Author Topic: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...  (Read 141026 times)

Eckhart

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #300 on: December 30, 2017, 07:40:37 AM »
Couldn't resist getting in on the excitement! Do you suppose the OP has actually turned on email notifications for this thread? Because if not, they ought to in order experience first hand why PTF is far superior to notify in terms of forum usability.

I’ll keep repeating: many of you complain about the notify function without understanding it. Very unmustachian...MMMers are into optimization, after all.
Which means that the mustachian, optimised way to respond might be to not just keep repeating that people are doing something the wrong way but actually letting them know what they are doing wrong so that they can fix it, no?

I'm not sure exactly what macoconut is referring to but they might mean that it is possible to change your notification setting to only send an email the first time someone responds. After that you don't get another email until you have gone back to the thread. Or there is a daily or weekly notification optoin. Instantly but only first response is a bit less annoying than just instantly but has its issues as well as you have to be logged in for the forum to recognise you have read the new responses and are now waiting again for a new notification.

Mustachians are DIYers and should figure stuff out on their own. However, here are the instructions:

On any page of the forums, there is a menu at the top with these options: Home, Help, Search, Profile, My Messages, Member, Logout.

Click the word Profile. (Yes, it's a drop-down menu, but it's also a button. Click it.)

You'll be taken to a page with a set of sub-menus: Profile Info, Modify Profile.

Hover over Modify Profile, and choose Notifications.

BOOKMARK/FAVORITE the Notifications page!

NOTE: I have a favorite called "MMM-N" (N for notifications) in my bookmarks/favorites bar. That's the favorite I use almost all the time. (I occasionally look at "Unread posts since last visit", too, as well as new posts in the Post-Fire forum. I almost never look at "New replies to your posts" because if I want to keep track of a thread I posted in, I used the Notify button on that thread, and then it shows up on my Notifications page.)

All you email complainers should probably choose these settings on the Notifications page at the top: 1) uncheck all the checkboxes, and 2) for this setting "For topics and boards I've requested notification on, notify me:" choose Weekly. (Then just delete the weekly email that shows up, or set up a rule to auto-delete it.)

On the Notifications page, just as on the "unread posts" and "new replies to your posts" pages, there is an orange NEW button next to threads that you should be clicking to see what's new on the threads you're following.

And of course, click the Notify button (near the Reply button) on any thread you want to appear on your notifications page. If you lose interest in a thread, click the Unnotify button.

When you want to visit the MMM forums, use the Notifications page as your starting point.

How to use the notify button

tralfamadorian

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #301 on: December 30, 2017, 11:13:00 AM »
From a couple of days ago. While the responses are mostly idiotic, the post itself is spot on. There is a very large group of MMMers who have no understanding of the “notify” function.


weirdlair

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #302 on: December 30, 2017, 12:05:14 PM »
From a couple of days ago. While the responses are mostly idiotic, the post itself is spot on. There is a very large group of MMMers who have no understanding of the “notify” function.


You've got to own your ignorance. But don't turn it into stupidity. :)

Eckhart

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #303 on: January 01, 2018, 02:31:18 PM »
How to use the notify button

How do you set up your notify threads so that you click to the last read message of the thread?

I do not think this is possible as far as I can tell.

Notify function vs PTF (show new replies to your posts) both have pros and cons.

weirdlair

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #304 on: January 01, 2018, 03:17:15 PM »
How to use the notify button

How do you set up your notify threads so that you click to the last read message of the thread?

I do not think this is possible as far as I can tell.

Notify function vs PTF (show new replies to your posts) both have pros and cons.

The only advantage to PTF is that many people use it, and it has become somewhat of a de facto standard on the MMM forums. There is no other advantage.

Click the orange NEW button on a thread to be taken to the first unread post of a thread. The orange new button is present on every page (notifications, unread posts since last visit, new replies to your posts, etc).

The orange NEW button IS a button, and is clickable. It’s not just a flag.


techwiz

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #305 on: January 02, 2018, 08:00:10 AM »
Here is a great post from Retire Canada



Recording numbers in a spreadsheet and comparing to my goals is simple. For many of us the saving for retirement is the easy part of the equation. Dealing with the mental aspects are far harder and also more challenging to evaluate progress. One thing I have tried very hard to do is to not turn money...particularly spending of money into a fetish. Both in the sense of blowing lots of it in a consumer orgy or worrying about spending every dollar in a frugal orgy. I don't think either relationship with money is healthy.

Clearly if I spend like a drunken sailor I'll never get to retire, but I also don't want to be a millionaire sitting at a pub with my friends and worrying about spending $5 for a second pint. Money is a tool. I want to use it to achieve my life goals. I want to own it not have it own me.

This is why I don't budget in detail and I don't track my spending in detail. I do have annual estimates for savings, spending and I can roughly tell how I am doing since I know how much I earned, how much taxes I paid and how much I saved...so the delta is how much I spent. That allows me to verify I am on track without bringing money control into my everyday spending transactions. That's also why I focus on my savings. Not only is that a once monthly task, but it's an accumulation phase task so when I retire it vanishes.

Being successful without budgeting requires that I set reasonable financial targets and that my values/personal goals are aligned with those targets. When this happens the choices I make line up with the money that's available and I don't have to think about what's going too much to make it all work. It would be easy to set a spending target that was too tight and always be living in the failure zone. That would put a lot of stress and unnecessary negativity around money in my head as I have to think about each purchase to avoid going over budget. Since I am on track to be a millionaire shortly that seems crazy to feel stressed about money when it's so abundant in my life. So I set goals that are not going to require that level of attention on each spending transaction. The difference in spending is zero, but the difference in mental health is huge.

Sounds great, but if things are always comfortable you can't improve. I don't think that's true. I have reduced my spending dramatically since I started getting serious about FIRE. I'm spending ~50% of what I used to. That's a massive reduction. Instead of trying to control spending at the budget level I dug down to my underlying values and personal goals to align them with my financial goals. From time to time I optimized my regular spending items [internet, cell phone, Netflix, etc..]...those are easy since once "fixed" they stay fixed. For other items like buying bikes and outdoors gear I worked on the desire end of things to resolve the problem. It's not too hard to see that what I really desire is to have lots of free time to ride my bikes and that buying lots of fancy bikes would lead to more work not more freedom. I could have decided no fancy bikes ever again and set myself up for a bunch of unhappiness. Instead I decided to limit the new bikes/gear to a level that makes retirement possible in a timeframe I am happy with. Short circuiting the desire to buy with the desire to retire makes not spending pretty simple since It's not often that the desire to buy trumps the desire to save....and when it does it's okay because I have allotted enough money to that in my annual budget I don't have to think/worry about it or control it tightly.

If I felt something was out of whack I would work on it for a time....maybe even run a detailed budget, but it would be temporary and my aim would be to fix the underlying issues so I could dispense with that approach. Back in 2016 I did a No Buying [new stuff] new year's resolution. That helped to kill a bunch of my retail therapy societal programming. It was a finite timeframe and it was not something that infected my everyday spending thoughts since most of what I buy was excluded from the resolution.  Before that I paid attention to my grocery shopping costs for a few months until I got things on track. Now I don't think about groceries in much detail or track their costs because I know my automatic choices will be reasonable ones.

What I love most about this approach is that when everything is in balance it feels effortless. There is no budgeting struggle or frugal burnout to deal with. I don't think much about money and spending. I have a shit ton of money and it always feels like I am rich, but at the same time I am not spending that money in ways that are harmful to my financial plan. Because I spend so little time thinking about spending I save lots of energy that can be redirected to more beneficial areas of my life....and if I ever did have a real financial crisis [lost my contract tomorrow] I would be fresh and full of energy to deal with it.

