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  1. Sandra

    My favorite FI- CMLT? In October, when I max out my 401(k), 401(k) catch-up and Roth IRA and I have all this extra money on my remaining paychecks for the rest of the year. Swoon! And THEN what I decide to do with that extra money…SAVE IT! Swoon again! 😉

  2. I love the story about the 63 cents of lose change. I, too, get far more joy out of putting money in my change jar and eventually taking it to the bank to add to my emergency fund than I should. My wife doesn’t really understand this but she has figured out that giving me lose change makes me happy. Thanks for the laugh. It’s nice to know I am not the only crazy one out there.

    • Mr. Groovy

      Thanks, Brent. All the hail the crazies out there. We got life by the short hairs. After all, how great is life if you can get happiness from putting coins into a jar?

  3. Steveark

    Maybe twenty years ago I was slammed into the wall playing racquetball with a good friend who was about the size and had the physicality of Thor. It resulted in some weird nerve damage that ended up being one of the coolest things that has happened to me. Maybe a dozen times a year, usually when I’m very tired, like after a 20 mile marathon training run or a brutal tennis match once I stop and rest there will be an enormous tingling sensation that covers the entire shoulder. It is deep inside my muscles and it feels so incredible that I think it would be addictive if I could control it. It is purely physical with no emotional context so it isn’t a CMLT but I’ve never met another person with anything like it. It is the best injury ever!

  4. Clint

    No CMLT’s from the cowboys this year Mr. Groovy (fellow Dallas fan)…but hey maybe Jerry will get some defense in next years draft!

  5. Oh Mr. Groovy, you just made my day! I always wondered what to call that thrill when I geeked out on FI or personal finance related goals… now I know that the symptoms align with a certified FI-related CMLT!

    Have a great Thanksgiving 🙂

    • Mr. Groovy

      Thank you, Mrs. AR. The acronym CMLT really comes in handy. Mrs. Groovy and I had a bunch of them this weekend, and each time we blurted out, “CMLT!”

  6. Stanley

    Just a great blog. So very true. I especially love the 63 cents. If I am out for a walk and I find a dime on the ground, I swear I do a jig right there!

    Tingles are great!

    • Mr. Groovy

      Made my night, Stanley. And as I read your tingle story I couldn’t help but think of the song “Out in the Street” by Bruce Springsteen. Here’s my tribute to you with that song in mind.

      When I’m out in the street
      My eyes catch a hunting glare
      When I’m out in the street
      A dime will prompt a jig right there

      Have a great Thanksgiving, my friend. Cheers.

  7. Seeing as how we’re so goal-oriented nowadays, we accepted that FI is inevitable and I think that we have a greater appreciation for what we have today, big and small.

    Having a great cup of coffee? CMLT
    Sleeping in? CMLT
    Saving money by eating leftovers? CMLT


    • Mr. Groovy

      Haha! I love it, Claudia. You and Garrett are definitely my heroes. And I love the eating leftovers CMLT. For New Year’s, Mrs. G and I get two combo dinners from our favorite Chinese restaurant. It usually takes care of dinner on New Year’s Eve and lunch and dinner on New Year’s day. We truly don’t need nearly as much as we suppose to have a wonderful life. When will the masses realize this, damn it?

  8. I think part of it is how you are raised. My parents were well off but never showed it. In fact, I remember getting a basketball hoop as a Christmas present one year and thinking we weren’t going to be able to pay the bills. This caused me to grow up saving as much as I could and looking for as many ways to make money as possible.

    My wife on the other hand grew up with about the same amount of wealth but her parents didn’t hide it. They spoiled her and now she’s a lover of spending.

    • Mr. Groovy

      Hey, CC. Agreed. I grew up solidly middle-class, and we pretty much had all we wanted. The thing is we didn’t want much. All we needed to make ourselves happy was a football or some gloves and a baseball. I swear to God one of my fondest memories as a kid was making a fort out of a neighbor’s discarded refrigerator box. Back then we really used our imagination muscles. But sadly the art of making something wonderful out of little is a lost art. Meh. Thanks for stopping by, CC. Pointing out how we are sometimes enslaved by our experiences is an important reminder.

  9. Great post as always. I stay away from both the right and left wing media. I wonder how many of your readers know what Genny Cream Ale is? You caused me to have a flashback to the early 80’s. When I was a kid, we used to swipe a few of those green cans out of my dad’s fridge that he kept on the back porch. I guess I was destined for The Financial Independence Community since age 8🙂.

    • Mr. Groovy

      You’re a wise man, Dave. I heard a YouTuber the other day describe our media and politicians as the WWE. And it was the perfect analogy. All the rancor and bluster is for show. Behind the scenes, they’re all part of the same club, and they all help each other protect their respective fiefdoms. And we’re the dumb saps who fall for it. And thank you for shouting out Genny Cream Ale. One of these days I’m going to drag Mrs. Groovy up to Buffalo so I can gorge myself on Genny Cream Ales and Duff’s chicken wings. Thanks for stopping by, my friend. It’s always great hearing from someone who appreciates one of Western New York’s finest brews.

    • Mr. Groovy

      Wow! The sidewalk coughing up $5. That’s bound to deliver a glorious CMLT to any FI enthusiast. Thanks for sharing, Lily. I got a second-hand CMLT just reading it.

