Monday, July 18, 2016

Saying Thank You to MMM

Where to begin?

If you read my May dividend income post, you noticed that I was quite busy over the past 2 months.  Blogging will always come second to living life but during this sabbatical, I did some of the most eye opening early retirement reading of my entire life.

I read Mr. Money Mustache from the first post to the last in a span of 2 months!!

I'm sure some of you are thinking "Duh, I've been reading him for years, it is a no-brainer you should be reading him"  --  Well, you can say I was living under a rock or perhaps I felt overwhelmed after browsing his site a few times.  The shear volume of information on his site is mind boggling.

If any readers out there do not know who MMM is, he is a 40 year old married man with one kid who retired at age 30.  His biggest savings advice is ride a bike, insource your work (do everything yourself - clean, cut grass, remodel, etc), get out of debt as quick as possible, stop being a sucka consumer, and minimize waste.  I'm sure there are more things you can pick apart but his website is a wealth of knowledge and I thought I was doing a disservice to all of my readers by not mentioning him.

According to his "All posts since beginning of time" webpage in April 2014 he had written over 400 posts.  Counting from that point and you are looking at about 500 posts.  In the last post he brought up these figures (not sure which one), he said that the posts added up to over 1000 pages of content.

Now I have never, ever, read a book of more than 300 pages.  In school the books were probably over 300 pages, but lets be honest, I certainly did not read the whole thing.  Read the first page of a chapter, read the last and hit up cliff notes to get the rest!!

But, to think I read over 1000 pages during my free time in under 2 months, you can believe that I am hooked for life.

His blog gave me a sense of empowerment to complete my half finished basement, my inadequate insulation, and overall home remodels/repairs and not call any contractors.  I'm not saying that I'm going to go and complete the basement tomorrow because lets be real...  I'm not retired yet!  The basement is just an added space that money should not be thrown at.  However, his rationalization to put in more insulation or switch the light bulbs or update appliances resonated with me.  It is not "wasting" money when your money returns higher rates of return than the stock market.

I should probably apologize to my wife for the past couple months as well because summer has hit, and I have been all about trying to save money on air conditioning and energy in general.  I'm sure I've been a bit of a pain in the ass but, we are actively talking about money more frequently and I think that is something that has rubbed off from his blog.

I can't say I have hit full stride in being a "Mustachian" but I think I am getting closer.  The bike is now a permanent fixture in the garage, but unfortunately it is not a permanent fixture to run errands.  I think I will get there once I do it for the first time, but I have not made that leap.  I have ridden the bike to stores just to see what the distance is like, but never left it sitting outside to go buy something.  I'm getting there...

In the coming months I would like to start selling some things on craigslist to declutter our life a bit and get some surplus capital into the markets or help pay off the house.

In general, his blog has opened more eyes even further to the idea of early retirement than ever before.

To know that someone was able to retire at 30 before having his first child is a goal to strive for.  It would be fantastic for my wife and I to be stay at home parents when we finally have a child.  If I can adopt just a few more of his teachings, like $7 a week for beer, no matter what, I think we could get to retirement before our wildest dreams.  The hardest part is making another leap to go cheaper and to save harder.

A few key takeaways:

- Each mile you live from work costs $795 in commuting expenses per year.
- To calculate a weekly expense compounded over ten years, multiply the price by 752; for a monthly expense, multiply by 173.
- First retire, then get rich
- Ride a bike!
- Living on less does not mean you are deprived

At the end of it all, I want to say thank you to Mr. Money Mustache for creating a fantastic blueprint to follow to retire early!

Now I just wish he had an east coast get together!

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