Mars & Venus

This is sort of an emo post, so be warned.

My husband and I are Mars and Venus when it comes to money and our relationship with it.

My husband is really impulsive and likes to blow money because he has no idea how much money we need per month in order to pay all our bills.  I am also starting to realize that he is far too concerned with being the life of a party than to worry about money.  I have tried so many times to get him to see where the money is going and he is  just not interested because he wants me to handle all of it.

I’m not saying I’m perfect but I don’t do a lot of the impulsive things that he does.  If I want something, I will think it through for a long time because I feel guilty buying whatever it is that I want.  For instance, my black boots from 3 winters ago have a hole in them and the heel is completely busted up, but I still wear them.  I want a very specific pair to replace them but the price tag on them is $150.  I keep waiting for that price to go down or for one of the websites to have a big sale and put those boots on clearance.  To my annoyance, those shoes don’t ever go on sale.  And they have been on my wish list for over a year now but I can’t make myself buy them at full price.  My husband, on the other hand, would just go ahead and buy those boots and not feel an inkling of stress over the purchase.

He thinks that because we make $X,XXX salary per month we should be able to have fun and do stuff without worrying.  Oh?  What’s his  idea of fun, you ask?  Well, just this past weekend, my husband has asked me to:

  • go snowboarding with the kids
  • take our son and 5 of his buddies to the movies
  • stop by a bar on his way home from work so he can watch the LSU & Alabama game with his friends.

Usually, I would say yes to any of this (not all) but since I’ve recommitted myself into getting rid of our debts, I am focused on keeping as much money in our bank account as possible so we can actually pay down the debts instead of coast month to month.  I said, “No, we can’t afford to do that!” so many times this weekend that I feel like a broken record.  

The snowboarding was going to be a very expensive trip for one day. Below are the rates I pulled up from a local ski resort:

9am 12pm *3pm
Adult (16-61) $62 $56 $40
Student (13-15) $52 $46 $40
Youth ( 7-12) $42 $35 $35
Senior (62-69) $42 $35 $35
Children 6 & Under $ 8 $ 8 $  8
Seniors 70 & Over $15 $15 $15
**Daisy ONLY $48 $48 $40

There are 5 people in my family – 2 adults, 2 kids over 7 and a 6 year old.  It would have cost us $208.05 ($190+$18.05 tax) to buy just the lift tickets alone.  Not to mention, I know my DH.  He would have wanted to stop buy and get something to eat at the ski lodge.  You add in another $40-$50 for lunch for all of us.  Then, on the way home, we would stop by and get something to eat from our friend’s restaurant, add in another $60.  The total cost of this trip would have been at least $318.05.

The trip to the movies would have also cost us an arm and a leg.  It would have cost us $60.25 just for tickets.  Not to mention, we would have been asked to buy food + drinks, which for 7 people would have been at least another $30-40.  Total cost: $100.25.

Watching the game at the bar would also be super expensive, especially at the bars close to where DH works.  They charge at least $8 a drink and since it’s right after work he’d get a bite to eat.  That’s another $40 for dinner + drinks.

Had I said okay to all of the above, this weekend would have cost us $458.30.

The type of fun my husband has in mind costs us a lot of money.   And, quite frankly I’m not willing to have that kind of fun anymore.  I don’t want to spend money on things that aren’t important to me.  Going out to eat with a bunch of our friends isn’t my idea of fun anymore because I know we can save so much money if we all just picked someone’s house and each couple brought a dish and a drink.  Buying the newest flat screen TV isn’t that important to me because I barely watch TV.

I really want to get a handle on our money.  I really want to pay off the stupid debts we have.  I’m sick and tired of knowing that we make great money but because we choose to go out to eat, go do this or that, our money is frittered away by the end of the month.

