125 comments

My Top Questions from Internet Strangers

worldwide-mustachians2Every day, the ever-generous Google search engine sends thousands of random new people from around the world to the shores of our Mustachian Nation here. Do they find what they are looking for?

Just for fun, let’s take a rapid-fire tour through the top questions people have asked the Internet over the course of the last month, which were in turn referred to Mr. Money Mustache.

Since I view this blog as an ongoing experiment, I find it fascinating to learn what types of things the world wants to know the most. Plus, some of the questions are pretty funny.

I’ve grouped them into categories:

Getting a Job:

jobs that pay 20 an hour without a degree
jobs that party you 26 dollars a hour
how to get rich without college
jobs that pay 50k a year without a degree
50000 a year is how much an hour
how to get rich without college

These queries are showing up because of a two-post series I wrote last year called “50 Jobs over $50,000 – without a degree“. It has become an accidental hit with the search engines, and is now the second most popular post on this whole blog.

Quick Answer:  Take control of your pay rate. Think like an entrepreneur and try something different. And $50,000 is equivalent to about 25 bucks an hour.

Saving and Investing:

how to make money in the stock market
betterment
betterment review
betterment vs vanguard

QA: Accumulate low cost index funds consistently over your lifetime. Vanguard funds will do just fine. Just keep buying, don’t worry about market fluctuations, and work on earning lots and spending little. Those Betterment results are showing up because I wrote an article about my new investing experiment with Betterment here.

simple math behind early retirement
how long will my money last if i withdraw 4%

QA: Save 50% of your net income and retire in under 17 years. With wise spending, this can last a lifetime. Full details here.

i only make 2600 a month can i save 10000 in a years time

QA: You sure can – that works out to $833/month, so keep your spending below about $1700.

Mobile Phones:

republic wireless
$10 a month phone plan
mr money mustache cell phone
cheapest phone plans with unlimited everything

QA: Mobile phone service has come way down in price in the last few years and should not cost anywhere close to the $100/month some people are still paying. We use two Republic Wireless lines in my household, but Ting is great as well, and Straight Talk if you need to keep your iPhone.

Cars:

top fuel efficient cars

QA: Just get a Honda Fit from Craigslist. Manual transmission, pay cash.  For more variety, my old top 10 Cars list still applies.

depreciation on car and economics of distance of 110 mph at 20.00 hr ?

QA: Hmm.. you might want to rethink your units, but 110 miles will cost you about $30-60 every time you drive it, including gas, wearing out your car, and other costs. You don’t want a commute like that for any job, especially not one that is paying you only $20 an hour.

how can you avoid the stress of traffic if you take a way about 50 km to work place

QA: you can move closer to work or get a new job. I know I keep harping on this anti-car-commuting thing, but that is because Your Spare Time is Worth Way More You Think.

find vehicle that will carry 12 foot ladder

QA: Anything with a good roof rack will handle a small ladder like that. My painter friend carries a 32-footer (retracted to 16′) on his stock Subaru Outback rack in a pinch. But the ultimate roof rack vehicle is a compact pickup with an over-cab-and-bed roof rack.

is awd worth it?

QA: Not for people who drive on roads.

whats too big a commute

QA: one that you feel is too long to do by bike.

top 4 suv

QA: SUVs are generally a losing choice, but you might enjoy my article on the Top SUVs for growing families.

hypermiling

QA: Just remember the rhyme, “If you need to brake, you’ve made a mistake”. More detail here.

Food and Nutrition:

average grocery bill for family of 4
how much does it cost to join costco
how can I save on groceries
how to lose fat

QA: Eat mostly foods your great grandmother would recognize, lots of fats and healthy oils, and no sugar. It is possible to eat very well for about one dollar per person per meal, and although my family averages closer to $2, that is the result of millionaire-style grocery shopping. Think of that as the upper limit.

Philosophy:

hedonic adaptation

QA: It is your biggest shopping weakness: incorrectly thinking new things will make you happier.

what is stoicism

QA: It is your biggest life ally, teaching you the true sources that embracing hardship and expanding your General Badassity is a powerful source of true happiness.

your money or your life

QA: it’s a great book that is credited with starting this movement of ours. Think of money as “life energy”.

how to stop worrying about money

QA: By accumulating more of it, as well as increasing life resilience with a mesh of interlocking skills.

when i’m rich what do i do with my money
marginal utility of money

QA: If your goal is happiness, anything other than spending it on yourself will probably be fun. The marginal utility of money really drops, once you get your food and shelter taken care of. This is why I suggest that buying freedom would be one of the next targets.

is it ok to only have one child

QA: Great news, Yes it is!

who is the most optimistic person in fiction or the real world

QA: I am honored that Google referred this search query to me. I am a strategic and very happy practitioner of Outrageous Optimism, and you should be too.

