Author Topic: Shoving Mustachianism Down His Throat  (Read 7817 times)

lifejoy

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Shoving Mustachianism Down His Throat
« on: March 07, 2013, 08:08:36 PM »
Hi. I've been dating my bf for 1.5 years, and he's "the one".

He's on a career path that is going to make him a solid amount of money. (~100,000/year or more) He has ~$80,000 in student debt & consumer debt. (His consumer debt is largely related to his career path.)

I'm a new graduate, and while I'm making about $24,000/year right now, I'm working half-time and in a year or two could reasonably expect to make $40-60,000. I have $17,000 in debt (student loan + parental loan).

Because his future earnings are so promising, he has no problem "enjoying the moment" and going on trips, eating out often, and in general spending his money as he wishes. And that's fine! Except that I would like to blend my life with his, and I've become a die-hard Mustachian.

My boyfriend is a great guy. He has agreed to let this March be our Money Madness Mustachian Month! So we are following a nice tight budget, and having fun while doing it. :)

My problem is this: it's hard to date someone when their financial tendencies are so different from your own! I feel like the fun police when I say "no" to going out for dinner and "no" to going on fun trips. I say no a lot, even though I offer cheaper still-fun alternatives.

I'm in emergency debt repayment mode! I have my own student loan to contend with. And I won't let my bf foot the bill for dinners or trips, because I know very well that he has a boatload of student loan to contend with. His defense is that when he gets home from working so hard at work (he works long hours, in a physically/mentally/emotionally demanding job) he wants to relax and reward himself. Hence the dinners out and trips away.

I would like to start a life with this man. Buy a house, have kids. He seems to feel that his career path makes his spending habits acceptable... how can I help him see the light, without making him feel like he's missing out on enjoying life? Or am I the one that needs to lighten up?

Note: I am not open to dating someone else, so please refrain from any suggestions of that nature :) Thanks!!

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Re: Shoving Mustachianism Down His Throat
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2013, 08:20:35 PM »
Unless the two of you can make decisions together about how to save, spend, and invest your money and his money, he's going to continue to follow the "I'm (going to be) a highly paid professional and I'm entitled" path.  In your shoes, I would sort this out before I committed to marriage and children.  Unless he voluntarily sees "the light," you may be in for an unhappy relationship followed by a split. 

My feeling from what you said elsewhere is his family has money and this is how they live.  It would take a lot of work to change that mindset.

smedleyb

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Re: Shoving Mustachianism Down His Throat
« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2013, 08:58:02 PM »
I think your boyfriend is lucky to have you.  You may very well be his best chance at getting rich.

I'm curious to see how March plays out.  Hopefully you both learn and grow from the challenge.  But at least you're moving in the right direction.

Now go kick his spendy ass!

lifejoy

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Re: Shoving Mustachianism Down His Throat
« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2013, 09:11:56 PM »
Thanks so much for the input. :) You guys are a great community, and it's only my first day "on the inside"!

My bf IS paying off his debt, but at a speed that would make most Mustachians cringe >.<

savingtofreedom

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Re: Shoving Mustachianism Down His Throat
« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2013, 09:26:57 PM »
I love the Money Madness Mustachian Month!!

This may be the issue:

 His defense is that when he gets home from working so hard at work (he works long hours, in a physically/mentally/emotionally demanding job) he wants to relax and reward himself

Can he eventually make the same money in a less stressful job. I have been in his position in the past - it can be harder, but obviously not impossible, to be a mustachian. 

webguy

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Re: Shoving Mustachianism Down His Throat
« Reply #5 on: March 07, 2013, 09:35:37 PM »
he works long hours, in a physically/mentally/emotionally demanding job

You need to help him to envision a life where he doesn't have that job which is obviously a drain on his physical, mental and emotional energy levels.  Does he want to be working that job for the rest of his life?  If not, then he needs to join you in Mustachianism so he can quit sooner rather than later and enjoy life without needing to spend lots of money to "reward" himself for working such a tough job!

I'm sure trying to get through to him is frustrating.  My wife is fairly frugal, but not as frugal as myself, and I often get frustrated at her for spending on things.  I just explained the analogy to her about each dollar being an employee and every time we spend a dollar we're effectively firing one of our employees and she seemed to enjoy that.  Just earlier she told me how she didn't have to fire any of our employees today!  I was very proud!

