Author Topic: Need MMM community advice for loved one. Thank you.  (Read 4274 times)

sobezen

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Need MMM community advice for loved one. Thank you.
« on: February 08, 2015, 12:01:38 AM »
Recently spoke with a loved one about poverty.  She shared she feels poor ever since she started working in college.  Why?  She feels she has worked out of necessity doing things she does not like and in the process dealing with people she cannot stand.  To her the stress levels with work, mainly associated with people are too much for her; in her own words she is 'anti-social'.  So she feels poor also because over the years she choose to work in a field that compensated highly because she needed the money.  And yet she is not poor in the conventional sense, lacking food, shelter, or clothing.  To her poverty is ultimately working doing things you do not enjoy just because you need the money.  She also said there are times she feels good and during those times, she feels she needs less money to be happy; while other times she needs a lot more. Hmm.

By the way, personally I do not consider her remotely poor.  She is blessed with a high income career that she is good at.  She bought two properties in California with considerable value and she has saved up a respectable amount.  However, not to be unduly harsh, I personally feel no matter of money will ever make her happy or make her feel content, if, she is not happy with herself.

What does everything think?  She isn't ready for Mustachianism, so I hesitate to her have read the forums for your collective wisdom.  What advice would you share with her?  Any resources or articles is appreciated too.  If there are any ladies reading this, kindly share your thoughts.  Thanks.
« Last Edit: February 08, 2015, 12:04:24 AM by sobezen »

kathrynd

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Re: Need MMM community advice for loved one. Thank you.
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2015, 12:06:24 AM »
Is she lonely or depressed?

Also some people just like to complain.

deborah

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Re: Need MMM community advice for loved one. Thank you.
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2015, 12:20:23 AM »
There are some people who always think they are poor. My parents have always been poor in this sense. Over the years, I have come to the conclusion that they use "we are poor" for several reasons
  • as an excuse for frugality (or just plain stinginess) - we can't afford to replace your worn out shoes because we are poor (when I was a child).
  • because they had high mortgages or investment loans to service - we are poor because we have no unused cash in our budget.
  • as a curb on expenditure - we don't keep up with the Jones' because we are poor.
but in the end, they were quite well off, retired early, and haven't run out of money. It sounds to me like your relative is similar, and is doing everything right and just doesn't need any help. You can commiserate.

KMMK

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Re: Need MMM community advice for loved one. Thank you.
« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2015, 02:54:54 AM »
See if she'll read Your Money or Your Life.

lakemom

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Re: Need MMM community advice for loved one. Thank you.
« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2015, 05:47:29 AM »
Although she says she's "anti-social" I would have her really examine her life values and her "dreams"  what does she want out of life going forward?  From there she can start implementing things outside of work hours that fulfill her as a person.  To me it sounds as if her work is not fulfilling and she's not found social activities that are either.  Maybe she can start some volunteer work, or take up a sport, or join some clubs, whatever sounds good to her.  Once she starts filling her life with activities that refill her bucket, the work might seem less onerous again. And this is obviously not a "quick solution" it takes time and trial and error to fill our lives with meaningful activities and as we grow as people activities that might have been fulfilling in the past will no longer be so and we need to move on to other activities.

Gjd9

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Re: Need MMM community advice for loved one. Thank you.
« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2015, 07:08:18 AM »
I can relate to what your relative is going through somewhat. I read the book MMM recommended about stoicism and that really helped me find more satisfaction with my life.

Rezdent

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Re: Need MMM community advice for loved one. Thank you.
« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2015, 08:21:13 AM »
Hmm.  It sounds like from your description that she is poor - but it's a poverty of spirit.  This could be an occasional feeling or she might feel this way continually.

I think it happens to a lot of people who do things out of duty or responsibility, or who work in ill suited jobs for money only.  They deny or forget who they were when they were young.  Years of living someone else's dream takes their toll.
 
If I were trying to help, I would ask questions to help her remember herself.
Then I would try to get her to imagine what it would be like to do things she used to like now.
If that worked, then next I would try to get her to make a plan to do that thing and follow through.

Ultimately it is up to her to find her way.  All you can do is support. Even if she doesn't respond immediately hopefully you will help her think about these things.

civil

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Re: Need MMM community advice for loved one. Thank you.
« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2015, 08:27:07 AM »
Recently spoke with a loved one about poverty.  She shared she feels poor ever since she started working in college.  Why?  She feels she has worked out of necessity doing things she does not like and in the process dealing with people she cannot stand.  To her the stress levels with work, mainly associated with people are too much for her; in her own words she is 'anti-social'.  So she feels poor also because over the years she choose to work in a field that compensated highly because she needed the money.  And yet she is not poor in the conventional sense, lacking food, shelter, or clothing.  To her poverty is ultimately working doing things you do not enjoy just because you need the money.  She also said there are times she feels good and during those times, she feels she needs less money to be happy; while other times she needs a lot more. Hmm.

By the way, personally I do not consider her remotely poor.  She is blessed with a high income career that she is good at.  She bought two properties in California with considerable value and she has saved up a respectable amount.  However, not to be unduly harsh, I personally feel no matter of money will ever make her happy or make her feel content, if, she is not happy with herself.

