Can the textbook definition of Under Acccumulator of Wealth (UAW) ever become a Mustachian? Stanley and Danko, in their The Millionaire Next Door, defines the UAW as someone who lives in luxury and makes life choices based on present desires over accumulating future net worth. In contrast, a Prodigious Accumulator of Wealth (PAW) is someone whose lifestyle choices are conducive to increasing net worth. A Mustachian by definition makes wise lifestyle choices similar to those of PAWs but with a focus on minimizing excess consumption, simplifying lifestyle needs, and possibly “retiring” early to free up time for learning.
A doctor in training is the epitome of a UAW. A premedical college student spends a large amount of time preparing for the MCAT, paying for review courses, and applying to and interviewing at large number of medical schools (read: expensive). After getting into a top medical school, she lives off of student loans (or a spouse), buys expensive “professional” clothing for rotations, and then spends more money applying to and interviewing for residency. The process continues through fellowship. If there is a family with kids, then expenses are compounded. After this decade long process the young doctor is likely knee deep in a six-figure debt, yet has to continue living under the guise of a wealthy professional: fancy car, house, expensive clothing to fit the degree, and nice vacations for the family.
How can the UAW doctor dig out of debt, become a PAW, or better yet, a Mustachian? It can be done. Steps that I have taken to become a Mustachian include:
- Changing the rear brake lights on my car
- Changing the front brake lights on my car
- Paying off over $148,260 in student loan debt
- Washing my own car
- Increasing my net worth during residency
For a physician, these are small yet significant steps towards Mustachianism.
What changes have you made to become a Mustachian? Sound out below!