Author Topic: Wife not on board with FI. WTF...  (Read 22395 times)

ChpBstrd

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Wife not on board with FI. WTF...
« on: December 09, 2016, 09:28:36 AM »
So I discovered FI blogs like MMM about 10 months ago, did my own math, and realized that with a net worth of around 500k, the wife and I (ages 35 and 38 with one 2 year old kid) could FIRE comfortably in less than 10 years. I was ecstatic. I wanted to do whatever it takes to make that 7-8 years instead. Years of low-level frugality was going to pay off! Our dreams were within reach.

I excitedly showed the wife my forecasting spreadsheet, online calculators, and MMM posts. Somehow, she was unimpressed. I found even more stuff. Still skeptical. Finally, I took the lead and declared my intent for us to FIRE within 10 years. She accused me of becoming obsessed with unrealistic stories from the internet.

I asked if she disagreed with the math, and she said it was based on unrealistic assumptions such as a 7% ROI, health insurance being affordable, and $1.4-1.5M being enough to live on long-term. I addressed all these objections and yet she still looked at me like I had joined a cult (hmmm... the MMM logo working against me).

So here we are with incompatible life goals and a feeling that we are interfering with one another's well-being. She resents me groaning when a new $30 piece of "decor" arrives to clutter up our already-too-big house. She's irritated by my struggles not to resort to restaurant food when it's late and we're away from home. My few wins have been maxing out her 403 (b) and my 401 (k) deductions, maxing our Roth contributions, insulating the attic myself, keeping our 2 cars semi-frugal (5-6 year old subcompacts), carpooling when it's convenient, using a 2% cash back card, switching insurance and raising the deductibles, switching to an interest-paying free checking account, having a yard sale, vacationing frugally, using FSA's, and buying a little bit of baby stuff used instead of new. Setting the thermostat to 68 in the winter and 75 in the summer have started to become the norm. I've cancelled most of my hobbies.

Our burn rate decreased from $65k in 2015 to a projected $56k in 2016, but that's a long way from the $40-45k we need to target in order to FIRE on time. Our savings rate might hit 50% this year, but I would wish for 70%. We make a combined $120k per year. How hard can it friggin, be!!!?

The sites of the bleeding are lifestyle-related. Our (ahem...her) taste for premium groceries costs $6k/yr when it should be half that. We spent another $6k at restaurants. Several thousand more disappears into merchandise from Target, Amazon, etc. some of which is somewhat necessary so it's hard to judge.

If we could cut these bad habits, our spending would drop into mustache land (adjusting for day care, commuting, and other costs of being employed). We could avoid a couple YEARS of labor EACH of we were just a little tighter. She won't even look at the math.

The wife literally says "not worth it".

Oh, and he hates her job too.

W. T. F. I've done the analysis work and brought a solution on a silver platter. It's not like I'm asking her to sacrifice to support my expensive hobby. I'M INVITING HER TO BECOME A MILLIONAIRE WITH ME AND SHE SAYS NO THANKS!!! Is that reasonable?

For the $35 copays, a few months of counseling seemed a wise investment. Among other issues, my FIRE goals came up, but the counselor is a normal consumer sucka who doesn't see that as plausible either (she tries to be respectful, but I can tell).

The wife and I are out of sync. Divorce would set back my personal FIRE goals by at least another 5 years, and be miserable, so I won't even contemplate that. In fact, I must actively avoid it or most of my dreams fall apart. I see 2 realistic options:

1) PASSIVE: Accept that I'm on the slow boat to FIRE and try not to resent the years of extra labor. Don't rock the boat or come across as some sort of extremist, just let the maxed-out retirement accounts to their work in the background. Stop talking about money so much, but use my role as family CFO to quietly guide us to FIRE in 10-12 years. Don't risk the marriage over milking out another $5k/yr savings.

2) ACTIVE: Keep hammering our wasteful finances. Keep trying to get the wife onboard with FI. Yes, it'll be hard and yes, it'll involve some argument, but we're talking about preventing 2-5 years of wage slavery! Keep putting those quarterly mint.com reports on her pillow. Set strict budgets.

Which path would you take? I wonder how hard I can pull before the strong breaks?

KCM5

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Re: Wife not on board with FI. WTF...
« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2016, 09:53:04 AM »
1) PASSIVE: Accept that I'm on the slow boat to FIRE and try not to resent the years of extra labor. Don't rock the boat or come across as some sort of extremist, just let the maxed-out retirement accounts to their work in the background. Stop talking about money so much, but use my role as family CFO to quietly guide us to FIRE in 10-12 years. Don't risk the marriage over milking out another $5k/yr savings.

2) ACTIVE: Keep hammering our wasteful finances. Keep trying to get the wife onboard with FI. Yes, it'll be hard and yes, it'll involve some argument, but we're talking about preventing 2-5 years of wage slavery! Keep putting those quarterly mint.com reports on her pillow. Set strict budgets.

Which path would you take? I wonder how hard I can pull before the strong breaks?


I'd lay off for a while. You're saving 50% of your income. Keep doing what you're doing, keep the savings where they are. Maybe increase them incrementally but telling your wife that your $500/month grocery bill should be slashed in half is probably not helpful. Do your best to keep spending down, such as ensuring that you have freezer meals when you don't feel like cooking ($500/mo at restaurants!?). But let her get comfortable with your mostly current spending/lifestyle. Once she sees that it's comfortable, she could be more amenable to the FIRE talk.

Here's a long thread about how to get your spouse on board: http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/welcome-to-the-forum/how-do-you-get-your-spouse-on-board/


Slee_stack

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Re: Wife not on board with FI. WTF...
« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2016, 09:54:18 AM »
Admittedly, you sound overzealous.  Its a my way or the highway mentality.  I'd take offense at that too.

Marriage is compromise.  That means you probably won't get your way if its important you stay married.

Its concerning when you say you've quit all your hobbies.  Why?  Just to reach an earlier FI date?  Sheesh.  That sounds depressing.  Life is just as much the journey as the goal.  Many would say its MORE about the former.

Anyway, if you value your marriage, you'll reign your obsession in.  And yes, its an obsession.

Life is not suddenly over because of several add'l years of 'wage slavery'.

Heroes821

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Re: Wife not on board with FI. WTF...
« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2016, 09:54:36 AM »
As someone who might be in a very similar life situation as you are explaining with my new wife... I hear you. That being said there is a sticky in here about slowly getting your SO on board with FIRE. All the numbers work, all your arguments are solid to you. But she is going to need proof that frugality is not deprivation. That a $30 dollar nick nack is not just $30 but is an entire (making this up) month of work over the next decade in lost returns.  Slow and steady and lead by example.

Also venting here is always cathartic.

Blonde Lawyer

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Re: Wife not on board with FI. WTF...
« Reply #4 on: December 09, 2016, 09:55:03 AM »
Dude.  You have to scale way back.  We each get to decide how we live our lives.  Some people see others dying young and don't want to take the risk to save now enjoy later.  It doesn't sound like your wife is a total consumer sucka.  It sounds like she doesn't want to go 100% all in with you.  There is middle ground and balance too. I don't have a lot of time or I would write more.  If you don't want to end up divorced, lay off your wife.  I don't like your "household CFO" attitude. It could be just the tone of your post but you shouldn't be the boss of your wife telling her what to do.  The two of you need to work out a plan together that works for both of you.  Don't be a bully. Now, if she has said "I don't want to think about money, here you deal with it" I guess that's a different circumstance.  You even said your wife also works.  I think she has a say either way but from her perspective, she's working for her money too and she can spend it how she sees fit.

