Author Topic: Another 'spouse is not on board' rant  (Read 15296 times)

Nissykins2

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Another 'spouse is not on board' rant
« on: May 04, 2014, 06:15:41 AM »
Not sure what I'm hoping for by posting here as I have read every 'what to do when your spouse is not on board' thread/article multiple times. Guess I just want a chance to rant in a relatively safe/anonymous space.

Had date night with my husband last night. Talk of finances/future housing situation came up, and led us into an argument for the thousandth time. We are not really FIRE people.  I'm a SAHM with a side hustle that I love, hubby is COO at age 35 of a company in a field he's passionate about. Although the stress of the job has made him concede lately that he might retire someday, up until recently, he was just planning to be one of those 80-year-old guys being wheeled into the board meeting. I am a person who loves to save everything and log in to look at my big bank balance every month. Husband feels he can always make more money and doesn't want to worry about how he spends it.

We are currently saving about 1/4 of our income. Some for retirement, some for medical expenses (I'm about to have our second child), some for college, vacation, house down payment, etc.  Although I am unwilling to compromise on retirement/medical/college savings, often savings for other things end up being diverted to what I consider to be wasteful spending. This is not a huge problem for us financially, as we've technically got some money to blow.  However, we are currently in a 2-bedroom apartment and husband wants an upgrade.  I am irresponsible for even suggesting that baby and toddler could share a room. I don't care about marital harmony by suggesting that baby could bunk in our room. I want to live like a third world family by suggesting that maybe we reconfigure the rest of our 1150 square ft. space to accommodate the new tiny human.

So then I suggest that I'm up for moving to a bigger place, but we need to discuss what we will cut out of the budget as we are currently spending everything he makes. He flies off the handle about the fact that somehow everyone we know has nicer cars, houses, and stuff than us, and they don't make what he does.  He feels he's reached a certain status in his career, and it's embarrassing to be the only one who doesn't have all the stuff. He grew up with people who really didn't have money--used food stamps, etc.--and I am paranoid about nothing. He ends every conversation about money by suggesting that he will drop dead of a heart attack at age 55 due to the stress, but at least I will have a big pile of money to retire on. Nice.

We spend so much more money than I'm comfortable with, and so much less than makes him happy, and I don't see either of us ever convincing the other one of our position. I think our life is awesomely abundant just the way it is, and he sees it as embarrassing and stressful. I don't want a divorce, but the idea of fighting about this for the rest of our lives is just a bummer. Feel like we should see a marriage counselor, but he would think it was a waste of time, and I would worry about the cost.

Thegoblinchief

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Re: Another 'spouse is not on board' rant
« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2014, 07:43:51 AM »
If he is someone who will actually read it, he's a good candidate for reading "The Millionaire Next Door." A lot of the most salient points are right in the first 1/4 of the book.

I have 3 kids in 730 sqft. All 3 share a bedroom and (gasp) they're mixed genders. It's totally doable. In fact, a number of parents around here have suggested that their kids were happier sharing bedrooms when young.

Do you live in a market that favors renting or buying? Sometimes a smaller house gives more freedom because you gain a basement, a yard, and a garage.

Some of his comments show a big lack of respect for your opinion. If you can't do counseling, setting up "mad money" allowances may help. Keep in mind YOU can always save your allowance.

nereo

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Re: Another 'spouse is not on board' rant
« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2014, 08:31:54 AM »
NissyKins2

I feel your frustration and I hope you both can find a way through this. 
From your comments I think it's obvious that you and your husband not only view money differently, but also think about retirement differently.

You mentioned that he grew up poor, in a family that used food stamps, and that he thinks it is 'embarrassing' to be the only man in the office who doesn't drive a nicer car or have luxury items.  To me that sounds like he views those items as a way of measuring his own success, and in a very personal way not having them makes him feel like he hasn;t achieved the same level of success as his peers.  And while the following sentiment will be hugely unpopular on this forum and against my own mustachian tendencies, your husbands desire for 'nicer things' are completely understandable, given what you've said about his upbringing and his high-powered work tendencies.  The challenge is to get him to see the value of saving and not measuring success by the car he drives or the home he lives in.

goblinchief made a good suggestion about asking him to read The Millionaire Next Door.  If he hasn't considered the magic of compound interest, it also may be useful to show him how $15k saved a year could grow to an inflation-adjusted $1M in under 25 years - that saving a small percentage of his income now at age 35 could make him a multi-millionaire before he could withdraw his first SS check.  That might be another motivator.

In the short-term though (and this again may make me unpopular around MMM-ville) you might need to meet in the middle.  It sounds like you've both dug in your heels, but figure out what the absolute minimum is that you would be comfortable saving, and what the minimum "things" he feels he needs to consider his life a success right now.  It might mean that you have to have a luxury sedan (god, PLEASE try at least for it to be pre-owned).  For you, I'd suggest that he agree that you will both fully-fund your IRAs, have an emergency account and that he will take enough of his 401(k) to get the full-match, and that you agree these funds won't be touched until retirement.  At that minimum step you can at least be confident that you will have $1.5M+ in the bank before traditional retirement starts.  Start from those points and work together to find a compromise.   And keep explaining that everything you don't spend now means you will have exponentially more down the road.

Finally, your husband sounds like the sort that might always work.  That's the way some people have been wired since they were toddlers. My own dear dad worked as a doctor for 40+ years before retiring last year, even though they hit their retirement number about a decade ago.  His brother now teases him about being 'unemployed' and how he's 'living off government checks now' even though he's in his late 60s.  That's the kind of people they were raised to be.  I don't even mention ER to my uncle because i know it would be met with a mixture of scorn and disgust.  In your situation though, it sounds like he very well might keep working into his 60s, unless your mustachian views slowly rub off on him.  I hope that they do. 

Greg

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Re: Another 'spouse is not on board' rant
« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2014, 08:45:22 AM »
Your hubby has a case of affluenza for sure.  Ask him to inquire of his workmates how many of them own these fancy cars.  The answer will probably be zero.  As long as they're making payments they're being taken.  And it's all for show.  Until he realizes this there's no hope. 

His opinion that you're paranoid for nothing is actually a problem related to his upbringing.  Hey, we've got cash now and will also in the future, right?  So let's spend it now because recessions never happen.  It's pretty hardwired into his brain and you've got to fix that before he'll come around.

