246 comments

Haters Gonna Hate (but not Mate)

sweeperIf you hadn’t noticed, the big news around here last week was that this blog was featured in the Wall Street Journal’s MarketWatch. I was pleased to see that a good number of new readers arrived at this site, and they are now digging through the archives and hopefully learning some new things. But I also received some sympathetic emails from friends, saying things like “Sorry about all the harsh comments on that interview. Keep your chin up. Haters gonna hate!”

They were talking about the many critical comments dropped into that stream of hundreds on the WSJ feature. While I usually avoid the comments section on any major media website (a key part of a Low Information Diet), my willpower failed and I had to go dig in to see if any extra smelly ones could be harvested from the bowl and featured here.

What a load of crap. This person saved 600k in between finishing college and his 30th bday? Oh and paid off his mortgage? Piece of cake. Mind numbingly idiotic article.”

But the interesting part is not what complete strangers say about Mr. Money Mustache. It is that dozens of critical comments appear on almost every major media article, whether it’s about Barack or Britney, solar panels or oil fields. People just like to complain about everything.

You might already know how I feel about complaints. They are a complete waste of time, because the complainer is renewing his mental focus on his own problems, even while he wastes the time of the unfortunate listener who is stuck hearing the complaints. We could all take a great leap forward in life by simply instituting an “No Fucking Complaints about ANYTHING – EVER” rule, rephrasing them as honest questions and plans of action to fix the underlying problems instead.

So why do people keep complaining? I think I might have stumbled across the beginnings of an answer this year, and the results can be useful to complainers and non-complainers alike.

In books like Predictably Irrational, we learn about the strange nature of human psychology, and how many of the survival traits that served us well throughout most of our evolution now sabotage our attempts to live a good life in a world that is mostly safe and prosperous. The results are wide-reaching: politicians use cheap emotional tricks like religion and wedge issues to influence voters. People spend their lifetimes in debt slavery just to buy offroad trucks for personal use. Millions of lives are lost early to obesity and hypertension.

I read in one of these books that the “Hater” instinct is just another one of our predictably irrational strategies, originally based on mating success.

In our tribal ancestry, social status was an important thing. If you were the Alpha male, you had your pick of the women and a very good chance of successful reproduction. High-ranking women had access to the best genes and would end up with more robust offspring. Social cohesion was essential to ensure the group’s success, and becoming a social outcast could be fatal, because going it alone was not a wise strategy in ancient times. This may have created our strong fears of rejection and even public speaking.

But there was room for more than one role in the tribe. The Alpha male got to sit at the top. The Followers and Yes-Men gained social acceptance by respecting the boss and following the rules (also displayed in warlords and their armies).  And the Haters built themselves up by verbally chopping down the Alpha behind his back. “Grok not so tough! Look at his flawed management and limited skills. I could easily defeat him.”

By demonstrating the courage to criticize the leader, the Haters lifted themselves from the bottom of the hierarchy, and hopefully gained the respect of at least one reproductive partner.

All this silliness may have made sense when life, death, and sex were at stake. But to see it applied in modern times to a financial blogger who attempts to share the benefits of a lower-consumption lifestyle with the rest of the world can be pretty funny.

Guys: Mr. Money Mustache is not stealing your women. He’s not taking over the tribe, withholding food, or compromising your reproductive success in any other way. He’s just a random guy sitting there typing some shit into the computer. He has only one woman, one kid, and he doesn’t even consume all that much of our shared resources. That leaves more for you. There is no threat here. Only an opportunity to raise your own status if you go out and do some more reading on the matter.

And this advice applies to haters and complainers in every niche. If you find yourself complaining about a situation, boss, politician, celebrity, or any other random person in the news, you can catch yourself early and avoid the hater trap.

You can acknowledge that your feelings are valid, because that strategy did work in prehistoric times. But you need to repackage that energy into something that works for you today, where opportunities are not controlled by “them”, they are controlled by you.

You’ll know you have made it when you get your own first batch of dedicated haters.

 

Further Reading on Mental Jiu Jitsu:

The Practical Benefits of Outrageous Optimism

 

 

  • Annika January 21, 2014, 3:40 pm

    What you really need to do is get invited to do a Ted Talk.

