How to Tell if You’re a Complainypants

When I read an article about an olympic athlete who can swim further and faster than I can even run, I don’t immediately find his blog and write a complaint that he is training too hard and failed to take into account time for commuting, chronic illnesses, or TV watching in his lifestyle.

When I was a teenager sitting in the Mac’s Convenience store reading bodybuilding magazines that described the mindset and methods that allowed Arnold Schwarzenegger and Lee Haney to each win seven consecutive Mr. Olympia titles, I didn’t write to those Muscular Mustachians about why I couldn’t accomplish those things either.

When I read newspaper articles about the Fifty Billion Dollars that Warren Buffett has earned for his company by being the world’s greatest investor for fifty straight years,  I don’t jump into the comments section along with the General Wussypopulace and complain that Warren has led an evil life and doesn’t understand the plight of the common man.

And when I read Early Retirement Extreme, where Jacob has for several years described the mindset and techniques that  allow him to live a very fulfilling life on about $7,000 per year, I don’t angrily write him a comment about how he has failed to include certain mandatory expenses in American life and is therefore misleading his audience.

And when their asses are saved by Superman, the people of Metropolis and the surrounding region don’t get mad at him and say, “Well, fine, Superman, it was easy for you to freeze that lake with your breath and then fly it over to the burning oil refinery where it melted to cause rain to extinguish the fire. But what about all us regular firemen, we have warm breath and are stuck with standard firefighting equipment – we’re going to post complaints on your blog!?”

No, when I hear about someone who is doing something better than me, even if the details of his choices or genetic abilities differ slightly from my own strategy,   I bow the fuck down and respect his innovation and acknowledge that I have so far failed to achieve his level of badassity. Then I secretly try to learn from his success.

Because of this tendency to want to learn from people who have unusual skills, rather than try to talk them back down to my own level, I am going to postulate that I am NOT too much of a Complainypants. I already know that there are millions of people out there who are better than me in every measurable way. And I hope to continue to learn from them. And this ability to learn from (rather than become frustrated with) people who are good at various things, brings an extra dollop satisfaction to my life every day. Many of the non-complainers in the audience surely feel the same way.

So why, the fuck, do people like to write to Mr. Money Mustache EVERY DAY and tell him that he has failed to take into account certain things in his lifestyle or retirement strategy, and thus is writing this blog on fraudulent pretenses??

No, I haven’t failed to take anything into account! Yes, I am fully covered for inflation, education, health, fun, shelter, retirement, old age, and everything else that is easily foreseeable in a standard middle-class life. And yes, situations change, and I’m fully covered for changing situations as well – because of the exact same thing that covered me for the things above – ADAPTABILITY. If your life situation changes, you can change your strategy. That’s called “solving a puzzle with your mind”, which happens to be the most fun and useful thing you can do with your mind anyway.

So why, the fuck, is everybody afraid of unknown situations and change? If anything, people should be afraid of lack of change. I’ve solved the relatively simple puzzle of reaching Early Retirement in a capitalist system so early that I actually have a shortage of puzzles right now. I’m struggling, just a tiny bit, with a lack of challenge in life, and as a result I’m sitting here on a sunny weekday morning in my basement office with no shirt on like a lazy slob, typing to you, procrastinating on doing the second half of my workout. I should be out accomplishing something bigger right now. There’s not enough change in my life, not enough puzzles to solve, and I am about to get off my ass and find some new ones to tackle*.

So, to get back to the point of this article – if you read all this and chuckled and said, “Heh, heh… Yeah! Listen to Mr. Money Mustache, tellin’ it like it is again! I’m gonna go solve a few of my own puzzles right fuckin’ now so I can wake up tomorrow even further ahead”, then congratulations, you are a Mustachian,  not a Complainypants.

If, on the other hand, you read the paragraphs, and stuck out your lower lip and said, “Oh, listen to that self-aggrandizing thirtysomething who has led a privileged life and doesn’t understand real hardship like I do, because of the following reasons I have it harder than him”, then guess what – you are still a Complainypants. Keep working on it, sucka.

A Complainypants looks only at results – seeing the external trappings or the successes of a particular role model’s life, and justifies why he can’t have those things. And then makes himself unhappy because of not having those results.

Instead, the Complainypants needs to think about the reward of puzzle-solving. It’s not the results that make you happy, it’s the using of your own mind and skills to advance your own cause. You won’t get any further telling me that I have failed to account for your particular life’s situation in my blog.

You will get further by figuring out how to solve the situation for yourself, and then writing in a comment telling us how you solved it in an innovative way, so we can all be awed by how you have out-badassed Mr. Money Mustache!!!

So let’s hear it.




*Luckily, the Foreclosure Project starting in just over two weeks will be one of those.


  • Brandy October 7, 2011, 2:04 pm

    Love it!! I have missed these articles!

    • Dividend Growth Investor February 5, 2014, 1:04 pm

      I like the article and your site MMM, However, is it possible that many of those complaining to you are merely internet trolls, whose goal is to create arguments merely to upset people.

      I think you should keep preaching what you are preaching, and ignore those that don’t get your message. After all, your “customers” are those that understand your ideas, and you should be writing for them. Don’t write for the internet trolls or those that don’t get what you are saying – you can’t change people overnight.

      Keep up the good work Pete!

      Dividend Growth Investor

  • Madge October 7, 2011, 2:19 pm

    preach, MMM! i bow humbly in your direction while taking notes!

    • Ike July 31, 2013, 8:29 am

      Oh how I wish I read this blog when it first came out. I would be retiring in 2 years! but now I have to wait 10 years because of my suck A$$ life!

      • Matt K October 6, 2015, 3:09 pm

        Ha! I feel the same way! I’ve been working my way through ALL the posts getting more and more excited about squirreling away more and more money. I thought to myself (wrongly) that I was doing well increasing my retirement contribution by 1 point every year and being somewhere around 9% at age 30. I even have the “right” education being a CPA and all. Then I heard about MMM on NPR or someplace, started reading and realized just how wholly inadequate my “savings” were. I’m happily at 20%, just opened an IRA for my wife and a Roth in my name, cancelled cable and hoping to work up to 40% savings rate in a year or two. We’ll see how that goes:). In the meantime. Just reading and learning.

  • Dancedancekj October 7, 2011, 2:29 pm

    Yes! This post was fucking awesome. I had been doing some complainy-pantsing lately, and this is the kick in the ass that I needed.
    Like I’ve said, one of the things I like about MMM is the fact that there are concrete and innovative solutions. As humans, the reason why we’ve survived for so long and become so prosperous is the fact that we’ve been so incredibly adaptive to change. I believe that all humans will find ways to adapt to the current situation, no matter what. That is, if they stop complaining long enough to start coming up with some solutions :)

  • Doug G October 7, 2011, 2:40 pm

    This is the best post i have seen in a long time anywhere on the web and i am going to steal “complainypants”

    Keep up the good work.

