Becoming A Mustachian!

It’s a Monday evening in late February, and the patio door of my City Apartment is open to the fresh 65 F outside air at the end of this perfect, early Spring day.  That weather is relevant to this story, as you’ll see in a moment.

I’m getting sick, and need some meds.

Chasing down those meds will lead me to becoming a Mustachian tonight.

But before we go there….

Let’s Start At The Beginning:

5:00 AM:    Monday Morning   (yes, I get up early on Mondays!!):

Departing from the mountain cabin well before sunrise, I listen to this Mr. Money Mustache podcast with Tim Ferriss on my way down to The City.  I’ve always liked Mr Money Mustache (“MMM”), and was really motivated by what he had to say during the podcast.  Tim Ferriss is one of the more interesting podcasters in the biz, and putting him together with MMM resulting in some very solid content, worth a listen!

The podcast was a huge hit, and drove 175,000 views to MrMoneyMustache.com in a single day (up from his typical 100,000 views per day)!  For those of you who don’t follow blog traffic, those are HUGE numbers!!  Even Pete (Mr. Mustache’s real name) was excited about it:

Mr. Mustache is running a cult, of sorts, but in a fun, harmless and productive way.  It’s a cult of those seeking simplicity in life, many of whom are pursuing early retirement.

It’s too bloody early in the morning, but the podcast gives my brain something to absorb as it shakes off the early start and endures the 2 hour Monday morning commute down out of the mountains, and into “The City”.

The Mustachians

Members of the Mr. Money Mustache Cult are called “Mustachians”, and they’re a proud bunch.  Over 30,000 of them hang out on the Mustachian Forum, and share a lifestyle consistent with the key Mustachian principles.

Some well known Mustachians (Photo Credit: Flickr)
Mustachians are folks with a common interest in living a simpler and happier life. Click To Tweet

Take some time to listen Pete/Mr. Mustache on the podcast, and think about what he says.  The guy retired at age 30, and his blog speaks to the benefits of a simple life. He encourages a focus on those things that bring happiness and contentment.  His main message is that “our current middle-class life is an Exploding Volcano of Wastefulness”, and he believes there is a better way.

Hundreds of thousands seem to agree with him, and may cult members are adapting some of the principles he preaches into their own lives, in whatever form that may take.  Pete’s an accepting guy, and recognizes not everyone is going to be as extreme as he is.  That’s fine, just incorporate those things that make sense to you.

Seek Simplicity, and be intentional in moving away from materialism. Click To Tweet

Mr. Mustache is a huge proponent of sustainable living, and encourages folks to think to the extreme about how you can make your life “bicycle friendly”. Sell the car, and bike!  Use Uber, and bike.  Live close to where you work, and bike.

He bikes, alot.  He even pays his kid an incentive to ride his bike.  This guy….yeah…he thinks differently.

Mr. Mustache thinks outside the “norm” of society, but it makes a LOT of sense, especially to the FIRE (Financial Independence – Retire Early) Community, of which I consider myself a humble member.  There’s an entire communiity of Mustachians out there among us, and they’re going about life in a way that’s “different” than the norm.  Check it out, it’s a growing movement, and you may want to consider joining the cult.  Who knows, your neighbor may already be a member!

Becoming A Mustachian

So, after hearing these Mustachian theories on the Tim Ferriss podcast during my 5:00 am commute to The City, the concepts have simmered in the back of my mind throughout the work day.

12:00 Noon:  I’m invited to lunch by a co-worker I’ve known for years.  We’re of comparable ages, and have talked on occasion about personal finance.  I consider him a friend.  He was reaching out to me (as many are starting to do, much to my enjoyment) about some retirement planning questions he had.

I love discussing personal finance, and have enjoyed the many personal discussions this blog has initiated among friends and co-workers.  I’m being approached more frequently, as word gets around the grapevine that “Fritz Is Really Good At This Stuff, And Is Really Helpful.  He’s Even Writing A Blog!“.  I have ~30 co-worker friends who are reading The Retirement Manifesto at this point (Hi Friends, You Know Who You Are!), and it’s initiated some very rewarding discussions.

