Babies on the Brain

So angry!

We have been slowly saving our money.  We each put away 10% of our paychecks and we are also each doing the 52-week money challenge.  Along with bills, student loans and groceries, this leaves us with no money!  Well, I should say ME!  Husband has a much larger paycheck than I do, and although we split our bills pretty evenly percentage-wise, he has more in his account than I do at the end of the month!  Our joint account is looking pretty awesome right now, but we don't touch that money because we are saving for a baby and for me to take a few extra weeks off of work.  Yesterday, Husband went to Pottery Barn and bought an entertainment center.  Yes, I said Pottery Barn.  The piece is nice, but it was $1000 dollars off the original price for a couple small scratches.  This still left it at $$ WAY TOO EXPENSIVE $$.  I think he thought it would make me smile, but we never spend so much on furniture!  I don't know what he was thinking!  I was so upset, but I tried to let it go because after all, he is very good with our finances.

Earlier today, I mentioned a Christmas gift I want to get for my brother and he didn't say anything.  Then I asked how much we owe the landscapers, and if he could ask them to take out the 20 monster bushes in our yard.  He then says to me that we need to save our money for things that we actually need.  The bushes weren't a necessity and, "Why are we getting Christmas gifts for people?  We can't afford that".  Oh, I lost it!  We can buy an $800 damaged piece of furniture, but we can't take bushes out for $250?  And how can he think that we can just forget about Christmas?  My family would be so mad!  Husbands family is pretty well-off and I don't think they would care, but my parents would say that they all have money problems but we still get gifts.  Ugh.  I'm so angry!  Stupid non-returnable entertainment center!

Thanks for reading if you stuck through it!  And yes, I did talk to my husband and we will talk more later!  I just needed to rant and would love a hug!

Re: So angry!

  • Right, and I totally get that, but I also love Christmas!  And part of that love for me is giving gifts!  I don't mind cutting back and getting cheaper, but thoughtful gifts.  But the simple fact is, my parents would be mad and that is something that I do want to avoid.  Plus, my brothers are both in the military and I haven't seen them in over a year and a half.  I want to send them gifts!
  • WHAT!? My relationships are not BASED on gifts!  And that's really sad that you are judging someone based on the fact that they want to give gifts to people that they love! The gifts are to show my loved ones that I am thinking of them and that I miss them.  I live in Texas and my family lives in Pennsylvania.  I have one brother guarding the Mexican Border and one on a ship in Japan.  I last saw my brothers in June of 2012 and the rest of my family in October of 2012.  I am so sorry to you that I want to give gifts.  That is NOT what this post was about.  It was about me being frustrated that I have an unnecessary piece of furniture in my house, and that my husband thinks that it was something we needed instead of other things.
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  • So, did you mention the ridiculous purchase of the furniture when he complained about expenses? If so what was his response? I had a friend whose FI did the exact same thing. He complained high and low that he cannot pay bills since he isn't working, yet he dumped his unemployment money on a $800 tv he just had to have. It sounds like you have his-and-hers spending accounts.. Is that where his money for the furniture came from? If that's the case then you should be able to spend your portion on gifts, if that is something your family is into. He cannot tell you what to do with your part of the money, and you cannot tell him what to do with his. As long as there is a consistent flow to the join savings, then I think you should let this go, but explain that you will budget your portion to accommodate Christmas.
    [Deleted User]Ducktalewishiwaspreggo
  • Agree with pp, sorry. Sounds like you two are not on the same page on how to use your joint money. And it sounds like gift giving is important to you but not him. That's fine, but you have to figure that out. Gift exchange is not a major part of my family's Christmas--it's not the focus and if it didn't happen, we would hardly notice. We have many other traditions that make each other feel loved, even though I see my siblings once a year. DHs family, however, blows tons of money on gifts and to him/his family, Christmas = gifts. To me it's frustrating and shallow, but we have worked it out over the years and compromise and it works for us. We set aside money each month for Christmas gifts so that I don't get frustrated come December, and while I still don't get the whole gift thing, I respect him and what is important to him, as he does for me. He has different priorities than you, that's fine but neither of you can be the sole decision maker, you have to compromise and be partners. Sorry you're frustrated, but it's very common for a marriage to consist of people who view money and spending priorities differently, so best of luck in coming up with a compromise.
    BFP 6/15/14   EDD: 2/24/15

    BabyFetus Ticker
  • Perhaps in your discussion with H, you should agree on a spending limit where you can purchase things without the other's knowledge.  For example, $100 is a pretty common range, so he can buy something for that amount without having to 'okay' it with you first, but if it's over that, then he needs to discuss it first.

    Also to weigh in on the gifts, I'd be pretty upset about spending a lot on furniture and deciding to 'cancel' Christmas too, but if you guys are saving money and decide you can't afford it, I think it would be extremely shitty of your parents to get mad that you didn't buy gifts.  It's one thing if you want to, and something completely difference to feel like you have to.
  • Rant away!  It's a dude thing, I'm convinced of it...DH went and bought me the Nest Thermostat today. Granted, I want the damn thing like mad, but I don't think spending $250 on a fancy wifi thermostat is a good idea when we're TTC, and we have no idea what is going to happen with his accident and bills (since the asshat that hit us in the crosswalk was uninsured), and we just found out this past weekend there's a 50% chance that I may have a debilitating genetic disease.

    I would also be pissed if hubster spent that kind of money and then was all "but you can't" - which is how I'm guessing you pretty much feel about the gifts thing, and then some.

    There, a rant within a rant!