What if you divide up all of your expenses and figure out what portion each of you are responsible for.  She can work to cover hers.  You can save and invest to cover yours.

charis

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Re: Wife not on board with FI. WTF...
« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2016, 09:58:22 AM »
I discovered MMM a few years ago and my husband knows that I follow it and we have shared goals for savings and paying off our debt.  But we have never actually discussed RE, so I don't know even what his thoughts are on that.   

You are at a 50% SR and talking divorce after 10 months of discovering this?  That's crazy.  You need to take a step back, possibly pursue individual therapy, and examine how you might be contributing to the untenable dynamic in your marriage.  Math isn't everything.  Also, there are many people who retire before their spouses.

tweezers

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Re: Wife not on board with FI. WTF...
« Reply #6 on: December 09, 2016, 10:06:12 AM »
Dude.  You have to scale way back.  We each get to decide how we live our lives.  Some people see others dying young and don't want to take the risk to save now enjoy later.  It doesn't sound like your wife is a total consumer sucka.  It sounds like she doesn't want to go 100% all in with you.  There is middle ground and balance too. I don't have a lot of time or I would write more.  If you don't want to end up divorced, lay off your wife.  I don't like your "household CFO" attitude. It could be just the tone of your post but you shouldn't be the boss of your wife telling her what to do.  The two of you need to work out a plan together that works for both of you.  Don't be a bully. Now, if she has said "I don't want to think about money, here you deal with it" I guess that's a different circumstance.  You even said your wife also works.  I think she has a say either way but from her perspective, she's working for her money too and she can spend it how she sees fit.

What if you divide up all of your expenses and figure out what portion each of you are responsible for.  She can work to cover hers.  You can save and invest to cover yours.

This.  If your post is anything like you sound in real life, your wife might divorce you.  Take a deep breath and following your own suggestion: "Don't risk the marriage over milking out another $5k/yr savings."

elaine amj

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Re: Wife not on board with FI. WTF...
« Reply #7 on: December 09, 2016, 10:19:41 AM »
Divorce would set back my personal FIRE goals by at least another 5 years, and be miserable, so I won't even contemplate that. In fact, I must actively avoid it or most of my dreams fall apart.

Keep reminding yourself of this.

Honestly - is a couple of years of extra work REALLY worth this?

My husband and I consider ourselves to have an amazing marriage and to be very financially compatible. That said, even after years of planning for FIRE, I have no idea if they will become a reality according to my plans. Pretty sure my husband is going to push hard for One More Year for a while. And there is NO WAY we will FIRE without his 100% agreement. This is a joint decision that affects the both of us and we will BOTH be making the decision together.

If I had my way, we'd cut our expenses back and FIRE right now. But DH is really, really into eating out a lot right now. In fact, we had a long conversation about it late last night. He was diagnosed with cancer early this year and is in remission right now. Since that is over, I thought our spending would return to more normal levels. Last night, he told me he REALLY wants to keep on eating out more (1-2x a week or more!!) and "enjoying life". I was rather blunt lol and asked him why he couldn't find free ways to enjoy life. That said, if this is what he really wants to do, then I will suck it up and go with it (even though I'm going to keep campaigning for FIRE!). It's worth it to make him happy.

I would suggest that rather than just a straight shot to FIRE, which is what YOU have decided will make YOU happy - you have to also consider what will make your WIFE happy. And it sounds like she considers FIRE a)an exercise in deprivation (sounds like that's what you are showing her it is by cutting back on everything she enjoys) and b)an impossible dream (i.e. she doesn't trust your numbers and doesn't feel secure).

Don't forget...the need for security is a pretty tangible thing. Doing "what everyone else does" does offer a feeling of security. I know that even though DH trusts me, he doesn't entirely trust FIRE math. I'm also still working on him to trust the whole Couch Potato investing thing - he'd MUCH prefer to go back to Edward Jones and the like and jump on funds that show a nice big green return percentage. He is NOT happy with the performance of our ETF funds over the past year.

Ultimately, what is the most important factor behind your FIRE goals? An extra $5k savings a year? Or a strong marriage? I'd suggest you let FIRE talk slide for now and focus on your marriage. Keep telling your wife how amazing she is, find all the wonderful things you love about her and focus on those. 
« Last Edit: December 09, 2016, 10:25:38 AM by elaine amj »

ketchup

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Re: Wife not on board with FI. WTF...
« Reply #8 on: December 09, 2016, 10:20:22 AM »
I'll agree with the general sentiment so far.  Sure, saving 70% is better than saving 50%, but it's not like your hair is on fire.  You're already doing the broad strokes "correctly"; everything beyond is minutia.

Reel it in a bit with your wife, enjoy your 50% savings rate, see your goal get closer, and maybe focus on more incremental change.  Don't be rash to point out everything as ridiculous (as brash as MMM can be on his blog, he's preaching to the choir and he knows it, so it works), pick your battles where they matter the most.  Maybe reframe some of them.  If you eat out less, you can eat healthier food more often at home for a double win.  That sort of thing.  Play to her values too (you said she likes "premium" groceries), don't just rehash your own.

Find ways to accomplish what she wants in a cheaper manner (and be willing to put in the legwork yourself). 

If she likes those "premium" groceries, find staples on sale and stock up.  Maybe a chest freezer to store on-sale meat?  Show that you're willing to spend money to save money (initial cost of $x, operating cost of $y, but saving us $z/year), you're not just a no-spending-nazi but pragmatically trying to improve your long-term future together.

If she likes to shop on Amazon, maybe introduce her to tools like Camelcamelcamel price tracking.  That can help her make sure she's getting a "deal" on whatever she's buying, but the secret secondary effect is that doing that could potentially curb impulse-buying.

And do lead by example.  But you seem to already be doing that.

Work with her, not at her.

Quote
My few wins have been maxing out her 403 (b) and my 401 (k) deductions, maxing our Roth contributions, insulating the attic myself, keeping our 2 cars semi-frugal (5-6 year old subcompacts), carpooling when it's convenient, using a 2% cash back card, switching insurance and raising the deductibles, switching to an interest-paying free checking account, having a yard sale, vacationing frugally, using FSA's, and buying a little bit of baby stuff used instead of new. Setting the thermostat to 68 in the winter and 75 in the summer have started to become the norm.
Far from "a few wins" dude.  You're ahead of 99% of the population right there. 

Maybe not 99th percentile Mustachian or by whatever extreme measuring stick you find yourself using when reading about this stuff all the time (your wife does not), but you're already doing it "right."

Quote
I've cancelled most of my hobbies.
Careful there.  Depending on how expensive your hobbies are, that could be throwing the baby out with the bathwater.  You don't want to resent your wife because you quit something you love to save a few bucks and she might "fritter away" more than that on something you view as "useless."  Or, maybe find new hobbies that make you a little money, or least end up free/break even.

To paraphrase Del Griffith: Like financial independence, love your wife.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2016, 10:28:21 AM by ketchup »

Hoosier Daddy

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Re: Wife not on board with FI. WTF...
« Reply #9 on: December 09, 2016, 10:20:42 AM »
My fiancÚ was originally really opposed to the idea but she is now 100% for it... What worked for me was: I got her to watch MMM's World Domination Summit video, and that made a lot of sense to her, and got her really excited. I then explained that if you look at our expense categories on a pie chart, really only Housing, Transportation and food matter in terms of making a difference (its not like she is going to wear battered clothes and have a horrible existence). Thus I said, we are two people with no kids, we don't need a huge house, and she agreed. I said we can live close to work to cut down on transportation, which she was fine with. And then I started cooking meals at home to show her that we were eating higher quality food for less money, which got her on that bandwagon as well. The cherry on top was showing her how much money she had wasted in taxes over the years by not maxing her 401k. (And yes it is a tax savings because we would have paid taxes in a higher bracket than we will pull out the money in retirement).