    • jlcollinsnh December 2, 2011, 8:33 pm

      yep. I’ll be stealing, I mean adopting, that new word, too. :)

  • Kevin M October 7, 2011, 2:43 pm

    A-mother f’in-men.

    This is typical of our society – seeing only the result while ignoring all the hard work that led up to it.

  • Geek October 7, 2011, 3:20 pm

    I appreciate the straight talk for those of us with the ability. Eg I have asthma and require different meds and other things, but I can still get off my ass and retire mega early, and make allowances for these expenses, and I’m going to.

    And people with an average salary can do it to.

    This post gets dangerously close to blaming people for not being able, IMO. People that complain obviously have time to complain, and thus, time to work on their finances and improve their lot. But there are millions of people without jobs who try very hard. There really is a point -and going by bell curves and definitions, most of us don’t come close I’m sure- where you can’t do any more.

    The SPENT game is a good illustration. Try it. You’ll say “oh but that’s so fabricated”, but the thing is, anyone can lose their job and run out of money trying to just maintain their life. And yeah, it’s not likely your car registration, a field trip, getting sick, a parking ticket, and 10 other things happen all at once, but it just has to happen to a few % of people for poverty to take hold.

    • Brandy October 7, 2011, 3:43 pm

      I went to playspent.org and played that stupid game. What a bunch of liberal crap!

      • MMM October 7, 2011, 4:05 pm

        Warning: neither liberals or conservatives have a monopoly on complainypants disease, so we’re not accepting any generalizations based on party line. If both sides were cured of the disease, politics would actually start to be pleasant and fun and we would have nothing to argue over, because we would resolve any factual disputes by turning to science. Without complainypants disease, ideology disappears.

        • Brandy October 7, 2011, 4:12 pm

          I agree…and I can be a complainypants too! I am just saying the game is made so if you don’t want to join the Union it is because you feel scared to stand up and demand better wages. Not because you think you are paid just fine and think if you want to be paid more you will talk to your boss and get it done!

          • MMM October 8, 2011, 12:18 am

            Oh… yeah, that does sound like a bunch of liberal crap – and this is coming from a guy who is accused of being a liberal by this country’s standards :-)

          • KWolf October 14, 2011, 9:33 pm

            If your boss will listen to you, and is not demeaning and abusive, etc. So it’s total liberal crap if you actually have the option. If you don’t have the option, the Union IS the innovation that you use to figure out how to get around the problem!

      • Jonathan October 19, 2011, 7:55 am

        I went through a SPENT scenario and found it entirely plausible – there is nothing ‘liberal’ about a limited income and life’s curveballs pinging you left and right. If this had been an actual ‘liberal’ piece it would have compared our Social Darwinism to life in a European progressive western democracy. This appears to simply map out a variety of ways our social and economic arrangements can hit those on the increasingly lower rungs of the money ladder and how little options there are for someone who cannot tap an IRA.
        I am reminded that half of American bankruptcies are medical-expense induced and that the majority of those are people were actually full-time workers covered with good medical plans. I’ve worked overseas and seen how inexpensive this can be for the individual and society. I am developing an attitude about America’s ‘Devil Take The Hindmost’ approach to civil society.

        Capitalism is a great thing and can stack up resources to accomplish awesome feats, but it can also get silo’d into coffers: stashed away restricting monetary opportunity for those that are tapped out.

        • Spork October 19, 2011, 8:21 am

          I’ve often wondered about those American bankruptcy statistics. It’s not that I necessarily doubt the “50% are medical expenses”… I can easily swallow that. What I wonder is “What is the percentage of people that are already living outside their means AND THEN get a medical emergency.” It makes me think there might be another explanation here… or at least a better explanation here.

          I’ve looked occasionally for real statistics on this and haven’t found them… but I’m curious. (And I mean REAL statistics… not some pundit-ized statistics to try to prove some point one way or the other.)

          • MMM October 19, 2011, 9:05 am

            It is true – if someone goes bankrupt because of $5,000 or $10,000 in medical expenses, it wasn’t the medical expenses that caused the bankruptcy. It was the fact that they didn’t have $5-10k available.. a situation that I would recommend getting out of before even buying the first restaurant meal of your life :-).

            Of course, there are always exceptions to every rant and I know that limited skills, incomes, or other curveballs in life can cause even a frugal person to have no money. But for the rest of us – the ones with 2008 automobiles and cable TV and hair salon appointments – the huge percentage of over-30k-income people with self-imposed debt.. those are the ones who in theory should build assets before spending.

            And as mentioned in other parts of this blog, I still think we should have single-payer health care in the US, because it has been proven to work better than our own system at lower cost, and then we could all stop wasting our time talking about it.

            • IAmNotABartender November 25, 2014, 3:55 pm

              Medical bills can easily be hundreds of thousands of dollars. But hopefully the ACA is helping in that regard, even if it’s not single payer.

            • Karen December 10, 2014, 11:39 pm

              Yes!! Single payer is the only solution. Thank you!

        • Fredcanfly August 27, 2014, 9:16 pm


          I realize it’s been many years since the post I am replying to, but I just had to!

          As one of those “dumb consumers” who thought their income would last forever for many years, I found this game ridiculous. I was in the Air Force, going around the world saying that it’s a government job, what could happen? Now, I am disabled and my income has been cut by 75%! Ouch! I was young and dumb and thought that it could never happen to me. Anyway, back on subject.

          My beef with the game is that instead of showing circumstances that got you there, it shows how out of touch with your own life you really are! I mean, how do you not know that you have an electric bill? How do you not know that vehicle registration is coming up? How are you so poor and clueless when you obviously have rich friends to borrow money from? I don’t know, maybe they changed the game since you played it. I can say there are some people out there that are like this game, but if you are trying to elicit help for the poor, highlighting those people certainly does not help your case!

          I also wanted to say that no situation is impossible. I was deemed unfit for service (after my case was fast tracked – 3 months from start to out!) about 3 years ago. I had a house that was worth only about 2/3 of what my mortgage was for, I had a gas-guzzling super truck (and a healthy loan on that, to boot), a zero savings account balance, about $14K in credit card debt, and a wife and 2 kids to support! We went very quickly from being able to afford those things, to not. Today, we have one very reliable car, another house with much cheaper mortgage payments (thank God for the VA), and an emergency fund to cover 3 months income. We still have the other house, but we don’t have the payment on it (thank God for renters). We have paid off the credit cards as well. If I can do all of that after a 75% pay cut, I think anyone can do it! So quit your whining and get off your ass and make it happen!

