Money Has Made Me Weak: MMM Family Spending Rises to $256,000

Money Mustache - Be Gone.

Money Mustache – Be Gone.  (photo credit: The Man who Gets His Cars for Free)

In my opinion, the first rule of being a reasonable person is admitting when you are wrong, so you can learn from it. So I want to admit something right now: I was wrong about spending money.

Remember how all this time I’ve been telling you that life is better if you aren’t focused on the pursuit of luxury? Yeah, well that turned out to be bullshit.

It was just a way of me trying to fool myself into believing I could be happy spending less money. Because I didn’t really have any other option at the time. Now that the money has started rolling in, I realize that the other rich people weren’t so dumb after all.

See, without really planning or deserving it, I stumbled into a goldmine by starting this website. It has become a truly once-in-a-hundred-lifetimes situation, with over 18 million people stopping by so far and hundreds crawling around at any given moment. With this level of traffic, even the minimal level of advertising you see at the bottom is enough to make freight trains of cash. More than enough money every month, for a family to live extremely well on for a year.

The pressure of all this money gradually overwhelmed me. It started with just tossing a $7.00 chunk of imported Gouda cheese into the shopping cart every now and then. I started throwing in a 12-pack of craft beer even when they were priced at 18 bucks, and sharing them freely with friends on the back patio. Then I bought my brother’s family a nice new fridge, because it was his birthday and they really needed one to complement their excellent cooking skills. I didn’t even notice the loss of that $1500 for a second. It makes me feel good every time I visit and see them putting it to good use.

So this made me realize, hey, even leasing a top-of-the-line Tesla Model S P90D at $1400/month would be just an imperceptible nibble out this incredible torrent of money. And I like fast cars. Especially when they are built on revolutionary technology that will change the world as we know it. It seemed worthwhile to at least try owning one to see if it would actually make my life happier. And it did.

Mrs. Money Mustache was not a car person at all, until she set the vehicle to “Ludicrous mode” and hit 60 MPH in 2.8 seconds. Now we have his and her Teslas.


Mine’s the red one.

I had been living in a 1532 square foot house with no garage, constantly moving things out of the way so I could get to other things. The place was too small. Why live this way? I could afford a bigger house. In Cash. Every year! 

So we bought one – a nice 8200 square foot place just a couple miles away. You can still get a lot of house here in Longmont for $1.8 million, and with the interest rates so low, the mortgage payment on this place is only $8,500 per month. That’s a lot of money for a normal person, but again, at this new higher level it amounts to a few hours of work. Why the hell not?


Home Sweet Home

Now the three of us finally have room to stretch out. To host family and friends in style. To do our own stuff without getting in each other’s hair.

I think I have finally absorbed the message of the many successful people that have stopped by to educate me in the comments sections of every newspaper I’ve had the good fortune of interviewing with over the years: My money is my own. I earned it, I deserve it, and it’s nobody’s business how I spend it.

After just a few more changes including some help with the house cleaning and gardens, private school for little MM, food delivery and better restaurants (turns out we don’t really like cooking after all), I found that our annual budget had swelled a little. We went from about $25,000 to $256,000.

Even after this adjustment, we’re still saving plenty, so where’s the problem? And we are much happier for the change. 

Frugality is fine – I’ve still got plenty of tightwad cred with my programmable thermostat, a hole in my favorite sweater and duct tape patches on some of my winter gear.  But no more of this extreme frugality like the old Mr. Money Mustache. That’s for poor people.

Oh, and April Fools, obviously.

The Real 2015 MMM Family Spending Report!

In real life, this is the extent of my fanciness. A pretty fine kitchen and I even upgraded my frying pan and spatula this year.

In real life, this is the extent of my fanciness. No McMansions, but still a pretty fine mostly-complete kitchen if I can flatter my own DIY skills a little. And I even upgraded my frying pan and spatula this year.

The part about the excessive income is real*. But I only mention it to show other wealthy people that we don’t live this slightly-less-ridiculous-than-average lifestyle because it’s all we can afford. We just live the best life we can dream up given our current level of skill, and this is what it happens to cost.

Our total 2015 Actual Spending was $23,941.44 according to the spreadsheet. While most humans that have ever lived since the invention of currency would find this to be an insanely high amount to work with, it can be a surprise to some of my fellow one-percenter Americans. So here are a few mental adjustments to keep in mind:

  • We own our house with no mortgage. If you were to finance a place like this, the monthly payment would be at least $1700/month. So you’d add $20k if comparing to a mortgaged life.
  • It doesn’t include income taxes. If you live at this level of spending and set your income level (from investments) to match it closely, you’ll pay no income tax. If you’re still earning and saving, you do need to pay the tax. In 2015, because of these unexpected earnings, I paid several times more in income tax than we spent on our entire lifestyle. But the amount of tax depends entirely on how much you earn, which is why I don’t count it as part of spending.
  • This is only the spending, not the saving that any non-retired person should be doing. Even if you only max out an IRA, that’s another $5500. Hopefully much higher though : employer 401(k)s let you contribute $18,000 these days.

So all told, we consume at an equivalent rate to a fairly financially irresponsible family with an  income of $62,000 per year. That is, if a family of three earned $62k, paid tax, foolishly took out a mortgage on a $400,000 house, and saved just a tiny bit into the 401(k), they’d run out of money at roughly this level of spending.

Exploring Arches National Park with my little buddy during a camping trip there, April 2015

Exploring Arches National Park with my little buddy during a camping trip there, April 2015

If they commuted to work in large cars like most people do, add another $15,000 or so. With just a few other nudges towards “normal” (cable TV or a taste for Starbucks or fancy shoes, for example) a lifestyle no more noticeably fancy than my own would consume an entire $100,000 salary very easily. So it’s not really an ultra-frugal life. Just a somewhat optimized version of an upper-middle-class life.

And here’s where it all went:

