Author Topic: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...  (Read 254908 times)

nereo

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #550 on: June 03, 2020, 06:51:24 AM »
This lengthy post from @IslandFiGirl about her personal experience into FIRE is at the heart of what this forum is all about:

I always love reading other people's stories about FIRE, so I thought I'd share what mine has been like over the past 4 months since leaving my job.  I like to talk, so this will probably be long, fair warning!  (Not sure if this matters but I'm a single mom of 3 kids (2 are adults) in my mid 40's)

Leaving Work
I left my job on February 4th, 2020 after becoming completely, totally crispy fried and burnt out.  I was about as close to having enough money to FIRE as I thought I could get without going insane, so I decided it was worth my mental (and physical) health to get out of there before I completely melted down.  (I managed a 911 dispatch center and had been there for 15 years and although I loved the job in so many ways, I was tired of being the public's punching bag, and was tired of being on call every stinking minute of my life!)  Giving my notice was by far the scariest part.  I stressed so much over the fact that I was "leaving my people" behind and what would they EVER do without me, how could they manage, this was such a betrayal!  HAH!  How wrong I was!  If I can impart any wisdom to anyone...here it is.  They can do without you, they WILL replace you, they will get along, it will be FINE.  Live your life for you.  That's the advice I had to give myself and I'm so glad I took that advice because here I am 4 months later, with no panic attacks, no work stress, it's great!  Anyway, after giving notice, I only had to deal with 2 weeks worth of questions from EVERYONE...Why are you leaving?  What will you do next?  That part was hard for me because I really didn't want to tell anyone anything but people want to know!  At first I said I was keeping my future endeavors to myself...people didn't like that.  They wanted to know!  When I gave my notice, I told my boss I was leaving for a new opportunity...I didn't mention that the opportunity was to do whatever the hell I wanted and not work!  Eventually I just said I was taking some time off to spend with my family because 2 of my kids would be moving on to their adult lives this year and I didn't want to spend the last few months I had with them stuck at work for 12-14 hours a day.  Thankfully the 2 weeks ended and I had my last day of work, which was kind of emotional because all of the people I had worked with for the last 15 years did a final call for me over the police radio, all saying goodbye and thanking me for my service.  It was very sweet and unexpected but it didn't stop me from running right out of that building like my ass was on fire!  I can laugh about it now, but after getting home from work on my last day, I got a text from the interim manager asking if I could possibly work a shift tomorrow since someone had called in sick.  HAHAHAHAH, NO!  No, I could not!  I just quit this job, remember? Somehow they managed.

First few weeks after FIRE'ing
For the first few weeks after leaving work, I woke up super early.  Like 4:30 to 5:00am.  I didn't have anywhere to be so I tried to learn how to sleep in.  That didn't really work, so I just went with it and figured at some point, I might start waking up later.  I went to the gym almost every day, sometimes twice a day.  I wanted to lose weight, but somehow it wasn't really working.  Maybe I forgot about the eating less part of losing weight, haha!  The transition was a little difficult.  I think I was still stuck in the mindset that I should be working or doing something with my life.  Or that I thought someone might tell me that I should be working or judge me and that I would have to find a way to defend my choices.  I know that people always say you should retire TO something rather than AWAY from something, but hey, these were my circumstances and I was doing the best I could.  My big plan was to buy a truck and a small travel trailer and get out and explore, and this was going to be easy because summer was coming and I'd only have one kid left at home, so coordinating all of this would be easy, right?  During those first few weeks (and even now) I was also feeling some guilt.  Not some...a lot of guilt.  I had saved money for a long time, but a good portion of my money came from an inheritance from my parents who had died within the last few years.  I was really struggling with what a jerk I was being for just using that money to live off of when they were dead and couldn't enjoy it for themselves.  They both had retired and died almost immediately after retiring.  It was so heartbreaking to know that they couldn't go on any more cruises, no more fun trips...they worked all their lives and it ended so abruptly.  I had nightmares every night, in fact, I still do, but not quite as frequently.  My recurring nightmare is that one or both of my parents somehow come back to life and I had to scramble to explain that I had sold their house and give back their money and explain why I had it and why I was so selfish to think I could use that money to live on when they needed it.  It's still something I struggle with, but I am doing what I think is right for me and my family and I can only hope they would think that what I'm doing is good.  Ok, Enough sad stuff...

How quickly plans change!
I was just starting to think I could settle in to being fired, started making plans to go camping and have adventures, carefully watching my budget, when I started hearing rumblings of a pandemic.  I usually don't get too worked up about things but around the first week of March I felt like this would be a big deal, so I went out and spent about $1,000 on groceries.  During that week my next door neighbor moved out and left a perfectly good fridge outside his house for free, so I snagged that and filled it up too.  During this time, my daughter's college boyfriend was in town visiting her from his Cruise line job and they got engaged.  Super exciting time!  When he was scheduled to go back to work, they told him not to come and he ended up losing his job, so now I had an extra person living with us and another mouth to feed.  My budget was blown instantly...I stocked up on food, medicine, anything I could think of in case things went bad, but I was grateful to have the money to do this and happy that I didn't have to go to work during scary times.  It didn't take long for my oldest daughter to lose her job and suddenly nobody in the household had a job.  Now I was supporting a household of 5 people and I was getting nervous, especially when the stock market took the first big hit.  I didn't allow myself to look at my accounts, knowing it would make me sick and scared, so I just decided that I had enough money and we would be ok.  This strategy proved to be effective.  If I've learned anything from here it's to set your plan and stick with it, if you set it up right, outside influences shouldn't effect you much.  Live frugally and you should always have enough.  That about sums it up...even though the pandemic stock market hit initially set me back about $95k, I'm now back to within about $4k of where I was at when I fired.  I'm soooo glad the pandemic happened a month after I FIRE'd though because I am not sure I would have had the guts to leave knowing my investments were losing so much money.  Pandemic living has evened out here.  At first it was hard having an extra person living with us, but after some time, we have adjusted, and I think it probably has brought us all closer together.  I'm glad I got to spend this time with my daughter and her fiance before they move away this summer, I feel that it has made our bond stronger for the future, and for that I am grateful.

Money, bills, health insurance, oh my!
As soon as I left work, I got to work on getting health insurance.  I decided that no matter what, I was not going without insurance, I've seen too many people get into deep doo doo because they didn't have it and I didn't want to get some terrible illness or injury and wipe out my savings.  I ended up getting no subsidies on the marketplace because I qualified for Medicaid.  I didn't want Medicaid and didn't feel I needed to be on that so I went ahead and purchased my own insurance for about $350/ month.  I hated that it cost that much but a lot of docs do not take Medicaid around here so I decided to buy the insurance.  Peace of mind is what I really bought, and that is ok with me.  I have to say it's really weird to not have a paycheck hit my account every month.  I've been using credit cards to pay bills so that I get the points from the cards.  I don't really like this method though, and I think this month I will just go back to paying cash for things.  Having to pay the credit card balance off every month is not a huge deal but I don't like the idea of owing anybody anything.  It's unnatural to me and doesn't feel good, even with the tiny perks I get from the cards.  I also think I spend a bit more knowing I'm using a credit card.  All in all though, I don't have many bills and even though the pandemic hurt my budget for a little while, it's not near as bad as I thought it would be.  I wanted to track everything so I could say, oh, I spent this much on food and this much on this or that, but it's become exhausting.  I know myself and I know I am careful with money so even though I have a general idea of what goes out every month, I don't obsess over my budget like I used to.  It just became too exhausting to worry about it.

Fun!
As spring approached and the weather got better, all I could think about was having fun outside!  I love warm weather and couldn't wait to get out on the water with my paddle board.  Wanting to have fun is usually what makes me spend the most money.  This time was no exception.  I sat here in my living room thinking of all the fun I'd like to have on the lake and realized I wanted a new toy!  An inflatable paddle board.  I did tons of research and found a really good one and knew I had to have it, an inflatable fits in my car so easily, so it is so much better than a hard board that you have to strap on top of your car.  After I bought the board, I realized I needed an electric pump...and a cooler...and a special quick drying towel...and a waterproof phone case...and another cooler.  I could see myself quickly getting out of control so I decided to stop spending money and just be happy with this toy!  If I let myself, I would keep finding new cool things to buy, so it was time to nip it in the bud!  Not long after that, I decided I wanted to build a shed in my backyard with my son.  Neither of us have a clue what we are doing, but I bought plans for the shed, bought the wood, borrowed some tools and we went to town.  The shed is still in progress, but we are learning a lot...mostly what not to do with things like nail guns.  Needless to say, safety is first and foremost in our minds after the nail gun incident of 2020, when my son's pinky got nicked with a nail.  Whoops!  I am not sure if I am not doing much outside the house because of the pandemic or because I am more of a homebody.  It's hard to tell.  But I end up spending a lot of time in my comfy chair in the backyard, watching the butterflies, birds and squirrels, sprucing things up, watching the fire in the fire pit and grilling food.  I spend at least an hour every day studying the Korean language, it's something I learned back in my Army days and I try not to lose that knowledge.  It's only recently that I have had the time to study, and it's nice to be able to understand it.  I meet up with one or two friends on occasion and we typically just talk and eat or go hang out at the lake and fish.  I can't say I've done anything terribly exciting, but again, this is during an odd time.  Nothing is normal during a pandemic, I guess.

Future plans
On occasion I will think about getting a job, maybe something part time, just for fun.  I did commit to not working for at least one year to really give myself a chance to just chill and find out what I'm all about, so I'm not going to think about that too much until next year.  If my youngest daughter is not able to get scholarships for college, I may consider going to work at the University in a couple years to get a discount for her.  We shall see.  But mostly what I think about is how awesome it is to not have answer to a boss or a schedule and how can I keep doing this for as long as possible.  If that means working sometimes to keep from depleting my stash (stache?) I can manage that.  But full time work, I don't know if I can ever stomach that again. 

Goals
My biggest goal was to lose weight and improve my health, and I'm happy to report that I have finally figured out what works for me and I've lost 20 pounds since February.  My gym has reopened and I'm so happy to get back there to see people and socialize and workout and just finally be able to have more options to focus on my overall well being.  I feel like removing the stress of work has helped me be better able to plan meals, shop, cook more often (almost never go out to eat now), and just be available to focus on feeling good and doing good things for myself.  Everybody in my family benefits when I am doing well and it has been soooo worth it to put effort into me for once.

Friends, Connections, etc.
I've always been kind of on the fence about social media.  At times I find it strange, the things people will post, the humble bragging, the dirty laundry being aired, the cattiness, back biting, I don't really like it.  However, it seems there has been a huge shift in the way people deal with each other and not having a social media account has kind of made it where I'm obsolete with a good portion of my friends.  I seem to get left out of a lot of things.  I always wonder if I should try to use it again, make a facebook account, so I can better connect with people, but I remember how it was the last time I used it about 5 years ago and I didn't like how you could so easily post something to someone, but not really get more in depth with them, and I don't want to have that superficial type of thing with people again.  It's food for thought.  I have a few best friends that I talk to frequently and that is satisfying, so maybe one doesn't need social media at all. 

