Money Day just got smart!

Let’s jump straight to the real news here:

  • There’s a Netflix documentary just released today *Get Smart With Money
  • The somewhat old Mr Money Mustache and many friends were drawn to play a role in making it. I am very happy with the results!
  • And you can see the results here (which will be a huge help to the success of the movie!):

Now for the real story behind this strange situation. Why did you agree to this? Shouldn’t I be retiring? Do you get paid a lot for appearing in a Netflix movie? Does this mean that you become “famous” and change your life? Read on to find these answers and more.

the origin

One sunny afternoon in December 2020, I received an email from the co-owner of a filmmaking company with this address:

Feature Documentary – Personal Finance

Inside was a well-written description of her idea for a movie, and a sincere invitation to me to be one of the people featured in it.

I immediately went through my usual chain reaction: feeling flattered that someone really wanted me to produce it. Then the fear of the idea of ​​signing myself up for a bunch of “work” when I’m too busy with fun and meaningful things as a retired person. Then we are excited to reply immediately to say,

“Thank you very much, my honor, but no thanks, good luck and maybe I can help by email as an informal consultant if you need any ideas.”

Well, that failed. Because that director turned out to be Christine Lazor, who then pulled co-founder Stephanie Swichteig into the conversation, and they ran together Atlas MoviesNot just another documentary company, but a company Better of them in the country.

Atlas has produced HD movies about food, public health, guns, political cover-ups, and many other things, all of which are watchable and action-oriented. When I saw their previous titles, I realized that Atlas doesn’t exist just for fun or to profit from cheap arguing. They are willing to do the real work of exploring real stories, with the goal of creating positive social change.

“Shit,” I thought. “How can I say no to this, if my goal with this hobby is to try to make a difference myself?”

I realized that doing work on screen and camera is difficult and sometimes inconvenient and would take up some of the time I normally spend writing blog articles. But in return, you will almost certainly reach a lot more people for every hour you invested in it, and you will reach just as important. the new People, Netflix watchers who are probably a different group than blog readers.

And if I put aside the serious brow-growing charade and pretend I was caring and logical, I also thought it would be so much fun To be a part of this big and exciting new experience. And oh crap man, how elegant it is to be able to go to a friend’s house and dare wear your own NETFLIX!?!

So I said yes, and the giant ball started rolling really fast, and suddenly we spent the whole of 2021 traversing through a series of occasional shooting days, recording zoom calls, and other silly and interesting experiences.

Some of it was really hard (like squeezing my deck alongside dozens of production crew on the scorching full solar onslaught on a July afternoon, pretending to act normal while answering interview questions, pausing only to clear a gallon The occasional sweat from my forehead.) But almost all of it was full of fun. This led to wonderful new experiences and friendships for all of us.

One thing you’ll notice if you watch the movie, is that I’m talking about a big game about how hard all this is, but in the movie I seem to occasionally watch, do some tricks on the bike and play with power tools, and oh yeah sometimes I drop some money wise streaks to help my students along The Road. This is because our content is most likely 100:1 modified. cover a Many From the ground up in this movie with a lot of people, and yet it all somehow seems normal and coherent.

My favorite part is probably my old concept of a “purchase justification machine”, first described in This 2019 article About not buying a Tesla, I went into the movie in the form of a silly, adorable on-screen animation—Kim grinds as she surfs Amazon while riding a Peloton.

Money and fame

Oh, and no, we never get paid much, especially if you work on an hourly basis. Documentaries like this have a high production budget when it comes to quality crew and equipment, but they somehow manage to get us on camera participants willingly donating our time.

If you value fame or exposure, that alone can be considered a valuable payment method. But in my case any extra fame would be a downside – there are very few benefits in the real world and some downsides regarding privacy, which in extreme situations might lead to danger. However, I figured I’m just one of many people in this movie, a little fish for the general Netflix setting. When I weighed this against the benefits of sharing better financial and lifestyle habits, I took an optimistic guess and decided that the good outweighed the bad. I’ll tell you how it goes now that the movie is out!

So what is the movie?

Atlas Films brought together four financial experts, all of us from different backgrounds and styles (Paula pantAnd the Tiffany AlishAnd the Ro $$ Macand me.)

Then they asked us to send “broadcast calls” to the Internet, calling our ideal students with an offer of a year of free training – in exchange for filming them all and sharing them with the world.

Surprisingly, we received a lot of responses – in the form of personal video stories from singles, couples, families, they are all charming, honest and leave me wishing I had time to say hello and try to help All who are they.

In the end, I chose a young family of four belonging to the same demographic that targeted these blog posts: high-income, high-spending people, who are wondering where all the money is going.

I taught my husbands, John and Kim, how to simplify their initial spending budget of $12,000+ per month +(!), through things like more efficient grocery shopping and dining, keeping a close eye on impulse buying, and thinking about housing, neighborhoods, and school options (private versus public). ), and whether long-term collateral income streams should be considered to allow them to downsize.

As you’ll see in the movie, the end results were subtle and dramatic at the same time. I am happy to report that these people are now true friends and live nearby so that we can enjoy the results of their new, most enjoyable lifestyle together.

So, I hope you enjoy the movie and the backstory. I’m so glad I said “yes” after all, although I can guarantee I won’t be back for a sequel or an ongoing series. I left the cam carts long ago and my schedule is back to its happily open, normal state.

With this small report to You are We’re done now, I’ve been back on my construction projects here at home for the rest of this week, and am parked for some camp deep in the mountains this weekend. Seventeen years later, this version of retirement remains the life for me.

And I wish you your own version of living the dream this week too!


* September 6, 2022

In the comments: did you see the movie? If so, what do you think? How could it have been made better if you were doing the cuts?

My honest criticism, being a detailed person, is that they tried to cover so much that they didn’t have much time for details. But then again, you can’t teach every detail of this broad topic with just a documentary, while also keeping your viewing pleasure. So I hope that the easily accessible nature of the film will lead people to start thinking about these things for themselves. Once the right seed is planted, better money habits can spread quite easily.

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