Significant others: Having the talk ...

How to explain ERE, arranging family matters
SustainableHappiness
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Re: Significant others: Having the talk ...

Post by SustainableHappiness » Thu Sep 21, 2017 2:56 pm

Oh, also, I've found that reading the ERE book out loud with DW and talking through it has been a really good learning experience for the two of us. Although we started that like 4 months ago and are about 60% of the way through.

jacob
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Re: Significant others: Having the talk ...

Post by jacob » Thu Sep 21, 2017 5:59 pm

@Fish - Yes, she's changed a lot. Going from 4 years of experience to 13 years. I've changed a bit too---going from 7 years to 16 years. We're both at higher Wheaton levels now(+) and the gap is smaller than when we started but it's still there.

(+) If I look back I don't think I was more than a 4 or so by the time she wrote that post. Based on the date I had been blogging for less than two months.

Many (also here) focus mostly on the whole FI/RE part, but to me it was always meant as a carrot and more like a black belt in terms of learning-levels: In the sense that reaching FI/RE meant that one had mastered all the basic techniques of life and was therefore qualified to begin to learn what living is actually about. IOW, a mere starting point for the real journey---like graduating from school---not the end point.

She didn't really "learn" (if that's the right word here) by studying books or blogs but more from living with/observing me. So there's been no "formal" training (with karate belts or milestones) but she picked up most of it anyway by example and experience. That is a fairly distinct and normal difference between "spouses" and prime-movers, I think. I'm actually wondering if there are any ERE-power couples in the sense that both are driving the process fast-forward at the same rate with the same desire/focus both obsessing over spreadsheets, deals, systems, efficiencies, and optimizations.

My point here is that I don't think FI/RE ever really consciously entered the picture for her (she's well beyond FI now) as a motivation/framework. Also, because we've both advanced Wheaton-wise and focused a lot more on efficiency (via DIY) than reduction (in the following years), there's been a lot of technical skill building (DIY-stuff) and systems design for both of us(*), so we today can live a fairly "normal-looking" existence in -burbia except we of course have very different means even if the ends look the same as "normal people". Also add that there's been a lot more experiences with different circumstances, e.g. RV-owner, apartment-rent, home-owner (previously, dorm and two house rentals). For her: starting career, sabbatical, going back to college, starting a new career, advancing it. For me: retiring, starting a different career, and ending it again.

(*) So there's not nearly as much correlation between what we can/will buy and what we can do/have as there was 10 years ago. Example: Ten years ago, the argument would be about whether to buy a space heater or firewood or be chilly for a couple of months per year. Today, the argument would be about which pattern/color would look best for the homemade woolen sweater. In terms of utensils (after moving 3 times since then) and other random stuff, it's become clear that stuff is so abundant in the world that if we get rid of one, we'll quickly end up with another one being donated to us... and then we donate that on and so on. Hence, there's no attachment anymore. IOW ... she's realized/become aware of the non-monetary systems of acquiring/using stuff. This has to a large degree replaced the previous tension between the ascetic system vs the walmart system (where I had already learned to do without and she hadn't).

20sharkall03
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Re: Significant others: Having the talk ...

Post by 20sharkall03 » Sat Sep 23, 2017 9:27 pm

DW (INFJ) was brought around by me (INTJ/INTP). DW has been receptive from the start regarding financial literacy and came from a household that was "frugal" by your average Joe. She already was used to making things like a cellphone last four years instead of the usual one to two. She shopped rummage sales for clothes and other items because that is how her family shopped. She was initially more skillful with not spending money because of upbringing and I was more knowledgeable money management because of reading and watching my parents spend every last dollar and then complain about it. This would be a very brief and restricted comparison of overall financial literacy by age:

16 years old:
DW has more money saved and we both worked at the same job. I still bought all my clothes new in store on sale, built a gaming computer from *scratch*, rode a bicycle to work until my parents gave me a cheap beater car. She saved money for college, had a paid off car and had some money in a savings account. My financial literacy during this stage was typical of mainstream American indoctrination: go to college, buy a big house, buy a nice car, save whatever ridiculous sum of money for retirement and work until you die. From 16-22 I basically experimented with life. I took road trips with a couple close friends, went hunting, camping, took classes in general education, accounting, state certified in firefighting, worked for an electronics company as an "Apple Professional", read on the internet about topics like nutrition, budgeting, computer building, religion.