After having been FIRE'd for 4 months, I can safely say, I like it.  I don't need to be defined by a job.  I don't need to impress other people or conform to how they think I should live.  If I am able to I would like to continue this lifestyle and I'll continue to find ways to hang on to it. I wish I had figured out a way to do it sooner.  I love that the possibilities are endless and if there's something I want to do, I can probably figure out a way to make it happen.  I highly recommend this and wish I could convince everyone I know to do the same!  Thanks for reading my long long long story!  :)

Mrs Brightside

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #551 on: June 04, 2020, 10:15:25 AM »
I loved reading all of these. Can we pin this thread to the top of the Welcome section?

Ladychips

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #552 on: June 17, 2020, 11:33:07 AM »
Today I have two posts that made my little heart sing.

One by @tooqk4u22  and one by @FIRE 20/20 (from the 2019 FIRE Cohort):

Wow, I just realized that two days ago was my 1st anniversary of not working.    It went pretty fast and something like this:

June- Sep:  Spent a lot of time enjoying the summer, friends and family with a little bit of regional travel. 

Sep-Nov:  Back to kid craziness with school and all three in travel sports.  During days did a whole bunch of house projects that were always on the list but no time.

Dec:   Holiday season - a lot of friends and family time, more kids travel, and over indulging.

Jan-Feb:  Not much, winter gloom, more kids stuff, recovering from too much socializing and indulging. Planned and paid for a great spring break vacation in April (wah wah)

March-Now:  Pretty much the same as everyone else - not much, social distancing, home schooling, spending down 50% from same time last year (a lot due to canceled/delayed kids travel sports) Did a bunch of outside projects. 

Overall not too interesting but very satisfying and not stressful at all.  I confirmed that I am different than most people we know bc being mostly isolated without spending was rather nice IMO, obviously this excludes the virus itself and the impact it had on so many people.  I am just referring to the homebody aspect of it.   While my DW enjoys my company she did not feel the same way as she is a very social person who does like more of the typical consumerist ways.

Two things that I still finding interesting are:
1.  How everybody continues to ask me some form of "When are you going back to work?", "Have you found anything yet?", "What's your plan for work?"
    -  Mostly I just reply "Not sure" or "Looking for something different that resonates better with me" or "when I have to"  because I don't like telling people I am not bc I have enough.  I would rather people not have an idea and question my sanity (some have by the way both directly and behind my back).   But now its over a year I guess the farce that I am still open to work may be obvious to all but the dumbest or most self absorbed individuals.

2. I think I still have burnout syndrome (sort of a PTSD) from work/career because there is nothing that interests me if it means not controlling my schedule (aside from my family that I can't control) or reporting to someone or held to some timeline.   Whatever.  An example was I crafted some things and they came out well that I actually got several requests for some.  And if I did it I I could probably make a nice profit if I broke it down hourly, but then I would have to DO IT, DELIVER IT, LISTEN TO PEOPLE THAT MAY NOT LIKE THIS OR THAT A LITTLE.  Nope, not interested. Which is funny because I like making stuff, but just on my timeline.   


That's it for now.


Wow, I just realized that two days ago was my 1st anniversary of not working.    It went pretty fast and something like this:
...

Thanks for the update @tooqk4u22 !  I had planned to write an update but never got around to it.  Here's mine, using your format.  My last day was around April 26, I think:

May-December- On our last day we flew to see a few concerts, then after we returned we mixed about 2 weeks of downtime with a few visits to see out of state family. We were a lot more social than normal.  We had friends and family stay with us while they visited, and we went to see a few friends and family members.  We also had local friends over for dinner a lot more than usual because weren't seeing them at work.   I started tutoring math at the local library for 1st semester. 
January - mid-February - We took a 6 week vacation to New Zealand.  It turns out we had perfect timing to blow through almost our entire annual travel budget.
mid-February - now COVID isolation.

I've added a number of things to my normal routine that I wasn't able to do while working.  I'm finally learning a foreign language.  I'm re-learning piano.  I've been able to stick with at least 30 minutes a day on each of those tasks pretty consistently.  I haven't gotten out into nature as much as I had hoped.  My restaurant trips have gone from rare to never, although COVID had a little to do with that.  I'm also reading a lot more than I was before, although it seems like that just turns me on to more books so the backlog is even larger than usual. 

The main lessons I've learned are:
1.  I'm still the same person.  Things I wasn't interested in before I am still not interested in even though I have more time.  Only activities that I really wanted to do but didn't have time for have stuck.  Tasks that I put off before I still put off, even though I have plenty of time to do them.
2.  Volunteering has become vastly more important to me than I expected.  I signed up out of a feeling that I should be contributing in some way, but I've gotten a lot more personal satisfaction out of it than I thought I would.  I can't recommend highly enough that FIREes try to find some kind of volunteering opportunity.  It's so much more fulfilling than I thought, and for me it was just 4 hours a week (pre-COVID).  I was planning to add 2 additional days of literacy tutoring to the mix, but COVID nixed that. 
3.  I FIREd with a plan to start consulting to pick up a little income, but FIRE is so much better than I expected that I'm never going back unless the situation is absolutely dire.  I would *much* rather pare my expenses than ever work again. 
4.  It's a cliche, but I don't know how I ever had time to work.  My daily activities full up all of my available time and more.  I'm never bored.  I didn't retire to something as so many people say you should - I really FIREd to get the obligation to work off my schedule even though I had a fantastic job.  It was the obligation that I hated even though the work paid well and the environment was good. 
5.  I am much more sanguine about my money and the markets than I expected I would be.  The market drops this year haven't bothered me in the slightest.  Some of it is the conservative approach I took to FIRE, with a low sub-4% withdrawal rate plus back-up plan on top of back-up plan, but some of it is that it's so clear to me how much I don't want to go back to work that I know I'd be happy to reduce spending significantly to stay FIREd.  For me, being FIREd on a shoestring budget would be better than working with lots of luxuries.  I suspected that might be the case, but it's a much stronger feeling now that I know I'm extremely happy at home with my partner just doing my thing. 
6.  I am incredibly grateful to everyone who went before me.  MMM, @madfientist , LivingAFI, the Trinity study authors, posters on this forum, etc.  When I found out about FIRE I had been saving about 25-35% of my income, but I was able to get that up closer to 60-70% after I saw how much stupid spending I was doing.  That probably chopped a decade of work off my life.  Finding out about things like safe withdrawal rates, Roth IRA ladders, ACA and tax optimization, and a DIY mindset have given me many extra years without the obligation of work 5 days each week.  I never could have done this on my own, and I'll be forever grateful for all the people who made this possible.

deborah

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #553 on: June 28, 2020, 02:21:50 AM »
On whether you agree with MMMs approach
I guess this depends on what your definition of "approach" is. For me the MMM approach is about being mindful of the environment, being mindful of consumerism, and making changes to the typical wasteful relationship people have with money in order to save a much larger percentage of our income. This solves the two big problems of time and money that allows us to concentrate on happiness and things that we value.

It's a bit difficult to argue with that approach. People may not wish to follow it, or live life in that way, but the fact we are all on this forum means we are thinking about this stuff and are actively working to make our lives the best that they can be and to spend more of our time away from the rat race. So we are largely bought into this, employing our own version of it, and of course may have been doing this long before MMM was around.

This doesn't mean we have to agree with every single detail or every post on how we go about this. How many people in real life, friends, family etc do we have where we agree with absolutely everything they say? Probably none. I do find the posts about salad and exercise preventing all illness and disability as way off the mark, but it is aligned with the overall chirpy, positive and optimistic outlook that the MMM character provides. Control the 'controllables' is essentially the message there but of course, there is a lot in life that is out of our control.

The 'face punching' phrase I've always interpreted as cartoon style face punching. When someone gets hit five times in a row in a cartoon, there is no pain, no damage inflicted, but it has snapped them out of whatever they were doing beforehand I.e. it's harmless, and a way of providing impact to the writing style. It grabs attention and pulls people in. So I was never really offended at this.

I found this site because I was looking at buying a new car. I was recently mortgage free and had always been scared of investing. I had been to a couple of showrooms and rolled my eyes at some of the sales techniques. Being mortgage free had significantly increased my cashflow but despite this freedom my general frugal mindset prevented me from buying and I thought I would research how to buy a second hand car. (I had only bought one car before and this was brand new). I stumbled across one of MMM's car articles, found the post interesting and then found the page with all the posts from the beginning of time. I quickly realised this was not a site offering advice on how to buy a car but something much broader. One of the first articles I read was the 'Shockingly Simple Math Behind Early Retirement". I appreciate there are other articles containing this subject matter, and that the information was available elsewhere but seeing the table of working years until retirement changed my life. It literally changed my life. Like boom! This information can not be unseen. Whether I like it or not my life is now headed on a different course than it would have been if the table had not been seen.

I continued reading more posts on the site. Although it only felt like a few minutes when I next looked at the clock it was 4am. I had 90 minutes before I had to go to work. I must have been reading the site for in the region of 8 hours straight. I don't think there are very many writers that would make me do that. I've never read a single source like that before with no appreciation of time. There was no rationing out of the articles over the course of a few days or weeks. I just had to keep reading there and then. I appreciate there was a lot of self interest there. I was hooked because of what this approach to life could do for me. I suddenly realised there was a way out of work having been conditioned to accept that we worked until 65. I instantly made a load of changes (I'm single so only me to buy in) and overnight established an 80% savings rate that I have maintained ever since (I found the site in September 2017). The first decision was to cut my mileage and keep my existing car until it was at least 20 years old. So I am still yet to buy a second hand car :-)

Of course that table that got me hooked is based on the 4% rule. As it takes considerable time to reach FIRE I have kept reading and learning. I now see how brilliant that post is at pulling someone in and just making them aware that there actually is a FIRE number. From further research the 4% rule is not something I will be following. I don't disagree with anyone that does want to follow it. Some can be using 4% but have the ability to cut their expenses by 50% while others may only be able to cut by 5% and these are two completely different situations. So what actually does 4% mean? However I don't now disagree with the MMM approach just because I'm going to tailor a withdrawal rate to my own views on asset allocation and my own personal situation here in the UK. I'll do my own research and make decisions accordingly.

I was relatively frugal before my FIRE epiphany but this site has given me the confidence to invest. As a result I will have the opportunity to escape a full time stressful job 20 years early. I am very grateful to this MMM character. I don't see MMM or Pete as a celebrity. I'm not a 'fan' and in all likelihood we will never meet. I may not agree with everything on the main site but this random internet stranger that doesn't even know I exist has significantly impacted my life in a positive way, and not many can achieve something like that. Of course there are some wonderful people on the forums that I have actually got to know and interact directly with. The knowledge I have gained from them now far exceeds what I originally learned from MMM, but nevertheless indirectly introducing me to these people is another reason I have to be grateful to MMM.


