Author Topic: Convincing spouse to live a mustachian life  (Read 2140 times)

Megs193

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Convincing spouse to live a mustachian life
« on: June 27, 2018, 05:24:10 AM »
I discovered MMM a little less than a year ago and spent a month reading every article on the blog.  I shared some of the stuff with my spouse and he wasnít receptive. He makes a large salary and we spend much less than the people he works with so he sees us as frugal. He also has no desire to quit his job.  We save about 30% of our income which in his mind is plenty.  I have made whatever changes I can but it is getting increasingly difficult without him on board.  Has anyone been in the same situation and what did you do that worked?

Nicholas Carter

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Re: Convincing spouse to live a mustachian life
« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2018, 06:07:21 AM »
I siloed my money. There are certain house responsibilities that get paid for out of my budget, different house responsibilities that get paid out of her budget, and some we split a fixed amount in half. I save my money the way I want to, and she spends her money the way she wants to. We won't be retiring together, but she genuinely likes her job a whole lot more than I do, so she's less bothered by it.


SilveradoBojangles

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Re: Convincing spouse to live a mustachian life
« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2018, 07:06:28 AM »
I have written about this before, but my husband was similar. He felt that we were being responsible with our money just by not being in debt and saving a bit, and felt that following a budget would be very constraining. I got him on board by talking about our feelings associated with money, what we valued, how to align our spending with what makes us happiest, and our long term hopes/dreams and how having a nest egg/FU money/financial freedom would facilitate those. It helped that our parents have both gone through different money issues in the past, which allowed us to talk about what we want to do differently. His parents happened to be at a point where they wanted to do something else with their lives but couldn't quit their jobs because of a lack of savings (despite having made $250K/yr for the last 10 years - but hey, spending $1200 a month on groceries for 2 people will do that).

Those conversations got him on board with following a budget (we use YNAB to track spending), and what he thought would be constraining has actually made him feel more secure, because he knows where we are financially at all times (I've heard him extolling the virtues of YNAB to other people). He is still more spendy than me, and will probably always work, but that is fine because he has changed his behavior where it really matters for me (upping our savings rate, buying a smaller/cheaper house, etc.). And hopefully he feels I've tried to change to accommodate his needs.

So my advice is: don't talk about money. Talk about the feelings associated with money, and accept that your feelings are likely to be different, but that you can still find common ground.

elliha

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Re: Convincing spouse to live a mustachian life
« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2018, 08:14:40 AM »
Maybe your partner would be interested to make changes for a period for a more set goal? That way your partner could try what you want to do all the time but not feel he has jumped on a train he doesn't know if he can get off. Even if you have enough money, suggest you still save up for something you like before you buy it etc. If not doing something doesn't actually feel bad for you, why should you not continue to not do this?

I don't think my partner and I really have the same desires when it comes to how much we should save either. He probably sees what I see as the first step for me to feel comfortable as us being in a great financial position so I assume that when we are there we will have to have some discussions. Still, talking about goals and how we view money has been good for us and we have made some joint decisions that I have not expected us to reach so easily like keeping our car until our youngest stops using a rearfacing seat (another 2-3 years) and then buy a smaller and much more fuel efficient car, perhaps even a hybrid or electric car. I thought he would insist on the car he has previously dreamed about which if we could afford it now would be a good car for us but it will probably feel big once the kids are older.

Megs193

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Re: Convincing spouse to live a mustachian life
« Reply #5 on: June 27, 2018, 08:34:07 AM »
I siloed my money. There are certain house responsibilities that get paid for out of my budget, different house responsibilities that get paid out of her budget, and some we split a fixed amount in half. I save my money the way I want to, and she spends her money the way she wants to. We won't be retiring together, but she genuinely likes her job a whole lot more than I do, so she's less bothered by it.

I only work one day a week and am paid significantly less than my husband so I actually make less than 1% of our total income.  We consider all of it ďourĒ money because I am home taking care of our kids but Iím not sure how we would split it up.

Megs193

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Re: Convincing spouse to live a mustachian life
« Reply #6 on: June 27, 2018, 08:44:21 AM »
https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/ask-a-mustachian/how-to-convert-your-so-to-mmm-in-50-awesome-steps/

Great advice!  It made me realize how many areas I wasnít leasing by example in.  I have started cooking more, eating out less and trying to waste food but I havenít had the courage to cancel my cleaning people.  I havenít a cleaned my own house for 9 years so that actually really scares me!

Megs193

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Re: Convincing spouse to live a mustachian life
« Reply #7 on: June 27, 2018, 08:46:50 AM »
Maybe your partner would be interested to make changes for a period for a more set goal? That way your partner could try what you want to do all the time but not feel he has jumped on a train he doesn't know if he can get off. Even if you have enough money, suggest you still save up for something you like before you buy it etc. If not doing something doesn't actually feel bad for you, why should you not continue to not do this?