To be clear I'm not suggesting this is the right approach for everyone. If you have a negative net worth and a mountain of debt relative to your income strict budgeting and considering every dollar in and out might be completely reasonable...although I would still suggest aiming a lot of energy at the deeper values/desire level vs. just a 100% control spending approach. On the other hand it's easy for folks on this site to throw face punches at the spendy consumer orgy type people out there, but I think that overlooks that you can also turn money into a fetish on the frugal side of the coin not just the spendy side....and I don't think it's any healthier for you mentally than it is to derive satisfaction/pleasure from spending.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2018, 08:04:32 AM by techwiz »

Eckhart

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #306 on: January 02, 2018, 09:29:17 AM »
How to use the notify button

How do you set up your notify threads so that you click to the last read message of the thread?

I do not think this is possible as far as I can tell.

Notify function vs PTF (show new replies to your posts) both have pros and cons.

The only advantage to PTF is that many people use it, and it has become somewhat of a de facto standard on the MMM forums. There is no other advantage.

Click the orange NEW button on a thread to be taken to the first unread post of a thread. The orange new button is present on every page (notifications, unread posts since last visit, new replies to your posts, etc).

The orange NEW button IS a button, and is clickable. It’s not just a flag.

I stand corrected.  While there is no last post button, a new button will appear when new posts are available to you.  I could not see this in my testing as I was all caught up on my threads.  Thank you Macoconut.

Eckhart

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #307 on: January 02, 2018, 09:51:22 AM »
I stand corrected.  While there is no last post button, a new button will appear when new posts are available to you.  I could not see this in my testing as I was all caught up on my threads.  Thank you Macoconut.

Ditto - I also have not seen the "NEW" yet, but if that shows up, I can convert to using Notifications, as there are some definite advantages. Also, the information from @macoconut on how to use the post... sure it's good. The post that said "replies are idiotic" or the initial thread basically mocking people for how they're using this form - that's reprehensible, in my opinion. Use your discretion in interacting with other humans. The UI is half-decent at best. The way everyone gravitated to using the software is a result of the UI more than anything else. Educate freely, but criticize sparingly. (Especially in a "best of" thread. This off-topic tangent is very nearly the "worst-of".)

I agree, we are taking this thread off topic.  Let's move the discussion here:

https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/welcome-to-the-forum/what-is-the-deal-with-all-of-the-ptf-responses/

I may not agree with the way @macoconut worded his responses/comments, but when dealing with people I find it's best to take the best, leave the rest.  You cannot change other people, only your reaction and response to them.

grantmeaname

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The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #308 on: January 14, 2018, 11:04:11 AM »
On whether you should make a downside bet to protect yourself from a market correction you feel is coming:
SPY trades for $278.

$278*0.75 (25% down move) = $208.5.

June 29 2018 expiry $208 SPY options cost about $0.74. That's 0.26% of your investment for 6 month's of protection, which seems like pocket change. BUT that insurance has a high long term cost. Annualized it comes out to about 0.5%, which compounds over time to take away a good bit of your upside. Over 20 years, 0.5% gives away about 10% (assuming a 6% return). Over 30 it takes away 14%.

Note that if the market drops 30% (278*0.7=$194) then the puts would be worth about $14 or 18.5x your cost, not quite the 100x you're looking for. If you go shorter term you'd increase the payout, but it will be even less likely.

I call this "sacrifices to the hedging gods". Rarely does it pay off. It's basically a form of insurance. If you put 1% in this type of thing every six month's for 30 years you'll sacrifice 45% to the hedging gods (assuming there is no drawdown that allows them to pay off). I'll get you a better estimate of % of 6 month rolling periods with a drawdown of 25% or more at another time when I have the data. 

Additionally, you have "roll risk" which means the puts may only cost 0.2% of your investment for this 6 month period, but that may not necessarily be true 1 year from now or 2 years from now or 3 months from now. It can and likely will cost more (vol is historically low therefore it's historically cheap to hedge).

My point is your asking about "tail risk hedging/protection against a severe market drawdown". That exists in pure form: out of the money options on indices. But it's quite expensive over time and going overboard can be hazardous to your long term wealth.

Like the thread on "how to invest in oil futures", I can answer it directly and literally, but it's kind of like telling you the cheapest/best place to buy cigarettes. I may be factually correct in telling you how/where to buy them, but that doesn't mean they are good for you.

mustachepungoeshere

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #309 on: January 15, 2018, 10:42:40 PM »
@marty998 on paying off mortgages.

...you cannot put a price on the freedom that comes from not owing anything to anyone.

APowers

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #310 on: January 17, 2018, 09:50:51 AM »
This post by Dollar Slice on how to make friends.

Lots of good advice here... I moved to a new city/state in 2014 and I've made a ton of friends/acquaintances. When I was younger (even in university) I had a terrible time making friends, I was shy and had social anxiety. I really had to consciously try to be a different person - more outgoing, more friendly, less self-centered, etc. It helps a lot to come up with a specific, social hobby that you genuinely love - not something generic like going to the gym or being at work, but something that helps you find "your people," whether it's a science fiction book club or Alpine climbing. If you have no non-generic interests, now would be a great time to explore :-)  And it helps to be the person with a plan. When everyone else is sitting around wishing they had something to do this weekend besides watching TV, you can be the person with an interesting thing to suggest. That's what happens in my office - someone says "what's everyone doing this weekend" on Friday or "what did everyone do this weekend" on Monday and everyone's like "eh, not much" until I rattle off a great story about something cool I did. People will want to hang with you if you're always up to something interesting and not just another drone.

Talk to everyone. Be friendly and ask questions. You don't have to be brilliant, just ask them about their weekend or the weather or their dog or their shoes. Don't limit age or gender or "type" of person. You don't have to be best friends with everyone. But just practice talking to people and you never know when you'll click with someone. I literally have made friends from age 20-something to 70-something since I moved here. Men and women. Rich and poor and in between. Bartenders, scientists, artists, laborers, CEOs. It's nice having a big range of friends, I have someone to go to bars with and someone to go to the symphony with, someone who will go to just about anything if it's free, etc.. I talk to people at the bus stop, I talk to cashiers at the store, I talk to the person next to me in line, I talk to the person sitting next to me at an event, etc. etc. It doesn't always spark a long conversation, but it still is nice to have a friendly exchange with someone. Maybe only 1 in 25 turns into a long-term friend/acquaintance, but if you talk to people every chance you get, that's a pretty good number.

I try to bring value to other people's lives. Give people a reason to want to be your friend! If you manage to make an acquaintance, do little nice things - give them tips about fun things happening or a great sale at the grocery store or warn them about a traffic problem or whatever is relevant to your lives. Be proactive about being friendly. Organize things - hey, I'm going to the movies, does anyone want to join me? Hey, I'm going shopping at [store], does anyone want a ride? Hey, I'm going for a hike, does anyone want to come? Hey, I'm going to see this great band, does anyone want to join me? Hey, I read this amazing book, would you like to borrow it? Be the person that makes other people's lives a little better, in whatever ways make sense for you. Unsurprisingly, more people want to be friends with someone who makes their life interesting/better/easier/more fun. When they are bored and want to do something, they will think of you instead of that friend they already have who doesn't do anything except talk about their toddler and watch football on TV.

Double Yu

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #311 on: January 17, 2018, 05:30:26 PM »
In the thread on how to end up in a career that pays over $100k,  Greenback Reproduction Specialist had some advice that is clear-eyed and level-headed. Makes me regret (even more) my non-career trajectory and generalist tendencies.

I did it without a college degree or trades training, so basically no out of pocket cost, here is how.

