Author Topic: Non-financial ways that Mustachianism has improved your life  (Read 7297 times)

2ndTimer

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Non-financial ways that Mustachianism has improved your life
« on: August 18, 2014, 11:19:46 AM »
We are all familiar with all the wonderful thing Mustachian living does for our finances.  I want to hear about the things that you started doing to save money that wound up being just plain better than what you were doing before.

For example:  After rediscovering camping I realized that I hate hotels.  They are noisy and the bed always seems to smell like the previous resident even in the high end places.  Also I fear bedbugs.  So now when we travel I always ask, "Can we camp?'  because I genuinely prefer it. 

Gone Fishing

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Re: Non-financial ways that Mustachianism has improved your life
« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2014, 11:20:46 AM »
Its certainly easier to keep the waistline in check when your not eating out all the time!

lizzzi

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Re: Non-financial ways that Mustachianism has improved your life
« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2014, 11:33:12 AM »
Consolidating car errands and cutting out almost all shopping left me with blocks of extra time to just live life and figure out what I really like to do when my time is not filled up with all the "shoulds" and "have-to's". Sometimes I just sit on the porch with a cup of coffee or tea and do nothing. (What a novel concept.) I try to consciously use this extra time to stay away from technology and work on music, writing, or learning French--trying to just enjoy the experiences and see where they take me when I'm not competing with anybody or trying to meet an employer's expectations.

welliamwallace

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Re: Non-financial ways that Mustachianism has improved your life
« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2014, 11:40:27 AM »
Things that used to be normal now feel like luxuries. When I drive my car to work instead of biking, I feel like a king (not that I dislike biking, but the luxurious air-conditioning and cushioned seat feel incredible!). Once a month when I decide (after a long day at work and the gym) to pick up a sandwich at Wendy's, it feels like Christmas morning. I used to do this every single day.

4alpacas

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Re: Non-financial ways that Mustachianism has improved your life
« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2014, 11:50:25 AM »
Cooking at home more because going out to eat seems like a hassle.  I'm also more adventurous in the kitchen. 

LibrarIan

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Re: Non-financial ways that Mustachianism has improved your life
« Reply #5 on: August 18, 2014, 12:03:26 PM »
General health and fitness improvements. More time to focus on things not related to money or work. Renewed life vigor.

trailrated

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Re: Non-financial ways that Mustachianism has improved your life
« Reply #6 on: August 18, 2014, 12:15:19 PM »
Cooking at home more because going out to eat seems like a hassle.  I'm also more adventurous in the kitchen.

Could not agree more, I have become a much better  chef and healthier. I was in pretty good shape before but replacing all the taco bell with real food makes more of a difference than I thought.

Daisy

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Re: Non-financial ways that Mustachianism has improved your life
« Reply #7 on: August 18, 2014, 12:20:10 PM »
I don't know if this is good or bad, but I keep thinking about my grandparents and their grand life and struggles a lot lately. It's made me more appreciative of my generous opportunities and almost lack of need in my own life. So I guess that part is good, but...

Now every time my nieces and nephews start complaining about relatively minor issues - wah wah I'm so stressed out by taking a 12 credit load in my private college and I'm not even working a part-time job, you just don't understand Aunt Daisy - wah wah my generation is facing underemployment even though I don't really know what I want to do with my life - well I am now countering back with my grandparents' and parents' struggles and they just stare back at me. Maybe I'm alienating them? I just think they need to put it all in perspective.

TrMama

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Re: Non-financial ways that Mustachianism has improved your life
« Reply #8 on: August 18, 2014, 02:23:22 PM »
My stress level has plummeted. Discovering MMM + some disagreements with the administration of my kids old daycare was the kick in the pants I needed to pull them out of daycare entirely. Besides the obvious cash savings, I totally underestimated how much stress was being added to my life from having to conform to a third party's rules and schedule.

iwasjustwondering

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Re: Non-financial ways that Mustachianism has improved your life
« Reply #9 on: August 18, 2014, 02:43:13 PM »
My relationship with my ex-husband is better.  He was struggling to pay child support after quitting his job and then getting a lower-paying one.  I was able to shrug it off and tell him to think about a monthly figure that makes sense to him, instead of the current sum.  I want him to pay something regularly, but I don't need to try to get as much as I can out of him.  Whatever.  I can easily handle my kids' financial needs all by myself.