Mortgage Interest00
Property Taxes2,1201411We downsized houses in mid-2014. 2015 was the first full year of enjoying the new lower tax rate.
Food and Dining7,1097,400
   Groceries   6,593   6,232See article: Killing your $1000 Grocery Bill
   Wine/Beer   322   627This includes parties, I don't drink this much myself!
   Restaurants, Coffee Shop   194   541Our major indulgence increase this year. Longmont's "Flavor of India" and "Sushi Hana" are the chief beneficiaries of this spending.
   Doctor Visits   484   0A thankfully healthy year for all
   Health Insurance   3,272   3,000For 2016 this will be double due to a new health insurance plan. (A downside of the ACA for those with very high incomes)
   Dentist   512   256
   Pharmacy   n/a   42
   Physical Therapy   435Mrs. MM was recovering from a nagging case of "frozen shoulder" this year.
Auto and Transport490945
   Gasoline   71   332Includes two trips to Utah in my gas-guzzling van: one for the annual "Safety Pirates" snowboarding trip, one for camping with the family and some friends.
   Insurance   347   357Fantastically cheap thanks to Geico
   Registration & Testing   72   1692005 Scion xA and 1999 Honda Odyssey
   Express Tolls   0   0Started taking Uber to the airport instead of driving
   Service & Parts   n/a   88Wiper blades, brake shoes, and oil change supplies
   Public Transportation   0   0Nothing against the bus, Bikes are just faster
Utilities1,6141652Electricity, Gas (heating, cooking), trash/recycling, city park fees, etc.
Cell Phone300539Google Fi and Republic Wireless
Internet Access360692Damn that is expensive.
   Home Renovations   19120Curtains and some paint. Does not include $10k of materials used in actually finishing the build-out of this house, since we're still running a profit due to the 2014 downsizing.
   Home Insurance   4100I am self-insured for now, since the cost (and extremely low probability) of replacing the house would not be a significant burden.
   Landscaping/Plants   0I did plant a remarkably successful tomato plant this year - probably got $100 of kickass tomatoes off of that thing.
Gifts/Donations1,1551,747Mostly school/family gifts. Does not include donations made by the business.
Crossfit/Yoga330230Mrs. MM switched to Yoga (social event with friends) and working out at home for this year.
School Tuition00Mixture of homeschooling and neighborhood public school
   Shoes & Clothing   492   754Both boy and lady got some fancy new winter gear this year.
   Sporting Goods   76   0
   Shopping Misc   654   1,274Storage baskets, insoles, compost bin, terrarium, suitcases, computer stuff, bike parts, household items, microwave, ottomans, coffee grinder, axe, frying pan, cheese grater
   Books, games, gifts   61   488Includes several thousand Magic the Gathering Cards
   Other   815   580Monthly Netflix, Movies Out, Bike Parts
Travel5,0572,376Flights to Canada in Summer, Estes Park VRBO house rental with inlaws in fall
TOTAL25,33023,941Hey, looks like it actually went down this year.
   Subtracting Tuition, Donations   24,17522,194
   Subtracting travel, crossfit   18,78819,588
   Subtracting organic/luxury food   16,44217,531Assuming a 33% increase on groceries due to organic + meat.
   Subtracting home renovation expense16,42317,411This is what our "no frills" living cost would be, unless we moved to a smaller house (Note: Misc category could be cut down a lot as well)

And so it goes – the years turn by and our spending barely changes. Someday there will be more exciting surprises in this report, but for now life remains happy without becoming more expensive.

Ask Me Anything!

I usually don’t intrude too much in the comments section, but since there are a bunch of new people here these days I originally put up an open invitation here for any and all questions.

It was overwhelming but fun – I spent the entire April 1st furiously typing and clicking on the computer to answer questions. Maybe hundreds of them – I didn’t even keep track. All I know is that I have a very sore neck and a flabby midsection from spending almost the whole day indoors today. So I have to sign off – sorry I didn’t get time to answer all of them. Tomorrow calls for beautiful weather so I’m getting back out there.

You can read the results in the comments below.  I hope some of it is useful to you!


How to track your spending: We do almost all spending using a good cash-back credit card, and let the Personal Capital and Mint apps automatically categorize everything and display it in pretty pie charts and percentages for us. As a non-budget person, I find this method of tracking to be revolutionary, as it happens even when you are busy living life and forgetting about money. If you prefer to work within the more disciplined framework of a budget, take a test drive of You Need a Budget. Used by a surprisingly large number of Mustachians, which is how I heard about it in the first place.


* So what will I do with so much extra cash? Why do I bother continuing to make any money if I don’t need it for myself? Many people ask this. The answer in my case is to continue to live roughly at this level of consumption, lead a secure and generous life, and reinvest the rest back into society, both through traditional charity and interesting projects made possible by the reach of this website (renewable energy, advocating bikes, making better cities, etc).



  • Troy Rank April 1, 2016, 8:03 am

    Hey MMM!
    Thank you so much for sharing this every year! There’s no substitute for real life examples, and it has helped me prune the waste out of my own life.

    What do you think about electric motorcycles like those offered by Zero. I know that despite sharing my love of motorized two-wheelers, you have shunned them due to the nonsensical cost-per-mile. The overall cost for my old sport touring bike was around 24c/mile (which assumes that my time to perform maintenance is free). By contrast my wife’s prius is somwhere around 22c/mile. Rough. Literally cheaper to operate the cage-machine.

    However, doing the math on these wonderful new machines, the cost is somewhere around 11c/mile (assumes buying used of course). Due to the relatively high cost of bicycle tires (per mile), I estimate that these things are literally about the same cost to operate as a bicycle. The total cost of bicycling per mile I estimate to be around 7c/mile vs total of around 11c/mile for the motorcycle.

    You can never understate the overall benefits of a bicycle, but a high-speed vehicle has it’s place occasionally. What do you think?

    • Mr. Money Mustache April 1, 2016, 9:15 am

      Cool – I do think electric motorcycles are a better idea than gas ones. Buying used would help with the otherwise-catastrophic depreciation of motorcycles (I learned that the hard way). You would want to work out the cost per mile of the degrading lithium battery: are they cheap and easy to replace after 10 years?

      Then you’d be down to tires and chains if applicable: I found those things don’t last very long on motorbikes, and they cost more than any car equivalent.

      The biggest problem is that you get Zero exercise riding motorcycles, which makes them something you really want to minimize. There are very few situations in which a fast electric bike cannot keep up with a car or electric motorcycle over the duration of a complete trip, if you’re traveling into an area with much traffic.

      Finally, although I love riding fast motorbikes, I’m forced to admit the safety statistics look bad. With everything rolled together, the logical choice for motorized transport seems to be a used electric car.

      However, if I were back in my 20s and single, I would say fuck the logic and be all over the Zero motorbike :-)

      • Troy Rank April 1, 2016, 10:05 am

        Hah! Awesome feedback Pete, Thanks!

        The cost per mile of a bicycle does not include the benefit of physical exercise, which cannot be understated.

        Motorcycle statistics are unfortunate, given that the average demographic of a motorcyclist is basically… a drunken poker-running, non equipped, untrained fucking maniac. This is starting to shift though. European bike stats a much more forgiving. Life is undoubtedly quite dangerous.

        For posterity a couple of notes on maintenance / battery packs:
        -The battery packs on the Zero’s are designed to last 200-400k miles. In other words they will last the life of the bike. The calendar life cycle is roughly about 15 years to 80% from what I gather. A 20 year service life is not unreasonable to expect.
        -Chains are awful on motorcycles (and expensive). However, Zero uses a modern belt drive which requires virtually no maintenance and is scheduled to last 40k miles.
        -Motorcycle tires themselves are still much more expensive per mile than a car, even while using half as many.

        I have no affiliation with Zero, I just see the promise of electric motorcycles and new forms of transport like the Lit C1.

      • Rod April 1, 2016, 3:05 pm

        Gotta admit that motor bikes are my weakness. Gave up for several years but got one about 2 years ago with absolutely no regrets. Every time I was on it, I’d grin from ear to ear – every time. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that they are cheaper to run than cars though, tyres alone take care of that. Sold it not too long ago and will likely buy another soon (bigger as wife wants to jump on the back more often). No finance though so maybe MMM will just give me a light jab to the face rather than heavy right hook? In any case, I am sure I deserve a punch in the face.

