Author Topic: Couples finances  (Read 18926 times)

Zikoris

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Re: Couples finances
« Reply #50 on: October 07, 2014, 10:39:35 AM »
Quote
But I do have a final question for you folks. Do you think its possible or fair to bring around a spouse to Mustashian's living? He's super unmustashian (drives a freakin' Tahoe!!!) but I chalk this up to growing up super poor (we're talking no running water, breaking the ice to gather water to bring in and heat up type poor) and now that he's making decent money he feels he deserves the good life.

You're looking at pretty big incompatibility here, comparable to one person wanting kids and the other not. A lot of people on the forums have been able to find some middle ground between consumerist sucker and badass Mustachian, but it definitely means compromise and working a whole lot longer than you would otherwise.

Personally, I would not date someone with huge incompatibilities, whether that was related to having kids, staying up all night partying, communication style, or spending habits. It doesn't lead to harmony.

Natcat

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Re: Couples finances
« Reply #51 on: October 07, 2014, 11:03:53 AM »
Quote
But I do have a final question for you folks. Do you think its possible or fair to bring around a spouse to Mustashian's living? He's super unmustashian (drives a freakin' Tahoe!!!) but I chalk this up to growing up super poor (we're talking no running water, breaking the ice to gather water to bring in and heat up type poor) and now that he's making decent money he feels he deserves the good life.

You're looking at pretty big incompatibility here, comparable to one person wanting kids and the other not. A lot of people on the forums have been able to find some middle ground between consumerist sucker and badass Mustachian, but it definitely means compromise and working a whole lot longer than you would otherwise.

Personally, I would not date someone with huge incompatibilities, whether that was related to having kids, staying up all night partying, communication style, or spending habits. It doesn't lead to harmony.

I should point out that aside from consumerist vs Mustashian we are on the same wavelength regarding other life goals/values. He does have a tendency to be frugal in some areas, just not the major areas such as choice of vehicle and other "toys". In fact the more I think about it the more I realize he has come around. Yes, he does drive a Tahoe but it's now paid off and he's decided not to buy another financed vehicle. Yes, he does want to buy a boat but he's come around to the idea of selling his old camper and using the proceeds (and no more) to buy it. I want to buy an unmustashian condo in the city (300k) and he wants to buy a little cottage near the water well out of the city for no more than $200k. The problem there is that I'm super Mustashian in the sense that I refuse to own a car and commute.

DeepEllumStache

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Re: Couples finances
« Reply #52 on: October 07, 2014, 11:11:47 AM »
Congratulations to both of you for having a great discussion!  Those are some amazingly positive steps for both.

As far as moving to a more Mustachian mindset - people start on these forums from varying degrees of Mustachian or unMustachian leanings.  Just because he loves his Tahoe now, doesn't mean that you two can't come to an agreeable compromise to increase your Staches.

What does he care about?  Maybe the idea of frugality is annoying to him but being able to be proud of having no debt is more attractive.  Also, has he thought about what he wants in the future?  What do you want in the future?  Taking the time to visualize how awesome early retirement could be (and how early you could achieve it) may help the discussion.  I am dating a guy who focuses more on the present than the future.  The idea of early retirement weirded him out.  One day, I sent him an article about a couple doing slow travel for retirement.  We both love travel and he sounded very excited about the idea.  Find goals you both can agree upon and go from there.

Go slow, you have time to get to whatever dream the two of you choose.  The two of you don't need to have a 95% savings rate tomorrow, you just need to move towards the right path. 

One of the best journal posts about understanding and working with your partner on Mustachianism are some tips from lentils5eva and ioseftavi:

http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/journals/stealth-saving-%28lentils5eva-ioseftavi%29/msg359500/#msg359500

FreeWheel

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Re: Couples finances
« Reply #53 on: October 07, 2014, 11:51:40 AM »
Congratulations to both of you for having a great discussion!  Those are some amazingly positive steps for both.

Agreed. Remember too NC, that actions speak much louder than words. So yeah, give it some time and see how things go. (but protect yourself!)

You get to choose what you will and will not accept... nobody else has a say.

Here's one for BF, who "feels he deserves the good life." :

Quote from: MMM in "Debt Emergency"
Since you need those luxury products so much, you’d better get out of debt quickly so you can afford to buy more. The credit card debts above are eating up over $4000 per year of your after-tax salary just due to interest payments. That’s hundreds of lattes, several pairs of shoes, thousands of miles worth of gasoline for your SUV, and even some massages at the spa and a couple of cross-country flights that you are foregoing every year.

