Author Topic: How Mustachian to be?  (Read 15009 times)

SpendyMcSpend

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How Mustachian to be?
« on: August 24, 2012, 11:34:48 AM »
I'm still a little turned off by the post by Mrs. Money Mustache regarding having major anxiety when driving 4 miles to Dairy Queen.  I don't want to become so frugal that I can't enjoy minor trips.  I feel myself becoming a little too into early retirement, if you know what I mean.  I like ice cream.

I may have misread that post, but I haven't come back to this site much since because it left a bad taste in my mouth.

Mrs MM

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Re: How Mustachian to be?
« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2012, 11:58:39 AM »
Hmmmm... I'm sorry to hear that.

The point of the post is that the world seems different after you live a certain way for a long time, hence the "You'll Never be Normal Again".  Just like when you notice extreme consumerism a lot more when returning from a trip in a poorer country.  Just like moving from a country where everyone shoves their bikes into the trunk vs. seeing roof racks and fancy bikes on every car.

This is not a bad thing. 

The other part of my post was to highlight how fun things are when you don't do them very often (like going to the movies).  Nobody even commented on that part of the post, which was one of my main points (to balance the part that wasn't fun -- for me, that is).  Some things are fun and some aren't.

I'm not sure why people took my post the wrong way.  It was meant to be light and humorous and my "anxiety" was really just me noticing that people do things without a second thought because it is habit.  Plus, the whole experience wasn't much fun for any of us.  Plus my son was late for bed, which contributed to my "anxiety".  We all agreed afterwards that it would have been way more fun to come home and all eat ice cream together as a family.  I like ice cream too, you know.

Anyway, you're not the only one that took my post the wrong way.   Luckily, my parents thought it was funny and everyone that knows me understood just what I was saying.  We did a ton of stuff on that trip.  The moments that my son and I remember the most are the ones spent doing things that didn't cost money.

So, for me, it was dairy queen.  For you, it might be something else.  You might notice how many people drive to work short distances with just one person in a car, you might notice that everyone complains about money even when they make a great income, you might notice that your friends purchase $100 jeans without blinking an eye.   

The point is NOT that you can't eat ice cream ever again (or visit dairy queen for that matter -- just try to pick one where you don't have to eat in a dismal parking lot).  I think I'll go have a bowl right now.


SpendyMcSpend

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Re: How Mustachian to be?
« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2012, 12:08:02 PM »
I found it to be more negative than the other posts on this blog.  I think most of the other posts are enthusiastic, uplifting and motivating, while this one brought me down.  Just a personal opinion.

MMM

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Re: How Mustachian to be?
« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2012, 12:16:26 PM »
WOW!

First of all, thank you for that lovely and calm response, Mrs. Money Mustache.

I have been SHOCKED that anyone took her post in a negative way. And yet, there has been a trickle of comments like this coming in to that article's comment section ever since the post went up. Even after she politely addressed them right in that same comments section, more came in.

Were people posting still more comments on the article, without first having read ALL previous comments and responses? Was this thread post done in the same way?

Personally, I thought the article was was hilarious!

It was a great story and a wonderful way to share the perspective of "things are different, once you step out of the Consumer Sucka mentality".

It was not negative in the least. Except in that same fun-loving way that Mr. Money Mustache blog throws punches at the general inefficency of our society. Because we really do some stupid things. A lot of them.

If you dull that message over too much and sugar-coat it, the message is lost, and people will start thinking that maybe there ARE some times when it's actually reasonable to commute to work alone in a Ford Expedition. The line must be drawn somewhere!

So anyway, that's the scoop on that story. If you don't understand it, there's not much more we can do to help you. But it hurts her feelings to keep getting these misunderstanding complaints.
« Last Edit: August 24, 2012, 12:17:59 PM by MMM »

SpendyMcSpend

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Re: How Mustachian to be?
« Reply #4 on: August 24, 2012, 12:21:30 PM »
I'm sorry.  I really didn't intend to hurt her feelings, but I thought commenting would help to understand why certain posts work and certain posts don't.  I really do like her other posts especially the Lady Mustache ones (they are very enthusiastic and motivating, like I mentioned).

I agree there is a line to be drawn and it is a very individual line.  I just felt bad when thinking about how some people don't get any time with their grandparents at all, and to complain about it seemed wrong to me somehow.  I hope that it's possible to do this type of plan and not feel any anxiety about money/doing stuff that costs money, but that is probably fantasy-land.

I respect both of your advanced knowledge.  You are the ones who are retired early not me of course. 

Mrs MM

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Re: How Mustachian to be?
« Reply #5 on: August 24, 2012, 12:57:15 PM »
You mentioned 3 things:

1.  "I hope that it's possible to do this type of plan and not feel any anxiety about money/doing stuff that costs money, but that is probably fantasy-land."

2. "I just felt bad when thinking about how some people don't get any time with their grandparents at all, and to complain about it seemed wrong to me somehow."

3. "I don't want to become so frugal that I can't enjoy minor trips."

