    Reply
  • Tim September 23, 2012, 7:10 am

    MMM – I don’t ever comment, but I wanted to say huge congratulations on your successes and enormous props for deciding to do something *bigger* and give back (I almost peed myself thinking of a Money Mustache Foundation – do it and do it big, man). Oh, and keep giving that big middle finger to consumerism along the way – you have truly inspired me!

    Reply
  • poorplayer September 23, 2012, 7:19 am

    Well done, sir. Congratulations!

    Reply
  • AKing September 23, 2012, 7:28 am

    I commend you and your family for taking us along on this part of your journey and for “being the change you want to see in the world.” :)

    Reply
  • Slackerjo September 23, 2012, 8:32 am

    Kind of a dumb question – will your budget always be $2K or will you adjust it a certain percentage each year to compensate for rising costs? For examples little mustaches grow into teenagers who eat everything in sight. Or will the mustaches be responsible for helping grow food in the garden?

    I just thought of something, every 4 months I get a $25 Esso gas card from my credit card points. Maybe I will donate the gas card to a charity instead. Thanks MMM.

    Reply
  • Dom September 23, 2012, 9:08 am

    Would be interesting to see MMM mimic some common strategies for income preservation and see how they perform against one another.

    I don’t know if $10,000 is enough money to run this sort of exercise, but I would be very interested in this

    Reply
  • NickiS September 23, 2012, 9:53 am

    Wow, you have done it again with impressing your readership. I am truly inspired by your integrity, intelligence and futurist character. You encourage people to push through their comfort zones to obtain the greatest gifts of all, peace of mind and freedom. Now that you are giving back to the community, it’s just icing on the cake and I know it will result in even greater things for your family, readers and the world. I wish you all the best in your journey to find the best charities to give to, regardless of what you contribute to, you will make an amazing impact. I appreciate your commitment to the blog & the time you take to experiment with new ideas. Now lets make it 2 million views a month:)

    Reply
  • Becky September 23, 2012, 10:33 am

    Another vote for http://www.givewell.org. The benefits of giving to the most effective charities, measured in impact per dollar, are enormous. Given the choice between helping ten children for $1000, or helping 100 children for that same $1000 – there’s just no contest. I think that’s a very Mustachian approach to charitable giving.

    Reply
    • Mr. Money Mustache September 23, 2012, 11:15 am

      Agreed – givewell is one of the first things I was going to learn and write about!

      Reply
  • Christine September 23, 2012, 11:23 am

    I think this is my first comment, despite longtime reading (and, having read the entire blog once starting from entry #1, I am going through it again). The life-changing concept coupled with your awesomely unique style makes this a wonderful blog to read and share. The steps outlined above make me happy, too – I am glad for anything that will hopefully entice you to keep writing for a long time, and I love the idea that we are all contributing to good being done in the world while learning and spreading the MMM word. Thank you!

    Reply
  • Kraig @ Young, Cheap Living September 23, 2012, 12:01 pm

    Nice work, Mr. Money Mustache. This foundation thing sounds outstanding. I have a feeling it’s going to be a huge success! I look forward to hearing more about it.

    Reply
  • Matt Alden September 23, 2012, 12:04 pm

    As far as I can tell, you’re a traffic generating superhero.

    Have you thought about creating a free 25-50 page e-book called “How to Retire In Under 10 Years Like A Badass” (or something along those lines), put your best main points in it as a consolidated source to help people, and then display it prominently on your site and offer it if they sign up to a Mailchimp newsletter or something?

    With your traffic numbers, a six-digit subscriber number is possible if that was a route you wanted to go.

    Reply
    • Mr. Money Mustache September 23, 2012, 3:53 pm

      Thanks for the idea, Matt!

      I’ve been coming around to the idea that a book on all this stuff would be useful after all. The blog is just too long (and a bit repetitive) for a person in a hurry to read from start to finish. I’m working on taking the best and most useful 25% of it, rewriting it somewhat to flow together as a 200-250 page book, and then THAT will be published as a real book. (Hopefully mostly electronic distribution).

      That book can be free to Mustachians through the blog initially, then it will go to Amazon and sell for $3-$5 per copy for Kindles.. and if we get enough good reviews and forwarding, it will sell 100,000 copies in the first year. There’s another $300,000 for the Money Mustache Foundation!!

      It’s a done deal. The only thing between us and that book is gathering the discipline to spend enough time at the computer to put it all together!

      Reply
      • Use it up, wear it out... September 24, 2012, 9:19 am

        As someone who recently finished reading through the blog from start to finish – I’m glad I did it, but a book would sure have helped!

        I did pull out 3+ pages of handwritten notes on ideas I need to start trying out.

