Author Topic: Reader Case Study - I would like a report card  (Read 27004 times)

jprince7827

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Re: Reader Case Study - I would like a report card
« Reply #50 on: February 03, 2014, 02:38:59 PM »
I think you are doing OK.  B minus.  I also consider myself a "low mustachian" in the way you describe, but my income is higher and my expenses are lower.  Edit: I also live in a high COL area, like to eat at fancy restaurants, and often pay for my GF.  So something isn't adding up, and I think it's as everyone and particularly CommonCents mentioned above regarding the true cost of the GF.

Just curious: what is she contributing to the relationship? Financially and otherwise? (Feel free to keep it PG heh)

This wasn't clear to me either -- do you pay for everything?  Does she treat you to a cheap restaurant and you treat to the expensive ones?  It sounds like the only reason you have a car is so that she can drive it.... unless you see marriage in the future, I feel like you are definitely sugar daddying it up.  Edit:  maybe you can clarify, because the way you describe it, it sounds like she feels entitled to the money you make.

Think everyone's ignoring the big expense here: the apartment.  Is it actually cheaper to "own" it with $1500/month going towards it, or might it be cheaper to rent?  Don't know the market, but that sounds very expensive for what it is?

I noticed this too.  Quickly running the numbers, it appears he is paying around 7% interest+taxes.  That sounds really high to me.

Other things that sound high:

$1500/year in car insurance is ridiculous.  That's like teenager driving a mustang level insurance.  Considering you take the train to work, this can really improve.

Maid - obviously, everyone mentioned this one.  You only have a 1 BR... it's not like you have a giant ranch and yet you spend $2k/year on this?  Do you plan to have a maid forever?  If not, why not just start cleaning up after yourself now?  I'm guessing this is a weekly affair, but you could drop it down to monthly.  Plus, I always thought the benefit of having your GF over is that she gets so fed up with the mess that she cleans it up for you :-P



OK final edit:  I don't know why you are using 4-weekly accounting.  There doesn't appear to be a particularly good reason for it, besides making everything more complicated.

Actually the loan was like 2.89%, and my apple and furniture loans are 0%. I think the interest is a little more frontloaded since I just got the place. I've checked out the payment schedule and the percentage that goes towards equity rises over time.

The maid is a bi-weekly affair, and I think if I were better at cleaning it probably wouldn't be necessary, but I'm pretty terrible at it and she gets pissed about it.

I have no idea why the car insurance is so high still, it's ridiculous. I have wondered the same thing.

As for her, she contributes to the relationship in odd ways. For one, for every holiday she gets me a fairly expensive gift, even though I tell her not to. For instance for Xmas she got me those adjustable Bowflex weights, but she did it off Craigslist so they were relatively cheap(100$), but not for her. She cooks much more often than I do, and that is escalating recently as she is "stealth moving in." She'll come walk my dog when I'm at work just because she's in the area. She'll run errands in the car during the week since I can't do them, and occasionally(VERY OCCASIONALLY) she will do dishes. If I let them pile up enough. She spends a lot of time on Groupon every day trying to find good date deals, though "good date deals" is a relative term to Mustachians, I guess. When I have had a particularly bad week, she'll give me a full body massage. So it's little things, she contributes by giving her time when I cannot at the moment.

 I do plan on asking her to marry me in a year. There is nobody else I'd rather spend time with, and I love her company and all the little things she does for me. Too much to list.

Though the numbers add up to my being a sugar daddy, she is genuinely interested in becoming a nurse and owning her own money. Her mother ironed that into her, that she needs independence. I've explained to her that our accounts will always be separate and that I'd like her to separately achieve FIRE so she can know the joy of working for freedom. She is okay with this. On the flip side, she does expect a nice ring, and an expensive wedding, and plans on making her first purchase out of nursing school a one-year-old(so used) BMW. So there is good and bad in this woman, financially speaking.

As for the 4 week accounting, I dunno. When I first started that's how I did it. Call it a legacy feature lol

CommonCents

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Re: Reader Case Study - I would like a report card
« Reply #51 on: February 03, 2014, 03:21:13 PM »
If you believe you will propose to her, I would suggest a head on conversation wtih her regarding:
- Moving in (this should not be a stealth process.  You should agree together one way or the other.  A stealth move in gives me a bit of the heebie jeebies feelings)
- Big picture long-term goals (FIRE, kids, houses)
- Shorter term goals (weddings, rings, other expensive purchases)

A BMW, even used, is a crazy purchase for a newly minted graduate.  I say this, having once earned a base salary of $160K out of law school.  I took a used car from my parents (of basically 0 value - paid $1k to fix it to make it street legal and pass inspections).  When I was hit by someone, totaling my car because it was worth only about $1k, I went carless.  You don't need that type of car, and shouldn't have it when you have student loans or are being subsidized by someone else.  Perhaps you should sell her your car instead?  You will have subsidized her through nursing school, bought an expensive ring, paid for an expensive wedding, possibly housed her & paid for her utility/food etc costs, and she then....buys way more car than is needed that is not in line with any of your goals.  This seems really problematic and I think open discussions are needed.  Do you know what her long-term goals are?  I mentioned above that you should point out to her you are spending $687 on her every month - she may be oblivious and not aware of it, in which case, I would hope she would hear this, be horrified, and set about to try to be "less expensive".  (Again though, I note the maid is something you should probably step up a bit yourself.)

