Mr. Money Mustache’s Holiday Living Guide

eveningwalkIn my half of the Earth, we’ve recently drifted past the Winter Solstice – the shortest, darkest, day of the year and usually one of the coldest too.

Some might consider this a depressing time, but for me it is cause for optimism. After all, if life is already this great right now, can you imagine the awesomeness that will ensue as we add even more sunlight and warmth to each day for the next six months?

In order to make the most of this philosophy, it’s handy to perform a mental reset right now and review our training principles, so we can lock in our past gains and build further on our Foundation of Badassity in 2016.

With this in mind, I’ve decided to do a little Winter Greatest Hits album – the most useful winter-themed articles from this blog’s first 4.75  years of life. With the added bonus of fresh review of what has changed since they were first written, and what has not.

Pumpitude for the Body and Brain

First and foremost, a review of something physical, because far too few smart people pay attention to this side of things. A brainy but flabby tech company manager once said to me, “my body is just a contraption I use to carry my brain around” and I had to strongly disagree.

One of Mr. Money Mustache’s chief goals is to shatter the artificial wall we draw between mental and physical realms. Your mind is not some ethereal bit of cosmic magic, accessible only by divine gods, psychotherapists or antidepressants. It’s simply a complex piece of meat connected to the rest of your meat systems. With this basic medical training you can quickly realize that mental health is way, way, way more influenced by what you do with your body than most people assume. So check this out:

FullMoonx-284x300It’s Winter – Get Out and Enjoy it!

This classic will make you excited to renew the lost art of the Evening Walk. Originally published December 2014.

snowforksHow to Ride your Bike All Winter – and Love it

There’s no such thing as a “biking season” – the awesomeness of bikes only increases as temperatures drop and precipitation levels rise. You just need a bit of basic gear, explained in this article from November 2011.

Since writing that, the winter riding scene has become even more jolly with the addition of an electric mountain bike. Definitely an unnecessary luxury, but I can now bike cheerfully through a foot of snow (or pull a bike trailer full of groceries through up to 6″) without getting bogged down.

Saving Money through Science and Fashion

US-Winter-200x153The Oil Well You Can Keep In Your Pants

In this article, you learn about an investment that will return thousands of percent of its purchase price to your wallet every year. Also, you get to see me in my underwear.

house-1024x681First Understand, then Destroy your Home Heating Bill

A little bit of Heat Science 101 for those of us who like tinkering with the house and getting paid for it with energy savings.

General Philosophy and Optimism

hawaiiHigh Cost Living – it’s a State of Mind

Three years ago, I spent the winter in Kailua, Hawaii helping a reader build a vacation suite on to the back of his house. The island chain is famous for its high cost of living, but as trained Mustachians we enjoyed beating the system and finding ways to live frugally just by adapting to local conditions.


Why We Are Not Really All Doomed

With the US economy running on overdrive while financial panics pop up elsewhere, many fear-mongers are making predictions of impending doom. As they always do. This article reminds you that trying to predict short-term movements in the stock market is worse than useless.

But solid financial and lifestyle habits based on an understanding of what happens in the longer term are the closest things there are to guaranteed riches.

And that’s it for 2015.

For 2016, I have committed to another bigger and better year. Plans include attending my son’s 10th birthday party, building a studio building in my back yard, buying a Nissan Leaf,  experiments in solar power and Uber driving, making videos, publishing a book, and giving talks to huge, scary crowds of people at the World Domination Summit and maybe even TEDx Boulder.

(Update from the distant future of 2022. Wow, I actually did quite a few of the things I had planned on this list – way to go past self! So I updated the paragraph above by adding links to the results.)

What will be new for you?

  • Thias December 28, 2015, 10:45 am

    It has been nice up here in Wisconsin so far this winter so the fear of dying from cold and snow is gone. Except for the 8-12 inches of snow and ice we are getting in 3 hours. If I don’t make it home, I will probably wish I moved closer to work and rode my bike!

    I normally try and get outside for at least a little while everyday during the winter. Even if the sun isn’t out, my mood is drastically better if I can just get outside – even if it is only for a 15 minute walk.

    • Chris Durheim December 28, 2015, 11:18 am

      As a fellow Wisconsinite, I’m with you – this year has been nice so far. Hopefully today is a safe travel day.