Do It Yourself Handyman Stuff

Although this is supposed to be a financial blog, I’ll occasionally throw in some stuff about building houses. That is because it’s the task I spend most of my happiest days doing, and I have no editor to keep me on topic here. Freedom is great.

how to build your own shower
how to build a tile shower
DIY shower base
how to frame a shower floor on a basement floor

QA: You can do it! Building a relatively sweet shower is not as unattainable as people assume.

diy radiant floor heating
does adding more pex increase suction pressure in radiant system
can you use a water heater for radiant heat

QA: Yes, it turns out you can build your own heating system. Longer runs of PEX would increase the backpressure and slow the flow. And yes, you can use a water heater (preferably a really efficient one) instead of a boiler.

run the air conditioner with the windows all closed, or open windows and shut it off all together

QA: If we’re talking about a house, open the windows, dude! You’re a human, and you need to be connected to the great outdoors. Plus A/C wastes a shitload of electricity. In the car, running the A/C burns about $1 of fuel per hour, and the crossover point for that vs. the aerodynamic drag from partially open windows is about 45-55 MPH.

metal roofs for homes
the best way to replace a shingle roof with sheet metal roofing
is metal roofing cheaper than shingles

QA: Metal roofing is far superior to shingles. It should be almost as cheap, but in most areas the contractors rip you off because there is not enough competition. So I bought the metal myself from Metal Sales Inc and built my own.

aquaponics

QA: I don’t know much about it other than the fact that it is the Automated Ubergarden of the Future.. however my friend Jeremiah Robinson is the National Grandmaster of the field, and he taught us about it here.

SUPER RANDOM

watching d activities of competition as a means of bus survival

QA: Huh? I can only guess that Google decided that reading Mr. Money Mustache is a better way for this person to pass the time while riding a bus, than watching d activities of competition.

extreme frugality

QA: I have no idea why this person ended up at MMM. This blog is not about extreme frugality.

investments i can make 100 % within 3 months

QA: Hmm. You could get lucky on a penny stock, but that’s not investing. Buying a foreclosure and doing a rapid rehab/resale might come close. There’s also paying off your payday loan, or paying off your car loan early so you can sell it on Craigslist, then buying a less expensive one with the cash in hand.

is it good to buy a house when im 13

QA: Sure, if your Mom will let you and you have a solid 20% downpayment in hand. You can build some solid equity by renting out spare bedrooms as you go through college. Just don’t let all your partying friends destroy your investment!

working really hard will make you look old

QA: In a cubicle or a coal mine, this is probably true. But in general, working hard at healthy pursuits will keep you young and vigorous much better than any plastic surgery or Botox treatments will.

mr money mustache book

QA: Sorry, no book yet. I still haven’t figured out how to fit this into my oddly packed days, short of abandoning the family. But other people have done it, which means it can be done.

how to share one internet connection between buildings

QA: You put a TP-LINK WA7510N outdoor access point at each end. Plug them into your existing routers and set the outbuilding side to “client” mode. Invent a new Wi-fi network name and get them to link up to each other. Set the outbuilding’s router to serve up DHCP addresses on the 192.168.2.x network to avoid IP address conflicts with your main house network. Eventually you’ll get it working despite the terrible translated instructions and it ends up really reliable.

frugal toque

QA: Hooray for my friend Mr. Frugal Toque! There’s only one of him on the Internet, although he does write novels under another pseudonym. You can find all his articles by using the URL http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/category/mr-frugal-toque/

is it possible if in anyhouse have peerpgumbr mjhar

QA: no, this is currently impossible

money

QA: You’ve come to the right place!

describe me a 10 year old could earn money 

QA: see if you can get your parents to pay you a dollar for each book you read. Also, if you get a bike and keep track of your miles with a speedometer and send me pictures and stories about biking, I’ll pay you 10 cents per mile you ride plus a 10 dollar bonus for each good story.

benefits bike in avery small paragraph

QA: A bicycle is an automatic life-balancing machine. It is a money-printing fountain of youth. You can’t really make any rational decisions about life, finance, or national planning unless you have the context of bicycle transportation as part of your frame of reference.

Additional Visitors From Unknown search terms:116,619

Of course. No matter how many questions you answer, there will always be more to learn and more to be written about. So until next time, I remain your faithful Mr. Money Mustache.

 

  • Kraig February 26, 2015, 3:28 pm

    MMM,

    Funny stuff. I love the quick and to the point answers.

    Hope all is well , my friend. Keep the great writing coming!