Anyway, I wouldn't be overly persistent but you need to be the change agent. Take the initiative to cook the meals yourself. The change formula is: Dissatisfaction with current state + Vision for First Steps + Vision of a potential better future state > Resistance. Lower resistance by taking the initiative to do some of the cooking etc. on the front-end while casually mentioning your vision for a better future state, providing first steps, etc. Sometimes what we value differs from what other people... I find that her and I want to retire early, but for completely different reasons. When I tried to tell her why I wanted to retire early she thought it was the stupidest idea she had ever heard. Mr. MMM on stage for 20 minutes however really spoke to her!

neo von retorch

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Re: Wife not on board with FI. WTF...
« Reply #10 on: December 09, 2016, 10:24:35 AM »
...My few wins have been maxing out her 403 (b) and my 401 (k) deductions, maxing our Roth contributions, insulating the attic myself, keeping our 2 cars semi-frugal (5-6 year old subcompacts), carpooling when it's convenient, using a 2% cash back card, switching insurance and raising the deductibles, switching to an interest-paying free checking account, having a yard sale, vacationing frugally, using FSA's, and buying a little bit of baby stuff used instead of new. Setting the thermostat to 68 in the winter and 75 in the summer have started to become the norm. I've cancelled most of my hobbies.
...
few wins ... ? You've made huge leaps in 10 months. Take her out to a restaurant to celebrate ;) (I jest!)

But seriously, she clearly isn't motivated by spreadsheets and math (only weirdos like you and me are!) What IS she motivated by? As you said, she hates her job. What else doesn't she like? What does she like?

You're talking about balance; shifting the balance from spending now that probably doesn't provide much joy towards having the money to spend on freedom 8-10 years from now, which will provide a certain joy (at least to you - what would her life look like if she really didn't have to work if she chose not to?) Instead of preaching and marketing and selling, ask her questions and actually listen. Figure out her motivations and joys in life.

AZDude

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Re: Wife not on board with FI. WTF...
« Reply #11 on: December 09, 2016, 10:30:49 AM »
Do you have kids?

If not, the easy thing to do is separate out your finances. This is not something I normally suggest, since I'm firmly in the "combined finances for committed couples" camp, but it could save your marriage.

Then you divide the "needs" expenses in half, and each of you can spend your money however you want. You can save and retire early. She can spend and work until 67 years old. Everyone wins... I guess.

Anyway, if you do this, be careful. The idea is to reduce arguments over money, so you suggesting you should only pay $50 a month in groceries is going to cause more headache. And no one wants to start labeling stuff in the fridge, etc...

MrsDinero

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Re: Wife not on board with FI. WTF...
« Reply #12 on: December 09, 2016, 10:45:27 AM »
So let me get this straight.  Your wife has voluntarily reduced the household overall spending (with you) by $9k this year alone and you're upset that it is not enough to meet the deadline that you and you alone dictated to her? 

This type of post pops up on the fourums ALL. THE. TIME.

It is a common complaint for people who just discovered MMM.  Someone already pointed out there is a thread that gives steps on how to convince your spouse to the MMM way of thinking.

Just by what you listed of the cuts you two have made, your wife is already open to it, you're just not paying attention. 

If she wasn't open to it, she would be turning up the thermostat after you lower it.  She would be buying brand new baby stuff all the time instead of some used items.

You're not going to convince her with spreadsheet, however you can convince her that a more frugal life is achievable without that much effort. 

I'm not sure if you do the grocery shopping but if you aren't then start there.  Look to reduce your grocery bill.  If you know you and your wife will be home late, head off the argument about a restaurant by having thing either in the crockpot already or already prepped so you can cook it when you get home. 

There are a lot of ways you can show her how easy it is.

ETA:  When she talks about her concerns, do not dismiss them by showing her another blog post about how some guy in Colorado did it.  Instead ask her to open up about her concerns and try to come up with ways to the two of you can alleviate those concerns as a team.

« Last Edit: December 09, 2016, 10:48:58 AM by MrsDinero »

sol

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Re: Wife not on board with FI. WTF...
« Reply #13 on: December 09, 2016, 11:12:12 AM »
I'm one of the more hardcore ER advocates here, but I would happily and without hesitation work until age 65 if that's what my wife wanted.  Nothing is more important than my marriage, including my financial goals.

englishteacheralex

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Re: Wife not on board with FI. WTF...
« Reply #14 on: December 09, 2016, 11:23:56 AM »
This post almost seems like trolling. Your comment about divorce is depressing and revealing. The only reason you don't want to get divorced is because it'll set back your FIRE dreams? Seriously? That's what your marriage is worth to you?

This is a case of highly distorted priorities. Do you love your wife? Value her companionship and her role as the mother of your children? Value the committed relationship that you have built with her over years--something irreplaceable?

If my husband posted something like this on an internet forum I would feel betrayed and unloved. I was single from age 21-32 and am now very happily married--I can tell you that although I was a happy single person, I thank my husband for marrying me every single day, and not because of our finances (which are admittedly very good) but because he cares for me and I treasure our relationship and do not take it for granted.

Money and early retirement aren't everything. 'Tis the season: maybe it's time for you to read "A Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens.

tonysemail

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Re: Wife not on board with FI. WTF...
« Reply #15 on: December 09, 2016, 11:27:21 AM »
Celebrate your victories, you cheap bastard! ;)

mxt0133

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Re: Wife not on board with FI. WTF...
« Reply #16 on: December 09, 2016, 11:34:05 AM »
I'm one of the more hardcore ER advocates here, but I would happily and without hesitation work until age 65 if that's what my wife wanted.  Nothing is more important than my marriage, including my financial goals.

WOW Sol!  I didn't know you were an old softy on the inside.

To the OP.  I was were you were about 2 years ago when I really jumped on the FIRE wagon.  I had to learn the hard way that I could not dictate what was important to my wife and make her behave a certain way.  That what I get for being a programmer.

So after a year of two of just focusing on what I can control and give suggestions and alternatives to my wife without ordering.  We have come a long way from our spendy ways.   Just yesterday after driving home from the Zoo, it was a free day for SF residents, she took out a towel from the car and started wiping it down.  She said, "I love it when it rains, free car wash!".  That just put the biggest smile on my face.  I would have never expected that from her just two years ago.

Don't be pushy but don't give up on the FIRE dream either, focus on what you can control and hopefully they will also see the value in your actions and join you.

Good luck.

soupcxan

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Re: Wife not on board with FI. WTF...
« Reply #17 on: December 09, 2016, 11:47:54 AM »
she said it was based on unrealistic assumptions such as a 7% ROI, health insurance being affordable, and $1.4-1.5M being enough to live on long-term.

Sorry but I'm with your wife. With the ACA going away, how is $1.5M enough for a family of three to retire at 45 in the US when you have to buy your own insurance with no subsidy?

pbkmaine

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Wife not on board with FI. WTF...
« Reply #18 on: December 09, 2016, 11:49:01 AM »
Agree with all that has been said above. My husband was never into FIRE. He retired at 64 with a nice retirement package. Because he knew FI was important to me, however, he did contribute the max to his retirement plan and put money from every paycheck into additional savings. In return, we set aside what he calls a "slush fund". That's money he gets to spend on anything he wants, no questions asked from me. The slush fund has had an interesting psychological effect on him. Because it's there, he's quite reluctant to spend it.

I don't like eating out. He does. What I have learned to do is cook his favorite restaurant meals at home. So we eat out less. When we travel, I have a cooler in the back packed with cheese sticks, celery, pretzels,carrots and apples.

It's all about compromise. It sounds like she's made plenty. Now it's your turn.