*Had to write a budget for a college class for personal financial management and my budget was one paragraph long explaining that a budget was not necessary: I only had to spend less than I earned and I would be fine. Instructor understood the concept/theory was learned and that the details would hash themselves out later. Surprisingly she gave me and A on the paper even though I followed nearly none of her instructions explaining that I had a good understanding of money concepts.

22 years old:
DW finished college. I did not finish college as everything I was learning appeared to provide little value and the great recession was felt and ubiquitous at this point. I did not think I was learning that skills I needed to be "successful". College was jumping through hoops and writing papers because someone told me it was necessary. I was learning little of value. DW and I married. At this point I understood money concepts but failed to apply them efficiently. DW and I paid for wedding with cash (7k), paid off a car (6K), took some "vacations" and were working on paying off student debt. Around this time I had read The Millionaire Next Door, The Millionaire Mind, Total Money Makeover, Automatic Millionaire and any other book that basically said millionaire. Had read GetRichSlowly and some other random blogs that basically regurgitated the same make a budget, use this bank account, etc. as all the other books I had previously read. At this stage of the game aggressively paying off debt meant rounding up the next hundred and paying for everything but cars with cash.

~24-27 years old:
DW landed a government job. I switched from a 45k job to 22k job knowing that I would be able to change my lifestyle in order to do something more satisfying than being micromanaged constantly and following scripts that I was expected to memorize. Within six months of this job change I had went from 22k to 35k per year in average weekly earnings. However, with the change it ended up being too focused on customer service and I moved to another position in the company. I stayed in that position for about 1.5 years. During this time we purchased a house and had our first child. Not making great money I started reading some “lifestyle” blogs and found ERE. When I found ERE I read for hours. During this period is when I started to advance on the Wheaton scale. ERE allowed us the benefit of DW taking full FMLA for our child without us having financial difficulties

27 years-current 29.5:
DW and I sold the house because of was too far away. Purchased a house that was 30% cheaper 23 miles closer to our jobs. I ride a bicycle to work most days. We are on track to pay off 80K house in five years. Paid for a vehicle with cash, paid off car loans, increased savings to buffer large issues investing in 401(k), pension, paid for masters degree with cash, paying for bachelors degree with cash, have a brokerage account with Vanguard. Dropped expenses by about 50%. Not counting daycare our family of four has a household budget of ~25k. We DIY plumbing, painting, electrical, plastering, sewing, cooking, some automobile repair, bicycle repair, home brew and some computer repair. DW and I have done this together. However, I have been the main driver for change. We still spend money frivolously, own a truck and drink good beer. At this point we have been able to spend tens of thousands of dollars on home repair, education, childcare and vehicle upgrades without going into debt, increasing our savings and paying off our house more quickly. At this point we are savings 28K+ yearly and are improving nearly monthly. In this time period there has been a change of values.


DW is accepting of these changes because the increased savings and investing allow her the ability to be more *flexible* with her job than other employees otherwise could be, our children’s education, early retirement and travel. She does not want to see a spreadsheet and she does not care what our net worth is. She wants to feel secure and dream of doing things with me I have stressed these points to her very strategically in order for the lifestyle changes to occur naturally without friction. Overall I am content with living this lifestyle because it is the most rational way to live. I strive for efficiency, independence, and freedom of thought. ERE helped connect many of the things I already knew into a better system than what I had been using and as a result I have adopted many of the principles and will continue to maximize my efficiency as circumstances change. I regularly make changes to our lifestyle experimenting to see what maximizes my time, money and happiness.

*Self diagnosed Wheaton level is 4-5 depending on column.
**While I have not saved as much as I could have ERE concepts have allowed me to practice flexibility while maintaining comfort in my life. I could have saved 125k more than I have at this point but I made different decisions but I paid for all those things with cash and they have provided robustness to our financial life. Now that the robust building stage is over we are working on resiliency.

