Mr. Money Mustache has a great post summing up his decade with three pieces of wisdom. And that reminded me of what a blessing his blog was in my life.
I found his post called The Shockingly Simple Math of Early Retirement at a point I really needed some hope. Work wasn’t going well for me between 2008 and 2012. My father was declining and I knew that I didn’t have much time left with him. I longed to spend time with him before he died. I longed for a new life. I longed to write. But all around me the world seemed to be frayed and coming apart. What could I do?
I found Mr. Money Mustache in 2012 and reading his blog reminded me of a book we’d read years before, Your Money or Your Life. As I read his posts, I began to see how this could work in our lives. We already had savings. Together we had a reasonably good income. Steve is phenomenal with money and frugality and because we’d taken a vow to base our lifestyle on one income years before, we were not in bad shape. At least not financially.
I was in terrible shape emotionally. I took advantage of FedEx’ free mental health offerings and went to a psychologist. But what really helped me was Mr. Money Mustache. I could see a future where I worked for myself. Or didn’t work if I didn’t want to. I saw a future where I spent time with my father.
It didn’t take long to ratchet the spending down and the savings up. Because of Steve’s financial wisdom and our policy of basing our lifestyle on only one income, we were in pretty good shape.
I committed to my writing and put together a business plan that I intended to discuss with my father. But in April, 2016 my father died and all my plans dissolved into ash. I don’t know how I got through 2016, but at the end of it I still had the money to do what I’d planned so I left, the grief roaring inside me, ringing in my ears. (It still does, of course, but now it isn’t so loud that I can’t write.)
Money isn’t important in the way that people are important. It’s not even important in the way that doing work that matters is important.
Money is a broom that clears away obstacles. Having enough money to work on my writing, knowing that a single mistake is not enough to destroy me, that’s a superpower. I’m grateful to it every day. I’m grateful to Joe Dominguez, Vicki Robin and Mr. Money Mustache for showing me how this worked. And I’m grateful to Steve, who understood this long before.
In Mr. Money Mustache’s latest post he talks about habits. I’m working on establishing better habits this year: writing consistently, finishing projects, eating healthfully, exercising, sleeping enough, and re-establishing frugality.
I wish for money for you, my dear friends, and good habits to go with the money. If you are so inclined, check out Mr. Money Mustache and start with his Classics. Or read Your Money or Your Life. It could bless your life as it did mine.
Be well, friends!
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