Tag Archives: frugality

“I Want You to WANT to Save!”

credit: Alice Pasqual (Unsplash)

credit: Alice Pasqual (Unsplash)

In the 2006 movie The Break-Up, there is a funny sequence where the Vince Vaughn character and the Jennifer Aniston character get into a huge fight. It’s pretty relatable for many couples who have dealt with similar circumstances.

So let me set the scene: After a dinner party with friends, Jennifer Aniston’s character (Brooke) wants to do the dishes. Vince Vaugh’s character (Gary) is playing Grand Theft Auto.

B: Well, I’m gonna go do the dishes.

G: Cool.

B: It’d be nice if you helped me.

G: No problem. A little bit later. I’m just gonna hit the streets here for a little bit (playing GTA).

B: Gary, come on, I don’t want to do them later. Let’s just do them now. It’ll take 15 minutes.

G: Honey, I am so exhausted. I just honestly want to relax for a little bit. If I could just sit here, let my food digest, and just try to enjoy the quiet for a little bit. Get some! Get some! Get some! (beating people with a club on GTA) That’s what happens. And we will…you know, we can clean the dishes tomorrow.

B: Gary, you know I don’t like waking up to a dirty kitchen.

G: Who cares?

B: I care! All right? I care! I busted my ass all day cleaning this house and then cooking that meal. And I worked today. It would be nice if you said thank you and helped me with the dishes.

G: Fine. I’ll help you do the damn dishes. (throwing his game controller down)

B: Oh, come on. You know what? No. See? That’s not what I want.

G: You just said that you want me to help you do the dishes.

B: I want you to want to do the dishes.

G: Why would I want to do dishes? Why?

B: See, that’s my whole point.

G: Let me see if I’m following this, okay? Are you telling me that you’re upset because I don’t have a strong desire to clean dishes?

B: No. I’m upset because you don’t have a strong desire to offer to do the dishes.

G: I just did.

B: After I asked you!

(Check out a clip of the scene here if you’re interested)

I’m a bit of a weirdo I guess because I really don’t mind doing dishes all that much and that’s with NO DISHWASHER! I’m no saint though because doing the dishes probably means I get out of doing some other chore I hate more!

Obviously no one really likes to do the dirty work, the grunt work, the menial tasks like washing the dishes. But it’s not really about doing dishes. It’s about sharing the household chores in a marriage and loving your spouse so you don’t want them to have to do these menial tasks all by themselves. Sure, everyone has those sweep-you-off-your-feet moments where you write a romantic poem for your wife. You bring her home fresh flowers when she’s feeling down. But no one really things of doing the menial tasks like washing dishes, cooking dinner or cleaning the bathroom as ROMANCE. These are thankless jobs. However, if you’re like me and your “love language” is “Acts of Service” then you probably feel loved when your spouse does these tasks so you don’t have to. Many people will profess their love for their significant other, but are they willing to do the little things to strengthen that relationship?

What does this have to do with Money?

Similar to the above example, a lot of people read exciting headlines about those who paid off a ton of debt in a short period of time, people who retired extremely early, or people who started a blog, making tons of money. A lot of people also make these their goals. Who wouldn’t want to attain these goals? But how many people want to do the dirty work to get there?

When it comes to paying off a ton of debt or saving up enough money to retire extremely early, you’ve got to save a lot of money. But who really wants to save? Who enjoys saving?

Who wants to cook their own meals rather than having something cook it for them?

Who wants to forego that Starbucks venti iced mocha latte?

Who gets joy out of watching their bank and investment account grow rather than spending your paycheck on new shoes or new iPhone X?

Who actually wants to set up a meeting with their spouse to discuss finances and to set up a budget?

When it comes to starting a business, who wants to sit down and actually do research on that industry and to write up a business plan?

For those aspiring money making bloggers, do you like learning about SEO and how to do stuff on Pinterest? (Oh boy, I don’t even know the proper terminology for that!?)

Once again, I am a weirdo, a financial weirdo, and so are some others in the personal finance world. We get great enjoyment pulling up our portfolio seeing how it has grown. Some people look forward to having a financial meeting with their spouse. Some even say that Budgets are Sexy!

That’s not the majority of the people though. Most people have these grand plans and goals, but how many follow through and actually put their plans into action. How many even take the first step towards that goal? It’s not a surprise that the majority of people’s New Year’s resolutions fail by February. Don’t tell me your grand plans and goals. Show me what you are doing right now to achieve them!

Behind every person who killed their debt, who achieved FIRE, or started a successful business is a trail of hard-work, discipline, and sacrifice. The goal is exciting and sexy, but the work that is required to get there, often is not. But if you truly want to attain that goal, you’ve got to do the unglamorous dirty work. If you are just all talk and no action, then don’t complain when you haven’t achieve those goals. Now go out there and start taking action. And don’t forget to help your spouse with the dishes!

What are your goals and what are you doing right now to achieve them?

That Time Image Mattered to Me

image is everything
I often like to think that I’m so emotionally mature that I don’t care about image at all. I don’t need expensive clothing, a luxury car, or high tech gadgets; and I don’t really care when people notice that I don’t have these things. It doesn’t matter to me. Until it did.

It was a Saturday morning and my wife was making breakfast when she noticed that we were running low on milk. I said I would get it from the supermarket which was only two blocks away. She asked me to bring our 15 month old son along with me, as he’s starting to climb on furniture and she wouldn’t be able to supervise him. My 4 year old didn’t want to come. He was too busy watching his cartoons.

On my way back from the supermarket, I stopped by my minivan to pick up a box of diapers I had bought the previous day. As I turned around, I saw a familiar face. It was a girl that I kind of went out with back in college. More accurately, I guess we hung out and then I was banished to the dreaded “friend zone” while she would go out with other guys. Anyway, long story short, back then I remember imagining myself being this successful guy with a fancy sports car and her regretting banishing me to the friend zone. Um, yea…I was kinda shallow and petty back in my college years. Sometimes, I still might be =) In defense of my pettiness and for some perspective, I want to disclose that I was a bit of a dork back in my college days…I still am…so that might be an explanation as to my pettiness!

In any case, I bump into her and she was with her husband. They were dressed up and probably going out to brunch. My hair was disheveled. I hadn’t shaved yet that day. I was wearing sweat pants, holding a box of Huggies diapers, and pushing a stroller, standing next to my minivan. We exchanged pleasantries and said how time has flown and that it was such a small world that we would bump into each other there.

After we parted ways and I was on my way back home, I was seething. Why couldn’t I have been driving a luxury SUV or something! Argh! Maybe I should have thrown on a nicer pair of jeans and combed my hair, before I left my house! I tried to remind myself why I don’t have a fancy car or expensive jeans. I have bigger goals: I want to be FI! But it’s not like I can show off by wearing a shirt that says “I’m on the Path to FIRE!” Did I mention that I can be shallow sometimes?

When I got home, I opened the door and my 4 year old jumped into my arms. “Where are we going today, papa?!” My 15 month old, still strapped in his stroller, stretches his arms out asking to be picked up too. My wife brings out breakfast. She made oatmeal and we’re also having Mickey Mouse shaped waffles.

I started to feel embarrassed. I was ashamed of myself for feeling like it mattered what someone I barely even knew thought about me. What really mattered were those people in that room with me at that moment. I have a loving and caring wife. I have two wonderful kids who adore me. Why did I waste my time in mental anguish over what someone else may or may not have thought about me.

Do you have any moments of weakness when you care too much as to what others may think of you?