        • Troy Rank April 3, 2016, 8:26 am

          Rod, I feel your pain. I have sold a few but haven’t managed to delete them all yet, and it may not be absolutely necessary (yeah sure it’s still a luxury)

          However, a decent motorcycle can be a great second car replacement (or first car replacement). Just keep away from the Beamers and giant sport touring bikes. My top 5 motorbikes for the frugal:
          -Honda CBR250R (capable of 100mpg with minor mods, reliable, highway capable, cheap on the used market),
          -Honda PCX150 (efficient scooter with big wheels and 60+mph),
          -Zero motorcycle (any model really, find one used, if you put lots of miles on the fixed costs will amortize quickly and the things are lagitt fast AND efficient)
          -Honda C70 (cub/passport/trail) – The most winningest motorbike of all time. 100mpg capable and still manage 50+mph. 100s of millions produced and still a favorite of developing countries. fun as hell and capable of adventuring anywhere in the world: http://www.c90adventures.co.uk/

          The lighter the bike, the cheaper the tires, and these bikes will be cheaper than nearly any car. As pointed out by this guest post:

          There are also a wonderful influx of newer ~300cc bikes which after a few years will make frugal and fun transportation, with really decent components/performance, instead of the traditional downmarket learner-focused 250s.

          What’s interesting about Zeros are that you can now have performance, efficiency and low maintenance costs, which wasn’t possible to have all three possible before with other bikes.

  • Kim April 1, 2016, 8:07 am

    I’m amazed by your property taxes. I pay $2600 a year for a house with an assessed value of $119,000.

  • Norm April 1, 2016, 8:08 am

    I love the satire, but this still doesn’t top your “Top SUVs for Your Growing Family” article from a few years ago. I nearly spit my cereal milk out at at that one.

    Thanks for posting the numbers. I am a real data hound and your stats always give me something to shoot for.

  • Nicoleandmaggie April 1, 2016, 8:18 am

    You forgot to talk about how destroying the environment isn’t a big deal!

    • Mr. Money Mustache April 1, 2016, 9:20 am

      Oh yeah – but I was kind of getting at that with my “It’s my money, so it is my business how I spend it”.

      The angry dudes who write in compaints about my pickup truck article always say that. I usually don’t publish them, but here’s a link to a recent one I let through, just because it’s such a candidate for Nobel Prize for Dumbass:

      (right click and open in new tab, it takes a while to load)


      • Cdd109 April 1, 2016, 10:55 am

        That’s classic

      • Fred April 1, 2016, 11:48 am

        Included in the disclaimer for opening that post, should be a stronger warning on the level to which this person is a “candidate Nobel Prize for Dumbass”

        I feel infinitely dumber now. God bless you for deleting shit like that!

        (This coming from someone who got rid of a Tacoma for a Prius and is infinitely happier)

        See you in CA next Friday!

  • Keith Schroeder April 1, 2016, 8:23 am

    One comment on your expense chart, Pete. I don’t consider donations/charity an expense. Giving back to the community and supporting organizations helping people in need from my excess funds is good citizenship and something all financially responsible end up doing with the extra money.

    BTW, I was looking forward to your April 1st post. I enjoy your humor.

  • George April 1, 2016, 8:25 am

    Your property taxes are $2,000 cheaper than mine, and my house is worth less (in Michigan). It would be tempting to abandon everyone I know and move.

    It probably would save on utilities and organic groceries too, being closer to California.

    • Mr. Money Mustache April 3, 2016, 8:42 am

      Yeah, I’m not a huge fan of high property tax rates, but it depends what you get in exchange for the money. Also, if your house is cheaper you have a lot more money available to invest. For example, due to appreciation my house might sell for $500,000 in today’s market. At 7%, I could be earning $35,000/year on that money. That is a lot of property “tax”!

      If I needed more money I would absolutely get a low-cost line of credit on this house, extract some of the equity and use it for investments.

  • Richmond April 1, 2016, 8:27 am

    This article had me going for a solid minute because I completely forgot about April. Good rage material! Anyways, MMM, I do have a question! First a long boring background:

    I hope to get a big cushy job soon after I graduate college. That’s all fine and well and I don’t have any doubt I could retire incredibly fast by myself because I already have a lot of savings. The dilemma comes in when I think about a wife and kids. I want a lot of kids. I’ve tried to do the math but I’m just not sure how big expenses would stack up with >5 kids. It’s a battle of how long should I work and how much should I save without screwing myself over I guess. Too little savings, even if it is efficient, just kind of scares me. Lets say I manage to rack up 750k and my efficient family can manage 30k a year. That’s technically doable, but in the back of my mind, I have reservations about serious illness or serious expenses. I don’t live my life in fear of sudden cancer, and I know to invest in my health with living healthily. But I’m just looking for some confirmation I guess. I’m not looking for you to do the math for me, maybe just some pointers about when you can be quite certain about retiring even with a lot of children.


  • Ty April 1, 2016, 8:30 am

    Thanks for sharing so openly. If I didn’t have rent/mortgage then my annual expenses would be a few thousand less that the MMM household – and I’m married with 4 kids! Makes me feel like I’m on the right track

    One quick question – with the downsizing, how come your utilities went up?

  • former player April 1, 2016, 8:36 am

    Nice work on the finances.

    In your continued quest towards not trashing the planet, how is the MMM family on domestic waste? I don’t have the level of commitment in the Zero Waste Home and My Plastic-free Life blogs yet, but if you are looking for a cause to devote blog income to, reduction in plastics is one which needs a game changer.

  • Fervent April 1, 2016, 8:36 am

    “I am self-insured for now, since the cost (and extremely low probability) of replacing the house would not be a significant burden.” – That’s how you know when you’re big time :) Great year Mr. MM!

    • Erica April 1, 2016, 7:24 pm

      I love your blog!
      We’re a family of 4 and really try to live below our means. Not as well as you, obviously! My financial advisor is charging a 5% fee on my Roth deposits. While I’m saving money, I really feel like I’m wasting it. What’s a reasonable fee? If this is way out of line, what should I be looking for in a new advisor? I also put 5% of my income into my company 401k but am considering putting in 10% if I can get over my fear of the bottom falling out again :/

      • Mr. Money Mustache April 2, 2016, 9:27 am

        Hi Erica, that’s a pretty horrible fee. I think you need to just grab a Betterment IRA and have it all done automatically for far lower cost.

        (note that in this case I’m suggesting Betterment over full DIY at Vanguard because you seem to benefit from a more guided path with good advice and simplicity built in).

  • Cat Weber April 1, 2016, 8:39 am

    What is your perspective on long-term disability insurance for a family of three for the primary breadwinner?

    • Mr. Money Mustache April 3, 2016, 8:36 am

      In general I’m somewhat against life or disability insurance.

      It could be useful in a situation with, say, a spouse at home who will never be able to work for whatever reason, or other disabilities in the family.

      But my wife and I have always liked to think of ourselves as independent adults, not relying on each other for financial support. So we had a kid and designed our expenses in a way that either one of us would be fine without subsidies from the other. With this protective idea in mind, it keeps you from, say, borrowing money for a car or buying a house with such a big mortgage that it depends on a high salary to keep it fed.

