Author Topic: How do you convince people that MMM is good financial advice?  (Read 9187 times)

Aushin

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I tried to post the "start here" on a different forum (lots of 20-somethings on it). 

I got all sorts of angry and dismissive responses. 

"I enjoy working at a job I love and like to splurge on luxuries sometimes.  I have no debt.  Apparently I am everything that is wrong with America."

"The save 75% for 7 years and you'll be able to retire thing is VERY bad advice"

"i don't have to work if i didn't want anything

but i do, i enjoy my house, my car, my financial freedom.

I don't waste money on stupid shit and i invest about 10% of what i make, certainty not 75%, but it's more than enough"

It's all antagonistic, surface-level criticism.  I don't even know how to address it.  Any advice?

footenote

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Re: How do you convince people that MMM is good financial advice?
« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2013, 09:59:25 AM »
I can't tell you how many times during our frugal decades (roughly age 28 - 47) when colleagues or relatives would take several expensive vacations per year, buy new cars every three years, buy much bigger houses than they needed... I could go on and on. I never tried to talk them out of it. It wouldn't have done one bit of good.

Put that energy instead into focusing on your goals and learning from others here. FI/ERy cheers!

brewer12345

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Re: How do you convince people that MMM is good financial advice?
« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2013, 10:08:51 AM »
Easy: what MM preaches is not financial advice, it is lifestyle advice.  Most people who are not already leaning that way are not interested in hearing lifestyle advice, especially when it is quite radical vs. mainstream American life/culture.  I've also noticed that the "faithful" here tend to have a bit a chip on their shoulders about all this stuff, so its possible you came across a bit strident.  Don't worry about it.  You live your life as you see fit, others will do the same.

Self-employed-swami

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Re: How do you convince people that MMM is good financial advice?
« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2013, 10:09:00 AM »
No one enjoys unsolicited advice
:)

BPA

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Re: How do you convince people that MMM is good financial advice?
« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2013, 10:20:42 AM »
I can't tell you how many times during our frugal decades (roughly age 28 - 47) when colleagues or relatives would take several expensive vacations per year, buy new cars every three years, buy much bigger houses than they needed... I could go on and on. I never tried to talk them out of it. It wouldn't have done one bit of good.

Put that energy instead into focusing on your goals and learning from others here. FI/ERy cheers!

+1

People are allowed to live their lives how they see fit.  Ramming MMM down their throats is like vegans descending on a pig roast and trying to convert them. 

Self-Employed SWAMI and I belong to another forum where we would be laughed out of existence for being MMM followers.  So we just do what we want and let them do what they want.


DocCyane

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Re: How do you convince people that MMM is good financial advice?
« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2013, 10:23:05 AM »
If the forum was full of 20-somethings, they may not be ready to hear the message. Maybe they've just started earning and want to flex their spending power.  They are going to bark down any advice that gets between them and their new toys.

I hope you didn't take it personally (but I often feel a little raw when my well-intended words are met with a poor response.)

It's still awesome that you shared the information, and I bet it did impact a few quiet ones.

BPA

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Re: How do you convince people that MMM is good financial advice?
« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2013, 10:48:11 AM »
If the forum was full of 20-somethings, they may not be ready to hear the message. Maybe they've just started earning and want to flex their spending power.  They are going to bark down any advice that gets between them and their new toys.

I hope you didn't take it personally (but I often feel a little raw when my well-intended words are met with a poor response.)

It's still awesome that you shared the information, and I bet it did impact a few quiet ones.

I agree that sharing is great.  Just don't feel you have to convince them or win them over.  Some people will hear the message and be grateful.

KMMK

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Re: How do you convince people that MMM is good financial advice?
« Reply #7 on: May 19, 2013, 11:30:05 AM »
Why would you want to convince them? People can do what they want. And if everyone lived the same way, who would I gloat over when I'm early retired?

Deano

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Re: How do you convince people that MMM is good financial advice?
« Reply #8 on: May 19, 2013, 11:43:33 AM »
Lead by example.

If you want to give advice, make sure you do it in an extremely low-key way. Make people think about it. On here you can advise all you want, but people who aren't converted hate to be preached to.


plantingourpennies

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Re: How do you convince people that MMM is good financial advice?
« Reply #9 on: May 19, 2013, 12:08:10 PM »
You're attacking their ideology; in return they are attacking yours.

Would love to see a link to the post though?

Best,
Mr. PoP

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Re: How do you convince people that MMM is good financial advice?
« Reply #10 on: May 19, 2013, 12:08:40 PM »

Would love to see a link to the post though?


