Mrs. Money Mustache Remembers

It looks like we’ve just passed the ten month anniversary of this blog and are creeping up towards one year.  Just like with having a child, in some ways it went by quickly and in other ways it seems like this baby has been around forever.  The best part is the community that has been built here and I promise that soon you’ll have an even better way of sharing ideas through the forum (once I get this security and pharma hack thing handled).

Thanks to all of you for being supremely awesome.

Today I’m doing an unauthorized post on the blog while MMM snowboards in Tahoe.  I guess you could say that I’m hacking the MMM site.

As Mrs. MM, I have heard MMM preach the Word for years (nearly 18 years, to be precise), yet somehow these articles sometimes resonate with me more than hearing him tell me in person that I should be biking.  Some of my favorite posts are from the earlier days, so I thought I’d post links to my 5 favorite articles and encourage everyone to look back and comment.

Let the good times roll!

1. What would the Native Americans Do? 
I read this when I need motivation to get off my butt and become a true badass.

2. The Coffee Machine that can Pay for a University Education 
Ramit — are you reading this?

3. How much is that bitch costin’ ya? 

4. Frugality as a Muscle

5. A Millionaire is Made Ten Bucks at a Time

My Favorite MMM Quote: “…And we both believe that the modern world is an Absolutely Excellent place, a dense and flowery jungle completely packed with Mangoes of Opportunity that spray their Juices in our Faces every time we take another muscular step through the foliage.”


  • James Petzke February 8, 2012, 9:54 am

    Nice to see your perspective on this too Mrs. MM! Those are some of my favorite posts as well.

  • Dollar D @ The Dollar Disciple February 8, 2012, 9:55 am

    You guys have built an incredible community/movement in the last ten months! Thanks so much to both of you for your contribution! I know that you’ve touched so many lives, including mine.

  • George Smith February 8, 2012, 10:00 am

    I would like to find out more information on how MMM can obtain a iPhone so cheap. I would like to add one on to my wife’s work plan for only 10 dollars per month (120 per year). Can you give us more information on this?

    • Mrs. Money Mustache February 8, 2012, 10:17 am

      Huh? This isn’t really relevant to this article… :)

      We have a family plan, in which the extra phone line is $9.99 per month. My company pays for my phone, so we pay the extra $9.99 every month for MMMs phone.

      When MMM got the iPhone (sometime in 2011), he got the $15 data plan, so his full plan is now $25/month. However, the way the phone bill works with discounts and whatnot, I can still expense nearly the entire bill each month to my company, hence the $10/month.

      It’s a moot point anyway since MMM can expense his portion of the bill to his company, so it’s actually a business expense.

      • Mr. Money Mustache February 8, 2012, 11:18 am

        Nicely said, Mrs M. I should also point out that if it weren’t for my “work” (carpentry and blogging), I would not have an iPhone. I’d just use a hacked smartphone or standard tablet and do everything over wifi with no monthly fee. Combined with a prepaid phone plan for by-the-minute mobile phone calls when needed. However, the business uses of mobile data access (like writing this comment from the porch of my lake Tahoe condo rental) are good enough to justify having the business pay for the phone.

  • Hils February 8, 2012, 10:01 am

    Mrs. MM, I’m so happy to see this unauthorized post from you today! I have been quietly reading this blog since October, and in some ways you and MMM have become the (very slightly) older virtual big brother/sister types I’ve never had. Despite being 34, I am such a junior mustache that I would be in the pre-white belt, “peach fuzz” division at best, but I feel more encouraged and hopeful and driven each time I stop by and rest in this little internet oasis. Thank you!

    Sometimes I feel myself starting to get down because I don’t have natural engineering/logic/financial talents. It often appears that the folks succeeding in financial independence (at least, the ones who blog) are almost all like that. And to be sure, MMM is an engineering/handy dude. But his manner of relating is really accessible, and I particularly appreciate the times that you yourself jump in and share your own perspective.

    I wonder if there are any successful FI folks out there who have dealt with anxiety/depression, sometimes. I have fought the good (and unending) fight with those shadow nemeses, and occasionally start to slide into complainypants territory, wondering if I can ever reach my goals, what with my inherited biochemistry and thought processes causing certain obstacles. I want to believe that I have what it takes to become financially stable and even (dare I say?) independent. Maybe if you guys set up a forum at some point, I will find some other folks who can fight alongside me!