          • Uberwheezy September 26, 2015, 9:29 am

            I just want to say. Fredcanfly, you ARE awesome! you just inspired me to kick my mission for early retirement up several notches! I’m 35 and just starting my retirement savings now.

            I’m starting late due to ignorance. Thankfully MMM and others have punched that out of the way. Also thank god I just got into a high income job and have no debt. You point out well that high income from a job isn’t guaranteed forever.

            Thanks for posting! Getting off my a$$ now!

    • MMM October 7, 2011, 3:48 pm

      Ahh yes, but I’m not talking about poverty, or the ability or inability of people to achieve any given result.

      I’m talking about Complainypants Disease, where people publicly discount the ideas of others, rather than trying to learn from others. And your comment comes dangerously close to having a tinge of Comainypants disease itself, IMO!

      You can be a badass Mustachian living in poverty, or you can be a six-figure complainypants. This distinction is not made along economic lines.

      • Geek October 10, 2011, 11:27 am

        Fair that you’re talking about Complainypants but – and I admitted the game sample was a wee bit extreme and unrealistic – it’s easy to assume that people can do things. I can. You can. Can everyone?

        • Bakari Kafele October 10, 2011, 12:43 pm

          People can do a whole hell of a lot more than most ordinary modern wealthy (i.e. working class or above) complacent Americans think they can do.

          I think that was probably one of the most important lessons they taught at bootcamp – you are capable of doing things you never thought you could.

          Only if someone makes a serious, concerted, and sustained effort at something, and still fails, have they earned the right to complain that it is too hard.

    • James October 11, 2011, 8:08 am

      I stopped the game when it said I wasn’t allowed to go without a car, even though I lived right next to my job. Ever hear of a bus? That game is a load of drivel, no matter what your ideological stripe is.

      • Jonathan October 19, 2011, 8:21 am

        Have you ever constructed an open-ended game with ever-increasing options that mirror life’s complexity? I think probably not or you’d have given some slack to the creators for limiting the amount what can be built in a particular time+space+budget. I found it a good general object lesson about making decisions and having life thrust choices upon you. I am having my ten year old son ‘SPENTing’ his afternoon thinking about growing up and assuming responsibilities when he’s back from school today.

        • Bakari October 19, 2011, 9:43 am

          There really are a few places where there is a very realistic third option in life, but not in the game.

          It reflects what many/most American’s THINK are there only choices. Not “being able” to give up the car is a perfect example. Canceling the cell phone (or getting a cheaper plan) instead of just ignoring the bill is another.
          Simply put, the third option is the MMM way.

          This isn’t to say that no one can have money trouble through no fault of their own, but this particular game just shows normal life for the working class, but tries to make it all dramatic.
          Even with the lack of options, I ended the game with money to spare (w/o borrowing money, donating blood, or stealing from my kid).

          The game is probably good for showing middle class people just how easy their life is, and maybe why a middle class person who suddenly has to live on working class income goes bankrupt, but it doesn’t really show that going broke is unavoidable – just the opposite!

      • Nunayo June 4, 2012, 11:25 am

        Yes! That is the aspect of the game I didn’t like, the option were far more restricted than they are in real life. I started out life with very limited resources, so I did not buy a car, get a cell phone, have a kid etc. until I was at least financially “stable” but these three things were imposed on me by the game. Yes, being poor is expensive, and an emergency can cripple a poor person, but mustachian choices are always available.

        • Denise December 16, 2015, 4:33 pm

          I think we are blind to our own privilege of seeing “other solutions” and seeing how the game is unnecessarily “restrictive.” Having been in a place of ignorance (I used to be a child!) I think we often forget that not everybody knows what you know. And that there was a time you didn’t know it either.
          We have the curse of knowledge, being able to see the way out of the woods much more easily than someone who doesn’t know that there is an “out of the woods” to get to… they’ve just been living their lives the best way they know how.
          For those of us with hope and optimism and access to the resources of “knowing the better way,” we can find our way out of another poor person’s particular situation. But if we were ACTUALLY that person, we would be living the life we have… and coping with the comments of condescending smarty-pants.
          Personally I view ignorance as a kind of disability. It’s real, affects your life, and makes it difficult if you feel limited, cheated or wronged by it. Luckily, it’s a kind of disability you can recover from, slowly increasing your range of motion in life until you too are Mustachian.

          • Kevin March 1, 2017, 9:58 pm

            yes and that’s precisely why you dont go ranting and raving over a blog that is trying to give you advice. the point is that moustachian principles apply at any income level and can help everyone (in fact, the very poor it can probably help the most). it’s the tendency of folks to see someone who is smarter/more talented/privileged than them in some way and then write off the whole exercise so they can justify not doing anything to help their situation and feel good about about expelling some faux-righteous anger.

        • Tara December 28, 2015, 5:36 am

          I agree, the game was very restrictive, much more than real life. In one week I had 7 financial emergencies that apparently I hadn’t accounted for….that almost never happens…

      • George July 27, 2016, 5:04 am

        On this point, it’s all relative. Living in Chicago like I did for a long time you certainly did not need a car and a good friend of mine went without for the 10-12 years he lived there (and is well on his way to early retirement). When I moved to Raleigh, NC I was amazed at how car dependent the area is. Selling real estate I have not been able to get away from a car in Chicago or here, but for someone commuting to the same location every day and time, most areas one can live in would likely require a car. That’s starting to change with the popularity of in and near downtown living and hopefully light rail in the not too distant future, but point is the car thing is relevant if PT is not sufficient and biking/walking not an option due to distance.

  • ComplainyLederhosen October 7, 2011, 3:44 pm

    If you feel better it was worth it. Otherwise ignore my evil twin ComplainyPants. Lifes not worth sweating the small stuff.

    • MMM October 7, 2011, 4:00 pm

      Hmm, I’m not sure if you are someone who feels this post was directed at you in particular, but don’t worry, it is not. It’s the culmination of years of research and hundreds of recent emails and comments around the web. I just threw it out there today as a feel good rocker for the weekend :-)

  • Jenny October 7, 2011, 3:49 pm

    Is it just awful that I couldn’t stop myself from giggling a little bit at this? Is it even worse that I don’t know why? I’m totally a complainypants, btw, but then I can usually pull my head out and do something about it.

