Well, today (Saturday) was supposed to be a “spend no money” day. Yet the hubs and I both failed. Looking back, we were actually setting ourselves up to fail to begin with. Why?
- The hubs traveled to San Francisco (3 hours away from our home) with our 2 sons to visit with family. Of course he’s going to spend money. Granted, he only took out $40 and said “this way, this is ALL I will spend and won’t use the card.” So, if he actually does keep to that $40, it will be a pretty big win for us (because the hubs is notorious for not keeping track of the money he spends and then being completely puzzled when the money has run out).
- I stayed home with our daughter, who wanted to have a special day since the boys went on a day trip to the city. Her special day included a trip to the Dollar Tree (ok, I get points for taking her to the Dollar Tree as opposed to another store right?) to buy little craft projects and fun toys to play with when we go swimming later today with cousins. We spent $34.
I would like to point out, the hubs and I had a conversation earlier today that went something like this:
Hubs: “So how much money can I spend today in San Francisco?”
Me: “Um…none? I don’t want this month to be like the last 3 months where we are broke with a capital “B” the last 2 weeks of the month because we didn’t stick to a budget the first 2 weeks of the month. And in order to do that, we need to not spend money when we don’t have to spend money.”
Hubs: “You’re right…..” (yet I know he’s thinking “I wonder how much money I can get away with spending without her getting really mad at me…”
This brings me to another point. The hubs and I have a pretty great marriage. We really do. Of course we’re not perfect, but we’re committed to working together to make our marriage the best it can possibly be.
Yet, we DO have money issues. While the hubs is 100% willing to sit down and do a monthly budget with me, it never happens. While the hubs has the passwords to all of our accounts, he relies on me to tell him how much money he can spend.
I don’t like this. I don’t like being the one “in charge” of the money. I don’t like being the one who decides how much money can be spent and how much can’t be spent. Because then I feel like the bad guy when I say “no” to something. And I kind of feel like I’m the only responsible one. And I kind of feel like I’m more of a “mother” to my husband than his wife and partner.
He knows all of this. It’s not like I’m sharing some deep dark secret.
I just don’t know how to change it!
So, I googled “How to have a good money relationship with your spouse.” (That’s a long phrase to google, I know. I’m notorious for putting a random thought into the search bar and hoping Google knows what I’m looking for. Most of the time, Google does. I like Google.)
And I found this, from Dave Ramsey:
“When it comes to money, men tend to take more risks and don’t save for emergencies. Men use money as a scorecard and can struggle with self-esteem when there are financial problems.
Women tend to see money more as a security issue, so they will gravitate toward the rainy-day fund. Because of their need for security, ladies can have a level of fear—my wife, Sharon, calls it terror—when there are money problems. Men and women are different in how they view money, and it is largely because they process problems and opportunities from different vantage points.
On top of the fact that men and women are different, opposites attract. Chances are, if you’re married, one of you is good at working numbers (the nerd) and the other one isn’t good at working numbers (the free spirit). That isn’t the real problem. The problem is when the nerd neglects the input of the free spirit or when the free spirit avoids participating in the financial dealings altogether.”
Ok, so Dave Ramsey makes me feel better in knowing that what the hubs and I deal with is actually quite common. That’s good to know…but how the heck do we change it?
So, next I Googled “how to be consistent when paying off debt.” And I found THIS article that hit the nail on the head for me. The article is from the website FrugalRules.com and is titled “What is the key to success when paying off debt?”
- The main idea: Attitude is key.
- As the hubs and I have worked through (not consistently…) all of the common suggestions to pay off debt (cut expenses, budget, make more money, sell things etc.) we’ve always felt like there would be some magic something that would get us out of debt. Our heart was never truly IN IT. Attitude is going to make all of the difference this time around.
I’m committed to having an attitude that will get us out of debt. But what is that attitude? Well, I think we should start with throwing the excuses out the window that we tell ourselves. Excuses such as:
- I deserve a treat
- I can avoid unexpected expenses
- Having nice things makes me happy
- I only use this credit card for the rewards (we have Disney credit card and that is my exact excuse…)
- It’s a great sale, I’ll pay it off later
- Everyone has some debt
But really it’s time to stop over-spending, under-planning, over-borrowing and under-saving. Our problem is not money, it’s US!
So, we’ll be working on our attitude about money over here. Because a life of wealth and abundance is our goal, and we’ll figure out how to get there this time. For reals.
Do you have any money attitudes you can share? How about the excuses you tell yourself that you’re gonna stop telling yourself? Sharing is caring!