Frugal Man Buys $52,000 Car – Why??

Here’s the new car, on its first real camping trip shortly after taking delivery.

As I type this, I’m jumping through the various hoops involved in buying a 2023 Tesla Model Y, a spectacularly expensive, large luxury “crossover” that is absolutely loaded to the gills with excess: all wheel drive, faster acceleration than a Lamborghini, enough space for seven people and enough computer gadgetry to function as a small Google data center.

Update: Looking for the ongoing tracker page? It’s here at “The Model Y Experiment

The total net cost of this thing to me after all the taxes and tax credits* will be about $52,000, which is just a stunning amount higher than the Honda van it is replacing. That old classic cost me $4500 when I bought it off of Craigslist twelve years ago, and it had served me dutifully until just last month, crisscrossing the mountains and deserts of this country and also helping to rebuild a considerable swath of houses in my neighborhood. 

I’m supposed to be a frugality-oriented financial blogger, and I’m also known for hating car culture – I think most people use cars about ten times more often than they need to, and most people drive cars they can’t afford. So why the hell am I buying a new one?

From those first three paragraphs, you can see I’m feeling plenty of self-mockery and ridicule over this new purchase. If you’re also a naturally frugal person, you can surely relate to the thoughts and you probably also agree with me that I’m off my rocker. 

And indeed, I’m still on-board with frugality and healthy self mockery. After all, it was this overall life philosophy that earned me an early retirement 18 years ago, which provides all of the glorious freedom I enjoy now. 

It was also the philosophy that allowed me to procrastinate on buying this expensive car for the last four years, even as countless people both close to me and out on the Internet egged me on and told me I should just loosen up and treat myself.

But there’s a classic slogan that applies to many areas of life, and it is something I like to dig up and ponder every now and then:

“What got you here,

Won’t get you where you’re going.”

How does that piece of wisdom apply to frugal living and enjoying a long life of early retirement?

A quick story from a recent run to the grocery store will explain:

I was standing there in the bakery aisle, hoping to restock with a loaf of Dave’s Killer Bread for the next day’s breakfast with some visiting friends. But since this was in a standard grocery store rather than the Costco where I usually shop, the damned stuff was priced at an eye-watering $6.99 per loaf (instead the $4.50 or so I’m accustomed to paying, and even at the bulk store this stuff is about double the price of normal bread).


Was my first response. 


Then I went through a whole mental battle of what I call Grocery Shopping With Your Middle Finger:

“Should I just boycott this bullshit?” 

“Hmm I wonder if any of the other competing brands are any good?”

“What else is a good substitute for bread for this breakfast?”

And then thankfully, after exhausting all other mental options, I settled on the correct one:


Because you are never going to wake up in the future and look at your bank account and think, shit, if only I had an extra $2.49 in there I would be a happier person.”

That night, I came home from the store and shared this funny tale with one of my guests. He understood perfectly because he too had earned his own retirement through a lifetime of grinding in tough jobs and disciplined frugality. And despite the fact that he has a net worth several times higher than mine, he admitted that he faces exactly the same mental battles over splurging on himself.

This same friend gives freely to charitable causes, has supported a local school for decades, and is always the first one to pull out the checkbook if a friend has hit hard times or is looking for a trusted business investor. 

But he still has trouble bringing himself to take an Uber to the airport instead of riding the bus which takes an hour longer.

We both realized that we were being too cheap with ourselves, and we needed to work on it. And we came up with a set of three ideas that should hopefully work together to help us have more fun with our life savings, while we are still alive:

  • the Minimum Spending Budget,
  • the Dedicated Money Wasting Account, 
  • and the Splurge Accountability Buddy.

Principle #1: The Minimum Spending Budget: 

Suppose you’ve done well over the years and amassed a pile of productive investments worth about two million dollars. Yes, this is a lot of money for most people, and that is the point: this hypothetical person truly has it made.

But as it turns out, most Mustachians I know with this level of wealth are still living very efficient lives, usually with a spending level of under $40,000 per year. On top of that, they typically live in a mortgage-free house and still have various forms of side income from a small business or two.

The 4% rule tells us that this person should be fairly safe spending up to about $80,000 per year from that cozy nest egg, even if they never earn any other money.

If this person wanted to be ridiculously conservative and set the spending rate at 3%, that still leaves about $60,000 of fun money every single year.. Plus, again, any side income, future inheritances, and social security income only add to the surplus.

Thus, a reasonable minimum spending level for this person might be $60,000 per year.

And in most cases, they know this, but still go right on living on $40k or less and claim they have everything they could ever want. 

But if you watch carefully you’ll still catch them firing up the middle finger at things like $6.99 Dave’s bread or the $14.00 Cabernet at the restaurant or driving around in a gas guzzler even when they would prefer to have a proper, modern electric car. 

And whenever these people do get extra money, their first instinct is to stash it away on top of the already-too-big pile.  In diagram form, their money flow looks like this:

Note that while this person is great at accumulating money through that big red arrow firing money back into the ‘stash, their “fun stuff” arrow appears quite flaccid and withered.

Which is a perfect segue to ….

Principle #2 – the Dedicated Money Wasting Account

Lifelong habits are hard to break, and it’s sometimes hard to “waste” your own hard-earned money on things that seem frivolous, even when you know intellectually that you have way more money than you’ll ever spend.

But have you ever noticed that if you are spending somebody else’s money, preferably an anonymous corporation, it feels different?  

For example, when you’re on a business trip and you just show up at the dining table to eat and drink and you never see the bill, you probably don’t fret about the prices, right?

The key is to make your own money feel like somebody else’s, and you can do it like this:

  • Re-brand your main bank account – henceforth it is the FREE FUN MONEY account. 
  • Set up an auto-deposit of your minimum spending budget that drops in each month (if you suspect that you might currently be too frugal, make this at least $1000 per month higher than your current spending level)
  • The only way you are allowed to use the money in this new account is to spend it on anything and everything, or give it away. It can be used for both necessities like groceries and your utility bill, but also your luxuries like travel and dining and generosity.

    But the key rule is this: You are not allowed to follow your old habit of sweeping out the surplus each month to buy more and more index funds as you’ve been doing your whole life.

    If the free fun money starts building up, which it probably will because you are way out of spending practice, it will stare you in the face and tell you to do a better job.

    And this can and should be FUN! Now you can get the best organic groceries even when the price seems exorbitant. Go out for dinner or order delivery whenever you like. Surprise your loved ones with concert tickets, join your friends on snowboarding or beach trips, or even pay for an entire group vacation, allowing people to go who couldn’t normally afford it so easily.

  • Technical Note: Some people have income or wealth levels are so high that it would be insane to spend at a 3% rate. For example, a $10M fortune would lead to a $25,000 monthly spending rate, which is obviously ridiculous.

    In this situation, you can still leave your dividends reinvesting but still give yourself a bigger, no-saving-allowed budget to get some practice being more relaxed and generous.  The real point here is to just stop sweating the details so you can have more fun.

Principle #3 – The Splurge Accountability Buddy

Many of us frugal people tend to stick together. And most of us have different versions of the same problem: we know logically that money is plentiful these days, but our emotions keep us stuck in our old ways of optimizing too much. 

But I find that when I team up with local friends who are actually trying to battle these same habits, we can question each other’s decisions, call out cheapness when we see it, and cheer on splurges when we know the other guy would enjoy it.

My super wealthy friend from above has become much better about treating himself (and his family) to quality goods for the home, amazing trips together, and just a general reduction in his stress over being “efficient with money”

My friend and HQ co-owner Carl (Mr. 1500 Days) has finally replaced his beaten-down minivan with a spiffy new Chevrolet Bolt electric car, and is loving that leap into the future.

And of course Mr. Money Mustache, after squeezing one final mountain road trip out of his 23-year-old Honda van, is finally allowing himself to get the Tesla he has been talking about for half a decade. 

An early spring Sunrise at our new “Friends Mountain Resort”

A recent life change (becoming a co-owner of a fixer-upper vacation rental compound in beautiful Salida Colorado) has reignited the travel fire in my heart and made me realize how much I do love getting out to distant places for visiting, mountain biking, gathering with groups of friends and my favorite activity of all: Carpentourism.

Running the Numbers: how ridiculously expensive is this car?

This is the perfect start to my experiment in spending more. Realistically, a $50,000 car is going to cost me about $10,000 more per year than my old van was burning.  With the biggest costs being these:

  • Foregoing roughly 8% annual investment returns on the 50 grand: $4000
  • Depreciation on the car: an average of $3000 per year over the first 10 years
  • Higher insurance premiums: $1000 more per year
  • Replacing those exorbitantly huge performance tires when they wear out, and probably things like repairing the all-glass roof someday when it meets Colorado’s pebble-strewn mountain roads: the remaining $2000 or so.

Since I personally had a spending deficit of several times more than $10k per year, I figure this is a solid first step. And, since the car’s primary purpose is things like epic camping trips, dream dates, and  long adventures around the country, it will definitely help me spend more on experiences, hotels, and go out to dinner a bit more often as well.

“This Privileged Rich Folk Talk is Making Me Sick, why don’t you give your money away to charity, or to me?”

In general, I agree: the world has problems and the richer you are, the more you should consider giving generously. 

But also, to be honest, the whiny people who constantly send complaints like this out to strangers on the Internet really need to get a life. It’s great to encourage philanthropy through positive examples, but completely unproductive to send negativity to shame people you don’t even know for not following your own personal value system. The world has seen more than enough of this.

On top of that, this one-sided thinking can be counterproductive. Both of my friends have given generously throughout their lifetimes. In my own case, I have donated over $500,000 to the best causes I could find during the years I’ve been writing this blog, but I was still refusing to let myself replace that 23-year-old van. 

And that overthinking was leading to even more of a scarcity mentality, as I compared my own meager spending to these bigger numbers of my donations, and found myself thinking things like, 

“Damn, I’m spending $100 on this dinner date which sounds like a lot, but I also spent ONE THOUSAND TIMES more on donations last year, which sounds like even more. Maybe I am spending too much and need to cut back on EVERYTHING!”

And then the fear side of my brain would illogically chime in: “Yeah and you’re going to make us run out of money and be poor forever! waaaah waaaah! Cut back and optimize and conserve!”

I think there is a happy medium here. 

Yes – be a super, duper responsible steward of your life savings. 

And yes, give generously with all your heart to charity. 

But yes, it’s also okay to set aside a portion of the money you’ve earned, for frivolous spending on yourself and those closest to you. You’re not a bad person for having a few nice things.

It’s okay to pay that extra hundred bucks to sit a bit closer to the front of the airplane instead of the back if it helps you enjoy your vacation and spend a joyful half hour walking FREE at your destination while the 49 rows of people behind you fuss infuriatingly with their shit in the overhead bins.

It’s okay to buy the frozen berries at Whole Foods even though they cost eight times more than Costco charges, if it spares you from making a second unpleasant trip through parking lot hell.

And as for me, I am calling it okay to, at last, double flip the Autopilot stalk in my new Tesla and lean back as it it shoots me gracefully through even the highest mountain passes, forever leaving the desperately underpowered wheezing and gear shifting and noise* of the gasoline era behind, forever.

Rest in Peace, Vanna – 1999-2023

—– Bonus details and links —-

* How to get rid of an old vehicle:

I ended up using an online car salvage service called Peddle*, at the recommendation of a friend. With about five minutes of entering the details of my old Honda, their system offered me $715, and then a towtruck came and took it the next day – and actually gave me the payment in cash, which I found kind of fun. I made a point of using all of that money for splurges like dinners out, in keeping with the theme of this article.

* I later signed this blog up for Peddle’s affiliate program so that link will benefit MMM if you use it.

* A useful tip for more effective splurging:

Try to find the truly negative aspects of your life and focus any additional spending on improving those things. But it’s a subtle art so you have to get it right if you want lasting results in happiness.

You don’t want to just reduce hardship or challenge like hiring someone to take care of every aspect of your house, because overcoming daily hardships and having significant accomplishments provides the very core of our life satisfaction.

You also don’t want to just upgrade the things that are already good in your life. For example, a friend of mine is a gourmet coffee expert, and he suggested that I upgrade my setup at home to include on-the-spot roasting, and fancy grinding and brewing equipment. But I already love the good quality coffee I buy off the shelf from Costco, so it would be counterproductive to invest time or money into changing this part of my life. 

But when you have something that causes you regular angst and stress, whether it’s a leaky roof that makes you dread rain, or a long commute that makes you dread the daily traffic jam, or a body that is giving you trouble due to not being in the best of shape – those types of things are probably a good target for improvement. 

In the case of my car situation, I had a Nissan Leaf which is wonderful to drive, but doesn’t have the range to travel anywhere outside of the Denver metro area. Then I had the van which is a clunky beast to drive, but is otherwise an amazing road tripper because I could bring along whatever and whoever I wanted. But the van was getting increasingly unreliable in several hard-to-fix ways which was making me nervous every time I thought about long distance travel. Which was causing me to avoid certain trips and miss positive lifetime experiences.

In other words, my lack of a reliable long-range car was a small but consistent source of negative stress.

Finally, Vanna gave me the gift of a final hot and smelly transmission failure on a mountain pass on the way home from my new project in Salida. It was just the nudge that I needed. And now I already feel excitement rather than dread at the prospect of all the road trips in the coming decades!

* Total cost of this Tesla:

  • Model Y plus options and Tesla fees: $53,630 
  • Subtract $7500 federal EV tax credit
  • Subtract $2000 Colorado EV tax credit
  • (Note: this is equivalent to a $44,150 list price if you are cross shopping with other cars)
  • Add back in $4674 of sales tax
  • Add in first 3 years of Colorado new-car registration fees: $3000
  • Net cost: about $52,000

Referral program: after I wrote this post, Tesla has re-started their referral program. So if you do happen to be in the market for any of the company’s products, we can both benefit from a small discount or some free supercharging miles or whatever if you use this code:- and thanks if you do!

New Tracker Page!

To go along with this article, I started a new page called “The Model Y Experiment” where I can share ongoing findings and Q&A about the ownership experience. I’ve driven and rented Teslas quite a bit in the past, so most of it will be pretty familiar. But as an owner I’ll get to verify the reliability and the quality of customer service, as well as any quirks and modifications and upgrades I do.

  • Shanan April 27, 2023, 2:12 pm

    That’s a lot of words and justification to say “because I want it and can afford it”

    • Mr. Money Mustache April 27, 2023, 2:52 pm

      Haha, yes good point!