Cheddar Stacker

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Re: Reader Case Study - I would like a report card
« Reply #52 on: February 03, 2014, 03:27:37 PM »
I'm with you and Dragoncar in the "low -mustachian" category in many ways. We all spend in different ways based on what's important to us. It sounds like the girlfriend will soon be the wife, which is very exciting.

I too see some flaws in your budget as others have pointed out, but if you're happy with your life and saving over 50% I can't really bitch about that. You received a lot of good advice, and you should consider most of it if you really want to retire early and travel, but you should also live a good life during your journey to early retirement. It's a tough balancing act.

I think a lot of the advice people gave was good, and a lot of it likely came off as negative (face-punching) but these are the "high-mustachian" values and you asked for a grade. I agree with who ever said it earlier - Mustachian grade is about a D+/C-, but your typical American grade is more like an A.

Good luck to you JPrince.

dragoncar

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Re: Reader Case Study - I would like a report card
« Reply #53 on: February 03, 2014, 03:34:29 PM »
I don't want to harp on this, but I'm genuinely curious:  Is it typical for a maid to earn $80 for cleaning a 1-br apartment?  I can't imagine this would take more than an hour.

Cheddar Stacker

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Re: Reader Case Study - I would like a report card
« Reply #54 on: February 03, 2014, 03:40:55 PM »
I don't want to harp on this, but I'm genuinely curious:  Is it typical for a maid to earn $80 for cleaning a 1-br apartment?  I can't imagine this would take more than an hour.

Maybe you just found a new side-hustle earning $80/hour. A bit closer to FIRE.

Thegoblinchief

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Re: Reader Case Study - I would like a report card
« Reply #55 on: February 03, 2014, 04:02:16 PM »
Hard to give advice that hasn't already been given.

You haven't inflated your lifestyle a great deal, but looking at some of the line items, my jaw dropped. Spending less isn't just about being able to retire earlier, it's about lowering your impact. Paying someone to cook my own food, eating said meal in a semi-noisy dining room, etc. --> none of that screams fun.

Learn to cook. If your GF is marriage material, one would hope a home-cooked meal pays bigger dividends than a fancy night "out". Depending on what activities you like, consider memberships for the museums, etc. Most of those pay for themselves in 2-3 visits. I would spend a weekend every month at the Shedd or any of your fantastic museums if I could.

The threat to leave would be a huge red flag to leave. Hopefully it's just a matter of adjustment, but make sure to explicitly have a talk about "I love/appreciate you doesn't equate with how much money we spend." Most of my favorite experiences dating and early on in marriage were doing hikes, etc. After being together for 11 years, I think I remember 2 dates?

iamlindoro

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Re: Reader Case Study - I would like a report card
« Reply #56 on: February 03, 2014, 04:45:45 PM »
High end, specifically meant food of great quality AND taste, not deep fried processed stuff like you would get at a fast food place, which just tastes delicious but should be avoided at all cost.

It seems like you're speaking of two extremes.  You can absolutely get food of great quality and taste for $20 a person in Chicago.  There's a vast gulf of places between McDonald's and fine dining, and you don't have to spend too much more than fast food to get quality table service and fresh made food of almost all kinds.

cdttmm

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Re: Reader Case Study - I would like a report card
« Reply #57 on: February 03, 2014, 05:42:48 PM »
You've gotten a ton of great advice already. I hope you choose to follow most of it!

Perhaps you can suggest to your girlfriend that one of your (practically free!) weekend bonding activities is that you clean your apartment together. This not only means you can work to clean to her standards because she's doing it with you, but also you can put the $160 you're saving on a maid service towards your recently reduced dating fund.

I don't think it's unreasonable to expect that someone who is living there 5 days out of the week helps to clean. I'm glad to hear that she's started to get more involved with cooking for the two of you, too.

CommonCents

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Re: Reader Case Study - I would like a report card
« Reply #58 on: February 03, 2014, 07:07:54 PM »
I don't want to harp on this, but I'm genuinely curious:  Is it typical for a maid to earn $80 for cleaning a 1-br apartment?  I can't imagine this would take more than an hour.

In a big city, yes. That's exactly what I was quoted for one (and $125 the first time). I did not hire them though for reg cleanings.

ShortInSeattle

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Re: Reader Case Study - I would like a report card
« Reply #59 on: February 03, 2014, 07:13:23 PM »
I think a lot of the advice people gave was good, and a lot of it likely came off as negative (face-punching) but these are the "high-mustachian" values and you asked for a grade. I agree with who ever said it earlier - Mustachian grade is about a D+/C-, but your typical American grade is more like an A.

