Wednesday, February 23, 2011
The Challenges of Spousal Money Management
I woke up this morning to discover that Mr. Goat had made a midnight run for some "necessities." What really steamed me is that he had asked me to get cat food the night before, I bought some, and he didn't see it, so he bought more. He also bought kitty litter and dishwasher detergent from Wal-Mart, which is much more expensive than Dollar General. As we weren't out of either, I was planning on getting them on Saturday with a $5 off $25 coupon. So he spent about half of my remaining monthly budget, and didn't actually get anything that was urgently necessary enough to pay Wal-Mart prices.
The really frustrating thing is that he doesn't even understand why I am upset. In his world, if it's in the bank account, it's OK to spend. He sees that we still have money in the budget to cover it, so he thinks it's all good. Before we married, when he used to run out of money at the end of the month, he'd just eat beans and rice and buy his smokes with money from his change jar. He wants to buy whatever tickles his fancy until the money is gone, then tighten his belt until the next paycheck. I want to divide the money into four reasonably equal amounts and have an even standard of living throughout the month. Normally I have enough flex in my budget to accommodate these midnight runs (he makes them two or three times a month), but since I am doing a no-spend challenge this month, these last few days are going to be pretty tight.
Luckily, we still have plenty of stuff in the freezer, so I think that, as long as I don't have to buy gas between now and next Monday, I should still come under budget. Considering his proclivities in the financial department, he does pretty well accommodating to my very different financial style. And I'll be repeating this mantra to myself until I've calmed down enough to be rational about this.
Do you and your spouse/partner have different financial styles? How to you create a blend? Even if your blend works pretty well, do you ever want to smack him or her over the head when they make monetary choices that seem utterly bizarre to you?