      Except remember that these articles aren’t really about ME. I’m not just writing a diary here, that would be a huge waste of my time as a retired guy. Instead, the MMM blog is meant to be an advocacy platform that just happens to use personal stories as a framework.

      So, this article is trying to spread two ideas in disguise:

      1) Have more fun if you are being cheap with yourself and others. Because I am hoping this will make people feel more positive about the FIRE movement and thus it will spread further, plus the world will be a more generous place.

      2) Share the desirability of electric cars so people who can afford it will consider them whenever it’s time for their next purchase.

      • Kenneth April 28, 2023, 5:51 am

        You’ve been coveting a Tesla for so long, I’m just LOL at you. Good for you. I’m 73 and relatively poor at $1.1M net worth, no debt. Lately I have been encouraging myself and dear wife to SPEND MORE MONEY! Gasp! The money just keeps piling up! I use YNAB and have about $60,000 in my Spend category, which is currently budgeted at $5,000 per month allocation. It just keeps growing. I bought new tires last month for my 2011 Kia cuz it was going flub flub flub. $880 out the door at Costco. I love the silence in my car now. Next year, we will be selling our cabin for about $135,000 net. My Spend category will then be over $200,000 then! Me – I’m coveting a new Hyundai Tucson hybrid and I am just going to buy one for cash, thanks for the new mustachian approval to do so!

        • Chris April 30, 2023, 7:56 pm

          Ken, I hope to be poor like you one day.

          Well done, sir.

      • Dave April 30, 2023, 4:49 am

        I too wanted, can afford, an electric car/truck, however, after reading “Cobalt Red” which informed me about where the Cobalt, ever essential to the making of EV batteries, comes from (spoiler alert: Chinese mining companies in the Democratic Republic of Congo paying children involved in artisanal mining $1 per day–and that’s not the worst of it!) I simply couldn’t/can’t bring myself to support the purchase of said EV car or truck.

        • Mr. Money Mustache April 30, 2023, 11:35 am

          In that case, you might be interested in the Tesla Model 3 RWD, which uses only LFP – Lithium Iron Phosphate batteries (no cobalt and also no nickel). There are a few other advantages to this battery type as well, including even longer lifespan.

          In the future, most cars will be using either LFP or Sodium-ion or other new chemistries based on even cheaper, more abundant minerals. But for now, even the cobalt content does not outweigh the benefits of avoiding oil consumption (which as you know also has a long history as a conflict mineral even before you consider the pollution)

      • Georgia May 1, 2023, 6:09 am

        I have to say that I’m really sad that in the face of climate change MMM is promoting not only buying new expensive cars (all those gadgets and extras have to be mined from somewhere!) but also flying first class (which is akin to taking a dramatically polluting activity and then tripling the impact for no reason other than not wanting to suffer economy class with the plebs, which is crazy because even belonging to the tiny percentage of humans who can afford to fly through the air like magic is already pretty cushy!).

        I remember back when protecting the earth was an important and delightfully subtle bent in the MMM articles. But damn, capitalism has once again come out victorious.

        There’s nothing sexy about overconsumption, even if you can afford it.

        I think life is beautiful and fun and awesome and we should all be waking up stoked to have yet another day alive, and treating ourselves to the things we love most.

        And if buying a car and flying first class is your way to treat yourself then I get it, but in the interest of authenticity (and not just selectively turning off your brain because someone else who’s in a similar position thinks it’s ok), it’s important to acknowledge the impact of your choices and make sure you’re facing them consciously when you choose.

        I don’t want to be judgemental and I apologize if I am, I think I just feel hugely disappointed that smart people who can incite positive change are instead encouraging voluntary ignorance because they’ve been seduced by consumer culture.

        But I guess this kind of hyper-individualism is the main turnoff for me when it comes to FI, the weird space it leads to where despite having everything, everything still isn’t enough. I hope that once people achieve FI they’ll have the security and time to be able to focus on loosening the grip that money has over us all.

        How are we going to make degrowth and community and the earth and life important and fun and sexy enough to inspire and interest mainstream culture if even our smartest and most influential thinkers abandon ship?

        Telsa does not need free advertizing. The evil (French? socialist? humanitarian?) part of me hopes they all wind up on the moon with nobody but each other for company and realize that they’ve jailed themselves in hell and thrown away the key.

        • Mr. Money Mustache May 1, 2023, 1:38 pm

          Gasp, no I wasn’t talking about first class airplane seats :-)

          Just paying United’s dumb fees to get the right to choose your seat, so you can sit closer to the front. Without actually burning more jet fuel, which is what happens when you increase demand for the double-sized seats of first class.

          All of the ideas in this article are meant to be very mild indulgences with either mild environmental cost or even positive effects. And mainly around being more generous and less cheap and realizing that after Financial Independence, money is something you have in abundance and SOME of us need to remind ourselves of this in order to live rationally and make the most of that opportunity.

          There have been a lot of comments like this one, and I think maybe people need to relax a weeeee bit around here.

          • bh May 1, 2023, 3:14 pm

            i agree people need to relax. i am happy you dropped $52K on a car you love!! enjoy it! i will do the same when my odyssey conks out – but mine is only a 2009. – so i will have to wait until 2033!

          • Robb May 2, 2023, 1:18 pm

            You didn’t even talk about the fuel savings…

            I drove a Chevy volt for 6 years and finally got a red M3… With that LFP battery you mentioned.

            The volt was wonderful ) actually is… I have it on Turo as a side hustle).

            But much like you described… My kryptonite was going beyond the megar 40 mile range and burning a bit of gas.. though the cost of burning a quarter gallon of fuel is inconsequential… It would occasionally prevent or delay some gratification by me waiting for it to SLOW charge.

            To appease my frugal side I was able to snipe a used one from Tesla with 22000km (14k miles) and the bonus is it came with FSD… So my inner geek gets the joy of that… And I no longer have an irrational anxiety (or cheapness) as the Tesla easily makes all my daily or road trips… For 40$ CDN/month. Enjoy the Y.

            Hmmm that cybertruk….

          • Georgia May 3, 2023, 5:48 am

            Yes, perhaps I need to relax, haha! When I went into my commenting frenzy (😳) I’d just gotten home from a political march I’d organized with some friends and holy moly the discrepancy was super jarring! I went from dancing and singing in the street waving “ecological justice” and “refugees welcome” signs (btw it was super fun, as was the boozy picnic that followed!) to reading about buying new cars, hahaha. All while merely looking for ways to double-down on my lifestyle so that I can spend more time gardening and hanging with my kid and causing mayhem. 🥳🥳

            “Chill, Greta, chill!”

            But I think this is actually a pretty interesting…hmmm how to say it…debate regarding human nature, I know that every time my income increases, I find more very convincing reasons to buy stuff I’m pretty super ethically opposed to. Totally guilty as well. But also perhaps willing to admit that no matter how green we make cars or flying, they’re just never really green? 😊

            And I see your point about how uncool it is for people to criticize you/others on their blogs instead of doing something positive themselves. Not my case at all, tho, I’m really here for interesting conversation/debate (although perhaps a bit over-passionately at times haha 😂, one of the main reasons I moved to Europe is because people over here GET INTO IT and still leave the argument as friends!).

            Tickled you even replied. Enjoy your new ride 🚗🚗

            Oh and here’s a link to the article the local paper wrote about our march (it’s in french but I figure I will try to level the playing field by opening myself up to public castration):



            • TeriB June 7, 2023, 12:23 am

              “that no matter how green we make cars or flying, they’re just never really green?”

              This. And a huge amount of energy goes into people’s justification and green-splaining away that what they’re doing isn’t actually in alignment with the values that they claim they have.

              Personally I don’t have much investment in people actually changing their behaviour anymore.* Whatever happens will happen. It isn’t going to end the human race.

              *But I sure do wish people would stop lying to themselves about it.

          • Do Good May 15, 2023, 9:25 am

            I think owning a vehicle for 20 years is a great example of what you SHOULD do. Buying a new one with the intention of keeping it for just as long is a perfectly fine choice to me. Enjoy your car MMM.

            • Megan May 22, 2023, 6:01 am

              These are my keys to agreeing with MMM here
              1) He waited, didn’t impulse purchase and was sure he was getting the expensive item he really wanted.
              2) His other car BROKE and needed replacing.
              3) He can afford it.
              4) Cars are damn expensive now days. 52K is high, but the average new price in the US is about $48K currently. For a bit more he is getting exactly what he wants.

              Congrats to you MMM! Zip up those mountains safely!

            • lurker May 23, 2023, 1:32 pm

              good point…I am 62 and on my second car…a prius. bought in the cash for clunkers moment in a swap for a dodge caravan…my wife is getting tired of the prius but I am hoping to take it a lot further

        • Mark May 10, 2023, 4:39 pm

          I couldn’t agree more with your post. I was hoping this blog was dated April 1st, but sadly it was not. $52k for a car!? Another win for excessive consumerism.

          RIP Mr. Money Mustache

          • Robert May 12, 2023, 9:21 am

            I understand what MMM was trying to convey, but I wondered what the ‘younger’ MMM would think about this purchase. MMM has done a lot of good for the planet so it’s hard to judge. But alas, its till made me sad …:(

          • David June 1, 2023, 1:14 pm

            This post was not strictly about a Tesla at all. It was the rollout of MMMs new and head scratching Mid Life Philosophy: “Splurge on whatever you can afford”. Overpriced bread? Expensive “dream date”? Brand new luxury car “faster than a Lamborghini”? Check. And Aquinas Jr. provided some charts and graphs for justification.

            The readership of this blog united behind the concept of “Badassity”, that is, the core ideas of frugality and optimization were important life values worth pursuing in and of themselves.

            Thanks for the memories MMM! All the best!

            • Eddie October 9, 2023, 11:42 am

              lol agreed. I love this page though. I am reading this article as well as some old ones while debating selling my car entirely to go car-free to accelerate my FIRE path and reduce my ecological footprint. It’s very odd to see MMM saying “spend more than the average take home salary on a luxury car”

      • Car Jack May 2, 2023, 7:42 am

        I have a couple of points that come from what is glaringly obvious in your explanation of your purchases. The difference between someone who is a frugal saver and a spendthrift is that the frugal saver (I would put myself in this category) would not even consider the Dave’s bread at $7 and before buying the $4 bread would go look on the day old shelf for the same bread marked down to $2. The spendthrift ALWAYS buys this ONE treat, just this ONE time. The problem is, once the overpriced thing is bought, the thought of having overspent and treating ones self disappears from memory. Making this habit becomes the whole way of life for the spendthrift and come time to chuck the working life, the frugal guy says “Ok, let me do the math. Here’s my annual retirement budget and lot at this….I have 56 times this amount in liquid assets on my spread sheet inside my paid off house driven in by my paid off cars”. The spendthrift (who is actually a friend of Car Jack) looks and says “I have $100k in my 401k, rent and make payments on my car. How does anyone retire?”. So my advice is to check yourself each and every time you think about treating yourself. If you have the money and those treats keep you in the % spending, fine. If at the end of the year, you look at all that you spend and scream “Holy Shit….I spent what on this crap?”, you’ve failed to keep track of what you spend.

        Ok, onto the Tesla. We all know you and many others have been very taken by the oversized electric golf carts. I went and drove a bunch of them myself in an effort to first find something I liked and then do the due diligence to justify a purchase. Do I sound like an engineer? Understandable with all the money I spent becoming one. In the end, I drove just about every EV, so I know the plusses and minuses of many of them. I will say that completely outside of the type of car, Elon has the absolute best way to buy a car. Go online, pick what you want, put in your deposit and wait till it’s ready. No listening to “What can I do to get you in a car today?” from some punk kid at a dealership. But in the end, I had to rely on math. What would it cost for ME to drive an EV of my choice. Well, I’d have to modify that to say the most efficient EV because to me the Audi e Tron GT was levels above every other EV I drove in luxury, quality and feeling more like a car with an electric drive system than an electric motor in tupperware. So the catch for me is that I live in a high electric rate area with wonderful total cost per kWh of 45.5 cents. And I’m seeing gas at the cheapo, competing gas stations for $2.89 per gallon on my way to the used tool store. My daily driver is a 2019 Subaru Crosstrek manual that gets 35 mpg in the summer. Note that ICE cars do worse in the winter because we have “winter gas” but also EVs do even more worse in winter temperatures. So in the end, a Tesla Model 3 single motor (the most efficient EV on the planet) calculates out to cost about 2 cents a mile MORE than my pedestrian Subaru that I bought new for $22k. So unless I’m looking to look like Richie Rich with a new Audi Electromobile, I can’t justify the thought of going electric. I’ll back up a second and admit that you people in like Texas who get electricity for 4 cents a kWh should absolutely look at EVs. But I don’t have that luxury. And gas is cheap here. And I like my car quite a lot with it’s utility, all wheel drive so I don’t have to trump up my driveway in the snow (it’s a steep hill that no 2 wheel drive can get up in snow) and I get fun from rowing gears. So my recommendation for anyone considering an EV is to DO THE MATH. the end.

    • Jimmy April 28, 2023, 6:32 am

      Ha – I was thinking the same and just wanted to drop a quick comment to say that you should have most definitely boycotted the $7 bread. You’re giving explicit permission to the company to continue to charge such a ridiculous price in the future. I’d starve before I spend that much on a loaf of bread and I can promise you, I’m not the cheapskate that many others are here.

      • Tom Kinsky April 29, 2023, 7:28 am

        I agree with you there about Dave’s Killer Bread, Jimmy. They are definitely the “cool new kid” in class, and cashing in as a result. As is the company selling their loaves. However, MMM’s other comment about “allowing” himself to buy the more expensive organic fruits needs a bit of diving into. To wit, by buying this food, the consumer is supporting these farmers and their way of producing food, which is great and societally needed. Here’s the work, though: it takes a bit of research to figure out the truth behind those pretty organic farm labels/advertising – are they really as wholesome as they say? Or did they just hire a good artist to create an idyllic image? I remember being shocked to find out that chickens technically could be classed as “free range” as long as they had “access” to a large uncovered area to move around in (or something along those lines). So, technically, you could keep 1000 chickens in a Quonset hut and as long as there was a 12″x12″ door to a fenced-in yard, they and their eggs were free-range. Don’t get me wrong, I am all in favor of supporting small time producers and organic farmers; just, unfortunately, it does require some astute research to do so.

