Working With Your Spouse
Generally, I think my husband and I make a pretty great team. Our powers combined usually lead to a lot of good.
My hubby’s strengths are that once he is on board with an idea, he generally executes and doesn’t get distracted. When we got the insurance payout for our totaled car last year, he kept us on the frugal track. I got enticed by the nicer model of car but he reminded me of our goal and insisted we stay with something we could purchase for cash.
My strength with money is that I’m a consummate learner and open to ideas. I seek out ways to improve. But, I tend to get stuck in analysis paralysis and sometimes get sidetracked.
He reminds me to take action and helps me follow through on my ideas.
But, sometimes we get off track.
For example, I generally do the grocery shopping and batch cooking. I’ve been working hard to optimize our grocery budget and get the most value for our money.
This weekend, I was feeling under the weather, so my husband went grocery shopping.
He comes back with $279 worth of groceries from Hannaford!
Wasn’t he paying any attention? Does he even frugal, yo? I mean he can’t say he didn’t know since I freaking write about it!
He bought everything I usually buy but for double the price!
So, my husband isn’t naturally frugal and sometimes that gets us in trouble.
Part of how we make this work is that we generally do not limit our “fun” activities on the weekend at all. We do what we want to do. We have a generous restaurant and “miscellaneous” budget.
We save money by cutting back on the everyday, mindless spending.
I look it at the as low-value, convenience spending.
For example, buying lunch at work to me is low value. See more here.
High value spending, to me are our date nights. We go out to a nice place and don’t pay attention to the cost of a glass of wine or beer. We just have fun. Worth it. And it really doesn’t break the bank all that much because it is an occasional expense that we have budgeted for.
Spending on grocery store overhead cost to me is low value spending. I can very easily bag my own groceries at Aldi for ½ off my grocery bill. Walmart does the bagging for me and even brings it out to my car. I just have to plan ahead a little and order the groceries before I need to cook (something I didn’t do this week).
So, sometimes my husband and I get off sync.
Sometimes I get on my high horse and have a hard time getting down. Sometimes he doesn’t listen.
We get back on track when we have our budget date at the end of the month.
But, it is good for me to remember that we do the best when we remember that each of us excels at different things and provides a good foil to the other.
Like most relationships, ours grows with appreciation and kindness.
My husband’s strengths are that he doesn’t shy away from cooking when asked. He is batch cooking for us today. He was amazing for going grocery shopping for us and he does so whenever I ask. He is also really tidy. He picks up daily and keeps our house from looking like a total disaster zone (which is quite a feat since we have 2 toddler boys and 2 big dogs). He does the dishes when I cook. He is also quite nice to look at.
Marriage and money are always works in progress and I can’t say we have it all figured out yet.
But, what we do agree on is our dream for financial independence. We want to be free from worrying about making money so that we can have the freedom to pursue happiness.
The irony is that in order to become free from financial worries, we have to worry about money in the short term. We have to be mindful, build good money habits, and optimize our spending to bring us the greatest value.
But to really succeed at marriage and money, above all, we have to remember to be kind to each other along the way.