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Mr. Money Mustache Turns Six Years Old

Taking down the old sign at the future MMM HQ building last month. Much more has changed since then!

Taking down the old sign at the future MMM HQ building last month. Much more has changed since then!

In early April of 2011, I started a blog. Although I secretly hoped that lots of people would end up reading it, it was partly just a form of personal therapy – a place where I fight back against a world that had obviously lost its mind, by sharing some financial and living advice that should have already been obvious.

This weird hobby ended up being a pretty good idea, as it has blown up my life in many ways and made it even more satisfying. Early retirement is already a great thing, but enjoying a long, youthful retirement where you get to feel like you’re actually helping other people is far better.  This website has served about 25 million unique visitors, and even the regulars are now in the seven digits. On top of that, I’ve had the honor (and sometimes embarrassment) of showing up in several bigger bits of media (some of them listed on this Media page).

But it’s tough to have such a big opportunity and still maintain a mostly-retired life. When you do the math, even a small bit of extra research and work on my part to make these articles more accurate and less haphazard, would provide much more benefit to these people than any inconvenience it would cause me.

Side note: The most powerful media boosts were not those stories in The New Yorker, TV News shows, or the Wall Street Journal like you’d expect, but rather an unscripted and rambling conversation on the Tim Ferriss Podcast – a sign of how much the world is changing beneath the feet of the old establishment.

Logically, this means that I really should be working on MMM project full-time, and have a big team of dedicated helpers. An even bigger site could create plenty of money to allow this and the work is very rewarding. That extra money could benefit a whole lot of people.

But I really don’t like sitting down and typing indoors all day. So instead I constantly choose to slack off by indulging in low-wage DIY construction work and spending time with family and friends. In the time since my last blog article, we bought an old building downtown and embarked upon a major renovation of it. But this construction project has in turn been interrupted by several visiting guests, a four-day snowboarding trip, and a flurry of local meetings. This week, my son and I spent about 4 hours developing some homemade rifle scopes for Nerf guns. There’s just so much to do in life besides the most “important” work.

The self-imposed pressure to always do more is a nag, but it would be ridiculous for me to ever complain about a life like this. So instead, I will just say “Thanks” for this first amazing six years, and here’s to our next sixty years of changing the world together.

And by “together” I mean, “You doing all the hard work of shifting to a a more badass, efficient, wealthy lifestyle while also converting your friends, while I hang out here in Longmont and occasionally type some shit into the computer to egg you on.”

Useful Stuff and News:

1: How to Find Stuff on Mr. Money Mustache or Anywhere else:

Many people send me emails asking for advice, not knowing I’ve already written about the subject in the past. To find past articles, try typing stuff like the following into your web browser:

site:mrmoneymustache.com 401k
site:mrmoneymustache.com car clowns

and so on. You can do this with any web site and find useful information in their old stuff very easily. For example, let’s search the entire “forum” section of this blog (since it has about 1.4 million different posts from over 32,000 registered members) for conversations about scholarships:

site:forum.mrmoneymustache.com scholarships

Or search every city in the entire US and beyond (via Craigslist) for used Nissan Leafs:

site:craigslist.org nissan leaf

Tangential Pro Tip: you can buy a car from someone you trust in another state, negotiate the deal however you like, then then get it shipped directly to you via companies like Uship – typically for under $1000.  A great trick for casting a wider net!

2: Stuff I’ve been doing besides Writing Blog Posts:

Writing the Foreword to the upcoming “Your Money or Your Life”

Through good fortune and the Magic of the Internet, Vicki Robin, the author of the original book that brought Financial Independence into the consciousness of the modern world, has decided to write a new edition of the book and ended up joining forces with today’s happy circle of FI writers. She invited me to write the foreword to the new edition, which is obviously an amazing honor. I’ll let you know when the new version of Your Money Or Your Life comes out – it will surely become the new standard by which all other books on personal finance are judged. You can listen to Vicki’s moving story of a lifetime of activism in her interview on this podcast from our mutual friend The Mad Fientist.

Reading the Foreword to “The Simple Path to Wealth”

Yet another friend and all-around-good-guy Jim Collins wrote a great book on how simple stock investing is, and it turned out to be a stunning success. So successful that Jim told me he has been forced to massively increase his charitable giving program, which made me very happy. And so successful that the publishing industry came back to him to do an audio book version of The Simple Path, for use on Amazon’s Audible.com library.

Now, this book also happensto include a foreword from old Mr. Money Mustache. Since Jim is doing his own narration, they asked me to narrate my own foreword. I gladly agreed, and this has become yet another small but important task piled upon my Jenga tower of a life.

Pop-Up Business School Comes to America

On the last group Ecuador trip, I met a high-energy entrepreneurial British fellow named Alan Donegan who runs a school that trains people to start their own businesses – with very little money. He gave an impromptu session to the 25 or so of us on that trip, and we were all impressed and entertained.

