Author Topic: Really strange conversation with a Mustachian friend who strongly dislikes MMM  (Read 22936 times)

ch12

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Something really strange happened to me a few days ago.

I normally evangelize Mustachianism to people who are really open to it/way more Mustachian than me to begin with. There's my roommate GG who has made me be extremely environmentally conscious and pretty much does not spend money beyond essentials except for books - and that's with our heavy library habit. On my own, I checked out and read more than 70 books in June. There's a now-married pair who're already saving 50% and think that Mustachianism is kinda an interesting thought experiment. They're definitely down for increasing biking and healthy food plus lowering energy consumption and that jazz. They're also in Colorado, so they're part of that culture.

So I pitched Mustachianism to one of my buddies a few nights ago, after I read the Forbes interview. This is how the conversation went:

Quote
GL
Im on page 2 right now, but so far I hate this guy!
I totally disagree with almost everything he's said so far haha

Me
10/3, 8:04pm
are you being sarcastic?

GL
10/3, 8:07pm
no! i like, ALMOST agree with parts of it, but he's just such a prick!
and i just totally disagree with his basic assumptions

Me
10/3, 8:08pm
what basic assumptions?

GL
10/3, 8:08pm
He didn't think he could be a good parent with a full time job?
what a douche!

Me
10/3, 8:08pm
how many hours a day do you think a parent should spend with their kids?
and i thought you'd like bike commuting

NOTE: That is what GL wants his career to be. He wants to promote bike commuting, preferably internationally. His ideal day job is doing stuff with bike commuting, which is more or less what he's doing right now. He's really, really environmentally conscious.

GL
10/3, 8:08pm
some of his points are valid
I do like the biking part. and the spend less part. and the hobbies part.

Let me start off by saying that I'm not welcoming facepunches here. GL is a very dear friend of mine, but I was absolutely flabbergasted by the idea that he would hate MMM, who espouses the antimaterialism/anticonsumption and pro-freedom/pro-biking attitudes that GL is known for.

I'm not putting in the entire conversation, but GL goes on to say that he likes living in NYC and that he doesn't want to sit in a hacienda/farm for 40 years. These, to me, were valid points but he acted as if MMM was attacking GL's lifestyle...of low consumption and lots of fun experiences! Since that's what Mustachianism means to me, I was really confused.

He says that he likes the biking, low spending, and hobbies parts of the articles. Since those are central pillars of Mustachianism, I don't think that he's actually against MMM. I think that he might have gotten the wrong idea from the short Forbes article in that he thinks that MMM is anti-fun in some way.

I also think that GL does not understand what early retirement actually entails. It's not sitting far away from civilization with nothing to do. It's going and living the life that you'd live if money didn't matter (because it doesn't after you hit FI). To some extent, that's what GL is doing now because he seriously does not care about money (and has generous supporters). So, again, that's confusing.

I think that GL's kneejerk reaction was like this Washington Post question:
Quote
RURAL LIVING
Sounds like you live in a rural community. Was it important for you to move to a rural location in the US? Is this the only way to afford your home and live cheaply as you do? (I like the country, but wondered if others could do this in an urban area)

A.
MR. MONEY MUSTACHE :
No, we live at the center of a city of about 100,000 people, which itself is just 40 miles from downtown Denver, with a population of several million. We also have a relatively expensive house, at over $400k.

However, people pursuing a more extreme early retirement strategy could locate to cheaper areas, like suburbs of Phoenix, Reno, Las Vegas, Dallas, etc., where some houses are under $100k. Rural living could work too, as long as you can do it without a huge amount of car driving.


I think that the word "rural" means different things to different people. To someone in the Midwest like me, rural means a town that just got its first stoplight or maybe that has one gas station at best. That's a town that might have 4-digits worth of people. To someone from NYC or DC, I'm hearing [though maybe incorrectly] that any town that only has 6 digits of people (like Boulder) and not 7+ digits of people (like NYC, LA, DC, etc.) is rural and de facto everyone there lives on a farm. I lived for 1/3 of last year in DC and I did not get that impression directly from people, but I'm wondering if "rural" means non-coastal [is Las Vegas "rural"?]. Everyone should correct me here. :)

I feel like I pitched Mustachianism wrong or that the media interviews that MMM is doing are portraying Mustachianism in a different light than I understand it as an avid blog reader who has read every article. I kinda want to clear things up with GL, but I'm not exactly sure what to say to him to clear up the crazy misconception he has that Mustachianism = no fun. <--actual question of this whole thing
« Last Edit: October 22, 2013, 08:11:05 PM by ch12 »

Zelda01

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Re: Really strange conversation with a Mustachian friend who hates MMM
« Reply #1 on: October 06, 2013, 01:09:26 PM »
I like this video about MMM on Yahoo -->  http://finance.yahoo.com/news/how-i-retired-at-32-191840012.html

(Sorry, people, I may not be inserting the link correctly.  Let me know.)

Before I watched the video, I expected MMM to be exhaling expletives from both nostrils.  When I watched it, I was quite surprised that MMM seemed so mild-mannered and personable.

My bf used to burst out laughing every time I said the phrase "Mr Money Mustache."  But after seeing the video, he changed his tune.


ch12

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Re: Really strange conversation with a Mustachian friend who hates MMM
« Reply #2 on: October 06, 2013, 01:50:36 PM »
Thanks for your response, Zelda. Maybe the FinFit videos are the way to go...

geekette

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Re: Really strange conversation with a Mustachian friend who hates MMM
« Reply #3 on: October 06, 2013, 02:15:25 PM »
I have to admit, many of his posts rub me the wrong way as well.  He often comes off as smug, and thinks everyone has the same abilities/drives/desires as he does.

I find the forums much more interesting.

Kira

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Re: Really strange conversation with a Mustachian friend who hates MMM
« Reply #4 on: October 06, 2013, 02:26:49 PM »
I have to admit, many of his posts rub me the wrong way as well.  He often comes off as smug, and thinks everyone has the same abilities/drives/desires as he does.