Linea_Norway

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #554 on: July 04, 2020, 03:24:44 AM »
<quotes>
On the one hand, you are absolutely right. The advice to live below your means is the same regardless of your personal circumstances or characteristics.  But if that’s all there is, an endless exhortation to live below your means, there is no blog.  There is no forum. There is no need to say or share anything besides news of our victory laps...”Look at how great I am, earning a big salary that far exceeds my living expenses.  Woo Hoo!!”   But that’s not [only] what we do here.  Lots of what we do is share ideas for things we can do & build. And we’re able to do them without spending excess money because we are physically capable. We are able to create wealth because we have all the right physical ability. 
That blows to shit in a disaster. Whether these are accidents, natural disasters, chronic health issues, addiction or simply aging.  There is a point at which riding your bike to Costco is not viable because age related decline makes it unsafe. It’s not just personal finance that is shying away from addressing concerns of the sick & frail. That’s a universal phenomenon.  Out of sight, out of mind.  Some estimates are that 60% of us will endure an extended period of disability within our lifetimes.  It doesn’t just happen when you are old and already drawing a pension that covers all your living expenses.  Sometimes it happens at 40.  Or sometimes it happens to your child or partner.  The longer you live, the more you will see this.  And you will also realize how oblivious you might have been up until the point that your sibling dives into the shallow end of a pool, or your in-law develops MS, oryour nephew gets Covid and after 60 days in the hospital, much of that time on a ventilator, he is left at age 30, with what looks to be permanent limitations. All these things happened to my loved ones.
The spirit of the MMM community is that individuals have agency and can do things.  That we shouldn’t just leave ourselves at the mercy of what others (employers, government & charity) decide to hand to us, but that we approach our circumstances with an entrepreneurial spirit.  Doing what we can, sharing what we know and learned to make our lives better.  We genuinely help others to help themselves around here. 
So, no.  It’s not all the same as a niche for left handed people. 
I have a deck off the back of my house that is a few feet off the ground.  On one end there are four steps.  On another side, we had beautiful stone steps that we covered with a wooden ramp, made of the same material as the deck.  This was a convenience for getting a baby stroller in and out without having to lug it up and down the steps.  We built it with free, pressure treated lumber left over from someone else’s project.  It has served nicely when relatives who use walkers or wheelchairs have come to visit.  My neighbor is using a walker and now needs to get a ramp installed to get in and out of his home.  There are massive steel contraptions that get added onto houses and cost lots of money.  My neighbor came to see our ramp and how it fits into the design.  To build the same in their yard would cost a fraction of the price of the metal ramp.  It would likely be safer too, as it wouldn’t develop a slippery surface when icy or wet. This ramp is a simple thing that is going to permit aging in place.  Aging in place is increasingly important, both as the boomer population gets older and as the unique risks and injustices in care homes come to light in the wake of Covid19.  We should talk about that more.  We should talk about how it relates to personal finance.  And we should be sharing what we know about what we can do.

RWD

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #555 on: July 13, 2020, 08:32:01 AM »
Excellent succinct post on how to maintain boundaries at work instead of reacting to poor conditions:

I'd rather establish my boundaries and make them fire me, than walk because I have a bad day. I've been surprised how negotiable work place rules are. Phrases like -  "I'm not doing that", "I disagree", "I made a judgement call", "there was not enough time", "you'll need to find someone else" etc. - they work great.

I suppose one day I'll find those bounds, making it a bad day. But it feels different to me, than walking around with an ultimatum on my shoulder 24/7.

Adventine

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #556 on: July 14, 2020, 01:06:21 AM »
Excellent succinct post on how to maintain boundaries at work instead of reacting to poor conditions:

I'd rather establish my boundaries and make them fire me, than walk because I have a bad day. I've been surprised how negotiable work place rules are. Phrases like -  "I'm not doing that", "I disagree", "I made a judgement call", "there was not enough time", "you'll need to find someone else" etc. - they work great.

I suppose one day I'll find those bounds, making it a bad day. But it feels different to me, than walking around with an ultimatum on my shoulder 24/7.

I really need to keep this in mind, especially now that work demands have been increasing because of the pandemic.

talltexan

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #557 on: July 14, 2020, 07:48:36 AM »
I've often found myself handicapped in personal interactions because I believe in being ethically consistent.

I feel as though a professional setting demands respect of these kinds of ethical consistencies, however. Any thoughts?

BicycleB

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #558 on: August 19, 2020, 11:47:51 AM »
Very inspiring posts by @SwordGuy on how to give Mustache-style. Some discussion is still ongoing in the original thread, Mustachian People Problems.


So, my MPP problem is that for me to give us as an example, I have to say, "Dude, we buy ENTIRE HOUSES to help other people out.   Three in the last 2 years, as a matter of fact."

Not sure they'll believe that.

I've only bought one entire house this year to help someone, and it's a good feeling. I don't tell people about it though.

It *is* a good feeling.    And I don't generally mention it either other than here, where I'm anonymous.
   

As some kind of real estate-based charity thing, or for a family member "here's the deed and the keys?"

One was for a family friend to get their rental property business jump-started.  I bought it and funded the renovation, they did bulk of the work.   Then I sold it to them for cost, $94,000, on 0% and no payments for 2 years, then a 30 year amortization for 3% the first year and 5% the remaining 29.   We have a handshake they'll refinance sometime in year 3, which will free up that capital to help someone else.   We set those terms so they could build up a repair kitty pretty quickly, plus they get all the sweat equity in the newly renovated property.   And, with 2 years of profitable returns under their belt, it will be easier for them to get more loans for more rental properties.    I'm pretty sure the person we helped get into the real estate business will help others get going in the future.   That's the kind of couple they are, which is part of the reason we picked them.

One was for a family friend that my mentally handicapped daughter thinks of as her grandmother (and vice-versa).   We bought a distressed house for $62,500, she fixed it up over the next 10 months until it was mortgage-ready, and then we sold it to her a few thousand below cost. (We ignored the insurance, taxes and utility costs.)    She got a much, much nicer house than she could have afforded otherwise as that sweat equity saved her about $25,000.   She's got a small 15yr mortgage.   That house will start her family on the path to having generational wealth to pass on.   A $100,000 house doesn't sound like a lot, but it's a solid start.   

The third was to turn into a half-way house, a group home for foster kids who age out of the system.   But covid caused a lot of delays and tradesmen in our area don't want to follow covid safety guidelines.  I like to be generous but I don't feel like dying because of it, so we're selling it at a loss and using it (plus the sale of our old home) to pay off the mortgage on our new home.   We'll be donating $1000 a month until we reach the same amount as we get for selling it, which will take about 54 months.   I think it will be fun sending charities or just good people who need help a check for $1k.  (It will be an anonymous check if it's to people.)

The original plan would have had the house cost about $75k after renovations (We have $10k already in it, hence selling for a loss.   The value of a distressed property really doesn't go up much until it's "done".)

Original plan for $94k plus $64.5k plus $75k = $233.5k worth of help to people that would only cost us $77k.   And if times were tough, we could have rented out the group home as a for-profit for a few years to recoup some of our investment before we donated it.    As it stands, it will end up costing us about $68k to give about $222.5k worth of help to others.    Not counting opportunity costs, of course, because we could have made money in the market had we invested it.

I don't think that charity has to be limited to just giving stuff and money away.  It can also be laser-targeted to help people leverage their situation into a better one by setting up very generous terms they could not otherwise get. 

When that $94k house gets refinanced, we'll have $94k plus whatever interest comes in in year 3 available to help someone else out with.   Maybe by then we'll have found another person who could use a jump-start in the real estate business.   It's the kind of thing that can transform someone's life for the better, which is what charity is actually supposed to do.    Or maybe we'll find another property that's good for a group home and set it up.    Or just donate it at $1k a month.

Anyway, that's how we put our charity dollars to work.

Hope some of you find it helpful in finding creative ways to afford way more charity than you otherwise thought possible.

...

We are really early in our $ saving journey and earning more money than ever (though small potatoes compared to many on this forum!) and it really has us thinking about how we can be generous. For so many years we were so tight, it feels amazing to be able to start giving things away.

Generosity doesn't have to be "big" like a house.   Sometimes what people need most is a generous spirit to shower them with friendship and affection.

Perhaps that’s a mpp, struggling to balance focusing on our own future security with the desire to be generous to those in need around us.
It is.   

I ran across two comments some years ago that stuck with me.   "Money doesn't change people, it just lets them be more of what they already are."       That and "Begin as you mean to continue."

Targeted help doesn't have to cost a lot of money.   It doesn't even have to cost money at all.   Here's an example.   My dad had passed away and my mom got sick.   I had to go fly to see her at the last minute.     She lived about 7 hours away.   That money was a sunk cost.

I had a friend who didn't have much money and who had wanted to visit her friends in the city where my mom lived.    Instead of buying a return plane ticket, I paid her to drive my car to my mom's city.   She spent the weekend with her friends and then we both drove home in my car.   I think I even saved $10!   She got needed cash in her pocket, she got a paid vacation, we had a nice chat on the drive home, AND it wasn't charity because she was doing me a favor by saving me money.  (I never mentioned it was only a few dollars.)    The opportunities are out there if you look for them.

FireLane

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #559 on: August 26, 2020, 10:39:43 AM »
The venerable @Nords with a wise list of lessons learned from 18 years of FIREd life:

I think the biggest issue with planning for FI is making the time to do the planning... especially with all of the other distractions in the average workweek.

It’s hard enough to dedicate the mental bandwidth to the exercise, let alone to devote a significant amount of effort on it:
https://the-military-guide.com/the-fog-of-work/

I retired from U.S. military active duty in 2002, and I’ve been consistently unemployed for over 18 years.  Here’s a few big-picture perspectives that I’ve learned to appreciate during the last 6658 days:

1.  Your FI timescale moves more slowly than your working years.  Things that you would have blazed through in a week at work may take a month of thoughtful part-time effort during FI.  A month during your working career could be a year during FI.

This is your chance to experiment with different ideas and to develop a new set of habits.  If you rush around during your FI days checking things off your list and then kick back at 5 PM, you might be doing it wrong.

In our FI family we’ve taken the mantra of working on a project for 20 minutes a day.  (If you get into the flow, then a couple hours might be all right.  Or maybe you stop when you begin to sweat.)  Instead of planning for a day of work, we plan for a day of leisure interrupted by popping up from our indolence to do some work.  I start my mornings with the things I enjoy (like writing, surfing, and reading) before tackling the things which have to be done.

2.  When you were a young adult planning the next 10 years of your life, did any of it turn out the way you expected-- let alone on your timeline?

Then why would it work that way during FI?

Sure, make plans.  However reassess those plans every 2-5 years and come up with a new plan. 

I had no idea that I’d enjoy surfing as much as I do.  I knew that we’d want to travel, but I never thought that we’d do it for 4-5 months of the year-- and that we wouldn’t even (*gasp*) bother tracking how much time or money we spent on it.

3.  Everyone’s more physically ambitious about their FI goals.  You’re going to run that marathon, join a Crossfit box, build your home gym, hike the Appalachian Trail, and lose 20 pounds.

Except that during the first month of this plan, you overtrain and then injure yourself.

Refer back to the first point about slowing down a little and taking a more gradual approach.  You still need to do cardio & strength, but start slow/light and give yourself plenty of time to build up.  Pretend that you’re finally recovering from a chronic disease (“workplace stress”) and let your body set the pace without beating yourself up.

Anyway here is my somewhat anonymized "ideal Life" outline:
Work
Instead of “learn to do a thing and then get better at it”, I’d limit yourself to “try these things.”  If you’re not immediately hooked by something (which derails the rest of your list) then simply move on to the next thing and try it.  As you try stuff, your “Try It” list might actually get longer.

