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I Wish I Was At Camp Mustache

These guys are just fanatics, I used to think.
Camp Mustache Toronto - 2019
Photo Courtesy of Chris P.
Perhaps there are a few readers out there who were like me back in early 2019. I didn't comment or talk to anybody, at least not really. Maybe once every now and then. I had joined the Facebook groups long-after I had heard about them, everything from Mustachians in Practice to ChooseFI Toronto. I didn't really see the in real-life (IRL) community being all that valuable at the time. I am a tad ashamed to admit I just thought I was better than everyone else. My expenses were pretty low around 35k, what did I have to gain by communicating? Sure, I might comment every now and then and throw a lifeline to all these poor souls creating their own financial problems!

Now I'm a blogger, podcaster, meetup organiser, and small-business owner - heck maybe even one day Canadians will see me as a thought-leader if I so deserve it. So what changed?

Well I decided to put myself through a challenge - I am going to comment on every post I think I can add value to. If I think a response is needed, I'm posting it. There's no backing out. It's time to pull up my diaper and get over my fear of talking with others, the true reason I was being silent.

I figured out very early on that when I asked questions where I was a noob and provided answers to others where I was an expert, I began re-learning the things I was already good at and becoming much better at the things I sucked at. Allow me to illustrate:

I already knew that I had a good side hustle. Some of you might think this is cheating (and you would be gatekeeping) but my side hustle is simply working overtime at my main income source. I'm a truck driver by trade and I earn $26.33/hour. When I work over 80 hours in a given two-week pay period, my hourly rate is then to $39.45/hour for the remainder of the pay period. That's pretty decent money and this is why I argue your side-hustle should be lucrative and complement your existing skills and profession if you want to see extra dollars (and a lot of them!).

Anyways, that is to say I have my side-hustle nailed down. If we reflect on the elevator pitch of FIRE (which says we earn more, spend less, invest the difference) I've now got to improve on spending less and investing the difference.

This is where joining the conversation works VERY well. Once you participate, you'll find all sorts of clever ways to save money that you previously dismissed or simply never thought of. If my family told me about PayTM and funneling all your bills through one platform (RIP Nov 2019), I would have scoffed at the idea and to be honest I've heard of scams like this in the past. No thanks.

I'd be leaving hundreds of dollars on the table because my family who are notoriously bad with money suggested it. But when a fellow FIREwalker suggests it - hey.. maybe there is something here? The light inside my head clicks on and I somersault over my family bias and immediately begin to investigate and see what this app is really all about.

I've gone through the same process with Public Mobile, ultra-low cost ETFs, and financial planners as a few examples. Instead of just dismissing the stigma behind discount phone plans, passive investing and expensive advice respectfully, I should instead toy with the idea because people just like me are suggesting them. If they see value where I cannot, I have to recalibrate my eyes or squint harder.

So I wish I was at Camp Mustache Toronto this year (2019) because not only did I miss an opportunity to connect with my tribe in real life but I lost the potential to save even more money by meeting with others. There are over a thousand members to ChooseFI Canada right now and I'd say less than 50 members post on a regular basis. Not every attendee at Camp Mustache bothers with online forums, or at least not my preferred location. Imagine all that wealth of knowledge and experience just waiting to be tapped so I can improve my finances today and potentially reach FIRE tomorrow!

I'll definitely be in attendance next year even if I have to sneak inside somebody's luggage.

Ryan Myricks

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