Author Topic: Friend posted about MMM on Facebook...then his GF convinced him it was foolish  (Read 21705 times)

MissStache

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How long have you been doing Mustachianism, MissStache?  I've learned to keep my mouth shut.  Some of my closest friends know I'm doing it (indeed, one of them has begun to emulate the minimalist lifestyle), but otherwise the word is mum.  I've found the levels of anger,  innumeracy, and negativity people can lash is out of proportion with what MMM proposes.  I'd like to help my friends, but I'm afraid most will find out when my Facebook status reads something like, "Done working for life!  Retired.  Hope you're enjoying your quartz countertops and SUVs. So long, suckas!!"


It's not like this was an unsolicited "conversion" attempt.  The guy posted about MMM first!  It seems perfectly reasonable to chime in and say that MMM has helped you.

I know.  Anyone ever asks me about it, I'd be full on supportive and helpful.  Significant other shows up with rage, I'd step slowly back from the bomb.  Not sticking my neck between a couple, fuck that.  Learned my lesson way too many times when one person asked for "advice" on the other.

Yeah, I generally keep really quiet about it because I have gotten a lot of pushback when I mention it unsolicited.  I did just step out of the conversation and stopped arguing with her about it, but I think I'll give him a little gentle encouragement via private message!

mizzourah2006

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So yeah, there is some luck as in who your parents are and what decisions they make for you...

My college roommate found out a few years after she graduated that her mother had taken out a bunch of Student Loans in her name to pay for her out-of-state college.  Friend was FURIOUS because she had no idea, and her mom kept telling her that there was plenty of money and not to worry about getting a job to help pay the bills, gave her a generous living allowance, etc.  If she had any idea that this was the way her mom was paying for it she would have done things so differently.  Instead she's saddled with loads of Student Loan debt that she wasn't even aware she had and had to start paying when her mom lost her job.  So awful.

I don't see why some parents feel like they're entitled to do this sort of thing. My guess is the mom thought she was helping by relieving the burden of financial worry so the daughter could focus on schoolwork. I think the only way she could get out of this debt would cause the mother to be in legal trouble for identity theft. If she doesn't want to get her mother in trouble she's stuck with it.

My parents actually did the same thing and I didn't realize it at the time. Luckily I went in-state and they cash flowed most of it, so they only ended up taking out 7-8k and they are paying it back, but it is still listed as credit taken out by me.

StockBeard

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Is it totally out of line to send him a private message and encourage him to look harder at this lifestyle?  I feel like with a little support he could at least start, and honestly I think he could get her to come around.  But I don't like to meddle...so torn.
I wouldn't do it. If the seed hasn't been planted at this point, you're only going to get him angry at best. The guy obviously already has interest into it, I don't think there's much additional stuff you can do

MgoSam

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Is it totally out of line to send him a private message and encourage him to look harder at this lifestyle?  I feel like with a little support he could at least start, and honestly I think he could get her to come around.  But I don't like to meddle...so torn.
I wouldn't do it. If the seed hasn't been planted at this point, you're only going to get him angry at best. The guy obviously already has interest into it, I don't think there's much additional stuff you can do

Yeah, it might backfire. Instead, I generally tend to make random comments aloud about how great it feels to not have to worry about having money to pay the mortgage...or how I am going to retire in 10 years. Most times people scoff, but occasional people ask me how I plan to do so. Once I actually do retire, I am guessing people will be more interested.

iknowiyam

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I posted this http://www.omaha.com/money/why-save-the-best-for-last-steps-to-making-mini/article_b0630e18-1fea-5c0a-bfbe-1fa537f11023.html article on facebook a while back and got a hugely long comment from one friend about how it's not possible for normal people and he actually seemed indignant that someone would even suggest it. He deleted it pretty quickly (but not fast enough since I saw it) so I can't post it here

This is from the same guy who could not hang out with us one week because he spent so much money backing kickstarters he couldn't afford the gas to drive maybe 50 miles round trip.

Even if we succeed in retiring in 5 years (younger than he currently is) he'll still insist it's impossible and that we just can't understand because we don't have kids/don't have a spendy spouse/I'm a goddamn unicorn apparently and no other woman is like me (though as often as my male friends say that maybe it's true...)