    Reply
    • Free Money Minute February 27, 2015, 11:40 am

      I agree, I love your articles and cannot wait until the next one comes out each time. I guess you get the luxury of writing when you want when you are FI! Looking forward to the day. Working hard to get there.

      Reply
  • Patrick February 26, 2015, 3:31 pm

    Some of those search terms are obviously referring to your articles. I often navigate to your site by typing article titles as best I remember them into Google, so I might have contributed to a few of those.

    But this was a nice, fun article.

    Reply
    • Retired To Win Alex February 27, 2015, 11:34 am

      Originally, I found MMM by clicking on the site’s link at the Early Retirement Extreme blog roll. Took Pete’s advice and read every post from the beginning. Have never looked back. Happily earlier retired now.

      So, unlike Patrick, I’ve never actually navigated to MMM via a google search. The blog is at the top of my “favorites” bar, of course!

      Reply
      • David Robarts July 30, 2015, 8:52 am

        I came via a family biking blog’s blogroll and am working through all the articles (and comments on some). I use the complete list of all posts to get to the article I want (either refering back to one I read or finding the next article when I come back after a break).

        Reply
    • BlessingS February 28, 2015, 10:54 am

      I also get here via favorites, but I think one of the best ways is also through the email subscription update… The MMM humor is what brings me back every time :-) With billions of searches a day, its not surprising that the majority still end up coming through search engines. Agree with Patrick, a fun article but perhaps also a great “best of” listing for the sire.

      Reply
  • Andrew February 26, 2015, 3:42 pm

    But we is it not possible if in anyhouse have peerpgumbr mjhar? This is going to keep me up at nights!!!

    :-D

    Reply
    • Kyle February 26, 2015, 3:59 pm

      peerpgumbr mjhar is going to become memetic shorthand for something around here, I’m sure.

      Reply
      • Golden February 26, 2015, 4:38 pm

        I’m pretty sure it’s a mnemonic for the sage wisdom to prioritise eliminating expense regarding property & gas unless making back rent or making jillions handling a race car.

        Or not

        Reply
        • Vertical Mode February 27, 2015, 12:27 pm

          Any bets on how long until someone registers this alias in the forum? :-)

          Reply
        • Dylan Thomas February 27, 2015, 4:44 pm

          peerpgumbr mjhar is a unique google search term, only this page. I looked it up!

          Reply
  • Syklist February 26, 2015, 3:50 pm

    You, my friend, now have the top internet search for “peerpgumbr mjhar”. Congrats!! And once Google’s spiders come through to remap your index, your pagerank will improved for all of these questions. That’s smart and will bring in many more junior Mustashian friends ‘staching their way to a happier life!

    Reply
    • DavidTheDoofus February 27, 2015, 8:25 am

      Ha, not only the top internet search, this is the only google hit for “peerpgumbr mjhar”. Someone please make up a definition for this word so I can start using it.

      Reply
      • KF February 27, 2015, 9:41 am

        Reply
        • Joel February 28, 2015, 12:41 pm

          From your page: “A Googlewhack must consist of two actual words found in a dictionary.”

          I’m having a bit of trouble finding it…

          Reply
  • Keith February 26, 2015, 3:51 pm

    I find our world so amazing. Not long ago we went to the library to read books on money. We still can, but now we have the honor of having people like Mr Money Mustache invite us into his living room for a fire side chat. Awesome!

    It’s also funny how Google decides what we are really looking for. Thanks for sharing the wonderful stories.

    Oh, nice living room.

    Reply
  • Jon February 26, 2015, 3:57 pm

    “is it possible if in anyhouse have peerpgumbr mjhar” <<< I have often pondered about this myself haha. Great post MMM!

    Reply
  • Golden February 26, 2015, 3:57 pm

    Hooray for Mr. Frugal Toque indeed! (I misread his name as Frugal Torque for the first 6 months or so having never seen the word spelt before, still pretty badass)
    I am curious about his other writings, are you able to share his “fake” name?
    Thanks again for the inspiration, my life is on track, awesomeness is happening.

    Reply
    • Mr. Frugal Toque February 27, 2015, 7:23 am

      It’s possible the people typing “Frugal Toque” were also just misspelling “Frugal Torque” and wanted an article on hypermiling.

      Reply
      • Kelly February 27, 2015, 12:49 pm

        Mr. Frugal Toque – although I haven’t googled you, I was wondering about contacting you with an investment question at some point, thinking you may be more up to date for Canadian-specific questions? Is that possible?

        Reply
        • Mr. Frugal Toque February 27, 2015, 12:59 pm

          I think the best thing is to send me a message through the MMM forums.

          Reply
  • RyanE February 26, 2015, 3:58 pm

    Does your 10c/mile offer apply even if I’m not 10?