Me too!

uspsfanalan

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Re: How do you convince people that MMM is good financial advice?
« Reply #11 on: May 19, 2013, 01:33:32 PM »
I find it best to only give small suggestions at first and see if those take. Hitting someone with the whole plan all at once is too much. I try to wait for an opening, like if someone complains about the price of gas, food, cell phone etc. Once they bring up that topic, I talk about what I'm doing to keep those costs down and if they seem receptive I'll bring up MMM or tell them where I learned the tip.

My office just hired an admin who is about 55, recently divorced. She buys a different car every couple of years with a car loan. I tried to convince her to drive her current car for a few years more and save up for a car she could buy with cash. She told me I live in la la land and that it was impossible. I told her my wife and I haven't had car payments for several years and it's been great to have the extra money. Her response was that she deserves to have something nice and that money is for spending. I got the "you're crazy" response for proposing something so small that it comes no where near a true change in lifestyle.

Alternatively, I have a coworker who is a few years older than I am and I introduced him to MMM. Now, he's more of a junkie on this stuff than I am. A couple times a week he comes up to me and asks if I've read the new MMM. He's a good influence on me now, if I ever eat out he busts my ass. Having talked so much MMM smack to him, I now have to walk the line. Keep listening to your friends and you'll see who might take to MMM and who's too far gone.

chucklesmcgee

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Re: How do you convince people that MMM is good financial advice?
« Reply #12 on: May 19, 2013, 02:05:37 PM »
Easy: what MM preaches is not financial advice, it is lifestyle advice.

Wow, so true. American culture is so centered around a no-sacrifice no-compromise all-the-taste-zero-calories mentality. Anything that suggests people's problems ("I can't seem to afford this new car?") should be solved by re-framing the question to suggest going without (Why do you need a new car? Why do you need this car?) is seen as a rejection of people's value system. And that's often a heck of a lot deeper and more uncomfortable of a response people were expecting than a light hearted "Oh well, there's supposed to be a big manufacturer rebate! And I hear lease prices aren't too bad per month! And my buddy Rick always says you should try and play hardball to get the best deal."

It honestly extends to pretty much anything. "Boy the job market sure is bad." (RIGHT: "Yeah, but if we could just stop all this outsourcing like Obama promised I'm sure we'd see another boom. And hey we can always go back and get a new degree") (WRONG: "There are actually growing concerns that the employment problems are systemically related to gains in efficiency from technology itself. As machines and computers can do more and more advanced tasks, they either replace workers or lower the necessary skill set for employees. We'll basically be split between a bunch of near minimum-wage service people and capital holders, with very little in the middle. Many young people nowadays may never be able to get a sufficient salary to pay off their massive debts and may never be in a financially-sound position to have families of their own."


Southern Dude

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Re: How do you convince people that MMM is good financial advice?
« Reply #13 on: May 19, 2013, 08:26:22 PM »
I'm not sure about the internet world of trolling and flaming, but I find that my non-virtual friends are always skeptical but interested when I start talking about anti-consumerism and early retirement. Some of my friends give me a hard time about being "cheap," especially because I have a good job with plenty of disposable income, but they respect my discipline and usually want to hear more about my long-term plan for independence.

I wouldn't be surprised if the reason that many people scoff at the MMM philosophy is because they don't want to ask themselves tough questions. Am I living outside my means? Will I have enough to retire? Am I a brainwashed consumer sheep? People start asking these questions and they start feeling uncomfortable and insecure, especially if they're standing next to someone who is confidently on track and has shit figured out.

If you have passion for the values inherent in the MMM lifestyle, which to me are independence and anti-consumerism (or just "badassity" for those on the level), then you will speak with conviction and people will be interested in the message. Even if they aren't feeling the philosophy of it, just about everyone I know loves a good conversation about how to escape the 9 to 5 rat race.

Khan

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Re: How do you convince people that MMM is good financial advice?
« Reply #14 on: May 19, 2013, 09:57:19 PM »
I link to specific articles from MMM, GetRichSlowly, and introduced them to YMOYL. The important thing isn't attacking their ideology, it's showing them that there is another way. My buddy here at work, who is the best case study in this, still owes 17.9k on a 25k car he bought 3 years ago(11.7% interest, due to my insistence he's finally gotten that refinanced down to 5.7%), had a full balance on his CC's for pretty much his entire adult life(only 4k thankfully), ate out all the time, commuted ~50 minutes each way, and didn't have a Costco membership. This was causing marital issues as well. He was ready and open to hear about another way, and he's making excellent progress on all fronts. He's paid off several debts including the CC, moved closer to work, and by the end of '13 he'll have no debt besides the car... if that(it is possible to have that paid off as well).