      • Girish April 29, 2023, 9:46 pm

        Plus its not about the one time cost of paying $7 for a loaf of bread. Our family needs a loaf of bread every 3 days or so, and this is definitely going to add up real soon.

    • Geno May 2, 2023, 6:54 am

      Do you believe that if you had adopted this strategy in the past, it could’ve helped your marriage?

      Just curious because this obviously has a bigger impact than any material possession could ever buy.

      • Chris May 9, 2023, 12:14 am

        I kept thinking this MMM post was a late April Fool’s Day gag, but eventually realised it wasn’t. This comment, however, surely is?

        • Mr. Money Mustache September 5, 2023, 3:02 pm

          Haha, oh man this is my first time seeing this comment as well. It’s a tried and true conspiracy theory that “The MMMs split up because of money/cheapness”

          No, it’s kind of the opposite! We lived in a bath of financial abundance (and still do), for various reasons – we are both lucky to have skills that translate into making money pretty easily, so if we ever wanted to spend more, we DID.

          And of course, my beloved former wife is a total badass and would not have let me push her around in the spending department anyway – she has always been her own person.

          It’s still good advice for other couples though – never nag your spouse about spending or money! Instead, find common ground and common values. And if you don’t find these things, whether it is around finance or anything else, there is no shame in going your separate ways.

  • Jack April 27, 2023, 2:16 pm

    It’s about time =) I’ve been thinking you should just buy one and then call it “The Tesla Experiment” so you can write about it. And, you did.

    I own one also, and I absolutely love it. You can do three things with money: save, spend (enjoy), give. I think balance is needed in all three.

    • lurker April 29, 2023, 4:28 pm

      Don’t own a Tesla but have done some long distance travel in one and they are really nice cars….really nice…have fun big guy!

  • Marcia April 27, 2023, 2:40 pm

    We are still driving the 06 and 09 matrix and civic. I’m not particularly interested in Tesla right now.

    We have gotten better though … When we fly to visit family annually, we look for the best scheduled flights. I’m fine flying on a Tuesday, but red eyes are out, and I don’t care what it costs. Now that DS17 is adult sized, we rent a standard size car.

    We’ve made some home upgrades, with more in the planning stages. Somehow I’m still WFH those two days on a trash picked desk with two old monitors, and I literally have six things to plug in. DH: ” but a Dell docking station is $200!” WTF dude, I don’t care, and my old eyes need bigger monitors (haven’t pulled the trigger yet).

    We did splurge on an electric bike, and need to start riding again when allergy season fades.

    Unrelated: We stayed overnight in Salida over the Christmas holiday (road trip from Denver to Santa Fe), and what a beautiful area.

  • CL April 27, 2023, 2:40 pm

    Personally thrilled that you’ve finally scooped up a Tesla after years of talking about it. I’m glad that you’ll be able to step into the future. I’d love it if, on the experiment page, you’d compare the emissions of your former car, Vanna, to the (lack of) emissions of your Tesla.

    • Craigimass April 28, 2023, 8:44 am

      Not sure anyone wants to really compare the “lack of emissions” – because, in 90% or more of cases, the most green car is an older model that one already has. In almost no case is it an expensive car since the difference (about 20K or more over 5 years vs. a hybrid, etc.) could have been spent on vastly “greener” stuff like insulation, heat pump or more.
      Oh, and those tires he’s talking about? They put off many times the particulates of exhaust.

      • Allan April 29, 2023, 3:55 pm

        It’s probably a good idea to not take sensationalist media claims too seriously on such topics. Here’s a long-time expert’s opinion on this piece:

        The TLDR is that particle emissions are not created equal.

        The tire emissions claims are pretty overblown by the article, and their particle sizes pose little risk to humans compared to others.

      • BlokeInTejas April 30, 2023, 9:12 am

        No, that article – as is the case with a majority of Guardian articles – is wrong. You can do the arithmetic yourself on how long a car tire would last if you believe the quoted numbers. The article – as is often the case with the Guardian – also uses phrases like “up to 1000 times worse” – which may or may not be accurate under specific circumstances. But what they never do is quantify overall effect.

        A reasonable summary of why the article is utter rubbish may be found here:


        In general, the Guardian has an axe to grind, and doesn’t seem to employ any article writers with any simple arithmetic skills. Beware.

        • Mr. Money Mustache April 30, 2023, 11:20 am

          Haha, yes I remember doing the same math when I saw that article! Although it looks like the Guardian has corrected the numbers in their article so it’s at least a bit less misleading.

          It used to say that tires could emit over 9 grams of rubber dust per km of driving, and I calculated at the time the real number is 0.033 grams (33 milligrams) – because a tire loses about 2kg of mass over its 60,000 km lifespan. So, they were off by a factor of almost 300.

          Now, they have fixed that to use a figure of 50 milligrams, which is close enough.

          I don’t know how to calculate the amount that ends up in the air versus on the road, but either way, you have the same problem with electric cars or gas cars, and nowadays the weight is pretty similar across vehicle classes.

          Then, there’s the fact that EVs almost never need their friction brakes, so brake dust is eliminated. And they don’t burn gas or oil, which results in cleaner air. And they are now about to ship in semi truck form, which will eliminate our biggest source of diesel soot. And then we combine that with the MMM rule that we don’t use our car in the city if we can use a bike. And it all works out just fine.

          • Matt Griswold April 30, 2023, 4:14 pm

            From a 4x reservation holder of those Tesla Semis (hoping for 2025 delivery now), congrats on your Model Y purchase! We’ve been driving Tesla’s in my fairly frugal family since 2017. Coupled with home solar, and backed up with the incredible Supercharger network, they simply can’t be beat.

            Here at our wholesale flower farm in CT, we’re even considering a Model Y to replace a flagging Honda Element as our road sales display vehicle. On the napkin, we figured that the Model Y will save us some $40k over ten years versus two more used cars/vans. Not to mention the saved environmental costs.

            Enjoy the ride, and get used to grinnin’ the grin!

      • Old_eyes May 1, 2023, 4:07 am

        Wrong! Just spectacularly wrong. The numbers are in and EVs are lower lifetime emissions, both embodied and operational, and lower total cost of ownership (in Europe at least).

        And before you start on the iniquities of Cobalt, note that one of the biggest uses is in oil refining.

  • Nick April 27, 2023, 2:40 pm

    Good for you! You’re spending from a position of excess returns on your excess returns.

    Also one less clunker on the streets is a good thing!

  • Andrew April 27, 2023, 2:44 pm

    Nice, look forward to updates on how it compares to past car ownership.

    I like to call this “Breaking the Budget” which is a good thing!

  • gardener April 27, 2023, 2:46 pm

    I thought it was a prank. It sounds something like, “See how I got so rich that I can spend $50,000 on a car and it doesn’t even affect my household budget.” Perfectly understandable. Perfectly understandable. And the proposed three principles sound great. But I think there is something incompatible with the spirit that this blog had until a few years ago.

    • nick April 27, 2023, 3:42 pm

      I think it’s good and shows if you save and invest for long enough you can improve an aspect of your life and still operate from a position of strength.

      Besides if we looked at what was cheapest all electricity in the world would come from coal and all cars would run on diesel. It’s good that people who can afford to make the jump are and that will bring down the cost of electric cars over time.

      • TeslaDude April 27, 2023, 10:09 pm

        Actually coal is no longer economical in the face of solar and wind with battery storage even. An EV running on electricity generated with coal is also still cleaner, cheaper, and more efficient than diesel.

    • Dawn April 29, 2023, 5:03 pm

      Yes, and rightfully so. He’s in a different season of life than he was a few years ago. I think this post is a great road map for a way to navigate that change of season between accumulation and spending down that every retiree will eventually navigate one way or another. A dear friend once said “Money is either enhancing your life experience or depleting it.” I vote for more joy.

      • Georgia May 1, 2023, 6:43 am

        Interesting to use the word ‘season’ when talking about choices that are gonna probably wipe seasonality off the face of the planet, hahaha. Not to be morbid about it, but just imagine explaining the ‘seasons of life’ to your kids when there are no more seasons, and then explaining to them that this concept of seasonality was once used to justify the destruction of seasonality itself…

        “He was going through what was referred to as a ‘change of season,’ you see, because once upon a time during the period formerly known as autumn everything used to die back, instead of just being dead all the time like it is now.”

        Anyhow haaaaaaa I feel like a green troll but for real, people!

        MMM, you’re not going to really let yourself get away with this, are you?

    • Michael April 29, 2023, 6:21 pm

      I had this exact thought. Having read literally every post on this site, there’s a major disconnect with the fundamentals of optimization of resources and this post. What happened to all the “just say no, you don’t need that” talk?

      That and the timing seems poor with inflation rising and really stretching millions of households to the breaking point and beyond.

      • Wut May 8, 2023, 1:31 pm

        I agree. I’ve been reading this blog for 10 years now and this post feels so out of place and not in tune with the current struggles of a lot of people. I’ve driven the same small car for ten years based on advice from this blog, and regularly try hypermiling, also from this blog. I bake my own damn bread too.

        This post isn’t badassity, it’s boomer logic. “I have the money, why not?”

        • Rick June 24, 2023, 11:03 pm

          Agree. I’ve was here for 10 years too, but not much lately. I found it when I retired and was wondering about the folks who wrote the book that started me on this journey many years ago, “Your Money or Your Life”. So I’m a boomer, a little older than most of the folks here. Plus, I have a pension, thankfully. It’s inevitable, once you realize you’ve got enough dough to get you to the end you start thinking “why not enjoy some pleasures I’ve always denied myself to get here?” So why the “Tesla Shaming”? Nonetheless, I found it hard to spend money after all of those frugal years building frugal habits. Ah, but now I’ve found a way to spend all of that money. I spend it on care for my dear wife who lives with dementia at a cost of $7000 a month since I can no longer care for her myself without isolating both of us in Dementia Land.
          Fortunately, we had a great life because, and, like this website has illustrated (mostly in the past?), you can get a lot of joy without spending a lot of money. Even while driving a 10 year old Subaru.
          Enjoy life while you can. Who cares how mrmoneymustache spends his money…now?

    • Taco dan April 29, 2023, 8:05 pm

      I agree. Really thought this was a late April Fools joke.

      I can understand his outlook but this was a bit much from where MMM started.

    • Georgia May 1, 2023, 6:25 am

      Relieved to see I’m not the only one!

    • Scholastic May 1, 2023, 1:10 pm

      Strong disagree. He always said “optimize but don’t be cheap”. The guy bought a new car some years ago, and justified why he didn’t bought used (battery issues IIRC).

      The nice house, the travel budget (the car is almost a RV in this case), the “builder’s van” to earn money, all these are recurring themes.

      It’s a point expense, it’s budgeted without debt, it’s an improvement to the lifestyle. Surely there are conflicting principles here, but not being cheap always was a north in this blog.

      And some of the greatest points here have always been “See how I got so rich that I can spend $50,000 on a car and it doesn’t even affect my household budget.” , as long as it isn’t wasteful, like buying new cars every few years.

    • gyvas May 2, 2023, 3:11 am


      We used to have “Luxury is just another weakness”, or “Efficiency is the highest form of beauty”, or posts praising stoicism (“To have a good and meaningful life, you need to overcome your insatiability”), or “If You Think This is About Extreme Frugality, You’re Missing The Point” giving us this:

      ” Learning to separate “happiness” from “spending money” is the quickest and most reliable way to a better life.

      The side-effect of this is that your life will become much less expensive and you will therefore become much wealthier very quickly.

      But it’s not about the money, and as long as you think it is about the money, you’re still fucked.”

      and yeah, this article very clearly goes against all that, clearly the need for the MINIMUM spending budget is that you have muscles aimed at frugality but there’s more happiness to be had from $60k than from $40k. Not to mention shifting gears and pushing the gas (or heck, even driving yourself instead of the autopilot) on an incline is SUCH a hassle, great that I now have a car that’s not too underpowered to climb up a mountain.

      So yeah, a couple years ago this would have been a solid April 1 post. MMM, you clearly can easily afford the Tesla, enjoy it, just… it goes totally against what you’ve been writing these last 11 years and it’s a bit sad trying to see you explain that it doesn’t.

      • Rafi May 6, 2023, 8:16 pm

        The pearl clutching the comments section because Pete had the audacity to spend his own money on an automobile is hilarious. The man literally spent a lifetime living below his means, and, as a direct consequence of his frugal lifestyle, is now able to make a purchase like this in his mid-40s without any stress on his finances. He’s still not spending more than he makes or buying more than he needs, and purchasing an EV is consistent with the values he’s been espousing since day one. All of you need to stop acting like MMM has sold out or betraying his principles.

  • Scott Trench April 27, 2023, 2:48 pm

    I think it’s really fascinating to see this viewpoint shift for you, MMM!

    I was at the least a “mid-core” mustachian for many years. I was perhaps more frugal on housing than many Mustachians, but less frugal in entertainment.

    But after joining a startup and becoming CEO, watching my wealth grow past my wildest dreams, I’ve found it harder and harder to justify extremely frugal decisions, even though I feel guilty about every extravagance that I purchase (admittedly becoming more frequent). What a snobbish first world problem. But there it is.

    I have been closing in on your conclusion for several years personally, but been uncomfortable with it. It’s felt antithetical to the foundation I built through frugality and a DIY mindset that you inspired.

    Anyways. I resonated with this one. Thank you for writing it!

    I do think that for those in the process of moving towards financial independence, one should start with the all-out, “baddasity” that you preach, unapologetically. That’s what gets you to this very good problem that you disclosed here.

    For me, I still have my 2014 Corolla, but I look forward to the day when it dies and I can convert it into my own Tesla (or in 10 years, whatever is sooner).

    Thanks for the post. And rest easy knowing that you now have a car so fast that no internet retirement police will ever be able to catch you!

    • nick April 27, 2023, 3:44 pm

      Nice! What’s motivating you to drive your 2014 corolla into the ground tho?

    • Mr. Money Mustache April 27, 2023, 4:02 pm

      Scott, if you are driving more than once or twice a week (especially if you ever head out to the mountains), sell that Corolla and get the Tesla NOW!!!

      Have you ever driven one? I find it hard to imagine still using a gas car for a family with a baby in your situation. There’s no downside, other than money – a constraint which we have been lucky to graduate from.