Fish
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Re: Significant others: Having the talk ...

Post by Fish » Tue Sep 26, 2017 7:28 pm

@Jacob - Thanks for the perspective. I won't hold out much hope for my DW to take a sudden interest in FIRE. We share a desire to reduce waste, and that common goal allows us to slowly progress up the Wheaton levels, even though DW is an unwitting participant to the journey. ;)

JWJones
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Re: Significant others: Having the talk ...

Post by JWJones » Fri Sep 29, 2017 5:14 pm

Well, I'm having a hard time with this one.

I had "the talk" with my wife about a week ago, stating what my plans/goals were in terms of finances, ERE, and changes that need to be made if we actually want to realize some goals.

"Okay," she said, "do whatever you need to do, I'm on board."

A couple of days later, after trying to exert some control over the grocery budget, I get massive blow-back/resistance. "You're trying to deprive us!" "Fine, you do the shopping!" etc.

Last night she informs me she is getting her hair cut and colored today, and it will cost $80. I agree to it.

Upon checking the bank account today at lunch, I find said haircut cost has ballooned to $115, a $35 difference from her quoted price. I confront her about it. She freaks out, says "I don't want to deal with you being mad at me all the time," etc. I point out to her the number of hours of her labor she just exchanged for that expense, that I just want her to be more mindful of her choices, etc., but by this point she has stopped communicating with me (we were texting). I try calling her, she doesn't answer.

Ooohhh boy, war stories, indeed.

This may take some time. I need to be persistent, but try to remain kind. Failing that, I will need to get out. We have been together 28 years. Our youngest child will be 18 in five years. If I can't turn this ship around by then, I will have to move on without her.

TopHatFox
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Re: Significant others: Having the talk ...

Post by TopHatFox » Fri Sep 29, 2017 6:20 pm

I'm on the never have joint finances or even living spaces camp. Gets rid of most problems.

It's so nice to be able to go home to your own space. Also nice to visit there's occasionally rather than be in it all the time. It's also great because one can bring other people over to stay the night without space problems. Not to mention you get to say: "you do your own thing. I'm not going to tell you how to live your life. That said, I do ask that we do common expense level activities when we spend time together."

Sclass
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Re: Significant others: Having the talk ...

Post by Sclass » Fri Sep 29, 2017 8:08 pm

JWJones wrote:
Fri Sep 29, 2017 5:14 pm
This may take some time. I need to be persistent, but try to remain kind. Failing that, I will need to get out. We have been together 28 years. Our youngest child will be 18 in five years. If I can't turn this ship around by then, I will have to move on without her.
Be nice. This kind of thinking can cost you 2/3 of your net worth. A $115 haircut will look small. My SO used to be besties with her beautician. She got about $1200 a year out of us. Eventually my SO went to cutting her own hair. My mom started complaining about SO's cheap dyejob at the time.

I was really proud of her drugstore hair dye.

Now all that seems kind of silly.

I was pretty successful getting my SO on my plan after I showed her a few years of results. Now she regrets spending any money that doesn't get diverted to investments. watching our "peers" fall behind financially over the years has also done a lot. In a few cases it has been tragic.

Girls can be really catty about things like clothes and jewelry. That kind of insecurity just melts away when the fluff becomes easily affordable.

sl-owl-orris
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Re: Significant others: Having the talk ...

Post by sl-owl-orris » Sat Sep 30, 2017 1:08 am

@JWJones

It seems to me that your wife likes the idea of having money and not beong dependant on a job enough to agree to the proposal but she hasn't changed her mindset about spending. It's not something that happens overnight.

Since you are the one who introduced ERE, it's natural that you are trying to control the expenses. However, if you look at it from her point of view, it looks like you are invigilating her about spending, questioning her decisions and so on. She probably feels personally threateded, becacuse she feels like you are trying to take away from her important things, things which make her who she is or how she views herself. If that's the case, no wonder she is defensive about it.

I think that moving on with ERE without her may be a bit premature. You have tons of memories together and if not love, then companionship you achieved through these years is not something you should disregard lightly.

