Author Topic: How to Convert your SO to MMM in 50 Awesome Steps  (Read 35303 times)

lifejoy

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How to Convert your SO to MMM in 50 Awesome Steps
« on: August 14, 2015, 11:38:42 AM »
I was with a Mr. Normal McSpenderson and now I am with Mr. MMM Incarnate. Seriously, my spouse has gotten so on board, that he's now more MMM than me! Anyway, I know there are a lot of threads about how to help your SO "see the light" - so, this is what worked for me. It took a year or two to see some major progress, but the baby steps REALLY added up.

1. Read MMM and send a few articles to your spouse with the caption, "This is awesome! Thought you might get a kick out of it." Case in point: http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/04/18/news-flash-your-debt-is-an-emergency/

2. Be active on the forum, and regale your spouse with tales from the "Overheard at Work" thread: http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/antimustachian-wall-of-shame-and-comedy/overheard-at-work/?topicseen.

3. Live in Canada (or make your IP Address say that you do) and watch lots of "Til Debt Do Us Part". http://www.slice.ca/video/#til-debt-do-us-part/video You know how when you're watching a show that your SO isn't into, but it's on, and they can't help but catch parts of it? Well this show is GOLD. It's all about couples who need to manage their money better. The host, Gail Vaz-Oxlade, makes them live on cash and within their means to get their lives back on track. She's amazing, and she was a big influence on me and my SO.

4. If you get really obsessed with Gail Vaz-Oxlade, also watch her shows "Money Moron" and "Princess".



5. Need more? Her radio show is pretty good: http://www.newstalk1010.com/shows/gailvazoxlade.aspx But if you want something more 100% finance related, the podcasts from Radical Personal Finance are EXCELLENT. http://radicalpersonalfinance.com/archive/

6. If your SO is a reader, make sure you take these books out from the library: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/78428.Your_Money_or_Your_Life
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/900892.A_Random_Walk_Down_Wall_Street?from_search=true&search_version=service
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/178930.The_Overworked_American?from_search=true&search_version=service
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/178931.The_Overspent_American?from_search=true&search_version=service

7. Read those books yourself, and leave them around the house. Or, if appropriate, tell your SO that this book you read was REALLY GOOD, and you think they'd really like it. Bonus points if you can ensure that it's the only book they have with them on a long plane trip. Guaranteed they'll take a peek! ;)

8. Do you have a cleaning service? You do now. It's YOU. Cancel anything you're paying for, and STEP IT UP. You are now the cleaning person. I don't care about fairness, or whatever - if you are motivating this person to save money, you gotta show that you're willing to do the dirty work. Literally. Let it be known in a nice way, not a passive aggressive way, that you care a lot about your savings and it's worth it to you to do the cleaning yourself.

9. Same goes for meals. Want to spend less money on eating out? Well, get used to cooking. Maybe your SO will help, maybe not. But you gotta take initiative and lead by example. This site is a good place to start: http://www.budgetbytes.com/

10. Make it one of your primary goals that food will NOT be thrown out. Shop more carefully, plan meals more carefully. You do not throw away money in this household.

11. Dates: do you live in a fun city that puts on a lot of free events? Seek those out! If you live in a boring city, well, take action. Invite people over for board games, or host a wine and cheese night - potluck style. Take your SO out on a romantic walk. Plan a scavenger hunt if you have lots of spare time and you're feeling ambitious! Make it a fun challenge to think of fun free dates, instead of just going to the movies ten times a month.

12. Cell phone bill. Slash yours. Slash it to hell! Get that number down as low as humanly possible. Tell them how relieved you are to not be spending so much on your cell bill; enquire how they feel about their bill - are they getting a good value? Baby steps. Hopefully they will come to the conclusion on their own that there is some wiggle room.

13. Plan together about retirement options. This is when you present the FIRE dream. Tailor this to your SO and how they will handle such thinking.

14. If you can find them a real-life FIRE role model, that is good! It shows them it can be done, and they can see that person living the life they want instead of slaving away until 65. My SO wanted to "work forever, just like [his] dad" until he met my FIRED dad, and thought to himself... hmm, this early retirement stuff looks pretty darn sweet.

15. Try out You Need a Budget (YNAB): http://www.youneedabudget.com/

16. Try out Mint: https://www.mint.com/

17. Or, make your own budget in your own way.

18. YNAB and Mint worked for us to a point, but the thing that REALLY works was the jars, a la Gail Vaz-Oxlade: http://www.gailvazoxlade.com/articles/budgeting/magic_jars.html
You budget with cash in jars. It's very visual. Works well for me. My SO really dislikes using cash, so we agreed to do it for one month and it has had lasting effects!



Speaking of visual...

19. Colour in your debt or savings progress: http://www.debriefdaily.com/lifestyle/adult-colouring-in/



20. If you're still using credit cards, put a picture or a note taped onto your VISA that is a reminder of your goal, be it DEBT FREE FOREVER or FIRED BEFORE 40. Something like that. Or a picture of palm trees! :)

21. Employ this awesome tactic when your SO wants to buy something insane, like a brand new Jeep:

Quote
Step 1. Say, "You know, I've been thinking about it, and you were right. It really is time to replace your vehicle. It's too unreliable, you've put up with repairs for a long time, and you deserve something better." [It's important to say "You were right" -- don't leave that out]

Step 2. Say, "You've said you want a 2012 Jeep Wrangler -- any reasons you want that car in particular?"

Step 3. LISTEN. Don't say a word to refute anything about the 2012 JW. Listen to everything she says, pay close attention to the reasons she gives. Instead, nod your head, and say things like, "I see" or "That makes sense." If she seems to run out of reasons, ask her "Anything else?" Then listen some more.

