Author Topic: Christians - how does your faith affect your Mustachianism?  (Read 7898 times)

shelivesthedream

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Christians - how does your faith affect your Mustachianism?
« on: October 29, 2017, 12:17:41 PM »
I am going to be confirmed into the Church of England (Anglo-Catholic tradition) in late November and it’s got me thinking about how my faith ought to affect my Mustachianism. Obviously the Bible and the church talk a lot about what one ought to do with one’s money. I didn't grow up in a religious household so a lot of these issues are fairly new to me. I thought I’d ask my fellow Mustachians who are also Christians about how your faith affects your Mustachianism. Do please also say which denomination you are!

There is no need to reply if you are not a currently practicing Christian. There is also no need to reply if you do not have anything to say on how your faith and your Mustachianism affect each other.

scissorbill

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Re: Christians - how does your faith affect your Mustachianism?
« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2017, 12:25:00 PM »
I've been a christian all my life.  We have been givers but not tithers until this year.  I had always felt like we were giving with one hand while holding the other in a tight fist.  I felt like there was never enough.  We decided to try a full Malachi 3:10 in January and trust God.  We are tithing and I notice no difference in our savings rate! It's been eye opening. 

Cranky

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Re: Christians - how does your faith affect your Mustachianism?
« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2017, 12:30:09 PM »
I've been an Episcopalian/in the Anglican Communion since I was in college (I was not raised a Christian.) My dh converted as an adult, as well.

I don't think we are really "Mustachian" in the sense of pursuing RE at all costs, but we have always been quite frugal. We have a generous charitable budget, not all to the church, and we give a lot of time, as well.

For me, the closest connection between my faith and my economic practices is probably most connected with questioning the costs of materialism, of consumerism, and with environmental practices.

Wise Virgin

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Re: Christians - how does your faith affect your Mustachianism?
« Reply #3 on: October 29, 2017, 12:41:58 PM »
Roman Catholic here.

Mustachianism in its purest form is incompatible with following Christ. All things should be referred to Christ, not referred to how it affects the stash.

Mustachianism in its moderate form is compatible with following Christ. There is a good reason the early Christians admired the Stoics and adopted their clean and admirable philosophy.

Control of one's own passions, the reduction of vices, the steady concentration upon the long-term good, responsibility for self without excuses, welcome of anyone from any highway or byway who is willing to hear and recognize the good and change from the old futile way to the way that leads to a better life - Mustachianism and Christianity should have no difficulty going along most of the path side by side.

I'm a long-time tither as well. As scissorbill observed, opening my hand toward God did not harm my savings rate, it improved it. This is actual experience of mine over about 25 years. If anyone is considering tithing and is not sure, I would say, open your hand toward God and be surprised at what you find out.

Noodle

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Re: Christians - how does your faith affect your Mustachianism?
« Reply #4 on: October 29, 2017, 03:14:48 PM »
Well, when people are getting out of hand in the forums I often have to remind myself that as Christians we are called to treat all our brothers and sisters with love, even when they are at their most obnoxious...oh, you meant managing money. :) My church doesn't preach required tithing--it's supposed to be what you feel called to do based on your relationship with Christ, although I suspect a lot of our church members do tithe. Today's sermon was actually on grace through faith alone, and the emptiness of works or religious practices without faith. I do think Mustachianism is sympathetic to the responsibility of Christians to be good stewards of what they have been given, given its opposition to wastefulness, although not perhaps in a single-minded dedication to early retirement above all. (I do think that FI is compatible with Christianity, because of the freedom it grants one to follow one's conscience and also the protection from the temptation to do wrong through being stuck in a financially untenable situation.)

Wise Virgin

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Re: Christians - how does your faith affect your Mustachianism?
« Reply #5 on: October 29, 2017, 03:57:54 PM »
That is a really good point, Noodle, about FI giving the freedom to follow one's conscience, and insulating oneself from the temptation to do wrong.

surfhb

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Re: Christians - how does your faith affect your Mustachianism?
« Reply #6 on: October 29, 2017, 04:16:39 PM »
The Bible often talks about greed and patience.    Anyone thinking of putting money into crypto currencies or the latest hot bio tech stock should read up on those verses.

englishteacheralex

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Re: Christians - how does your faith affect your Mustachianism?
« Reply #7 on: October 29, 2017, 04:32:25 PM »
We are frugal, but not because we want to retire early, exactly. Both my husband (a social worker) and I (a teacher) have careers that we find deeply meaningful and rewarding, and for us working is (mostly) joyful.

But our credo is "radical generosity" and it is heavily influenced by Richard Foster, a Quaker who wrote Freedom of Simplicity and several other excellent books. So instead of being frugal in order to amass an enormous "stache" of wealth, we aim to give as much as we can away while still being responsible about saving for the future.

We save 15% of our income in retirement accounts, tithe 10% to our non-denominational church that meets at a community gym and gives heavily to the poor, and give 5% additionally to causes we find meaningful. In the future, when we aren't trying to pay off a mortgage early and pay for daycare for two children, we hope to give much more. Eventually our goal is to become FI so that we can pursue some kind of service regardless of pay. That won't be for at least fifteen more years, but I imagine it would look something like teaching at a missionary school or working at an orphanage abroad. That's our long-term vision, anyway.

So yes, we are very, very frugal, despite the fact that our combined salaries are north of $150k. We drive old cars and most of the things we buy are used. This blog and the forums are quite helpful in aiding frugality. Our motivation, however, is sometimes a bit different. We aren't using wealth in order to get out of the rat race. We don't feel as though we are in a rat race.

In a Christian worldview, "Mustachianism" would be referred to as "stewardship". I have read many, many books on the subject. But you really can't beat the New Testament. You cannot serve both God and Mammon. Don't be a fool, storing your extra wealth in more barns. Your very life could be demanded of you tonight.

Whenever I look at my retirement accounts, I kind of shake my head and think of the foolish farmer in the parable. To me, the money we give away is the only money that has any kind of eternal value.
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Moustachienne

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Re: Christians - how does your faith affect your Mustachianism?
« Reply #8 on: October 29, 2017, 04:51:57 PM »
Wow, talk about timing.  I was just browsing this book at the library - You Are What You Love: The Spiritual Power of Habit-
https://www.amazon.com/You-Are-What-Love-Spiritual/dp/158743380X , and thinking about how much of it resonated with why I'm attracted to mustachianism.  In particular, the idea that we can (and must) break out of the produce/consume cycle, but it is hard.  When we look at our behaviours and practices rather than our expressed beliefs, some hard truths emerge. This is true for both religious and non-religious mustachians.

