Today, I want to talk about your spouse or partner or whatever you call the person you live with. First, allow me to talk about mine for a moment. Mrs. 1500 isn’t perfect:
- I mentioned last week that she has an issue with turning off lights. Her alter ego villain identity is the Wattage Waster:
- Another big issue is that she says the word “apricot,” like this:
In case that didn’t come through, she pronounces the first syllable like the hairy things that live in Africa or at the zoo. Everyone knows that this word is pronounced:
I have more to say about Mrs. 1500, relationships, strippers and even STDs in a moment (readers with delicate sensibilities may want to avert their eyes). First, we need to get to the question from a couple weeks ago:
Are you Passionate about your Work?
A couple weeks ago, I asked you if you were passionate about your work:
Mr. SSC said this:
I have to say that I may be in the minority, but still with a catch. I love my work – at its’ core anyway. I don’t like the bureaucracy within my company, but such is corporate life.
I’ll bet a lot of folks feel like this. We probably enjoy the work that we studied to do in school, but don’t appreciate all of the stuff that goes with it.
I like what Reader redrider has to say. Redrider’s job was nothing more to him than a way to build a better life. Nice work kicking ass in life RR! You are an inspiration:
Nope, not passionate at all, but it paid the bills for the past 8 years and helped my wife and I buy 25 rental properties. Home mortgage is long paid off. Not much cash on hand, but we don’t need any. Always have HELOC loans available. I gave my notice on my 35th birthday and I have 15 days to go! I’m sure you enjoy your job, but wouldn’t raising your kids and spending more time with your family be way more fun? I think you will wish you had done it a long time ago. The hardest part for me was telling my direct reports and coworkers. After that it’s been super exciting. Just my 2 cents!
I love Mr. PIE’s little ditty:
Cue the Righteous Brothers on Monday morning
All together FIRE bloggers:
We lost that workin’ feelin’
Whoa, that workin’ feelin’
We lost that workin’ feelin’
Now it’s gone, gone, woh…
The Physician on FIRE said this:
I’m passionate about doing my job well. I want patients to have the best surgical experience possible, and I’m all about patient safety.
I can’t say I’m passionate about the work. I have very little autonomy and it would be dishonest to say I look forward to my workdays or wish I could work more.
I think he’s in it for the free laughing gas, but I’ll buy the “it’s all about the patients” line for now. Just kidding. Maybe…
Relationships, Strippers and STDs
Last week, I talked about the trolls that came out in force when my story went up on Yahoo!. I know enough not to read the comments, but readers have been forwarding me some of them. This one (thanks MarciaB!) was hilarious:
- Ladies and gentlemen, we have found the next Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald or Herman Melville. This guy needs an agent so he can get working on the next Great American Novel.
- I’m fortunate that I have a good spouse. Despite what Future Hemingway says, I don’t think our lives are going to devolve into a cocaine fueled, sexual free-for-all. We already work from home and get along just fine, so I have no worries about the future.
Despite the gentle ribbing I give Mrs. 1500, we are compatible and she is a good mother to our children. She hasn’t turned off the lights even once in her life, but she can cook extraordinarily well. She likes to turn our home into a 1800 square foot sauna in the winter, but she has a strong work ethic. She refuses to pronounce certain words correctly, but we are on the same page financially. And this is very important.
Are you and your spouse on the same page?
When I discovered the MMM blog, one of the first things I did was tell the wife how we too could retire early. We couldn’t do it in our 30s like Pete, but I figured out that we could do it in our early 40s. To my amazement, she was completely on board with it from the start (she thought the blog was a horrible idea though*).
However, not all spouses are on the same page financially. I hear from people that want to invest in real estate only to be shot down by their partner. I recently heard from someone who would like to invest in the stock market, but his spouse won’t even let him buy an innocent index fund.
So tell me about your relationship!:
- Are you on the same page with your partner?
- If you aren’t shooting at the same target, have you been able to find a happy medium?
- If you reach financial independence, do you think your life will turn into an orgy of strippers, STDs and unplanned pregnancies with unscrupulous neighbors?
Epilogue: For a simpler take on relationships, my puckin’ friend Justin, breaks them down in terms of farts:
A sure way most men will tell you they have crossed into a comfort zone with their girlfriends, boyfriends, husbands, or wives is when you can let loose a loud stink bomb and be able to laugh rather than apologize. And come on ladies, you know that works both ways.