        Reply
      • Gerard September 24, 2012, 10:02 am

        MMM, I found writing a book to be a huge amount of effort and stress, but that was probably partly from my impostor syndrome. The difference is you actually are well-informed in the area you’d write about, so it wouldn’t be that bad. But if you do decide to go that route, I’d recommend budgeting about twice as much time as you think it’ll reasonably take.
        Also, I imagine blog readers would be happy to help with collaborative proofreading etc…

        Reply
      • BobTX June 26, 2013, 12:06 pm

        MMM – Congrats on the massive success of your blog!

        As a recent but thorough* reader of your site, I’d like to speak up in favor of a short** and moderately-priced book/E-book/document/whatever that puts out the big picture of your frugality philosophy plus some of the most important practical details from your blog in one place. I’ve been recommending your site to friends, but I know that a lot of them might look at it and just see one or two of the most recent articles before thinking “this is all too much” and bookmarking it to come back to later (never).

        I’d happily buy multiple copies of a document like that to give to friends and family, who could really use it. I think this philosophy would be better heard coming from a third party than from their kooky frugal friend. The book format, plus your family’s very compelling example, would lend frugality more credibility than I’m likely able to on my own***.

        The content of your site does lend itself to being organized in a relatively coherent singular monograph that mixes practical how-to within the overall philosophy of frugality/early retirement. The big bonus is that you’ve already completed most of the writing, and done it very compellingly. This wouldn’t entail all that much work (especially for someone used to renovating foreclosures for fun). Your site stats alone should put to rest the main fear of most first time authors – Can I write? Will there be any market for what I want to write? Will I be able to find an audience?

        Heck – this project seems like such a no-brainer that it makes me want to spend a day or two**** just compiling what you’ve already written into a coherent form to hand to friends and send directly to you as a kick in the pants that might get you moving.

        *I’m in the process of reading through your blog plus all the comments from the beginning right now. I’ll be done and have a Gravatar within this week, I suspect.
        ** It seems like the basics of your “Mustachianism,” with sections on each major area of avoiding expenses and basic ideas for what to do with the savings, could be distilled to a pretty short document. A longer book might just be a source of stress to write, and reduce the chance of it being fully read by people your already dedicated readers might recommend it to.
        ***My friends and non-nuclear family perpetually see our financial situation as something that has occurred due to a lot of luck, or the fact that my wife and I anticipate a very decent income soon, or some sort of monastic/eco-freak tendencies. Between that and our hesitancy to just throw every detail of our financial lives out there to counteract that view, I doubt that most of our friends and family see us as anything but exceptions deviating from normal, rather than simply a representation of something they could grab and ride toward a happier life at any moment if they wanted.
        ****We’ll see if this impulse survives the time commitment onslaught I’m told the birth of our first child in a week or two will be (plus a city-to-city move in progress as I type – accomplished nearly for free I might add).

        Reply
  • Jeremy Day September 23, 2012, 12:08 pm

    This is awesome news! So glad to see you trying to start an actual charitable organization and not just giving to some random charity.

    Cheers,
    Jeremy

    Reply
    • Mr. Money Mustache September 23, 2012, 3:47 pm

      Well, we’re still going to be just giving to existing organizations, since this is pretty small-potatoes compared to any REAL foundation. The only difference is that I want to generate our own investment returns, do a variety of projects, and most importantly learn quite a bit and have something to write about here.

      With some luck, many readers might become inspired to do a greater amount of giving throughout their lives, if we can cause their wealth to blast way up, even as material desires fade away. That’s an excellent recipe for pain-free generosity :-)

      Reply
  • Heather September 23, 2012, 12:54 pm

    Congratulations MMM! Well deserved success.

    Reply
  • Aaron @ NoMoreUntDebt September 23, 2012, 1:07 pm

    Congratulations MMM! As one who has just recently started a blog, I am humbled and can only hope to achieve your level of badassity one day.

    Reply
  • et September 23, 2012, 1:44 pm

    Sharing is an excellent idea!

    Here’s a blog that has raised over $1 million: Knitters Without Borders
    http://www.yarnharlot.ca/blog/tsffaq.html

    Reply
  • catalana September 23, 2012, 2:04 pm

    Really impressed with the spirit in which you are approaching this.

    I was saddened when the owner of a favourite UK site (which admittedly has helped millions of people) sold out to a big corporate earlier this year.

    I am so glad to see that you and MrsMM have managed to hang on to your principles. It gives me faith in the goodness of people!

    Reply
  • larryw September 23, 2012, 2:23 pm

    Impressive! You are confident enough in a low consumption lifestyle to donate the extra blog $ to charity. Credibility rating just went up +100.

    We are a relatively low consumption family too, but props on raising the bar and challenging your readership to use excess $ to do good and change things.

    You bought yourself freedom of speech. Should have a MMM recommends list that is bias-free (or nearly so).