      I ran across a cool article recently about beating the winter blues – taking the best of how the Norwegians do it. Guess you can’t really question the practice of people who get long periods of the year where you literally can’t see the sun. http://lifehacker.com/beat-the-winter-blues-with-a-norwegian-shift-in-mindset-1749795544

    • Juli December 28, 2015, 2:13 pm

      I live in Tennessee, but am heading up to visit family in Wisconsin in a few days. It’s just my luck that the cold and snow are heading in just in time for my arrival. Would have been nice if you could have the kept the warmer temperatures for just a little bit longer!!! :)

  • M from Loveland December 28, 2015, 10:51 am

    Great post!. I’m excited about the outcome of the Nissan Leaf experiment. Looking forward for that post. Also, I’d love to see you in TEDxBoulder, I think it would be great for other people to know you.
    For 2016 I hope to get healthier and back in shape. This year has been hard, still have some unsolved health issue that I hope to get figure out soon.
    Happy New Year for everyone!, hope you all can achieve your goals.

    • Cr from Albany December 31, 2015, 5:19 am

      I look forward to the Leaf experiment as well. My friend just purchased one and is finding significant differences in miles per charge depending on outside temperature. Should be interesting to see what results you have in Colorado.

      • Mr. Money Mustache December 31, 2015, 1:26 pm

        I’m definitely expecting the same thing. Just as gasoline cars use a lot more fuel in cold weather, Lithium car batteries can’t produce as much electricity in those conditions.

        The good news is that they don’t consume more power in the cold, they just don’t store or produce as much (if I understand correctly the battery just springs back when it is warm again – chemists correct me if I’m wrong). Another bonus: interior heat is instant, and you can have the car warm itself up before you arrive without wasting gasoline. So an electric car is actually a better cold weather buddy as long as you don’t need the maximum range on a cold day.

        • brunt December 31, 2015, 2:23 pm

          Low temperatures slow down the chemical reactions that are necessary to produce energy. This means that while that energy is still stored, the battery is unable to produce the “umph” that it does at higher temperatures.

        • Kootenay EV Family January 1, 2016, 10:59 am

          If you plan to heat the interior of the car, it does use more power in the cold ;)

          Caveat on the “instant heat” – this only occurs with the 2013 and newer Leaf with a heat pump (so SV or SL trim). The older Leaf and the S trim use an electric resistance heater and a transfer fluid, so they take a few minutes to heat up.

          I have a 2014 SL, and use power to heat the car approximately as follows (setting the heat to 20 C, fan 2, at highway speeds around 90 km/h; if you heat the car more, you will use more power, up to 2-3kW):

          Ambient Temp (C) Power Draw (kW)
          10 – 20 I only use the fan setting, no heat or AC
          5 0.25
          0 0.5
          -5 0.75 – 1
          -10 1.1 – 1.3
          -15 1.5 – 1.75
          below… not sure, we don’t get that cold here!

          Theoretically the heat pump part won’t work as well any colder than this, so I imagine it would rely more on the resistive heater (which the heat pump cars have as an additional source if necessary).

          I average about 6 km/kWh in the winter at speeds averaging 70 – 90, with a bunch of hills; this means that over an hour of driving, I would lose about 6 km of range at -8C.

        • North East Leaf owner January 1, 2016, 9:29 pm

          Winter driving in my 2012 Nissan Leaf is quite enjoyable with snow tires. (Factory efficiency tires don’t grip….anywhere) The regenerative braking is quite nice for gradual adjustments and holding speed down hills. Usually my miles/KWH goes from my 4-4.5 average in warm temps to 3 from December to February. The bulk of that “low” performance is in temperatures below 30 degrees. This vehicle has conquered my very unmustachian 50 mile round trip commute for a year so far.

          My strategy for heat has been to skip it. I enjoy the luxury of a heated wheel and seats that are far more efficient than the futile task of heating a big chunk of aluminum in a constant freezing wind. The climate control only comes on to clear the windshield and this has only bothered my range enough to matter one time when it was a -20 F morning and the frost just wouldn’t clear. (Still made it home, just had to listen to some extra warning bells to charge soon)

          The best thing is that these off lease 2012-2013 Leaf electric vehicles can be found at many dealerships for $10,000 now. The popularity of leasing the EV’s is just crushing the used market for this already niche product.

        • Brett Burkhead January 2, 2016, 7:55 am

          MMM, one of the big advantages of electric cars is less maintenance. This may have limited effect on you, but I think it is one of the reasons that they will only grow. When looking at the lifetime cost of ownership, more and more companies are gravitating towards partial or full electrification, even at low cost gasoline. I own a Chevy Volt and had a hard time accepting that oil only gets changed every 20,000 miles.