Khaetra

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Re: Wife not on board with FI. WTF...
« Reply #19 on: December 09, 2016, 12:07:10 PM »
I'm with the 'chill dude' crowd.  You've made some progress, but to keep pushing her when she's not willing could very well find you in front of a judge telling you to pay her half.  You found something new and exciting (MMM) and want to dive in head first.  She's not ready for that giant leap and you need to understand that.  Add in a baby (either on the way or just born, you didn't state which) and it's already a new world, one which she already has (or will have) her hands full, emotions are high and the last thing she needs is a partner pushing for her to change everything even more than it already is.

sol

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Re: Wife not on board with FI. WTF...
« Reply #20 on: December 09, 2016, 12:24:07 PM »
I didn't know you were an old softy on the inside.

I don't think you need to be a softy to recognize that there are more important things in life than money, and there are certainly more important things in life than having so much money that you can goof off for the rest of your life.

Money is a means to an end.  We try to trade it for happiness, which requires that you value the happiness more then you value the ability to buy happiness.  I know lots of very miserable rich people, and for many of them the root of their misery is relationship problems brought on by having too much money.  I want to shake them and scream "you're doing it wrong!"

Bee21

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Re: Wife not on board with FI. WTF...
« Reply #21 on: December 09, 2016, 12:49:14 PM »
Dude, you don't give your wife the credit she deserves. It's hard to live with a cheap bastard. It's a horrible existence when every purchase you make is scrutinised and you are ridiculed all the time for your spendind decisions. I used to live with a cheap bastard and it was not fun.

At every 30 $ amazon purchase she makes, i give you permission to think of my husbands 55k truck. That should make you feel better. And we can still retire in 10 years 😈

Chill. And be nice to the wife. Having his and hers spending money should help in your situation.

teen persuasion

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Re: Wife not on board with FI. WTF...
« Reply #22 on: December 09, 2016, 01:16:46 PM »
Passive - just stop pushing it.  Keep on as you are now, look for more efficiencies that YOU can implement without hassling your wife about it, as other have suggested.

My DH has no interest in finances, doesn't think about money, says money isn't real.  Ok, so I'm happy to take on our finances, but I was SAHM for nearly 20 years.  If I wanted 401k savings, I had to convince him to sign up.  When they cut the match (which convinced him to sign up) he wanted to stop contributing.  I did the number crunching and tweaked his withholdings to double his 401k contributions but keep the take home pretty much the same (to make the change painless).  When we paid off the student loans, I got him to increase the contributions, doubling them again.  Little bumps, made them as painless as possible, did the legwork myself, chose my timing (not constant badgering, just when an opportunity presented itself), and put a positive spin on it for him (not me, or FI).

I worked on several fronts at the same time.  I found ways to pay down our mortgage early (it was an ugly 9.75%).  When that was gone, it was time for a big bump in retirement savings; the previous gradual doubles had lowered his knee-jerk resistance, and we compromised.  He wanted to stop teaching summer school, cutting our income, but without a mortgage we could still afford to put 50% into his 401k.  Our even lower AGI resulted in large refundable tax credits, so I began funding Roth IRAs with those (previously they had been big chunks paying down the mortgage).  I kept learning and quietly optimizing, while DH scoffed at the idea of ever retiring.  I would occasionally talk about interesting new ideas I'd read on MMM, he jokingly poohpoohed it as impossible; it was a running joke between us.

Then, one day when he was really fed up with his job he had a paradigm shift and asked me seriously if RE was really possible.  We weren't there yet, but we're at the FU money stage.  If he really wanted to quit and pursue something else he could.  He also had a pile of sick leave and PTO time accrued.  In the past he wouldn't have even bothered to value that, too much trouble to pursue, but now he checked all the rules & asked all the questions needed to get as much $ as possible.  He had me figure how to take the payout to minimize taxes (we nearly maxed his 401k for the year, leaving a bit of space to capture a new employer match, and split up payments). It was enough to cover expenses for the rest of the year.

So he's come around, not a full convert, but happy to take advantage when it works in his favor.  He still jokes when a retirement account statement comes in the mail -"Here's YOUR money", but he's content to let me make my plans as long as I don't hassle him too much about costs. 

Drop the lectures and preaching, the hard sell won't work in your favor.  Just maintain momentum quietly.  If a great opportunity presents itself, then negotiate benefits for both of you (more savings for you, ?? for wife).

 

mm1970

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Re: Wife not on board with FI. WTF...
« Reply #23 on: December 09, 2016, 01:20:36 PM »
I agree with most everyone else.

And $6k a year on groceries isn't so much "premium", depending on where you live.  I work HARD on my grocery bill and we are over that for a family of 4.

ChpBstrd

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Re: Wife not on board with FI. WTF...
« Reply #24 on: December 09, 2016, 01:23:59 PM »
Thanks for slapping me around a little bit, everyone. <--Honestly! The consensus has been received. I can see a few things to clear up:

-My language here is a LOT more coarse than I would actually use with the wife. I'm absolutely venting my frustration. So maybe the question is how to deal with frustration when one's spouse is only willing to walk to FI and you want to run.

-The divorce comment was intended to head off that suggestion from commentors, not equate the value of my marriage with my FI goals. That said, the wife and I are not as close as either of us would like for non financial reasons, hence the investment in counseling (my idea).

-Yes, my little wins are all good, and I do congratulate my wife and myself. But keep in mind we're still spending/bleeding $57k a year. And that's in a small city in the deep South where the median income is like $28k and we're pulling in $120k (perhaps temporarily). In California, this same luxury lifestyle would cost around $100-200k a year. So no, not even with an almost 50% savings rate do we deserve to be called mustachian.

-We do have a 2 year old, and the cancellation of most hobbies is more a result of the kid and my shift to being a highly involved, contributing dad than my cheap bastardom. I found MMM at a time when I had lost every last bit of free time or ability to direct my own life. Boom. There's the light at the end of the tunnel. Boom. New life missions: raise kid, retire young.

-As mentioned above, maybe this post is about learning to deal with my own impatience and frustration, rather than getting the wife to agree upon a life mission together. Yes, we have it relatively good among the wage slaves, but I'm watching beautiful days go by from an office window. I'm looking back at 2009 and the index fund investments that would have made me already FI. I'm seeing every restaurant meal as a setback, and the reason I can't have my life back from work. Shit. 10 more years? Then I do the typical human thing and look for a scapegoat: I have to live with two more years of work because my spouse thinks Etsy crap is cute?

englishteacheralex

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Re: Wife not on board with FI. WTF...
« Reply #25 on: December 09, 2016, 01:24:45 PM »
Passive - just stop pushing it.  Keep on as you are now, look for more efficiencies that YOU can implement without hassling your wife about it, as other have suggested.

My DH has no interest in finances, doesn't think about money, says money isn't real.  Ok, so I'm happy to take on our finances, but I was SAHM for nearly 20 years.  If I wanted 401k savings, I had to convince him to sign up.  When they cut the match (which convinced him to sign up) he wanted to stop contributing.  I did the number crunching and tweaked his withholdings to double his 401k contributions but keep the take home pretty much the same (to make the change painless).  When we paid off the student loans, I got him to increase the contributions, doubling them again.  Little bumps, made them as painless as possible, did the legwork myself, chose my timing (not constant badgering, just when an opportunity presented itself), and put a positive spin on it for him (not me, or FI).

I worked on several fronts at the same time.  I found ways to pay down our mortgage early (it was an ugly 9.75%).  When that was gone, it was time for a big bump in retirement savings; the previous gradual doubles had lowered his knee-jerk resistance, and we compromised.  He wanted to stop teaching summer school, cutting our income, but without a mortgage we could still afford to put 50% into his 401k.  Our even lower AGI resulted in large refundable tax credits, so I began funding Roth IRAs with those (previously they had been big chunks paying down the mortgage).  I kept learning and quietly optimizing, while DH scoffed at the idea of ever retiring.  I would occasionally talk about interesting new ideas I'd read on MMM, he jokingly poohpoohed it as impossible; it was a running joke between us.