Also, when he told me he is facing surgery and a possible long-term illness, I immediately asked about vesting in his long-term disability plan at work.  He hadn't even thought about that, but since I'm always focused on creating numerous backup plans to keep myself and my kids safe and OK financially, I was able to give him good advice.  Other people have actually started coming to me for financial advice, which is pretty nice, actually.

Daisy

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Re: Non-financial ways that Mustachianism has improved your life
« Reply #10 on: August 18, 2014, 02:49:24 PM »
I'm writing a lot fewer checks and hardly getting any emails related to bills. Makes my inbox and checkbook a lot simpler!

Now that I moved and am mortgage free I can get whatever kind of insurance I want and don't have to keep getting requests from my mortgage provider every year to increase my insurance coverages by $2000 here and there or they would threaten to get additional insurance for me and charge me an arm and a leg. I also removed a lot of bills such as cable, home phone, personal cell phone (stuck with work cell phone instead), home alarm, lawn guy, etc.

It's freed up a lot of time!

darkhorse

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Re: Non-financial ways that Mustachianism has improved your life
« Reply #11 on: August 18, 2014, 06:29:43 PM »
I've been selling a lot of stuff. Things that have definite value, but are getting dusty. Feels really good to leverage that value into paying down debt. It took a while for me to come to the revelation that if I really need those things again (despite them being bought and paid for in full), I can just buy or borrow them in the future. So far, I've sold almost $6K worth of stuff and significantly paid down a 6.55% student loan...and that feels awesome.

Zikoris

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Re: Non-financial ways that Mustachianism has improved your life
« Reply #12 on: August 18, 2014, 06:37:52 PM »
It helps keep my lazy side in check when I don't feel like doing something that I just need to suck it up and get done. Big cooking jobs, fixing/making things, and heavy-load bike grocery shopping runs are all good examples.

Primm

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Re: Non-financial ways that Mustachianism has improved your life
« Reply #13 on: August 18, 2014, 07:28:02 PM »
My kitchen is cleaner / neater / generally more organised.

I used to not give a shit, because my default if I'd had a long day was to go out and get something to eat. Now that I've made eating in the primary mode, I need to have the space, utensils and ingredients to cook. And I do! Wonders will never cease. :)

mozar

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Re: Non-financial ways that Mustachianism has improved your life
« Reply #14 on: August 18, 2014, 07:46:14 PM »
+1 for decreased stress. Before I found MMM, every time something bad happened at work it would send me into a tailspin of depression because of the thought of having to deal with this another 35 years. My depression has lifted and I was able to start tackling my insomnia in a real way, which has greatly improved my mood and outlook in life. My brain feels different.

CommonCents

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Re: Non-financial ways that Mustachianism has improved your life
« Reply #15 on: August 18, 2014, 08:11:16 PM »
- More time in the evenings now that I'm not watching so much TV (no cable, only Hulu Plus).  This is probably the most significant direct change, but there are some others:
- Enjoyment from a house not as cluttered with "things" (I'm slowly decluttering)
- 10 lbs weight loss (was already at a healthy BMI before) from eating better at home - tasty low calorie meals and cutting out coke at lunch.  Doctor also noticed improved cholesterol levels, which were marginally high.
- Pleasure in fixing things around the house and increased skill/confidence in doing so
- Pleasure in eating garden grown veggies

2ndTimer

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Re: Non-financial ways that Mustachianism has improved your life
« Reply #16 on: August 20, 2014, 08:14:12 AM »
We drink better coffee.  The Hub adores coffee.  He prefers good coffee but will drink anything he can get down to the nasty stuff offered by our bank.  This meant that whenever we went out we would have to stop for coffee often at MacDonalds or a convenience store and I would have a cup too just to be friendly.  A couple of months ago I invested in a buy-it-for-life type thermos which I fill with our own coffee every time we walk out the door together.  When the Hub starts getting the coffee urge, we grab a park bench, rock or bit of lawn and have some coffee. 