-Get an unpaid internship (foot in the door to the industry, did this in highschool)
-Ask to get hired on part time after 3 months of kicking butt and working hard
-Ask for a raise every 6 mo to a year
-Ask what you can do to get a bigger better raise next time(set goals)
-Deliver and get the raise
-Look for positions that offer high pay in your industry
-Figure out the skills required to get those jobs
-Use your current employment to train and build skills for those jobs, if not available switch jobs to where they are.(resume build)
-Move out of state if required but only for big increases in pay or to increase skills.
-Ask for raises, or seek out another position that comes with pay increase
-etc

Don't ever take a job just for the money, make sure you are learning skills that make you more valuable. Always have an eye on 5 years out and learn skills that increase your worth to an employer.

FireLane

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #312 on: January 24, 2018, 08:24:53 PM »
A beautiful metaphor by @lhamo, in the journals section, about the "firehose of cash" of full-time work:

The firehose analogy is apt, because you expend a LOT of energy trying to keep a firehose pointed in the right direction and not blowing the shingles off your roof, etc.  Unless you have a hair on fire house of debt, a firehose is really overkill.   Much preferred in my book is the babbling brook of FIREd stash money, that just kind of keeps floating by.  You scoop out a bucket of cash when you feel the urge to refresh yourself or top up the rain barrel.  Otherwise you can just enjoy its murmur as it flows through your peaceful, relaxed life.

Come sit by the babbling brook of FIREdom, Trudie.  It is so much more pleasant that wrestling with that damn firehose....

CowboyAndIndian

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #313 on: February 01, 2018, 07:18:01 AM »
If anyone needs a master class on how to manage, follow @Axecleaver.

In this, he explains how meetings can get derailed when participants do not have a clear idea of the goal.

https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/journals/cleaving-to-fi/msg1880248/#msg1880248

Greenback Reproduction Specialist

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #314 on: February 01, 2018, 11:38:57 AM »
In the thread on how to end up in a career that pays over $100k,  Greenback Reproduction Specialist had some advice that is clear-eyed and level-headed. Makes me regret (even more) my non-career trajectory and generalist tendencies.

Thank you, knowing someone appreciated the post really made my day : )

Its never to late to plan for a better tomorrow, I believe what I laid out could be applied to any situation, it just takes time and focused intentional choices. I came across an article awhile back(It might have been in this forum) that interviewed some of the wealthiest people in the country, many of them made a change late in life that attributed to their success. I wish you the best and thanks again : )
« Last Edit: February 01, 2018, 11:50:38 AM by Greenback Reproduction Specialist »

Greenback Reproduction Specialist

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #315 on: February 01, 2018, 11:41:58 AM »
@marty998 on paying off mortgages.

...you cannot put a price on the freedom that comes from not owing anything to anyone.

+1.... I know this causes a lot of grief around here, but my oh my not owing a thing is so empowering you almost cant put a price on it.

Vertical Mode

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #316 on: February 02, 2018, 07:50:39 AM »
@marty998 on paying off mortgages.

...you cannot put a price on the freedom that comes from not owing anything to anyone.

+1.... I know this causes a lot of grief around here, but my oh my not owing a thing is so empowering you almost cant put a price on it.

GF and I have been talking a lot about this topic lately, since we've been kicking around the (definitely still half-baked) idea of buying a place. Being in a HCOL area, we'd likely be talking about a big mortgage and all of the psychology that comes with assuming a mountain of debt. I have definitely come to appreciate marty998's statement there much more than I would have in the past.

rockstache

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #317 on: February 08, 2018, 07:41:16 AM »
This post from Classical_Liberal regarding sabbaticals.

@kmcanoeist Great post and insights! I also took a two year work break and found that my experiences mirrored yours in a lot of ways except I didn't want to "go home" (or back to work) and really liked the life. I did go back to work and even got my old job back but my break really reaffirmed my desire to take longer breaks in the future.

Agreed about the insights.  I have read a shit-ton of the older journals here, but more so on ERE as its been around longer.  I've also read other blogs and peoples stories, ect.  This was mainly for vicarious entertainment initially, but after awhile I noted significant trends.  Most (to the point of almost everyone) who achieved FU for a long term sabbatical or FI in 20's-40's had some type of itch to scratch.  The three most popular seem to be travel, child rearing young kids, or some form of hobby self-employment for pleasure.

Once those goals were achieved, people tended to move on and got plugged back into the economy in some way (whether they planned to or not at the time of re/sabbatical).  Basically this means that if these folks were FI before the sabbatical, they just end up filthy rich. If they were FU, they end up FI later. This is important because some itches are best scratched at certain earlier points in life. 

I would argue based on what I have read of others experiences; its better to take the sabbatical and do what you need to do.  IOW don't let FU only finances (say 10X expenses) stop a person from following their path to meaning.  The financial seems to naturally work out just fine in the end for people with enough discipline to reach FU at a young age.

An important note; the closer someone is to traditional retirement age, the more this model seems to break down.  I'm not sure if it's because someone in his/her 50's has already reached career goals, or has more peers away from work, or has simply had enough of the BS.  It just seems to be a trend.  So if one is planning a two year sabbatical at, say 52, its much more likely this person will not want to reenter the economy afterwards and should make financial plans reflecting this likely reality.

talltexan

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #318 on: February 20, 2018, 09:15:31 AM »
This articles brings to mind this quote:


I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. My sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history, naval architecture, navigation, commerce, and agriculture, in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry, and porcelain.
John Adams
US diplomat & politician (1735 - 1826)

I've always loved the quote, had to bump it when I saw it here.

Bicycle_B

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #319 on: February 20, 2018, 05:36:29 PM »
From rdaneel0, in Share Your Badassity.  Direct personal testimony on going from nothing to 100k,
 despite low income most of the time and lack of math skills.  Inspirational, especially for anyone without big earning power at the moment.

I want to half brag and half thank everyone here for all the incredible information and support I've gotten over the years. I've popped in and out on different accounts but I've never stopped lurking, reading, and learning from all of you.

My husband and I started with nothing and while I was always frugal I can honestly say we would not be where we are today without this forum. Our net worth just hit $126k and I can hardly believe it. To go from a place where an unexpected expense of $75 felt like a crisis, to being early 30s and having no debt and this much in investments feels absolutely phenomenal.

I also just want to encourage anyone out there who is really young or really low income or in a ton of debt OR who doesn't understand math (I can only do basic arithmetic). You can do it too. No, you won't retire at 25 like some of these crazy smart high earners here (good for you guys too, btw!) but don't you dare believe for a second that this stuff won't work for you, because it will. It requires a tighter budget when you're lower income and more time, but it can be done. Live cheap, rent if it makes sense, have roommates way after your friends have stopped, don't eat out, go without a car if at all possible, skip vacations until you can legitimately afford them, find ways to increase your income, do whatever it takes and it will pay off.

Anyway, thanks again to all of you. I'm a wee bit emotional so I'm tearing up a bit, but this community has just given me so much and I hope that I can give back in some way. I can't really offer investing advice or that type of thing, but if any low income folks or really young people starting out need support or advice on basic budget slashing, I'm here! Feel free to PM me.

Gotta go polish my crown, cuz I'm a hundred thousandaire now ;)


mustachepungoeshere

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #320 on: February 20, 2018, 09:58:41 PM »
The inimitable @Dicey on life, career, and family, and how it all works out in the end.


Dear woolgather,
What I love about this forum is that I know others will jump into the math and offer great suggestions.

I have a lot to say, but I'll focus mainly on the topic in your case study that hits home the most. Background: I am from SoCal and lived in LA from '80-'92. I am the oldest of six children. When I grew up, I had no interest in marrying young or having a family. Then I had a rare form of cancer. I realized what matters in life is the quality of the relationships you build. Not job status, not money. Well, not quite. Money was what was going to protect me from a recurrence of cancer, or at least make any future treatment decisions easier. So I set out to make myself financially independent before FI was a "thing", and to find myself a spouse and then have four children. Yup, four.