I don't think my partner and I really have the same desires when it comes to how much we should save either. He probably sees what I see as the first step for me to feel comfortable as us being in a great financial position so I assume that when we are there we will have to have some discussions. Still, talking about goals and how we view money has been good for us and we have made some joint decisions that I have not expected us to reach so easily like keeping our car until our youngest stops using a rearfacing seat (another 2-3 years) and then buy a smaller and much more fuel efficient car, perhaps even a hybrid or electric car. I thought he would insist on the car he has previously dreamed about which if we could afford it now would be a good car for us but it will probably feel big once the kids are older.

I really like this idea!  I signed up for the Uber Frugal Month Challenge on the Frugalwoods blog.  Maybe if I present it as how much can we save in one month he will be more likely to join.  Then when it is over we can discuss what was easy and what was hard and some of the habits will stick.

Laura33

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Re: Convincing spouse to live a mustachian life
« Reply #8 on: June 28, 2018, 10:17:34 AM »
I havenít a cleaned my own house for 9 years so that actually really scares me!

This is the best reason possible to do it.  Power comes from knowing you are strong and flexible and smart and generally capable of learning whatever you need to know to handle whatever life throws at you.

Obviously, be smart about it; don't jump in to, say, wiring your entire house, or installing your own gas line.  But something like housecleaning has a very, very wide margin of error -- really, what's the worst that can happen if you totally screw it up?  So dive in, learn what you need to, and grow.

In the interest of full disclosure, you will pry my cleaning service from my cold, dead hands.  But not because I'm intimidated; I cleaned my own house for years and am completely confident in my skills, thanks very much.  I just hate it with a grand passion.  And I'm also FI, so I can get away with that.  ;-)  And you too may decide in the end that the money is worth it.  But you should make that decision from a place of confidence, not intimidation.  There are many crappy chores that have to get done, and pretty much no one can afford to outsource all of them (at least not if you want to FIRE).  So do it yourself for a while, and then weigh how much value you are actually getting from that money, as compared to using it for savings, or other priorities that matter more.

SunnyDays

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Re: Convincing spouse to live a mustachian life
« Reply #9 on: June 28, 2018, 03:40:01 PM »
You don't say how old you and your husband are, or what he does for a living, but given that he is the sole supporter of the family, you might want to discuss what would happen if he could no longer work.  Stuff happens, and people's plans and expectations can go down the toilet in a hurry.  Then, there is no substitute for having enough money stashed away to weather a crisis.  So he doesn't HAVE to quit work, but wouldn't it be nice to know he COULD if he had to.  What would you and the kids live on if he couldn't work?  He may feel he's frugal compared to co-workers, but that's only a relative value.  Maybe you should do a case-study if you want to really improve your bottom line. There are likely lots of changes you could make without even noticing a diminished quality of life.

Megs193

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Re: Convincing spouse to live a mustachian life
« Reply #10 on: June 28, 2018, 04:59:16 PM »
You don't say how old you and your husband are, or what he does for a living, but given that he is the sole supporter of the family, you might want to discuss what would happen if he could no longer work.  Stuff happens, and people's plans and expectations can go down the toilet in a hurry.  Then, there is no substitute for having enough money stashed away to weather a crisis.  So he doesn't HAVE to quit work, but wouldn't it be nice to know he COULD if he had to.  What would you and the kids live on if he couldn't work?  He may feel he's frugal compared to co-workers, but that's only a relative value.  Maybe you should do a case-study if you want to really improve your bottom line. There are likely lots of changes you could make without even noticing a diminished quality of life.

This is actually the only reason I work 6 hours a week.  I am a PA so if I leave the field completely it could be hard to get back in. I have been keeping my foot in the door just in case I ever need or want to go back. Working full time I would make about 100k a year. Right now I am working at a job that pays me way under market value but allows me to only work while my kids are in school and only one day a week so I canít complain.  I think I would do a case study once I track what we spend which is my plan for July.

BrightFIRE

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Re: Convincing spouse to live a mustachian life
« Reply #11 on: June 29, 2018, 01:13:27 PM »
You might also want to read this: https://www.madfientist.com/an-unexpected-guest-post/ The MadFientist's wife was originally not on board with FIRE and he did his own thing. Then a few years later, she did a 180. A key quote that may resonate, "If I left my job what would I do? I enjoy my work and I enjoy having money to spend on the things I want."

thesis

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Re: Convincing spouse to live a mustachian life
« Reply #12 on: June 29, 2018, 01:55:45 PM »
I think everybody needs their angle. FI needs to be presented to people in a way that resonates with their desires. That may be doing a career shift, fishing all day, escaping the stress, starting one's own business/practice, etc. Think of what your husband desires most, and that may be the keys for change. As part of that, you could illustrate how some things you guys buy aren't really necessary, or even things you would be willing to give up on your side, things he can feel free to keep.

But for what it's worth, 30% is still really good :)