By: Laura Walton AFC®
Yes, there really is a Camp Mustache! This financial getaway attracts those who are super interested in saving, investing and retiring early a la Mr. Money Mustache. Two graduates of our 3rd DecadeTM program attended Camp Mustache – here’s their story:
“Our journey into Mustachianism started many years ago. What’s Mustachianism? It’s “a dedication to attaining financial freedom so that you can pursue your passions without having to depend on active work to live.” While I never dreamed this would be a possibility, my husband knew from the start with absolute certainty that if you’re a diligent save/investor and not a consumer you can end up with a pretty big nest egg.
“I came from a home where we lived paycheck to paycheck, barely able to get ahead. My parents always stressed that we needed more money and that was why they had to work so much. When I joined the workforce, I helped pay into the monthly bills to alleviate the financial burden. We didn’t discuss investing money and the importance of retirement accounts. I should have taken more time to understand the importance of these things but, at that point, it wasn’t my passion. I knew just the basics – live below your means and save if you could. After attending Camp Mustache and going through the 3rd DecadeTM program, I realize that I had some pretty major knowledge gaps.
“My husband grew up in a home where they talked about personal finance and investing in the stock market and real estate. From an early age he understood the importance of not only saving but of investing. He also has a passion for learning about personal finance.
“After we met, money was a tough topic for us to talk about. I felt defensive whenever the topic came up. I wanted to be open with him; however, I didn’t want to feel judged for not knowing more. I didn’t feel I had enough information to be able to be part of the conversation. Investing seemed like playing with Monopoly money – not real! My husband was patient and I gradually came to understand the importance of being in control of your finances. But, at the same time, I was working in a low-paying job and, although it was my passion, it was hard to see how I could be in control of my financial future.
“My husband introduced me to the Mr. Money Mustache blogs and in 2015 we attended Camp Mustache, a three-day event to meet like-minded people and learn about financial independence in a relaxed, outdoorsy environment. They encourage learning from each other.
“The three day camp was held near Mount Si in Washington State. An icebreaker kicked off the first night and each day we had breakfast, lunch and dinner together. This provided a chance to have small meet-ups with other attendees. Breakout sessions were hosted by other Mustachians sharing why they chose the Mustachian lifestyle and what they had done to work towards financial independence, for example, investing in the market, buying real estate in a down market and travel hacking.
“On the final day there was a breakout session with Pete (Mr. Money Mustache) and Brandon (MadFientist) where they shared their experiences leading them to the FI/RE (Financial Independence Retire Early) movement. Both Pete and Brandon spoke about what they had done since they stopped working the traditional 9-5 job. Neither stopped work completely; they both had other projects they worked on to generate income.
“After leaving Camp Mustache, I felt empowered! I found I was comfortable talking about money and our future. Meeting other like-minded people helped solidify our joint goals and launched them into overdrive. That experience and the 3rd DecadeTM program truly helped me understand the power of investing. While I still was not fully knowledgeable, I knew where to find the answers I needed and was enjoying our conversations about money and our financial future – finally!”