Author Topic: Married to an Anti-Mustachian?  (Read 4579 times)

queenie

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Married to an Anti-Mustachian?
« on: December 10, 2014, 04:08:29 PM »
DH and I have both been huge consumer suckas for a long time.  I'd like to completely turn that around, and it's not so much that DH is resistant to the idea in theory, but I know that he struggles more with a desire to spend than I do.

He still wants a sports car.  Like, today.  Even though we live in a climate where he couldn't drive it half the year, we have no garage to store it, we have 4 kids, we already have 2 vehicles (+ a motorcycle), and we have debt and no savings.  He WANTS it.  And he routinely wants other expensive things (the motorcycle was one) like a $500 paintball gun, 60" flat screen TV, Xbox One to replace his Xbox 360, etc etc.  But when he buys something, he never has the time to use it.  He hardly rides his motorcycle ever, and I think he's used the Xbox One twice, maybe.

I don't have the impulse to buy high ticket items, or - I didn't until I started getting into photography about a year ago.  But I have made some money back from that hobby to offset the cost of buying the equipment, so I don't really see it as the same thing.  I don't have any other expensive hobbies.  It's much easier for me to save than it is for him.

Is anyone else married to someone who will never be as mustachian as you want them to be?  Any advice?

epipenguin

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Re: Married to an Anti-Mustachian?
« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2014, 04:29:00 PM »
OK, I'm not married, and my partner is WAY more Mustachian than I am, so I'm still learning and can't answer the main question. But what struck me is that your husband seems like he is looking for happiness in toys, and yet doesn't have time to use them. Why? Presumably because he is working some job that sucks all his time and makes him miserable. Just guessing here. What I would do is start engaging in conversations that revolve around reducing or eliminating the hours he spends at work so he can increase his happiness that way, instead of thinking that the toys are what is going to do it.

And you can always suggest renting a sports car or motorcycle or whatever, every now and then, when he has that weekend day free and the weather is cooperating. That'd be fun to do, and not nearly as expensive as buying one.

queenie

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Re: Married to an Anti-Mustachian?
« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2014, 04:50:28 PM »
Oh yes, he's absolutely trying to buy happiness.  He's aware of it on a level, but has a hard time resisting the urge.  I think that it might be a by-product of growing up in poverty.  He never had an opportunity to have nice things, and it's like he's trying to make up for it now.

He works a ton and doesn't have much down time.  Unfortunately, he also works in a field (or for a company perhaps) that expects a lot of hours and if you resist you'll see your hours dwindle to nothing because they will find someone else who will jump at the chance to make the money.  We've talked about him looking for something else completely, even with a large pay cut, but he hasn't taken that leap yet.

It's funny, because when he is home, he just wants to relax and he doesn't even have an urge to use his toys.  I think he is just buying the image of success/happiness instead.  I floated the idea of going to one of those places that lets you ride super cars around on a track, but he nixed it.  I don't think that it would do for him what he is hoping that purchasing would do, which (I think) is impress people.

sandandsun

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Re: Married to an Anti-Mustachian?
« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2014, 05:55:08 PM »
Here's what I do: save the item for 6 months (ad, Pinterest, whatever) and see if I still want it... Never do...
Some people calculate the hours you'd have to work to afford it before buying and deciding if it's worth it... see if he would go for one of those agreements?

queenie

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Re: Married to an Anti-Mustachian?
« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2014, 06:01:14 PM »
Here's what I do: save the item for 6 months (ad, Pinterest, whatever) and see if I still want it... Never do...
Some people calculate the hours you'd have to work to afford it before buying and deciding if it's worth it... see if he would go for one of those agreements?

I'll try anything.

sheepstache

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Re: Married to an Anti-Mustachian?
« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2014, 08:10:04 PM »
You don't mention a plan for FI. Have you shared that idea with him? Seems to me being so wealthy that you don't have to work would be seen by him as quite the status symbol.

queenie

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Re: Married to an Anti-Mustachian?
« Reply #6 on: December 10, 2014, 08:22:56 PM »
I haven't gotten far enough to have a real plan yet.  I'd like to propose a plan to him, but I just don't have one.  Right now I am still just consumed by the need to put out all of these debt fires that are burning around us.