      • carlivar April 28, 2023, 9:20 pm

        One downside is the fact that the rear doors in the Model 3 and Model Y cannot be opened if there is a loss of power, and there is no mechanical emergency override (only in the front). I would not put my kids back there as a result.

        • Mr. Money Mustache April 29, 2023, 8:59 am

          Whoa, that is weird and thanks for pointing it out Carlivar.

          It looks like there IS a mechanical override but it is hidden by default (!?): https://youtu.be/Wp4V9QpxAbI?t=297

          And you can add a simple aftermarket handle to make this thing useful:

          Tesla does appear to be changing this on newer model Ys (there’s mention of it in the manual but it seems vague and still in development)

          One thing to consider when making safety decisions and protecting our loved ones:

          1) Teslas are by far the safest cars on the US market. Both in collision avoidance, and in collision injury prevention for occupants. This factor would probably override any individual factor like rear door releases in the event of power loss. https://www.tesla.com/VehicleSafetyReport

          2) Regardless of our car choices, the amount of danger we put our kids in scales directly with how much we drive them around. So it’s really valuable to change our lifestyles so we DON’T have to drive them to school, or to soccer practices all the way across the metro area unless absolutely necessary, or heck, even drive *ourselves* back and forth great distances to work, if we value an increased probability of giving our kids the gift of living parents instead of dead or injured ones.

          Drive half as much = cut the probability of killing our kids, ourselves, or other people in half, just like that.

          I hear from far too many people who buy the latest Volvo or superSUV or other “safe” vehicle, while simultaneously not even considering the option of cutting back the amount of car driving they do (especially within city limits where most accidents happen per mile).

          • carlivar April 29, 2023, 4:54 pm

            Ah my mistake. Looks like they improved that after the Model 3 (which doesn’t have them). Still concerns me — why the fancy powered latches at all? Definitely with kids, or in general, that aftermarket improvement seems like a must.

          • Glen June 21, 2023, 7:48 am

            I feel on the safety report, that ‘Miles driven before an accident’ is more a function of who drives Tesla’s over the actual safety of the vehicle. Especially in the ‘not using Autopilot’ category.

        • Juan April 29, 2023, 4:18 pm

          Tesla’s cars are the safest car on road per NHTSA, HIS and Euro NCAP. If there was an issue with the rear door they would not have gotten the highest score. So guy tried to kill his family by driving off a 250ft clift, Devil’s Slide. Guess what? His kids and his wife survived with minor injuries and all the doors work. I would put my car in any Tesla rather than any other car in the world.

      • Matt Hias April 29, 2023, 7:35 am

        Going into the mountains (especially in winter for back country skiing) was also the reason I finally went for the Model Y last year – no comparison to the driving with my old Skoda Fabia. I feel so much safer on the small, snowy roads and not afraid any more to get stuck in the middle of nowhere with no one else around

      • Trevor April 29, 2023, 8:06 pm

        Money, I say this as a Tesla owner: you need to get off the Tesla fetish. They’re perfectly fine cars, though I could never imagine dropping $50k on a car as boring as the 3/Y. Also, let me state up front that I started a company to maximize the sustainability of lithium batteries, including from EVs. We’ve worked with the Department of Energy. I’m very much a believer in electrification.

        There are thousands of reasons to keep the Corolla; chief of which is sustainability. It takes thousands of miles for that Tesla to make up the emissions vs. a rather efficient (for ICE) car it’s replacing. As another commenter mentioned, that doesn’t take into account the additional emissions from rubber tires for a heavier car. Further, newer Teslas come with LiFePO4 batteries. That’s great for cost, since they don’t use cobalt! But those are worthless at the end of their first life, and Tesla has no intention of creating a second life program for their batteries (I’ve discussed this with their sustainability people). So the battery will likely sit once removed from the car, just like millions of pounds of LiFePO4 packs I’ve seen, rather than continue their useful life in renewable energy applications.

        The single reason to buy a Tesla over the myriad other BEV options is their supercharging network. We have free supercharging and have used (abused?) it, but I’ve calculated that we’ve charged less than $2,000 of equivalent sc costs over a whole bunch of miles. The reality is that legacy manufacturers make far better automobiles. In fact, you’re highly likely to spend a whole lot of time in an Uber due to poor reliability – I certainly have. Believe me, you’re not going to enjoy your time at the service center. They also have higher insurance costs and additional maintenance, especially in cold areas.

        The simple fact of the matter is that there are far more compelling options in the BEV space, especially at the $50k price point. I owned an e-golf before my MS. That was a far better car in every aspect other than range, acceleration and charging network. I won’t go back to ICE for my daily, but I also need a better car than what Tesla make.

  • Confused April 27, 2023, 2:50 pm

    I’m disappointed to see that you bought a tesla after everything musk has done in the past year+. There’s other options now, such as ford and rivian.

    • Mr. Money Mustache April 27, 2023, 3:58 pm

      Well, on a personality-of-the-CEO basis I agree with you wholeheartedly: RJ Scaringe is the Clark Kent of EV automakers, a real gentleman and statesman and great engineer as well. I will support that company and really hope they make it.

      However, neither Rivian or Ford are producing EVs in volume yet (they are both starting with just a trickle and there’s a long waiting list for both, with crazy markups for the Fords).

      The Mustang Mach E is at least in medium production, but it is not even in the same league as the Model Y for performance, technology, range, space or charging – despite the fact that it costs just as much.

      More details in the dedicated Q&A page: https://www.mrmoneymustache.com/the-model-y-experiment/

      • carlivar April 28, 2023, 8:47 am

        I think your info on the Ford Mach-E is out of date. My local dealer has about 12 of them in stock right now. They even have a few F-150 Lightnings in stock, though that is exorbitantly overpriced. The point is, things have changed quickly in just a couple months.

        The way Musk runs his factories is offensive to me as an engineer. He refuses to adopt Japanese manufacturing lessons, aka Toyota Production System. Tesla vehicles all suffer quality issues as a result of this hubris.

        • juan April 29, 2023, 4:15 pm

          The Ford Mach-E is inferior in every way. It has no heat pump, it weights hundreds of pounds more, less range even though it has a massive battery, acceleration is lower, not as safe, no autopilot and more expensive.

        • lurker April 29, 2023, 4:31 pm

          isn’t hubris his middle name????? lol

        • Cerealspiller April 29, 2023, 9:34 pm

          Don’t you love anecdotal evidence? Ford is producing maybe 115,000 Mach E’s, in 2023 (produced in Mexico), and apparently they are backing up on dealer lots. Tesla is producing 2M vehicles in 2023. And is slashing prices and still has better margins than any other major automaker. Regarding Toyota, it’s leadership apparently considers EVs as a pox on humanity. You can count the number of BEVs they produce on your hands and toes. And are you seriously trying to imply that Ford’s production quality is something to be admired? Does Ford bend a knee at “Toyota’s Production System”, whatever the hell that is?

          • carlivar April 30, 2023, 8:20 am

            Ford’s production quality is better than Tesla, yes, but several manufacturers are better than Ford.

            I wouldn’t expect the layman to understand the Japanese philosophy of Kaizen. U.S. manufacturers studied and switched to the same principles in roughly the 80’s to 90’s. Musk thinks he is smarter. He is not.

            • Jeremy April 30, 2023, 12:32 pm

              Anyone who actually knows Tesla knows they definitely practice Kaizen, moreso than other US auto makers.

              So much so that everybody knows that model years mean nothing with a Tesla.

              They are continuously rolling out improvements and part change improvements in the middle of model years to make the car better.

    • Jon April 27, 2023, 6:34 pm

      Elon has done great things and not-so great things. A mixed bag. He brought free speech back to Twitter – great. He is bringing us to outer space for 10x less the cost – great. He lied about Tesla’s autopilot capabilities – awful. Etc.

      • veronica April 28, 2023, 7:46 am

        His outer space exploits are seriously damaging the environment. https://www.cnbc.com/2023/04/24/spacex-starship-explosion-spread-particulate-matter-for-miles.html

        • Jon April 28, 2023, 3:06 pm

          Living seriously harms the environment.

          My house takes up significant space on a property that would otherwise be wildlife habitat. My car took up serious resources requiring mining of precious metals, etc.

          Yes, it is nice to have as little negative impact on the world as possible. But like, seriously everything, there are pros and cons to everything. Just like the OP was about. And space exploration is one of those things that, although it harms the environment, is one of the things that is worthwhile.

          Every person has good and bad about them. A mature position is to recognize the good and celebrate that. And to recognize the bad and recognize how we can do better. That was my main point about my previous point. We need to be mature and recognize that there is good and bad in everything and everyone. So, although Elon has some bad things about him in his eccentricity. Most movers and shakers also have eccentricities. And I’m glad those people exist as they can make a better world overall and I can benefit from it by only doing my small part to make the world a better place for others by working for others and making their lives better.

          • Mr. Money Mustache April 29, 2023, 8:04 am

            Brilliant and balanced summary Jon, thanks for sharing it!

            I often come back to the slogan “Everything is a Spectrum” – if you just label things as good or bad as the social media outrage world is prone to do, you miss out on the ability to make nuanced choices and really to make any progress on improving the world.

            The best we can do is to make rough estimates of the NUMBERS behind each of our options, and then do tests and collect data so we can refine these numbers over time.

            In other words, think of everything as a science experiment, and accept that you will always be somewhat wrong, but with sufficient humbleness and study you can gradually reduce this wrongness over time.

          • Georgia May 1, 2023, 7:00 am

            “What is the fallacy of worse things?
            Fallacy of relative privation (also known as “appeal to worse problems” or “not as bad as”) – dismissing an argument or complaint due to what are perceived to be more important problems. First World problems are a subset of this fallacy.”


            Yes, your being alive is hard on the environment, especially if you perceive yourself as being separate from your environment. It’s like how being an upright biped is hard on your feet, especially if you decide to totally ignore that you are literally connected to your feet, and then decide to go walk through coals.

            Also, ‘accepting that there is good or bad in everything’ just feels like a way to wiggle out of being responsible for anything, ever.

            And MMM (I really do say this from a place of love), whaaaaaaat??? A balanced and nuanced argument? Since when do you allow blatant logical fallacy to persuade you to ignore your conscience and deny your own intelligence?

            I hope you see me as kind of one of those old friends who actually gives enough of a shit about you to call you on your own nonsense, rather than joining the flatterers and lackeys.

            You’re better than this!

            • Fred June 15, 2023, 3:33 pm

              Georgia, I’ve read a few of your replies, and it seems to me that you’ve decided that owning a new Tesla is simply a complete non-starter for MMM – that’s it’s contrary to all that is holy so to speak.

              I don’t really understand that. Surely, in your own life, you splurge on extravagances? Do you ever fly? Does your life truly compete with Pete’s for frugality? i.e., if you summed up the last 10 years of life expenses, would yours be less than Pete’s?

              I know mine wouldn’t. Not even close. He has mastered the art of living off of little in a way I never will.

              I think everything has to be about balance. No single person can be expected to pull the whole weight of the planet in a direction and it’s not fair to expect it. I strongly suspect even with a $52k Tesla that Pete likely keeps for 15+ years, he will be in the bottom 5% of all consumers in the USA. At some point, that has to be enough.

    • Ze April 29, 2023, 7:41 am

      Option 1: OEMs that cheat emission tests and lobby against green energy transition and fighting climate change.

      Option 2: The CEO tweeted something I didn’t like.

      Option 1: Higher prices, less practical features, and battery drivetrain way more likely to fail.

      Option 2: Panel gaps!

      Confused: “Option 1 is way better!”

      • Nathan May 12, 2023, 2:01 pm

        This isn’t about tweets, although a man with that big of an audience can do plenty of damage with those.

        Tesla has about a 33% higher injury rate at their factories than the national average. DOUBLE the average for loss-time injuries. He has a history of union busting and retaliatory behavior. Getting parts and/or repairs is a nightmare, the repairability of the vehicles is poor, and the company denied for 3 years that there was a problem with the rear bumpers on model 3’s. That problem? That they could fall off the car if you drove in the rain.

    • Pierre April 29, 2023, 7:54 am

      No fan of Mr. Musk behavior with Twitter and projects like Space X…
      However, I’m admirative on how he successfully disrupted automotive industry to shift gears on abandoning gasoline. I would certainly have happened, but 10, 20 or 30 years later.

      • Justin April 29, 2023, 11:58 pm

        I can see how some might take issue with Elon’s purchase and administration of Twitter, but I fail to see the issue with Space X. The mission of Space X is to ultimately make humans an interplanetary species and stave of a potential extinction event here on Earth. Elon bootstrapped Space X when starting a rocket company from scratch was crazy talk. Space X created reusable rockets that can land vertically, greatly reducing the cost to NASA to resupply the International Space Station and freeing NASA from reliance on Russian rockets and transport. Starlink satellite internet is also under the Space X umbrella and is bringing free speech and internet access to the world, including developing nations that lack fiber cable. Starlink was integral in the early days of Russia’s invasion and allowed Ukraine to maintain critical communications. As for Tesla, it employs 127,000 people world wide, including quality engineering and manufacturing jobs here in the US. The state of US auto manufacturing would be truly dire if not for Tesla.

        Anyway, all this to say, I agree with MMM and another poster above. Thoughtful folks know you can’t simply label Elon or any of his companies as “good” or “bad”. I can disagree with some of Elon’s antics and his politics while still recognizing the massive positive influence his companies are having on the world and his brilliance in his core competencies (engineering and innovation). He’s a net force for positive change in the world by a huge margin.

        • ChrisT May 23, 2023, 12:03 am

          Hmmm… Musk wants SpaceX to save humanity from potential extinction due to environmental catastrophe, yet his activities contribute to the increased likelihood of such an event. Production of luxury cars uses huge amounts of energy and material and human resources to propel a very small number of people around. Development and production of rockets does nothing to reduce the underlying problems that could cause environmental catastrophe. The catastrophe is much closer than the distant possibility of human travel to Mars, let alone actually colonizing another totally inhospitable planet successfully – think Antarctica with an atmosphere of mostly CO2.

          If he really wanted to save us from extinction, he would be directing the prodigious talents of his engineers to renewable energy, water supplies and conservation, pollution reduction technologies, and asteroid deflection systems, and using his large Twitterphone (or has the W been permanently dropped now?) to speak out in favor of social justice, democracy, and reduced consumerism rather than against. At the rate we’re going, we (and many other species) will be gone long before a human ever sets foot on another planet. If we’ve made Earth uninhabitable, why do we think moving elsewhere will solve our fundamental problems? And what of the many who are left behind on a ravaged Earth while a privileged few move on? Is this what we are really proposing as the best strategy for the future?

