Thursday, September 27, 2012

Don't Sabotage!

G-man is bugging me.  His "I want it now" tendencies are creeping out, and more or less...I am the fly in his ointment.

I love decorating for Fall, and then Halloween...and eventually for Christmas/Yule and into Winter.  Love it.  Wish I could just go out and buy all the things I love each year.  And Pier 1 this year has all sorts of goodies. 
Add in that I am wanting our home in general to take on a fresher style....I would love to streamline some of our items....make things a little more classic and elegant.   It is a recipe for disaster. 

Do you know how easy it would be to go to the stores and drop several hundred dollars???  One swipe of a card, and it is done.  But it isn't done.  Now you have to pay for it.  And while we do budget in "decor" for the Christmas season...we do not have a Fall budget for these items.

The sticking point of the week....the Halloween Tree.

This tree is pre-lit.  40" tall.  And super cute.  And $39.  Add in some ornaments (a combo of purchased and I have time for home made right now!!).  And before you know it....this bad boy will come in at $60 or more.

We don't have $60 right now. a month....this tree will be on Clearance, and by then I may have been able to scrape up $30.  Won't help for this season, but we will have it for next year.  I want it....but not enough to justify the expense.

G-man.  I love the tree.  It will look great.  We can't live in a bubble.  What if there are no more after Halloween?  If we don't get it now, we will have to wait a year.

Why does he do this?  He thinks he will wear me down.  And sometimes he does.  But I really don't want to do this right now.  Maybe in a month.  But not now.  I am looking at the side bar, and the screw up from August, and the medical bills....

And my car's check engine light keeps coming on and going off.  So that will be looked at (hoping it is just a bad sensor....the car itself is running great).  That takes money.  We are questioning the hot water boiler and it's life span.  MONEY.  Money needed for real things....not for a momentary thrill.

I don't know why he is doing this.  He will say "I want you to be happy."  But buying this isn't going to make me will do the opposite!!! He knows the numbers.  We talk about the plans.  We both want things to get better.  Then he pulls this kind of thing.



  1. It is hard to have to constantly fight against consumerism, but worth it. You know how it goes, you spend the $60 and next week something happens and that $60 could have been used.

    1. Oh, I can list lots of things that $60 can go to.....and as cute as I find the isn't making the list.

  2. At least he wants you to have things. He loves you and know that you struggle to make ends meet. Sometimes they just want you to have something because they cannot fix everything right now. He cannot make all the debt go away, but he can get you this $60.00 tree to bring you joy and then him joy to see your joy. It is not a lot of money for joy. I don't see you blowing money foolishly ever!

    1. He wants me to have things...but he doesn't actually see what THINGS I really wish I had. I would really love for him to buy me a new wedding ring, to replace the one I will never wear again.

      And while I appreciate that you think I don't foolishly spend money....I am sure I can name a time or two (or more!) that I have. But thanks for the vote of confidence!

  3. I'm not sure how you do it, because quite frankly, it would be exhausting to have to have that battle every day/month/etc. Being the keeper of the budget & the realist must be very difficult for you, & I give you a lot of kudos for sticking to the plan.

    Sorry if you've answered this before, but do you both have "free" money that you get to spend however you want? I know you're aggressively trying to pay down debt, but maybe $25/month or something that you can scrape together for surveys or side hustles & use that to give yourself the occasional treat. . . might help your husband feel like he has some control & that he has an opportunity to spend a little bit of money on whatever he'd like.

    1. I am the first to admit that I have veered off path. And I have ALWAYS been the realist of our relationship. But thank you for the support.

      "free money"....I side hustle some (I can't stand surveys....I tried.....I just can't). Typically that side hustle money gets saved up towards a "project" (like our deck next spring. We have $650 in gift cards from side hustle stuff).

      We do have the occasional treat, but we don't have "free" money anymore. It is a long story...but suffice it to say it didn't work out so well for us.

  4. We do a Halloween tree every year, but we just find a nice, big tree branch (not too big!). We put it in our Halloween bucket (it's held in place with bags of beans/rice, but you could use sand). We put white Christmas lights on it (we already have them) and make our own decorations. Fun family activity and it's essentially free!

  5. Your hubsband's behavior seems like that of a child.
    Little self-control and feels like he deserves "stuff" because he works hard as a justification. Also short-sighted like a child, in that he can't see the consequences(or just ignores the consequences)that come down the long road from his giving in to this behavior.

    Ok, I have just described a majority of adult men in the

    I'm just going to tell you my mantra.....

    "You are NOT what you own."

    Take what you will from those words.

    1. Oh, there are definitely parts of his personality that are perpetually stuck in childhood/adolescence. Spending money is one of them. He is very reactionary, vs proactive. It is a never ending source of frustation!!!!

  6. Just tell him it doesn't make you happy to buy stuff when you have bills to pay. I told my husband that, and so he saved me $72 off something I had to buy (tax software) and I actually felt like that was a present. Pathetic, maybe, but as grownups, we don't need presents or knickknacks or other stuff when paying off debt is more satisfying (and should be more satisfying.)

    I've never heard of a Halloween tree, by the way, and most people haven't, either - so it's not like you'll be going without some universal tradition.

    1. To put it more bluntly, tell him to stop by the dentist's office and say, "I'm here to make a payment on our bill. Oh, wait - I meant, I'm here to show you the Halloween tree I bought, isn't it cool?" and then walk out of the office. Because he's essentially spending money (and so are both of you if you have a "decor" section of your budget for ANY season) that is owed to other people.