      • Doug January 1, 2016, 9:33 am

        Yes, if you are operating an electric car in the cold weather not only do you not have as much as much get up and go, but also using the heater consumes more energy and reduces range. One solution is to pre warm the inside with a plug in heater. Another would be to retrofit with a petrol burning heater like on the old Volkswagens.

        • Chris P January 3, 2016, 9:37 am

          I think he meant that you could warm it up while it was still plugged in at home without wasting gas. I could be wrong.

        • Kootenay EV Family January 3, 2016, 9:01 pm

          My EV (Leaf) accelerates just as fast at all temperatures I have used it in (down to -20C). I have encountered some limitation on regen at that temperature, usually losing one bubble after I’ve already regen’d about 1 kWh on a long descent from the ski hill. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jPNpgOnZ39g

  • Utdelningsseglaren December 28, 2015, 11:05 am

    Thanks for inspiration!

    Looking forward to complete my all-winter bicycling to and from work here in Stockholm, Sweden :)

    • The Viking December 28, 2015, 12:12 pm

      Wow, look a fellow swede!

      • Sonja December 29, 2015, 12:00 am

        And here is another one :-) I discovered Mr Money Mustache last summer and had such fun reading through the archive. Thanks for all great inspiration!

      • Ulla Lauridsen December 29, 2015, 2:17 am

        And here’s a Dane!

        • Pengepugeren December 29, 2015, 4:27 am

          And one more :)

          • Masi December 29, 2015, 6:54 am

            A Finn here, not sure if it counts :)

            • Ulla Lauridsen December 31, 2015, 6:01 am

              Sure it does :-)

            • Vesku January 8, 2016, 7:16 pm

              Another Finn here, just finished reading the blog from the start in a couple of months :)

          • Nicholas Wintle December 29, 2015, 4:11 pm

            I’m a Brit but I went to Copenhagen a few years back, does that count? ;-)

            • Ulla Lauridsen December 31, 2015, 6:02 am

              Nope :-)

            • esq January 2, 2016, 9:40 am

              As someone who once took the hydrofoil from Malmo to Copenhagen (and back, and also discovered Toblerone on the ride), this Texan is going to venture to say yes! It counts!

              Here’s to a badass 2016.

              Warm regards,

          • Ulla Lauridsen December 30, 2015, 5:30 am

            Hej Pengepugeren,
            Hvis du skulle have lyst til at korrespondere, er min mail ullalauridsen gæt engang hotmail og gæt resten ;-)

  • Chris Durheim December 28, 2015, 11:10 am

    Looking forward to the book – are you willing to give hints at the topic? Wondering if it’s a consolidation of the content here or expanding into new areas?

  • Neil December 28, 2015, 11:16 am

    You’ve definitely inspired me to embrace winter more. I always did as a kid; why not keep enjoying all the seasons? I especially like your challenge to the assumptions of “biking season.” Thanks!

  • TheHappyPhilosopher December 28, 2015, 11:26 am

    Awesome plans. Can’t wait for the book and the TED talk.

    New for me is writing, I hope to fill a blog with at least a post a week. Turns out blogging is kinda fun!

    My goals for 2016 are to continually increase my happiness, optimism, gratitude and wealth…I think I’m in the right place.

    Happy 2016 MMM, stay awesome.

  • EarlyRetirementGuy December 28, 2015, 11:28 am

    Merry Christmas to all and a happy New Year from your friends in the UK.

  • Joe December 28, 2015, 11:32 am

    Some of my favorite MMM articles included here. Unusual warmth has enveloped the North East so far this winter, and today is probably the coldest day so far this season – at 30 degrees!!! How amazing we have it!

    I have stumbled this holiday season in my pursuit of the spartan life – when you have extended family that loves to be ensconced in luxury, the month of December can be a difficult one to get through. But my stubble is coming back starting now.

  • Dave December 28, 2015, 11:34 am

    Here in New England it’s barely winter. Finally getting some snow tomorrow! This is great inspiration to get out and enjoy it.

    Also, super excited to hear that you’ll be at WDS next year! I voted for you for “next year’s speakers” in the survey after this year’s WDS. I have to imagine many more did as well. I’m glad they listened :) It’s an awesome group of people. Hope to get a chance to meet you!