Give her time. If you read a topic or a post on ERE forum that she may find interesting, show it to her. Give her examples of frugal happy people. Give her autonomy - let her plan her own frugal budget (with your help and guidance, but let her do it). As her how she thinks the both of you could cut expenses. Even when you make a decision about yourself and your own spending, ask her opinion. In short, give her space, make baby steps and let her keep some of her 'essential' spendings for the time being. Let her find her own way to reduce those expenses or drop them completely when she is ready. But also, try to make her engaged and interested in ERE, little by little.

I hope that helps and that you both will enjoy a happy road to ERE.

Scott 2
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Re: Significant others: Having the talk ...

Post by Scott 2 » Sat Sep 30, 2017 8:23 am

My wife grew up in a household with heavy consumption, and she saw the negative impact it had.

I've naturally been a low spender. We moved in together towards the end of college. She saw the ease of my lifestyle, did not have money anyway, and settled into the low spending patterns. Financial divergence from the people we grew up with happened very quickly, so by the time money was available, I'd say there was an active fear of how spending can make life difficult.

A couple moments that stand out in my mind:

1. She visited a friend who had a job but no food, because he had spent all his money on cable, clothes, and cigarettes. Like he was literally going hungry for that crap.
2. She was able to just walk away from a bad work situation, because savings
3. A year or two later, watching her friends at work stress over finding enough money a house down payment, ultimately begging from parents

These patterns amplify with age, and they re-enforced the desire for frugality. It helps tremendously that we never went down a spendy path.

JWJones
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Re: Significant others: Having the talk ...

Post by JWJones » Sat Sep 30, 2017 8:49 am

Thanks for the sane advise, @Sclass and @sl-owl-orris.

After I came home from work, we talked about it more. I tend to be pretty hardcore when it comes to this sort of thing, and I jump right in head-first and start making things happen quickly. She changes slowly, but definitely sees the wisdom and need to make changes in our current situation to move towards FI.

I think we will get there, I just need to have more patience and understanding. It's great to have a forum like this to share thoughts and ideas with others, and therefore temper my more hardcore tendencies.

Jason
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Re: Significant others: Having the talk ...

Post by Jason » Sat Oct 07, 2017 1:11 pm

(1) No impulse purchases: Every purchase that is not an emergency must be time tested. Funny how most are just simply forgotten about;
(2) Subtle thematic shifts such as underscoring security as opposed to purchasing power when discussing money. "We have two years of mortgage payments saved, let's get to three." "Look, we could pay off the house if there was an emergency."
(3) Time horizon shifts. "You know, once we burn this mortgage off, we can think of Maine."
(4) Mention of accomplishments in terms of FU. "You know, I was getting the Subaru serviced and I realized we could buy a new one in cash but who needs that."
(5) Diminish significance of material possessions by their transience: "Throw it out."
(6) Call out the douchebags. "You know they are leasing that BMW."
(7) At first, only address expenses that you believe will not create turmoil - i.e. hair cuts (See above post);
(8) Fear factor. "You know, we really should save just in case we need a new hot water heater."
(9) Show growing financial statements. "Look at this shit, we've got x Saved."

youngsaver
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Re: Significant others: Having the talk ...

Post by youngsaver » Wed Dec 27, 2017 4:20 pm

Really appreciate that there is a forum chain on this topic.

My SO loves to travel (of the expensive, tourist type) and try restaurants. I find both of these activities wasteful and pointless. I once asked her why she liked them and she said they make her happy. I tried to explain to her that happiness isn't a fleeting feeling or something you acquire, it's something you are. And that many of her attempts to "buy" happiness really just left her wanting more, in a self-feeding cycle of spending money and being unhappy. She didn't take it well. @sl-owl-orris probably has it right - I was attacking the very things that she defines herself with.

She has gotten better about being conscious of spending money - agreeing to save eating out for 1 weekend night per week and going on touristy vacations with her friends instead of me. I'd like to get her to give them up entirely but I don't think it'll happen. Is compromise really what maintaining a relationship is about? Or are we each preventing the other from self-actualizing one's genuine vision of self? Something I am constantly contemplating.

