Author Topic: How do (did) you get your partner to grow a moustache?  (Read 4994 times)

rooboy

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How do (did) you get your partner to grow a moustache?
« on: December 03, 2014, 03:54:42 PM »
I need some help.

I have been growing my mo recently and have embraced a frugal view of the world. I have recently renovated my house with a new bathroom and kitchen and did most of the work myself. I have a bike, however I have a car provided by work so I don't need to use it that often.

I have a girlfriend that is 23. she is very materialistic and loves shopping and spending. Last night we went to buy some clothes as there was a sale (50%). I bought 6 work shirts, exact same size and fit, 2 work pants, 6 pairs of socks and six pairs of underwear. This purchase should last me at least 2 years. After this, My girlfriend wanted to go shopping. I said "what for?" and she said she wanted a summer skirt. next thing we are looking at pants and shirts and perfume and bags and jeans. This frustrates me so much as I knew what i wanted and shopped for it, whereas she shopped until she knew what she wanted.

My frustrations could barely be concealed. long story short is we ended up fighting and she said that we have nothing in common.

I dont disagree with her, but how can I sway her thinking? I have had plenty of talks with her about money and a plan to retire early, but she is more interested in spending money now.

What have people done to get their partner to move towards a more frugal lifestyle?

kittyshooz

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Re: How do (did) you get your partner to grow a moustache?
« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2014, 04:22:10 PM »
Honestly, I have been having the same problem with my SO. I try to talk about the techniques from Mr.MM but next thing we know he wants to go out to dinner 4x per week and get a nicer car , etc. I don't know how to show him that financial freedom is a better gift than any material possession. We have more than we need but there is always a shopping spree at Target, new clothes, or something he wants (Hedonistic treadmill!!).

I am looking for tips to convert the non-Mustachian also! :)

MrsPotato

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Re: How do (did) you get your partner to grow a moustache?
« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2014, 04:33:28 PM »
I gradually planted the idea into my husband's mind. He likes to travel, so I started off by telling him that getting rid of his $400 car payment would free up more money for travel if he just sold the car and bought an older but reliable car. Once he got around to doing it, he was amazed by the savings he was making. Then every once in a while I'd mention ideas from MMM like "did you know that if you save half your income you could retire in X amount of years?" or "There are lots of people who are financially independent and live their lives the way they want way before retirement age, wouldn't that be great if we could do that?" or "Every dollar you don't spend now is a dollar you'll never have to earn". It took a couple of months of slowly planting ideas into his head until one day he asked me to send him the link to MMM. Since then we've moved into a smaller apartment, reduced our monthly budget from $4,500 to $2,000 and are on a saving frenzy.

I think the key is to know what makes your partner tick, and use that as a way to manipulate their thinking. My hubby also used to love shopping a lot like your girlfriend, but after seeing the power of saving versus spending, he prefers to shop for index funds now. I hope this was helpful; I know everyone's different but this worked for me.

deborah

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Re: How do (did) you get your partner to grow a moustache?
« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2014, 04:43:25 PM »
Did she actually buy any of those things, or was she just looking? This sounds like she was just looking, so you have different shopping methods, rather than being frugal/spendy.

diesel15

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Re: How do (did) you get your partner to grow a moustache?
« Reply #4 on: December 03, 2014, 05:00:01 PM »
I need some help.

I have been growing my mo recently and have embraced a frugal view of the world. I have recently renovated my house with a new bathroom and kitchen and did most of the work myself. I have a bike, however I have a car provided by work so I don't need to use it that often.

I have a girlfriend that is 23. she is very materialistic and loves shopping and spending. Last night we went to buy some clothes as there was a sale (50%). I bought 6 work shirts, exact same size and fit, 2 work pants, 6 pairs of socks and six pairs of underwear. This purchase should last me at least 2 years. After this, My girlfriend wanted to go shopping. I said "what for?" and she said she wanted a summer skirt. next thing we are looking at pants and shirts and perfume and bags and jeans. This frustrates me so much as I knew what i wanted and shopped for it, whereas she shopped until she knew what she wanted.

My frustrations could barely be concealed. long story short is we ended up fighting and she said that we have nothing in common.

I dont disagree with her, but how can I sway her thinking? I have had plenty of talks with her about money and a plan to retire early, but she is more interested in spending money now.

