View Full Version : Responsible Spending
Ok, my wife and I have been on a stricty budget for a while now, trying to get some debts paid off. I go through all the work to get our hosue refinanced, We end up saving about 150/month in payments, Plus getting back over 2300 from the escrow account, and Mortgage Insurance.
Its been tight, but over the past few year we have set a little bit of splurge money aside here and there for her to buy little things she wants that don't really fit into the budget. New dress Here, Pamperd Chef stuff there, landscaping stuff she wanted, etc. etc. Hell, we spent out entire 6k tax return (and a hell of a lot of my time) on finishing the basement, when I would have been just fine and dandy waiting another year or two on it.
So, we finally have this $2300 to spend, over and above our budget. I find an awesome deal on a PC, that would end up costing me about $530, and would do everything I need to do, for the next few years. After all the @#%$ we've got for her, over and above our budget, I ask for one damn thing. But no, somehow that is a bit too much. She was fine spending 200 dollars on the @#%$ lawn, but doesn't want to let me spend 500, when we wouldn't have even had the 2300 to spare if it wasn't for me in the first place.
Fine. We can play it that way. You want to get all passive aggressive and throw a guilt trip about spending money, and say "Well, I can't tell you no. After all, you are the one making all the money, but i don't think we really need a new PC. It doesn't seem responsible to spend that much on a luxury when we have 3 working PCs." (Mind you, one runs 95, mine runs 98, and hers is the newest XP laptop.) Implication: I'm going to give you hell for months if you actually do spend anything on yourself. I'll just be passive aggressive about it.
Well, two can play at that game. So, I told her that the whole 500 I wanted to spend is going toward paying off debts, and the rest of the money we have from that 2300 is going. I'll be damned if you get to spend a penny on luxury items for you.
That new living room furniture we had 1000 dollars set aside for? The one you had your heart set on? Fugghedaboutit. Our existing furniture works just fine, Isn't shabby looking, doesn't ahve any stains, or anything. That money we had set aside is already sent off to the credit card company. The New TV you had been dreaming about? Not a chance. We have two of them that work just fine. We aren't getting a new TV until after the credit card, the school loans, the car and every damn thing else is paid for.
Oh, and the minivan you wanted? Umm, no. Your car works just fine, and is 2 years newer than my truck in the first place. Not a damn chance of you ever riding in a minivan, until every damn thing is paid off, and we have the cash saved up for it.
You aren't getting any new dresses for church, no new kitchen gadgets, Hell, I don't even want you going out to eat with your friends, unless its off the dollar menu and Mickey D's.
You want to throw the responsible spending guilt trip out there on me, because I finally want to spend some of the money I earn at my two jobs on something I want? Payback is Hell. I can make sure you don't have a @#%$ spare dime to spend on anything but the @#%$ we absolutelyt have to have. Trojan Horseshoes
You MUST be pissed, because you never post family-related rants. Don't touch a gun today!!
I don't really have much advice... I was going to write about how my husband and I each have a personal account, and a joint account for household bills and groceries. But that doesn't really apply here. It's pretty crappy she won't compromise with you. If you really wanted to be nasty, make a list of all the stuff you've bought for her with extra money, and all the stuff you've bought for yourself. Maybe that would drive the point home.
11-12-03, 06:31 AM
Damn Meddik... you sound like you are married to my mother. Except my mom doesn't give a @#%$ about all the things that make the house look nice. Good rant though, I give it an 8.
11-12-03, 07:04 AM
Meddik, I did the same thing and mine left. Lol.
Good move on your part, though. That's fricken awesome. I give this rant a 10 just because of the way you handled the situation.
I'll bet $20 that by Christmas, she'll be begging you to buy that computer.
I hear ya brother! As wonderful and supportive as they are most of the time, somedays they just wake up insane. . I had a similar skirmish over vacation time earlier this year. I miraculously won that one. Don't know how, I just did.
11-12-03, 07:25 AM
Can't have a happy marriage without the quarrels! Hehe, I don't blame you at all, Meddik. If you do feel like you did the wrong thing later on, just read this rant again. It's a good rant, 'specially since I've never really seen one from ya.
Its always easier to beg forgiveness than ask permission...
