Mustachian Spotting UK
Seeing as us Financial Independence seekers are generally a modest bunch and tend to keep ourselves to ourselves I often find myself thinking “Hey, this guy could be a Mustachian and neither of us would even know it”.
I’ve therefore invented a game called Mustachian Spotting, whereby I look for behavioural trends that we tend to see in people who are either seeking or have already achieved Financial Independence. And then like a big judgy type person complete with wig and gavel I cast out markings out of 10. It’s great fun, maybe you should try it some time?
To give you an idea on what sort of scores you can dish out there are some examples of potential Mustachians I know below. I’m not actually saying that any of these dudes/dudettes actually read MMM or ERE (and certainly not theFIREstarter! 🙂 ), but they exhibit behaviour that could, I think, mean they more receptive to the ideas of FI, simple living, sustainability, anti-consumerism and ultimately achieving true freedom, than the average Josephine.
TFS Senior (My Dad)
Badass: Handy with skills around the house and general DIY (like many men of his generation I guess!). Knows how to handle a power tool. Engineer by trade and therefore lives a relatively efficient lifestyle. Moans about work a lot 🙂 (don’t we all!). Likes gardening etc… Has good survival skills so would know how to live on low/no money if the zombie/financial apocalypse ever does happen.
Sad-ass: He has a lot of Mustachian qualities which he has passed down to me, but could have done with a nudge in the right direction to allow them to fully blossom. Also I am pretty sure if my ‘rents re-organised their finances and took an ever so slight lifestyle hit my Dad could retire right now if he wanted to, but it looks like he is destined to work till the standard retirement age (about 5 more years) which is in the main funding a larger than necessary house and some extravagant holidays by anyone’s measure. Maybe I should buy him Your Money or Your Life* 1 for Christmas?!
MSFPBR (Mustachian Spotting Federation Potential Badass Rating): 7/10
Badass: Quit a stressful job about 15 years ago. Lives a simple life and now works at a supermarket to pay the bills. I don’t know their exact financial position; as you know, it’s rude to talk about that sort of thing isn’t it?! But I’m guessing at least the mortgage must be paid off by now as they’ve had the same house for years.
Sad-ass: I guess you could argue that he’s not fully early retired yet, although again hard to gauge what might be achievable on that front without knowing the financial position.
Badass: Quit his potentially lucrative job early doors to go and live his dream in and join a band! Massive respect for this from TFS Towers!
Sad-ass: Unfortunately unless you hit the big time life as a musician is not the best of paying jobs. Maybe he’d have been better sticking out the lucrative job for a few years and doing band stuff on the side, then going full time once the stash was large enough to support the new lifestyle?
Cousin E & Mr M
Badass: Mr M is my cousin E’s husband. From what I can gather he is ex-financial industry, and they both quit their jobs and moved from London to the Garden of England 2 last year. They’re reportedly loving life doing not that much right now with their new born baby. They clearly have a big nest egg to fall back on… I wonder if it conforms to the 4% rule 🙂 ? They also seem to like gardening, cooking at home, cycling, and other Mustachian activities.
Sad-ass: Nothing I can think of. Maybe they even actually read MMM or similar blogs!? Someone needs to do a fact finding mission at the next family gathering I think! 😉
MSFPBR: 9/10 (only fails from being a 10 because I don’t know if they are fully FI or just taking a few years off and will find work again soon. Either way very high on the badass scale I am sure you will agree!)
Badass: Mr H is my old boss. He would spend our yearly reviews practically evangelising how I should pay down my mortgage instead of actually talking about what he should have done. I found this quite amusing and just thought he was just a bit mental back at the time but now I wish I’d paid more attention*. He also got made redundant and must have cashed in big time on that. He took at least a year off just dossing around before having to get another job. He also owns a rental property
Sad-ass: While the financial ship was unquestionably watertight, I would say apart from that he did not seem remotely Mustachian. I would question what he was using the freedom he was buying for, and didn’t seem to live a particularly healthy lifestyle, in terms of exercise and so on. Each to their own of course but we unfortunately we must deduct some marks on this account!
*Side note: The key missing ingredient was actually the “how”. It’s no good just telling someone: “Save 50% of your income” or “Aggressively overpay your mortgage”. They’ll generally need a few little pointers in the right direction on how and where to make the savings to enact on such advice. It was good advice but it wasn’t actionable advice. I remember thinking at the time “That’s easy for you to say as you’re getting paid 3-4 x the amount I am!”, however I missed the point that I was spending all of my money on fun stuff like holidays. In fact I didn’t even miss that point as I was fully aware of that and wanted to spend the money on that stuff at the time, but there was certainly some fat I could have trimmed out of my budget back then without missing out on the things I truly valued.
Badass: This is our ex-next-door-neighbour, whom we bestowed upon the unkindly moniker you read above. Bit of an odd one. She has a lot of time freedom because she doesn’t/didn’t have a job (as far as we could tell) but then also relies on the state benefits (or everyone else from another view point) to live off of.
Sad-ass: Unfortunately I think we can be pretty sure there is no stash and therefore no monetary freedom at all in her life.
I guess the thing that relates all of these people is that they are all attempting to find happiness and freedom in their own ways, and really that is what we are all after. I think a lot of them could well have been full blown Mustachians given the right nudges at the right times in life.
I count myself very lucky that I found the nudge I was looking for when I randomly discovered MMM in January 2013, and will try to pass that on as subtly as I can to both loved ones and people I meet over the next few decades of my life.
As usual some final things to ponder and maybe reply if you get time:
- Do you know any potential Mustachians?
- If so are you afraid to ask them outright if they are seeking FI?
- Have you got any ideas on turning potential Mustachians into full blown FI seekers?
- Is it as simple as just sending them a few articles to a blog?
- My thoughts as mentioned above are that, especially for the older generation, maybe a book suggestion or gift might be more appropriate? Personally I am still apprehensive on what reaction that might elicit, is that too judgy 3 – “Oh look I noticed that you are probably completely shit with your finances and could use a book to help you out with that” – or am I overthinking this a bit?
Let me know what you think and happy moustache spotting folks!
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