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The high cost of living in Hawaii... or not
Old 12-16-2012, 03:28 PM   #1
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The high cost of living in Hawaii... or not

I've written before about how to beat the high cost of living in Hawaii. It helps to live like a beach bum, minimize your clothing & utilities expenses, and eat local foods. Find a home in a bicycle-friendly area, learn to do your own maintenance & repairs.

Now we have expert assistance. Mr. Money Mustache has spent the last few weeks in Hawaii doing "carpentourism" to help a Mustachian homeowner add a guest room to his house (properly permitted and everything done right) in exchange for room & board. (His checked luggage was full of power tools.) Now the rest of his family is joining him for a few weeks' vacation.

We had a potluck meetup a couple weeks ago, and we'll probably have another before he leaves. In the meantime they're enjoying the low cost of life in a high-cost area:
High Cost of Living – it’s a State of Mind | Mr. Money Mustache
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Old 12-17-2012, 09:47 AM   #2
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Thanks, Nords, not only for posting this but for thereby introducing me to MMM's amazing blog. I don't know how I missed out on knowing about what is clearly quite a phenomenon. I wish I'd known about some of his tips when we were living in Boulder, Colorado (pretty near where he lives, from what I gather) - another super-pricy place.

We're currently living in a nice but touristy part of Mexico (Lake Chapala area) and note lots of similarities with his experiences. The expats who complain bitterly about life here not being cheaper than back home are the ones eating at gringo restaurants, buying Campbell's soup and frozen dinners and with a big-screen TV in every room, while the ones enjoying the local cuisine and renting humble dwellings are doing just fine on half of what the lived on back home.
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Old 12-17-2012, 11:28 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Nords View Post
I've written before about how to beat the high cost of living in Hawaii. It helps to live like a beach bum, minimize your clothing & utilities expenses, and eat local foods. Find a home in a bicycle-friendly area, learn to do your own maintenance & repairs.
I enjoyed the MMM article. Thanks for starting this thread.

One of the first things I noticed when we moved to palm beach county last January is that while there are a lot of people with money and/or spendy lifestyles, there are also quite a few people who live in modest homes, driving utilitarian vehicles (or riding bicycles) instead of Bentleys and that neither group has a monopoly on happiness.

My ER plan down here includes learning to fish and adding a container-friendly fruit tree every 100 days.
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Old 12-17-2012, 12:13 PM   #4
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If I lived in Hawaii, I would be growing my own green veggie and hunting feral pigs for protein. Oh, I would be fishing too. Live off the land! I dunno about surfing though, never having a good balance to skate, nor being strong enough to swim that far.
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Old 12-17-2012, 01:21 PM   #5
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I think MMM is a gifted writer and self-promoter (Kiyosaki vibes, although he does not have anything obvious to sell), but I find his schtick a bit disingenuous. The world is not all roses, sunshine does not come out of everyone's butt, and most of us do not have his advantages. He also ignores the fact that a lot of what he is able to do is dependent on having a large capital base accumulated over the years without major mishaps. Its a nice story to sell to the lumpenproletariat, but it never quite adds up.
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Old 12-17-2012, 01:29 PM   #6
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Without major mishaps?

Like this one?

Mr. Money Mustache’s Big Mistake | Mr. Money Mustache
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Old 12-17-2012, 01:37 PM   #7
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Without major mishaps?

Like this one?

Mr. Money Mustache’s Big Mistake | Mr. Money Mustache
Meh, a minor kefluffle after he was already wealthy. Boo-hoo.
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Old 12-17-2012, 03:07 PM   #8
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I think MMM is a gifted writer and self-promoter (Kiyosaki vibes, although he does not have anything obvious to sell), but I find his schtick a bit disingenuous. The world is not all roses, sunshine does not come out of everyone's butt, and most of us do not have his advantages. He also ignores the fact that a lot of what he is able to do is dependent on having a large capital base accumulated over the years without major mishaps. Its a nice story to sell to the lumpenproletariat, but it never quite adds up.
I really enjoy the MMM blog but there are some...discrepancies. As I've mentioned before, MMM might be the only person in America to have made money in the market during the dotcom bomb.

It reminds me of John Galt, who moved to a "ranch" outside of Dallas/FW. He insisted that he lived on ~$12000/yr but forgot to mention that his wife was still working and that he also had a large net-operating-loss he was using each year, which decreased his AGI.
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Old 12-17-2012, 03:27 PM   #9
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I really enjoy the MMM blog but there are some...discrepancies. As I've mentioned before, MMM might be the only person in America to have made money in the market during the dotcom bomb.
Not taht I much care or remember clearly at this point, but I think I did OK in the dot com implosion. I didn't trust or understand any of the go-go companies that were in vogue and only bought boring, old economy stuff.
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Old 12-18-2012, 11:31 AM   #10
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I dunno about surfing though, never having a good balance to skate, nor being strong enough to swim that far.
Like anything else, you work up to it. I could have you stand-up paddling a 10'6" longboard within the hour, and I could teach you to surf a 10'0" or longer within the same amount of time.

If you're not regularly wiping out then you're playing it too safe...

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Originally Posted by brewer12345 View Post
I think MMM is a gifted writer and self-promoter (Kiyosaki vibes, although he does not have anything obvious to sell), but I find his schtick a bit disingenuous. The world is not all roses, sunshine does not come out of everyone's butt, and most of us do not have his advantages. He also ignores the fact that a lot of what he is able to do is dependent on having a large capital base accumulated over the years without major mishaps. Its a nice story to sell to the lumpenproletariat, but it never quite adds up.
I think there's a strong element of personal responsibility in his writing, and he's just speaking his mind.

I've spent some time with him at FINCON and at the meetup. Good guy. He gave a FINCON talk on "How To Start a Cult" that was hilarious.

I'd have to say that the vast majority of us ERs are doing what we do because we've accumulated a large capital base, although perhaps a few of us have had more mishaps. I think he takes heat for continuing to earn income, but I think he's adequately documented his techniques and their utility.

Forums are easy to set up these days (WordPress even has a bolt-on blog plugin) and hosting is cheap. I enjoy posting over there, as do a number of other E-R.org posters.

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It reminds me of John Galt, who moved to a "ranch" outside of Dallas/FW. He insisted that he lived on ~$12000/yr but forgot to mention that his wife was still working and that he also had a large net-operating-loss he was using each year, which decreased his AGI.
I've done considerable research into the poster formerly known as John Galt or MrGalt2U. (He revealed his actual name in his first post, which was later moderated.) Luckily he's one of a kind, and nobody should be compared to this misanthrope.
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