    • Val February 8, 2012, 10:12 am

      Hi Hils!
      I would be in the pre-white belt with you, believe me!. I also feel discouraged sometimes and I am not really sure if I would be able to accumulate enough money to ever achieve FI, even though I have changed my spending habits dramatically since I started reading this blog. I am just not earning enough money at this time. But… I will not give up, and you shouldn’t, either!
      By the way, I love the way you write!

      • Hils February 8, 2012, 10:25 am

        Hi Val! Thanks for the kind words :). Maybe we could start an unofficial pre-white belt/peach fuzz ninjas division of mustachianism!

    • Mrs. Money Mustache February 8, 2012, 10:28 am

      Hi Hils! Thanks for the super-awesome support!

      Don’t get down, just keep finding motivation and do it. We all had to start at the beginning and the main thing that needs changing is our minds and our perspective.

      With lifestyle changes like this, it takes time and patience and trial and error, but if it’s something you want and you make it a priority, you will get there. And, of course, the journey is much more important than the destination.

      We’re all in this together and we’re all learning as we go. Thanks for stopping by to comment and I’ll definitely work on that forum as soon as I can (in fact, I mostly already have it set up, so it shouldn’t be long — just got sidetracked with a few things).

      • Hils February 8, 2012, 10:33 am

        Mrs. MM, thanks for the pep talk! Re: “the main thing that needs changing is our minds and our perspective”—I couldn’t agree more. I look forward to the forum, also. You rock for setting that up!

    • Marcia @Frugal Healthy SImple February 8, 2012, 11:23 am

      Don’t get all down, and think about frugality, and any skills, as a muscle.

      I will not pretend that engineering/finance skills aren’t “skills”. Some people believe you can learn to do anything…I’m an engineer, I’m good at it, but I don’t necessarily believe that. I’m never going to be a talented singer, for example.

      But for most skills – I think you can learn the skills. You may never reach MMM’s badassity on building, but practice and reading can get you doing basic carpentry or plumbing. It just might take longer.

      I think part of dealing with depression – that’s tricky. I wonder if practice helps. My mother suffered from depression (ultimately died of it). I have other relatives who suffer from complainypants syndrome, and I personally haven’t taken the time to figure out why some of us are wired one way, and some another. Or if we just choose to be different. I have some relatives who are badass when it comes to hunting and fishing, but really don’t give a crap about finance.

  • Val February 8, 2012, 10:04 am

    Hi Mrs. MMM!
    I would love to read more of your posts (unauthorized or not!). I loved the one about how much babies really cost.

  • rjack February 8, 2012, 10:04 am

    Nice stealth posting and many thanks for picking up the ERE torch and running with it!

  • jlcollinsnh February 8, 2012, 10:23 am

    this is a pleasant addition, Mrs. MM….

    ..and I’m impressed. My wife doesn’t even read my blog. Perhaps after 30 years she’s heard enough. ;)

    • Mrs. Money Mustache February 8, 2012, 10:32 am

      Hahaha! Thanks Jim! I suppose that sometimes it’s nice to have something that is all your own…

  • Jonathan February 8, 2012, 10:32 am

    Hi Mrs. MM, just wanted to say I discovered your blog a month or so ago, and I really enjoy it. I naturally enjoy a more minimal lifestyle (I wouldn’t want a ton of crap even if I was a billionaire) and it has been interesting and educational to read how you and MMM have structured your life and finances. Thanks for sharing.

  • Kevin Meyers February 8, 2012, 10:34 am

    +1 – Thanks for the great blog! I often find that the comment sections are just as informative as the actual articles – so thanks to all the regular commenters as well!

    • Mrs. Money Mustache February 8, 2012, 10:45 am

      I agree! The comments are what drives us to keep going. Lots of brilliant and thoughtful comments on here — so much wisdom packed into one tiny space!

  • The Money Monk February 8, 2012, 10:43 am

    That is a great quote. MMM is nothing if not a brilliant wordsmith!