Smith writes eloquently about the power of the liturgical church to bolster the habits and express the beliefs that we do want to foster so this might really resonate with you at this point.  I am non-practicing but found his ideas resonant.

Great question!

Kwill

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Re: Christians - how does your faith affect your Mustachianism?
« Reply #9 on: October 29, 2017, 05:12:46 PM »
First, congratulations, SheLivesTheDream!

This is a good question. I was raised in a Presbyterian home with some Southern Baptist influence, and my parents started me tithing on my allowance before I could calculate 10%. I think tithing contributes to saving by making you more aware of what is coming in and going out and more careful about money in general. It might also encourage being patient and not worrying so much about little ups and downs in the market.

I became a Roman Catholic as an adult. I've relaxed a little about tithing. For a long time, I still did 10% of gross income, but I'm currently doing 5% of net pay and building in room to also donate to special causes that people bring up, disaster relief, etc. Doing it this way also allows me to occasionally go to things like fundraising dinners or events that are for charity but also entertainment. That doesn't come up that often, but the students organise these things for good causes now and then. It is fun to dress up and feel extravagant while supporting something I would have supported anyway. It's less efficient than just sending the money, but especially when it's the young people at church organising something, it's nice to be able to afford to encourage the efforts.

The other direct thing about money is the question of lending at interest. I tried LendingClub but wondered about the cautions against usury. At one point I was limiting myself to loans with interest rates no higher than I would consider taking myself, but eventually I gave up on it. I never had many loans there and now I'm just waiting for one last one to finish. It was partly just that it's a lot of bother for the amount of return and risk, not entirely a moral question.

My church has provided a community that has given me a social outlet that is often free or nearly free, not counting the donations I'd be making already. There are multiple gatherings a week, and I enjoy singing in the choir as well. Maybe if I didn't have that, I would be going out more often to restaurants or bars or concerts to socialise. Friends with families have been having me over for dinner a lot lately. I need to reciprocate more. It may be easier for people with small children to socialise in their own homes, but I could be cooking and bringing food instead of just the occasional bottle of wine or package of sweets.

There are also some opportunities to help others. We have a group that takes turns taking food and hot beverages around to homeless people on the streets. I've only gone along a few times, but it's eye-opening to see how people are having to get by and what they are worrying about. People can be so glad to have instant coffee with milk and lots of sugar. It puts my little worries in perspective and makes me realise the luxuries that I have.

zolotiyeruki

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Re: Christians - how does your faith affect your Mustachianism?
« Reply #10 on: October 29, 2017, 05:43:34 PM »
This is a really interesting topic for me.  A couple thoughts come to mind:

1) Isaiah 55:2 "Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not?"  That certainly speaks to mustachianism, namely making deliberate choices on how we spend money.
2) Self-reliance is a part of my faith, and the whole FI concept certainly plays into that.  Helping one another is a huge part of it as well.  If you've seen the army of yellow t-shirts that appears every time a hurricane hits the gulf coast, that's an example :)
3) Giving to the poor (and/or tithes)...eh, I'm going to say that as long as people do it deliberately and willingly, knowing that it postpones their eventual retirement, it's not contrary to mustachianism.

frugalmom

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Re: Christians - how does your faith affect your Mustachianism?
« Reply #11 on: October 29, 2017, 06:52:32 PM »
I am neither an M-follower in it's truest form nor am I a tither at church in its true form.  I do give, but I am equally moved to give $ to secular charities I feel do good works that support my values. 

Why am I talking you wonder?  I used to work for my church--Methodist.  Very middle of the road.  It drove me crazy, absolutely crazy how much money the church was wasting!  (I do not mean spending money on things I disagree with, I mean over paying or throwing out tons of useful food/resources, etc.) 

The thing I have found most useful to me has been to help the church understand how to utilize their resources in a more efficient manner.  In general operating expenses I helped them save 12%--which was just over $100,000.  When I got involved other similarly minded people also go on the band wagon.  It has been a truly unifying experience.  The extra $$ has allowed the church to do more community based out reach and missions, without sacrificing any programming nor any reduction in force. 

Seriously--I negotiated an almost 40% cost savings on toilet paper.  It's a big church--there are 74 toilets throughout the building.....all these things add up. 

One guy spearheaded a switch to LED lighting, replacing/upgrading as needing from the utility savings.

No longer is food left after events.  People now understand--take it, take it all (unless it didn't taste good--that gets tossed) before everyone was being so polite that a ton of food eventually got thrown away.  Now the kitchen has a bunch of reusable storage and it is understood that you take extra food and bring back the containers.  Do some people probably take more than what would be considered a "fair share"--absolutely!  Would I rather have the same old lady grabbing food each event or throw it all in a dumpster a week later?

CheapScholar

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Re: Christians - how does your faith affect your Mustachianism?
« Reply #12 on: October 29, 2017, 06:58:41 PM »
Most Christian sects have settled that usury is ok.  So, I guess that's the first hurdle to making mustachianism compatible with Christianity; in that your goal is to live in an economic system with fiat currency that is pretty much based on usury.  Add the fact that you're trying to basically build your own personal endowment (probably large enough to feed an entire village in Africa for a year) and live of the interest for 40+ years, so you better be damn comfortable with usury.  As a catholic, I'm ok with it so long as you're not a part of anything unreasonable. 

Next comes tithing.  I admit I don't give anywhere near 10%.  I'm a CEO Catholic (Christmas and Easter Only) but I still strongly believe in Christ and the tennnats of the faith.  And, working at a catholic university, I get dragged to mass a few additional times per year.  I don't give to the church, I'd rather give to my alma mater (catholic school) or charities until the Catholic Church cleans up its shit storm.

Finally, there's the issue of "not working" and if that makes you a sloth.  I think if you FIRE and stuff yourself full of food all day and binge Netflix shows, that's a lifestyle rather antithetical to Christianity.  But, I don't think anyone on this forum is suggesting or doing that.  Seems most people are trying to FIRE to better their communities and do some pretty awesome stuff. It's a philosophy based on rejecting consumerism, helping others, and challenging the status quo.  Nothing more Christian than that.

ditheca

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Re: Christians - how does your faith affect your Mustachianism?
« Reply #13 on: October 29, 2017, 07:17:50 PM »
I'm a Mormon, and my faith has a large impact on my mustachianism.