Step 4. After she's done giving reasons, say "Okay." Then take some time on your own to think about it. This tells her you listened and will seriously give it consideration. If she presses you to give an answer about it, tell her you'd like a little time to digest what she's said and to look for some ways to get her what she wants.

Step 5. Look around for vehicles that meet the criteria she gave you AND that are cost-effective. Come up with several options for her to consider in addition to the JW. Example: She says "reliability" is her number one concern, you find the Consumer Reports pick for the most reliable car in your price range.

Step 6. Present her with the options, and include the JW as an option. Show her the pros/cons of each vehicle and how they might meet her criteria, and of course include cost in the equation. Now, she should be seeing you as presenting an objective set of choices, not a sales pitch in favor of the car you want her to pick. LET HER MAKE THE CHOICE.

Step. 7. If she chooses the JW despite it being inferior (and more expensive) to the other choices, tell her you want to find a way for the two of you to pay for it without going into debt, decreasing your retirement savings, hampering college for your kids, etc. Ask her what she thinks you both should do -- earn extra income at a second job? Cut expenses somewhere else? Give up some other future purchase or expense like the spring break trip? Make it clear that you want to get her the vehicle she wants, but that there's no free lunch. She'll have to consider tradeoffs if she's going to pick an expensive car "just because."
(Sorry - couldn't find the original posting of this, but the advice is solid gold!)

22. Embrace minimalism. Being happy with what you have and wanting less is a big key to personal fulfillment, living in a smaller space, and saving all the monies! Some great starting points: http://mnmlist.com/archive/ , http://www.theminimalists.com/archives/#popular, http://www.becomingminimalist.com/

23. Cut your own hair. I will accept no excuses on this point. If you're a man, you should find a time in your life when you don't need to look SUPER PRETTY and use that as an opportunity to let someone wield a buzzer to your head. There are a million youtube videos that show you how it's done, and if you get someone to practice and do it for you, you're SET. I've been cutting my husband's hair for years, and he looks pretty fab. For my own hair, I'm getting my hairdresser friend to show me how to cut it, but there are also "HAIR MODEL WANTED" opportunities available for the brave. Also, most of my friends get about one haircut per YEAR, so if you can last that long and go to a cheapo place, I guess $10 is not the worst waste. Unless you're a hair model, I see no reason that we should be spending $60 every three months. Yep.

24. For the ladies: explore these lady product options: http://lunapads.com/ and http://divacup.com/. If you find a cheap and reusable option for razors, PLEASE let me know.

25. Ladies: learn how to paint your own nails. No one should be paying for manis and pedis; that will just make it 10x more special when somebody gets you one as a gift! Get a nail buffer from the dollar store, it'll make a big difference. http://www.sallybeauty.com/Nail-Buffer-Block/SBS-707914,default,pd.html#start=1

lifejoy

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Re: How to Convert your SO to MMM in 50 Awesome Steps
« Reply #1 on: August 14, 2015, 11:38:54 AM »
26. If you're in debt, you should really be taking a break from drinking. Or if you do drink, it should only ever be with alcohol you bought at the cheapest place possible, AKA NOT at a restaurant. One life hack is to host an awesome party where you know people will bring you booze :D and then make that last as long as freakin' possible.

27. Host clothing swaps. Never buy clothing again. General layout, but adjust as necessary: http://www.oprah.com/style/Clothing-Swap-How-to-Host-a-Clothing-Swap



28. If you're going to the clubs, find out how to get in for free. Often this means getting on the guest list (only requires foresight and planning) or arriving super early, like before 9pm. WORTH IT. Spend the whole night drinking water, and you're golden!

29. Essentially, demolish your personal spending as much as humanly possible. And now that you are this shining example of mustachian bliss and your SO has noticed the extra piles of money around, one would hope that they will take a page out of your book and start to move in the same general direction.

30. Read this blog from start to finish: http://livingafi.com/

31. Get familiar with calculators: http://www.firecalc.com/ and https://networthify.com/calculator/earlyretirement?income=50000&initialBalance=0&expenses=25000&annualPct=5&withdrawalRate=4

32. Get familiar with your local library. Make it like a cute, old-timey date! Get your library cards, and take out some books, magazines, or some libraries even have video games... explore! Everything at the library (in most communities) is FREEEEEEEEEE. How amazing is that? If you haven't seen Fight Club yet would like to re-watch Fight Club for the billionth time, this would be a good option to sign it out and be reminded that we're all materialistic whores. Ha!







Ok, I'm a little obsessed with Fight Club.

33. If you and your SO are debating a money matter, sometimes it is helpful to get a third opinion. Post on the "Ask a Mustachian" section of the forum, and get some solid, objective, advice! Just take it with a grain of salt, because only you and your SO have a complete picture of the situation.

34. While you're at it, post a case study and get ripped apart kindly helped by the awesome people on here. http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/ask-a-mustachian/how-to-write-a-'case-study'-topic/

35. Go to a MMM Meet-up. If there isn't one in your area, start one! Being around like-minded people will help you and your SO feel more comfortable about your goals. (These meetups get advertised in the forum, so search your location or make a new post about it!)