I worked at this for decades. I dated tons of men of every stripe. Eventually, I decided to step out of my career position and work at Nordstrom in the Men's Department, just to meet more men! I took a huge pay cut, but damn, it worked! It was great meeting new people of the male persuasion every single day. I met tons of guys with great careers and a wide variety of interests. It was fun, and several became long term relationships, but none of them was "the one". The older I got, the more it bothered me. I knew I was not a candidate for single motherhood, primarily because it costs so damn much to live in LA and my income wasn't high enough to go it alone.

Finally, as I got a little too old for childbearing, I said "Fuck this, I need to earn more money." I got the hell out of retail and never looked back. I still dated, but since they weren't coming to me every day any more, I tried online dating, word of mouth, community activities, everything I could thing of. I really, really thought the lesson of cancer was to slow me down and re-focus me in time to be able to find a great partner, build a strong marriage and have a family. Apparently God was busy laughing at my plans.

I was sad, but determined not to be Debbie Downer about what I didn't have. I traveled, did fun stuff, and enjoyed what I could do without dwelling on my dreams that clearly were not coming to fruition. Pretty soon my friends, single and married, were saying that they wanted to have my life. Huh.

Fast forward to 2012. I was 54 and all hopes of children were long gone. Thoughts of marriage were pretty dim, too. However, FI was finally on the very near horizon. I had everything figured out but health insurance (this was pre-Obamacare + pre-existing conditions). I had a chat with a guy I'd known for years. (I let his family use my address to get their kids into a better school district years before, after their house sale in the district fell through.) He was a recent widower. I asked him if he'd consider letting me be his imagionary domestic partner so I could quit my job, buy a motorhome and travel the country.

He readily agreed and then shocked the hell out of me by saying he'd even marry me on paper if that would help, because of what I'd done for his kids. He then said his healthcare plan covered his whole family for the same (almost zero) cost. Plus, he had a motorhome! What the hell??? We went out to dinner to discuss what a crazy-ass idea it was. One dinner led to another, and then dinners somewhere became dates, then we fell in love. We eloped a few months later.

Fast forward five years. We are happy beyond our wildest imagination. His daughter got married and had a baby, making us grandparents! Remember that line, "If we'd known how much fun grandkids are, we'd have had them first"? It's completely true! I was never a mom, but now I get to be a grandmother. I'm here to tell you, it is awesome. I never dreamed any of this, but I am ridiculously glad it turned out this way. I am actually completely comfortable now that I did not have kids of my own, because I don't think I would have been a great mother, much as I was sure it was my destiny.

So that's the short version of my story. Here is my advice: The kid thing is going to sort itself out one way or another and either result will be something you can live with. For now, take care of the relationship that appears to be ending. Figure out your new housing arrangements. Decide if your job pays enough for what you give up. Fix your credit. (Can you become an Authorized User on someone's credit long enough to shape up your own credit?) Work on being the best "YOU" you can possibly be. Everything will fall into place in its own time. And it will be good, even if it is nothing like anything you ever imagined.
Best wishes,
Dicey

grantmeaname

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #321 on: February 21, 2018, 05:05:56 AM »
Damn. Powerful stuff!

Nickyd£g

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #322 on: February 21, 2018, 06:39:38 AM »
Wow! I am sitting here with tears in my eyes, powerful stuff indeed. And it gives me hope, so thanks.

Caroline PF

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #323 on: February 24, 2018, 12:18:13 PM »
@Scortius responding to the concept 'what if you die early and regret your frugal living?' I especially love his 'death insurance' comparison. (bolding is mine)

People seem to love to bring up the 'what if you die?' argument anytime the idea of saving and living frugally comes up. Ignoring the fact that a frugal (but not cheap) existence generally leads to greater happiness, I always figure the first question should be followed with a 'what if you live?' response. As noted above, if you die, you're dead. There's not going to be a whole lot of regret or suffering involved past that end point. On the other hand, if you don't die early, you may be around for quite a while to reap the fruits of your labors, for better or worse.

Consider it this way. Many of us purchase life insurance, which paradoxically is to provide for our families in the case of an early death. It's a way of ensuring that people who depend on our future earnings will be able to get by in our absence.

In that vein, I consider Mustachianism a form of 'death insurance', essentially covering our lives in oh so likely case that we live. By saving and investing early, you ensure that you will have provisions to live a truly wonderful and free life if you happen to not die. For me, that's a great insurance policy to have.

Primm

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #324 on: February 25, 2018, 12:07:34 AM »
The inimitable @Dicey on life, career, and family, and how it all works out in the end.


Dear woolgather,
What I love about this forum is that I know others will jump into the math and offer great suggestions.
<whole bunch of stuff that may or may not have brought tears to my eyes>
Best wishes,
Dicey

Wow. Powerful indeed.

DavidAnnArbor

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #325 on: February 25, 2018, 10:28:16 AM »
Thank you Classical_Liberal, rdaneel0, Dicey, Scortius

marty998

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #326 on: February 25, 2018, 01:22:43 PM »
Lichen - on teaching teens "how to adult"

All basic transportation skills: Changing a tire, setting up emergency flares, checking fluids, taking a car to get the "codes" read at a parts store if it throws a check engine light, calling for a tow/roadside assistance.

Basic personal finance: Balancing a checkbook, understanding the different ways interest can be figured, understanding what a minimum payment is (and why it's bad to only make the minimum), understanding retirement account options. (As soon as she's 18, if she gets a job, she could be eligible for retirement plans).

Handling bureaucracy: Renewing car tags/driver's license/similar, dealing with the college offices (my son is doing a similar college in high school program. He must handle all issues on campus and registration on his own, although we are available for advice), and any other basic bureaucratic needs you may foresee. 

Researching basic things: This is a life skill many adults lack, the simple ability to Google. Show how to research insurance rates, travel deals, and anything else. We've really drilled it into DS to research everything before committing.

Cooking AND shopping: A few basic recipes and how to read a cookbook are essential life skills. Also, how to navigate a grocery store wisely. It's not as intuitive as many experienced adults think.

Personal info security: Online and in real life.

Medical needs: The above poster nailed it. We encourage DS to attend his checkups alone and to handle everything from scheduling to getting there and then doing any followup. We coach before appointment to come up with a question list for him to ask his doctor. Our pediatrician actually has a program to move teens into being self advocates and proactive for their own health. So many adults skip health visits or fail to get the most out the visits, simply because they either have white coat syndrome or don't know how to navigate doctor visits effectively.

Escalation skills: Sometimes we have to complain in life. Teaching how to properly escalate, whether it's due to poor customer service or someone at work/skill behaving in an out of bounds manner, is vital. I think this is especially true for women, whom don't always absorb this skill organically due to some vestiges of old fashioned sexism.

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #327 on: February 26, 2018, 06:13:45 PM »
TempusFugit regarding government retiree pensions and health care benftis:
https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/welcome-to-the-forum/do-you-think-the-working-public-resents-us-'early-retirees'/msg1912832/#msg1912832

I think that the source of resentment is more about the perception that public service unions get sweetheart deals because they are in effect negotiating with themselves, in that the politicians are highly motivated to make the public service unions happy. 

The foundation for fair negotiations is that both parties should be motivated to protect their own interests. It should be adversarial. In the model of public service union negotiations, the politicians arent really the ones who are on the hook for the expense, so they aren't really negotiating on behalf of the taxpayers, leaving the taxpayer to pay the bill when they had no voice in the negotiation. 

This disconnect in the context of public sector unions was obvious even to Franklin Roosevelt who said:  “The process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service.”

The costs are usually far down the road, so the politicians who negotiate the deal arent going to pay the political price later when it all falls apart.  Look at the tremendous unfunded / underfunded state and municipal pension / healthcare issue that the country faces. 

