Author Topic: Helping your significant other see the light.  (Read 7017 times)

biffwhipster

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Helping your significant other see the light.
« on: July 11, 2014, 11:31:00 AM »
I have slooooooooooowly been convincing my wife that Mutaschianism is a fulfilling way of life. Last night we got to talking about it seriously, and she mentioned that she sees benefits but it is hard for her since she grew up getting anything she wanted. She is working towards changing her frame of mind but her upbringing greatly hinders that change.

So the question... how have you helped your significant others see the light? Specific techniques and examples would be helpful. Thank you in advance for the ideas/help.

palebluedot

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Re: Helping your significant other see the light.
« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2014, 11:36:14 AM »
I don't have a significant other but I always thought of creating a powerpoint presentation that shows comparisons between our current life and what our future dream together can be like. You can make it very philosophical and show the simple math without getting too detailed.

DoubleDown

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Re: Helping your significant other see the light.
« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2014, 01:27:38 PM »
My advice: Give up on any notion of convincing her or making her see the light. If you've discussed it, she's seen the light, but only she can decide whether or not to accept it.

What can you do? Live by example, quietly seek your goal (reduce consumption and save), and answer any questions she might have along the way. Occasionally, if something jumps out at you as a particularly egregious spending or budgetary problem*, you might gently suggest improvements. But temper that with lots of compliments in other things.

* As examples, credit card interest or PMI payments on a mortgage are just like setting hundred dollar bills on fire every month. They are expensive things you can get rid of without any reduction in life quality, so these are the kinds of things I would work with her to eliminate first. As she sees you eliminate those kinds of wasteful expenses (if you have any) and redirect the savings into a growing investment account, she'll likely recognize the benefit and want more.

nereo

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Re: Helping your significant other see the light.
« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2014, 01:38:54 PM »
I don't have a significant other but I always thought of creating a powerpoint presentation that shows comparisons between our current life and what our future dream together can be like. You can make it very philosophical and show the simple math without getting too detailed.
the idea of using a powerpoint presentation for a significant other just brought this to mind:
http://www.theonion.com/articles/breakup-made-easier-with-colorful-visual-aids,1453/

ingrownstudentloans

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Re: Helping your significant other see the light.
« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2014, 01:49:25 PM »
bumping for future reference

Also, I think the power point is a little direct, I am starting small by introducing concepts and making intermittent comments when i see something I think could be done differently.  It is a fine line to walk because we have seen the light, but to others it is a big change.  I am confident we will get there, it just make some time, and we might have some purchases in the interim that we will look back on later and cringe...


Malaysia41

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Re: Helping your significant other see the light.
« Reply #6 on: July 11, 2014, 03:13:50 PM »
the idea of using a powerpoint presentation for a significant other just brought this to mind:
http://www.theonion.com/articles/breakup-made-easier-with-colorful-visual-aids,1453/
"a spiral-bound, quick-reference booklet of his shortcomings as a lover printed on heavy-stock ivory paper." :).

Cheddar Stacker

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Re: Helping your significant other see the light.
« Reply #7 on: July 11, 2014, 03:19:51 PM »
My advice: Give up on any notion of convincing her or making her see the light. If you've discussed it, she's seen the light, but only she can decide whether or not to accept it.

What can you do? Live by example, quietly seek your goal (reduce consumption and save), and answer any questions she might have along the way. Occasionally, if something jumps out at you as a particularly egregious spending or budgetary problem*, you might gently suggest improvements. But temper that with lots of compliments in other things.

* As examples, credit card interest or PMI payments on a mortgage are just like setting hundred dollar bills on fire every month. They are expensive things you can get rid of without any reduction in life quality, so these are the kinds of things I would work with her to eliminate first. As she sees you eliminate those kinds of wasteful expenses (if you have any) and redirect the savings into a growing investment account, she'll likely recognize the benefit and want more.

+1.

I've had little success thus far with "convincing". I've changed myself and lead by example which has had some effect. Also, as blahblah just said I spend almost zero money on myself. This alone makes a very big difference. It can be hard lifting all the heavy weight yourself, but I don't mind. I have enjoyed the change in mindset quite a bit, and I see the end goal so I'm very motivated.

If anyone else has an aha moment though I'm all ears.

mxt0133

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Re: Helping your significant other see the light.
« Reply #8 on: July 11, 2014, 03:27:02 PM »
"Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” ― Mahatma Gandhi

This quote fully encapsulates my experience with trying to get my wife on board with Mutaschianism.  No amount of discussion, convincing, arguing, or threats even remotely nudge her in that direction.  Worse it made our relationship worse.   So I just focused on myself and every time money came up all I would say is that it's our money you can spend it as you choose, I can't stop you short of divorce.  I can tell you what I would do and hope you consider my perspective.  She has come along way, as slow as it took, at least we are facing the same general direction even if we aren't on the same road.