    Reply
    • Steve G. January 22, 2014, 9:00 am

      I agree 100% Annika – you know that we can nominate him ourselves, right? :)

      Reply
    • FruGal January 22, 2014, 9:42 am

      I second that motion. You have a unique perspective to share that makes others stop, listen and consider.

      Reply
  • Marty January 21, 2014, 7:00 pm

    Mr. Mustache,

    After reviewing your monthly budget I decided to see if I could save money on my auto insurance. Your monthly auto insurance expense inspired me to see what I could do for my family (three daughters I love more than life itself). You saved us 1400 dollars a year. The haters can take a flying leap. You helped us in a very tangible way. Thank you. Wish I could buy you a burger. Marty

    Reply
  • The Idiot January 22, 2014, 12:57 am

    Can’t quite remember if it was you or not. Last year a personal finance blog was featured in a MSM publication and there were a whole bunch of bozos claiming the person was a parasite because “they didn’t go to work and spend more of their slave wages in the economy and if we all did what this guy did we’d destroy the world”.

    The more convoluted the criticism means you’ve probably switched into troll land and it’s not even real criticism any more.

    Reply
  • The Rhino January 22, 2014, 3:59 am

    Another anaysis of the situation that potentially usurps MMM’s could be that provided by Haidt et al

    Perhaps MMM has a liberal moral matrix and as such has difficulty relating to a conservative moral matrix

    It is important to realise the complaining emanates from both sides of the fence. MMM complains as much as those who complain about MMM – simply on different matters and perhaps in a less aggressive and more constructive manner

    Read ‘The Righteous Mind’ and revisit the issue using Haidt’s hypothesis as an alternative viewpoint

    It should be enlightening..

    Reply
  • Steve G. January 22, 2014, 7:31 am

    First of all MMM, great interview with the WSJ! Regarding their comment section, MMM nailed it in the “Meet Mr. Money Mustache” post back in 2011, where he used the analogy of Neo unplugging from the Matrix and realizing “I’ve been living in this ridiculous slave world and never noticed.. and everyone else still is!” The audience reading this article are full of people mostly still plugged in and the financial independence lifestyle challenges their world view. And that’s OK. Even if only 1/10 people read this article and open their eyes to consider alternatives and 9/10 hate, then that’s still a win in my book. Keep helping folks unplug MMM!

    Reply
  • Daisy January 22, 2014, 8:12 am

    I like this blog and read regularly. I agree with a great deal of what MMM says and congratulate him on his increasing media presence. Kudos. However, I do find some of the comments frustrating (from MMM and others). I disagree with the idea that if you offer a dissenting opinion at times you are a hater. I agree with all that MMM says about anti-consumerism and environmental issues and this blog has challenged me to be more intentional in many of my decisions.

    But I struggle with MMM’s one size ought to fit all approach. I CANNOT live on $25 annually. Not even close. Early retirement for my husband is not an option while my son is alive. I cannot tell you how much I wish it was because it would mean my son was well.

    My very medically fragile son’s meds cost more than $25k annually (a lot more) and a great many are not covered by benefits. His feeding tube supplies annually cost well into the thousands. I cannot bike or walk everywhere no matter how much I would like to do so, because my son’s wheelchair won’t plough through the piles of snow here in Canada. If I want to go out, a van is the only way to do so in the winter. While my son is alive one of us needs to be employed in some form of benefit carrying employment. To save enough money to kiss those benefits good-bye while also being able to address all the costs benefits do not address would be a daunting task.

    Yes, I could save loads of money by admitting him to a long term care facility and relinquishing my parental rights. Not a choice as far as I am concerned. Life is not always a cost benefit analysis. Granted my story is an extreme example. But life happens. Scary stuff happens. For those of you who have left work early, and I applaud you if you have, could you live through a MAJOR crisis. How? What if a loved one in your family became very ill and required years of extraordinary care, drugs, and equipment that seriously depleted one’s savings. I am genuinely interested in your answers. What if life handed you something that forced a major deviation from your present plan? Disability related insurance covers costs if my husband cannot work, but does not address the extraordinary costs of a profoundly disabled, medically complex child (for example, we need to hire a nurse to leave the house…and we’re not talking dates, we’re talking grocery shopping).

