I have no advice on how to relate to the artsy types. I know a lot of MMM are from STEM backgrounds.
It's easy for us to find the formula, & excel the shit out of various permutations & combinations. All while using Spock Type logic.
The 25x anual spending is quite simple math but many people cowar at any math.
I actually thought we might be realated when you mentioned the paid for school, dropping out of classes etc. as there is one of those in my family too.
How to convince people to get better with their finances when they aren't willing to balance a checkbook is a challenge.
The checkbook is an antiquated reference but I'm sure you know the type. They are also allergic to online banking.
Anyway, I'm following if any of you have tips for dealing with less logical people.
Well, my husband and I are both 'artsy-ish' (I'm more analytical than he is, and am the one who handles the household finances). I have a degree in English Lit (with minors in european history and women's studies - very employable) and my husband has a degree in music composition, with minors in classical languages and, I believe, history.
(Side-note: THIS is what happens when you tell a 17-year-old who doesn't know what they want to do with life, and therefore what degree they'd need to have, and are therefore intending to take a gap year or two and work and figure it out, that that is OUT OF THE QUESTION and YOU ARE PAYING FOR UNIVERSITY AND THEY ARE GOING RIGHT NOW. The 17-year-old will buckle, take the free tuition, and say something like 'well, I like reading and history, I can spend the next 3 years in the library, sure'. If you asked me today what I'd go study, it'd be finances and accounting. 17-year-olds backed into a corner and told to make an immediate choice with no information will make STUPID CHOICES. Rant over.)
But, yeah. Husband is A Musician. As in, played in a (semi-successful, locally) ska band for 3 years post-university, all his friends are musicians, etc. And a lot of my friends are actual artists, or absent-minded English professors. I feel like I can speak to this. ;)
a) Some people have a Very Big Mental Block re: math. MATH HARD, they say. Can't do math. And for a lot of artists, there's an even bigger block around money. Literally, I've had a competent and otherwise intelligent person ask me to remove dollar signs from a spreadsheet because 'I can't understand numbers if they're dollars' (and I was like, um, we're talking finances, the dollars are THE POINT.) There's not much you can do to MAKE someone overcome this.
b) If people are actively artists, and involved in artistic communities, money has, emotionally, negative value. As in, emotional and social lack of currency. I dunno if you've noticed, but in a lot of artists communities, people who make money have 'sold out', bands who sign contracts for actual cash have also 'sold out' and 'used to be better' and lose a lot of local fanbase (and their friends/first fans get WAY more critical), AND there's this implicit attitude that everyone is broke and in it together and that if you have any money you 'owe' it to the community to spread it around a wee bit? None of this makes sense logically, BUT if someone is involved in that community and has internalized the concept, it can be REALLY hard to get them to think about money logically, if they think money is representative of selling out, losing the legitimacy of their art, and losing the support of their community. Subtext and emotions are important here.
c) I think you can't MAKE someone want early retirement, or even save for retirement at all. We're a specific subset who have both the desire and the focus and understanding to make it happen.
d) THAT said, you can help lead someone to budgeting (assuming they're not focussed on making more money, and WANT to live on 600$/month because it's 'easier', they have to know what they can spend on what to actually live on that).
e) sometimes, you just can't affect things. Make your peace with that. Like, I'm looking at my younger brother... and if that boy manages to avoid declaring bankrupcy by 25, I'll be pleasantly surprised (car+apartment+expensive restaurant habit+student and severely underemployed and quit both jobs that actually payed money, and even when he was getting decent money he wasn't making ends meet). But I tell myself that I can lead him to budgeting, and I can give him advice, but I can't make him take it. And, frankly, the life consequences of declaring bankrupcy as a single 24-year-old with too much credit card debt? Way better than doing it as a married father of 3 with 2 kids in college, y'know. It's never easy, and it's never pleasant, but it's also not my life or my choices. And I am aware that continually bailing him out will NOT result in him learning, it'll result in the same mistakes over and over again because 'well, it worked last time'.
If he realizes that there was a problem with what he was doing and wanted my advice to help improve the overall situation, I'd be there. If the problem is that he didn't pay his cell phone bill on time for the 6th time this year and it was cut off, well... I'll pay your bill when you show me a plan for having that not happen again. Otherwise, I become your plan, and that's not an option I'm willing to bring into my life.
Artsy flakes. We can love 'em, but...