Author Topic: 6 months since finding MMM  (Read 9223 times)

wing117

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6 months since finding MMM
« on: July 16, 2013, 09:07:11 AM »
Wanted to share all the badassity I've introduced to my life in the six months since I started reading MMM and really looking at FI.

In Janurary this year I had a net worth of -$8,000 (credit cards + car + no savings, etc...). As of right now I have a positive net worth of $16,500. Since discovering MMM in February due to suddenly needing to save to pay taxes (and being tired of living paycheck to paycheck even though I made 86K/yr), I have made a lot of changes.

  • I created a Mint account to accurately track my money
  • Created budgets in Mint
  • Stopped going out to eat
  • Removed all subscription services except NetFlix (I'm  now looking at switching to Amazon Prime to get the free shipping as well) (I had things like Bespoke Post, Tonx, etc...)
  • Stopped buying lunches at work
  • Started working with a local coffee roaster to get cheap whole coffee beans ($10/lb) and brewing my own instead of buying stupid ass Starbucks/Peets.
  • Negotiated a reduction in my internet bill (I have no cable or land line)
  • Started riding my bike to work / not renewing the $600/yr parking pass (300+ miles clocked so far since June 1st!)
  • Just switched cellphones from Verizon ($80/mo) to Republic Wireless (19/mo)
  • Started paying more attention to employers retirement investments and optimized the funds my money was being put into
  • Got out of the rat race mindset - cars look worthless to me now, $10 meals are stupidly expensive, etc...
  • Listed out my core hobbies/loves/interests and dedicated to only making 'large' purchases on those - the great thing is my loves/hobbies are low cost once the established anyway: Cycling (just need a top rack and pannier), hand-tool woodworking (material purchases only now), cooking (ingredients), camping/hiking (well equipped already - cost of campsite)
  • Will be opening a vanguard account this week to invest my first 5K and roll over previous employer's 401K and an old Roth IRA that's only getting .25%. I plan to contribute minimum of 1000/mo until I get 10K in liquid 'oh shit' funds in my savings (I know, I know, but I need the safety net right now), then contribute every last extra penny I have to IRA/Brokerage account
  • One of my biggest accomplishments: Got the significant other to understand what this is all about, and got her 100% on board. She's starting the same process now. She just had her first "Omg, I have extra money to put into savings at the end of the pay period! That's so nice!" moment. (She makes 30K/yr currently and has always lived paycheck to paycheck)
  • Created the "to do" list to maximize our savings rate and am slowly hammering them out - selling one car, paying off the other, reducing insurance costs, moving to the new cellphone plan, etc...
  • [ADDED]: Reduced my electricity usage! CFL lightbulbs, reduce water heater to 120F (from 150!), acclimating to a warmer internal temperature (previous: 69-70, currently at 74, hope to be up to 78 in the next month(s). Winter isn't a problem because I love the cold), repaired and am running the ceiling fan, removed and sold un-used TV/Entertainment area in the living room as we never used it, resealed windows/doors and turned off desktop when not in use. (Reduced monthly bill from 150/mo to sub 90/mo so far, it keeps going down each month)

It's only been 6 months and I still have a lot of progress to make, but I went from having to work for 35+ years and possibly have nothing to show for it, to working towards having 650K in 8 years and 1 million in 11 years with the SO and I working together. That puts me well in reach of retirement by 34 years old. That's bad ass. Thanks to all the Mustachians for assistance as well!

Edit: Added electricity cost reductions! Can't believe I forgot those!
« Last Edit: July 16, 2013, 10:37:02 AM by wing117 »

Matt K

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Re: 6 months since finding MMM
« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2013, 09:12:35 AM »
That is bad ass. Well done.

tomsang

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Re: 6 months since finding MMM
« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2013, 09:13:24 AM »
Wow!!! Great progress. You are rocking the stache. Thanks for making my morning.

footenote

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Re: 6 months since finding MMM
« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2013, 09:16:54 AM »
Look at you! We should revive this periodically to showcase how much can be done in a very short time with the right mindset and actions.

wing117

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Re: 6 months since finding MMM
« Reply #4 on: July 16, 2013, 09:30:21 AM »
Thanks everyone! There were definitely some mistakes along these last six months.