Good luck to you JPrince.

Agreed. By typical standards you're a star. And I hope things work out with the GF. By society's standards we are the outliers, not your GF. :)

dragoncar

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Re: Reader Case Study - I would like a report card
« Reply #60 on: February 03, 2014, 08:04:09 PM »
I don't want to harp on this, but I'm genuinely curious:  Is it typical for a maid to earn $80 for cleaning a 1-br apartment?  I can't imagine this would take more than an hour.

In a big city, yes. That's exactly what I was quoted for one (and $125 the first time). I did not hire them though for reg cleanings.

That's pretty sweet... 160k for 40 hour work week cleaning!  Maybe when I retire I will take cheddar's advice and clean one apartment per day.  I could probably find 14 takers in my 200 unit building.

CommonCents

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Re: Reader Case Study - I would like a report card
« Reply #61 on: February 03, 2014, 08:58:27 PM »
I don't want to harp on this, but I'm genuinely curious:  Is it typical for a maid to earn $80 for cleaning a 1-br apartment?  I can't imagine this would take more than an hour.

In a big city, yes. That's exactly what I was quoted for one (and $125 the first time). I did not hire them though for reg cleanings.

That's pretty sweet... 160k for 40 hour work week cleaning!  Maybe when I retire I will take cheddar's advice and clean one apartment per day.  I could probably find 14 takers in my 200 unit building.

Not sure how you clean (little every day?) but it actually takes a few hours to clean, perhaps 2-3. A 1 bed is not half the time of a 2 bed. Don't forget travel time (in a city can eat up quite a bit) including time to hunt up parking for city apts (houses in the burbs are usually fine), cost for getting bonded/insurance, and finding clients can be a pain so you might not have the full number you want. And you're paying both sides of taxes, right?  I'm probably forgetting costs, but I just don't think it's as lucrative as you think.

Cassie

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Re: Reader Case Study - I would like a report card
« Reply #62 on: February 03, 2014, 10:18:30 PM »
Many people on this site are hard core but it sounds like you enjoy your life and are saving a ton of $. We all value spending money on different things. For some people it is eating out, others experiences and others owning quality items. There is no right or wrong.  Even though we are semi-retired we still have someone clean 1x per month. We gave it up for awhile but realized we were willing to work to make it happen.  for your age and financial position spending 300/400 month having fun is not outrageous.  Enjoy your life while planning for the future also. Life can be short and no one comes with a guarantee so balance being frugal and planning for the future with having fun now.  I know this from personal experience. Take care!

Annamal

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Re: Reader Case Study - I would like a report card
« Reply #63 on: February 04, 2014, 11:41:48 AM »
For what it's worth, growing up poor can really mess with your head (cue a stream of people bowling in to tell me that they're just fine, which is great for them but definitely not true for everyone).


I would agree with everyone else in this thread and suggest that you and your GF need to have continuing conversations about where you see yourselves heading, what you value, what's most important to you and what things make you feel safe monetarily speaking.

Look at it this way, you're planning to play on the same team, it would help if you're both moving the ball in the right direction at least.

Cheddar Stacker

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Re: Reader Case Study - I would like a report card
« Reply #64 on: February 04, 2014, 12:03:24 PM »
Many people on this site are hard core but it sounds like you enjoy your life and are saving a ton of $. We all value spending money on different things. For some people it is eating out, others experiences and others owning quality items. There is no right or wrong.  Even though we are semi-retired we still have someone clean 1x per month. We gave it up for awhile but realized we were willing to work to make it happen.  for your age and financial position spending 300/400 month having fun is not outrageous.  Enjoy your life while planning for the future also. Life can be short and no one comes with a guarantee so balance being frugal and planning for the future with having fun now.  I know this from personal experience. Take care!

^ This. The bold part. That's essentially what I was trying to say as well, but Cassie's sentence sums it up perfectly.

It reminds me of a quote from Hellen Keller - "Enjoy what you have while working toward what you want." In my opinion, this quote, and Cassie's line above, perfectly epitomize the journey toward FI. It's hard to keep in the front of my mind, but I need to remember to live a happy/fulfilling life while striving toward the ultimate goal.

I realize there are cheaper ways to live a happy/fulfilling life than $300 dinners, but to each their own. If this makes OP happy great.

Psychstache

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Re: Reader Case Study - I would like a report card
« Reply #65 on: February 04, 2014, 12:05:04 PM »
Quote

 I do plan on asking her to marry me in a year. There is nobody else I'd rather spend time with, and I love her company and all the little things she does for me. Too much to list.


Given this, here are the important investments I would suggest.

1. Before you get engaged, both of you read "the 5 love languages" together as a couple and ACTUALLY DO THE HOMEWORK at the end of each chapter.