  • Naomi October 7, 2011, 4:08 pm

    People complain because complaining is easy. People resist change because changing is hard. Change requires introspection, which is VERY hard.

    • KWolf October 14, 2011, 9:47 pm

      It depends on the nature of the complaint. Some of us have focused, dedicated whinges … the vent, the explosion of irritation with the situation that lets me hear my own thoughts, realize my level of discontent, and then–after the complaint–figure out what to do about it. So it’s a good question, for someone with a good track-record of actually doing things about the problems in my life; what to do with the whinge? Does it actually serve a purpose? Or is it a vestigial organ, and I could come up with another way of dealing with the irk that would also get my vision focused on solutions?

      • Tamara December 22, 2011, 7:15 am

        I read something interesting about “venting,” i.e,. complaining. It likened it to releasing small amounts energy as a way of postponing having to actually deal with that which you are complaining about. Meaning, if you stop complaining, you will be forced to deal with your situation sooner than you would otherwise. Sometimes we simply don’t want to deal with it yet, so we complain instead.

  • Gypsy Geek October 7, 2011, 4:35 pm

    Rock on MMM! You should put a no whining sign on your blog! I’m tired of the negativity too. Keep the articles coming. You’re an inspiration to many.

  • Marcia @Frugal Healthy Simple October 7, 2011, 4:39 pm

    You can’t POSSIBLY have taken everything into account, and some day something’s gonna happen, and someone will get sick, or a tornado will take your house, or you’ll lose everything you own, or Bigfoot will come down and eat your family, and then everyone will get to look all superior and say “I told you so”.

    Or maybe none of that will happen, and in 30 years the complainypants will still be bitter and say “well, he just got lucky”, and “but *I* really had a hard life”.

    • Mrs. Money Mustache October 7, 2011, 5:10 pm

      You’re right that you can’t possibly take everything into account, but you don’t really have to… yes, stuff can happen, but you figure it out and you move on.

      Stuff has happened to us (I’m sure MMM will talk about this one day, although he tends not to dwell on the negative) and while it was hard, we survived. Plus, we learned a lot from the experience, even if it was a very expensive and stressful lesson.

      Ultimately, whether you’re “retired” or not, stuff happens, but you’re in a much better place if you know how to deal with losing everything, by not needing much in the first place.

      Retirement is not about amassing a ton of money and then sitting around on your butt. It’s more about becoming independent (financially and otherwise) and actually becoming more adaptable so that you’re MORE able to deal with changes and unpredictability.

      That’s why anyone can learn to do this – it’s all about your perspective. Once it changes (which takes time), you end up seeing the world entirely differently.

      • Chris October 7, 2011, 8:29 pm

        “Retirement is not about amassing a ton of money and then sitting around on your butt. It’s more about becoming independent (financially and otherwise) and actually becoming more adaptable so that you’re MORE able to deal with changes and unpredictability.”

        Preach on Mrs MM! I just read this to my wife. I’m having a hard time right now putting my change of mindset (desire to embrace frugality and shoot for ER) into words that inspire and reassure my wife. I also like the last couple of sentences about “perspective.” Life is all about one’s perspective and it makes all the difference and enables you to see the virtue in living simply and enjoying the things that are free but truly “fill us” the most. Nice work!

        • MMM October 8, 2011, 12:29 am

          Chris and Mrs. Money Mustache – I’d say you BOTH win the MOST MUSTACHIAN COMMENT AWARD for today!!!

          Congratulations, and thanks for your badass and thoughtful comments.

      • Marcia @Frugal Healthy Simple October 7, 2011, 9:35 pm

        I think having the right attitude – that you CAN adjust, that change IS okay, and that you DO have control over your own destiny is a HUGE part of all of it.

        I have many siblings, and several of us have this attitude (which was my dad’s attitude). But my mom and my brother have always been more of the “woe is me”, and “I have no control” attitude.

        Sure, sometimes crap happens. Get up, dust yourself off, and keep going. What’s the alternative??

        • KWolf October 14, 2011, 9:54 pm

          That’s a great comment–“What’s the alternative?” One of my martial arts teachers once asked me, “Does it hurt enough to change it yet?” (in reference to a personal-life problem). And that about sums it up. What hurts more? To fix the problem or to live with it? And over what scale of time? Does it hurt a lot to change the situation right now, but save infinite trouble a few years down the road? Does it hurt just a little so that you wait to change it–until it becomes a new normal? Does it hurt to know that I could change it, and I hate leaving something sub-optimal, so the pain is more the “itch” of wanting to do something right? Some people operate out of motivation, joy of success. A lot more people operate from avoidance of pain–and ALL people avoid some pain, most pain. So where does that play out? That’s where the rubber hits the road–how you decide to deal with the pain, how you find ways to be motivated for joy’s sake, not for lack-of-discomfort.

          • Amonymous June 23, 2016, 10:14 pm

            Wow… Spot on.

            I love everything about this blog!

    • Peter January 12, 2012, 10:48 am

      There are things in this world, those in the construction industry refer to as “Acts of God,” that you cannot account for. Nobody. There is no such thing as 100% safe.
      That being said, if you spend your life trying to plan for them and worry about them, there are probably a lot more problems that come up because of the worry.
      Working until you’re old because something might have happend between the ages of 40-65 is stupid. If you are financially able, do what makes you happy. If it gets to be that bad, there are plenty of options available. And if it’s even worse then that, working another 25 years probably wouldn’t have helped.

      • Kevin March 1, 2017, 10:08 pm

        exactly. the frequency of acts of god is nowhere close to the frequency of bankruptcies or American’s mired in debt.

  • Rob Ross October 7, 2011, 5:23 pm

    Change is fundamental to our lives!

    Marcus Aurelius wrote that “The Universe is change . . . become accustomed to reflect that the Universe loves nothing more than to change the things that are and to make more things like them.”

    Ergo, in effect, the Universe likes to make more mustachians.


  • shanoboy October 7, 2011, 5:31 pm

    Holy crap Mr. Money Mustache. You are my true American hero. You’re like Clark Howard and Adam Carolla rolled up into a giant ball of frugal, financial, comedic golden awesomeness.

    You should consider doing a podcast.

    I’d also like to do a guest post if you happen to read this. :-)

    • MMM October 7, 2011, 5:59 pm

      Hell yeah, Send me the guest post!

  • Gerard October 7, 2011, 5:34 pm

    Yeah but…

    You offer advice, directly or implicitly. As a bike-ridin’, short-commutin’, debt-avoidin’, change-embracin’, mildly badass Canadian, I value most of it, but if we’re really all about letting science and reason solve our problems, we can’t cover our ears and go la-la-la if we suggest heating our homes with blowtorches and we get a dissenting comment from somebody wearing pants made of gasoline.