  • Steve Desmond December 28, 2015, 11:36 am

    Have a great end to the year and an even brighter leap into the next one. It’s been great reading your stuff the last few months as I embark on my own ‘FI’ adventure.

  • samllr December 28, 2015, 12:00 pm

    Uber driving? Am I reading that right? Not to go all IRP, but I would find it odd for some reason if MMM is schlepping drunk college kids and Thanksgiving visitors around Boulder.

    • Mr. Money Mustache December 28, 2015, 5:19 pm

      Just an excuse to test the car a bit, and measure the profitability of Uber driving. Obviously just for a short time, since I have better things to do than driving cars every day!

      • Anonymous December 28, 2015, 8:58 pm

        I can’t help but wonder if you could get away with picking people up for Uber using a bike with a (covered) trailer.

        Sadly, since you can’t select rides based on destination/distance, it wouldn’t be feasible. Actually, that seems like a problem with the Leaf as well; what happens if you accept a ride and someone wants to go further than the range of the Leaf?

        • Bambam January 13, 2016, 6:27 am

          A rickshaw might be fun, too. Festivus feats of strength?

  • Violet December 28, 2015, 12:12 pm

    I guess I haven’t delved back as far into the archives as I thought I had as some of these are new to me — some great end-of-year reading. Happy New Year to you and your family!

  • Steven December 28, 2015, 12:36 pm

    Just when you think you have read them all High Cost Living – it’s a State of Mind pops up and you get all excited like opening your stocking stuffer and finding both Vanilla Ice and MC Hammer on cassette, yes that really happened, hope the article can live up to those type of expectations.

    • Chad Carson December 28, 2015, 9:12 pm

      Ha, ha! I had that same MC Hammer and Vanilla Ice Christmas. Score!

      And I agree that particular article by MMM is just as good. The mindset of seeing the entire system as a much more flexible game is life changing (no exaggeration).

      I am also passing the “we are not doomed” article onto all of my doomsday republican relatives. Thanks MMM for saying it better than I can;)

      • businessgypsy December 29, 2015, 4:44 am

        Insights come from the most unlikely sources. As a Libertarian-leaning Republican, I’m usually preaching optimism and self-reliance (but never politics) to my terminally depressed and doom-inclined Liberal friends. Could it be the common denominator here is mindset, not some shallow political facade? Thanks for confirming that we’re more alike than different, Chad. That started out my morning on a positive note.

        • chris December 29, 2015, 7:21 pm

          I think you are onto something. It isn’t reality or politics…it is just in their head. I have liberal friends that are in an absolute panic about every environmental thing they can think of, conservative friends in a froth over whether or not I have enough weapons (perhaps because I don’t have any…but I digress), Libertarian friends convinced that our freedoms are in freefall, very religious friends that despair over the moral decay of America, atheist friends that think we are being choked by fundamentalist fervor. It never ends and it is all exaggerated drama llama stuff. There are bad things in the world. There are good things. We can all choose our focus and choose what we will do to impact each. No need to freak out or alienate people. People are what make the good stuff worthwhile and the bad stuff bearable.

          • Rob I'm Not a Ludite December 30, 2015, 7:31 am

            Well Said!!!!

          • Sheila December 31, 2015, 12:49 pm

            You Nailed it! Thank you for putting that into prospective.

          • JN2 January 2, 2016, 1:46 pm

            I emailed your wisdom to my friends. Thank you :)

          • Chad Carson January 7, 2016, 11:32 pm

            Agree! Well said, Chris. I specifically pointed out the people in my family (who happen to lean republican) who are dooms-day types. But that mindset crosses political spectrum as others here have said.

            I appreciate a more optimistic, can-do mentality wherever your political leanings.

        • Chad Carson January 7, 2016, 11:35 pm

          Right on, businessgypsy. Reading your comments brightened my mood as well.

          I actually sit fairly center politically, but feel a little left-leaning at Christmas with the family:)

          What I love about the type of people MMM attracts is this optimism and self-reliance attitude you preach to your friends. It’s refreshing.

    • Donna January 3, 2016, 12:35 am

      High Cost of Living is a GREAT article and Vanilla Ice and MC Hammer were the best stocking stuffers.