2. After you are engaged but before even the smallest detail is decided or the first deposit check is cut, start doing pre-marital counseling with a LMFT. Find someone before you even pop the question, and see them for 3-4 sessions before the big day.

3. If you start to have serious reservations, don't let the sunk cost of deposits keep you from breaking things off it is the right choice. A few thousand lost in deposits is much cheaper than divorce will be 3 years from now.

4. Honestly, I would even wait til she has been working for 6 months to a year before getting engaged. Full time student GF and employed GF might turn out to be 2 different people, for better or worse is anyone's guess.

CommonCents

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Re: Reader Case Study - I would like a report card
« Reply #66 on: February 04, 2014, 12:06:22 PM »
Quote

 I do plan on asking her to marry me in a year. There is nobody else I'd rather spend time with, and I love her company and all the little things she does for me. Too much to list.


4. Honestly, I would even wait til she has been working for 6 months to a year before getting engaged. Full time student GF and employed GF might turn out to be 2 different people, for better or worse is anyone's guess.

+1

jprince7827

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Re: Reader Case Study - I would like a report card
« Reply #67 on: February 04, 2014, 03:50:47 PM »
If you believe you will propose to her, I would suggest a head on conversation wtih her regarding:
- Moving in (this should not be a stealth process.  You should agree together one way or the other.  A stealth move in gives me a bit of the heebie jeebies feelings)
- Big picture long-term goals (FIRE, kids, houses)
- Shorter term goals (weddings, rings, other expensive purchases)

A BMW, even used, is a crazy purchase for a newly minted graduate.  I say this, having once earned a base salary of $160K out of law school.  I took a used car from my parents (of basically 0 value - paid $1k to fix it to make it street legal and pass inspections).  When I was hit by someone, totaling my car because it was worth only about $1k, I went carless.  You don't need that type of car, and shouldn't have it when you have student loans or are being subsidized by someone else.  Perhaps you should sell her your car instead?  You will have subsidized her through nursing school, bought an expensive ring, paid for an expensive wedding, possibly housed her & paid for her utility/food etc costs, and she then....buys way more car than is needed that is not in line with any of your goals.  This seems really problematic and I think open discussions are needed.  Do you know what her long-term goals are?  I mentioned above that you should point out to her you are spending $687 on her every month - she may be oblivious and not aware of it, in which case, I would hope she would hear this, be horrified, and set about to try to be "less expensive".  (Again though, I note the maid is something you should probably step up a bit yourself.)

Lol yes, the maid is as much my fault as hers.

Just last night, due to all the replies on this thread, I actually had this discussion with her last night. She seemed surprised it was 687$/month, and offered all sorts of reasons why it should be that way. Trying to justify it. And then I said we were going to take that 400$/month dating fund, and try to lower it over time to zero, by just trying to minimize our impact every weekend. She complained that we had already done nothing in January, to which I replied, we're going to keep trying to do nothing and as it gets warmer it'll be easier to find inexpensive things to do. She didn't really like it but I think she'll go with it, seeing as I AM housing her pretty much, and I think she's decided in her mind that I am the horse she's betting on and a good part of the reason she bet on me is because I have ambitious fiscal goals. She is tentatively on board, but I think at a certain point she'll demand I stop(maybe I can get to 200/mo before this happens.)

As for the BMW, I've tried to explain to her about the car multiple times. I suggested she keeps using mine until it drops dead. But she is set on it - her Mom, though frugal as all hell on 25k, just recently bought herself a brand new Malibu. I don't know how or why she did it, I think it was a late mid-life crisis, but she follows her Mom's lead and now in her mind "success" = "BMW." Not sure how to convince her otherwise.

jprince7827

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Re: Reader Case Study - I would like a report card
« Reply #68 on: February 04, 2014, 03:54:05 PM »
Hard to give advice that hasn't already been given.

You haven't inflated your lifestyle a great deal, but looking at some of the line items, my jaw dropped. Spending less isn't just about being able to retire earlier, it's about lowering your impact. Paying someone to cook my own food, eating said meal in a semi-noisy dining room, etc. --> none of that screams fun.

Learn to cook. If your GF is marriage material, one would hope a home-cooked meal pays bigger dividends than a fancy night "out". Depending on what activities you like, consider memberships for the museums, etc. Most of those pay for themselves in 2-3 visits. I would spend a weekend every month at the Shedd or any of your fantastic museums if I could.

The threat to leave would be a huge red flag to leave. Hopefully it's just a matter of adjustment, but make sure to explicitly have a talk about "I love/appreciate you doesn't equate with how much money we spend." Most of my favorite experiences dating and early on in marriage were doing hikes, etc. After being together for 11 years, I think I remember 2 dates?

She used to work for the Brookfield Zoo, and so we actually have free admission to all of the museums in Chicago. However, I loathe museums. Hate them more than anything. My feet are always killing me an hour in and I'm just waiting for when we get to leave. She loves them so occasionally we make a day of it every now and then.