My parents? My mom just finished up a short sale on her home, she's 48, and has ~40k I think in 401k's. She, however, isn't a spendthrift, she just hasn't been very good at optimizing many things, such as cars. I'm working on her, slowly, but she's also working on me, trying to get me to "live a little" which is advice I could certainly use sometimes.

Bottom line: don't attack them, show them that they don't have to do what they're doing, but don't try too hard on people that don't want it. Another guy at work always leases cars, and will continue to do it into the future. There's no hope for him. I accept that.

Aushin

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Re: How do you convince people that MMM is good financial advice?
« Reply #15 on: May 20, 2013, 12:38:01 PM »
Thanks everyone for the wisdom.  I'm definitely going to put an end to the proselytizing from here on lol

And I can't link to the post because it's a closed forum.  A lot of people were ripping on the food post saying that canola oil is a healthy cheap way to get calories.  And a LOT of people were FREAKING out about biking to buy groceries in the snow. 

tag

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Re: How do you convince people that MMM is good financial advice?
« Reply #16 on: May 20, 2013, 12:51:26 PM »
It's a difference in values. Some people value things. Some people value time. But we here all know that the best things in life are free, baby!

No Name Guy

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Re: How do you convince people that MMM is good financial advice?
« Reply #17 on: May 20, 2013, 01:15:28 PM »
"How do you convince people that MMM is good financial advice?"

Math.

Numbers talk and bullshit touchy feel good walks.

Then again, IMO, that's why so many people are consumer sukka's - they can't or won't do the math, since that would force them to face reality.  IMO, a lot of people can't handle the red pill.  Happy, warm, fuzzy blue pill is preferable. 

2 cents...YMMV.

little_owl

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Re: How do you convince people that MMM is good financial advice?
« Reply #18 on: May 20, 2013, 02:20:11 PM »
"How do you convince people that MMM is good financial advice?"

Math.

Numbers talk and bullshit touchy feel good walks.

Then again, IMO, that's why so many people are consumer sukka's - they can't or won't do the math, since that would force them to face reality.  IMO, a lot of people can't handle the red pill.  Happy, warm, fuzzy blue pill is preferable. 

2 cents...YMMV.

LOL.  This!!!!!

gdborton

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Re: How do you convince people that MMM is good financial advice?
« Reply #19 on: May 20, 2013, 02:32:42 PM »
For most people, don't.  I recommended to a generally soft spoken friend to buy a used car instead of new, and I linked to a MMM showing the (imo slightly exaggerated) cost difference over time.

I received in return a verbal assault part of which included these two gems

"I don't care what people like that think, I don't deserve to have a car just because I have to finance it?"

and

"I make enough money now to set aside a nice chunk, and still afford a new car."

I tried explaining that I wasn't saying to go without a car, just look into one that wouldn't lose 30% of its value 60 seconds after buying it.  He wasn't having any of it.

Villanelle

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Re: How do you convince people that MMM is good financial advice?
« Reply #20 on: May 20, 2013, 03:00:03 PM »
I don't convince people of anything.  I might suggest they check out the blog, or tell them about specific MMM suggestions if it comes up in conversation, but if they aren't interested or disagree with it, I'm not interested in justifying my life decisions or financial approaches to anyone. 

To me, it's like choosing a spouse.  Not everyone values the same things, and so the same choice isn't right for everyone.  I don't think someone who decides to save 10% and work until 67 is wrong.  I don't think someone who drives 50 miles round trip to work is wrong.  It would be wrong for me, but it's not wrong for them, necessarily.  And even if it is, it's not my job to force change upon those who aren't interested in it. 

nktokyo

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Re: How do you convince people that MMM is good financial advice?
« Reply #21 on: May 20, 2013, 04:15:26 PM »
Put photos of you playing with your kids at the beach on a Tuesday up there and ask them how their 2nd iPad is treating them.

Trust me it works.

No Name Guy

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Re: How do you convince people that MMM is good financial advice?
« Reply #22 on: May 20, 2013, 05:16:27 PM »
Put photos of you playing with your kids at the beach on a Tuesday up there and ask them how their 2nd iPad is treating them.

Trust me it works.

Along those lines.....I work a 70% of full time schedule.  A guy at work asked how I could afford to do it.  I replied that I didn't have (nor desire) a Harley Davidson.  Nor a bass / fishing boat.  Nor a big new truck to tow said boat.  Nor did I like expensive vacations to far away locations.  Nor do I have a large house. 

