Thursday, April 26, 2012

Negative wealth shocks

It's been too long. Long story short, I've continued biking 1+ days a week, I've kept paying down my student loans. I'm overdue for a monthly expenses post and a follow-up on my student loan progress. Here's what's really on my mind, though: this week, I lost my wallet.

Tuesday I biked in to work. I noticed my wallet was missing around lunch time. I distinctly remember putting it in my bag, and it wasn't there when I got to the office, so it must have fallen out while I was biking to work. Usually it's snug at the bottom of my messenger bag while I'm biking but maybe I left it on top and didn't fasten the bag tight enough and it jostled itself out.

Of course, I checked everywhere I thought it could be and a lot of places I knew it wasn't. I filed a lost-and-found report with the local police department — no luck. By Tuesday evening I had given up and called all my credit card companies to cancel my cards.

When I first noticed my wallet was missing, what struck me was how (relatively) calm I felt. It should have been one of those moments where you feel like your stomach drops out from under you and you feel kind of queasy. No, I felt more of a detached "that sucks, I guess I have to deal". There was nothing in my wallet I couldn't replace, just credit and debit cards, drivers license, insurance cards, and cash. I felt worst about the cash, but still not that bad. I think I had somewhere between $80 and $120 in there.

For some reason losing that money didn't upset me so much. Don't get me wrong, it totally sucks. I'd much rather have $100 than lose $100. But I have this feeling like: it's only money. Crappy things are going to happen. In the grand scheme of things losing your wallet isn't that bad.

Come to think of it, my pre-Mustachian behavior was the effective equivalent of losing a wallet full of cash per week. And I did that without worrying about it. Now I'm on the path toward financial independence, with my personal wealth snowballing thanks to principles of frugality and resourcefulness and — dare I say it — badassity.

This won't be the last exogenous shock to my wealth, positive or negative. Those are out of my control and I'm assuming they'll even out in the end (and even if they don't, what can I do about it?). What really matters is the skills I'm learning, my Mustachian habits I've picked up, and the course toward Mustachianism I've been sticking to. Maybe that's why I'm not terribly upset about losing my wallet.


  1. "Come to think of it, my pre-Mustachian behavior was the effective equivalent of losing a wallet full of cash per week. And I did that without worrying about it."

    This right here. What an incredibly revealing truth about how we look at things. People lose thousands of dollars a year in time and money, but most freak out when they lose even 20 bucks like something was taken from them.

    Good for you for looking at this for what it is. I think being a badass also constitutes not sweating the small stuff and learning from out mistakes.

  2. That stinks. Glad you had a positive spin on this
    negative situation.