Yeah, I'm going to try to cut down on eating out, especially after all the facepunches I have received over it. They say the first step of solving a problem is to admit to having one! Now that I'm out of Chicago it should be easier. I've been trying to do no-spend days where I spend no money, and so far, at least one day out of the last three weeks(so three days total) I've gotten by spending nothing. Most days I get by spending only 6$. So getting there.

jprince7827

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Re: Reader Case Study - I would like a report card
« Reply #69 on: February 04, 2014, 03:55:27 PM »
You've gotten a ton of great advice already. I hope you choose to follow most of it!

Perhaps you can suggest to your girlfriend that one of your (practically free!) weekend bonding activities is that you clean your apartment together. This not only means you can work to clean to her standards because she's doing it with you, but also you can put the $160 you're saving on a maid service towards your recently reduced dating fund.

I don't think it's unreasonable to expect that someone who is living there 5 days out of the week helps to clean. I'm glad to hear that she's started to get more involved with cooking for the two of you, too.

Her mother always makes her clean her house, and so she refuses to ever clean any other house again. That's one of her no-nos - strange one, right? It's like a pride thing with her. Same with dishes. I always have to do them. She'll cook stuff a lot, much more than I, but dishes - her pride! lol

CommonCents

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Re: Reader Case Study - I would like a report card
« Reply #70 on: February 04, 2014, 03:56:59 PM »
Great job re the conversation.  Perhaps put it back on her some - you will kick in half of the costs of entertainment (up to X).  Maybe it'll make her rethink things, even if it does mean a bit less money going to her student loans.  And post on a thread for entertainment ideas - they truly abound around here!

jprince7827

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Re: Reader Case Study - I would like a report card
« Reply #71 on: February 04, 2014, 03:58:26 PM »
Quote

 I do plan on asking her to marry me in a year. There is nobody else I'd rather spend time with, and I love her company and all the little things she does for me. Too much to list.


Given this, here are the important investments I would suggest.

1. Before you get engaged, both of you read "the 5 love languages" together as a couple and ACTUALLY DO THE HOMEWORK at the end of each chapter.

2. After you are engaged but before even the smallest detail is decided or the first deposit check is cut, start doing pre-marital counseling with a LMFT. Find someone before you even pop the question, and see them for 3-4 sessions before the big day.

3. If you start to have serious reservations, don't let the sunk cost of deposits keep you from breaking things off it is the right choice. A few thousand lost in deposits is much cheaper than divorce will be 3 years from now.

4. Honestly, I would even wait til she has been working for 6 months to a year before getting engaged. Full time student GF and employed GF might turn out to be 2 different people, for better or worse is anyone's guess.

What is an LMFT?

Also, interesting you should say that - righ before she began nursing school last month she had been working full time between two part time jobs, so I've seen her in both eras. She definitely likes spending and dating more when she's employed - now that she's in school I think it's contributed to our last month of "dating silence."

Thegoblinchief

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Re: Reader Case Study - I would like a report card
« Reply #72 on: February 04, 2014, 04:33:27 PM »
pretty sure that stands for "Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist"?

Splendid

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Re: Reader Case Study - I would like a report card
« Reply #73 on: February 04, 2014, 05:53:01 PM »
You've gotten a ton of great advice already. I hope you choose to follow most of it!

Perhaps you can suggest to your girlfriend that one of your (practically free!) weekend bonding activities is that you clean your apartment together. This not only means you can work to clean to her standards because she's doing it with you, but also you can put the $160 you're saving on a maid service towards your recently reduced dating fund.

I don't think it's unreasonable to expect that someone who is living there 5 days out of the week helps to clean. I'm glad to hear that she's started to get more involved with cooking for the two of you, too.

Her mother always makes her clean her house, and so she refuses to ever clean any other house again. That's one of her no-nos - strange one, right? It's like a pride thing with her. Same with dishes. I always have to do them. She'll cook stuff a lot, much more than I, but dishes - her pride! lol

If she refuses to clean, she doesn't have much of a leg to stand on with her high standards of cleanliness. Seems she should be happy with whatever you deem "clean enough" or pitch in herself.

CommonCents

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Re: Reader Case Study - I would like a report card
« Reply #74 on: February 04, 2014, 05:58:20 PM »
You've gotten a ton of great advice already. I hope you choose to follow most of it!

Perhaps you can suggest to your girlfriend that one of your (practically free!) weekend bonding activities is that you clean your apartment together. This not only means you can work to clean to her standards because she's doing it with you, but also you can put the $160 you're saving on a maid service towards your recently reduced dating fund.

I don't think it's unreasonable to expect that someone who is living there 5 days out of the week helps to clean. I'm glad to hear that she's started to get more involved with cooking for the two of you, too.

