Make the wife understand

68 Replies

I have been a BP student for a couple of years now.  I have worked OT, sold my stuff on EBay, worked extra for a landscaper.  I now have 15k saved up for investment. STOP!!! She wants to fix up the house we live in, maybe take a summer vacation, new clothes, shoes, maybe a different car??? Really?? All these things take us away from MY goal. What to do?

Divorce!!! Lol seriously you should have a discussion about how the money is for investment purposes. Sure it's nice to go and buy nice things when you have a little bit of cash laying around but think of all the things you could buy with a steady stream of income coming in every month. Got to pitch the long term. Good luck!!!!

Have her read this, then re-read it. 

Show her how you can invest those shoes today for better shoes tomorrow!

The one way I know to change her mind is to show here!  Do want you want to do (its your money you saved it up), then when you start bringing home checks, she will get on board.  Happened with my wife.  Now she wants to design, decorate, runs my errands, and everything.  

Disclaimer.......Don't waste away the money.  Do you're due diligence.   You'll never hear it down!!

You never said if she works or not? Explain to her all those "nice things" come at a price. Take out some of her old shoes, ask how much were these? what are they worth today? show her the blue book values of a new car, a year old , a two year old, and so on. Explain to her that is call depreciation.

 Have her listen to bigger pockets podcast. Have her read rich dad poor dad.  Explain to her after after you have read these . we will sit down and talk about the purchases.  The depreciations.  The short term satisfaction of a Nice buy.   

This sounds like a good idea. One thing you never can outguess is a partners vision is not always the same as yours. 

I have felt your pain. 

My wife was a realtor. I tried to get her to sell our house and lets buy another. Rehab it and flip, buy another rehab and so on.  You would have thought I had lost my mind.   We spent our savings, advertising, buying signs, running buyers all over the place. mls dues, broker splits on commissions. until we lost about everything. She finally decided to go inactive. and went back to a line of work that paid more steady.

A few year later after we had built up some savings again.   A friend and I decided we would try rehabbing foreclosures. We have bought and held, flipped a couple. Owner financed a few.  Have about 40 investment properties now. 

I started moving my IRA's into property's. I spent abut 6 months of weekends doing rehab. Rented it and just bought my second one with those funds.

When she saw the income from the first IRA investment property, she decided she was going to run out and buy one. She paid close to retail, for a condo that she would love to live in. It comes with a $130 month HOA fees. She has been trying to rent it for around $150 month above the surrounding condos. (we will be lucky to rent for payments, condo fees, insurance,) The math just doesn't work for me. She is making payments out of her salary. (she did rent it for 4 months. renter never moved in and backed out). sitting empty again. I think the rent is going to drop soon.

Another thing ls this purchase shows on our debt to income ratio. (Most of the investment property is owned by LLC' S).

She was looking over the numbers for the second one I bought, rehabbing now. I think the light has finally went off after 20 plus years.  She can see how my buy of a rehabber will make money. low purchase price. rehabbed appraisal. rental income, maybe a flip.    

Don't get me wrong , As a wife I could not ask for a better. I am blessed.  She just looks at investment property different than I do. She want to buy it done. I want the deal.

Something else I have to admit . like the mechanics car. my house always has stuff that needs done. lol I have been hiring my nephews to finish the landscaping and stuff she needs done.   (rental income's help pay for this) 

 I don't know what kind of investor you are planning on is? buy and hold? flip? wholesale? But I wish you the best. You might have to find a partner that has skills. after the first money maker she will see the light.  

Congrats on taking initiative!  The majority of people will never comprehend what you are trying to accomplish and don't try to persuade them but lead by example.  Americans lead a life of luxury and debt, so don't get caught up in the every day things but look towards the end game.  This for me means FREEDOM to do what I want when I want.  I now have the luxury to take several vacations a year and spend several weeks with family and friends at the age of 36.  NOW take your $15K and show your wife what you can accomplish with it.  Best of Luck!

