Saturday Finances—Practice Optimism

My new money crush:  Mr. Money Mustache

It's all in your head

Okay, read this...

From Mr. Money Mustache, 22 Febr 2013, "Getting Rich: From Zero to Hero in One Blog Post"

"Here’s how to cut your life costs in half. Start by getting rid of your Debt Emergency if you have one. Live close to workMove to another city if you enjoy adventure. Don’t borrow money for cars, and don’t buy stupid onesRide a bike wherever you can. Cancel your TV serviceStop wasting money on groceriesGive your kids the opportunity to achieve greatness without being pampered. Lose the overpriced cell phones. Learn to appreciate the life-boosting joy of using your own body to get things done. Learn to mock convenience. Practice optimism."

Of course, I love this because a.) I'm a list-lover, and b.) I tend to like a ballsy approach to thinking about money.  

The cast iron skillet piece of this for me is the very last sentence:  Practice optimism.  

The rest of MMM's very smart advice flows from that one vital source.  Given that there are 7 billion people in the world right now, a lot of these folks are going to have a miserable outlook on life.  But, the ones who thrive in optimism are happier.  And, happier people have a better shot at success, financial and otherwise.  

Turn the Optimism Gun on Yourself

To understand what turning the optimism gun on yourself really means, you'll have to link to MMMs page and read the entire post: The Practical Benefits of Outrageous Optimism, 3 October 2012.  It's really good and totally worth the 60 seconds that it will take to read.  Think of those 60 seconds as a little key...well, maybe a crowbar for wrenching open a treasure box of wisdom.

My Two Cents

What I bring to this conversation is age and experience.  I am about 20 years older than MMM with way grown-up adult children who no longer depend on me for anything except motherly advice, which they don't really need or want.  But, I slip into it whenever I run out of anything else to say.  Cat antics and house projects only go so far before I start veering into the land of, "How are things going with you?"  Yikes.

So, applying 20 more years and a 50-Something sensibility to MMMs superb advice for getting rich in one blog post, I would change one thing...

I'm completely on board with giving your kids the opportunity to achieve greatness without being pampered.  Yep, this is a noble cause, and "Amen!" to every part of it.  

Avoiding Ivy League Preschool Syndrome; Better Parenting with Hot Glue; Raising Children Actually Costs Less Than Zero, 12 October 2011 by MMM.

But, I'm going to go out on a limb here and add this piece of parenting advice:  

Don't save for your kids' college education. 

I know I'm the anti-Christ of good parenting for saying it, but kids who have a lock (i.e. know about and expect) on what amounts to a four to seven year scholarship funded by their parents don't appreciate it.  They grow up believing that a college education is a given, not something that they have to earn.

Put the money into aggressive-growth long-term income investments and save it for yourself.  Then, wait and see if your kids want to go to college or live below the poverty line while they're trying to become rock stars.  Let the whole college thing be theirs.


There is always time for gratitude, so thanks to Mr. Money Mustache for fearlessly putting it out there.  I am looking forward to reading all of his posts!

Oh, and thanks to my budget-savvy 30-Something daughter who told me about MMM.  :) 

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