36. If you're considering marriage, consider an alternative engagement ring. Moissanite is a material I've been very impressed with. Check it out! 1/10th of the cost of diamonds, with verrrrry similar properties. http://ringmaven.com/2015/07/07/she-wants-a-diamond-how-to-get-one-for-cheaper/

37. Now that you're a minimalist, you've probably gotten rid of all your crap, right? (Bonus points if you sold it). Time to move to a smaller home! Make sure you get on the library wait list for this awesome book: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22318578-the-life-changing-magic-of-tidying-up And while you're waiting, join the Konmari Adventures group on Facebook, and look at the very inspiring before/after pics of people getting rid of junk they don't need: https://www.facebook.com/groups/KonmariAdventures/



38. I know you love meat and cheese, but they are $$$$! So read "Eat to Live" and strongly consider putting your money (and your health) towards fruits and veges 90% of the time: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34451.Eat_to_Live IT IS SO MUCH CHEAPER!!!

39. On the rare occasion that you just NEED to get out to a restaurant for a date, consider going for JUST a drink, or JUST an appetizer, or sharing an entree. There are so many ways to make eating out affordable (lunch specials on a weekday?) so make it infrequent and planned.

40. If you get given gift cards, put it in your gift budget jar. Ironic, amiright? But ever so useful.

41. This seems too obvious to mention, but I guess I should make sure that if you're using a credit card, you better be getting some epic rewards for that shiznad.

42. Also seemingly obvious: YOU SHOULD NOT BE PAYING BANK FEES. You should not be paying the bank money, to let them use your money. That is insane. If you're a student, free banking is easy to obtain. If you're a working adult, they might be a little shifty-eyed about the idea of free banking, but the second you mention the bank down the street they will suddenly be VERY creative about your options. Trust me. You will definitely be able to find free banking if you have a little moxy and determination. DO IT.

43. Do not nag your SO. This should be a positive experience that will boost you up. If they want to make a purchase that is not in line with the plan, you can say something like, "Well, I don't want to stand in the way of your desires, but I'm a little uncomfortable about this purchase because it would take us further away from our goals." Goals that you discussed together, during step #13 and others.

44. Do not let this turn into a "Parent/Child" relationship. You are equals. You are doing this TOGETHER. And if you're not.... well, there's always a lifehack around it. There is always an Option C.



45. If you want to get really intense about the conversion, read "How to Win Friends and Influence People" and "Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard" by Dan and Chip Heath. I have found these two books to be the most useful if you want to manipulate encourage someone to see your way of thinking. https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/4865.How_to_Win_Friends_and_Influence_People and https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/8140252-switch

46. Pick your battles. They want to buy the more expensive toilet paper, and you're penny pinching. Is that really the biggest fish you could fry? Pick your battles wisely. Save your encouragement for changes that will have the biggest positive change.

47. Reaffirm, support, praise, brag! When you SO makes a positive change, be their number one fan!! My SO started taking a lunch to work (because I was making him a lunch to take to work) and I made a visual money tree and put an $8 leaf on the tree every time he brought a lunch to work, to illustrate how much money we were saving. I brag about my SO on the MMM Forum, and praise him to his face. Keep it real, but be specific and appreciative. Change is different for everyone, and is seldom easy.

48. Speaking of lunches, get accustomed to making bigger dinners so that you can bring the leftovers for lunch. Easy, peasy! And if you or your SO are too much of a snob for leftovers, I suggest you start making more delicious dinners so that you can't WAIT to eat it again on day 2!

49. Pamper your spouse, the free way. If your spouse is suffering (and they shouldn't be, because you've been doing all the hard parts) but if they're suffering and adapting to the changes, pamper them. This MMM thing is YOUR idea, and they're being a wonderful person by being the littlest bit open to it. So I want you to tell them, wow hon, I really appreciate you being open to this idea. Let me rub your feet or watch that dumb show you like or spend time with you and your mother or go to the museum you always wanted to check out or DO SOMETHING FOR YOU, THAT YOU LIKE, because I respect and appreciate that you're opening yourself up to MY interests. Just because FIRE and MMM are such obviously amazing things to be interested in, doesn't mean your SO will catch on right away. So make sure you reciprocate by pursuing their interests with renewed vigor.

50. Tailor this process to your spouse. Some people like to read. Get them reading material and have it easily accessible for them. Some people like to watch tv; choose things that might inspire them to become a MMM master. Other people like stats and graphs - there are so many options out there! Really consider the needs of your SO, and how they like to learn. What will appeal to them? A vision board where you lay out your retirement dreams? A jar full of all the money you saved because you stopped paying for a cleaning service? Your toned thighs and calves because you started biking to work six months ago? Yep. Do what works for you, but more importantly, find out what works for them. Your imagination is the only limit, so think outside of the box!



Good luck! :) And please add ideas below!

Let's recap:

Step One: Lead by example. Are you spending money on something? Can you stop spending money on it, with zero effort required by your SO? THEN DO THAT. NOW. Stop using your SO as an excuse.
Step Two: Positive influence. Introduce them to your new hobby of SAVING ALL THE MONEY SO THAT YOU CAN HAVE FREEDOM. Do it in a way that will speak to them.
Step Three: Plan goals together. And if you both want FIRE, you are able to help them with that. If they don't want FIRE, you can plan to have separate finances or whatever.



gt7152b

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Re: How to Convert your SO to MMM in 50 Awesome Steps
« Reply #2 on: August 14, 2015, 12:40:19 PM »
Great list and nice work putting it together. I use several of these tactics to encourage my SO and it does have an effect.

h2ogal

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Re: How to Convert your SO to MMM in 50 Awesome Steps
« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2015, 12:53:26 PM »
Fantastic list!   I need to follow this!

CmFtns

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Re: How to Convert your SO to MMM in 50 Awesome Steps
« Reply #4 on: August 14, 2015, 01:24:42 PM »
I like this=) definitely gonna check out some of those links. There really should be a 'Guides' section of the forum.