I like helping people, and this blog is giving me an avenue to do that. Click To Tweet

That’s Pretty Mustachian, and I didn’t even think of it that way until today.  I’ve just enjoyed the chance to discuss and educate willing folks in the critically important issues of Personal Finance, and it’s become one of the many unexpected benefits I’ve earned via the dedication of my time writing this blog.

But I’m Getting Sick.

5:15 pm:   As I mentioned, it’s a beautiful evening. 65F, calm and early Spring.  I love this time of year.

My voice is 75% gone when I call my wife after work, and we agree I should make a supermarket run, given that I had no meds in my City Apartment and could potentially go downhill fast.  My wife’s been sick for two straight weeks, there’s a nasty virus floating around.

Becoming A Mustachian

5:20 pm:  Gees, it’s really nice outside.  The store’s not that far away.  I Should Ride My Bike!

My bike’s been leaning against the wall of my apartment, unused since the pleasant days of Fall went to bed for the Winter.  Those pleasant days are waking up again.  The weather is changing.

It’s time.

Being motivated by the Mustachian Podcast, I decide to Ride My Bike to the supermarket, up and over a good hill, past all of the Porches, Teslas and Jaguars fighting for position in this Stealth Wealth town.  I’m too sick to get in my “45 Minutes Of Younger Next Year” today, but riding the bike will be a good substitute.

That’s Pretty Mustachian, and I think of Mr. Money Mustache riding his bike in Longmont, CO as I weave my bike through the city congestion and purchase my valuable meds.

$29, and 30 minutes later, I’m back at the apartment.  Meds and food for the week in hand!

Becoming An Official Mustachian

Encouraged by my “Mustachian Bike Ride”, I think about his teachings as I prepare my Penne Vegetable dinner (I’m a great microwave cook).  I realize I’m not in line with 100% of what MMM preaches, but there are a lot of things I have in common with him.

  • I don’t focus on materialism.
  • My family is a  priority.
  • I save a higher % of income than “typical”.
  • I’m intentional, and focus on things that bring contentment.
  • I try to take care of myself with regular exercise.
  • I seek simplicity in life.
  • I walk to work (disregard that 100 mile weekly commute to my City Apartment!)
  • I’m going to retire early.
  • Heck, I even ride my bike to the store!

That’s Pretty Mustachian!

I decide to make it official, and log into the Mr. Money Mustache Forum for the first time.

I Register.

It’s Official!

I’m now a proud Mustachian!!

Conclusion

There’s a reason Mustachianism is one of the biggest “lifestyle” movements sweeping the country.  More folks are realizing that the way “most people” live life isn’t necessarily the best way to live life.  There are options. Think for yourself.  Determine what’s important for you and your family, and make adjustments to your life where necessary. Interested?  Click on Mr. Money Mustache’s home page, read a few things, and then decide for yourself.

Be careful, though.

You may end up joining a cult.

 

37 comments

  1. Great post, Fritz. I try to keep my lady mustache hidden, oh but it’s there. I’m curious to see what you experience in the MMM Forum as compared to the RockStar Forum, which I know we both love. I hope by now your cold is gone. Talk to you soon!

  2. I loved that podcast! I listened to it with Alan (my husband) and it made for some great discussion. I love Pete’s take on things – one thing that really stood out in the podcast is the focus on removing the negativity, especially when considering a purchase. He has a great method for making purchasing decisions. I’ve been reading MMM, almost since the beginning. Can’t say I’m 100%, but I’m getting closer!

    Hope you are feeling better, Fritz! 🙂 I do believe it’s just starting in our house.

    1. Funny you mention his “purchase criteria” of removing negativity. It clearly made an impression on Tim Ferriss, and was also the biggest thing I took away from his interview. I almost wrote it into the story, but I was getting “too long” so cut it. Thanks for adding this key message, it was a great one!!

      And yes, I do feel better (thanks!).

  3. Prior to joining the “cult” a little over a year ago, I just thought I was weird. Now, after finding other Mustachians, I realized…well, I’m still weird, there are just others like me!