So in the case of public servants, i think the fact is that people understand that they have to pay fr that largesse in the form of higher taxes and fees, etc.   Contrast that with someone who may have a fantastic private sector job/pension.  Folks might be envious, but at least they arent the ones paying the bill, or at least they arent forced to pay the bill. 

solon

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #328 on: March 09, 2018, 09:57:11 AM »
I multiply all my expenses by 25x and then say to myself - am I willing to have to save up this much to have this as part of my long term lifestyle?

For example - new iPhone X (or whatever) - $1000 x 25 = $25,000 needs to be saved if I want a new one every year.  Or, if that's not realistic, then lets churn it every 3 years instead, so $1000/3 = $334.  $334 x 25 = $8350.  Am I willing to save up an additional $8350 in order to afford a new iPhone every 3 years?  Since I'm trying to FIRE asap, the answer is generally... no.

The basics. I need the reminder now and then.

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #329 on: March 14, 2018, 11:05:28 AM »
FIREd at 26 as a result of starting a small business, living frugally, and rolling all the profit into income producing real estate.  Currently 34 yrs old.  Having major issues with what to do with all the free time.  Don't really feel like doing anything, but miserably bored not doing anything.  I love to teach on the subject of FI, but paradoxically, having attained it, it's not all it's cracked up to be in terms of fulfillment.  So, what do y'all do with your time?  What's your reason to bother with getting out of bed every day? 

As an aside, this isn't a complainypants post.  I'm aware how richly blessed I am and am very grateful to be in this position.  Just struggling with "Now What?".  Anyone else have these feelings?

Thanks much. 😉

I argue with random people on the internet, it is SO FULFILLING. :)

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #330 on: March 14, 2018, 11:27:53 AM »
FIREd at 26 as a result of starting a small business, living frugally, and rolling all the profit into income producing real estate.  Currently 34 yrs old.  Having major issues with what to do with all the free time.  Don't really feel like doing anything, but miserably bored not doing anything.  I love to teach on the subject of FI, but paradoxically, having attained it, it's not all it's cracked up to be in terms of fulfillment.  So, what do y'all do with your time?  What's your reason to bother with getting out of bed every day? 

As an aside, this isn't a complainypants post.  I'm aware how richly blessed I am and am very grateful to be in this position.  Just struggling with "Now What?".  Anyone else have these feelings?

Thanks much. 😉

I argue with random people on the internet, it is SO FULFILLING. :)

Heh. FI just makes you free, it don't make you happy.

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #331 on: March 14, 2018, 11:40:37 AM »
someone on here once suggested writing a list of all the ways you wanted to spend your time post FI. The underlying idea is that working towards FI ironically doesn't prepare you for why you are trying to RE in the first place.
Like koshtra said - it makes you free to do what you want, but it not necessarily happy.

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #332 on: March 15, 2018, 10:32:38 AM »
The inimitable @Dicey on life, career, and family, and how it all works out in the end.


Dear woolgather,
What I love about this forum is that I know others will jump into the math and offer great suggestions.

I have a lot to say, but I'll focus mainly on the topic in your case study that hits home the most. Background: I am from SoCal and lived in LA from '80-'92. I am the oldest of six children. When I grew up, I had no interest in marrying young or having a family. Then I had a rare form of cancer. I realized what matters in life is the quality of the relationships you build. Not job status, not money. Well, not quite. Money was what was going to protect me from a recurrence of cancer, or at least make any future treatment decisions easier. So I set out to make myself financially independent before FI was a "thing", and to find myself a spouse and then have four children. Yup, four.

I worked at this for decades. I dated tons of men of every stripe. Eventually, I decided to step out of my career position and work at Nordstrom in the Men's Department, just to meet more men! I took a huge pay cut, but damn, it worked! It was great meeting new people of the male persuasion every single day. I met tons of guys with great careers and a wide variety of interests. It was fun, and several became long term relationships, but none of them was "the one". The older I got, the more it bothered me. I knew I was not a candidate for single motherhood, primarily because it costs so damn much to live in LA and my income wasn't high enough to go it alone.

Finally, as I got a little too old for childbearing, I said "Fuck this, I need to earn more money." I got the hell out of retail and never looked back. I still dated, but since they weren't coming to me every day any more, I tried online dating, word of mouth, community activities, everything I could thing of. I really, really thought the lesson of cancer was to slow me down and re-focus me in time to be able to find a great partner, build a strong marriage and have a family. Apparently God was busy laughing at my plans.

I was sad, but determined not to be Debbie Downer about what I didn't have. I traveled, did fun stuff, and enjoyed what I could do without dwelling on my dreams that clearly were not coming to fruition. Pretty soon my friends, single and married, were saying that they wanted to have my life. Huh.

Fast forward to 2012. I was 54 and all hopes of children were long gone. Thoughts of marriage were pretty dim, too. However, FI was finally on the very near horizon. I had everything figured out but health insurance (this was pre-Obamacare + pre-existing conditions). I had a chat with a guy I'd known for years. (I let his family use my address to get their kids into a better school district years before, after their house sale in the district fell through.) He was a recent widower. I asked him if he'd consider letting me be his imagionary domestic partner so I could quit my job, buy a motorhome and travel the country.

He readily agreed and then shocked the hell out of me by saying he'd even marry me on paper if that would help, because of what I'd done for his kids. He then said his healthcare plan covered his whole family for the same (almost zero) cost. Plus, he had a motorhome! What the hell??? We went out to dinner to discuss what a crazy-ass idea it was. One dinner led to another, and then dinners somewhere became dates, then we fell in love. We eloped a few months later.

Fast forward five years. We are happy beyond our wildest imagination. His daughter got married and had a baby, making us grandparents! Remember that line, "If we'd known how much fun grandkids are, we'd have had them first"? It's completely true! I was never a mom, but now I get to be a grandmother. I'm here to tell you, it is awesome. I never dreamed any of this, but I am ridiculously glad it turned out this way. I am actually completely comfortable now that I did not have kids of my own, because I don't think I would have been a great mother, much as I was sure it was my destiny.

So that's the short version of my story. Here is my advice: The kid thing is going to sort itself out one way or another and either result will be something you can live with. For now, take care of the relationship that appears to be ending. Figure out your new housing arrangements. Decide if your job pays enough for what you give up. Fix your credit. (Can you become an Authorized User on someone's credit long enough to shape up your own credit?) Work on being the best "YOU" you can possibly be. Everything will fall into place in its own time. And it will be good, even if it is nothing like anything you ever imagined.
Best wishes,
Dicey

I've just read this.  Wow, just wow. 

4alpacas

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #333 on: March 16, 2018, 10:15:14 AM »
@Laura33 makes me a better spouse.
OK, I am laughing here.  First:  I feel you.  22 years married to Mr. Spendypants.  It was sort of thrilling at first, in that "breaking the rules" way, but the enticement fades, and over time it starts to grate.

So my advice:  give up the battle, focus on winning the war.  IME, people who make a shit-ton of money through their own hard work are very, very averse to having others tell them how they are allowed to spend said money.  Even better:  suggesting that they are stupid, illogical, or wrong for wanting to spend that money is the best way to force them to double down on their position.  I think you get this logically but don't know how to approach it in any other way.*  So here are some initial thoughts.**

1.  Most important:  give up any concept that you are "right"/"smart"/"logical" -- because when you say things that imply that, what she hears is "you, DW, are wrong/stupid/illogical."  There is no conversation in the history of the world that has ever gone well after that kind of opener.  Do not tell her what she "should" do; treat her like an equal, fully-fledged human being whose needs and wants and goals and dreams are just as important as your own.  The woman works hard and makes almost six figures; she can buy a damn SUV if she wants one.***  The thing is, Mustachianism is a pretty extreme concept in our current society.  Not everyone is willing to give up certain luxuries to retire in 10 years, or even 20 or 30.  Those people are not "wrong."  They just have different dreams and goals than you do.  And when you happen to be married to those people, you need to figure out a path that serves both of you.  FIRE is a lonely place if you wind up there all alone because your DW had a different dream that you expected her to give up so you could chase yours.