    By being content with less stuff it has meant that I can live a life of contentment amid these major costs. I agree with MMM there. Wholeheartedly. And I agree with his approach to the naysayers. I encourage others to read this blog. Often.

    However, not all families are cut from the same cloth and I disagree with being lumped into the “complaining” category simply because I cannot see how his overall scenario would work for me while my son is alive.

    Reply
    • Aaron January 22, 2014, 12:56 pm

      I don’t feel MMM’s advice is one size fits all at all. In fact he talks about having to adjust things to your personal life. But he can’t offer up personal experience from anyone but himself, so he just notes what HE has done.

      Take note that the $25k expenditure is not a requirement. It is MMM’s spending. It isn’t advice that you can’t spend more. And he even admits that it is far more “spendy” than he would be if he was still in his accumulation phase. Others who only spend $15k annually with a family of 5 make him look bad in comparison. This doesn’t decrease his own happiness though.

      The entire point of the website is to not give into consumerism. To focus on the things that really matter to you, as an individual. For some this is raising a family. For others this is living a life alone, traveling the world. Anything can be truly done, there is no set requirement. The only thing to ask and to question is whether or not you are truly doing everything you can. Try to peel away some assumptions.

      For instance, most people assume they should buy a house. That they should get that mortgage for 30 years. It is “needed” to be secure when they are old. But that assumption isn’t true. A lot of people enjoy the benefits of renting, by choice, even well into retirement. You aren’t responsible for the property taxes, you don’t own it so if something needs maintenance you contact the owner. You can move any time you want without having to go through the hassle and expense of selling. You just need to look at what you are spending money on and figure out if it is worth it for you.

      What your expenses are and are for doesn’t matter. If you deem expense X is a necessity, and really, truly is (like your son’s medical expenses) then that is part of your baseline cost. If your minimum annual spending is $50k then so be it. If your income is $55k then you aren’t going to retire early. What to do? Since you can’t decrease your spending the answer certainly isn’t to increase it. Instead you might be able to increase your income. Yes, easier said than done. But completely possible. Maybe with a new job maybe better insurance could be available and so more of the medical expense could be covered. Or perhaps not.

      Plain and simple though, it isn’t one size fits all. But like everything else this blog is about, you need to do the work yourself to make it fit with your life.

      Reply
  • Doctor Schnoz January 22, 2014, 9:09 am

    Ahhhhh…hate and jealousy. What a delightful combination. Since I am a big MMM fan, I hypocritically posted my own fair share of anonymously hateful comments in direct response to the haters on that WSJ article. What fascinates me is how quickly people are to react to concepts that don’t instantly jive with their own particular (usually narrow minded) way of thinking. It really didn’t help that the “tone” of the interview questions (as best as it could be sensed without hearing an actual voice) seemed to be somewhat disbelieving – almost condescending – in keeping with the ultra conservative Republican-like notion that it is impossible to live an alternate lifestyle and still be happy without making shitloads of money, accumulating debt, spending cash, and consuming products until your head explodes. I replied to several critical comments with the statement: “perhaps you should read the MMM blog in depth before jumping to conclusions”. To be fair, it is extremely difficult amidst the powerful propaganda of our spendthrift shop-till-you-drop Consumer Industrial Complex culture to convey the relatively utopian ideal of extreme early retirement through financial independence by responding to a few main stream journalist’s questions. Although the WSJ article was pretty open minded, considering, it still had a “dumbed down” condensed aspect to it. Haters don’t care. They are typically reactionary, insecure people, who feel threatened if their narrow view of the world is challenged in any way. Did I mention jealousy? One cannot expect the uninitiated to understand the concept of simple living, frugality, financial independence, and real happiness from a single article, when it has taken Pete well over 1000 posts to merely scratch the surface. Do not hate the haters. Pity them.

    Reply
  • MoneyAhoy January 22, 2014, 9:09 am

    Congrats on the publicity!

    If you can convert even one MW reader over to your way of simple living, then I’d call that a success.

    All of the haters are just lashing out that they’ve picked a sub-optimal path in life. Most will probably delude themselves their whole way through life.

    This will probably get lost in the sea of comments, but you’ve really changed my life in a remarkable way with your blog. Thank you so much for following your dream and bringing that to us through this blog so that we might follow in your footsteps!