On the downside, a 10% tithe in additional to other charitable donations, as well as budgeting for future charity, will delay my retirement by at least a year.

The Christian principles of self reliance that were taught by my church and parents from an early age led me to develop skills that make earning a living fairly trivial.

The old parable of the talents teaches that we should be a good steward our time, talents, and resources.  To me, that suggests that I quickly complete my indentured servitude to mammon.  Quickly preparing myself financially for a lifetime of service will allow me to be of greater service to others, and bring greater joy than the consumerist comforts.

Finally, missionary service is a key component of my retirement plan.  DW and I plan to kickoff our retirement by serving in an inexpensive country.  That should limit our expenses, allowing our meager investments to have a little more growth before we start drawing 4%.

FINate

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Re: Christians - how does your faith affect your Mustachianism?
« Reply #14 on: October 29, 2017, 09:16:39 PM »
TL;DR version - In certain respects my Christian faith and Mustachianism are mutually reinforcing, but Mustachianism itself falls short on deeper matters. So Mustachianism is a useful tool, but only God can provide the deeper meaning, purpose and identity that are central to my life.

Some background: I was brought up in a non denominational evangelical church in the US. For a very long time my faith could be described as transactional moralism. It was all about individual salvation of the soul, what do I have to believe to get into heaven. My general sense was that God tolerated me because he had to, because of Jesus Christ's death and resurrection. So I compartmentalize my faith - my faith was only concerned with the spiritual, therefore as long as I wasn't pissing off God by being immoral (sex, drugs, etc.) then he didn't have much of an opinion about anything else. However, by my early 30s I was increasingly disillusioned with my faith and struggled with shame and a deep sense of dread. I was slowly walking away from my faith.

DW (similar background) and I started reexamining our life and making changes. We quit the cool big church and found a small church with strong healthy community...hard to describe it other than a place filled with joy and love. As we got more involved we found that the people challenged our thinking about our faith (one on one, sermons, classes, studies, etc.) in a very loving and patient way.  Through this process we experienced a spiritual renaissance, a total change of heart. Instead of seeing God as tolerating us, we were able to finally understand that we are pleasing to God, and that God IS love. No longer did we view Jesus as protecting us from God (“There is no God behind the back of Jesus”). In short, we experienced grace. A grace filled God accepting and loving us as we are, yet loving us too much to leave us unchanged. This has changed, in a wonderful way, how we think about everything. For example, instead of asking "why does God allow evil in the world" we've started asking "why is there good in the world?" - life, creation, everything is a gift and we have the opportunity to do good things with it.

I include the backstory because we found MMM a short time after our spiritual renaissance and, being counter cultural, MMM was useful for challenging certain assumptions I grew up with. I was always frugal, but hadn't given much thought to how much emphasis I put on consumption as a means to happiness and fulfillment. I had never really thought about the impact of my choices on the environment, social justice or my health. Whereas my previously compartmentalized faith lead to largely ignore these issues, my new understanding that it isn't primarily about "going to heaven" but rather how I'm created in the image of God for a purpose, and what I do here and now matters because life is the most abundant, fulfilling and meaningful when I'm doing what God intended for us.

So Mustachianism helped by providing a different perspective and practical advice. At the same time I found that being grounded in my faith has helped us shed the consumptive American culture because we find such a joy and contentment with just living simply and volunteering (we don't get frugal fatigue, don't have FOMO). There's such freedom from consumerism and trying to earn respect through performance...we can just be who we are and know that we are enough.

Just recently I started watching short videos from The Bible Project (from Western Seminary). I think they do a great job of summarizing a lot of this stuff. I wish they were around when I was younger in my faith:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YbipxLDtY8c - how we are created to be good stewards, that the here and now matters
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zy2AQlK6C5k - not really about "getting into heaven" thing

 

FIRE_at_45

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Re: Christians - how does your faith affect your Mustachianism?
« Reply #15 on: October 29, 2017, 10:19:47 PM »
I am neither an M-follower in it's truest form nor am I a tither at church in its true form.  I do give, but I am equally moved to give $ to secular charities I feel do good works that support my values. 

Why am I talking you wonder?  I used to work for my church--Methodist.  Very middle of the road.  It drove me crazy, absolutely crazy how much money the church was wasting!  (I do not mean spending money on things I disagree with, I mean over paying or throwing out tons of useful food/resources, etc.) 

The thing I have found most useful to me has been to help the church understand how to utilize their resources in a more efficient manner.  In general operating expenses I helped them save 12%--which was just over $100,000.  When I got involved other similarly minded people also go on the band wagon.  It has been a truly unifying experience.  The extra $$ has allowed the church to do more community based out reach and missions, without sacrificing any programming nor any reduction in force. 

Seriously--I negotiated an almost 40% cost savings on toilet paper.  It's a big church--there are 74 toilets throughout the building.....all these things add up. 

One guy spearheaded a switch to LED lighting, replacing/upgrading as needing from the utility savings.

No longer is food left after events.  People now understand--take it, take it all (unless it didn't taste good--that gets tossed) before everyone was being so polite that a ton of food eventually got thrown away.  Now the kitchen has a bunch of reusable storage and it is understood that you take extra food and bring back the containers.  Do some people probably take more than what would be considered a "fair share"--absolutely!  Would I rather have the same old lady grabbing food each event or throw it all in a dumpster a week later?

Amen.  I attend a ridiculously wealthy church and I feel they need to grind some fat out of the budget and give more locally. 
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Tass

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Re: Christians - how does your faith affect your Mustachianism?
« Reply #16 on: October 29, 2017, 10:34:32 PM »
I am pretty loosely Christian at this point, but still. I grew up learning that it was important to give 10%, but I never learned that giving ought to go to the church in particular. 10% of my take-home pay is in a charity budget (though so far I have failed to meet that most months due to waffling about where to give it). I give a chunk to the UNHCR and a chunk to the Against Malaria Foundation; I'd still like to find an environmental charity and a human trafficking charity I trust. And there's usually a little leftover in the budget for local or short-term causes.

I know a lot of people argue that you could give enough after your stache is accumulated to make the same impact, but I try to live by rules that can be applied broadly. I wouldn't trust the population at large to stick to that commitment. I'd rather not live my life in charity "debt" either.