2.  So, once you start from the standpoint of assuming that she has the right to make her own decision here, no matter how stupid you think it is, your next step is to speak her language.  You speak spreadsheet; she speaks feelings.  Ok, that's fine.  But which one of you is trying to persuade the other to do or change something?  That would be you.  Therefore, it's your job to learn to talk feelings.  You do this by, first and foremost, listening.  Why does she want the SUV?  She has given you a lot of reasons, and you have responded by telling her that those reasons are stupid or are less important than your concerns.  Again:  not going to go well.  You need to hear and validate her feelings, even if you do not agree with the solution that she has chosen to satisfy those concerns.  And frankly, she has given you some pretty reasonable reasons for wanting a larger car -- the ability to carry more stuff, thinking ahead to having kids, not feeling so vulnerable on the highway.  Those are legitimate issues to be concerned about, and you need to let her know that you get that and you want her to get a car that suits her needs.  [It just doesn't need to be a giant SUV]

3.  Only after you have done this can you move to the art of subtle persuasion.  But again, you do this with questions and suggestions that let her find out for herself.  E.g., "Yes, your safety is my very top concern, I worry about you on the road, I want you in a vehicle that is going to keep you safe from those crazy drivers and be completely reliable.  Why don't we do some research into which vehicles are the safest out there right now?" [Hint:  it's usually not giant SUVs).  And then you guys do the research and she finds out for herself what the facts really are.  And -- here's the thing -- you approach the conversation based solely on how the results satisfy her stated goals, e.g., "gee, I'm a little worried about this giant SUV, its crash ratings aren't as good as the Civic -- and look, these cars over here all have "+" ratings -- oh, it's the crash-avoidance systems, boy, now that seems like a really safe thing to have, right?"  Etc. 

4.  Only after you have done all of the above can you then mention your concerns -- by this point, you will have identified a pretty wide swath of vehicles that will satisfy her concerns, and so you can subtly push to choose between them based on cost of ownership -- e.g., "wow, you know, those prices have really gone up since we got our last car!  I'm worried that spending that amount of money will interfere with our plans to [insert something she likes -- vacation, eating out whatever].  Why don't we look for one that is a couple of years used that still has all those great features?"  Important note:  you need to phrase your own concerns in her language, too -- you are "afraid," or "worried," or whatever other emotion fits.  Again:  your goal is to translate everything you are thinking into language she can understand.  Because she loves you, and she wants you to be happy too, and if she understands that your concerns are founded in fear and worry for your joint future (and not just "I'm right and you're dumb"), she will absolutely meet you halfway.  So at this point you can sit down with the budget with her and talk about where you are going to take the extra money from to pay for X or Y car, and let her choose what the tradeoff is -- fewer dinners out?  Staycation?  Etc.

So that is the car conversation (or more accurately, series of conversations).  But the bigger-picture is if you want to avoid ongoing money disputes, you need to work to bring her onboard with that goal.  Start with the "50 ways to convert your SO" sticky for a ton of ideas.  But even beyond that, crack open a bottle of wine and talk about your hopes and dreams.  What is her vision of your future life together?  What does she want?  Does she love her job and never wants to leave it?  Or will she or you want the option to kick back to part-time or SAH if and when you have kids?  Or is she willing to put the nose to the grindstone for the next 10 years if she knows that will allow her to not work ever again?  You need to know what her dreams and goals are, and why -- why does she want to do what she wants to do?  What does that mean to her?  And you need to talk openly about your own as well -- why do you want to FIRE?  Is it just freedom from a miserable job?  Do you have the dream of running your own business?  Do you want to stay home with kids?  What is the dream you are working towards?  Once you guys understand each other's dreams, then you are in a position to develop a plan that gets both of you as much of what you want as you can.  And yeah, it will be a compromise.  But keep talking, keep using the 50 steps; if you make her life with you both frugal and fun, she will start to understand over time that you don't need to throw money at things to enjoy yourself.

Like I said above, I am 22 years into this, and it has been a struggle.  My DH makes a lot of money, we have always maxed out retirement and saved some in addition, and he just sees absolutely no reason why he shouldn't blow the rest.  Just one example of oh-so-many:  he eats out for lunch.  Every day.  Always has.  And worse:  he likes to treat his friends -- and the more money he made, the more he likes to treat them.  And then one day he finally told me:  he likes to eat out because it is a physical break from his day to walk out of the office and go somewhere completely different.  And he likes to treat his friends because it makes him feel successful that he can afford to do that -- just like he likes to go to the mall and get name-brand sunglasses, because it makes him feel powerful and successful knowing he has the money to do that.  Oh.  OK.  So then I had a choice:  do I continue to argue over something that he has just told me is very important to him because it satisfies a pretty important emotional need?  Or do I accept that that is important to him, even though I personally think it's a stupid waste of money, and figure out a way to meet him in the middle?  I did the latter, which is probably why we are still married.

But I kept working on it.  Every year, I would redirect any raise directly into Vanguard.  We get a lot of our pay at the end of the year, so I set up monthly withdrawals so our bank account balance went down over the course of the year, so we "felt" poorer than we really were and then needed to put more of the end-of-year money in the bank instead of blowing it somewhere else.  I talked to him about maybe retiring at 55 or so, and we'd go out to dinner and dream about traveling the world (we do both love our jobs, so immediate FIRE was never a goal for either of us, but we both liked the idea of calling it quits before 65-70) -- and then when he'd say something like "we can do that at 55," I'd laugh and show him the numbers of how much more we'd actually need to save to do that.  And of course over time, he also got a little more dissatisfied with working all the time. 

I'm not going to give you some happy ending where he was converted and we're on a sailboat now -- in the end, we are both still working, and our target FIRE date is closer to @58-59 than 55.  I think we could FIRE now if we trim the lifestyle, he thinks we need a lot more, so we have met in the middle -- and now Mr. Spreadsheet is spending a LOT of time going over the spreadsheets and figuring out alternatives and dates and such (I already got him down from 13 to 8, and I'm hoping to knock another year or so off that, we'll see).  Meanwhile, he has given me the ok to go part-time or take a lower-paying job any time I want to; I haven't yet (I'd rather work more now and go zero-time sooner, because I want to travel), but I feel a lot happier with the job knowing I have the freedom to if I decide I want to.  And the important thing is that we are both happy with the solution -- he is forsaking some of the luxury he would otherwise have gone for, I am working longer, but both of us are getting enough of what we need out of the deal that we're content with it.

But none of that would have happened if he hadn't gotten over his idea that I was "stupid" for wanting to save a lot and come in under budget every month.****  ;-)

*As an aside, emotions are logical, too -- it is pretty easy to predict how people will react to certain situations if you know the rules of "people management."  You just don't know those rules.  I would encourage you to try.  Start with thinking of animal training -- specifically, people, like animals, are motivated more by praise and rewards than by punishment.

**Many, many, many initial thoughts.  22 years of them.  Sorry.

***To clarify:  I completely agree with you that that choice is massively stupid.  But you have to approach her with this understanding as a fundamental underpinning to every conversation.

****And FWIW, he thinks he's the logical, non-emotional one in our relationship.

grantmeaname

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The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #334 on: March 16, 2018, 11:35:01 AM »
Damn, that's a lot of wisdom in not very many words! @Laura33, you rule!

I think of myself as a fundamentally selfish person who tries very hard not to act like one (maybe that's how everyone is?), so this is some really good advice to take away into my life.
« Last Edit: March 17, 2018, 12:50:55 AM by grantmeaname »

Laura33

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #335 on: March 16, 2018, 06:43:28 PM »
Damn, that's a lot of wisdom in not very many words! @Laura33, you rule!

I think of myself as a fundamentally selfish person who tries very hard not to at like one (maybe that's how everyone is?), so this is some really good advice to take away into my life.

