26. If you're in debt, you should really be taking a break from drinking. Or if you do drink, it should only ever be with alcohol you bought at the cheapest place possible, AKA NOT at a restaurant. One life hack is to host an awesome party where you know people will bring you booze :D and then make that last as long as freakin' possible.
27. Host clothing swaps. Never buy clothing again. General layout, but adjust as necessary: http://www.oprah.com/style/Clothing-Swap-How-to-Host-a-Clothing-Swap
28. If you're going to the clubs, find out how to get in for free. Often this means getting on the guest list (only requires foresight and planning) or arriving super early, like before 9pm. WORTH IT. Spend the whole night drinking water, and you're golden!
29. Essentially, demolish your personal spending as much as humanly possible. And now that you are this shining example of mustachian bliss and your SO has noticed the extra piles of money around, one would hope that they will take a page out of your book and start to move in the same general direction.
30. Read this blog from start to finish: http://livingafi.com/
31. Get familiar with calculators: http://www.firecalc.com/
32. Get familiar with your local library. Make it like a cute, old-timey date! Get your library cards, and take out some books, magazines, or some libraries even have video games... explore! Everything at the library (in most communities) is FREEEEEEEEEE. How amazing is that? If you
haven't seen Fight Club yet
would like to re-watch Fight Club for the billionth time, this would be a good option to sign it out and be reminded that we're all materialistic whores. Ha!
Ok, I'm a little obsessed with Fight Club.
33. If you and your SO are debating a money matter, sometimes it is helpful to get a third opinion. Post on the "Ask a Mustachian" section of the forum, and get some solid, objective, advice! Just take it with a grain of salt, because only you and your SO have a complete picture of the situation.
34. While you're at it, post a case study and get
kindly helped by the awesome people on here. http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/ask-a-mustachian/how-to-write-a-'case-study'-topic/
35. Go to a MMM Meet-up. If there isn't one in your area, start one! Being around like-minded people will help you and your SO feel more comfortable about your goals. (These meetups get advertised in the forum, so search your location or make a new post about it!)
36. If you're considering marriage, consider an alternative engagement ring. Moissanite is a material I've been very impressed with. Check it out! 1/10th of the cost of diamonds, with verrrrry similar properties. http://ringmaven.com/2015/07/07/she-wants-a-diamond-how-to-get-one-for-cheaper/
37. Now that you're a minimalist, you've probably gotten rid of all your crap, right? (Bonus points if you sold it). Time to move to a smaller home! Make sure you get on the library wait list for this awesome book: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22318578-the-life-changing-magic-of-tidying-up
And while you're waiting, join the Konmari Adventures group on Facebook, and look at the very inspiring before/after pics of people getting rid of junk they don't need: https://www.facebook.com/groups/KonmariAdventures/
38. I know you love meat and cheese, but they are $$$$! So read "Eat to Live" and strongly consider putting your money (and your health) towards fruits and veges 90% of the time: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34451.Eat_to_Live
IT IS SO MUCH CHEAPER!!!
39. On the rare occasion that you just NEED to get out to a restaurant for a date, consider going for JUST a drink, or JUST an appetizer, or sharing an entree. There are so many ways to make eating out affordable (lunch specials on a weekday?) so make it infrequent and planned.
40. If you get given gift cards, put it in your gift budget jar. Ironic, amiright? But ever so useful.
41. This seems too obvious to mention, but I guess I should make sure that if you're using a credit card, you better be getting some epic rewards for that shiznad.
42. Also seemingly obvious: YOU SHOULD NOT BE PAYING BANK FEES. You should not be paying the bank money, to let them use your money. That is insane. If you're a student, free banking is easy to obtain. If you're a working adult, they might be a little shifty-eyed about the idea of free banking, but the second you mention the bank down the street they will suddenly be VERY creative about your options. Trust me. You will definitely be able to find free banking if you have a little moxy and determination. DO IT.
43. Do not nag your SO. This should be a positive experience that will boost you up. If they want to make a purchase that is not in line with the plan, you can say something like, "Well, I don't want to stand in the way of your desires, but I'm a little uncomfortable about this purchase because it would take us further away from our goals." Goals that you discussed together, during step #13 and others.
44. Do not let this turn into a "Parent/Child" relationship. You are equals. You are doing this TOGETHER. And if you're not.... well, there's always a lifehack around it. There is always an Option C.
45. If you want to get really intense about the conversion, read "How to Win Friends and Influence People" and "Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard" by Dan and Chip Heath. I have found these two books to be the most useful if you want to
encourage someone to see your way of thinking. https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/4865.How_to_Win_Friends_and_Influence_People
46. Pick your battles. They want to buy the more expensive toilet paper, and you're penny pinching. Is that really the biggest fish you could fry? Pick your battles wisely. Save your encouragement for changes that will have the biggest positive change.
47. Reaffirm, support, praise, brag! When you SO makes a positive change, be their number one fan!! My SO started taking a lunch to work (because I was making him a lunch to take to work) and I made a visual money tree and put an $8 leaf on the tree every time he brought a lunch to work, to illustrate how much money we were saving. I brag about my SO on the MMM Forum, and praise him to his face. Keep it real, but be specific and appreciative. Change is different for everyone, and is seldom easy.
48. Speaking of lunches, get accustomed to making bigger dinners so that you can bring the leftovers for lunch. Easy, peasy! And if you or your SO are too much of a snob for leftovers, I suggest you start making more delicious dinners so that you can't WAIT to eat it again on day 2!
49. Pamper your spouse, the free way. If your spouse is suffering (and they shouldn't be, because you've been doing all the hard parts) but if they're suffering and adapting to the changes, pamper them. This MMM thing is YOUR idea, and they're being a wonderful person by being the littlest bit open to it. So I want you to tell them, wow hon, I really appreciate you being open to this idea. Let me rub your feet or watch that
show you like or spend time with you and your mother or go to the museum you always wanted to check out or DO SOMETHING FOR YOU, THAT YOU LIKE, because I respect and appreciate that you're opening yourself up to MY interests. Just because FIRE and MMM are such obviously amazing things to be interested in, doesn't mean your SO will catch on right away. So make sure you reciprocate by pursuing their interests with renewed vigor.
50. Tailor this process to your spouse. Some people like to read. Get them reading material and have it easily accessible for them. Some people like to watch tv; choose things that might inspire them to become a MMM master. Other people like stats and graphs - there are so many options out there! Really consider the needs of your SO, and how they like to learn. What will appeal to them? A vision board where you lay out your retirement dreams? A jar full of all the money you saved because you stopped paying for a cleaning service? Your toned thighs and calves because you started biking to work six months ago? Yep. Do what works for you, but more importantly, find out what works for them. Your imagination is the only limit, so think outside of the box!
Good luck! :) And please add ideas below!
Let's recap:Step One: Lead by example. Are you spending money on something? Can you stop spending money on it, with zero effort required by your SO? THEN DO THAT. NOW. Stop using your SO as an excuse.Step Two: Positive influence. Introduce them to your new hobby of SAVING ALL THE MONEY SO THAT YOU CAN HAVE FREEDOM. Do it in a way that will speak to them.
Step Three: Plan goals together. And if you both want FIRE, you are able to help them with that. If they don't want FIRE, you can plan to have separate finances or whatever.