Quite a few people we know have told us they feel like they don’t have their financial life in order, that there is a lot they don’t understand about managing their money.

Many seem to be blinded by the idea that investing is a mysterious process, and hand the job over for someone else to manage, for a hefty charge, often without having any idea where their precious assets are being put.

We’ve been there and have discovered that, even with our very creative, non-linear artist’s brain, we can learn if we have the right teacher. One we especially like is Mr. Money Mustache, a forty-something retiree who “tells how you can create a life that is better than your current one, that just happens to cost 50-75% less.” And on the way he’ll fill you in on the practical basics of bank cards, health insurance and how to make the most of the inevitable recession,

Matthew Sporzynski

Mr. Money Mustache yields lots of insights both practical and philosophical. Even if you don’t chose to follow all of it, you’ll better understand the ecology/economy of your own life.

Best of all it can start you on the road to navigating our economically challenged world using an independent-thinker’s tools.  Here’s a sampler…

Matthew Sporzynski

For almost six years, I’ve been preaching a different brand of financial advice from what you see in the newspapers and magazines. The standard line is that life is hard and expensive, so you should keep your nose to the grindstone, clip coupons, save hard for your kids’ college educations…And pray that nothing goes wrong in the 40 years of career work that it will take to get yourself enough savings to enjoy a brief retirement.

Mr. Money Mustache’s advice? Almost all of that is nonsense…

Solid tips are valuable resources, but they work a lot better if they are combined with changes to your mind that make the tips turn into real improvements in your lifestyle, rather than temporary deprivations which are simply means to the end of getting more money in the bank.

To balance the scale a little, all you need to do is understand that you can program your own mind in completely the opposite way. You can build habits, you can eliminate most of your irrational fears, and you can even eliminate most of your irrational desires. 

money origami


Mr. Money Mustache recommends both paths: earn as much as you can, but never sacrifice your soul to do it….But all the earnings in the world are useless if you never know the meaning of the word “enough”. 


You really ARE rich according to how many things you can train yourself NOT to want. But note that this is completely different than just perpetually wanting things, and aching inside every time you can’t buy them. It’s a much more powerful skill. 


…freedom from desire is actually making me richer, because it allows me to focus on things other than things.

And as it turns out, wanting less is an age-old recipe for having a much better life. 




In certain cases, you will still buy things you can’t afford. But your decision-making process will simply be made differently – you’ll be maximizing the Lifetime Wealth delivered by each spending decision, rather than the convenience or short-term pleasure.

You’ll have more fun in both the short term and the long term.



(Don’t let the text heavy articles daunt you. They are easy to read in chunks during commutes or other wait times. You can navigate the site in many ways, starting with START HERE —Getting Rich: from Zero to Hero in One Blog Post—, or just typing in your concerns into a search box.)


Perforated money by the great paper artist Matthew Sporzynski

Very belated thanks to Susan Dworski

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2 replies on “Get Your Financial Act Together with Mr. Money Mustache

  1. For 6 or more years (has that much time really passed?), Improvised Life‘s ‘you can do it’, ‘give it a shot’ messages have really resonated for me. I value the lack of pretense (and the 7 hr spoon-tender lamb recipe is to die for). Four years ago, I stumbled upon MMM’s site and in his approach to financial independence, I see some of the same zest as in IL.

    Not as good of recipes, tho’.

    Would be cool to see him or one of his acolytes collaborate with you on one of your apartment projects, then have you each write about what you observed…

  2. SO helpful! Great timing for this as well – I’ve been feeling anxious about future financial planning, as I’ve made some great strides in that area but have hit a wall when it comes to the best options for short vs. long-term savings, and feel totally in the dark regarding investments. Thanks so much (for this specifically, and your site and outlook, in general) 🙂

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