The Tim Ferriss Show#221: Mr. Money Mustache — Living Beautifully on $25-27K Per Year

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Mr. Money Mustache (Pete Adeney @mrmoneymustache)

  • Pete grew up in Canada in a family of mostly eccentric musicians
  • He graduated from Computer Engineering and worked in various tech companies before retiring at age 30
  • Pete, his wife, and their now eleven-year-old son live near Boulder, CO
  • Pete and his wife have not had real jobs since 2005, giving them free time for interesting projects, side businesses and adventures
  • In 2011 Pete started his blog, Money Mustache, which now has 300mil page views and has reached 23mil people

Misconecptions in the media

  • not actually retired
  • extremely frugal
  • his philosophy doesn’t apply to less wealthy people or people with more kids

How did you accomplish early retirement?

  • optimizing all aspects of lifestyle for maximal fun at minimal expense
  • basic index fund investing
  • using bicycle for transportation

Key aspects of philosophy:

  • you will be healthier, wealthier and able to retire earlier if you seek efficiency in the way you spend your money
  • time is happiness
  • spend less on purchases so you can spend less time at work
  • you only need to accumulate 25x your annual spending to retire earlier

 How did you arrive at that number?

  • based on long-term studying of stock market dating back to 1920s
  • if you know how much you need to live on, all you need to do is save up 25x that amount, and that will fund you with passive income with a high degree of safety for the rest of your life

What are some of the books that have had the biggest impact on you?

Why did you decide to stay in the US?

  • many of the problems that stem from under-regulation are also its strengths
  • entrepreneurial, optimism, lack of rules goes along with my personality
  • giant range of geographies
  • more variety and excitement

What’s your thought process when you consider buying something?

  • mental beatdown to shut off easy things i.e. a car I won’t use
  • when dealing with things you really want:
  • take time to think about it
  • consider how much space it will take up
  • consider what you will do if it breaks
  • ask yourself if it’s removing a negative in your life, adding positives won’t increase happiness
  • if it is something I think I need every day i.e. replacing a dishwasher, it will be a happiness booster

What purchases have most improved your happiness?

  • studio building that I made over the last year
  • fireplace
  • windows
  • things related to home, vacation and food

Any experiments you would like my audience to try?

  • not using a car to get your groceries or go to work
  • voluntary hardship. if it looks hard, try it

Other book recommendations

Tim’s letter recommendation related to voluntary hardship:

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