Weekend Edition: Where do we Go Now?

Oh, Hi there.

It’s the weekend, which means we can talk about whatever we like, with no pressure for life-changing articles. Whew.

I thought this would be a nice time to share a few bits of information on the state of this blog and of Mustachianism itself, with some speculation about the future as well.

1: Yay! 10,000 RSS Subscribers
At LAST, the semi-meaningless feedburner count (that orange logo on the right sidebar of the main page) has ticked above 10,000. Although it does not function as a count of how many people are reading the blog, it does at least correlate with the growth in readership. And I’ve always considered 10,000 to be a blog that had “really made it”. So here we are.

Are you wondering what RSS even is? It stands for Really Simple Syndication, and it is a way that frequent website readers keep up with multiple blogs without having to visit the actual websites every day. If you use a personalized portal like iGoogle, you can arrange to have your Mr. Money Mustache articles appear aside your daily weather, news, stock updates, and other blogs feeds. RSS also makes reading on small-screen mobile devices convenient, if you use things like Feeddler for the iPhone or gReader for Android, or any number of thousands of other free options. If you ever need to, you can sign up for the MMM RSS feed at this link.

2: Whoa: 1.2 million Page Views per Month
Things have been getting crazy around here, with the site easily surpassing a million page views per month, and still growing due to crazy forwarding from users and media outlets. With numbers like that, anecdotal evidence suggests that this  might soon become the biggest non-corporate-owned personal finance blog in the US. Or maybe not. But either way, it’s worth celebrating all of those millions.

3. A plan for the future of Blog Moneymaking
As we’ve discussed in the past, people can make some real money off of these things. A blog with this traffic, appropriately spammified, could earn over $300,000 per year. Even with the current lower-key setup, I think the income has just hit $2000/month, matching the entirety of the MMM family’s spending. So I thought it would be fun for us to make some plans together for this large and probably ever-growing amount of income.

  • 3a) Mr. and Mrs. Money Mustache shall get paid for working on the blog, although the amount shall not exceed $2000 per month, no matter how big it gets. I’m not sure why, but we still find it motivating to get paid at least a small salary for our work. Especially since the size of this blog job has displaced much of our other hobby activities, some of which provided (technically unneeded) income. However, the cash will end up being saved and invested anyway, with the scope and creativity of investments increasing over time.
  • 3b) The blog shall have a budget for paying for its own expenses (web hosting, science experiments, paying people to help with technical issues, any promotional/conference travel, etc.). Not to exceed $1000 per month except in extremely fun circumstances that you’ll get to read about.
  • 3c) 100% of all surplus income beyond this level shall go to a new charitable fund called the Money Mustache Foundation, that will try to do good in the world. Articles on the details are coming up this week, but it’s based on some reading I’ve been doing on the Gates foundation, and the book called The Life You Can Save.
  • 3d) To start out the Mustache Foundation, I’ve just transferred $10,000 of the blog’s past earnings into a new investment account, where we can use it to generate some exciting returns, then use the proceeds for a series of ongoing donations. So we all get to learn about investing, AND efficient ways to donate surplus income over the coming months. If we’re smart enough, we might even be able to figure out how to structure it as a trust or nonprofit in the longer-term.

It’s an exciting next leg of this blog-writing journey, and I’m happy to have you along for the ride!


  • scottphillips September 23, 2012, 6:03 pm

    Congrats,Mr.an Mrs. Money Mustache,you have moved up a few spaces in Wisebreads Top 100,Yall are number one in my book.

    • Mr. Money Mustache September 23, 2012, 8:53 pm

      Haha.. thanks Scott. Not to make fun of the Wisebread list too much, but the rank feature is pretty useless – none of the six factors measure the readership of the blogs in any way! (And I’d say exactly the same thing even if the MMM blog was incorrectly pegged permanently at #1).

