How To Bring Your Partner On The Path To Financial Independence

Hey Friends, have you been bitten by the FI/RE bug? Are you dreaming of sleeping in on a random Tuesday while your friends fight traffic to get to their soul-sucking jobs? Maybe you are binge reading Mr. Money Mustache articles? Are you planning to buy a cool “Tiny House”, so you can live mortgage free while you build your rental real-estate empire?

Well if you are single, congratulations! You are embarking on a lifestyle filled with time freedom that few people will ever get to enjoy. But what if you are married, or in a relationship with another person? Do they share your newly found passion for side-hustling and delayed gratification? Will they gladly put in the extra work of earning more money, while at the same time saving more than any of their friends and family? Better think again.

What About Your Partner?

If you’ve been married or in a relationship with someone for any length of time, you’ve hopefully realized that what they want and need is important. Making a big lifestyle change will require buy in from both people.

Taking a special trip that you and your partner have long dreamed about can be incredibly rewarding. The payoff of new experiences felt, and memories made will outweigh the sacrifices you endured to get there.

The journey to financial independence is much the same. But imagine travelling that road with an unwilling or resentful partner. Better yet, imagine yourself as the person being asked to change your lifestyle to reach a goal you don’t care about or feel is not attainable. If you want to reach a difficult goal, you both need to be on the same page.

If your why is strong enough, you will figure out how.

Bill Walsh

Why Financial Independence?

Figuring out the answer to this question is the starting place on your path. Knowing the answer will help keep you moving forward when things get tough.

But Mr. C, i don’t know how to explain it to my partner?

One of the best ways to find your “why” comes from the documentary “Playing with Fire”. In the film, Scott Rieckins and his wife Taylor struggle with the idea of leaving their high cost lifestyle to pursue financial independence and a simpler life with more time freedom.

To begin designing their ideal life, they wrote out a list of the top 10 things that made them happy. Surprisingly to them, neither of their lists included the beach, or expensive cars. Things that they were working so hard to pay for, were not even on the list.

Try this with your partner. List the top ten or so things that make you happy. Mrs. C and I realized that spending time with extended family and travel were top priorities for both of us. This exercise will show you where you agree and where you disagree. You can then have a useful discussion about your priorities as a couple.

Date Nights

What could be more fun than a nice evening out on the town with your partner? How about a nice evening spent reviewing budget spreadsheets and checking 401k balances? Uhhh, maybe not. But having regular discussions about your future life can be a lot of fun. It will also help you bring your goals into greater focus. A good meal and a glass of wine also do not hurt.

Friends and Family

You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.

Jim Rohn

We’ve all heard this famous Jim Rohn qoute. But it’s not exactly true. It goes way beyond 5 people. In the book “Connected”, authors Nicholas Christakis and James Fowler detail the powerful effect of social networks.

Recent studies show that you are not only affected by your friends, but by friends of friends. The data showed that if a friend becomes obese, you are 45% more likely to gain weight. If a friend of a friend becomes obese, you actually have a 10% higher chance of gaining weight yourself.

How does this help me Mr. C?

Surrounding yourself with like-minded people can help you achieve your goals.

You’ve taken the time to get clear on your goals as a couple. You are going on regular financial date nights. Your partner may be warming up to the idea of cutting expenses to accelerate your goals. Things are looking good, but you and your partner are alone on the journey.

Or worse, you may have people actively questioning your choices. It’s hard to stand alone on your principles. It’s hard to turn down an invitation for a weekend trip even though you’ve already spent your travel budget. Social pressure can be overwhelming. This is where having friends who share your values can make all the difference.

Where can I find other people interested in Financial Independence?

  • Reach out to your current circle of friends. Many of us were taught that it’s not polite to talk about money. You may be surprised to find that people you already know are interested in FI.
  • ChooseFI local groups. ChooseFI is a podcast dedicated to spreading the message of Financial Independence. They’ve created local groups across the U.S. and in over 37 countries around the world. You can connect with like-minded people in person or through various Facebook groups.
  • Meetup is an online platform for finding people in your local area who share the same interests. Currently there are 1126 Financial lndependence groups across the globe.

Bring In The Professionals

The Financial Independence movement may seem like a very “niche” topic. But there are literally hundreds of blogs, books, podcasts and Youtube channels dedicated to the topic.

Following the journey of others who have gone before you can be very inspiring. Try introducing your partner to a blog you think they would connect with. Real stories about real people achieving their dreams is powerful stuff.

These are some of our favorites here at FI-Supply.

Final Thoughts

The thought of reaching Financial independence and the time freedom it allows is pretty exciting. Be careful not to let your enthusiasm blind you to the needs of your partner.

  • Figure out your goals together
  • Get clarity on your plan
  • Discuss the plan regularly
  • Connect with others on the same path
  • Be inspired by people who have already been on the journey
  • Realize your partner has their own hopes, dreams and needs and they will need to “get there” on their own terms
Photo by Annette Sousa on Unsplash

P.S. Building up enough wealth to live on for the rest of your life is hard work. Be kind to your partner and allow yourselves to enjoy the path.

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