Here are my responses:

1. I never feel anxiety about money.  Quite the opposite.  I have zero anxiety about money, which is the biggest benefit of being FI of course.  This isn't money we're taking about.  This is taking us all on a extra unnecessary car trip to dairy queen.  Remember that my parents paid for everything.  It's really more about the Environment, wasted time, and just about different ideas about what is fun to do.  I am very happy to have the opportunity to be able to spend my time and money quite freely on things that are important to me, like volunteering at my son's school, taking trips to see family, and donating to public schools and other organizations that I value.

2. I didn't complain about time spent with my parents (my son's grandparents).  Remember we spent SEVEN weeks there.  We lived with them the majority of the time.  Obviously I value time with grandparents.  It is really insulting to me that people would insinuate that I don't appreciate that time -- we go out of our way to make that time.  I'm not just talking about you, but the bunch of other people that mistook my post the same way.  I am lucky to have such incredible parents and family is the most important thing to me (the main reason we wanted to be FI).  I think the reason I am so upset about how some people view this post is because of this.  What a ridiculous conclusion to draw from my article.  Sorry, but this really upsets me.

3. Finally, I don't consider myself to be particularly frugal.  Living this way is easy.  I have everything I want and could ever need and then way way more.  It's a matter of changing perspective.  It took me a while to get there, but it happened slowly and gradually without me even noticing it.  I think that people that have really and truly changed their perspective and gone through this kind of personal transformation just see things differently.  I guess I shouldn't expect everyone to understand that.  Maybe one day you'll go back and read this post and see it in a new light.


tooqk4u22

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Re: How Mustachian to be?
« Reply #6 on: August 24, 2012, 01:01:30 PM »
I completely understood the point of post the first time I read it, but I just went back and re-read it along with the comments and can see the misunderstanding/issue.

I paid more attention the second time to the tone and to me it reads like you dislike the world and a moving toward hermit status.  This is clearly not the case evidenced by all of the other posts and comments here, but if isolated to this specific post it kind of comes off that way.....not that there is anything necessarily wrong with being a hermit and hating the way the world is.  Even the movie comment above isn't portrayed that way in the post...everything is negative and it seems the only reason you had any positive takeaway is because your parents paid.  At the end of the day you were probably writing what you were thinking in an emotional sense and I know when I do that it many times it comes out differently than intended. Maybe I am wrong. 

Anyway this doesn't just apply to things that require money....my sister lived in Gunnison, CO (read: middle of nowhere...but near the best ski resort ever IMO) for a while and one time when I visited we we drove up to Denver.  When we came around the bend and down the hill approaching Denver and the multilane highways began...she freaked and I had to take over driving. Keep in mind she was only out there a couple of years and she grew up in the suburbs of a major city so highway driving was a typical occurence for her.




tooqk4u22

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Re: How Mustachian to be?
« Reply #7 on: August 24, 2012, 01:08:19 PM »
2. "I just felt bad when thinking about how some people don't get any time with their grandparents at all, and to complain about it seemed wrong to me somehow."


BTW - in no way did I get this impression at all....if that were the case you would not even want to have ice cream with them at home. 

Also I my parents are the same way...everything they do with my kids seems to cost money....and it stresses me out.  And when xmas comes around watch out....it becomes very clear who opens the wallet more....not us and not Santa....and it can be frustrating...no matter matter how much I talk to them it doens't change.  At the end of the day grandparents should be all about undconditional love and spoiling (even if it drives us nuts).

Mrs MM

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Re: How Mustachian to be?
« Reply #8 on: August 24, 2012, 01:12:09 PM »
At the end of the day you were probably writing what you were thinking in an emotional sense and I know when I do that it many times it comes out differently than intended. Maybe I am wrong.

Yeah, you're probably right.  That's how I write.  Oh well.  Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Jimbo

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Re: How Mustachian to be?
« Reply #9 on: August 24, 2012, 01:44:49 PM »
Hey, for the record...

I'm sure a massive amount of readers (such as me) got a good chuckle out of the article and never thought about leaving a comment.

And it would take more than one bad article to make me reconsider visiting the website.

Keep writing Mrs MM, we want your perspective.

SpendyMcSpend

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Re: How Mustachian to be?
« Reply #10 on: August 24, 2012, 02:04:58 PM »
Now I am confused.  If you did not feel anxiety about money, then why were you upset in the car driving to the opposite side of town?  I am really trying to understand.  This is a money blog, so I assumed this post was about the money spent on Dairy Queen and on gas and car mileage and how you thought it was frivolous?

And, if a lot of people did take the post the same way as I did, perhaps it came across that way because of the way it was written, and therefore you shouldn't blame people who are reading your blog for misunderstanding it.

Thank you for clarifying the original post.
« Last Edit: August 24, 2012, 02:09:06 PM by Meadow »

JohnGalt

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Re: How Mustachian to be?
« Reply #11 on: August 24, 2012, 02:05:42 PM »
Hey, for the record...

I'm sure a massive amount of readers (such as me) got a good chuckle out of the article and never thought about leaving a comment.

And it would take more than one bad article to make me reconsider visiting the website.

Keep writing Mrs MM, we want your perspective.