*The same day I discovered MMM and figured out that I could retire early, I also decided that it would be fun to start a blog. Mrs. 1500 thought it was a horrible idea: “You’ll run out of things to talk about!” Over 500,000 words later, I feel like I’ve barely scratched the surface…
Join the 10s who have signed up already!
Subscribing will improve your life in incredible ways*.
*Only if your life is pretty bad to begin with.
Eric Bowlin says
I think it’s easy for people to be on different pages financially, but be great with everything else. Not to self-promote too much, when I was having a small disagreement with my wife I decided to write a neat little article about convincing your spouse to invest in real estate.
When I came back from Afghanistan and had a nice war chest of cash in the bank… I wanted to spend it on real estate. My wife was very hesitant about it. I literally said, “this is my once in a life time opportunity. If I fail, I can still get a job. If I succeed, I’ll never need to work.”
My approach wasn’t great but she let me go through with it.
Anyhow, I succeeded. Even now though we occasionally disagree but they are more minor. We might disagree about which is a good deal instead of disagreeing over the idea of buying real estate.
Eric Bowlin recently posted…Main Stream Financial Publications Get it All Wrong
Kate @ Cashville Skyline says
So, my partner and I have been together for just over eight years. And we have always kept our money separate. We split the bills down the middle and don’t hassle each other’s financial decisions. I’m not sure if it’s ideal, but it’s worked for us. That being said, we both have long-term financial goals. They just aren’t necessarily tied to another. This may change over the next few years.
Kate @ Cashville Skyline recently posted…How to Survive on a Bare Bones Budget
Ms. Montana says
Oh my gosh, that comment! I’ll say, our year off hasn’t been quite that colorful. Mr. Mt are on the same page for all the big things, but our money personalities are different. I have 2k in my fun money account and can’t figure what the heck to spend it on. He barely hovers over $100. I really want him to write a post about how I have wrangled him into this rather odd life. =)
The Russian Guy says
I always joke that my wife has been married me for 10 years, and I have been married her for 20 years. Because for me it’s like being on active duty.**
** I know, I’m the most horrible comedian and this joke is awful.
But, being married for 10 years we have had ups and downs, as all couples have but always had and still have goals, our goals!
Living in Russia in one city and moving to Moscow, just to achieve a goal – no problem.
Living in Moscow and starting immigration process to the States together – no problem at all.
Have to say tho, for the first 8 years we kept our finances separate and it didn’t work for us (probably, we are not the smartest people on the earth we could have figured out and change it earlier)
Being married for 20 years** and having 2 kids I can tell that if you want to achieve something important in your life, you have to be on the same page with your spouse. And both of you have to work together.
My girlfriend and I are on the verge of moving in together after a year of dating. Thankfully the both of us are good savers, but I am the only one hellbent on reaching FIRE, while she is perfectly content with working her adult life and paying for things like cable and dining out every week. We meet each other half way with me cooking her favorite takeout to keep us from going out, and her covering the Comcast bill if she is going to insist on cable when she moves in.
No strippers or unplanned pregnancies here (as we’re both women, so any future babies will be meticulously planned out). My FIRE life will probably consist of taking classes, volunteering, and finally getting around to making that comic book I’ve been itching to get out.
Samantha recently posted…In-Sourcing
My hubby and I are on two different hemispheres. He loves to buy things – he brings things in and I pack it out 🙂 We were married later in life with kids and individual debts, so rather than combining everything we opened a joint “household” account and kept the rest of our finances separate which was one of the smartest decisions we have made. He 100% supports me, without any shaming, in my decision not to spend to desire to become FI and plans when I reach that point. I, on the other hand, am not near as supportive as I should be and am working hard on reminding myself that the FI life is not for everyone and that is ok. We do laugh about farts – and even let them go in public and outwardly blame our kids as we walk away, so we are definitely in the comfort area based on the above mentioned criteria. I just need to let go of the control and appreciate his love for things a little more. Work in progress.
Jim @ Route To Retire says
I could listen to your rants all day – fun stuff!
I would say that my wife and I are pretty much on the same page with most of our spending and saving. I could definitely live like a pauper if she wasn’t around, but she does make me buy things like new underwear or socks once in a while…. women, hmph!
But for the most part, we are both on the saving mindset with the reward being FI. We do splurge and do things like take nice vacations (cruises anyone?), but they’re well-planned so we don’t do a ton of spending outside the base cost.
I do have unscrupulous neighbors and would love the orgy of strippers, STDs and unplanned pregnancies, but for some reason my wife frowns upon that sort of thing. Women, hmph (wait did I already say that?!).