Inevitable

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Re: Couples finances
« Reply #54 on: October 07, 2014, 01:20:06 PM »
Married/permanent couples should share EVERY detail of their lives with each other.  My wife and I don't keep secrets.  I'll never understand how people keep separate finances.  Neither party should be in control of anything.  All decisions should be made together (of course in the case of kids if mom already said no then the answer is no).

NoraLenderbee

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Re: Couples finances
« Reply #55 on: October 07, 2014, 02:07:28 PM »
Sounds like a really positive discussion. I'm glad.

rubybeth

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Re: Couples finances
« Reply #56 on: October 07, 2014, 03:04:13 PM »
Glad you checked in, NatCat! As for finding out what he thinks of mustachianism, have him read MMM and see what he thinks. I kind of sprung the whole retiring early thing on my DH, and he was cool with it. I presented like this, "Hey, remember how we paid off all that debt really quickly? What if we just took that money and kept saving and investing it, which would mean we could retire before age 50?" And he was like, "That sounds amazing!" I explained more of the details to him later, but he was pretty on-board with not working until old age. :)

LadyMuMu

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Re: Couples finances
« Reply #57 on: October 07, 2014, 03:41:52 PM »
I agree with the poster who said financial outlook/goals is like kids--it really, really helps to be in agreement before beginning a long-term commitment. If you maintain separate finances, and you are 50 and retired and traveling the globe, how will he feel still working until age 70? When medical bills loom large, how will you feel delaying your early retirement to pay those debts for him? My husband isn't really interested in FIRE, just a moderately frugal life and a reasonable retirement age is good enough for him around 60 and I'm fine with that. But if mustachianism were my goal, I'd be miserable--and my husband would be too.

Spartana

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Re: Couples finances
« Reply #58 on: October 07, 2014, 04:18:34 PM »
Quote
But I do have a final question for you folks. Do you think its possible or fair to bring around a spouse to Mustashian's living? He's super unmustashian (drives a freakin' Tahoe!!!) but I chalk this up to growing up super poor (we're talking no running water, breaking the ice to gather water to bring in and heat up type poor) and now that he's making decent money he feels he deserves the good life.

You're looking at pretty big incompatibility here, comparable to one person wanting kids and the other not. A lot of people on the forums have been able to find some middle ground between consumerist sucker and badass Mustachian, but it definitely means compromise and working a whole lot longer than you would otherwise.

Personally, I would not date someone with huge incompatibilities, whether that was related to having kids, staying up all night partying, communication style, or spending habits. It doesn't lead to harmony.

I should point out that aside from consumerist vs Mustashian we are on the same wavelength regarding other life goals/values. He does have a tendency to be frugal in some areas, just not the major areas such as choice of vehicle and other "toys". In fact the more I think about it the more I realize he has come around. Yes, he does drive a Tahoe but it's now paid off and he's decided not to buy another financed vehicle. Yes, he does want to buy a boat but he's come around to the idea of selling his old camper and using the proceeds (and no more) to buy it. I want to buy an unmustashian condo in the city (300k) and he wants to buy a little cottage near the water well out of the city for no more than $200k. The problem there is that I'm super Mustashian in the sense that I refuse to own a car and commute.
Not to be a nit-picker but didn't you say he had borrowed money from his parents and also had other debts in collection? Does he still owe that money? If so and he is buying another "toy" (boat, camper, whatever) before paying that money back then he may not be as changed as you think he is.  But in any case, he's opened up to you and that is a start.

daymare

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Re: Couples finances
« Reply #59 on: October 07, 2014, 05:45:07 PM »
Quote
But I do have a final question for you folks. Do you think its possible or fair to bring around a spouse to Mustashian's living?

I think this is a really valid question. First, I want to commend the two of you for having such a productive, honest conversation - it can be difficult to do that with such a loaded topic, so kudos.  That said, you mention surprise at such a quick turnaround in his willingness to share -- please be attentive and watch to see whether his actions line up with his proclamations.  Look to someone's actions rather than statements to ascertain their values and character.