Her mother always makes her clean her house, and so she refuses to ever clean any other house again. That's one of her no-nos - strange one, right? It's like a pride thing with her. Same with dishes. I always have to do them. She'll cook stuff a lot, much more than I, but dishes - her pride! lol

Hmmm this again does seem to be one of those flags re parental dynamics mentioned above by another poster.  Her mom shouldn't be making her clean now - she's an adult out sort of on her own. Would she do half of the cleaning if she moves in?

Re dishes, consider the one who doesn't cook should do the dishes.  Works for a lot of people.

mlipps

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Re: Reader Case Study - I would like a report card
« Reply #75 on: February 04, 2014, 10:03:35 PM »
You've gotten a ton of great advice already. I hope you choose to follow most of it!

Perhaps you can suggest to your girlfriend that one of your (practically free!) weekend bonding activities is that you clean your apartment together. This not only means you can work to clean to her standards because she's doing it with you, but also you can put the $160 you're saving on a maid service towards your recently reduced dating fund.

I don't think it's unreasonable to expect that someone who is living there 5 days out of the week helps to clean. I'm glad to hear that she's started to get more involved with cooking for the two of you, too.

Her mother always makes her clean her house, and so she refuses to ever clean any other house again. That's one of her no-nos - strange one, right? It's like a pride thing with her. Same with dishes. I always have to do them. She'll cook stuff a lot, much more than I, but dishes - her pride! lol

I'm sorry, I truly don't mean this in a rude way, but that's pretty childish. Everyone has to clean except lazy people who pay someone to do it for them. You can't go through life expecting to never clean. Even people with maids do basic things themselves. Your girlfriend sounds to me like she still has some growing up to do. That's fine, you're young. But just something to consider.

Nudelkopf

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Re: Reader Case Study - I would like a report card
« Reply #76 on: February 05, 2014, 12:21:55 AM »
underground heated parking spot
.... Are you kidding?

Her mother always makes her clean her house, and so she refuses to ever clean any other house again. That's one of her no-nos - strange one, right? It's like a pride thing with her. Same with dishes. I always have to do them. She'll cook stuff a lot, much more than I, but dishes - her pride! lol
She doesn't do any dishes? She just leaves every dirty dish for you? F*ck that.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2014, 12:23:34 AM by Nudelkopf »

dragoncar

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Re: Reader Case Study - I would like a report card
« Reply #77 on: February 05, 2014, 01:16:36 AM »
underground heated parking spot
.... Are you kidding?


I'm assuming this just means that they keep the garage from freezing.  Not that he has like an individual heat lamp over his car.  I did have the same reaction at first, though.

markbrynn

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Re: Reader Case Study - I would like a report card
« Reply #78 on: February 05, 2014, 02:20:14 AM »
Regarding changes in your gf. I recommend taking it a bit slow. It would definitely help for her to change a bit on her attitude towards spending (and cleaning and the BMW), but beating her over the head with it is not likely to work. My wife and I are both fairly frugal, but when I started spouting off some of the ideas from this website, she pushed back. She thought that I meant to delay having any fun until after FIRE. Just because you have a great picture of the journey from here to there doesn't mean that she does.

Regarding dates and eating out, I wouldn't talk to her about never going out. That probably sounds like you're sucking the fun out of life. You guys might eventually get to the point where you prefer to cook in than eat out and only do free or low cost activities, but it's much easier to slowly reduce your excesses than it is to become an instant non-spender.

We can't judge your gf. Some things you wrote sound bad(cleaning, dishes, BMW), but we don't get the full context here. Assuming she is as wonderful as you say, then work with her. As many have said, you're already in a good position. No need to force yourself to excellent without her on board. Over time, demonstrate that you can spend a lot less and still have fun. Eat out for $100 for both of you twice a month and see whether you notice a difference between that and the $300 meals. MMM philosophy encourages embracing less spending (because the value of spending more is not significant), not stopping doing all the things you find fun.

Good luck.

MissStache

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Re: Reader Case Study - I would like a report card
« Reply #79 on: February 05, 2014, 06:25:09 AM »
she's decided in her mind that I am the horse she's betting on and a good part of the reason she bet on me is because I have ambitious fiscal goals.

I want you to read that over and over again until you realize how awful it sounds.  Because it sounds to me like she is with you because she thinks you are and will continue to be rich. 

rocksinmyhead

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Re: Reader Case Study - I would like a report card
« Reply #80 on: February 05, 2014, 06:57:41 AM »
she's decided in her mind that I am the horse she's betting on and a good part of the reason she bet on me is because I have ambitious fiscal goals.

I want you to read that over and over again until you realize how awful it sounds.  Because it sounds to me like she is with you because she thinks you are and will continue to be rich.

glad I'm not the only one who read that and had a horrible negative reaction. hopefully it's not really what OP meant to say!

Regarding dates and eating out, I wouldn't talk to her about never going out. That probably sounds like you're sucking the fun out of life. You guys might eventually get to the point where you prefer to cook in than eat out and only do free or low cost activities, but it's much easier to slowly reduce your excesses than it is to become an instant non-spender.

