Author Topic: I need a recommendation on a good "mustachian-lite" book on mindful spending  (Read 5397 times)

Kris

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I have a sort of extended-family member, who has asked me to have lunch with her and her wife in a few weeks to help them get better at managing their money.  From what I know about them, they are pretty bad at thinking through how small purchases add up, they are often on the bleeding edge of having no money (for example, today she postponed a lunch date we had because she has to run a cashier's check over to her insurance guy so that their car insurance doesn't laps), etc.  I am going to introduce them to YNAB, eventually, but what I'm really looking for at the start is a book that will engage them both and that will talk about many of the core concepts that MMM preaches, but without the facepunches. 

The concepts I'd like the book to address, in language that would appeal to them: hedonic adaptation, how mindless spending doesn't really bring you satisfaction (and is hard on the planet), and how it actually makes you less happy, because it's just a bandaid, and it's a never ending cycle that depletes your resources so that you are less able to invest in things that really make you happy. 

They are both pretty heavy yoga-practicing, social-justice types, and so I think that kind of language might hit home with them. I think their relationship is such that they would probably be interested in reading the book together and talking about it, if it was engaging enough.  And if I can actually buy them two copies of the books before I see them next, bonus.  Because I can see myself saying, "Buy this $10 book!", and them replying, "Oh, wow, that sounds great! We'll try to pick it up when we have the money, but you know, we're kind of strapped right now..." *goes to Starbucks for a mochacchino 5 days in a row...*

Any great suggestions from y'all?  Thanks in advance!

mskyle

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It's sort of orthogonal to what you're asking, but what about <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00KK0PICK/">The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up</a>?

pbkmaine

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beantown

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Seconding "Your Money or Your Life"- I read this book before becoming more Mustachian and the concepts are really useful even if you're not aiming for FIRE.

wenchsenior

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I third YMoYL. I wasn't super spendy as a young adult (too cautious), and I knew a little bit about investing and the need to save for retirement and all that stuff, and was trying to do it. But reading YMoYL was the serious trigger point that got me tracking my expenditures in detail, and setting tangible goals for saving and reducing spending. Progress was much faster after that, and I wish I'd read the book 5-10 years sooner than I did.

NumberCruncher

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This one doesn't necessarily say you should spend less, just less on things that don't make you happy (e.g. expensive, car, house, possessions in general): http://www.amazon.com/Happy-Money-Science-Happier-Spending/dp/1451665075/ Happy Money:The Science of Happier Spending

Very easy read while also making you think - highly recommend. :)

Rosy

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1. Why not pick one or two of the most popular posts by MMM to start with? That will introduce them to MMM as a concept that they might pick up on and run with or come back to later if they are not quite ready for it now.
He has several lifestyle posts that would appeal to "social-justice" types as you termed them.

2. For people still fully engaged in the consumer sucka world, Dave Ramsey's book, "Money Makeover" is a great start. It keeps things simple and his daily radio show is entertaining and reinforces his principles. Does tend to get on your nerves though at some point, that's when you know you are ready to graduate to MMM:)
I consider it training wheels for future MMMrs. It is a lot easier to think about saving the planet once you saved yourself:) - go bike:)

CanuckExpat

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Your Money Or Your Life is not a bad choice; I found it a bit of a dry read, a little overly technical/specific, and it seemed to me somewhat aimed at people who "hate working" .. that is all personal preference, and I know a lot of people really liked the book and have life changing experiences with it. There is good stuff there. I also found it a little "old fashioned", but I had it out from the library and don't know if I had the latest revision.

If you are ok with blog posts, I really like this post from Raptitude as an introduction to mindful spending, how it can make you happy, and the power it gives you: How much of your life are you selling off?


Kris

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1. Why not pick one or two of the most popular posts by MMM to start with? That will introduce them to MMM as a concept that they might pick up on and run with or come back to later if they are not quite ready for it now.
He has several lifestyle posts that would appeal to "social-justice" types as you termed them.

2. For people still fully engaged in the consumer sucka world, Dave Ramsey's book, "Money Makeover" is a great start. It keeps things simple and his daily radio show is entertaining and reinforces his principles. Does tend to get on your nerves though at some point, that's when you know you are ready to graduate to MMM:)
I consider it training wheels for future MMMrs. It is a lot easier to think about saving the planet once you saved yourself:) - go bike:)

I actually have recommended MMM to her before, but I think it's a little hardcore and scary for her.  The other thing is, she and her wife are not, say, in the education level of being able to earn as much as MMM, and I thnk she would be discouraged easily if that was what she was trying tonlive up to right away.

The Dave Ramsey book is a possibility, though.  It's funny, I was never that bad with money, so I haven't read any of these, only heard of them.

terran

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Perhaps the first lesson should be: "Why don't you have me over for <dinner, tea, coffee, drinks, etc> instead of taking be out to lunch?" Just a thought.

Kris

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Perhaps the first lesson should be: "Why don't you have me over for <dinner, tea, coffee, drinks, etc> instead of taking be out to lunch?" Just a thought.

The problem is, we do not live in the same place, and need to meet halfway.

