Author Topic: Mixed mustaches - possible to do alone?  (Read 5458 times)

Аdministrаtоr

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Mixed mustaches - possible to do alone?
« on: January 06, 2016, 08:43:48 AM »
Hey guys I'm new on this forum. I like the website very much. The idea of frugal living and getting back "time to live" in return is something I like very much. I'm still in the very beginning stage of reading and trying to make a personal budget to see what I can do to limit my outgoing finances / increase incoming. So not much progress made but I already have a practical question.

I'm not a single mustache... I'm living together with my girlfriend in my house (incl. mortgage) but I'm not sure if the idea of frugal living is something I can convince my girlfriend of. Is it possible to start the journey alone at all? I guess it's a choice a couple has to make together, or you'll likely face some difficult times when you have a clash of ideas...

Any tips on how to get your partner on the right tracks? Or maybe how to do it alone if this is even possible?

Playing with Fire UK

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Re: Mixed mustaches - possible to do alone?
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2016, 08:53:27 AM »
Welcome.

Yes, you can start alone, and folks here have done it as individuals, but not sure of any halves of couples who have gone entirely alone.

Search (top right) for 'the talk' on how to speak to gf, there is a 50 or so step thread as well: lead by example, make decisions together, show her the benefits.

For the budget:

Get a bank/credit card statement of the last few months expenses
Highlight anything clearly stupid or unnecessary: Don't do this any more
Highlight anything that you could have done/made cheaper/better/yourself: Do more optimising
Circle things you definitely need (food, shelter, water): plan how you can get these for less
Come back to everything else in six months and see what else you can highlight and ditch.

The big things: car payment, expensive debt, expensive house, eating/drinking out need to be attacked first.

arebelspy

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Re: Mixed mustaches - possible to do alone?
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2016, 08:58:16 AM »
Here's what I would do in that situation.

I'd start it alone, but don't go too extreme at first.  I would talk about dreams for the future, to connect the new frugality with a reason why. Then I would shut up about it, and lead by quiet example. I'd do that for awhile, then reevaluate how it was going.

That's just me. Don't want to turn her off from the idea by going to extreme too fast or too preachy. Let her live how she wants, and hope for some gradual change.  I'm sure you'll get some good advice here in this thread.

Good luck!
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arebelspy

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Re: Mixed mustaches - possible to do alone?
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2016, 09:01:13 AM »

there is a 50 or so step thread as well

Here is the thread PWFUK mentioned:

How to Convert your SO to MMM in 50 Awesome Steps

It has a ton of ideas for you.
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and are now settled with three kids.
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Аdministrаtоr

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Re: Mixed mustaches - possible to do alone?
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2016, 09:11:18 AM »
Thanks for the input so far, I appreciate it! I didn't realize this thread (SO to MMM) was about that. Now I realize it's "significant other". I'll check it out.

NoStacheOhio

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Re: Mixed mustaches - possible to do alone?
« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2016, 09:16:47 AM »
Here's what I would do in that situation.

I'd start it alone, but don't go too extreme at first.  I would talk about dreams for the future, to connect the new frugality with a reason why. Then I would shut up about it, and lead by quiet example. I'd do that for awhile, then reevaluate how it was going.

That's just me. Don't want to turn her off from the idea by going to extreme too fast or too preachy. Let her live how she wants, and hope for some gradual change.  I'm sure you'll get some good advice here in this thread.

Good luck!

This.

My wife and I are starting to bend the spending curve, and making some drastic life changes. It's a process, and we're far from hardcore. You just need to find where you're comfortable as a couple. If you're deeply incompatible financially, then that's something worth knowing.

Late_Bloomer

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Re: Mixed mustaches - possible to do alone?
« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2016, 09:18:46 AM »
When I decided to make this decision, and invest for my future, and my SO's, I basically just laid out a road map on paper that illustrated how much money we had, how much we were saving, how much we should be saving, and what that money would provide for our future selves. The benefits are all positive so it's really hard for someone to disagree with it, unless they are a thoughtless spender that has no concern for their future. Most people don't have pensions to relay on. It's silly to think you can retire and thrive on social security, and no one is going to foot the bills when you are no longer able to work.