For instance: To get spending under control I tried in instate a 150/week expenditure for everything that wasn't a bill. Food, gas, dog, subscription services, etc... But I learned (the hard way) that keeping to a weekly budget is much harder than holding to a monthly budget due to how expenses hit. (I still keep a 600/mo budget for 'everything else'). I was pulling my hair out because one week I needed to buy dog food, put gas in the car and one of my subscriptions hit and I didn't have enough for groceries or anything. So I tried to skimp and it was miserable.

Lots of trial and error going on. Anyone else done something similar?

aj_yooper

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Re: 6 months since finding MMM
« Reply #5 on: July 16, 2013, 09:53:38 AM »
Bad ass work!  And, you are enjoying yourself!  You are showing good energy and are getting things done.  The EF is a great idea; you will feel stronger and will be.  When you do the Vanguard account, call them when you are online and they can do the files before your eyes.  The transfers do take a bit though.  You are rolling.  Please keep us informed.

MissStache

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Re: 6 months since finding MMM
« Reply #6 on: July 16, 2013, 09:56:30 AM »
Holy shit!  That is an amazing acheivement in 6 months!  I'm super impressed- what an inspiration!

I started out on a two-week budget and ran into similar problems.  Monthly is definitely the way to go, though I'm hoping that pretty soon I'll be able to ditch the budget all together since I'm getting more used to just not buying things.  A few more months of coming under budget on my discretionary spending and I'll give it up for good!


TrulyStashin

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Re: 6 months since finding MMM
« Reply #7 on: July 16, 2013, 10:32:42 AM »
I am three months in and can echo the "trial and error" statement.  I've done almost everything you've listed here, including biking to work.  So far, I've liberated over $600/ mo in avoided wasteful spending.  That should double soon with this month's optimization measures.

I've made many of the same changes you have but at (only) three months and too many contracted monthly services to cancel, I'm still feeling like it is slow going.   I cancelled my Verizon contract 6 weeks ago and moved myself to Ting -- saved a bunch but WHAM got hit with the ETF fee.  Last week, I moved my teenager from Verizon to Ting so next month, I'll have another hefty ETF bill from Verizon.  I also just cancelled DirectTV -- that's a $200 ETF hit too.  And I'm selling a very unmustachian car at a significant loss (but looking forward to the psychic purge and rush of blissfull freedom).

I'm trying to stay focused on September when all the fees/ fallout of my shift to Mustachianism should have settled down and I can start experiencing the rush of debt-paydown blissfullness.  My goal is to pay off $10k in debt by February. 

FrugalZony

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Re: 6 months since finding MMM
« Reply #8 on: July 16, 2013, 10:37:10 AM »
What an accomplishment! Indeed!! Keep rolling and keep us posted!!!

Joet

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Re: 6 months since finding MMM
« Reply #9 on: July 16, 2013, 10:51:57 AM »
wow dude you caught, passed, and flew by me, congrats. Especially w/getting your SO on board

one minor point I'd like to make is along the lines of 'dont cut off your nose to spite your face' (doesnt sound like you are). Try not to (IMO, I'm sure most of the members here disagree) distance yourself from co-workers (NO lunches at work! Yahh1!!) as that can be counter-productive, try not to appear 'cheap' around them (career limiting), and also try to find happiness in things you do (sounds like you are already well on top of this). What am I saying, I don't know. Sounds like you're doing well.

Almost... too well *evil snicker*

wing117

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Re: 6 months since finding MMM
« Reply #10 on: July 16, 2013, 11:09:56 AM »
TrulyStashin - I now what you mean! Sometimes it takes money to get 'free', which is very hard when first starting off. My ETF for Verizon was 190, but my monthly savings more than makes up for that. I moved away from cable a looong time ago - ever since Hulu/Boxee was first released so I was lucky there. Getting outfitted for cooking more at home was rough too. I just felt like I was spending MORE money than saving.  The first month I stopped going out to eat, I dedicated 100% of the "eat out" expenditure to buying pots, pans, utensils, herbs for the garden, wash clothes, drying rack for dishes (I don't have a dish washer), etc... Same thing with the Cycling, when I first started I needed some clothes, lights, a water proof pack (it rained for three weeks straight here), a multi-tool, an air pump, spare tube and a helmet (a rack and panniers are next!).