Same here - I'm not sure I've ever left a comment on the blog - but I've read and enjoyed all of them. 

tooqk4u22

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Re: How Mustachian to be?
« Reply #12 on: August 24, 2012, 02:13:17 PM »
Hey, for the record...

I'm sure a massive amount of readers (such as me) got a good chuckle out of the article and never thought about leaving a comment.

And it would take more than one bad article to make me reconsider visiting the website.

Keep writing Mrs MM, we want your perspective.


Agreed. 

Now I am confused.  If you did not feel anxiety about money, then why were you upset in the car driving to the opposite side of town?  I am really trying to understand.  This is a money blog, so I assumed this post was about the money spent on Dairy Queen and on gas and car mileage and how you thought it was frivilous?

She didn't have anxiety about money in the sense that it would cause her/MM family to be broke but in the sense of watching other people do it and worrying about them or thinking how they could be doing things differently. 

When people aren't living by your values it can stress a person out....think about it this way if your neighbor drinks alcohol and tends to drink a good bit of it (not in the alcoholic sense, but more in the party boy/gal sense) and you don't drink and think it is morally wrong then when you are around this person you will find yourself uncomfortable and internally wanting them to change, heck you may even be verbalizing it - either way it will make you anxious to be around this person.

SpendyMcSpend

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Re: How Mustachian to be?
« Reply #13 on: August 24, 2012, 02:17:30 PM »
But you can't control (or judge) other people and I don't feel anxiety about someone else making poor choices.  Are her parents struggling financially?  If so, I could understand the original post a bit better.

tooqk4u22

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Re: How Mustachian to be?
« Reply #14 on: August 24, 2012, 02:23:58 PM »
But you can't control (or judge) other people and I don't feel anxiety about someone else making poor choices.  Are her parents struggling financially?  If so, I could understand the original post a bit better.

You can't control people but you can certainly judge them, even it is only internally, we make judgments about people, things, situations every second of the day....if someone is not living up to your values...I assure you a judgment will be made.

arebelspy

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Re: How Mustachian to be?
« Reply #15 on: August 24, 2012, 02:25:18 PM »
I took it as a light and funny post as well.  I don't think it's about judging the other people, at all.

I think what one takes into it will color how they read it.  If someone knows someone very frugal and miserly, and worries about becoming that way, they might read into Mrs. MM's post that way.

I read the Dairy Queen part as a "ow my head hurts from the anti-Mustachianism" in driving the wrong way to go out of the way to spend more money.  Not that the spending the money bothers you, but that the way you went about it makes you just sigh, smile, and shake your head.

In the Continue The Blog Conversation forum post about that blog post, I said:
Quote
This was a fun blog post.  A well told story, I was hoping someone would bring it up so we could discuss other crazy anecdotes (and, of course, the AniMustachianism Around the Web section of the forums has lots more examples).

We've all had moments, I'm sure, where someone's behavior is so unmustachian it makes one go "Ow! My head hurts!"

Here's one that drives me nuts off the top of my head:  When people sit with vast reserves of cash (far beyond what they'd need for an emergency fund) while carrying consumer (credit card) debt.  Not only is their money not invested, so they're losing 2-3% per year in purchasing power due to inflation, but they're paying 12-20% for the privilege of doing so!  Ugh ugh ugh.

We then talked about how when people want to just split a check 50/50, despite spending different amounts (e.g. one person has a salad, the other has an appetizer, entree, dessert, and two drinks).  One of those minor "argh" moments that can be a minor annoyance.
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Mrs MM

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Re: How Mustachian to be?
« Reply #16 on: August 24, 2012, 02:26:28 PM »
No.  My parents are not struggling financially. 

Mostly it was about a behavior that seemed ridiculous to me and the comments made by my family that helped justify it to them.  For them, going to get ice cream at Dairy Queen after a movie seemed normal.  To me, it seemed ridiculous.

That is why I made fun of myself in the article.

The other aspect is my son.  When someone tells him that he "deserves" ice cream after a movie or that we should "live it a little"  it bothers me.  This is ice cream we're talking about, not world peace.  It's not important at all.  When people talk this way and act this way, it is something that is deeply embedded in how they view the world and how the majority of society views the world.  That is why it's so hard for people to stop spending.  It feels like they are being deprived.

Yes, the blog is about money, but it's about a lot more than that.  Why are so many people and families struggling so much?  For me, the answer is about the way our society functions and what people tend to value.    I think that when you let go of that, you find that you need less money, you save more money, and you find a lot more meaning in your life.

Mrs MM

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Re: How Mustachian to be?
« Reply #17 on: August 24, 2012, 02:27:56 PM »
Hey, for the record...

I'm sure a massive amount of readers (such as me) got a good chuckle out of the article and never thought about leaving a comment.

And it would take more than one bad article to make me reconsider visiting the website.

Keep writing Mrs MM, we want your perspective.

Same here - I'm not sure I've ever left a comment on the blog - but I've read and enjoyed all of them.

Thanks guys - that's good to hear.  :)  I'm definitely way too sensitive.  Good thing MMM isn't!