    Yes, smart readers should be taking what they can from bloggers’ advice and experience, but if we see *empirical* limits to the advice, it’s our job to bring ’em up.

    Granted, an awful lot of complainypantses don’t seem to be coming at it from that perspective…

    • MMM October 7, 2011, 5:58 pm

      Yeah, I certainly welcome any empirical questions to the advice.. but I have yet to see any. It usually gets lost in complainypants sentiment. A truly valid challenge would probably come in the form of a question.. “Mr. Money Mustache, how would you address the following statistical risk that I perceive.. have you thought of this?”

  • eabbey October 7, 2011, 6:22 pm

    Sooo…you are complaining because people do not see it as self evident that you are as awesome as Warren Buffett, Mary Lou Retton, and Mr. Universe?


  • Tracinator October 7, 2011, 7:57 pm

    Good for you, MMM. Tell those Complaineypants how it is! Because your advice is free, people are super eager to try to point out flaws and complain. If they had read this in an MMM book that they bought for $29.99, while drinking a $5.00 MocaChaiuccino, they would have taken your advice as the word of God.

    I really, really like how you make this blog interactive and respond to questions faster than you could say MMM and Complaineypants ruin it! Waah Wahh! I’d call the Wambulance for these people, but then I remember that the Complaineypants swear they can’t afford insurance.

    Thanks for all the good advice. You have a totally awesome blog (insert patting self on back here).

    • MMM October 8, 2011, 12:25 am

      The WAAAHmbulance! Nice, I had never heard that one before. I will copy it if you don’t mind.

      • Tracinator October 8, 2011, 5:49 am

        Copy away! I can’t take credit, I have heard this term used freely on the East Coast to put Complaineypants in their place! Gotta love the Urban Dictionary Definitions too:


        • Jess October 8, 2011, 3:48 pm

          haha, yes, the waahmbulance. This is why the East Coast is awesome. Because we think you should drink some coffee and get over yourself and start doing something productive.

  • Early Retirement Extreme October 7, 2011, 8:50 pm

    This is why the preferred educational method of zen masters is to whack their students with a stick.

    • PermacultureNovice December 6, 2015, 9:13 pm

      Love this blog!! I’m a 53 yo almost early retiree female pole vaulter. My husband and I have been following the early retirement path since 1982, but he’s having trouble letting go now that we have the nest egg. I think our low key lifestyle is still quite high, so we can trim quite a bit when we say goodbye to the full time jobs. I thought that riding a bike to the grocery store was something I made up for myself, but apparently you love it, too!

      Anyway, as a Catholic school teacher, I, too wish I could whack a few teenagers to get them to wake up from the apathy and get them to see the beauty of the mustachian philosophy. Learning life skills, working hard, and growing in God’s wisdom is the path to true happiness- not the next iPhone or late model car.

  • Chris October 7, 2011, 8:53 pm


    Pure rocket attack of awesomeness! I despise complaining. Life is hard, no doubt, for all of us. It’s almost too easy to complain. There’s a certain suck factor to most things in life, however, it’s all in a mindset. We have to learn to embrace the suck while lowering our heads and powering through it to get to the other side. One of my favorite quotes from Winston Churchill: “Success is going from one failure to another with equal enthusiam!” Don’t give up!

    The playing field is not level for all of us, however, get over it, thats why some people are more inspiring than others. There’s nothing like seeing someone rise out of a tough situation and still kick ass at life. It’s all about a mindset of “keepin’ on, keepin’ on” and not getting bogged down in the negative queep of life. Will anything worthwhile be tough-YES!! Will it be worth it in the end-YES!! Is it easy to throw pot-shots at others ideas/successes in life and be a critic-YES!!

    What’s truly hard is to be an individual and go against the grain of society (in a foreign country no doubt) and still kick it in the groin!

    Keep on Preachin’ MMM.

  • Dragline October 7, 2011, 9:23 pm

    My complaint is that you clearly fail to complain enough. Shame on you and your nice article. ;-)

  • mike crosby October 7, 2011, 10:59 pm

    Great post!

    Years ago when property was low, I would be making deals and I would post on the internet if they were good deals. I would get these long diatribes that sounded very intellectual, but they were full of shit. Needless to say, I’m now retired, and they’re probably still living in their apartments.

    Another case in point, I just saw a great documentary on Netflix called Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead. These two guys who were way overweight and also had the same auto-immune disease finally cured themselves and lost a bunch of weight. All done by themselves, outside of medical establishment. Anyway, you can review the movie and some of the reviewers only give it a one star saying the guy made the movie just so he can plug a product that he uses in the movie. It’s such total bullshit, and it pisses me off how cynical people can be.

    One last example while on a roll. Back during the “Hate Bush Era” I went on a lefty website just to see what was being said when the North Koreans shot off nuclear bombs. One of the comments was that Bush and Kim Jong Il were conspiring together to scare the American people.

    So I know what you say, Mr Mustache, I read the comments on your posts. I see the same on Get Rich Slowly. Fuck them and fuck the horse they rode in on.

  • Katie October 8, 2011, 1:11 am

    As all others before me have said: AWESOME post, LOOOVE it!! It’s so easy to complain through the internet. You’re browsing websites YOU enjoy (hopefully), trying to make YOURSELF happy, so it’s only natural that when you go to comment on something you read, you draw parallels to yourself and compare it to your own life. It’s like the internet BEGS for that behavior, it seems (as especially evidenced in comments on Yahoo articles…)

    When I was a junior in high school, one of my teachers gave all of the students in all of her classes one of the bracelets from this cause:


    Along with a challenge to see how long we could go without making one single complaint. It, albeit quite slowly, changed my life. It made me very conscious of my complaining. Though I don’t wear the bracelet anymore, I still own it, and it sits at my desk near my monitor so I see it often and never forget. And even though I feel sometimes like I still complain often, I am more aware of it and thus, can more proactively work to change it.

    I think it’s a fantastic movement that could spark a changes in the way complainypants people think, if only more people knew of it (and, of course, if they’d be willing to accept the challenge). Perhaps you could look into starting a movement of your own with them!

  • Rolf October 8, 2011, 1:57 am

    Ahem, please go back to your stoic joy post and re-read about how to handle critisism ;-)

    Your blog is fanatastic, never think otherwise. If “everybody” got the insight you share we would not have a debt crisis in the western world.