    Reply
  • Fuzz September 23, 2012, 3:50 pm

    Awesome work! You are an inspiration to me.

    Reply
    • Fuzz September 23, 2012, 3:51 pm

      Correction: You AND Mrs. MoneyMustache are an inspiration to me. Congratulations to both of you.

      Reply
  • travelbug September 23, 2012, 3:59 pm

    Congratulations! You deserve it, there are so many blogs out there that need a reality check, it’s refreshing to visit yours and read practical advice and chat to other like-minded people.
    Thanks MMM

    Reply
  • Neil A September 23, 2012, 4:15 pm

    Great job with the blog and I’m impressed with your charity plans. I would suggest a charity like Lendwithcare would fit the blog really well – it’s about assisting people in poorer countries with micro loans to invest in small businesses and get out of real poverty. You could make a real difference with some very small amounts. http://www.lendwithcare.org/

    Reply
  • Anonymous September 23, 2012, 5:03 pm

    Given your foundation plans, in addition to givewell I’d strongly recommend reading these two articles on charity: http://lesswrong.com/lw/65/money_the_unit_of_caring/ http://lesswrong.com/lw/6z/purchase_fuzzies_and_utilons_separately/

    In short: make sure you know when you’re giving to feel-good causes and when you’re giving to highest-impact causes. Do the latter with the vast majority of your money, and do only as much of the former as needed to maintain your enthusiasm for doing the latter.

    Reply
  • Ben September 23, 2012, 5:46 pm

    The Money Mustache Foundation. Awesomeness. You are a true innovator MMM. Thanks for the continued inspiration.

    Reply
  • scottphillips September 23, 2012, 6:03 pm

    Congrats,Mr.an Mrs. Money Mustache,you have moved up a few spaces in Wisebreads Top 100,Yall are number one in my book.

    Reply
    • Mr. Money Mustache September 23, 2012, 8:53 pm

      Haha.. thanks Scott. Not to make fun of the Wisebread list too much, but the rank feature is pretty useless – none of the six factors measure the readership of the blogs in any way! (And I’d say exactly the same thing even if the MMM blog was incorrectly pegged permanently at #1).

      It is, however, a great LIST of most of the personal finance blogs in existence, since the authors have self-registered themselves into it. And it still benefits bloggers as it lets curious readers trickle from one site to the next.

      Reply
      • scottphillips September 24, 2012, 12:56 pm

        I didnt know that,thx for the info.

        Reply
  • jet September 23, 2012, 7:48 pm

    very much looking forward to the progression of this – how exciting!! also congrats on the massive following your blog is developing!

    Reply
  • gzt September 23, 2012, 8:10 pm

    Way cool. I think it would be awesome if you would fund things like vaccination campaigns, food/nutrition campaigns, some of the simple things that get neglected but make a huge difference. See, for instance, this: http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/09/05/easier-than-taking-vitamins/ Micronutrient powders for stopping child malnutrition! Prevention rather than late intervention! I don’t know if there’s a place or a way to donate to this yet. Just an idea. Whatever you do, and for what little this might mean to you, I was very happy to read this post about the direction you’re taking with your earnings.

    Reply
  • MrsTrimWaistFatWallet September 23, 2012, 9:06 pm

    Handling your blog income like the business it truly is… I can’t say Im surprised at such a Mustachian approach. I have to say though, I’m surprised you didn’t take this approach sooner considering how much traffic this site generates?

    Reply
  • Cecile September 24, 2012, 9:31 am

    Congrats for all you have accomplished in so short a time !
    Can’t wait to hear more about the foundation, sounds like money put to real good use.

    Reply
  • Danielle September 24, 2012, 12:30 pm

    I’m very happy for you, MMM! Your blog has inspired me to improve my quality of life tremendously- not only am I much better with money now, I am much happier to be free of the nonstop obsession with “stuff.” Finally, my husband and I are closer now because our financial philosophies are aligned.

    Congratulations again. It is a wonderful thing you are doing for the world. Thank you!!!

    Reply
  • Sean September 24, 2012, 12:35 pm

    Two thumbs up! I can’t wait to read about your philanthropic endeavors!

    Reply
  • Freeyourchains September 24, 2012, 12:48 pm

    I get really iffy about Charity donations. Corporations and Ownerships love to donate to community charities because they get a Tax Write Off for the amount donated.

    Then they ask their own employees to “donate” to some fund or another that the company has picked out.

    Sometimes these Nonprofits and Charity Trust Funds are for their Corporate Friends or Campaign Supporters/Runners, that will help out their business sometime in the future.

    It’s like asking readers to suscribe to a Charity Fund while using Paypal, or (insert your own online payment service that you started here), then you get 100,000 subscribers paying $5 a month, and Paypal/Your startup receives 3% of all donation transactions for their services…aka to your startup.