  • Tom December 28, 2015, 1:06 pm

    I just rented a 2012 Nissan Leaf for the week visiting family and friends in Denver. Range anxiety is real, but newer cars have more battery capacity for less money. Get a lvl 2 charger and you’ll be very happy. Denver metro area and Boulder have great charging infrastructure, and the lvl 3 chargers at Nissan dealerships are ridiculously fast and free! Driving electric from the mountains beyond Golden to the dirt roads beyond Parker was very doable on 2012 Leaf capacity. The biggest lesson was something I had read and “known”, but now know and feel it very viscerally: only solar power energy collection combined with electric vehicles makes good sense for the vast majority of humanity going forward. Solar/electric is cheaper, easier, less environmentally destructive, plus you get way better torque and a quieter, more comfortable ride.

  • Michelle December 28, 2015, 1:32 pm

    We just arrived in Tucson in our RV, and the weather is pretty perfect here :) A tad cold, but I’m not going to complain about highs in the 60s haha!

    I hope 2016 is a great year for you!

  • Adam O December 28, 2015, 2:24 pm

    Dang, how do I get an Uber ride from MMM?!? Think of the surge pricing that will hit Longmont :-)

  • Juanita December 28, 2015, 2:46 pm

    Thank you for this optimism in the dead of winter. I was just thinking the other day, in order to get out of this depressing dark slump I will go out on a decent sunny day to get some bike exercise, with gloves and earmuffs. Our snow usually melts in a few days here in NM and its mostly dry. Thanks for reassuring me that the economy is not doomed. I think in my deep gut, I really don’t think so either, but it’s hard to remember that after an experience like mine. I should keep this in mind though because I had a very good Santa month after having been at this new job for 6 months, just passed a major milestone. It is the most optimistic I have felt in 2 years.

  • Robert December 28, 2015, 2:51 pm

    I’m VERY excited to hear you are getting a Nissan Leaf. I “upgraded” from a clown-car to a 2013 Leaf SL in March and have been extremely pleased with it. I know you don’t drive much, but highly recommend getting one with the QC port. It makes long drives easy and worry free.

    Knowing MMM is even considering this kind of validates my purchase.

  • JT December 28, 2015, 3:34 pm

    If your Leaf/home solar experiment is in any way related to charging the battery from the solar array, forget it. Every mile driven requires 3-4 kWh of energy. Every watt of solar panels is going to cost $1-2 (that’s if you buy screaming deals and install yourself as I assume you will), so you need 5k worth of panels to spend an hour recharging the Leaf after you drive one mile. Oh, and that assumes you have no battery bank (which adds $$ and complexity, though also tons of utility, of course).

    Electric cars *depend* on grid-tied recharge. Or maybe that’s your point?

    • JC December 28, 2015, 3:49 pm

      Looks like you’re off by a factor of 10:
      “For a 2012 Nissan Leaf, its average rated efficiency of 99 MPGe translates to 34 kilowatt-hours per 100 miles. Just multiply that by your electric cost.”

      • JT December 29, 2015, 11:47 am

        Yeah, good catch! My brain calculator slipped a decimal place there.

    • Mr. Money Mustache December 28, 2015, 8:26 pm

      Yup – JC’s figures are correct (and in fact a careful driver can achieve 20-25 kWh per 100 miles at lower speeds!). And solar panels are about 70 cents per watt before you add inverter capacity.

      If I spend $2000 on equipment to get (conservatively) a 2000 watt daylight output, I could in theory get several hours of charging on average per day using the stock slow charger (we get 2000+ annual hours of sunshine in my area). Let’s say 5kWh net to the battery each day, or 20-25 miles of driving. This is WAY more than I need.

      This is just a theoretical argument, of course. In real life I buy wind power for my house and I’d be grid-tying both the car charger and my solar panels to contribute my surplus energy to offset some coal.

      Unless I decide to go REALLY crazy and wire in the Leaf as the primary household power supply with switchable grid backup. Or throw in a Tesla Powerwall battery :-)

      • JC December 28, 2015, 10:55 pm

        Consider the Leaf as a large transportable battery pack. Use for actual driving/errands, but also for emergency power backup at home, or for remote site/event power. Drive/tow easily for service/repairs, if required. Tesla’s Powerwall is essentially the battery pack from the car, less the car.

      • Tom December 29, 2015, 6:29 am

        JTs numbers are inverted, MMMs are correct. Driving a 2012 Leaf for the last week around the Denver metro area, mostly highways (worse for EVs than around town) and up and down mountains (even worse still), I bumped the car’s long-term average from 3.7 mi/kWh (NOT 3.7 kWh/mi as JT states) to 3.8, putting me just north of 26 kWh per 100 miles. So with a newer Leaf and driving in warmer temperatures than the 0-20deg F we just experienced, MMM can easily crush my efficiency numbers as a first timer constrained to highway and mountainous driving.