Then, one day when he was really fed up with his job he had a paradigm shift and asked me seriously if RE was really possible.  We weren't there yet, but we're at the FU money stage.  If he really wanted to quit and pursue something else he could.  He also had a pile of sick leave and PTO time accrued.  In the past he wouldn't have even bothered to value that, too much trouble to pursue, but now he checked all the rules & asked all the questions needed to get as much $ as possible.  He had me figure how to take the payout to minimize taxes (we nearly maxed his 401k for the year, leaving a bit of space to capture a new employer match, and split up payments). It was enough to cover expenses for the rest of the year.

So he's come around, not a full convert, but happy to take advantage when it works in his favor.  He still jokes when a retirement account statement comes in the mail -"Here's YOUR money", but he's content to let me make my plans as long as I don't hassle him too much about costs. 

Drop the lectures and preaching, the hard sell won't work in your favor.  Just maintain momentum quietly.  If a great opportunity presents itself, then negotiate benefits for both of you (more savings for you, ?? for wife).

This is pretty mature, saintly behavior on your part. I hope he appreciates you.

ChpBstrd

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Re: Wife not on board with FI. WTF...
« Reply #26 on: December 09, 2016, 01:31:48 PM »
Also, my comment about being the family CFO was based on the role I have assumed due to my wife's lack of interest in the subject. When we were dating, I found a pile of almost-overdue utility bills as I was clearing papers off the coffee table so we could eat. Yea, I'll take care of that for us. :)

Heroes821

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Re: Wife not on board with FI. WTF...
« Reply #27 on: December 09, 2016, 01:33:38 PM »
I'm seeing every restaurant meal as a setback, and the reason I can't have my life back from work. Shit. 10 more years? Then I do the typical human thing and look for a scapegoat: I have to live with two more years of work because my spouse thinks Etsy crap is cute?

I really appreciate this thread Cheap, I was chuckling about it earlier today because I've been dealing with similar hurdles and then when I went to lunch I got a text about ordering take out tonight because the wife is too tired to cook.  (This is legitimate we just got married and moved across the country for work so she's at home all day with 2 kids cleaning and unpacking an entire house and hurt her back moving furniture upstairs alone instead of waiting for me). My answer, I'll cook tonight no big deal, time to make some homemade pizza dough and then the kids have a blast decorating their own pizza's while the wife relaxes from doing house work all week.  Money saved, wife happy and eating what she wanted to order for dinner, kiddos pacified and we all WIN!

As far as Etsy goes, good luck there. Baby steps.

ChpBstrd

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Re: Wife not on board with FI. WTF...
« Reply #28 on: December 09, 2016, 01:44:03 PM »
Passive - just stop pushing it.  Keep on as you are now, look for more efficiencies that YOU can implement without hassling your wife about it, as other have suggested.

My DH has no interest in finances, doesn't think about money, says money isn't real.  Ok, so I'm happy to take on our finances, but I was SAHM for nearly 20 years.  If I wanted 401k savings, I had to convince him to sign up.  When they cut the match (which convinced him to sign up) he wanted to stop contributing.  I did the number crunching and tweaked his withholdings to double his 401k contributions but keep the take home pretty much the same (to make the change painless).  When we paid off the student loans, I got him to increase the contributions, doubling them again.  Little bumps, made them as painless as possible, did the legwork myself, chose my timing (not constant badgering, just when an opportunity presented itself), and put a positive spin on it for him (not me, or FI).

I worked on several fronts at the same time.  I found ways to pay down our mortgage early (it was an ugly 9.75%).  When that was gone, it was time for a big bump in retirement savings; the previous gradual doubles had lowered his knee-jerk resistance, and we compromised.  He wanted to stop teaching summer school, cutting our income, but without a mortgage we could still afford to put 50% into his 401k.  Our even lower AGI resulted in large refundable tax credits, so I began funding Roth IRAs with those (previously they had been big chunks paying down the mortgage).  I kept learning and quietly optimizing, while DH scoffed at the idea of ever retiring.  I would occasionally talk about interesting new ideas I'd read on MMM, he jokingly poohpoohed it as impossible; it was a running joke between us.

Then, one day when he was really fed up with his job he had a paradigm shift and asked me seriously if RE was really possible.  We weren't there yet, but we're at the FU money stage.  If he really wanted to quit and pursue something else he could.  He also had a pile of sick leave and PTO time accrued.  In the past he wouldn't have even bothered to value that, too much trouble to pursue, but now he checked all the rules & asked all the questions needed to get as much $ as possible.  He had me figure how to take the payout to minimize taxes (we nearly maxed his 401k for the year, leaving a bit of space to capture a new employer match, and split up payments). It was enough to cover expenses for the rest of the year.

So he's come around, not a full convert, but happy to take advantage when it works in his favor.  He still jokes when a retirement account statement comes in the mail -"Here's YOUR money", but he's content to let me make my plans as long as I don't hassle him too much about costs. 

Drop the lectures and preaching, the hard sell won't work in your favor.  Just maintain momentum quietly.  If a great opportunity presents itself, then negotiate benefits for both of you (more savings for you, ?? for wife).

Great story. I guess the passive approach can work! Thanks for this.

teen persuasion

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Re: Wife not on board with FI. WTF...
« Reply #29 on: December 09, 2016, 01:46:01 PM »
Passive - just stop pushing it.  Keep on as you are now, look for more efficiencies that YOU can implement without hassling your wife about it, as other have suggested.

My DH has no interest in finances, doesn't think about money, says money isn't real.  Ok, so I'm happy to take on our finances, but I was SAHM for nearly 20 years.  If I wanted 401k savings, I had to convince him to sign up.  When they cut the match (which convinced him to sign up) he wanted to stop contributing.  I did the number crunching and tweaked his withholdings to double his 401k contributions but keep the take home pretty much the same (to make the change painless).  When we paid off the student loans, I got him to increase the contributions, doubling them again.  Little bumps, made them as painless as possible, did the legwork myself, chose my timing (not constant badgering, just when an opportunity presented itself), and put a positive spin on it for him (not me, or FI).

I worked on several fronts at the same time.  I found ways to pay down our mortgage early (it was an ugly 9.75%).  When that was gone, it was time for a big bump in retirement savings; the previous gradual doubles had lowered his knee-jerk resistance, and we compromised.  He wanted to stop teaching summer school, cutting our income, but without a mortgage we could still afford to put 50% into his 401k.  Our even lower AGI resulted in large refundable tax credits, so I began funding Roth IRAs with those (previously they had been big chunks paying down the mortgage).  I kept learning and quietly optimizing, while DH scoffed at the idea of ever retiring.  I would occasionally talk about interesting new ideas I'd read on MMM, he jokingly poohpoohed it as impossible; it was a running joke between us.

Then, one day when he was really fed up with his job he had a paradigm shift and asked me seriously if RE was really possible.  We weren't there yet, but we're at the FU money stage.  If he really wanted to quit and pursue something else he could.  He also had a pile of sick leave and PTO time accrued.  In the past he wouldn't have even bothered to value that, too much trouble to pursue, but now he checked all the rules & asked all the questions needed to get as much $ as possible.  He had me figure how to take the payout to minimize taxes (we nearly maxed his 401k for the year, leaving a bit of space to capture a new employer match, and split up payments). It was enough to cover expenses for the rest of the year.

So he's come around, not a full convert, but happy to take advantage when it works in his favor.  He still jokes when a retirement account statement comes in the mail -"Here's YOUR money", but he's content to let me make my plans as long as I don't hassle him too much about costs. 

Drop the lectures and preaching, the hard sell won't work in your favor.  Just maintain momentum quietly.  If a great opportunity presents itself, then negotiate benefits for both of you (more savings for you, ?? for wife).

This is pretty mature, saintly behavior on your part. I hope he appreciates you.