We can't judge your gf. Some things you wrote sound bad(cleaning, dishes, BMW), but we don't get the full context here. Assuming she is as wonderful as you say, then work with her. As many have said, you're already in a good position. No need to force yourself to excellent without her on board. Over time, demonstrate that you can spend a lot less and still have fun. Eat out for $100 for both of you twice a month and see whether you notice a difference between that and the $300 meals. MMM philosophy encourages embracing less spending (because the value of spending more is not significant), not stopping doing all the things you find fun.

agreed! I would probably be put off too if my boyfriend went from super lavish nights out to NO nights out. as others have said, you can get DELICIOUS food in a less highbrow setting for MUCH less money.

rubybeth

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Re: Reader Case Study - I would like a report card
« Reply #81 on: February 05, 2014, 07:03:42 AM »
she's decided in her mind that I am the horse she's betting on and a good part of the reason she bet on me is because I have ambitious fiscal goals.

I want you to read that over and over again until you realize how awful it sounds. Because it sounds to me like she is with you because she thinks you are and will continue to be rich.

Yeah, it struck me that way, too. It probably isn't that way, but it really doesn't sound good. I really hope the OP is truly happy and in love with this lady, and vice versa, but all of the 'requirements' that are in place seem really strange to me. And I am not an extremely flexible person in terms of relationships, but I realized early on that my relationship was more important than being 'right' or getting 'my way' and so there are compromises all of the time. It's kind of a requirement for a successful marriage.

And yes, LMFT means Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. My husband is in graduate school to become one! :)

FrugalSpendthrift

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Re: Reader Case Study - I would like a report card
« Reply #82 on: February 05, 2014, 07:04:40 AM »
As for the BMW, I've tried to explain to her about the car multiple times. I suggested she keeps using mine until it drops dead. But she is set on it - her Mom, though frugal as all hell on 25k, just recently bought herself a brand new Malibu. I don't know how or why she did it, I think it was a late mid-life crisis, but she follows her Mom's lead and now in her mind "success" = "BMW." Not sure how to convince her otherwise.
Financing a BMW does not equal success, anybody can run out and get a loan.  Success is buying a BMW when you have so many assets that it won't have much of a negative affect on you net worth.

rubybeth

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Re: Reader Case Study - I would like a report card
« Reply #83 on: February 05, 2014, 07:35:42 AM »
As for the BMW, I've tried to explain to her about the car multiple times. I suggested she keeps using mine until it drops dead. But she is set on it - her Mom, though frugal as all hell on 25k, just recently bought herself a brand new Malibu. I don't know how or why she did it, I think it was a late mid-life crisis, but she follows her Mom's lead and now in her mind "success" = "BMW." Not sure how to convince her otherwise.
Financing a BMW does not equal success, anybody can run out and get a loan.  Success is buying a BMW when you have so many assets that it won't have much of a negative affect on you net worth.

No kidding! Have her read "The Millionaire Next Door" and find out that most wealthy people don't own luxury vehicles.

ljp555

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Re: Reader Case Study - I would like a report card
« Reply #84 on: February 05, 2014, 07:37:12 AM »
she's decided in her mind that I am the horse she's betting on and a good part of the reason she bet on me is because I have ambitious fiscal goals.

I want you to read that over and over again until you realize how awful it sounds.  Because it sounds to me like she is with you because she thinks you are and will continue to be rich. 

Reading most of this thread, it's hard to tell whether the girlfriend is just an average American consumer or a gold digger. Regardless of the reality, this comment and others makes it sound like you think that she's attracted to you for your money--and that maybe you like that. Most people would be concerned if their SO wanted them for their money. That you think this is the case and you aren't concerned makes me wonder if you want to support your SO and have her dependent on you.


I think part of the problem is that in my mind, there is a connection between spending and impressing women

babysteps

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Re: Reader Case Study - I would like a report card
« Reply #85 on: February 05, 2014, 09:18:37 AM »
I may have a slightly different reaction to this than others.  So, fwii - your GF seems to have what I'd call a "transactional" view of us humans - our worth is based on $ or work done.  Not right or wrong, nothing to try to "fix", just something to accept and be aware of.  For example, she sees "cleaning" as something people pay or manipulate others to do - from that perspective, no wonder she doesn't want to clean.  The value of dinner out is measured by $ spent as much/more than how good the conversation was.  Etc.

From your perspective, my advice is don't try to change her.  You could try changing your own behaviors - maybe start small as an  experiment. 

Thought 1: don't look for zero$ activities, instead spend your own time and some $ to create a special experience you can share.  Special dinner at home (one you cook AND clean - not because you have to, but because you love her and hey, you are also setting a good example) - if she likes candles, light up a bunch; if she has a favorite food make it, favorite music play it in the background, you get the idea.  Special game/movie night (whatever she loves).  You get the idea.  You can both spoil her AND save $.  (PS my spouse loves museums for the first 45 minutes - if entrance is free & GF likes museums, you can *plan* to only stay half an hour at a time - and/or try some soft insoles)

Thought 2: involve her in some of your money decisions.  Warning: don't do this unless you are willing to incorporate her choices.  For example, "now that we're living together, let's plan next month's entertainment budget together.  I've set aside $200 and we are going to my cousin's engagement party on the 7th so that's $75 there.  How do want us to spend the other $125?"  Whatever she says, unless it's illegal, be willing to go by it.