          The whole notion of space expansionism brings to mind a bumper sticker I’ve seen a few times on huge, jacked-up pick-up trucks – “EARTH FIRST! We’ll destroy the other planets later”. Indeed.

          No, it’s not about saving humanity. It’s about Musk’s thirst for power. Remember the Starlink app claims – “…the parties recognize Mars as a free planet and that no Earth-based government has authority or sovereignty over Martian activities. Accordingly, disputes will be settled through self-governing principles, established in good faith, at the time of Martian settlement.” In other words, established international treaties on space settlement be damned – it’ll be Muskland now. The guy is beyond even Trump in his arrogance and total disregard for social norms or legal process.

          I wouldn’t buy one of his cars if it was the cheapest one out there. The harm he can and does do outweighs the good. I want no part in it.

  • Chris H April 27, 2023, 2:54 pm

    I think there are some valuable lessons in this post. I think it is important to recognize the evolution during the FIRE journey. For those that are just starting, hardcore frugality & optimization is important (this is how you can amass large amounts of wealth in a short time). However, we don’t need to have a deprivation mindset (especially those that spend less than 4%). I am somewhere in the middle at this moment in my life. We are sitting right at the 4% mark & a runaway savings will start to happen soon enough. We are still working to pay off a rental home soon which will substantially replace what the portfolio needs to provide. I do need a reminder that is ok to spend money on myself occasionally. Thanks for the post!

  • Kelly April 27, 2023, 3:02 pm

    Ramit Sethi will be proud to see you tapping into your money dials. This was a good read as always. Thank you!

    • Amy April 28, 2023, 12:24 pm

      Agreed! When I read this, I thought “he’s living his rich life!”

  • tom April 27, 2023, 3:03 pm

    great article! as always you are such a talented writer and whenever a MMM blog post appears it is a drop everything and read type of situation. thanks for all you do!

  • Jimbo April 27, 2023, 3:04 pm

    Wouldn’t renting a car for long trips be more efficient, at least for someone who only travels once every couple months? Now having having said that, we have 2 kids and 2 good size dogs, so we finally outgrew our wagon and bought a Sienna minivan which is getting 39 mpg so far. We did get the lowest model to save money, so we have to use our key to open the van and it doesn’t adjust the mirror and headlights by itself. Oh the sacrifices we mKe

  • Extramedium April 27, 2023, 3:13 pm

    I’ve been expecting this, too, and glad you’re facing it publicly. It’s crazy to think that the version of you from 18 years ago was exactly right about everything, anticipating every wrinkle of life in perpetuity. Of course things change in the world, and in our lives!! It’s the only constant!

    We bought a Model 3 four years ago, and felt very fancy and ridiculous, a bit, but do love it. We do seasonal tire exchanges in spring and fall for the snow here in Minnesota, and have spent almost no other money on maintenance. There was a great NYT article a few years ago about expected operation/maintenance/fuel expenses for every model of car sold in the US, and EVs were the most economical. There are very few moving parts to break down, and we are hoping that it will prove long-lived. So maybe it’s not as expensive as it seems.

    Looking forward to seeing your tracking. Thanks again!

  • Danielle Aubin April 27, 2023, 3:24 pm

    I find this post resonates with me at this time in my life. Although I have been very frugal, I am a therapist (Social Worker) so I’ve never made a crap ton of $$. I’ve done pretty well for myself at this point and have amassed a small fortune (for a Social Worker, that is…). I read the book “Die with zero” and I recommend it to my clients all the time. I always thought of you, MMM, as almost on the other side of the spectrum of spending. This is the first post I’ve read of yours where I am sending another side, perhaps more in line with “Die with zero.” Of course we don’t want to overspend or go into debt but damn, life is short! What is money for, any way? It’s either for spending now or saving to spend later. It is wise to do both. I have two little kids and I recently decided to buy a SFH instead of being crammed in a condo. Yes, it costs more but our quality of life is going to skyrocket. It makes more sense to spend the $$ now and enjoy more space and small luxuries like a backyard instead of grinding away just for financial freedom once my kids are older and don’t care about a yard anymore. Personal finance requires a deeper analysis which includes the fact that life is short and that money is to be enjoyed to some extent. I enjoyed the post and I hope you fully enjoy that Tesla!

    • Heather April 28, 2023, 9:05 am

      Yes! Unless frugality is a religion, you’re not losing moral ground by spending down as planned. Eventually we will all need to stop accumulating, we will all require care, we will all use more resources than we’re producing, and we will all die. Ignoring the passage of time will only make sure that others to enjoy your money instead of you and your family.

  • Derek Wood April 27, 2023, 3:26 pm

    The eco concerns of the Tesla and drive for all e-cars alike still concern me. I know ALL cars are bad, but you don’t discuss the mining/resource concerns in far-reaching parts of the planet. I welcome your feedback on this, and point to this woman’s blog for some of her concerns: https://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/reasons-to-not-buy-electric-car/

    Love your blog, and look forward to your thoughts

    • Mr. Money Mustache April 27, 2023, 3:54 pm

      You’re right – all cars are bad, but all electric cars are LESS bad. The mining issue is a bit of a fake argument that fossil fuel companies have planted into the public discourse, but it’s actually negligible compared to the equivalent oil mining.

      Plus the batteries are 100% recyclable so all those minerals only need to be mined once, unlike oil which goes up in smoke after a single use.

      More details in the dedicated Q&A page: https://www.mrmoneymustache.com/the-model-y-experiment/

      • Heinz danzberger April 27, 2023, 6:07 pm

        ….not to forget: the lousy efficiency of turning carbon fuel into actual motion, at like,……..around or under 50%, the rest is turned into heat to aid the already hefty greenhouse gas work done by combustion engines at levels not much that much improved from the old model T 1 by Ford.

        Not being a mathematician, but a visual guy, I always get cold sweats when I look at an image of an everyday LA freeway; X lanes filled with bumper to bumper idling cars notching forward, maybe……. Imagining to calculate for a EG…..8 lane freeway mile, loaded up with such traffic, fuel consumption and heat expulsion into the air….and then when I feel brave, I do go….wonder how many miles of such freeways we have ‘running’ worldwide on any week day?…and the math would indicate……😵‍💫

        We are indeed the frog, huffingly pushing a pot of water on the stove, reaching for the dial and going…….wonder what would happen if…….

        Looking forward to the Tesla reports

      • Craigimass April 28, 2023, 8:55 am

        As a fellow frugal carpenter (and early retiree) who worked in alt energy for 35 years…it can be said that some of us are a bit more expert in complex matters.
        Yale did a vast study of current EV’s. I spoke to the head of it by email….and he confirmed, 100%, the conclusions that I had come to “TVs, as currently built, are incompatible with our goals”.
        Of course, this is not the full discussion we are having (we agree on Car Culture).

        Of note – the extra weight of a Y (500-1000 lbs) does vastly more harm to the infrastructure of “car culture” than a lighter car. Those great tires you speak of – put out vast amounts of particulates (more due to weight of car). Plenty of other similar metrics – which, as a guy who installed solar in 1979 (for myself and others – as part of business), I have studied extensively.

        The thing about Tesla and current EVs – they can be “cool”. They can be “fast”. They can be “fun” – but please let’s not fool ourselves that 4500 lb rolling resource hogs with one person (usually( in them are “green”. They are not…

        You and I were born into car culture and there isn’t too much we can do about it, tho. You rightly stated that the costs of this car are much higher than other – for “green” folks, they’d use that difference to do MASSIVE “green” projects which would save vastly more “planet”.

        That said – we have two houses. And two cars. And give vast money to the kids and grands….and I am lucky if I can keep yearly to 200K, but am retired and frugal. DIY everything. Biggest costs are probably what I give away.

      • Trevor April 29, 2023, 8:13 pm

        FYI lithium batteries are not 100% recyclable. They’re far below lead acid (although continually improving), and LiFePO4 is not economical to recycle at this time.

  • Impersonal Finances April 27, 2023, 3:33 pm

    Sounds like a natural evolution for somebody who has prioritized frugality for the majority of their life. At a certain point, money is there to be spent, and life to be enjoyed. Money doesn’t buy happiness as the old trope goes, but it can buy and enhance experiences and remove some inconveniences along the way. Kudos to you and your new purchase!

    • David April 27, 2023, 3:57 pm

      Money can definitely buy happiness to
      a certain extent. People that have money lie about they and poor people who say that are brainwashed to believe it.

      • Mr. Money Mustache April 27, 2023, 5:05 pm

        Yeah, I would somewhat agree – which is partly why I write this blog about how to get more money.

        If you use it correctly, it can buy freedom and remove certain obstacles to happiness (for example, getting you access to healthy food and exercise, or making it easier to get a place to live where you are surrounded by positive, happy people and some nature).

        It just doesn’t take a LOT of money to reach these goals. In the US, $20-30k per person per year is enough to do it if you’re skilled at spending, or maybe double those figures for a novice.

        • Rick June 24, 2023, 11:42 pm

          OK, please tell me how young people can live today on $20-30K per person per year. Of course I live in a major city so that is not possible here and, you know, that it is not possible to live on that in Longmont either. Maybe this is a post from 10 years ago when you could possibly live on 20K a year?
          Good for you. Still sucking in those folks who hate their jobs thinking there is an escape. And maybe there is one if you’ve got one of those high paying tech jobs. Probably not if you’re driving for Uber or delivering pizzas.
          Fun catching up with the site. Life evolves.

      • Tim May 4, 2023, 11:59 am

        Based on what I’ve read about happiness, humans are generally terrible about figuring out what will make us happy. However, we’re actually very good at identifying things that are making us unhappy; also, unhappiness vs happiness is not a 1:1 comparison (more like 5:1, I believe).

        Therefore, eliminating those things that make us unhappy is a logical, sensible and efficient strategy.

        For many of us, jobs are the number one cause of dramatic unhappiness, because of the opportunity cost (i.e. time we could be spending on other things we value more), but also stress, commuting, and lack of freedom over our own destiny, etc. So FIRE is the first priority, because that has, by far, the most impact on happiness for most of us. (It’s not the only consideration though, because it takes years to achieve, so the journey matters a lot too).

        Once that is achieved, the next steps are going to look very different for everyone, because everyone is different. Many for someone, that’s cutting their own lawn, so they hire someone. For someone else, they hate baking bread, so they buy it pre-made.

        Around my house, we refer to it as, “throwing money at the problem”. I detest working on cars, so I always take them to our trusted mechanic. However, I like (or at least don’t mind) carpentry, plumbing, electrical, etc, so I do almost all of that work myself.

        MMM identified something that was negatively impacting his level of happiness/life satisfaction, determined the cost to fix it (vs doing other things with that money, because everything is balancing cost/benefit), and decided that the tradeoffs were worth it. It was a decision he researched thoroughly, and although it might not be perfectly logical (although it’s entirely possible it is), he even understood the emotional factors contributing to the decision – we’re humans, not Vulcans! It didn’t impact his life in a negative way financially or otherwise, it doesn’t disproportionately hurt the earth (given the society he lives in), and most importantly, he didn’t make the consumerist mistake of believing that buying the Tesla would make him happy.

        That’s the root of the problem for most people, I think – they are constantly fed advertising that convinces them that spending money on something will make them happy. It won’t EVER do that, but using it to remove frustration and pain from your life can definitely improve our level of happiness.

        It’s tricky and complicated figuring out that balance at times for sure, but everything is always a balance. Almost nothing in life is binary.

        I don’t think MMM achieved his normal exceptional level of eloquence in explaining the purchase – normally he takes the vague ideas in my brain and lays them out so clearly they help me understand them! – but based on what I’ve read on this blog from him over the years, it’s not at all hypocritical or out of character. I was actually wondering when he was going to buy a Tesla, and he was just being stubborn by not getting one :).

        I wouldn’t have bought the bread though, because I can’t stand getting ripped off. I could be a multi-billionaire, and I still wouldn’t pay $7 for a loaf of bread, or movie theatre popcorn!

    • Craigimass April 28, 2023, 8:59 am

      Some say “lack of money can definitely buy unhappiness”.
      Experiences aside, we (like many) have some challenged and disabled folks in our family – sadly, one child who is completely so.
      Being able to pay tens of thousands per year on lifts, aides, chairs, etc – has vastly increased our (and prob her and her family) happiness…..although, in these cases, it might bring us on the scale from “terribly unhappy” to “now we can deal with life and have many good times and time for others and ourselves”…that’s a big jump!

  • Andrew April 27, 2023, 3:47 pm

    You’ll love it! And every time you’re forced to drive another car you’ll wonder how you ever went anywhere without autopilot.

  • KP April 27, 2023, 3:48 pm

    Hubs and I would love to get an electric car, but we’ve been spending our time between Colorado and another state a couple thousand miles away because of family situation. Unfortunately, the thought of having to stop to recharge with three dogs in the car on an already long trip it sounds terrible. So, we’re in need of a new car in the next year or so and they’re probably going with gasoline. Kind of a bummer, but with $170,000 miles on our Subaru we’re starting to worry something could go wrong and one of these road trips and that’s no bueno. Can’t wait to hear how the Tesla goes for you though as something electric will be in our future at some point.

    • Mr. Money Mustache April 27, 2023, 3:52 pm

      There’s very little difference in charging versus gas stops in a new Tesla like this, versus a gas car. Especially given the fact that your body needs to get up and move every few hours anyway. More details in the dedicated Q&A page: https://www.mrmoneymustache.com/the-model-y-experiment/

      • Cyrus April 30, 2023, 9:46 am

        Charging in our Y is definitely way less convenient in multi supercharger distance trips than in a gas car. 20K miles of road trips so far. The key is MULTI. A distance of just one supercharger is fine. The problem is you trickle charge when above 80% full.

    • catbert April 30, 2023, 11:55 am

      How inconvenient will depend on what you need/like currently. Personally, I want to stop at least briefly every 2 – 2 1/2 hours for at least long enough to visit a rest room, stretch my legs and maybe get a drink. Every 4 hours or so I need food. So 30-45 minutes of charging every 2 1/2 hours works for me. I know others who’ll drive for 12 hours and resent it every time they have to stop for 10 minutes to gas up.