Ha, saintly behavior! Not sure those are the words he'd use - cheap bastard might be closer to his opinion.  Have to run a tight ship, financially, with 5 kids and one low income.  Now one and a half income, largely stuffed into investments.

But, yes, he appreciates me and realizes we live a pretty comfortable life due to my math fluency and my tight financial ship.

AZDude

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Re: Wife not on board with FI. WTF...
« Reply #30 on: December 09, 2016, 01:48:54 PM »
Quote
-We do have a 2 year old, and the cancellation of most hobbies is more a result of the kid and my shift to being a highly involved, contributing dad than my cheap bastardom. I found MMM at a time when I had lost every last bit of free time or ability to direct my own life. Boom. There's the light at the end of the tunnel. Boom. New life missions: raise kid, retire young.

This explains a lot. Men(probably women too) think weird stuff when its been two years since you had a good night's sleep, really good sex, or any substantial amount of free time. When my daughter was about two, I found happiness with scaling back my work and spending more time with the family. It may have set back our financial goals, but it gave me back the feeling that I was living, not just surviving. By about the time she turned 4, the thoughts and feelings that all I do is work and change diapers went away.


tonysemail

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Re: Wife not on board with FI. WTF...
« Reply #31 on: December 09, 2016, 01:54:52 PM »
Passive - just stop pushing it.  Keep on as you are now, look for more efficiencies that YOU can implement without hassling your wife about it, as other have suggested.

great story, thanks for sharing it!

This explains a lot. Men(probably women too) think weird stuff when its been two years since you had a good night's sleep, really good sex, or any substantial amount of free time. When my daughter was about two, I found happiness with scaling back my work and spending more time with the family. It may have set back our financial goals, but it gave me back the feeling that I was living, not just surviving. By about the time she turned 4, the thoughts and feelings that all I do is work and change diapers went away.

same here.  having my first kid directly led to thinking about an exit strategy.

Candace

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Re: Wife not on board with FI. WTF...
« Reply #32 on: December 09, 2016, 01:57:40 PM »
I suggest you think about ways to increase your income. Perhaps when you get a yearly raise at work, if you get one, think about ways to apply the "extra" to your FI goals, if your wife will agree that you and she can live the same way you've been living, on the same amount of money. Or, you can do what lots of people do and get a side hustle to make more money. With a small child at home and a full time job, this may be a challenge, but it's one that a lot of people do. Especially if one of your "hobbies" is something like reffing games for local sports leagues.

The main thing I'm trying to say is that instead of trying to get your wife to spend less, perhaps you could think about ways you could make more.

And I'm with the others-- a 50% savings rate is actually pretty fantastic. Especially with the maxing of the retirement accounts, the frugal cars, and the other things you have in your "win" column.

Good luck. I didn't think your first post sounded as strident as maybe some of the others did. It sounds like you want your life of freedom WITH your wife to start as soon as possible, and you're venting that she doesn't quite see it your way.

Oh, and one last, evil-ly manipulative thing. If your wife comes home from work some day particularly frustrated with something that happened at the office, maybe ask her "Wouldn't it be great if you were free from that job?"

Malum Prohibitum

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Re: Wife not on board with FI. WTF...
« Reply #33 on: December 09, 2016, 02:10:45 PM »
Passive - just stop pushing it.  Keep on as you are now, look for more efficiencies that YOU can implement without hassling your wife about it, as other have suggested.

My DH has no interest in finances, doesn't think about money, says money isn't real.  Ok, so I'm happy to take on our finances, but I was SAHM for nearly 20 years.  If I wanted 401k savings, I had to convince him to sign up.  When they cut the match (which convinced him to sign up) he wanted to stop contributing.  I did the number crunching and tweaked his withholdings to double his 401k contributions but keep the take home pretty much the same (to make the change painless).  When we paid off the student loans, I got him to increase the contributions, doubling them again.  Little bumps, made them as painless as possible, did the legwork myself, chose my timing (not constant badgering, just when an opportunity presented itself), and put a positive spin on it for him (not me, or FI).

I worked on several fronts at the same time.  I found ways to pay down our mortgage early (it was an ugly 9.75%).  When that was gone, it was time for a big bump in retirement savings; the previous gradual doubles had lowered his knee-jerk resistance, and we compromised.  He wanted to stop teaching summer school, cutting our income, but without a mortgage we could still afford to put 50% into his 401k.  Our even lower AGI resulted in large refundable tax credits, so I began funding Roth IRAs with those (previously they had been big chunks paying down the mortgage).  I kept learning and quietly optimizing, while DH scoffed at the idea of ever retiring.  I would occasionally talk about interesting new ideas I'd read on MMM, he jokingly poohpoohed it as impossible; it was a running joke between us.

Then, one day when he was really fed up with his job he had a paradigm shift and asked me seriously if RE was really possible.  We weren't there yet, but we're at the FU money stage.  If he really wanted to quit and pursue something else he could.  He also had a pile of sick leave and PTO time accrued.  In the past he wouldn't have even bothered to value that, too much trouble to pursue, but now he checked all the rules & asked all the questions needed to get as much $ as possible.  He had me figure how to take the payout to minimize taxes (we nearly maxed his 401k for the year, leaving a bit of space to capture a new employer match, and split up payments). It was enough to cover expenses for the rest of the year.

So he's come around, not a full convert, but happy to take advantage when it works in his favor.  He still jokes when a retirement account statement comes in the mail -"Here's YOUR money", but he's content to let me make my plans as long as I don't hassle him too much about costs. 

Drop the lectures and preaching, the hard sell won't work in your favor.  Just maintain momentum quietly.  If a great opportunity presents itself, then negotiate benefits for both of you (more savings for you, ?? for wife).

Great story. I guess the passive approach can work! Thanks for this.

Your savings rate is better than mine, and my wife does not spend all that much.    When I saw your progress, I thought, "Wow, he is already killing it." 

I am unlike most on here.  Old fashioned.  Patriarchal.  Woman should be submissive to the man, and all that (something with which my wife agrees and even sometimes gets on to me about if I falter), and even I think you need to relax a little about this to keep your marriage together.

My advice - drop the issue altogether for a month (a full 30 days).  When you bring it up again, just bring up one thing alone.  $500 is a lot for eating out every month (you said $6000 a year).  Just ask her what she thinks about the family limiting eating out to a couple hundred bucks a month for a while and see how it goes.  A couple hundred bucks sounds like a lot, but is a 60% reduction for your family.  Then, see how it goes.  Do not bring up anything else like Etsy spending.  Then just gain a little more efficiency in one area at a time.

You are making good progress.  You can't expect her to turn into a zealous MMM fanatic like you are overnight. 

If you end up increasing your savings rate from 50% to 60% over time, you will still be way ahead.

If you divorce, because you are going crazy about money (and yes, everybody else will put it that way), well, savings rates are tough when there is child support to be paid . . .

ChpBstrd

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Re: Wife not on board with FI. WTF...
« Reply #34 on: December 09, 2016, 02:13:25 PM »
I suggest you think about ways to increase your income. Perhaps when you get a yearly raise at work, if you get one, think about ways to apply the "extra" to your FI goals, if your wife will agree that you and she can live the same way you've been living, on the same amount of money. Or, you can do what lots of people do and get a side hustle to make more money. With a small child at home and a full time job, this may be a challenge, but it's one that a lot of people do. Especially if one of your "hobbies" is something like reffing games for local sports leagues.

The main thing I'm trying to say is that instead of trying to get your wife to spend less, perhaps you could think about ways you could make more.

And I'm with the others-- a 50% savings rate is actually pretty fantastic. Especially with the maxing of the retirement accounts, the frugal cars, and the other things you have in your "win" column.