I would stay in your current place, the kids can share a room.  Perhaps you could do that, keep your room for yourselves.

For the money I'd get separate bank accounts and a joint account.  Each of you contributes your share (how you determine that will have to be up to you) to the joint account and that's used for the bills.  The bills have to be split between the two of you, some for you and some for him.  One of the "bills" will have to be a savings account.  The personal accounts have to be transparent and reviewed monthly.  Budgeting, learn it.  This will help show him how all the money is spent.

Me?  I was just like you husband growing up.  It's kind of a form of entitlement.  Took me decades to figure it out and yes, my wife finding this website really helped.  Or helps.

socaso

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Re: Another 'spouse is not on board' rant
« Reply #4 on: May 04, 2014, 08:50:26 AM »
The cost of marriage counseling is small compared to divorce. It sounds like the two of you could use a neutral person to talk to who will help you find common ground. Perhaps in counseling you could ask that as part of the two of you coming to an understanding about the other's POV you'd like to request that he read MMM or a personal finance book that was inspirational to you. If you tell your spouse that you fear these money arguments will someday be a deal breaker in your marriage someday down the line and it's better to work it out while you are both still willing to try.

DoubleDown

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Re: Another 'spouse is not on board' rant
« Reply #5 on: May 04, 2014, 09:10:27 AM »
Tough situation, obviously from all the discussions in this forum you are not alone!

Could part of the disagreement be that you are simply talking past each other, and not focusing on actual, measurable goals? For example, in your post you said:
Quote
We are currently saving about 1/4 of our income.

Then you said:
Quote
So then I suggest that I'm up for moving to a bigger place, but we need to discuss what we will cut out of the budget as we are currently spending everything he makes.

Those two statements alone are a disconnect to me, and I wouldn't be surprised if your husband sees it that way too. Saving 25% is actually really good compared to most average, lame-ass Americans, which is probably what your husband recognizes and why he feels like he is being deprived and should be able to buy more "stuff." But as you know, you could also do much better than 25%, particularly on a high income.

My guess is it would help to:

a. Have some discussions where you focus on mutual, measurable saving/spending goals. I.e., how much you want to save, and how much he wants to spend. See if you can find a compromise on the savings rate that can both agree to, and let him know that once you agree on that rate, you'll let him spend at will, no questions asked.

b. Once you have the agreed savings rate, set it on autopilot so that it comes out of his paycheck first, every single paycheck.

c. Anything left over, you and he get to spend without guilt. If he wants to buy that 9th big screen TV, as wasteful as it is, let him, and don't harass him about it. As long as you're meeting your savings goal above, everything is fine.

d. Take a break from these discussions whenever it becomes heated, and return to it when you are both calm again. Just make it a goal to eventually come up with a saving and spending rate you can both agree to.

e. Also, agree to revisit the discussion at some specified interval (say every 6 months or year) in case either of you feels like an adjustment is needed. This lets you both know nothing is set in stone, forever.

f. If you can't reach a mutual savings/spending goal in these discussions, then some third party help will likely be needed.

If it helps, I used to be your husband in a lot of ways. He very well may come around, in time. Based on what you've described, and how closely I aligned with him, I'll tell you another thing that will likely go a looooong way in getting what you want, and improving the overall relationship: Let him know how much you appreciate him being the breadwinner, how hard he works for you and the family, and how awesome it is that he has been so successful at his young age. Let him know you're on his team and that you value what he does. Don't just do it once, do it repeatedly so he really understands you appreciate him.

Seriously, once he knows that you really do appreciate him bringing home the big bucks, it will likely melt a lot of his resistance. Otherwise, he just sees you as challenging him being a successful, big boy and he's going to put up even more resistance.

mm1970

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Re: Another 'spouse is not on board' rant
« Reply #6 on: May 04, 2014, 09:14:50 AM »
I have two kids in an 1146 sf house,  no garage.  It's fine.

I don't have the trappings either.  Two small cars (I want a minivan SO BAD but really, I don't need one!)  We don't do fancy vacations, we don't go out to eat, we don't do a lot of stuff.  But we are both frugal.

I can understand the desire though.  I see friends with new cars, nicer cars, bigger houses, trips to Europe and Hawaii, fancier phone plans...but you know, for the most part, I recognize that they just have less money in savings.  When my company had layoffs this week, I admitted to my coworkers and friends that I don't *have* to work I *like* to work.

Do your husband's friends all have SAHMs?  That's a question.  Are they all 35?  I mean, 35 is youngish to be a COO (though my company COO was that age when he started). My coworkers of that age complain about not being able to buy a house, but my husband and I were 34 and 36 when we bought a house and we'd been saving for a LONG time and didn't have kids yet.  All sorts of big and little choices and decisions go into figuring out when you can "afford" things, including your work status, age when you have kids, commute length, how often you eat out and go on vacation, what kind of cell phone plan you have...basically, how you spend money.

thepokercab

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Re: Another 'spouse is not on board' rant
« Reply #7 on: May 04, 2014, 09:26:47 AM »
Nissykins2, I feel for your situation. 

I also grew up in a household of limited means, and once I broke through that and went to college and got my first job, I started spending every dollar that I had- and many dollars that I didn't have. This continued as I got married, and during the first few years of my marriage, my wife would bring up the same sorts of conversations about saving, retirement, etc.. and I just wouldn't listen.  In my mind, i was working hard for the money, and I wanted to live NOW.  To me that meant expensive travel, going out every night, having cool toys, etc.. 

We eventually started going to counselling and I must admit I think it helped a ton.  One of the things that the counselor really opened my eyes to was that I was getting a ton of my self worth from my job, and by extension the money and status I thought it was bringing me.  This was still the case, even as we were having kids.  Like your husband, I've worked a ton, and it was very satisfying to be successful and to be recognized as successful at work.  Too much of my self-worth was tied to my job.

But I think what counselling really helped me with was getting more self worth from being a good husband and father, than with being a good employee. My wife also started making more of a point as to how valued I am at home and with the kids.  I know that might sound like something that should be self-evident, but I don't think it is for all people, especially men.  I love my kids, but there were times when I didn't really think I was needed or that valuable- so naturally, one starts looking towards other places to feel those things. For me it was work.  I'm not implying this is the same for your husband, but just giving you my own experience. 