I think people contain a spectrum of who they are ... or, more accurately, we all have the potential to develop/evolve in many different ways.  For instance, I'd say I'm pretty Mustachian now (objectively) - husband and I spend under 3K/month for the two of us, have about 100K in investments (at 25), plan to be FI by 40.  And to a large extent, I've always been nerdy and into math and finances, which are the aspects of my personality to drive me to care about finances and analytically look at life.  But I wasn't Mustachian in my prior years.  I was reasonable and maxed out retirement accounts, but I also ate out a lot and didn't really think at all about optimizing my purchases, or aligning them to my values.  But fundamentally I had the inclination and potential to go in this (Mustachian) direction. 

So I think you need to figure out who your partner is, whether he's someone that is interested/capable/willing to learn about the lifestyle you have in mind.  Talking about future goals will probably illuminate a lot of this.  Good luck! :)

Goldielocks

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Re: Couples finances
« Reply #60 on: October 07, 2014, 09:44:07 PM »
There are a few really great posts or threads_ and this outcome was wonderful.  Hopefully the change continues. Only you know what the final outcome will be.

Look at cheddarstackers' posts., he too seems to be solo MMM, it is possible but difficult without full buy in.  I think the concensus was to compromise, not go over the top,  have agreement to keep finances separatish enough that one person can FIRE without the other, as long as they keep up their share of household bills.  The challenge is agreeing on home to live in and eating out, etc.  Lots of talking.  Don't surprise spouse with FIRE idea for yourself, etc.

HopefulMustache

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Re: Couples finances
« Reply #61 on: October 08, 2014, 08:17:01 AM »
I want to echo those who say congratulations for successfully having an honest conversation on such a tricky topic. It will likely be the first of many, but that will be a good thing as it means you're continually working on this aspect of your relationship.

That's also how I feel about "bring[ing] around a spouse to Mustashian's living" - if you're in different places now, it's likely to require a number of conversations over time, so the expectation shouldn't be to build Rome in a day. If he demanded a new $40K luxury car every few years and you were trying to max out your retirement accounts by exclusively taking public transportation, you'd probably resent each other in time if you were jointly managing finances and couldn't find a middle ground. It sounds like the reality is that neither of you are at that kind of extreme. Maybe not right away, but I'd try to expand the conversation you were able to have about present-day finances into one about life-goals/future-finances. Maybe you or your partner will realize a lifestyle choice you're making will keep you from having whichever dream home you were hoping to have, and so you can compromise and plan a new path that makes it happen. I'm a relatively new mustachian and am hoping to have a MMM-inspired conversation about this with my partner as well, so you are not alone in this. As I mentioned for you above, it's one of many finances conversations I have had/expect to have with my partner over the years as we navigate life together.

former player

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Re: Couples finances
« Reply #62 on: October 08, 2014, 10:05:33 AM »
Congratulations to the two of you on conducting such a potentially difficult conversation in such a positive manner. I am in awe.

I completely understand "I grew up poor, I deserve some nice things".  Although I'm naturally fairly frugal and retired relatively early at 50, I am not MMM frugal and never will be.  I had a second home (now my main home, first one is rented out) and the nice car (paid cash and then kept it for 23 years: I sold it only because it was a two-seater convertible completely unsuitable for providing the sole means of transport for 2 elderly and disabled relatives).  Some nice things do not prevent early retirement, and the MMM approach is to live a nice life before getting to retirement as well as after, there's just the need to do so mindfully.  If your boyfriend is being open about his finances and mindful about his expenses, as a couple you have the potential for you both to change and compromise over the years.  Good luck.

Cinder

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Re: Couples finances
« Reply #63 on: October 09, 2014, 01:02:01 PM »
Really great discussion here!  There are lots of pitfalls on the way to getting everyone on the same page.. sometimes it requires you moving a little further away from mustachianism then you would prefer, but you have to pick your battles smartly.  Allowing your Significant Other a few smaller concessions while coming to a better conclusion about the 'big ticket' items is a great goal to have. 

Sometimes you have to learn to speak their language on things... Lots of times my DW is heavily swayed by what other people do or by what her parents say.    Lots of times she'll say 'but almost everyone I know does X' and I have to ask her if she wants to be like every body else, or if she wants to make well reasoned decisions...

Hudson

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Re: Couples finances
« Reply #64 on: October 09, 2014, 08:27:06 PM »
Yeah a great discussion for sure.Enlightening .... Me and partner have been together for years and never really talk money. I am fascinated by money talk (home budget style) and find things like projections and different scenarios intersting to look at, partner never mentions it. In fact I dont know how much partner earns and vice versa. We both know next pay we have no spare money  (i.e no power, phone or food money).....we laugh now but wont be so funny on monday (will need to sell stuff from home to get by)

kite

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Re: Couples finances
« Reply #65 on: October 16, 2014, 04:43:34 PM »
Condo vs. Cottage is a big difference too. 
Take one day at a time. ......