      • JT December 29, 2015, 11:53 am

        Um, where are you seeing solar panels for $0.70 per watt? Even the wholesalers online don’t list anything for cheaper than about $0.95 per watt, and that’s for second rate manufacturers and 5-7kW arrays. Smaller arrays (like what you’re talking about) and panels from well respected manufacturers are in the $1.50 per watt range.

        I would love it if you’re right, because those are prices I can get excited about, but I’ve not found that to be at all realistic.

        • Matt December 29, 2015, 6:01 pm

          MMM’s calculations might take into account tax credits. I don’t know much about it, but that’s just an idea.

  • Nancy December 28, 2015, 3:51 pm

    I was just wondering earlier today how come MMM hadn’t experimented with harvesting his own power yet, and thinking I would love to hear more about how worthwhile or not harvesting one’s own solar power is when you are already working to ensure your power bill is relatively small. I was very excited to see the topic is on deck for 2016. I have always planned to harvest my own energy when I own my own house, so it’s a topic I’m very interested in. I’m very excited for 2016, as I’ll be graduating from college and look forward to start getting rich in my 20s! Thanks for another great year, MMM!

  • Paul December 28, 2015, 4:39 pm

    The evening walk is good and so is the winter bike commute. But don’t forget about winter running, it is the funnest time of year for outdoor running. Dress appropriately for the conditions and you will have a blast. I wear a pair of Salomon spike cross and they have never let me down. I have even purposely aimed for big patches of ice and these shoes just won’t fail.

    Walk, Run and Bike… Enjoy every season!

  • Debz December 28, 2015, 5:08 pm

    Uber! Ok so I totally think you should turn your Uber driving into some sort of Youtube channel, kind of like that show cash cab. You could quiz people on their knowledge of saving, investing and spending. They could win a bike or like a book on investing. I would watch that…just my 2 cents.
    Oh man I would love to see you do a TEDx! Be sure to bring a bottle of water with you, I feel like everyone who does one of those desperately needs some water, as would I.
    Hooray MMM in 2016, can’t wait!

    • Mr. Money Mustache December 28, 2015, 8:30 pm

      That is a really good idea Debz – people would think they just summoned a normal cab, but Mr. Money Mustache would have his lessons ready and start the face punching as soon as you sit down in that passenger seat.

  • dave December 28, 2015, 6:54 pm

    If I had the chance to leave Canada I would pick a less cold and snowy place than Colorado

    • Mr. Money Mustache December 28, 2015, 8:31 pm

      Have you ever spent a winter here? It’s sunny T-shirt weather interrupted by occasional snowstorms. A little Effed Up this year with the El Nino however.

  • Ulla Lauridsen December 29, 2015, 2:28 am

    I’m somewhat badass already, but to really kick into gear in 2016, I’ll have a buy nothing year. The rules are that I buy nothing that is not used up. So obviously I buy food and shampoo etc., but no books, clothes, kitchen utensils etc. I have to use what I have, use the library etc. If something breaks and has to be replaced I’ll buy used if possible.
    I’m looking forward to it actually, and might extend it to several more years. I always feel bad when buying more stuff and when confronted with all the unread books, unworn clothes etc. I have. I will feel amazing when in several years time I can look around me and know that everything has been put to good use. Also, it’ll be interesting to see if the money piles up by itself.
    Your book, though, I might have to buy (aaargh).

  • Claire Backhouse December 29, 2015, 3:16 am

    We stashed 50k this year, hoping to increase in 2016. Every day a few steps closer to early retirement in SE Asia, where the living is good, and stashed cash goes so much further. Thanks for the help along the way.

  • Chris December 29, 2015, 6:46 am

    I’m assuming the book would be self-published??? Possibly on Amazon’s kindle direct publishing or something like that?? Although, the popularity of the blog could probably get you access to a large publisher that would provide access to more readers. Reach more people or utilize DIY Badassity?? Tough choice.

  • Pat December 29, 2015, 8:39 am

    Thanks for the winter followup post!

    I’m in Northern Canada and I bike 12 months of the year… I do get odd looks now and then, but it makes me grin as I know I’m the only person in town getting guaranteed fresh air and exercise outside.