  10. “Damn, it’s no fun being someone who is pained by the economic tomfoolery of others. Fixing humanity is hard.” Hahahaha……That’s classic! I think everyone has the “gene”. However, it gets buried by the constant commercialism in everything they are exposed to. Must have the newest, biggest, most luxurious, in order to be successful and liked. If you have these THINGS, you will be HAPPY. What a scam! More and more horses are drinking the water that the FI community has lead them to. I get a CMLT every time I can apply something I learned from the FI community that allows me to take bigger steps towards FI. It just takes a little longer to recover from the twitch as I get older. 🙂

    • Mr. Groovy

      So true, FIways and Byways. I had no idea how pervasive advertising and commercialization was until I got rid of cable. Now, for the most part, the only advertising I’m subjected to is the advertising found on blogs and podcasts. And that advertising is usually for things that are beneficial to your pursuit of wealth. The only way to escape the constant pull to seek out the “newest, biggest, and most luxurious” is to de-mediaify yourself. It’s amazing how less inclined you are to keep up with the Joneses when you don’t have cable, don’t subscribe to newspapers or magazines, don’t frequent the movies often, and don’t listen to a lot of radio. Thanks for stopping by, FIways and Byways. It’s always great hearing from another soul who drinks heartily from the FI well. May your future know a copious amount of CMLTs. Cheers.

  11. I think anyone can have FI-related CMLTs, but not everyone will have an easy time transitioning to them. Why the difference? Perhaps it’s related to discipline, or habits, or ability to picture the future. Whatever it is, I’m glad it worked for you. I’ll confess to having some FI-related CMLTs myself, even though my conversion wasn’t quite as smooth.

    • Mr. Groovy

      It’s weird. I didn’t have to constantly remind myself of the genius behind the fundamental tenets of wealth building. I was introduced to the emergency fund concept, found it made sense, and just went about building one. The same thing occurred with pay-yourself-first, dollar-cost-averaging, and index funds. They all made sense, were in my interest to embrace, so I just embraced them. But I know embracing these things doesn’t come easy to everyone. Thanks for stopping by, Gary. I really appreciate the sober reflection you bring to every topic.

    • Mr. Groovy

      LOL! Agreed, AF. That’s such a great tingle, in fact, we got to come up with a special name for it. Would MBT work–Mustachean Body Tingle?

    • Mr. Groovy

      Agreed. When I was a child, I used to get a charge out of having a passbook and a savings account at the local bank. I loved seeing my meager savings go up a few dollars every month. But somewhere during adolescence I lost that excitement. Thankfully savings- and FI-related excitement emerged again in my 40s. So there is hope. But why do so many us see it extinguished in the critical years of early adulthood? Sigh. Thanks for stopping by, Amy. You never fail to brighten my day.

  12. This post had me cracking up, CMLT’s are a fantastic concept haha. I think some people can have all the same knowledge and still not be interested in financial topics as we all are in this community, but the knowledge is a great start.

    • Mr. Groovy

      Amen, my brother. Perhaps our schools could tread a little less harder on Oppression Studies and maybe introduce some Wealth Studies or Opportunity Studies? Thanks for stopping by, Matt. I love the cut of your jib.

  13. “When I was younger, my CMLTs were largely connected to testosterone. “
    “Can anyone be taught to appreciate FI-related CMLTs?”

    This is genius! I believe almost anyone has the capacity to learn FI concepts, but here’s a half-baked theory:

    It’s entitlement. Compared to much of the world, Americans consume and spend like crazy people. We all probably know people earning six figures who are so extended with oversized McMansions and expensive motorized recliners (cars and SUVs ,thanks MrMoneyMustache) that they “can’t”save any money. These are intelligent people, able to earn good incomes, so should be able to grasp FI concepts. But the sense of entitlement doesn’t include sacrifice. They deserve the American Dream–no matter what.

    Am I crazy here?

    • Mr. Groovy

      “But the sense of entitlement doesn’t include sacrifice. They deserve the American Dream–no matter what.”

      Oh, man, you are so right. And the truly sad part is that most Americans have no idea how lucky they are–and that includes our poorest citizens. The amount of wealth and opportunity in this country is staggering. Here are some interesting statistics I came across this weekend.

      1. A net worth of $3,582 puts you in the top 50% of the world’s citizens.

      2. A net worth of $76,754 puts you in the top 10%.

      3. A net worth of $770,368 puts you in the top 1%.

      4. Median wealth in North America is 4x Europe’s, 9x China’s, 50x India’s, and 100x Africa’s.

      5. America accounts for 43% of the world’s millionaires but only has 5% of the world’s population.

      Message to the entitled: Stop the BS and grow up. You won the lottery by being born in America. Get off your butts and use your functioning brains to make something of yourselves.

      Thanks for stopping by, Mr. G. I really love the way your mind works.

  14. My FIRE-related CMLT have been relatively few, but memorable. They are (1) learning about the 4% rule. (2) converting to index funds. (3) when my net worth went positive.

    I expect to experience more CMLT as I hit more major financial milestones and finally reach FIRE.

    • Mr. Groovy

      Hey, Ty. That’s awesome. My initial FI-related CMLTs were very similar. For me it was the emergency fund and automating savings. My most pivotal CMLT was stumbling upon Mr. Money Mustache’s classic, “The Shockingly Simple Math Behind Early Retirement.” At the time I read it, in 2013, I thought I was working until I was 67. Mr. MM literally saved me from 12 more years of cubicle hell. Thanks for stopping by, my friend. It’s always great hearing from someone who appreciates a good FI-related CMLT.

    • Mr. Groovy

      It’s nice being “crazy” in some aspects of life. What amazes me is how easily FI-related CMLTs come to some people and not to others. Even in the same family there are large variations. My brother and his daughter (my niece) are much moved by FI-related CMLTs. My ex-sister-in-law and her son (my nephew) don’t appear to get CMLTs from savings, cutting expenses, de-cluttering, etc. The human species is indeed fickle. Thanks for stopping by, Laurie. Always a pleasure hearing from you.