What have people done to get their partner to move towards a more frugal lifestyle?

I think a lot of people struggle with trying to convert their significant other to this line of thinking.  Maybe the bolded part is not exactly as you meant it but I'm scratching my head trying to figure out why you want to put in the effort to convert someone who you "have nothing in common" with.  At 23 you have plenty of time to find someone with values that align much more closely to your own.  It's a lot easier to find someone more compatible than try to mold someone who is not on board with this way of thinking.

mxt0133

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Re: How do (did) you get your partner to grow a moustache?
« Reply #5 on: December 03, 2014, 05:03:35 PM »
Man not matter how many times this topic has been brought up it never get's old.  What is the point of being FIRE if you are alone right?

I think one thing you have to accept is that you can't change someone.  I'll say that again in case you missed it YOU CANNOT CHANGE SOMEONE.  I made that mistake with my wife and caused a big strain on our marriage.  I jumped on the whole frugality with a vengeance after we got married and expected her to just be on the same page as me.  Boy was I wrong.

I tried to have conversations about it but my initial approached already put her on the defensive side which made the conversations useless.  It has gotten much better but we are still on different levels with regards to finances.  My wife is a "doer" and not a "talker" like me, so I just focused on myself, and tried to lead by example. 

Some examples, I wanted to stop eating out so much, so I started cooking and brought my food to work.  I would always complement and thank her whenever she cooked and made sure she knew I preferred her cooking over going out to eat.  With expensive activities I would find alternatives that cost less and closer to home, ect.  Eventually she caught on that driving an hour, pay for an activity for only an hour or two was pointless when we could just walk somewhere and enjoy the library, park, beach, ect.  To lower our cell phone bill, I switched to prepaid first, and then she followed to a cheaper unlimited plan, then eventually followed me to a cheaper prepaid, bill went from $130 a month to $25-$30.

Again try and lead by example and not attack her about her decisions, she's an adult and should be able to spend her money as she pleases.  If she want's to go out to a nice restaurant and you don't feel comfortable with the amount you'll be spending, tell her as politely as you can that you don't think it's worth it but you still want to enjoy a great meal together and propose an alternative that the both of you can agree to.  However sometimes you just have to concede and do things that she enjoys.

Seņora Savings

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Re: How do (did) you get your partner to grow a moustache?
« Reply #6 on: December 03, 2014, 05:08:59 PM »
I dont disagree with her, but how can I sway her thinking? I have had plenty of talks with her about money and a plan to retire early, but she is more interested in spending money now.

I second that you can't change people.  If she is interested in spending now and isn't interested in early retirement, she's not going to stop spending so that she can retire early.  If there is something that she does want that can be achieved by saving money, she might decide to spend less, but most people don't want to retire early.  They like their jobs, find value in working and don't want to be nagged because they buy something for themselves.  If this is what your girlfriend values and you can't respect that, then it isn't going to work out.

On another note: From her perspective you bought a TON of stuff and then started talking about frugality when she started looking at clothes.

mozar

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Re: How do (did) you get your partner to grow a moustache?
« Reply #7 on: December 03, 2014, 07:40:09 PM »
Because she wanted seasonal clothes and you don't doesn't necessarily mean you are incompatible, but if she is saying you have nothing in common, listen to her.
My ex and I disagreed about spending, but that was just a symptom of our fundamental differing values. Does she want what you want in the long term?

So to answer your question, I didn't get my ex to grow a mustache. When my ex told me that not only will they refuse to retire early, save money, or pay off any debt, but they also didn't support me in my own goals. Then I knew it was over.
I recommend reading "data, a love story."
« Last Edit: December 03, 2014, 07:43:22 PM by mozar »

Justinofboulder

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Re: How do (did) you get your partner to grow a moustache?
« Reply #8 on: December 03, 2014, 08:07:26 PM »

Completely agree "you cannot change someone", and have found that to be the biggest challenge in all my relationships. I have tended to be pretty black and white in my views...could be while I am "single" at 41. While I would love to have a partner to share in the journey, as I look back on past relationships I would say my biggest regrets aren't that it didn't work out, but that I gave up parts of who I am (and things I value) and that I didn't move on sooner.

My question would be, who's money is she spending?
If I had a 23 year old girlfriend who had her own means of supporting her consumerism, I would enjoy spending time with her a lot more than if she was spending up my money.