So, if counseling is something you are able to convince your husband to do, I highly recommend it. 

All I can say is that, at least for me, once I started thinking differently about what was really important, the switch flipped in terms of frugality and financial independence.  While I still work a lot, i no longer WANT to work all of the time, and I don't want to imagine myself working till I drop dead.  I now value saving money and thinking about the eventual freedom it will bring us. So- your husband might think the way he does now, but have faith,  it can change.  I hope everything works out!

Zamboni

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Re: Another 'spouse is not on board' rant
« Reply #8 on: May 04, 2014, 10:29:28 AM »
Quote
Feel like we should see a marriage counselor, but he would think it was a waste of time, and I would worry about the cost.

It's never a waste of time, and the counselor can help.  It's possible his company has an Employee Assistance PLan which would make it free (although he might not want to use it if he is paranoid someone will find out, but honestly many people have some rocky patches in marriages and I bet his peers would actually be supportive if they found out.)

There is lots of good advice above.  Your situation is fairly common.

What is he spending money on that you think is frivolous?  Meals out?  Golf or other hobbies?  Trips?  Gadgets?

Rezdent

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Re: Another 'spouse is not on board' rant
« Reply #9 on: May 04, 2014, 10:43:03 AM »
 I see others have recommended counseling.  Counseling requires that both parties recognize the road block AND commit to overcoming it with the help of a 3rd party.  That may or may not be feasible in your case.
I would recommend counseling if feasible.   I also recommend that you pursue independent study to improve your own communication skills (with or without counseling).  I'm a big fan of working on self since that's the only person you can change on your own.  There are lots of resources out there.  For starters, I recommend a book called "Crucial Conversations"  which could help you reach common ground even if your spouse never reads it.  The book has techniques to identify and facilitate mutual agreements where the
1. stakes are high,
2. emotions are high, and
3. opinions differ.
Whether or not you resolve this particular issue, my idea of progress is when you can have disagreements that don't devolve into arguments.  I'm still working on it and am now after 2 years about 95% successful. Still more work for me to do.   And no, my spouse wouldn't do counseling or read books :)  I did the work to improve myself and oddly it seems to be rubbing off on him.  Even the FIRE concepts are becoming common goals for us.  But nicest of all is the improvement in our marriage.  Hang in there, I'm rooting for ya!

CarDude

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Re: Another 'spouse is not on board' rant
« Reply #10 on: May 04, 2014, 10:46:59 AM »
Definitely consider counseling or at the very least, self help books. The Seven Principles book by Gottman is a great one, as your issues are pretty much the definition of an "unsolvable problem" as outlined in the book. You both see money in fundamentally different ways related to your core identities, and learning to honor and respect each other's dreams regarding money is key to moving forward together.

Gin1984

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Re: Another 'spouse is not on board' rant
« Reply #11 on: May 04, 2014, 11:08:36 AM »
Here is the thing I am noticing, he brings in most of the money.  If you were both earning about equal amounts, we could say, just have separate accounts etc.  But he is providing for you and him (unless your hustle makes about what he makes?).  Could you save all of your hustle and let him spend his income (minus of course a normal persons recommendation for retirement/college)?  And appearances do matter when you are moving up the ladder, which most mustachians don't care about because they don't plan to work all the time but you need to realize that he may have a better handle on his coworkers and bosses than you do.

BFGirl

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Re: Another 'spouse is not on board' rant
« Reply #12 on: May 04, 2014, 02:42:03 PM »
I think you will each need to compromise and see if you can find middle ground.  If you love each other and want each other to be happy you should be able to make this work.   Spending 20 years in a power struggle is not fun.

MicroRN

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Re: Another 'spouse is not on board' rant
« Reply #13 on: May 04, 2014, 03:03:29 PM »
Sometimes what you have to do is just show them that it works.  I've been quietly stashing money and dialing down our expenses.  When I showed my husband on YNAB how much our net worth has increased in the past few months, he got intrigued.  THEN I showed him that we could actually manage solely on what I earn, if we weren't paying for a nanny. 

By the way, we have a 3 bedroom house, but our toddler boys share a room anyway.  DH was also thinking mini-van or other big vehicle when we had a second kid, but I told him I wasn't driving a minivan!  Two kids fit just fine in a (paid for) Civic, and if we have company we take 2 cars.  I know it sometimes bugs him when he sees the huge houses that some of his co-workers have, but we're headed for freedom.  Even if he stays in his job, I want him to be able to walk away if he gets a bad assignment next.

Lukim

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Re: Another 'spouse is not on board' rant
« Reply #14 on: May 04, 2014, 06:30:22 PM »
My rant is slightly off topic - but I will rant it anyway.

First off, I have to admit, we are relatively well off, but I do not like to see money wasted.

I am now the money maker.  My wife now only works 2 afternoons a week.

We are organising a 90th birthday party for my father who lives in Sydney.  My wife suggested we go down 4 days before the birthday celebration and clean out his yard and house.  My eldest daughter (20) would look after the youngest daughter (14) for 4 days.

Eldest daughter says she is not going to get out of bed early to organise to get youngest to school, nor will she be responsible for picking her up from after school sport.   Wife's solution is to put youngest into boarding school for a week at a cost of $700.  The minimum charge is $700, even though the youngest will only be there 4 nights!!!

No one in my family has any understanding of the value of money.

End of rant.

Nissykins2

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Re: Another 'spouse is not on board' rant
« Reply #15 on: May 04, 2014, 06:36:39 PM »
Definitely glad I posted. I had a few light bulb moments based on things you guys said. Biggest one was in response to Doubledown's comment regarding the disconnect between the fact that we save 25% of our income and the fact that I feel like we spend everything that we make. I realized that I don't really think of the 25% that we save as being very much.  I mean, I think you save 15% of your income for retirement unless you're a dumb ass who wants to eat dog food in your golden years. In my mind it goes without saying that, if you have health insurance with a $5K deductible and a young family, and the government will give you a tax break on it, you'll max out your HSA. We're planning to help send our two kids to college, and we get a state tax break on the 529, so it's a no-brainer to contribute to that as well.