We just chatted for about an hour on the phone and I feel like we're sort of stuck.  We both want the same thing, ultimately, which is to be together more. 

Here's the thing.  For the past two years, he's grossed $100,000 annually.  We have a good benefits package through his union, and he's paying into a great pension.  He has a company vehicle, so we have no commuting expenses.  He's a foreman, which means that he works before the labourers, so even when things are slow he gets work.

In comparison, the most he's ever made outside of this job is $18/hour and for grunt work and unreliable hours.  More often, he made between $12-$14.  Neither of us finished our post secondary, and if we had it wouldn't have been particularly helpful anyway, so finding work that pays well has been an issue.  I'm only qualified to make minimum wage, really.

The idea of giving up the job, frankly, is scary.  Because there is a very real possibility that we would fall back to the poverty line that we struggled to get above. 

We discussed moving closer to his work, except that his work bounces around.  Plus, housing expenses skyrocket as you move east, and the kids are settled here with school and their friends.  Still, we are floating that as an option.  The other option is to just look for another job and accept the pay cut.

Or, keep slugging on until we have leveraged ourselves into a better position and can live on less?  Do we tough it out until our debts are basically cleared out? 

We keep talking about buying property in Northern Ontario and building a tiny home.  He would like to make a rally track and buy shitty cars to race around on it.  I would like a small house with hardly anything in it.  Someday.  But I just don't know how to get there yet.  It's scary to think of making big changes when we're finally making some progress towards financial stability and we have four little ones relying on us.
« Last Edit: December 10, 2014, 08:24:49 PM by queenie »

MKinVA

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Re: Married to an Anti-Mustachian?
« Reply #7 on: December 11, 2014, 05:09:35 PM »
Okay. I think you need to break your needs and wants into smaller bite sizes (how do you eat an elephant?) First, let's not worry about moving closer to work. Your husband's work moves around and his commuting is paid for. Excellent, don't need to worry about that. Now, get a handle on your debts and determine how much and how long to pay off. Then, focus on 2015 only. What can you realistically do this next year. Add a little padding because you work better under pressure or pads the other way because you would be too discouraged by failure. Talk to your husband about your plan. Your concrete plan, not just honey, we really need to get a handle on these debts. Figure out a way for him to get a little something he wants. Maybe if you sell your x, that will pay for the y you want, honey!

Come back for encouragement and budget help if you need it. We have all been there or are sitting in the canoe right next to you!

queenie

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Re: Married to an Anti-Mustachian?
« Reply #8 on: December 11, 2014, 06:26:04 PM »
Thanks MKinVA.  I have developed a plan for debt for 2015 that I feel pretty good about, but you're right that I need to talk to DH about it.  It's been hard because he's been away so long.  As soon as he's home, we'll sit down and look at all of the actual numbers together.

It's so hard to keep focused without getting all caught up in the different scenarios that might comes into play.

sandandsun

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Re: Married to an Anti-Mustachian?
« Reply #9 on: December 14, 2014, 01:03:50 PM »
Also, I will add that being debt free creates a lot of flexibility...
Yes it might take 15 years to get to FI, but if you can get to debt free in five years, you have a ton of options as far as taking another job/ pay cut, etc.  When the mortgGe was paid off (as well as car loans, student loans, etc.) that was a major milestone.  It meant that, if I choose, I can quit my high stress job and take a pay cut whenever I want (I haven't because it helps me meet my goals sooner, but if ever gets to be too much, I can wor for a third of my current pay and meet all expenses). 
Maybe if you can calculate time to debt free (which will be much sooner than time to FI), that will motivate him to hang on and reign in spending...

Thegoblinchief

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Re: Married to an Anti-Mustachian?
« Reply #10 on: December 14, 2014, 05:19:30 PM »
1. Do you budget? Even if you don't, consider having a certain "mad money" allowance for both of you that you can spend without the other's approval. This can help alleviate spending friction. It also makes it really hard to justify super expensive things like a dumb sports car.

2. Depending on the severity of your debt, sometimes attacking it 50/50 -- 50 percent of free cashflow to debt, the other 50 to savings, especially anything tax-advantaged can be a good path.