PS I was just listening (again) to the Mad Fientist podcast from a while back with you guys on it… you guys were fantastic on there!
Jim @ Route To Retire recently posted…What Do You Want to Be When You Grow Up?
Mrs. Picky Pincher says
I think it’s so, so important to be on the same page with your spouse. Mr. Picky Pincher and I also started out reading the illustrious MMM, which really set a fire under our feet to retire early. We’re shooting to retire in our late thirties/early forties, and we never could have done it without being on the same page.
What’s so awesome is that our skills are complementary. Mr. Picky Pincher does budgets and spreadsheets, and I take care of deals, coupons, and shopping strategy. We wouldn’t be able to have success without leaning on each other, and it’s been fantastic. We’re both going for the same goal, which obviously is the easiest road to be on here. I can’t imagine how difficult it would be if one of us were more spendy than the other!
And I don’t think our lives will sink into debauchery once we’re retired. 😉 In fact, I think a lot of drama that comes with work will flutter away, and our lives will be simplified.
Mr. Tako @ Mr. Tako Escapes says
Funny stuff Mr. 1500!
The thing is – If you guys had any problems before you had any money, you’ll probably have those problems after you have money.
Despite the troll’s hilarious rant, people don’t suddenly change once they’ve saved up millions. If you guys are doing good now, I’m sure you’ll do great after you retire early.
As for my wife and I….I’m happy to be married to the best wife *ever*. Don’t you get any ideas Mr. 1500, she’s taken! 😉
Done by Forty says
“She hasn’t turned off the lights even once in her life…”
You are killing me, dude.
Mrs. Done by Forty was always the naturally frugal one, and I was the convert. And like any new convert, I used the fervor of the newly initiated to commit 100%. Nowadays, I’m probably the one who’s slightly more driving the financial independence bus, but I still have a spendy streak at my core. Mrs. Done by Forty is no poser: she actually is happy doing things that aren’t crazy expensive. For her, it’s no sacrifice…while I always covet more scooters.
Fortunately, my husband is naturally not a big spender. But when I try to explain how much more we could save if we tried harder, he says OK, but the next day suggests we go to dinner or that I need to buy a new phone. In one ear and out the other. He also doesn’t follow any FI/RE blogs (or any financial material), but seems perfectly happy letting me figure out the path for both of us.
Regarding lights, thermostat, reducing waste in general (order WATER for goodness sakes!), I harp on things a bit too much, I fear. I am the one who scours for a cheaper electric plan, better insurance, cheaper travel options, etc. So I’ve created a monster in some ways. All seems to rest on my shoulders, but I’m also reluctant to give up control. Not ideal in the partnership arena, but at least we don’t fight over competing viewpoints that much.
I pronounce it Ape-pri-cot. Maybe a Southern thing? My husband & I are TX raised, but his mom was from NY and mine IL. He says “warrant” for “weren’t” and “melk” for “milk.” Go figure. I know what he means, I guess that’s all that matters.
Are you on the same page with your partner? Probably not – married 29 years (together longer than that) and separate finances the whole time. I screwed up some early discussions about money, it is a pretty taboo topic now.
If you aren’t shooting at the same target, have you been able to find a happy medium? Well, I would say “yes”, because we are still together. It may not always be a ‘happy’ medium, but it averages out.
If you reach financial independence, do you think your life will turn into an orgy of strippers, …. It hasn’t happened yet – but the 30th anniversary is on the horizon!
Mr. SSC says
We did not come from the same book in regards to finances, much less start on the same page. I’m the spendy one, she’s the saver type. That’s why our allowances/fun money have worked out great for us. Like Ms. Monatan, I think Mrs. SSC’s fun money account is close to $6k, with most being in index funds (booorrriinggg…) and mine hovers around $100 hahahaha
It works for us, and we found a system that we can both do well with, even though we have quite the opposite financial personalities.
I seriously doubt that our ER/FFLC will turn into some raucous drug fueled affair – pun intended, but you never know what life will throw at you. 🙂
Mr. SSC recently posted…Will your retirement have an ikigai?
Mrs. T and I are on the same page when it comes to finance. We both like the idea of being financially independence so we can gain more freedom and choices in our lives. We probably weren’t on the same page when we first got married. Thanks to attending Millionaire Mind Intensive, we got to talk to each other about money and our thoughts on money. It was an eye opener for the both of us and got us on the same page.
If you reach financial independence, do you think your life will turn into an orgy of strippers, STDs and unplanned pregnancies with unscrupulous neighbors?
