So I think MMM's latest post on why it's better to not spend money makes a lot of excellent points. I just don't happen to agree with this part of his philosophy. For me, him saying that he continues to be frugal because "We donít want to lose the challenge and the spice that is part of life right now ", sounds just as ridiculous as "The only way to be happy is by achieving success in your career." Both of those things may be true for the speaker, but not for me.
There are two reasons why I am "frugal", one of which is dependent on the amount of money I have and one of which isn't.
1. It's more efficient than working for money, and more enjoyable. Not that it's enjoyable (and this is I think the key difference between MMM's post and my thinking), just that it's a hell of a lot more fun.
For example, for me to plan my meals and cook them is easier and more fun than to work to earn that amount of money. If I had an infinite amount of money, I would have a chef cook for me. I'd probably still cook some things for fun, but mostly I would have my chef do it [I suspect I'd find dealing with the chef is more hassle than just cooking the food myself, but that's unrelated]. The same logic applies to almost everything in life, there are some things I currently "have to do" that I would "want to do" still, but mostly, I'd replace all "have to do's" with things I enjoy doing more.
Not that I don't enjoy the challenge of living efficiently. But that's a long way from saying there aren't challenges I'd enjoy more.
2. I derive no pleasure from spending money. And spending money is work. This would not change one bit if I had infinite money. I wouldn't suddenly by a big house. Not because a small house is cheaper, but because a small house is easier and it meets my needs.
The last MMM post is way to "frugality for frugality's sake" for my tastes. Money is only a means to an end, and for me the ideal existence is would be to completely oblivious to its existence. My absolute favorite quote about money, from Forrest Gump "Lt. Dann called and said we don't have to worry about money no more. I said that's good, one less thing."
In practice, of course, barring some huge windfall that I don't see coming, my life will probably look exactly like MMM. Or at least it would in a few years when I retire and if I have a kid and live in CO. I will always be frugal, because it better maximizes life for my tastes to live like this and not work (very much longer) than it is to earn enough to be totally free of money.
Where do other people come down on this?