      If you kinda want one but aren’t sure how it will work for you, try renting one for a trip and see.

  • Wade April 27, 2023, 3:55 pm

    As your years increase and your pile increases, possibly priorities change too.

    1500Days Carl buys a Bolt and MMM buys a Tesla Y. Neither all that surprising.

    Enjoy the new Tesla. Onward and upward. The people clawing and scratching for FIRE will know not to do the same. Won’t they? I hope. :-)

    • Georgia May 1, 2023, 7:05 am

      This. And he’s funny.

  • Joe April 27, 2023, 3:55 pm

    What other options where you looking at?… Reason= got a fun Chevy volt ( nickname= knight rider- hatchback= workload1 + gotta hitch and carry a microlite cargolite trailer, use as camper + can haul 4×8 drywall and appliances .. Anyway right now renting a model 3 via turo ( more fun, sitting at be a supercharger… Life hack= if you have a house, car and name it something,the fun and joy factor goes up 2x-3x. My car= knight rider , and house= Dreamland2 ( intentional community)

  • Gina M. April 27, 2023, 4:03 pm

    Wow! I’m a newcomer. I’m here because the carfree cities text. And just 20 days later, a post about the perks of buying an overpriced luxury car. It’s a little awkward.

    • MKE April 28, 2023, 11:07 am

      Overall, this site has much more passionate love of cars than argument against them.

      • Justin April 30, 2023, 12:09 am

        I don’t see any inconsistency or awkwardness. One can both see the absurdness of car culture, pine for livable walking cities AND recognize that a car is still a necessity to live in this country. You can’t walk, take a bus or bike everywhere you need to get to in a reasonable amount of time even if you live in a walkable city and use a car as sparingly as possible. Occasionally you’re going to need to move heavy goods or other people too. So, if you’re going to have to drive, why not drive in the most fun and most environmentally conscience option available if you can easily afford it?

      • Ken May 29, 2023, 9:03 pm

        There’s nothing inheritently wrong with cars, it’s just about their responsible choice and use of that makes the difference

    • Mary April 30, 2023, 9:02 am

      I think if you start with the earliest articles you will find the similarities to your perspective there. This particular article is actually a very amazing inflection-point in MMM’s story. Change is constant, like it or lump it. PS, your awkward comment made me chuckle.

    • Not fire yet May 3, 2023, 3:45 am

      But..he does not live in a carfree city..so there is that.
      Also even that car free city thingy text said there would be a car park outside for..well cars.

      So car free city, need for no car, but option to own or rent a car is still there

      Let him buy his car, but I can see why people are suprised by this “change”. I think it is pretty ok anyway, not everything needs to be optimised, saved etc. He is also well into 20-30 years of FIRE so..

  • Grizz April 27, 2023, 4:19 pm

    You seem to be on a similar automotive journey to me. I’ve always loved cars, but soon realized the depreciation made them about the worst investment out there. In 2016 I bought a Leaf and about a month later you bought an almost identical one, even the colour. I recently bought a Kia EV6, and now you bought a Model Y.
    1) Pass my Leaf along to someone and create another EV convert. I can’t imagine a better city car.
    2) Longer journeys can now be by EV rather than air; much smaller carbon impact.

  • Gavin April 27, 2023, 4:24 pm

    Would love to hear more about the decision to purchase new versus used.

    • Mr. Money Mustache April 27, 2023, 4:42 pm

      This part was really easy: The Model Y (and its useful cheaper alternative the Chevrolet Bolt) cost more used right now than they do new. It’s quite irrational, but hopefully this same condition persists if I ever need to sell the car :-)

      The tax credits are a part of this: Model Y base price is about $44,000 after tax credits, and most used Ys are listed at about $50,000 – multiple years old and with 20,000+ miles on them!

      For a used one to compete in this situation according to my own valuation, it would need to be $38k or less – partly for the mileage but even more importantly because Tesla has made a lot of reliability upgrades since it first shipped in 2020.

      Aside from this, my options were a really old Model S (not a great total cost tradeoff when I consider reliability and future repair costs). Also too much of a big, wide, low racing sedan to really be suitable for my uses. And then there’s the model 3, which is gorgeous and fun to drive, but it’s a small, even lower racing sedan that doesn’t even have a hatchback – totally useless to me.

  • Julie April 27, 2023, 4:47 pm

    When I bought my last car new (2013) I had a difficult time with it. I appreciate the reliability and that it is now 10 years old with only 31K miles on it. It was very difficult to enjoy it as much as I probably could have if I’d been in a better financial situation while I was paying it off. Because I had a .9% interest rate I was in no hurry to pay it off early and invested instead. I appreciate having my car and every time I see it I do think it is a great car and it is so nice to have air conditioning. Not a day has passed since then (at least when I drive) that I don’t appreciate my car, the nice features it provides and the fact that it is paid off.

    This was my plan all along, to keep it for 15-20 years. I also had a student loan at the time and very little accumulated wealth. I paid off everything in 2020 and ramped my savings (including the money going towards a car loan and student loan payments) up for retirement.

    With your financial situation being very healthy I hope it will be effortless for you to look at your new Tesla and appreciate the value you derive from it. There are wonderful things in life that we can appreciate every time we see them or think about them. I hope this car becomes one of those wonderful things for you.

  • Adrienne April 27, 2023, 4:49 pm

    Gosh, I completely understand the desire to splurge and I agree EV’s are awesome, but Elon is such a tool and his values don’t align with my values. I think I’d have a hard time buying a Tesla. I just bought the Hyundai and LOVE it. It was affordable and has a great range and I’m not contributing to Elon’s kingdom and ego.

    • Not Elon April 27, 2023, 8:31 pm

      Do you realize how truly ridiculous this logic is? You purchase literally 100’s of items/services per year that are grown or built directly (or indirectly) by thousands of companies owned by thousands of CEO’s that you have absolutely no idea who they are or what the believe in. For something as simple as a pencil, if you traced every component and material/labor input upstream all the way back to the property owner that grew the tree, it’s almost unbelievable. (Wood, graphite, metal harvesting, eraser/packaging/ink/transporting all these raw materials/sales/factory/labor/harvest/fuel/utilities/computers/storage, etc.) This list can literally go on forever if you were to also factor in the business’s that make the components and labor that make the machines and provide the services that perform and support all this work within this crazy, but wonderful woven web of diversified human ingenuity!!!)

      Just think about the thousands of inputs that went into your Hyundai and the thousands of rich CEO’s you supported? My bet is half of them you would agree with and half you wouldn’t, but that didn’t stop you from buying your Hyundai. Could you even name the CEO of Hyundai without looking?? I can’t!! Haha

      Standing up for principles is admirable… applying these principles inconsistently in your life is ignorant and hypocritical.

      • Georgia May 1, 2023, 7:13 am

        Or you could eventually have enough things and stop buying more things. Just sayin’. It’s totally an option. Also just sayin’ that 50k cars and 50¢ pencils are probably two decisions with slightly different ethical loads…but maybe I’m just ignorant about how to apply my principles? Dunno?

        • Not Elon May 2, 2023, 9:12 pm

          Got it… so for small purchases under $50k, you are able to put aside ethical/moral differences between yourself and the CEO, however for any purchase that is $50k or higher, you must be in full alignment with ideology and behavior of CEO. And for the 99% of CEO’s that do not have Twitter and you have no idea what they stand for or believe, you will also basically support blindly regardless of price of product.

          Many people are truly missing out on a great product and a true engineering feat from Tesla by trying to “punish” Elon for his opinions and comments that he has a right to make. His opinions and the actual product Tesla makes have literally nothing to do with each other though. I just think it’s ironic how inconsistent people’s principles are being applied from one CEO to another.

          MMM made the right move here by focusing on the product!!

      • also not Elon May 3, 2023, 5:12 am

        I agree with Adrienne on this one.
        I dont think it is that ridicilous, when you do know you do know. Hard to unlearn o de-couple his tweets and shenanigans with the company Tesla, they are so together. Same for Twitter.

        I know, without a doubt what he writes and stands for, and also what car he makes. Therefore it is so easy to not just buy a Tesla next time, to not use Twitter etc. For me it is pretty black and white, do not consiously support that you do not agree with.
        Then, of course he has done wonders for humanity, no doubt about that! Praise him for those things! But also…bad things does not cancel out good things and vice versa. He doesn´t need my buisness anyway, put on my personal values I cannot support this.

        There are pretty more awesome cars to choose from. Social media? Why use it at all and contribute to the problem?

        If I learn that a company does a bad thing, I just stop buying their products, and it is so easy since there are so many competitors to choose from. Sure Tesla was first, but not last, and not eternal. Capitalism works…

        Too bad with all this Elon, he was a superhero for many years, now it has passed. He could have been great now he will be remembered for a divisive tech giant. Shame, he should have continued to “save humanity” instead. We needed that hero :(

        • Not Elon May 4, 2023, 10:32 pm

          I appreciate your thoughtful response and am truly interested in better understanding your (and others) perspective. (I also hope MMM continues to post our responses so we can keep this convo going.) You say you now know what Elon stands for. What specifically has he said that is so terrible or even better, what specifically does he stand for that you just do not agree with? Just curious as to why so many that loved Elon now hate him so much and are taking it so far that they are refusing to even consider at Tesla. The media seems to hate him as well and I don’t get it.

          • Nathan May 12, 2023, 5:25 pm

            His factories have a 33% higher than average rate of injuries. They have a 100% higher than average rate of loss time injuries.

            He is devoutly anti-union and has a history of union busting. He regularly engages in retaliation against employees who disagree with him or attempt to unionize.

            He has hired people to harass and stalk former employers.

            He pushes a company culture–at multiple companies–of extreme overtime, despite studies routinely showing that excessive hours is terrible for both health and productivity.

            He laid off 75% of the twitter staff as soon as he bought the place, and then wanted the remaining staff to work 80+ hours and sleep at the office to “prove” their dedication.

            He has used his influence to lie about various business deals (funding secured at 420, buying twitter) to manipulate stock prices in what is basically a pump-and-dump scheme. Multiple times, each time before selling massive amounts of stock for giant inflated profits.

            Pick one.

      • Tim May 4, 2023, 12:15 pm

        I think there’s some important inconsistencies in your arguments:

        1. Musk isn’t just a CEO of Tesla – he’s also the major owner, so a greater percentage of the profits go directly into his pockets.
        2. We don’t know much about most CEOs. We can guess they are sociopathic and most likely be correct, but there are sociopaths that can still live an ethical life. Any random CEO might not be a bad person.
        3. Once we gain information about a person, we can then make better decisions about choosing to spend money on something they promote. Until then, they are Schrodinger’s CEO. :)

        I thought I was an Elon Musk fan – I liked Tesla and LOVE Starlink and SpaceX, but Musk has now loudly and unavoidably convinced me he’s a complete asshole and is undermining any potential positive effects his companies are creating by promoting and amplifying detestable political thought and conspiracies. Therefore, although I am planning on my next car being electric, for both logical and emotional reasons – it won’t be a Tesla. I got off Twitter basically as soon as Musk bought it. I do have Starlink though, because the corporate ethics of the alternatives in my area aren’t any better, and I think space exploration is a useful endeavour.

        • Not Elon May 4, 2023, 10:43 pm

          He owns 13% of Tesla, so I would not call that majority, but we are splitting hairs. I just responded to comment above and am also interested in better understanding your perspective. What political thoughts specifically do you not agree with so much that you will consider passing up on a truly remarkable machine? Does everyone hate Elon essentially bc of his views on Covid?

          • Tim May 11, 2023, 12:43 pm

            The list is long, but Elon’s activities at the helm of Twitter, and his stream of consciousness there as a whole. The latest one was his insistence on labelling the BBC, ABC, NPR, PBS, and CBC as “publicly funded media”, which was clearly done in an attempt to discredit them with the same labelling used for Chinese State Media.

            He’s a “free speech absolutist”, except when it comes to people saying things he doesn’t like, then he’ll ban them, while allowing nazi sympathizers like Trump and Kanye back on Twitter.

            “My pronouns are prosecute/Fauci”. I mean, there’s so much that’s despicable wrapped up in those few words.

            How about his “Follow 🐰.” tweet, clearly intended to amplify QAnon garbage?

            I could go on, but will stop here. Just a few examples, to illustrate the point. I was on Twitter, I followed him for a while, saw what garbage he spewed, unfollowed him, then deleted my Twitter account when he bought it, and he’s only gotten worse since then.

    • Scott April 28, 2023, 10:25 am

      What does it matter? Most CEOs suck. Elon just sucks more publicly than others. Focus on the product, designed and built by thousands of brilliant engineers, designers, and technicians, rather than one man who spends more time Twitting than actually building anything.

  • Rebecca April 27, 2023, 4:57 pm

    I am in the market for an EV also, but would not consider a Tesla. I refuse to reward Elon’s bad behavior with my hard earned money. Lots of other options now.

    • Mr. Money Mustache April 27, 2023, 5:07 pm

      Alas, there aren’t many options that have ramped up production yet – but you can find one if you’re patient and willing to settle a bit on things like range, interior space and road trip ability. More details in the dedicated Q&A page: https://www.mrmoneymustache.com/the-model-y-experiment/

      • Nathan May 12, 2023, 5:42 pm

        We have a Bolt EUV, purchased recently. While you’re right that there are some things that are “lesser” like the range and super-long road trip ability, it’s not really a compromise. After the tax credit, it cost just over half of what you’re paying for the model Y. For that money it comes with a level 2 charger and Chevy is installing a 240v outlet in my garage. I could do it myself, but they’re paying for the wire, the outlet, the circuit breaker, and the permit, so I’ll take it.

        Range is still pretty solid. Despite the EPA rated 247, we’re getting about 263 out of it. You mention less interior space… but I’m reminded of you. That’s a lot of space to haul around air for the most part. I have roof rails and can secure longer or larger cargo on top. I have already hauled some 22 x 1×72″ maple boards, several hundred pounds of marble chip, and some other construction materials, all inside the vehicle since I haven’t received the roof rack yet.

        In the meantime, if I need to take a road trip, I can take that ~$1600 in interest that I am making from the $21k I didn’t spend on a tesla and rent a vehicle for a longer trip.

    • Skippy April 27, 2023, 7:21 pm

      Are Polestar vehicles available to you? I found the navigation, camera, and general usability to be far superior in a polestar 2 vs equivalent model 3.