SpendyMcSpend

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Re: How Mustachian to be?
« Reply #18 on: August 24, 2012, 02:31:35 PM »
Alright alright.  I give in.  I just don't want to turn into this guy:



I think talking it out helped.  This is my favorite blog and I was feeling bad about my negative feelings towards it the past month.  I'm still a fan I promise!  Sorry if I made you feel bad Mrs. MMM.

Mrs MM

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Re: How Mustachian to be?
« Reply #19 on: August 24, 2012, 02:32:22 PM »
Meadow: if you want to know where I'm really coming from, read this:
http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2011/05/09/mrs-money-mustache-the-secret-life-of-frugality/

Specifically, this paragraph:

"When youíre in the midst of all of this money-saving, a change comes over you.  At first itís subtle and you barely notice it, but after practicing all these Mustachian principles for a few years, you find yourself suddenly free from societyís expectations of you.  Youíre in another realm altogether.  You donít care if you wear the same pair of pants three days in a row.  You donít care if you donít know last nightís hockey scores.  You might actually start to feel sick in big department stores from all the excess.  And, you are beginning to feel happier."

Thanks for asking questions and being open.

arebelspy

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Re: How Mustachian to be?
« Reply #20 on: August 24, 2012, 02:34:01 PM »
I just don't want to turn into this guy

As long as you're aware of it, I don't think it'll happen.

I think talking it out helped.

Definitely.  That's why I like discussing things on forums.  More interactive than a blog.
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tooqk4u22

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Re: How Mustachian to be?
« Reply #21 on: August 24, 2012, 02:38:08 PM »
Quote
Here's one that drives me nuts off the top of my head:  When people sit with vast reserves of cash (far beyond what they'd need for an emergency fund) while carrying consumer (credit card) debt.  Not only is their money not invested, so they're losing 2-3% per year in purchasing power due to inflation, but they're paying 12-20% for the privilege of doing so!  Ugh ugh ugh

Quote
We then talked about how when people want to just split a check 50/50, despite spending different amounts (e.g. one person has a salad, the other has an appetizer, entree, dessert, and two drinks).  One of those minor "argh" moments that can be a minor annoyance.

The other aspect is my son.  When someone tells him that he "deserves" ice cream after a movie or that we should "live it a little"  it bothers me. 

Thanks guys, now I am anxious because of these quotes.....and with family/friend gathering tomorrow I am sure I will see this actual things come up.  :)

arebelspy

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Re: How Mustachian to be?
« Reply #22 on: August 24, 2012, 02:39:10 PM »
Thanks guys, now I am anxious because of these quotes.....and with family/friend gathering tomorrow I am sure I will see this actual things come up.  :)

Hah.  Just smile and shake your head.  :)
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with two kids.
If you want to know more about me, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out our Now page to see what we're up to currently.

ShavinItForLater

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Re: How Mustachian to be?
« Reply #23 on: August 24, 2012, 02:44:07 PM »
I agree that the reader's experiences and attitudes will color how you read that post (and every post for that matter).  No different than how a person with liberal political views will have very different takeaways from a liberal blog post compared to a conservative person reading the same post.

I don't consider my current lifestyle to be particularly Mustachian (though I strive to move in that direction), and I've had similar emotions about my own sometimes-ridiculously-high spending.  The biggest example that comes to mind is when I'll "treat" my kids to something expensive and they don't seem to appreciate it at all--sometimes they even complain about it!  I take them to a restaurant and they whine about how they'd rather stay home.  I take them skiing/snowboarding and 1 hour later they say they're bored and want to leave.  I start thinking to myself how can I be so stupid to spend all this money and make everybody so unhappy in the process?

I took Mrs. MMM's post in exactly that light, because of my own experiences.  Sure it's a light-hearted punch in the face for me as well, as my own kids have been out for ice cream quite a bit over the years, but I welcome that anyway.

In fact, I would say that this sort of thought process has already made a very positive impact on my family, in quite unexpected ways.  I have cut back on the restaurant visits, movies at the theater, and a host of other things that my kids did not appreciate--after all, why waste money on things they don't even enjoy?  The funny thing is, now they ask when can we go out to eat, and they never complain anymore when we do go out.  They even say thanks Dad for taking us out, which never happened before!  My children have a much more positive attitude and are more appreciative of what they are given, precisely because I have "deprived" them of excessive spending.  Absolutely amazing.

catalana

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Re: How Mustachian to be?
« Reply #24 on: August 24, 2012, 02:52:42 PM »
Meadow: if you want to know where I'm really coming from, read this:
http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2011/05/09/mrs-money-mustache-the-secret-life-of-frugality/

Thanks for asking questions and being open.
Wow, Mrs MM that is a beautiful blog post!  I've never seen it before.  I reckon MMM has hidden it from the "Random Post" button so that you don't make all his devotees defect!