Just for fun I have been keeping track of the number of times we used the thermos and using the pretty conservative estimate that we save $2.00 per outing it has already paid for itself and the coffee is hot, strong and fresh tasting which beats most of what we were buying.

dycker1978

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Re: Non-financial ways that Mustachianism has improved your life
« Reply #17 on: August 20, 2014, 08:19:51 AM »
Well... so many things.

1, Me and my wife actually talk now... we cut our cable so we actually spend time together... Turns out I really do like her company.
2. We have started foraging... Berries, Apples, everything... we have a freezer full of hand pick produce and getting more tonight.
3. Baking.... mmmm homemade bread, cookies, cake
4. I have reexamined my love of repair... I have started doing our in home repairs again... I love working with my hand and building/repairing something.

Many many more...

ketchup

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Re: Non-financial ways that Mustachianism has improved your life
« Reply #18 on: August 20, 2014, 09:29:05 AM »
Health/nutrition is a big one for me.  We care so much more than before.  We eat far better, cook at home all the time, and actually enjoy exercise.  I haven't been sick in over a year, which I don't think I've ever been able to say before.  Last night we had leftover chicken tikka masala, and tonight I'm making salmon burgers with pickled (prepared yesterday) ginger.  Two years ago I was eating peanut butter sandwiches and spaghetti slathered in ketchup for 90% of my caloric intake (I wish I was exaggerating).  If you told me I'd be making my own salmon burgers and pickled ginger from scratch in two years, I'd have said you're nuts.  So food costs have gone up some, but we're getting a lot more out of our food.  More expensive per-calorie, probably less expensive per-nutrient.

I find myself less cynical, more optimistic, less stressed, and overall happier in life.

I give even less of a crap what other people think of me.

I've adopted some tenants of minimalism.  I have detached myself from many possessions that I thought I never would.  I still have more "stuff" to go through.  Sold/donated lots of stuff that served no purpose.

I haven't seen a new movie in theaters since Star Trek Into Darkness, and before that I think my last one was Les Miserables (2012).  I used to go multiple times per month.  There just aren't enough good new movies out there to justify it.  And even when there are, it's easier to just catch them on Netflix a year or two later, or rent the disc from the library.  I don't buy movies anymore.  I have a stack of Blu-ray films to sell.

Thrift store clothes only.  Better clothes for less money, why in the world wouldn't I?

I've become more patient.  My new widget shipped but won't be here for two weeks?  Fine by me.

I've become less of a "techie".  I never bought too much crap, but I care less about how "good" the technology in my life is.  I haven't upgraded my computer at all in two years.  I liked the old $1 Goodwill very-non-HD TV we had better than the new fancy HD flatscreen my roommates bought last Black Friday. (The sound on it is terrible, really terrible, distractingly so.  I'd prefer mediocre visuals and audio to nice visuals and total crap audio.)  I'm a lot more OK with turning down the graphical settings in video games on my PC.  I care even less about having a fancier, newer smartphone.

Life is good.

Charlie

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Re: Non-financial ways that Mustachianism has improved your life
« Reply #19 on: August 20, 2014, 10:08:39 AM »
I've experienced similar benefits to what others have posted, since discovering MMM about 3 months ago.

(1) Health benefits. I'm biking frequently and eating (and drinking) at restaurants rarely. I've lost weight because of that, and generally feel more strong and vigorous.

(2) Productivity. I used to assume that most everything that needed doing outside of work should be outsourced. "My time is valuable!" Well, it's not that valuable if I'm spending it laying on the couch watching movies. I'm now getting a lot of things done--home repairs, etc.--and it feels great! I continue to have a long to-do list, and probably always will, but I look forward to tackling the things that are on it!