      Having lane directions in the main instrument cluster (it actually has one of those) was invaluable in a new busy city, and the Tesla wasn’t even aware of the new-ish State Highway that I was using and definitely couldn’t tell me which lane to be in around town

  • Heather April 27, 2023, 5:16 pm

    Hi Mr MM, we have been following along for a while and retired here in Australia @50 during COVID. We have a 17 year old Prius and love electric, but for us it is $80k for the base model, and about $100k for extras and to get the powerbox upgraded (10k). We spent 10k on the Prius. So enjoyed this blog, for us the joy is supporting local farmers and small businesses, being able to kick in funds for causes, and of course being an active part of our community, which has always been part of my and our life. We have enough and are grateful, it means we can support our community. Will be reading with interest!

  • Chris O'Connell April 27, 2023, 5:35 pm

    I regularly go 4 weeks and often more without using my car, a 97 Honda Civic that gets 38 MPG and is so damn reliable. So the idea of paying all that money for insurance is really what gets my inner frugal man saying no. I know insurance is a product you don’t want to use, but when you hardly use the insured product, it doesn’t make sense.

    I would also note that several years ago, I would have gotten a Tesla but not now. No way and you probably know why.

  • Ron Cameron April 27, 2023, 5:39 pm

    So many similarities! I told my wife recently “What got us here won’t get us there”. I’ve been going through the same aha moment these last few months (including the Dave’s Bread at our local supermarket – eerily similar). For a long time I’ve loved your site and your message but as time has gone on I’ve come to realize it’s not about spending less, it’s about hyper focusing on what brings us maximum joy and then actively spending on that. If that means spending $7 on a loaf of bread…or $50k on a new car…if it really, truly makes us joyous (and it’s not derailing our financial plans) then do it! And it sounds like your opinion has shifted on this too.

    Something that I think your long term followers would appreciate would be some articles revisited, with your evolved opinions about them. I’m a big fan of constantly evaluating and evolving our opinions, and making sure I don’t hide it. I think differently about a LOT of things these days. 2013 Me would not recognize 2023 Me. It would be great to hear you discuss the “I used to think this, but now I think that” aspects of your life! And enjoy the Tesla. It clearly will bring you maximum joy!

    • Laurie April 28, 2023, 12:53 pm

      “hyper focusing on what brings us maximum joy and then actively spending on that”
      HECK YES. And I would argue that helping people along the way is valuable, too.
      At this very moment, I only have about 30 years (if I’m lucky!) to live.
      NOW is the time.

  • Laura April 27, 2023, 6:16 pm

    A key principle of this blog has always been that the frugal lifestyle does not really require sacrifice but perspective shifts. That $7 bread is not the optimal choice- homemade bread or an off brand is just as good. That a 20 year old car that meets your needs will bring you as much joy as a brand new shiny car but without the headache.

    I feel like this post implies the above is untrue. That maybe the $7 bread and shiny new car ARE worthwhile and not getting them is a sacrifice.

    And if that’s the case, maybe you don’t need to wait until the $2 million mark. Maybe you’re better off working your 9 to 5 job while driving your fancy car, eating at fancy restaurants, and splurging on your organic produce. What’s the point of FIRE? If you’re sacrificing all of these great things, maybe it’s not worth it?

    I don’t think the philosophical shift is being fully explored or appreciated here.

    • FrugalWriter April 29, 2023, 6:09 am

      Agreed! And there is also no consideration of the impact of these spendypants choices on ressource use. Just because you have more than enough money, does not mean that the Earth can withstand the level of consumption you can now afford.

      I used to recommend this blog to anyone interested in personal finance and frugality, but now I don’t think I will do that again. I just can’t get behind this philosophical shift that more spending is better, as long as you can afford it…

    • Rowan April 29, 2023, 6:03 pm

      This shift you describe is exactly what came to mind when I was reading this article. There has been a gradual philosophy shift on the blog, not that there is anything wrong with that as we all develop and change our views over time. MMM has turned up the speed on his hedonic treadmill and has made the decision that these things are worth it. No incongruence there. However, I agree with you that the idea alluded to in this article (if you have extra $$$ available, why not just spend them?) does seem at odds with environmental and stoic arguments that have previously appeared on this website.

      What is optimal consumption though? I think if we are honest, most of us talk a big game about being responsible consumers of resources, but really what is the distinction between justifiable and unjustifiable consumption? Everything up to our own desired level of consumption, we will find a way to say it is justified, and everyone that consumes more resources than us is being frivolous. Not really the basis for a consistent philosophical argument.

      On the pure finances side, the point of FIRE in your example is the RE part: Your strategy of going straight to the high-spending model means that you have to work considerably longer, even though you are able to have the luxury spending level for slightly longer. This is still potentially a reason to FIRE even if you don’t care at all about resource consumption.

      MMM does his thing very well, which is living like a middle-class guy at a working-class level expenditure, backed by large amounts of financial reserves and a good skillset in case something goes horribly wrong. Somewhere like ERE is more focused on the philosophical examination of resource consumption and happiness.

    • WellRestedGuy April 29, 2023, 7:01 pm

      (possibly a repost – as this is my second time trying to reply)

      I had the exact same feeling as you Laura. I don’t have a logical argument against the post, I just feel like it goes against the mustachian ethos – which I thought was a philosophy of “enough”.

      I think back to MMM’s review of “I will teach you to be Rich” – this seems to be exactly the opposite of that.

      Also, after all the articles about frugality, about “things” not being the answer, about the laziness of spending, or the inefficiency of expensive groceries & luxuries (like in “killing your $1000 grocery bill”) – hearing Pete talking about buying frozen berries for 8x more than is reasonable (just to avoid a parking lot) sounds as shocking as it would be to hear that Batman had robbed a bank. It just doesn’t fit with how I understood the blogs philosophy.

      I am not a troll, I am only commenting because I am a big fan and I was surprised by the contradictory content. And it made me feel a little lonelier on my own journey to FIRE.

      I am still a big fan, and I think Pete deserves his success because he channelled his freedom into some pretty cool projects for his community. So I by no means am saying he doesn’t deserve anything – I just think this was a divergence from the MMM ethos.

      • Georgia May 1, 2023, 7:20 am

        Hey WellRested, I just wanted to say that I think you articulated this very well and thanks for taking the time. It does feel lonely, and I think it’s in part because money is such a force of separation, and to see smart and presumably kind people use money to further separate themselves can feel upsetting.

        I’m also not a troll, I swear! ❤️

        • Southeast May 21, 2023, 6:40 pm


          I don’t see any need for you (or WellRested) to feel lonely. WellRested mentioned he’s on his journey to FIRE. That’s great. Pete’s not. He FIRED a long time ago and has helped/is helping so many people with getting to that point.

          I haven’t seen anyone mention what Pete said in the post about him donating $500,000. His frugality and principals allowed for that. And I imagine that he’s not stopping there based on his comments about being generous with giving. Buying a $52000 car and giving (at least) $500,000 to worthy causes? Sounds like a good ratio.

          I can understand a slight feeling of angst about a shift in philosophy, but I think there’s too much judgement these days (as MMM alluded to in the post).

      • Kel Way May 5, 2023, 8:46 pm

        Yes – this. Not wanting a Model Y is as good as possessing one. I had just heard that Ramit rich guy on the Mad Fientist podcast, and it made me sick. This extends that feeling more.

  • Reade April 27, 2023, 6:26 pm

    So what are you going to use for a work van now? I’m assuming you are not going to use this beautiful automobile to haul around construction materials. I would assume you plan on pulling a trailer with it for dirty jobs.

  • Brian Feroldi April 27, 2023, 6:34 pm

    Welcome to the club, Pete! My Model Y is my favorite thing that I own. It’s also the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever bought. I bet you love it.

  • Tom Street April 27, 2023, 7:04 pm

    FWIW, I splurged on a Model 3 long range dual motor in 2020, spending much more than any car during my entire life. However, we cut down to one car and my charging costs for the past year were $54. My maintenance costs since I purchased the car are zero. I had two free minor repairs which were really free as Tesla came to my home and took about 6 minutes for each fix. Plus, I am not directly emitting any pollution to my local environment. Sure, you may drive more than I do but the charging and maintenance costs will be way lower than your previous car. Plus it is a wonderful car to drive, not that I put very many miles on it as I also almost solely use my ebike in the fair weather months.

    • Felix May 1, 2023, 12:26 am

      There are particulate emissions from the tyres that people potentially breathe in. I don’t know how bad that is but I’m not a big fan of seeing them described as having ‘no emissions’.

  • Matthew Radcliffe April 27, 2023, 7:25 pm

    This blog used to be about normal people with normal incomes figuring out how to save money and enjoy their life.

    Now it’s a single rich guy talking about how to waste money to make tiny improvements in his life.

    I’m sure it’s still honest. It’s just irrelevant to most of the audience. It’s sad to me that the original purpose isn’t there anymore.

    • Mr. Money Mustache April 27, 2023, 7:46 pm

      To be REALLY honest, it started out as a blog by a wealthy young retired guy who was trying to convince his fellow rich Americans to consume slightly less natural resources, especially fossil fuels.

      Now it’s a blog by a wealthy middle-aged guy still trying to do the same thing – in this case by pointing out that electric cars are more desirable than gas ones, so those of us who can afford it should probably make the switch at some point.

      Same basic purpose, but I try to accomplish the goal using different tactics and angles as the years go on.

      • MKE April 28, 2023, 11:11 am

        But you posted this in this article:
        “he too had earned his own retirement through a lifetime of grinding in tough jobs and disciplined frugality.”
        You spent a lifetime grinding in rough jobs? Someone who hasn’t read all of your old posts will have a difficult time separating fact from fiction.

        • Mr. Money Mustache April 29, 2023, 2:07 pm

          I guess “rough” is a relative term – I was just a Canadian kid so I never experienced REAL hardship. But my jobs in approximate order were paper boy, lawn mower, car washer, painter’s assistant, carpenter’s assistant.. then I took a huge step up to pumping gas at the self-serve station down the street, then stocking shelves at the hardware store. Then another gas station. Then a convenience store which was comparatively cushy.

          Then a series of engineering jobs, moving up the ladder (long hours but in a very comfortable office environment)

          Then back into the dirt and scaffolds and ladders as a home builder and carpenter for the last 18 years.

          And of course the bathtubs and diaper changing stations and swimming pools and bike paths in my Dad job!

          This blogging gig is probably the easiest though, just occasionally typing shit into the computer on no particular schedule :-)

          • Barb May 24, 2023, 8:32 am

            Greetings from Michigan MMM, Your MANY years of blogging about FIRE (along with collective wisdom of the community) have changed our lives personally by promoting an earlier retirement than we had ever imagined. As seniors, my husband and I are living a happy, debt free, joyful existence. Practicing Mustachian principles over the years made us thoughtful on how we saved and spent our resources. The freedom that now comes with not worrying about “the stash” is priceless. I feel like we are winners in the Game of Life. Still some anxiety comes with spending – in our case a passion for cheap international travel and recently selling our 2013 car to buy a minivan for cross country trips with the dog (our 5th child) and piling in grandchildren. I appreciate your perspective, and perhaps permission, that it’s OK to spend money on those things and experiences which bring you joy. Thank you for making a difference! Please keep on blogging and enjoy every moment in that Tesla!

            • Stan June 6, 2023, 9:21 am

              I agree. Also, MMM, you write such gracious replies to people’s comments, they are a pleasure to read. Is this to do with being Canadian?

    • AnotherEngineer April 28, 2023, 4:34 am

      And 12 years of amazing articles are still available for free. Find the ones that fit your situation. You may have also noticed the tone of the forum has changed with a lot more new car discussions. Some is due to the less-hardcore masses joining while other long-timers are in this excess wealth position.

  • Ben April 27, 2023, 7:27 pm

    I’ve read almost all your articles, but this is my first ever comment… I just had to say this article really hit home for me. I consider myself a very frugal person, and it has allowed me and my family to build wealth very quickly. I’m not a car person, we own two cars that are more than 10 years old both with well over 100k miles. But I ordered a Model Y Long Range last month, and I don’t regret it.

    Love the car, it’s something I plan on using as a tool for new experiences for my family, and something to take care for for many years to come. I think this article has finally helped me to accept the decision I made, and realize that sometimes comparably expensive things can have value too.

    I just want to say though, if you are considering a Tesla don’t get it because you think it will financially benefit you, don’t get it if you don’t have a way to charge at home, and don’t get one unless you are well on your path to financial independence. Thanks.

    • maisy May 1, 2023, 3:49 pm

      Piggybacking here, but this article was exactly what I needed at this phase in my life. My strong financial position relative to all of my peers is largely due to the philosophy of this blog, but I have been recognizing that I have been taking it too far and my overthinking mentality has actually become more of a detriment than a tool. Stressing out about a couple bucks more for bread sounds exactly like something I experienced… Yesterday? Lol. Anyway, I appreciate this post and it couldn’t have been better timed. This month I am challenging myself to not look at my personal capital page and to focus that energy elsewhere.

  • LB April 27, 2023, 8:42 pm

    Great post, MM! As always, you made some really great points with this article. It’s so true that when people get to a certain point, they should probably at least consider loosening up a bit with their own spending.

    Everyone is different. Some people will probably be happy to continue to optimize, and get satisfaction from all that.

    But as you say, it could also be the case that people have parts of their lives that are causing them grief, that money could solve, like your old van.

    Thanks for the post! Your blog has been a huge help and inspiration to me. I also recommend it to everyone I can (hopefully, slowly but surely, Calgary will become a city of mustachians).

  • Chris G April 27, 2023, 9:36 pm

    Hey Mr. Money Mustache, I’m just curious if your name is Stewart? Because you wrote “Yes – be a super, duper responsible stewart of your life savings”. Obviously the correct spelling is with a D – StewarD. But if your name is Stewart, then this is a clever word/name play.

    Anywho, I hope you’re enjoying your new Tesla! It certainly sounds like you earned it!!


  • John April 27, 2023, 10:03 pm

    What about the savings from not having to put in gas? And not having to do much of the gas related maintenance like oil changes and brake/rotors? Those were big savings for me as we also traded our “Vanessa” for a Tesla Model Y. Enjoy!

  • Chris Guthrie April 27, 2023, 10:15 pm

    There’s something to be said for buying one of the safest cars on the road too. Got my first Tesla in 2018 and second one in 2022. Best cars I’ve ever owned.