Whatever you’re exploring, you don’t have to be efficient or even very effective at it.  You just have to experience it and enjoy it.  You have plenty of time to decide about committing.  If it’s not a “Heck, yeah!!” response then I’d move on to something else.

If you are hooked by something, then do a deep dive into it on your own terms & timeline.  I’m perpetually amazed by how much I can research from Google queries and YouTube videos.

Volunteer before you sign up for a commitment, and insist on only 1-2 hours a day with 1-2 days a week.  If the people you’re working with want more than that, it’s unfair of you to agree to their terms and then burn out in two months.  You also don’t want to lock yourself into anything when you’ve just become free to explore the entire world. 

Living accommodations
I’ve lived in Hawaii for over half of my life, but we never expected that when we first saw the islands.  (It was just another homeport, and it wasn't even our first pick.)  As far as I can tell, I’m going to spend the rest of my life here for the climate and the culture.  I’ve gone back to my hometown and to the places where my parents spent the rest of their lives, and... nope.  I’m never living back there again.  If anything, my daughter & her spouse (and their baby daughter) are returning to Hawaii.

Every time we visit a new country, we find ourselves asking “Could we live here?”  In most cases the answer is “Yep!”, but it’s not Hawaii.  However we still need to do our due diligence in South America, Asia, and Australia.  Maybe I’ll find a better culture and even a better climate.

Don’t upheave your lifestyle when you first reach FI, but make the time to travel and explore.  If you’re seeking a new place to live, then spend a month or two there like a local instead of a two-week visitor.  If you want to explore a continent in an RV, then first rent one for a month. 

If you build a list of living criteria, then stay open to changing the list after you’ve seen 3-4 places.  You might not need to explore new places-- you might only need a new list.  I’ve really enjoyed starting with TheEarthAwaits and then coming up with new ideas.

You’ll evolve even after FI, and so will your criteria.  The “forever home” is a myth.  (Military families are particularly vulnerable to this fantasy, and it causes tremendous stress.)  If you find a place on your list, it’s all right to stay there for 10-20 years before exploring the rest of the list.  Even if you’ve found the ideal place, it’s all right to change your mind after a few years and go find a new ideal place. 

Physical Fitness
It’s a marathon.  Start by walking it.  Don’t overtrain, and don’t get hurt.

Consider whether you can do that thing for life, or at least have a Plan B.  I still tremendously enjoy taekwondo, but further knee injuries are not worth the price.  If I revert to coaching instead of competing, I’ll still risk hurting myself.  Instead I get enough of the competitive thrill from surfing-- and there’s no commitment to a team or a dojang.

I want to backpack Haleakala Crater again, but I can’t recover from the intensity quickly enough to endure the four-day experience.  (Let along avoid injury and a medevac.)  I’ll have to settle for afternoon hikes and maybe camping (but probably an AirBnB). 

Some days I can only handle an hour of yardwork (and an ibuprofen chaser) without adding an hour of surfing and another hour of repairing an appliance.  Maybe I’ll take a walk, but more likely I’ll spend the rest of the day with a recovery nap, stretching, and reading.

Home life
That seems like a very detailed and busy list.  Pace yourself.

In 2002 my detailed list was broken down into “very short range”, short range (a year), medium range (3-5 years), and “life.” 

Today the first two categories are in a calendar app of recurring items (we check it every month or few) plus milestones like “Sign up for Medicare” and one-time variables like “Start Social Security this year?”  The medium range is updated every few years (as my interests change). 

The life list has items like “Be a good spouse” and “Be a good parent.”  I’ve added “Be a good grandparent.”  I never really saw that one coming when I reached FI with a nine-year-old.

I’ve also added indulgent goals like “Be a good team member without showing leadership.”  (I’m still learning that I don’t have to optimize everything that I get involved in.)  Other goals include “Net worth higher than lifetime earnings”, “collect more pension than salary”, and “join the top ten of our college’s oldest living alumni list.”

A new item is “Get rid of stuff before your caregivers have to get rid of it for you.”

Dreams
Several years ago we traveled with friends who had a copy of the book “1000 Places To See Before You Die.”  We were wandering Italy for six weeks via a cruise ship and trains, and at every stop they checked the list.

That book darn near killed them, if I didn’t kill them first. 

My spouse and I really enjoyed the ship, and we put up with one of the cruise’s eight-hour shore excursions.  We spent way too much of the day being transported from one site to the next, and standing in line.  After enduring that one we opted for itineraries of a morning or an afternoon, or just exploring on our own.

During the train part of our trip we’d arrive at a town, and my spouse and I would want to relax on the beach (after a swim) or explore 1-2 sites.  We’d spend several hours of the day reading, writing, talking, or just watching videos.  We’d have one major goal (“visit the museum”), a few chores (groceries), and maybe a restaurant or pub.  After dinner we’d plan the next day in broad terms.

Our friends would rent a car and buzz all over a 50-mile radius to work the list.  They’d be up at the crack of dawn, grab a cup of coffee on the way out the door, eat three meals on the road, put 150 miles on the car, and get home at 8 PM... then start drinking.  Just being around them was exhausting.

Neither of us couples could understand why the other couple was living such a crazy lifestyle.  After that trip we needed a vacation.

As you’re pursuing a dream, break it down into smaller chunks to repeatedly test whether the dream is worth the work.  Do the parts you enjoy, and don’t feel obligated to endure the sucky parts just to get to the next enjoyable part.  I’d recommend “The Everyday Bucket List Book” by a friend who’s pursuing her own FI:
https://www.amazon.com/Everyday-Bucket-List-Book-Experiences-ebook/dp/B07T7HKB6W/

mm1970

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #560 on: August 26, 2020, 11:09:06 AM »
Wow @Nords that was really awesome.

Nords

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #561 on: August 26, 2020, 12:06:54 PM »
Thanks, FireLane & mm1970!

Maybe that's more of a book chapter than a blog post... and it's in my "Drafts" folder.

nereo

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #562 on: August 27, 2020, 06:05:04 AM »
That post (and many others) by @Nords supports my theory that there’s little correlation between posting frequency and post quality.

Nords

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #563 on: August 27, 2020, 08:33:42 AM »
That post (and many others) by @Nords supports my theory that there’s little correlation between posting frequency and post quality.
Thank you!  I do much better with long-form evergreen writing... and answering questions. 

That discussion really made me reflect on what's changed for us over the years.  Those questions (and many other reflections) are eventually going to be a third book about financial independence for life, but first my daughter and I need to launch our book.  Then I'll update The Military Guide with all the changes from the last few years.  Most of that material is evergreen, too, but a few programs have ended and a few new ones have started. 

Ozlady

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #564 on: August 28, 2020, 05:49:59 PM »
That post (and many others) by @Nords supports my theory that there’s little correlation between posting frequency and post quality.
Thank you!  I do much better with long-form evergreen writing... and answering questions. 

That discussion really made me reflect on what's changed for us over the years.  Those questions (and many other reflections) are eventually going to be a third book about financial independence for life, but first my daughter and I need to launch our book.  Then I'll update The Military Guide with all the changes from the last few years.  Most of that material is evergreen, too, but a few programs have ended and a few new ones have started.


I agree !  That was one Great Post...i feel some of the points /issues can be further teased out... broader and deeper ...(esp. the Where to Live section...'cos we are exploring spending 3 or 4 months in South East Asia in Retirement :)

Footnote: Hubby just resigned (retired) two weeks ago (yay!) and i find myself nodding to some of your thoughts above...

Do call out if ever you are in Sydney...will buy you a meal:)) 

Gotta go..the weather is heavenly today !!!

robartsd

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #565 on: September 08, 2020, 12:17:41 PM »
For whatever reason, you are operating from an extreme scarcity mentality where you see happiness, success, and satisfaction as rare and limited resources that you don't really feel entitled to seek out.

They're really not.
They're only rare for those who are trapped on the hamster wheel needing to produce to cover their monthly nut. For the rest of us, it's a totally different game.

It's not a coincidence that industrious post-FI types tend to make a lot more money after they retire.

Working for pay is meaningfully different from getting paid for your work. You have a lot of work left in you. Go explore ways to do it that you can enjoy, and don't worry, because if it's good work, it will lead to money.

You have the amazing luxury of not really having to worry about exactly how much money, or exactly when, or exactly for how long you will earn, and that's what will open the most doors for you.

Don't worry, if there's value in the work you want to do, you will end up paid for it, and probably quite well.

Dicey

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #566 on: September 24, 2020, 12:05:14 AM »
I also loved your rant about discomfort. That was really what I needed to read today.

On the idea of leaving [the US], it can seem appealing to those of us with sticky boat units. Why? Here's why. I'm already spending more energy than I realistically have to raise my kids during a pandemic in a country where people whine about wearing masks. Even here in Hippiestan I had people cough at me while I was out running because I covered my face with a bandana when our paths brought us closer than I'd like.

Even in "normal" times there is the potential for me to send my kid to school and never get her back because some dickless incel decides that shooting kids is a lofty goal. And what would my government do? NOT. A DAMN. THING. If I try to kick up a stink about it a group of paranoid assholes is going to doxx me and my family. If all of that doesn't happen? Substandard education. A society that prioritizes making a buck over literally anything else. Realistically no vacation time or sick leave. (HX actually got fired from his previous position for bringing up the fact that they wouldn't let him take vacation time, despite having accrued the maximum amount and asking 3 separate times. They wouldn't even let him take a day off when we had family in town and he was running a fever.) One accident could bankrupt us.

And don't even get me started on climate change, racism, sexism, and "anti-intellectualism".

So, now we should fight? I've been fighting. And I'm tired. I'm so fucking tired of having to fight my own government, the people who should be representing and fighting FOR me, in addition to the brainwashed idiots who've been duped into thinking that I'm the problem because I want better than this. I'm so fucking tired of it all. I'm trying to do it all and I'm breaking. People wonder why there's a mental health crisis and this? This is it. This is exactly why. We're being asked to do everything under worse and worse conditions, but to keep fighting the good fight! Your reward will come someday!

Now on top of the rest there's a legit chance for civil war. At the very least, this winter is going to be a very dark and very violent time in our country. No matter which way the election goes, there will be violence. People will die. Do I want to be part of that? Do I want to keep propping up this system with my money, my presence? Do I want to keep pretending that I have a say in what happens? What happens if the autocrat "wins"? What do we do if it becomes obvious the election was stolen, by a man who has no compunction about siccing the military (the same people he thinks are suckers and losers) at civilians?

I'm not saying I'm leaving. HusbandX and I have briefly, mildly considered going back to Alaska and even that would be a wrench. But these are all things that have gone through my head and arguments I've had with myself. What am I staying for? Is this who and what I want to support? Is this how and where I want to raise my sticky boat units? Will I actually get to raise them to adulthood, or will some tragic and entirely preventable tragedy take them from me? It's hard and, as I said, I'm tired. I know everyone is tired right now. There's so much going on, so much to be angry about. And the thing that's exhausting me the most is that I'm tired of being angry. I'm tired of everyone around me being angry.

You don't have to respond, and I'm sorry for hijacking your page. I just wanted to let you know what other minds are thinking.
Sing it, @SisterX!

