Author Topic: Mustachian "Feelers": How did you get here?  (Read 3483 times)

tthree

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Mustachian "Feelers": How did you get here?
« on: June 20, 2015, 09:44:30 AM »
Short back story: DH and I have been married 8 years, and have lived together for 11 years.  I have always been a saver, DH has always been a spender; I have always been a thinker, DH has always been a feeler.  Right now our only debt is mortgage, and we have a decent amount of savings.  I would like to take our savings to the next level but this requires DH to be on board. 

The bottom line is: DH gives zero fucks about money and numbers.  Rational arguments and spreadsheets might as well be presented in Chinese.  Obviously, I am incapable of understanding how he perceives the world (trust me I've tried), so I am hoping there are some other Mustachian feelers, that would like to share how they got here.  What was your lightbulb moment?  How were you able stay accountable?  TIA.
« Last Edit: June 20, 2015, 11:36:11 AM by tthree »

trailrated

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Re: Mustachian "Feelers": How did you get here?
« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2015, 10:05:29 AM »
I think a lot of us get caught up and excited about explaining how to be mustachian. Cut spending, max out retirement, attack debt, be frugal, cut down on lifestyle etc. In a way it becomes a hobby and explaining it to anyone here is fun and engaging.

Trying to say these things to someone "normal" does not receive the same response. I think you need to focus on explaining the why before you ever get to the how.

To everyone the why might be a little different, find something meaningful to both of you and explain it in the context of "what if we could do x" (x being not having to worry about money, being able to travel, not having to work, covering kids college, supporting a charity, following hobbies, whatever matters to you) then once the idea is planted firmly the conversation can change to.... "To get to x we need to take action and do y, we make a good team let's do it."

Disclaimer: I don't see this playing out in one conversation, it is something that will take time.

Roots&Wings

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Re: Mustachian "Feelers": How did you get here?
« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2015, 11:08:28 AM »
I'm a feeler :) Imagine what it would feel like to never be obligated to work again, to have the freedom to follow your interests/passions to your hearts content, and pursue whatever you find fulfilling. By saving your money, you are buying your freedom.

The numbers provide the framework for making that fulfillment possible. Also, someone had posted an awesome FI treasure map (which I can no longer find), which caught my imagination for the FIRE quest.

Understanding that material stuff/luxuries do not provide long-term happiness was a light-bulb for me, and learning to consciously spend on what actually makes me happy.
« Last Edit: June 20, 2015, 11:46:47 AM by step-in-time »

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Re: Mustachian "Feelers": How did you get here?
« Reply #3 on: June 20, 2015, 11:26:31 AM »
My wife is not a "feeler" but she did for a long time ignore (and eventually get irritated) by my repeated frugality and MMM sermons. It would get to the point that she would turn off if I started a conversation with any kind of reference to the MMM blog or something I had read on it.

My way to deal with that was to zip my lip and lead by example.  I applied frugality without sacrifice to the expenses I had control over and/or her acceptance.  As the savings materialized, I let them be known. (Just the facts, ma'am.)  And there was, on the other side of the coin, the occasional horrifying bill for electricity, propane or whatever that would strike her just as badly as it struck me.

Slowly but surely, like a large ship making a turn, she changed her attitude "on her own" and now sometimes even beats me to a frugal idea punch.

tthree

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Re: Mustachian "Feelers": How did you get here?
« Reply #4 on: June 20, 2015, 11:47:24 AM »
To everyone the why might be a little different, find something meaningful to both of you and explain it in the context of "what if we could do x" (x being not having to worry about money, being able to travel, not having to work, covering kids college, supporting a charity, following hobbies, whatever matters to you) then once the idea is planted firmly the conversation can change to.... "To get to x we need to take action and do y, we make a good team let's do it."

I'm a feeler :) Imagine what it would feel like to never be obligated to work again, to have the freedom to follow your interests/passions to your hearts content, and pursue whatever you find fulfilling. By saving your money, you are buying your freedom.

The numbers provide the framework for making that fulfillment possible.

Understanding that material stuff/luxuries do not provide long-term happiness was a light-bulb for me, and learning to consciously spend on what actually makes me happy.

I think he buys into the long-term concept.  But how do you turn a long term intangible goal, into smaller tangible steps without using numbers as a framework?

tthree

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Re: Mustachian "Feelers": How did you get here?
« Reply #5 on: June 20, 2015, 11:54:30 AM »
My way to deal with that was to zip my lip and lead by example.  I applied frugality without sacrifice to the expenses I had control over and/or her acceptance.  As the savings materialized, I let them be known. (Just the facts, ma'am.)  And there was, on the other side of the coin, the occasional horrifying bill for electricity, propane or whatever that would strike her just as badly as it struck me.