Well, it isn't about permission. We agreed that we would cut to the bone on non-essential purchases, in order to get our debts paid off, and would come to an agreement about any nonessential purchases.
I'll just use my veto on anything and everything she wants, citing the fact that its nonessential.
Oii i hate that passive agressive @#$%
Rant = 10 for familiarty with situation, and meddiks lack of ranting.
Well im sorry to say it, but Meddiks playing the passive agressive @#%$ as well..
I understand your frustration, but dealing with the core issue of why she feels it is ok to spend on personal things but you cant is the problem, and playing this game isnt going to fix that.
none of mine or anyone else business though..
11-12-03, 08:28 AM
I dunno, Aidden, (uninformed viewpoint ahead) I think it may not be a bad idea. Meddik's wife says, "We don't need this computer to live," and that is true. So Meddik says, "Well you don't need this (important-wife-thing) to live, I think we should pay off our debts with that money instead." What's happening is the wife, who doesn't look at things the same way Meddik does is now understanding how he feels, and the money is going to something constructive to boot. This could be more effective than having a talk about it right away. The first time she throws a fit, that's when you have the talk, at least that's how I see it.
Meddik, before thinking that I think it's a good idea, remember that I am messing with a girl from work who is crazier than I am who is from New York. Listening to me give advice on women is like asking a deaf guy if he thinks your guitar is in tune.
11-12-03, 08:34 AM
Meddik nice rant.
but you dont stand a chance. Sinhuit Mirromere 65th Enchanter
Maxy million 59th Bard
Sinidualia 54th Cleric
Sinus Wolfheart 52nd Druid
Beor Mirromere 52nd Monk
Petunea Flowerpresser 35th Warrior
Venon 17th Paladin
Aiddens right @#$% I change my rating to a 4.
Confront her and don't play games! Say you deserve a new computer, and its not to much and you're saving this much money then buying some computer that cost 1700 bucks! That you haven't got yourself anything lately and you deserve it. Which you do man @#$% working two jobs and not relaxing sucks been there. Actually hoping to do something like that soon for a month or two at least.
Don't play that petty @#$% you don't get something she doesn't get something you both end up unhappy then the @#$% really flys and fights get even worse. No person you feel close with is going to say no when they see how hard you worked and see how much you'd enjoy a new toy.
So you get home today and you @!#$% tell her why you deserve some things and why she deserves things too and being petty over a @#$% computer is @#$% worthless. Be a man meddik! Don't play those games
That is all.
11-12-03, 08:36 AM
I personally would let her read your rant, just so she knows what you are truly thinking. But that is just me. When my wife asks what's wrong, she knows she better really want to know.
More than likely though, doing what you want to do is just going to make her think YOU are the one being childish and selfish. Hence, let her read the rant. Even a sanitized one if necessary. Communication is the key. Mind you that sometimes "real" communication is needed. No Yes dear, no dear, I am feeling a little blue but you didn't do it dear, it's just me dear.
Tell her how you feel man. Don't play games with your wife. It can only come back and bite you in the ass later.
Quote:I personally would let her read your rant, just so she knows what you are truly thinking.
Errrrrr BAD IDEA!!!
in my experience, having your spouse know you're discussing your personal life on a public mesage board is a bad bad bad thing..
Quote: personally would let her read your rant, just so she knows what you are truly thinking.
Long term relationships require a degree of passive aggressive behavior. If I exploded like a ninny on everything that irked me in my married life, I'd have more Women Suck threads in rant hall than the rest of you. I've found that you give and take and choose your battles wisely. It's not easy to cohabitate with anyone much less the opposite sex.
Some arguments require a degree of manipulation to "win" or "compromise." Otherwise everything is a screaming match. How long do you think Meddik's marriage would last if he responded from the gut...
Quote:Meddik: Hon, I've been busting my hump trying to get our household ahead and would LOVE to pick up this inexpensive computer to replace the TRS-80 out in the garage.
Mrs. Meddik: Well, I can't tell you no. After all, you are the one making all the money, but i don't think we really need a new PC.
Meddik: @#%$-ing-A Right You can't say "NO!" @#%$ you and your dresses and your landscaping and your stained furniture and all you "necessary" woman things. The computer is mine. Tough @#%$! I bust my hump at two jobs to keep a roof over our head and I can't have one peon little thing. @#%$ off!