I find the forums much more interesting.

I often find myself thinking the same thing. That he frequently comes off as implying that you are not doing it 'right' if you don't do it the same way he does.

In general though, I find that any discussion of saving money or living a different lifestyle can make people defensive about the choices they have made and the life they live, particularly if they didn't arrive at those choices and lifestyle through conscious effort. If your friend has or is intending to have children and still works, he may feel like MMM saying that you shouldn't have a job and a child at the same time is almost a personal attack against him and is thus not going to view anything else he says in a neutral light.

Mustachianism shares many tenets with actual religions. One of those tenets is that people can be converted, but that the in-your-face evangelism is not the best method for converting everyone. Other people find the missionary-style preaching to be more convincing - that they see you living the Mustachian lifestyle and how it's improved your life, and then think perhaps they should check it out themselves.

i_am_the_slime

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Re: Really strange conversation with a Mustachian friend who hates MMM
« Reply #5 on: October 06, 2013, 02:43:37 PM »
I have to admit, many of his posts rub me the wrong way as well.  He often comes off as smug, and thinks everyone has the same abilities/drives/desires as he does.

I find the forums much more interesting.

I sort of agree - my biggest problem is that he thinks it IS easy because it WAS easy for him.  If I made the amount he made I'd be in the same position as him.  That being said, I realize that part of his "schtick" is to make it seem easy to encourage people - and to that end, he has done a good job.

MrsPete

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Re: Really strange conversation with a Mustachian friend who hates MMM
« Reply #6 on: October 06, 2013, 03:08:08 PM »
I have to admit, many of his posts rub me the wrong way as well.  He often comes off as smug, and thinks everyone has the same abilities/drives/desires as he does.

I find the forums much more interesting.
I agree, though I think some of the posters on the forum are potty- mouth jerks too.  You can read for content and new ideas without admiring the person who first suggested the idea.  You can adopt the general concept without buying into every one of an individual's specific ideas. 

As for your friend not grasping the concept of early retirement, that's probably not true.  It's not that tough an idea.  More likely, his specific goals don't match up with the website creator's (or yours) point-for-point.  That doesn't mean he doesn't get it. 

ch12

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Re: Really strange conversation with a Mustachian friend who hates MMM
« Reply #7 on: October 06, 2013, 03:10:59 PM »
It sounds like your friend is doing pretty well for himself. Why this pressing need to convert him to an MMM fan?

He is doing fine. I just wanted to share about Mustachianism because he'd find it interesting. I was wrong.

Thanks everyone for your input!

travelbug

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Re: Really strange conversation with a Mustachian friend who hates MMM
« Reply #8 on: October 06, 2013, 04:39:35 PM »
I am not sure where your friend is coming from, especially as he seems to live with a similar philosophy.

I think that some people find MMM grating because he practises what he preaches. He has done the hard yards. He left his HOME, FAMILY, FRIENDS and COUNTRY, sacrificed all of that to find a great paying job in his chosen career and focused on early retirement.

FFS, many people who are now on these boards cannot even sacrifice cable TV or eating out five times a week...

I think that he grates people because they don't have the balls to change their lives and get out of their comfort zone enough to see that alternatives exist.

Also, MMM has done it. He is FI, he has RE, he is living the dream. Many do not want to hold their own lives up against him because it hurts to see the waste and perhaps what they could have achieved.

Sorry if I am ranting, but lately these forums have been so nitpicky and soft. (not this thread necessarily, but just general attitudes.)

TB

steveo

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Re: Really strange conversation with a Mustachian friend who hates MMM
« Reply #9 on: October 06, 2013, 04:50:05 PM »
My wife is frugal but she thinks MMM is a scam. In a way she is right. I just can't retire as early as MMM and I think his situation was a little unique compared to our situation.

In saying that I think the savings rate and time to get to FI is as accurate as it can be. It is just that I live in Australia which has really high house prices and I have 3 kids aged 2-12. All the principles are correct from MMM but that doesn't mean I can retire at 30. I'm intending to be FI by 50 and that to me would be a huge thing.

workathomedad

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Re: Really strange conversation with a Mustachian friend who hates MMM
« Reply #10 on: October 06, 2013, 05:19:18 PM »
MMM is a scam? Try reading EarlyRetirementExtreme.com if you're concerned. Seriously.

To OP, they say in Cali - "Fella is Hella Jealous" - people love making excuses for why they can't change/do what they say they want.


ch12

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Re: Really strange conversation with a Mustachian friend who hates MMM
« Reply #11 on: October 06, 2013, 07:21:18 PM »
The way that some on this forum treats this like a religion bothers me a bit.  It's just a lifestyle, you either like it or you don't.

Mustachianism is a lifestyle, but it is part philosophy. And I know that the religious vocabulary is probably not comfortable for you, but it's the best that I can do. When I say that I'm evangelizing, it's not like a Jehovah's witness knocking on the door - it's about asking people to live mindfully, which is part of Buddhism and not explicitly Mustachianism. In a funny twist, it's actually part of my interfaith Jesuit education, in which Buddhism played a part.
« Last Edit: October 06, 2013, 07:25:20 PM by ch12 »

avonlea

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Re: Really strange conversation with a Mustachian friend who hates MMM
« Reply #12 on: October 06, 2013, 07:22:38 PM »
I think that MMM's wording didn't truly reflect his feelings.  This is what he originally said in the Forbes article:

Quote
As my wife and I began to think about starting a family in our mid-20s, we realized that our careers were going to conflict with our desire to be good parents. We decided it would be ideal if we could quit our jobs before we had the first child. This kicked off a savings frenzy.