Freedomin5

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Re: Christians - how does your faith affect your Mustachianism?
« Reply #17 on: October 30, 2017, 08:09:50 AM »
I read this recently and thought it applied to the discussion:

Though many of us see our faith and our finances as important but unrelated aspects of life, the Lord views them as inseparable. He knows that when our hearts are wrapped up in accumulating wealth and material goods, we can’t enjoy intimacy with Him. ~ Dr. James Dobson

I really liked how FINate put it in their previous post. Our faith goes deeper, wider, farther, beyond the principles of Mustachianism. For me, my faith helps to answer the Mustachianism question -- what are you retiring to?

It also makes the journey of spending less, earning more, and saving more less stressful, as I tell myself each day, "The Lord gives, and the Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord."

At the end of the day, God comes first. Mustachianism just gives me a framework to operationalise some of the principles of good financial stewardship, which is why I only consider myself semi-Mustachian, since I don't prescribe to all of MMM's espoused ideas

Edited to add: I identify as non-denominational evangelical.
« Last Edit: October 30, 2017, 08:22:57 AM by Freedomin5 »

J Boogie

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Re: Christians - how does your faith affect your Mustachianism?
« Reply #18 on: October 30, 2017, 08:24:54 AM »
Cultural Catholic here (Raised as, and continue to attend mass for familial reasons, but am not convinced the story is true).

I think there's a perfect fit.

Compare the following (nearly identical in meaning) quotes:

"Once the demands of necessity and propriety have been met, the rest that one owns belongs to the poor.”  Pope Leo XIII

“Effective altruists do things like the following: •Living modestly and donating a large part of their income—often much more than the traditional tenth, or tithe—to the most effective charities." Peter Singer (though not a mustachian, he has been a major influence on prominent mustachian arebelspy aka Joe)


YogiKitti

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Re: Christians - how does your faith affect your Mustachianism?
« Reply #19 on: October 30, 2017, 09:13:03 AM »
I've been Christian since a child, but only recently felt that I was maturing in my faith. In that process I've considered mustachian and Christianity a good amount.

They go together pretty well except I don't believe that we should pay ourselves first. I believe we should give our first fruits to the Lord. Also, our purpose in life isn't happiness, which is a major thing MMM talks about.

My husband and I feel very blessed we were able to find about MMM, since it happened completely by random. Money is the major cause for tension in marriage and we are so happy we are dodging most of the issues surrounding money.

We likely won't be retiring in our 30s, but we still will be ahead of most. I plan to use my retirement to be more involved in my church community.

One thing I am working on now is finding a church that we want to be involved in. The last place we lived in we didn't have a church community and it was something that we definitely needed. Having peers that you can relate to is a huge contributor to success.

Rufus.T.Firefly

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Re: Christians - how does your faith affect your Mustachianism?
« Reply #20 on: October 30, 2017, 09:33:48 AM »
Frugality and Christianity go hand-in-hand. The primary difference is the end goal.

In MMM, the ultimate goal self-actualization - finding your true happiness and self-fulfillment. This is very common in secular thought and a logical conclusion for those who don't believe in God.

Obviously, in Christianity, our purpose drives deeper to serving Christ. For me, this manifests itself in having different retirement goals than others. Sure, I want to go travel more and have some time for hobbies, etc. But mostly, I'm driven by the dream of fully freeing my time and life up for Christ's purpose and calling in my life.

I still want financial freedom. I just want to use that freedom differently.
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frenchsquared

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Re: Christians - how does your faith affect your Mustachianism?
« Reply #21 on: October 30, 2017, 10:08:12 AM »
Southern Baptist

It allows me to take great risk. I don't believe in storing my treasures here on earth. So I don't. I have $500 in a 401k. I had $5,000 but I needed $4500 towards a down payment on a rental house. Im not afraid to have no money in my checking account. I don't have $10,000 cash sitting around. Heck today I have about $2500 in cash and need to make to find $4600 in 10 days for a closing on a house. The money will be there in time. Payday it tomorrow.

I am working to financial security with rentals. I can use the houses to let some in need live there. I can let them skip payments if needed. I can help with them learn to manage money. I can help them save for buying there own house. It gives me lots of options. I hope later on God will find more uses for my rentals. I don't need to be rich. I have an addiction to cars and God and I are working on that.

I think I would feel like I was doing something wrong if I had $50,000 sitting in bank for a what if. For me that would not be trusting God to provide for me. That would be trusting in me. I don't worry at all about being not having enough money. Its always there.

ontheheel

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Re: Christians - how does your faith affect your Mustachianism?
« Reply #22 on: October 30, 2017, 10:11:12 AM »
Mustachianism was a tool that woke me up to my consumerism. Seeking fulfillment through material posessions was something that I'd fallen for, though I probably wouldn't have admitted it in the middle of it. There is a great deal of security to be found in "improving" one's life by arranging things around yourself, and convincing that each of these purchases is necessary (Tiny Details Exaggeration Syndrome plays a big role here).

Recognizing things like the hedonic treadmill helped me to see how much I was treasuring "stuff," and how it was ultimately futile to the ends I wanted to achieve. That helped me realize that the ends I was seeking were not in line with the Gospel. I worshipped the god of my own comfort over just about everything else. We've always given a significant portion of our income away, but my heart and motivation behind it was not one of joy. Turning the corner on this has allowed us to be more intentional and joyful in what we give away, and reorient our lives away from stuff towards God. Letting go of that has been freeing.

We save because we want to be good stewards of our money. We give because we recognize that what we have is barely ours on loan (thanks Built to Spill), and we have great freedom and responsibility to use our resources for good. God doesn't need what we give to accomplish His purposes, but gives us the privilege of joining in. The extent that we give makes FI further off, but we're ok with that and happy with where we are.

The parable of the rich fool gives me chills every time I read it (Luke 12:12-21):

Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.”

Jesus replied, “Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?” Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.” And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest. He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’ “Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain. And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”’

“But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’

“This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.”


Also, I'm Baptist. That can mean a lot of different things since all Baptist churches are independent. To narrow it down on the bigger categories: non-liturgical, evangelical, protestant, congregationalist(ish), premillennial/dispensationalist. That's a mouthful.
« Last Edit: October 31, 2017, 03:38:37 PM by ontheheel »

acroy

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Re: Christians - how does your faith affect your Mustachianism?
« Reply #23 on: October 30, 2017, 10:35:25 AM »
Roman Catholic
Fits great!
Much of it already written.
Good stewardship - recognize and avoid being a 'consumer sucka' - realize you're a slave to your stuff and luxury habits, so minimize/optimize the stuff/luxury habits - intentionally doing hard things - and that the purpose of all stuff is just to be a better person.
As MMM has mentioned, Mustachianism is not so much about frugality; it's more about life optimization. Frugality, money-management etc is just a tool to attain that.
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crispy

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Re: Christians - how does your faith affect your Mustachianism?
« Reply #24 on: October 30, 2017, 10:50:34 AM »
Frugality and Christianity go hand-in-hand. The primary difference is the end goal.