  • JJ October 8, 2011, 8:15 am

    A couple comments, then an example…

    1) “Then I secretly try to learn from his success.” There’s no reason to keep it a secret. These badass mustacian’s exist, you can ask them questions to understand how they did it. It can be difficult to acknowledge to others that you believe they have done well and that you’d like to understand more deeply how exactly they did it. Most people that have achieved some success absolutely love talking about how they did it. Sometimes you may need to follow their actions more than their words (but they’re all willing to talk about how they did it). It’s just that so many whinypants are unwilling to ask, listen, and try.

    2) In all future correspondence, please keep your shirt on.

    My own badass adaptability involves tea parties and dress up. When we first had kids, my wife wanted to start a partnership with a colleague at work rather than continue to work incredibly long hours in public accounting. Once they got going we realized that there was plenty of work but it involved some travel and odd hours. All in all, it involves much less hours for much more reward but at times she needs to work late and travel. This caused trouble for my career because it meant that I needed to pick up any slack with the kids and my schedule had to give. After a couple years, she and her partner were doing well enough that I was able to quit altogether. Although trained as a systems analyst, my time is now spent focusing on our kids and the bottom line. I play tea party and dress up with our four year old girl. In the summers I go canoeing, camping and play sports with our 7 year old boy. Since I’m home I can also focus on our expenses. I do most of the repairs to our house and do all of our landscaping myself. In my case, badassity meant considering a path I could have never imagined taking before it presented itself. It meant adaptation and morphing into a stay at home dad in order to help push our family closer toward the ultimate goal of living completely off of interest and investment returns. I could have continued being a systems analyst but it would have conflicted with my wife’s work when the market was telling us that her hours were more valuable. Instead, I chose dress up and tea party. How’s that for adapting!!!!

    The preceding message was typed with my shirt on.

    • MMM October 8, 2011, 2:13 pm

      Great story JJ! .. I can really relate to the stay-at-home dad aspect to your story.

      But don’t try to control Mr. Money Mustache’s wardrobe, that’s just going to lead to me writing another gigantic rant like the one you just commented on. ;-)

    • Marcia @Frugal Healthy Simple October 8, 2011, 7:41 pm

      That was an awesome and inspiring story.

  • Brian October 8, 2011, 8:17 am

    I only stick out my lower lip when I’m drinking up the good life!

  • Mr. Frugal Toque October 8, 2011, 11:50 am

    I would love to follow your advice and succeed more in both life and early retirement.
    I can’t, though, because there are always so many people complaining to me that I never have the time.
    Betcha didn’t take that into account.
    Meanwhile, Imma max out my credit cards to make up for that.

  • Bakari Kafele October 8, 2011, 3:10 pm

    “I actually have a shortage of puzzles right now. I’m struggling, just a tiny bit, with a lack of challenge in life”

    …but don’t you see? The answer is right here! You have the challenge of the fussbudgets (my word for whinypants – actually, Charlie Brown’s word, but I use it a lot)
    You have the challenge of figuring out how best to deal with the many fussbudgets who hang out on the internet!

    “Yeah, I certainly welcome any empirical questions to the advice.. but I have yet to see any.”
    I think my comment on the teacher salary example should count as an empirical challenge (and it came with no accompanying whining)
    I don’t think making the median US income or below is in anyway an excuse to not spend less than you make, (and I appreciate how often you acknowledge how decadent and luxurious your life really is, regarding things that so many Americans mistake for necessities)
    but I’m still waiting for a post that has ordinary American level income numbers, so I can show it off to all my median and below income level friends.
    Us “poor” folk have internet too!! (and some of us are even working on early retirement)

    • MMM October 8, 2011, 3:44 pm

      Nice Points, Bakari! … I like your challenge to write about saving in a lower income category. The reasons I have not done this yet are these:
      1 – I have no experience with a lower-income lifestyle. When I made minimum wage, I still lived with my parents, so did not have to pay for any real expenses (other than saving for my own university education). So I could not preach about what I’m practicing myself.
      2 – I feel that most of the wasting of the world’s resources is done by higher-income people. They have the lion’s share of the cashflow, so they purchase the lion’s share of the shit and trigger most of the destruction. And yet they also complain just as loudly about financial problems as low-income people – so there is a large demand for financial role models.

      With those excuses out of the way, what I could possibly do in an honest way is this: “What would Mr. Money Mustache do in this situation?”. Then I’d give a starting salary, and a starting debt level, and list my own strategy of how much I’d choose to spend on lifestyle, how I would cover my needs at that level of spending, etc. Would that be any use?

      HEY!! How about this article: Mr. Money Mustache Becomes Bakari Kafele. You give me your starting situation and expenses, and I’ll pretend I’m you, and see when “we” get to financial independence. It would be quite neat, because YOU are already an internet celebrity yourself :-)


      • Bakari Kafele October 8, 2011, 4:15 pm

        AH HA HA HA HA!!

        Well, that was unexpected. Sure, I’ll send you the details, I would be very interested in what comes of that.

        Incidentally, I think you already touch on some things that are relevant to lower income people – the short-term loan agency post is a good example. They tend to be marketed toward poorer people. It also happens to be one of my favorite posts. I can just imagine the guy behind the desk coming over to punch the customer in the face for being so stupid as to request a short term loan at 200% interest rates.

  • Jason October 8, 2011, 6:57 pm

    This is easily the best article I’ve read in a long time.

    “Wussypopulace” really made me fucking laugh.

    You’re a good man, and a great Mustachian. Keep up the great work!

    Off to more puzzles for me!


  • Pablo October 8, 2011, 7:58 pm


    I love your style. I’m so glad Jacob referred your website to me. :)

  • GHarkness October 9, 2011, 7:03 am

    “and I am about to get off my ass and find some new ones to tackle*.”

    CanNOT wait! Although, being of the female persuasion, the best I can ever hope for is a “virtual mustache,” I am still working on mine! think it’s wonderful, the way some of you thirty-somethings have really managed to get it all together. More power to ya, (but really, dude, that cowboy logo is so cute – I hope you’ll reconsider!)

  • GardenGal October 9, 2011, 1:33 pm

    Dear MMM,

    When dealing with complaints and criticism, I take my inspiration from the Honey Badger. In fact, I think that you are much like him since he does his own badass things even though he may be surrounded by others who are not as tough or willing to do the hard work.


    • Dancedancekj October 10, 2011, 3:13 am

      Ahhh, Honeybadger FTW!

