Author Topic: Case Study: 36 yo newby looking for help in navigating the badassity universe  (Read 2174 times)


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 25
Hi All,

I discovered MMM after reading the New Yorker article -- I'm so inspired by him and this community and have pretty much gained a new outlook on life.  Since reading the article in mid-march, I've slashed my spending by canceling my cleaning service, avoiding Whole Foods & eating out, curbing my shopping habit, avoiding nail salons, clothing shopping, you name it...  I'm so happy it's April 1st and it's a new day/month/year for me to explore badassity!

I already have everything I need since I pretty much bought it on amazon... Glad to be more awake now and not impulse buying.  While mustacianism is new to me, it's comes naturally in some respects: I always carry a thermos of home-brewed coffee with me; I brought a manual 2007 Corolla w/29,000 miles i found on craigslist 3 years ago for $7,500 cash; I live a few blocks from work; I hauled firewood every winter of my childhood since my Dad thought it was cheaper than gas; he gets the true credit for any badassity I've achieved in life; he sported a beard long before they were cool, emailed me the New Yorker article and instilled frugality and pleasure in life through reading stories to me, collecting kindling, planting gardens, harvesting honey and being a badass hippie Dad and business man my whole life.

The timing of finding MMM and this forum couldn't be more perfect as I was stupidly considering upgrading my car and taking out an auto loan since I felt slightly trashy in my toyota amongst the sea of audi's in my city.  I now just feel relief and validated not to be buying into the bullshit... It's stupid I was so susceptible in the first place.

I never had student debt because I was lucky enough to have my parents pay my college/undergrad tuition for an arts degree in Ceramics -- hard to believe they let me major in art & pottery, but that's how amazing they are... their stipulation was I pay for my children's education and be independent financially after graduation.

After teaching art for a year, I quickly found my way into the corporate world in search of a paycheck and benefits.  I climbed the ladder from an administrative assistant position to a Sr. Account Manager at a .com travel company.  After four years, I felt it was time to go to graduate school and decided to go abroad, rather than study in Chicago, partially to escape the corporate treadmill.

I got a scholarship from the Taiwanese government and studied Chinese for a year there, then got my MBA in Taiwan and India.  I spent $13K cash on my graduate degree and went to fully-accredited universities, some of my classes were taught by Kellogg and University of Chicago professors (I also relied heavily on youtube and the Khan Academy since it was a huge learning curve for me going from art school to business school).

I loved every minute of my three years in Asia and it's definitely the gift that keeps giving since I have friends in 30+ countries.  MMM is my next lucky stumble since I've been working my tail off in a soul-sucking corporate job for the last four years since I moved back to the states - I don't work at a .com company now and the highly environment is insanely political -- old crusty white men that started working at my company before the internet was created and are lazy/entitled/the opposite of badassity- I've been feeling so trapped, not wanting to go to work and not slightly interested moving into another corp job.  I simply want FI asap!

I know this is not the attitude to have -- we are sometimes products of our environments, though honestly, it's probably excusitis on my part... I just feel refreshed to know that there is a viable out and it's within reach if I don't squander my time and savings on things that don't matter!  Honestly, in living internationally, I know we buy into the expensive bullshit in the US.  How is it I lived in a downtown condo in Taiwan fro $468/month and survived in Hyderabad India on $850 for 6 months?   I moved back to the US because I realized i wouldn't have the earning power anywhere else.  I only wish I found MMM a bit earlier because I feel like I already committed myself to the long-term corporate gig by not realizing in my 20s that it doesn't have to be that way and saving.

Anyway, my serious saving starts now!!  I'm really interested in anyone who has advice or feedback for me.  Here are my current stats:

Age: 36yrs, female, single
Currently lives in the 4th largest city in the US
Income: Gross pay: $135k
Net (after taxes/insurance/deductions/401k) = $85k
Retirement savings:  $127K in 401k, $16k in pension, $92k in Roth, $1k in taxable accounts/fidelity credit card rewards acct = $236k
Emergency funds: $7k (in checking acct)
Debt:  no debt, I auto pay all credit cards monthly

Newly Reformed Expenses (annual basis) that probably need more reforming!
Rent = $17k
Utilities (Electricity+internet+cell phone) = ($50+$59+$24) = $2k
Food = $6k
Gas = $240 (I live a few blocks from work)
Auto + Renters Insurance = $116/month = $2k (this seems really high, no?)
Travel = $8k (Went to Europe & Ecuador so far this year, will be doing some more domestic trips and heading back to Europe for a wedding in August)
2 amazing foundling dogs (food+vet+ boarding, etc.) = $2k <-- will likely go over this.

Total = $35,240


  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2516
  • Location: EastCoast
Welcome. Could you say what the 4th largest city is, so I don't have to look it up?

Yes your insurance seems high. Get a geico bundle quote.

Edit saw the double post. Just ignore me

Mother Fussbudget

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 839
  • Age: 60
  • Location: Indianapolis, IN
MODS:  Please delete this thread (duplicate post)