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June 10th, 2008 at 02:19 pm

Since I wrote the "Negotiation" post we've had a follow on conversation that sounded something like this:

DH (while sitting at desk, which is in living room, and writing a check): "I'm writing a check for the mutual fund."

Me (knowing that our mutual fund is direct deposit, so he's paying the extra that we talked about): "How much are you sending in?"

DH: "280 dollars."

Me: "Hmm, how much was that IRS refund?"

DH: "280 dollars."

Me: "Didn't we agree that we would spend half of that money for gas (for DH's full-sized, 15-miles-per-gallon truck) and the camping trip, and send the other half to the IRS?

DH: "Yes, but it doesn't matter. It'll be fine."

Me (in a reasonable tone, although I was thinking, here we go again): "If we agree to do something, and then don't do it and don't discuss the change of plans with each other, what is the point of having the first conversation?"

In the end DH sent $100 to the mutual fund. Married people, is there any good way to hold each accountable without sounding like a complete nag?

3 Responses to “Renegotiation”

  1. merch Says:

    With me and my wife, we agree on the budget every month. So , what gets spent where. Once we agree on the budget, the budget dictates where the money goes. No questions. That was our agreement.

    Any thing that comes up outside the budget, must be decided together and reworked into the budget, and then the budget dictates where things go.

    So, I guess the agreement is we set the budget up together, we must live by the budget, and any changes to the budget must be agreed on. It helps to have the ground rules.

    But there are time when me or my wife will stray a little. Then it is up to the other one to just say this is waht we agreed. No yelling or nagging just a gentle reminder.

    In fact, before my wife (or me for that matter) spends money on unbudgted money, she will give me a call to discuss it and we will think on the spot do we have some extra money in the budget or do we need to wait for next month.

    I think you are heading there, but you just need to establish the ground rules and then live by them. And sometimes that requires a gentle reminder. It's change behavior.

  2. ceejay74 Says:

    Short answer: no. Smile When I correct my family on the budget I sound like a nag, and when my husband has to remind me about my share of the housework, he sounds like a nag. But we love each other and realize we're only doing that to help each other develop good habits that are important to us. 'Course you'll sound a little naggy, but I think at this point your husband has had a couple "aha" moments and knows you're doing it for the good of the family.

  3. Petunia Says:

    Merch - thanks, I think you're right. We really haven't agreed on ground rules. Although for us, even being in a position to discuss a budget is a huge, huge step.

    Ceejay - well. . . I guess I'll just have to work on my tone of voice and choice of words, so I don't sound TOO naggy. Smile

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