It's been a little over two months since I decided to adopt the philosophy espoused by Mr. Money Mustache. In that amount of time, the initial shininess has worn off and I feel like I'm beginning to settle in for the long haul.
At first I was really excited. Here is a guy offering an answer to the 9-to-5 for 40 years existence otherwise in front of me. Change your life for the better, even — man up and spend time on the things you should be doing anyway. Like try improving yourself or learning how to replace a toilet tank gasket instead of eating potato chips on the couch watching Keeping Up with the Kardashians.
The first few changes are easy. Making a preliminary budget and getting a library card, for example. I found I could score big savings by cutting back on groceries and bringing lunch to work every day. But sweeping changes to one's consumption are tough. I don't know how much of it is willpower versus changing one's self-image, but I definitely feel a struggle in reducing how much I consume.
It's a good, righteous struggle. I feel my life starting to have purpose again, a feeling I took for granted until graduate school beat it out of me. I know (generally) where I want to be in ten to twenty years, and I know (again, generally) how I'm going to get there. But now comes the really tough part, and that's the follow-through.
By follow-through I don't mean how difficult it is to deny oneself their daily latte or equivalent. I mean, time is slow, I only receive a paycheck so quickly, and I can't spend all month checking Mint to see my 'stash creeping toward that savings goal.
Don't get me wrong. I still have a ton of work to do. You've seen my monthly budget. There are hundreds of dollars of fat I need to trim. There are habits I need to establish and skills I need to learn and material possessions I need to purge. But those aren't the only things I'll be doing month-in and month-out for the next decade. I'm starting to see the reason MMM suggests profitable leisure time — your time has to be filled with something. Best to make it count.
Mustachianism isn't some get-rich-quick scheme. The path toward Mustachianism entails real, meaningful change. I feel like this is one of the most important goals I've set out for myself. And, like most things worth doing, this is going to take a while.