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Thread: MMM: It's not about the money

  1. #1
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Jan 2011

    MMM: It's not about the money

    I know there are a lot of Mr. Money Mustache fans here. I just had a chance to read one of his recent blog posts, and I really liked it.

    It's the one about his being interviewed by New York Magazine and also for a personal finance podcast and he talks about how they both missed the point about why he doesn't spend money. I loved his explanation, and it's the crux of simple living personal finance.

    Anyway, some of you have probably already read it, but here's the link, and here are the quotes that he bolded in the blog post:

    Learning to separate “happiness” from “spending money” is the quickest and most reliable way to a better life.

    The side-effect of this is that your life will become much less expensive and you will therefore become much wealthier very quickly.
    And here's my personal favorite:

    But it’s not about the money, and as long as you think it is about the money, you’re still f***ed.
    So, what are the ways in which living an abundant life is "not about the money" for you?
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    For starters, it's about personal freedom. I was just able to leave a soul sucking job and take a new position that while it had a 25% pay cut, is a stimulating job that I love with a good group of people. Years of frugal simple living which resulted in a no debt and low monthly carrying cost (in which I have not felt the least bit deprived) enabled me to have the personal freedom to make this choice.

  3. #3
    Senior Member razz's Avatar
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    Dec 2010
    Ontario, Canada
    I like CindyCindy's post but for me, it is about peace of mind and living in harmony with your values at the pace of life that you choose.
    As Cicero said, “Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others.”

  4. #4
    Senior Member flowerseverywhere's Avatar
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    Jan 2011
    What I love about these ideas is they go so against the media brainwashing. Every day we hear how students are being crushed by student loans, how people aren't saving enough for retirement and how we "need" a new car, new clothes or food prepared outside the home. There are few places we hear the simple living message.

    You can choose to forgo cable TV, eat simply at home , walk or bike more, and so on which increases the quality of your life as it is immeasurably better for your physical, mental and financial health. A life full of a abundance does not translate to a life full of junk and crappy food.

  5. #5
    I really like this topic and the responses so far. This reminds me of what I have found through working with debt in my life--that debt is a money behavior that is a symptom of some other problem. So it's not about the money in the sense that if you don't get to the underlying issues, you are still on auto pilot with money and thus finding problems in that area.

    Also reminds me of what Dave Ramsey says about why you pay the smallest debt first in debt snowball, because if money were all logic, then we would not have the problems we have with it. So MMM suggestion about separating money from happiness/life satisfaction is a good one, and exactly what previous posters are saying.

  6. #6
    Senior Member mtnlaurel's Avatar
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    Jan 2011
    For me, I like to do what I like to do and YMOYL concepts have allowed me to do that for the most part (while Living Life on Life's Terms)

    When I read in YMOYL about expending Life Energy and its' relation to Money - it was like hitting the slots in my brain..... ding, ding, ding, ding.

    At it's core it's about being brutally honest with oneself.
    It just fits with other emotional, social, spiritual things I'm trying to do.

    I was essentially raised by my Grandmother and she had a very beautiful life on not much $ and was a great role model for managing one's affairs.

    Pursuing this path has gotten my family through some tough times that we did NOT see coming down the pike.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    I am constantly amazed at how complicated people make their lives by trying to keep up with cultural expectations. Stress, debt, time constraints can all be halved or more by living simply. It's like "duh" but so many keep banging their head against the wall trying to keep up. I think when you slow down and live simply, you experience the inherent beauty in everyday life which has little to do with money beyond the basics.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    I don't think I am at the point of being able to separate spending money from happiness er ..... self-fulfillment. I still seem to have a strong inclination to see money as primarily a tool for self-development though not the most important tool. Like if you spend money on say music lessons and with practice get good enough to join a choir or something and that's what you wanted, isn't that success? Not assuming any pay coming from it, isn't it success?

    I've never been particularly materialistic as such, I'm far too much in my head to be I think. Occasionally some materialistic obsession, buying stuff as in capital Stuff, inanimate things you can touch, will capture me, I usefully just have to give in to the obsession all the while realizing I'm partly crazy to be so obsessed, that's about how the obsession feels, and vowing never to go on websites selling pretty stuff again. But materialism is mostly besides the point. To the degree where obvious things comes as a revelation to me: like that dressing the part might actually help with success, it comes as a revelation - fwiw I have always dressed with the average of any workplace pretty much, it's not like I stand out in badness, I mean above and beyond that. So it's not materialism that is the problem - well the problem I'm defining here is still seeing money as a tool for self-fulfillment primarily.
    Trees don't grow on money

  9. #9
    Senior Member Gardenarian's Avatar
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    Jan 2011
    SF Bay Area
    Thanks for posting - I kind of forgot about MMM.
    Yes, money for freedom, not for stuff. So you can define yourself by the things you do and believe in and work for, and not by what you own.

    I also found the link to his article on AWD and snow tires extremely helpful!
    "All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.” -- Gandalf

  10. #10
    Senior Member awakenedsoul's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    I don't really care for the MMM forum. I tried it a couple of times, but so many people there sounded so angry to me. All that competing over who has a better degree in engineering... Plus, I don't really connect with the blog posts because of the swearing. There's just something about the tone there...(all that "bad assity",) that turns me off.

    They also seem really dogmatic about the biking instead of driving thing. I'm car free right now, and it is much cheaper, but it's difficult at times. After having my bike accident, I would never put kids in a bike trailer. I'd use a car.

    But, he's very popular and very successful. Many people resonate with him. I agree that it's not always about the money. Reminds me of the Oprah saying that it's not about the food. But, it sort of is. Oprah keeps bags and bags of chips in her trunk, I keep jumper cables and a spare tire in mine. Many people who don't have money are overspending. They also could be underearning. (I know all about that!) Louise Hay says that debt is an addiction. I didn't understand that when I had cc debt, but now I do. (self sabotage.) Suze Orman calls it "standing in you truth". Going on a cash basis brought that lesson home for me.

    How people spend their money is fascinating to me. I find financial problems to be especially interesting and revealing...I had them myself, and really was in denial. I didn't see where I was going wrong at the time.

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