I think MMM meant that he and his wife had a vision of what their ideal parenting situation would be, both of them able to devote an incredible amount of time to their child.  When first talking about it in their twenties, they figured out that with intense saving and investing, they could make that ideal their reality in a just a few years' time.  They stuck to their plan and achieved their goal--a seriously awesome one! I'm sure that MMM doesn't believe that people who work full time are not good parents or that if he was ever in a situation where he needed full-time employment, he would suddenly become a bad father. Maybe MMM's phrasing sounded distasteful to your friend, but how many times have we all said things that others thought conveyed some message other than what we truly meant?  Written words are the worst.  When others can't hear our intonation or see our facial expressions, those words can so easily be misconstrued.  And when we are misunderstood in an ongoing conversation, we can easily change our wording to remedy that.  Unfortunately, you can't do that when your words are in a published article.

Dee

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Re: Really strange conversation with a Mustachian friend who hates MMM
« Reply #13 on: October 06, 2013, 07:36:19 PM »
I also have issues with MMM's tone. For me, it instills guilt. Like I'm supposed to spend my time feeling like a clown and punching myself in the face. That actually does not contribute to my accrued personal happiness. Rather than celebrating my progress and my small victories, it seems like I need to be constantly optimizing and that whatever I do, it will never be good enough. So while, on the one hand, I think MMM is great for sharing his journey and the message that we can do it too (be FI and happy), on the other hand, his manner generally makes me feel less happy about myself.

steveo

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Re: Really strange conversation with a Mustachian friend who hates MMM
« Reply #14 on: October 06, 2013, 07:49:53 PM »
MMM is a scam? Try reading EarlyRetirementExtreme.com if you're concerned. Seriously.

I'm not concerned, I don't think MMM is a scam and I also read and post on ERE.

I do think that myself and my wife cannot retire as easily as MMM. I'm also 40 now so I will never be extreme in my retirement. The main issues are though that I have 3 kids who are going to cost money even if we are frugal plus I live in Sydney, Australia and we have ridiculous house prices. These 2 factors are something that MMM has not had to worry about. On top of that his blog is probably earning him a decent side income.

I could choose to live in a much smaller house or live much further away from my work and save money but I choose not too and I think that is a good decision. I also think paying for things like swimming lessons, gymnastics and soccer for my kids is worth it.

Like I said earlier I think the principles still hold and I can see myself retiring early compared to the general population. I also think I have a great life and I have nothing to complain about. The thing is I think my wife is correct and if MMM had lived in Sydney and had 3 kids he wouldn't have been able to retire so early.

bogart

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Re: Really strange conversation with a Mustachian friend who hates MMM
« Reply #15 on: October 06, 2013, 08:49:35 PM »
Eh.  His tone (on the blog) annoys me, so I don't read it anymore.  MMM may be a lovely person and I have found useful information in his blog posts, but at this point for me they have a (-n expected) value that is less than the (expected) cost of reading them.  So it goes.  I have been led to believe that we are not required to read everything that is written and posted on the internet.  In pretty much the same vein, I start to read threads here that look like they might be interesting or useful to me and if they're not or if I find them annoying, I click away.   

As for the Forbes quote provided below (I haven't read the article and don't plan to)

Quote
As my wife and I began to think about starting a family in our mid-20s, we realized that our careers were going to conflict with our desire to be good parents. We decided it would be ideal if we could quit our jobs before we had the first child. This kicked off a savings frenzy.

... I wouldn't read much into that, honestly.  I too find it at least potentially offensive (though in fairness he is not quoted as saying, "... we realized that working to earn money was going to conflict..." but that, "we realized that our [specific] careers were going to conflict...," emphasis added), but I've been misquoted in the media myself and seen the same happen to colleagues, too, pretty regularly.  Even setting aside the point that it was likely an assessment just of their particular careers and the compatibility of those careers with parenting -- he and Mrs. are both still working as earners, after all -- it wouldn't surprise me in the least had he been trying to express a more nuanced point that got boiled down to "good parents." 

CU Tiger

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Re: Really strange conversation with a Mustachian friend who hates MMM
« Reply #16 on: October 06, 2013, 09:32:02 PM »
FFS, many people who are now on these boards cannot even sacrifice cable TV or eating out five times a week...

I think that he grates people because they don't have the balls to change their lives and get out of their comfort zone enough to see that alternatives exist.


Sorry if I am ranting, but lately these forums have been so nitpicky and soft. (not this thread necessarily, but just general attitudes.)

TB

While I think it is good to treat people with respect, we don't have to bend over backwards to be "nice". If you want nice, pay $80 bucks a year and post on Dave Ramsey's forums. There, being nice is very important. As is not ever saying anything anything mean about Mr. Ramsey.

Someone posted here the other day, I responded. I may have been just the tiniest bit stern, but just a few hours later they had removed the entire topic. Why come to a site like this and ask for help in getting your finances straight and get butt hurt when someone says, "Your new mantra needs to be NO NEW DEBT"?

dragoncar

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Re: Really strange conversation with a Mustachian friend who hates MMM
« Reply #17 on: October 06, 2013, 10:11:20 PM »
I can see why MMMs tone puts some people off.  The world has people who need lots of validation from others and those who shrug off any criticism.  I'm more in the latter camp, so I choose to interpret his writings as a humorously over the top caricature of an insanely badass financial dude.  But I don't take it personally if he calls something I do clown-like because I'm comfortable with my reasons for living life as I choose.

Edit:  As an analogy, consider a cycling buff who wanders into one of those intense spinning boot-camp style classes where they yell at you to "push harder, go faster, you weakling!"  Some people might not care for this style, even if they do enjoy hard exercise.
« Last Edit: October 06, 2013, 10:15:34 PM by dragoncar »

thepokercab

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Re: Really strange conversation with a Mustachian friend who hates MMM
« Reply #18 on: October 06, 2013, 10:53:08 PM »
Quote
I'm more in the latter camp, so I choose to interpret his writings as a humorously over the top caricature of an insanely badass financial dude.  But I don't take it personally if he calls something I do clown-like because I'm comfortable with my reasons for living life as I choose.

I very much agree with this.  I think MMM has some very interesting things to say, and some of his older posts have some really helpful tips, but I don't take every word he writes that seriously. I think his last post was a perfect example of how over the top he can get (no news at all?  Seriously?). He seems to have really embraced the doubt and skepticism that he's received from the "internet retirement police" or whatever you want to call it and is now on a mission to just piss those people off with his writing.  At least that is the tone of the newer articles. Personally, i look at this as more of a philosophy that each person here interprets and puts into action in their own way. 