For the most part this has been my strategy.  DH shutdowns quickly when he perceives himself as being criticized, so for the most part I try to let my actions speak for themselves.  However, sometimes I get impatient and would like to speed things up, or I get annoyed when he buys something expensive and stupid:)  Instead of this being a "me" problem I would like it to be a "we" problem.

clarkfan1979

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Re: Mustachian "Feelers": How did you get here?
« Reply #6 on: June 20, 2015, 12:01:01 PM »
Most people do not give a shit about money itself. What people care about is what money can buy. Try to find a goal that your spouse cares about. My wife never carried about saving money until I told her that if we saved enough she could work part-time. She now works 25 hours/week instead of 50 hours/week. On her own she now spends less because she doesn't want to go back to working full-time. It's a win-win for me because we are saving more and I get to spend more time with my wife.

swick

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Re: Mustachian "Feelers": How did you get here?
« Reply #7 on: June 20, 2015, 12:24:32 PM »
I think he buys into the long-term concept.  But how do you turn a long term intangible goal, into smaller tangible steps without using numbers as a framework?

There are some great suggestions here. What else motivates your feeler husband? What is his learning style? What are his goals/motivation he can really get excited about. If he is a feeler, visualization might help. What would he do with his day if he didn't HAVE to work?

What I have found really works are those old school color in thermometers. Put your (his) goal at the top in language that he can relate to.  break it down into simple amounts/milestones, put it somewhere you see it regularly (visual learning), have HIM color it in when a milestone is reached (tactile learning), Offer lots of praise and encouragement (auditory learning)...or there might be another idea that works better with his personality/learning style - also if you know his Love Language, that would help with understanding his motivation.

Also, as far as purchases and getting to the "why" behind it, Erica's post and chart are an awesome place to start really thinking about "why" your spending on something. http://www.nwedible.com/mini-money-challenge-occupy-your-brainwhat-you-want-isnt-really-what-you-want/

Sister C

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Re: Mustachian "Feelers": How did you get here?
« Reply #8 on: June 20, 2015, 12:26:52 PM »
However, sometimes I get impatient and would like to speed things up, or I get annoyed when he buys something expensive and stupid:)  Instead of this being a "me" problem I would like it to be a "we" problem.

To be candid (and hopefully helpful), I think this part of it may be a "you" problem... or at least by treating it that way you will get more traction on the issue.  There are some things that my wife spends money on that drive me nuts (like coffee shop drinks).  It has not been helpful to express this to her.  I notice that by gritting my teeth and not saying anything, she does not get defensive or feel controlled/nitpicked, and the larger messages are more likely to get through.  As others have suggested, try to put the focus on your values, your vision for your life together, and specific goals.  You can talk about how your day to day actions fit in with your values/vision/goals, keeping it predominately positive, with an attitude of "how can we achieve this together?" 

grundomatic

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Re: Mustachian "Feelers": How did you get here?
« Reply #9 on: June 20, 2015, 01:11:43 PM »
I am a mustachian feeler (ENFP), and I have also been known to shut down when I feel attacked. I think you need to frame it so that he doesn't feel like you think he is wrong, and are forcing this lifestyle on him. Also, I think if you can avoid talking about things spontaneously when he does something that frustrates you, and instead talk about things ahead of time, that might help. Try using "feeling" words relating to why you want to do something.

Example:

"I can't believe you just bought _______. Every time you do something like this you are delaying our early retirement" could very well lead to a shut down or a fight.

Try this over breakfast (or whenever you talk) instead, with no particular purchase up for discussion, "When we make large purchases without talking to each other, it really stresses me out. I feel my heart sink into my stomach. I want us to have all the things in life that will make us happy, but it would save me a lot of mental anguish if we could discuss the benefits of our large purchases before we make them." He might respond better to this. My guess is he loves you and doesn't want you to feel bad.

This leads me to another thought--have a discussion about everything that is a recurring expense (remember to use your feeling words--look some up or borrow phrases you have heard feelers use), and reach an agreement for each one. Then take that off the table for a while--you agree what the thermostat is set at, or how much you will eat out, or what you spend on the house, or spend on cars, and then you are DONE. No more talking about it, at least for a while. The compromises you make might not be the most Mustachian, but you can't win them all and keep the peace. Feel good knowing that you are doing great being married to a spender (that you love--remember that part) and being in the financial situation you are in.

Hope that helps.







tthree

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Re: Mustachian "Feelers": How did you get here?
« Reply #10 on: June 21, 2015, 02:06:09 AM »
Thank-you for the replies!  They have helped sparked some ideas.  I will definitely keep the conversations positives, and report back on our progress.