It's hard to "just be a good example" because you can't say things like "I just set all my retirement accounts to max out so I can retire younger" it just comes across wrong in all ways to people who don't get it

I bolded the part that rings just so true.  I gave up trying to explain how it is that I could afford to retire and just live the life I had envisioned.
I added a bold, too! MMM forum is the land of unicorns, non-existent creatures who live well within their means...

FunkyStickman

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I added a bold, too! MMM forum is the land of unicorns, non-existent creatures who live well within their means...

We're all special snowflakes! YAY!!

I've had mixed results with approaching people about Mustachianism. Most people in person will agree, nod their heads, and then turn around and buy a $40K truck with big rims. On facebook, I just get ignored, or "good for you! The rest of us have to work!" (as if I don't work.... lol)

partgypsy

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My work situation is unusual. I know at least a couple people who are leaving the workforce at 58, and they may be able to leave earlier than that, but they want to keep their healthcare (in gov). I seem to know a lot of people who live very frugally, the fridge is full of lunches people bring in. I think our workplace culture is conducive to it. Except for a couple of administrators or face people, most people dress simply and comfortably. There are a couple people who do not follow this, but they stick out because they are not the norm.

For me, my issue is that our work is grant-based. Granted I've worked continuously here for the last 13 years, but I still have a primal fear of not knowing every 3 years or so what my next job will be. That's why fancy vacations, newer car, etc keep getting put off. We did break down and get some major house things done, but no 50-150K house renos (I can think of 3 people who have done this in past year and a half).

Making Cookies

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OP: No need to badger him - just live the example.  :)

OP ought to counsel him to delay having children with this woman. I know a half dozen women who all either married or dated some real duds (males with defective values/goals) and they are stuck with these men in their lives in varying degrees b/c they had children (several accidentally) with these guys. I might define it as a 20 year stint to deal with theseguys but the women might point out that these guys are a lifetime problem b/c they share children with them.

These guys generally won't be a productive, positive part of their children's lives nor help with the expenses. Just when everything is going along smoothly - the father will shake it up a little with some sort of drama.

bsmith

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Yeah that's frustrating. It's amazing how often I have this conversation with people:

Person: I'm so broke/owe so much/don't have any money.
Me: You need a budget.
Person: I know exactly what my expenses are. I don't need a budget. I need more money.
Me: MMM/a little anti-consumerist thought.
Person: That's kind of interesting. (Changes subject.)

vivophoenix

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OP: No need to badger him - just live the example.  :)

OP ought to counsel him to delay having children with this woman. I know a half dozen women who all either married or dated some real duds (males with defective values/goals) and they are stuck with these men in their lives in varying degrees b/c they had children (several accidentally) with these guys. I might define it as a 20 year stint to deal with theseguys but the women might point out that these guys are a lifetime problem b/c they share children with them.

These guys generally won't be a productive, positive part of their children's lives nor help with the expenses. Just when everything is going along smoothly - the father will shake it up a little with some sort of drama.

yes she should totally FB message this acquaintance and tell him be careful about having children with his current gf.  and then continue to badger him about his financial personal life.


vivophoenix

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Parents taking out debt in the child's name must be fairly rare though surely, I've never heard of that happening to anyone I know. Maybe it's different in the UK.

During collage my parent with drew a significant amount of cash from my bank account, I think it was accidental but still very shocking (linked accounts and a fat finger?-dont recall the details) and a PIA for the week it took to get it back.  Then in HS for a short time parent had a CC in my name. CC was paid off and caused no real problems for me but still.  American youth are perhaps more vulnerable financially to there parents than in the UK even after they turn 18, or is a difference in culture - I dont know. 

sorry for taking it back OT.

its fraud, but it does happen sometimes.


i have heard of people putting utilities in their childrens name when they are minors.  all you need are their social and the maiden name of the mother. a strange system linking your financial future and honor to the unmarried name of you mom.

La Bibliotecaria Feroz

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Unfortunately, at the library we often have parents who use their kids' cards, then run up fines and lost item fees so that the kid can't use their card. I don't know if we have any kind of system in place to save the kids' accounts when they get older, but some of these kids have three-figure debts. Sad.

maco

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It's amazing how defensive and negative people can be to new ideas that challenge their beliefs about life.:P

I saw this reaction on a British forum recently, people who were planning to retire early were told that they were lucky that they could do it because most people can't afford to, lol. Luck really has nothing to do with it.