Although some of this is advice (22-32) seem to be on how to be mustacian instead of how to convert your SO.
maybe should have been called something like "how to grow your mustache and convince your SO to come along for the ride"
"the only efficient way to get there is on the front of the wave" -MMM

Cookie78

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Re: How to Convert your SO to MMM in 50 Awesome Steps
« Reply #5 on: August 14, 2015, 01:29:36 PM »
I still have so many steps I need to work on!

Great list.

MissStache

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Re: How to Convert your SO to MMM in 50 Awesome Steps
« Reply #6 on: August 14, 2015, 01:31:21 PM »
This should be a pinned post!  Awesome, and kudos to you for being so smart about converting your husband!

lifejoy

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Re: How to Convert your SO to MMM in 50 Awesome Steps
« Reply #7 on: August 14, 2015, 01:33:48 PM »
I like this=) definitely gonna check out some of those links. There really should be a 'Guides' section of the forum.

Although some of this is advice (22-32) seem to be on how to be mustacian instead of how to convert your SO.
maybe should have been called something like "how to grow your mustache and convince your SO to come along for the ride"

You're spot on. I totally started floating away from my original purpose... ha!

Although... I could argue that you can't convert someone unless you're busy being a mustachian yourself ;) Hence, relevant! (Ok, it's a stretch.)

acorn

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Re: How to Convert your SO to MMM in 50 Awesome Steps
« Reply #8 on: August 14, 2015, 01:41:53 PM »
Great list!

AllieVaulter

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Re: How to Convert your SO to MMM in 50 Awesome Steps
« Reply #9 on: August 14, 2015, 03:03:48 PM »
Great list.  My addition is more broad, general philosophy:

Keep it fun (MMM is about appreciating life, not being miserable), and don't OBSESS over money.  Yes, think about it and optimize it, but some people hate thinking about it all the time.  If your SO is one of these people, tackle the biggest money leaks and try to be zen about the rest.  As you acclimatize to your new spending levels, then see if you can work on a couple new things.  If you try to accomplish too much at once, it can be overwhelming and sabotage the whole effort.  It might slow your path to FIRE by a year, but if you and your SO are still happy and together at the end, I consider that year well spent. 

Basenji

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Re: How to Convert your SO to MMM in 50 Awesome Steps
« Reply #10 on: August 14, 2015, 04:54:38 PM »
Awesome, love it!

frugalparagon

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Re: How to Convert your SO to MMM in 50 Awesome Steps
« Reply #11 on: August 14, 2015, 05:03:00 PM »
Fantastic! I love the upbeat tone. I used to read the FlyLady and I remember her also talking about being positive and leading by example (in this case, with creating a more organized home), even if it seems at first like you're the only one who cares.
I blog about Mustachianism during the child-raising years at frugalparagon.com.

And I tell the real story in my journal, https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/journals/still-living-well-in-the-living-room-but-what's-my-next-move/

lifejoy

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Re: How to Convert your SO to MMM in 50 Awesome Steps
« Reply #12 on: August 14, 2015, 06:23:03 PM »
Great list.  My addition is more broad, general philosophy:

Keep it fun (MMM is about appreciating life, not being miserable), and don't OBSESS over money.  Yes, think about it and optimize it, but some people hate thinking about it all the time.  If your SO is one of these people, tackle the biggest money leaks and try to be zen about the rest.  As you acclimatize to your new spending levels, then see if you can work on a couple new things.  If you try to accomplish too much at once, it can be overwhelming and sabotage the whole effort.  It might slow your path to FIRE by a year, but if you and your SO are still happy and together at the end, I consider that year well spent.

Such a great point!

Thegoblinchief

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Re: How to Convert your SO to MMM in 50 Awesome Steps
« Reply #13 on: August 15, 2015, 05:47:05 AM »
Bookmarking this in my periodic RE-read folder. One of the best posts I've seen on the forums in a while!

Don't really have much to add though in general you have to heavily exercise Stephen Covey's first habit of "seek first to understand, then to be understood" throughout ALL 50 Steps.

Also, a lot of us end up in the bad habit of always being Judgy McJudgersons about conspicuous consumption. Let that go, especially with your SO.
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“The greatest change we need to make is from consumption to production, even if on a small scale, in our own gardens. If only 10% of us do this, there is enough for everyone. Hence the futility of revolutionaries who have no gardens, who depend on the very system they attack, and who produce words and bullets, not food and shelter.” - Bill Mollison

LG in NYC

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Re: How to Convert your SO to MMM in 50 Awesome Steps
« Reply #14 on: August 16, 2015, 09:37:23 AM »
Since you asked about cheap reusable razors...

Try dollar shave club (https://www.dollarshaveclub.com/how-it-works) if you still want disposable razors. If not, buy an old fashioned safety razor! There is a short adjustment period to getting used to the single blade, but you can buy the individual blades on ebay (super cheap), and you get a great shave.

Frugal D

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Re: How to Convert your SO to MMM in 50 Awesome Steps
« Reply #15 on: August 16, 2015, 09:59:16 AM »
Emphasis on #32. #32 is really all you need, but great list nonetheless!

Awesome work.
The ability to let that which does not matter truly slide.

lifejoy

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Re: How to Convert your SO to MMM in 50 Awesome Steps
« Reply #16 on: August 20, 2015, 06:52:43 PM »
Question for the mods:

I am honoured and flattered that this has become a sticky post! Wondering if it would help more people if it were in the "Ask a Mustachian" section? What do you think?

thestoicstudent

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Re: How to Convert your SO to MMM in 50 Awesome Steps
« Reply #17 on: November 28, 2015, 09:50:51 PM »
Great list!

