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Back in the Saddle

September 16th, 2008 at 04:03 pm

After a blogging break I'm going to get back at it.

Daisy has gone to "away school" for the first time and we are all adjusting. She seems to be enjoying it though. The school's quite a distance from our house; some of the fun for her is the carpooling arrangement with four of her friends. At this time I'm not planning to go back to paid employment, but if she goes to "away school" next year I will look into it.

Mr H and I continue on. . . business as usual in many respects. Here is a sample conversation:

Me: Today I bought shoes and books. I will pay for them out of the money my mom gave me. (** Unlike many women I don't buy many shoes. I have problem feet and have found only one brand, besides sneakers, that is comfortable. They last well, but cost over $100 per pair. I bought three pairs of shoes and spent over $300.)

Mr H: Why are you telling me this?

Me (inwardly sighing): I spent a significant amount of money and want to keep you informed.

We have had a few conversations about budgets over the summer but there was no discussion as to how money would be spent in September. Unfortunately it looks like we're back into our monetary free-for-all. I'm going to think about strategies to help this situation. Big, sweeping changes and sitting down to have a budget conversation every month. . . don't look promising. Little conversational "hits" every couple of days look like they'll have more effect.

4 Responses to “Back in the Saddle ”

  1. merch Says:

    Just playing a little devil's advocate here. When you said, "I bought shoes and books. I will pay for them out of the money my mom gave me", it sounds like you are not living this is our money. It looks like you still are living under a mine and your money. If I interpreted the comment this way, I would have probably said "Why are you telling me this?"

    A much better approach would have been:

    You: WE got some money from my mother. What do think we should use it on?

    DH: will either say what do you think or perhaps we could spend it on X

    You: Well, I really need a new pair of shoes. We could use this money or we could budget it for October. What are your thoughts?

    My wife recently got a dividend check for $100. And she had plans for the money. The conversation was more like:

    DW: I got a dividend check and was thinking of using it for this and that. What do you think?

    I think the point is to approach all financial decisions from a team perspective. This is ors and what are we going to do with it. What makes this hard is changing behavior.

    Good luck.

  2. Petunia Says:

    Merch - Thanks. . . and ouch. I'll address your comments further in another post, but I will say this now: when the check arrived (a few months ago) I attempted to have a conversation with Mr H about it. He said, "It's your money, you decide what to do with it." Also, while he would not begrudge me a pair of shoes there is no way, on his current salary, that we could afford those shoes - he would never agree to the sacrifices necessary for them. But not telling him where the money comes from for this purchase allows him to think that everything is fine.

  3. merch Says:

    I wasn't trying to say he was innocent. He does need to take an active role in your family's finances. He needs to step up and pay attention for 30 minutes a week.

    With that said, I found that if I paid more attention to my behavior and altering it, the people would respond to me in kind, and that was the point I was trying to make.

    The flip side is that he needs to be on board and that does mean at minimum reviewing the budget you put together and agreeing to live by the budget you both agreed upon. And you have to stress the seriousness of this to you.

    What will motivate him to stay on a budget and review it? Saving up for a vacation?

    I don't mean to sound harsh, just the way I write. I'm pretty straight forward and opinionated and just try to show my thoughts. Not trying to judge you, but I do wish you the best of luck.

  4. Petunia Says:

    Merch - I appreciate that you're straight forward. It's an ouch of "I'm looking at myself in the mirror and it's not too comfortable."

    With my husband I have tied myself in a pretzel trying different approaches in my own behavior over the years, but it never resulted in corresponding changes in his behavior.

    As far as what motivates him, budget wise and generally. . . I'm not sure what to say. I have some insights into his deepest motivations but I don't really feel comfortable sharing that here & have not been able to figure out a way to use that information for positive change.

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