I'd say luck has a lot to do with it. Lucky that we didn't marry the wrong person, that our parents didn't open a bunch of credit cards in our names and run up the debt. There is a lot of luck in how we get to where we are and to discount that I think is foolish.
You are right about the parents part, but usually you have a clue if your SO is a reckless spender, there are usually lots of signs of that even before marriage unless she is one big fat liar and con artist.

My dad had no idea when he married my mom that her plan was to get pregnant and never work again. (She did work in the school cafeteria when I was in middle school, and then after the divorce)

MgoSam

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It's amazing how defensive and negative people can be to new ideas that challenge their beliefs about life.:P

I saw this reaction on a British forum recently, people who were planning to retire early were told that they were lucky that they could do it because most people can't afford to, lol. Luck really has nothing to do with it.

I'd say luck has a lot to do with it. Lucky that we didn't marry the wrong person, that our parents didn't open a bunch of credit cards in our names and run up the debt. There is a lot of luck in how we get to where we are and to discount that I think is foolish.
You are right about the parents part, but usually you have a clue if your SO is a reckless spender, there are usually lots of signs of that even before marriage unless she is one big fat liar and con artist.

My dad had no idea when he married my mom that her plan was to get pregnant and never work again. (She did work in the school cafeteria when I was in middle school, and then after the divorce)

Going back to the luck part of it, I don't think many of us realize how lucky we are to have such an opportunity. Sure, we worked hard and made a lot of decisions, but consider the fact that we are born now. Had we been born a hundred years ago, the idea of not needing to work your entire life was reserved for only the elite. Or for women, less than a hundred years ago they weren't allowed to vote in the US (except of Wyoming), and faced way more obstacles towards financial independence. My heritage is Indian, had my parents stayed in India instead of coming to the US for greater economic opportunity, I would have been raised in a traditional Indian manner...which means essentially that I would lose much autonomy, would be expected to marry a women that my parents help find, and would be expected to have many kids. Any foolish notions of retiring by the age of 37 and not having kids would have been laughed away a decade ago, and should that not work, it is quite acceptable for parents in India to beat their kids...even when they are fully grown. Heck, they would like have married me at the age of 18, had I mentioned such a thing to them as a way of quelling my "immaturity," so yes I would say luck has a lot of impact.

Pooplips

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I guess we are all really lucky the big bang thing happened

AlanStache

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I guess we are all really lucky the big bang Horrendous Space Kablooie thing happened

I for one (or two or three?) will acknowledge that I am very lucky, countless things could have gone differently or that worked out really well in ways that I did not earn.

Dicey

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Must reiterate the fact that it's good that this person is the GF, not the wife. There is still time and hope for him.

Breathing yet another sigh of relief that I have no FB existence. I got to FIRE w/o FB, so I sure as heck don't need it now.

Pooplips

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I guess we are all really lucky the big bang Horrendous Space Kablooie thing happened

I for one (or two or three?) will acknowledge that I am very lucky, countless things could have gone differently or that worked out really well in ways that I did not earn.

I agree on all accounts about the roll that luck plays in our lives. I guess I just dont see the reason for everyone to have to acknowledge it? The poorest person born in the US is luckier than anyone born poor in a third world country. I dont understand the exercise.

With that said, I am a lucky white male born to a supportive middle class family. My duty is complete.

Frugal D

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but that's what you get when to go to get your Master's Degree at GWU in...get this...folklore

Bahahahaha. A good friend of mine had a poster in his room growing up that has gone on to be my favorite quote behind a handful from Tyler Durden.

"Life's tough. It's tougher when you're stupid."

MgoSam

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but that's what you get when to go to get your Master's Degree at GWU in...get this...folklore

Bahahahaha. A good friend of mine had a poster in his room growing up that has gone on to be my favorite quote behind a handful from Tyler Durden.

"Life's tough. It's tougher when you're stupid."

Actually I feel like being smart makes it tougher. Instead of living your life, smarter people may tend to overthink things. Bertrand Russel said it best, "The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt."

Cassie

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I would not say anything more unless he asks. It will just drive them further away.

AlanStache

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...

I agree on all accounts about the roll that luck plays in our lives. I guess I just dont see the reason for everyone to have to acknowledge it? The poorest person born in the US is luckier than anyone born poor in a third world country. I dont understand the exercise.

With that said, I am a lucky white male born to a supportive middle class family. My duty is complete.

Sometimes we here in the MMM forums come off as asses (sp?) who refuse to be thankful for our good fortune or we forget how easily things could have been much worse. 

maco

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...