For that reason I enjoy the forum and the conversations that happen here and its the reason I keep coming back.   

Will

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Re: Really strange conversation with a Mustachian friend who hates MMM
« Reply #19 on: October 07, 2013, 12:32:25 AM »
I can see why MMMs tone puts some people off.  The world has people who need lots of validation from others and those who shrug off any criticism.  I'm more in the latter camp, so I choose to interpret his writings as a humorously over the top caricature of an insanely badass financial dude.  But I don't take it personally if he calls something I do clown-like because I'm comfortable with my reasons for living life as I choose.

Edit:  As an analogy, consider a cycling buff who wanders into one of those intense spinning boot-camp style classes where they yell at you to "push harder, go faster, you weakling!"  Some people might not care for this style, even if they do enjoy hard exercise.

+1!

MMM is not here to coddle you and make you feel better about the less-than-optimal choices you make.  Yes, his "tone" can be off-putting, but keep in mind that he often writes about how he still has lots of room for improvement himself. He uses humor and hyperbole as a weapon.  Don't take it personally; chances are, he doesn't even know you.  But he knows types, and there are a lot of complainypants who make excuses, just like there are people who come up with excuses as to why they can't lose weight or exercise or whatever.  It is easier to say why you can't do something than to do it.  But that isn't MMM's way.   Personally, as I've gotten glimpses into MMM's personal world, I have to say I like him even more.  He seems to be a very genuine and caring person with a great sense of humor.  I think the world would be a MUCH better place if more people were like him. 

Riceman

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Re: Really strange conversation with a Mustachian friend who hates MMM
« Reply #20 on: October 07, 2013, 05:04:45 AM »
OP:  Nyc and dc are different worlds. Some nyc folks consider dc itself as close to rural. And dc really isnt a big city; it's a medium sized city with sprawling commuter subarbs.

Charlotte

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Re: Really strange conversation with a Mustachian friend who hates MMM
« Reply #21 on: October 07, 2013, 05:42:24 AM »
I read MMM as a guideline to find what is important to you and go for it!

He and Mrs. MMM wanted to be home with their child. Brilliant! But not what I want. I want for my husband to be able to retire. And I want both of us to be healthier. I will work forever so long my job still exists (I am self-employed and already work only part-time and I love what I do [at least most of the time]).

So I have thought about a bike, and free weights. But I'm not *there* yet. I did grab hold of the oats in the cereal thing and boy did I run with that! I now go through two boxes of cereal a month instead of two a week! And I like it!! I also got a free treadmill from my sister and I'm using that every day.

I'm still early in the blog, but I like the ideas, and the occasional swearing, and MMM is opening my eyes. Just my 2 cents, fwiw.

Grindin' Away

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Re: Really strange conversation with a Mustachian friend who hates MMM
« Reply #22 on: October 07, 2013, 07:18:19 AM »
Psychology 101, some people just want to hear what they want to hear.  They want people to tell them that they are doing everything exactly right as it is.  They can't take criticism, and immediately write off anything anyone says against their views.  Frankly, I find it a waste of time to try and talk to these types of people.

If you read Mr. Money Mustache with this lens, you're an idiot and don't get it.  Probably not worth it to try and persuade him as his delusional mind is already made up, because he is perfect.

In my opinion, the whole point of MMM's website is to look at everything at a different angle, and see if you can make an improvement in your life.  These improvements start to compound, and before you know it you have a snowball rolling.  If you try to take his words verbatim, it won't work as you don't live MMM's life.  It's all about applying his concepts to your own situation instead.

CH12, you obviously already get it, and tried to do a good deed for a good friend.  But you might be wasting your time on GL.  My advice would be to keep doing what your're doing to improve yourself, and try to spread the good word to other people willing to better themselves.

reginna

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Re: Really strange conversation with a Mustachian friend who hates MMM
« Reply #23 on: October 07, 2013, 07:20:15 AM »
"I shall allow no man to belittle my soul by making me hate him." - Booker T. Washington

Thank you for that thought this morning. What a perfect way to start the day.

Pollyanna

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Re: Really strange conversation with a Mustachian friend who hates MMM
« Reply #24 on: October 07, 2013, 07:25:54 AM »
I enjoyed reading the threads on this post.  I like reading MMM and keep up with every blog entry.  I have always been frugal, but he has raised the bar and gives me a lot to think about and take action on.  However, if I were to lay out a few things about my life, I would be in the anti-mustachian hall of fame.  Some of those things I am unwilling to change.   MMM has helped many people see things differently and seriously attack debt and alter their lifestyle - this is all good.  But I do take it all as what one family is doing, and not necessarily that I have to do the same.   Read it all, digest it, alter (or don't alter) your lifestyle as you see appropriate for yourself. 

Tyler

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Re: Really strange conversation with a Mustachian friend who hates MMM
« Reply #25 on: October 07, 2013, 10:10:57 AM »
MMM is a scam? Try reading EarlyRetirementExtreme.com if you're concerned. Seriously.

I'm not concerned, I don't think MMM is a scam and I also read and post on ERE.

+1

There's nothing wrong with reading multiple sources of similar information but preferring one based on who "speaks to you" most effectively.  MMM and Jacob are both great, IMO, and offer different perspectives on the same goal. 


SnackDog

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Re: Really strange conversation with a Mustachian friend who hates MMM
« Reply #26 on: October 07, 2013, 10:39:02 AM »
I don't read the blog or really drink the MMM Kool-aid much anymore either. He is some sort of a pied piper for people trapped in horrible jobs with huge debts trying to spend their way out of their miserable existence.

It seems fine for some people, but I can't really get past the thesis that working for a living is misery and to be avoided at all cost.  One reaction is to declare an emergency, eliminate all discretionary spending and hoard cash for a decade in order to break free.  In other words, a decade of misery at a loathsome job accompanied by no spending on the home front. My reaction would be to find gainful employment doing something I loved doing all day.  People rave that this is not possible, but I see it quite a lot.