Definitely let us know how Money Madness Mustachian Month goes!

lifejoy

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Re: Shoving Mustachianism Down His Throat
« Reply #6 on: March 07, 2013, 10:13:44 PM »
You guys are so great :) I'll be sure to update you on March Money Madness Mustachian Month!

We've been taking a page out of Gail Vaz-Oxlade's book (Til Debt Do Us Part) and are using jars to keep our budget under control. :)

Problem: my bf is not at the point where he can imagine wanting to retire. He's pretty convinced he'll want to work forever. I'm of the mind that ten years into ANY career, and a change might be welcome. Sure would be nice to have the choice!

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Re: Shoving Mustachianism Down His Throat
« Reply #7 on: March 07, 2013, 10:25:53 PM »
A male who insists on what he wants, doesn't compromise with his partner, and is not making a sound plan for the future is, despite any other fabulous qualities, not yet a man.

He may yet change his ways.  I hope he does.  The best suggestion I have heard to encourage people to change is to establish some shared goals that you both can agree on.  Maybe it's some kids.  Maybe it's a big house.  Maybe it's early retirement.  Maybe it's a lot of trips, or a lot of charity.  Maybe it's one of you being able to stay home with the kids or pursue grad school.

Whatever your mutual goals are, once you get those in view you can say, "OK, what's our financial plan have to look like in order to get there?"  Most likely it will involve changing from the status quo.  Maybe some of those dollars he spends on relaxing and rewarding himself need to go towards a 529 for your graduate degree, or a diaper and college fund for your kids, or towards a deposit on a cruise, or a wedding fund, or a house downpayment fund.

Remember you'll have to be willing to compromise some on the goals as well -- my ex was a spender and liked to have fun...now I'm divorced and financially secure but I don't have as much fun as I used to because I just don't spend the money on it like we did when we were together.  And you know what?  I was wrong about that...it's important to have fun, so that was a case where I should have moved her direction somewhat.

You'll also have to contribute to those goals financially as well; although since there's a big income disparity maybe you contribute based on a ratio of incomes approach.

If the two of you can do those things - establish a common set of goals, compromise, and contribute - then you've got a good chance of making it over the long haul.  If not, then if I were in your shoes I would rethink whether he's the one.  If he doesn't change before the wedding I can guarantee you there's a slim to none chance that he'll change afterward.

Good luck.

KGZotU

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Re: Shoving Mustachianism Down His Throat
« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2013, 01:08:48 AM »
MMM is not the only path to happiness.

You set your savings goal according to your life plans. If you don't want to retire early, then you can save less money and retire after 30-40 years of work. There's absolutely nothing wrong with that. MMM is for people who want to retire early, and if you are trying to "shove MMM down his throat" then you are shoving the accompanying life goals down his throat. It's up to him to decide his life goals, and you can work together to see if you can achieve consensus.

My SO makes a lot of money and talks about how she hates her job. So I showed her how she could leverage her earnings for a few years and walk away with a self-funded pension. If she had no complaints about her life, then I would have made no suggestions.

It sounds like you have life plans that depend on a financially independent partner. I would discuss these with your boyfriend, and see whether he's interested in meeting those expectations. Maybe you'll decide that it's enough to be financially independent yourself, whether or not your SO is still working.

A male who insists on what he wants, doesn't compromise with his partner, and is not making a sound plan for the future is, despite any other fabulous qualities, not yet a man.

I don't personally know the definition of a true man, but in any case OP reports that he has made compromises. And how do we know he doesn't have a sound plan for the future? We know little about his net savings, his rate of debt repayment, etc.

It's my personal motto not to compromise in a relationship. I seek consensus. And if my partner and I can't achieve consensus then it's not the relationship for me.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2013, 01:12:43 AM by KGZotU »

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Re: Shoving Mustachianism Down His Throat
« Reply #9 on: March 08, 2013, 09:33:34 AM »
There are lots of threads in the forums about relationships and tensions between frugal Mustachians and their less frugal partners. Definitely check out this thread and the Journals section--many of us are hashing this stuff out!


Just curious: what kind of career-oriented consumer debt does your boyfriend have?

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Re: Shoving Mustachianism Down His Throat
« Reply #10 on: March 08, 2013, 10:02:59 AM »
Problem: my bf is not at the point where he can imagine wanting to retire. He's pretty convinced he'll want to work forever. I'm of the mind that ten years into ANY career, and a change might be welcome. Sure would be nice to have the choice!

I applaud your creative approach to get him involved in the spirit of saving and talking about money. "March Money Madness Mustachian Month!" sounds delightful maybe we should apply it to the MMM forum as a whole? :)

It is great you are reading up on other financial books. I strongly recommend "Your Money Or Your Life". MMM reviewed the book here: http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/12/18/your-money-or-your-life/ and the two part MMM series on Selling the Dream part 1 http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/03/22/selling-the-dream-how-to-make-your-spouse-love-frugality/ and Part 2 http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/03/27/selling-the-dream-of-financial-independence-part-2/ and on Lifestyle entitlements http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/09/18/is-it-convenient-would-i-enjoy-it-wrong-question/

Having a partner who does not envision retirement or other significant lifestyle changes due to a new career, raising family, etc is normal. Not everyone make detailed plans at the early stages of their life or career, right? I believe there is always room for growth individually and as a team, together. But I also find at some point your partner needs to decide for themselves what is important to them in their life and how much of a role you play.

Perhaps it would help if you clearly defined what are your shared goals. Have you both agreed on what are your big hopes and dreams? Are you both coming up with plans how to get there sooner than later? I feel it is essential to have these on-going chats immediately to set up and clear expectations and boundaries. Also please do not take offense to this, but it sounds like you are counting on his financial income for ER, but is he ok with this responsibility? Considering he is not even thinking about retirement, let alone ER, saving more in his mind might be equal to depriving himself of what he feels he deserves and deep resentment may build. If this does not apply then I apologize in advance if I misunderstand.

Have you tried having just putting aside "fun" money? A specific amount you both agree to spend however you see fit after taking care of other financial responsibilities? Perhaps that may help. Also, is he on the same page in the relationship regarding "planning" for the future? If he is then he might be more receptive to talking about finances. If not he may feel you need to lighten up and not stress out. For some people I've found talking about finances is not a source of pleasure, b/c it ties to their deep seeded childhood feelings on money and how it influenced their current values. It takes work, patience and more time to find out if you are both truly at the right stage for full disclosure. Good luck!

I feel it takes a lot of patience and honesty to stay together as a couple and fully disclosure your financial values, hopes and darkest fears. More importantly I feel it takes the right partner who shares the same values, goals and is willing to act on it. These shared values and actions will help make the relationship last when life rains on your parade. I found no matter how much one person can plan, how great their intentions, if the other person does not want to compromise, you cannot force the change. It's like a doctor prescribing a life saving pill to a patient, but it is solely up to the patient to choose and then act. It is always their choice, not yours and you must learn to respect that. Compromising will take you only so far if there aren't shared goals attached. We all know change is not easy, takes tremendous discipline, sacrifice, but it all starts with a personal choice, doesn't it?

Ultimately you do not want to force the person you love to change b/c you feel something is right, doing so will only cause resentment in the future. Lastly, I feel there is a point where all you can do is all you can do, and if that is not enough for you, you may want to re-evaluate your situation.

I wish you the best of luck. Change takes gradual baby steps, so remain patient with each other. Keep us posted on what happens. Cheers!
« Last Edit: March 08, 2013, 12:55:16 PM by Stashtastic Momo »

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Re: Shoving Mustachianism Down His Throat
« Reply #11 on: March 08, 2013, 10:21:35 AM »
I was in a similar situation to you a few years ago, and I can relate to feeling like the "fun police."  What was key for me was sitting down with my husband and agreeing on our goals and priorities.  I told him that we both needed to be fighting for the same thing, and that I didn't want to feel like his mother spoiling the fun.

We agreed that we wanted to buy a house in cash, have enough to pay for a good chunk of our future kiddo's education, and enough so that retirement was an option.  Like your bf, my husband doesn't want to retire, but he agreed that having the option to pursue work he found interesting would be great.  Then, when a trip or something involving spending money came up, we talked about our goals and how that would affect our ability to meet them, together.

Finally, we decided that we would each have our own "fun money."  We each get $100 each month to spend as we please without judgement from the other and it's worked wonderfully.

Don't get too down about this - people can change!  It was slow going for us at first, but now my husband actually thanks me now that we have a substantial networth.  If he's "the one" you guys can work together to get on the same page.

Good luck!

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Re: Shoving Mustachianism Down His Throat
« Reply #12 on: March 08, 2013, 10:56:01 AM »
I'll second the "fun money" concept. When first starting out (before stumbling into mustacianism) we allocated 5% take home for each of us. Eventually got lowered down to a flat $25 every two weeks after finding that we'd gotten so used to having fun on less money that we really didn't even need that much. You may consider doing a similar type of thing, except perhaps base it on each of your incomes rather than combined income. That way he can still feel a bit like "I work hard so I can afford to spend more". Over time may help ease him into the money != fun mindset, especially as he sees you still having a great time while having a lower discretionary allowance. You could even discretely demonstrate the basic concept of mustacianism on a smaller scale by saving a large part of your allowance and watch the net value increase over time past his even if he makes more.

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Re: Shoving Mustachianism Down His Throat
« Reply #13 on: March 08, 2013, 11:21:16 AM »
Oh, I remember loving my career choice so much I thought I would never want to retire...and I didn't for 30 years!  So I think it is great that BF loves his chosen profession.  I agree with other posters that you cannot count on him to change.  So while you can encourage him to change and hope he will, you need to be absolutely sure that you can change enough to accept his spending if you decide to buy a house and/or have children with him.  One thing to consider is to decide on a few things that are your bottom line.  What is most important to you?  Possibilities:  no home purchase or kids until all debt is paid off.  It does sound like he is likely to make a larger income than you.  Studies show that the partner making more money has more power to make decisions in the relationship.  I know many MMM readers are way more evolved than that and able to treat a marriage as a true partnership, but as things progress you might discuss that whole issue with BF.  Another thing to try to do is to develop friendships with other Mustachian couples.  I suspect he spends much of his time with other young doctors who also feel they'll have plenty of money so why not enjoy some luxuries.  But I bet you can find some others who are MMM followers. 

the fixer

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Re: Shoving Mustachianism Down His Throat
« Reply #14 on: March 08, 2013, 11:32:16 AM »
I love the Money Madness Mustachian Month!!

This may be the issue:

 His defense is that when he gets home from working so hard at work (he works long hours, in a physically/mentally/emotionally demanding job) he wants to relax and reward himself

Can he eventually make the same money in a less stressful job. I have been in his position in the past - it can be harder, but obviously not impossible, to be a mustachian.
Two things:

De-stressing doesn't have to cost money. Food for instance: I love de-stressing by cooking and enjoying the results, which taste way better than anything I could buy. Why would I go out for pizza when I can make my own that's so much better? Even junk food baking is a reasonable way to de-stress if done in moderation and paired with exercise, and homemade brownies and cookies can't be beat.

Next, I've learned that being the fun police can be counterproductive because of perceived loss aversion (e.g. your boyfriend already had his mind set on buying a Subway sandwich for lunch before you suggested he make his own lunch instead). I have loss aversion problems with trips/vacations. I start thinking about how fun it would be to do X, and I have basically decided to do it even before I've learned how expensive it will be. So the rule now is: I don't make any decisions on going somewhere until I've estimated the total cost of the trip (I even have a spreadsheet to track all my trips and their estimated vs. actual costs).

You might want to try something similar. It's not saying your boyfriend can't do what he wants, it's just helping him make a rational decision about it. Then if he decides to do it anyway, you have to let him. So in the above Subway situation, your boyfriend would go through it and say "okay, the footlong costs $6.50, plus tax, plus I'll want to make it a meal. So that's about $9. On the other hand, I could make my own lunch for about $1.50. Is that sandwich really $7.50+(future accrued student loan interest) better than the lunch I can make for myself?"

BPA

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Re: Shoving Mustachianism Down His Throat
« Reply #15 on: March 08, 2013, 11:33:34 AM »
While it's not impossible to help someone change his or her mind about the lifestyle he or she has chosen, it is often unsuccessful.  What would it take for him to switch you to his way of thinking?  Would that happen?  Or would you just become resentful?

I'm a serial monogamist so my attitude is, "If it's not a great fit, I'm moving on."  In my life I've learned that you can't really change people. 

You may ultimately have to decide if you are willing to change if he isn't if you really want him to be in your life.

Good luck while you are trying to win him over to your point of view.