Here's another fun calculator that was done by a fellow forum member I believe: http://mustachecalc.com/

jengod

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Re: How to Convert your SO to MMM in 50 Awesome Steps
« Reply #18 on: November 29, 2015, 01:57:16 PM »
Safety razor + razor blades is awesome. If you remove and dry the blade between uses it seems to last forever.

My number-one conversion device would be The Millionaire Next Door by Danko & Stanley. It's the book that persuaded me that I'd foolishly fallen into the Consumption Trap and that it was unwise. Before Millionaire Next Door I thought EVERYBODY had to spend profligately to maintain a standard of living appropriate to the American Way. Really persuasive.

As for actually how to live below your means, The Tightwad Gazette by Amy Dacyzyn is a terrific guide to a new way of thinking, especially for those presently immersed in the buy-now-throw-away-buy-again-tomorrow mindset.
Waste is lost profit made visible. #zerowastehome #permaculture

shawn77777

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Re: How to Convert your SO to MMM in 50 Awesome Steps
« Reply #19 on: November 29, 2015, 07:45:07 PM »
Love the fight club references.

With This Herring

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Re: How to Convert your SO to MMM in 50 Awesome Steps
« Reply #20 on: December 04, 2015, 07:43:20 PM »
In cases you haven't heard of them yet, EPILATORS are a million times better than razors (IMO).  I got one a few years ago, and I haven't used a razor since.  They rip out the root of the hair, so you only need to use an epilator once a week or so.  The regrowth is not prickly, and I find that it isn't very visible until you are seven days out.  This is not waxing, which requires at least a quarter-inch of regrowth before it is effective.  Also, if you are a lady with dark hair and pale skin (like myself), an epilator produces a much nicer look, as shaving leaves a dark root showing right through pale skin.  Anywhere on your body a razor can go, so can an epilator (and further).  It does take more time, but it is so much less frequent and doesn't require standing under hot water during the process.

Epilating stops being painful after the first couple times (the root becomes shorter with consistent epilating).

I second the safety razor idea if an epilator isn't for you.
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Re: How to Convert your SO to MMM in 50 Awesome Steps
« Reply #21 on: December 05, 2015, 07:43:09 PM »
Love it! Posting to be able to find again

pbkmaine

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Re: How to Convert your SO to MMM in 50 Awesome Steps
« Reply #22 on: December 05, 2015, 08:25:47 PM »

Safety razor + razor blades is awesome. If you remove and dry the blade between uses it seems to last forever.

My number-one conversion device would be The Millionaire Next Door by Danko & Stanley. It's the book that persuaded me that I'd foolishly fallen into the Consumption Trap and that it was unwise. Before Millionaire Next Door I thought EVERYBODY had to spend profligately to maintain a standard of living appropriate to the American Way. Really persuasive.

As for actually how to live below your means, The Tightwad Gazette by Amy Dacyzyn is a terrific guide to a new way of thinking, especially for those presently immersed in the buy-now-throw-away-buy-again-tomorrow mindset.

+1 for these and add Your Money or Your Life by Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez.


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Re: How to Convert your SO to MMM in 50 Awesome Steps
« Reply #23 on: December 08, 2015, 08:34:50 AM »
I love the list. This is valuable information for any mustachian.

The car example is interesting. I feel that sometimes the reason for needing or wanting something might be caused by a completely unrelated reason. I have seen numerous examples, not necessarily related to my SO btw.  These range anywhere from "what would the neighbors think" to being completely unreasonable and extremely stubborn.

The last one happened to me in a study group of 8. A decision had to be made on something and after a 2 hour discussion we ended up voting, the result was 7:1. But the one who voted against did not want to accept the outcome. Since the relationships were not personal we just went against her wishes and told her to stop being an idiot. Thinking about it I think she took it personally since we declined her concept and that was unacceptable to her. Something along the lines of if they reject my concept I have failed.

However the same thing might occur with someone you do care for on a personal level. It's interesting how you would go about solving a stalemate in that case.

Also, step 51: Don't let your SO see this list, they might feel like you are manipulating them.


coolistdude

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Re: How to Convert your SO to MMM in 50 Awesome Steps
« Reply #24 on: February 07, 2016, 09:38:34 PM »

Speaking of visual...

19. Colour in your debt or savings progress: http://www.debriefdaily.com/lifestyle/adult-colouring-in/


This is an excellent guide. I really like #19. For the non-artsy MMM people, DW and I sell a product like this on Etsy. We currently have a 10% coupon off for MMM customers: MMMDISCOUNT

Retirement tree: https://www.etsy.com/listing/267236279/retirement-savings-chart-tree-wall-art?ref=shop_home_active_5

Debt free/savings heart: https://www.etsy.com/listing/267346716/debt-free-tracking-chart-heart-wall-art?ref=shop_home_active_1

Let me know if this is against the rules (I checked but didn't see that it was). I am just attempting to help keep people motivated.
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The bad: Single income, only about $17k in retirement, and no FI date.
The ugly: 1 year ago I was doing much better but lost all possessions due to mold. It has been an emotional roller coaster.

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RedmondStash

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Re: How to Convert your SO to MMM in 50 Awesome Steps
« Reply #25 on: February 14, 2016, 11:27:40 AM »
I know I'm late to the party, but really great post. Thanks.

ubermom4

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Re: How to Convert your SO to MMM in 50 Awesome Steps
« Reply #26 on: February 20, 2016, 12:09:58 PM »
Dear lifejoy -- I don't post much here at MMM because so many others do a great job. Your post has changed my life, I have printed it. It took  you a long time to put together for us to enjoy. Thank you for helping us to be better spouses. This post put so many things together, I am still blown away. Sometimes it is not easy to figure out how to help your fellow creatures, with this post you have significantly helped a ton of people. Thank you for your thoroughness, thoughtfulness,  positive attitude and willingness to share experience with others. Kudos!!