Some people have had bad experiences, but mine has been great and so have most people I know and with whom I work.  People are slow to retire at this company and those that make it out the door frequently come back to consult for a few years afterward because they miss it.

BC_Goldman

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Re: Really strange conversation with a Mustachian friend who hates MMM
« Reply #27 on: October 07, 2013, 10:57:31 AM »
I don't read the blog or really drink the MMM Kool-aid much anymore either. He is some sort of a pied piper for people trapped in horrible jobs with huge debts trying to spend their way out of their miserable existence.

It seems fine for some people, but I can't really get past the thesis that working for a living is misery and to be avoided at all cost.  One reaction is to declare an emergency, eliminate all discretionary spending and hoard cash for a decade in order to break free.  In other words, a decade of misery at a loathsome job accompanied by no spending on the home front. My reaction would be to find gainful employment doing something I loved doing all day.  People rave that this is not possible, but I see it quite a lot.

Some people have had bad experiences, but mine has been great and so have most people I know and with whom I work.  People are slow to retire at this company and those that make it out the door frequently come back to consult for a few years afterward because they miss it.

I think you have completely missed the point of Mustachianism. It's not about spending your way out of debt, being miserable to save money, or thinking work is for suckers. It's about having financial security and giving yourself options. Nothing wrong with continuing to work once you can afford to retire but now you can work because you enjoy it not because you have to keep the bills paid.

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Re: Really strange conversation with a Mustachian friend who hates MMM
« Reply #28 on: October 07, 2013, 11:31:19 AM »
I don't read the blog or really drink the MMM Kool-aid much anymore either. He is some sort of a pied piper for people trapped in horrible jobs with huge debts trying to spend their way out of their miserable existence.

It seems fine for some people, but I can't really get past the thesis that working for a living is misery and to be avoided at all cost.  One reaction is to declare an emergency, eliminate all discretionary spending and hoard cash for a decade in order to break free.  In other words, a decade of misery at a loathsome job accompanied by no spending on the home front. My reaction would be to find gainful employment doing something I loved doing all day.  People rave that this is not possible, but I see it quite a lot.

Some people have had bad experiences, but mine has been great and so have most people I know and with whom I work.  People are slow to retire at this company and those that make it out the door frequently come back to consult for a few years afterward because they miss it.

I think you have completely missed the point of Mustachianism. It's not about spending your way out of debt, being miserable to save money, or thinking work is for suckers. It's about having financial security and giving yourself options. Nothing wrong with continuing to work once you can afford to retire but now you can work because you enjoy it not because you have to keep the bills paid.

+1

Being financially independent is the goal - and that may very well mean you work at something that earns you money that you live off of - but you chose the job and are not dependent on that job since you have a nice little nest egg quietly earning interest. If you enjoy your work, there's no reason to stop working. But at least you have that as an OPTION.  MMM and family actually do work and earn money still - but they don't HAVE to - they do it because it's fun or challenging for them.

Will

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Re: Really strange conversation with a Mustachian friend who hates MMM
« Reply #29 on: October 07, 2013, 11:53:01 AM »
I don't read the blog or really drink the MMM Kool-aid much anymore either. He is some sort of a pied piper for people trapped in horrible jobs with huge debts trying to spend their way out of their miserable existence.

It seems fine for some people, but I can't really get past the thesis that working for a living is misery and to be avoided at all cost.  One reaction is to declare an emergency, eliminate all discretionary spending and hoard cash for a decade in order to break free.  In other words, a decade of misery at a loathsome job accompanied by no spending on the home front. My reaction would be to find gainful employment doing something I loved doing all day.  People rave that this is not possible, but I see it quite a lot.

Some people have had bad experiences, but mine has been great and so have most people I know and with whom I work.  People are slow to retire at this company and those that make it out the door frequently come back to consult for a few years afterward because they miss it.

This reminds me of people that join fan sites to say how much they hate someone, like the people who are on the Jeff Gordon fan sites to say how much they hate Jeff Gordon. 

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Re: Really strange conversation with a Mustachian friend who hates MMM
« Reply #30 on: October 07, 2013, 11:57:16 AM »
I think that the word "rural" means different things to different people. To someone in the Midwest like me, rural means a town that just got its first stoplight or maybe that has one gas station at best.

Whereas to others, rural means that you have to travel some distance to even reach a town that has a stop light or gas station :-)

But otherwise, I somewhat agree with your friend about some parts of MMM's philosophy.  I don't find working a misery (but I work out at the bleeding edge of sci/tech), though I can see how people with less interesting work could feel that way.  And I don't really think it's all that good for kids to be with their parents 100% of the time.

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Re: Really strange conversation with a Mustachian friend who hates MMM
« Reply #31 on: October 07, 2013, 12:33:50 PM »
MMM and family actually do work and earn money still - but they don't HAVE to - they do it because it's fun or challenging for them.

And I don't really think it's all that good for kids to be with their parents 100% of the time.

Yes, it's true that they still work, but I was under the impression that they devoted a lot of their time to their son when he was a newborn and during his early childhood. There was pretty much always a parent with him except for part-time preschool classes.  Now that he's in elementary school, MMM and his wife have even more time to pursue other interests.  Did I not understand that correctly?



gimp

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Re: Really strange conversation with a Mustachian friend who hates MMM
« Reply #32 on: October 07, 2013, 12:40:16 PM »
On the pro side:

MMM teaches that you can be really, truly happy with your life while spending a bare minimum by living frugally and cutting most discretionary spending, and spending on experiences instead of items. It truly is an awesome way of life, and a lot of people have been living this way most of their lives. MMM also teaches how to do a lot of things yourself.

On the con side:

People will absolutely have knee-jerk reactions to someone earning six figures (low six figures, but still) retiring early. That immediately makes people say "Nope, no way I can do it." This is a fair criticism. They're wrong, but it's obvious where their reaction comes from.