In my mind, those three things are in the same category as buying groceries or paying our rent--non options. I don't think it's an impressive amount to save.  It's the amount that would be asinine not to save and the bare minimum of saving that makes me comfortable. Having another Mustachian remind me that this is pretty good compared to the average Joe was helpful. No wonder my husband, who would be inclined to save almost nothing, feels a little oppressed. He's not really arguing with me too much about saving for these things, he's arguing about saving more money on top of this. So, the problem is that we both already feel like we're compromising and the other person is unappreciative: he feels like we're saving a ton, and I feel like we're saving the absolute bare minimum.

I appreciated you folks (especially those with the male point of view) sharing your stories as well.  It's amazing all the emotions that can get wrapped up in discussions that are seemingly about money.  My husband definitely deserves to hear from me that he is appreciated for working so hard outside the home and is very loved and needed in the home, as well. 

Love the suggestions for books to look at, too. It is so kind of you guys to take the time to offer advice, especially on a topic that's been beaten into the ground like this one. Thanks to all.

Norrie

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Re: Another 'spouse is not on board' rant
« Reply #16 on: May 04, 2014, 09:11:34 PM »
Not much to add to what has already been said, but wanted to tell you that our daughter and son shared a bedroom for several years when they were little (he was in our room until about nine months, then moved in with his big sister). After a few years, I felt like they really "needed" their own rooms or whatever. We had to move houses due to health issues (had to be minutes from the children's hospital in town, on a slab foundation, no crawlspace, etc.), but we really didn't need a bigger house.

Anyway, I was sure that we did, so we bought a house in which they'd each get their own room. And they spent the next three years saying that it wasn't faaaaair that they didn't get to share anymore. And every weekend/summer, they had sleepovers. Our daughter would sleep on a mattress on the floor of her brother's room.

It was so ridiculous. I was like, "but we bought this house so that you guys could have your own rooms!" and they were all, "but we never said that we wanted our own rooms! WE WERE FINE".

Now our daughter is almost 13, and is glad to have her own space, but she and her brother are still tight, and still hang out in each other's rooms more often than not.

Moral of the story: I get where your husband's head is with this, but he's likely just as wrong as I was.

I hope that things improve for you. It sounds like your opinions are not being heard/valued over his own hang ups with money. I hope that you guys find a happy middle ground that works for both of you.

CommonCents

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Re: Another 'spouse is not on board' rant
« Reply #17 on: May 04, 2014, 09:23:07 PM »
And appearances do matter when you are moving up the ladder, which most mustachians don't care about because they don't plan to work all the time but you need to realize that he may have a better handle on his coworkers and bosses than you do.

I think many mustachians recognize that you need to dress well in certain professions.  They just reject the notion that means you *must* spend a lot to do so, suggesting alternative options to save some dough.  I agree on that, but appearances in terms of what car you drive...really *don't* matter in terms of getting ahead in the workplace.  (If they do, you are in one crazy workplace, or perhaps in real estate.)  I've never known or heard of anyone denied or put up for a promotion based about the type of car that they drove.  (Note: This doesn't apply if your job involves a lot of catering to clients, particularly high end ones.  Then yes, appearances can matter.)

Zamboni

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Re: Another 'spouse is not on board' rant
« Reply #18 on: May 04, 2014, 09:42:35 PM »
Actually, once you are a corporate executive, it is possible that the other execs expect you to have a fancy car.  At least at my last stint in industry all of the upper management had fancy-pants cars which they seemed able to discuss with each other at great length.  The CEO was a car buff who had an 8 car garage  which he used to fix up classic cars.  Two of the VP's had vipers (one white and one blue, and they liked to park next to each other.)  Pretty much without an expensive sports car or luxury sedan combined with a decent golf game, you wouldn't get a membership card to their corporate management club.  Ridiculous, but true.  I'm sure that many of them were leveraged to the hilt.

One trick that I saw a couple of guys use was to buy older used cars of prestigious brands.  One guy bought an old large BMW that still had nice looking paint.  Another guy bought an old full sized jag (I do not recommend this particular car based upon what he told me even routine part replacement cost him.)  It kind of parallels what was just suggested above about looking dandy but not blowing the bank on clothes.

greaper007

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Re: Another 'spouse is not on board' rant
« Reply #19 on: May 04, 2014, 09:49:37 PM »
If he is someone who will actually read it, he's a good candidate for reading "The Millionaire Next Door." A lot of the most salient points are right in the first 1/4 of the book.

I have 3 kids in 730 sqft. All 3 share a bedroom and (gasp) they're mixed genders. It's totally doable. In fact, a number of parents around here have suggested that their kids were happier sharing bedrooms when young.

Do you live in a market that favors renting or buying? Sometimes a smaller house gives more freedom because you gain a basement, a yard, and a garage.

Some of his comments show a big lack of respect for your opinion. If you can't do counseling, setting up "mad money" allowances may help. Keep in mind YOU can always save your allowance.

I have 2 kids, and we all sleep in the same room, in a 4 bedroom house...  I sort of wish that we would have bought a 500 square foot house with a 5000 square foot workshop.

Nissykins2

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Re: Another 'spouse is not on board' rant
« Reply #20 on: May 05, 2014, 02:05:20 AM »
I love reading all these stories of kids/families sharing rooms. We are waiting to be surprised by the gender of our second child. When I suggested the kids could share a room, DH said, "what if the new baby's a girl?" I suggested that maybe that wouldn't matter until closer to adolescence and he responded with, "are we even allowed to do that?" :) DH is also quite safety-conscious and worries that toddler might throw something into baby's crib at night causing injury/death. He truly acted like I had made the most outlandish suggestion ever.

In response to questions about the corporate culture he's in, DH's company is very small. The other two executives are each at least 20 years older than my husband. CFO is a millionaire-next-door-type (he just bought a used Hyundai Sonata based on my raves about ours) but, of course, is further along on his financial journey.  CEO lives the typical crazy-leveraged life: gorgeous McMansion, fleet of leased vehicles, extensive wine cellar, etc.  You can guess which colleague my DH thinks is living the good life and has the right idea.

I honestly think, though, that DH seems more concerned about showing friends, family, and employees that he's 'made it' than he is about fitting in with the other higher-ups. His purchases are less along the lines of expensive suits and cars than they are season tickets to sporting events in his hometown (3 hours away from where we live) or picking up the tab for everybody when his friends get together for dinner or drinks.