    :)

    Reply
    • Kat February 26, 2015, 6:06 pm

      Yep, now I’ve found my new get-rich-quick scheme: biking for Mr. Money Mustache!

      Reply
      • Jamie V February 27, 2015, 9:37 am

        I’ll just go dust my bike off now… :P

        Reply
    • wkirk February 26, 2015, 11:08 pm

      My first thought was could I get my kid to do this and MMM to pay her instead. My second thought was how much would she make.

      Reply
    • Erin February 27, 2015, 12:36 pm

      I was thinking the same thing – my daughter is quite interested…writing and biking are her favorite things to do.

      Reply
    • David Robarts July 30, 2015, 9:08 am

      I’m wondering if Junior Money Mustache knows of this opportunity and will soon be earning money this way. Very short but interesting rides would be the way to maximize income (kids would have difficulty pulling off more than about $1/hour for the riding portion, but likely could write a story in an hour or less). I look forward to future kid biking stories showing up here – maybe I’ll try to get some of my nieces and nephews to join the team. If the kid eventually decides to launch their own blog, getting MMM to link the stories posted here to their blog would provide a great initial search engine boost.

      Reply
    • Rob Horne August 24, 2016, 1:19 pm

      I loved your offer to the 10 year old biker/writer! super generous and motivating. I am going to make the same offer to my 11 year old daughter. Fantastic!

      Reply
  • Michelle February 26, 2015, 4:41 pm

    My favorite is “working really hard will make you look old.” Haha can’t stop laughing at that one.

    Reply
  • Phil February 26, 2015, 4:49 pm

    competition as a means of bus survival –> in this context, “bus” is almost certainly short for “business.” Glad to help :-)

    Reply
    • Eric February 27, 2015, 4:05 pm

      I took it as managing bus boredom by watching the “d[aily] activities of competition” between the other riders around you. Not sure that makes a lot of sense to anyone else, but crazy people on the bus are it’s best and worst things.

      Reply
      • Betheny March 1, 2015, 8:23 am

        You’re not the only one. I thought the same thing after my myriad of bus encounters.

        Reply
  • pope February 26, 2015, 5:29 pm

    I was one of the people that found MMM about 6 months ago by searching for DIY shower pans, after the house we moved into had a leak in the shower pan because the previous owner’s DIY job failed. I ended up gutting the whole shower and paying someone to put a new pan in. I’m guessing your redguard method is still holding up.

    ps, since finding the blog I’ve stuck around, it has opened my eyes to my budget.

    Reply
  • Jen Scaffidi February 26, 2015, 5:31 pm

    I will never stop laughing at “peerpgumbr.”

    Reply
  • The Car Crash Detective February 26, 2015, 7:54 pm

    Love the simple car tips. Driving like you have no brakes, incidentally, is also a really good way to avoid one of the factors most associated with auto fatalities–> speed. One out of every three car deaths involves it, and it’s really, really easy to reduce your risks in this area.

    Reply
  • insourcelife February 26, 2015, 7:58 pm

    I wonder if you started seeing the effect of this announcement from WordPress? Seems like you have lots of good search term info still…

    “Google started to rapidly expand the number of searches that it encrypts, which results in a higher proportion of “Unknown search terms” in your stats. According to some sources, this expansion will eventually result in encryption of all Google searches. This is being done for privacy reasons by Google when someone searches at Google.com, before a visitor arrives at your WordPress.com site. Therefore we don’t have any way to unhide the search terms. We recognize this means a loss of stats information for you and we will look for other ways to show you how users arrived at your site.”

    Reply
    • larmando February 27, 2015, 12:05 pm

      This should be possible also using Google Analytics, in case.

      Reply
  • Brian February 26, 2015, 9:02 pm

    Imagine all of the awesome queries we would have if Google didn’t encrypt organic search results.

    Anything is possible, especially anyhouse have peerpgumbr mjhar – where there is a will there is a way!

    Reply
  • Katie February 26, 2015, 9:03 pm

    very funny and witty!

    would love some information about frugal toque’s novels.

    Reply
  • Raging Ranter February 26, 2015, 9:27 pm

    is it possible if in anyhouse have peerpgumbr mjhar

    I think that should read “is it possible for any horse to have a pee or dump in a jar?”

    Answer: NO, not any horse. That would be a very special horse.

    Reply
    • Mike Edwards February 27, 2015, 5:29 am

      … or a very big jar.

      Reply
  • Adam February 26, 2015, 10:54 pm

    Maybe you could try going into “monk mode” to write your book. That’s if it qualifies as essential for you. #essentialism

    Reply
  • joe February 26, 2015, 11:38 pm

    “is it possible if in anyhouse have peerpgumbr mjhar

    QA: no, this is currently impossible”

    This is the hardest I’ve LOLed at any MMM article yet!