I knew that the upfront expense would save me THOUSANDS even by the end of the year (sometimes by the end of the month), but damn it was hard to throw all that money towards the problem up front to liberate myself.

Joet - I know what you mean. The co-workers where I am don't go out for lunches already, or eat by themselves. It was a strange concept coming from a Consultant environment, but it works out well. I still put on a smile and congratulate people on their new car purchases when necessary. If people show interest in saving money, then I'll speak up on some things I've been doing, maybe even mention MMM in one case. Sadly, the only step forward in my current position is to become the Chief Technology Officer (which HR wont let happen). I'm a "Senior Systems and Operations Specialist - Advanced" working at a University - and anyone who works for a Uni knows pay raises don't come often either!

Phoebe

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Re: 6 months since finding MMM
« Reply #11 on: July 16, 2013, 01:53:50 PM »
You are making great strides, you should be so proud of yourself!!

Eric

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Re: 6 months since finding MMM
« Reply #12 on: July 16, 2013, 02:45:30 PM »
That's awesome!  It's like you got "Badassity" tattooed across your forehead.

The knitter

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Re: 6 months since finding MMM
« Reply #13 on: July 16, 2013, 06:26:13 PM »
Very impressive!


happy

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Re: 6 months since finding MMM
« Reply #14 on: July 16, 2013, 06:54:31 PM »

You're on fire! Way to go!

Michelle119

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Re: 6 months since finding MMM
« Reply #15 on: July 16, 2013, 07:19:38 PM »
Way to go! That's awesome savings rates!

arebelspy

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Re: 6 months since finding MMM
« Reply #16 on: July 16, 2013, 07:27:05 PM »
It's amazing to think about how the whole trajectory of your life and future has changed.

Way to go.
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 three 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.

N

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Re: 6 months since finding MMM
« Reply #17 on: July 16, 2013, 07:36:42 PM »
congrats! that is awesome!

vern

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Re: 6 months since finding MMM
« Reply #18 on: July 16, 2013, 11:27:18 PM »
Damn, you're not wasting any time.  Good work!

Bigote

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Re: 6 months since finding MMM
« Reply #19 on: July 17, 2013, 03:01:08 AM »
Awesome!

Ozstache

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Re: 6 months since finding MMM
« Reply #20 on: July 17, 2013, 03:25:58 AM »
Outstanding effort. Well done!

wing117

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Re: 6 months since finding MMM
« Reply #21 on: July 17, 2013, 05:29:29 AM »
It's amazing to think about how the whole trajectory of your life and future has changed.

I've actually thought a LOT about this. I trace back the decisions I had to make (or didn't make) that led up to this realization - it leads back over a decade. I couldn't imagine doing it any other way now, but it just wasn't clear what needed to be done. Coming from a 4 generational upper-lower class family, your statement rings more true than you could imagine.

Thanks again, everyone. I'll keep folks updated (and I hope to participate more in the MMM community as well)!

aj_yooper

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Re: 6 months since finding MMM
« Reply #22 on: July 17, 2013, 07:38:04 AM »
Looking forward to your posts.  You are finding your voice.

MsSindy

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Re: 6 months since finding MMM
« Reply #23 on: July 17, 2013, 07:55:45 AM »
I think the biggest take-away for anyone reading this is your attitude!  You've completely changed the way you think about your future and the changes you're making.  Most of the stuff suggested on MMM, (i.e. canceling cable, cell phone) are just the mechanics of what need to be done.  The hardest part, and what you've been able to accomplish, is shifting the mindset.  Welcome to the club!

nktokyo

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Re: 6 months since finding MMM
« Reply #24 on: July 17, 2013, 08:02:49 AM »
Awesome! Stories like this are one of the reasons I hang around this place. You're a star.