None of this requires grand scale sacrifice. If you are young, it may be hard to see the benefits. I know when I was in my 20's and 30's I didn't give a shit about how I would manage down the road. But, since being a part of this community, I've come to realize and understand just how important it is to make your own future. Give her the information and tools to comprehend the importance of investing for your future and I'm sure she'll see the benefits.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2016, 09:20:45 AM by Barrett73 »

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Re: Mixed mustaches - possible to do alone?
« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2016, 09:20:54 AM »
My DH is not naturally frugal. He has always lived within his means, but doesn't like to spend a lot of time thinking about money. What have I learned? Small things add up and form habits.

One small thing I did was to learn to make our favorite restaurant meals at home. DH wants sashimi at least once a week, and dinner at a Japanese restaurant ran us $50. I looked up recipes for sushi rice and carrot-ginger dressing, found a good local source for fish, and gave my knives a good sharpening. Instead of $50, it costs less than $10 all in to have a great dinner at home. Not beans-and-lentils cheap, but I will take the $40 savings. He loves pizza, and pizza and salad at our favorite place ran $30 with tip. I bought a cast iron pizza pan and make my own for $5, with fancy ingredients.

DH also likes nicely composed food, so I started paying attention to how I arranged food on a plate. The result? We eat out much less, which saves us big$.

I also got DH shopping at Goodwill. He loves T-shirts with odd sayings, and living as we do in Florida, it is almost always T-shirt weather. So I would bring him home cool T-shirts from Goodwill, and now he goes with me. He still buys too many T-shirts, but at $2 instead of $20.

These things have no impact on our quality of life, but have a huge impact on our budget.

okits

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Re: Mixed mustaches - possible to do alone?
« Reply #8 on: January 06, 2016, 12:59:53 PM »
Is there any reason why you think your SO wouldn't be open to frugality?  What is the nature of your relationship (lifelong partnership/likely to marry/not sure, totally combined finances/partially combined/totally separate)?  I'm trying to understand what kind of hurdle is there (there can be many kinds, not all major.)

Аdministrаtоr

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Re: Mixed mustaches - possible to do alone?
« Reply #9 on: January 06, 2016, 04:22:06 PM »
Is there any reason why you think your SO wouldn't be open to frugality?  What is the nature of your relationship (lifelong partnership/likely to marry/not sure, totally combined finances/partially combined/totally separate)?  I'm trying to understand what kind of hurdle is there (there can be many kinds, not all major.)

We're having a good relationship, likely to marry, separate finances. We both like to plan ahead, but she's a little careless / sloppy in executing plans. At the moment, she's "getting ready" for children, so to speak... The moment isn't there yet, but we've talked about children and we feel both ready for this in our lives so short term this will become part of our reality. She's already browsing around, thinking about it, planning, getting her mindset pumped up... I mean, you know how women are, right?

In that respect, I can imagine that a woman would want all best possible precautions for a healthy, socially "normal" way of taking care of a child etc... there's also a lot of social pressure as you can imagine. I can softly approach her about MMM as suggested, but women+dreams about kids and also social pressure sometimes unconsciously makes us take decisions that don't fit well with a financially sound lifestyle.

woopwoop

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Re: Mixed mustaches - possible to do alone?
« Reply #10 on: January 06, 2016, 05:02:57 PM »
I mean, you know how women are, right?
Please tell me you're not serious. You know there are a ton of us double X chromosomes on this forum, right? And I'd be willing to bet most of us out-frugal you any day of the week, even those of us who are expecting or already have kiddos. Babies don't magically make our brains turn off, you know? Well, maybe they do make us forget not to put our cell phone in the fridge or our socks on inside out, but that's not quite the same ;)

Apart from that, how can you talk about the woman you're going to marry this way? It's so disrespectful. Would you read your post out loud to her? If not, then I suggest you stop talking about her behind her back in such an insulting way. For one thing, you haven't even started being frugal yet, and you're already criticizing her for not being able to be on board. Maybe she's trying to keep up with your spending. Maybe she'll be the frugal-est lady this side of the Mississippi. You haven't even given her a chance. For another, you're doing the exact same thing you're insulting her for - jumping on a new thing, browsing around, thinking about it, planning, getting your mindset pumped up...