So far, it has helped thousands of people in England, and he was thinking of trying it on this side of the pond. If we can get our act together quickly enough, we’ll host him here in Longmont this summer, and maybe in other cities as well. If you want to add your town to the list of stops, or support our effort here in Stashtown, you can find Alan through his Pop-up Business School website.

That’s it for the Birthday Edition. I’ll be back with new, better-than-ever articles just as soon as it’s time to take the next break from real life. I hope your Spring is going just as well.

Related Reading: How to Start a Blog

  • Elizabeth April 14, 2017, 3:00 am

    Happy birthday! Discovered your site about 3.5 years ago (Nov 2013). My husband was opposed for a couple years, but the drag of the corporate world was getting to him. Fast forward today, we are virtually FI as of this week. We are 37. We cut so many frivolous things….the forum has literally saved us thousands of dollars and years shaved off of not working.

    Hubby found something he loves, would do for free but lucrative (for our meager means) and is getting going into that. Planning on quitting at a moment’s notice from his corporate job. I have been a SAHM to our toddlers now for the last year. We moved to an extremely walkable area that is vibrant, excellent schools, and neat people and our home is smaller at 1642 sq ft (downsized by 1,000 sq ft). Hubby walks to work. We are healthier and wealthier. You have impacted so many. I wish you and your family nothing but the best in health and happiness.

    Reply
  • Master Duke April 15, 2017, 12:35 pm

    This was the first early retirement/financial freedom blog I read. Once I read about biking, I bought one! Since then I have biked so many times to work that I’ve lost count! After reading a few post over the span of the week, that weekend I literally sat down with my IPad and read every post in chronological order. It was life changing and it has made my life go into a different direction. One with less things, more experiences, and happier relationships. The good things in my life have become great, and I’m working to save at least 50% of my income in my early 20s already!

    Definitely appreciate all of the time you took researching and love the writing style. Can’t wait to read the foreword, what an honor!!

    Reply
  • Jan April 15, 2017, 1:29 pm

    MMM, I found your blog about 3 years ago and it changed my life. At that time I was trying to find a way for my financial freedom. And then I discovered your blog and was immediately in! Live frugally, save as much as you can and invest the rest into stock funds. That was it, no more searching. It was relatively easy for me since I’ve always been quite frugal saving 20-40% of my income in my pre-mustachian life. Now I can do 35-50% after some adjustments. But before I didn’t know where to invest my savings so it was just idling on my savings account earning very little interest. So I learned to invest in dividend funds (which are a better option than general index funds in Europe in my opinion). I come from a small Central-European country called Czech Republic and I wanted to spread the word of mustachianism in my country. So I started my own blog called Financni Byk (Financial Bull in English) and I started translating some of your articles in Czech language. Only a while ago I learned that I should have a formal approval of author of the articles I translate. So I’d like to ask you to let me translate your articles in Czech language as a way to spread a word of mustachianism in Europe. Thanks and all the best for another six years!

    Reply
  • Doug April 16, 2017, 11:59 am

    Seeing as everyone else who frequents this site has posted a comment, it looks like it’s my turn. First, congratulations on posting 6 years of good, informative, and often funny postings! I discovered this blog in late 2012 or early 2013 when someone mentioned it in a comment posted on http://www.greaterfool.ca, another blog I regularly follow. Like Mr. and MRS. MMM,
    I’m also an early retiree with similar views about life and efficiency, at least partly due to my like minded engineering background. I worked full time from 1986 to 1995, when I took an employer staff reducing buyout. Between then and 2013, I had been working on and off on temporary assignments, and finally decided to call it quits. Retirement is awesome!
    In closing, keep up the good work, MMM, of reminding us that early retirement is and living in a more efficient and eco conscious manner is possible and how to go about it.

    Reply
    • Kathy Abell April 19, 2017, 6:06 pm

      Re: “Retirement is awesome!”

      This is the secret the head honchos don’t want their wage slaves to discover.

      Everything is geared towards the philosophy of “work harder, earn more money, buy more stuff.” While there is dignity in hard work that brings one joy and satisfaction in its accomplishment, there is only drudgery in work that simply supports the endless consumption of the world’s scarce resources. It’s sad that too many people work at jobs they hate in order to support a lifestyle of over abundance, when with a few minor lifestyle adjustments they could have a much more rewarding existence – which has nothing to do with the size of their salary or the amount of things they own.

      Reply
    • Doug April 21, 2017, 3:21 pm

      Interesting reply. I don’t know why more people don’t figure it out themselves that retirement could be awesome, as I already did by the time I was a teenager. Similarly, I never understood this idea that as you get older you need to make MORE money to buy more and more stuff. I figured it should work like getting a train up to speed, where the diesel locomotive works hard at full power to overcome the inertia to build up speed, but once at cruising speed it takes far less power to overcome rolling friction to maintain speed. I found that as I got older and built up some equity in investments I didn’t need to work as much, and now can get away with working even less. it’s so simple.

