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Old 05-30-2013, 05:34 PM   #81
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So for the male posters here with frugal wives, where did you meet her? I guess you found one of the coveted 3.7%.
College, where as me she also worked to help pay her bill and didn't get trapped into the "because I at a school considered prestigious I need to start acting like I am rich" syndrome. Both of us being the first generation in our families to be able to go to college was also a frugality factor.
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Old 05-31-2013, 07:02 PM   #82
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Another engineering chick weighing in.... and one who waited to get married, as did my husband. The adage that you'll truly know in your core when the person is the right one held true for us. We came from different socioeconomic backgrounds (he was from a huge Catholic family at the bottom of the middle-class spectrum, I was from a more educated, upper middle class WASP family.). Despite our differences we are kindred souls. I knew immediately that I would marry him.... But took another 9 months to make sure out of caution.

But we had initial differences in money attitudes. He was totally debt adverse, but had little retirement savings. But he was amazingly frugal, which let him take breaks in work to travel. I had more savings, but also had more debt (mortgage, car loan). I've learned to be debt adverse, and to be more frugal - he started maxing his 401k. Our differences improved our total fiscal picture.
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Old 06-03-2013, 04:08 PM   #83
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OK - But let's say that a high maintenance girl (who was good in every other way) also came with a dowry of say $2m-$3m? Would you take that deal?

What number would it have to be.

It would be weird marrying someone wealthy and essentially making the last 10 years of frugal living moot. Not sure I could ever adjust my mind set or habits.
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Old 06-03-2013, 04:58 PM   #84
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It would be weird marrying someone wealthy and essentially making the last 10 years of frugal living moot. Not sure I could ever adjust my mind set or habits.
Agree. And that's why my DW and I are of the same mindset.

I recently was invited to a private country club for golf and dinner. I came away from the experience kind of freaked out. My gracious host was spending money like water. I sat next to him and happened to see his wine list, and the cheapest bottle started at $100. He ordered 3. I have no idea what the dinners are since they are unlisted. Doesn't matter since he has something like a $2000 minimum per quarter on food anyway.

It was good to have this experience, but I didn't like it. Even if I had $15M in the bank to live it up, I'd be miserable doing so. It is just in my fabric now. I don't think it could be undone.
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Old 06-03-2013, 05:25 PM   #85
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I wonder why that is.

I originally started on the path to FIRE because I wanted to have the time to pursue my own dreams rather than being tied down to a job. If you had a near unlimited amount of wealth why not spend it like water? Why live in a modest home if you can easily afford the large house while still being retired and doing what you want?
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Old 06-03-2013, 06:16 PM   #86
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I wonder why that is.

I originally started on the path to FIRE because I wanted to have the time to pursue my own dreams rather than being tied down to a job. If you had a near unlimited amount of wealth why not spend it like water? Why live in a modest home if you can easily afford the large house while still being retired and doing what you want?
I think some people feel that big houses and material goods do not bring happiness. In fact big houses can kind of get to be an anchor of clutter and take time to maintain and keep up.

Have you heard of the homeless billionaire? He doesn't want to be weighed down with possessions. (He did hang to to his Gulfstream.)
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Old 06-03-2013, 07:26 PM   #87
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If you had a near unlimited amount of wealth why not spend it like water? Why live in a modest home if you can easily afford the large house while still being retired and doing what you want?
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I think some people feel that big houses and material goods do not bring happiness. In fact big houses can kind of get to be an anchor of clutter and take time to maintain and keep up.
A large house can mean more upkeep and maintenance, more headaches, and more unused space. Many of us who can afford a larger home, prefer a smaller home and choose to downsize, especially as we grow older.

As to spending money like water, well, like any high that "consumer high" wears off after a while. Spending money takes time and effort that could be better spent in other ways, and if the expenditure isn't well thought through then one can end up feeling empty and sad.There is so much more to enrich one's life than spending money like water.
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Old 06-03-2013, 08:27 PM   #88
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A large house can mean more upkeep and maintenance, more headaches, and more unused space. Many of us who can afford a larger home, prefer a smaller home and choose to downsize, especially as we grow older.

As to spending money like water, well, like any high that "consumer high" wears off after a while. Spending money takes time and effort that could be better spent in other ways, and if the expenditure isn't well thought through then one can end up feeling empty and sad.There is so much more to enrich one's life than spending money like water.
Yes. "stuff" doesn't do it for me anymore, especially after dealing with the stuff from my parent's estate.

I will admit that fine wine is nice and requires no upkeep except for quick trip to the restroom. But I can't undo 50 years of LBYM. I accepted the gift and enjoyed the $70 or so of those two nice glasses of Merlot. But if I bought it, I'd still freak out, even IF I had buckets of money. I think part of it comes from some of the stuff we've discussed here about lottery winners and young sports stars who are now broke.