Thing is, you have to be pumped up about the same things in a relationship. Not everything, but the big things. Lifestyle and kids are both Big Things. And if you aren't able to communicate with her on this, baby, you should not even be thinking about having a kid. Bad communication is the number one deal breaker in a relationship.

The way I see it, having a kid was my big motivator to get my finances together and my expenses down. I wanted to be able to take 5-10 years off and just have kid time. If that's what she wants, then you two need to talk about how you're going to do it. And if that's not what she wants, you should know now, before the $5000 bill for Gucci infantwear comes in the mail. Communicate. Get excited together about being financially responsible for your future kid. If that's not a good motivation, I don't know what is.

DeltaBond

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Re: Mixed mustaches - possible to do alone?
« Reply #11 on: January 06, 2016, 06:54:16 PM »
I mean, you know how women are, right?
Please tell me you're not serious. You know there are a ton of us double X chromosomes on this forum, right? And I'd be willing to bet most of us out-frugal you any day of the week, even those of us who are expecting or already have kiddos. Babies don't magically make our brains turn off, you know? Well, maybe they do make us forget not to put our cell phone in the fridge or our socks on inside out, but that's not quite the same ;)

Apart from that, how can you talk about the woman you're going to marry this way? It's so disrespectful. Would you read your post out loud to her? If not, then I suggest you stop talking about her behind her back in such an insulting way. For one thing, you haven't even started being frugal yet, and you're already criticizing her for not being able to be on board. Maybe she's trying to keep up with your spending. Maybe she'll be the frugal-est lady this side of the Mississippi. You haven't even given her a chance. For another, you're doing the exact same thing you're insulting her for - jumping on a new thing, browsing around, thinking about it, planning, getting your mindset pumped up...

Thing is, you have to be pumped up about the same things in a relationship. Not everything, but the big things. Lifestyle and kids are both Big Things. And if you aren't able to communicate with her on this, baby, you should not even be thinking about having a kid. Bad communication is the number one deal breaker in a relationship.

The way I see it, having a kid was my big motivator to get my finances together and my expenses down. I wanted to be able to take 5-10 years off and just have kid time. If that's what she wants, then you two need to talk about how you're going to do it. And if that's not what she wants, you should know now, before the $5000 bill for Gucci infantwear comes in the mail. Communicate. Get excited together about being financially responsible for your future kid. If that's not a good motivation, I don't know what is.

My thoughts exactly.

okits

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Re: Mixed mustaches - possible to do alone?
« Reply #12 on: January 06, 2016, 07:10:27 PM »
Until you've shared your thoughts with your GF and listened to hers in return, I don't see why you are contemplating the feasibility of a FIRE journey on your own (but married to her and raising children together.). Talk to her.  You come off as not thinking very much of her, when you won't present an idea to her and ask her thoughts and opinion, but immediately conclude you need to convince her or "get her on the right track".

We're having a good relationship, likely to marry, separate finances. We both like to plan ahead, but she's a little careless / sloppy in executing plans. At the moment, she's "getting ready" for children, so to speak... The moment isn't there yet, but we've talked about children and we feel both ready for this in our lives so short term this will become part of our reality. She's already browsing around, thinking about it, planning, getting her mindset pumped up... I mean, you know how women are, right?

In that respect, I can imagine that a woman would want all best possible precautions for a healthy, socially "normal" way of taking care of a child etc... there's also a lot of social pressure as you can imagine. I can softly approach her about MMM as suggested, but women+dreams about kids and also social pressure sometimes unconsciously makes us take decisions that don't fit well with a financially sound lifestyle.


Err, NO.  If the assumptions you are making about your GF's future spending are true, they are because she is a person prioritizing that spending over other things, not because she is a woman.

If you can't make a shared financial life plan together and you still think she is careless and sloppy, please do not have a child together. 

Аdministrаtоr

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Re: Mixed mustaches - possible to do alone?
« Reply #13 on: January 07, 2016, 01:03:32 PM »
I mean, you know how women are, right?
Please tell me you're not serious.

I think you are focusing on the wrong part of the message and blowing it all out of proportion. The quoted part "you know how women are" was merely a figure of speech (much like "women are always right"). Of course I don't mean it in an insulting or disrespectful way, why would you think that? As you stated, I'm indeed planning to have a future with her and we make eachother happy.