People also have knee-jerk reactions to someone earning six figures living on ~20K a year. That makes a lot of people who are high earners and could do it say "screw that, I like spending the money I earn on myself" (because they may be spoiled gits), and makes people coming up in the world but thinking of themselves as future-high-earners think "pfft, why would I put in all this effort to earn the money I want just so I can't spend it?" This is a weak point, and hopefully these people can realize why all their spending probably isn't making them all that happy.



As an interesting example, I know plenty of people earning 100-120k and driving 80-100k cars. Now, this is a bit spendy, because normal families (with decent financial sense) drive cars that are significantly lower than their pre-tax annual earnings. However, what's more interesting is that these people fall into two groups:

- The ones who get their fancy new car and pay for it for six years
- The ones who either pay cash, or are done paying in one-two years

When a 25-year-old guy buys an 80k car in cash, and you know he came from nothing and works crazy hours, it's obvious that he's living fairly well - he can save well over half his salary every year! (For some reason, it's almost always a guy, not a lady. They might be too smart for that...) So it's clear that this is something he really, really wanted, for a long time. And I know 35-year-old guys who have ten-year-old cars they originally paid for in cash, that still look almost new, still handle like a dream, and should last at least another ten. Now, I will 100% understand why those people have no use for this blog. Their priorities are different, and their car probably makes them happy.

On the other hand, the ones who pay for their car for six years and then immediately start looking for an upgrade are probably not so smart, and not so happy.

Meggslynn

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Re: Really strange conversation with a Mustachian friend who hates MMM
« Reply #33 on: October 07, 2013, 01:01:59 PM »
Well, I do agree with him on one point. I do think you can be a good parent and have a full time job. I do and I think I am a wonderul parent. Yes I work 35 hours a week at a job I enjoy. My son started going to a registered dayhome when he was 12 months old and he LOVES it. That's not me being in denial, it's true. In the mornings he is excited to go and talks about his dayhome friends all the time. He has advanced so quickly there by learning from and interacting with the other children.
When I pick my son up, the four hours we have together before bed time are completely devoted to him. Not cleaning, running errands or the like which was the case when I was stay at home mom.
I was not happy staying home and I am pretty sure my son was bored out of his mind being at home with me all day. Since I wasn't bringing in any money we couldn't afford to join $150/month "mom and baby activities" and play dates with other moms and kids usually consisted of going to the rec centre or play centers at $10 a pop.
I also get a paid 47 days off a year besides weekends so I am always there when my son needs me.

dragoncar

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Re: Really strange conversation with a Mustachian friend who hates MMM
« Reply #34 on: October 07, 2013, 01:14:31 PM »
"I shall allow no man to belittle my soul by making me hate him." - Booker T. Washington

Thank you for that thought this morning. What a perfect way to start the day.

A noble spirit embiggins the smallest man

- Jebediah Springfield

ch12

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Re: Really strange conversation with a Mustachian friend who hates MMM
« Reply #35 on: October 07, 2013, 05:47:54 PM »
I think that the word "rural" means different things to different people. To someone in the Midwest like me, rural means a town that just got its first stoplight or maybe that has one gas station at best.

Whereas to others, rural means that you have to travel some distance to even reach a town that has a stop light or gas station :-)

But otherwise, I somewhat agree with your friend about some parts of MMM's philosophy.  I don't find working a misery (but I work out at the bleeding edge of sci/tech), though I can see how people with less interesting work could feel that way.  And I don't really think it's all that good for kids to be with their parents 100% of the time.

OP:  Nyc and dc are different worlds. Some nyc folks consider dc itself as close to rural. And dc really isnt a big city; it's a medium sized city with sprawling commuter subarbs.

Thanks for your input on what "rural" means. There's a federal definition. I work in healthcare IT and there are specific rural health programs with an actual definition, but I'm actually surprised to hear that New Yorkers would consider DC rural. I was one of those commuters coming in from the end of the metro line and found my existence pretty pleasant. It was far out enough to have a pool, yet close enough that I could still get on the train. Such an interesting difference in perception...

I also think that GL finds work pleasurable, and he's certainly gone out to find really cool positions. His forthcoming job is precisely what he wants to be doing and I'm glad for him. I think that he'd rather have a career doing what he loves best than ending the game at age 30. (He pretty much explicitly said that.)

I personally love my job a lot and if it continues to be as fun and inspiring as it is now, I think that I'll stick around for a while. It helps that the job has fantastic health benefits ("my wife just had a baby and we paid not a single penny" was what I was told a few days in). My company has a habit of things switching at 6 months and finally hitting people with a deluge of work, so I'll see how things are in December. However, I had a talk with my boss today, and she said that she had given me a normal workload for the past few weeks. I am not staggering under it by any means. In fact, I've been filling my spare work time with boss-sanctioned Internet browsing (/"industry research") and taking part in not-my-primary-team projects, like delving into French translation. Since these are things that I do for free on my own time, my job doesn't really feel like work. We can dress how we want to and the company has a culinary staff that provides the vast bulk of my food needs. Plus I've got a shot at being sent abroad for 2-3 years soon. :)

DocCyane

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Re: Really strange conversation with a Mustachian friend who hates MMM
« Reply #36 on: October 07, 2013, 06:28:16 PM »
I don't understand "hating" MMM when you don't know him personally. I can see being turned off by his message or not admiring him personally, however.

I would fall in that latter category. While he has a great message and influences people positively, I don't admire him. From what I've read, there haven't been any challenges in his life or great ordeal to overcome. Most adults I know have dealt with true poverty, divorce, illness, abuse, handicap, natural disaster or other major hurdles. He's more like the captain of the football team with the red mustang and the cheerleader girlfriend. What exactly did he overcome to achieve his situation?

But again, I don't know him. I know the superficial, Internet persona and for all I know he's dealt with more than he speaks of.