  • Cat Weber April 1, 2016, 8:42 am

    Where in your budget does something like toilet paper fall (assuming you use it)? Is that in the groceries line item?

    • Mr. Money Mustache April 3, 2016, 8:32 am

      Hi Cat, a few other people asked similar things about cleaning supplies and shampoo and stuff:

      All of that comes from Costco, so it’s lumped into our massive $6000+ “groceries” category. Pretty small overall though – it might be $100/year on all of it since we don’t watch shampoo commercials :-)

  • CS April 1, 2016, 8:44 am

    Not to give you a homework assignment, but have you ever tried to figure out your spending on an actuarial basis? For example, your house insurance is zero, which probably makes sense above a certain net worth. But the real cost isn’t zero, it’s (chance of potential disaster)*(value of potential disaster)/(expected frequency of disaster). Same with medical spending – it’s zero, until it isn’t. I don’t know if it’s possible to calculate this figure on an individual basis but I think it’s a consideration.

    • Mr. Money Mustache April 3, 2016, 8:30 am

      Hi CS, I like that question!

      Yeah – have done these calculations for most life decisions, and they do come out in favor of not getting insurance except when legally required. But there’s a lot of fudge factor: for example, I can look up the average rate of house fires in my area, but with my house being newly built it is less flammable than an 1800s victorian. I know the average rate of car crashes, but when I ride with other drivers I find they are INSANE, racing and braking and almost crashing while talking on the phone. Likewise for my habit of biking everywhere, and calculations on one’s own health.

      So I just assume the average person’s performance, which hopefully provides a good margin of safety. I wouldn’t put my fudge factor assumptions into an article like this, since it’s adding a lot of confusion for something that isn’t all that accurate anyway. Here’s a couple articles on the idea, though:



  • Bikeguy April 1, 2016, 8:44 am

    You are WAY overpaying for car insurance. I am allowed to put my car into “storage” when I am not using it. Cost for comprehensive while vehicle is in storage is roughly $40 a year. You should switch insurance companies if yours does not offer this. I typically get a company car, but on those occasions when it is not available, I call and get my insurance to drive on the roads turned back on. When turned on for road use, I pay roughly what you pay.

    • Mr. Money Mustache April 1, 2016, 9:42 am

      Hmm.. that is good to know. But right now the car still gets used occasionally on short notice, like for an afternoon hike or the Mrs. getting groceries when she doesn’t want to bike.

      We could easily go car-free but keep them around because in reality, we still do live a little bit like the casual super-spendy person I was mocking at the beginning of the article. The cars probably waste $1-2k per year in total if you include depreciation, which makes then about $100 per trip on a cost-per-use basis. Very expensive!

      Still, am I missing something about the insurance options?

      • David Robarts April 1, 2016, 4:39 pm

        How often does the van go out on short notice? I understand wanting one car available, but do you really need two motorized wheelchairs for waiting for unplanned excursions? Of course the hassle of changing the van’s status might not be worth it for you.

      • Megan C. April 1, 2016, 5:04 pm

        Wait, I was going to ask MMM what *I* was missing on car insurance! We have one car, insured through Geico, and pay twice what you do (and I thought that was good!). How can I get this cost down? I bike commute and hubby works from home, though we do drive the kid to and from daycare.

        Speaking of insurance, I’m not a big fan of our home insurance company– thinking of looking for a cheaper option. Anyone have tips for getting insurance companies to get into some healthy competition for my business?

  • AL April 1, 2016, 8:45 am

    Hi! I have been working my way through all of your posts, skipping around a bit, now going in order to understand references to previous articles. Thank you so much! I wish I had found this back in 2011, but that’s ok, my husband and I are ramping up our savings and living much more efficiently. We are on our way to freedom within the next five years or so.
    I just want to say one thing about the Dave Ramsey stuff – I actually became debt free using his plan, so it definitely works! After becoming debt free however, I would definitely refer everyone to your plan of saving and early retirement. I felt very lost once my debts were paid because I didn’t know what to do next, and spending is only mildly exciting.
    My question for you is this, “if you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with”, how do I find people who are Mustachian??? I already seemed pretty weird to my friends in the past because I was paying off debt, and now the goal is early retirement. How do I find the people who respect this and are doing it too??
    Thanks so much for your blog and all you do for society.
    P. S. Will you host another Colorado event soon? We just moved to Boulder/Denver area in October and are looking to meet new people.

    • Alison April 5, 2016, 8:45 am

      Register for the MMM forums – there are many informal gatherings scheduled. I have to imagine that there are many Mustachians in Denver!

  • GP Butler April 1, 2016, 8:49 am

    I know that you love “whole of market” ETFs, but have you ever been tempted to buy individual value stocks that pay consistent dividends? I am thinking about things like dividend aristocrats with 25 years of steadily increasing dividends or buying quality companies with Share Purchase plans. After all, at .1% MER, you are still paying Vanguard $1,000 on a portfolio of $1,000,000 and couldn’t that buy you some more beer?

  • Mal April 1, 2016, 8:51 am

    I’m impressed by the low health insurance/healthcare costs you’ve got! Any tips? Granted, being healthy is a big bonus, but 1K/person for health insurance sounds like a great price. Honestly, even 2K/person doesn’t sound that bad. The numbers I’ve seen are far far more and involve high deductibles.

  • Duke April 1, 2016, 8:51 am

    Hi MMM. I’m new to your site but have read through from the beginning over the last couple months. It’s made a big difference in the lives of my wife and I. I’m looking for a mustachian evaluation of using a simple IRA versus 401k for our small business. Currently I have a simple IRA under the advise of my accountant/financial advisor. It is with John Hancock and the fees on the fund are more than I want after reading this blog. As I prepare to change I am not able to calculate the difference and poential savings of depositing more in a 401k tax deferred versus the higher fees associated with 401k over Simple IRA. So I’m hoping to determine if I should continue in the IRA and just move the funds and future investments into vti or open a 401k.
    Thanks for any help.

    • Mr. Money Mustache April 1, 2016, 10:31 am

      Hi Duke, I’m not sure if I understand the details of your question enough to answer, but what I like to do is this:

      SEP-IRA for the business which I opened through Vanguard, up to the limits allowed

      Then the rest into a Betterment account or other smaller investments (local real estate, lending club, etc)

      The fees charged for ANY place to hold your money should be negligible: well under 0.5%.

    • P Cottontail April 2, 2016, 9:32 am

      The Simple IRA was invented at a time when it was very expensive to administrate a 401(k). With more recent financial technology, the cost differences should not be high. (Whether you’re seeing much higher costs might depend on who you’re looking with.)

      To optimize for savers
      – Make sure the fund selection is good. This means low-cost index funds in the most common asset classes.
      – Go with a 401(k) plan, which has higher contribution limits.
      – Consider whether it’s possible to do a very high match. Some very rare employers give 2:1 matching — this allows maximizing of savings, as the total contribution limit is ~3x the employee limit.
      – If there is not very high matching, consider a plan that will allow Mega Backdoor Roth.