Good luck. I didn't think your first post sounded as strident as maybe some of the others did. It sounds like you want your life of freedom WITH your wife to start as soon as possible, and you're venting that she doesn't quite see it your way.

Oh, and one last, evil-ly manipulative thing. If your wife comes home from work some day particularly frustrated with something that happened at the office, maybe ask her "Wouldn't it be great if you were free from that job?"

I'm already too short on time for an effective side hustle. Shortness of time may also relate to the marital difficulties and life frustration in general. Probably not an option, although I've considered blogging, eBay sales, etc.

I'm mainly considering a renewed focus on my career, networking, and taking long shots at higher paying jobs. This is my best idea for how to make $10k more next year than this year. However, even that approach comes with some overtime.

cbr shadow

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Re: Wife not on board with FI. WTF...
« Reply #35 on: December 09, 2016, 02:24:06 PM »
While I agree with most of the others above, I do think you can still push a bit but you need to find what motivates her.  If you can't find anything, be happy with your 50% savings rate.  You're doing great as it is, partly because your wife IS on board with a high savings rate.

ChpBstrd

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Re: Wife not on board with FI. WTF...
« Reply #36 on: December 09, 2016, 02:31:03 PM »
Thanks all. I also have some potentially passive-aggressive semi-ethical strategies and need some second opinions:

1) HUNGER STRIKE: When we go to a restaurant, occasionally don't order anything. Explain that I'd rather the money to go savings. Lead by example and learn self control simultaneously.

2) BRIBERY: When the wife is about to buy something, offer "If you don't buy that trinket, I'll give you a 20 minute back massage tonight." And that's how you work for your spouse at $100/hour. The risk is that more trinkets are considered in exchange for more back rubs.

3) COMPETITIVE EXTORTION & SHAMING: Separate my and her credit card accounts. Pay for household necessities only from a third account. Watch who spends more on themselves.

4) CUT LOOSE: Un-merge our finances. Contribute half and half to a shared household expense account. If we as a couple need $1.5M to retire, either of us can retire as soon as we individually have saved $750k. The risk being that the deal might not be upheld after the first one hits their number.

Too far?

Malum Prohibitum

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Re: Wife not on board with FI. WTF...
« Reply #37 on: December 09, 2016, 02:41:57 PM »
Thanks all. I also have some potentially passive-aggressive semi-ethical strategies and need some second opinions:

1) HUNGER STRIKE: When we go to a restaurant, occasionally don't order anything. Explain that I'd rather the money to go savings. Lead by example and learn self control simultaneously.
  LOL!  I hope this is a joke.  First, you are a man.  Do not do passive-aggessive.  Period.  How are you to be respected by your wife if you behave in this manner?  You talk about leading by example - you do NOT go to the restaurant.  Sheesh.

I am not even sure I want to get into the rest of them.

YummyRaisins

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Re: Wife not on board with FI. WTF...
« Reply #38 on: December 09, 2016, 02:46:12 PM »
This is not sarcasm: Do you really want your marriage to work?

My opinion is that any one of these strategies seems like an effective way to further alienate your wife.

What are you learning in your marriage counseling? I have to imagine some of it has to do with being more empathetic toward one another. Take the advice others in this thread have already given you and find ways to compromise and still make progress.

Candace

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Re: Wife not on board with FI. WTF...
« Reply #39 on: December 09, 2016, 03:15:02 PM »
Thanks all. I also have some potentially passive-aggressive semi-ethical strategies and need some second opinions:

1) HUNGER STRIKE: When we go to a restaurant, occasionally don't order anything. Explain that I'd rather the money to go savings. Lead by example and learn self control simultaneously.

2) BRIBERY: When the wife is about to buy something, offer "If you don't buy that trinket, I'll give you a 20 minute back massage tonight." And that's how you work for your spouse at $100/hour. The risk is that more trinkets are considered in exchange for more back rubs.

3) COMPETITIVE EXTORTION & SHAMING: Separate my and her credit card accounts. Pay for household necessities only from a third account. Watch who spends more on themselves.

4) CUT LOOSE: Un-merge our finances. Contribute half and half to a shared household expense account. If we as a couple need $1.5M to retire, either of us can retire as soon as we individually have saved $750k. The risk being that the deal might not be upheld after the first one hits their number.

Too far?

Wow. Forget what I wrote above about you not sounding as strident as some others have thought. Just wow. If my SO ever acted like that, we'd have big problems.

v8rx7guy

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Re: Wife not on board with FI. WTF...
« Reply #40 on: December 09, 2016, 03:24:56 PM »
Too far?

Yes. You are being rediculous.  You've been at this for 10 months... TEN months.  What was life like before you started reading MMM... I'll bet it's been quite a change for your wife, I can completely understand why she is being aprehensive.

sparkytheop

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Re: Wife not on board with FI. WTF...
« Reply #41 on: December 09, 2016, 03:25:03 PM »
Agree with a lot of what has already been said.  One thing I noticed though... "She's irritated by my struggles not to resort to restaurant food when it's late and we're away from home."-- is the cooking duty put on her when this is the case?  If so, step up and be the one to prepare the meal.  Spend a day setting up meals you can put in the freezer to eat later.  Be the one to get up a half hour early and pack a lunch/dinner/picnic/whatever when you know you'll be spending the day away from home.

If your desire to reduce expenses will put more work load on her, I don't see that going well.

ETA: That was typed before your last reply...  Yeah, too far.  Don't go to a restaurant and refuse to eat, make her the home cooked meal instead.  The rest, just, damn.

« Last Edit: December 09, 2016, 03:28:38 PM by sparkytheop »

Malum Prohibitum

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Re: Wife not on board with FI. WTF...
« Reply #42 on: December 09, 2016, 03:32:01 PM »
need some second opinions:
  Well, you got them.
Quote
Too far?
  I am not sure it is "too far" so much as you need to rethink your entire strategy of dealing with your relationship with your wife. Like, all of it.  This is not a question of degree.

overwhelmed

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Re: Wife not on board with FI. WTF...
« Reply #43 on: December 09, 2016, 03:48:09 PM »
Thanks all. I also have some potentially passive-aggressive semi-ethical strategies and need some second opinions:

Let's just stop here.

Don't be a jerk. Keep saving the way your are. Take a breathe and 2 giant steps back. As others mentioned, just because finding this site clicked with you immediately does not mean that it does with your wife. Smart people have already suggested actually listening to her, to give her some time & space. So instead of creating an even bigger divide in your marriage, slow your roll....purposely bringing these 'actually' passive-aggressive and basically crappy behaviors into an already strained marriage is a really bad choice.

And to answer your question at the end of the post................yes...........too far

Unique User

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Re: Wife not on board with FI. WTF...
« Reply #44 on: December 09, 2016, 04:25:52 PM »
Thanks all. I also have some potentially passive-aggressive semi-ethical strategies and need some second opinions:

1) HUNGER STRIKE: When we go to a restaurant, occasionally don't order anything. Explain that I'd rather the money to go savings. Lead by example and learn self control simultaneously.

2) BRIBERY: When the wife is about to buy something, offer "If you don't buy that trinket, I'll give you a 20 minute back massage tonight." And that's how you work for your spouse at $100/hour. The risk is that more trinkets are considered in exchange for more back rubs.

3) COMPETITIVE EXTORTION & SHAMING: Separate my and her credit card accounts. Pay for household necessities only from a third account. Watch who spends more on themselves.

4) CUT LOOSE: Un-merge our finances. Contribute half and half to a shared household expense account. If we as a couple need $1.5M to retire, either of us can retire as soon as we individually have saved $750k. The risk being that the deal might not be upheld after the first one hits their number.

Too far?

These tactics will lead to divorce and you already said you didn't want that.  You need to chill out, seriously.  Choose one item, maybe restaurant meals to attack.  Make a bunch of freezer meals and try to set a restaurant meal budget that she can live with.   