    I have really enjoyed the physical aspect of MMM. The manual labor, bike riding, etc. I now try make it a point to walk to my library (round trip roughly 6 miles) once a week. It’s great! Plus, it’s a nice break from the regular workout routine!

    Gray article, Fritz. I always enjoy them!

    1. Hey Hoosier, yeah, most of us financial folks are a little weird! I love Pete’s story of building his studio by himself, by hand. Joked with my wife that I want to build one (too bad we live on the side of a mountain, don’t think I could build a foundation on the slope!). Good for you for walking to the library (hope you check out fewer books than my wife and I, that’d be a heavy haul!!).

  4. I first found this FIRE lifestyle through Pete when I was in college. I started off as a Mustachian, but I’m not sure I could be called one now. In some respects I’ve doubled down and really gotten hardcore, and eased off the pedal in many other aspects. I think being a Mustachian is now an ideal lifestyle I would like to achieve. It’s difficult to do now with the sprawling and dangerous city I live in though. I don’t even feel safe in my car 🙁

    1. Gwen, great to see you on my site, love your stuff!! I think it’s great that you’ve modified Mustachianism to fit what works for you. It is an interesting concept, but I think the value is in finding ways to apply what makes sense in your own life. You’re clearly crushing it, so I think it’s ok if you don’t ride your bike in the Big City!!

  5. I hope you recovered quickly — I enjoyed the interview as well, and I’m looking forward to spring arriving here, so I can resume safely riding my bike to the hospital.

    Oh, and welcome to the MMM forum!
    -PoF

  6. I hope you’re feeling all better now. Getting on your bike with a flu coming on is pretty Mustachian. I’ve lurked on the Mustachian forums for a while now, but never created an account. Yet. I’m a world class lurker though.

  7. It’s a mindset and a lifestyle! Living frugally and delaying gratification isn’t for the weak!

    Once you get into the mindset, anything is possible. I can’t wait to be in a position where I can have the opportunity to do what I want with my time. I’m almost there, I’m currently doing some side consulting and working on an ebook. If I can get those to replace my day job income, I would consider quitting!

    1. Erik, living frugally is an interesting concept, and I agree it’s not “for the weak”. However, there are elements we can all adapt without going as extreme as MMM which will hasten our journey to FI. It sounds like you’re well on your way, keep your focus, and enjoy life as you live it!

  8. I hope you’re feeling better!!

    As an Italian woman I’ve spent a large amount of money and pain getting rid of me lady stache…I’m am not so willing to grow another!! 😉 Anywho, I believe MMM has some great insight (particularly in the frugal lifestyle) and I am sure the forum does as well. I have dabbled over there a few times (prior to my own blogs birth) and I have to say I am still partial to RSF forum mainly because I think your new cults members are a bit too hardcore for me. 🙂 That being said, feel free to pass on any lessons you have to share. I may not know the secret handshake but I am always open to learning. I wish you well, Cuz, and I hope your stache grows so long you can twist it up at the sides – perhaps a good look for FinCon??

    1. What’s up with all these women wearing ‘staches? Agree it’s best to not attempt to grow another!

      Also, I’m with you on RockStar Forum being the better forum. I LOVE what J$ has done with it, and find it much easier to negotiate than MMM’s. Also, I agree MMM Members are “too hardcore”. I’ll never be that extreme, but find there are a lot of lessons we can learn from those more extreme than us! Look forward to meeting you at FinCon, neither of us wearing a ‘stache!

  9. I agree that this lifestyle is starting to become more and more popular these days! Maybe it’s who I’ve been hanging out with (blogs I read LOL) that’s changing my mind and allowing me to let these kinds of things soak into my brain and allow me to start thinking about the decisions that we make monthly differently. I think everyone can do something, but they don’t have to do everything!

