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Thursday, February 14, 2013

Don't just do things CHEAPER, do them BETTER!

A lot of people on a quest for early retirement and financial independence will get very zealous about saving money, at least in the beginning. This drive is a good thing, but if not controlled and directed in a useful manner it can result in a lot of 'cheapness' that isn't necessarily helpful in the long term and may not even really be saving you that much money.

I have written before about the difference between being frugal and being cheap. What's interesting is that most of the people who are super 'cheap' continue to be poor, and everybody can tell too. The true "Mustachians" are often living off just as little money, many times LESS money, yet they appear to be the same as everybody else from the surface. They still have decent houses and decent cars, clothes aren't rags, they still have vacations, etc.

So what is the difference? how can the 'cheapskates' be spending so much time and effort to do everything as cheap as possible and still come out behind the real experts?

Because you need to do things BETTER, not just CHEAPER.

The cheapskate is only concerned on paying less right now. They often buy things simply because they it is way below retail, like at a garage sale, regardless of if it will save them money in the long term, or if they even need it.

The 'mustachian' buys less, but buys smart, so they actually usually have nice stuff that lasts forever and actually works. They can often resell their items for as much as they paid for it, or almost as much.

One example I often think of is people who wash out their Ziplocs. instead of buying expensive plastic bags and going to great and unseemly lengths to reuse them and make them last, buy 1 Tupperware for the same price as a box of Ziplocs and use it for 20 years. No body will think you are a weird cheap hobo for washing it out and reusing it either.

If you look at thrift stores and garage sales you can even get that Tupperware for .50 or so, maybe less. Anything you can put in a Ziploc you can put in a Tupperware.

As a student, i remember one substitute teacher talking about how he stripped his car of all the seats but the drivers seat to save weight and thus gas.  Why do all that work, remove functionality from your car, and look like a crazy person, when instead you can use simply drive less, and use hyper-miling techniques when you do drive and get 20% or more increase in MPG?

So remember, focus on doing things BETTER. not just CHEAPER. You'll save more time and money, and increase your quality of life.

-The Money Monk

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Support The Money Monk! And Yourself!

In my quest for financial independence and early retirement I aim to seek out any possible sources of income to take advantage of. I don't want people to just give me money, but there are certain ways to help me out on my goals, if you are interested, that won't cost you anything! One good tactic that I use, (and that you should use too if you have a blog) is to have an Amazon affiliate account.

Now, I know we all are aiming to spend as little as possible, so we should't be buying a bunch of frivolous shit, but even the most frugal among us have to buy SOME things. When you do, is a great place to get it at market price. If you are going to buy something on Amazon anyway, I'd appreciate it if you could use the link in the upper left side of this blog. It won't cost you a penny more, but I will still get a piece of the pie.

just click on the link that says "Buy anything you need from" and then use the site like you normally would.

If you have a blog, put up your own link and let me know! I can't use my own affiliate account, so I will use somebody else's when I have to buy something.

Let's take advantage of this opportunity while it still lasts (before Amazon goes under due to their unsustainable method of operations and razor-thin profit margins!


-The Money Monk

Saturday, February 2, 2013

My 2 week No-Purchase Challenge

I spent way too much on food last month so I have given myself a challenge: I am not going to spend any money on food for the first two weeks of this month. Not directly anyway. I will be eating only food that I already have in my house.

One of my interests is preparedness, so that won't be quite as difficult as it seems, and it will serve the dual purpose of rotating through some of my supplies so that I can refresh them.  It will keep me eating decent food that is not expensive (canned veggies, frozen meats, etc).

I will be keeping track of what I use and replacing it on Feb 15th, so while the food won't be free it will keep me from buying junk food, fast food, etc.

We'll see if I can do it!

-The Money Monk