I don't really begrudge him these purchases (much) as he does work hard and deserves to enjoy his limited free time.  A $500 restaurant bill, though, is a lot easier for me to stomach when it results in reduced contributions to the savings account than when it results in reduced ability to pay a giant mortgage. I think that is why I worry so much about keeping housing costs under control in our HCOL area.

former player

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Re: Another 'spouse is not on board' rant
« Reply #21 on: May 05, 2014, 05:46:38 AM »
My rant is slightly off topic - but I will rant it anyway.

First off, I have to admit, we are relatively well off, but I do not like to see money wasted.

I am now the money maker.  My wife now only works 2 afternoons a week.

We are organising a 90th birthday party for my father who lives in Sydney.  My wife suggested we go down 4 days before the birthday celebration and clean out his yard and house.  My eldest daughter (20) would look after the youngest daughter (14) for 4 days.

Eldest daughter says she is not going to get out of bed early to organise to get youngest to school, nor will she be responsible for picking her up from after school sport.   Wife's solution is to put youngest into boarding school for a week at a cost of $700.  The minimum charge is $700, even though the youngest will only be there 4 nights!!!

No one in my family has any understanding of the value of money.

End of rant.

Apparently your older daughter doesn't have any understanding of the value of family, either.  I hope that at least she is paying you rent.

BFGirl

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Re: Another 'spouse is not on board' rant
« Reply #22 on: May 05, 2014, 06:05:14 AM »
My rant is slightly off topic - but I will rant it anyway.

First off, I have to admit, we are relatively well off, but I do not like to see money wasted.

I am now the money maker.  My wife now only works 2 afternoons a week.

We are organising a 90th birthday party for my father who lives in Sydney.  My wife suggested we go down 4 days before the birthday celebration and clean out his yard and house.  My eldest daughter (20) would look after the youngest daughter (14) for 4 days.

Eldest daughter says she is not going to get out of bed early to organise to get youngest to school, nor will she be responsible for picking her up from after school sport.   Wife's solution is to put youngest into boarding school for a week at a cost of $700.  The minimum charge is $700, even though the youngest will only be there 4 nights!!!

No one in my family has any understanding of the value of money.

End of rant.

Before my son got his drivers license, I made it clear to my daughter that since I am paying for her gas, she would run errands for me, including picking up her brother, if I needed her to.

S0VERE1GN

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Re: Another 'spouse is not on board' rant
« Reply #23 on: May 05, 2014, 06:05:54 AM »
My wife was somewhat similar: work forever, use money to buy us status type stuff...but always stressed and feeling "behind" as well.

one early afternoon work day  I just sent her the link for MMM and said "check it out"

its been an evolving conversation ever since.

ALSO: don't lose heart, its amazing how fast people's minds change (especially mens!) and how fast your financial situation can change as well using these techniques.

NeverWasACornflakeGirl

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Re: Another 'spouse is not on board' rant
« Reply #24 on: May 05, 2014, 08:18:33 AM »
Nissykins2;
I really feel for you.  Just a couple of months ago I felt like my 23-year relationship was doomed because I was so desperate to leave work and my spouse was not on board.  I posted, got some good advice, and now I only have 4 weeks of work left!  My situation is/was really different from yours, so I don't have specific advice to give, other than to say that I think counseling is a really great idea.  But I do want to say that there is hope, and it may be that, with some counseling, you and your spouse can start to work as a team instead of feeling like you're on different sides.

Best wishes, and congrats on the new little one you are expecting!

dragoncar

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Re: Another 'spouse is not on board' rant
« Reply #25 on: May 05, 2014, 08:30:59 AM »
Don't have much to add (agree with other posters), but I also see a disconnect between him growing up poor and having the mentality that he can just make more money whenever he wants.

Cpa Cat

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Re: Another 'spouse is not on board' rant
« Reply #26 on: May 05, 2014, 08:31:19 AM »
Eldest daughter says she is not going to get out of bed early to organise to get youngest to school, nor will she be responsible for picking her up from after school sport.   

LOL. I think my reponse would be, "Well, then I guess you'll be getting up early to MOVE OUT OF MY HOUSE."

But that's easy to say when it's not your kid, I guess.

Can't you hire a sitter to come in to get the younger one off to school and pick her up? You can pay her a little extra to bang pots and pans together in the morning.

CommonCents

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Re: Another 'spouse is not on board' rant
« Reply #27 on: May 05, 2014, 08:41:34 AM »
Eldest daughter says she is not going to get out of bed early to organise to get youngest to school, nor will she be responsible for picking her up from after school sport.   

LOL. I think my reponse would be, "Well, then I guess you'll be getting up early to MOVE OUT OF MY HOUSE."

But that's easy to say when it's not your kid, I guess.

Can't you hire a sitter to come in to get the younger one off to school and pick her up? You can pay her a little extra to bang pots and pans together in the morning.

Yeah, as a kid it was clear that we only had driving privileges, not rights, and those came with agreeing to run certain errands with zero complaints, including driving siblings, picking something small up from the store, etc.  Mom didn't ask too often.  I didn't think about refusing.

greaper007

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Re: Another 'spouse is not on board' rant
« Reply #28 on: May 05, 2014, 08:43:30 AM »
I love reading all these stories of kids/families sharing rooms. We are waiting to be surprised by the gender of our second child. When I suggested the kids could share a room, DH said, "what if the new baby's a girl?" I suggested that maybe that wouldn't matter until closer to adolescence and he responded with, "are we even allowed to do that?" :) DH is also quite safety-conscious and worries that toddler might throw something into baby's crib at night causing injury/death. He truly acted like I had made the most outlandish suggestion ever.

In response to questions about the corporate culture he's in, DH's company is very small. The other two executives are each at least 20 years older than my husband. CFO is a millionaire-next-door-type (he just bought a used Hyundai Sonata based on my raves about ours) but, of course, is further along on his financial journey.  CEO lives the typical crazy-leveraged life: gorgeous McMansion, fleet of leased vehicles, extensive wine cellar, etc.  You can guess which colleague my DH thinks is living the good life and has the right idea.