    Reply
    • James February 27, 2015, 1:44 pm

      I like that he specifies that it’s CURRENTLY impossible. Never know what the future holds.

      Reply
      • lhamo February 27, 2015, 7:06 pm

        Aim that optimism gun straight at peerpgumbr mjhar and ANYTHING is possible!

        Reply
  • Chris Cambria February 27, 2015, 12:00 am

    As an architect in europe i can confirm that iit is possible to install a peergumbr mhjar at any european building (write it in capital letters on a paper and stick it to your frontdoor). But i have not heared of any installations in america yet. Please help the world to solve this important problem!

    Thanks for the great post-very entertaining.

    Reply
  • Rebecca Stapler February 27, 2015, 12:06 am

    LOL! This is great. And a bit of a reminder that some people aren’t as savvy in this newfangled Google thing.

    Reply
  • C.R.E.A.M. February 27, 2015, 1:46 am

    I found Mr Money Mustache whilst googling for “money saving violence & profanity”. This blog is like a financial Tarantino film. Where else can you find so much uncensored face punching and expletives mixed with badass stachin’ advice. Quentin has more imaginative uses for power tools but otherwise I’m impressed. When I grow up I want to be like MMM.

    Reply
  • MandalayVA February 27, 2015, 5:16 am

    Maybe “peerpgumbr mjhar” can be used on forum threads when they’re going way off topic. It’s funnier than “foam.”

    Also, am I the only one who’s typed in something in Google and things start popping up that are horrifying? No lie, once I was looking for something and typed in “how do I.” Among the terms that popped up in auto-complete was “how do I hide a body” and “how do I get in her pants when she’s asleep.” There are some sick, sick people out there.

    Reply
    • Gerard February 27, 2015, 5:46 am

      If anyone tried getting into my pants while I was asleep, I might later need info on how to hide a body.

      Reply
      • Jodie March 1, 2015, 2:17 pm

        My stomach hurts from continuing to laugh at this comment + many others on this thread. Made my day!

        Reply
      • b March 2, 2015, 11:31 pm

        I read somewhere people keep finding bodies under hotel beds. Maybe that is the done thing: deposit them there. Maybe money saving too.

        Reply
    • skunkfunk February 27, 2015, 12:14 pm

      Try “can I eat m”

      Reply
  • Neil February 27, 2015, 5:43 am

    Fun stuff! You’ve definitely inspired me to keep spending low so I can invest and “retire” early, and to ride my bike a lot more. I would love a book, but family comes first!

    Reply
    • Neil February 27, 2015, 12:23 pm

      I just remembered I actually found out about MMM by searching for ways to share an internet connection over a long distance. I’ve been hooked ever since!

      Reply
  • ABC February 27, 2015, 6:18 am

    “Honda Fit from Craigslist. Manual transmission”
    Very expensive in my area. Automatic is of course much more common and also very expensive.

    Reply
    • Scott February 27, 2015, 8:28 pm

      Yeah, I noticed his article from 2012 said a 2009 with 36k should cost $12k. I looked about a week ago and a 2009 with 30k miles is still 12k! It’s absolutely ridiculous. You’re almost better off getting a brand new one (recently redesigned, higher mileage and a 6th gear!) for $15k with 0 miles. Or, do as I did and get a Scion xB.

      Reply
  • Ms Money Penny February 27, 2015, 7:03 am

    To apply Mustachian-level number crunching to the book project: you’ve got around 450 posts here, each of about 1,500 words (and most of them very good words they are) = 675000 words in total, enough for 10 books of 67500 each. (Incidentally, that’s a rate of productivity that would make most other writers — certainly *this* writer — green with envy . . .)
    Organise the posts into chapters (cars, bikes, food, housing, philosophy, investments, face-punching), edit the posts, add a few case-studies — and you’re done. I personally would love to see a Mustachian glossary at the back, but that’s optional.
    Reckon on about six months’ worth of working something like 3-4 hours per day on it, double it (safety margin), and you’ve got the book in 12 months. Self-publish on blog, and everyone’s happy ;)
    If it’s the sedentary nature of writing that’s stopping you, fix yourself a standing desk.
    Just teasing you, of course. But it can be done, IF you can find those 3-4 hours per day . . .

    Reply
    • Syklist February 27, 2015, 8:33 am

      If this happens, I’m totally reading the chapter on face-punching first!

      Reply
      • Horatio Spifflewicket February 27, 2015, 11:21 am

        In the face punching chapter it’s actually obligatory that you hit yourself in the face with the book. There is a picture of MMM’s fist on page 347.