And people don't really change.  Especially people whose children are old enough to rip them off.  I'm sure he's a great guy, but he is who he is. Don't lose sight of that.   

AJ

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Re: Couples finances
« Reply #66 on: October 16, 2014, 05:03:50 PM »
But I do have a final question for you folks. Do you think its possible or fair to bring around a spouse to Mustashian's living? He's super unmustashian (drives a freakin' Tahoe!!!) but I chalk this up to growing up super poor (we're talking no running water, breaking the ice to gather water to bring in and heat up type poor) and now that he's making decent money he feels he deserves the good life.

Yes, it absolutely is possible. But it will take time, patience, and compromise. My hubby was like yours ("I grew up poor and I deserve fun stuff now") but now is almost as Mustachian as me. But it has been a transition 10 years in the making (GRS to TSD to ERE to MMM). I focused on 2 things: 1) My vision of a future where we didn't need to work for a living and 2) deriding the idea that other people's judgement of my lifestyle should matter. Once he stopped caring what other people thought of him, the road got a lot easier (and more fun!).

RunHappy

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Re: Couples finances
« Reply #67 on: October 16, 2014, 05:34:30 PM »
I think having the talk and him coming clean about his finances was a big first step.  It is possible to bring him around to more frugal ways, because most of us were very un-frugal people to begin with.  However it is also possible that he will never embrace it.  Continue having financial talks with him and keep the lines of communication open (as well as financial statements).

I'll soon be moving in with my SO and this is a worry of mine.  In the time we first met (as friends) I changed from a huge consumer to very frugal.  He is a good saver but also a spender.   I have been very clear about my financial goals, and he is slooowly coming to realize I'm not crazy and it is possible.  We want to buy a house but I have told him that I'm not buying anything unless we each manage to save 25% of our max price, so we can make a hefty downpayment.

FreeWheel

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Re: Couples finances
« Reply #68 on: October 16, 2014, 09:00:21 PM »
Quote from: kite
And people don't really change.  <snip> I'm sure he's a great guy, but he is who he is.

Not true. People can and do often change. None of us are fixed for life.

I changed from a huge consumer to very frugal.

^^^Like this!

OP, If you're in love just give him time. But protect yourself. You'll know if and when to bail.

resy

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Re: Couples finances
« Reply #69 on: October 16, 2014, 10:42:49 PM »
Thank you so much for all your wonderful support. Your opinions have helped a great deal. In fact I showed this thread to my boyfriend and asked him to read everything. He got half way through and began an open and honest conversation with me.

He has small(ish) debts in collections due to renting his house (after he moved in with me) to his children who ripped him off and paid nothing. He has the power and oil bills on a repayment plan. The money he borrowed was to pay his half of our rent since he was stuck paying the mortgage on the house because he wasn't able to collect their rent. Most of this I knew but didn't realize just how bad it was. He admitted that he was ashamed and didn't want to tell me. He told me that he felt borrowing money from family wasn't something that needed to be shared. If I borrowed money from my mom he wouldn't expect me to tell him. We discussed that in the future we will disclose this info.

He showed me his bank account and we looked at everything going in and out so it seems there are no more secrets.

As for the mail, I forgot to ask him to have it directed to our place. I won't ever open it but it just seems more honest.

As for buying a camper he seems to realize that it's not okay to make big purchases without both our agreements after seeing that most everyone posting here shares these decisions as a couple.

It's been a total 180 that I'm still shocked about.

But I do have a final question for you folks. Do you think its possible or fair to bring around a spouse to Mustashian's living? He's super unmustashian (drives a freakin' Tahoe!!!) but I chalk this up to growing up super poor (we're talking no running water, breaking the ice to gather water to bring in and heat up type poor) and now that he's making decent money he feels he deserves the good life.

Hi Natcat! So Im going through a rough patch regarding finances with my noe husband because I failed ti gather enough info beforehand.
Everyone's advice is solid. I'd be careful if the sudden 180, this type of stuff takes time to even process and nore to implement. Just br careful he isnt "making you happy".
Also, sad to say as my husband has your husband's background, but that leads to larger issues that require more than a simple chat. A lot of the things you describe sound to me as a big red flags for financial irresponsibility on his part.