In MMM, the ultimate goal self-actualization - finding your true happiness and self-fulfillment. This is very common in secular thought and a logical conclusion for those who don't believe in God.

Obviously, in Christianity, our purpose drives deeper to serving Christ. For me, this manifests itself in having different retirement goals than others. Sure, I want to go travel more and have some time for hobbies, etc. But mostly, I'm driven by the dream of fully freeing my time and life up for Christ's purpose and calling in my life.

I still want financial freedom. I just want to use that freedom differently.

This is where I fall. I also believe that saving is wise (Proverbs), but hoarding money isn't. We want to be able to save, but we also want the ability to give freely which is something we couldn't do when we were in debt. Now we are fully debt free including the house, we are free to serve in ways we couldn't before.
We have also always tithe 10%. We aren't legalistic about it, but it is something we both feel strongly about. We attend a church whose financial beliefs align with ours (such as wise stewardship).

robartsd

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Re: Christians - how does your faith affect your Mustachianism?
« Reply #25 on: October 30, 2017, 01:06:16 PM »
DW and I are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons). Parents and church taught us to live within my means and save.

I am aware of the costs. We pay 10% tithe plus some additional offerings. In addition to our charitable donations, church service consumes considerable time. Our church teaches us to keep the Sabbath day holy by avoiding secular work on Sunday. In addition to attending a three hour block of church services each Sunday, most practicing Mormons fulfill a calling to serve the church in some regard (often involving 2 or more weekday hours). Currently DW teaches an early morning religion class to high school students and I serve as a councilor to the leader of our congregation; so the time we currently spend serving in church callings is more than typical. When our previous car's transmission was deemed not worth fixing, we briefly considered trying a car free lifestyle (I had not yet converted to mustachiamism, but had been reading several family biking blogs and already communted by bike/transit). Unfortunately we quickly realized that church activity would suffer (meetinghouse: 8 miles from home, .7 miles from transit; temple: 22 miles from home, 1.5 miles from transit - at the time we typically made one round trip to each weekly). With are current callings, we make lots of extra round trips to the church (I estimate 250-300 miles/month).

MMM says mustachianism is about maximizing happiness, not minimizing work. Even though the costs of church participation are more years at a job; I don't consider it anti-mustachian because the purpose and joy that serving God brings into life. I do look forward to having more time to serve in church (as well as persue other interests) in retirement.

elaine amj

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Re: Christians - how does your faith affect your Mustachianism?
« Reply #26 on: October 30, 2017, 01:16:37 PM »
TL;DR version - In certain respects my Christian faith and Mustachianism are mutually reinforcing, but Mustachianism itself falls short on deeper matters. So Mustachianism is a useful tool, but only God can provide the deeper meaning, purpose and identity that are central to my life.

Frugality and Christianity go hand-in-hand. The primary difference is the end goal.

In MMM, the ultimate goal self-actualization - finding your true happiness and self-fulfillment. This is very common in secular thought and a logical conclusion for those who don't believe in God.

Obviously, in Christianity, our purpose drives deeper to serving Christ. For me, this manifests itself in having different retirement goals than others. Sure, I want to go travel more and have some time for hobbies, etc. But mostly, I'm driven by the dream of fully freeing my time and life up for Christ's purpose and calling in my life.

I still want financial freedom. I just want to use that freedom differently.

+1

I am...evangelical/Pentecostal I guess? I'm not big on denomination labels - I go with what the Bible says. I like mustachianism in general and love that I get challenged to spend on things I value and to optimize my life. And to pursue FIRE - something I never dreamed could be possible. Best of all, I like the ideal of minimalism and living my life more deliberately. Besides, it feels awesome not to waste things.

But as I draw closer to FIRE, I have had to do some internal re-evaluating. I just had this conversation with God this past weekend. Ultimately, my purpose in life is more than just my happiness (although I do believe my Father smiles when I am happy). So ultimately, if He leads me down a different path than FIRE, then I will follow (I'll admit I may kick and scream a little!). Still, it seems to me that I could keep working for the next 20 years for just a few more luxuries we don't need. Or I could FIRE, spend more time on the people I care about, and reach out to those around me in whatever small or big ways we can. 

The parable of the rich fool gives me chills every time I read it (Luke 12:12-21):

Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.”

Jesus replied, “Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?” Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.” And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest.

He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’ “Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain. And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”’

“But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’

“This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.”

Thank you for sharing this :) Always good to have a reminder that ultimately, there are more important things in life than stuff, even if it's stashed away for retirement!
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Say What?

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Re: Christians - how does your faith affect your Mustachianism?
« Reply #27 on: October 30, 2017, 02:28:04 PM »
Southern Baptist here.

I've found that both viewpoints provide a good balance and supplement for each other. My faith is my main perspective and determines my values. Mustachianism gives a good practical view of how to obtain some of the goals that I'm working toward. Like Minimalism, I find it's a modern application of many of the biblical principles I try to follow.

I've actually struggled with the giving aspect. As I come on here and see people saving 60+% I look at my 25% savings and it can make me question what I'm doing. For me it's been a built-in reminder of why I'm making the decisions I am. I could have a higher savings percentage and retire earlier, but that would only happen if I stopped giving so much, which is something I feel specifically called to do. For me, now that I'm out of debt and financially stable, I can't justify saving much more than I give to the many great causes that I've come across. When I start hoarding my money is when I start to wander away from relying on God.

Thanks for starting this thread. I'm always super interested in the different journeys people go through in their faith. There have been some great responses so far, I'm looking forward to seeing all the different viewpoints!

mommyof4

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Re: Christians - how does your faith affect your Mustachianism?
« Reply #28 on: October 30, 2017, 04:30:29 PM »
I am Roman Catholic, and our church does not specify an amount that we "have" to give (i.e. 10%), but we are called to prayerfully give of our time, talent, and treasure.  At this time we give a modest monthly amount, but our parish and diocese gets a lot of our time and talent:  my husband is an ordained deacon, and helps a lot with faith formation programs and we both help with sacristy duties.  I would like to get to a point where we can give more money, too, but we need to get a few more children through college and a few more debts paid off.