Thought 3, maybe could have been Thought 1: find non-$ or low-$ ways to let her know how special she is to you - a note in her lunch or on the milk carton in the fridge for her to discover.  Make the bed or do a quick vacuum between maid visits.  A heartfelt "I may not say this often, but I really love being with you" or whatever - has to be genuine, and start small or she could get confused!  Will help her learn that you can show love through non-$ ways.

Best of luck!

jprince7827

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Re: Reader Case Study - I would like a report card
« Reply #86 on: February 05, 2014, 01:15:22 PM »
Alright, will take the slow approach with the spending, and see if I can just spend less over time, instead of a complete shutout. Right now she's in the midst of studying for exams, but when she's done, she'll want to go out and I will try to find a cheap, though not 0$ way, to do that. I'll let you all know how it goes in six month's time!

As for the horse comment, that's just a saying.  It is a paraphrasing of something she said awhile back, she didn't tell me I was a horse and she was betting on me. She said something along the lines of that it was important to her in her consideration of me as a potential life partner that I took into great consideration matters of finance and having a prosperous future. I'm not offended or worried that my girlfriend looks for this in a guy, I think it's important to seek out positive financial values in your mate.

I wouldn't want to date a girl that had less than 300$ in her bank account all the time despite holding down a steady job. I would expect the same from her desires.

Cheddar Stacker

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Re: Reader Case Study - I would like a report card
« Reply #87 on: February 05, 2014, 01:38:57 PM »
Alright, will take the slow approach with the spending, and see if I can just spend less over time, instead of a complete shutout. Right now she's in the midst of studying for exams, but when she's done, she'll want to go out and I will try to find a cheap, though not 0$ way, to do that. I'll let you all know how it goes in six month's time!

As for the horse comment, that's just a saying.  It is a paraphrasing of something she said awhile back, she didn't tell me I was a horse and she was betting on me. She said something along the lines of that it was important to her in her consideration of me as a potential life partner that I took into great consideration matters of finance and having a prosperous future. I'm not offended or worried that my girlfriend looks for this in a guy, I think it's important to seek out positive financial values in your mate.

I wouldn't want to date a girl that had less than 300$ in her bank account all the time despite holding down a steady job. I would expect the same from her desires.

If I were in your position, I would be looking for the same thing. If I were in her position, I would be looking for the same thing.

Mustachians, put yourself in the position of a single person looking for a long-term mate. Do you want someone with a prosperous financial future and a level head regarding financial matters? The answer is yes. The only reason this situation is any different is the way in which it was originally presented.

Cassie

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Re: Reader Case Study - I would like a report card
« Reply #88 on: February 05, 2014, 02:08:01 PM »
The poster is very much in love with her and is summarizing things to explain quicker.  Reach a happy medium for entertainment/meals out. You don't have to spend a fortune and you don't have to give it all up. Balance is the key to a happy relationship!

rocksinmyhead

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Re: Reader Case Study - I would like a report card
« Reply #89 on: February 05, 2014, 02:28:10 PM »
Alright, will take the slow approach with the spending, and see if I can just spend less over time, instead of a complete shutout. Right now she's in the midst of studying for exams, but when she's done, she'll want to go out and I will try to find a cheap, though not 0$ way, to do that. I'll let you all know how it goes in six month's time!

As for the horse comment, that's just a saying.  It is a paraphrasing of something she said awhile back, she didn't tell me I was a horse and she was betting on me. She said something along the lines of that it was important to her in her consideration of me as a potential life partner that I took into great consideration matters of finance and having a prosperous future. I'm not offended or worried that my girlfriend looks for this in a guy, I think it's important to seek out positive financial values in your mate.

I wouldn't want to date a girl that had less than 300$ in her bank account all the time despite holding down a steady job. I would expect the same from her desires.

If I were in your position, I would be looking for the same thing. If I were in her position, I would be looking for the same thing.

Mustachians, put yourself in the position of a single person looking for a long-term mate. Do you want someone with a prosperous financial future and a level head regarding financial matters? The answer is yes. The only reason this situation is any different is the way in which it was originally presented.

good point. I think my personal hesitation/confusion was related to whether she was specifically looking for a partner with a good head on his shoulders/financially responsible, vs. just someone with high earning potential. the first I think is completely reasonable and actually necessary. the latter I think is a stupid thing to prioritize when looking for a life partner (but I know some might disagree and that's fine). sounds like OP's girlfriend is likely to be in the first camp. and sounds like you have some good plans for saving money while maintaining balance, OP! good luck! :)