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Re: How to Convert your SO to MMM in 50 Awesome Steps
« Reply #27 on: March 09, 2016, 04:39:29 AM »
I have read through this post more than once and I am sure to return to it again. Good wisdom and excellent advice for making the world a better place, one relationship at a time. Thanks lifejoy!

lifejoy

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Re: How to Convert your SO to MMM in 50 Awesome Steps
« Reply #28 on: March 17, 2016, 02:44:20 PM »
I just want to emphasize that this post would not have been possible without the wonderful and supportive community here. 100% of the ideas were gleaned from resources online and from books! The rest is just leading by example :D

Best wishes to you all.

SilveradoBojangles

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Re: How to Convert your SO to MMM in 50 Awesome Steps
« Reply #29 on: March 18, 2016, 10:31:54 PM »
The biggest things for convincing my SO were using YNAB and thinking about whether our spending was making us happier. I think he always associated budgeting with a lot of work and self denial, but once I framed it like that he was on board. We made a budget together that reflected what makes us happiest, and started tracking expenses using YNAB, and now he's constantly looking for ways that we can cut spending. He's told all our friends about budgeting. He says things like, "wow, it's so much more fulfilling to splurge when you saved up for it!". It's been great. I found MMM last Jan, and we've reduced our spending by 25% per month since then. I didn't think we were big spenders before, because we had no debt, but we weren't as careful as we could be, and we were maxing our IRAs but nothing else (which is not bad when you are both grad students). But now we are on our way to buying ourselves some future flexibility, and I couldn't be happier.

Zamboni

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Re: How to Convert your SO to MMM in 50 Awesome Steps
« Reply #30 on: April 10, 2016, 02:39:48 AM »
Well done, great thread!

frugaldoc

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Re: How to Convert your SO to MMM in 50 Awesome Steps
« Reply #31 on: April 15, 2016, 02:42:01 PM »
I just want to emphasize that this post would not have been possible without the wonderful and supportive community here. 100% of the ideas were gleaned from resources online and from books! The rest is just leading by example :D

Best wishes to you all.

This is epic Lifejoy. Thank you! Although the Fight Club stuff was distracting...I couldn't pay attention to what I was reading after that because I had Fight Club quotes swimming in my head.
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lifejoy

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Re: How to Convert your SO to MMM in 50 Awesome Steps
« Reply #32 on: April 15, 2016, 09:12:06 PM »
I just want to emphasize that this post would not have been possible without the wonderful and supportive community here. 100% of the ideas were gleaned from resources online and from books! The rest is just leading by example :D

Best wishes to you all.

This is epic Lifejoy. Thank you! Although the Fight Club stuff was distracting...I couldn't pay attention to what I was reading after that because I had Fight Club quotes swimming in my head.

Lol... sounds like a good problem to have! ;)

Choices

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Re: How to Convert your SO to MMM in 50 Awesome Steps
« Reply #33 on: June 04, 2016, 08:31:11 AM »
#51 Be careful what you wish for. I just wanted to pay off our house. Now we're on the early retirement bandwagon and a few years ahead of schedule! And he's the one giving me the books--it's fabulous!
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lifejoy

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Re: How to Convert your SO to MMM in 50 Awesome Steps
« Reply #34 on: June 08, 2016, 12:26:28 PM »
#51 Be careful what you wish for. I just wanted to pay off our house. Now we're on the early retirement bandwagon and a few years ahead of schedule! And he's the one giving me the books--it's fabulous!

Lol so true! I'm in the same situation... my DH is better than me now!!

bb11

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Re: How to Convert your SO to MMM in 50 Awesome Steps
« Reply #35 on: June 14, 2016, 10:40:13 AM »
Great list, thank you for posting lifejoy!

lifejoy

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Re: How to Convert your SO to MMM in 50 Awesome Steps
« Reply #36 on: June 16, 2016, 08:36:19 PM »
Great list, thank you for posting lifejoy!

It was my pleasure. Feel free to add to it!

GrumpyPenguin

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Re: How to Convert your SO to MMM in 50 Awesome Steps
« Reply #37 on: July 14, 2016, 01:41:07 PM »
Awesome list, thank you! I've been steadily converting my SO...  almost there :).

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Re: How to Convert your SO to MMM in 50 Awesome Steps
« Reply #38 on: August 03, 2016, 05:50:10 PM »
This is fantastic! I need some help on #50. My SO loves to watch TV, especially those reality-type home shows on cable (OK, don't judge the judgypants -- we pay for cable). Her particular anti-mustachian vices are shopping (she does it for fun) and accumulating tons of stuff. Anyone have advice on shows that show the perils of these? Reality shows about people who spend themselves into oblivion, accumulate homes full of junk, etc etc? If I start watching them I'm sure she will, too. And it could be really helpful in converting her.

With This Herring

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Re: How to Convert your SO to MMM in 50 Awesome Steps
« Reply #39 on: August 05, 2016, 02:04:27 PM »
This is fantastic! I need some help on #50. My SO loves to watch TV, especially those reality-type home shows on cable (OK, don't judge the judgypants -- we pay for cable). Her particular anti-mustachian vices are shopping (she does it for fun) and accumulating tons of stuff. Anyone have advice on shows that show the perils of these? Reality shows about people who spend themselves into oblivion, accumulate homes full of junk, etc etc? If I start watching them I'm sure she will, too. And it could be really helpful in converting her.

