Why are you named, “Mr. Money Mustache”, anyway?

Let’s take a break from all the serious financial analysis for today and cover a more important topic. The name. A friend recently asked me where this silly name came from, and I realized that indeed, I have failed to explain it to you. I am amazed at your dedication to this blog even while such a vacuum of information existed. So let me explain.

I have always thought of the Mustache as a mark of seniority and old-fashioned manliness. Not the little silly mustaches you see sometimes, of course, but the big, bushy type that embarks upon some sort of adventure when it reaches the ends of the upper lip. A Senior Level Mustache might hang off both sides of the face, or it might zoom out into big crazy points or curls, or it might just bend around the mouth and continue straight downwards for as long as possible.

I’m not alone in this respect for the ‘Stache, as any number of videos like this illustrate:

When I was in fifth grade, I had this great teacher who had a black handlebar mustache. Good ol’ Mr. Sorge. He was my first male teacher.. scary and strict if you made him mad, but also hilarious and a great motivator. My handwriting to this day is still a copy of Mr. Sorge’s writing – a scratchy and compact font done entirely in capitals.

Then in the early years of high school, there was this teacher named Mr. Vail. He had a sideways-protruding mustache with lofty tips that could be seen even when he was facing away from you. He was also highly inspirational, making even advanced math classes very fun and humorous. That helped me enjoy math enough to become an engineer.

So when I think of an old-school Mustache wearer, I imagine this senior gentleman, perhaps a hybrid of Sorge and Vail and a bunch of other tough guys and bankers from old Western movies, walking down a prosperous street in New York City in the 1800s. The ladies have their eye on him, the dudes get out of his way in respect, and the mayor respectfully checks with him on issues of town policy. Now we’re up to the level of Mr. Mustache.

Then when you extend the concept to Mr. Money Mustache, you imagine the same respectable guy, but with the added dimension of Financial Acumen. The top businesspeople and bankers ask his advice and invite him to meetings. Hardworking working class men and ladies come to him on the street to ask for advice on their family finances. Children run up to him and he swirls them around so their feet puff through the piles of autumn leaves, then he teaches them a few good jokes or perhaps a magic trick, and as he turns to leave he flips a few golden coins off the tip of his thumb, which land in each of their outstretched palms..  “Invest it wisely, children, and you can grow to be Mustachians as well!”

With a heroic character like that, AND the added bonus that Mr. Money Mustache has all those nice ‘M’s, and you can abbreviate it to MMM or Triple M, and you can use ‘Stash to mix the meaning of Mustache and a Stash of money, AND the fact that ‘Stash rhymes with Cash. It just seemed like a fuckin’ perfect name… so perfect that it is miraculous that it even appeared in my head. In fact, it might even be that the name forced me to write the blog, just because I didn’t want it to go to waste.

So, yeah, that’s what I was thinking.  Hopefully everything makes a little more sense now.


  • Rolfe August 31, 2011, 8:46 am

    Ha ha

    I actually googled money moustache when I found this site.


  • Jon August 31, 2011, 9:12 am

    I always thought it was a subliminal message to your readers telling them that that they “must” “stash” their money!

    • MMM August 31, 2011, 9:25 am

      Oh yeah! You can definitely add that to the list of reasons.

    • Maria August 27, 2014, 4:29 pm

      I’ve only been reading for a couple of days, but I’m to this post after starting from the beginning. I thought it was a contraction of “my money stash … my stash … muh stash” which I thought was pretty clever and I thought I was slow in seeing it!

      Also, I think the man at the top in the banner looks like Timothy Olyphant in Deadwood – definitely a senior level mustache.

      • Sky February 28, 2019, 1:24 pm

        Yeah! I thought either that or simply Money-stash…Munystache…Mustache.

  • Katie August 31, 2011, 10:54 am

    M cubed!

    In general, mustaches (sans beards) kind of creep me out, but now that I hear your explanation I will view this blog in a different light :)

  • tim rapp August 31, 2011, 11:11 am

    related humor – the trustworthiness of beards: http://i.imgur.com/PHmF5.jpg

  • Bakari Kafele August 31, 2011, 12:21 pm

    The reason the lack of explanation didn’t affect my dedication is because everything you wrote in this post is exactly what I just naturally assumed.

    I figured everyone would have assumed it. I mean, it just makes sense!

    Its funny to see the other commenters who had different ideas (I like “must-stash”!)

  • poorplayer August 31, 2011, 2:45 pm

    3M – Fuckin’ A! (UhOh – 3M™ is trademarked!)

  • Jason August 31, 2011, 3:35 pm

    No photo of your mustache-y-ness, yet. =/

    • MMM August 31, 2011, 8:37 pm

      Haha.. Very well, I have added a picture of ME, trying to look tough (like Poorplayer does a couple of comments up), looking at YOU. It’s on the first post of this blog called Meet Mr. Money Mustache: http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2011/04/06/meet-mr-money-mustache/

      I should be ashamed because I don’t sport a mustache in real life (except perhaps in Movember). But I noticed that all the other bloggers have their picture on their site so I guess there’s no harm in doing so.