Abe

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Re: Really strange conversation with a Mustachian friend who hates MMM
« Reply #37 on: October 07, 2013, 07:32:20 PM »
Regarding challenges he's faced... he did move from his home country and family to pursue his career, and did have a business venture that went sour due to the recession. Just because his life hasn't had any major messes (that we know of) doesn't mean he is the captain of the football team!

grantmeaname

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Re: Really strange conversation with a Mustachian friend who hates MMM
« Reply #38 on: October 07, 2013, 07:45:50 PM »
I think MMM's bravado is ridiculously funny most of the time and that the humor keeps me from getting bored with the message. I try not to take things to seriously in general though (not that I always or even often succeed), and I can certainly understand why people would disagree.

Nords

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Re: Really strange conversation with a Mustachian friend who hates MMM
« Reply #39 on: October 07, 2013, 08:23:55 PM »
I think MMM's bravado is ridiculously funny most of the time and that the humor keeps me from getting bored with the message. I try not to take things to seriously in general though (not that I always or even often succeed), and I can certainly understand why people would disagree.
Exactly.

For those who are critical of Pete and his writing style, I've had the chance to get to know him better at three different occasions... FinCon12 in Denver, and twice here on Oahu.  If I pointed him out to you in public and said "Hey, that's the guy who blogs as MMM" you'd be highly skeptical.  There's no way such a nice, mild-mannered, likable guy could ever write like that.  There's no way a guy who'd write about facepunches and complainypants could ever be so nice in person.

There are approximately 82 gazillion personal finance blogs on the Web.  He's managed to find a voice/tone that stands out from a very large and very homogeneous crowd.  Applaud him for being unique, or envy his traffic (and his Google AdSense income), but you have to admire the achievement of being able to strike a strong resonance with such a large crowd... good or bad.

For those who take offense:  If you're offended by his confrontational writing style, you may want to ask yourself whether it's possible-- just barely hypothetically within the realm of conjecture-- that you're feeling a little defensive and thin-skinned.  Because if you're disagreeing with a guy who advocates an environmentally-friendly low-impact lifestyle, then what's wrong with subjecting yourself to the same introspection?
« Last Edit: October 07, 2013, 10:06:44 PM by Nords »

Paul der Krake

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Re: Really strange conversation with a Mustachian friend who hates MMM
« Reply #40 on: October 07, 2013, 08:45:01 PM »
He probably gets a kick out of being this slightly over-the-top character when he puts his Internet Celebrity hat on. I know I would. Besides, you need a pretty thick skin to deal with the online mobs and mentally unstable crowds that inevitably bombard the inbox of any blogger with a sizeable following. Staying in character is a great way to not take things personally.

ch12

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Re: Really strange conversation with a Mustachian friend who hates MMM
« Reply #41 on: October 08, 2013, 05:36:10 PM »
I don't understand "hating" MMM when you don't know him personally. I can see being turned off by his message or not admiring him personally, however.

I would fall in that latter category. While he has a great message and influences people positively, I don't admire him. From what I've read, there haven't been any challenges in his life or great ordeal to overcome. Most adults I know have dealt with true poverty, divorce, illness, abuse, handicap, natural disaster or other major hurdles. He's more like the captain of the football team with the red mustang and the cheerleader girlfriend. What exactly did he overcome to achieve his situation?

But again, I don't know him. I know the superficial, Internet persona and for all I know he's dealt with more than he speaks of.

He did go through one really awful experience with the company that he set up with a then-friend. http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/02/01/mr-money-mustaches-big-mistake/

Quote
But then an interesting thing happened. The SECOND we all signed those final papers at the title company, shutting down the home building company, wiping out the mortgage, and separating my fate from Deans forever, I felt a weight equivalent to the entire chain of the Rocky Mountains lift instantly off of my shoulders.

Finally, the emotional damage could start to heal. During the peak of the crisis, I had lost my ability to sleep, lost my appetite, and lost 25 pounds of bodyweight over a period of just a few weeks. I could think of nothing but rage, revenge, and worry. To fight back I read several books about stress, its underlying causes, and how to deal with it. I also learned more about happiness, and started keeping a journal where Id write about my level of worry and my goals for the next day one day at a time, and then one week at a time.  I was feeling better every day, even before the underlying problem was solved.

After the deal was done, all this preparation and research compounded with the natural relief of the situation and made me a freakishly happy man. And when I say happy, I mean jumping up and down, sprinting around the block, and then punching a punching bag while laughing out tears of joy until you collapse, happy. Ive continued to be roughly this happy for the two years since then, taking a life that was already pretty good, and ending up with one that is as good as being a an immortal superhero who lives on a cloud playing a Golden Grand Piano while his best friends accompany on the bass and drums, as the entire population of Earth gathers  below the cloud every evening at sunset for an all-night dance party*.

And the financial damage has slowly healed too. Extra work, frugality, and even a big boost from the developer of the neighborhood who took pity and decided to forgive a loan my old company owed him, all contributed. I took good care of my expensive new rental house, the rental market grew strong, and I found great tenants who now pay reliably even as they add gardens and lovingly maintain the house as if it were their own. It took a long time, but were now finally ahead of where we were before making The Big Mistake.

In the end, I spent somewhere in the range of $150-$200 grand on this educational experience. But in the long run, I would dare to say that Im going to make a huge profit on it when measured over a lifetime.

I actually started this thread to figure out what to say to GL about MMM to help him understand that MMM wasn't a horrible person, but this thread has derailed a bunch to cover why MMM is objectionable to people in these forums. And then of course a bunch of regulars chimed in about how MMM is a comedian and is deliberately over the top (which is what I think, too).

I would also say that GL doesn't hate MMM personally (as DocCyane says, GL has never met MMM) and that he would probably say something to the effect of disliking the strong message in the Forbes article. That would be the most accurate description, I suppose.

matchewed

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Re: Really strange conversation with a Mustachian friend who hates MMM
« Reply #42 on: October 08, 2013, 05:53:40 PM »
IMO the answer is in your original post. GL states very specifically according to you what bone he has to pick with MMM, that being MMM's view on what constitutes a "good" parent. Now what MMM actually said is that their careers would interfere with them being good parents. What GL seems to have heard is you can't work and be a good parent, but that's not what MMM has said, and GL and MMM may have different definitions of what being a good parent means and what is entailed in maintaining and pursuing a career. MMM has proven himself to be a man who will dive headfirst into a pursuit. He may have just felt that is at odds with raising children rather than working means being a bad parent.