  • Marcia @Frugal Healthy SImple February 8, 2012, 11:29 am

    I really enjoyed this! Especially the coffee pot one. I don’t think I’d gone back and read that one. I didn’t start drinking coffee until about a year ago (at 40. How I got through 5 years in the Navy without it is a miracle). I eased my way into it and really got hooked on vacation on Kona (at least there it came with the hotel room).

    Luckily I drink coffee for free at work. I had just donated my 1996 coffee maker to a friend when I started drinking. So we bought a new one. Now I make my own coffee 3-4 days per week. So much cheaper than Starbucks! Either that or I drink tea. My husband is also a tea drinker.

    When I first started down the road to frugality, I was buying cases of soda instead of $1.25 soda from the vending machine. Now that I’m at 3 to 10 cents per cup of tea instead, I kind of laugh at my old self.

    By the way, I went back today and read your old post on what a newborn needs. It was informative. I am a 2nd time mom (my son is almost 6) who got rid of everything the first time around. I was researching sleep options based on your post, and my hubby said “well, what we did last time worked, why don’t we do it again?” I said “well, maybe, but if someone gives us a cosleeper for free, why go buy a crib?” I’ve got 4.5 months to bring him around. :-)

    • AA June 11, 2013, 4:05 pm

      I had to laugh about the Navy and the communal addiction to coffee. I’m working on something that will be put on a Navy ship and before they actually build the thing, the shipbuilder built a mock-up of the room where it will be installed.

      Millions of dollars of equipment will be in this room… and they made sure to include in the mockup EXACTLY WHERE THE COFFEE POT WILL BE IN THE ROOM. :)

  • Bjorn February 8, 2012, 1:28 pm

    I just read a long complicated political article that I think would really resonate with you. There is a small subset of conservatives that believe Jimmy Carter (and his emphasis on conservation) was a good president, and that Reagan reversed course into consumerism. This fiercely independent political mindset seems right up your alley Mr. and Mrs. MMM.

    Talking about Carter’s famous “wearing a sweater” speech”, the article says: “Carter’s speech did enjoy a long and fruitful life—chiefly as fodder for his political opponents. The most formidable was Ronald Reagan. He portrayed himself as conservative but was, in fact, the modern prophet of profligacy—the politician who gave moral sanction to the empire of consumption. Beguiling his fellow citizens with talk of “morning in America,” Reagan added to America’s civic religion two crucial beliefs: credit has no limits, and the bills will never come due. Balance the books, pay as you go, save for a rainy day—Reagan’s abrogation of these ancient bits of folk wisdom did as much to recast America’s moral constitution as did sex, drugs, and rock and roll.”

    If you have time to read the whole article, I’d love to hear what you think: http://www.theamericanconservative.com/article/2008/sep/08/00018/

  • Chris February 8, 2012, 8:27 pm

    MMM Family-

    I want to piggy back on a previous commenter and also say thanks for “picking up the ERE torch” and running with it. This blog has become a real highlight to sit down and read with a cup of coffee!

    Thanks Guys! Chris

  • Vanna February 8, 2012, 9:25 pm

    Speaking of old articles, Mrs. MMM; I recently did an experiment with your suggestion to ditch makeup. I tried it for a week.

    I’m not sure if it was from having a cold at the time or if I really do look under the weather without ‘eyelashes’. But, needless to say, the mascara is staying. Even though I didn’t kick it all to the curb, I feel good about the exercise as it gave me a chance to think about what part of that lady expense was most important to me and what I can really do without.

    I haven’t been reading for 10 months, but I believe I went through 10 months or more of transformation in the week it took me to read your blog from start to finish. Keep up the good work, it’s wonderful to see both perspectives.

    I also loved your story on equally shared parenting. I love living in an era where there are just as many dad’s sitting at their kids activities, or at the grocery store as there are moms.

    Hope you are enjoying your MMM-free time!


Leave a Reply

To keep things non-promotional, please use a real name or nickname
(not Blogger @ My Blog Name)

The most useful comments are those written with the goal of learning from or helping out other readers – after reading the whole article and all the earlier comments. Complaints and insults generally won’t make the cut here, but by all means write them on your own blog!


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 or download the mobile app. Go ahead and click on any titles that intrigue you, and I hope to see you around here more often.

Love, Mr. Money Mustache

latest tweets