APowers

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #567 on: October 26, 2020, 06:31:59 PM »
@Laura33 batting 1000 once again:

Butting in again:

First, google "revenge bedtime procrastination."  Tl;dr:  when the day seems out of control, the evening when everything is quiet feels like the only "safe," quiet time, so you avoid going to bed because that will just start the cycle all over.  This is also an emotional stress response.  So just forcing yourself up off the couch at a reasonable time isn't going to fix it until you deal with the underlying emotional pull.  Again:  you tamp down on this, that stress is going to force its way out somewhere else. 

Nightly junk food:  this is more evidence that you are reaching your limit.  We all can handle only so much self-control in a given day.  This pattern suggests that you've learned to be very controlled and well-behaved when others are around, but when they go to bed, you let yourself relax, and all that bad behavior springs back out and reasserts itself.  This is a really unhealthy pattern -- not just for your body, but for your mind, because the constant, nightly "failures" persuade you that you are out of control and incapable of changing anything. 

All of this is telling you that you have to change your daily patterns.  You need to find ways to lift the stress of everything that you have to do during the day, so that it's not coming out like Mentos in a Coke bottle as soon as the kids go to bed. 

Side rant:  this "superwoman" expectation is ridiculous and unhealthy.  No one has ever, until modern times, been expected to feed and clothe and educate multiple kids on their own, all the while managing the household and keeping a husband happy and nursing until toddlerhood and maintaining a girlish figure and keeping the pets alive and serving on the church committee and vacuuming in pearls, with a smile at all times.  That is complete and utter bullshit.  People hire help.  People send their kids to schools.  People take valium.  People rely on family to take the kids for extended periods so everything else can get done.  People take jobs so they can send their kids to daycare and have some peace and quiet and adult interaction.  People who don't have money or family support let the kinds fend for themselves (not that that's ideal, but that's what poor people did forever, and why public schools were such a Godsend).  If there was one thing I could change in this society we have developed, it's this absolutely abhorrent idea that managing all of this, on your own, is not just expected, but is in fact the bare minimum that is expected of a modern mother.  It is not reasonable, it is not healthy.  It is entirely destructive bullshit that is responsible for more absolutely unnecessary stress than anything else in this world.  /rant

My very strong advice for you:  STOP.  Just stop.  Stop trying to figure out whether to refinance; stop trying to break apart your Target runs; stop trying to figure out which of your three meal plans is the best.  The only way to make the treadmill stop is to jump off it.  Yes, there are a bunch of things you can optimize, and that's great!  But you need to take care of you first.  You have time to deal with the rest.  This is the time to triage, where the only effort you put in is devoted toward simplifying your life and removing unnecessary expectations.

I'm once again going back to the food idea, as that is a huge time suck, both mentally and physically.  You need to lower your standards for a while.  I love the idea of the giant Costco trays, or the "if it's Tuesday, it must be tacos" approach.  Another option:  www.cooksmarts.com.  I don't know anything about your other meal planning service, but I used this one when things were crazy because it (1) gives you balanced meals that are adjustable for dietary restrictions, (2) provides efficient cooking time and prep (e.g., you cook extra chicken on Monday to use in Thursday's dinner), (3) and creates an entire grocery list for you based on the meals you selected, which you can then edit to drop the things you already have.  There's even an option to have the selected groceries delivered to you (I didn't use that so can't vouch for it).  Oh:  and my family actually liked the food.  There are other services that do this, too, of course.  But the key is that if you're going to pay for a meal planning service, you want one that does as much of the work for you as possible.  And that includes the mental work of deciding what to have on what night and developing the grocery list. 

I want you to stop and think for a minute about what life would feel like if you didn't need to think about meals.  What if you spent 15 minutes a week on the app and a grocery list, and another 30 minutes transfering that grocery list for Walmart delivery?  What if you then spent 30 minutes at night fixing exactly what someone told you to fix?  How much of a mental weight would that lift off you?  And what if you used that "found" time to do something just for you, instead of diving into another item on your to-do list?  Say, go for a walk by yourself after your husband gets home, or to go sit by yourself on the patio with your favorite playlist and a glass of wine (or your beverage of choice)?*

Serious question:  what do you value most?  Top two.  Let me guess:  kids and husband?  I'm going to expand that to three:  your own well-being.  Now:  how much time and mental energy do you spend on everything that is not in the top three?  All of that is just a time-suck -- it is stuff that you are choosing to do for some reason or another that is taking time away from the things you actually value more.  So why are you spending so much time and energy on those things?  Life is always going to present you with options to do more and better, in every possible aspect of life; that's our cultural ethos, to have more and do better.  At some point you need to affirmatively choose to do less in areas that don't matter in order to be able to do more in the areas that do -- to seek out not the "best," but the "good enough"; to value the "be" as much as the "have" and the "do."  Figure out the things that matter most to you, and throw your love and attention and energy into those, and then do the minimum you can get away with on everything else.  And do it proudly and without guilt:  it's not that you are failing to do X, but that you are focusing your limited time and energy on Y instead of letting X distract you.  Bonus: that kind of life is more satisfying, because you're spending more time and energy on the things you value, and less on the things that other people want you to value. 

*I suspect you are now thinking of all the reasons why it won't work -- picky eaters, or you "like" to cook, or whatever else.  To all of which I say:  fuck it.  Seriously.  Is anyone going to die if they have Instapot mojo pork this week instead of whatever homemade delicacy they'd prefer?  Just try it for two weeks or a month.  No one will be scarred for life if they have to eat less-than-perfect meals for a couple of weeks.  And you might even be surprised at what you find (that mojo pork has become a staple in my house, btw).

Laura33

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #568 on: October 27, 2020, 07:31:44 AM »
Awww, shucks.  [blushes]  Thanks!

BicycleB

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #569 on: November 01, 2020, 03:27:26 PM »
@WhiteTrashCash on what it feels like when your self-improvement pays off:

I was just thinking this morning: It feels good to be successful.

It's quite a feeling when you realize that you have proven wrong every person who didn't believe in you. When you become the one who got away for every relationship that broke your heart. When you can brush off problems that would break other people. It feels amazing.

It feels good to look back at the past as if it is a foreign place where someone else lived with little tangible connection to who you are today. When you realize that old you who was so lost and broken is now dead and gone and the only person anyone really knows is the new you who is confident and strong and capable of anything.

It's a good feeling when you know you can obtain any skill you want with the push of a few buttons and a little time. When knowledge that once seemed magical is commonplace and belongs to you. When you realize that nothing is really out of your reach.

It feels good for financial crises that once would have ruined you are merely minor inconveniences. When you have no trouble maintaining your lifestyle or obtaining the things you need. When people envy you for having your house together.

It feels good, man.

dandarc

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #570 on: November 03, 2020, 10:52:09 AM »
@mathlete telling it like it is on the pandemic:

Most people have the incorrect take regarding the dichotomy between privileged white collar workers and essential workers. This was true months ago and it's true today.

Broke: "White collar workers who can WFH are out of touch. Not everyone has that luxury. They have to work and they have to be out in public. Therefore making any accommodations for this pandemic is silly.

Woke: "White collar workers are in a unique position to reduce their contact with society at large and bring the reproduction rate of the virus down to sub 1 levels. This protects not only themselves, but the essential workers who have no choice but to expose themselves to more risk."

My god, we're nearly back up to 1K deaths a day in the US. Excess mortality has persisted for 30 straight weeks. Life insurers are missing earnings. Cases are up. Hospitalizations are up. This is real. It's still here. It's still bad. And most importantly of all, there are examples of places doing a better job of managing it than the US has.

If you want to go out to eat at a sit down restaurant, then do it. But you're doing it because you want to and you're over it. That's it. There is no grander story to tell about the inevitability of the virus or the futility of precautions. You just want to go to Applebees. That's fine.

Laura33

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #571 on: November 11, 2020, 06:57:32 AM »
@Malcat as usual.  https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/ask-a-mustachian/relationship-question-dealing-with-ex-girlfriend-who-says-she-misses-me/msg2731993/#msg2731993

Thanks to all of you for so many replies!! I read each and every one of them quite a few times. Furthermore, I was quite stunned that you guys managed to link this thread to my old one. Yes, you are right -- that was me.

I cut off all contact with her, and (as @Malcat put it) " stop engage in this nonsense". Sorry for bothering you with this s*** for the second time.

I feel like I have a lot to learn. I want to be confident and act properly. I still see value in receiving external feedback on my journey (again, shout-out to all of you!), thus I'll create a mini-blog as new thread here in the forum where I'll write about my life (still deciding on the most appropriate subsection for this). I'm not sure whether this is doing me any good, but I feel like it's a good strategy for progress. I also feel like I come across as being somewhat childish and maybe even emotionally not 100% stable -- but I purposefully use this very account/forum for my 'mini-blog' because I really want to improve. I don't want to live a miserable live. I want to strive.

Edit: Found the 'Journals'-section, seems like the perfect place for my...well.. journal :D

Dude, we all sound childish as we're learning things.

It's the willingness to sound childish that allows you to grow and mature. Never be afraid of sounding childish or clueless because it's the only way to have a future where you get to look back on it with wisdom.

I would rather sound childish and learn from others than stay childish and learn nothing.

Road42

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The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #572 on: December 21, 2020, 05:08:29 AM »
From the minimum wage hike discussion in the post about living paycheck to paycheck:


This is a really complicated problem as others in this thread have already commented on.

People have absolutely no clue how many jobs out there do not pay $15 /hr now. This article puts it at 43% of the country. https://tcf.org/content/commentary/making-economic-case-15-minimum-wage/?session=1
This isn't about getting people off the federal minimum wage (because almost no one is making $7.50), its about essentially providing a 30-50% wage increase to those making between 9.50 (advertised local starting pay at Five guys) and $12.00 (advertised local starting pay at Chik Fil A). Its for people across a broad number of employment sectors: the baker and the driver who supply the buns at your mega burger franchise, the warehouse people who are loading inventory that supplies almost all of the disposable goods you buy at the grocery or big box store, the migrant workers harvesting the lettuce or onions you buy, the unlicensed vet tech at your vet clinic, the lunch lady at your kid's school, the city/county clerk opening the mail at your local govt office, the medical assistant taking your blood pressure at your primary care clinic, the unlicensed pharmacy tech ringing up your meds at Walgreens.

Those wage increases will not go unnoticed by the consumer when they go to the Dr, the gas station, the craft store, the grocery store. As we witnessed with the pandemic, simply disrupting 1 segment of the work force has rippling effects across the economy. Costs for health care, food, rent, utilities, taxes and other things will increase with an increased minimum wage. Its the same reason that groceries at a Kroger brand store in California cost more than groceries at a Kroger brand store in South Carolina.

When economists talk about sales tax being a regressive tax, its because it predominately affects the poor. The poor spends nearly all of their disposable income (after rent / bills) on goods that get taxed, whereas Walmart billionaires spend a single digit percentage of their wealth on goods. So raising the minimum wage 30-50% will deplete the purchasing power of the poor quicker when they notice costs of goods and services rising. It also diminishes the purchasing power of the middle class, who did not see their $19-30/hr wages increase but now have a ___% (15 - 30??) more expensive time going about their daily lives. Without a corresponding social safety net (healthcare, housing etc), these changes will handicap a larger segment of the population, or just cause inflation that erodes the purchasing power of your new $15 / hr wage. Govt tax policies are needed to disincentivize high income disparity to CEOs and other highly compensated employees by introducing very tiered taxation and closing loopholes that shield their profits from taxation, otherwise companies are just going to continue to pass those cost increases on to customers. Legislation like this is hard sell in the US.