    Reply
  • Gogig January 22, 2014, 9:28 am

    I would like to step out of the silent majority and express my support for you and what you are trying to do here. I thought the Wallstreet article was great, and was actually excited that the ideas you espouse might reach and help even more people with that platform. Some of the comments were horrendous, but there were many that calmly rebutted the haters (like Mrs. MM, as one commenter noted already).
    Mr. MM and family – you are such a huge inspiration for me and my family. You totally turned around our way of thinking when we discovered you back in October. Pretty much since I graduated from college I had this feeling of drudgery and sadness thinking that I had no choice but to work at some arbitrary job five days a week for the next 40+ years. Your blog gave me hope and a feeling of freedom that there were other paths open to me. We have subsequently made a number of changes in our spending and financial plans that have already yielded hope and optimism for the nearer future than we had before. You provide a huge value to people like us, please don’t let the haters get you down. Ok, sappiness over!
    If anyone is interested, a recent article on salon called “My month of no snark” is in the same vein – a woman tried to follow the old adage of “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all, ” and it yielded a number of personal benefits. She ended up feeling better and caring less about what other people may or may not be thinking.

    Reply
  • Tara January 22, 2014, 9:50 am

    I do think that kvetching has a place in our lives as a way to get out things that need to get out. But once they’re out, it’s unhealthy to dwell on complaints. I work in an environment where I get frustrated about things not getting done because no one wants to do them. But as opposed to kvetching about it day after day, I have become proactive and actually done something about it. Something positive results and the workplace goes smoother!

    Reply
  • Adelina January 22, 2014, 9:51 am

    Please keep up the good work MMM. I’m working hard at living below my means and paying down $20K of debt as a single mom. Without your practical, no nonsense (and sometimes face smack brutal :-)) words to encourage me when I feel down and weak I don’t know if I could do it. You know you are on the right track when people start to hate on you because they don’t like the spotlight it shines on their own messy, entitled lives.

    You are my hero, please don’t stop!

    Reply
  • TIPIT January 22, 2014, 11:27 am

    “Guys: Mr. Money Mustache is not stealing your women”
    haha I love it!

    Great post, and BTW I was looking for new books to begin 2014, and the “Predictably Irrational” you referred in this post seems really interesting. I read your review of it and now have to order. Seems to be a bit different from usual PF books and have a wider subject. Thanks.

    Reply
  • M January 22, 2014, 1:28 pm

    Well I had to read the WSJ comments after all this talk. I could almost feel the neurons burning as folks tried to wrap their heads around your low cost lifestyle. And a poster named Daniel Lister made an effective case for how your spending works. As an added bonus, he introduced Jacob’s ERE book to the masses. For what it’s worth, I believe you’ve started a great conversation for the temporarily-unconvinced.

    Reply
  • Erwin Cuellar January 22, 2014, 4:29 pm

    How dare you try to redefine the term “retirement” or the process to get there! That’s what you’re doing to these people on Marketwatch, people whose definition of retirement involves working 9-5 until 65 at a desk job, saving 5% and investing their money in the public markets. People who are diligently, yet without question, working towards the holy grail of the common definition of retirement. How dare you present alternative routes for them, after they’ve so diligently followed this path for decades! lol. The thing is, most people on Marketwatch have a ‘market-focused’ approach to personal finance. The markets dictate their retirement whereas you present an alternative solution of saving money, using passive funds, and valuing people and the immaterial over consumer items.
    Most of the public plays a mediocre offense and a horrible defense when it comes to money by investing in active funds and spending the majority of their income. Here on your blog you present a better ‘offense’ solution (passive funds, doing things for yourself) and a very strong ‘defense’ solution (extreme saving and valuing the immaterial over the material). My own financial philosophy incorporates some of your own methods of saving money, investing some money in passive funds and plowing the rest into my own business (which generates a much higher return then I could ever get in the markets). I also value people, relationships and inner peace over material items. Keep up the great work!

    Reply
  • Krista January 22, 2014, 9:06 pm

    You do realize the irony of this post is that you are complaining about complainers. Anyways, I completely agree – the amount of time that people spend in complaining about nonsense is truly annoying. I am one of the readers who read the market watch article which linked me to your blog. Your viewpoints make a lot of sense to me and are inspiring me to reel in my spending.