I'd like to start exposing her more directly to ERE so that change can come from her own beliefs. I'm going to pick out a few passages from the book for her to read and then we can talk about it. The most important task for me is distinguishing to her that the choice is not between spending money to do things or doing nothing and saving money. But more about a choosing to obtain skills, freedom, and independence, or not

Fish
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Re: Significant others: Having the talk ...

Post by Fish » Thu Dec 28, 2017 11:15 am

youngsaver wrote:
Wed Dec 27, 2017 4:20 pm
She has gotten better about being conscious of spending money - agreeing to save eating out for 1 weekend night per week and going on touristy vacations with her friends instead of me. I'd like to get her to give them up entirely but I don't think it'll happen. Is compromise really what maintaining a relationship is about?
As the saying goes, what you've never had, you never miss. In that regard, it would be much easier to start with a blank slate ("voluntary simplicity" is level 6 on the ERE Wheaton scale... expecting someone to give up what they enjoy is a tall order). You have to decide how important financial compatibility is to you. Then compare that to your expectations of finding a mutually compatible partner. Personally... if I had to choose between a money problem and a relationship problem, I'd take the money problem every time. I know how to fix those.

My DW and I met (and married) as college students and our first relationship test was encountered while preparing for our wedding. I got into an argument with "shopaholic" DW over some new clothes she had wanted to buy. Because she already had perfectly good clothes, it seemed completely unreasonable to me. It was some silly triviality like $70 for 3 shirts; despite being poor we could certainly afford it, and I relented. We would continue to have disagreements on the shopping issue for many years (if not clothes, it was cosmetics, handbags, etc.) until she finally grew out of it in her early 30s. Actually, it persists to some degree but DW has established a reasonable "enough" level for herself that eliminates the go-to-the-mall-for-fun behavior. It's admirable considering that her closest friends are hyper-consumers in this regard, and scale up their spending as their $$$$-incomes increase. Remarkably, as part of this transformation she has expressed an interest in meeting new friends who are more down-to-earth and care about the same things she does.

What I'm trying to say is that there's a possibility that it's just a phase, and your SO will grow out of it. But if you don't provide a better alternative (I didn't), it will be a slow personal transformation, and it might never happen. You can make arguments over money and lifestyle the centerpiece of your relationship, or you can both work together to find a solution that works. It's reasonable to compromise because no two people have the same preferences.

On the subject of travel, I do think that there is a time and place for everything in life. Some things can only be properly enjoyed while young. Some of my fondest memories are from traveling to slightly-dangerous places in my 20s that I would not dare visit now that I'm in my 30s with children. Your sense of risk changes. Furthermore, perception changes over time. As you gain wisdom and experience, you will attribute a "been-there-done-that" kind of quality to many things, and I consider myself fortunate to have seen the world with a fresh perspective rather than old-man-eyes.
jacob wrote:
Thu Sep 21, 2017 5:59 pm
@Fish - Yes, she's changed a lot. Going from 4 years of experience to 13 years. I've changed a bit too---going from 7 years to 16 years. We're both at higher Wheaton levels now(+) and the gap is smaller than when we started but it's still there.
While reading through the blog archives, I noticed that Jacob's DW's guest post on The Dollar Frugal also exists on ERE blog, and after generating a lot of heated reader comments, resulted in a follow-up post where Jacob and his DW try to clear up the misunderstandings.

Scott 2
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Re: Significant others: Having the talk ...

Post by Scott 2 » Thu Dec 28, 2017 3:22 pm

You need to provide a more rewarding alternative to the high consumption behavior. Telling her she's wrong won't cut it, you have to offer the experience.

It might not be a bad idea to give her experience a try first, appreciate what she values about it, etc. That would be a great way to open the dialogue and position yourself to understand what a rewarding alternative looks like.


As someone who has always been strongly in the separate finances (even through marriage) camp, I am learning time has a way of forcing them to intertwine. I no longer think encapsulating a partner's higher consumption in "their" spending is an effective long term solution. I do still believe in separate accounts as a tool for relationship harmony, but your partner better have compatible views on money.

youngsaver
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Re: Significant others: Having the talk ...