I haven't seen particular shows, though I have heard of "Hoarders," but she can look at the example of our neighbors when I was growing up.  Every single year they had garage sales full of really neat stuff, and most of it looked brand-new!  I found out later, as an adult, that this was because they were constantly shopping and buying stuff.  As-seen-on-TV junk, clothes, etc.  They had too much to use.  They kept up with it, but the Mrs. always had health problems, so when the Mr. became disabled by horrible back issues and forced into early retirement, their finances quickly spiraled downward.  Now they physically and financially can't keep up the upkeep on their house and yard.  My father and brother help them with yardwork like trimming shrubs, mowing grass, cutting down trees that might fall on my parents' property, etc., but it would be a much bigger thing for my family to help them fix the roof, the broken-off shutter, or the gable vents.  Their adult sons don't help much.  And when one of their siblings gave them a large monetary gift, they used it as a downpayment on a new car.  *sigh*

You two could set a budget for shopping (clothes, home goods?).  You two could agree that any non-crucial purchase requires sitting on it for a week to think.  Maybe she doesn't need to discuss with you buying a new dress/coffeepot/whatever, but she has to wait before purchasing it.  A lot of people enjoy browsing stores without purchasing, and maybe she would as well.  This might also sound better coming from her sister or a friend, if you have already talked to her about it in the past.
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Zamboni

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Re: How to Convert your SO to MMM in 50 Awesome Steps
« Reply #40 on: August 06, 2016, 07:43:00 AM »
Thank you for the tip on the Canadian shows. Princess Season 1 Episode 5 showed pretty clearly how the mind of a taker works. On the show, she's supposed to be making a plan for how she is going to pay off her debt. Instead, from 12:00 to 12:40 she pretty much says that she's not giving back the car she "borrowed" from her aunt (even though aunt has asked for it back and pays the insurance, maintenance, and even has had to pay her parking tickets!) She has borrowed various sums from different people but really doesn't think she should have to pay back anyone in her family and she says it explicitly.

I hope her boyfriend had the sense to bail out on that relationship. He can find another hottie who will not drive him into bankruptcy. Some of the princesses use this show as a true wake up call, but this one did not.

lifejoy

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Re: How to Convert your SO to MMM in 50 Awesome Steps
« Reply #41 on: August 06, 2016, 08:55:03 AM »
This is fantastic! I need some help on #50. My SO loves to watch TV, especially those reality-type home shows on cable (OK, don't judge the judgypants -- we pay for cable). Her particular anti-mustachian vices are shopping (she does it for fun) and accumulating tons of stuff. Anyone have advice on shows that show the perils of these? Reality shows about people who spend themselves into oblivion, accumulate homes full of junk, etc etc? If I start watching them I'm sure she will, too. And it could be really helpful in converting her.

See if you can watch "Princess" "Money Moron" or "Til Debt Do Us Part" starring Gail Vaz-Oxlade. The show is Canadian and can be watched on slice.ca if you or your IP address are Canadian. Other options might be to read "the life changing magic of tidying be up" which is all about minimalism. Good luck!

Dee

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Re: How to Convert your SO to MMM in 50 Awesome Steps
« Reply #42 on: August 06, 2016, 12:39:20 PM »
There is also a show called Consumed: http://www.hgtv.ca/consumed/. It's also Canadian so I suspect the same trick about IP addresses would have to be used to watch it online.

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Re: How to Convert your SO to MMM in 50 Awesome Steps
« Reply #43 on: August 14, 2016, 03:06:10 PM »
I love this. Thank you.

thrifted

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Re: How to Convert your SO to MMM in 50 Awesome Steps
« Reply #44 on: October 03, 2016, 10:42:28 AM »
I particularly loved #19 because I enjoy coloring (I'm right handed and try to color worth my left).

I have been talking to my man about early retirement and he's convinced I'll be bored out of my mind when I hit my financial independence numbers. I do plan on doing pro bono work when I retire early. I've already started to with a nonprofit in my neighborhood.

In 2017, We're going to do a trial run to see if we can live off of 1 income. He's self-employed and we're not married, probably never will get married. I'm curious though how much couples save in taxes by having that piece of paper.

In 2019, I'm  going to do a sabbatical but he'll keep working. I'm very excited for this as I've been working on a book for years and will finally have undivided attention on it.

We've started drinking at home and sticking to appetizers. Blue apron really helped us to cut down on food waste and now we just get veggies and fruit from the bodega when we are actually going to use it day of.

Another way we've saved money is by shopping local - grocery shopping for a week's worth of food at a really good market a couple subway stops away, rather than a cab away. Buying from a store rather than ordering on Amazon. Going to smalll businesses the price can be higher but I find the quality a bit better than chain stores.

I also now use the flexible spending account for my healthcare. I spend quite a bit on therapy and meds and this has saved us a lot of money. Luckily my bf is completely healthy!

I love your list and I'm sure you have even more ideas!

Mel70

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Re: How to Convert your SO to MMM in 50 Awesome Steps
« Reply #45 on: October 25, 2016, 11:07:03 AM »
I like the list except the point where you become your own maid. :(

DieHard_772

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Re: How to Convert your SO to MMM in 50 Awesome Steps
« Reply #46 on: December 02, 2016, 10:09:32 PM »
Someone else on the forum recommended I look at this post (thank you pbkmaine) after I wrote about me and my SO in my journal.  I saw this post last week, it is awesome.