    Reply
  • Evin January 23, 2014, 2:44 am

    MMM, Firstly Thanks, I am not sure how I missed your blog previously, but the MarketWatch piece lead me to your doorstep.

    Just wanted to let you know that we were not all haters. (however I don’t typically post to articles on their site)

    Got started a bit later in life on my quest to retirement early, a bit of an oxymoronic statement I know. But I’ve been working a plan and edge closer with each year. My biggest albatross has been the purchase of my home 14 + years ago, far too big, & originally at 8.75% interest-ouch! Picked up some nice tips and re-affirmed my efforts here as well, have thoroughly enjoyed your blog and celebrate your success in early retirement.

    Cheers E

    Reply
  • Anonymous January 23, 2014, 8:48 am

    I like your blog. I like your attitude. I just wish Joe Dominguez would have gotten the attention and credit during his life like you’re getting with this blog. Your Money or Your Life is the Bible of your sort of philosophy (and I know I’m not arguing with you, you’ve all but acknowledged as much in a post somewhere around here), and most of what you talk about here is straight out of YMOYL.

    Your readers are just too young to have heard of Joe (and Vicki of course) or just never came across the book.

    Maybe you could do a TRIBUTE post to Joe and Vicki sometime and talk about the myriad ways that they influenced you.

    Reply
    • Mr. Money Mustache January 24, 2014, 6:29 pm

      Joe was the boss! I can’t say they influenced me though, because I only read ymoyl 5+ years after retiring, and well into the life of this blog.

      These ideas about financial independence have been around for much longer than either of us, though.

      Reply
  • ACDClark January 23, 2014, 10:57 am

    The fascinating thing to me – which has been hinted at in a few previous comments – is the weird political spin some of the commenters on the WSJ article tried to add. There was a common thread accusing MMM of taking advantage of welfare services because “it’s impossible to live on $25,000 a year”– thereby both discounting what he says and labeling him a ‘taker’. Well, wait a second; if living on $25,000 a year is impossible, then we need to expand welfare programs, don’t we? You can’t have it both ways: “just work 50h/week at a minimum-wage job and stop asking for handouts” and “I need $100,000 per year just to live!”

    I find this blog refreshingly conservative, actually — so it’s funny/sad to me to watch the market slaves pretend that their in-group prejudices are conservative and not just selfish, fearful, or hateful. If you’re going to get a political take-away from this article, I can see how it might be along the lines of a friendly “Hey, he can do it – so can you! You don’t need the government’s help! Just live within your means, whatever they are.” This, of course, from someone with an open mind and a genuine belief in the principle of self-reliance. The responses that MMM actually got -“liar! moocher! lazy!” – tell you that the motivations in play here are entirely different.

    Reply
  • Lisa E. @ Lisa Vs. The Loans January 23, 2014, 1:07 pm

    Complaining is something that I both hate and unknowingly participate in at the same time. Sometimes I just don’t know I’m doing it! But when I catch myself, I make sure to think about what better things I can do with that energy than to complain about someone I barely know.

    Reply
  • julie January 23, 2014, 1:24 pm

    Awesome. My husband is not a hater but he’s glad that you’re not trying to steal me. I’m always saying “Mr. Money Mustache says… this and that”, so I can see where he could start getting a complex.

    ha ha ha

    Reply
    • Stacey January 23, 2014, 10:23 pm

      I always tell mine he’s going to be my next husband :)

      Reply
  • David January 23, 2014, 7:17 pm

    When somebody is “mad” replace the letter “m” with an “s”. That is their true inner feeling being expressed in a clumsy way.

    Reply
  • erik January 24, 2014, 6:09 am

    MMM,

    is it possible that you are just a loser and you are trying to mask your inability to get ahead in today’s society as a frugality virtue?
    Amassing wealth in its various forms has been a measure of success for human beings forever and it is part of what makes the world go around, but at the same time it is creating winners and losers. I’m afraid that because you could not win at this game, you decided you don’t want to play anymore. I also wonder why so much proselytizing, maybe, like religious people, you need to convince other people that you are right, so that you start believing it yourself.

