Monday, March 4, 2013

Life Hack #2: How to Fight Less with Your Beloved about Money

Don't you hate it when you are trying to live frugally in order to meet some important and long-cherished financial and personal goals, and your spouse goes out and buys something stupid that he or she plans to use frequently, but that you know perfectly well they will be bored of in a week?  After all, little things add up.

Our solution: allowances.  It sounds a wee bit juvenile, no?  But it is figured into the budget.  And I know as long as we are staying roughly within our budget, we are making financial progress.  So if my husband wants to buy complicated card/board games with too many rules, wizards, odd-ball dice, and creatures called Feral Ferrets, that's OK.  He is probably equally mystified by my spending my entire month allowance on a haircut and eyebrow wax. 

Allowances are done in cash, and can accumulate over time in order to save up for big purchases.  They do not include necessities, and semi necessities, like razors, socks, and getting ice cream together.  (If you're curious, the first gets lumped in with groceries, the second is in the fluid category "J./The Magician’s personal," in the last goes under "entertainment.")  The allowances need not even be the same size.  When we were first married, my allowance was $200 a month, and his was $35.  Now we both get $40 a month, although now we tend to just use allowances for things that we want to get that the other person thinks are silly, whereas before things like clothes used to come out of one's allowance.

Anyway, the upshot is that the other person's spending no longer feels like it's cutting into our financial progress.  We each have the freedom to indulge in those behaviors that make no sense to the other person.  Isn’t part of the adventure of marriage the fact that another person is never really going to make perfect sense?

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