How I Convinced My Wife To Join The FI Journey

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Chase Sapphire Preferred Card​

Looking for the best credit card to start earning travel rewards points? The Chase Sapphire Preferred is our pick. With a 50,000 point signup bonus (after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months), the $95 annual fee waived the first year, and ultra-flexible points (transfers to 13 airlines & hotels!), this is our top choice!

I have been on the FI train for a long time now and it seemed like my wife has just tolerated it. She has always been a good saver, but we had short term goals to save for, like travel or a home purchase. She had career aspirations and didn’t see the point of leaving work behind to pursue other endeavors.

Lately, she has gotten much more interested in financial independence. Did I do anything different to convince her? Or, did she finally come to her senses? Neither! It turns out that a number of things have changed in our lives recently, and the pieces have all come together to change her outlook and life goals.

Having a child changes your perspective on life. Since both of us are working, our daughter spends most of the week at daycare and we see her for a few hours a day. I leave before she gets up and come home in time to spend about an hour with her before she goes to bed each night. My wife gets more time to spend with her but it’s still not enough. Financial independence, we hope, will let us spend more time with our family and take advantage of the time we have together before it slips away.

Secondly, my wife recently got a new job that gave her more insight into the day to day tasks and responsibilities of a school principal. Her career goals had always included becoming a principal and then moving up higher into school administration at the county level. Now that she can see the roles and responsibilities of administration from the inside, she’s considering whether that path is still the way she would like to go. Financial independence would mean she could adjust her career aspirations or think outside of the box completely. Maybe teaching or school administration in another country could be a possibility!

As I’ve stated before, lately I have been thinking more about what life after financial independence would look like. We’ve been talking about what we would want to accomplish and do if we had the freedom that is afforded by FI. Like many others, we like to travel and the possibility of living abroad with our family has really struck a chord with us. This was when the impact of reaching financial independence really clicked for my wife. 

We have since thrown around ideas on the logistics of raising children in a foreign country and where we would want to live and for how long in each location. We discussed homeschooling and how much more interesting lessons could be if you’re learning about World War II in Germany or Japan. That’s not even thinking about language acquisition and cultural immersion!

The freedom offered by FI will allow us to chase good weather around the world, plus have extended time with family and friends during the holidays or birthdays (how was everyone in my wife’s family born in May?).

Like I said, there was nothing I could do to make this concept resonate with my wife better than her coming to this on her own. Now we can both look forward to and plan to make financial independence our reality. 

Have you and your partner come to the FI movement at different times? Do you have any advice for those of us who are working to convince their wives why you’re saving so much or prove to their husbands that this really can be done?

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How I Convinced My Wife To Join The FI Journey

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7 thoughts on “How I Convinced My Wife To Join The FI Journey”

  1. I’ve been a FIRE fan ever since college and my wife (GF back then) has always been supportive. However, she’s always done her own thing with her career and truly loves working… who am I to interfere with that? Recently, however, she had a small taste of early retirement when we had our two children. I had already retired early and she decided to work part-time (~25 hrs/wk). This gave us a lot of precious family time early on and I think she enjoyed it. So, the last time we spoke about FIRE relative to her, she was interested in transitioning to part-time work indefinitely when the time is right. We’ll see! 🙂

    • That’s great and I think that is how our situation will turn out. Lately my wife has leaned more towards working longer but at a reduced schedule if possible. Sounds like we will need to check in with you in a few years for any updates that we should apply to our lives!

  2. My wife actually started me down the road to FI by accident. She passed along a suggestion from one of her colleagues to check out this new podcast called ChooseFI.

    6 months later, she asked me what app I used for podcasts and listened to her first episode.

    It was a rocky 6 months, but that had nothing to do with money. The silver-lining of that unrelated turmoil was that it kept discussions of finance off the table. In the meantime, I kept plodding away, updating my spreadsheets, doing research on asset allocations, making (and sticking to) grocery lists. When she decided that she wanted to make a change, she knew she would find me prepared to talk about it, so it was easy for her to start the conversation.

    If I have any advice, it would be get your own house in order first. After all, you share a roof with your partner. Your actions will change their environment, too. Make sure that you are clearing a path that you find inviting, and chances are that if you like it, eventually, the person you love–who shares many of your interests and personality traits–will discover that it’s really is pretty appealing.

    • I definitely agree that pushing your partner is not the way to go. Planting a seed and letting him or her come to the realization is a far better way to achieve the mutual goal.

  3. I struggle with getting my husband on board with it. He’s fine with me handling all the finances and doing what I think is best with investing. However, the part that is really hard for me is to get him on board with the cutting expenses portion. If one hasn’t read up on opportunity costs and growing the gap between living expenses and income, it can be hard to understand that portion. I think he just thinks, well, we can make more money and then maybe we can get there. It is a battle that I fight in my head all the time. I don’t want to push him so I randomly send him articles every few months. It has been mostly crickets in response. Its so delicate to point it out without him thinking “You’re telling me I spend too much money.” I’d love to figure it out one day!

    • Maybe try discussing the time frame and what you need to do so that you can reach your goals on time? You’re right that it can either come from more income or less expenses. It can be frustrating from both sides if you two want to approach it from the opposite directions.

      My wife and I have had more friction because I want to accelerate the time frame and therefore cut expenses even more. We don’t have much more fluff in our budget so that’s creating some angst for her.

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