Still, the point I was making, was that stress, hormones, external influences, peer pressure, etc... do have an impact on my girlfriend's behaviour (whether you like it or not ;) ). And yes, she actually IS careless and sloppy in certain parts of her life, and she even is fully aware of that as well. Is that such a disrespectful thing to say? We do talk about these things. So please don't act so "insulted" because I explained my current situation, this has nothing to do with sexism or prejudice towards gender and it certainly was not a personal attack. Excuse me if you felt as if I were some kind of tyrant.

So today I came home and noticed she did some shopping, mostly food / groceries, but bought a lot of stuff purely on impulse. So I discussed this and she didn't seem the least bit concerned. Of course she understands that early retirement would be a beautiful thing to strive for, but yet here we are with a bunch of useless stuff that we don't really need. I feel it's a challenge for me to start improving my, and ultimately my family's, situation and gradually build a better future. In order to do that, I thought it would be useful to explain the situation a little better (as somebody requested). I guess I'll have to find a way to make her* realize that you can't have both: mindless spending (short term happiness) and an early retirement (long term happiness).

*make her --> don't misinterpret that please - English is not my native language so it's possible that things might come across as inappropriate.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2016, 01:07:31 PM by Аdministrаtоr »

Kaspian

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Re: Mixed mustaches - possible to do alone?
« Reply #14 on: January 07, 2016, 01:18:42 PM »
*make her --> don't misinterpret that please - English is not my native language so it's possible that things might come across as inappropriate.

Hahaha...  Feel like you're walking on eggshells now?  A *nicer* word for "make someone realize" is "convince".  (i.e., "I guess I'll have to convince her that you can't have both..." )

Аdministrаtоr

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Re: Mixed mustaches - possible to do alone?
« Reply #15 on: January 07, 2016, 03:06:22 PM »
*make her --> don't misinterpret that please - English is not my native language so it's possible that things might come across as inappropriate.

Hahaha...  Feel like you're walking on eggshells now?  A *nicer* word for "make someone realize" is "convince".  (i.e., "I guess I'll have to convince her that you can't have both..." )

Yeah "convince" was my first choice... however I thought that might be interpreted as if I'm forcing her against her will through heavy debate. Lol I guess I'm walking on eggshells indeed. Then I realized "make her" was even worse so I added the disclaimer for the touchy feely... you know how women are... nah, drop it. ;)

* update: reading SO to MMM now. Also random other posts on the website and forum. I like the subject and I'm happy to see my mindset is already quite in line with the story. I luckily have no credit cards, huge cars, no gym memberships (home bodyweight exercises!), renting a part of my house out to generate extra income, etc... - still a long way to get to FIRE though.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2016, 03:11:02 PM by Аdministrаtоr »

Retire-Canada

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Re: Mixed mustaches - possible to do alone?
« Reply #16 on: January 07, 2016, 04:33:35 PM »
I think you are focusing on the wrong part of the message and blowing it all out of proportion. The quoted part "you know how women are" was merely a figure of speech (much like "women are always right"). Of course I don't mean it in an insulting or disrespectful way, why would you think that?

She took it that way because that is what those words mean. If you don't want to be disrespectful towards women than avoid saying stuff like that and you won't have anything to explain.

More to the point it added nothing to your post beyond annoying some forum members.


Аdministrаtоr

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Re: Mixed mustaches - possible to do alone?
« Reply #17 on: February 09, 2016, 03:20:56 AM »
I had the conversation and she's in. ;) Thanks for your support. We still have a long way to go but we'll get there. In the meanwhile she took care of some postponed administration and managed to recover 1000 - 1500 medical expenses. Way to go. ;)
« Last Edit: February 09, 2016, 03:23:16 AM by Аdministrаtоr »

arebelspy

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Re: Mixed mustaches - possible to do alone?
« Reply #18 on: February 09, 2016, 03:50:14 AM »
I had the conversation and she's in. ;) Thanks for your support. We still have a long way to go but we'll get there. In the meanwhile she took care of some postponed administration and managed to recover 1000 - 1500 medical expenses. Way to go. ;)

Cool!  open, honest communication is always the best way to go.

Good luck!
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