Author Topic: The middle way - A Pencil Thin Mustache  (Read 5093 times)

Sacadoh

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 43
The middle way - A Pencil Thin Mustache
« on: May 17, 2013, 08:35:40 AM »
Minus Side - 3 cars (need only 1, and 1 is held overseas), 1 income, large house even for my family of 5, enormous heating bills, 2 day childcare a week even though Mrs S is not working, cleaner 1 day a week, too heavy food bill.

Plus Side - good income & bonus's from an enjoyable job, healthy pension pot & some good savings, negligible mortgage, savings rate c50%.

I could cut back hard and retire in 5 years at 50, or bumble along quite happily and retire at 55.

Does anyone else like Mr MMM's philsophy & but apply the the rules more liberally than his hardcore readers - or am I going to have face punches applied?

gecko10x

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 420
    • SawyerPF
Re: The middle way - A Pencil Thin Mustache
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2013, 08:56:43 AM »
Does anyone else like Mr MMM's philsophy & but apply the the rules more liberally than his hardcore readers - or am I going to have face punches applied?

Yes. ;-)

I'm sure there's the whole spectrum on here. It's about making a conscious, informed decision about how you want to live and getting to your goals as efficiently as possible.

arebelspy

  • Administrator
  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 28008
  • Age: -999
  • Location: Seattle, WA
Re: The middle way - A Pencil Thin Mustache
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2013, 09:02:16 AM »
Does anyone else like Mr MMM's philsophy & but apply the the rules more liberally than his hardcore readers

Heck yes!  I'm planning on a FIRE budget at least 2x the Mr. Mr. Money Mustache family, possibly more.

That being said, I don't think there are "rules" per-say, beyond being conscious of your spending and don't do things merely out of convenience.

It's about making a conscious, informed decision about how you want to live and getting to your goals as efficiently as possible.

Well said!
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and are now settled with two kids.
If you want to know more about us, 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.

kt

  • Guest
Re: The middle way - A Pencil Thin Mustache
« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2013, 09:36:08 AM »
i do not have the income to become financially independent particularly quickly and that's if everything remains exactly as it is (highly unlikely in my early 20s when i'd like children). nor do i imagine ever having a much higher salary or the inclination to live as i do now for decades (living on below uk minimum wage though earning more).
so i really appreciate the thoughts and ideas here and will be implementing many of them and i will certainly be highly conscious in my financial decisions. mmm makes me more aware of the freedom that savings give you and how little things can really add up without making much  of a difference on a day to day basis.
but i'll be going for a more middle path.

FlorenceMcGillicutty

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 116
Re: The middle way - A Pencil Thin Mustache
« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2013, 09:51:14 AM »
Ha! I like the pencil thin mustache.

I'm new here and I want to be more concious of my spending and of what actually brings me happiness. It's a really powerful message to hear when everything else in my world is saying the opposite. In my experience, especially because I'm a high earner, the people I work with and the people I see are much more spendy than the average American. I love being on the forum to hear the "right" perspective.

That said, I do intend to be more liberal than MMM. I'm kind of scared of having a small income in retirement. I want to be overprepared. I plan on having enough for $100,000/yr before I retire. Also, my husband and I love our jobs and our work. I figure we'll be good working for at least the next 10 years or so. I may reevaluate then. Right now, I put our retirement at 50. If we lower our spending, we could move that up as long as everything keeps well. We've been super fortunate and blessed.

hybrid

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1673
  • Age: 53
  • Location: Richmond, Virginia
  • A hybrid of MMM and thoughtful consumer.
Re: The middle way - A Pencil Thin Mustache
« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2013, 12:45:09 PM »
My former boss had a favorite saying: "Take what works and leave the rest".  I will most likely not get to a point where I save 66% of take home.  But given where I am starting from (said the golfer), I have so much low hanging consumption fruit to pick from that I will be thrilled to see 33% in the near term, that would be a substantial improvement.  Right now my savings rate is pretty typical of a lot of folks who plan to work until 66 or so, but I am looking at shaving at least six years from retirement with just some basic changes.  Can I retire at 56 instead?  Well, that all depends on how much I am willing to save between now and then.  All I know is that either option is better than 66.  I'd bet the same mentality applies to you.  Every dollar saved is a dollar closer to financial independence.

Personally, I think pencil thin is just fine and even appropriate for some, it just depends on your situation.  Good luck!

Lans Holman

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 276
  • Location: North by Northwest
Re: The middle way - A Pencil Thin Mustache
« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2013, 10:23:17 PM »
To me one of the cool core tenets of this site is that not only is saving money worthwhile for its own sake, a lot of times it comes from things that you really don't need.  Your situation is so different from mine that I have a hard time making specific suggestions, but I would just say you should ask yourself what of the things you are spending on are really necessary to make you happy.  When you say "cut back hard" are you really talking about making yourself miserable?  In which case don't do it.  But if there are changes you could be making that wouldn't hurt your quality of life, go for it.  You're saving 50% of your income, so you must be doing something right.  But what would it be like if you sold 1 car?  Are your kids old enough that they could be doing more to help around the house, so you didn't need to hire as much cleaning help? That might be good for them anyway.  And why are your heating bills so high? Can you get an energy audit?

Sacadoh

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 43
Re: The middle way - A Pencil Thin Mustache
« Reply #7 on: May 18, 2013, 05:17:57 AM »
Thanks for the thoughts and ideas. I know I could happily cut back a lot but don't want to put much pressure on Mrs S who has given up work to bring up our three kids.

Visiting Mr MMM's blog is a bit like going to church - I might not live live a saint during the week, but getting some strong  "spiritual guidance"on Sunday helps me walk the middle way rather than losing myself to the unthinking consumerism we can be prone to without reflection, during the week.

Keep it up, feller!

little_owl

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 158
  • Location: DC Metro
Re: The middle way - A Pencil Thin Mustache
« Reply #8 on: May 18, 2013, 05:23:27 AM »
Find out what motivates your wife, and then use that to get her on board.  That is what my husband did a few years ago, before we were MMM readers, but when he was more focused on financial independence than I was.

For me, it was the idea of neither of us HAVING to work full time jobs.  That was motivating enough for me to cut back pretty dramatically - on clothing, beauty care, cell phones, entertainment and other nonsense that I was working my tail off to buy.  Silly.

But - overall, yes, from lurking in the forums there is a spectrum of folks -- the good news is, even from your brief introduction it looks like you have plenty of opportunity to become more Mustachian if you like!  :)

nktokyo

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 370
Re: The middle way - A Pencil Thin Mustache
« Reply #9 on: May 18, 2013, 07:16:02 AM »
I think if you're saving 50% then a couple of days a week of childcare to give your wife a break is fine as long as you're both conscious that it's a luxury and a necessary and you're spending the money now, as little as a may be, at the expense of retiring a little earlier down the line.

happy

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5292
  • Location: NSW Australia
Re: The middle way - A Pencil Thin Mustache
« Reply #10 on: May 18, 2013, 05:15:12 PM »
I agree with everyone else and I'm certainly "guilty" of going the slower less radical path with spending 2.5X that of MMM for our family of 3, and 1 breadwinner working part-time. The only thing I would add is that it is worth pushing yourself just a little outside your comfort zone spending wise and convenience wise at least every now and then. You will be surprised that often you are happier not spending as much.