Author Topic: Introducing Mustachianism to Friends  (Read 5116 times)

Frugalite

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Introducing Mustachianism to Friends
« on: March 13, 2015, 09:58:54 PM »
Hey all! Tomorrow night my husband and I are going to visit some friends of ours for dinner. The reason for the dinner is 1.) Fun! and 2.) To give them tips on how to save money. This get-together came about after my friend confided in me that she and her husband are swimming in debt. I told her that I would be willing to give them some advice if they ever wanted it and she accepted my offer. They make around $160,000 a year combined and yet still have student loans (which are probably pretty high because he is a lawyer) a home loan, leases on two cars and now are also in credit-card debt because they can't pay all of their bills some months. We live in a low cost-of-living area.

How do I introduce them to frugality without scaring them off? They are open but sure do enjoy the finer things in life. Vacations, expensive food and drink, the latest electronics...you name it, they buy it. What should I lead with? The MMM home page, LOL?!

Anyone had some experience with this? My friend is so stressed from all this debt, I really want to help her the best I can. Have you every converted anyone? How did you do it? I am afraid their outlook will be "That might work for some people, but we really NEED X, Y, and Z...." 

I know if they aren't ready it is moot, but any advice is appreciated if you think it could increase my chances of getting through to them! They are dear friends and I want to see them happy, but I don't want to seem preachy or chiding!
« Last Edit: March 13, 2015, 10:07:57 PM by aprilgurlie »

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Re: Introducing Mustachianism to Friends
« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2015, 10:04:01 PM »
I just tell them to read MMM.  If I say it, they get all weirded out, but hearing it from 3rd party seems to be better.  Debt is an addiction, people will not change until they are ready.  Once they turn the corner they will ask you for specific advice and be energized by your responses.

Eric

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Re: Introducing Mustachianism to Friends
« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2015, 10:04:30 PM »
I'd start with having them simply track their spending and debt.  They need to get a handle on where their money is going, and what all their debts are and the interest rates.  It can be quite a wake up call to see the numbers, as most people just don't know where their money goes.

lavidaportland

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Re: Introducing Mustachianism to Friends
« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2015, 10:10:55 PM »
I have had friends try to convince me of a lot of crazy things before (religion, pyramid schemes, etc). The best thing I think you can do is 1) have fun! 2) tell your story about how living a frugal lifestyle and changing your perspective on what really matters to you has changed your life, how you aren't stressed about money anymore, about the plans for what you're going to do when you become FI in five years (or whatever it is for you).

Avoid telling them what *they* have to do, and what web sites *they* should read, and what *they're* doing wrong. Don't push it on them. If the conversation gets around to money or vacations just casually tell your story like it's no big deal and pique their curiosity. Give them just enough to want to know more. Let them ask you how you do it. I think the soft sell in this scenario is the way to go.

HappyMargo

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Re: Introducing Mustachianism to Friends
« Reply #4 on: March 14, 2015, 01:48:53 AM »
I have had friends try to convince me of a lot of crazy things before (religion, pyramid schemes, etc). The best thing I think you can do is 1) have fun! 2) tell your story about how living a frugal lifestyle and changing your perspective on what really matters to you has changed your life, how you aren't stressed about money anymore, about the plans for what you're going to do when you become FI in five years (or whatever it is for you).

Avoid telling them what *they* have to do, and what web sites *they* should read, and what *they're* doing wrong. Don't push it on them. If the conversation gets around to money or vacations just casually tell your story like it's no big deal and pique their curiosity. Give them just enough to want to know more. Let them ask you how you do it. I think the soft sell in this scenario is the way to go.

This sounds like great advice!
I've used a similar approach with a friend at work.  She asked for help on how to get started & I just gave her examples of what's worked well for me, "I started by tracking every penny I spend.  So easy to do on my phone's notepad, like this..." 
And "Each time I receive a bump in pay or promotion, I pretend I'm still making my same old pay.  I sock away my raise in 401k. It's surprising how fast it adds up!  And I never even miss it" 

This way I'm not coming off as bossy or telling her what to do.  It's gotten her interested & she's come back for even more suggestions.

Good luck!  And be sure to come back to let us know how it goes.

lifejoy

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Re: Introducing Mustachianism to Friends
« Reply #5 on: March 14, 2015, 10:32:27 AM »
Personally, I would give them books or website links. That way you can avoid being preachy, but you're totally sending them information.

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TrulyStashin

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Re: Introducing Mustachianism to Friends
« Reply #6 on: March 14, 2015, 10:57:37 AM »
Because you offered and she is taking you up on it, I think you have a license to be a little more direct than if you were volunteering it unsolicited.