  • Perplexed April 1, 2016, 9:09 am

    Good morning. Thinking of buying a second home within a 6 hour drive of our home. Currently a six figure income and married with a couple small children. We are completely debt free including our home and save 50% of our income. We have surplus cash we would use for this purpose as we don’t feel its a great time to put a lump sum into the market. Purchase price around $200,000. With this purchase we would likely cut down savings rate to 25-30% for the next few years. It has the potential to rent out but we would likely just keep for our use 3-4 times a year. Thoughts??

  • Colin April 1, 2016, 9:17 am

    Once you start growing your own tomatoes, you’ll never want to buy supermarket ones again because they’re terrible, mealy garbage.

    My wife has developed quite the green thumb and we have a nice summer collection of vegetables and herbs. This year we are going to start composting (we live in the city and only have a small 9×9 patio) to supplement that. We also got a free rain barrel from the city, which will help to offset a lot of the increased water usage that comes from gardening.

    We also make sure to save all the butts from our onions, celery, carrots, etc in a big bag in the freezer. Our vegetable stock is basically free, and combines nicely with the garden vegetables for some banging soups.

  • Brendan O'Connor April 1, 2016, 9:19 am

    Happy April Fool’s,
    Mine is more a request than question. It might be fun to conduct a survey of Mustachianess. See how much people have saved, or how close they are to their financial goals.
    It could even be a function on the blog so you could keep a running Tally of Mustachianess.
    Anyway, just a thought

  • DA April 1, 2016, 9:21 am

    Any advice for some one making less than $50,000/annum in Canada (that is the family net income)? One Toyota matrix (paid full). I have no bike balance. So, biking is not going to work. Just wondering, do you know anybody like me?
    I want to try joining the forum. But it is not letting me. Why is so hard to join?

    • Mr. Money Mustache April 1, 2016, 10:37 am

      Hi DA,

      The Matrix is a good choice of car. But driving in Canada loses out in the equation even more quickly than it does here in the US, because the cars, insurance, and gas are all much more expensive. Also, driving in snow is horrible, which would rule out car commuting for me anywhere except the West coast.

      This would lead me to prioritize living close to work EVEN MORE (even if it means renting), and walking to work if you can swing it.

      Here’s a post on buy-vs-rent and commuting in Toronto and Ottawa, where I feel people’s use of cars for commuting is particularly bizarre: http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2015/07/27/rent-vs-buy/

      Sorry about that forum – we had to make it hard to join because there are armies of spammers hell-bent on creating user accounts and then using them to post commercial links. It has become too big for its own good.

  • Vanessa April 1, 2016, 9:22 am

    I’ve been eagerly waiting for the spending report for months, and at this point I’d given up hope!
    Imagine my excitement after reading the first (hilarious satire) part of the article and seeing the REAL spending report!
    (I actually had to put my phone down and squeal).

    The yearly spending report motivates me like nothing else. It’s a bench mark on what my own retirement can look like.
    It’s also a great help to see the bare bones. We don’t eat paleo and carbs are cheaper so I can see lower food costs in our future (already low at 3k/year for 2 fully grown adults), there are a few other thing I can adjust to, and all of a sudden a 23k or less yearly seams feasible!
    I wanted to say thank you for sharing this with us and giving me hope for the future!

  • Jonathan April 1, 2016, 9:23 am

    One important thing is missing in your budget – liability insurance! Most guys get $1 million liability from their homeowners, carry $500K on their car, and then buy an umbrella for $5 million or $10 million.

    You have admitted in a public forum, read by millions of people, that you have a high net worth. This is like painting a target on your behind and inviting every lawyer in the country to have a shot at it.

    • Mr. Money Mustache April 1, 2016, 10:44 am

      You’re right! Just like my habit of riding a bike every day WITH NO BIKE HELMET is inviting instant death!


      One thing I’ve learned about dangerous stuff is that there is really no point being afraid of the unknown.

      A few things I’ve learned about legal threats and lawsuits so far:
      – The first 99% are just meaningless blustering and bullying.
      – Then 90% of the remaining ones go away very quickly when your opponent finds out that you actually have a knowledgeable lawyer on your side that you are willingly spending money on.
      – Finally, in the rare event that things go to court, it turns out that a “judge” is a reasonable human being who has been trained to look critically at both sides of a dispute and “judge” which one is less full of shit. If you have been a good, honest person and not hurt or deceived anyone, the judge generally rules in your favor.

      (disclaimer: this overly confident attitude is gleaned from only a few local landlord-tenant and real estate/housebuilding battles plus the more recent lawsuits directed at this blog, combined with conversations with lawyer friends over beers. But confidence instead of fear is the whole point of living a good life).

  • Mama Breeze April 1, 2016, 9:28 am

    Are pigs flying? Has hell frozen over? Did I just enter the twilight zone? Or is it April 1st? (Checking calendar now . . . Yep it is April 1st). All is right with the world again!

  • Bryce April 1, 2016, 9:46 am


    I’m a 36 year old early retiree with a wife and 4 kids. You’ve directed my path a good deal, although I was well on my way to early retirement when I discovered your blog. After reading your blog, I dumped my Tundra with a $9,000 note and wrangled a no-loan ’05 CRV. Not optimal efficiency, but I got a great deal and it has a toe hitch, which comes in handy as I am a landlord (does that still count as “retired”?)

    I want to congratulate you, as I have been a resolute CONSERVATIVE REPUBLICAN my whole life, but have reexamined and changed a few of my political views due to your input. The way to a CR’s heart is through a gospel of no waste, high efficiency personal finance. A true conservative values conserving in all areas of public and private life, I’m beginning to see.

    I have a question: what do you think of so-called “dividend aristocrats”? Is Vanguard the best way to invest in them? Do they beat a whole market index?

    • Mr. Money Mustache April 1, 2016, 10:50 am

      Hi Bryce, I actually have a pretty cool guest post on those dividend aristocrats:


      I think it’s a reasonable strategy although not all that scientific if you expect to beat the market. It’s basically a simple form of Warren Buffett investing, which is known to be a sound basic idea.

      Glad to hear you’re listening to new ideas too. I’m actually super conservative in the old sense of the word: using science and economics to chart an efficient course, and letting productive people create great wealth without undue regulation. As long as we take externalities like pollution and the high cost of poverty and undereducation into account.

      • Bryce April 1, 2016, 2:10 pm

        Thanks for the reply! Now I feel famous. Perhaps I could do a guest post at some point – my retirement journey began at age 28 and ended at 35, facilitated exclusively through the vehicle of local real estate, achieved while on a public teacher’s salary AND while having 4 daughters (and an extremely cooperative wife.)

        I bring it up because if done right, real estate investing can neutralize at least the ‘housing’ portion of a budget, empowering countless MMM wannabees to allocate precious funds toward their ‘stache, enabling them retire more quickly.

        If I’d gone the Vanguard Index Fund route to accumulate the necessary retirement capital, I’d still be stuck grading sixth graders’ writing and prepping them for mind-numbing standardized tests. (BTW, my wife and I are also home-school parents.)