I know I would have my keyboard, monitor, AND mouse stuffed up my arse and thrown to the curb if I consistently dealt with conflict like that. I'm willing to bet Meddik would too.
You have to swallow a small modicum of pride and reason occassionally. The "games" so to speak exist on both sides of the coin in small degrees in the best of relationships. They mostly rear their head in financial issues. It's a coping mechanism.
A family maintaining a tight budget and trying to get ahead spawns these snipes. It's tough and frustrating at times. I'm in the middle of it myself and have found that one partner's necessity is always the other partner's folly. Of course, mine is more folly than hers apparently.
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and then they know where you rant, and spy on you!!
You said what to who, on a public board that everyone could read @#$% Then you get this face then its turned into this one :"> Then when you're about to get it, its turned into this one All the while you're doing this face
11-12-03, 09:27 AM
While I realize that every marriage (or other relationship, for that matter) has its bumps, this is the first time I've ever heard you say anything other than happy things about your family life. It is kind of unsettling.
I'm not going to give any advice, since you didnt ask for any, and because I don't think I can tell you anything you dont already know or wont figure out once you're cooled down.
Money issues suck, and I feel for ya.
11-12-03, 09:39 AM
Quote:Its been tight, but over the past few year we have set a little bit of splurge money aside here and there for her to buy little things she wants that don't really fit into the budget.
There, IMHO, is the problem. Splurge money shouldn't be put into the budget. Or rather, if it is, then label it as such:
"Money Mrs. Meddik gets to spend on things that we don't need"
The final line on your budget should be "Savings not to be spent except in dire need" and should be just an "X" on the sheet, or a formula fill that gets the overall budget to equal zero. Any surplus because you saved a bit here, tweaked a bit there, goes into this line item, and doesn't count as "splurge money."
If she wants Pampered Chef stuff, that comes out of the kitchen budget. If she wants a new dress, that comes out of the clothes budget - she can buy a dress, but Meddik Junior goes without pants. Every penny that gets spent NEEDS to belong to one of the budget categories, or else the budget is meaningless.
Discretionary spending has to be included explicitly in your budget.
Quote:Every penny that gets spent NEEDS to belong to one of the budget categories, or else the budget is meaningless.
Well, The way we ahve been budgeting, We only take into account the money we KNOW we will be getting. If I work a few extra nights at my second job, or overtime on my first, or I get a bonus, or any other random stuff, that is counted as "above" the budget. The budget is just for the money we know we will have.
Anyway, I'm probably not going to snap and do all of this. Well, not for long anyway. But letting her read this is NOT going to be a good move, in the same way I probably don't need to read the stuff she chats with her friends about.
Leave it to the accountant to take all the fun out of a perfectly good rant.
If Meddik's anything like me he'll cool down anyway and forget it ever happened. Or is that inherently a guy thing. I forget arguments in like minutes. Women CLING to them.
Marriage and Finances humor courtesy of Ebay!
11-12-03, 10:16 AM
Meddik - just buy the damn computer.
If she asks where the 500 bucks when - tell her you spent it on a chiropractor (sp?) to fix your damn back which you hurt slaving away to redo your basement.
now thats a healthy attitude!!
and Nocte, I was never implying that anyone should snap..
Personally passive aggressive behavior would cause me to snap faster than anything.. I cannot stand it.
Me too. Thats what caused the @#$% rant you see above.
At least you have a footing to stand about about her spending, it's hard to criticize her spending compared to yours if she only buys things she really needs.
But $100 on the lawn?!?! Are you guys on of those norman rockwell family with the perfectly manicured lawn, seeding and sprayed, and mowed to the exact same consistency all the way around? Cause I think of one unnessecary part of your budget spending right theree..... (I'm only 1/2 kidding, I know the whole man's castle thing and the cult of lawn care, it's just not something I ever really understood.)
As for passive aggressive behavior....it's the one thing that can make me get ugly with people I don't want to be ugly with....cause it doesn't leave you any recourse in the discussion, because guilt trips are always masterfully designed to ignore one person's habits, and spot light yours.....Trying to point out the difference just ends the conversation completely because the other gets pissed off. @#%$ that tactic.
