Thursday, February 16, 2012

Mr. Money Mustache- keeping us on our bikes!

When I was 18 my dad gave me the ultimate gift -one that keeps on giving, a copy of "Your money or your life" by Joe Dominguez (RIP) and Vicky Robin. His timing could not have been better as the "knowledge thinking" revolution had reared its ugly head in the late 80's. My last year of high school I witnessed the decommission of auto shop, wood shop, electronics, small engine repair, and ROP programs as these silly blue collar trades according to school administrators just simply did not have a place in our soon to be computer dominated world. Boy were they dead wrong just ask Mathew Crawford PhD and author of "Shop Class as Soul Craft". You can't outsource a broken water heater or head gasket just ask my high school buddy (no formal education) who bangs down 6 figures doing water heaters on the weekends. He would get a kick out of the fact that his daily rate always had a comma in it. You could argue that he is the new "knowledge thinker".

Little did my dad know that the infamous "knowledge thinkers" would eventually become the "cubical warriors" of the 90's and 2000's who directly contributed to the American bubble. Do you remember the days of all the 22 year old college grads who went by the term "consultant". When I was 22 I might have been able to consult for a lost inmate firefighter on the fire line but that's about it.

"Your money or your life" quickly became the defacto bible amongst my buddies and girlfriend(Mama Wuleur). It questioned your relationship with money. In other words, how much do you actually need versus how much you think you need, are you willing to trade your life energy hours getting more of it, and how many life energy hours do you even have left. We still quote mantras from that book when faced with marketing madness or buying blindness.

Mr. Money Mustache "financial freedom through badassity" has picked up where "your money or your life" has left off and has taken financial independence to a new level of frugality. You may ask, what does this have to do with cycling? The question should be, how did I ever find time to pedal before I cut out all the fluff (TV, car payments, ect..) out of my life? He will help you negotiate through the brainwashing we all have been exposed to regarding marketing and money.

Did I mention Mr. Money Mustache is an avid cyclist? Below is a little sample of what he is all about. This is a little piece written by his 3o year old retired buddy called 'The Marginal Utility of Money'. We are all on this spinning rock for one reason or another - I say we get together and take control of how we doll out the life hours.

Marginal Utility of Money
1. It forces you to realize that there’s a diminishing return in earning money.

Many people assume more money is always better, and they allow the potential for more money to be a carrot on a stick. They just keep pursuing it, never pausing to reflect on what they’re really after. It starts out with working a few hours of overtime, then 80 hours a week including weekend. Then they’re telling you how to dress. Next thing you know you’re 80 pounds overweight, divorced, and watching the news alone in the Marriot Suite’s at 6am on a Thursday, getting ready for a big sales pitch.

But once you recognize the marginal utility of money, and compare that to the marginal utility of your time, you can consciously decide to turn down money in order to gain more time – thereby regaining control of your life.

Check out MMM

For the record:
My highest earning year to date was also my worst cycling year on the books! And I have absolutly no idea where that money went. I am still waiting for Mathew Cole Scott to interview me for the question of the week in the Good Times so I can state my occupation as an unemployed bicycle racer currently working as a Battalion Chief.


  1. Thanks for the link. Never been to that MMM. I have read Your Money Your Life (I believe it was a must from from the parents). I am curious how you incorporate the notion of saving vs. spending when it comes to bicycles. Because not only are bicycles spendy, so are all the upgrades. Would be interested in hearing how you handle the two in another post.

  2. Kit

    Good call. Mama Wuleur and I were just talking about that exact subject and will dedicate a post daylighting how to buy a new bike (Caletti) for pennies on the dollar (using your old drive train and selling the old frame....)