So my only advice to really learn how to communicate effectively and have the 'crucial conversations' without it turning into an argument where one shutdown or gets defensive.

biffwhipster

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Re: Helping your significant other see the light.
« Reply #9 on: July 11, 2014, 03:38:49 PM »
Thank you for the ideas and insight. I actually need to be a little more specific, and give my wife credit. After reading responses and some reflection I think I have come to the conclusion that I may be gung ho, and she is probably just starting out. Heck, she has agreed that we need to cancel cable, has postponed a hair appointment, and even stopped picking up fast food unless we are with friends and can't cook. She's on her way, and I need to have more realistic expectations.

Thegoblinchief

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Re: Helping your significant other see the light.
« Reply #10 on: July 11, 2014, 03:53:50 PM »
A couple tacks you can take:

-Freedom. This is what sold DW, especially when I could show her how much closer it came with small changes.

-The stupendously wasteful and damaging effects of consumerism. Works if they are environmentally inclined.

That said, I think leading by example is the best way. Change your finances to separate if need be.

Latwell

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Re: Helping your significant other see the light.
« Reply #11 on: July 11, 2014, 04:04:47 PM »
Sounds like she's already making progress.

My SO is also learning. It's taken a long time, but he's starting to really get the hang of it. He still has his moments, but so do I. I know in my own relationship, I can't bother him about not spending. Instead, I'm talking a lot about how we saved money or cheering him on if he saved money with out me pointing out how we could save money. I point out various facts about conscience stores and how much more they cost compared to making the same trip to a grocery store.

One technique we use has also helped a huge deal. Since I'm the one who handles the finances, he often doesn't seen what's actually in our hands for money. So we have a jar. Everytime he tells me that he was going to buy something but decides to take an alternate route and pays less for an item or decided not to get it altogether, we take the cost of what the item would've have been or the difference and put it in the jar. It helps him visually see how he's saving money and the money often goes towards something much more worth while. 

biffwhipster

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Re: Helping your significant other see the light.
« Reply #12 on: July 11, 2014, 04:22:48 PM »


One technique we use has also helped a huge deal. Since I'm the one who handles the finances, he often doesn't seen what's actually in our hands for money. So we have a jar. Everytime he tells me that he was going to buy something but decides to take an alternate route and pays less for an item or decided not to get it altogether, we take the cost of what the item would've have been or the difference and put it in the jar. It helps him visually see how he's saving money and the money often goes towards something much more worth while.

That jar idea is awesome. I think I am going to try that. The visual will be helpful for both of us.

DoubleDown

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Re: Helping your significant other see the light.
« Reply #13 on: July 11, 2014, 05:47:43 PM »
Heck, she has agreed that we need to cancel cable, has postponed a hair appointment, and even stopped picking up fast food unless we are with friends and can't cook. She's on her way, and I need to have more realistic expectations.

Holy crap, you have already won, scored three additional touchdowns, got the championship ring and T-shirt!! Good on you and your wife! Yeah, I'd definitely say you've got it made, she is already on board and you'll both grow in this together. Man, you need to read some of the stories on here about spouses that really are not on board if you need another perspective or some Schaudenfreude :-)

My wife wanted me to keep working full time "until at least 55" (another 9 years) even though we were already FI, "just because that's what people do"!

La Bibliotecaria Feroz

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Re: Helping your significant other see the light.
« Reply #14 on: July 11, 2014, 10:37:09 PM »
Listen first. You'll never change anyone's mind by talking at them. I really liked the chapter "Seek First To Understand, Then To Be Understood" in The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.

DrJohn

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Re: Helping your significant other see the light.
« Reply #15 on: July 11, 2014, 11:57:10 PM »
Well, I used this tactic.  Demonstrated good skills in investing and shared the results.  We talked about our dreams for the future (including FIRE- though did not use the acronym- this was some time ago).  We both read "The Millionaire Next Door" which is a great intro to the whole stash building thing.

Then I took (and continue to maintain) the following approach "Well honey, I have (age) in mind when I'll be stopping working.  If we run short of money when that happens- you'll be the one going out and getting a job."  We both agreed (and continue to agree) on this.

Other half is currently a SAHM which I fully respect as being a full time job in itself.

Blunt, I know.  But it worked.

lifejoy

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Re: Helping your significant other see the light.
« Reply #16 on: July 12, 2014, 12:11:43 AM »

Thank you for the ideas and insight. I actually need to be a little more specific, and give my wife credit. After reading responses and some reflection I think I have come to the conclusion that I may be gung ho, and she is probably just starting out. Heck, she has agreed that we need to cancel cable, has postponed a hair appointment, and even stopped picking up fast food unless we are with friends and can't cook. She's on her way, and I need to have more realistic expectations.