  • LuckyOz April 1, 2016, 9:49 am

    Happy April Fools! But you left out the designer clothes habit, as well as decorating your home with designer furniture. How can you show off to your friends, when you aren’t conspicuously consuming!

  • J April 1, 2016, 9:50 am

    Your new coffee grinder reminds me to ask something I’ve wondered for awhile: have you ever tried home-roasting your coffee beans? I know you are a coffee dude (a reference to your fancy-pants espresso maker a while ago). I’ve been doing it for about twenty years and love it. I’d do it if it weren’t cheaper, yet I average just over 3 bucks a pound (including a ~20 percent loss from green to roasted, especially in dry Colorado) for some of the best arabica beans from all over the world. I’ve used dedicated home coffee roasters, by my favorite is just using a popcorn popper. I’ve pretty much dialed it in, but like home baked bread, even when it’s not perfect, it’s so damn good. I’d be happy to get you a range of green beans from my stache if you’d be interested. Also, I love using my hand-grinder each morning (human power!), tho’ it really wouldn’t work for that even, quite fine grind for espresso (I’m a French press guy).

    Nicole from 5:54am: will you marry me?!! ;)) Pete, has there been a MMM marraige yet? :)) I’m a long time reader but not a member of the forums but remember reading there was a ‘ok-cupid’-like thread/forum.

    Thank you so much for this blog, these annual spending posts, and your perspective; it’s changed my life.

  • Darcy April 1, 2016, 9:50 am

    I introduced a friend to this site/ concept recently and although very intrigued, her question was what about when you’re 85 or 90 and need assisted living (or some equally out-of-our-complete-control scenario.) Obviously, you’re living a healthy lifestyle etc but for the sake of argument, you’re in a horrific bike accident at 80/ 85 which renders you a bit frail and in need of assistance. How does one ensure one has enough saved by then to afford care for self or spouse etc? In other words, in addition to living expenses, would one need to budget into the 4% goal an annual savings contribution to this type of “future needs” account? TIA.

    • Mr. Money Mustache April 1, 2016, 11:01 am

      Hi Darcy,

      I think it’s impossible to prepare for every potential bad outcome. So instead I focus on living a healthy life, not wasting money, and being productive. Over time, many people find a lifetime of this generates enough money surplus that every potential outcome ends up being covered anyway.

      • Darcy April 1, 2016, 11:49 am

        Thanks for the response! Appreciated.

  • Hulu April 1, 2016, 9:54 am

    Thanks for the offer! Where should we live to lower our carbon footprint? Needs are 3 bd rent < $1000, non-judgemental, carless, mild, safe, quality air and good schools. East coast preferred. Current thoughts are a burb near Providence, Winchester/Leesburg VA or Sarasota FL

    • Chris April 5, 2016, 8:00 am

      Greenville, SC

      • Chris April 5, 2016, 8:01 am

        Even less judgmental might be Asheville, NC.

        • Nicole April 5, 2016, 9:39 am

          Don’t move to NC if you have a uterus, are lbgt/lbgt friendly, or are a teacher.

  • Bonnie April 1, 2016, 9:57 am

    Didn’t fall for that for a minute! I would like to see you tackle internet costs – its a monopoly that continues to increase their fees every year.

  • Kimberly April 1, 2016, 10:04 am

    I seem to remember about a year or two back when asked about homeschooling you referred to the lack of socializing aspect of it. Forgive me, but I don’t have a link to the post. Has your position changed on that at all now that you homeschool?

    Great site…been a fan since the beginning.

    • Mr. Money Mustache April 3, 2016, 8:15 am

      Hi Kimberly,

      Yeah, that was our fear (as it is for many non-homeschoolers) before trying it. Later we realized that traditional school classrooms are set up to discourage socialization anyway: the teachers tell the kids to be quiet and listen to them instead. The joy of school comes at recess and in open group activities. So now little MM shows up at school for some of the open-format group classes, plus he hangs out with friends extensively outside of school hours, on weekends, etc.

      Being somewhat connected with the school is still valuable for us – it’s a social hub for both kids and parents.

  • Jackson April 1, 2016, 10:06 am


    I’ve been driving my wonderful 2 person 2001 Honda Insight for the past 2 years. It’s got 168k miles on it, and the IMA battery is finally going kaput. It feels dangerous to drive as the acceleration is terrible and with all the zipping traffic in Chicago, I don’t feel safe.

    This leaves me with 2 options:
    1) Fix the hybrid battery for around 2.5k all in.
    2) Sell the car for peanuts and buy something used (nissan leaf, chevy volt, honda fit, something else??)

    I bike about everywhere but still have a 13 mile commute to work that I do at 4:30 in the morning.

    My question is then when do you decide to sink more money into an old car, and when do you quit and just buy something else? Please note that in the next year or 2 my wife and I will most likely have a baby and will need something other than the insight as it is only a 2 seater.

    • Mr. Money Mustache April 1, 2016, 11:04 am

      Hi Jackson,

      $2500 is still pretty cheap for a 70MPG car that will be ready to rock for another ten years!

      Also, if you do enough searching and YouTubing, maybe that can be replaced at much lower cost? That thing has a ONE kilowatt-hour battery, which is actually only about $300 worth of top quality lithium cells if you could buy them in raw form.

      • Charlotte August 10, 2016, 2:13 am

        I am an Engineer for a power solutions company and here are my thoughts:

        1. We buy li-ion cells wholesale for about $3 each. We are talking about a few millions cells per year so an individual who tries to acquire some real deal raw cells will pay a lot more. That is if you can even get them. You would need about 125 cells for 1 Kw-hr, depending on which cells.

        2. Cell balancing is not a big deal. You just need to match lot codes exactly. You will find that the standard deviation within a lot code is negligible.

        3. Putting them together requires resistance welding for maximum reliability. Even some serious DIY-ers will not have access to that.

        4. A learning cycle is required for this type of battery pack. This can be done by a third party test house. Likely though, they would not accept it lol!

        5. Bottom line, this kind of work is not for a DIY-er. Even I or any of my colleagues will not attempt it. Cost and risks are not worth it.

        As for the main question – I recommend a replacement car since you will start a family. Just stay within the mustachian list of approved cars! Or spend the $2500 and keep it as a second car. When our baby was young, I’ve had to go home quickly many times for various issues such as milk runs, sleep issues, etc.

    • Troy Rank April 1, 2016, 11:23 am

      Additionally, those IMA batteries usually just go bad because of disbalanced cells. (there’s something like 100+ in series if I recall)

      If you install a grid charger and plug it in at night, the NiCad packs will balance themselves a bit better and you may not have to replace it at all.

      I almost bought one of these last year, but then opted to just continue without a car, but the insight is the best car ever produced IMO.

      • Troy Rank April 1, 2016, 11:28 am

        Also, don’t mess around with DIY lithium battery packs for the insight unless you are a hardcore battery nerd. the economics are there but the potential for disaster is invariably quite high. Though it’s a fucking badass idea.

      • Jackson April 1, 2016, 2:31 pm

        Thanks for the tip on the grid charging, that saved me a year ago from having to buy a new battery, but now it’s beyond the grid charger even helping.