I have a strong reaction to this post, completely and totally positive for about a second... then I start running into my own thoughts about my situation being "hard"... 

AT PRESENT, HERE ARE SOME OF THE CHALLENGES:

---I'm fairly sure that my wife thinks not spending is the same as being broke.  She seems to associate spending with pleasure, and saving
with pain or self-denial, lack (How do I shift this for her?  For me, saving and not spending is fucking fun!)
---SO seems to need to buy things, even when we already have similar things in our house!
---SO routinely buys food she doesn't finish, or forgets about... thus we throw out more food than we should... I plan to work on this one by inspecting the contents of the refrigerator before we create our monthly grocery list
-- SO seems walking-averse and DEFINITELY bike-averse, and she drives an SUV because she feels "safer," plus she routinely drives the
car or asked to be driven even if we are going three blocks away to her friend's house... she's about as outdoorsy as a desktop computer.
--Basically, SO is completely non-mustachian in most ways... not to mention she has no money stash or retirement to speak of
and really doesn't show much interest in it... she basically thinks of it as "that thing that I'm interested in," as if it's my hobby
just like her hobby is sewing or watching TV shows.
--SO about as interested in tracking her money as I am in eating cardboard.  This often makes it difficult to actually know what she is spending for day to day, I periodically look on her mint account to do our taxes and that's usually when I know.  She also doesn't like spreadsheets and seems non-enthused when I bring up the subject of compounding (could there be anything greater!)
--For my part, I am EAGER to grow our stash, but it seems I need to grow my income significantly from about $50k/year to do so  (I am self employed and goal of 2107 is $75k. In fact, I hired my wife's business coach, which was definitely NOT a mustachian thing to do because it increase my expenses by over $500/mo... hoping it will pay off in the long run, so far it's been good, but I still have high expenses and need to earn more, fuuuuuuuuuuck)

Okay, enough of the bad stuff (mostly)...

HERE ARE THE SIGNS OF PROGRESS:
--SO agrees with the idea of saving, she has even started investing $100/month in Betterment, which is better
than absolutely nothing...
--SO is starting her own education business.  She has made at least $1500 doing several workshops already and has gotten paid by about
20 clients... she just needs to keep putting on events and turn it into a consistent money generator.
--We have been shopping at the fairly frugal budget of $400/mo for over a year  (however, my wife insists that she still gets to go
out and buy other things when she wants them... thus defeating the purpose in my eyes of the words "grocery budget")
--She is okay with us shopping at the Dollar Tree and Grocery Outlet (cheaper stores), and of course Costco.  This is definitely working well,
we used to shop at Safeway.
--SO is fully on board with us going with an HSA in 2017 for the first time... while a modest piece of the FI model, I like the
idea of self-funding and having an ongoing health savings account.

 I have mixed feelings about our situation,
but I dream of us working together in blissful Mustachian/Millionaire Next Door -type bliss, and being happy retired millionaires in ten to fifteen years.
But I don't see it happening from savings alone. 

I dream of being able to save 50% or more of our income, seems way far off right now...  I am scrambling to put
10% away in an IRA.

I know, I know. Baby steps.  I can be patient.  I just learned about Mr. Money Mustache a little over a year ago, and I didn't even start saving money in my IRA spring of 2015.  Thank you for your excellent post.
« Last Edit: December 03, 2016, 11:33:15 AM by DieHard_772 »

SassyG

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Re: How to Convert your SO to MMM in 50 Awesome Steps
« Reply #47 on: December 23, 2016, 07:26:22 PM »
Good luck, DieHard, that's a tough corner you're in. I just ended an 8 yr relationship with my guy for many of those reasons you list above. You're a good man for sticking with her.

Here's an interesting podcast Mad Fientist just issued, which might offer some juicy tidbits:

http://www.madfientist.com/sane-fientist-interview/

And his wife's article on how she opened up to the idea:

http://www.madfientist.com/an-unexpected-guest-post/

Hang in there!

DieHard_772

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Re: How to Convert your SO to MMM in 50 Awesome Steps
« Reply #48 on: December 24, 2016, 01:36:16 PM »
Good luck, DieHard, that's a tough corner you're in. I just ended an 8 yr relationship with my guy for many of those reasons you list above. You're a good man for sticking with her.

Here's an interesting podcast Mad Fientist just issued, which might offer some juicy tidbits:

http://www.madfientist.com/sane-fientist-interview/

And his wife's article on how she opened up to the idea:

http://www.madfientist.com/an-unexpected-guest-post/

Hang in there!

Hi SassyG, thanks for the thoughts.
You know, I really have a strong frugal streak, obviously I'm all about these Mustachians ideas.  And my wife tries her best, but just is not frugal in her orientation.  Also, she really isn't a planner.  She just doesn't seem that excited by the prospect of compound interest, or saving tons of money like I am.  She just takes it as she goes, very much in the present, and very much a spender who likes to buy things, even though she is trying to get on board with it, and is succeeding to some extent.

Yet she still seems to see not spending as some sort of punishment or deprivation.  And I can tell she gets depressed about it sometimes, as if we are depriving ourselves of things, as if we are broke or something. 

And yet, we have a real love together, and money conversations aside, we are really happy together most of the time.
So I know this is the right thing for me, I figure this is my learning experience... how to keep getting my goals accomplished while working with how we are different.

I need to make the best of it.

Thanks for the links, I will check them out.

lifejoy

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Re: How to Convert your SO to MMM in 50 Awesome Steps
« Reply #49 on: February 12, 2017, 11:57:53 AM »
I would also recommend the book, "Your Money or Your Life". Listen to the audiobook in her presence, maybe?