(3) Peace of mind. This is the biggest non-financial benefit. I have a job that pays pretty well, but is only sometimes (or rarely) pleasant. I assumed I'd be tied to it, or to another similar job in the same field, forever. I'm not qualified for any other lines of work that would still pay my significant student loan bills. But now I've got my spending in order, and understand that just because the term of the loans is 20 years or whatever, I don't actually have to wait 20 years to pay them off. I'm looking to get my loans paid off in a couple of years, at which time I'll have the CHOICE to stay in my job or to leave it. Freedom. Also, similarly, it feels good to actually know what my financial situation is. A year ago, I'm not sure I could have estimated my student loan debt to within $10,000. (Sad but true.) Now I know the principal balance of each loan, the interest rate of each loan, and know all of my other financial information, too. Knowing and caring about the details makes me feel power over the debt, and lets me know that it can be overcome if I continue to put my mind to it. It's a great feeling!

Actually, as I think about it, those non-financial benefits are probably better than the financial benefits. (But because I'm excited about it, I'll still share the financial benefits: I've increased my net worth by $6,000 or $7,000 in just the last couple of months! And there's way more progress to be made as I improve my frugality muscles.)

2ndTimer

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Re: Non-financial ways that Mustachianism has improved your life
« Reply #20 on: November 16, 2014, 12:27:04 PM »
Boring errands become fun when you do them on a bike. 

BPA

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Re: Non-financial ways that Mustachianism has improved your life
« Reply #21 on: November 16, 2014, 02:43:44 PM »
My relationship with my ex-husband is better.  He was struggling to pay child support after quitting his job and then getting a lower-paying one.  I was able to shrug it off and tell him to think about a monthly figure that makes sense to him, instead of the current sum.  I want him to pay something regularly, but I don't need to try to get as much as I can out of him.  Whatever.  I can easily handle my kids' financial needs all by myself.


+1  My ex and I get along a lot better than we would have if I had taken all I was entitled to for the kids.  Also, even though I don't have nearly as much nice stuff as he does and live in a house worth less than half of his, the kids always preferred to be with me because I was home more often and my house is more cozy.  When they were little, they wanted me around more.  Being frugal has allowed me to work part-time for nearly ten years while being able to maintain a fairly comfortable standard of living.

MrsSmitty

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Re: Non-financial ways that Mustachianism has improved your life
« Reply #22 on: November 17, 2014, 11:21:38 AM »
I'm more creative in the kitchen. I've always loved to cook and I find making dinner at the end of a long day very relaxing. I've gotten better an using what I already have to come up with something creative rather than going to the store to buy whatever I happened to be craving that day. Yesterday I had planned a pasta dish for dinner but needed to go to the store. It was cold and gross out so I said nuts to that. Instead I scoured my kitchen and figured out I had the ingredients to make a yummy chicken and rice soup that ended up being perfect.

NewMustachian

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Re: Non-financial ways that Mustachianism has improved your life
« Reply #23 on: November 17, 2014, 11:36:45 AM »
Great thread!

I feel more courageous.  Instead of staying in a FT job that wasn't right for me, I'm now doing a couple of PT jobs (one is the money maker, and one is in a field that I am interested in) and staying home with my infant.  I also feel more inclined to make the best of things, rather than getting pessimistic and/or passive. 

deborah

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Re: Non-financial ways that Mustachianism has improved your life
« Reply #24 on: November 17, 2014, 04:46:58 PM »
Communicating with people who have similar interests to me.

horsepoor

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Re: Non-financial ways that Mustachianism has improved your life
« Reply #25 on: November 17, 2014, 09:19:07 PM »
Our kitchen waste is down.  It wasn't bad before, relative to our neighbors, but now we eat so little packaged food that there's not much that doesn't get recycled or composted.

I have more time to do things that are important to me because I don't shop as much.

An overall feeling of abundance instead of scarcity, despite spending less.

senecando

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Re: Non-financial ways that Mustachianism has improved your life
« Reply #26 on: November 17, 2014, 09:25:07 PM »
Well, I'm drinking a homemade cyser that's pretty good right now. That's not that bad. And I got to read on the bus today.