I agree on all accounts about the roll that luck plays in our lives. I guess I just dont see the reason for everyone to have to acknowledge it? The poorest person born in the US is luckier than anyone born poor in a third world country. I dont understand the exercise.

With that said, I am a lucky white male born to a supportive middle class family. My duty is complete.

Sometimes we here in the MMM forums come off as asses (sp?) who refuse to be thankful for our good fortune or we forget how easily things could have been much worse.

Gratitude is a virtue to cultivate.

Pooplips

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...

I agree on all accounts about the roll that luck plays in our lives. I guess I just dont see the reason for everyone to have to acknowledge it? The poorest person born in the US is luckier than anyone born poor in a third world country. I dont understand the exercise.

With that said, I am a lucky white male born to a supportive middle class family. My duty is complete.

Sometimes we here in the MMM forums come off as asses (sp?) who refuse to be thankful for our good fortune or we forget how easily things could have been much worse.

Gratitude is a virtue to cultivate.

Dont get me wrong. I am grateful.

Aknowledging how luck played a roll in my life does nothing for the unlucky person born into worse circumstances. It also dimishes a persons accomplishments that they could have worked extremely hard for.

Also, some people hid behind the "luck factor". Im not saying it doesnt exist but most often I notice people use it as a crutch. "You were luckier than me. Thats why you have this and I don't" type of attitude.

It is a very interesting debate. I must be jsut looking at it from a different perspective than you two.

HairyUpperLip

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OP, update please?

Did anything happen? Did you reach out?

Thanks.

MissStache

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OP, update please?

Did anything happen? Did you reach out?

Thanks.

No...I've been keeping my mouth shut, but have carefully-crafted simple message in my drafts folder to send next time she posts concurrent FB status updates complaining about money then spending money on shoes.  Timing is everything!

MrsPete

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ARGH!

I have two "friends" on Facebook.  I would call them acquaintances at best, but I do know them both personally.  One for many years.  Guy friend posted a link to an MMM podcast with the comment "I think I need to start looking at my finances differently."  I immediately comment that I'm a secret mustachian and that it has been the path to prosperity and happiness for me!  Do it, so wonderful!

GF chimes in with how it is "impossible" because they (she) have "crushing" student loans (legit...but that's what you get when to go to get your Master's Degree at GWU in...get this...folklore) and they already cut back so much by almost "never" going out to eat and not buying new clothes "very much."  Naturally they are always posting about dinners out and she is big into retail therapy.   Oh, and of course they live in this awful, expensive city and no one can save here!  And of course MMM was just lucky and no regular person could do this and it was unfair and judge-y of him to say otherwise.

I tried to CALMLY comment that I also live in this expensive city and that I mostly did it living alone on one income when I was in the "crush your debts" part of my journey, and I'm most certainly a regular person.  I said it was hard at first but easy once you got the hang of it and that it has brought me more stability and hope and happiness that I thought was possible.  She shot back that "they don't deserve to live like paupers and they have worked hard for what they have!" and my old favorite that they "deserve" to treat themselves occasionally.

He was so getting on board and she just totally derailed it and he basically said "Well yeah, I guess you're right.  Oh well."  So frustrating...so sad.  Wish people could just open their mind for a moment and realize that they are in charge of where their money goes and how they use it.
Eh, so what?  I think it's a safe bet that all of us on this board think he's choosing wrongly -- but it's his own business.  We don't necessarily have a corner on the right and proper way to live, nor can we claim any moral higher ground here.  It's a lifestyle choice.  If he makes the same choice, good for him.  If he chooses differently, well, I hope he's happy. 
I'd say luck has a lot to do with it. Lucky that we didn't marry the wrong person, that our parents didn't open a bunch of credit cards in our names and run up the debt. There is a lot of luck in how we get to where we are and to discount that I think is foolish.
Yes and no.  I was a poor kid; I received free lunch, and we were on Welfare for a while.  BUT I was born in a wealthy country that believes in educating all its citizens.  I was born with a healthy body, a good brain, and white skin (not that minorities can't make it -- not by any means -- but they do have to fight certain battles from which I was excused, and the topic here is luck).  My parents were far from perfect, but they didn't use drugs, ruin my credit, etc.  Essentially, I got to start from Square 1.  Not all kids do. 