I honestly think, though, that DH seems more concerned about showing friends, family, and employees that he's 'made it' than he is about fitting in with the other higher-ups. His purchases are less along the lines of expensive suits and cars than they are season tickets to sporting events in his hometown (3 hours away from where we live) or picking up the tab for everybody when his friends get together for dinner or drinks.

I don't really begrudge him these purchases (much) as he does work hard and deserves to enjoy his limited free time.  A $500 restaurant bill, though, is a lot easier for me to stomach when it results in reduced contributions to the savings account than when it results in reduced ability to pay a giant mortgage. I think that is why I worry so much about keeping housing costs under control in our HCOL area.

Instead of just telling him your thoughts, why don't you guys do some research together, or go to therapy.    My wife and I have a pretty good relationship but we're currently in therapy to get through some issues.    We were never in danger of being divorced but it's nice to have a free and open space with a moderator to talk about the big issues in our lives and relationship.    We go twice a month for $100 a pop, less than the average person spends eating out a month (which we don't do).   It sounds like you guys not only have some relationship issues, but some lingering childhood trauma to deal with (coming from a poor family that wasn't always sure where the next meal would come from).    Therapy is a great place to get that squared away.

Have you guys sat down to make a budget?    That really gets rid of the arbitrary "You're spending too much on sporting events, you spend too much on clothes" arguments (I know that sounded misogynistic, but if I had the dough I'd spend way more money  on clothes than my wife and she'd probably enjoy sporting events more than me).    You can set how much you think a reasonable savings level is, and he can still have enough money to spend on the things he thinks are important.    As long as everyone sticks to the budget there shouldn't really be anything to fight about.

Peter

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Re: Another 'spouse is not on board' rant
« Reply #29 on: May 05, 2014, 08:52:29 AM »
Good luck finding a marriage or financial counselor who will agree with you that saving more than 25% of your income is necessary... especially since it is causing so much "stress" to your spouse!

Most would probably side with your husband and suggest that saving 10-15% of your income (like all the books say) is perfectly adequate and that you should loosen up.

dragoncar

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Re: Another 'spouse is not on board' rant
« Reply #30 on: May 05, 2014, 08:58:01 AM »
Eldest daughter says she is not going to get out of bed early to organise to get youngest to school, nor will she be responsible for picking her up from after school sport.   

LOL. I think my reponse would be, "Well, then I guess you'll be getting up early to MOVE OUT OF MY HOUSE."

But that's easy to say when it's not your kid, I guess.

Can't you hire a sitter to come in to get the younger one off to school and pick her up? You can pay her a little extra to bang pots and pans together in the morning.

HA, I too like to joke about threats of criminal neglect!

greaper007

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Re: Another 'spouse is not on board' rant
« Reply #31 on: May 05, 2014, 09:04:19 AM »
Good luck finding a marriage or financial counselor who will agree with you that saving more than 25% of your income is necessary... especially since it is causing so much "stress" to your spouse!

Most would probably side with your husband and suggest that saving 10-15% of your income (like all the books say) is perfectly adequate and that you should loosen up.

A good counselor doesn't inject their personal opinions into a situation (I know, my wife is a great clinical psychologist).    Instead, they help people or couples realize solutions for the problems in their life.   

A 25% savings rate may be great for most people, but most people shouldn't be what you or your relationship is judged on.   Whats effective and healthy for you and your partner is what your relationship should be judged on.    For some people that may be a higher savings rate.

Cpa Cat

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Re: Another 'spouse is not on board' rant
« Reply #32 on: May 05, 2014, 09:24:34 AM »
Eldest daughter says she is not going to get out of bed early to organise to get youngest to school, nor will she be responsible for picking her up from after school sport.   

LOL. I think my reponse would be, "Well, then I guess you'll be getting up early to MOVE OUT OF MY HOUSE."

But that's easy to say when it's not your kid, I guess.

Can't you hire a sitter to come in to get the younger one off to school and pick her up? You can pay her a little extra to bang pots and pans together in the morning.

HA, I too like to joke about threats of criminal neglect!

Is it actually a crime in Australia to make a 20 year old move out? Or has some kind of misunderstanding occured?

dragoncar

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Re: Another 'spouse is not on board' rant
« Reply #33 on: May 05, 2014, 09:31:32 AM »
Eldest daughter says she is not going to get out of bed early to organise to get youngest to school, nor will she be responsible for picking her up from after school sport.   

LOL. I think my reponse would be, "Well, then I guess you'll be getting up early to MOVE OUT OF MY HOUSE."

But that's easy to say when it's not your kid, I guess.

Can't you hire a sitter to come in to get the younger one off to school and pick her up? You can pay her a little extra to bang pots and pans together in the morning.

HA, I too like to joke about threats of criminal neglect!

Is it actually a crime in Australia to make a 20 year old move out? Or has some kind of misunderstanding occured?

LOL, sorry, I missed the (20).  MY BAD

rocksinmyhead

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Re: Another 'spouse is not on board' rant
« Reply #34 on: May 05, 2014, 10:23:38 AM »
This is the first thing that needs to happen. Once you have gotten this point across, handle the rest. I may add more later, but I was going to say this very thing.

If it helps, I used to be your husband in a lot of ways. He very well may come around, in time. Based on what you've described, and how closely I aligned with him, I'll tell you another thing that will likely go a looooong way in getting what you want, and improving the overall relationship: Let him know how much you appreciate him being the breadwinner, how hard he works for you and the family, and how awesome it is that he has been so successful at his young age. Let him know you're on his team and that you value what he does. Don't just do it once, do it repeatedly so he really understands you appreciate him.

Seriously, once he knows that you really do appreciate him bringing home the big bucks, it will likely melt a lot of his resistance. Otherwise, he just sees you as challenging him being a successful, big boy and he's going to put up even more resistance.

yeah, I thought this too. I know it isn't necessarily line with the mindset of many here, but honestly, one of my first thoughts when I read your post was, "wow, that's really impressive that he's a COO at 35, and in a company/field he is really passionate about! very cool!" but I can see how it might be easy to take for granted (not saying you do necessarily, but I could see myself taking it for granted!) some reassurance that you are proud of him and appreciate what he does might go a long way, since it looks like he might subconsciously be looking for external affirmation. but I'm not a psychologist, I just made that up :)

DoubleDown

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Re: Another 'spouse is not on board' rant
« Reply #35 on: May 05, 2014, 01:28:09 PM »
Good for you Nissykins2, I think your positive attitude about all this is going to make great headway! I really do think the path of least resistance for you and your husband will be negotiating and agreeing on a savings rate that you can set and put on autopilot, so that you both can spend whatever is left however you wish, and you won't have to fret about it because the overall savings goal is being met.