      It is, however, a great LIST of most of the personal finance blogs in existence, since the authors have self-registered themselves into it. And it still benefits bloggers as it lets curious readers trickle from one site to the next.

      • scottphillips September 24, 2012, 12:56 pm

        I didnt know that,thx for the info.

  • jet September 23, 2012, 7:48 pm

    very much looking forward to the progression of this – how exciting!! also congrats on the massive following your blog is developing!

  • gzt September 23, 2012, 8:10 pm

    Way cool. I think it would be awesome if you would fund things like vaccination campaigns, food/nutrition campaigns, some of the simple things that get neglected but make a huge difference. See, for instance, this: http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/09/05/easier-than-taking-vitamins/ Micronutrient powders for stopping child malnutrition! Prevention rather than late intervention! I don’t know if there’s a place or a way to donate to this yet. Just an idea. Whatever you do, and for what little this might mean to you, I was very happy to read this post about the direction you’re taking with your earnings.

  • MrsTrimWaistFatWallet September 23, 2012, 9:06 pm

    Handling your blog income like the business it truly is… I can’t say Im surprised at such a Mustachian approach. I have to say though, I’m surprised you didn’t take this approach sooner considering how much traffic this site generates?

  • Cecile September 24, 2012, 9:31 am

    Congrats for all you have accomplished in so short a time !
    Can’t wait to hear more about the foundation, sounds like money put to real good use.

  • Danielle September 24, 2012, 12:30 pm

    I’m very happy for you, MMM! Your blog has inspired me to improve my quality of life tremendously- not only am I much better with money now, I am much happier to be free of the nonstop obsession with “stuff.” Finally, my husband and I are closer now because our financial philosophies are aligned.

    Congratulations again. It is a wonderful thing you are doing for the world. Thank you!!!

    • Naomi Austin August 25, 2014, 2:39 pm

      Your comment gives me hope! My boyfriend has been taking the teeniest of steps towards Mustachianism, but they’re so incremental, I wonder if he’ll ever really get there. This helps to remind me to stay positive, have faith, and maintain hope!

  • Sean September 24, 2012, 12:35 pm

    Two thumbs up! I can’t wait to read about your philanthropic endeavors!

  • Freeyourchains September 24, 2012, 12:48 pm

    I get really iffy about Charity donations. Corporations and Ownerships love to donate to community charities because they get a Tax Write Off for the amount donated.

    Then they ask their own employees to “donate” to some fund or another that the company has picked out.

    Sometimes these Nonprofits and Charity Trust Funds are for their Corporate Friends or Campaign Supporters/Runners, that will help out their business sometime in the future.

    It’s like asking readers to suscribe to a Charity Fund while using Paypal, or (insert your own online payment service that you started here), then you get 100,000 subscribers paying $5 a month, and Paypal/Your startup receives 3% of all donation transactions for their services…aka to your startup.

    3% of $6Million in Subscribed Donations per year = $180,000 for your Online Payment Service Startup (run by one person, you).

    On top of that you get the Benefits that go along with the raising of those subscribed donors. Toward Charity $5,820,000.

    This will make headline news, promote your payment services, and add reputation to your startup.

    Let alone gives you a subsriber database of 100,000 donators…which you can sell third party information to advertisers. Earning your startup another $25/1000 donators/month.

    But your Approach, I approve as Good Ethics in Business.

    Business is business.

    And a lot of Business is Grey Area in Ethics.

    Note: Paypal doesn’t and never distinguished between donations or not, intentionally.

  • SunTzuWarmaster September 25, 2012, 12:47 pm

    In my head, the Mustache Foundation delivers face-punches to those in need.

  • Aloysa @ My Broken Coin September 27, 2012, 7:42 pm

    I think if I’d ever get a million views a month (in my dreams most likely), I will donate my entire monthly blog income to a charity. In the meantime I will keep dreaming.

  • Erica / Northwest Edible Life September 28, 2012, 12:14 am

    Good for you! This is a wonderful mile mark and you deserve your off-the-hook traffic and every cent your words have earned. Congrats.