  • Runoahma April 28, 2023, 12:49 am

    Who are you, and what did you do to old facepunch Mustache?

    >And this can and should be FUN! Now you can get the best organic groceries even when the price seems exorbitant.

    Sure, you can afford that. But should you use your dollars to subsidize inefficient land use (non-organic farming uses less land, leaving more for nature which is better than organic fields) and waste of energy and human labor for out-of-season produce, which are the reasons why the price is exorbitant?

    >order delivery whenever you like.

    Yes, make someone waste the energy to move a metric ton vehicle to deliver, what, a thousand kilocalories worth of food to your doorstep? Plus adding one more vehicle’s worth of noise and danger to the streets because you can’t be assed to cook for yourself. You can afford it, but it is silly inefficient. (Ignore me if your deliveries are done by bicycle.)

    You’re right in that you don’t need to conserve dollars anymore, as there is no shortage of those for you. But that doesn’t mean you have a free license to outsource inefficiency to the people around you. What happened to efficiency being the highest form of beauty?

    (I know I’m nitpicking your examples, but I find the lack of care for the efficiency implications of your splurging dollars disturbing.)

    • Scott April 28, 2023, 10:48 am

      THANK YOU for this comment. I found this post challenging to get behind to be honest, and I say that as a four-year Tesla owner. I’m not seeing how having a surplus of money suddenly gives one license to start making the world an unnecessarily worse place, as portions of this post are seemingly advocating. I thought the message of this blog was that rich people waste incredible sums of money in frivolous and destructive ways, and was about running counter to that.

      I’m not sure why a reader of this blog would find themselves in a Whole Foods to begin with, either.

    • Michael April 29, 2023, 6:35 pm

      Same thoughts exactly.
      Facepunch would have chewed this up and spit it out if someone wrote in suggesting we buy expensive specialty bread at all, let alone at the most expensive place that sells it.

      And the car should be the most cost efficient one for the job, right? What happened to all that?

      Making every dollar count always struck me as a sort of poetry in motion.
      This just seems like waste.
      Great that MMM can afford it, but I mourn the passing of the aggressive no holds barred approach to efficiency at all costs.

  • Cecelia April 28, 2023, 3:54 am

    “[It’s}…completely unproductive to send negativity to shame people you don’t even know for not following your own personal value system. The world has seen more than enough of this.”

    I laughed out loud when I read this…I mean, this is what your website and brand have been built on. But if people criticize your choices it’s unproductive?

    I actually agree with the points you’re making about enjoying the money you’ve earned, and after a lifetime of frugality it’s something I’m working to embrace as well. It might be helpful to also reflect more deeply on what a profound and, for some, jarring shift in perspective this is.

    Laura, who posted on 4/27 at 6:16pm said it well, “I don’t think the philosophical shift is being fully explored or appreciated here.”

    • Mr. Money Mustache April 28, 2023, 8:01 am

      But I’m writing this (positive) stuff on my OWN website. My suggestion was is that people don’t go into social media or other people’s websites and spew negativity.

      Positive examples, from your own life to inspire others, yes.

      Criticism of the choices of others with no actual productive suggestions? No. It creates anger but no change.

      • Cecelia April 28, 2023, 11:39 am

        It just struck me that your earlier writing, with all the face punching rhetoric, doesn’t seem consistent with not shaming people who don’t follow one’s personal value system. But I take your point about it being your website and you can (and should!) say whatever you want!

        I also want to thank you. As with many of your readers, I stumbled across your website a few years ago and it was transformative. I’ve always been frugal, but I had never considered the possibility of becoming financially independent – The Simple Math post changed everything. Even though I’ve been a university lecturer for most of my career (not exactly a high paying gig!), I hit my number a couple of years ago and will be stepping away from teaching next year. I wouldn’t have even known there was a number to hit if I hadn’t come across your blog, and I’m profoundly grateful.

        I think it’s great that you’re reevaluating your approach to spending and really would love to see more articles that dive into this shift. It’s something I think a lot of us who embrace frugality struggle with.

        Have a wonderful time adventuring in your Tesla! :)

      • Georgia May 1, 2023, 7:33 am

        Productive suggestions abound!

        1. Degrowth.
        2. Loving the planet as though it were your own body (would you put a Telsa inside of you?)
        3. Helping people whose only option is to be an Uber driver (eeeeeeeeeeek!) find employment worthy of a human life
        4. Instead of making like Oprah and buying your readers cars, take on subjects worthy of intelligent attention and subvert people’s understanding! We need that more than Telsas (and maybe you do, too?)

        I think most of the comments I’ve read up until now may be critical, yes, but they’re not criticizing you per se. They’ve been pretty well-meaning overall!

    • Heath August 15, 2023, 4:19 pm

      I laughed out loud at exactly that same sentence, as it was also exactly the feel I got from early MMM posts: strategically applied shame (“you’re lazy so punch yourself”) to align people with his own personal philosophy. It didn’t bother me then, as recognizing one’s own weaknesses and laughing at one’s own flaws is central to my own ethos. And the specific finance advice is so useful!

      That being said, this tonal shift seems fine to me. I think we’re seeing a more relaxed approach to life from someone who worked very hard to arrived at an optimum lifestyle and is now overflowing with abundance.

  • Elliot April 28, 2023, 4:17 am

    Weak sauce. Should just take the camping gear in a bike trailer or buy a cargo bike!

  • Julian April 28, 2023, 5:17 am

    Hi Pete. Congratulations! Just curious about your choice of insurance for the new car. Surely $1000 a year is top level insurance? With a large nest egg under your belt shouldn’t you choose the most basic to cover the other party in any accident. The total cost in a write off could come from your savings should this unlikely scenario happen.

  • Lorenzo April 28, 2023, 5:19 am

    Great post. However, I HAVE to disagree with the purchase. I have to. Teslas are my dream cars but buying one at the moment will have a huge impact on my early retirement goal.

    I think that the happiness from that purchase is nothing compared to being retired.

    Not with my current income, not now with this net worth, but maybe, someday…

    • Mr. Money Mustache April 28, 2023, 7:55 am

      I wholeheartedly agree! When still in the money accumulation stage, every spending decision is a choice between immediate treat and sooner freedom. Then at some point, this balance shifts and it’s just a choice between spending versus keeping surplus money.

      This article is meant to guide people who were having trouble with that later adjustment.

      • juststevieb May 9, 2023, 3:04 pm

        I think this is the context that is missing from the article. If a new reader were to hit the “random article” button on the homepage and read one of the early “badassity” articles and then this one, they might be thoroughly confused. Is MMM about promoting hardship and deprivation as a way of bettering oneself and learning to be happy on less?…or indulging in self-wealth?
        Even myself, after having read every single one of the MMM articles over the years, thank you so much by the way, was thinking that this might be a belated April fools’ joke right up until the end. I get the logic of what’s being conveyed here and I completely agree with it….but it just seems really out of character when you look back at the tone of past articles.
        It might make sense to go back and add something clever at the beginning of this post that makes it clear that that this is something you have earned ONLY BECAUSE of your earlier discipline/teachings…and to clarify that this is not advocating over-consumption / over-spending. You’ve done a great job on doing that in the past on other indulgences.
        Thanks for all your great advice over the years and into the future. I continue to refer my complainypants friends , what few I have left anyways, to your teachings.
        Next time you’re in Ottawa feel free to drop by for some homebrew…that you actually had a part in making!

        • Heath August 15, 2023, 4:21 pm

          Exactly! I think if MMM had led with a “more targeted audience” note, then people still in the accumulation phase wouldn’t have bounced off so hard.

  • late_savings_bloomer April 28, 2023, 6:17 am

    I am surprised that you were fussing about the price of bread that was artisanal and hand made, especially given that you also have a background in manual labor and charging a fair amount for it. The Costco price you gave in comparison is not for a comparable type of bread but something that came off a conveyor belt and with different ingredients, nutrition, taste, health benefits, etc. It’s like comparing a sweatshop fast fashion piece to your local seam master. This product takes time and tons of skill, which itself took time.
    I think one great thing that people who are not pressed for money can do is support local artists and artisans. You don’t only do good in the world when you donate to charity. You can also do good by “voting with your wallet” and buy from good small businesses. Trust me, their margins are tight and they are not going to become millionaires from their manual labor, unlike the CEOs of Big Bread… Next time just enjoy your breakfast with some honest and good quality local bread and with the warm feeling that your money have gone to the right place and appreciating the labor, tradition, and skill that went into it.

    I myself dabble in crafts and this has allowed me to appreciate manual and artisan work on a whole new level. It takes lifelong learning and every piece takes time. And it’s really hard for people coming from fast fashion etc prices to appreciate and understand. (Yet the same people demand a fair pay for their hours of work…)

    • Mr. Money Mustache April 28, 2023, 7:48 am

      I’m all for supporting me craftsmanship, but in this case it was the same Dave’s bread. Still mass produced and conveyor belt, but due to the top quality ingredients it was still fantastic stuff.

      • lurker April 29, 2023, 4:43 pm

        I think Dave takes better care of his employees
        but I don’t know where I read that…damn good bread

        • Justin April 30, 2023, 12:24 am

          Hi, I believe the “killer” in the name stems from Dave being a convicted felon prior to starting his bread making business and he hires a lot of rehabilitated folks who would have a hard time finding employment otherwise.

          I laughed at MMM’s description of his internal debate in the grocery isle. I find myself having these same debates, even though I FIRE’d 6 years ago. I’ve talked myself into buying Dave’s bread at Costco and from Safeway if it’s on sale, but after this blog post I may just treat myself to quality bread even if I have to spend an extra dollar or two.

          It really is hard to change frugal habits built up over decades and lean times.

  • Heffy April 28, 2023, 6:18 am

    A Very interesting read Mr MM. I have always thought the MMM blog served two purposes. It is a very helpful site full of money saving tips for people who need to save more money. At the same time it is a place for people with strong frugal instincts to get together and justify their feelings in a community of others who understand where they are coming from. Our motivations and values are rooted in instinct, while logic gives them shape and direction. These instincts are good things – they are what makes us real and human. When somebody get an extra big helping of something, their differing perspective makes the world a richer place. Thanks for the good reading and interesting self analysis.

    • Mr. Money Mustache April 28, 2023, 7:47 am

      Wow! First I read and loved this insightful comment and was thrilled to have such a thoughtful reader.

      Then I checked the email address that sent it and realized it was one of my sisters!

      You just made my morning, thanks “Heffy” :-)

  • Ian April 28, 2023, 6:20 am

    Proud of you MMM, no need for justification – the trolls and ankle-biters will never be happy anyway.
    What love to hear more about the Salida renovation/ rental too.
    Perhaps one day a Tesla car could power a small off grid place. That would really open up options.

  • Ken Mitchell April 28, 2023, 7:17 am

    Great article! We splurged and bought a 7 seater model Y about a year and a half ago to replace our aging minivan (and tote around 2 adults/4 kids). It was really a difficult decision to spend that much on a vehicle…and sometimes I still feel some guilt from the purchase. Something that I read lately has been very helpful, however. How to Die with Zero by Bill Perkins has helped reshape some of my thoughts on spending (similar to what you discussed in the post). Thanks again for your blog–it has helped my family get to where we are financially!

    • Kyle May 9, 2023, 6:22 am

      Die with Zero and MMM have been transformative foe me, but are somewhat contradictory. This post ties the two philosophies together nicely. I’ve realized I was chasing a dream that keeps getting farther away. I’m trying to buy less stuff and say yes to more quality time.

  • Fabok April 28, 2023, 7:29 am

    Congrads on your purchase, looks beautiful. As an engineer and long time EV commuter I have to warn you about the lifespan of the batteries. The NCA chemistry batteries are good for about 1000 cycles (full charge->discharge) then they really go off a cliff. LFP batteries are good for twice as many cycles. I think Tesla is still using NCA, so if you’re going to keep the car a while factor replacing the batteries in your budget.

    • Mr. Money Mustache April 28, 2023, 7:42 am

      True, but that is 1000 full-ish charges until you get down to 80% capacity. Which at a 300+ mile range would be over 300,000 miles (about 30-60 years of driving for me!)

      • Ken May 29, 2023, 9:06 pm

        I’d be genuinely interested to see how partial charges Stack up against complete discharge-recharge cycles. Because if you’re charging overnight, 1000 charges is just 3 years of cycling. Surely topping it up won’t have the same effect as a full discharge cycle?

        • Unlimited Solar June 16, 2023, 8:31 pm

          Charge-discharge cycles using 30% (100 miles), instead of 100% (300+ miles), changes that 1,000 cycle life into 15,000 cycle life. Also remember that after 300,000 miles, the battery doesn’t die outright! Now it will simply hold 253 miles instead of 316 miles. Still very usable, and nowhere near dead; it’ll hold up for 1,000,000 miles no problem.

          Electrek reports that the oldest vehicles, Model S and X, have 10-15% range loss after 200,000 miles.
          I can personally verify this:
          My 2014 Model S had a range of 265 miles from the factory.
          Now I have 275,000 miles on it, and my range is 243 miles, a mere 8.4% loss.

      • Dave July 8, 2023, 6:59 am

        Tesla owners I talk to say Tesla’s are garbage in the winter

    • CALtech April 28, 2023, 11:46 pm

      There are Tesla Model S with much older designed packs still on the road from 2015 and 80-90% capacity which is more than sufficient. Battery degradation will not be an issue. Other components might fail before the battery does, depending on the climate he uses it in

      • Jackson April 29, 2023, 5:19 pm

        I have a 12 yrs old prius w 180k miles running smooth still. No baterry issues whatsoever ans I’m still getting the 55mpg I was getting 10yrs ago

        • Unlimited Solar June 16, 2023, 8:43 pm

          Jackson, get that EGR cooler cleaned and oil catch can installed ASAP. Once both are done, and then you empty your OCC at every oil change, then you’ll never have to clean the EGR again. Gen3 Priuses are known for blowing their head gasket between 150k-250k miles, because they depend on that EGR cooler to keep all 4 cylinders matched and below dangerous temperatures. I’ve owned 2 of the Gen2 Priuses, and a Gen3 Prius: I loved them all. Tesla is the only car that could ever tear me away from them, and I towed trailers with every single Prius (that planetary-geared CVT transmission is perfect for towing, bulletproof.)


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