  • PNW August 31, 2011, 4:26 pm

    I imagine Rich Uncle Pennybags the mustached man who serves as the Monopoly game mascot.


  • Ev August 31, 2011, 8:10 pm

    You absolutely rule!

    That’s all I wanted to say.

    I’m going to start working on my ‘tash right now.

    Thanks for all the advice!

  • poorplayer September 1, 2011, 11:44 am

    Some truly special and humorous moustaches!


  • Derek March 26, 2012, 7:54 pm

    This is an amazing post. I’ve been reading from the first post since about 6 days ago, and most have been super fantastic and educating and funny, but this one speaks to my inner future Most Interesting Man In the World.
    I’m a 34 year old guy in Ontario who’s pretty much summed up as having credit card debt for no good reason at all. I consider myself ultra creative and artsy, but holy jebus have I ever made shitty money decisions. I already live “somewhat” frugally, but I have learned that there are so many other ways for me to begin. Even at 34, I’m sure I can reach financial freedom by at the very least 50, because I’m capable of anything. The mind being the friend, and the enemy.
    I recently (3 months ago) bought a fairly nice Sony TV on special. It was an impulse buy. It was my first HDTV, first LCD. A note about me: never been a TV guy. Still don’t have cable or sat. That tv, I plugged my laptop through HDMI for a total of 6 movies. yeah, 6 only movies in three months of this awesome Bravia. But here’s a couple other facts. I’ve watched movies on my laptop only, with that TV sitting in the other room, MANY times! In six weeks, that TV has been on once. Oh, here’s the brutal part, though. I had 3 thousand dollars debt on the credit card I bought it with. Yes, it’s true.
    The TV is now listed on Kijiji and the dollars will go back on that card. I’m in this for real now.

  • Ross May 27, 2012, 8:57 pm

    So I know I am posting a long time after this was written, but I guess I always assumed you chose Mr. Money Mustache for this reason.


    Mustachianed individuals make 8.2% more than other people, although their savings habits aren’t great. I actually stumbled upon your site when searching for this article… But now I’m hooked.

  • jlcollinsnh May 28, 2012, 9:57 am

    My dad always wore a mustache. This in the 1930s, 40s, 50s, 60s right up until he died in 1974.

    Until the mid-60s nobody during this time wore a mustache. My best pal from high school tells me to this day that he first noticed me as the kid whose father had the mustache.

    Unfortunately I never thought to ask him how he came to grow it or why he wore it.

    I’ve tried one on a couple of times over the years but never could pull it off. Maybe it’s time to try again….

  • anonymous June 22, 2012, 7:12 am

    Reading your blog up until this post, I had actually assumed an additional reason you hadn’t actually mentioned: Think of growing a mustache made of money, and every time you spend money, imagine ripping bits of it off your face, a dollar per whisker. Every time I read about the degree of thought you put into anything you actually deigned to spend money on, I pictured this analogy, and winced a little.

  • Ojhb October 13, 2012, 12:18 am

    Ha! I thought it was wcause moustaches are so socially unacceptable that you had to be financially independent to have one in the first place! I stand corrected.

  • cynthia October 21, 2012, 2:34 pm

    and I thought the name was a reference to that blogpost about trust, with one of your early girlfriends and her rich dad with a huge mustache that just handed over his house and daughter to you, in a manner of speaking…:)
    I thought he inspired you!

  • Oh Yonghao May 8, 2014, 4:40 pm

    My wife and I converse in Chinese and I ended up translating your name to be Mr. 3M ( 三M先生). I find it a little funny because the Mr. is redundant in the 3M part.

  • Nate in Boston May 6, 2016, 4:36 pm

    This post is just solid gold. I’ve been reading (and listening via text-to-speech on my luxurious iPhone — paid for by my employer — on my daily commute; train/walk, no car) to every post since the beginning and just had to give a shout out to the awesomeness of this post. I’ve booked market a dozen or so, but this one needs to be close to the top of the “best of” section.

    I’m serious. The part about honest advice for the working man/lady and the parting words for the kids — it encapsulates the meaning of your work here on this blog.

    Thank you.

  • Be September 27, 2016, 11:19 am

    I had wondered about this. I thought it might be some North Americanism I was unfamiliar with, being a kiwi and all, but I’m glad to now know the origin!
    Also, fun factoid, in India police men are paid more if they grow a mustache. I guess it does lend some authority (at least the minds of former British colonies).

  • Ulls February 24, 2017, 4:30 am

    As an Ozzie, my understanding was quite different, perhaps because we spell quite differently- (eg moustache). I thought the domain name was a triple entendre… ie- Mr Money Mustache- “Must Ache”, and thus also, Mr Money-“Mistake”! :)

  • Susan G McCool March 9, 2019, 12:19 pm

    Am really enjoying your site. Started the frugal life many years ago with YMOYL and have been debt free and serially retired for years (currently entirely retired). You are still young. How do you see your end game playing out? We have decided it’s time to spend a bit more: eat out with friends more; travel more. We still don’t exceed the 4% rule, but we’re having a lot of fun in our senior years. BTW – Here’s how I would abbreviate the name: M3 (dang, I can’t figure out how to make the 3 as a superscript), but that’s what it would be.


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