  • Corey September 28, 2012, 12:55 pm

    MMM, you love awesome shit, so you should start an ASC in your area!
    It would be a nice little side activity to complement your foundation.

    • Mr. Money Mustache September 28, 2012, 2:05 pm

      Hmm.. Awesome Shit Club, eh? I had never heard of them before, but seeing how the logo appears to be a fucking UNICORN DOING AN ELECTRIC GUITAR SOLO, I think I’d better wake up and pay attention!

  • RW September 29, 2012, 4:54 am

    Congrats well deserved! Now the fun really starts

  • Sam October 4, 2012, 2:11 pm

    1.2 million pageviews per month! Are you still on BlueHost’s shared web hosting with that kind of traffic?

    • Mr. Money Mustache October 4, 2012, 4:42 pm

      Amazingly enough, I am! (on the “Pro” plan). Got another server all set up for the switch, but then Bluehost made some changes and since then the site has had no problem keeping up, even on days with 100,000 page views (which would be a 3 million pageview month!).

      So I’m delaying the switch, just to see how far this baby can go, while trying to measure the speed of other servers.

      • Sam October 5, 2012, 12:10 am

        Interesting. I’m asking you because I’m currently on a managed VPS which, while top-notch in performance and support, is overkill for what I need. However my previous experience with shared hosting was somewhat of a traumatic experience.

        Do you have to pay extra for nightly backups on the pro plan?

        • Mr. Money Mustache October 5, 2012, 3:22 pm

          No, the data of all users is backed up automatically. I also have a Wordpress plugin called Backup Buddy that creates its own backups as well (and can even FTP them off somewhere for you each night if you like).

  • Jennifer Love Stringfellow, Esq. October 10, 2012, 7:17 pm

    Hi MMM, I’m an attorney (in Hawaii) and I’d love to help you figure out structuring a trust or non-profit. Free of charge! It’s the least I can do for all your blog has done for my family. Let me know if you want to talk. :)

  • Allyson October 12, 2012, 10:42 pm

    I would love to hear more about setting up the foundation. We also have some excess money we would like to use for charity. But when I looked into setting up a trust or family endowment, the red-tape and taxes and lawyers were all too mind-numbing. Any suggestions on how to manage money for charity without paying tons of managing expenses and lawyers would be especially appreciated!

  • Chelsea Gale October 19, 2012, 1:37 pm

    Integrity, integrity, integrity. So nice to be a part of this community you’ve created. Three cheers for you and the Mrs!

  • Suzanne August 18, 2013, 6:36 am

    Hi Mr M cubed. I discovered your blog at the beginning of this month and have been slowly working my way through your posts from the beginning. It has taken me a while as each post takes a while to digest! I was about to email you and ask you to write a post on philanthropy and generosity when I arrived at this post. I am so pleased that you are leading by example in giving to those so much less fortunate than we are. Even though most of our society struggle to save and curb our spending, anyone who can save up to 50% of their salary are truly blessed and can afford to give. Just to remind ourselves that it is only by chance we have been born into such a lucky and wealthy country. I was susurprised at a number of the comments in the case study of the person whose 10% donations to charity were not negotiable. So many people tried to convince him that it was better not to give money away until they were financially independent. From my experience the more wealthy people are the less likely they are to give. When I have tried to fund raise for charities it is the people on minimum wages who are the most generous.
    Anyway good luck with the foundation. I am looking forward to seeing how it works out.

    • Ralph December 24, 2015, 5:18 pm

      From my experience the more wealthy people are the less likely they are to give. When I have tried to fund raise for charities it is the people on minimum wages who are the most generous.

      Suzanne, I have spent time in SEA and in the GAFA here in OZ, a person in a run down house/slum/busted caravan will share a meal with you, where a person in a mansion/motor home coach will send you on your way.


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