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May 22nd, 2008 at 01:02 pm

DH and I received a small income tax refund. We actually negotiated what we were going to do with it. This is a big step for us - in the past I made most of the financial decisions. While for some people that might sound ideal it doesn't lead to building togetherness in a marriage. I've been pushing for more involvement on DH's part for several years. There are things going on in our lives, but not reported here, that are making that more likely.

Here's how our conversation might have sounded before:

Me: DH, we got our income tax refund. What do you want to do with it?
DH: I don't know.
Me: What do you think about putting 1/4 toward the mortgage, 1/4 in the mutual fund and spending the rest on (whatever the current project or need was)?
DH: Okay.

Here's how our conversation sounded this time:

DH: What do you want to do with the income tax refund?
Me: What do YOU want to do with the income tax refund?
DH: Let's put it in our checking account. It can pay for our trip this weekend, and the shortfall in the checkbook.
Me: Hmm, how about if we put 1/4 toward the mortgage, 1/4 in the mutual fund and spend the rest on our trip? (**Yes, this is the same thing I would have said before. I like this strategy for windfalls.)
DH: How about if we put half in the mutual fund and half towards our trip?
Me: Okay.

Can I just say that I'm thrilled at this turn of events?

3 Responses to “Negotiation”

  1. merch Says:

    Good for you and your husband. Having a conversation about money without fighting and both people engaged. That’s great!!!

    I know that in my marriage my wife and I started feeling a little closer, I hope that is happening in your case as well. And if so, you should probably let your husband know.

    On your budget, I have some line items like auto maintenance and house maintenance. I try to throw $100 – $150 a month at these items. The act a little as a buffer between unplanned for expenses and the emergency fund. I won’t go crazy (you can’t prepare for everything) but I have put a line item for the most likely categories where a surprise might happen.

    And yea, I too had those “how could I forget that expense” moments. As you keep doing budgets, you will have less of these items.

  2. sagegirl Says:

    Well, that is an impressive conversation. Good work. Hubby and I have had the same sorta money relationship in the past, he would give me his paycheck and I would do everything else with no input from him. Now, I send him a weekly email (I know if sounds weird, but it helps him to see it written out). It is our weekly "meeting of the finance committee" as he calls it. Things go so much better when we both give our input. Communication has helped to improve the finances tremendously.

  3. Petunia Says:

    Thanks Merch! I have been surprised at things about DH, me and money since I started this blog.

    Sagegirl, if an email works. . . really, I should do pie charts or bar graphs. Too much information at once and DH checks out.

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