    Oh and I second the idea of good tires – the difference is night and day.

    Cheers, and Happy New Year!

  • Andrew December 29, 2015, 8:53 am

    No less an authority on smarts than Terrence Sejnowski (member of the Institute of Medicine, Institute of Science and Institute of Engineering – one of 12 living people to do so), who’s renowned for his work in neuroscience has claimed that the MOST effective smart drug available today, by a huge margin, is physical exercise. Exercise generates and supports the growth of new neurons. You don’t need to be a Cross-Fit junkie or an ultra-marathoner either – just exercise a little each day.

  • Edifi December 29, 2015, 9:27 am

    What’s your winter gym setup when it snows? Still in the backyard or take it inside?
    I shift some cycling miles to run miles but I still end up paying per use at the city gym for indoor lifting.

  • Kathy O December 29, 2015, 10:10 am

    Hope you make it to Silicon Valley this year. Mountain View is becoming biketopia thanks to Google. Driverless cars and other car safety features are going to make the world a lot safer for bike.

    Thank you for all the inspiration. I am getting out and enjoying California winter today. It is 43 burrrr!


  • Kootenay EV Family December 29, 2015, 11:27 am

    Glad to see you are contemplating the EV train. It’s leaving the station, all aboard! Seriously though, once you have driven electric for a few months you will despise driving anything that makes explosions to coax the vehicle forward. Pick up a 2013 or newer SV or SL, that way you get the better charger, QC port, and heat pump.

    You can already make long trips with a bit of time and patience. Check out my blog for numerous trips I have done throughout BC.

    As for 2016, working on continuing to improve our garden, continuing to advocate for EVs and infrastructure in my area, and would also like to find an ETF that is broad scale and I feel better about buying. I have avoided all broad based ETFs for moral and ethical reasons, but have taken a bath on TAN this year :/. I spotted a new fund recently, ETHO, any thoughts??

  • Matt December 29, 2015, 12:38 pm

    I am interested in hearing about your experience with Uber. Geico and many other insurance carriers will cancel personal auto policies when they find out the insured is working for uber/lyft/operating as a taxi. It looks like Geico is offering a ridesharing policy in some states but not Colorado.


  • MiddleMan December 29, 2015, 1:50 pm

    Love evening walks. Try the LibriVox app for free audiobooks. That way you can exercise mind and body at the same time if strolling solo.

  • newyork22 December 29, 2015, 3:48 pm

    Great way to end the year and completely agree that our physical well being is inter-connected with our mental fitness. Without sounding too creepy, isn’t feeling your own muscles such a nice reward for your hard work?

    Next year, I want to better understand why millennials have such a hard time putting the Mustachian ethos into practice. I love the advice in this blog, but also worry about how to generally get folks to be motivated to work through their finances. I’ll also be completing a certificate in digital money which will dovetail with my new job and its responsibilities. Thrilled to have maneuvered my way into a position that examines the rise of FinTech firms and the myriad payment innovations in this world. I think this is what people felt like when the ATM burst onto the scene in the 1980s.

    Happy New Year all!!

  • Aravind December 29, 2015, 8:56 pm

    Uber !! Well that would be an experience.

    I am attaching a link below (Though it is from Indian context). Enjoy !


  • C.R.E.A.M. December 30, 2015, 8:34 am

    Should have added your classic “Muscle over Motor” article. Got 4 inches of snow overnight. Had my corner lot sidewalks, patio and driveway shoveled in 30 minutes. Two of my neighbors spent over 2 hours getting their snow blower going and then actually ‘working’. One of them also spent an entire weekend going back and forth to a big box home improvement store fixing it for winter. Considering the cost of a decent snow-blower ($700), gas, oil and countless repairs, I’ll stick to my $25 shovel and get some good exercise this winter.

  • Gwen December 30, 2015, 8:45 am

    My 2016 looks something like this: buy a duplex and become a landlord, start up my side hustle, get a new position at work when my current one ends and enjoy a trip to London, England in the fall!

    Can’t wait to read about the new workshop building!

  • Angelle Conant December 30, 2015, 9:06 am

    Saw this article on another blog I frequent and thought you Mustachians could appreciate it! In fact, for a second, I thought MMM had written it! http://offbeathome.com/2015/12/kindergarten-in-the-forest

  • Val December 30, 2015, 9:02 pm

    I’ve really been enjoying biking this winter. There’s actually been some winter, unlike last year. Even though I wiped out on some ice this morning, overall it’s been really fun.