James

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Re: How Mustachian to be?
« Reply #25 on: August 24, 2012, 02:57:09 PM »
The other aspect is my son.  When someone tells him that he "deserves" ice cream after a movie or that we should "live it a little"  it bothers me.  This is ice cream we're talking about, not world peace.  It's not important at all.  When people talk this way and act this way, it is something that is deeply embedded in how they view the world and how the majority of society views the world.  That is why it's so hard for people to stop spending.  It feels like they are being deprived.

Yes, the blog is about money, but it's about a lot more than that.  Why are so many people and families struggling so much?  For me, the answer is about the way our society functions and what people tend to value.    I think that when you let go of that, you find that you need less money, you save more money, and you find a lot more meaning in your life.


This is so much of where I am and where I want to be. (I'm not there yet, so much to change)  This is why I come here.  I want this, but I'm surrounded by consumers. 


I absolutely want a needless 4 mile car trip to cause me anxiety. (I'm getting there)  I want to laugh at myself because I enjoy my lifestyle so much consumerism no longer draws me or makes sense.


I'm glad this issue came up so it could be resolved, because it's an important idea to get out there.

MMM

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Re: How Mustachian to be?
« Reply #26 on: August 24, 2012, 03:17:25 PM »
Wow, Mrs MM that is a beautiful blog post!  I've never seen it before.  I reckon MMM has hidden it from the "Random Post" button so that you don't make all his devotees defect!
[/quote]

Hahaha!! No way, I want MORE people reading Mrs. MM, not fewer.

But as she acknowledges, she is very sensitive to criticism - which naturally drives me bananas because I read about 20 critical rants directed at me each day. Then I take great pleasure in either
a) deleting them if they are just plain stupid
b) replying if there's something I think I can explain better, or
c) best of all, learning something new if the person actually had a point.

Another quote in this discussion really struck me:
Quote
If you did not feel anxiety about money, then why were you upset in the car driving to the opposite side of town?

The thing I get excited/furious/inspired to write about is not money, and the waste thereof. It's just that any example of Blatant Inefficiency bugs me. Because I naturally love to optimize things, I see it as a HUGE CRIME whenever something is inefficient, if that inefficiency is causing pain in other people's lives.

Unnecessary driving is a good example: sure, almost everyone drives. But at least there should be some thought given to it. Could I avoid it and do this activity at home? Could I bike there? Could I combine it with another errand? The consequence of driving is mostly not felt in your own wallet - most of the cost is borne by your society in the form of pollution, noise, and more pavement being laid down.

When other people have a lower threshold than you for driving somewhere, that's a great cause of the internal conflict that is the subject of Mrs. MM's article.

"I know this person is nice. I love them. So WHY THE FUCK ARE THEY SO STUPID ABOUT DRIVING!?.".. or some sort of similar internal dialog. Then of course, you must make fun of yourself, because it is you who does not fit in with the current values of US society. Welcome to Mustachianism!

darkelenchus

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Re: How Mustachian to be?
« Reply #27 on: August 24, 2012, 03:53:10 PM »
I'm glad this issue came up so it could be resolved, because it's an important idea to get out there.

Seconded.

I do have to say, though, encountering consumerism can be maddening. Sometimes a sista's gotta vent! :-)

The nice thing about the post is that it's not the negative, purposeless venting that's supposedly bad for your health. It highlights the perspective that one gets as a result of developing habits needed to attain/maintain FI. Not only do you find happiness in the so-called little things; you're aware that you don't have to spend money or drive for an eternity to enjoy yourself. The novel thing about the post is that it explicitly connected this with related notion that one becomes more sensitive to how such spending/driving/etc. can actually detract from enjoying the moment and the company of others.

$_gone_amok

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Re: How Mustachian to be?
« Reply #28 on: August 24, 2012, 04:23:26 PM »
I understand where Mrs MMM comping from because that's how I would feel in the same situation.

The grandparents's intentions are good (I know because I've been there), however, in the back your mind there's this nagging feeling that this is totally unnecessary but yet you don't want to bring it up without sounding like a party popper so you just sit through it.  Yay for family activities =)

happy

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Re: How Mustachian to be?
« Reply #29 on: August 24, 2012, 05:07:15 PM »
Hey, for the record...

I'm sure a massive amount of readers (such as me) got a good chuckle out of the article.

 

Keep writing Mrs MM, we want your perspective.

+1

Sometimes people respond negatively when something's "too close to the bone", so I think you were probably right on target with the face punches.

Adventine

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Re: How Mustachian to be?
« Reply #30 on: August 25, 2012, 03:55:37 AM »
I think many people subconsciously expected Mrs. MM's post to sound EXACTLY like MMM's. When it didn't (because obviously Mrs. MM is a different person and has a different writing style), I think people felt "let down" and took it out in the comments. It's not logical, but then most people aren't exactly logical all the time.

"You'll Never Be Normal Again" wasn't one of my favorite posts, but it certainly wasn't anything to complain about. It got me thinking about how anxious I get when my own parents take the car to buy a couple items from the neighborhood store two blocks away.

Ellen

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Re: How Mustachian to be?
« Reply #31 on: August 25, 2012, 10:22:34 AM »
First time commenter: I registered just so I could respond to say that Mrs. MMM's Dairy Queen post was probably my favorite post on this blog. But I also loved Meadow's question ...