Agreed. Your wife is doing amazingly. Patience is important. A year ago my fiancé would say things like, "I want to work forever! Let's go to New York! Out for dinner!" Now he says, " put back those blueberries that's not a good price - don't you want us to retire at 40? :)"

Patience, and lead by example. Also, make it easier! I made batches of meals and froze them so we have quick and easy eats on days we don't feel like cooking. First give up the things that you like(d) that won't affect her. That might help too. And pick your battles. My fiancé still buys a lunch, but if I pack him a delicious lunch he doesn't buy a lunch. Hope that helps :)


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lifejoy

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Re: Helping your significant other see the light.
« Reply #17 on: July 12, 2014, 12:13:09 AM »

Well, I used this tactic.  Demonstrated good skills in investing and shared the results.  We talked about our dreams for the future (including FIRE- though did not use the acronym- this was some time ago).  We both read "The Millionaire Next Door" which is a great intro to the whole stash building thing.

Then I took (and continue to maintain) the following approach "Well honey, I have (age) in mind when I'll be stopping working.  If we run short of money when that happens- you'll be the one going out and getting a job."  We both agreed (and continue to agree) on this.

Other half is currently a SAHM which I fully respect as being a full time job in itself.

Blunt, I know.  But it worked.

Re: the millionaire next door... I always gaze affectionately at my millionaire's watch! (From Walmart.) muahahaha!


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Goldielocks

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Re: Helping your significant other see the light.
« Reply #18 on: July 12, 2014, 12:36:25 AM »


I've had little success thus far with "convincing". I've changed myself and lead by example which has had some effect. Also, as blahblah just said I spend almost zero money on myself. This alone makes a very big difference. It can be hard lifting all the heavy weight yourself, but I don't mind. I have enjoyed the change in mindset quite a bit, and I see the end goal so I'm very motivated.



Hmm be careful. I tried that - spend zero- and it just meant more money to SO to spend.  Then we set up separate allowances, so I can feel good about seeing savings grow, and not worry about his lunch spends so much.  My mistake was not talking about it much with him, and only trying to set an example....he definitely prefers it when I talk to him.    He spends more if i get busy and dont spend time with him or talk a lot...

Stacker-I think you have to do both, and from your other posts, I think you likely are.

Workinghard

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Re: Helping your significant other see the light.
« Reply #19 on: July 12, 2014, 04:22:54 AM »
[quote author=Cheddar Stacker link=topic=20495.msg341641#msg341641
Also, as blahblah just said I spend almost zero money on myself. This alone makes a very big difference. It can be hard lifting all the heavy weight yourself, but I don't mind.
[/quote]

Same here, but my dh has improved with age :) I have to admit, I secretly enjoy it when he will buy something for me, like ice coffee or flavored drinks, that I won't buy for myself. And really, an extra $25-$50 a month isn't the end of the world, but oh, so hard to do.

Cheddar Stacker

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Re: Helping your significant other see the light.
« Reply #20 on: July 12, 2014, 08:28:05 AM »
I've had little success thus far with "convincing". I've changed myself and lead by example which has had some effect. Also, as blahblah just said I spend almost zero money on myself. This alone makes a very big difference. It can be hard lifting all the heavy weight yourself, but I don't mind. I have enjoyed the change in mindset quite a bit, and I see the end goal so I'm very motivated.

Hmm be careful. I tried that - spend zero- and it just meant more money to SO to spend.  Then we set up separate allowances, so I can feel good about seeing savings grow, and not worry about his lunch spends so much.  My mistake was not talking about it much with him, and only trying to set an example....he definitely prefers it when I talk to him.    He spends more if i get busy and dont spend time with him or talk a lot...

Stacker-I think you have to do both, and from your other posts, I think you likely are.

goldielocks, thaks for your thoughts/advice. I guess I should clarify a bit. My wife is not super spendy shopaholic, she just likes convenience and doesn't mind being a mostly typical consumer. She also has no idea (and most of the time no care) how much money we have, what our bills are, or what I spend money on. So if I buy absolutely nothing, or I spend $1K in a day, she doesn't really know and it won't change her habits/patterns at all.

Also, I do talk about finances a lot with her, but either I'm doing it wrong or she just doesn't want to talk about it most of the time. It all comes off as complaining and only bringing up negative things, so I need to work on the strategy. For now though, I'm continuing to work on the big things I can change on my own, changing my outlook and attitude, and leading by example in the hopes she will be more frugal.

So I try, but I don't push too hard. We will get to FI either way, but I want to get there sooner than our current trajectory. I just don't want either of us to be unhappy along the way. So we're trying to find that "goldielocks" spot in our discussions vs. the hands-off approach.