Theadyn

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Re: 6 months since finding MMM
« Reply #25 on: July 17, 2013, 08:18:11 AM »
Very nice!!!   :)

nktokyo

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Re: 6 months since finding MMM
« Reply #26 on: July 17, 2013, 08:39:41 AM »
I think the biggest take-away for anyone reading this is your attitude!  You've completely changed the way you think about your future and the changes you're making.  Most of the stuff suggested on MMM, (i.e. canceling cable, cell phone) are just the mechanics of what need to be done.  The hardest part, and what you've been able to accomplish, is shifting the mindset.  Welcome to the club!

Also... this +1.

plantingourpennies

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Re: 6 months since finding MMM
« Reply #27 on: July 17, 2013, 10:18:10 AM »
That's awesome man =)

The first 24.5K is the hardest-you'll find it gets easier!

Best,
Mr. PoP

Mr. Minsc

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Re: 6 months since finding MMM
« Reply #28 on: July 18, 2013, 10:23:31 AM »
I've only been hear a few months and certainly haven't been anywhere near as hardcore.  Still, I've noticed various changes in spending and mindsets.

- Started biking the measly 4k round trip from home to farm.  When I head to town I tend to park my (rather unmustachian) plain jane pickup a little further uptown then walk where ever I need to go.  Since doing this I haven't filled my tank since June 1, it was a little hard to believe.

- Pulling back from the hustle and bustle of outside work I'm starting to focus more on farming.  Finally starting to learn things I've been avoiding or never found the time for.  While there tends to be a "poor farmer" mentality around these parts I'm starting to see things from a different angle.  Farmers tend to be fairly DIY fixing for machinery so I can apply that in the rest of my life as well.  The value of working for your self, a golden opportunity.

- While there's some initial setup costs, it feels awesome to be learning to cook and find DIY solutions to cleaning products.  I can see this turning in to a fun hobby. :)

- I still fall in to bad habits yet I notice I can just as easy fall in to new good habits.  With that, it's just a matter of time. :)

aaronpct

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Re: 6 months since finding MMM
« Reply #29 on: July 18, 2013, 11:37:42 AM »
Congrats man! I'm discovered this Blog recently and working on my own MMM makeover of which I hope to write about and share with everyone!

Keep it up!

wing117

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Re: 6 months since finding MMM
« Reply #30 on: July 18, 2013, 12:49:23 PM »

The first 24.5K is the hardest-you'll find it gets easier!


What a very specific number! Any reason for the 24.5K?

To all the other stubbles chiming in on this post: Congrats on being in the community too! We all have a helluva road ahead of us with each our own unique challenges, but we've made the first, hardest and biggest step to achieving amazing dreams.

arebelspy

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Re: 6 months since finding MMM
« Reply #31 on: July 18, 2013, 12:54:14 PM »

The first 24.5K is the hardest-you'll find it gets easier!


What a very specific number! Any reason for the 24.5K?

To all the other stubbles chiming in on this post: Congrats on being in the community too! We all have a helluva road ahead of us with each our own unique challenges, but we've made the first, hardest and biggest step to achieving amazing dreams.

I'd guess he put that because that was the amount you posted in the OP.  :)

From -8 to 16.5 = 24.5

In essence the message is that turnaround you just made is the hardest part.. now that you have the mindset and are building the habits, it will become easier.
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 three 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.

wing117

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Re: 6 months since finding MMM
« Reply #32 on: July 18, 2013, 01:05:37 PM »

The first 24.5K is the hardest-you'll find it gets easier!


What a very specific number! Any reason for the 24.5K?

To all the other stubbles chiming in on this post: Congrats on being in the community too! We all have a helluva road ahead of us with each our own unique challenges, but we've made the first, hardest and biggest step to achieving amazing dreams.

I'd guess he put that because that was the amount you posted in the OP.  :)

From -8 to 16.5 = 24.5

In essence the message is that turnaround you just made is the hardest part.. now that you have the mindset and are building the habits, it will become easier.

Woosh. :( Totally missed that!