Kris

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Your Money Or Your Life is not a bad choice; I found it a bit of a dry read, a little overly technical/specific, and it seemed to me somewhat aimed at people who "hate working" .. that is all personal preference, and I know a lot of people really liked the book and have life changing experiences with it. There is good stuff there. I also found it a little "old fashioned", but I had it out from the library and don't know if I had the latest revision.

If you are ok with blog posts, I really like this post from Raptitude as an introduction to mindful spending, how it can make you happy, and the power it gives you: How much of your life are you selling off?

Thanks, Canuck. I just read through the blog post, and I think it might be a good start for them.  Not too long, but enough points that should maybe resonate with them.

I think maybe I'll wait until we've had our lunch, to get a better sense of what they want as their end goal, and then after the lunch, I'll send tham that post and offer to meet them again for a more concrete discussion if they want to keep moving forward.

Rosy

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Your Money Or Your Life is not a bad choice; I found it a bit of a dry read, a little overly technical/specific, and it seemed to me somewhat aimed at people who "hate working" .. that is all personal preference, and I know a lot of people really liked the book and have life changing experiences with it. There is good stuff there. I also found it a little "old fashioned", but I had it out from the library and don't know if I had the latest revision.

If you are ok with blog posts, I really like this post from Raptitude as an introduction to mindful spending, how it can make you happy, and the power it gives you: How much of your life are you selling off?[/url]

Thanks - great post on Raptitude. I agree with your assessment on YMYL - I don't think it has been updated in many years, but back then it was revolutional.

galliver

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This post was shared on here some weeks ago and I thought it did a great job of emphasizing the MMM concepts of "saved money = freedom" and giving specific examples of lifestyle inflation that could be avoided. https://thebillfold.com/a-story-of-a-fuck-off-fund-648401263659

I think MMMers pointed out that her definition of a F-off fund was different (lower balance) than theirs, but you requested "lite" and I think this covers the first step. And I think once you feel the power of being able to control your spending and the security of having cash in the bank, the rest of the MMM philosophy is much more palatable. Especially if you already buy into the environmentalism aspect of it.

FrugalShrew

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I think Juliet Schor's The Overspent American might be a good book for this.

Kris

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This post was shared on here some weeks ago and I thought it did a great job of emphasizing the MMM concepts of "saved money = freedom" and giving specific examples of lifestyle inflation that could be avoided. https://thebillfold.com/a-story-of-a-fuck-off-fund-648401263659

I think MMMers pointed out that her definition of a F-off fund was different (lower balance) than theirs, but you requested "lite" and I think this covers the first step. And I think once you feel the power of being able to control your spending and the security of having cash in the bank, the rest of the MMM philosophy is much more palatable. Especially if you already buy into the environmentalism aspect of it.

I actually read this a couple of months ago and liked it so much I sent it to my stepdaughter. If the person I'm talking about was straight, I think it would be a great choice, but snce she is a lesbian and married, my sense is that it might come off as so heteronormative to her that the underlying message would be lost. Thanks for reminding me about this great article, though.

Kris

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Automatic Millionaire by David Bach. He starts the book with a story about a couple who help blue collar type jobs but were able to retire early with plenty of money

This might be a good book for after I get them more on board with recognizing how many things they purchase without thinking about it.  Give them somewhere to envision putting all of that imaginary saved money.

Kris

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Automatic Millionaire by David Bach. He starts the book with a story about a couple who help blue collar type jobs but were able to retire early with plenty of money

This might be a good book for after I get them more on board with recognizing how many things they purchase without thinking about it.  Give them somewhere to envision putting all of that imaginary saved money.
I think he's the guy that coined the term "Latte Factor" so he talks about how small everyday purchases add up

Cool.  I'm hoping once they have had a few weeks to think about how much money slips through their fingers in this way, giving them a book like that will be something they will take to more easily.

My husband and I ran into them by chance at a restaurant a few weeks ago (we were celebrating a special occasion with a friend, so it was a somewhat nice place).  The restaurant was across the street from where they are taking classes (going back to school part time for their degrees). They were just there for an "it's Wednesday night after classes" dinner.  Knowing that they are pretty strapped, my husband went to their waiter to see if he could charge a bottle of wine or something from their tab to ours as a gift.  Turns out, their bottles of wine were three times as expensive as the ones we had been buying.  And now, a few weeks later, she has to cancel our meeting so she can run a cashier's check to her insurance guy at the last minute so her insurance doesn't laps.  So yeah, I think they have a bit of a problem.

RetiredAt63

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Gail Vaz-Oxlade - A Woman of Independent Means (Or really anything by Gail, and send them to watch Til Debt Do Us Part).

The Wealthy Barber Returns - David Chilton muses on money and finances and life.   And of course The Wealthy Barber.

little_brown_dog

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Your money or your life is a classic...

Two income trap by Elizabeth Warren is a great read for dual income couples about the dangers of fixed expenses and how its easy to get sucked into costs that are too high.

deborah

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Why not meet at their library, and choose a book there? You could review the catalog online first to see if there is anything you think may be appropriate.

Mmm_Donuts

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I really liked Not Buying It by Judith Levine. Very easy read, and it's basically the personal story of a woman's struggle with consumerism. Not technical or even finance-based, but perhaps a place to start.