        Reply
        • Mr. Money Mustache February 27, 2015, 12:22 pm

          Haha, that is an excellent idea. I might indeed put a nice fist picture into the “Resources” section, and then refer to it throughout the book. I owe you credit for that one, Horatio!

          Reply
    • Huck February 27, 2015, 12:04 pm

      But since the target audience is frugal, nobody would buy the book when it’s available for free on the blog!

      Reply
      • Lasse February 28, 2015, 2:13 am

        I bought Jacobs ERE book as a thank you to him for getting me started on all of this, which eventually lead me to MMM.
        I would certainly buy MMMs book too, if he made one. Both as a thank you, and as having a book you can lend to friends and family that needs a hand (or fist in the face) :-)

        Reply
      • Keith February 28, 2015, 2:19 pm

        The Ultimate Cheapskate by Jeff Yeager sold well, Huck. The libraries bought a lot of copies to meet lending demand.

        Reply
        • b March 2, 2015, 11:38 pm

          I am told that Amy Dacsyzin book gets stolen the most in libraries! Cheapskate thieves!

          Reply
  • Stan February 27, 2015, 7:38 am

    8 degrees below zero today. No bike riding going on here.

    Reply
    • Syklist February 27, 2015, 11:58 am

      When it’s that cold, it can be tough. The days that I ride in sub-zero F weather, co-workers either tell me I’m crazy or dedicated. Either way I feel like a bad ass and I’ve ‘stached more dollars by not driving my car.

      Reply
      • Manitoba Mustache February 28, 2015, 8:17 am

        Hey Stan, I wouldn’t give up on bike riding just because of the cold. I am a reader from Winnipeg Manitoba and I consistently bike in -20 to -30 (celsius) without ever feeling cold. Just go to an outdoor sports store and buy the following things if you don’t own already – long underwear, a good wind breaker, a long sleeve shirt, good gloves, and a hood/face mask that covers every inch of skin, ski mask, and at least 1 winter tire (although I’m sure there are mustachians without them). I think that MMM actually did an article on this!

        A lot of those things you probably have already. Best decision I’ve made recently was to bike all winter and cancel my $100 a month parking pass, gas, etc. I’m actually also warmer this way because the exercise warms you up!

        Reply
    • Jonathan March 2, 2015, 8:55 am

      The temperature finally warmed up in mid Michigan to a balmy 17F with a 7 degree windchill and I made my first ride to work (15.5 miles) since the end of January. With this being my first year of biking, a 0 degree windchill and above along with semi-clear roads has been my cutoff. February was brutal.

      Reply
  • Ms. Must-Stash February 27, 2015, 7:54 am

    Great compendium of wisdom and entertainment!

    But a quick comment re: Straight Talk – I would have to pry my husband’s iPhone out of his cold dead fingers so some of the other carriers you mention aren’t an option for him (my phone is covered by work). I was intrigued by your mention of Straight Talk, did a quick search on them just now, and the reviews are absolutely horrible!

    So, I consulted the MMM forums and found that Straight Talk is actually featured prominently on the list of Brands to Ignore in the Cellphone Superguide: http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/share-your-badassity/communications-tech-son-of-the-superguide!/msg230579/#msg230579

    Fortunately the guide also has some great ideas on a few other high quality but lower cost carriers that might work instead. :-)

    Reply
    • Novacek February 27, 2015, 9:40 am

      I’ve been pretty satisfied with my iPhone on Virgin Mobile. $30 /month. Unlimited data (though slower after 2.5 GB) and texts. 200 minutes of calls that I hardly ever use.

      Reply
      • David Robarts July 30, 2015, 9:33 am

        T-Mobile’s $30/month prepaid plan with 5GB of 4G data but only 100 minutes has tempted me for quite a while. I’m currently using a very old phone on Page Plus cellular for about $80/year (but don’t get mobile data). At around $4-5k/decade I haven’t decided that a smart phone is the right choice for me right now.

        Reply
    • Huck February 27, 2015, 12:06 pm

      What’s so special about iPhones? Can’t you use them on any GSM carrier; Cricket, H2O etc? I don’t have one, but I didn’t think they only work on certain carriers? Why do they need a special callout?

      Reply
    • st February 28, 2015, 3:02 pm

      FYI, this article seems to imply that Ting isn’t one of the providers you can bring an iPhone to, but that is (recently) no longer the case.

      I’m going to switch to Ting next month and use my AT&T iPhone 5 there, going from ~$80 per month to ~$15.