I am probably less Mustachian than many readers, but in my family (whom I adore), I am an anomaly. I learned about frugality and thrift from my husband's family, who don't even think of themselves as frugal and are also incredibly generous (as is my family, though sometimes at their own expense). When I became a stay-at-home parent in a very high COL area (coastal CA) on a mid 5-figure income 14 years ago, I had to evaluate every single "need," and determine whether it was, in fact, a "want." At first I felt deprived, but over time, I felt liberated. I began to think of money the way that I think of time: as something not to be squandered. I have only so much money--what things provide the most value to me and my family? I appreciated both the original post and Meadow's question because part of me is thrilled with my changed relationship to money (and our savings, which help me sleep better at night), while another part of me worries that I've lost my ability to take enjoyment in little things just because they don't provide much in the way of value to me. I also fret that I'm too judgmental (in my head, not out loud) of others' very different choices.

James

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Re: How Mustachian to be?
« Reply #32 on: August 25, 2012, 12:32:46 PM »
I think many people subconsciously expected Mrs. MM's post to sound EXACTLY like MMM's. When it didn't (because obviously Mrs. MM is a different person and has a different writing style), I think people felt "let down" and took it out in the comments. It's not logical, but then most people aren't exactly logical all the time.

"You'll Never Be Normal Again" wasn't one of my favorite posts, but it certainly wasn't anything to complain about. It got me thinking about how anxious I get when my own parents take the car to buy a couple items from the neighborhood store two blocks away.


I agree she has a different style, and I actually feel closer to her thoughts and style than MMM, while MMM gives me a better punch in the face when I need it.  They complement each other very nicely.

Perpetual_Student

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Re: How Mustachian to be?
« Reply #33 on: August 25, 2012, 05:27:49 PM »
Tone and humor can be very hard to convey through writing.  I often finish reading Mrs. MM's post and find myself feeling sad or anxious, but in rereading I find that perhaps her sense of humor just isn't translating to me across the Internet.  Another thing to consider is that Mrs. MM's posts are sprinkled throughout and are far outnumbered by Mr. MM's posts.  His writing voice and humor are punchy and gregarious.  Through contrast alone, Mrs. MM's understatement and wry observational style can come across to a reader as depressing.

In fairness to all, I understand Meadow's point, since I have also sometimes felt some vague unease or sadness after finishing a Mrs. MM piece.  Even so, I realize that Mrs. MM does not intend to write in a way that readers sometimes interpret as stingy, sad, or sanctimonious.  Mrs. MM clearly enjoys the frugal lifestyle and wants to share the surprising and delightful changes in worldview that accompany successful frugal life.  I enjoy Mrs. MM's viewpoint and her articles, and especially all the things she brings to the board.  It would be a less interesting blog if we didn't have the perspective of both the Money Mustaches!

twinge

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Re: How Mustachian to be?
« Reply #34 on: August 26, 2012, 05:53:32 AM »
Just to add my voice to the record, I tend to find Mrs. MM realistic, nuanced and thoughtful.  Nice balance to Mr MM's bombastic persona  which reads to me as "the world runs on solving inefficiencies and the power of positive thoughts" (which has its charm--and definitely makes it easier to "stay on message"-- but can get to be a bit much for me on those occasions when it seems to railroad over important nuances and what I see as sensible objections indiscriminately as if they can all be denounced as "whining").  More of Mrs. MM humanity seems to come through--which may be why she's sensitive to criticism, it's more her real self that is out there than a persona.

I thought her post was funny and rang true.  I've been in the same (metaphoric) dairy queen parking lot.


 

Mrs MM

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Re: How Mustachian to be?
« Reply #35 on: August 26, 2012, 11:16:05 AM »
I don't consider my current lifestyle to be particularly Mustachian (though I strive to move in that direction), and I've had similar emotions about my own sometimes-ridiculously-high spending.  The biggest example that comes to mind is when I'll "treat" my kids to something expensive and they don't seem to appreciate it at all--sometimes they even complain about it!  I take them to a restaurant and they whine about how they'd rather stay home.  I take them skiing/snowboarding and 1 hour later they say they're bored and want to leave.  I start thinking to myself how can I be so stupid to spend all this money and make everybody so unhappy in the process?

I took Mrs. MMM's post in exactly that light, because of my own experiences.  Sure it's a light-hearted punch in the face for me as well, as my own kids have been out for ice cream quite a bit over the years, but I welcome that anyway.

In fact, I would say that this sort of thought process has already made a very positive impact on my family, in quite unexpected ways.  I have cut back on the restaurant visits, movies at the theater, and a host of other things that my kids did not appreciate--after all, why waste money on things they don't even enjoy?  The funny thing is, now they ask when can we go out to eat, and they never complain anymore when we do go out.  They even say thanks Dad for taking us out, which never happened before!  My children have a much more positive attitude and are more appreciative of what they are given, precisely because I have "deprived" them of excessive spending.  Absolutely amazing.

I love this story - thanks for sharing!  This is a great thing to discover about yourself and your kids.