I understand this as well. My bf wants a finished house! I want broken ugly 

There is an old saying that goes "Happy Wife = Happy Life." With the way our society is today, it is almost a brain bashing experience trying to teach someone who doesn't get financial concepts. Trust me, it took me six years to get my wife to understand that impulse buying when something was on "sale" wasn't saving anything.

Where am I going with this? Your wife is on the fast track of instant gratification. Let her have it in small doses! The key is very small. She wants new shoes. That's cool, Payless is having a sale! She wants a new car, hand her your keys, and you take hers. She wants to redecorate, go buy a can of paint and a roller; hand it to her and says "Pick a room." Vacation, sure at a state park in a tent. Total cost for you is less money than the price of the headaches. You compromised to satisfy her instant desires.

When she starts complaining, remind her; you gave her everything she asked for. And that you worked hard for all this money with the purpose to invest it! That she was informed from the beginning it was to be used for investments. At this point, you should then proceed to @Rod F. lessons on depreciations. 

Or just do what I did. Give her half (she thinks she's entitled to it anyways) and just start with less. Which is ironic because, I doubled my money in six months, and she spent all hers. Then she took half again. Vicious freaking cycle, but because I have a Happy Wife; lets just say, my life ain't unhappy! 

Good luck. Mine was worried about the debt the uncertainty.

Here is how I explained it to her and anyone else that ask.
We have been one missed check away from bankruptcy for cars trucks boats vacations u name it. We never batted a eye about it. Why worry about being in debt for something that's making us money?

Even if we fail were not going to die. We just back up and punt.

My wife still doesn't get it.  Maybe you'll get lucky and your wife will see the light and be agreeable to your investment plan.  Maybe she won't.  Even if she doesn't, you should forge on with your plan.

I finally took this approach. Say your wife was a theoretical physicist -- you probably wouldn't understand anything she did with her job. You wouldn't expect her to quit her job just because you didn't understand what she did. Well, just because my wife doesn't understand the principles of REI doesn't mean I should continue to invest and provide the best future I can for my family.

Sometimes you simply have to make an executive decision and be willing to live with the fallout.

Good luck.

Updated over 3 years ago

EDIT: "just because my wife doesn't understand the principles of REI doesn't mean I should not continue to invest..."

@Stephen Dominick

YES! Good post, I hear you, man. How do we make MY goal OUR goal? We're still working on it in this household and some significant progress has been made. Gentle patience and compromise will win the day over frustrated confrontation.

A very helpful (and fun) tool for us has been the Cash Flow 101 board game from Rich Dad. You can get it on Amazon now for under $50. We have spent many enjoyable hours playing and learning. It really helps to illustrate that spending on Doodads like shoes, vacations and cars will delay wealth building and prolong your struggles in the Rat Race.

Best of good luck to you. 

Tell her that you want to have real estate investments that pay YOU $500 a month each at least, not income sucking items that cost you. 

I just bought a 50k house in MO, 15k cash, 35k hard money loan at 12% five year balloon. Minimal repairs, and am going to owner finance it, or maybe rent it, and my cash flow will be $450~ month at least. Until I pay it off in 2-3 years and then it's $800 per month. 

That's what that 15k can do for you.

Every time I see a Lamborghani or an expensive porsche go by my 15k VW, all I see are the houses that money could have bought. Rather than spending 100k (or worse, leasing the car!) on an income sucking beast, you could have bought 2-3 houses and make at least 600 per month on each

$25k in bank & wife wants new car and the one she wants, coincidentally of course, is $25k. She was so happy she could have her dream car free & clear. 

I explained to her that if she buys the car, in 5 years she has basically nothing. If she buys a house using $25k down she will make $500/ month which will pay for her dream car. In 5 years rents will have gone up & she can have another "dream car."

Just an example, didn't happen to me, basically the premise of "Rich Dad, Poor Dad." Have her read that book, then ask her if she wants to go car shopping or investment house shopping. 