She (and maybe he) is asking for help.  I'd lead with how I felt before I changed my habits (downplay the degree of change):  the fear, the constant nagging worry, the roller coaster of high (from buying something) to the depths of despair (from buying something I couldn't afford).  I'd talk about how I realized one day that I'd rather be free than have ______.  I'd rather be free than go out to dinner.  I'd rather be free than have a new purse.

If they're still with me, I'd shift into talking about mechanics.... how I listed every penny I was spending and then started cutting.  In my case, I did a Mustachian-180, and most people can't handle that degree of change.  So, I'd emphasize how they can start with the items that are easy to cut and "build their muscles."   I'd talk about the tools I use:  Mint, a Google spreadsheet that tracks my Net Worth from month to month, Quicken for forecasting each month's spending and reconciling weekly.

Pay attention to their body language.  Ramp it up or down in response to what you're reading from that.   And.... at the end of the day, if they're really ready for this, know that they will grab on.  If they're not ready, they won't.  That bit has nothing to do with you and how perfectly you explain it all.

Seņora Savings

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Re: Introducing Mustachianism to Friends
« Reply #7 on: March 14, 2015, 12:06:00 PM »
I agree that since they asked for help you can share a bit more.  Phrasing it in terms of "what worked for me" is great. 

If they get into it and want more, the two things I would encourage are listing priorities and tracking expenses.  If they want to actually make a list of priorities with you, have them put things like "travel" and "staying up to date with electronics" on the list along with "getting out of debt", etc.  I think that overall you want them to not feel shamed.  If they're touchy feely types, ask about what needs their purchases meet "new clothes help me feel attractive" and let them decide if they're is a cheaper alternative.

Scandium

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Re: Introducing Mustachianism to Friends
« Reply #8 on: March 14, 2015, 02:08:57 PM »
I don't have any suggestions, but I'd like a report on how this went

lise

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Re: Introducing Mustachianism to Friends
« Reply #9 on: March 14, 2015, 02:30:15 PM »
I don't have any suggestions, but I'd like a report on how this went

+1

Frugalite

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Re: Introducing Mustachianism to Friends
« Reply #10 on: March 14, 2015, 10:17:32 PM »
Thanks for the advice, all! Just got back from our evening and I think it went really well. We are all still friends, ha! I took a lot of the advice that was written here. My friend actually sent me their "numbers" early on in the day, (what they make, spend, and owe on pretty much everything) so I was able to do some crunching for them.

 I took that as a sign they really want to learn and buckle down, so I shared pretty much everything we do to save money, and then gave them a few different options as far as debt payoff goes. (What to start with, snowballing, etc.) I focused on things they were doing right and told them to start small and pick which of the things we do might work for them. I suggested they go back through their statements and add up their expenses in each category to see where they are leaking money.

I also gave them book and internet resources that were suggested here and that I knew of. I am going to teach my friend how to coupon over the summer if she is up to it.

Finally, I talked about why we switched to a more frugal lifestyle...about my husband and I's dreams and goals for our lives. About buying freedom with every dollar we save. I think it made a difference. I hope it did! We will see!

Mistah Cash Lion

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Re: Introducing Mustachianism to Friends
« Reply #11 on: March 14, 2015, 11:11:12 PM »
Thanks for the advice, all! Just got back from our evening and I think it went really well. We are all still friends, ha! I took a lot of the advice that was written here. My friend actually sent me their "numbers" early on in the day, (what they make, spend, and owe on pretty much everything) so I was able to do some crunching for them.

 I took that as a sign they really want to learn and buckle down, so I shared pretty much everything we do to save money, and then gave them a few different options as far as debt payoff goes. (What to start with, snowballing, etc.) I focused on things they were doing right and told them to start small and pick which of the things we do might work for them. I suggested they go back through their statements and add up their expenses in each category to see where they are leaking money.

I also gave them book and internet resources that were suggested here and that I knew of. I am going to teach my friend how to coupon over the summer if she is up to it.

Finally, I talked about why we switched to a more frugal lifestyle...about my husband and I's dreams and goals for our lives. About buying freedom with every dollar we save. I think it made a difference. I hope it did! We will see!

That's great! Glad that it went well and that they seem like they are ready for change. Keep us updated!

I think it's great that you shared the WHY of what you're doing as a lot of times the why can get lost in the how and the mechanics of it all and then folks are scratching their heads wondering why they are making sacrifices for something they don't even really believe in and then eventually they give up saying "it just didn't work for us".