  • Mike April 1, 2016, 10:10 am

    Hi Mr. MM,

    Looooong time reader (back to 2012), first time commenter.

    When you talk about selling gas guzzlers to buy something more efficient, the scenarios always seem clear.

    But I feel like mine isn’t nearly as clear cut, so I thought I’d put it out there for you and others to comment on.

    My current stylin’ ride is a 1999 Isuzu Amigo. 2WD, V6, Automatic. Gets a whopping 17 miles per gallon.

    Seems clear cut so far, right? Get rid of the gas guzzlin’ thing!


    (1) It’s 100% paid for.

    (2) It has 67,000 miles on it (it was towed behind an RV for the first 11 years of its life), so there’s a LOT of life left in it, all payment free.

    (3) Having previously owned another Amigo for 8 years, (and since Isuzu is out of business in the US) I’ve learned how to fix just about everything on this car, on my own. No mechanics needed.

    So, do I sell this thing for $3,500 (about what it’s worth here in NorCal), and go buy a 3-4 year old Honda Fit (which I love)? Not in a position to pay $9K in cash for one, and they run about $15K at CarMax.

    Even though it gets less than half the gas mileage of the Fit, it would take a long time to make up the $$$ in selling it and buying a Fit. Not to mention introducing a car payment (shudder) into my life again.

    So what say you, MMM and the collective? What’s the right approach here?

    • Mr. Money Mustache April 1, 2016, 11:07 am

      Hi Mike, the real key is how much do you drive? If your annual gas spending is only a couple hundred bucks or less, carry on.

      Otherwise, instead of getting an almost-new luxury compact like a Fit, get a less expensive efficient car. My “top 10 cars for smart people” list is still valid, the only difference is the prices are way cheaper now.

      Someone just sent me a link to a 2006 Scion xA on Craigslist for $4200. It had more miles than mine, but still in the low 100s. This is an amazing car, good for a lifetime of driving.

  • Alexis April 1, 2016, 10:13 am

    HAHA wasn’t fooled for a second but I loved the post just the same. :)

  • RH April 1, 2016, 10:21 am

    Hey MMM,

    We’ve been long time readers and are at FI. We have a lot of cash tied up in the equity of our house. But we are stuck…the housing market is so hot that we can’t downsize to another house since the offer would be contingent upon us finding a buyer for our current house. I guess we could sell, rent a place for a few months, and then look at buying something. My wife is a bit concerned about what we would do all day if we didn’t have to work.

    • Mr. Money Mustache April 1, 2016, 11:08 am

      I guess it depends on how much you want to make the move. Renting is a GREAT idea in an expensive housing market. Maybe even permanently, or at least until the next housing crash.

  • Tissue King April 1, 2016, 10:34 am

    You had me for about 5 seconds and then I looked at the calendar for some reason.

    When is the next Colorado meetup?

  • Andy April 1, 2016, 10:35 am

    Why do you say it would be “foolish” to take out a mortgage on a $400,000 house? As I recall,you have had mortgages in the past.
    Buying my house for $600,000+ in southern California, mortgage and all, has been the best investment I have ever made.

    • Mr. Money Mustache April 2, 2016, 6:46 pm

      Hi Andy,

      I meant that for a $62,000 salary, buying a $400,000 house with mostly borrowed money would be a bad strategy. You’d be spending a huge amount of your wealth to live in a more expensive place, instead of living somewhere a quarter of the cost and saving more.

      You’ve made money on your house because you happened to own it through a boom. But on average, houses just keep up with inflation and can drop with recessions as well. Not nearly as good an investment over time as stocks.

  • Lee April 1, 2016, 10:40 am

    Question: I’d be interested in a MMM breakdown on driving for Uber/Lyft. I’ve seen a few things that sort of mention all the hidden costs, but none that seemed to cover the full spectrum.

  • str8cash32 April 1, 2016, 10:43 am

    Why did you wuss out and pay for your taxes to be done by others. I know you can afford it and it did end up saving you money to do it the complicated way with much more attention needed. But in my view, you are a very cunning and capable human and in this instance you deprived yourself of a valuable learning experience that would have paid for itself over and over again. Please help me see any error in logic here, because seems like you are on a slippery slope to using a catheter and bedpan:)

    PS – Thanks for doing what you do MMM, excited for your Leaf experiment:)

    • Ben Trutter April 1, 2016, 11:26 am

      • str8cash32 April 4, 2016, 10:12 am

        I am fully aware of this article (how would I have known how his taxes were done?). I simply reject his conclusion in the article, that you don’t need to do things that you don’t like, just because it is convenient to have others (who are more qualified) do it for you. That doesn’t seem to be a very smart message to send out here because like I said above it leads to a slippery slope. This whole way of living breaks down if you start picking and choosing what is okay to farm out and what isn’t. Person A may not feel comfortable/safe working on a car/bike but MMM has taken a firm stand that we should do our own car/bike work. Person B may not like yard work because of allergies but MMM has said she is a complainy pants and needs to get out there with a rake and enjoy the fresh air. But apparently its okay for him to not take the time to learn a very open field that requires little to no specialized training simply because it didn’t peak his interests? I don’t believe it jives with the spirit of this lifestyle. Just wanted to hear his thoughts on my take that is all.

        In my opinion the only occasions it is acceptable to use professional help are Medical Doctors , Dentists and god forbid lawyers and shrinks due to the genuine pain and suffering that can result.

  • Tom April 1, 2016, 10:50 am

    Hey nice kitchen. Is that IKEA??

    • Mr. Money Mustache April 1, 2016, 11:10 am

      It sure is! Ikea cabinets are the ONLY sane option for buying brand new cabinets as far as I can tell. (Craigslist is great for used ones, and they are also pretty easy to make if you have the skills and a good table saw). They are less than half the price of the less-good Kraftmaid and similar cabinets you can special order at Lowe’s/HD

      Nice looking if you get the real wood. Innovative config options. Insanely high quality drawer rollers.

  • Kim April 1, 2016, 10:54 am

    Hey MMM!
    We are a young family of four (with a one and three year old) and a single income. Planning on homeschooling and currently doing preschool at home with our three year old. I’d love to hear more about the homeschool journey and what you use and how you make it work. It definitely seems possible to be spendypants homeschoolers.

    My husband makes in the high 70s but has a very flexible job where he works from home about three days a week. He also bikes commutes a hilly 32 miles round trip but is still home by 4pm. We are trying to decide if it’s worth it to look for a higher earning job and lose the flexibility and time with the kids now to be able to retire sooner. If we stay on the current track, he’s looking at being done at 41 (turned 30 at the start of the year). We also live in a high cost of living area (greater Seattle/Tacoma area).

    Despite his best efforts, I haven’t started biking with the kids. Pulling around 60 pounds of kids in a very hilly area isn’t my idea do a good time. 😉 he is trying to convince me to get an ebike.

    • Mr. Money Mustache April 1, 2016, 11:16 am

      Hi Kim,

      Your husband is a wise man with that that e-bike and trailer idea. Do you really want to teach your kids that driving a 4000 pound gas burning human-crusher around in an area full of delicate pedestrians is a responsible way to get around? :-)

      Homeschooling is an amazing educational experience for the kid. From my experience, the downside is it is really hard on your free time and potentially your relationship if it adds stress to the home life.