Most countries that provide a stronger social safety net have flatter wages. Only in America do tech bros and doctors make over $200k (hourly wage $90+), while the minimum wage is realistically $9. That's a wage disparity ratio of at least 10:1.  In the UK, doctors make £90k (£43/hr) while minimum wage pays £9/ hr. That's a wage disparity ratio of 4.8 :1. There is absolutely no way to raise wages here 30-50% for many without depleting purchasing power for others. Our relative lack of social safety net would plunge many more into food and shelter insecurity.The US economy would have to be restructured to provide a social safety net (never mind that we currently finance our limited social safety net with unfunded huge deficit spending).

Countries with higher wages and lower income disparity have much higher prices on discretionary items. In the UK, a big mac meal comes with what Americans would call a small fry / soda and costs about £7. The equivalent cost in the US (for a larger meal) is about $7. In Australia, where wages are even higher, a big mac meal is $12. A nurse in Australia making $35/ hr (standard wage) has a much harder time buying that meal and saving money than an equivalent nurse in the US making $35/hr. In the UK, where a nurse makes £15 / hr, that big mac meal is half their hourly wage. These higher costs in the UK/Aus are also borne out across multiple types of purchases.

Every single American on this board has had a quicker path to FIRE due to the structure of our economy / wage disparity subsidizing our cheap purchases. None of us have been able to remove ourselves from the economy and purely support businesses that pay above poverty wages because we do not have choice in many of the matters (we cannot affect what our landlords pay their handyman, what our contracted internet or trash utility pays their call center person). So lets all look at this from a practical stand point and ask HOW we can participate in a more fair economy, while acknowledging that it will affect all of our bottom lines. Those of you who have FIREd at currently inflated wage ratios need to recognize that privilege and realize how many more years it would have taken you at flatter wages in comparison, instead of just saying "I don't mind paying $0.41 more for a fast food burger". Its just not that simple. I don't have any real answers regarding restructuring the economy, I just want to point out that it it were that simple, we would have already solved poverty each time the minimum wage was raised.
« Last Edit: December 21, 2020, 05:12:03 AM by Road42 »

grantmeaname

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #573 on: December 21, 2020, 06:57:07 AM »
Dang, I just saw this months-old post from boy_bye today but man it's a good one
The question isn't whether some people lose weight when they commute by bike (I never did!) but why is weight loss always assumed to be a worthwhile and achievable goal for fat people.

As you state above, health outcomes can be improved by doing things like riding bikes and walking and getting other forms of exercise. This is true for the vast majority of people regardless of their weight. Most people of all sizes in the US especially would benefit from doing more exercise.

At the same time, we know that although exercise does correlate to healthier outcomes, it does not often correlate to long-term weight loss. Sometimes it even correlates to weight gain.

We also know that, quite often, when fat people do get out to exercise, we are subjected to abuse, ridicule, concern-trolling, people being like "keep going, you can do it!" and all kinds of condescending and hurtful shit.

So ... there's a health protocol called exercise, that everyone would benefit from, but only one category of people is shamed for NOT doing it, and that same category of people is also shamed when they DO do it. Who doesn't see how fucked up this is?

And none of it leads to weight loss for the vast majority of people. It may make them healthier, but by and large, it doesn't make them slimmer.

So if what we really care about is people being healthy and not just people not being fat, we should be encouraging everyone to have healthier habits, take a walk, keep trying to quit smoking, introduce more nutritious foods into their diets when they can ... but no, instead we just shit on fat people and talk about how lazy they are and how all the bad things that happen to them are their own damn fault. Sure. Because no one skinny has ever gotten sick and died.

THIS is the point I keep trying to make. You can't tell how healthy anyone is by simply looking at the size of their body. And to keep harping on fat people to sacrifice endlessly to change their body size when it's clear that this is not possible for the majority of us is simply cruel.

And yes, this is a topic close to my heart because I and most of the people I know have been discriminated against for my entire life. It's not "strangely aggressive" to stand up for myself and others when folks express ill-informed opinions that actually, materially hurt us.

When y'all stop saying uninformed, incorrect, and harmful shit, I will stop with my "strange aggression" that is actually rooted in just trying to survive in a world that has conditioned almost everyone to exclude me based on the size of my body.

Now, back to your regularly scheduled armchair epidemiology-ing.

Moonwaves

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #574 on: December 21, 2020, 08:18:12 AM »
"The best post" is a very subjective thing and not everyone will agree on what constitutes one. FWIW I thought it was a good post.

With regard to discussing the substance of the post, I don't think this is the place for it. I generally go out of my way to avoid most of the topics regarding weight because it can be very triggering for me. So I'd like to respectfully ask you to move your post to the original thread or start a new one, please.

sherr

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #575 on: December 21, 2020, 08:25:27 AM »
So I'd like to respectfully ask you to move your post to the original thread or start a new one, please.

Fair enough, I removed it.

Moonwaves

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #576 on: December 21, 2020, 08:35:07 AM »
Thank you.

FireLane

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #577 on: February 02, 2021, 08:23:00 PM »
@former player on hobbies and how you choose to fill your FIRE days:

I've been FIREd for 10 years.  I don't have the complete answer, but do have some thoughts.

My daily routine was imposed on me when I got a dog - there is this canine person depending on me to get up at a certain time every day, to feed him at certain times, to take him out for walks.  An app is probably cheaper and easier (but possibly less rewarding overall).

Your older self will thank your current self for moving your body every day.  Nothing extreme is required, just walking and stretching and lifting things on a regular basis. 

The point of a hobby is that you don't have to be good at it.  Work has to be done well because people are depending on it being done well, and are paying for it to be done well.  A hobby only has to be done as well as is needed for it to be enjoyable to do it.  Nobody has any right to criticise you for how you are doing other than yourself, and nobody else has to see what you are doing unless you want them to.  And in any case the more time you spend on it the better you are going to get.  So the only criterion for taking up a hobby is: are you going to enjoy it?  Nothing else matters.

My final thought is: you don't actually have to do anything, beyond a basic routine and a bit of daily exercise.  You have earned the right to do nothing else.  You have earned your way out of the Protestant work ethic and you no longer have to fill every minute with sixty seconds' worth of distance run.  You can spend the morning reading and the afternoon napping in a hammock and there's nothing wrong with that.  That is particularly the case if you are new to not having to work: you need a period of decompression.  Work is an institution and we all become institutionalised by it to a greater or lesser extent, and as someone freshly released from that institution you can take the time to smell the flowers and work out later whether smelling flowers is enough or something other way of passing the time has taken your fancy.

BNgarden

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #578 on: February 19, 2021, 06:48:31 PM »
Really useful tips for dealing with others following the death of a loved one, from @Anon-E-Mouze
I'm sorry for your loss and can only imagine that COVID is making things especially difficult.

In terms of high-level practical advice, I am going to draw on the experience of my father when he had to deal with all the logistics/admin after my mother's death. On the one hand, he is a super-organized / rational / put it in a spreadsheet kind of guy, and that really helped him deal with stuff. He is also often empathic and has a long fuse, and that helped, but occasionally everything would boil over when someone wasn't acting rationally or helpfully. I think that both sides of his personality helped him deal with things, and when things got messy, he extracted some lessons.

So here goes:

1. Put your to-dos in some kind of list (spreadsheet or otherwise), identify those that are the absolutely highest priority and do them asap. For the rest, knock off one or two a day.

2. Keep a diary of interactions with people (including family who might be trying to take stuff, or just are being tricky). Keep in mind that if you do Zoom calls for some of them, you can make a recording and then take notes from it later. Write down commitments made (by others and you), timing, additional information needed, etc.

3. Write down a script of what to say when someone acts or says something inappropriate. The script will help stop you from going off the deep end, and at the same time you'll be able to express the concern that you have. Frame it in terms of the impact that someone's words or actions have had on you, rather than imputing motives to them. Don't apologize but help them see your perspective and set your expectations for them.

4. When you are dealing with the "experts" who handle situations like this (even if they don't always seem like experts), remember to ask at the end of each conversation "Is there anything else I should know that we haven't discussed yet? Do you have any advice for me in terms of next steps?"

5. Some of the people reaching out to you who are close to you or were close to your relative likely are grieving or are concerned for you, but don't know how to offer sympathy or support. It's not your job to make their lives easier, but remember that you can make specific requests for help or support - and that will make things easier for you and them. Ideally, if you need help from a friend or relative, ask them if they can do "A" or "B". Giving them a choice allows them to pick the service or support they feel comfortable with. If that seems too much for you to do, but the person has offered to help, say "Why don't you suggest two or three ways that you think you can help me, and I'll let you know which of those would be the most useful right now."

6. Take five minutes every day to recall a happy memory about your experience with this relative.  And take a few minutes at least once a week or so to think about how someone involved in dealing with all of this has been helpful to you, or has honoured your relative. It's hard to be grateful or have positive memories when life is so difficult but exercising those "gratitude" muscles will help you feel better.

FIRE 20/20

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #579 on: February 26, 2021, 09:35:52 AM »
From @nereo , discussing the importance of things other than just numbers in ensuring that your FIRE plans are safe enough:


Do you some specific real-world examples of these "layers of safety"? Having side hustles is pretty clear but when you say "social capital, family network, and mobility" what does that translate to in particular besides something like "my friend or family can help get me a job" (I would presume this isn't the first thing you'd necessarily be asking if you get into a tight situation while FIREd though...?)?


Sure.  I;d wager that the two biggest threats to most forum-member's retirements isn't their WR, but are external 'very bad things' happening to them or their loved ones.  I'd put having to care for family and having acute medical conditions as the top two (at least for US members). In both cases there are things one can do which will have a much larger effect than "lots more money".  In the dependent category, it's important to ensure your parents, children and siblings are in good places, and that the relationship isn't parasitic but mutually beneficial.

As for 'social capital' - part of that is developing a healthy and robust social network.  If you are a jerk in real life people are unlikely to go out of your way to help you, but a robust network of friends can help in so many ways and under so many circumstances. Those sorts of networks can take years to build with very little monetary cost, but it's much harder to emulate with fist-fulls of cash.

Mobility can be a pretty powerful layer of safety.  At the extreme there are people who have a huge % of their net-worth tied to their homes, who might be unwilling to sell, and who have made no mortgage (and subseuquent low mortgage payments) a key component of their ER.  That's all fine as long as things stay relatively stable, but life is filled with disasters (floods, forest-fires), both natural and human-made (a family member in need). Sometimes you just have to get out Dodge - permanently. Here a renter or someone with a low% of their home as their NW have a huge advantage.  Geoarbitrage can be an important layer of safety - but it only works for those willing and in a position to actually move.