    I also applaud you for riding your bike to the store and back while being under the weather. We have the flu going around our house here too! Glad that I can be home with the kids to help contain it, but it is not fun being sick. Not sure I would’ve rode my bike to the store. But if you’re already sick, what more harm can it do right? 😉

  10. MMM was my first foray into personal wealth management and frugal living. It completely changed my life, and led me to many more blogs like yours. Could not have been where I am today, almost 10 months later, without people like yourselves! As a fellow Mustachian, welcome to the club!

    1. “Could not have been where I am today, almost 10 months later, without people like yourselves!”

      Happy to know I’m making a difference in people’s lives, Luke. Thanks for the encouragement (and, for your welcome for this late comer to the MMM club!)

  11. Long time mustachian here, although I have yet to join the forum (soon). His principles appeal to analytical people, who generally see value in efficiency. My wife used to laugh at me whenever I made a comment like “Mr. MM wouldn’t do that!” and she still does. Although I hope the movement expands, I fear that most humans are hooked on the consumerism/more complex. The financial crisis shocked a few of us into awareness, but the effects have subsided for the rest. Enjoyed the post! Max

  12. Thanks for the post, Fritz! And the podcast recommendation. We love to listen to podcasts when we travel and will queue this one up as we head to our cabin this evening! This is the year that we have set our intention, well, on living intentionally. I’ll have to go check out MM!

      1. Looking forward to our lunch Sunday! And yes, I’ll just go ahead and take full credit for planting the seed. 😉 We listened to the podcast on our way up to BR last night and I love that guy! And, I might add — love that he’s from my homeland!

  13. I’ve read MMM for years now, first discovering him & his blog well before it was covered in the media. I loved quite a few of his ideas and concepts, and it helped me to get some more ideas on how I could better align my spending with my real priorities. I’m a member of the forum although I don’t post too much. Maybe I should join the mortgage payoff club over there!

    1. Hey Mom! Interesting that you knew MMM before he became a phenom. Very cool. I find his forum a bit less intuitive than Rockstar, but I’m trying to spend a bit of time on it to figure it out.

      I agree, the best way to approach MMM content is to attempt to incorporate it as it makes sense for you, and the focus on “real priorities” is a great area to focus on. I’ll look for you over in the the Forum(s)!

  14. It is so great that you have people now that know you can help them in getting their finances up and running. That is one of the objectives of every blog! Job well done.

    Thx for the podcast. Will add it too my list.

    Podcast are great for me, especially in the summer, when I mowe my lawn…

    1. ATL, I agree it’s nice to be able to help people, and I’ve really enjoyed having people approach me with questions. Satisfying.

      Podcasts are a great medium for expanding one’s knowledge! Just be careful while you’re mowing! Smiles.

  15. I give Dave Ramsey credit for getting me helping spur me to create my very first “get out of debt plan” several years ago. But it was Mr. Money Mustache that changed the way I thought about and approached finances. MMM turned me onto Jim Collins and he changed the way I think about investing. From that point I crated my plan to Get Rich Quick’ish (screw just getting out of debt!) and my financial life and, hopefully, my future will be much better because of it.

    Good post Fritz. I enjoyed that podcast too.

  16. I used to think that the majority of people around me didn’t believe in FIRE, but this was before I got to looking around online. There are tons of people who reaching FIRE! I’m still new to this “cult” and but I’m definitely seeing a lot of things that we have in common!

  17. Hey Fritz! I went to the MMM forum about a month ago myself and I have to say that it doesn’t seem as neatly organized as the Rockstar Forum, and it is sooooo huge that it feels overwhelming. However, I wish the Rockstar Forum had more people posting about MMM type stuff like going car free, happy cities, etc… I prefer much more of the philosophy of FIRE, rather than just the investing strategies. 🙂

    1. PP, I’ve spent more time on the MMM forum since writing this post, and have to say I prefer the Rockstar Forum by a wide margin. It’s much better organized, has a much better “atmosphere”, and is more intuitive. I would encourage you to start a few threads on items of interest to you (e.g., FIRE), I suspect you’ll find a lot of support. In time, you can influence the nature of the discussions to something more aligned with areas of your personal interest. Good luck, I’ll keep an eye out for you in the Rockstar Forum!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *