Author Topic: When your anti-Mustachian SO makes more money  (Read 12162 times)

PhillyFrugal5

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When your anti-Mustachian SO makes more money
« on: July 06, 2016, 09:23:55 AM »
There have been a fair number of posts about convincing your SO to board the MMM train, but does anyone have suggestions when the spendy one is also the moneymaker? My spouse makes $105,000 a year and I make $70,000. We are currently in our late 20s and have been married for 3 years. I got into MMM a year ago and have since starting biking to work, sold half my shit on craigslist, bring my lunch to work every day, cut my own hair, etc. The hubs is fortunately not into fancy electronics or sports cars, but has the classic "I work hard to make money so I can enjoy life" response to my spending concerns, though I did convince him to ditch his truck for a Chevy Sonic hatchback this year (!!!).

My main concern at this point is that he goes out to lunch EVERY SINGLE DAY. And I am not talking about Taco Bell. I am talking actual sit down restaurants where he drops $12-$20 dollars. I showed him the Personal Capital pie chart of how much money this is adding up to. I tried making his lunches for him but he has a group of friends that go out together. He feels that he works hard at a job he doesn't really like and should get to eat whatever he wants for lunch as a consolation. I have a hard time arguing with this as he makes 50% more than me and has been earning longer (I went to law school while he worked). Any suggestions? Or am I overreacting?

honeybbq

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Re: When your anti-Mustachian SO makes more money
« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2016, 09:26:58 AM »
Yes and no. I think you both have valid points.

Can you compromise with him and ask if he can start by taking his lunch 2x a week and eating it outside or somewhere nice? Or can you create a 'going out to lunch' budget where he gets XX per week and that's it?

kudy

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Re: When your anti-Mustachian SO makes more money
« Reply #2 on: July 06, 2016, 09:30:22 AM »
In the big scheme of things, $5k spent on lunch per year isn't terrible. If this is just one example of a lifestyle full of luxury and inflating spending over time, then maybe you can keep convincing him about the merits of the overall philosophy of frugality + extreme savings while focusing less on the lunch example specifically. If instead this is the only luxury he demands in order to cope with work, then it may be a worthwhile expense that helps him earn the high salary.

4alpacas

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Re: When your anti-Mustachian SO makes more money
« Reply #3 on: July 06, 2016, 09:30:49 AM »
Is his lunch habit the only thing he spends a lot of money on?  If so, it sounds like he wants to get a break from work and hang out with his friends/coworkers.  Maybe I'm not hardcore MMM, but I think you shouldn't push too hard. 

Streamline what you have control over, and don't cause a big rift over lunches out.

aFrugalFather

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Re: When your anti-Mustachian SO makes more money
« Reply #4 on: July 06, 2016, 09:34:47 AM »
You have to pick your battles.  Better to forgo the 5K savings than to have him harbor resentment.  Best you can do is lead by example and hope everything else takes care of itself.  Also you should try not to harbor the same resentment. 

J Boogie

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Re: When your anti-Mustachian SO makes more money
« Reply #5 on: July 06, 2016, 09:46:17 AM »
My wife and I each get roughly $150 a month to spend on whatever we like.  It works pretty good.  We just make sure to log our purchases in a google keep list right when we make them.

Your husband sounds pretty reasonable.  I'm sure he'd be open to agreeing on a number.

This method keeps the scrutiny away.

Having lunches out with your mates is one of the things that psychologically helps you get through the day.  I don't do it very often, my coworkers and I are all very thrifty and have young families etc but its really nice when we do.

If you truly feel as though he overall contributes less to the family than you do, and you are upset about this, then it's worth having a serious conversation about.


caracarn

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Re: When your anti-Mustachian SO makes more money
« Reply #6 on: July 06, 2016, 09:46:23 AM »
Hmm, it is so hard to give solid advice in these situations because there are so many variables that will impact what people find important.

I guess that is what I see as the key here.  He has given you reasons on why he feels he "deserves" to spend on lunch, so perhaps probe a little more there and find out why he values that over what your alternative is for the lunch money.  If you have not thought about what that is, perhaps that might be the stumbling block to get him on board, because a vague "we could use that money for other things" is hard to get excited about because that "other thing" could be less important to him.  Maybe find a goal that you both want and that could help encourage him to shift priorities.

On a longer term view it might be worth supporting him in finding a job he likes.  Money isn't everything, and spending more of what you make to compensate for misery seems like a situation most reasonable people could see the logic in avoiding.  I understand that finding the "job you love" is harder than it sounds.  We all have worked in places that made us miserable.  I just left a place like that and it certainly remains to be seen if where I am at now will be better but after several months here nothing like the toxic environment I left has appeared so I'm optimistic.  My income is higher than what your spouse makes, and I only say that because a lot of people fall into that trap of feeling that the high paying jobs are so demanding, so difficult, so whatever that you just can't find a "likeable" job and make a high income.  In my many years of working I have found that it is more about the culture of the organization than the work itself that makes a job likeable, so when I interview I ask questions that help me flesh out as much of that as I can.  Sites like Glassdoor also help provide a window into a company that did not exist for much of my career.  Just like anything you have to take the feedback on those sites with a healthy amount of skepticism if it is too good or too bad, but you learn to read between the lines.  Anyhow, if you can remove what he admits is the trigger of his "need" to eat out every day, i.e. he has a miserable job and his only joy is going to lunch with co-workers to grumble about it and get away from the office, then you stand a better chance of having him see that eating out every day is not a "need".

plog

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Re: When your anti-Mustachian SO makes more money
« Reply #7 on: July 06, 2016, 10:10:21 AM »
Quote
Any suggestions? Or am I overreacting?

This is sort of on you.  This doesn't sound like new behaviour on his part.  I think you married a spender with your eyes open or you didn't even think to see it until recently.  Did you discuss finances prior to marriage?  Was this an issue you brought up before you said 'I do'?  Even worse, were you similar to him, but have now reformed your spendy ways?   

You can't just change expectations now--especially with no input from him.  If you want a good marriage and to align your collective financial goals to your individual beliefs you need to accomplish change in the long term.  Let lunch go for now.

My advice is to think about financial goals by yourself (save x amount per year, buy a house by some date, etc.), then go to him and get buy-in/compromise on those goals and see what his are.  Then agree on goals and work together to achieve them.  Lastly, don't make goals that explicitly curtail his actions (e.g. no new iphone, lunches only 3 times a week, etc.)--let those be choices he makes on the way to the bigger goals (new house, X amount in savings by year end, etc.).
 

 

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: When your anti-Mustachian SO makes more money
« Reply #8 on: July 06, 2016, 10:19:47 AM »
Sounds like you two need to work on getting him a better job.

mamagoose

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Re: When your anti-Mustachian SO makes more money
« Reply #9 on: July 06, 2016, 10:21:22 AM »
I recently read a marriage book with a chapter titled "Let Him Go Out to Lunch" - basically saying if it makes him happy & isn't breaking the bank, let him have fun. Think about it in the grand scheme of your marriage. I think if it were lunches every day plus happy hours every night plus golf outings every weekend then I would take issue with it. You could always offer your home-cooked leftovers (make something goooooood like homemade pizza), but you can't get upset if he still goes out and your food is left in the break room fridge.

letired

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Re: When your anti-Mustachian SO makes more money
« Reply #10 on: July 06, 2016, 10:24:30 AM »
It sounds like you don't really have buy-in from him on the whole 'retire early' thing. Is this something he's also interested in pursuing?

PhillyFrugal5

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Re: When your anti-Mustachian SO makes more money
« Reply #11 on: July 06, 2016, 11:49:33 AM »
Thanks everyone for your input. Much appreciated! The consensus seems to be that I need to chill out, which hurts a little but is helpful nonetheless. To answer a couple of questions:
1. I definitely concur with those who have said the bigger issue is that Hubs needs a new job. That is in the works but he is in a highly specialized field, and new job at his level probably means either starting his own company or relocation. 
2. Hubs is on board with the early retirement goal, but just generally pays less attention to our finances (this was a joint decision made years ago, as I enjoy finance and he does not. Thus I am the designated "Master of Coin").
3. Overall, I would not describe him as spendy apart from restaurants and some rather benign impulse buying (darn that Teavana salesman).

While the restaurant lunches are currently the biggest unnecessary expense, I am mostly curious as to whether others had experience tackling such issues with a spouse who makes significantly more money.

Kroaler

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Re: When your anti-Mustachian SO makes more money
« Reply #12 on: July 06, 2016, 11:52:01 AM »
I vote to save this battle for another time.

The fact that he left a truck for a chevy sonic,  thats already a pretty serious lifestyle change and compromise.

Dicey

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Re: When your anti-Mustachian SO makes more money
« Reply #13 on: July 06, 2016, 12:19:36 PM »
I'm confused. Is he your SO or your spouse? Big difference. I'm going to assume the latter because you used the word "spouse".

Since you married him and now you want to change the former status quo, the challenge is yours, not his. I'd suggest that you become super mustachian with the caveat that you don't make it especially overt, which simply makes the game more fun, IMO. Be mustachian, but do so as subtly as possible. Don't brag about how much you're saving, just save it. Invest your savings wisely. Whatever you do, do not nag him and don't look or act like a cheapskate. Just quietly go about your mustachian business.

In time, your efforts are going to add up. Nothing will get his attention faster than your success. He may surprise you by jumping aboard with little or no prodding from you. My DH is not mustachian, per se. He just has amazingly few needs. (Sidenote: we were cleaning out a desk recently. He found a receipt for a pressure washer he paid $159 for brand new. He used it for a couple of projects then sold it on CL for $250. Natural badass.) He takes his lunch to work every day because I pack it for him. Perhaps you could start by offering to make his lunch for him once a week. Then make something he loves for dinner so he can have great leftovers. (Be sure to include a love note:-) Or face the fact that in some industries, it just isn't done and find other places to economize.

It sounds like your spouse is not an unrepentant Spendy McSpendypants. I think you can figure this out so all your needs and goals are eventually achieved peacefully. Keep at it and please keep us posted.

PhillyFrugal5

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Re: When your anti-Mustachian SO makes more money
« Reply #14 on: July 06, 2016, 12:36:11 PM »
I'm confused. Is he your SO or your spouse? Big difference. I'm going to assume the latter because you used the word "spouse".

Since you married him and now you want to change the former status quo, the challenge is yours, not his. I'd suggest that you become super mustachian with the caveat that you don't make it especially overt, which simply makes the game more fun, IMO. Be mustachian, but do so as subtly as possible. Don't brag about how much you're saving, just save it. Invest your savings wisely. Whatever you do, do not nag him and don't look or act like a cheapskate. Just quietly go about your mustachian business.

In time, your efforts are going to add up. Nothing will get his attention faster than your success. He may surprise you by jumping aboard with little or no prodding from you. My DH is not mustachian, per se. He just has amazingly few needs. (Sidenote: we were cleaning out a desk recently. He found a receipt for a pressure washer he paid $159 for brand new. He used it for a couple of projects then sold it on CL for $250. Natural badass.) He takes his lunch to work every day because I pack it for him. Perhaps you could start by offering to make his lunch for him once a week. Then make something he loves for dinner so he can have great leftovers. (Be sure to include a love note:-) Or face the fact that in some industries, it just isn't done and find other places to economize.

It sounds like your spouse is not an unrepentant Spendy McSpendypants. I think you can figure this out so all your needs and goals are eventually achieved peacefully. Keep at it and please keep us posted.

Good question, Diane. I put "SO" in the title to make the post as broad/accessible as possible to those who might be in a similar situation, but you assumed correctly that we are indeed hitched.

I have tried to pack his lunch, but alas even meatloaf and a love note cannot compete with Village Pub with the fellas.

As a side note, well done by your DH on the pressure washer! CL is a beautiful thing.

Lagom

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Re: When your anti-Mustachian SO makes more money
« Reply #15 on: July 06, 2016, 12:56:10 PM »
Thanks everyone for your input. Much appreciated! The consensus seems to be that I need to chill out, which hurts a little but is helpful nonetheless. To answer a couple of questions:
1. I definitely concur with those who have said the bigger issue is that Hubs needs a new job. That is in the works but he is in a highly specialized field, and new job at his level probably means either starting his own company or relocation. 
2. Hubs is on board with the early retirement goal, but just generally pays less attention to our finances (this was a joint decision made years ago, as I enjoy finance and he does not. Thus I am the designated "Master of Coin").
3. Overall, I would not describe him as spendy apart from restaurants and some rather benign impulse buying (darn that Teavana salesman).

While the restaurant lunches are currently the biggest unnecessary expense, I am mostly curious as to whether others had experience tackling such issues with a spouse who makes significantly more money.

I have had this experience with my now ex wife, but it sounds like your situation isn't as extreme as ours was. Not only was her income over twice mine, but she also spent money on things like insisting we go out to dinner 4-5 times/week, vacationing exclusively at luxury resorts, regular massages, purchasing designer clothing, etc. On top of that, early on, when we both made similar (low) incomes, we racked up tens of thousands in debt due to those habits. As her income moved well into the six figures, she refused to pay off that debt, but instead only increased spending because "she worked hard."

In our case, we simply married too young and I didn't realize how important our fundamentally different views on consumerism would turn out to be. I constantly resented her overspending and she constantly resented my indifference to luxury and relatively low ambition/refusal to work in a more lucrative field.

All of that said, I can offer that similar to helping a spouse get in better shape, modeling good behavior did work better than arguing for her to change her ways. The "fun money" system also somewhat reduced friction, although I had to allow for a significantly higher budget on her end. Still, when she saw how much I was sacrificing relative to her (she couldn't comprehend how I contently saved most of the $150/month I had in fun money versus the $700 she blew through), she actually did tone things down a little. When I constantly declined to buy unnecessary crap every time we were shopping or on vacation, I think she felt embarrassed to do so herself. Obviously, it still didn't end well, but I figured I would offer the anecdote, fwiw.

The lunches out is a hard one. I totally understand your frustration. I lived it for years. But if he's otherwise pretty good and your relationship is healthy, you may have to let that one go. Sooner or later, he'll get better. For a less negative example, my dad used to be quite spendy, but after years of my mom sticking to her minimalism and modeling the happiness she gained from having less stuff, their marriage is better than ever and he's actually even more frugal than she is.

faramund

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Re: When your anti-Mustachian SO makes more money
« Reply #16 on: July 06, 2016, 12:57:12 PM »
DW and I used to have similar amounts of income, but over the last few years DW has started to take in substantially more income. Anyway, our retirement plans were done earlier than this, so the extra income is to a large extent irrelevant. She does want to spend more money on 'stuff', so we deal with this by putting 20% of her extra income into our retirement funds - which thus gives more buffer, and probably more disposable income in the future, and 80% goes into a splurge fund, which she can do whatever with - which tends to be family holidays/upgrading furniture... (i.e. joint splurgy stuff, not a her splurge fund)

MrsDinero

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Re: When your anti-Mustachian SO makes more money
« Reply #17 on: July 06, 2016, 12:59:56 PM »
Yes and no.  My husband makes a lot more than I do.  Some of his bonuses are in the $40k range which makes our income differences even greater than just our base salaries.

The way we have navigated a middle ground is we agree on the basics:

  • Pay off the mortgage in 10-15 years
  • No Debt! 
  • All credit cards are to be paid off monthly.
  • All loans are paid off.   
  • No new loans unless absolutely necessary
  • 401k will be maxed out every year
  • Non-Retirement investing is also a priority (we each have an annual goal)
  • Expensive purchases will be agreed upon by both people.

Some will think our compromises are comical and might fall into the Anti-MMM Hall of Shame:
  • He wanted a brand new snowmobile, so we agreed upon a used one no more than $3k
  • He got a new large bonus and wanted to spend it, but agreed to pay off the $12k balance on my Honda CRV and put the rest in Vanguard
  • He wanted to upgrade his 2012 (paid off) truck, so we agreed upon him getting a lift kit instead.

There are few examples of many compromises between us.  Mostly he likes to look and play with expensive engines and I talk him down from there.  When he was single, he would think nothing of dropping money on a new motorcycle, now we look at how can he make his current motorcycle more to his liking. 

The problem is he makes so much more than I do that he can easily meet his share of our mutual financial goals and still have thousands of dollars to "play with".  When we set the 2017 financial goals, I'm going to suggest he increase his by 15%. 

He is all for me and my FIRE plan, but he still needs convincing that he can do it too.  He is very slowly coming around, but I don't think will ever be a 100% MMM convert.

« Last Edit: July 06, 2016, 01:11:30 PM by MrsDinero »

Dicey

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Re: When your anti-Mustachian SO makes more money
« Reply #18 on: July 06, 2016, 01:09:02 PM »
As a side note, well done by your DH on the pressure washer! CL is a beautiful thing.
At the risk of a total hijack, here's a related CL tale. When we bought the property mentioned above, the previous owners were downsizing and left some furniture behind. We realized that the desk suite was nicer than what we had at home. It was too big to fit in our house, so DH took it apart. We gave the corner section to a charity thrift shop and hauled the rest home in two trips. Erm, 500 miles, one way. Once home, DH modified the remaining pieces to work beautifully together. When we removed the old desk, we noticed it was in pretty worn in places. We briefly discussed options, then I headed off to grocery shop. While I was out, DH took photos and listed it in the free section on CL. Someone responded immediately and picked it up before I returned from the grocery store! I love a man who makes a decision and gets shit done. Yay for Craigslist!
BTW, it was his desk before we married, so I didn't have any preference for how it found its next home.

Edited for clarity and because I can't type! Grrrr.
« Last Edit: July 07, 2016, 03:34:51 PM by Diane C »

norabird

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Re: When your anti-Mustachian SO makes more money
« Reply #19 on: July 06, 2016, 03:37:47 PM »
Agree with all above who are saying that this is not the end of the world. It's a relatively harmless expense and seems baked in to his current position. Hopefully he will find another job that doesn't have this aspect. Hold the course otherwise and all will be well.


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brooklynmoney

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Re: When your anti-Mustachian SO makes more money
« Reply #20 on: July 06, 2016, 09:00:09 PM »
Are you trying to increase your income? Your mentioning that he makes so much more than you makes me feel like you feel insecure about this but of course I am an Internet stranger so take my comment for what it's worth.

calimom

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Re: When your anti-Mustachian SO makes more money
« Reply #21 on: July 06, 2016, 09:05:30 PM »
Are you trying to increase your income? Your mentioning that he makes so much more than you makes me feel like you feel insecure about this but of course I am an Internet stranger so take my comment for what it's worth.

I was wondering the same thing. OP, you're a lawyer, right? Just starting out or are you working for a public interest or something along those lines. Because it seems to this random internet stranger that you could be making more $$?

And agree with the others, that if your SO's lunch habit is the only wonky thing (and really it's not that bad), and if he's not in crushing debt, or borrowing lunch money from you each day, I'd let this one slide.

nottoolatetostart

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Re: When your anti-Mustachian SO makes more money
« Reply #22 on: July 07, 2016, 05:27:28 AM »
I vote to save this battle for another time.

The fact that he left a truck for a chevy sonic,  thats already a pretty serious lifestyle change and compromise.

Yes, give it time. It took my husband a good 3 years to get on the FI train. He goes along with me on like 95% of stuff and every year, that percentage gets higher and higher. Slow steps, but it adds up over time.


Cassie

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Re: When your anti-Mustachian SO makes more money
« Reply #23 on: July 07, 2016, 03:29:14 PM »
If that is his only bad habit-let it go-let it go:))

undercover

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Re: When your anti-Mustachian SO makes more money
« Reply #24 on: July 07, 2016, 03:58:20 PM »
Holy shit this forum has gotten soft. The 1st generation of this forum would've done nothing but face-punch a ~$15/day lunch habit. Similar to the $5 coffee every morning...

But...I can't say anything. I eat out fairly often too (though usually the cheapest thing on the menu at already reasonable places). It's something I enjoy, and I don't even work everyday. So, he may be doing it more because he enjoys it and he gets to be with his friends, and the side-effect is just for him to be able to decompress as well. I'm not so sure it's just because he hates his job. Jobs are basically jobs at the end of the day. Largely, I agree with most of the others: if this is his only vice, and he's otherwise practical in other areas, let it be.

La Bibliotecaria Feroz

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Re: When your anti-Mustachian SO makes more money
« Reply #25 on: July 07, 2016, 04:07:16 PM »
Holy shit this forum has gotten soft. The 1st generation of this forum would've done nothing but face-punch a ~$15/day lunch habit. Similar to the $5 coffee every morning...

But...I can't say anything. I eat out fairly often too (though usually the cheapest thing on the menu at already reasonable places). It's something I enjoy, and I don't even work everyday. So, he may be doing it more because he enjoys it and he gets to be with his friends, and the side-effect is just for him to be able to decompress as well. I'm not so sure it's just because he hates his job. Jobs are basically jobs at the end of the day. Largely, I agree with most of the others: if this is his only vice, and he's otherwise practical in other areas, let it be.

But it's not HER spending! If she were asking if SHE should go out to lunch, I would say "hell, no." But she's not. The question is whether she should keep badgering her SO.

Nope.

Might be worth reading/talking to him about Your Money or  Your Life and how his job-related spending affects his hourly wage, but only if he seems interested.

It is notoriously hard to get people to do things by convincing them that it's "good for them." For instance, a French campaign to inform mothers that breastfeeding was healthier flopped--didn't raise rates. Their next idea was that maybe they should try to convince them that breastfeeding was enjoyable!

Metric Mouse

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Re: When your anti-Mustachian SO makes more money
« Reply #26 on: July 07, 2016, 11:35:14 PM »
Holy shit this forum has gotten soft. The 1st generation of this forum would've done nothing but face-punch a ~$15/day lunch habit. Similar to the $5 coffee every morning...


Are those posters still around? Or did they all retire already? Or perhaps they no longer post because their SO got so fed up with their badgering that they strangled them, rolled their body in re-used trash bags, tossed them in the back of their rusty, cardboard covered hatchback, hypermiled them to the edge of town and lit the vehicle on fire (using a reusable fire starter, bought on sale, at goodwill, with a coupon) before walking home to clean up the mess with a homemade cleaning compound formulated from vinegar and tap water from the low-flow faucet?

Sailor Sam

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Re: When your anti-Mustachian SO makes more money
« Reply #27 on: July 07, 2016, 11:45:27 PM »
Holy shit this forum has gotten soft. The 1st generation of this forum would've done nothing but face-punch a ~$15/day lunch habit. Similar to the $5 coffee every morning...


Are those posters still around? Or did they all retire already? Or perhaps they no longer post because their SO got so fed up with their badgering that they strangled them, rolled their body in re-used trash bags, tossed them in the back of their rusty, cardboard covered hatchback, hypermiled them to the edge of town and lit the vehicle on fire (using a reusable fire starter, bought on sale, at goodwill, with a coupon) before walking home to clean up the mess with a homemade cleaning compound formulated from vinegar and tap water from the low-flow faucet?

I'll admit it, I guffawed out loud.

Dicey

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Re: When your anti-Mustachian SO makes more money
« Reply #28 on: July 08, 2016, 12:03:06 AM »
Holy shit this forum has gotten soft. The 1st generation of this forum would've done nothing but face-punch a ~$15/day lunch habit. Similar to the $5 coffee every morning...


Are those posters still around? Or did they all retire already? Or perhaps they no longer post because their SO got so fed up with their badgering that they strangled them, rolled their body in re-used trash bags, tossed them in the back of their rusty, cardboard covered hatchback, hypermiled them to the edge of town and lit the vehicle on fire (using a reusable fire starter, bought on sale, at goodwill, with a coupon) before walking home to clean up the mess with a homemade cleaning compound formulated from vinegar and tap water from the low-flow faucet?

I'll admit it, I guffawed out loud.
DH is asleep beside me, so I stifled a giggle. It was damned difficult.   

davef

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Re: When your anti-Mustachian SO makes more money
« Reply #29 on: July 08, 2016, 10:59:16 AM »
Its sounds like he is buying the experience more than the food. Its nice to be able to enjoy lunch with friends or acquaintances. If he does this for the next 20 years, It could push your retirement back a year. Is it worth that to him? I'm going to guess his answer would be yes. It would be to me. Life is more than existing. Would I trade companionship and great food at lunch every day for one more year of working? Sure would! I used to do the same thing every day. I still go out when my friends at work do but its more like 1-2 times a week now. I bring my lunch most days, but still have a skip in my step on days I go out.

jeromedawg

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Re: When your anti-Mustachian SO makes more money
« Reply #30 on: July 08, 2016, 11:14:06 AM »
I would tend to agree, as someone who is generally frugal, that eating out every day (at a sit-down place) is excessive as far as food is concerned. At the same time, as others have mentioned, if this really is his *only* "luxury" then it might be good to cut him some slack on it. I'd completely understand the concern if he were into electronics, multiple other hobbies, buying coffee every day AND eating out for lunch, but that just doesn't sound like the case here.

I do agree that you could try to maybe have him get into the practice of bringing lunch. Do you guys enjoy cooking and eating your own stuff? Perhaps you could cook food that he may enjoy the night before so that he can bring it into work. If the issue is that he wants to just spend time with friends/coworkers, then perhaps have him suggest to them eating lunch at a table outside or something (not sure what the building/environment is like where he works but at my old place we had picnic tables outside where you could just go out there and eat). Or, suggest to him to bring lunch and schedule a hangout with his friends/coworkers after work (like playing sports or just hanging out somewhere) but before dinner? Another thing to consider is bringing lunch and not eating out so much for health reasons, especially if there are any concerns with cholesterol, blood pressure, weight, etc... if he's perfectly healthy and fit, that may be a harder argument to make lol

Kaikou

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Re: When your anti-Mustachian SO makes more money
« Reply #31 on: July 08, 2016, 03:11:22 PM »
Let the man eat. Help him change his work environment if that's what he wants but otherwise I won't even care about it

dpfromva

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Re: When your anti-Mustachian SO makes more money
« Reply #32 on: July 08, 2016, 03:57:25 PM »
My SO was the same way. I was really bugged about it (and feeling so righteous about my bag lunches) until one day I went to lunch with him. The restaurant owner/manager greeted him, they had a short conversation in which he provided some free legal advice about a family business matter of the owner's (obviously on ongoing topic), other regulars waved, the hostess put him at his favorite booth, the waitress (and he knew all the waitstaff by name, too) brought his usual beverage without being asked. He ordered what he wanted without looking at the price, he ate, he table hopped (oh, gee, I wondered, maybe this is how you get more clients . . .) and obviously had an enjoyable and energizing social experience. So I told the little whiny voice in my head to shut up.
And then I saw his haircut charge one day after he foolishly used a credit card instead of paying cash. "How could your manly haircut cost more than mine?" I sputtered. "Oh, I always get the facial. It feels so great."
You gotta love 'em (or leave 'em, I guess).

Widget

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Re: When your anti-Mustachian SO makes more money
« Reply #33 on: July 09, 2016, 08:57:47 AM »
Yes and no.  My husband makes a lot more than I do.  Some of his bonuses are in the $40k range which makes our income differences even greater than just our base salaries.

The way we have navigated a middle ground is we agree on the basics:

  • Pay off the mortgage in 10-15 years
  • No Debt! 
  • All credit cards are to be paid off monthly.
  • All loans are paid off.   
  • No new loans unless absolutely necessary
  • 401k will be maxed out every year
  • Non-Retirement investing is also a priority (we each have an annual goal)
  • Expensive purchases will be agreed upon by both people.


I really think this is key, and love how you put things so succinctly. 

OP, as long as you guys are meeting your shared goals, anything beyond that in terms of him being onboard with your mustaccian ways is a bonus. Especially if this wasn't discussed prior to marriage...kind of hard to demand those changes later (I didn't catch if you'd mentioned this or not).  If it does sting to feel like you are "sacrificing" by being frugal while he is out living luxuriously or living it up, then take some time to reevaluate your goals and motivations behind these sacrifices, and work towards shared goals with your spouse rather than "your goals" vs "his goals". 

I net more than my SO, but his base pay is more so I feel like we're pretty equal in terms of household contribution.  He's also more driven to retire early than I am.  I appreciate that he doesn't begrudge me small expenses that make my life more tolerable (I do tend to spend more on coffee and luxuries like nice lotion, snacks, etc, when I deploy because it makes things bearable for me).  Our approach is much the same as MrsDinero's in that the large items are in check, so the smaller things are not worth arguing over.  It sounds like the best option in your situation is just to wait it out, as a few other posters have said.  If he lands in a better work environment, maybe he will find he doesn't need his "lunch escapes" as much. 

Zaga

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Re: When your anti-Mustachian SO makes more money
« Reply #34 on: July 09, 2016, 09:26:23 AM »
We have a similar dynamic, and before I came along DH had no hope or plans of paying off debt, much less retiring!  It's been a long and slow road to being more frugal, paying cash for things, paying down debt, starting to invest, etc.  Are either of us perfect?  Not by a long shot!  But by being patient he's come a long way towards being smart with finances, even if he does prefer to let me do all of the work.

sandsoftime

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Re: When your anti-Mustachian SO makes more money
« Reply #35 on: July 17, 2016, 10:53:07 AM »
OP, I can definitely see how the daily lunch spending would be frustrating, but I agree with others that if this is a big factor in helping him get through the day (and earn the nice paycheck), then it's probably a worthwhile "investment".

If it's any consolation, I think of 2 kinds of spending:

1) really bad: spending that is going to become an ongoing, permanent part of our lifestyle going forward - i.e., we'll need a large pot of additional FIRE money to cover this new "annuity" of spending
2) annoying but mostly benign: spending that I would've preferred to invest instead but that is one-time or easily eliminated once we're post-FIRE

Sounds like your spouse's lunches fall into category #2 - you'll be able to cut out that spending right away once you've both stopped working.

BudgetSlasher

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Re: When your anti-Mustachian SO makes more money
« Reply #36 on: July 17, 2016, 02:24:18 PM »
My wife and I each get roughly $150 a month to spend on whatever we like.  It works pretty good.  We just make sure to log our purchases in a google keep list right when we make them.

Your husband sounds pretty reasonable.  I'm sure he'd be open to agreeing on a number.

This method keeps the scrutiny away.

Having lunches out with your mates is one of the things that psychologically helps you get through the day.  I don't do it very often, my coworkers and I are all very thrifty and have young families etc but its really nice when we do.

If you truly feel as though he overall contributes less to the family than you do, and you are upset about this, then it's worth having a serious conversation about.

I was going to suggest an approach of the exact opposite direction; set an amount for the year to be saved (or invested/extra toward debt payment) and how much will come from each person over the course of the year. Anything beyond the amount set out in that goal is discretionary for the earner (even if it still works out to the same number), which can include additional savings by the more frugal party.  Some people simply cannot (read refuse to) deal with the idea of a budget, but can adapt much better to an environment of artificial scarcity where savings are paid first and what is left has to last. 

Fireball

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Re: When your anti-Mustachian SO makes more money
« Reply #37 on: July 17, 2016, 04:51:36 PM »
Wow. $5,000 annually for only lunch is *huge*, and on top of that eating out is very unhealthy.  Double whammy. However, your marriage is more important than early retirement, financial independence, paying off debt, etc. Don't lose sight of this.  It's difficult for even hardcore MMM'ers to let go of frivolous spending so don't badger him about it. Be the example. Set goals. Let him see your hard work. He will come around.

P.S. - Who cares if he makes more money than you? It's you're money too. You're married and all.

Ryan

Metric Mouse

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Re: When your anti-Mustachian SO makes more money
« Reply #38 on: July 17, 2016, 04:54:47 PM »
P.S. - Who cares if he makes more money than you? It's you're money too. You're married and all.

Ryan

Would you feel the same way if an unemployed partner had a shopping habit or went out for $5000 dollar lunches as well, while bringing in no income?

human

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Re: When your anti-Mustachian SO makes more money
« Reply #39 on: July 17, 2016, 05:01:30 PM »
If he was smart he would just nod and say thanks honey for the lunch, then toss it in the garbage on the way out to eat lunch with his buddies and just pay in cash.

I haven't read all the posts but if you got him to trade the truck in for the car it seems he is willing to compromise, now the big question is are you willing?

Fireball

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Re: When your anti-Mustachian SO makes more money
« Reply #40 on: July 18, 2016, 10:51:18 AM »
P.S. - Who cares if he makes more money than you? It's you're money too. You're married and all.

Ryan

Would you feel the same way if an unemployed partner had a shopping habit or went out for $5000 dollar lunches as well, while bringing in no income?

I did exactly that for 18 mos a few years ago, so yeah. I currently make $40k more than my wife each year and consider my money hers. 

SKL-HOU

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Re: When your anti-Mustachian SO makes more money
« Reply #41 on: July 18, 2016, 12:20:13 PM »
Holy shit this forum has gotten soft. The 1st generation of this forum would've done nothing but face-punch a ~$15/day lunch habit. Similar to the $5 coffee every morning...


Are those posters still around? Or did they all retire already? Or perhaps they no longer post because their SO got so fed up with their badgering that they strangled them, rolled their body in re-used trash bags, tossed them in the back of their rusty, cardboard covered hatchback, hypermiled them to the edge of town and lit the vehicle on fire (using a reusable fire starter, bought on sale, at goodwill, with a coupon) before walking home to clean up the mess with a homemade cleaning compound formulated from vinegar and tap water from the low-flow faucet?

:) that was a lot of detail :)

JustTrying

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Re: When your anti-Mustachian SO makes more money
« Reply #42 on: July 18, 2016, 01:44:12 PM »
This is tough. If only our spouses would just follow our directions! :) Doesn't he know that you're the boss???? I do understand the frustration, as this would drive me BONKERS. My husband and I have a strict $70 fun budget, so if he goes out to eat with his friends, it comes out of his individual fun budget. He's self-employed though, so sometimes he can argue that meals out were for business purposes, and there's not much that I can say to stop that!

I think it was really creative of you to try to compromise by making meals for him. My other ideas would be:
- Try to start compromising with 1-2 days per week of lunches brought from home, and he can go out with no complaints from you for the other 3-4 work days. Maybe he'd agree to that? It would at least be some movement towards compromise, and he might end up discovering that eating without his spendy friends isn't as bad as he thought it would be. If he'd agree to that, you could also keep track of how much this saves over the year, and allocate it towards investments and then watch it grow.
- See if there's a way he'd consider simply lowering the lunch bill in simple ways. For example, could he save $2 per day by getting water instead of a soft drink? Or agree to keep the bill below a certain amount? When I first met DH, he ate most of his meals at fast food restaurants (I know, gross), and I blew his mind by pointing out that instead of getting the $5-7 "extra value" meal, he could pick a bunch of stuff off the dollar menu and pay half the amount for a meal that was just as filling. Sometimes people just doing think of the simple stuff.

Good luck!

davef

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Re: When your anti-Mustachian SO makes more money
« Reply #43 on: August 01, 2016, 03:21:08 PM »
Wow. $5,000 annually for only lunch is *huge*, and on top of that eating out is very unhealthy.  Double whammy. However, your marriage is more important than early retirement, financial independence, paying off debt, etc. Don't lose sight of this.  It's difficult for even hardcore MMM'ers to let go of frivolous spending so don't badger him about it. Be the example. Set goals. Let him see your hard work. He will come around.

P.S. - Who cares if he makes more money than you? It's you're money too. You're married and all.

Ryan

Eating out is unhealthy?
Depends entirely on where you eat. If you are not a very good cook but can get a filling, healthy fresh lunch for $5-10 it can be both healthy and reasonably thrifty. After all I target 5$ or less on a healthy home made lunch but even that is sometimes hard.
For 3 years I ate lunch at a thai restaurant near my work almost every work day. Lunch specials were 3.95 (this was in 2002-2005) There were tons of non fried options, tons of veggies. My favorite was chicken breast/green beans/celery and cashews over rice.

nickybecky1

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Re: When your anti-Mustachian SO makes more money
« Reply #44 on: August 01, 2016, 03:37:04 PM »
I'm in this situation - my husband makes more money, is generally on board with a plan to retire early, and tends to each lunch out a lot. Part of this comes from the fact that he's been making more than me since before we met and had a habit of eating out a lot and he has access to lots of nice food trucks at work. We looked at lots of different spending and reducing that and aligning our goals and he was never interested in reducing food spending. I focused on reducing other things but was still frustrated that we spent so much on food. About a month ago, he went to a small MMM meet up with me and we met someone who said they'd thought they could retire in 5 years but are now thinking 2.5 after doing some more changes. We also read this book "Overwhelmed" about why people feel like they're not getting enough leisure time, and those two things seemed to have a big impact.

He came home from that pretty impressed, and the next time I said, "you know, I really feel like we're spending a kind of crazy amount on food" he suggested we organize a system to start taking lunches. It turned out a big barrier for him was the containers we had available for lunches, so we spent money getting some containers that would work well. We reduced our lunch spending significantly and that reduced our overall food spending by 20% in the first month (though we spent some money on containers - next month we won't have that cost). There's still room to improve there as we get more comfortable with our systems, and it's going to make a big difference.

I think all I'm saying is, maybe try to keep finding other ways to make little improvements and live with the lunch things for awhile, and it doesn't necessarily mean you have to live with it forever.

kitkat

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Re: When your anti-Mustachian SO makes more money
« Reply #45 on: August 01, 2016, 05:40:12 PM »
Firstly, just wanted to share this article. A little light-hearted perspective :)

Secondly,

P.S. - Who cares if he makes more money than you? It's you're money too. You're married and all.

Ryan

This is what I was thinking as I read each post that mentioned the earning discrepancy. It makes me sad to think that there is so much score-keeping going on, or that one spouse is considered more or less valuable due to their paycheck. If both spouses work hard at respectable jobs, that is all that matters, and if they don't then that is a separate discussion (e.g. the comment about an unemployed lazy spouse).

I may be more sensitive to this because I am in public service and firmly believe that a paycheck does not represent how hard someone does or does not work. Not to mention the amount of unpaid work and emotional labor females tend to do that often goes unnoticed (generalizing here).



use2betrix

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Re: When your anti-Mustachian SO makes more money
« Reply #46 on: August 01, 2016, 06:23:56 PM »
I would be far more concerned with the health aspect than the cost aspect. Even the "healthy" choices are usually cooked with tons of fatty butter and loaded with salt.

I wouldn't spend that and dread when the higher ups want to go to lunch. Partially due to the cost but also for health.

I spend far more on other stuff most here would deem "worthless" but to each their own.

Sounds like the lunch is his biggest vice, and in the grand scheme, it's a small one. Could be smoking or expensive vehicles... Or he could make 5k less...

Metric Mouse

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Re: When your anti-Mustachian SO makes more money
« Reply #47 on: August 01, 2016, 08:32:31 PM »
I'm in this situation - my husband makes more money, is generally on board with a plan to retire early, and tends to each lunch out a lot. Part of this comes from the fact that he's been making more than me since before we met and had a habit of eating out a lot and he has access to lots of nice food trucks at work. We looked at lots of different spending and reducing that and aligning our goals and he was never interested in reducing food spending. I focused on reducing other things but was still frustrated that we spent so much on food. About a month ago, he went to a small MMM meet up with me and we met someone who said they'd thought they could retire in 5 years but are now thinking 2.5 after doing some more changes. We also read this book "Overwhelmed" about why people feel like they're not getting enough leisure time, and those two things seemed to have a big impact.

He came home from that pretty impressed, and the next time I said, "you know, I really feel like we're spending a kind of crazy amount on food" he suggested we organize a system to start taking lunches. It turned out a big barrier for him was the containers we had available for lunches, so we spent money getting some containers that would work well. We reduced our lunch spending significantly and that reduced our overall food spending by 20% in the first month (though we spent some money on containers - next month we won't have that cost). There's still room to improve there as we get more comfortable with our systems, and it's going to make a big difference.

I think all I'm saying is, maybe try to keep finding other ways to make little improvements and live with the lunch things for awhile, and it doesn't necessarily mean you have to live with it forever.

This is epically awesome! Small changes can have a big impact on life. And with two committed partners working together, there is little that can't be accomplished. Congrats and good luck into the future!

hollyluja

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Re: When your anti-Mustachian SO makes more money
« Reply #48 on: August 02, 2016, 01:02:03 PM »
If nagging was going to work, it would probably have worked by now, no?

My husband has about a $5k/year habit as well that I wish he'd cut down on.  However, this is a 2nd marriage for both of us and.... it's just not worth it .  We're meeting our targets and have a reasonable FIRE date. 

The best advice I've seen on the subject: 
Quote
If you want to build a ship, donít drum up people together to collect wood and donít assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.Ė Antoine de Saint Exupery

Both personally and in convincing my husband to delay gratification, my best success has been from building a shared vision of the life we want.

Jrr85

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Re: When your anti-Mustachian SO makes more money
« Reply #49 on: August 02, 2016, 01:45:49 PM »
There have been a fair number of posts about convincing your SO to board the MMM train, but does anyone have suggestions when the spendy one is also the moneymaker? My spouse makes $105,000 a year and I make $70,000. We are currently in our late 20s and have been married for 3 years. I got into MMM a year ago and have since starting biking to work, sold half my shit on craigslist, bring my lunch to work every day, cut my own hair, etc. The hubs is fortunately not into fancy electronics or sports cars, but has the classic "I work hard to make money so I can enjoy life" response to my spending concerns, though I did convince him to ditch his truck for a Chevy Sonic hatchback this year (!!!).

My main concern at this point is that he goes out to lunch EVERY SINGLE DAY. And I am not talking about Taco Bell. I am talking actual sit down restaurants where he drops $12-$20 dollars. I showed him the Personal Capital pie chart of how much money this is adding up to. I tried making his lunches for him but he has a group of friends that go out together. He feels that he works hard at a job he doesn't really like and should get to eat whatever he wants for lunch as a consolation. I have a hard time arguing with this as he makes 50% more than me and has been earning longer (I went to law school while he worked). Any suggestions? Or am I overreacting?

I can offer some insight from his side.  I previously had a job that made me miserable where I made over twice what my spouse made.  I consistently spent more at dinner than my wife, with the basic justification of "I don't work this hard so that I can worry about how much an appetizer or another drink will cost" (or how much it costs to pay somebody to cut the yard; or go on this charter fishing trip; etc. etc.). 

If your husband is actually miserable at his job, the two of you need to get together and figure out another option; if he's like me, he will probably find that he will spend a lot less money working at a job he likes, so even a $15,000 paycut is relatively painless. 

If he's just not crazy about his job, and a nice lunch everyday makes his day better, I think the best you can do is show him what cutting it down to three days a week would do to your long term plans, and what cutting it out completely would do, and talk about how nice it would be for him to not have to work at a job he doesn't like, and then let him make his own decision.  The hard part will be to make sure it doesn't come off as nagging.  Really have to stress that he does more than his share financially (I'd probably even add in something about how much you appreciate him "letting" you work a job you like rather than expecting you to use your law degree to get a more stressful job and/or more hours so that you could make as much money as him), and you just want to make sure that he is getting the biggest bang for his buck so to say out of the time he is giving up at work.  You might want to even give him another spending option (say a couple of pretty big trips each year) so that he knows it's not just about you wanting to save the money.  If he still doesn't want to cut it out at that point, you just need to make peace with it.  Even if you knock $5k after tax off what he brings in, he's still doing his part.
« Last Edit: August 02, 2016, 01:47:29 PM by Jrr85 »