However, just as a reminder, I will quote you from St. Luke's gospel:

Luke 12:16-21

16 And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest. 17 He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’

18 “Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain. 19 And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”’

20 “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’

21 “This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.”

shelivesthedream

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Re: Christians - how does your faith affect your Mustachianism?
« Reply #29 on: October 31, 2017, 12:18:46 PM »
Thank you for all the lovely, thoughtful responses.

I think the two issues I'm thinking most about right now are:

1. Storing up treasures on earth.
It's not greed, but I think I do find it hard to trust that everything will be alright - both to trust myself and to trust God. I tend to consider the lilies and feel like they're cutting it dangerously fine! My initial searching for early retirement advice was because I was very anxious about the future, and I still somewhat am. Perhaps it is also because I am laying up treasure for myself but don't feel like I am rich with God.

2. Service.
Tithing is not preached in our church, but giving is. We give some money to a non-church charity and my husband gives a lot of time to the church. I don't especially want to get involved with my husband's church, but at present I don't feel like I have a lot to give that people generally want, and I am finding it hard to seek out opportunities for service that align with my talents and interests (basically, I am very organised and efficient but not very good at dealing with people. So no, I do not want to volunteer with the youth group, we will all have a miserable time!). I'm also not able to commit to anything too structured/long term right now. No one advertises for low-key volunteering opportunities that involve a lot of paperwork and sitting down! Urgent FIRE has never been a priority for me, but now that I have enough saved up to not need to worry about the immediate future and am downshifting my working life for other reasons I'm wondering what else life has in store for me and finding it hard to come up with a good answer.

Syonyk

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Re: Christians - how does your faith affect your Mustachianism?
« Reply #30 on: October 31, 2017, 12:55:12 PM »
Interesting discussion, and certainly far better than the normal holy wars that arise about tithing...

We are tithing and I notice no difference in our savings rate! It's been eye opening.

It's amazing how that works, isn't it?  Obviously this is not a Scriptural promise, and this is where the prosperity theology manages to twist the Bible, but I've certainly seen this in my life - "You want me to give how much?  M'kay... I really don't know where this is coming from, but I'll give."  And then, somehow, it works - and I had more.  As much as I dislike the associations with the word "stewardship" (visions of the annual Stewardship Sermon growing up), it's a good term.  Are we using God's resources for God's Kingdom?  We'll be tested with little, and if we are faithful, we'll be given more - yet, expected to be faithful with that as well.  I've been tithing(ish - I don't pull out the calculator for every side gig) for a long while now, and I simply don't miss the money.  Tithe, max out 401k, and live on the rest.  It's not technically first fruits in that I'm paid every 2 weeks and randomly, and church giving is taken out twice a month, but that's just something that comes out regularly.  I've actually considered going back to writing a check so it's more in the front of my mind, but haven't gotten there yet.  Auto-debit is pretty handy...

The Bible often talks about greed and patience.    Anyone thinking of putting money into crypto currencies or the latest hot bio tech stock should read up on those verses.

Certainly, though I'll note that a long hold strategy on Bitcoin from early on would have been very, very profitable.  I don't do any day trading, but I made a good chunk of money "selling the shovels" in the late FPGA/early ASIC era when BFL was constantly delaying.

I think I would feel like I was doing something wrong if I had $50,000 sitting in bank for a what if. For me that would not be trusting God to provide for me. That would be trusting in me. I don't worry at all about being not having enough money. Its always there.

I understand your argument, but there are quite a few bits of wisdom in Proverbs about storing up for the future.  I'd agree that relying on one's emergency fund or such too much isn't Biblical, but at the same time, we're called to be wise stewards of resources.  By your argument on the surface, Joseph wasn't trusting God in storing up grain from the 7 years of good production for the 7 years of famine.  We don't know what's coming, and having some ability to buffer that (or simply to have the resources to be generous) is wise preparation.

If you are on the path to FIRE, I'd look at what you plan to do with your time once retired - if you can be FI younger than average, that's huge in terms of having the time and resources to spread the Gospel.  Not that many working people have the time to really dedicate to planting churches, reaching out in the community, etc.  But FI?  Yeah, I can spend my time working for the Kingdom!  Better, still, if I have the resources to be generous.  So there's a balance to be struck.

======

Going back to the original question, it impacts how I spend my time and resources.  I'm part of a church that is very, very focused on outreach into the local community and on serving locally.  We set aside 10% of the church income into a fund that is dedicated to helping locally - we've bought families a vehicle when they needed one, helped cover rent, been able to give generously to other local organizations, etc.  The school we meet at (mobile church) is in a really low income area, so we're working with them to be able to provide resources to students and families - the school has a resource room filled with, literally, things like underwear, socks, peanut butter, Mac & Cheese, etc.  We want to partner with the school in being able to be effective with that.  I'm planning to organize a more official "garden production swap" next year, where we have a place, on Sunday, to bring our garden production, with a focus on, "If you need something, take something" - if you brought something or not.  We had something like that, more unofficially this year, and I've seen some people very, very excited about a giant zucchini, because that's a lot of extra food for them.  We meet in a bit of a food desert, but a lot of us have property and gardens.  I'm working towards being able to be as productive as I can with my property, not only to meet our own needs, but to be able to be generous with the excess.

What this means, in my own life, is that I try to "default yes" to opportunities to serve and help.  I can't always make it, but if I can?  I'll be there.  Don't care what it is.  Let's get our hands dirty and dive in!
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marion10

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Re: Christians - how does your faith affect your Mustachianism?
« Reply #31 on: October 31, 2017, 12:56:09 PM »
Christian as well. We give about 5-10% of our income away - regular pledgers to our church, a small sum each month to a sick friend, other charities as we come across them.. We will retire soon, not early my MMM standards, but one reason is to do good work while we are still vigorous. Not sure what that will be- food pantry, work in a halfway house, some tutoring are all coming to mind. The idea of endless travel with no home base and no community is not appealing to me at all. Bottom line, people are more important than things.

To answer about denomination- I am Episcopalian. We don't have any standards about giving (no requirement to tithe)- to be a member, you have to contribute to the support of the parish- it doesn't have to be momentary support.
« Last Edit: October 31, 2017, 03:21:15 PM by marion10 »

Cwadda

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Re: Christians - how does your faith affect your Mustachianism?
« Reply #32 on: October 31, 2017, 12:57:14 PM »
PTF, this is a very interesting topic and I've enjoyed reading the responses so far.  I have spent quite a bit of time in the past couple months thinking about what it means to give, and what my calling in life is.  In fact, I ended my full-time employment as of today.