      Reply
  • Mr. Frugal Toque February 27, 2015, 8:03 am

    I can’t help thinking “anyhouse have peerpgumbr mjhar” was a misspelled Dune reference:
    House Atreides does have a Gom Jabbar.
    http://dune.wikia.com/wiki/Gom_Jabbar

    Reply
  • A Marquis February 27, 2015, 8:14 am

    Also, if you get a bike and keep track of your miles with a speedometer and send me pictures and stories about biking, I’ll pay you 10 cents per mile you ride plus a 10 dollar bonus for each good story.

    Is this offer limited to 10 year olds???

    Reply
  • CL February 27, 2015, 8:20 am

    I am literally employed to read questions similar to:
    “is it possible if in anyhouse have peerpgumbr mjhar”

    And that’s more coherent than a lot of the questions I see.

    Reply
  • CheapMom February 27, 2015, 8:42 am

    If you get a bunch of results next months that just say “Hi MMM, I know you’ll see this, so keep being awesome!” It’s definitely not from me…

    Reply
  • Three Wolf Moon February 27, 2015, 9:04 am

    I am adding the below to http://www.chucknorrisfacts.com/ :

    Chuck Norris CAN peerpgumbr mjhar in anyhouse!

    Reply
  • Stacy February 27, 2015, 9:43 am

    I’m totally obsessed with this blog. Reading it from the beginning! It’s changed how I think about life and improved my decisions about money. You really could sell a book if you wrote it even if it was just a book of all the blog posts that is a kindle book that can be carried with you without an internet connection! People would buy it!

    Keep the good stuff coming!

    Reply
  • Kayla February 27, 2015, 10:35 am

    Search terms that lead people to your blog can be very interesting. I’ve had some strange ones in the past, and some downright scary ones too.

    Reply
  • Ben Luthi February 27, 2015, 10:47 am

    I’m guessing peerpgumbr mjhar is now an up-and-coming keyword. I’ll have to include it in some future blog posts to make sure I’m on the first page!

    Reply
  • BrittDogg February 27, 2015, 11:18 am

    My ultimate goal is to now use the most absurd search terms to navigate here and hope it shows up in the next version of this article

    Reply
  • Justin February 27, 2015, 11:24 am

    Great post and it goes to show how much traffic from search terms ends up being a happy accident. We do a lot of keyword research and planning, then end up placing in areas that are a complete surprise. Good to see we aren’t alone.

    Reply
  • Momto3kids February 27, 2015, 12:02 pm

    Hi there. I’m new! Pretty sure I first discovered this site by googling “extreme frugality”. LOL
    I have been a complainypants since becoming a stay at home mom! Geesh! Pathetic! I am so relieved to have found this site. We were a couple of moustaches back when we first married in 2002 both still in University. Well, mostly, we still had nearly 100,000 in debt when we graduated! We worked hard, continued living like students, we were more than content and already had more than enough. In the two years after graduation, we bought our first home, had our first baby and paid off our entire student debt! I don’t know why we stopped saving at that rate! We fell into the trap I guess and we just spent it all on us and the kids instead. Filled our house with useless junk and trinkets, that I only would complain about having to organize over and over again. And we kept buying more expensive and bigger homes (that’s what you do with a growing family, right?). Hardly saved a penny the past 6 years (with the exception of RESPs and my husband is self employed and the business is doing well). The last year felt like we were living pay to pay. Ridiculous! But we were both truly blind. Here we thought we’d be happy with the eating out and the two cars and the big house with the nicer view and the double garage and the stainless steel appliances and the granite and the walkin closets full of clothes… and I’ve been left so unhappy for a while now! Finding this site has brought happiness and hope back into my life, it is freeing my thoughts and giving me the ability to line up our living & spending up with what our values have been all along. My kids have their mom back. My husband and I… this has probably saved our marriage. I was being swallowed whole by this suburban high spending lifestyle, thinking all along that this is just how “everyone else” was living (and yet still looking around for the next thing! Like the new winter coat and a Land Rover and the nicer furniture for the new dining room– writing this makes me feel sick now). There are still lots of things to change about our spending and making different choices going forward but I have already cut my grocery bill in half just from waking up and paying attention. Other than groceries and gas we haven’t bought anything in 2 months… and I feel like I am starting to breathe again. I was literally suffocating. That life was EXTREME and I couldn’t even see it.

    Reply
    • Val February 27, 2015, 2:40 pm

      Awesome comment. It really gets easier and more fun, and soon you’ll be able to see the sunk costs of your previous lifestyle as a valuable lesson and a resource to mine for fun ( for example, learn out to fix the oldest of your cars)

      Good luck and I’m happy your family is getting back to being a strong partnership

      Reply
    • stellamarina February 27, 2015, 2:48 pm

      You might enjoy the Aussie blog …..Down to Earth. It is practical inspiration for simple living in the home.

