Author Topic: How do you share Mustachian principles with non-Mustachian family and friends?  (Read 5017 times)

RationalReasoner

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As we all know, living what's called the Mustachian lifestyle is not "normal" by the standards of society. I currently work in a very team-oriented environment and so I spend a lot of time in conversation with my coworkers. I often find it difficult to talk about financial topics with my coworkers because I am the only one who is consistently living in a Mustachian way. I often marvel in silence as I listen to their conversations about financing new trucks, ATV's, or farm equipment, buying new guns regularly and then later complaining about not having any money, or or a 30-year old not being able to move out on her own because she "can't afford it."

I listen to these conversations and try to relate but I usually can't because I've always been in control of my spending and saving.

My question is how do you effectively communicate Mustachian principles to your friends (who are also my coworkers) without seriously offending them or making them feel financially stupid? Thanks.

iamadummy

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You don't have to. Just follow your ways. Not everyone wants to hear about MMM.  Links to follow.

RationalReasoner

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It's not that I want to tell any of them what to do. It's their business how they handle their finances. But because they are my friends, it pains me to see them suffer with such poor financial habits.

I guess a follow-up question could be, "What does it take for someone to change their attitude from 'I'll always struggle financially' to 'I can change my financial future.'"?

Bracken_Joy

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It honestly is very analogous to religious conversion to me. You have found what works for you, and you are worried about the futures of your loved ones (soul/retirement). But does anyone take well to a newly converted religious enthusiast going on and on about how they have found what is right, and is the only way to long term salvation/happiness/stability/etc? Nope. Instead, the most effective at converting are those who live openly, quietly, and peacefully. People are drawn to you, and then are receptive to change. "When the learner is ready, the teacher will appear" and all that.

Ironically, this point is brought by a mustiachian agnostic atheist (before anyone jumps on me, those are different spectrums- you can be a gnostic atheist, or an agnostic theist, etc). Does MMM work well for me and bring me happiness and financial peace? Yes. Does Dave Ramsey do the same thing for many people? Yes, and it drives me nuts when they yammer on about it ;)

Just live well and be an inviting person, and people will seek out the information they need.

Villanelle

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I don't.

If I am out with my bestie and she wants to buy an expensive X, I might say, "that's really pretty.  But I just dumped a bunch of money into our investment accounts, and that felt really great, which helps me resist stuff like this."  Thats as far as I'll go, without being asked. 

I love my friends for who they are, warts and all.  They might live less than ideal lives in some ways, but I'm sure I do the same in others.  The love and respect me regardless, as I do them. 

KBecks2

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It's interesting.  I agree to live by example.  How do you share an example of what you are doing?   I'm not sure.
Of course you could always mention that you truly enjoy the blog here and tell people about it, and talk about how you are happy with your choices and how you feel happy / liberated / confident / whatever when you are benefiting from savings, planning, less stuff, more resources, etc.

I had a girlfriend from a wealthy family when I was younger and she bought her cars for cash, her house for cash and had blue chip dividend paying stocks.   I went through all the phases of financed cars, financed house, risky tech stocks, and NOW, NOW at midlife I am convinced of doing it her way.  But when I would talk to her she would just say what she was doing, but I didn't' see it, I couldn't understand.  If I rewound the clock I still doubt I'd understand.  But maybe if I were listening to Dave Ramsey back then, it would have helped.

You can offer Ramsey or MMM or those resources or mention them in passing.

Many people really like spending and they really like planning their purchases.  I still do!  It may take a strong message to wake people up. Think about how you want to help people, and give it your best shot, within the realm of the behavior that works at your job.

KBecks2

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I would start by encouraging every co worker to put money into their retirement accounts.  If you can encourage them to do that, you would be a massive help to them (if they are not doing anything right now).   You may not get them into extreme early retirement -- that is ok -- if you can help them "retire with dignity" that is an accomplishment. 

You can also lead some things that are less expensive activities for everyone too.  Tell them about the awesome cheap grocery store or the great recipe you made that is just like the restaurant.


mbk

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I don't have any suggestion for you, but my advice is don't despair.
Unfortunately there is not much you can do. Your friends have to see the fruits of your savings to come to your side. But all they see is the simple life you are leading, which typically don't appease to masses.

If you friends are rational and analytical, there is hope.
For some people, saving is in their genes or family installed ethic. For others like me, it happened gradually and I started on this path after reading a lot about retirement. The logic of Jacob and MMM made sense to me and I started saving more agressively. Even in my case, in pre-ER days, I never spent more than my income. If your friends are willing to read, open to new advice, just talk to them.

Another issue is that some of the savers are cheapskates. They are selfish in the sense, as long as the money is not coming from their pocket they are  perfectly willing to consume. My uncles family is a good example.  Also one of my neighbors are like that. Their actions tend to be repulsive and people associate savings with cheapness.

In my case, even now I can't convince my wife, mother or brother to cut down their spending. Over my wife atleast, I hope I have some influence. Control may be the right word. If I were not with her from now, I am sure she will go back to her spendy ways. They see my uncle's behavior and then think they are all living the right way of life, even though they are endangering their future security.


RationalReasoner

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Thanks everyone.

ender

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Accept that everyone has different life priorities.

Some people value temporal and instantaneous pursuit of happiness more than long term satisfaction and contentment.

I don't, and rather than judge people based on this I just accept it.

aj_yooper

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Like most people, it is hard for me to accept advice, especially if it is unsolicited.  We have tried to help a family member who asked for advice, but even then, she did not make changes, which is frustrating and sad.  Right now, we mind our own business and hope that our friends and family use good judgment.

lifejoy

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I don't talk about it at work. In fact, I talk about our student loan debt, so that people don't ask why I bring a lunch etc. I will probably still mention student loan debt long after we have paid it :D

Spondulix

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My old co-workers would come in every Monday and talk about how they "only spent $200 on dinner" at some place I'd never go to. It's like anything else at work - you listen and ask questions and leave it at that. I might tell them about something great I cooked or the interesting documentary I watched, and they might nod and pretend to be interested too. It's no reflection on anyone's values - we don't have to be friends but we can be friendly.

If people's comments are making you irritated, it's actually a good chance to look at yourself (cause we tend to project our own feelings on to other people). How would you feel if you complained about money, or couldn't afford something cause you were wasteful? It's possible to hold these views without getting emotional towards others, cause it's not our life (or money.)