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Re: Shoving Mustachianism Down His Throat
« Reply #16 on: March 08, 2013, 11:42:22 AM »
In your situation I opt for:

1. Agree to pay yourselves first (i.e., set a high savings rate goal and stick to it). Make it all automatic contributions straight from your paychecks toward investments and debt repayments. But choose a very high savings/debt repayment rate, preferably 50% or higher

2. Pay your bills

3. He can blow the rest of his own money as he sees fit, with no guilt or second-guessing

I think this plan will satisfy goals for you both. And after some time passes, he might see the value from #1 grow, and realize that there is something to be said for FU Money or FIRE

galaxie

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Re: Shoving Mustachianism Down His Throat
« Reply #17 on: March 08, 2013, 12:27:11 PM »
My husband and I automatically started planning further in the future once we decided to get married (and even more so once we actually were married).  I expected everything to be the same before and after getting married, but that really did change and I was surprised.  The Super Long-Term Future suddenly seems really close. 

So we talked about what our goals are, and how we would like to accomplish them.  Travel to faraway places?  Ok, how often?  That's $200/month in the "save for sweet vacations" budget.  Does $200 seem steep?  Plan to go less often.  Does that not seem like enough vacation?  Save more money for vacations.  Apply this to all the main parts of the future life you envision for yourselves.  This involves a lot of talking.  We carpool to work, so for a while every morning and evening commute was full of this kind of stuff.

To some people, that kind of conversation might seem like a drag.  I thought it was fun, because we were committing to these awesome things we were going to do, and taking concrete steps to make the kind of life we wanted.

I am a high earner like your boyfriend.  I think it's ok to spend money on things that you enjoy (for us it's fitness activities, travel, and food).  But I think the trick is to plan ahead.  "I can spend $X on eating out/getting my nails done/other wasteful things this month, and I will put $Y in savings."  And suddenly you're ok.  You're still saving, and you don't feel deprived.

Do you have joint finances?  Do you live together?  If not, he'd be perfectly justified to tell you to MYOB about his spending.  As much as this is a finances question, it might also be a question about the stage of your relationship.  You two as a couple might not be ready, between yourselves, to do this yet.


Edit: You say what his "expected" earnings are.  Does he not actually have a job yet?  Have you guys finished college?  Maybe my advice is too advanced.  A better idea might be to work out a "hypothetical future budget."  Ok, rent is this much. I spend this much on food.  If I have $80k in student loans, the payment is this much.  That's all predictable.  I'd go for a "scared straight" approach if he's still in college, because student loan money seems like monopoly money until you have to pay it back.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2013, 12:30:46 PM by galaxie »

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Re: Shoving Mustachianism Down His Throat
« Reply #18 on: March 08, 2013, 12:37:44 PM »
Great answers so far.  One thing to add is that I often find hard-driving type-A professionals LOVE a hard challenge and are often goal-oriented.  I would consider challenging him a little by posing it (having to work for someone else for an indeterminate period of time) as a problem to solve.  This game aspect of it has done wonders for me.  I now love the parts of my day where I am not spending where I used to.  E.g. I iron my shirt every night while catching up on the day's news online - I spend nothing while enjoying this feeling of 'getting ahead' knowing what I used to spend on dry cleaning and cable.  Pay days are awesome days where I reduce debt and make investments.  Logging into Mint and seeing the sharp and escalating line from the day I started reading MMM to now is intoxicating. 

My reward is a (still working) version of MMM's, where he feels bad for the lady in the BMW 7-series who passes him on his bike.  He's free and she's not.  Every day I get closer to freedom.  Get your guy thinking this way and you won't have to do anything again.

lifejoy

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Re: Shoving Mustachianism Down His Throat
« Reply #19 on: March 08, 2013, 12:59:38 PM »
I feel rich already, with all of the $0.02 everyone has been giving me! Thanks!

- My bf and I live together
- He and I have discussed marriage
- Currently our finances are separate, and we share food and rent costs
- He is making money and paying off his debt at a rate of about $1000/month, which is not bad!

I agree that his financial choices would be none of my business - EXCEPT, if he wants to go out for dinner instead of cooking, that involves me. If he wants to go to a concert instead of playing board games at home, this is a joint decision. Many things like this come up as we share our lives together. Lucky for me, he's fairly well balanced. I'm just conscious of the fact that if we DID get married, his preferences could mean a longer wait for some goals (kids/house/etc).