Like I said, I used to be like your husband in many ways -- not the spending money to demonstrate success part -- but career-driven, rose through the ranks at a young age, primary bread-winner for the family with a SAHM and two kids, not as heavily focused on saving, bought anything I felt the family "deserved" including expensive houses and cars, and so on.

I'll tell you one thing that had a profound effect on me, so perhaps it will for your husband too: It was seeing the incredible results of compounding savings/interest over time, even though we had a paltry savings rate by MMM standards. We were probably saving about 15-20%, but with a high income, the savings stacked up after a few years. Then the light bulb went off for me that we could likely be considered "rich" at a pretty young age, and I wouldn't have to work until I was 65 if I didn't want to. Eventually, even though I was earning quite a bit when I finally quit, it was incredible to me that passive income took over my active earnings. That is still amazing to me.

Maybe if you can demonstrate to your husband what you have already acquired, and what you will likely accumulate in a few short years of focused saving/investing, it will encourage him to hit a higher savings rate. I'd say nothing says you've "made it" financially like having a crap-load of $ in your accounts. Then he will have true financial power, not just the very temporary and shallow kind of being able to buy tickets or drinks or whatever. You could tell him, "Imagine what it would be like to literally double his already-high salary by hitting that target of passive income equaling his earned income. Then we'd have all kinds of financial power!"

Good luck, we're pulling for you!

LucyBIT

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Re: Another 'spouse is not on board' rant
« Reply #36 on: May 05, 2014, 01:57:44 PM »
Re: kids sharing a room

When I was 7, my family moved to a new house and my older sister and I got our own bedrooms, with the two youngest sisters sharing another one. We'd been living in a 1-bedroom log cabin my entire life up to that point, which means we'd had a king-sized bed plus bunk beds in the one bedroom, with my sister and I sleeping in the bunk beds and the two youngest sisters sleeping in the king with my parents.

We BEGGED for our own rooms. I remember wanting my own room sooooo much and being sooooo excited when I finally got it.

And then for the first year or so in the new house, all four of us slept in the master bedroom with our parents. In the bed, on the floor, on the easy chairs, on the little sofa, whatever. We were terrified to sleep alone after a lifetime in one bedroom.

I loved having my own room in high school, but at 7 it was unnecessary. I would have been happy with a corner my older sister wasn't allowed in.

CommonCents

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Re: Another 'spouse is not on board' rant
« Reply #37 on: May 05, 2014, 02:13:00 PM »
Sure kids can share (I did it for years - but apparently unlike many here, I hated it), but clearly compromise is in order with the OP's husband.  I suggest finding a more mainstream area to attack first.  I think this is one that horrifies non-mustachians more than "oh, no, I haven't gotten around to replacing my car yet.  Too busy."

payitoff

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Re: Another 'spouse is not on board' rant
« Reply #38 on: May 05, 2014, 02:23:12 PM »


Maybe if you can demonstrate to your husband what you have already acquired, and what you will likely accumulate in a few short years of focused saving/investing, it will encourage him to hit a higher savings rate. I'd say nothing says you've "made it" financially like having a crap-load of $ in your accounts. Then he will have true financial power, not just the very temporary and shallow kind of being able to buy tickets or drinks or whatever. You could tell him, "Imagine what it would be like to literally double his already-high salary by hitting that target of passive income equaling his earned income. Then we'd have all kinds of financial power!"

Good luck, we're pulling for you!
[/quote]

+1 on this

my husband is quite challenging too.. but yesterday, when kids started asking for a toy while we were out eating dinner,  he just blurted we dont have money, we only have money for dinner in our budget today. whoa, he used the word "budget"!  there are angels in the sky watching over for sure! 

i dont believe in counseling, esp. being mustachian, nobody really understands why were savings almost all of our money. just keep guiding him, it be great if you handle the household budgeting to surprise him of the savings you have made overtime.


homeymomma

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Re: Another 'spouse is not on board' rant
« Reply #39 on: May 05, 2014, 02:26:00 PM »
So many great thoughts on here, I just wanted to add another story of kids sharing a bedroom. I was a nanny for a wealthy family with a 4 br home. Their two kids, an older boy and younger girl, 4 year space. Not only shared a room, they had their beds pushed up together. They were absolutely adorable. The little girl had her own room but it was empty except for her clothes in the closet. They just preferred to be together!

We currently have a 2 br, with a second baby on the way. I'm planning to keep baby in our room as long as possible (most parents end up doing this anyway, for ease). And then seeing how combining the two in the same room goes, I'm hoping they may even be able to share my oldest's full size floor bed. If it's awful, we'll keep baby with us until we figure out a different solution.

I would at least acknowledge to your husband that the kids may need their own space eventually. If you dont, you seem a little hard nosed. And saying you acknowledge the possibility may keep him from pushing you into moving before you're ready.

rocksinmyhead

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Re: Another 'spouse is not on board' rant
« Reply #40 on: May 05, 2014, 02:38:52 PM »
my husband is quite challenging too.. but yesterday, when kids started asking for a toy while we were out eating dinner,  he just blurted we dont have money, we only have money for dinner in our budget today. whoa, he used the word "budget"!  there are angels in the sky watching over for sure! 

haha! I'm so happy for you, 2wakefulFlea!

jnik

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Re: Another 'spouse is not on board' rant
« Reply #41 on: May 05, 2014, 03:32:38 PM »
CFO is a millionaire-next-door-type (he just bought a used Hyundai Sonata based on my raves about ours) but, of course, is further along on his financial journey.  CEO lives the typical crazy-leveraged life: gorgeous McMansion, fleet of leased vehicles, extensive wine cellar, etc.  You can guess which colleague my DH thinks is living the good life and has the right idea.
And yet the other one manages money for a living. You'd think he'd notice that.

I wonder if the security aspect of FI would appeal to your husband: if something happens, the more we have stashed, the better off we are. As long as he didn't get prickly about the implication that maybe he won't be able to provide the big bucks for all eternity....