Aww, thanks @4alpacas and @grantmeaname - and FWIW, your description is exactly how I view myself, too.  So I guess maybe making the effort works.  😉👍😄

DavidAnnArbor

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #336 on: March 17, 2018, 01:19:09 PM »
Wow Laura33 you could write an advice column for mustachians !

meerkat

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #337 on: March 17, 2018, 04:36:31 PM »
I already used Laura33's message this weekend instead of getting frustrated with my spouse. +1, would do again.

MrThatsDifferent

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #338 on: March 17, 2018, 05:03:26 PM »
Wow Laura33 you could write an advice column for mustachians !

She is definitely, hands down, the best advice giver on this forum consistently.

shelivesthedream

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #339 on: March 18, 2018, 02:35:04 AM »
Wow, what a stunner! Best bit:

Quote
You speak spreadsheet; she speaks feelings.  Ok, that's fine.  But which one of you is trying to persuade the other to do or change something?  That would be you.  Therefore, it's your job to learn to talk feelings.

change_seeker

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #340 on: March 27, 2018, 08:29:20 PM »
Context: We were talking about a YubeTube channel where the guy switched from an RV to backpack around the world to a van to a house over the space of a few months.

I found this reply insightful for more than that one person's situation.

Yeah, his behavior does seem to indicate a certain level of desperation. I think people who are "living the dream" (and I certainly am among those people) can get a bit despondent when it doesn't make them as happy as they thought it would. I can understand his urge to make rapid-fire, half-hearted attempts to try new things when he got sick of #vanlife or whatever.

It can be hard sometimes when you live a life that everyone constantly tells you is amazing, but you're sick of it.

Whoa!  This really resonates from me.  I took 6 months at age 36 to travel the country in an RV with my wife and four kids.  Not. the. experience. that. I. expected.  Still recovering.

okits

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #341 on: April 01, 2018, 10:11:28 PM »
From the consistently inspiring and insightful @Malkynn :

I felt that way.

I had a classic “mid life crisis” a few years after graduating from my doctorate in my 30s. I had spent my entire 20s working so hard to “accomplish something” and I did. I was very successful, I had a great job, I was making a ton of money, I was working long hours, but not crazy long hours and always had my weekends free. I was miserable.

After all of the blood, sweat and tears to get where I had always wanted to be, I felt listless and constantly wondering “what is the fucking goddamn point?”

Then I quit my supposedly amazing and prestigious job, took a pay cut and a form of demotion to work a job that in ways that actually matter to me was a huge step up. I cut my hours drastically and started focusing on my life and learning what I actually needed to be happy and feel satisfied with my life.

I think most mid life crises are made up of people feeling trapped by the life choices they made without fully understanding the long term consequences and the angst that goes along with the perceived loss of opportunity and potential.

Meanwhile, mid life is actually a time that’s ideal to live life to the fullest and do your best work. You have education, experience, money, and connections: things that are very hard to come by when you are young.


Personally, I’m kind of starting from scratch. I am steadily building side hustles that will eventually overtake my day job, and I’m finding it so much easier to make things happen as a professional than I did as a young student with minimal professional network. The advantage I have is that although I’m a working professional, I have free time because I don’t work full time at my day job.

I now basically have no clue where my life is going, but total faith that it’s going in the right direction and that I’ll never feel listless and again.

neo von retorch

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #342 on: April 02, 2018, 11:23:15 AM »
By @diapasoun (with minor edits to make it less specific, link to journal entry removed)

Quote from: diapasoun
...what helped me when I decided to ditch the academy and promptly freaked out about my life purpose?

-List your values. Important because it helps you know what to focus on -- can be difficult because sometimes your values can contradict themselves, not be reflected in your life, etc.

-List things that are essential for your self-care and baseline happiness. For me, that's: exercise; healthy food; plenty of interaction with other people, especially good friends; time for reading and making stuff. Yours may vary. Important because these are things that have to be built into your life -- if they're not, you will be suffering.

-List people/activities/things you love and desperately want time for. This may include your [work], if you love it! This list may overlap with the things necessary for your self care. Important because these are the things that take you from a healthy baseline and make your life rich and overflowing.

-Describe a couple of Really Good Days to yourself -- what are they like? Not one perfect day, but just the kind of day where at the end you feel deeply satisfied. You want to build a life where you have a lot of these Really Good Days. Important because it's easier to build that life when you have a goal and know how to get there. :)

diapasoun

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #343 on: April 02, 2018, 11:38:15 AM »
I made it onto my favorite thread.

Feel like I just won forum life.

(Also, really happy that resonated with you, neo!)

Just Joe

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #344 on: April 02, 2018, 11:53:21 AM »
Context: We were talking about a YubeTube channel where the guy switched from an RV to backpack around the world to a van to a house over the space of a few months.

I found this reply insightful for more than that one person's situation.

Yeah, his behavior does seem to indicate a certain level of desperation. I think people who are "living the dream" (and I certainly am among those people) can get a bit despondent when it doesn't make them as happy as they thought it would. I can understand his urge to make rapid-fire, half-hearted attempts to try new things when he got sick of #vanlife or whatever.

It can be hard sometimes when you live a life that everyone constantly tells you is amazing, but you're sick of it.

Whoa!  This really resonates from me.  I took 6 months at age 36 to travel the country in an RV with my wife and four kids.  Not. the. experience. that. I. expected.  Still recovering.

I think I saw your documentary. Called it simply "RV"? ;)  (still love that red and white bus)

Basenji

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #345 on: April 04, 2018, 06:54:54 AM »
I wandered over to the "Top Is In" thread and I have to recommend the entire 54 pages (and growing) as a hilarious collection of sarcastic comments on market timing from some of my favorite Mustachians. Where else can you watch @dragoncar , @sol , @GuitarStv , @Eric , @Exflyboy , @solon , @UnleashHell , and so many more just let it rip? Top is in!

techwiz

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #346 on: April 04, 2018, 08:03:38 AM »
A post from Retire Canada on cutting back on forum posting.



It's been about 6 weeks since I decided to change my relationship with the MMM Forums. I figured it was time for an update. This all got started when I was reading a thread about frequent MMM posters who had gone MIA. Folks who knew them explained why they stopped participating and as I was reading I realised I had a lot in common with the folks who were MIA. I had already gone FB-lite/blogging-lite and not missed anything about participating on those sites less so I decided it was time to give myself a break from the MMM Forums and see how I felt about it.

Two things I believe are true:

1. Obsessing about budgets and saving money is the same mental illness as spending money foolishly to feel better.
2. Distracting yourself with anything to avoid having time alone with your real self and facing your issues is poor way to live.


The MMM Blog and the the Forums were awesome to help me learn some key tools that allowed me to formulate a plan for my financial freedom. I can't say enough good things about both aspects of the MMM World. That said after a while I had gained all the knowledge I could from those sources and was not learning much new. Instead I was spending a lot of time thinking and talking about money without need. I don't think spending a lot of thought on money is healthy and I don't think spending a lot of time doing something that's not beneficial for my life is a good idea. So I stopped hanging out on the forums, reading posts and posting myself. With the exception of the Meet Up Thread and my recent post about 2018 Q1 Dividends. That's a huge reduction of MMM-centric time compared to my past-self.

Overall it's been great. I've saved a ton of time from my week I can spend doing other things. I also have not thought about money even 25% as much as I did when I was a daily MMMer. That's allowed me to focus my energy on other things in my life that are more important. Money is a tool. When I want to drive a nail into the wall to hang a picture I go to the garage and grab my hammer, pound the nail in, return the hammer to the garage and then forget about it until the next time I need it. I don't want to be thinking about hammers day in and day out, going to the garage frequently to gaze fondly at my hammer and fondle it lovingly. Same goes with money. It's only there to facilitate stuff I want to do in my life.  My financial plans don't require constant attention. I can walk away from my investments for 5yrs and they'd be just fine. My spending doesn't need special controls or monitoring to hit my targets because I have dealt with my underlying spending motivations and set realistic goals.