What does everything think?  She isn't ready for Mustachianism, so I hesitate to her have read the forums for your collective wisdom.  What advice would you share with her?  Any resources or articles is appreciated too.  If there are any ladies reading this, kindly share your thoughts.  Thanks.

I vote introduce her to the site, if you can figure out how to do that gently. Something like "I read these blogs sometimes about people who have just quit their jobs and retired at, like, 32. Have you ever thought about that? You have savings, right? Maybe you can just... go, and find something better."

The forums are a rough way to start. Why not the blog? What makes you think she's not ready to read and digest things on her own time? She sounds like me. I work in a field that I don't enjoy. I don't make a ton of money, but my real interests don't pay a living wage in this high COL area, so I feel stuck. The people I work with are a mixed bag - some great, some terrible (terrible enough to involve lawyers). Every day I choose between being liable for others' idiot actions or burning the political bridges, so I burn bridges to cover my own butt. I think this qualifies as "things I do not like" and "people I cannot stand."

I feel poor because my choices are so limited. SO is in the military, and we are counting down the days until we can leave. We have tried to make the best of our location, but it doesn't fit with our desired lifestyle. I know some people around me think I wouldn't be happy with any amount of money, and maybe that's true IN THIS LOCATION. I used to work in Appalachia for twice the hours and 1/6 my current salary, and I loved it.

This site has helped because it encourages me to focus on using this time productively, to set me up for something better. I turned this phase of life into a game. Most people in my area focus on their career; I focus on my FU money. This focus has helped me to keep my cool at work while calculating what sort of cathartic things I can say to important people without giving a crap. MMM has also helped by making me think about what I DO want, which made me remember I can be happy - I was getting depressed and doubting this part.

gluskap

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Re: Need MMM community advice for loved one. Thank you.
« Reply #8 on: February 08, 2015, 08:32:19 AM »
Why do you feel she is not ready for MMM? It seems like it never occurred to her that she could retire early and quit the job that she doesn't enjoy. I too thought this before discovering this website. I wish someone would have told me about it earlier. Yes it is hard and I've got a long way to get to the level of badassity of most on here but at least I am aware of what it's really costing me each time I make a purchase and that has really helped me to at least tolerate the job much better seeing my end goal so much closer.

mozar

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Re: Need MMM community advice for loved one. Thank you.
« Reply #9 on: February 08, 2015, 09:04:43 AM »
She is correct that "passion" is for the elite. I think she is perfectly ripe to start reading this blog, also the book the millionaire next door. Then I would step back.

Exhale

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Re: Need MMM community advice for loved one. Thank you.
« Reply #10 on: February 08, 2015, 09:07:39 AM »
It seems like it never occurred to her that she could retire early and quit the job that she doesn't enjoy. I too thought this before discovering this website. I wish someone would have told me about it earlier....has really helped me to at least tolerate the job much better seeing my end goal so much closer.
+1 to that!

Finding MMM last August has transformed my life. For me MMM was my much-needed step 2 (step 1 was Your Money or Your Life, but I then needed concrete next steps. YMOYL might be a good first step for the relative as mentioned by Kestra). I agree with traffic girl that a no-pressure mention of MMM (give a link to a good place to start so she isn't scared off somehow) might allow your relative to see that she has options (then it's up to her what she chooses).

She says she's "anti-social" but I think she may be an introvert and, thus, overstimulated by too much interaction with people. I recommend the book Quiet: the Power of Introverts by Susan Cain (she did a TEDTalk on this as well). I wonder if she might be struggling with depression (the cause of this can be chemical and/or situational) and that might be another thing to explore. For most people, depression isn't a death sentence, but it does require take responsibility for proactively managing it (like any other chronic condition). One final thought - you may want to have your conversations with her focus on what is going well in your lives (vs what isn't). This is because I notice that often people default to complaining instead of gratitude.

She's lucky to have your attention and caring. Good luck!
« Last Edit: February 08, 2015, 09:09:37 AM by Exhale »

KD

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Re: Need MMM community advice for loved one. Thank you.
« Reply #11 on: February 08, 2015, 09:19:43 AM »
If you are a male relation I'd be careful with this first one, but her hormones, diet, exercise and vitamin intake can all take a part in her emotional outlook. 

I'd agree on the introvert part as I hated being locked into a job I hated. 

What about increasing her education level, could she find some outlet in that as a social medium and a way to increase/change income sources?