    • MMM October 10, 2011, 9:31 am

      Thanks, I just watched the apparently world famous honey badger video on YouTube, I had never seen it before. What a fine compliment to be associated with that little badass :-)

  • Diedra B October 9, 2011, 3:18 pm

    what irks me is when people want to come by and make an entire graduate thesis arguing with what is obviously your opinion and your experience. I appreciate your posts, and I appreciate intelligent comments that add dimension. People who want to write jeremiads should go start their own blogs.

  • Charissa October 10, 2011, 7:28 am

    HAHA! I just read a related article via my.yahoo that was ridiculous! Apparently they ran an article last week about a family of 4 living on $40,000 / year. All the ‘complainypants’ said that’s no feat… show us something better. So they came up with a single guy living on $20,000. I don’t see that he’s living well on $20,000: he has hardly any savings, NO health insurance, and NO savings for retirement. Only good thing that came from the article is that he doesn’t have a car – but he wishes he did.

  • Maus October 11, 2011, 11:31 am

    First, let’s establish that you deserve kudos for your accomplishments and for sharing your wisdom. @Jacob has praised your acumen, and I join Dear Leader in doing so as well.

    But, second, I don’t bow the fuck down to anyone. I test. I kick the tires. I look for the feet of clay. Even a condemned man gets one great meal before he dies. The issue is sustainability.

    We — all of us — are different people in different circumstances. Consider that one of the reasons people like me ask provocative questions of people like you is that we are hoping to provoke a better than average analysis of the puzzle we need or want to solve. I like to call it using the hive mind to achieve more effective, efficient solutions.

    So, yeah, you may not need the solution I’m seeking. But your two cents and that of others’ — complainypants or otherwise — adds up to knowledge of real value. It’s discursive. It’s robust. It works for the collective good.

  • Alex | Perfecting Dad October 11, 2011, 1:25 pm

    Wholly $hit, this was awesome. I got sent here from some Canadian Dream. I’m totally like you. I hate the friggin’ naysayers, just a naysayin’ and naysayin’, so sure of how nobody can do what such and such got by what must have been luck drizzled all over him like a divine rain. I wrote a post a while ago, half as good as this one, about dinner I had with a friend who complained that I hadn’t given him stock advice that allowed me to make my money (All-In: How I Made $800,000 in a Lifetime and $15,000 Last Week They abound, and they’re tiring momentum killers, those complainy pants and naysayers. Crab bucket!

    Love your blog and glad I found it. Subscribing.

  • Gwen October 12, 2011, 8:08 am

    I have heard what you describe as “Tall Poppy” syndrome.

    “a tall poppy is a successful person or achiever who, as a result, is the target of jealousy and grudging remarks. The goal is to make everyone the same, but the result is no one strives to be great or believes that change is possible.”

    Although I’m new at the smart money thing (which is why I’m here learning from the likes of you, MMM, as well as ERE and Canadian free at 45), I’ve had to deal with this myself in other areas. It took a while to figure out, but now I know about it, I see it for what it is. When we challenge what the sheeple believe, they get scared, and attack what is in the way of their safety.

  • Sarah October 12, 2011, 11:54 am

    So now, were you being a complainypants by complaining about other people complaining? If you just complain about others complaining, then does it make you awsome instead?? :)

  • Shawn October 12, 2011, 7:45 pm

    I’m enjoying your blog. Keep up the great content. I found out about you on Life Hacker. I really liked that article about commuting.

  • Sab October 12, 2011, 8:03 pm

    I just found your blog. I rarely comment, but I wanted to say, you are fucking rad.

    Sensible money advice, no lecturing, and a reminder to learn from others around you. And no fear of using f-bombs. Yesss.

    Thank you.

  • Spork October 13, 2011, 6:05 pm


    If someone were to need someone to write a short article on “What’s Wrong With America” they could just make a link right here and drink a cup of coffee, happy… knowing their work was done for the day.

    Name one time and place that was easier than now. (And I don’t mean “when the market was up”… I’m talking about an era and a place, not a tiny moment in time.)

    Look to your parents and your grandparents… people that generally had things a whole lot harder… and yet thought “this is a damn fine situation to be in.” At no time did my grandma complain that her iPhone was only a 3GS and — while it displayed any information anywhere on the planet — did so in a fashion that was not so nearly as cool as the old lady’s cool new phone down the street.

    We are a bunch of whiners and complainers and bitchers and moaners. We live in bigger houses with more cars and more cool gadgets and more entertainment bombarding us from every fricking corner of the room and then we complain that we just can’t make it on one income like our parents (in their modest 1300 sqft house with one car and a victory garden).

    The middle class is disappearing and the world owes me! Oh, puh-lease!

    • MMM October 13, 2011, 8:47 pm

      I especially enjoyed the picture you painted of these old people sitting somewhere in the middle of the previous century saying, “This is a damn fine situation to be in!”. I think I will use that exact phrase in regular conversation from now on :-)

      Hooray for the Wisdom of the Old!

  • Jenna October 14, 2011, 2:11 am

    Wow… simply wow, genious, inspiring!

  • KWolf October 14, 2011, 10:49 pm

    Okay, here’s my scenario. Take it away from the ending: I have my own set of solutions in mind, but it will be interesting to see what you can add to that.

    Starting Challenge: Born to a mentally ill, abusive mother–a common “complainypants” starting issue that has real impacts, such as the fact that I slept through school in my Junior year of High School because it was the only place I could safely go to sleep. Impact? Barely graduated High School, went into the Air Force just to get away, but had such severe PTSD (from 18 years of abuse) that I couldn’t maintain “normal” and had an honorable medical discharge. Like many women in my situation, I ended up with a child at 19, single mother at 21.

    Starting Solution: After divorce, I started working on an Associates Degree. One year into it, I realized that I was really good at school. I went on to get a Bachelor’s in Biology. We lived on $600 to $700 a month by renting a one-bedroom house for $400 a month, getting PELL grants, not owning a car, one hell of a lot of pre-planning where every penny went, and help from all those “horrible” “bleeding-heart” programs (I paid back every dime within 3 years of graduating). Because I couldn’t afford to go one minute without a job (single mom with never a spare dime for saving), I chose a career that was a guarantee of steady employment, teaching High School science. (I wince at this now.)

    Next Challenge: Thanks, mentally-ill abusive mother; while I am not abusive, I have had to deal with a serious mental illness my whole life. I take my medication religiously, and it’s really not any different than any other permanent physical disability–it’s just something that takes a lot of energy to deal with. And between teaching, mental illness, and being a single mom, I crashed into the limits of my endurance. Working 50 to 60 hours a week at an intense job, by the end I was going home and going to sleep and getting up and going to work and going home and going to sleep again–and my 14 year-old daughter was completely on her own.