And of course there's side/supplemental income. That's anathema to many in the FIRE community, but for many just keeping that door open can mean the difference between a solid retirement strategy at 4%WR and a rock-solid WR at an even higher (e.g. 5%WR).  What that means is different for all of us, but it may be as simple as keeping certifications up to date and a network of contacts (another part of the 'social network' i mentioned above).  For others it's far less practical unless they branch out considerably from their main career.  Layers of safety doesn't mean you will have every layer - but hopefully you will have several.

teen persuasion

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #580 on: March 10, 2021, 07:34:46 AM »
Very astute post from Frugal Toque:


https://www.npr.org/2021/03/09/974830177/what-the-300-a-month-child-benefit-could-mean-for-a-family-on-the-edge

This article profiles some lower income families, but could someone explain to me WHY THE HELL the government would give extra money to a family making $100,000 per year, much less $150K per year which is the cap for this program?!

Not sure, but I think people in your country really look down on poor people.  More so than in other countries.

A policy that targets the poor is often very unpopular and policy debates get dragged down into discussions of supposed "Welfare Queens" and such.  Minimum wage debates often derail into makings long lists of people who don't deserve more than $7 an hour.

If the policy targets "more responsible people" as well as the poor, the policy might pass more easily.

Toque.

mspym

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #581 on: March 13, 2021, 01:40:01 AM »
This is a beautiful and concise explanation
It's not about spending as little as possible, it's about wasting as little as possible. It takes trial and error to identify the waste.  But you can choose for the process to be fun.

nereo

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #582 on: March 13, 2021, 05:08:58 AM »
This is a beautiful and concise explanation
It's not about spending as little as possible, it's about wasting as little as possible. It takes trial and error to identify the waste.  But you can choose for the process to be fun.

Once again Malcat manages to distill paragraphs of things I’ve been trying to explain into fewer than 30 words.

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #583 on: March 13, 2021, 09:16:04 AM »
This is a beautiful and concise explanation
It's not about spending as little as possible, it's about wasting as little as possible. It takes trial and error to identify the waste.  But you can choose for the process to be fun.

Wow, very well said.

MoseyingAlong

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #584 on: March 24, 2021, 03:18:20 AM »
I prefer the person I am becoming - who were you? who are you becoming? I am seriously interested - as I am wondering about the process and how I will change when I actually pull the plug and decompress after FIRE. I think in ways - FIREing forces you to really look in the mirror.

For me personally - it is very easy to derive purpose from the urgency of work. An ever increasing net worth becomes the indicator of my value. Since the productivity treadmill only accelerates, work defines more and more of how I live. Always - "do more, better". The best hours of my week consistently go to the job, leaving scraps for my home life.

The obvious benefit of stopping, my best hours are now mine.

The unexpected - workplace culture defined who I am as a person. If I thought I could do 10 things in a day, I'd try to do 11. If my wife was talking too long, I'd start doing something in parallel with her conversation. When I put the time in to exercise, it needed to be at 100% effort, until I was wrecked. If someone made a mistake, I wouldn't be happy until the mistake was fixed, they knew it was wrong, and it could never possibly happen again.

Living that way is idealized in corporate America. Without continual reinforcement from work, much of it is fading. I am losing the constant sense that I am inadequate. There is no ongoing competition with my peers, no race to see who is going to fall behind and fail the team first. I no longer lay in bed ruminating on (impossible) work problems, waiting to pass out from exhausting myself.

Instead - I am doing much less in a day, but am often fully present. The calendar and clock aren't dictating my life. My productivity is way down. I am happier for it. I was in a state of constant stress, but in denial to the degree of the problem. It is enough to live my simple life. That sense is incredibly freeing.

This emerged when I took FMLA last year. In a matter of days, what I can only describe as euphoria set in. It faded as the return to work approached. I started to dread re-entering corporate culture, but resolved to remember how I'd been living. I made my best effort to preserve that perspective. I tried to form new work boundaries. The effort was an utter failure. Knowing what life could be, I was out of there 2 months later.

Having stopped permanently, it's now clear my ego was still anchored on status afforded by my position and salary. It's funny, because I would never self-describe as a person who values those things. By any outwards appearances, I do not.

Yet, I had internalized work success as the measure of life success. Letting that go is good for me. It's taking some time. I still find myself drifting to ideas for getting money - how I can both not work and see the net worth grow? I wonder - Maybe it was just a bad job for me, and a new place would be different? Etc.

There is a constant temptation to return to the old way. Due to work being my top priority for decades, it is what I am best at. My personal development is heavily imbalanced. I can barely put air in my car tires, but I am a great employee.

Fearing sequence of returns risk, I've purposefully taken 18 months living expenses as cash, to give all those thoughts time to evolve. I want to discover who I am without a job. If I take on something new, I want it to nurture that person. I wouldn't view new work as a failure, but a return to that old lifestyle would be very disappointing.

This really resonated for me and is an extra kick to continue my plan to stop paid work later this year.

Dicey

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #585 on: March 27, 2021, 07:30:00 PM »
Once again, @Malcat knocks it out of the park:

I think for some reason it gets harder as adults.  Up through college, it was natural and easy to make friends, even though I'm introverted like you (and, FG I suspect).  But I got married in college to a more extroverted and frankly more fun person, and so my friend-making skills and opportunities withered.  After a few decades, I'm back trying to learn how to do it again - maybe figuring out the difference between youth and older ages in that regard would help.

It really isn't harder, it's actually very easy, it's just that the circumstances that build friendships are harder to come by in adulthood, whereas they are EVERYWHERE when you are younger.

It's actually stupid easy to make friends once you figure out the ingredients for human bonding, then it's just a matter of engineering those scenarios with other people, and viola! Friends!

The key to human connection is to overcome challenges together. This creates a natural cooperative state of mutual vulnerability and collaboration. Everyone is vulnerable when they are actively being challenged, and facing a challenge with another person triggers the "in group" instinct of depending on and bonding with that person, whether you like them or not, funnily enough.

That's why it's so easy to make friends when you are younger, you're all facing the same challenges: school, growing up, being broke, dealing with parents, dating, etc. It's all one giant, vulnerable, shared challenge.

Adults make the logical mistake of trying to bond with people through leisure, which does exactly fuck all to create bonds. Inviting someone over for dinner will result in spending an entire evening engaging with their curated social mask. But if you invite them over to experiment together with tackling some crazy difficult recipe you've both always wanted to try, then BAM, it's like making friends in middle school. There's nothing like fucking up a souffle together to feel connected to someone.

Courses, volunteering, team sports, etc, are all decent avenues to generate this kind of interaction. I'm still close with the MS society volunteers I worked with nearly 20 years ago, because we KILLED ourselves making those events happen. My current volunteer executive committee have become some of my most trusted friends, and we have very little in common in terms of lifestyle and values.

So basically: do something difficult with people, and be willing to be vulnerable while doing it.

Most adults are out there dying to make new friends. They're feeling just as intimidated as everyone else.

rpr

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #586 on: March 27, 2021, 08:36:54 PM »
What an insightful post on making friends, @Malcat. Never thought about it that way. And when I look back at some of my experiences, it actually seems to have worked that way.

Thanks for sharing -- @Dicey

change_seeker

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #587 on: March 29, 2021, 02:28:17 PM »
@Malcat

Thanks, I have shared with my wife who has really struggled with making new friends in her old hometown.  I've made some great friendships through an organization called Men's Encounter.  We spend the weekend focusing on the spiritual side of our lives, but the means to doing so is by men being vulnerable and sharing really tough stories about their experiences.  I came out of that weekend with closer friendships than I had after six months of being back in town.

OtherJen

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #588 on: March 29, 2021, 06:16:48 PM »
@Malcat

Thanks, I have shared with my wife who has really struggled with making new friends in her old hometown.  I've made some great friendships through an organization called Men's Encounter.  We spend the weekend focusing on the spiritual side of our lives, but the means to doing so is by men being vulnerable and sharing really tough stories about their experiences.  I came out of that weekend with closer friendships than I had after six months of being back in town.

Does your wife sing? I have made some of my dearest friends through choirs. We've kept each other sane throughout the pandemic via Zoom and group chat, even though we haven't sung together for more than a year.

marty998

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #589 on: April 01, 2021, 07:17:51 PM »
@Malcat

Thanks, I have shared with my wife who has really struggled with making new friends in her old hometown.  I've made some great friendships through an organization called Men's Encounter.  We spend the weekend focusing on the spiritual side of our lives, but the means to doing so is by men being vulnerable and sharing really tough stories about their experiences.  I came out of that weekend with closer friendships than I had after six months of being back in town.

Does your wife sing? I have made some of my dearest friends through choirs. We've kept each other sane throughout the pandemic via Zoom and group chat, even though we haven't sung together for more than a year.

I can't help but think of the choir in Schitt's Creek :)

DadJokes

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #590 on: April 05, 2021, 11:58:12 AM »
@Malcat

Thanks, I have shared with my wife who has really struggled with making new friends in her old hometown.  I've made some great friendships through an organization called Men's Encounter.  We spend the weekend focusing on the spiritual side of our lives, but the means to doing so is by men being vulnerable and sharing really tough stories about their experiences.  I came out of that weekend with closer friendships than I had after six months of being back in town.

Does your wife sing? I have made some of my dearest friends through choirs. We've kept each other sane throughout the pandemic via Zoom and group chat, even though we haven't sung together for more than a year.

I can't help but think of the choir in Schitt's Creek :)

Oh Danny Boy....

dougules

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #591 on: April 12, 2021, 03:57:30 PM »
More @Malcat wisdom.  This one really resonates with me at the moment.

This is a good point. Maybe I need to split them apart, dignity until sunset and rum after sunset or some such.

Talked with Germany. Their goal is going to be to get a complete offer to me in the next two months which aligns well with the other two potential offers. I find that the longer I go without interacting with the folks in Germany, I start to fall into a convincing view that a within-US move is the right way to go. Then, whenever I interact with them I come away thinking a move to Germany sounds amazing and that I'm confident I could handle whatever challenges would be involved in making it happen. Not sure which of my two minds is more predictive of my long term goals/happiness/life satisfaction. More weeks of dithering. Heh.

I know this feeling well.

When it happens, I'm often able to identify that one mind likes an option because it feels safe and the other likes an option because it feels exciting.

Thinking safely is very valuable when you have a lot to lose, but once you have security and flexibility like you do, the challenge is to shift away from that hedging/protecting pattern of thinking that got you your success in the first place, and nurturing that adventure/possibilities pattern of thinking, which was the whole point of achieving financial independence in the first place.

The best way to tell what your gut is pushing for is to follow the impulse that scares you. If you didn't really want it, it wouldn't be scary. Of course deciding to move to Europe would be scary to anyone, but that's the thing, it would only be scary to the people seriously wanting to do it, because everyone else would just see it as a hassle and just not want to do it.

Like, I would LOVE a chance to go live and work in Europe. However, it just wouldn't work with my health needs right now. So if DH was offered a job there, I wouldn't have any of that fear or anxiety about the possibility, I would just have to say "oof, that sounds amazing, but it wouldn't work, so we'll have to pass".

When there's very little risk on the table, the anxiety you feel about an exciting option is often directly correlated to how excited you are for it. Likewise, the "this feels right" feeling of a "safer" more predictable option often reflects how uninspiring that option is.

CowboyAndIndian

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #592 on: May 20, 2021, 07:24:07 AM »
@secondcor521 hits it out of the ballpark on the topic of having good relationship with your kids.

It's early days yet, but my DS26, DS21, and DD19 and I have a good relationship.