His reply:  "I have or do all those things."  I shrugged.  It was a couple years ago.  I wonder if he's made any changes.........


cats

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Re: How do you convince people that MMM is good financial advice?
« Reply #23 on: May 20, 2013, 09:33:27 PM »
The comment about lifestyle rather than financial advice is spot-on.  In my experience, people are sensitive about money, but if they are having money issues they are probably having other issues too, and a more "MMM" style approach could help with those.  For example, a friend recently complained that she spent too much time cooking dinner every night.  I happen to know that she does zero meal planning, hits up the grocery store several times a week (often buying expensive convenience foods), and routinely has to throw food out.  So she is wasting a lot of money on food, as well as turning her cooking into a total time sink.  I suggested that she might want to try doing some meal planning and cooking a big pot of soup on the weekends to have for several evenings during the week.  She responded very positively and asked for ideas, recipes, etc.  I'm sure if she implements it at all she will start seeing some savings, but that's not the point for her.

Based on her spending habits and what I know of her salary, I'd say this friend is only doing so-so on the personal finance front (she doesn't have any crazy expensive hobbies/habits, but she's just so disorganized about everything and is a classic example of figuring that the solutions involve buying things).  I've mentioned some ideas for saving money to her in the past and when she was buying a car even pushed some MMM posts on her, but for now she is just not all that into money or financial planning for the future, so money specific advice is kind of in one ear, out the other.

Anyway, if these are people you care about at all, I would avoid hitting them over the head with MMM or similar, but look for these kinds of openings to offer the advice that will resonate with their particular interests and situation.

Mrs MM

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Re: How do you convince people that MMM is good financial advice?
« Reply #24 on: May 21, 2013, 11:36:41 AM »
You probably reached more people than you think.  The people that got it never commented on that thread.  Once negativity begins, it's hard to turn things around - people don't want to be the only person to say something different.  I've seen a ton of external forum conversations go this way.

The comments on the MMM Washington Post article is a great example.  There were some great comments, but also some negative ones.  But, a ton of people just skipped over the comments, came to the blog, started participating, and e-mailed MMM personally.  They started doing something.  And that's the type of person that will read the blog and benefit the most.

Thanks for spreading the word.  :)

hybrid

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Re: How do you convince people that MMM is good financial advice?
« Reply #25 on: May 21, 2013, 11:45:32 AM »
Aushin,

As a newbie to the site and very excited about the whole thing, I haven't shared this with my entire circle of friends yet, just a few who I knew would be more receptive.  My plan is to lead by example.  Once I have actually cut out most of the low-hanging consumption and used the bike a whole lot more, then I will let them know.  I figure once they see that I am not deprived in any meaningful sense of the world it will make more sense.  I've already started losing a good part of the weight I need to take off.

I share your desire to spread the financial gospel, but I also know that it isn't going to reach a large swath of people.

My advice is to lead by example and the rest will take care of itself if and only if it is appealing to someone.  A lot of folks are perfectly content with their lifestyle just the way it is.  I could retire at 66 pretty darned comfortably while maintaining my wasteful lifestyle, playing golf, not biking, etc. and still be pretty happy.

Khan

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Re: How do you convince people that MMM is good financial advice?
« Reply #26 on: May 21, 2013, 12:00:24 PM »
Quote
Two close boyhood friends grow up and go their separate ways.  One becomes a humble monk, the other a rich and powerful minister to the king.
Years later they meet.  As they catch up, the minister (in his fine robes) takes pity on the thin, shabby monk.  Seeking to help, he says:
“You know, if you could learn to cater to the king you wouldn’t have to live on rice and beans.”
To which the monk replies:
“If you could learn to live on rice and beans you wouldn’t have to cater to the king.”

Those around me at least know that the reason why I save, is because I don't want to be a servant. I don't want to have to do anything. If I lose my job, I want to celebrate, not cry and grovel. I try and sell them on that, those that are willing to listen.

momo

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Re: How do you convince people that MMM is good financial advice?
« Reply #27 on: May 21, 2013, 06:34:39 PM »
I do not try to convince anyone anymore about how much mustachianism helps.

If they inquire I direct them to the introduction MMM posts and encourage them to keep a open mind.

I feel no one can force ideas or practices on people who do not ask for help or want help.

That said, I like to focus on controlling what I can control in my life, namely my own choices and actions. I find when I accomplish certain milestones and people notice, my actions speak louder than any words.
« Last Edit: May 21, 2013, 06:39:08 PM by StashtasticMomo »

PolarBeer

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Re: How do you convince people that MMM is good financial advice?
« Reply #28 on: May 21, 2013, 07:47:36 PM »
I am very wary of people who seem to be pushing things. I have a built-in skepticism against cults, conspiracy theory people, and overly partisan people. So I would be very suspicious of a link thrown out that promised answers to how to live your life and be happy. Whatever you do, do not sound like you're advertising anything. It might turn people off or just make them not even click it in the first place (which is the case for me - If I even suspect that its crackpot material I will not click). You will make a bigger difference by telling people what you've done yourself.