I agree that you work to have her capture that vision you have, but also gift her a gift, something romantic.   It doesn't have to be super expensive.  Maybe a night out away from kids.  Whatever is most romantic.   Your marriage is an investment also.   

I have a husband that is more of a spender than a saver, and he had some memories of his own father owning duplexes that they had to go work on and mow the yard, so he wasn't a fan at first of the idea of investing in real estate.

So when I sold the house I had purchased before we were married, and have been renting out since we moved into a rental together, in my mind, that goes straight into down payment on a new investment and paying off some consumer debt.  He of course asked how much I could give him. I settled on $500 and he was happy.  

However, instead of buying a big huge new house in an area with lots of new home construction with minimal appreciation, he is going to let us buy either buy a duplex and live in one side for a year or two, and then do it again, so we can keep using owner occupied loans, or buy a house with a lot that can be sub-divided out into condos or a duplex. 

@Thomas Oliver I like this reasoning! I think it could also apply to many who might get cold feet about investing.

Real estate aside, this is actually quite concerning.

You and the wife need a financial plan that you're both bought into.  Maybe that's buying bitcoin, or starting an all you can drink coffee chain, or agreeing to work until you're 80... it really doesn't matter.  What you need is an agreement of what you want your financial future to look like, and a gameplan for how you will get there.

My advice?  Forget about real estate - that's not what the discussion should be about.  Instead, ask her what financial life you want together?  Do you want to save for the future?  When do you want to retire?  What type of retirement?  Kids through school?  etc.  But start with the end in mind.  

Once you have some agreement on where you want to end up, you can then ask how to get there.  I hear you that real estate is appealing, but that's a decision that you both need to make.  If you're asking her to consider options beyond 15K worth of shoes, you need to consider options beyond 15K of real estate.  So talk - but be sure to ask and listen - and yes - even compromise.

Making my wife understand was very tough.  She thinks mostly about short term costs/ month to month kind of thing whereas I started thinking about retirement when I was a teenagar.

Ultimately I had to basically make an excel spreadsheet to show her very conservative returns and compare it to conservate returns in other investment vehicles.  I also pointed out that most of the ultra elite invest in real estate.  Why pay for your lifestyle when you can have someone else pay.

Give up  trying to win her over. Take control. My husband has a credit card with a weekly budget and gets a small amount of cash. he can do whatever he wants. I mean whatever.  No questions asked. I do not open his statement, i just pay it. But if he goes over? Hell to pay ;-)  Sure it sounds mean but he doesn't have to do anything financial at all. 

I do the bills, budgets, maintain insurance policies and propery tax.  I manage all the investments and bank accounts.  His weekly money does not go towards any bills at all and We have almost all of our household goods delivered once a month from amazon.  He appreciates dropping stacks of bills on my desk and walking away! 

We have a finance meeting once month.  We discuss short and long term goals that we both decided on.  Sometimes he says hey I need money for x this month. Or I say hey, we have X big expense this month. Can you get by with 50 bucks less a week?

Now its all about compromise.  And we have other areas where he has executive decision no matter what. 

For instance, if and when we go on vacation I let him pick where we go and how we get there. He hates getting on an airplane but I will sit in the car for 16 hours because he wants a road trip! 

@Thomas Oliver

Similar situation on uncertainty. My wife would rather refi a property and lose less per month than take the equity out and buy something that cash flows because at least now she knows what we have. Frustrating to say the least.

Great topic with good suggestions.

Originally posted by @Verna M. :

Give up  trying to win her over. Take control. ! 

Hi Verna, that's the way it is around here, too.  Sometimes, no amount of reasoning is going to work.  That doesn't mean give up what you KNOW is right.  It means you have to stand up and take control.  There might be some mild turbulence early on, but once the money starts to trickle things get better.

 I'm glad you didn't give up on doing what you knew was best.  In the end, your entire family reaps the benefits of your wise decision making and your strong backbone.


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