Tuesday, September 08, 2015

A Christian "Mr. Money Mustasche"

I've been doing a little bit of thinking about, and reading, in the "Mr. Money Mustasche" site I profiled earlier, and it struck me that it might be of interest to present what a young Christian couple might have attained.  For reference, "Pete" is an apparently unreligious man (except for his views on money) who managed to save about $800,000 in assets over the course of less than a decade, and then decided to quit writing code and do whatever he wanted to do.  Sometimes it pays, sometimes not, but all in all, his value is on liberty, even to the exclusion of creature comforts and even having more than one child.

OK, so how does faith impact this?  Well, for starters, if a couple tithes, that takes an instant $100k off that final number, and if a couple believes that God really does command His people to be fruitful and multiply, that translates to (a) higher living expenses and (b) fewer hours worked by the mother.  I remember calculating what Mrs. Bubba's take-home pay would have been after daycare, car expenses, eating out, formula, taxes, and tithe after our first child was born, and it worked out to be about $1/hour; not worth the time.

So if the couple had had children starting a few years into their relationship (something I think all Christian couples ought to be open to), they would have had probably at least a 25% reduction in their post-tax income as a result--either by daycare + formula, or by the wife quitting work altogether.  That is an additional $200k reduction in overall wealth.

Still not too shabby--we would be talking about $400-$500k instead of $800k--but that against expenses which would probably be about twice those experienced by our friend in Longmont.  So for all but the most motivated (or barren) and prosperous Christians, the "miracle story" of Pete and his family will be out of reach....especially if God blesses the family with three or more children, and the family is "forced" to get a larger vehicle like a minivan or SUV, something abhorred by "Pete".

Too bad for us?  Of course not.   It's simply that our priorities--"Be fruitful and Multiply", "Do not wear yourself out to get rich"--are somewhat different.  That noted, he's got a wonderful bit of advice relating to Exodus 20:17--"You shall not covet"--and we really ought to listen.  Listen Biblically, but listen nonetheless.

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