Future Lazy

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Re: How do (did) you get your partner to grow a moustache?
« Reply #9 on: December 03, 2014, 08:27:29 PM »

...

My question would be, who's money is she spending?
If I had a 23 year old girlfriend who had her own means of supporting her consumerism, I would enjoy spending time with her a lot more than if she was spending up my money.

^--- This

My DH and I pretty much keep our financial pictures separate. We share bills, but not all of our money, so if he buys a bunch of overpriced cash register beef jerky, it's not my dime. It also means he has to cover all his own wants and needs, and can't ride on my coattails.

Every now and then I'll gather up all the beef jerky receipts, tally them up and ask him what he would do with $75. Usually he says he would pay off debt, or whatever, and then I hand him all the snack receipts. He usually buys these snacks at work, where he makes less than ten bucks an hour. So, when I find a receipt for $10 worth of snacks, I ask him if the snack was really worth a hour of his time. Makes him think.

Is there anything like that which might make your GF a little more thoughtful about her purchases? Like, it's a cute skirt for now, but what if she bought a skirt/pants/handbag every month. What is she going to do with 24 handbags, two years from now? Throw them away? Donate them? What happens when those things aren't in style anymore, do they become useless or trash, like the numerous outfits with shoulder pads that proliferate thrift store racks?

marty998

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Re: How do (did) you get your partner to grow a moustache?
« Reply #10 on: December 04, 2014, 04:01:34 AM »
rooboy, maybe you should hook up with kittyshooz?


solve both your problems?

neophyte

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Re: How do (did) you get your partner to grow a moustache?
« Reply #11 on: December 04, 2014, 07:06:35 AM »
Honestly, the way this reads to me is "My girlfriend and I went shopping and I bought a whole bunch of stuff I needed, then she wanted to look at stuff for her when she didn't really even need anything.  Boohoo she's so materialistic and spendy."  You don't even mention if she bought anything.

I could imagine her side of the story going something like this: "My boyfriend asked if I wanted to go shopping the other day.  We spent time together picking out a bunch of clothes for him and he bought a shit ton of stuff. After that I wanted to spend some time looking at stuff for me but he looked at me and said 'what for?' He got really impatient and ticked off and accused me of being materialistic.  I didn't even get anything. After I spent all that time looking at what he wanted to, he didn't want to spend any time looking at stuff for me.  That made me feel like he doesn't care about me and he doesn't feel like I'm worth spending any time or money on. If he just wanted to go buy a bunch of clothes and leave as fast as possible, he shouldn't have invited me shopping. He should have just said 'I've gotta go buy a bunch of clothes, but I want to be as quick as possible and not spend a lot of time shopping, wanna come?'"

Now, that could be completely wrong. Maybe you spent hours shopping for her, maybe she was whipping out the plastic left and right to pay for all her purchases, but that doesn't really come across in what you said. I agree with other posters who are asking if she's spending your money or hers?  I would add does she have consumer debt? And maybe: Is she wasting a lot of money while she has student loan debt?  In my perspective I'd be concerned if she had consumer debt, concerned but to a lesser degree if she had other debt and was paying it down more slowly than she otherwise could (less concerned because maybe she just hasn't seen the light yet/ never considered another way), and would consider backing off some if she's 'wasting' her own money but still managing to add to her savings every month just at a slower rate than would otherwise be possible.

Have you two talked about money and your future goals?  The kind of goals that cost money: house, wedding, kids, travel, (early?) retirement, college for kids, nice cars, private school, fancy clothes, paying off student loans? You would be surprised how many couples don't talk about money and finances.  I think approaching the conversation from the perspective of what your goals are and how to achieve them is better than the how-you-spend-your-money-bothers-me approach.  It will be far, far easier to agree to work toward your goals if you have the same goals.  If what you want in life is a modest house, no kids, and to retire at 45 and she wants a big wedding, 3 kids, fancy cars, a country club membership, and to keep working until she's 75; then you are going to have a very difficult if not impossible time getting on the same page.

LiseE

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Re: How do (did) you get your partner to grow a moustache?
« Reply #12 on: December 04, 2014, 07:20:59 AM »
My hubby is a bit of a compulsive shopper so it wasn't easy to convince him .. but after a few months of budgeting and figuring out where our money is going I was able to show him how much excess money we have each month pretty quickly.