>>> LOL heck no. :p
Tawcan recently posted…Where should I keep my dividend stocks?
Having a partner who’s on board with the frugal lifestyle and FIRE is certainly a necessary condition. The little bit of bickering about light switches aside (Mrs. ERN is guilty of of that, too) my wife is 100% on board. Has been on board from the beginning!
She was more than willing to forego that Gucci/Prada/LV handbag collection if that means achieving FIRE faster.
earlyretirementnow recently posted…We just saved $42,000 by not switching to Betterment
Mr. PIE says
Mrs PIE is the frugal baker. Mixes all the right ingredients (funds) at low cost to cook the investment PIE.
Mr PIE just likes to gorge on double layer sponge cake with fresh strawberries and cream as filling.
Actually we are on the same page. Although I have no idea why you need to have about a hundred mixing bowls in any baker’s kitchen. I can barely find basics like plates, mugs as mixing bowls are in the way. Like our investment portfolio, we are looking to simplify the kitchen. At least I am…..
Mr. PIE recently posted…How Flexible Are We? Better to Bend Than Break
Mrs. PIE says
and there was me just about to say the Mr. PIE is the brains of the operation – I just provide nutritional sustenance. That requires lots of bowls though. We’re not on the same page when it comes to bowls! 🙂
I would say that we are definitely a work in progress. My wife likes to spend money on make-up, clothes, etc. She has a ton of student loan debt and sees really nothing wrong with just kind of letting it go (e.g. paying it until she is 65….unless we can get loan forgiveness before then). I fully admit it is a bone of contention because I am all about trying to get out of debt and achieve a level of FI. She has no interest. She is content to just live paycheck to paycheck.
We have come to a bit of a compromise lately by doing Mine, Yours, and Ours budgets. She is ok with it, particularly when I show her the numbers, but I wish she was more interested in obtaining FI than buying stuff.
One thing that’s interesting in my marriage is that I’m constantly goading my husband, “Tell me what you REALLY want,” and he responds with something to the effect, “To not always be asked what I REALLY want.”
We do a good job compromising on “Tertiary stuff” that happens day to day. We have a strong agreement about the most important things we want to do with our lives. The secondary things are up for debate 🙂
Married for almost 25-years. She is a keeper as are our 6 children. I will say that when my wife dresses up like that, she can leave the lights on. :O)
She is a better saver than I am. But I am trying to be better.
Vicki@Make Smarter Decisions says
My spouse came in to our relationship at 46 years old with a lot of debt (after a divorce). I have always been good with money and had rental properties and retirement savings. Early in our relationship we talked about what we wanted out of life and he was totally on board with wiping out the debt and moving forward. Fast forward 10 years and we are at FI. Being on the same team makes a huge difference – at least when you start out late and want to retire early!
The Green Swan says
Lucy and I are on the same page and fortunately we always have been. We had a sponsor couple through our church prior to getting married and one of the primary things we discussed was financial compatibility. They were blown away with how much we were both on the same page. There was some sort of “test” at the end and we aced the financial section, first time they had ever seen that. Just like you and the Mrs, I don’t see STD’s entering the picture…
My strong recommendation to couples is to get on the same page and make sure you are financially compatible before getting too far down the road.
The Green Swan recently posted…The Path to A Million: Moving to Move Up
It took a while to get my wife convinced about the whole early retirement thing. In general we’re on the same page, sadly for some of the big ticket items I see there’s still some differences in how we want to approach things (big house and a car: she wants them. Me, I think not owning those has been critical to our financial success so far)
Stockbeard recently posted…Disrupted (a review)
Oh lord, the comments on some articles can be horrible. That’s when the trolls come out.
Me and my husband RV full-time, so we are literally next to each other ALL THE TIME. We always get asked if we hate each other. If we did, we wouldn’t RV! haha
Michelle recently posted…Why You Should Spend Like A Millionaire- The Frugal and Smart Money Habits of Millionaires
Mrs. S says
Funny you should ask, I am the new convert and Mr. S has always been the saver. Though my habits have rubbed on and now he is less worried about money. We are definitely on the same page in terms of FI, thankfully. We have always kept our money separate, even now as we gradually move towards combined kitty we still maintain a sheet showing who put how much in the kitty. Since our expenses on clothes and other personal things don’t count in the actual monthly budget we fare better this way.
Another thing that helps is that we earn almost the same amount.