PS-Good rant. Edited by: Nenjin at: 11/12/03 10:34 am
Nocte wins with the ebay link. I can't believe someone paid 860 bucks for lil stuffed toys haha.
That would make good home depot money though. mmmmm power tools.
Quote:and Nocte, I was never implying that anyone should snap..
Oh I wasn't talking to you Aidden, you're a seasoned professional at this. Moreso than me.
11-12-03, 11:21 AM
Any money you make above and beyond your normal income should be spent on eliminating debt faster, rather than spending it on other things... though I don't often follow that advice myself. (Back In Black)
Delissandra Splitshadow - Veteran Deceiver of the Circle of Unseen Hands
Grandmaster Poisoner (250), Master Potter (191), Grandmaster Lush (200)
Well, you certainly are handling it better than I would. Trying to act bitchy (even passive aggressively) about you getting a treat when she's also been getting treats would drive me nuts. I'm perfectly fine with other people having their guilty little pleasures - but that also means I get to have my guilty little pleasures or there is hell to pay.
I'm a big fan of the theory that says people need to be able to have some luxury items/activities or life just ain't worth living. But damn, I would not be buying a new sofa to replace a functional one while in dept. Computer maybe, because it has a good EVP (Entertainment Value for Price*) rating. How much time would you spend on a new sofa? It's a vanity item IMO, it may get used, but it would not be more useful than the existing sofa. If the old sofa was very uncomfortable I could see it taking priority, but darn.
Sometimes I really do not understand some women and their obsession with decorating. Or as it sometimes goes "Wow your room's a mess" "WTF do I care, it's comfy and I know where everything is".
*I know it sounds crazy but I actually use this when assessing what I want to use my money on. $5 DVD rental disk for instance makes for, on average, 2.5 EVP. Buying a 40 hour DVD boxed set of series I really like may cost more, say $80, but then I watch them over and over so their EVP ends up more like 80 EVP - so it's in fact a better investment than constantly renting single use movies.
On the lawn thing... Well, when they built our hosue, they had to grade a lot of soil away, including every last inch of topsoil.
Well, we've been trying halfheartedly for about 4 years now to get a good lawn going, and its not working, so She wanted to hire someone to come in, plug it and put out seed and fertilizer so that hopefully something other than weeds may grow in next spring.
Definately not the "perfect lawn" people, jsut trying to have one. And for that, $200 was probably a competitive rate, for my size yard, but Still, It was NOT a necessity.
And I know what SHOULD be done with the Extra money, but that's more or less the whole focus of the rant... Inevitably, it goes to her, or maybe half to her and half to debt, but never any on the crap I want.
11-12-03, 12:27 PM
I totally understand Meddik. And, I agree with you that if you can't splurge a little with a windfall, since you're the one who's actually bringing in the income, she shouldn't be allowed to either. (I'm definitely not going to get into the arguement that a stay-at-home mother isn't entitled to some perks though)
11-12-03, 01:02 PM
Meddik's plan is probably the best one, althogh neither talking about it nor passively-aggressively playing the same game seems like a good idea to me.
The problem, as I see it, is that she could probably justify a lot of those things that she seems to want as things that benefit her and you.
I mean, she'd be fooling herself, but that doesn't mean anything to the female mind
Just for example:
Lawn: Making "our" home pretty
Furniture: Making "our" home nicer
Minivan: Bigger vehical for lugging the rugrat (you have just the one, yes?) and luggage on long trips without insanity ensuing.
Be careful. Good luck. May the force be with you, or at least not with the bat she'll take revenge with...
Talius, do you have cameras in my house? Or is it not jsut my wife that does that?
She hasn't missed a "cycle" or anything has she. /nudge /nudge
Just wondering, mine's been like that for the last 2 trimesters.
11-12-03, 02:08 PM
Great rant. I can't even begin to count the number of times friends of mine have come to me for advice on how to get their significant other off their back about buying something that the spouse sees as non-essential.
The really sad part is, what are you suppposed to tell her when she defends herself with that? "I don't want our house to look nice hun, no wait, that's not what I meant!". It's the utlimate comeback.