To me, MMM has allowed me to have complete control over my finances, and realize that having extravagant possessions does not make people happy.  Happiness is achieved if people have their basic needs met - food, shelter, water, and clothing. Beyond that, the happiness curve drops off considerably.

I am happy with what I have, and I am just now beginning a career that is more rewarding, that I was called to do.  I don't need any more money because my basic needs are met.  Beyond that, I have countless blessings: a good family and and amazing friends.  I hope to give away a considerable portion of my future earnings.

topshot

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Re: Christians - how does your faith affect your Mustachianism?
« Reply #33 on: October 31, 2017, 01:41:25 PM »
Our giving rate has most certainly delayed RE. Generally, we've been giving 15-20% to Christian church/ministries for the past 15 years (since I lost my job and eventually did some contracting for a decade - now back to full-time).

I assume the % will remain about the same after retirement, but the amount will decrease. However, we'll be making up that shortfall with more time to volunteer like I had while un/self-employed. I could see myself in some kind of mobile disaster relief role (I had worked 9 weeks on/off the first few months after Katrina) and but we have no shortage of ministry projects that could be done in town.

FWIW, I just consider myself a disciple of Jesus, trying to love others as He loved me. Really don't care for denominations since we are supposed to be one unified Body. Disasters are when we come closest to acting that way sadly. I attend both United Methodist and Pentecostal churches.

shelivesthedream

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Re: Christians - how does your faith affect your Mustachianism?
« Reply #34 on: October 31, 2017, 02:41:57 PM »
I asked about denomination because it helps to have a general sense of people's ecclesiastical background. Different churches emphasise different things so when people talk about things like tithing it's nice to know where they're coming from and to contextualise it in the general tone of that church.

robartsd

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Re: Christians - how does your faith affect your Mustachianism?
« Reply #35 on: October 31, 2017, 05:17:07 PM »
I asked about denomination because it helps to have a general sense of people's ecclesiastical background. Different churches emphasise different things so when people talk about things like tithing it's nice to know where they're coming from and to contextualise it in the general tone of that church.
I've appreciated seeing the different perspectives. I think we might have more in common with each other as fellow Christians who seek FI through frugality than we do gwnerally with other members of our respective denominations. Thanks for starting this thread.

AMandM

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Re: Christians - how does your faith affect your Mustachianism?
« Reply #36 on: October 31, 2017, 07:12:15 PM »
DH and I are Roman Catholic and have been all our lives (except the first few weeks ;-)).

Unlike most people who've posted, I find that my faith is kind of in tension with Mustachianism, and in fact I don't consider myself a Real Mustachian (TM).  Christianity is not in tension with frugality, but MMM is about a lot more than frugality.   http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2014/11/23/not-extreme-frugality/
Fundamentally, it seems to me, MMM and RE is about independence, and to my mind that's not truly compatible with the Christian view of human life.  We all owe a lot to others, and we're all called to share what we have with others; being independent is not the goal of Christian life.

That said, although we were frugal before we heard of MMM, the frugality side of Mustachianism, especially the encouragement to DIY, has been helpful.  We're not especially interested in retiring early; frugality is instead what has allowed us to have seven kids in a HCOL area on one philosophy salary. 

Finally, another way in which I think we are a bit of an anomaly is that the community of the forums is not of great importance.  We have a terrific parish community IRL, full of other families trying to live by the teachings of the Church, definitely countercultural compared to the North American norm. If we felt like oddballs in our parish, I'd probably need the support of the forums more.

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Re: Christians - how does your faith affect your Mustachianism?
« Reply #37 on: November 01, 2017, 05:56:18 AM »
Fundamentally, it seems to me, MMM and RE is about independence, and to my mind that's not truly compatible with the Christian view of human life.  We all owe a lot to others, and we're all called to share what we have with others; being independent is not the goal of Christian life.
I find it interesting to hear that perspective, because I see it differently--independence doesn't mean isolating ourselves from other people, it's financial independence, which enables us to use our means (whether it be money, time, talents, etc) to better our lives and make a positive impact on those around us.

Rufus.T.Firefly

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Re: Christians - how does your faith affect your Mustachianism?
« Reply #38 on: November 01, 2017, 07:53:48 AM »
Fundamentally, it seems to me, MMM and RE is about independence, and to my mind that's not truly compatible with the Christian view of human life.  We all owe a lot to others, and we're all called to share what we have with others; being independent is not the goal of Christian life.
I find it interesting to hear that perspective, because I see it differently--independence doesn't mean isolating ourselves from other people, it's financial independence, which enables us to use our means (whether it be money, time, talents, etc) to better our lives and make a positive impact on those around us.

+1

In my mind, financial independence unbinds me from wage slavery, freeing me to commit more of my time to serve God's purpose. God's purpose could be that I continue to work in a career, or not. But right now, I don't have the choice.
"I have worked my way up from nothing to a state of extreme poverty"

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Milizard

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Re: Christians - how does your faith affect your Mustachianism?
« Reply #39 on: November 01, 2017, 09:38:29 AM »
I think there are many examples of MMM being about interdependence:  being free to help out friends and family members with projects, going in together with neighbors on internet, etc.  The only independence I see is learning to be self-sufficient with DIY type stuff instead of purchasing services.  Bartering services with others is very much encouraged, on the other hand.

Say What?

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Re: Christians - how does your faith affect your Mustachianism?
« Reply #40 on: November 01, 2017, 04:16:25 PM »
1. Storing up treasures on earth.

I've had similar thoughts. For me, I settled on being responsible and saving enough to get to a place of security without hoarding so much that nothing can ever cause me problems. Life happens and trying to make sure I'm protected against any eventuality is when I rely too much on myself.

Also, a big challenge for me has been being okay with the idea that at any time God can tell me to give it all away and I have to be willing to follow through with that. Just that idea is a constant challenge to keep my heart and mind in the right place.

Trudie

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Re: Christians - how does your faith affect your Mustachianism?
« Reply #41 on: November 01, 2017, 08:26:08 PM »
Lutheran here.

We do not tithe, but  paying our church and several charities comes out of our paychecks first each month (at the same time we make 401K contributions and our mortgage), so I feel that it is a priority.  We contribute about 7% of our income, plus some of our time.  Our estate plans include significant charitable giving later in life beyond what we are doing now.

I think a lot about the concept of "enough."  Other Christian minimalists (e.g Joshua Becker) have written eloquently about this.  I do believe that we should save "enough" but then not hoard.  A lack of generosity when we have our needs satisfied separates us from others and from God.  I think that the root of most sin is separation from others and from God.