    3% of $6Million in Subscribed Donations per year = $180,000 for your Online Payment Service Startup (run by one person, you).

    On top of that you get the Benefits that go along with the raising of those subscribed donors. Toward Charity $5,820,000.

    This will make headline news, promote your payment services, and add reputation to your startup.

    Let alone gives you a subsriber database of 100,000 donators…which you can sell third party information to advertisers. Earning your startup another $25/1000 donators/month.

    But your Approach, I approve as Good Ethics in Business.

    Business is business.

    And a lot of Business is Grey Area in Ethics.

    Note: Paypal doesn’t and never distinguished between donations or not, intentionally.

    Reply
  • SunTzuWarmaster September 25, 2012, 12:47 pm

    In my head, the Mustache Foundation delivers face-punches to those in need.

    Reply
  • Aloysa @ My Broken Coin September 27, 2012, 7:42 pm

    I think if I’d ever get a million views a month (in my dreams most likely), I will donate my entire monthly blog income to a charity. In the meantime I will keep dreaming.

    Reply
  • Erica / Northwest Edible Life September 28, 2012, 12:14 am

    Good for you! This is a wonderful mile mark and you deserve your off-the-hook traffic and every cent your words have earned. Congrats.

    Reply
  • Corey September 28, 2012, 12:55 pm

    MMM, you love awesome shit, so you should start an ASC in your area!
    It would be a nice little side activity to complement your foundation.
    http://www.awesomeshitclub.com/

    Reply
    • Mr. Money Mustache September 28, 2012, 2:05 pm

      Hmm.. Awesome Shit Club, eh? I had never heard of them before, but seeing how the logo appears to be a fucking UNICORN DOING AN ELECTRIC GUITAR SOLO, I think I’d better wake up and pay attention!

      Reply
  • RW September 29, 2012, 4:54 am

    Congrats well deserved! Now the fun really starts

    Reply
  • Sam October 4, 2012, 2:11 pm

    1.2 million pageviews per month! Are you still on BlueHost’s shared web hosting with that kind of traffic?

    Reply
    • Mr. Money Mustache October 4, 2012, 4:42 pm

      Amazingly enough, I am! (on the “Pro” plan). Got another server all set up for the switch, but then Bluehost made some changes and since then the site has had no problem keeping up, even on days with 100,000 page views (which would be a 3 million pageview month!).

      So I’m delaying the switch, just to see how far this baby can go, while trying to measure the speed of other servers.

      Reply
      • Sam October 5, 2012, 12:10 am

        Interesting. I’m asking you because I’m currently on a managed VPS which, while top-notch in performance and support, is overkill for what I need. However my previous experience with shared hosting was somewhat of a traumatic experience.

        Do you have to pay extra for nightly backups on the pro plan?

        Reply
        • Mr. Money Mustache October 5, 2012, 3:22 pm

          No, the data of all users is backed up automatically. I also have a Wordpress plugin called Backup Buddy that creates its own backups as well (and can even FTP them off somewhere for you each night if you like).

          Reply
  • Jennifer Love Stringfellow, Esq. October 10, 2012, 7:17 pm

    Hi MMM, I’m an attorney (in Hawaii) and I’d love to help you figure out structuring a trust or non-profit. Free of charge! It’s the least I can do for all your blog has done for my family. Let me know if you want to talk. :)

    Reply
  • Allyson October 12, 2012, 10:42 pm

    I would love to hear more about setting up the foundation. We also have some excess money we would like to use for charity. But when I looked into setting up a trust or family endowment, the red-tape and taxes and lawyers were all too mind-numbing. Any suggestions on how to manage money for charity without paying tons of managing expenses and lawyers would be especially appreciated!

    Reply
  • Chelsea Gale October 19, 2012, 1:37 pm

    Integrity, integrity, integrity. So nice to be a part of this community you’ve created. Three cheers for you and the Mrs!

    Reply
  • Suzanne August 18, 2013, 6:36 am

    Hi Mr M cubed. I discovered your blog at the beginning of this month and have been slowly working my way through your posts from the beginning. It has taken me a while as each post takes a while to digest! I was about to email you and ask you to write a post on philanthropy and generosity when I arrived at this post. I am so pleased that you are leading by example in giving to those so much less fortunate than we are. Even though most of our society struggle to save and curb our spending, anyone who can save up to 50% of their salary are truly blessed and can afford to give. Just to remind ourselves that it is only by chance we have been born into such a lucky and wealthy country. I was susurprised at a number of the comments in the case study of the person whose 10% donations to charity were not negotiable. So many people tried to convince him that it was better not to give money away until they were financially independent. From my experience the more wealthy people are the less likely they are to give. When I have tried to fund raise for charities it is the people on minimum wages who are the most generous.
    Anyway good luck with the foundation. I am looking forward to seeing how it works out.

    Reply

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