It's all good. I'm kind of obsessive about paying down our respective debt.

mobilisinmobili

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Re: Shoving Mustachianism Down His Throat
« Reply #20 on: March 08, 2013, 01:11:06 PM »
In your situation I opt for:

1. Agree to pay yourselves first (i.e., set a high savings rate goal and stick to it). Make it all automatic contributions straight from your paychecks toward investments and debt repayments. But choose a very high savings/debt repayment rate, preferably 50% or higher

2. Pay your bills

3. He can blow the rest of his own money as he sees fit, with no guilt or second-guessing

I think this plan will satisfy goals for you both. And after some time passes, he might see the value from #1 grow, and realize that there is something to be said for FU Money or FIRE

I like this approach a lot.

Great answers so far.  One thing to add is that I often find hard-driving type-A professionals LOVE a hard challenge and are often goal-oriented.  I would consider challenging him a little by posing it (having to work for someone else for an indeterminate period of time) as a problem to solve.  This game aspect of it has done wonders for me.  I now love the parts of my day where I am not spending where I used to.  E.g. I iron my shirt every night while catching up on the day's news online - I spend nothing while enjoying this feeling of 'getting ahead' knowing what I used to spend on dry cleaning and cable.  Pay days are awesome days where I reduce debt and make investments.  Logging into Mint and seeing the sharp and escalating line from the day I started reading MMM to now is intoxicating. 

My reward is a (still working) version of MMM's, where he feels bad for the lady in the BMW 7-series who passes him on his bike.  He's free and she's not.  Every day I get closer to freedom.  Get your guy thinking this way and you won't have to do anything again.

If he is challenge oriented .. throw down the gauntlet. In a friendly way challenge him to see who can pay off their student debt first.

Positively oriented competition is how I'm keeping motivated this month as well. Woo.

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Re: Shoving Mustachianism Down His Throat
« Reply #21 on: March 08, 2013, 02:40:00 PM »
I responded in your NYC thread - and again, it feels like he's humouring you by going along with your March Madness (that' a start) but there is something that he's just NOT GETTING regarding your feelings about how important this is to you. He really doesn't get it, and what's more troublesome - if I'm hearing you correctly over the internet - he doesn't really care to understand you regarding this, at least not at this point in time.

Now I was the spendy one in my marriage, and it took a really,really long time for me to change (now here I am on these boards, not my husband.

I sense that you're bending over backwards to try to make him get it (as your thread title suggests) but you don't really have someone receptive as an interlocuteur. Kind of an impossible and frustrating situation.

Again, this feels to me about something deeper than money that's just getting played out around the money (we all do this, to some extent). It sounds again like it's about feeling understood and accepted for your vision of things and your values  - seems like you are trying WAY too hard to "convince" someone that your inner compass is a valid one - that's a very difficult place to start out as a couple...

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  • Lovin' the Mustachian life!
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Re: Shoving Mustachianism Down His Throat
« Reply #22 on: March 08, 2013, 11:08:21 PM »
You guys have given me a lot of great things to think about!

Some added info: I do not plan on touching his earnings. My career trajectory is very good, and I plan on saving enough so that I can support myself completely.

My bf has been really great about March Money Madness Mustachian Month :) This gives me hope! He's surprisingly good at making changes in his life, if he sees the benefit for our relationship.

I want you all to know how much I appreciate your suggestions, ideas, and your openness! Thanks :)

Forcus

  • Pencil Stache
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  • Posts: 714
  • Location: Central Illinois
Re: Shoving Mustachianism Down His Throat
« Reply #23 on: March 11, 2013, 11:11:43 AM »
Problem: my bf is not at the point where he can imagine wanting to retire. He's pretty convinced he'll want to work forever. I'm of the mind that ten years into ANY career, and a change might be welcome. Sure would be nice to have the choice!

I think this is one of those things that he is going to have to figure out for himself. My wife is only 27, and really has been "corporate" for only a year or two. When I introduced ER to her she was not very interested and in many ways did the same thing your BF does (I work hard / have to treat myself). Not as bad as most people but still grating. I can tell that she is slowly starting to get worn down from the corporate gig, over time, so instead of trying to ramrod ER down her throat, I try to introduce bits of it in at a time. It seems to be working, but it will take a long time, not be a sudden epiphany. I know that 5 years ago, I dreamed of that 35 year pin, now, I know I WILL NOT WORK past 50 (and I'm shooting for earlier), UNLESS I truly love what I'm doing (unlikely). She isn't there yet, but I think it will happen. Give it time - it sounds like he is open to change - and at some point he is going to probably discover by himself that working crazy hours just to make money that will be spent on "experiences" is maybe not a worthwhile tradeoff.