To come back to topic -- this is where you have to be compatible. If your idea of "fine wine" is a $12 bottle over and above the $5 stuff, but your spouse's idea is $50+, you have a problem. And it may be hard to hard to reconcile the difference. It isn't easy to change those types of expectations.
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Old 06-04-2013, 01:09 AM   #89
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I don't think I'd have any problems at all adjusting to a wealthy lifestyle, if I suddenly came into that much money. I'd always make sure and have enough saved back that if I lost all the "things" I'd still have plenty to never have to work again.

But for whatever amount I identified as "mad money", I'd have no problems spending it on things I wanted. If I saw a $500 bottle of wine I wanted, or a $50,000 watch, and it wouldn't make that big a dent in my finances...no problem.

EDIT: The comments about wine are interesting (I just read a couple more), because I enjoy a nice wine. Good friends of mine, and myself, are members or a couple wine clubs up in Sonoma. I'd say the average bottle of wine I buy up there is around $40-$50. I've bought $100 bottles before for special occasions, and I once bought a $300 bottle to celebrate a good friend of mine landing a job he really wanted. Is a $300 bottle of wine six times as good as a $50 bottle? Is it 20 times as good as a $15 bottle? Nope...but it's still special, and rare, and "exclusive" enough that I indulge from time to time.

Indulgences from time to time are okay I think. It's when the indulgences turn into the rule rather than the exception, is when people find themselves disappointed and unhappy, and blowing all their money on stupid crap, and ending up broke (hence the lottery winners and sports stars that end up broke).
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Old 06-04-2013, 08:59 AM   #90
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Indulgences from time to time are okay I think. It's when the indulgences turn into the rule rather than the exception, is when people find themselves disappointed and unhappy, and blowing all their money on stupid crap, and ending up broke (hence the lottery winners and sports stars that end up broke).
Yes. And that's another key thing to discuss before marriage. Your expectations.

It is natural early in a relationship to "tough it out" when something not quite up to your expectations is in play. Your hope is this is a glitch, and maybe it is. For example, maybe your date ordered the $50 bottle that night just to live it up with their brand new honey. Meanwhile, turns out you are both $12 bottle people but didn't know it -- yet.

I think this is one reason you need time, dating, spending time and experiences together before taking that plunge.

I didn't know you liked Pina Coladas, getting caught in the rain... - Rupert Holmes.
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Old 06-04-2013, 09:03 AM   #91
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..."exclusive"...
Why else would one buy a $50k watch?
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Old 06-04-2013, 12:44 PM   #92
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Why else would one buy a $50k watch?
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Old 06-04-2013, 01:17 PM   #93
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Personally, even if I won the lottery I would still rather leave 50K to some charity like Smiletrain or a refuge for abused circus animals than pay that much for a watch.

I wouldn't want to see a watch company make that kind of profit on my money through status appealing advertising. I have just spent too much of my life looking for good value for my money I wouldn't stop even if I had a windfall.
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Old 06-04-2013, 02:25 PM   #94
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I wonder why that is.

I originally started on the path to FIRE because I wanted to have the time to pursue my own dreams rather than being tied down to a job. If you had a near unlimited amount of wealth why not spend it like water? Why live in a modest home if you can easily afford the large house while still being retired and doing what you want?
Banker - The above thought made me wonder...

Forget for a moment about your assets and her spending. Perhaps you need to approach this from a "compatibility of lifestyle" perspective.

What do you want in life? It sounds like you want (1) get to FIRE to eliminate job dependency and (2) to start a family with someone you are attracted to. Never mind logistics, are both point above possible with this girl? What difference does it make if she is willing to "live on less" or wants to spend, but comes with enough $ to support that? If she does not want kids, that's a deal breaker. If she wants you to fuel her never ending spending, that's a deal breaker as well. If she can, more or less, support her spending, let her.

You have an honest conversation about what you want from life and how are you going to get there. Keep in mind, it's a lot easier to be frugal when single. With kids, as your priorities shift a bit, you may find out that you are OK with being less frugal
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Old 06-04-2013, 06:11 PM   #95
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What difference does it make if she is willing to "live on less" or wants to spend, but comes with enough $ to support that? If she does not want kids, that's a deal breaker. If she wants you to fuel her never ending spending, that's a deal breaker as well. If she can, more or less, support her spending, let her.

You have an honest conversation about what you want from life and how are you going to get there. Keep in mind, it's a lot easier to be frugal when single. With kids, as your priorities shift a bit, you may find out that you are OK with being less frugal
While I agree that her absolute attitude towards money isn't the biggest thing ("as long as she can support it"), one concern I would have is.....what happens when she can't support it? What happens when she becomes pregnant, and wants to stay at home with the 3 kids until the youngest is in 1st grade? That's 8-10 years of her staying at home. 8-10 years of her continuing her spending lifestyle. 8-10 years of her picking out those $50 outfits for the kids out of a Pottery Barn catalogue "because they're sooooo cute, and why are you freaking out about just one outfit?" 8-10 years of all of those splurges continuing, because she never worried about what she spent before because it was second nature. In that instance, even though if you are justified in speaking up, you will come across as the tyrant who is trying to rain on her parade and deny her any enjoyment in life by curbing her cushy lifestyle of spending. Resentment will build on both sides. More frequent arguments about everything will ensue, spurred on by the subconscious, growing feelings each has towards the other on spending habits.