    Next Solution: Move to a very different area of the country where the job-market was more to my liking. Change careers. What to be? Not sure, but the old job was killing me, and I could work at a hardware store or a Costco just as happily.

    Next Problem: Hit black ice as I drove from the Rocky Mountains to the Midwest. Flipped over twice down a 20-foot embankment, after midnight, in a developing blizzard, 33 miles of mountains from that spot to the nearest town. Sprained every muscle in my back, sustained a concussion. 12 days after my health-insurance ended along with the teaching job.

    Solution: Yeah, lots went into that. Current situation: I’m 37 years old, my daughter is near-grown, and I just started a career as an electrician. I owe ~$7000 from the car accident, have a pretty decent ’96 Subaru, live in a room in an apartment with roommates who breed snakes (I like snakes). Making $13.02/hr my first 6 months, then it goes to $14.65 for a year, and in my third year as an apprentice I’ll be making what I was as a teacher (after working for 6 years to get the required degree–college is NOT always the best advice for young people!). Electrical work is nice, it’s fun, it’s not emotionally challenging for someone who struggles with brain-chemistry; I come home at the end of the day and, rather than crashing and going straight to sleep, I have this nice life where I spend time with friends, write, go hiking and kayaking–inexpensive joys, and big joys at that.

    At the end of year 5, if fully employed, I’ll be making $52,000 a year (as a teacher, it would have taken me another 10 years to reach that!). The electrical field is suffering just as all construction trades are–however, there is a big bubble at the top, older guys waiting for the economy to improve so they can retire. By the time I finish my apprenticeship, that bubble will have burst, leaving a very open field for me to step into. My current plan goes as far as getting completely out of debt by not increasing my spending beyond the money I make now (the threshold income to pay all required bills, apparently–once I started this job I was able for the first time in 3 years, since the car accident, to put the credit-card away completely). After that, I want to own a very small house on a larger piece of land.

    Okay, Mustache-Dude. Where would you go with this?

  • KR November 3, 2011, 10:25 am

    I have two friends who retired in their early 40’s and spend half the year living in Asia, first because they love it but second because it’s cheap so it stretches their budget. I’ve heard others make negative comments about their frugal life style …. me, I’m jealous, we’re slaves and they’re free.

    As a freelancer, I’ve had some scary periods of unemployment where I really had to double down and access my alternatives, so I hear you on the “stay flexible” front. I live in NYC, so after the last recession, I gave up my Village apartment and moved to Harlem, where I have a much larger apartment at a far lower rent, plus landlords who like me and never ask for an increase. Not many cool coffee shops in the ‘hood, but who cares, what a weight off my mind. I have zero debt and I save as much as I can, because I know work might not last. I’m lucky that I’m working right now at a fairly high-paying freelance position, and it makes me feel great to see my savings grow and grow, and know that next time I’m let go, I won’t need to worry so much.

    I love your blog, it’s very aspirational! Thanks for writing it. I love your tips.

  • CG December 4, 2011, 9:21 am

    Too funny and true! I would love to forward this to some people who have Complainypants in their loves but the strong language would offend them. Do you have a G version of this? :D
    I’ve occasionally succumbed to being a CP. It’s only human to make excuses as to why you aren’t living like or getting the results of other people. It’s hard to admit to anyone, and yourself, how much money and time you waste. It’s easier to believe that others have to work less than you would have to achieve the same results due to any circumstance you happen to dream up as a good excuse.
    It comes down to choosing to be humble. That doesn’t mean down-trodden or poor or a doormat or stupid. It means being willing to learn from advice and respecting your teachers. I can see you have that down by the way you answer comments here. ;)

  • Rodent December 19, 2011, 8:58 pm

    Keep up the good work Mr. Money Mustache! I was a great fan of Lund Fisker from ERE and it was a shock to me when he quit. I am half joking but as a “rodent” I do get used to a routine and it’s difficult to handle changes in the routine. Since I’ve written about ERE on my blog I decided I was going to mention you in today’s post. I wish I had as much energy as you since much of what you write is in my head and is obvious to me but I’m too lazy to write about it. For example this post about complainypants is exactly what I think when reading useless comments to the main stream articles on CNN etc.
    Anyway, your blog is great! Lund is a wise man – no wonder he gave you the torch.

  • Monevator February 2, 2012, 4:49 am

    Love it. Love it love it love it. How did I miss this?

    Ok, my To Do for the next 2-3 months is to monetize Monevator a bit better, so I have more right to tell people ideas for monetizing themselves a bit better.

    I have no idea how you’re doing this here with MMM, but if I do it better than you don’t come complaining. ;)

    • MMM February 2, 2012, 7:11 am

      Indeed Monevator! Once you set up you blog to provide a bit of income, I will be a student rather than a complainer. I am the world’s least profitable blogger on a per-reader basis and somewhat proud of it because it’s a counter-reaction to the spammy nature of the Internet. However, it’s getting a bit silly: yesterday there were 13,000 page views and one dollar of Adsense revenue. That’s so low, even by my standards, that I’ve decided to do something about it (most financial blogs of that size earn at least a thousand per month!)

  • Jack March 16, 2012, 9:59 am

    “So why, the fuck, is everybody afraid of unknown situations and change?”

    I think that is the most hilarious use of a sentence insert of all-time.

    • Mr. Money Mustache March 16, 2012, 10:24 am

      Thanks a lot Jack! That was my favorite part of writing this article as well, so I’m glad I’m not the only one who gets a laugh out of it.

  • Mel Lip Stubble June 15, 2012, 10:16 am

    Reminds me of a great book called “Mindset” by Carol Dweck. People either make excuses for failure (or point out how others are wrong) OR they learn from mistakes and others expertise to better themselves and get ahead. Short book, long lesson.

  • geekrock September 18, 2012, 11:12 am

    I bike everywhere, spend money on weed instead of beer, and make $70 an hour without a university degree while earning a university degree. I live in Toronto which allows me to take from the rich and give to me.

  • Fish October 28, 2012, 1:35 pm

    I’m a bit late to the game with this comment because I’m in the process of reading all your old posts at a leisurely pace. But I wanted to thank you for this post. It really spoke to me. I’m about halfway between Badass and Complainypants. Sometimes I’m like “waaah, MMM had less student debt than me! Waah, his job was higher paying!” But I also learn a lot from the points you make.

    So I bookmarked this post, because it is a very important aspect of life in general that I need to improve on. Thanks, MMM.

  • mike crosby February 21, 2013, 9:13 am

    Case in point. This article just came out today, and look at a few of the comments.


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