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The real Mr Mustache, professional tightwad

Stashed in: Awesome, New Yorker, life, economics, Money, Personal Finance, Personal Finance, Retirement, Debt, Credit

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Rips the mustache off a popular personal finance blogger who I must confess I read.

Wow, he has built a "financial freedom through badassity" mini empire. 

Mr. Money Mustache is the alias of a forty-one-year-old Canadian expatriate named Peter Adeney, who made or, more to the point, saved enough money in his twenties, working as a software engineer, to retire at age thirty. We’re not talking millions. More like tens of thousands, and then hundreds of thousands, which he and his wife diligently salted away at a time of life when most people are piling on debt and living beyond their means. He calculated a way to make these early paychecks last using a strategy of sensible investment and a rigorous, idiosyncratic, but relatively agreeable frugality.

MrMoneyMustache espouses the point of view of thrift as liberation.

He is, by his own reckoning, a wealthy man, without want, but he and his wife, who have one child, spend an average of just twenty-four thousand dollars a year. Adeney is a kind of human optimization machine, the quintessence of that urge, which is stronger in some of us than in others, to elevate principle over appetite, and to seek out better, cheaper ways of doing things. He presents thrift as liberation rather than as deprivation. Living a certain way is his life’s work. “I’ve become irrationally dedicated to rational living,” he says.

He created his Mr. Money Mustache avatar as a way to tell the rest of us, with meticulous and triumphal precision, about his finances and his life style, and about how bad at math and life the rest of us are. We are debt slaves, consumer suckas, car clowns, complainy pants. His goals, he says, are: 1. “To make you rich so you can retire early”; 2. “To make you happy so you can properly enjoy your early retirement”; and 3. “To save the whole Human Race from destroying itself through overconsumption of its habitat.” The blog, which he started five years ago, is really an attack on consumerism and waste—a theology of conservation—disguised as a personal-finance advice column. The prospect of retirement is in some respects just a lure—the carrot, as opposed to the stick of his relentless polemical thrashing of anyone who thinks it’s O.K. to buy lattes at Starbucks or drive “a gigantic piece of shit that can barely navigate a parking lot.” He told me, “I’m really just trying to get rich people to stop destroying the planet.”

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