I'm glad everyone was able to share their perspectives more as well... I find it really interesting.  :)

Miyazaki

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Re: How Mustachian to be?
« Reply #36 on: August 27, 2012, 04:00:10 AM »
When I read the post, as well as the follow up comments, the main thing that stood out to me was not the money or the company, but rather that Mrs. MM felt the night had ended, and was thinking about her child's upcoming bedtime, only to be invited to one more place.

Mrs. MM, I understand it's easy to take comments on your posts seriously. I would too. However, I really hope that you can grow the ability to ignore any negativity towards what you say and continue writing and giving your opinion on things. I just wanted to say that I, for one, look forward to it every time.

Nancy

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Re: How Mustachian to be?
« Reply #37 on: August 27, 2012, 07:15:19 AM »
I loved this article by Mrs. MM because it captured a lot of what I have been feeling. I had a similar experience/reaction when I stepped into a mall for the first time in years. The amount of absolute wasteful shit that was being hocked, not to mention the perfume and nail salon smells, made me feel ill. I couldn't grasp that anyone would ever choose to go in there for fun, to pass the time that they have left on the planet. Crazy! Not saying that's what Mrs. MM was driving at or that's the experience she had, but it reminded me of that situation.

For me, a lot of what society extols as fun or a treat is actually really wasteful and not necessary and could be done in a lower impact way (I could have been more creative instead of just buying a gift from a registry. The MM family could have held off on DQ and maybe shared a homemade banana split some other day). Having said that, if you want to drive to the DQ for a cone, then do it. I think one of the great things about Mustachianism is that everyone takes a different approach and focuses on what's important to them.

SpendyMcSpend

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Re: How Mustachian to be?
« Reply #38 on: August 27, 2012, 08:56:07 AM »
Hey, for the record...

I'm sure a massive amount of readers (such as me) got a good chuckle out of the article.

Keep writing Mrs MM, we want your perspective.

+1

Sometimes people respond negatively when something's "too close to the bone", so I think you were probably right on target with the face punches.

Interesting thought, but I spend about $15 on gas per month (I ride my bike and take public transportation) and haven't gone out for ice cream or anything like it in years. 

I think what bothers me is that we all sometimes have to do things that we don't necessarily like to do to please loved ones.  If you are lucky enough that you have to do something "inefficient" or that you don't like only once or twice a year, then you are a very, very lucky person.  Certainly the Money Mustaches living so far from home is one reason that they are able to avoid doing things that are inefficient or that they dislike.  If they did live closer, they would be either not attending many activities, or trying to tailor family functions to their own liking 100% of the time.  That may be great for them, but not sit well with the parents or relatives.  That is a problem I've come across in my own life as we can't necessarily get everyone else to accommodate our wishes all the time (especially people like family members that you can't just ditch), and being grumpy about their choice of activities is not the best route either.  If you don't at least fake enjoying the ice cream after agreeing to go, then you could ruin their time too.  Again, it is once in a blue moon that you have to do this.

Sometimes you have to compromise and not complain about it.  After all the explanations here, it seems that she just didn't like the activity itself and was not enjoying herself.  Ok, but this happens to everyone all the time and it's not a big deal.  It's a blessing to be with family at all.

I get that she was being humorous and I didn't get it, so I was probably taking her post too seriously when I read it.  Also, my history of losing family members early probably colors my thinking here.  I would pay a million dollars to get to go for a ride to get ice cream with my dad right now.

Taylor

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Re: How Mustachian to be?
« Reply #39 on: August 27, 2012, 10:23:03 AM »
I like this post, and I really like your perspective Mrs. MM :) I took it as a positive, and I have noticed that since I started down my FI road I really do see the world differently. By being frugal I do not feel deprived. Quite the opposite, I enjoy those rare nights out at bars and restaurants so much more because they are a treat.

I will also admit that I have very mixed feelings when I do spend money on myself. I'm trying to get out of "guilt mode", but it's a struggle. Recent example is buying new snowboard gear, which I did this weekend. I love snowboarding and can definitely afford a pass and the new gear was desperately needed (old gear was 6 years old, inherited, and did not fit properly). I wanted to feel that I 'deserved it' and it's ok to treat myself, but it was still hard.

I don't see Mrs. MM struggling with this at all, I wonder if others do?

kisserofsinners

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Re: How Mustachian to be?
« Reply #40 on: August 27, 2012, 10:47:38 AM »
I get that she was being humorous and I didn't get it, so I was probably taking her post too seriously when I read it.  Also, my history of losing family members early probably colors my thinking here.  I would pay a million dollars to get to go for a ride to get ice cream with my dad right now.