I’ve been getting a lot of sideways glares from him this past week because he thinks I’m being the money nazi. Honestly, I don’t want to be the money nazi but I want our family to be debt free except for the house in the next 2 years and spending every cent on “fun” is not going to help us achieve our goals.
Are any of you bloggers going through this?  Anyone else already went through this?  What was the solution? I know I can’t change my husband but I want him to realize the choices we make on how we spend our money day to day impacts our ability to repay our debts and most importantly, save.
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15 thoughts on “Mars & Venus

  1. Is he willing to sit down with you to look at the numbers? I am pretty much in charge of the finances in our house, but Hubs is really good about saving and checking in with me before making a purchase.

    • He says he is willing to. We have sat down in the past and then he acts all uninterested and just says, “yes, dear”. Then turns around and does the same stuff all over again – like buy his co workers lunch, buy lunch in the first place, or goes to sports authority and buys stuff that he “needs” for whatever hobby he is into at the moment.

      • My spouse was the same way. I came to the conclusion that he just didn’t take our finances as seriously as I did and that was a problem for me. I just got tough and told him that things had to change. That I was sick of being afraid to answer the door or the phone or to go out and get the mail. I hated being in debt and I was angry at the amount of money that was being wasted and how our kids kept nagging for stuff because they were so used to getting whatever they wanted. Rock bottom = things must change.

  2. I know that I had this issue a bit ago. I was the one willing to turn the new leaf over faster than my guy (who thankfully has since come onboard with changing for the better) and was getting super frustrated with him. I hated having to be the bad guy all the time and keep saying no, no ,no can’t afford that. I know that you do most of the budgeting but I’ll tell you a few suggestions that worked for me. I let him look at the bills and the income–I didn’t sit with him, I think I was making dinner or some other excuse–and told him to come up with a workable budget. The bills needed to be paid on time and we needed to save and pay some debt (or at least save for it) but that was all I was willing to give him. It was a good eye opener for him. It made him realize that I’m not a magician and the money has to come from somewhere. I was actually super touched the other day when he said he wanted a game that is coming out in a month or two and that he needs to start saving up for it–in the past he might have just bought it or gotten angry when he asked me if we could buy it and I said no.
    For us, we each get a personal allowance and than we have a separate fund for date night. (I know you have kiddos and this would be a bit different for you but these are just things that worked for me). I can’t tell him what to do with his money and vice versa. This has also helped
    alot. I know it seems a bit weird getting an allowance when you are a grown up but it saves the budget for us.

    Sorry for the book and hopefully you find something that works for you!

  3. In my case it took a divorce – but I don’t recommend that at all in your situation. Your husband seems like he wants to get onboard but doesn’t know how, which can be fixed.

    If he gets bogged down by all the numbers, just give him the important one: how much is left. Add up all your expenses, savings, groceries, etc. and figure out how much FREE money you have each week. Then sit down together and discuss how to divide it up. If he wants a family ski trip, figure out how much that costs and when you could plan to do it. If he wants dinner out, plan for that too. But make sure to emphasize the fact that this is IT. The rest of the money is spoken for.

    This is a little more drastic, but if that doesn’t work, consider putting him on a cash allowance. Take his debit card away and give him money each week. When it’s gone, that’s it. He has to understand that worrying about what you “should” be able to afford on your income has nothing to do with paying off debt and getting ahead.

  4. I agree with Andrea in that it sounds like that for your situation, giving your honey a “fun money” budget might really make a difference. It seems as though you can talk to him but the follow through is where things are breaking down. Meanwhile, I am kind of distressed at the dynamic you were talking about over the weekend, where you were like Mommy and saying “No!” all the time and he was getting a bit resentful, because he saw you as putting the kibosh on anything fun. Meanwhile, you are frustrated because he just isn’t getting with the program. It could be that if he has a certain amount of money that he can spend, no questions asked and no commentary from you, that might stop this dynamic in its tracks. In order to do it, though, you will have to be able to to have an honest conversation about things you expect him to be buying with his fun money and things that you expect to budget for in joint monthly income.

    I don’t know, it might be worth a try!

  5. I forgot. That dynamic over the weekend that I was referring to, that is a giant red flag to me that he might start some revenge spending as a way to vent his frustration. That would be a giant step backwards, both in terms of your goals and your relationship. So anything you can do to short circuit that, it’s worth trying. I think you’re going to have to get inventive, though.

    • He won’t vengefully spend. At least, he hasn’t yet and we’ve been married for about 13 years and I have not seen him doing something vengeful. I really just want him to realize that yes we make a great salary combined but we also aren’t spending wisely.

  6. I came this way via sooverdebt 🙂 and I have to say that your blog reads just like my own financial nightmare from a few years ago. Both my husband and I earned 6 figures a year so we had a lot of money at our disposal – or so we thought. We spent on vacations, houses, at the mall and especially at restaurants. We bought real estate we never should’ve bought and, when it all came crashing down due to me losing my job in the sour economy of 2007, we ended up with FOUR foreclosures and a ton of debt. We have spent the past 4 years straightening out our financial lives and I have to tell you: I am a different person now money-wise but my spouse STILL has problems with sticking his head in the sand and not wanting to consider where the money is coming from/going. He is nowhere near as bad as he was but entrenched habits are very difficult to break. In order to solve this problem, I sit my spouse down at the spreadsheet and let him see exactly where the money is going and what we have spent it on that month. That’s a real eyeopener right there. My spouse’s goal is to take an early retirement and I tell him constantly: if we waste money on crap, that will NOT happen. It makes him rethink expenditures. Perhaps you can try the same thing with your husband: discover a goal that he has, something that’s financially related and important to him, and use it as a tool to motivate him towards not wasting money. The longer you work on changing wasteful financial habits, the more you will see those changes begin to stick. You should include your kids as well. When they start up about wanting this and that, inform them that you and their dad are working towards a goal and that’s your focus. Of course, you can still treat (dollar movie theater for example!) but restaurants will have to go. You must remain firm with your kids – I have 4 and so I know all about how fast you can spend money on treats and experiences. Realize that your kids will all grow up and go on to earn their own money but, if you’re not careful, you will waste an awful lot of money on things that just don’t matter. Sorry for hijacking the comment section LOL

  7. Pingback: Hopefully, we’re on the same page now | Little by Little

  8. I think it would be good to budget for an occasional splurge for the family so your husband doesn’t feel like there’s no fun. Like maybe budget for one of those bar trips, or one snowboarding trip per winter…something like that. I don’t want to encourage you to spend, but I also think it will be hard to get your husband on board if there’s no “fun” allowed.

    • I agree although I don’t think my husband is suffering too greatly. During the kids’ Christmas break, he was able to take the kids up snowboarding. I don’t think a $400 ski trip should make its way into our budget and I think that’s what he’s expecting. I can do the let’s go to dinner with the family once a month because those shouldn’t be more than $100.

  9. I don’t have a partner right now but your example about going on a skiing trip was very relatable. Friends always ask me to go away for weekends and I’m constantly having to say no. And, to be honest, I think they are starting to get sick of asking. But getting out of debt is my biggest priority so I have to stick to what I know will be best for myself. Based on your next post, it sounds like you two had a good chat about all of this. But tell him that you’re not only thinking about yourself, but you as a family. Good luck 🙂

    • I can totally relate! We get asked to do so much stuff as well and most of our friends don’t have children and spend money like crazy. We just can’t do that anymore and I will only go to dinner every other month with a group of girlfriends. Other than that, I say no and explain that we have kids, mortgage, etc and just trying to save more money.

  10. I found out the best way to open someone´s eyes to how much you spend/need to save is to hand over the finances to him/her. I used to be the one saying no all the time in order to build our emergency fund, keep the budget, find the best rates for our savings. But I got tired of being the bad one, and not being appreciated for the tedium this kind of work requires.
    So I quit. I told him that he wqould have to deal with everything from that point on: he would pay for the groceries, he would pay all the bills, he would be responsible for saving. I would do nothing more. At all. I told him I would support any decision he took, that it was HIS RESPONSIBILITY. It only took him a couple of weeks to understand how tiring being the one in charge of the finances is and how much better it is when we are both on board.

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