Team CF says
I’m sure you guys will have lots of fun with the strippers, neighbours and all the other fun things. Sounds like another reason to retire early 😉
As for our dynamic duo, the word compromise comes around a lot. We seem to be good at this. We discuss the topic, review the pros and cons and than make a mutual decision. Works like a charm! Very rarely is there strife in the household. And if there is, it certainly is not about money.
Team CF recently posted…FIRED (MEET)UP?
Petra Huijts says
1500days, how about installing some motion detectors and let the lights go out automatically if you’re out of the room (or sit still for too long, which is an unhealthy habit anyway 😉 )
I think it is important to try to be on the same page although always agreeing isn’t easy. I am more financial minded than my wife and she is more caring and feeling. We have learned to compromise on most things through our 20+ year marriage. I do find the topic of being frugal and early retirement a little trying at times. She is still warming to the idea and likes her job way more than I like mine. Mine was always simply a path to wealth and not filled with satisfaction. I long for the days of freedom and hopefully a little fishing.
Thx for this posting. For Hubby & me this is second marriage. We are both frugal, zo no strife there. Hubby is very easy going on most things, And i am the planner, so no strife there top.
But i used this posting to discuss mutual input, which was eye opener for hubby. FI stille some years away, though near enough that hubby’s current unemployment doesnt cost any sleep. Thats a luxury too.
But well have really work on it know, And working together makers it easier, zo thanks for the nice discussion Option.
Ape-ri-cot? That is how it is pronounced in England – nothing wrong with that 🙂
Finance Solver says
I don’t have a significant other yet but I do know that it’s important to talk about money. My generation shocks me to this day because of how transparent they are with their finances (my friends even log into their 401k accounts and show me their balance and everything, one didn’t even care that she was putting in her social security number to register right in front of me). I don’t like to talk about money but I know I have to change that, communication will be key!
It took me 10 (ten!) years to convince my husband to invest in real estate, we started last year adn I am so relieved!
We also have the small problems that are far surpassed by the immense love nad respect we have for each other. Well, the small problems were seen as bigger at the beginning, but one learns to look at what’s really important and what is not…
Ms. Steward says
Mr. Steward and I are on the same page regarding the big things: no debt, the need to save for big life events.
We differ in intensity. Mr. Steward’s goals are very nebulous. He was us to be “stable and secure” but has a difficult time pinpointing exactly what that entails. I am the one who likes very concrete goals and can get almost too intense about them sometimes.
While I wish Mr. Steward were less consumerist sometimes (he still likes a very healthy spending money allotment for new movies/video games/books/booze), we are a good balance in that he keeps me from going crazy Ebeneezer Scrooge level hoarder of money (which robs present happiness), and I keep him from accepting “not in debt” as good enough (which robs future happiness).
Dividends Down Under says
Everyone I’ve ever known has said “ape-ricot”! Maybe once your wife has finished boning the neighbour next door and taken her cut of your dwindling cash she can move to Australia, where she can shout “APE-RICOT” from the rooftops without such ridicule? 😉
In all seriousness though, this was a great read. Tristan (Mr DDU) and I are SO financially on the same page that I feel like I’m rubbing it in other peoples faces if I talk about it too much. Running a financial blog together is one of our most enjoyed joint past-times. I recommend to most people that if your spouse is your best friend then you’ll probably have a good match – after all, lust and physical attraction doesn’t really help you get through big decisions about money – but building an intellectual bond hopefully will.
Dividends Down Under recently posted…Dividend update: August 2016
Todd Weitzman says
I really dig my job. It allows me to work with a lot of websites, big ones and small, and I get the great satisfaction of helping individuals attain the Financial Independence by all of the offers I send them! That being said, to be in control of a business, or to own one that continually brings in the same amount if not more than what I’d be making at my current job is something I’d always be open to.
Todd Weitzman recently posted…Where to save your money
That is awesome and an incredible gift! I like my job too, but other stuff in life has a habit of getting in the way sometimes… 🙂
Ten Factorial Rocks says
Good post Mr. 1500. Mrs. TFR also has switch-itis like your wife but she is a good cook and caretaker of our son. Financially, we are not on the same page always but that’s why we have Rules That Work (as I posted on my website). She works as a teacher and cooks for us fresh good meals every morning before going to work so our breakfast and lunches are always fresh and healthy. Dinner is usually what’s leftover or even that’s freshly made some days. We can never find identical thoughts in our partner but compatibility is more than just similarity, it’s also learning and adapting. We learn nothing if we don’t adapt.