If someone has such an entrenchment in that lifestyle of spending when they can support themselves, odds are, they won't change under circumstances. Not because they aren't able to, but because they don't want to.

And it's a very tough assessment to figure out if they really are truthfully saying "yes, I could scale back if I were a stay-at-home parent" (because if they really could do that, why not simply scale back less now and enjoy a constant level of spending, instead of really living it up now and claiming you'll really cut back later on?).
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Old 06-04-2013, 06:25 PM   #96
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For many, likely most, people, spending money on things that they would like to have is fun. Typically they cannot see why this should have to change.

Most of us likely feel that if we are going to marry any woman, a rich pretty one has to be better than a penniless pretty one. But maybe not, for the reasons given here, and more that we haven't discussed. Like, she who has the gold, makes the rules. Not every man would be comfortable with this, and perhaps very few of the self motivated achievers who are found here. I saw a good episode of Route 66 the other night which dealt with this theme. Todd fell in love with a very pretty heiress (an Adams of Boston no less).

Everything was moonlight and roses until Todd figured out that when he married this very impressive woman, she unfortunately was going to require he surrender of his man card. I don't think that necessarily would be the case, but some of these rich girls have ben told for a long time that they are too good for hoi polloi, and down deep some may believe it.

I would not want to be someone's Ford that she got when all the time she was wanting a Lamborghini.

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Old 06-05-2013, 09:46 AM   #97
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Banker - The above thought made me wonder...

Forget for a moment about your assets and her spending. Perhaps you need to approach this from a "compatibility of lifestyle" perspective.

What do you want in life? It sounds like you want (1) get to FIRE to eliminate job dependency and (2) to start a family with someone you are attracted to. Never mind logistics, are both point above possible with this girl? What difference does it make if she is willing to "live on less" or wants to spend, but comes with enough $ to support that? If she does not want kids, that's a deal breaker. If she wants you to fuel her never ending spending, that's a deal breaker as well. If she can, more or less, support her spending, let her.

You have an honest conversation about what you want from life and how are you going to get there. Keep in mind, it's a lot easier to be frugal when single. With kids, as your priorities shift a bit, you may find out that you are OK with being less frugal
I agree with this with a few addendums...

An in-law's first wife was a trust fund heiress. At first life was great - they were able to live a comfortable life, right out of college, vs still being on a ramen budget like many. But, as he worked, he realized his career (that he was passionate about) would be boosted by graduate school - so he found a program he could attend at night, while still working during the day. His wife hated this. She didn't understand a) why he wanted to work so hard at school and b) why he felt he needed to work at all.... She wanted him to be available to "play" with her, travel with her, etc. This was a case of mis-matched goals/life styles. The marriage ended. It's important that the lifestyles and goals are compatible.

Same in law developed a taste for some of the finer things during this decade of marriage. He tried to carry it forward even when the big-dollar trust money wasn't there to backstop it. This created some friction in his second (current) marriage when money was tight and a golf club membership was requiring feeding. Fortunately, he was able to readjust down to a spending level that was sustainable on their combined income. But it created some friction at the time.

Being able to live within one's means - as a couple - is key. Sure - you may want to save more, she may want to spend more... you have to find a balance that's within your means.
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Old 06-10-2013, 05:09 AM   #98
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I believe as far as financial approach in marriage goes opposites may attract but they definitely do not work well together.

Both Me & DH are super frugal which meant that I was able to quit highly paid job (One more Engineer here in top 10 software company) to stay at home with kids at age of 31. And with my frugal running of the house I have clearly added 5-10 years to free years of my husband's life.

Even when its easily affordable, we always look for "Value for money or bang for the buck" in any purchase. I'm perfectly happy to wait for 3-4 months to get the clothing at 40-50% discount or wake up at 5 a.m. to cook proper meal for kids 7 Husband's lunch boxes. That's who I am as a person (against over consumption) and more money will not change that so it would not have been pleasant marrying a big spender even if he could afford spending money like water.

-DesiGirl
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Old 06-10-2013, 06:08 AM   #99
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I haven't searched to find the source, but I heard a discussion on the radio on Sunday related to this discussion, on an all news station. It was said around 58% of couples who plan to get married do not discuss money or finances before the marriage. A few reason were given such as "afraid to scare the other person off", "wanting to keep some degree of privacy", etc. Interesting.
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Old 06-10-2013, 06:44 AM   #100
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I haven't searched to find the source, but I heard a discussion on the radio on Sunday related to this discussion, on an all news station. It was said around 58% of couples who plan to get married do not discuss money or finances before the marriage.
That was the mistake I made the first time. Having learned my lesson I made sure that was discussed before marrying the second time.
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