Post by youngsaver » Thu Dec 28, 2017 4:44 pm

That's exactly where my head has been leaning towards lately.... how to present a more rewarding alternative. I think the book articulates this well - I'm thinking I'll either encourage her to read it or just show her some passages.

I did try an interesting experiment earlier this year with her that I think worked well. She wanted to go somewhere with me - I agreed but only if we saved up the money throughout the months before for the trip. Each time we cooked instead of went out to eat, or walked somewhere instead of taking cost associated transportation, we would contribute the difference into an envelope for the trip. She was really excited each time we made a contribution and I think it highlighted to her that sacrifice is about giving something up now for something better later.

I'm wondering... did you ever ask your partner straightforwardly about their views on money? or was it more of something you ascertained yourself via observation and tangential conversations?

Scott 2
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Re: Significant others: Having the talk ...

Post by Scott 2 » Fri Dec 29, 2017 4:32 pm

My wife and I started dating at 16, so we talked about money as we (I really) learned about it. The toughest part was understanding my perspective does not determine her perspective. I still need a reminder from time to time. Our incomes diverged by our early twenties, and that definitely challenged assumptions we each held.

No experience broaching the subjects as an adult.

sl-owl-orris
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Re: Significant others: Having the talk ...

Post by sl-owl-orris » Fri Dec 29, 2017 5:00 pm

youngsaver wrote:My SO loves to travel (of the expensive, tourist type) and try restaurants. I find both of these activities wasteful and pointless. I once asked her why she liked them and she said they make her happy. I tried to explain to her that happiness isn't a fleeting feeling or something you acquire, it's something you are. And that many of her attempts to "buy" happiness really just left her wanting more, in a self-feeding cycle of spending money and being unhappy. She didn't take it well. @sl-owl-orris probably has it right - I was attacking the very things that she defines herself with.

She has gotten better about being conscious of spending money - agreeing to save eating out for 1 weekend night per week and going on touristy vacations with her friends instead of me. I'd like to get her to give them up entirely but I don't think it'll happen. Is compromise really what maintaining a relationship is about? Or are we each preventing the other from self-actualizing one's genuine vision of self? Something I am constantly contemplating.
I used to love touristy travel and eating out in the restaurants. If someone would ask me a few years ago about my dreams, I would probably say that I want to travel comfortably and eat out all the time. DH considers those waste of time and money – he believes that travels are too expensive for what they give you and that I cook better and cheaper food that we could get in any restaurant. When we started exploring the idea of ERE, travelling and eating out were the main points of disagreement between us.

It took us a while, but we realised that those two things make me happy for a couple of reasons. One of them is the feeling of novelty and the other is having something done for you rather than the other way round. Once we recognised that, it became quite easy to find a compromise that is satisfying for both.

Traveling – for holiday abroad, instead of expensive locations, such as Ireland, we choose less expensive ones, such as Eastern Europe. The feeling of novelty and meeting a different culture satisfied 100%. By choosing a less expensive place, you don’t have to always pick the cheapest option, as the more expensive one may be better value for money and still be within your budget. The overall experience is more pleasurable this way because both of us can relax and enjoy the stay.

To me trying the local cuisine is a big part of travelling and DH would prefer if I cooked throughout the stay. The compromise: before going somewhere I research – what’s worth trying, what are some cheap good local places etc. I also check if any of the places we want to see have a free day or reduced admittance day and plan our stay accordingly. Trip advisor is a good starting point for cheap food and free attractions. So I spend some time researching before the trip, but this way we get to see things which are really interesting to us and don’t spend too much on entrance fees. We also eat out few times in preselected places and I cook for the rest of the time.

We also reduced the amount of travel abroad and make sure we walk a lot in the neighbourhood – going to a park during different seasons does give you the sense of novelty and discovery. Some amazing things are just a little bit further away – taking a half an hour bus ride can make for an exciting and inexpensive date.

As for eating out, we also reduced those to special occasions or logistic choices, and then we make sure to choose places with good value for money. For the most part, I satisfy my want of novelty and different flavours by frequently trying out new recipes. I also like to watch cooking vlogs when cooking (for example when I need to stir something for a long time) so that I can get inspired. I started to take pride in making delicious well-balanced meals from whatever I find in the fridge.