11-12-03, 03:30 PM
The only thing I am prohibited from buying is a new set of skis. Of course, that's my weak point when it comes to frivolous spending.
11-12-03, 04:10 PM
I also don't understand why you would need new furniture unless the old was breaking down. No one's ever been able to explain that to me. We recently got a new couch and I loved the old one. Comfortable, plenty of spring and plenty of sink, and the material was good against your skin. The new couch feels like it's sewn out of courderoys and I HATE that feeling.
Of course, some peoople (okay, quite a few) don't understand the stuff I buy, so I guess to each his/her own.
It's called an image Pedric. Some people will spend money to get it, others don't really care. They'd rather buy something that does something. Like a computer. "They will come back, come back again, as long as the Red Earth rolls. He never wasted a tree or a leaf, why should he squander souls?"
"The road to Hell is paved with good intentions
11-12-03, 05:44 PM
Or it could be that women feel about furniture they same way they feel about their boyfriend's/husband's underwear.
They don't care if your old underwear is comfortable, has plenty of spring and plenty of sink, and the material feels good against your skin, while the new underwear feels like it is made of courduroy.... The new underwear looks crisp and new, and that's what matters....
11-12-03, 06:05 PM
I have a great way of dealing with passive agressive behavior. I ignore it. You say I can buy it, I will. And I won't feel bad about it or worry that your going to take revenge for it.
11-12-03, 06:50 PM
Then again, I don't want to date anyone who is so passive agressive that they aren't able to express themselves explicitly. For most people it's hard but if you ignore their passive agressive behavior but make it easier to explicitly express themselves they eventually will.
11-12-03, 07:06 PM
theres only one phrase that annoys me more tha the phrase "undocumented immigrants"... and that phrase is "passive aggressive".
My ex, may she rot in that layer of Hades reserved for such faithless dishonest whores (bitter? me? naw), used the phrase ad nauseum.
Without fail, she used the phrase to describe me when I was angry but not being a raving lunatic. Apparently if youre angry, youre supposed to throw things and hit people. Talking about it without yelling, trying to reach a compromise, trying to resolve things without violence.. these were all classified as passive aggressive.
Passive agressiveness = maturity and emotional control. Down with the psycho babble Veda Kai'Rin
ironically my phrase is "ad nauseum"
phyco babble is my new word. I will use it now in a phrase
Aidden speaks to much phyco babble.
11-12-03, 08:24 PM
Well meddik I have the solution for you.. well actually Homestar runner has the solution for you..
(Flash movie ahead, with sound, so if your work frowns on that don't click the link)
To sum up, pour mountain dew into your 2 existing computers.. then you will have no working computers, and a reason to buy a new computer :) ~
11-13-03, 05:56 AM
Passive agressive behavior is most certainly not BS that doesn't exist. If you were accused of it and refuse to believe it you might want to consider that you are in denial even if your ex was falsely accusing you part of the time.
11-13-03, 06:19 AM
Meddik, excellent rant. Two Thumbs up. My husband and I never disagree on computer expenditures, since we're both techno-weenies. But we will go to the mat over household items. HE'S the one spending tons on Pampered Chef... he can't boil water, but it looks nice. Me? I bake constantly and am pretty happy with my utensils. I'll buy a new one when this one breaks. But, I realize it comes from the fact that he wants me to have nice things. I like them, but as far as I'm concerned, they aren't necessary. I love him for it.
I have to say that you shouldn't rant or yell or even raise your voice at her, just calmly state, when she asks, that it is not necessary as you already have this or that and it's in relatively good shape. Pretty soon she will get the message. Just keep patiently hammering that nail and pretty soon the point will get through.
As for passive-aggressive behaviour, it does really exist. I've found the above method does really well in dealing with it. Just be calm, look the person in the eye and let them know you are serious and you will not back down. Passive-aggressive behaviour is hole people bury their head in sand with to try to ignore behaviour they know is not right or to dodge things they don't wish to face. Name it and don't let them hide from it. Drummond Airsekickker
Loose Cannon or Bad Boy? You decide.