    Reply
    • Mr. Money Mustache January 24, 2014, 7:24 am

      Yes! It is definitely possible that I am a loser. Maybe not because of any lack of “getting ahead” or “amassing wealth”, since that part has gone pretty well if you look at the numbers. But I do still feel this need to promote these ideas about consuming less to other people, which may be a weakness. Also, I never really got into team sports and tend to prefer the company of other nerdy people.

      Reply
      • Ellie January 24, 2014, 9:18 am

        Ahhhh, Mr. MM. You are my kind of “loser”!!! Or in internet-spell, “looser”. :D

        Reply
    • Gerard January 24, 2014, 7:45 am

      The word “loser” has done funny things over the past thirty years or so. It used to be value-neutral — you’d see expressions like “beautiful losers” a lot. A “loser” was somebody who’d been badly treated by life for whatever reason, somebody who deserved a little sympathy and understanding. The more recent use of the term as a straight-up insult seems to reflect a societal need to punish people who don’t frantically swim upstream in the approved fashion.

      As far as consumption being a scorecard for success, that’s surely less true now that credit is so readily available, which is actually the point of a couple of earlier MMM posts. To continue Erik’s “game” analogy, many apparent winners in consumer-land are actually people who played, lost, and then went out and bought themselves a trophy.

      Reply
    • Steve G January 24, 2014, 7:47 am

      Erik,

      I think you misunderstand the message of financial independence. No one is telling you how to spend. It you are truly happy playing the accumulation game, as you put it, then fantastic. And as an aside, MMM seems to have excelled at accumulation, he just chooses to spend less because spending less actually makes him happy. But if you prefer to spend more, that’s cool, no judgment – all the best.

      The point is that for many folks, their spending doesn’t match their subjective objectives. In fact, they are unaware that their spending habits are actually preventing them from achieving their objectives. MMM, and others in the financial independence community, are just examples of how they achieved their subjective values via spending less, and are happy for it.

      The message to me just seems to be conscious and aware of your spending and how it may impact your dreams and objectives.

      Reply
    • Annamal January 24, 2014, 2:37 pm

      @Erik How about a nice game of chess?

      Amassing wealth is not a universal societal constant, look at potlatch, Kula rings or Koha where amassing wealth was secondary to parting with it.

      Reply
    • phred January 30, 2014, 11:47 am

      Well, Erik, when was the last time you spent a month in Hawaii, and due to financial acumen, ended up with more money than when you started?

      Reply
  • Minikins January 24, 2014, 2:59 pm

    Hate is just a wall, we all have walls, some more acceptable than others but they are all essentially the same: a method to distinguish THEM and US or ME and YOU, so they are selfish survival tools for individuals or groups. The trouble is announcing what you’re doing and why it’s best or right is also a wall, and it riles people who rightly recognise it as a wall but then put theirs up, sometimes via anger.
    I value the useful ideas and tips found on this website but every so often I just want to blow some cash on something random. I don’t want to justify every little thing I do or buy. Sure, the pounds are always looked after but I let the pennies look after themselves and run free every so often.

    Reply
  • Wayne Weeks January 24, 2014, 4:53 pm

    Hey MMM,

    I am one of those who found your site last weekend from a link on another site (can’t remember which). Great site, I couldn’t stop reading, probably here for a couple of hours. Then what did I do? I went to look at our family spending, time for us to start down ‘that’ road I think. I’ll be here more often now. Thank you for the honest insight to your financial life, I wondered what it would take to get that level of independence.

    Reply
  • Rob January 24, 2014, 5:30 pm

    I’m sorry you even had to waste your time writing a rebuttal to the haters. Knowledge is king. Haters hate because they don’t know any better. Is it their fault? I’d actually say yes because the Internet has given us access to more information than ever before. How people choose to utilize the information they have access to (or continue to ignore) is their prerogative. They say their life sucks for them? Well news flash, it will be if they keep thinking like that!