Lots of good advice already.  Some of these may be repetitive but I'll try to hit on points not yet mentioned:

1.  Don't try to shoehorn them into your dreams for their lives; let them become whomever they become.  When my kids were young, I sort of thought they would be chips off the old block.  In a few limited ways they are, but they are also quite different from me and their mom and each other.  It is utterly fascinating to get to know these people.

2.  Respect them.  Answer their questions honestly.  Listen to them.  Extend trust to them as long as they continue to be trustworthy.  Consider that their opinions and perspective and decisions might differ from yours.

3.  Be involved.  Attend every thing they're involved in.  Drive them to school.  Make their lunches.  Go to the games, the concerts, the engineering competitions, the plays.  Be there.  If you do this and the respect thing (see previous point) very once in a rare while they'll come to you and talk to you about their friend who is suicidal, or about sex, or drugs, or whatever.

4.  Don't "should" them.  Guilt trips are not a good way to parent them, and most people, including kids, resent them.  I always had a good reason for why I asked them to do something or expect something of them and willingly told them that at the time.  "It would be wise to get good grades so you have a better chance of getting into a good university so you can become that mechanical engineer you want to be" not "You should get good grades"  "Sex can sometimes result in unwanted pregnancies or STDs" not "You shouldn't have sex"  "I don't drink because it gives me headaches, I can't sleep, and I don't like how I feel drunk, and I don't drink so much that I can't make good decisions.  Plus DUI is dangerous, deadly, and expensive." not "You shouldn't drink underage."

5.  Be honest.  Don't sugarcoat and say "Yeah, apply to that expensive college" and then when they get in awkwardly explain that you can't afford it.  Don't tell them they should like Grandma even when she's annoying and a worrywart.  Don't tell them you'll think about buying them a pony or taking them to Disneyland if you have no intentions of thinking about it and already know the answer is no.

6.  Say yes on the stuff that doesn't matter so that on the rare times when you have to say "No" they'll be more likely to accept it.  (Plus the respect and honesty and all that jazz above helps.)  Wear your socks to bed?  Sure.  Put purple food coloring in your milk?  Why not.  Put bows in the cat's fur?  Whatever.  Steal/lie/do hard drugs/get married at 17?  Nope.

7.  Let them get to know you.  This may be part of #5, but you can share with them what's going on in your life as long as it's not done in a way to where they feel obligated to help you when they're still kids.  "I had a rough day because a client was being difficult, but we figured it out with some creativity, persistence, and listening."  "I can't figure out how to do this tax thing yet.  But I'll figure it out.  Maybe I'll ask a friend of mine."  This way they can see the real you.  Also, you can demonstrate to them at least your way of how to live life.

8.  Let them own their decisions, accomplishments, and their failures as much as possible.  I brag about my kids all the time, but it's their accomplishments, not mine, and I always give them the credit.  This is probably a sore point for me vis-a-vis my Dad, but I don't think he really ever meant to appropriate our accomplishments - he was just a really proud Dad who wasn't afraid to brag on his kids to everyone.

merula

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #593 on: June 01, 2021, 07:54:55 AM »
@SwordGuy had several excellent points in a minimum wage discussion, but I especially liked how he prioritized people in a capitalist system.

If capitalism is INCAPABLE of providing employment at a decent wage for everyone willing and able to work, then it either needs to be supplemented by taxes to support those it cannot hire -- or we need to replace it with a system that provides a decent living for everyone willing and able to work.

I personally believe it's CAPABLE of doing so and just chooses not to.   

And if some businesses cannot afford to charge enough to support those decent wages, then we the people have decided those businesses aren't important enough to us, so good riddance to them.   Capital can then invest in those businesses that CAN support decent wages.

markbike528CBX

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #594 on: June 19, 2021, 09:18:47 PM »
Have a hard time to make a decision to retire. Although I know we have enough money for most things we want to do, but more money is better.

There is no such things as the money that I will never be able to spend. I can always find ways to spend money, and quickly.

So where is the STOP sign in "... Beyond"?

It's when you start thinking about time instead of money.  You could have written:

"Have an easy time to make a decision to retire. Although I don't know how much time we have left for most things we want to do, but more time is better.

There is no such thing as having more time.  I am always spend my time, and quickly."

Nice post @secondcor521          @flyingaway nice setup.   There are loads of people who feel the way you do. If not, OMY would not be a commonly accepted acronym.   Forum member Omy being a former example.

Sanitary Engineer

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #595 on: July 02, 2021, 08:29:12 AM »
I came across this post from @Paper Chaser while scrolling the new unread posts page.  It is a good reminder to acknowledge our current positions in life when making a familiar decision. And also of the concept of enough.  Which is also the title of a Jack Bogle book with similar philosophy.

A big part of the MMM ideology is the concept of "enough" and living simply. It's about removing stress that comes from chasing more money. This isn't the "maximize wealth at all costs" forum. It's the "grow wealth enough such that it can allow you to ditch stressful situations fueled by consumeristic living so you may enjoy the lifestyle that you want" forum.

OP's been doing this for a couple of decades. They have very low debt and are sophisticated enough to be considering 1031 exchanges on income properties. We don't know many details about the whole financial picture, but it's probably going pretty ok for them. Debt is a tool that should be used responsibly to grow wealth and unlock happiness. If you're already wealthy and happy, then I'm not sure I see the need for it outside of greed. So the question boils down to what is "enough" for the OP? If they've already got "enough", then why bother with more stress trying to chase dollars they don't need?

markbike528CBX

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #596 on: July 08, 2021, 04:24:18 PM »
I think MMM’s lack of posting is the cause of slowing growth / participation. It’s kinda weird to me, because, per his own words, MMM started his blog as an environmental social movement. Upon becoming extremely successful at doing exactly what he set out to do, he promptly slowed down to near stall speed.

I get it. Life gets in the way. Kids need all our time. Divorce happens. Side projects distract us. Internet stalkers and solicitors are annoying. But then again the megaphone that Pete built to do good is being under-utilized, and a lot less good is occurring as a result. People unwisely see nothing fresh going on and move elsewhere - often to consumerist / financial gambling websites or, even worse, that mulching mower of independent thought called social media.

I can’t tell Pete he should live his life for the benefit of internet randos, but there are lots of people in this world working their arses off trying to convince people to turn away from the waste of life and ecology that is consumerism, and they aren’t succeeding because they don’t have a platform like this, or Pete’s writing talent. He’s walking away from the chance to start an actual mass movement, involving millions of people, and transforming many of the stupidest things about our country / world.

Burnout is real, and it’s understandable if Pete has already written all he has to say and has a best life to live rather than repeating himself forever. But maybe he should hand off the blog to capable, trusted, and passionate hands. Run a banner ad to pay an editor’s salary. Let a group of new contributors make their names here. Switch from writing to organizing meetups and local groups in the physical world. Any of these is a preferable alternative to letting the world’s most important blog wind down. That would be a major loss.
Very much my sentiments. 
If you have a bully pulpit, and using it hasn't gotten you negative blowback in the past, mostly fact the opposite, you should use it.
For good reason, there isn't a bat signal for MMM / Pete, but @ChpBstrd 's post sort of needs it.

shelivesthedream

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #597 on: July 10, 2021, 01:47:29 PM »
Please would you go back to the original thread if you want to discuss a post quoted on here?

For the latest: https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/welcome-to-the-forum/a-lack-of-new-converts!/msg2869358/?topicseen#new

dougules

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #598 on: July 14, 2021, 03:14:47 PM »
@mspym on not getting caught up in ruminating on negative thoughts which is a problem for people affected by depression. 

The Ezra Klein podcast was super good for my brain. I am slowly working my way through The Happiness Trap and it is also blowing my mind a little, in a good way. The whole recognising a thought as a thought? Not struggling or engaging with them, just acknowledging 'oh there's that story again?' super useful. Like I don't know why I haven't been applying techniques from meditation to my daily life?

Oh yeah, mindfulness is a real superpower.

I basically bullied my entire family into mindfulness meditation. They're all much more sane now. DH went from kind of high strung to the most easy going person I know. I call it "marriage on easy mode".
I have spent so many years wrestling with "is this thought true or not?" when "is this thought helpful? Does it help me be the person I want to be?" is so much more powerful and useful. Which feels like I have just thrown my whole world view up in the air and it's completely rearranged itself.

MainstreamContrarian

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #599 on: July 17, 2021, 05:38:19 PM »
Okay, first, you really need to change your mindset about what it means to communicate your needs and boundaries to your employer.

The fact that you're even calling it an ultimatum and feeling like quitting is a threat is a BIG part of the problem.

Communicating your needs and limitations is just part of being a.responsible staff member. And people leave jobs all the time, for all sorts of reasons, so this should not be treated as a threat.

Now, you may have shitty management who are terrible at listening to your concerns and who do treat people quitting as some kind of insult, but crappy management shouldn't change how YOU approach your job, or what YOUR professionalism looks like.

So yes, talk to your management about how your current work conditions are completely unsustainable for you. That's not an ultimatum, that's just responsible communication and that *is* your responsibility to communicate.

Your potential leaving isn't a threat, it's the natural consequence of you continuing to perform in an unsustainable way.

Now, if you do your part to communicate effectively that your limits have been exceeded and that your current situation is unsustainable, then they will either value you enough in your role to accomodate you, or they won't and that will communicate to you that they are okay with you leaving.

If they're okay with you leaving because they expect someone to be sustainably able to do what you've been doing, then fine, you have every right to leave a role that isn't a good fit for your skills and capacity.

Suffice to say, you have clearly internalized A LOT of work bullshit. That's not a criticism, pretty much everyone does it until they learn not to. Boundaries and effective professional communication are a learnable skill. I HIGHLY recommend that you seek out resources to learn how to better protect yourself and better maintain your boundaries within the workplace.

It's not actually your employer's job to prevent you from experiencing burnout, it's your job to communicate the limits and boundaries that are being pushed too hard and burning you out, and their job to assess if you are valuable enough to try and retain.

I've had some staff where I would happily bend over backwards to give them whatever they need to thrive, and I've had other staff who I just waited to get a resignation letter from because I was fine with them leaving.

So if you aren't valuable to your management, then no one will care what you want or if you leave. They'll just be happy that you worked yourself into the ground for them until the end and didn't make too much of a fuss about moving on.

If you are valuable to your management, then they will care about the possibility of driving you out, and you should emphasize this value and negotiated more appropriate work conditions, or a sabbatical, or both.

In business, no matter what your role, you need to think and act like the executive of your own business, a business that has one resource: you, and that resource is subcontracted out to one client: your employer.

Your client (employer) has control over the role, but the executive (you), has control over the resource (also you). Your primary responsibility is to serve YouCorp, not ThemCorp. You have to keep the YouCorp executive happy, and you do that by doing as well as you can while contracted out to ThemCorp. However, if the only resource YouCorp has starts burning out on an unreasonable contract position, then the executive needs to step in and manage the situation with the client, because burnout can ruin the resource.

So approach this situation as the executive of YouCorp, not the subordinate of ThemCorp. You are the only resource you have, you have to manage that resource responsibly.

If you don't know how to think, communicate, and manage like an executive, then learn. As I said, these are learnable skills.

Great advice for business and career, as well as personal relationships.  Nailed it Malcat!
« Last Edit: July 17, 2021, 05:40:21 PM by MainstreamContrarian »