I think MMM has had past posts which have expanded a bit on his thoughts of raising little MMM with MrsMM. Perhaps find those and pass them by GL so that he can see where MMM is coming from and how GL may have just mistaken MMM's point.

dragoncar

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Re: Really strange conversation with a Mustachian friend who hates MMM
« Reply #43 on: October 08, 2013, 05:56:59 PM »
IMO the answer is who cares what some random dude thinks about some other random dude?

Scrooge McDuck

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Re: Really strange conversation with a Mustachian friend who hates MMM
« Reply #44 on: October 08, 2013, 06:32:35 PM »
Maybe your friend got off on the wrong foot.  What about hitting him inbetween the eyes with some of MMM's gold material.

http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/forum/welcome-to-the-forum/top-ten-mmm-posts-for-new-readers/

Failing that - he simply may not like his writing style or attitude. Each to their own I say.


Eric

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Re: Really strange conversation with a Mustachian friend who hates MMM
« Reply #45 on: October 08, 2013, 07:12:30 PM »
I think MMM's bravado is ridiculously funny most of the time and that the humor keeps me from getting bored with the message. I try not to take things to seriously in general though (not that I always or even often succeed), and I can certainly understand why people would disagree.

Same here.  I don't even notice the harsh tone half of the time.  I think it's because we have the same sense of humor.  I personally think he's hilarious.

mikefixac

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Re: Really strange conversation with a Mustachian friend who hates MMM
« Reply #46 on: October 08, 2013, 08:51:58 PM »
I don't really get this thread or many of the commenters on MMMs posts.

Many readers take what he writes too personally. MMM will write one sentence in a long post and the commenter will go off on a tangent, write a 5 paragraph comment on how that doesn't apply to him.

I'm seeing that more and more on the comments. Really, who gives a shit about minutiae in a commenters life that slightly disagrees with one sentence MMM wrote?

The way I look at it, MMM is some dude that writes a blog, has some very good ideas that he's applied in his life, and synthesizes them in his posts. And by the number of people that read his blog, with no advertising (as far as I know), he's providing one hell of a service. And as far as I know, he hasn't ever charged me a penny.

dragoncar

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Re: Really strange conversation with a Mustachian friend who hates MMM
« Reply #47 on: October 08, 2013, 09:53:44 PM »
I don't really get this thread or many of the commenters on MMMs posts.

Many readers take what he writes too personally. MMM will write one sentence in a long post and the commenter will go off on a tangent, write a 5 paragraph comment on how that doesn't apply to him.

I'm seeing that more and more on the comments. Really, who gives a shit about minutiae in a commenters life that slightly disagrees with one sentence MMM wrote?

The way I look at it, MMM is some dude that writes a blog, has some very good ideas that he's applied in his life, and synthesizes them in his posts. And by the number of people that read his blog, with no advertising (as far as I know), he's providing one hell of a service. And as far as I know, he hasn't ever charged me a penny.

There are ads.  You may wish to whitelist MMM in adblock or similar just for support.

Nords

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Re: Really strange conversation with a Mustachian friend who hates MMM
« Reply #48 on: October 10, 2013, 12:16:34 AM »
He probably gets a kick out of being this slightly over-the-top character when he puts his Internet Celebrity hat on. I know I would.
Nah, for us bloggers it's all about the groupies.

mr. T

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Re: Really strange conversation with a Mustachian friend who hates MMM
« Reply #49 on: October 10, 2013, 07:35:12 AM »
I think for (almost) everyone there are things to like and things to dislike about the mustache guy. I think key is to use whatever is useful for you and ignore the bits that are not useful.

Just my take:

Things I admire about him:
1- He has done it! He has changed his life in a way that's not obvious and he is living his dream. I think that's really admirable. Regardless of the exact nature of the dream.
2- He is willing to share. He doesn't have to write a blog. He could just as easily live his quiet life and nobody would know. And I suspect there's quite a number of quiet mustache guys out there that don't write blogs and that nobody knows about.

Things I like:
1- I like his humor. I like his way of writing. I do understand it's not for everyone, but I like it.
2- I like his basic message. Don't waste, live within your means, invest the difference, achieve freedom. Great stuff.
3- He has a good number of useful, practical tips (biking, car selection, eliminating careless spending).

Things I don't like / agree with:
1- The paleo-diet stuff and the preaching about it. I tend to skip the diet postings.
2- The anti-consumerism thing. I think consumerism is OK, as long as it's proportional to wealth. I won't criticise Larry Ellison's new yacht, because the guy can clearly afford it. But I would criticise Mike Tyson who made a billion and still went bankrupt through overspending. I always have to smile when some guy who's on a long holyday in some exotic location is singing the anti-consumerist tune. Holidays are consumerist. Compared to a large part of world population, we're all rampantly consumerist. Which is OK, because compared to that same part of world population we're also incredibly rich.
3- He doesn't talk a lot of politics, but I doubt we would vote the same if we were in the same country.
4- His choice of hobbies. Building houses and reparing cars would never be a hobby of mine.  Maybe a chore, but definitely not a hobby.
5- His fixation on efficiency and optimisation. I like to switch off once in a while. Watch stupid shows on TV, play video games, read fiction (Donald Duck magazine for what I care). And I will keep on doing that kind of stuff even though the mustache guy says it's suboptimal use of brain power. And if that postpones The Great Moment, than so be it.
6- His idea that the world would be a better place if everyone would be like him. That's not true. The world would be a better place if everyone would be like me.

My take is that the things I like and admire are the big items, the things I don't like or agree with are the little things. On the whole, I think he's doing a great job.