Years ago, there was a friend of a friend in my social circle who didn’t do too well with the ladies. I forget his name, but he was a good guy. He just didn’t have any animal magnetism. He was an average-looking man with an average-paying job who possessed average social skills. If I had to choose one word to sum him up, it would be boring.
But then something remarkable happened. I merrily walked into my default bar one night and came upon Mr. Boring with a shockingly beautiful girl at his side. And she wasn’t his coworker or his sister, she was his new girlfriend!
I remember thinking two things. First, WTF! Her with him? My second thought, though, was happiness. Like I said, Mr. Boring was a good guy. And it was nice to see that at least one Playmate-quality woman would rather have a mate with character and good sense than a mate with chiseled abs and a hot car. It gave all of us non-studs some hope.
But here’s the really interesting part of this story. Guys started to treat Mr. Boring differently. He wasn’t just there anymore. His thoughts and opinions mattered. Guys suddenly wanted to hang out with him. It was freakin’ amazing. One hot girlfriend had erased years of social mediocrity. Mr. Boring had become an Alpha-male overnight.
What Is a Financial Stud?
Don’t ask me why, but for some reason I’ve been thinking about Mr. Boring in a financial sense. Is it possible for someone, without the benefit of Powerball or a lucrative inheritance, to go from financial dud to financial stud overnight?
I think it is. But before I explain why, I first have to define what I mean by financial stud.
Given that a shockingly small number of Americans can come up with $400 without borrowing, the cynic in me says a financial stud is someone who has four hundred dollars in cash lying around. But that benchmark is ridiculously low. No one who lives with mommy and daddy and has saved half the median weekly earnings of a US worker can be considered a financial stud. Our definition has to be a little more formidable than that. For our purposes here, then, the working definition of a financial stud will be as follows.
- Someone who is debt free (save his or her house).
- Someone who has a six-month emergency fund.
- Someone who is at least half Mustachean; that is, someone who has saved at least twelve and half times his or her annual expenses.
Okay, I got to cover one more thing before I explain how to become a financial stud. What’s my definition of overnight? Well, for starters, it has to be a realistic time frame. It can’t be a month or a year. But it has to be something challenging. After all, studs
to do things mere mortals can’t. Hitting the above benchmarks over a sixty-year time frame isn’t that studly. But doing it in ten years or less is.
So there’s my arbitrary definition of overnight in a financial sense. Achieve the above benchmarks in ten years or less and you’re an “overnight” financial stud.
How to become a Overnight Financial Stud in Two Easy Steps
There are basically two steps to becoming an overnight financial stud: Get out of debt and save half your income for ten years. That’s it. I wish I had a more profound secret to share, but I don’t.
The math behind these two steps is pretty straight forward. According to Mr. Money Mustache, if you’re saving 50% of your income, you will have 12.5 times your annual living expenses saved in 8.5 years. If you continued to save 50% of your income for another year and a half, you would have an eighteen-month emergency fund. So overnight financial studism is doable. But you must avoid debt like the plague, and you must be super-good at saving.
Here, then, are some no-nonsense ways of avoiding debt and creating a prodigious gap between your income and your spending.
No nonsense ways to mitigate debt and reduce household expenses
- Walk, bike, or take public transportation to work.
- If that isn’t feasible, scooter or motorcycle to work.
- If that isn’t feasible, commute to work with the best car you can buy for cash. Eff leasing. Eff car loans. Driving a dismal car won’t do your ego any good, but it does come with some fairly enticing benefits.
- Never take out a loan for college. College is a scam. It’s an overpriced trade school with a heaping dose of left-wing indoctrination. So work, go part time to a local college, and cash-flow tuition. It won’t be fun. Getting your degree will take twice as long. But it beats going into debt for the pleasure of listening to a bunch of snarky professors tell you how rotten you (if you’re not a progressive) and America are.
- Live in a trailer or a tiny home.
- If that isn’t feasible, live in an apartment.
- If that isn’t feasible, live in a modest home. Eff the McMansion. Your kids won’t hate you if they don’t have their own bedrooms.
- Don’t have pet dogs or cats.
- If that isn’t feasible, and you must have a pet, get a goldfish or a turtle.
- Don’t have kids.
- If this isn’t feasible, procreate mindfully. Don’t have kids while you’re still in high school. Wait until you’re at least 25, when you’re more likely to be financially and emotionally ready. And if you’re a girl, don’t sleep with losers. I don’t care how cute their smiles or tattoos are. If you’re a guy, don’t sleep with anyone you don’t consider marriage material. Your temporary pleasure isn’t paramount. If you’re not prepared to do right should an accident occur, keep it in your pants.
- If you’re not saving 50% of your household income, economize on the big two—transportation and housing—until you are. If this means driving a POS car, or living in a cramped space, or having an undesirable zip code, so be it.
No nonsense ways to boost your household income
- Start a part time business for less than $1,000. A co-worker at my previous job bought a couple of lawnmowers and cut four or five lawns every weekday during the summer after work. This part time business added roughly $15K to his annual income.
- If that isn’t feasible, work 20 hours a week at a part time job.
- If that isn’t feasible, work 10 hours a week at a part time job.
- Get married. It’s much easier to save when your household has two people bringing home an income. Prior to marrying Mrs. Groovy, I saved little if anything. But once she joined Team Groovy, we were able to save close to two grand a month in fairly short order.
- If you’re not saving 50% of your household income, use one or more of the above income-boosting ploys until you are.
Up until I was 45 I was a financial dud. But with the help of Mrs. Groovy, I became a financial stud in ten years. And I can tell you from first-hand experience being a stud is a lot more rewarding than being a dud. In fact, I don’t think I sacrificed anything by saving 50% of my household income. I’ve had just as much fun, if not more fun, on the road to financial studism than I did any time during my pre-stud life. We still imbibed our share of wine, we still took groovy vacations, we still ate well and went to restaurants. And although we didn’t live extravagantly, we lived very comfortably by world—and American—standards.
So tell me, groovy freedomists, are you on your way to financial studism? Are the sacrifices needed to get there worth it to you? Let me know what you think when you get a chance. I’d love to hear your thoughts.