  • FrugalMan December 30, 2015, 9:06 pm

    What will be new for me is pushing my savings rate from 79 to 85, ideally 90%. Also, increasing my health by fasting weekly, eating 2 vegetable based daily, biking, meditating more, training more intensely.

  • Marc Gaudioso December 31, 2015, 9:51 am

    I’d love to read an MMM article on dealing with the Christmas season, that most commercial time of the year. Around here, we stopped exchanging gifts with adults. The gift of time not spent in the mall is the greatest of all. We also stopped terrorizing the kids with the Santa picture. They make cards and gifts for their grandparents, and we drag them along when we volunteer. What do other folks do?

  • Gretchen December 31, 2015, 9:56 am

    I can’t wait to see you at WDS! Thanks for sharing the big news.

  • Ogopogo December 31, 2015, 10:50 am

    One strategy I find useful for keeping the home warmer all winter without barely increasing the heating bill is a humidifier. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy. A simple machine with vapor coming off the top is enough to thicken the air and thus create your very own greenhouse effect.

    This strategy also prevents chapped hands and dry skin, a common affliction in northern burbs such as the Canadian hinterland in which I live. Our heating bills have gone down considerably since we adopted this method. Be careful not to overdo it though or you could find yourself with a lot of humidity around your windows. We were so gung-ho in the beginning that we ended up with the insides of our bedroom double-pane windows all rusty. Still, it beats a dry house hands down.

  • dave December 31, 2015, 11:29 pm

    Nissan Leaf has short range and long recharge time

  • Mortimer January 2, 2016, 1:53 pm

    Great review of posts, and I love the winter article on biking. Do you know of any good guides for beating summer heat in the desert on bike? As a Phoenix native, winters are beautiful for biking, but with highs of 120 and lows of 100 for at least a couple months a year, it’s a different set of challenges. I’m making my own notes on how to do so successfully that I hope to turn into a guide, but I bet you know of others! Anyhow, thanks for another great year of inspiration!

    • TheHappyPhilosopher January 3, 2016, 10:00 am

      Phoenix is brutal in summer. Biking is possible, but it’s really best early in the morning. Biking in the late afternoon is August is like riding into a giant hair dryer! The nice thing is how dry it is, so the sweat evaporates quickly and cools better.

      Don’t wear black ;)

  • Tyler January 3, 2016, 5:40 pm

    Nice post! I too believe this is one of the best times of the year. It may be colder and get dark earlier, but it’s also the beginning of a new year with lots to look forward to!

  • Stockbeard January 4, 2016, 9:36 am

    Such clickbait with the Oil article! I was expecting to see MMM in pants, instead I got to see his socks? Such disappointment :)

  • Ellie January 4, 2016, 12:57 pm

    Our new year got off to a delicious start with a 4-day weekend of home cooked gourmet meals, and a batch of awesome homemade hummus that equals or exceeds the store-bought organic stuff (made in Colorado BTW) selling for $5 per small container.

    Entertainment consisted of long walks on partially-cleared city sidewalks, and dancing/singing around the house while my husband played Celtic tunes on guitar.

    Daylight hours already noticeably longer. Seed catalogs arriving daily in the mail. It’s a great time to be alive. Thanks for always being inspiring, MMM!

  • jestjack January 5, 2016, 7:33 am

    I would appreciate some guidance. I will be replacing my roof on my home and it’s 30 squares or 90 bundles of standard shingles or 120 bundles of “fancy ones”. Anyway as I will more than likely be doing this solo and am not getting any younger, I am considering purchasing a “nail/staple gun” so I won’t be swinging a hammer so much. Could you provide some tips on what to look for and what to avoid? I would be most appreciative. I have gotten quotes on this roof replacement and it approaches $20K. Materials should run around $4K… So in short, it would probably be cheaper to have my Dentist do it then the local roofing folks! Thanks in advance for your guidance…

  • Steve January 7, 2016, 12:44 pm

    Good luck with the Leaf! I just got a Chevy Spark EV (similar EV stats as the Leaf although a little smaller and a little quicker). I leased mine since it was better financially than buying. I have a 36 month $84/month lease and I still get the 2,500 CA rebate but forgo the federal rebate. The Spark is cheaper to drive than my 20 year-old sedan (including lease pmts, insurance, etc.!).


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