Specifically in terms of my own self-actualisation I feel like having lots of unscheduled time to be with myself and think is key to making progress on becoming the person I want to be and developing in ways that make me happier. One of the sins of modern life is to fill every moment with activity in an effort to not have to be alone with oneself and deal with our own shit. The ways we distract our self are myriad like TV, work, shopping, drugs, alcohol, dating/relationships,  etc... I'd include in that list obsessing about saving money and participating excessively on the MMM Forums.  That said the process of being alone with yourself can be uncomfortable....especially if you don't do it a lot. So there have definitely been moments where I have been tempted to jump back on the forums as a distraction, but like most personal improvement processes there are hard parts that need some dedication and motivation to work through so we can come out the other side as a better person.

On the flip side there are three things about not participating on the MMM Forums I do miss/regret:

1. staying in touch with some of the folks who I only know via this one channel in my life
2. not paying back the learning I've benefited from by participating in the forums
3. my journals represent my best record of my FIRE journey and not maintaining them to some degree means I'll lose part of the "story"

So I feel like daily participation on the forums is not healthy, but zero participation is not ideal either. I haven't figured out what my plan is for the forums, but I've got time to figure it out and then make it happen. In the meantime I will log on to update key progress items on my journal and to facilitate the Meet Ups. Where possible I'll maintain MMM-spawned relationships in real life.

Anyways that's where things are at for me! I hope everyone reading this is doing well. :)

tralfamadorian

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #347 on: April 04, 2018, 08:07:26 AM »
A post from Retire Canada on cutting back on forum posting.

...

Wonderful post.

change_seeker

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #348 on: April 04, 2018, 11:36:46 AM »
Context: We were talking about a YubeTube channel where the guy switched from an RV to backpack around the world to a van to a house over the space of a few months.

I found this reply insightful for more than that one person's situation.

Yeah, his behavior does seem to indicate a certain level of desperation. I think people who are "living the dream" (and I certainly am among those people) can get a bit despondent when it doesn't make them as happy as they thought it would. I can understand his urge to make rapid-fire, half-hearted attempts to try new things when he got sick of #vanlife or whatever.

It can be hard sometimes when you live a life that everyone constantly tells you is amazing, but you're sick of it.

Whoa!  This really resonates from me.  I took 6 months at age 36 to travel the country in an RV with my wife and four kids.  Not. the. experience. that. I. expected.  Still recovering.

I think I saw your documentary. Called it simply "RV"? ;)  (still love that red and white bus)

That was a pretty sweet bus.  Just to clarify, I can't play guitar but I do love Jesus.

RWD

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #349 on: April 13, 2018, 01:47:40 PM »
@Laura33 practically needs her own thread of awesome posts.

Specific Question(s):   
Are we doing even remotely good @ life!?!?  We both come from paycheck to paycheck families, and don't share our financial information with anyone, so why not strangers on the internet?

The primary reason I typed all this up, was to force myself to look at the numbers, and try to assess how we are doing.  We absolutely have to get a handle on our spending if we ever want to retire, be able to afford vehicles for kids, college, weddings and anything else life sends our way.  After my wife finishes school, and we have our basement work completed, I don’t anticipate any more large expenditures besides family vacations.  I don’t feel like we are living an extremely lavish lifestyle, but we aren’t saving a whole lot either, but we have been able to pay cash for some rather large purchases over the past 18 months, so I feel good about that, but also feel like we aren’t making progress.

There are a bunch of things at play here, but let me focus on two of them.

1.  You need to readjust your expectations of what a "lavish lifestyle" really is.  The reality is that, for every single salary level you list -- even when you guys first started out -- there are people here who FIRE'd on that income (and they sure don't think they're deprived).  Think about that: you could be FIRE'd now if you had avoided lifestyle inflation since graduation.  Read MMM front to back -- he is particularly powerful on this topic.  The fact is, having food and shelter and clothing and reliable power and accessible medical care and all of the other things we get from living in the first world, and the mental ease that comes from not having to worry where your next meal comes from, means that you already had a lavish lifestyle.  All the stuff you piled on top of that was just trimmings. 

Not that this makes you wrong -- it just makes you normal.  That's how we are all raised.  And it is especially true when you come from more humble beginnings:  when you grow up with not a lot, things like six-figure salaries seem like massive amounts of money.  And so when you get there, you just assume that now you can have the house and the cars and the vacations and the snowblowers and the patios and everything else.  And then you wonder where the heck did all the money go, right?  [Ask me how I know]  When you are in that cycle, it can be rather depressing, because you make so much more than you ever expected, and yet you are still not getting ahead.  It feels like everyone else is in on some secret, and you just didn't get the memo.

But there is no secret.  No matter how much money you have, it only goes so far.  So the people who seem like they have everything either are financing with debt, or are much older than you and have much more saved/have higher salaries, or have some other form of income.  And the folks who are really wealthy around you probably don't look like it -- read "The Millionaire Next Door" if you haven't already.

2.  All of which brings me to my second point:  I think your paycheck-to-paycheck background has imprinted certain habits and thought patterns about money that are hurting you now.  People who are struggling tend to see money as a fleeting thing; there is no guarantee that it will be around tomorrow, so better spend it on something now so you can at least get the enjoyment of it.  Read everything White Trash Can has written on this topic.  I read about a reboot of the infamous marshmallow study that concluded that poor kids are actually acting rationally by taking the first marshmallow rather than waiting for the second -- because they have learned that the second marshmallow doesn't always appear, and if you wait too long, the first one goes away, too. 

And then along with that, you probably developed a list in your mind of all of the stuff that you'd have once you got money -- that picture of what your future life would be with money.  And now that you have money, you are busily working to create that picture.  Honestly, from looking at all the stuff you have thrown money at in the last year or two, it seems almost as if you are a little frantic, running around throwing money every which way in an almost desperate attempt to grab All The Stuff that your head says is necessary and that you deserve at this point in your life. 

Again, not that this makes you bad or wrong -- it's completely normal.  But those mental habits are completely antithetical to FIRE.  You need to get to the point where you understand that your happiness and success in life does not revolve around having a patio, and a snowblower, and a cruise, and all that.  And most important:  you need to stop thinking that as soon as you get past X, you won't have any other big things to spend money on.  That is just bullshitting yourself.  The reality is that no matter how big and "final" X seems, there is always a Y, and then a Z, A, B, C, and so on.  Not because all those things are necessary -- because, again, this is how your brain works.  When you view happiness and success as tied to the trappings you surround yourself with, you will always find more trappings that you need just as much as the old ones.  Look at your own history for the proof.  Something always comes up.

The way you break the cycle is to realize, as you seem to be doing, that adding more stuff doesn't make life better; it just makes the hamster wheel turn faster.  And then make a conscious choice to step off it.  I say conscious choice because it will require retraining your brain -- you have been thinking one way your whole life, and so it is natural and comfortable to want more.  In fact, it probably gives you a great (momentary) feeling to buy All The Things, because doing so reminds you of how far you have come.  You need to tell yourself that stuff does not equal happiness, that you are better and stronger than that, that Future You is just as important as Current You -- and you need to keep saying it until you see that it works and you finally believe it. 

So for now, start with those future spending plans, recognize they are all optional, and realign your spending with your real priorities.  The fact is, your values are what you do, not what you say.  As of now, today, you are choosing a finished basement over funding your kids' college, and over your own retirement.  Is that really where your priorities are?  If not, make a different choice.  You have a very healthy income that has more than ample room for both your long-term priorities and your current wants; you just can't do everything all at once.  So cut back on the things that don't matter to make room for those that do.  You can do this.