    2. I know you are highly critical of my debt. You have stated it many times. Yes, I have debt. And every single month I pay ALL the people on the debt list. On time.

      And if I choose to spend $100 a YEAR on decor, then I will, and I won't feel bad about it. We budget it for it. I have stated many times before, we aren't gazelle intense.

      I don't necessarily agree with how you choose to use your money. But I really am getting tired of hearing how much you disapprove of how we spend ours.

      We are NOT getting this tree now. And I am not even sure if we will EVER get it. But I can't say anything without you criticizing something. I would really appreciate if you back off a bit.

    3. Wait, back off? Wow, I only mentioned your debt because I thought paying it was a theme of your blog...? Did I misunderstand? Why do you describe problems/dilemmas for people to read and then get mad when people present (obvious) solutions? In fact, I thought you were lamenting that you didn't want your husband to buy stuff that you'd rather not buy since you have bills to pay - again, did I misread it or something? I thought the whole post was about whether he gets the tree (that I figure you'd both sort of like, whether or not it seems prudent to buy it) or not.

      For what it's worth, I sometimes have this problem with my husband buying stuff. I thought I was sort of commisserating, since he (and sometimes I) do this sort of thing... I think most people are prone to wanting to buy stuff even when it would be best not to.

    4. By the way, if I've made like two dozen posts on your blog, ever, I've probably mentioned your debt like half that many times, when it was mentioned in your blog post first. I do remember mentioning that I would put the dentist first (I don't like owing people I might bump into at the store, or whom I might need to call for emergency work), but I don't think I ever said anything else except to say it's awesome that you refinanced some debt through the 401K loan, but maybe you don't remember that since it was a positive comment.

    5. Oh, he isn't getting the tree. I am just tired of hearing about the tree. He knows that if he buys the tree, I will be peeved off, and it will go back. This tree post isn't a "problem" at all. He wants it...I said no...he tried to talk me into it....I said no. That was the end of the discussion.

      I didn't appreciate your comment regarding my mention of a decor budget for the holidays. You flat out said I shouldn't have one because I have bills to the dentist, which I know is a sticking point for you. The bill is actually lower than the side bar...I update the side bar every two weeks, so new numbers will come next week.

      I am well aware of my debt. And I talk about it openly. And I talk about my frustration with it. And I talk about my frustration with other financial situations that I am involved in, even if it isn't my debt. You are correct that is the theme of my blog.

      But I also don't need to be reminded that I am in debt. And anytime I spend money on something other than barest necessities or debt repayment, you are right there to remind me of my debt.

      Trust me....I know all about my debt. I am the one who pays the bills. I am the one who spends hours looking at numbers and trying to figure out how to pay it all.

      Putting my recent surgery aside for a moment....the MINIMUM payment on all of that debt is just under 30 percent of our take home pay. And we haven't paid the mortgage yet (another 1/3 of our takehome pay thanks to the high taxes in our state) ....or eaten....or put gas in the car...or paid for occupational therapy....or paid the utilities.

      I just don't need to hear how I can be doing more. I am sure we can...but right now this is as good as it gets.

    6. I know what it's like to have a big bunch of payments to make to everyone. I guess we all spend money on something, whether it's decor or other unplanned things. We all have to live a little and spending is part of living. I'll try not to say anything since it seems like I can't say the right thing.

    7. And yes...I remember your positive comment about the retirement loan (one of the few positive comments I got on that venture).

      And I am not worried about bumping into the dentists....I have NEVER bumped into any of our doctors or other professionals in almost 13 years of living here. You might be picturing this small town dental office....well, when your dentist goes to Europe for a long really can't feel too bad for him.

      You have been very critical of things...and it is over 2 dozen posts. I have heard about spending too much money on my kids' party (which was a one time event)...or what we spend on Christmas, or if I am even THINKING about something that isn't part of the original plan.

      All I am saying is there are a few areas that I do spend some money....planned expenses....not more debt. I save for them, and then I am able to do it. I don't enjoy hearing about how I could be putting it to debt. I know I could....I CHOOSE not to.

  7. Uhh - I hate to break in to the conversation but a question. Did G-man really point out the tree to you and say honey I know you would love this, I do too, why don't we get it? Or did you point it out - explain your post season sale plan - and then he encourage you to spend it now? The reason I ask is it gives context. Because *I* think (based just on your posts) - that what really bothers you is that *you* struggle with "now" impulse (as many/all of us do)and you it irks you when it seems like G-man is undermining your resolve and not practicing it himself.

    From what I read (a tiny portion of your life you choose to share and likely not at all representative) you are pretty angry. Lots of reasons. All/many/most valid. But ultimately hurting you. Perhaps something to think about.

    BTW - sometime ago you mention G-Man's grade - I am fed too - I know what that means - and I'm amazed you all can pay everything you do pay based on that salary (hopefully your COL is less than mine in DC). I hope the retirement loan works out for you (I've done the same thing) but please be careful of the trap of incurring more debt - which as you have seen is very easy to do(even if you first save for projects). I've been there and done that - life happens - good and bad. And given how tight things must be and having kids and a house, etc. - it can be very easy to slip.

    I'll go back to lurking now.

  8. Well, compromise, here's a smaller one on Amazon for $11.49

  9. I have to agree with 444. It seems as if anyone tries to give you advice or suggestions you get snippy. If you don't want opinions, then don't post personal things on your blog. You come across as a mean, negative person most of the time on your blog.