Ok, coming from the relationship-lacking and tactless a question: Why not reply to any "Oh but honey, I want our to look nice" with "But I thought what was important was that we're together? We don't need a nicer looking lawn to be happy together do we?" with possible followthru of "I don't care what you're wearing or where we live, you're still the beautiful/handsome woman/man I love".
Would this work? I have an interest in finding the best counter to the traditional female conversation traps. If only because half the time the traditional female conversation traps annoy the hell out of me and it's for some reason considered bad to say to friends "Why do you let that woman walk all over you?" while still in the presence of said female. [i]
11-14-03, 06:56 AM
Scary thing is that I get frustrated by 'female logic' when other women use it on me just as much as any guy would if it got used on him - but then I find myself using it... ARGH!
Why do I have to try to be tactful and try not to hurt people's feelings even when I have to say something that is not pleasant to hear... why can't I just come out and say what I mean point blank?
Instead, I wind up talking in circles and repeating myself... but my boyfriend doesn't let me get away with that - he makes me say what I was pussyfooting around (will the filter catch that I wonder - even though it's not a bad word...)
Heh, in writing this I keep thinking of the song from My Fair Lady "Why can't a woman, be more like a man?"
11-14-03, 01:19 PM
"They'll squawk and chatter, and tell her what's the matter, with YOU."
Haha, I love that movie.
11-14-03, 02:24 PM
Some of you need to read Sun Tzu - The Art of War. =)
The book can be applied work, home, life, and everything.
I feel for you, man, but I can't relate. My lady is very money conscience and logical when it comes to spending any money on anything.
11-15-03, 04:14 AM
I'd go and buy a $1500 computer and claim that the salesman talked me into it. What? The guy at Prada talked her into a few pairs of pumps along the way didn't he?
Ok, frankly any advice from me is probably bad. My tolerance for gender guilt games has never exactly been very good and it tends to show in my success in "mature" relationships. Any passive-aggressive behavior tends to bring out my passive seething nature and I am rarely in the mood to discuss matters with Dr. Phil. Ah well, I make a poor Apologist anyways. Celeris Tujimson
Maurading Deceiver of The Nameless
That all men are equal is a proposition to which, at ordinary times, no sane individual has ever given his assent.
Aldous Huxley (1894 - 1963)
11-17-03, 02:45 AM
Quote:Meddik, excellent rant. Two Thumbs up. My husband and I never disagree on computer expenditures, since we're both techno-weenies.
*chuckle* Same goes in my house...bookstores are equally dangerous places for us, because of our love of reading...not to mention Best Buy due to our common love of movies.
We stay out of stores all together as much as humanly possible, really.
11-17-03, 12:29 PM
Koru...there is NO escape from the traditional female conversation trap.
As men...we be @#%$.
Quote:Would this work? I have an interest in finding the best counter to the traditional female conversation traps
The best counter to any woman logic conversation is the one you think will make you less wrong. If you think you have an answer to her question that'll justify you and make you right that is the wrong answer! Answer the question that would still make you wrong but not as wrong as another answer. The answer that justifys you as right is the bait, Don't take the bait or bad things happen!!!
11-17-03, 01:39 PM
"Koru...there is NO escape from the traditional female conversation trap."
A friend of mine has an amazingly reliable escape from them. Pause from whatever you're saying, tilt your head to replicate thoughtfulness, and ask, "Have you gained weight?"
Whatever games she was playing stop dead every time.
Not to claim the status of a "real professional" in any one endeavor has been a small price to pay for the many benefits and pleasures of trespassing. ~Leo Lionni
11-17-03, 01:45 PM
65 Deceiver () Solusek Ro
11-17-03, 02:00 PM
OK Gyorg I'll bite.
Give me a plausable example of passive agressive behavior that cant be explained just as well as emotional maturity.
See, as usual, my first response was slightly tinged with hyperbole: I dont actually deny that the concept of passive agressive behavior is a valid one. Its just that literally every single time someone has described an action as passive agressive, I've said "Umm... no, thats actually the emotionally mature response, not some new age pathology".
Its a lot like codependance. People tend to describe any couple who are having problems and spend a lot of time together as codependant. Geez, maybe they just like each other and have lives that are very interwoven with each other? Oh noz the horror.
Seriously, though, I'd be interested in concrete examples of apssive agressive behavior. Veda Kai'Rin