Wow, holy-great-moment for gratitude... Thanks for that perspective.

kisserofsinners

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Re: How Mustachian to be?
« Reply #41 on: August 27, 2012, 10:51:16 AM »
I really thought it was funny. :) it makes me think a lot about my new lens with a bit of a chuckle. It's good to know i'm not alone.

cats

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Re: How Mustachian to be?
« Reply #42 on: August 27, 2012, 11:38:46 AM »
I don't consider myself to be extremely frugal, or a hermit, or anything else particularly "negative", and the DQ post really resonated with me.  It's not so much that you freak out that your own financial well-being is being impacted (because it's not) as that it does become kind of weird and maybe also depressing to see situations that are just not all they are cracked up to be.  My parents were actually visiting recently, and they took me out for dinner.  It was kind of a "special" occasion, so they were wanting to be generous, so when we were done with the meal, they suggested that maybe we should get dessert.  The restaurant we were at did NOT have a particularly appealing dessert menu.  So I suggested that we just swing by the grocery store on the way home and pick up a container of nice ice cream and have dessert at home.  My parents were all "are you SURE???".  Once we actually got the (delicious) ice cream and got to enjoy it with our shoes off and sprawled all over the place however we wanted though, they were all on board.  It really wasn't a financial thing, but more that my parents felt they had to be spending money to make something "special" and that having that mindset makes you actually go and do things that aren't all that fun--if it's more of an effort, it must be better, right?

I have the same kind of experience when I walk into a department store--just seeing all this really useless STUFF crowded onto the shelves makes me feel kind of sad and yes, anxious.  I just see a huge pile of things that took resources and probably poorly paid labor to create and that are probably destined for the landfill in the not too distant future.  I guess I don't really want my "living" to come at the expense of others if I can avoid it).

galaxie

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Re: How Mustachian to be?
« Reply #43 on: August 27, 2012, 11:57:45 AM »
I think cats really hit the nail on the head with money-spending amusements not being "all they're cracked up to be."  I frequently enjoy spendy things, but I get anxious if I'm sitting in a restaurant thinking "I could have made something better at home" or "there's nothing vegetarian to eat here but appetizers" or otherwise paying to have a lousy time. 

Frida

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Re: How Mustachian to be?
« Reply #44 on: August 28, 2012, 08:28:18 AM »
Mrs MM, I always really enjoy your blog posts and the DQ one was a particular favourite! The image of the couple caught in headlights eating their ice cream in the parking lot really made me chuckle and has stuck with me ever since.

I just can't understand how anyone could find your writing style "sad" or "depressing". Are we reading the same posts?? Please don't take those comments to heart. I really look forward to your posts and have found them very inspiring. Thanks to you, I now cut my own hair (and much prefer it) and stopped colouring it, saving me not only hours of wasted time at the salon but £780 a year! ($1231 USD... seems shocking now but I didn't even question it at the time... self-face-punch duly adminstered).

As a new mum about to resign from my job to stay home with my son, I often ask myself "what would Mrs MM do?" (or the very snappy WWMMMD?) when faced with a potentially spendy situation. Please do another post soon!
« Last Edit: August 28, 2012, 10:07:56 AM by Frida »

mindaugas

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Re: How Mustachian to be?
« Reply #45 on: August 28, 2012, 10:08:33 AM »
I had my wife read that as an idea of how our minds can change as we start being a LOT more frugal. With that said, we are still taking it slow. However, before where I wouldn't give a second thought to the cost of driving out of our way, I now do and so does my wife. In fact she has become more conscious of it than me and I think the Mrs. posts help. I didn't take the post as negative, I actually thought it was a great insight into the extreme side of being frugal. It's nice to be able to compare that to my own idea of frugality.

Mannerheim

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Re: How Mustachian to be?
« Reply #46 on: December 18, 2012, 10:33:19 AM »
First time commenter!

Personally I liked the DQ article and found it quite relatable. It reminded me of 2 things:

- My dad is semi-retired and loves buying new gadgets and gizmos. I love him dearly but have occasionally teased him about this, in their house my parents have 4 computers, 4 TV's, an iPad, 2 smartphones, a Kindle, 2 blu-ray players, and probably lots of other stuff I'm forgetting, plus he constantly swaps out 6-month-old gear for brand new stuff (I haven't bought a DVD player in many years because he keeps giving me almost-new ones). They are financially secure and can certainly afford this stuff even though much of it is rarely used, but I cringe inwardly to see it because he's a smart man and I don't understand how he hasn't figured out in 65 years of life that buying all this crap is just a short-term rush that brings no lasting satisfaction, it just clutters up their house and collects dust.

- I have 2 young nephews and they are a great example of the hedonic treadmill in action, they will fight tooth and nail over a new toy one moment and both have completely forgotten about it 45 minutes later. They're both usually sweetness itself but let one try to take a toy from the other and suddenly they're screaming like banshees. Meanwhile the most mutually enjoyable things I do with them are 1) chase them around and wrestle on the floor, 2) go for walks around the neighborhood and point out anything interesting we come across, and 3) read books out loud, while their piles of action figures sit neglected.

Dicey

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Re: How Mustachian to be?
« Reply #47 on: December 18, 2012, 12:19:42 PM »
I would pay a million dollars to get to go for a ride to get ice cream with my dad right now.

I just retired and am at home with a bad cold, so I'm catching up on my MMM reading. Meadow, this last quote brought tears to my eyes. Glad you stuck with it long enough to figure out what was really bothering you. I hope Mrs. MM feels better, too.