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Persuade Future Son in Law to LBYM
Old 12-03-2014, 08:47 AM   #1
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Persuade Future Son in Law to LBYM

I would like to influence our future SIL to spend money more carefully. He is not used to budgeting and right now tends to buy whatever he wants. Like a fancy car, whatever he feels like eating, etc.

I think he comes from a family that has these values as well. Probably live at their means, not live below their means.

Our family tends to be more careful with money - we buy "not fancy" cars, we eat food that is on sale, etc. We don't scrimp too much - we still have a good life. But as a consequence of LBYM we will be able to retire early. And we paid cash for our kids college, whereas he had loans.....

I would like to give him some reading to help adjust his values. The first book that comes to mind for him - a somewhat status oriented person - is "The Millionaire Next Door". My only concern about giving him this is the risk of offending him....

Do you have suggestions for other reading material that would help? Also any suggestions for how to turn a LAYM into a LBYM person?

Thank you all!!
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Old 12-03-2014, 08:54 AM   #2
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His biggest influence will be the example his future wife will set. Your work there is done.
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Old 12-03-2014, 09:01 AM   #3
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Giving financial advice to a future SIL is a very bad idea. You aren't close enough to him to influence his behavior in the slightest. All you would accomplish is to start the relationship off on a bad note. Stay out of it, and let your daughter and her boyfriend make their own decisions.
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Old 12-03-2014, 09:02 AM   #4
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Bestwifeever nailed it.

OP, you could have been my F.I.L. 35 years ago! DW's family is well educated, financially sophisticated, and big time LBYM. My family, very blue collar and unsophisticated. Not that I was into spending (had no money), but he was aghast when he learned that I kept my checking account balance in my head. (excuse: I was still in college)

He never said anything to me about it. Between DW and self-developed knowledge, I [relatively] quickly worked my way into his graces, where I remain. :-)
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Old 12-03-2014, 09:06 AM   #5
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His biggest influence will be the example his future wife will set. Your work there is done.
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Giving financial advice to a future SIL is a very bad idea. You aren't close enough to him to influence his behavior in the slightest. All you would accomplish is to start the relationship off on a bad note. Stay out of it, and let your daughter and her boyfriend make their own decisions.
+1. He isn't even a SIL yet, so don't bother. I called all of my DD's boyfriend "Boy du jour" until she got engaged. Then I learned his name. But your daughter is going to be whipping him into shape in many ways assuming they get married. Finances will be just one of them. Step away from the helicopter and find something else to watch.
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Old 12-03-2014, 09:10 AM   #6
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I agree you've done your work, now comes the hardest part, sit back and watch. I'd suggest no books, no talk unless he comes to you. That will happen in his time. Your actions will speak much louder than your words, till then.

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Old 12-03-2014, 09:11 AM   #7
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+1 to all comments above.

SIL will or won't get to where you hope he will go based on his individual aptitude. Trying to control him will not improve your future relationship, it will only damage it. Step away from the situation and accept that it is not yours to manage. Focus on enjoying your time with them instead, as that is the only thing that does fall within your control.
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Old 12-03-2014, 09:13 AM   #8
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Has your DD expressed concern about his spending?
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Old 12-03-2014, 09:34 AM   #9
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His biggest influence will be the example his future wife will set. Your work there is done.
Yup. This, 'nuff said.
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Old 12-03-2014, 09:54 AM   #10
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Has your DD expressed concern about his spending?
Yes she has. She's seen how he's not careful with money. The good news is that they are trying to buy a house and now his car payment is deducted from the money they could use to pay a mortgage....
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Old 12-03-2014, 09:56 AM   #11
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I have a somewhat different view but would spin it as giving the books you decide on to them as a couple.

In the situation you described, I think the easy thing for them to do is to 'pay yourself first" by having whatever saving/investing they can afford to do pre-programmed as paycheck deductions or auto-pays from their bank accounts with the idea that any income in excess of that they decide to save/invest can then be spent.

If he is status-conscious it will be hard for him to change unless he wants to. We always drove more pedestrian (but still nice) cars than my BILs (they had Mercedes, BMW, Saab, Volvo, etc) and the fanciest ride I had was a Mitsubishi Diamante, but..... I'm now retired and they are still working.
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Old 12-03-2014, 10:04 AM   #12
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I've said it before, in cases like this (and almost all cases), I don't give financial 'advice', I may give financial information.

Big difference. In one case, you are trying to tell someone what the best path is. But when you give information, you are providing an education so they can make the decision. You can point out the power of an emergency fund, and how having some cash at the ready helps you to take advantage when opportunity knocks. And how an extra $20,000 on a car will lose value, while that $20,000 invested will likely gain value. And so on.

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Old 12-03-2014, 10:06 AM   #13
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Yes she has. She's seen how he's not careful with money. The good news is that they are trying to buy a house and now his car payment is deducted from the money they could use to pay a mortgage....
Then gifting books and other informational resources to her may be the way to go. She's going to want her own money and not be dependent on him.
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Old 12-03-2014, 10:12 AM   #14
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I personally have had little success in changing behaviors with solicited advice and even less with unsolicited advise. I am just referring to basic personal finance, not investment discussions. I am almost to the point that change can only come from within, though I do believe severe beatings would expedite the changing of consumer spending behaviors in the most quickest efficient manner.


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Old 12-03-2014, 10:39 AM   #15
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What Mulligan said.

We've been helping with the nephews' education. Next year, when they graduate, I intend to hide the graduation checks inside copies of a Bogleheads guide and they can take it from there, if they want, but they are already family, we have an existing relationship and they are not quite yet freestanding adults. I would not give the same to a fiancée.
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Old 12-03-2014, 10:40 AM   #16
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For some folks, LBYM is a way of life. For others, one has to hit rock bottom first. For other folks, they never come around.

That said, I don't believe in the other extreme too as one can't take the money with you, as the saying goes.
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Old 12-03-2014, 10:57 AM   #17
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Further: I hate to think of what DH's parents thought about me but they never offered advice. We do the same with our kids' choice of spouses.

I am struck that your future SIL has college loans but you paid for your DD's college. That is not a fair comparison imo in evaluating his or her lbyming.
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Old 12-03-2014, 10:57 AM   #18
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Good luck with that. I have tried to dissuade some of my very best friends from their crazy spending ways, to no avail. My best bud ever (from HS days) talks often about retiring early, but he won't stop spending $$$...most of it because of his DW who has had 2 foreclosures, a bankruptcy and well...anyway. I really thought that once he saw that I WAS RETIRING and that he could be there in a few years too he'd change his ways, but instead I got a text from him last Friday asking where I was shopping for Black Friday?!? I told him I wouldn't be setting foot in ANY store until mid February!!!


Sorry for the rambling, but I think he's going to do what he's going to do. I think I would be more concerned about your daughter. I can tell you from experience that differing ideas on money can/will destroy a relationship. Been there, done that.
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Old 12-03-2014, 11:03 AM   #19
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That is almost like telling someone to lose weight. Does not go well. Information is not the issue it is desire and will power.
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Old 12-03-2014, 11:55 AM   #20
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I think I would be more concerned about your daughter. I can tell you from experience that differing ideas on money can/will destroy a relationship. Been there, done that.
I've been there too.....and not with a good outcome. I'd be concerned that your daughter is stepping into a situation that will be difficult to live with, if she is a LBYM person.

And they are buying a house? They are not married yet, correct? What's with that?
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