However, all that luck was essentially bestowed upon me at birth.  From a young age, I worked hard.  If I hadn't, all those perks would've disappeared. 
I do kind of agree with that, but her mom really crippled her about money.  She had no concept of what anything cost, or how much money her mom made, or what they could afford or couldn't.  She was just totally in the dark about what was reasonable and what wasn't.  To roommate's credit, her mom served as a terrible example and made her pretty disciplined with her finances.  She surely got a crash course in why credit was bad, but it a terrible cost.  It did a lot of harm to her finances and her relationship with her mother.  If her mom had just said, "honey, we can't afford for you to go to school out-of-state, so if you want to do it here are the steps we need to take..." then she would have been able to make an informed decision.
Informed decision - that's the right phrase.  Too many 18-year olds make these college decisions without fully understanding the consequences of their actions, and too many parents sit back and allow kids to wander down a destructive path because they don't want to say "no". 
I've never experienced this type of reaction.  The only thing people ever take issue with is that MMM is a big bike advocate and most people think that just isn't feasible.  Sure, I could buy a house close to work, but as soon as I get a different job across town I'm not going to uproot my family and move them, especially when my wife would then have to drive twice as far to work.  And I think this is a legit argument.
I never get any negative feedback on my frugal life either. 
I am, however, one of those people who say, "Nope, a bike doesn't fit into my lifestyle."  And a number of other things discussed on this board just don't work for me either -- but I'm frugal in ways that aren't typically discussed here.  Frugal living /saving aggressively is a concept, not a checklist.




Squirrel away

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Going back to the luck part of it, I don't think many of us realize how lucky we are to have such an opportunity. Sure, we worked hard and made a lot of decisions, but consider the fact that we are born now. Had we been born a hundred years ago, the idea of not needing to work your entire life was reserved for only the elite. Or for women, less than a hundred years ago they weren't allowed to vote in the US (except of Wyoming), and faced way more obstacles towards financial independence. My heritage is Indian, had my parents stayed in India instead of coming to the US for greater economic opportunity, I would have been raised in a traditional Indian manner...which means essentially that I would lose much autonomy, would be expected to marry a women that my parents help find, and would be expected to have many kids. Any foolish notions of retiring by the age of 37 and not having kids would have been laughed away a decade ago, and should that not work, it is quite acceptable for parents in India to beat their kids...even when they are fully grown. Heck, they would like have married me at the age of 18, had I mentioned such a thing to them as a way of quelling my "immaturity," so yes I would say luck has a lot of impact.

Well yes, obviously I know I am privileged in a lot of ways but the people I was referring to on the British forum seemed like they had similiar upbringings, jobs, education etc... to me. The point I was making was that some people have advantages in early life like stable childhoods, good schools etc... but they don't use them and then they chalk where they are in life up to bad luck. I got the impression that people on the forum thought I was in the position I am because of good luck when it has taken quite a lot of careful frugality to get here. That was the point I was making.:)

I definitely am grateful for being born into a country like England and living at a point now where women have made so much progress with equality. :)

eyesonthehorizon

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[excellent commentary redacted for brevity]
... a number of other things discussed on this board just don't work for me either -- but I'm frugal in ways that aren't typically discussed here.  Frugal living /saving aggressively is a concept, not a checklist.
OT, but thiiiis. Do you cover some of the unconventional frugalism you mention in a journal thread or should that get a topic of its own? We're all so focused on the major low-hanging fruit but I've heard the complaint many a time that most of us know not to buy the latte/ drive everywhere/ dine out and we'd be glad to hear about the more idiosyncratic lifestyle tips.

Back on topic, since I guess I can touch on this - I can and have lost "friends" by calling out - gently -the most egregious of complainypants behaviour online. I don't feel it as a loss, and I'm pretty careful not to do it in a hurtful way, but it's almost always going to ring as judgement if you point out someone's cognitive dissonances. If they perceive it as helpful or if they can recognize their choices in the complaint (even if they wouldn't change anything), I know it's a person I'd want to spend more time with, because they're trying for personal responsibility and integrity; if they go underground or cut me out, I've done what I could for them to provoke some thought on the source of their expressed pain and offered a hand if they ever want it, but it's an automatic way to weed out a bad influence in my life.
All that said, there are people you can lose and people you can't. I don't need to be friends with everyone who friended me after school, but retaining a friend with a problematic SO often requires silence.
« Last Edit: October 03, 2015, 11:56:14 AM by eyesonthehorizon »