      With a kid in the mix, I’d keep work flexibility as the top priority. You will both earn more than expected as the years go on, even if you insist on the family-friendly schedule. It’s just not worth sacrificing that for more money.

      • Kermit April 1, 2016, 2:12 pm

        From a Dad’s point of view…
        The job sounds like a great gig in terms of flexibility. Time trumps money all day long. You can always make more money, but you CAN’T make more time. Sounds like Dad likes to hang out with his kids. Maybe Kim can create a side income while Dad hangs out with the kids at night or weekends. This allow him to keep the flexible well paid work, and allow him to spend time with the kids. Kim there are endless was to make money from home. This could all be saved and help you both to get to retirement faster!
        Bike, Bike, and Bike. I fully agree with Triple M. Tons of reasons why. Heck get rid of the car and get a electric cargo bike. Life is simply better on a bike.

    • David Robarts April 1, 2016, 4:57 pm

      There are lots of great family bikers in Seattle that I’ve learned about from family biking blogs. Some local advice would help you get a set up that works well in your area. Here’s one Seattle family biking blog to get you started. http://familyride.us/

      • David Robarts April 1, 2016, 5:05 pm

        By the way, I’m just a wimp from Sacramento, CA who was inspired family biking blogs to decide “winter” is no excuse for not biking this year.

  • EV April 1, 2016, 11:15 am

    Mr MM,
    I’ve been bad. I put a deposit on a Model 3 last night.

    • Mr. Money Mustache April 1, 2016, 11:17 am

      It’s definitely a cool car. The $1000 deposit is not a real commitment as it can be canceled. But if you’re at least a 1-millionaire by the time the car comes out (and thus can afford to buy a $35,000 toy), go for it!

      • EV April 1, 2016, 12:55 pm

        Good, I’ve got the ratio covered and MM semi-approval… Haha. Not sure I really like the front grill, and wonder about the all glass roof for heat, protection, etc. I do like the overall look, 0-60 in under 6 seconds and the 215 mile range. Really blows the Bolt away.

        • David B April 2, 2016, 8:17 am

          Somebody’s gotta buy them new :) Glad Musk can build a business where he can make a profit and make something awesome for the earth and be able to price them affordably. I’m sure he could have made more money pricing them higher (people finance cars anyway, so $100 more a month is not a giant jump for a lot of people) but chose to make them at a price that is comparable with other cars, pretty cool.

  • Marcus Lehman April 1, 2016, 11:16 am

    So how do I actually downsize to a smaller car that has a trailer hitch from my current gas-guzzling SUV? The 10 Best Cars blog doesn’t really address that, and when I looked at adding an after market hitch it claims the warranties are voided…

    • Jay Holden April 1, 2016, 11:34 am

      Check out How to Turn a Small Car into a Big One.

    • Mr. Money Mustache April 1, 2016, 4:00 pm

      Another great question! You sell the SUV on Craigslist, buy the car of your choice on Craigslist, and buy a hitch for it from etrailer.com . Of course, you can make sure there IS a hitch available for that car, but don’t worry about warranties – the car’s warranty will be long-since-over anyway.

      And trailer towing only damages a car if you’re towing an overly heavy one in harsh conditions. Not just hauling a few things home from the building materials shop.

      • Embok April 4, 2016, 12:56 am

        If you are not handy, many U Haul stores will install a hitch on your car for a pretty low fee. I’m not affiliated with UHaul, but had a hitch installed on my 2006 Honda Civic hybrid so I could put on a sturdy 2-ebike carrier.

  • C April 1, 2016, 11:16 am

    So, how about kid activities- music lessons, scouting, martial arts lessons etc? What if the kids really do enjoy playing an instrument? They all cost $$- any recommendations


  • April April 1, 2016, 11:18 am

    My name is April. I should be used to this by now. Still fooled me. Not even the 8000sqft home clued me in!

  • Chris April 1, 2016, 11:18 am

    I actually panicked for a moment there. I thought of all the ways I’d have to keep my wife from finding out – all my arguments would be invalidated. Big sigh of relief – and inspiration to look at my family’s annual budget minus the mortgage to see what we live off of.

    • Mr. Money Mustache April 1, 2016, 12:45 pm

      Haha, that is pretty funny to think about: Mr. Money Mustache turns out to be a fraud, so all of these people THINKING they had improved their lives have to find another excuse to keep living better.

      But don’t worry, I’m not making this shit up. Enough of the Mustachians (many with blogs) have met me in person to back this up independently :-)

  • MoneyRx April 1, 2016, 11:19 am

    Hey MMM, Any update on the Ted Talk? Will you be doing one and does the talk have a title?

    • Mr. Money Mustache April 1, 2016, 4:01 pm

      Yeah! September, right here in Boulder, and I think it’s called “How to be Rich, Happy, and Save the World”

  • Moneycakes April 1, 2016, 11:21 am

    Loved the April Fool’s joke though I did get scared for a minute. I have previously emailed you with my current situation describing everything. Need some answers, please!! My question here would be if someone had only 10 years or so to save for retirement should they put all of their savings into a 401K with a 4% match from employer even if they are saving about 50-60 percent of their income in this account. On the other hand, would that extra money be better off in another type of account, hopefully to make more money in less time? P.S. Please look for the email I sent you about a month ago (New Reader, Big Fan!)

    • Mr. Money Mustache April 1, 2016, 12:42 pm

      Hi Moneycakes, sorry I can’t actually answer most reader questions in email (even this one-day-only attempt to answer comments is making a total mockery of this beautiful sunny day and my wife and kid think I’ve lost my mind sitting here on the computer!)

      Anyway, I’d still go for the 401(k) as long as it is in a low-fee index fund. See my earlier comments on how you can get it out earlier if you ever need to.

  • Tawcan April 1, 2016, 11:25 am

    And I thought we’re pretty frugal. Your numbers put ours to shame. Cost of living seems much lower in Longmont than Vancouver. A ~$120 per month property tax for a house here in Vancouver area is unheard of. :(

    • Mr. Money Mustache April 1, 2016, 4:03 pm

      Definitely – owning a home in Vancouver is one of the most Olympian financial things to do on Earth. On the other hand, a friend of mine lives a spectacular life right there in Kitsilano Beach with an apartment he has rented for over 10 years for somewhere around $1200/month.


Leave a Reply

To keep things non-promotional, please use a real name or nickname
(not Blogger @ My Blog Name)

The most useful comments are those written with the goal of learning from or helping out other readers – after reading the whole article and all the earlier comments. Complaints and insults generally won’t make the cut here, but by all means write them on your own blog!


welcome new readers

Take a look around. If you think you are hardcore enough to handle Maximum Mustache, feel free to start at the first article and read your way up to the present using the links at the bottom of each article.

For more casual sampling, have a look at this complete list of all posts since the beginning of time or download the mobile app. Go ahead and click on any titles that intrigue you, and I hope to see you around here more often.

Love, Mr. Money Mustache

latest tweets