I have some Quaker heritage as well and meditate frequently on Quaker values (SPICES), which include simplicity.  Sometimes when I am struggling with decisions to pare back my wants and to be less materialistic I remind myself of these Quaker values and tell myself that if I stick to them and use them to navigate my way in the world I will be okay.  They've worked for previous generations, quite well in fact.

Kwill

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Re: Christians - how does your faith affect your Mustachianism?
« Reply #42 on: November 02, 2017, 06:02:55 PM »
1. Storing up treasures on earth.
It's not greed, but I think I do find it hard to trust that everything will be alright - both to trust myself and to trust God. . . . Perhaps it is also because I am laying up treasure for myself but don't feel like I am rich with God.

2. Service.
. . . at present I don't feel like I have a lot to give that people generally want, and I am finding it hard to seek out opportunities for service that align with my talents and interests . . . No one advertises for low-key volunteering opportunities that involve a lot of paperwork and sitting down! . . . I'm wondering what else life has in store for me and finding it hard to come up with a good answer.

I've been thinking about these off and on the past couple days. I think, especially if you're relatively new in your faith, it may be more productive to focus on developing your own prayer life for now and letting the opportunities for service find you later in due time. I don't know if your church would offer confession / reconciliation, but I find it helpful for refocusing sometimes. Making time to pray and finding the motivation to keep trying with it can be hard, but it's worthwhile. Maybe try meditating on the Lord's Prayer and talk to God some about the things that keep coming back as concerns. https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke%2011:1-13

Sorry to go a little off topic. The only thing this has to do with Mustachianism is that it's free.

CanuckStache

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Re: Christians - how does your faith affect your Mustachianism?
« Reply #43 on: November 02, 2017, 06:56:16 PM »
It doesn't affect me whatsoever...I'm not sure how the two could be considered incompatible? In other words, how does saving money and being mindful of spending somehow go against the teachings of the bible? If anything, as others have noted, such activity is encouraged in the bible. Love your neighbour as yourself, love your god with all your heart, mind, soul.

I give at my church. I also give to other charities throughout the year. "mustachianism" hasn't changed that at all.

misshathaway

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Re: Christians - how does your faith affect your Mustachianism?
« Reply #44 on: November 03, 2017, 07:19:50 AM »
It doesn't affect me whatsoever...I'm not sure how the two could be considered incompatible? In other words, how does saving money and being mindful of spending somehow go against the teachings of the bible?

For me, lifelong frugal, it is the extreme aversion to waste. The idea that a charity could take the money that I have saved with much care, and waste it on excessive admin costs or just budget items that I would consider wasteful, makes me fearful of giving.  I don't think stewardship means just tossing money to anything to feel good and fulfill your obligation  (not implying anyone here does this). I think one is called into account for using the money effectively. Doesn't mean I don't give at all, but it hinders giving, and provides an excuse for not giving what I should.

Born Episcopalian, then born-again non-denominational. Now, reconsidering everything, including church.
Passed ER second year anniversary

Knapptyme

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Re: Christians - how does your faith affect your Mustachianism?
« Reply #45 on: November 03, 2017, 07:49:24 AM »
Non-denominational Christian

Full 10% on gross salary. Aim for 10% of side hustle income, although I don't keep good track of that. It has never been a problem or much of a thought. Honestly, I wish I would know ahead of time when the preacher was going to talk about giving/tithing so I could skip the sermon that day. I know it delays and has delayed FIRE or other personal financial goals.

As it relates to Mustachianism, my sister, a very casual reader of the articles I send to her, observed that it is line with what others have also mentioned. Specifically Romains 12:2, "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind."

While I only have debt in the form of a mortgage, I would argue that Christians need to get their spending/debt/hair-on-fire in order before donating to charity or they essentially become the charity. Romans 13:8a, "Let no debt remain outstanding."

macoconut

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Re: Christians - how does your faith affect your Mustachianism?
« Reply #46 on: November 03, 2017, 08:20:25 AM »
I thought I’d ask my fellow Mustachians who are also Christians about how your faith affects your Mustachianism. Do please also say which denomination you are!
Methodist. Because of our beliefs, I don't calculate "savings rate" (which would be dismal). I calculate "don't spend on us rate".

All we have is God's. We found out He doesn't mind when people over-tithe His money. :)

OurTown

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Re: Christians - how does your faith affect your Mustachianism?
« Reply #47 on: November 03, 2017, 08:30:57 AM »
I don't know, you have the doctrinal teachings of the various Christian traditions, then you have the Gospel teachings of Jesus himself.  With the former, I think you can generally live in the world and make and save money, so long as you are not mastered by money.  With the latter, I'm not so sure, because Jesus was radically counter-cultural for his time, and still is today.  The monastic tradition is probably the best example of living a Christian life in accordance with the teachings of Jesus on money.

FWIW I am an Episcopalian and I live in the world, not in a monastery.     

Erica

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Re: Christians - how does your faith affect your Mustachianism?
« Reply #48 on: November 03, 2017, 08:51:54 AM »
I find myself trying to find small continuous ways to save so I can give enough cheerfully.

Also find myself struggling with this verse. Even though being wealthy isn't a sin, it does provide an enormous responsibility to remember

who actually owans any wealth I have

Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."

  http://biblehub.com/matthew/19-24.htm

CanuckStache

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Re: Christians - how does your faith affect your Mustachianism?
« Reply #49 on: November 03, 2017, 10:26:14 AM »
For me, lifelong frugal, it is the extreme aversion to waste. The idea that a charity could take the money that I have saved with much care, and waste it on excessive admin costs or just budget items that I would consider wasteful, makes me fearful of giving.

I agree with that 100%. That's why I generally research who to give to. I give most to MSF (doctors without borders) because over 80% of every dollar actually makes it to the people on the ground. Not to mention they do amazing work in the most dangerous places (like how the US blew up one of their hospitals a year or so ago in an airstrike killing several of their doctors..terrible stuff). I also donate to local causes.

Otherwise many charities feel like a scam. My mom gives to a couple and now she gets spammed EVERY DAY by other charities via snail mail. You should see some of the stuff. Blatantly trying to guilt people into giving. Or they send a 'free gift' like a calculator and ask that you send them money in return as a donation. Red Cross is terrible for this. So is the SPCA and a few others. I feel it really cheapens their brands, though I do in principle believe in their work..just not their administration. Anyways, enough of a rant :)