      Reply
    • chris Cambria February 27, 2015, 4:27 pm

      great that yout found your way out of brain washed consumerism into real life and honest experiences. comments like yours keep me motivated to stay on track.
      @ MMM great entertainmaint combined with life experience is a hell of a laugh.

      Reply
    • Squeakywheel March 7, 2015, 10:54 am

      So happy for you that you’ve opened your eyes and gotten off the consumerist treadmill. Somehow when my kids were young, I also felt that I needed to keep to give them everything, because of course I loved them so much. Thankfully I realized in time that the biggest gift I could give them was modeling the ability to make our own choices, not following the pack except when it suits us. Now my son (16) won’t even let me buy him anything. He is so proud of the money he earns through his own hard work, and he does not spend it except on things he feels are truly needed. I was so happy when a thank-you letter showed up at our house to him from the local public radio station–he had made a $15 donation.

      Reply
    • Nuke March 8, 2015, 6:38 am

      Awesome comment. Very well written IMO.

      Reply
  • R. S. February 27, 2015, 1:01 pm

    Reply
  • steve February 27, 2015, 1:18 pm

    “jobs that party you 26 dollars a hour”

    Party? Type-o or Freudian slip?

    Reply
  • Mr. Spade February 27, 2015, 4:23 pm

    $2 per person per meal= beyond bullshit.

    Reply
    • Mr. Money Mustache March 3, 2015, 9:26 am

      You’re right man.. I should probably bring it back down to $1.00 like we used to eat before becoming so sloppy with money in these last few years of crazy surplus. It would be worthwhile just to show how easily it could be done. Thanks for the idea.

      Reply
      • Mr. Frugal Toque March 3, 2015, 12:40 pm

        I think you misunderstood his comment.
        What he intended to convey was his belief that your expenditure of $2 per meal reflects an ability to get past the bullshit of the typical north american, processed food diet.
        It was actually a compliment.
        Sort of like “That MMM saves over half his money! He gets beyond all the consumer bullshit in our culture!”

        Reply
  • fhtagn February 27, 2015, 10:21 pm

    “millionaire-style grocery shopping”

    Don’t phrases like that reinforce the popular concept of a millionaire as someone who *spends* a lot of money? It may be why people can’t see obvious paths to wealth (like spending much less than they earn) and can’t hang onto money from inheritances, lotteries, etc.

    How about saying something like “extravagant” instead of “millionaire-style” to avoid this cognitive dissonance? “Kingly” is a good adjective too (and I wouldn’t be surprised to find modern supermarkets better stocked than the castles of old).

    Reply
    • Miniwing October 19, 2016, 7:46 am

      I think the point was that he should be spending $1 per meal per person and since he’s spending $2 it is spending like people expect millionaires to spend.

      Reply
  • Israeli Semi-Mustachian February 27, 2015, 11:53 pm

    Hooray for me!

    I’ve just finished reading all MMM posts since the beginning of time. It took me more than a year to do so, but it was more than worth it – from a narrow financial ROI point of view but more importantly from a lifestyle happiness ROI point of view too. And that’s with FIRE still about 10 years away.

    Thank you, MMM, your family, and other contributors!

    Reply
  • The Escape Artist February 28, 2015, 8:07 am

    Dear Mr Money Mustache

    I have an idea that might help get your book written quickly …there is now a service that allows you to get this done via interview / dictation…much quicker than typing it all out yourself….you can check it out at this link. http://lioncrest.com/bookinabox/

    Yes, it does involve some outsourcing but better that than time away form your family or never getting it done?
    I’m not connected to the company that do this, so this comment is 100% non-promotional….my only angle is that I want to read your book if / when it comes out!

    Reply
  • thejuntotimes February 28, 2015, 11:43 am

    Amazing how I know many of the answers to the simple questions already, but forget to apply them all the time. Constant simple reminders help us to form habits which then become part of our character over long periods of time. Some of these are hilarious btw

    Reply
  • Steve February 28, 2015, 8:37 pm

    hubris

    Reply
  • Frugal Bazooka March 1, 2015, 12:31 am

    Enjoyed re-reading some of the great advice from old blog posts. For new readers this post is a great primer for getting a feel for what this is all about.

    Reply
  • Mr. FC March 1, 2015, 5:56 pm

    I especially like “simple math behind early retirement.” No better place to find the answer to that question than here. Sometimes Google gets it right. :)

    Reply
  • Jim Sokoloff March 1, 2015, 7:39 pm

    Ting now supports iPhones as well, and is launching a GSM beta. (No connection to Ting other than very satisfied customer.)

    Reply

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