Happy Little Chipmunk

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Re: Another 'spouse is not on board' rant
« Reply #42 on: May 05, 2014, 04:53:15 PM »
I encourage you to let the children drive the decision about the bedrooms. Our older daughter/younger son shared until my daughter was 11 and REALLY wanted her own space. (Her brother was 8.) By then it made total sense. Before then, they needed each other.

Because she was the one who wanted to move, she was OK with moving to a smaller room (formerly the office). She helped me clean and paint the old office & I gave her a small budget for additional furnishings which she thought long and hard about spending. The space is truly hers and she is very proud of it. When her brother feels grown up enough to do the work, he can help choose paint and we can remake his space. Given that he's 10 and not particularly interested in how things look (unless it's Minecraft or Scratch programming) I think that project is a long time out.

They have a tight relationship even now that she is a fully hormonal (but mainly awesome) teenager. I credit much of that closeness to those hours of sharing space, whispered bedtime giggles, communal storytime and shared eye-rolling over the whims of their parents.

Good luck!

HairyUpperLip

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Re: Another 'spouse is not on board' rant
« Reply #43 on: May 05, 2014, 04:58:40 PM »
And yet the other one manages money for a living. You'd think he'd notice that.

lol - good point.

Lukim

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Re: Another 'spouse is not on board' rant
« Reply #44 on: May 05, 2014, 05:52:42 PM »
I will probably just pay the $700 as the price of keeping my sanity.

It is cheaper than divorce!

DollarBill

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Re: Another 'spouse is not on board' rant
« Reply #45 on: May 05, 2014, 06:27:49 PM »
Quote
Have you guys sat down to make a budget?    That really gets rid of the arbitrary "You're spending too much on sporting events, you spend too much on clothes" arguments (I know that sounded misogynistic, but if I had the dough I'd spend way more money  on clothes than my wife and she'd probably enjoy sporting events more than me).    You can set how much you think a reasonable savings level is, and he can still have enough money to spend on the things he thinks are important.    As long as everyone sticks to the budget there shouldn't really be anything to fight about.

*Agree* Most guys are visual learners/thinkers. I would show him on paper/computer how long it would take you to make it to FI or Debt free at a 25% savings rate then show him how long it would take at a 30%35%, 40% and so on. In the mean time I would track the family spending for a couple of months and look at the areas that could be easy savings. Start with the things you can do without him changing first...couponing, finding new recipes, cooking more, wasting less, less energy, shopping discount stores, reusing things and having friends over for a pot luck instead of going to a restaurant (I can throw a heck of a party for $300...saving $200).

I'm saving a ton by changing my insurance, my phone plan, cable, internet, by keeping the A/C a degree higher, turned down my water heater down 3 notches (can't tell the difference).

After a month or two of tracking draw up multiple budgets all laid out so he can visually see by cutting a certain area it would increase savings rate to ??% and in turn reach FI in X years sooner. Include one budget that could possibly get him a car upgrade in a year or two (It could be something he would want to work towards); but lets hope he jumps on board before that happens. Plus, when I see someone who makes a lot of money and I know they choose to drive a beater or a good gas mileage car I have a lot more respect for them. The guys that drive the two Vipers that park next to each other sound like total D-Bags.

I learned a lot from the book "The proper care and feeding of husbands". Especially the part to compliment him on the things he's doing right, instead of pointing out all the things he's doing wrong...he will start going out of his way to do those things that make you happy. If he does the dishes...don't say it's about time...say thank you DH and give him a warm hug :). I know it also works with wives too. I wish I would have read it before or during my marriage. I was an A-Hole because I would point out things like the dishwasher is loaded wrong or the toilet paper is suppose to go over not under...I got that from my Dads side.

I just read a story about a Father spent a lot of hours at work each week. One morning his Son or Daughter ask Dad why do you work so much?? Dad says to buy you things. When what they really want is their Dad to spend time with them. Plus, when working so hard your bound to hit a burnout period and you don't want to be in a situation where you can't walk away.

And if all this don't work...Find career after your kids get into school and then up the savings percentage. In my eyes its every guys dream to have a woman that would rather save money than spend it. But now I have a new problem...I need to find a woman that won't complain about me staying home because I don't have to work anymore (Sorry honey I didn't save enough for both of us). Is this really possible?? Hehe


   

DollarBill

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Re: Another 'spouse is not on board' rant
« Reply #46 on: May 05, 2014, 06:31:54 PM »
Also, he can start an allotment so the money is removed before he has time to spend it. Once it's not there you won't miss it. And bank any pay raises in the future.

Shann106

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Re: Another 'spouse is not on board' rant
« Reply #47 on: May 05, 2014, 07:18:01 PM »
I completely understand how you are feeling. We have only been married a short while and already I am having major doubts that I can spend the rest of my life fighting over money. We keep our finances separate but he makes 4x what I do and spends every dime, while I try to save and prepare for the future, and he makes fun of me for every change I make to try to save. Like your husband he lives by the mantra that you can always make more money. For instance today I felt proud of myself for resisting the vending machine at work, which I wouldn't have thought twice of pre MMM, only to gone home and find that he hired someone to poor a concrete slab to make room for his new riding mower.

DollarBill

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Re: Another 'spouse is not on board' rant
« Reply #48 on: May 05, 2014, 07:28:09 PM »
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For instance today I felt proud of myself for resisting the vending machine at work, which I wouldn't have thought twice of pre MMM, only to gone home and find that he hired someone to poor a concrete slab to make room for his new riding mower.

Classic area man...lol

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We keep our finances separate but he makes 4x what I do and spends every dime, while I try to save and prepare for the future, and he makes fun of me for every change I make to try to save.

I'd be interested in why you keep finances separate? Did one of you decide or was it equal?

dragoncar

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Re: Another 'spouse is not on board' rant
« Reply #49 on: May 05, 2014, 10:19:55 PM »
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For instance today I felt proud of myself for resisting the vending machine at work, which I wouldn't have thought twice of pre MMM, only to gone home and find that he hired someone to poor a concrete slab to make room for his new riding mower.

Classic area man...lol


Kinda hilarious that the riding mower, which is made to drive on grass, can't be parked on... you know... grass.