    Reply
  • Wilyish January 24, 2014, 7:27 pm

    You know what completely flew over the heads of every single hater? The ecological implications of hysterical consumerism. Having green inclinations ties in nicely with frugality. An underlying theme of the MMM blog is about treading lightly (by American standards) on the planet. Even the MMM clan does it with a wink though, acknowledging that this is the most opulent, excessive, and luxurious time to be alive in US history, and if even you are mindful about your choices it is difficult not to dance at the party. (Every time MMM mentions Costco I cringe & laugh, because I cannot even walk into stores like that without mild waves of panic about so much STUFF being under one roof). My guess is that the haters never even contemplate the consequences of their spending habits.

    Part of me wants to laugh at the haters and hope they keep “shopping” as their #1 hobby because that behavior ultimately impacts how many (few!) years I have left to be FI. Another part of me imagines the manufacturing pollution in China from all the junk that gets shipped over here in giant barges to eventually pack the landfills and I get very, very sad. I wonder what the comments would have looked like if the WSJ had taken a different angle? “Look how few resources this little Colorado family is consuming to leave more for the rest of us.”

    Reply
  • Kieran Brennan January 25, 2014, 10:49 pm

    Absolutely love the Mark’s Daily Apple “Grok” reference. My two favorite people in the world by far are Mr. Money Mustache and Mark Sisson.

    Reply
  • Dee January 27, 2014, 4:44 pm

    I just read this and boy can I relate! Sorry for what you’re going thru especially since you and your family are so excited about finding and sharing a great solution to having more quality time.
    My dh and I have gone thru similar situations but with family being haters. My dad used to call dh and I , “You people with money”. He would still say this except he passed away almost 2 years ago and his comments really separated us as a family.
    We had one child, kept our vehicles until they basically fell apart and cooked food at home.
    We bought of our furniture on Craig’s list but honestly you wouldn’t know it wasn’t brand new. Whatever we have we take care of and try to make last.
    We weren’t “rolling” in dough as all of our family think we just directed our money differently.
    It’s too bad people just don’t take a few things you do and try them, if they don’t believe whole hardly in your ideals they can still implement what they like and leave the rest behind but stop bashing you for your lifestyle when it’s obvious it’s working for your family and you’re happy. I’m sure if you asked your son now what is important to him it wouldn’t be what you have but the time you are spending with him.

    Reply
  • Sir Moustache Mordred January 28, 2014, 1:41 am

    Your Blog is always a source of inspiration. Even not all of your ideas apply here in Germany, there is a lot to take away. When i started to talk about my ER with friend s and family ( at 50) i got a lot of negative feedback and worries. For me the main reason was that it sounds so incredible upnosed if you talk about ER when all the rest does not know how to pay teir bills etc. So whatever you have done right, makes it obvious what others have never tried or where afraid of. Also the is no culture of failure, meaning everthing you do in your life has to be perfect and no one admits personal faillure.
    So i keep trying, accept faillure and the “not understanders”. Let’s see how it works out.
    Sir Moustache Mordred

    Reply
  • Evan January 29, 2014, 9:07 am

    Reading the comments on that post makes me want to pull my hair out! I don’t live my life anywhere near the way you do, but the fact that others can’t even begin to see how another could is mind boggling.

    Reply
  • Jordan Read January 29, 2014, 9:30 pm

    Well done MMM. I loved this article as soon as you posted it. And then, after a day went by, I decided to look at the comments of the aforementioned article. Holy Shit!! I don’t actively pursue a Low Information Diet, but apparently I’ve been doing it subconciously, because that stuff was overwhelmingly crazy (and I live a good chunk of my 8-5 on the internet).
    Also, you used grok in a quote. Considering I found you through MDA, that made my day. Also, was it really Mrs. MM who was occasionally commenting on the market watch page?
    Keep up the great work!! Let me know if you are ever down in the Springs and are interested in a bbq or something.

    Reply
  • ronan connolly January 30, 2014, 2:53 am

    Hey,

    I like it. I came here from the seeking alpha site, where there has been a lot of discussion. I worked for a large american software wompany myself, and, bizarrely at 31, as well, the post y2k crisis made the decision for me and many of my co workers…and I was out.