I really like Jacobs idea of treating shops as museums – a place where you go to look at pretty things, but not necessarily to possess them. Once DH realised my mindset changed and I will not try to convince him to buy every pretty thing I see, it became easier for me to share my experiences with him. Now, if I see something pretty in a shop display and drag him there to point it out, he will happily follow me and acknowledge that this thing is indeed pretty. After we admire it, we just walk away and carry on. Ever since I’m free from the need to possess unnecessary pretty things, we can both enjoy one of my favourite things to do – going to Christmas fairs and traders’ markets.

So we sorted this by breaking down what makes me happy about travelling and eating out and recreating those things inexpensively. And yes, even when your goals and values align (which is pretty rare), you will still have your own preferences for pastimes and you will assign different level of importance to certain things. So I think a compromise is necessary to share life and stay happy.

I’m not really sure where your SO’s feelings stem from, but maybe she likes the feeling of being looked after and having things done for her? I don’t know how you organise things, but if she’s the one who is mostly cooking, maybe she would enjoy if this one day a week you cooked something for her? You could keep it ERE friendly and delicious at the same time. Win-win!

youngsaver
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Re: Significant others: Having the talk ...

Post by youngsaver » Fri Jan 05, 2018 11:05 am

@sl-owl-orris want to thank you for this post. Had a great money talk with SO based on it - I even used the phrase "feeling of novelty" when discussing her love for traveling (!) and discussed alternative ways to obtain that feeling other than expensive touristy vacations. It's been an eye opening revelation for me - learning to think of alternatives for her to get those feelings versus before sort of fighting against them and trying to convince her to give them up entirely.

I've begun sending her posts from the blogs that I think she can relate to (she loved yesterday's Escaping the “9 to 5” before 25) and reading excerpts from the book. Progress being made!

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Lemur
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Re: Significant others: Having the talk ...

Post by Lemur » Fri Jan 05, 2018 3:38 pm

Spouse and I are pretty much in sync with our goals except she likes to eat out and make the occasional stop to McDonalds. I'm vehemently against fast food and eating out in general but it is a small price to pay for long-term marriage happiness I guess. What helped me spouse get on bored is realizing we can stretch our money much further in her home country so that is one of our plans in the future.

Demosthenes
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Location: Ontario

Re: Significant others: Having the talk ...

Post by Demosthenes » Fri Jan 05, 2018 10:07 pm

Thanks everyone for sharing your experiences. Having all of these stories in one thread is really useful, as this conversation is a near inevitable part of an ERE lifestyle.

I was already engaged by the time I found ERE, and so DW and I grew into it together. I sort of went from 0 to ERE in one week. During the extremes of this week, DW sternly said that we would be incompatible if I got rid of the hot water heater. From there, I went back to the drawing board and spent a lot of time reading before sharing all of my radical thoughts. I ideally wanted to sell our ludicrously large 1400 sq foot house and downsize to renting somewhere closer to work. If that doesn't work, we should at least rent out the extra rooms in our house to make up for the massive opportunity cost we are giving up with all the capital sunk into the mortgage. If that doesn't work, we would have to sell the car and exclusively bike everywhere including in the -20c blisteringly cold winter days.

After carefully sharing these thoughts one by one to DW, they were dismissed outright and with no compromise. DW wants a family and our house is perfect for that. Room mates are a no. Biking in the winter is a no. It appeared that my ERE dreams were being dashed, especially with kids in the hopper.

I think my problem was that I wasn't approaching these discussions from the benefits of ERE, but rather just discussing the changes necessary to deploy ERE. I assumed that not working was the ultimate goal, and that everyone didn't want to work. After further discussion with DW, she admitted that she likes working, and wants to work until she is 60. Money, therefore, is no object. Spending extra money to get a car isn't seen as several steps back from retirement, but rather, maintaining her lifestyle to her minimum standards. Working an additional 5-10-15-20 years to get any of the things mentioned earlier is a totally reasonable price to pay.

We have 100% combined finances (happened before the engagement), so it's not possible for one of us to retire without the other. I don't think this would be fair either. The solution we came up with is that I'm going to be a stay at home father.

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