Of course she's ready to read MMM and other ER bloggers!!  Introduce away.  What a blessing you would be to her to help her explore all her options!  You know, HOPE is a powerful motivator.

sobezen

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Re: Need MMM community advice for loved one. Thank you.
« Reply #12 on: February 09, 2015, 06:50:40 PM »
Thank you all for sharing such thoughtful and kind ideas. :)

I feel she is not ready for MMM partly because she strongly dislikes reading and being 'nagged'.  I also wager she does not like 'self-reflection' about where she is in life and what she has done thus far.  She explained to me even if someone points out something can help her, she refuses to listen.  I think after reading between the lines, I feel she basically does not like to be judged.  Can't blame on that.  However, I do feel she is doing herself a disservice by not even testing out the ideas shared by the people who deeply care about her.  Also, I think she is struggling to find happiness while saving.  I think we've all been here.  I felt the same way before but what I found is striking 'balance' and practicing appreciation really helps. Well it works for me at least. :)

She tells me how much she feels like she is depriving herself.  How she cannot do or buy what she wants, when she wants.  She has extremely spendy friends, older sister and their lifestyle was her former lifestyle.  In case your wondering what that lifestyle was, imagine someone MMM cautions each of us to identify and avoid.  A person who buys impulsively. A person who shops online for fun and enjoys the actual act of shopping as a 'sport'.  A person who prefers to eating out (sushi and happy hour), rather than enjoying a good home cooked meal.  I think you get the picture.  I will note however, she does not engage in most of those activities.

So after reading MMM over the years, I think I might understand some reasons why she feels this way.  But rather than telling her I really want her to discover for herself, what truly matters.  The thing is since she doesn't interact with many people outside of work and she since does not like to read, her exposure to contrary perspectives is greatly limited.  In this sense, I feel she often times lives in a bubble.  She has great difficulty practicing introspection and reflecting on her life (experiences and lessons learned).  I feel this is possibly the top reason why she is conflicted.  She seeks freedom from wage slavery and she understands it is tied to clawing towards financial freedom.  But I wonder, could this be too much of a core personality change for someone who previously was not a saver and has not 'found' Mustachianism?

Other users have commented how she might be unhappy, I wholeheartedly agree.   She does not interact with many people outside of work.  Thus her circle of friends and circle of influence is extremely small.  I have encouraged her to volunteer more doing something she cares about such as helping animals.  However, after working 70+ hours/week, she tends to be physically and emotionally, spent.  Oh, she practices a sedentary lifestyle.  Maybe that contributes to her feeling blue?

Does anyone have specific articles you feel might help nudge her gently?  I am working hard to remain supportive without expressing judgment towards her actions and thoughts.  But I admit it is becoming extremely difficult.  Thank you all for listening.


« Last Edit: February 09, 2015, 06:53:50 PM by sobezen »

KD

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Re: Need MMM community advice for loved one. Thank you.
« Reply #13 on: February 09, 2015, 07:08:21 PM »
Perhaps not the way you'd choose to handle it, but I have anonymously mailed people directions to sites, books, etc. that might help them. This could be seen as passive aggressive but if your heart is in the right place and she's going to mule if you outright suggest it, there has to be some other way to get the info in front of them, unless you just need to be the one to lead her towards the light and get the credit.  Seems like you truly want the best for her.

Here's an example...I have a family member on my husband's side who is closing in on hoarding to the point that she won't let her family inside her house anymore.  It's been slowly progressing.  I sent her anonymously a link to an organizational website with the mention that I hoped it blessed her.  Ball now in her court.  Most likely she will not take it up.  I did not want to embarrass her by bringing it up to her in person.  This seemed the kinder thing to do, much like letting the co-worker w/B.O. know by an anonymous note might get the job done w/o a lot of embarrassment.  I would feel horrible knowing I knew of a way to help her out of her hoard mentality and never brought it to her attention. 

Wording things with your family member would seem to be important...a 'have you tried? or a 'hey have you seen this guy's website, he talks alot about .Y which sounds kinda similar to what you're talking about', etc.  Non judgemental ways to bring her forward.  Even, a 'next thing you know you're going to go all Mustachian/Financially Independent/Early Retirement on me' comment may be all it takes to get her thinking in a better vein.  Or asking 'what's a Mustachian?' or 'Early Retirement who even thinks that's a possibility' giving you the opening you need.   

Repeating and reframing her complaints to her might work as well..."Let me see if I got this right, "You are feeling deprived because you are working hard towards a better financial situation?'  AWESOME GOAL!!!  That sounds like you are on the right track, have you thought about this X to help you reward yourself but still stay focused on your goal?" 

Good luck to you!  AND HER!!!

nobody123

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Re: Need MMM community advice for loved one. Thank you.
« Reply #14 on: February 10, 2015, 10:16:37 AM »
Is she lonely or depressed?

Also some people just like to complain.

+1.  I'd personally stay out of it unless they specifically asked for help.  As my wife reminds me all the time, I don't need to solve her problems for her, she just wants to vent to a sympathetic ear. 

It would be one thing if they were starving or about to be evicted due to making stupid choices and were asking for a bailout, but it seems like they have their financials in order.  How they choose to live their life is ultimately none of your business.

sobezen

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Re: Need MMM community advice for loved one. Thank you.
« Reply #15 on: February 11, 2015, 02:51:39 PM »
@ KD:  Good idea about the anonymous sharing.  Do you have any articles you recommend?  I was thinking about this article http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2011/10/02/what-is-stoicism-and-how-can-it-turn-your-life-to-solid-gold/ but paused since it is very heavy.  I love it.  But it might not be the best for beginners.

Does anyone else have ideas or thoughts they can share?  Thank you. :)