The thing that I think really turned the corner for him though was seeing my entire frame of mind and mood change.  The feeling of confidence, finally understanding our finances and also seeing how we are in a truly great position to be able to FIRE put me in a constant fantastic mood.  I didn't realize that living with all of that financial uncertainty was weighing on me as much as it was.  Once that was lifted from my shoulders I even realized how much happier I was all of the time .. and my hubby saw that and wanted more of the 'happier' version of me!

I didn't think I was ever going to be able to sell him on cutting the cable TV cord but not only did he jump onboard but he researched and purchased our streaming media player and switched out our router so we could lower our internet package.

Hang in there and let the goodness of what you are doing shine through.

skunkfunk

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Re: How do (did) you get your partner to grow a moustache?
« Reply #13 on: December 04, 2014, 07:32:42 AM »
They key was finding something she could get on board with (debt reduction) and it snowballed from there once she noticed that our quality of life hadn't changed despite spending some $1500 less per month (even though housing had doubled) - we had no idea where the money had gone previously. It just wasn't that different!

neo von retorch

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Re: How do (did) you get your partner to grow a moustache?
« Reply #14 on: December 04, 2014, 09:16:27 AM »
Really like neophyte's comment here.

I'd just like to say that you WILL disagree on discretionary spending, and that will never change, and you should never try to change how someone else values spending their fun money. You went shopping for "necessary" work clothes. She wanted to do some fun shopping and maybe spend some fun money. Nothing wrong with that. Just don't mix the two.

Even if you were to combine finances with someone, I believe it's important that each has their own fun money set aside that they 100% control and decision-making power over. If you want to SAVE every cent of your fun money, you can do so, but that gives you exactly 0 additional right to judge, complain, whine and influence how your partner spends their fun money.

skunkfunk

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Re: How do (did) you get your partner to grow a moustache?
« Reply #15 on: December 04, 2014, 09:21:28 AM »
Really like neophyte's comment here.

I'd just like to say that you WILL disagree on discretionary spending, and that will never change, and you should never try to change how someone else values spending their fun money. You went shopping for "necessary" work clothes. She wanted to do some fun shopping and maybe spend some fun money. Nothing wrong with that. Just don't mix the two.

Even if you were to combine finances with someone, I believe it's important that each has their own fun money set aside that they 100% control and decision-making power over. If you want to SAVE every cent of your fun money, you can do so, but that gives you exactly 0 additional right to judge, complain, whine and influence how your partner spends their fun money.

+1. Agree on anything outside of that money, but have money you can spend on cell phones, tv, clothes, hobbies without the partner needing to agree. Not that you can't discuss those things, just that ultimately a small portion of money should be under each persons control.

RunHappy

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Re: How do (did) you get your partner to grow a moustache?
« Reply #16 on: December 04, 2014, 09:27:35 AM »
You can't change someone's way of thinking all you can do in control your life and your way of thinking.

My SO and I had this big discussion before moving in.  I've adopted frugal habits but he is frugal in some ways but not in others.  He has more in cash savings than me, but I have more investments.  As a result my net worth is higher than his even though he makes more than me.

We have agreed that while we are not married all finances are kept separate, but we each pay our share of the communal expenses.  Once we get married we will have a his/hers/theirs bank account situation.

He understands that I do not expect him to adopt to my frugal ways and he understands that I am not going to subsidize his not-always-frugal ways. Edit:  I do think he will eventually come around.  He wants to retire early (doesn't everyone?) and used to tease me about my "lofty dreams of financial independence" until he saw how much my net worth has increased in the past year and my projections.  If everything goes well I will 80% to FI by the time I reach the age he is now.
« Last Edit: December 04, 2014, 09:31:31 AM by RunHappy »

Homey The Clown

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Re: How do (did) you get your partner to grow a moustache?
« Reply #17 on: December 04, 2014, 10:07:22 AM »
My wife is slowly coming around. We do great, saving roughly 30% of our income pre and post-tax, but her feeling is that if we are meeting our savings goals (which are somewhat arbitrary), the rest can be spent on whatever. I'm trying to get her to come around to spending it on whatever means less for vacations and home improvement, her two favorite spending categories. That seems to motivate her somewhat, but not hugely. I figure I can just do my part and that 30% is way better than most. We're on track to FIRE in 10 years, but that's still pretty late by the standards of this group (55/50 years old).