    - Married October 27, 2007 - TTC since June 2013 -
  • A little story.

    We sit down on a regular basis and discuss finances but in January of each year we set major goals. Get a new job, have x amount in savings, have a big family get together, etc. This year we hit to budgeting really hard and have tried to cut costs to maximize savings. We want a very safe safety net and just to prove to ourselves that we don't need to spend spend spend. Anyways, there was one day where we had just gotten paid and transferred a solid 30% into savings, but after running our budget and realizing we had some unexpected expenses (one medical bill, termite bond, etc.), we saw that we would need to pull a couple hundred back out to be safe. No big deal. When my husband asked if I had plans for that Saturday morning (he was going to go spend $20 plus gas to ride his $2000 dirt bike at the track) I said I would like to run by the thrift store to see if they have any cool knick knacks I could spruce up to fill the living room shelves we just painted. I love diy projects and thrifting, so this or yard sales is like therapy for me. He asked how much I planned to spend and I burst into tears. Over dramatic, you betcha. I felt like after how much we are saving and how thrifty we are it was insane that I felt guilty about wanting to spend maybe $15 on yard sales. 

    Anyways, I had read into what his "how much do you plan to spend?" to mean "dont spend any money/we cant afford it" or like he was micromanaging my spending which is already extremely frugal. I now know he was really just sort of making conversation and trying to figure out my plans for the day. We talked it out and realized that each of us have different priorities when it comes to money. There is no part of him that is interested in going to just aimlessly see what might be up at goodwill and I think going dirt bike riding is dangerous and not worth a dime. But we are two individual human beings with our own interests and goals outside of our marriage to each other. 

    Maybe you should see the media console as something more symbolic. After all the hard work saving he wanted to splurge on something he thought you would love. Perhaps with the prospects of becoming parents soon he wanted to spend a bit of his hard earned money on something completely indulgent. 

    If this is truly out of character for him, just forgive and move on. If it bothers you just discuss your savings goals a little better and maybe implement some sort of strategy (neither can spend more than x amount without approval from the other). I can assure you, many women have husbands that spend aimlessly and indulgently on a regular basis... like no food in the pantry but he just bought an xbox sort of spending... so, it's really not a huge deal. 

    I always find it fascinating to hear how people manage finances. My husband and I used to do the percent of income method when we first got together and had our first apartment. The first thing we did after getting married was get a joint checking account and joint savings, that it where all the money goes. We also have a joint rewards credit card that we use for all bills and pay off each month to save even more money (about $500 a year in rewards on average). I have pretty much no idea how much income each of us brings in, but we are pretty close. We both do equal parts managing the finances and budgeting, it is something we enjoy. I'm sure it sounds naive but all of our finances are intertwined and I can't imagine it any other way. 

    Our families do not get gifts for everyone else at Christmas. All that leads to is picking up loads of meaningless junk gifts that end up stocked on a shelf, in the attic, or at the next yard sale. With DH's family we draw names at thanksgiving and spend $30 on whoever we draw. Then we all pick something up for the little kids, there are 3 of them and we spend about $20 each but put a lot of thought into the gifts (no video games or barbie dolls from this auntie!). My family just gets together and we do some gifts between immediate family members. I get something for my sister and my grandma, that's really it. Christmas is about family, not gifts. Also, you would be surprised how many of the most prized gifts can be free. A photograph, a diy coupon book with things like "free favor" etc., something commemorating a favorite memory with that person and a note of why it is so special to you, a song, etc. Anyways, that is off topic and your family isnt awful for doing gifts or anything... just that if there are money troubles it probably is not appropriate. 

    Oh, and I used to work at Pottery Barn in high school... you can buy these Mahogany and Ebony stained pens to touch up the furniture. Just try googling it. Practically all floor samples were scratched and we used to pens all over them. 
  • I think you need to change up how you do your budget.  My DH makes almost double of what I make, however that doesn't mean I don't work just as hard.  My industry is just less lucrative.  We try not to think of it as he makes X, I make Y.  More of "We make Z".

    We put everything in a joint account for all of our household expenses.  We each have a certain amount that we can use for "fun" money (If he wants to buy a new man-toy, I want to get a manicure, etc.) but stuff that we need we discuss first.  I just started a new job and needed some new work clothes and we talked about it and it came out of the joint account.  He wants a new toolbox for the garage, we are taking it out of the joint account.

    I think it's important to look at it as "our" money, not "yours" and "mine". 

    But, that being said, different things work for different couples.

    My DH's family is very, very into Christmas.  They spend hundreds of dollars on eachother.  Last year, we cut the cord.  We still buy them gifts, but instead of $300 gifts, they get $50 gifts.  We're all adults and have financial goals.  There is no need for us (or his parents) to be stressing about spending so much money at Christmas.  Is discussing a holiday budget with your family an option?

    Good luck.  Money stuff is never fun. 
  • I think a great money saver would be getting the bushes out of your yard yourself...

    Hard labor sucks, but, if it can save you $250 so you can buy your family presents, then whatever works, right? I would tell my family to eat a dick if they got mad at me for not being able to buy presents either way. Christmas isn't supposed to be about gifts...
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  • rjeller32 said:

    I think a great money saver would be getting the bushes out of your yard yourself...

    Hard labor sucks, but, if it can save you $250 so you can buy your family presents, then whatever works, right? I would tell my family to eat a dick if they got mad at me for not being able to buy presents either way. Christmas isn't supposed to be about gifts...

    Eat a dick for the win!

    [Deleted User]rjeller32SarahBBowers
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