    I’ve been living a similar life to MMM, with rentals ( which are work btw, don’t let anyone say otherwise) and renovating and extending our 400yr old house, using lime. lathes, wattle and daub etc. + shares as well, hence the S.S. link
    Indeed, I know some of what MMM is talking about. My wife does some consulting work, and I’ve had the ‘ does it not bother you that your wife earns more than you do?’
    The fact’s are she doesn’t, but if she did? By stepping out of the norm, we can easily rattle others. A lot of people feel if you are not punching the clock, then you are a threat,

    so, keep it up MMM. thanks

    Reply
  • RakuRay January 30, 2014, 8:20 am

    I am one of the newbies that found you through Market Watch and I think what you are doing is inspiring. Thanks for sharing your life and ideas with us. I especially like that you share success and failures alike. Often in order to know what works you have to experience things that don’t. Let the haters hate and remember lovers gotta love.

    Reply
  • Ajay Sridharan February 1, 2014, 3:13 pm

    Very well articulated MMM. My grandma used to say, it is only the tree that bears fruits that gets hit by stones! (loose translation of a saying in Tamil…relates to the times when kids threw stones at mango trees to fell the mangoes)!

    Reply
  • FeildsOfFreshFlowers February 7, 2014, 8:35 am

    It is a story worthy of doubt so I would not be surprised by the outbursts. I don’t know if the 600K was ever fully explained and without details, even I wonder how it was achieved in such a short amount of time (between college and 30). I still wonder if there was a windfall along the way whether it a bet on a particular stock, cashing in stock options, inheritance or was it truly obtained by saving after-tax dollars.

    I do not see people who comment in less constructive ways as Haters or complainers. Just an initial reaction to a story that does seem far fetched. Without a large cash injection, it seems one would need to leave college and from day one immediately focused on saving and this is extremely unusual hence some strong negative reaction to the story. Without an immediate focus on saving after college, it gives even less time to save 600K. The negative reaction is logic based, because many details are missing from the story. Let’s not forget that not all after-tax income can be saved, because everyone needs to live on something. I want to be a believer, but I too have doubts.

    Did I miss something that would make me less doubtful?

    Reply
  • miked February 13, 2014, 3:07 pm

    Wow, the comments on the WSJ article were interesting!

    I share MMM’s philosophy on life and money and I know lots of people that subscribe to the philosophy exhibited in the comments on the WSJ.

    I can sum up my feelings about the differences by saying that my life is better than your vacation.

    Reply
  • Brian March 23, 2014, 4:30 pm

    You can add the Chinese government to the list of haters…. I tried to sent Mr.MoneyMustache.com to my parents who are expats living in China, but the site is banned by the wise government of China! Gahh!

    Reply
  • Jennifer June 14, 2014, 3:46 pm

    Sometimes it takes people a lifetime to gain wisdom, if they ever attain it at all. Some people are perfectly content to stay on the hamster-wheel their entire lives. Some people are just plain miserable. I tend to send the plain miserable ones to Coventry (I pretend they don’t exist). The Hamsters I just pity. Those who come to wisdom at a snails pace I attempt to help.

    The world will always have miserable, hateful people. The best the rest of us can do is to not give anything they say any credence whatsoever; to plug our ears and not hear them, to skip over their comments, and to just let them live and die miserably.

    Reply
  • Taylor June 18, 2014, 4:11 pm

    I found out about your blog from the aforementioned article, and I am working on being more “mustachian”. However, I think you miss the point with these “haters”, because you are threatening to take away their women and status by challenging the way they live their lives… If one were to take seriously your writings it would be very difficult to not feel like a dunce for living the traditional American middle class life-style. Additionally, how attractive would potential mates find someone who was such a dunce? Keep the posts coming! (I have been trying to increase the amount of business/finance types on your blog through recommendations here in Utah as they seem underrepresented in your poll.)

    Reply
  • Greg November 13, 2016, 6:29 am

    MMM, now this: “…complaints…are a complete waste of time, because the complainer is renewing his mental focus on his own problems” is serious wisdom and can be applied across life’s entire spectrum. Outstanding!
    👊🏼

    Reply
  • NoClaude September 18, 2018, 7:46 am

    You were featured on The Guardian yesterday, you know? In the comments section: loooots of people letting the world know how badly threatened they felt. I was tempted to write something but then asked myself: would that be a Mustachian use of my time? Don’t think so.

    Seriously though, it’s good to remember that many people see a change of habit as a life-endangering threat. No amount of talking will help, they’re scared.

    Reply

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