      Reply
  • NH's G-Man April 17, 2017, 9:43 am

    I did it! I just finished reading every MMM blog post from the beginning until now! It took me about two months, but what a great bunch of readings/learnings. What an incredible resource and source of inspiration. It’s weird to realize there are thousands and even millions (?) of people a lot like me out there. I thought I was fairly alone in my approach to personal finance and frugality. But I”m not. Now I can’t wait to dig into the Forums. Thanks, MMM, on so many levels!

    Reply
  • TigerLily April 17, 2017, 6:57 pm

    Recently discovered your blog and absolutely LOVE it! I am “binge reading” all of your posts quite greedily!
    My husband and I are debt free (other than our house, and we should have that paid off in 2 years) and we’re greatly looking forward to having TIME FREEDOM, once we reach Financial Independence.
    Keep up the great work… you inspire, encourage and instruct wonderfully!

    Reply
  • Ben from NZ April 18, 2017, 7:14 am

    Love your work MMM. I found you when the Tim Ferriss podcast came out and have just finished reading the entire archive.
    All I can say is thanks. I’m just about to finish uni and had some apprehension around spending the rest of my youth selling my soul in some corporate job, but I’ve been mostly relieved of that thanks to your insight.
    I’ve got myself a bike and feel I have a strong foundation to take control of my life. So thank you! Hope you’re doing well mate, if you ever end up In NZ (or Australia) I’ll be here to show you around.

    Reply
  • New Millionaire P April 18, 2017, 3:32 pm

    As a long time follower of the MMM philosophy, congrats on the anniversary. I passed my minimum for early retirement years ago, and just hit a million in total assets, all through consistent saving and frugal living. This commitment to savings meant I easily afforded my brush with the American medical establishment, and only went back to work when I felt I could. I now work part time to enjoy more of life while I look for a nicer place to live.

    Reply
  • Eve Gurney April 19, 2017, 2:23 am

    Hi Mr MMM

    Happy Anniversary

    I live in England. Found your blog a couple of years ago. I am now 65 and have been “semi retired” for about 30 years,off and on.

    I love your blog and your writing style.

    re the swearing. ….lol.

    I tried for years to get my spendthrift second son to stop spending and to learn a bit of money sense. I nagged, I begged, I pleaded – all to no avail. He just kept on spending and getting deeper into debt. I kept trying to drill into him the need for a rainy day fund. I got nowhere.

    One day he came home from work and was really upset and scared. He was having problems and thought he was going to lose his job. Anyway we talked and I helped him calm down and find some solutions.

    At the end of our our talk I said “what you really need is a “Fuck You Fund”.

    I don’t normally swear much and he was absolutley “gobsmacked” as we say here. He was so shocked to hear me use the f word. He couldn’t believe his ears.

    Guess what though. It made him sit up and take notice.

    I bought a few easy money management books and casually left them lying around. He took the bait.

    He’s now a changed man.

    Hes s not rich (yet). But he’s on his way to FI, despite being in a low paid job. He’s spends wisely, invests and bought himself a wreck of a house which he has done up and which will sell at a decent profit. And then on to the next one.

    So thanks Mr MM . Thanks for showing me the way how to reach my son and help change his mindset.

    Keep up the good work.

    Kindest regards.

    Eve Gurney

    Reply
  • Jay April 19, 2017, 1:17 pm

    Wow, what one person can do is amazing. I also listened to the Vicki Robin podcast, and was fascinated by the level of activism she has committed over the years. MMM- have you considered spending more time with activism to actually change public policy? I was struck by Vicki’s analagy – we keep working to drag drowing babies out of the river downstream but never stop to think about why they are being thrown in the river upstream!

    Thanks for spearheading this movement. JayP

    Reply
  • Concojones April 20, 2017, 1:50 pm

    MMM, you’re an inspiration!!

    Reply
  • Adam Eff April 20, 2017, 5:38 pm

    Mustache HQ?!?! Is this the place where people can go and get their free face punches? ;)

    Reply
  • Dividend Wisp April 20, 2017, 7:40 pm

    Thank you for pumping out so much useful information about investing, frugality and making the mustachian way! You are an inspiring dude to be sure!

    Reply
  • Dannielle April 21, 2017, 7:24 am

    “Writing the Foreword to the upcoming “Your Money or Your Life””

    Well, damn! This is an amazing opportunity! Strong work, MMM. Thank you for always sharing with us and inspiring us.

    Reply
  • Dave April 21, 2017, 11:17 am

    Happy 6th anniversary. You do some amazing work. I enjoy your blog, forum, and interviews. You have done a great deal for the FI movement.