One idea for you on the restaurant meal front since you seem kind of hardcore and it sounds like your wife likes restaurants.  My teen loves restaurants, but our budget is for 1 per month.  To keep her happy, I do mystery shops, 1-3 a week, a mix of fast food, take out and restaurants.  And once I found the really high end ones, the husband was happy to tag along.  This year he and I have had date nights at Ruth Chris twice, Fleming's once, The Capital Grille twice and Bahama Breeze twice along with a couple other local/regional places, our total out of pocket is maybe $20-$30 total this year for a once a month date night at a nice restaurant.  After four years, they both will help with names and timings and will take pictures for those rare ones that want pictures of the food.  I'm the weirdo that actually doesn't mind doing the reports, so for me it's a money making hobby.  This year I've made about $600 in fees just for restaurants and had about $3,200 in restaurant meals reimbursed.  And I haven't paid for an oil change or car wash for my car in three years. 
« Last Edit: December 09, 2016, 06:26:40 PM by Unique User »

ChpBstrd

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Re: Wife not on board with FI. WTF...
« Reply #45 on: December 09, 2016, 05:18:56 PM »
Thanks for saving me from making these statements to the wife! When everyone says you're being jerky, it's probably true.

Yet I am somewhat disheartened that no one thinks a savings rate around 48% can be improved upon. If I fail to solve this problem, at an early time when little changes make a bigger difference in your FIRE date, it will be another 2-4 years in the beige cube for me.

The essence of the problem is this:
I've cut every expense I can without the full cooperation of my spouse.

My rather rude remaining options are my point of desperation.  Are we saying this is unsolvable?

mm1970

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Re: Wife not on board with FI. WTF...
« Reply #46 on: December 09, 2016, 05:20:45 PM »
I'm seeing every restaurant meal as a setback, and the reason I can't have my life back from work. Shit. 10 more years? Then I do the typical human thing and look for a scapegoat: I have to live with two more years of work because my spouse thinks Etsy crap is cute?

I really appreciate this thread Cheap, I was chuckling about it earlier today because I've been dealing with similar hurdles and then when I went to lunch I got a text about ordering take out tonight because the wife is too tired to cook.  (This is legitimate we just got married and moved across the country for work so she's at home all day with 2 kids cleaning and unpacking an entire house and hurt her back moving furniture upstairs alone instead of waiting for me). My answer, I'll cook tonight no big deal, time to make some homemade pizza dough and then the kids have a blast decorating their own pizza's while the wife relaxes from doing house work all week.  Money saved, wife happy and eating what she wanted to order for dinner, kiddos pacified and we all WIN!

As far as Etsy goes, good luck there. Baby steps.

This is really smart.  My husband and I are both frugal, but in slightly different ways.  We each have to talk each other into things.  I'm fairly anti-eating out and anti-cable.  But TV was a big thing for him and he wasn't willing to get rid of it.  Until a few years later, he was (right when I was about to start mat leave, what???  But we did it anyway.)

On eating out, we had years (pre-kid) of eating out 2x a week and a lot of lunches.  We cut back (bad for  your waistline to eat out that much too), but he was still eating lunch out every Friday.  The *only* way I could reduce that was to pack him a lunch, or at least make sure that something really delicious was available for lunch.  He cut down to once a month.  So now, I'm happy, and he's happy.  He's on the introverted side so eating lunch out once a month with a friend is very important to him.  Of course now his good buddy isn't as available and hubby teaches math on Fridays at lunch.

The kids love to eat out too (well, the big one anyway).  So generally I don't worry too much if he takes the boys to Chik-fil-A occasionally.  Makes them happy and I hate that place.  I do see an occasional trend of taking them out a few times in one week if it's a holiday week.  And I'll squawk about that.  You know, smoothies 2 days in a row followed by dinner out on the third day.  That's fifty bucks.

Candace

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Re: Wife not on board with FI. WTF...
« Reply #47 on: December 09, 2016, 05:24:54 PM »
Thanks all. I also have some potentially passive-aggressive semi-ethical strategies and need some second opinions:

1) HUNGER STRIKE: When we go to a restaurant, occasionally don't order anything. Explain that I'd rather the money to go savings. Lead by example and learn self control simultaneously.

2) BRIBERY: When the wife is about to buy something, offer "If you don't buy that trinket, I'll give you a 20 minute back massage tonight." And that's how you work for your spouse at $100/hour. The risk is that more trinkets are considered in exchange for more back rubs.

3) COMPETITIVE EXTORTION & SHAMING: Separate my and her credit card accounts. Pay for household necessities only from a third account. Watch who spends more on themselves.

4) CUT LOOSE: Un-merge our finances. Contribute half and half to a shared household expense account. If we as a couple need $1.5M to retire, either of us can retire as soon as we individually have saved $750k. The risk being that the deal might not be upheld after the first one hits their number.

Too far?

These tactics will lead to divorce and you already said you didn't want that.  You need to chill out, seriously.  Choose one item, maybe restaurant meals to attack.  Make a bunch of freezer meals and try to set a restaurant meal budget that she can live with.   

One idea for you on the restaurant meal front since you seem kind of hardcore and it sounds like your wife likes restaurants.  My teen loves restaurants, but our budget is for 1 per month.  To keep her happy, I do mystery shops, 1-3 a week, a mix of fast food, take out and restaurants.  And once I found the really high end ones, the husband was happy to tag along.  This year he and I have had date nights at Ruth Chris twice, Fleming's once, The Capital Grille twice and Bahama Breeze twice along with a couple other local/regional places, our total out of pocket is maybe $20-$30 for a once a month date night at a nice restaurant.  After four years, they both will help with names and timings and will take pictures for those rare ones that want pictures of the food.  I'm the weirdo that actually doesn't mind doing the reports, so for me it's a money making hobby.  This year I've made about $600 in fees just for restaurants and had about $3,200 in restaurant meals reimbursed.  And I haven't paid for an oil change or car wash for my car in three years.

How do you get the good mystery shopper gigs, if you don't mind sharing? That sounds like a good way to get restaurant meals cheaply!

mm1970

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Re: Wife not on board with FI. WTF...
« Reply #48 on: December 09, 2016, 05:41:03 PM »
Thanks all. I also have some potentially passive-aggressive semi-ethical strategies and need some second opinions:

1) HUNGER STRIKE: When we go to a restaurant, occasionally don't order anything. Explain that I'd rather the money to go savings. Lead by example and learn self control simultaneously.

2) BRIBERY: When the wife is about to buy something, offer "If you don't buy that trinket, I'll give you a 20 minute back massage tonight." And that's how you work for your spouse at $100/hour. The risk is that more trinkets are considered in exchange for more back rubs.

3) COMPETITIVE EXTORTION & SHAMING: Separate my and her credit card accounts. Pay for household necessities only from a third account. Watch who spends more on themselves.

4) CUT LOOSE: Un-merge our finances. Contribute half and half to a shared household expense account. If we as a couple need $1.5M to retire, either of us can retire as soon as we individually have saved $750k. The risk being that the deal might not be upheld after the first one hits their number.

Too far?

Yes.  Too far. 

cats

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Re: Wife not on board with FI. WTF...
« Reply #49 on: December 09, 2016, 06:23:53 PM »
I don't know, I think #2 could be effective, depending on how you frame it or what drives her shopping. Does she stress shop or impulse shop? I tend to make stupid purchases when I am stressed at work. Maybe suggest that the next time she is thinking of making an impulse buy, she emails you and promises to hold off until the evening, when you will give her a massage.  If, after the massage, she is still wanting to buy X, fine.  But maybe the waiting period will help her to reconsider, and the massage shows you are willing to put in some effort for her.  Actually, I may have to propose this idea to my husband...