    Reply
  • Mark April 21, 2017, 2:33 pm

    Congrats on your anniversary. I discovered your blog a few years ago and it inspired me to remain car free (and commute by bike) even though I was really tempted to buy a sports car. This blog isn’t just great for learning financial literacy but it’s also a motivation tool for those already on the path and who just need some inspiration every now and then.

    To six more great years!

    Reply
  • Jeremy Fleming April 22, 2017, 7:30 am

    I’m a recent addict of your site, having discovered it on Tim Ferriss’ podcast. Your ideologies are like an amalgamation of those of Mr. Ferriss, Mark Sisson, and the Minimalists, and with 87% more potty mouth. It’s exactly what I needed at exactly the right time, as my family and I are in the process of simplifying, scaling back, and beginning to look at money for what it is: a tool.

    Thanks!

    Reply
  • Wendi April 22, 2017, 9:21 am

    Mr Stashe,

    I’ve often heard you say in interviews that money is literally falling from the sky and all you have to do is go outside and catch it. I totally believe you, but I wonder if you could be more specific. I make a good income at a job I like, but I’m certainly not at money-falling-from-the-sky status. I literally think about this comment as I fall asleep. Are you talking about things like blogging, starting a small business, what? Please assist my clear lack of imagination on this point.

    Love the blog!

    Wendi

    Reply
    • Wendi April 22, 2017, 9:24 am

      I just realized I spelled stache wrong. That’s unfortunate

      Reply
    • The Wealthy Accountant April 22, 2017, 8:03 pm

      Wendi, I don’t know about Mr. Stache, but I think if you save half your gross income, invest in broad-based index funds (Vanguard is recommended) and live a Mustachian lifestyle of $25,000 to $30,000 of spending per year max, you will find money is everywhere and keeps pouring in. Unrealized capital gains go untaxed, dividends are nice and constantly rising. It’s not what you earn; it’s what you do with what you earn. Spend it all and things are tough. Follow the above advice (and the advice throughout the MMM blog) and I think you will agree with MMM: money is falling from the sky. It does not take long before you can’t possibly spend all you earn with a responsible lifestyle.

      There has never been a better time in history to be a human than now.

      Reply
      • Wendi April 28, 2017, 8:30 am

        Thank you for your response! I’ve read all his posts and yet I still find myself more focused on the money that is coming in than with making sure it’s not all running out my sleeve. This was a good reminder!

        Reply
  • Juan April 24, 2017, 8:03 am

    Congrats on the anniversary and the well deserved success of the blog so far!

    I have always hated waste and enjoyed living a great life on much less $ than the average American. Finding your blog about 2 years ago, inspired my to kick my badassity into higher gear and have had a lot of fun through the process.

    Reply
  • JStrider April 24, 2017, 3:23 pm

    Just finished reading every post on the blog! took me a few months!

    I’ve always been a good saver, and avoided loans. Reading this site has really pushed me in the right direction as far as watching what I spend, and making my savings work for me. I always thought working 40+ years was for chumps, and now, I’m setting myself up to not have to!

    Thanks! Congrats on the successful 6 years!

    Reply
  • Ten Factorial Rocks April 25, 2017, 2:57 am

    Congratulations Pete for creating and sustaining this blog and the wonderful community around it. I have been reading your site for over 5 years now and you have been an amazing inspiration to me. Eventually, I got off my lazy behind and started my own blog last year to help interested folks understand FI from multiple perspectives and to fill the ‘gaps’ in relevant content in mainstream media and even other PF websites. It is turning into quite a journey.

    Reply
  • Ed April 25, 2017, 8:45 am

    Congrats & thanks for all you do. I think its been 4 years since I started, and I will retire in April, largely due to the changes I have made as a result of reading your blog. There are so many things that your posts have triggered at different times, where I went down a rabbit hole studying or trying different things. Your ideas always keep me challenged, and seeking to learn. Again, much thanks. Oh the Vicki Robin thing…wow…so cool ….

    Reply
  • ZJ Thorne May 2, 2017, 7:02 am

    Congrats on 6 years of learning and teaching others. The world is definitely a better place because of your actions and insights. Thanks for letting us along for the ride.

    Reply
  • RobDiesel May 8, 2017, 7:25 am

    I had a chuckle at your building downtown being right next to Mister Money – a company that might help some of yoru fans eliminate clutter in their lives. hjeh hjeh hjeh

    Reply

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welcome new readers

Take a look around. If you think you are hardcore enough to handle Maximum Mustache, feel free to start at the first article and read your way up to the present using the links at the bottom of each article.

For more casual sampling, have a look at this complete list of all posts since the beginning of time. Go ahead and click on any titles that intrigue you, and I hope to see you around here more often.

Love, Mr. Money Mustache

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