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 Post subject: Battle of J vs. W
PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2011 11:24 am 

Joined: Sat Apr 30, 2011 9:46 am
Posts: 27
My husband and I don't always agree on money matters.

J's philosophy includes: Spend it now because I could die tomorrow, let's have some fun! Investing is way too risky, stuff it under the mattress. Retirement? I'm doin' that as soon as possible! It'll all work out...somehow. Besides, I plan to die early, so who cares?

Yes, I'm serious.

My philosophy on money management is a little different, so it's an ongoing battle as I wind my way down the road to financial freedom... dragging an anchor. It's a struggle. On the good side, my anchor J is just fine with me handling all that pesky money and taking care of our finances. J gets an allowance. And I keep working at getting out of debt, saving and investing for the future.

I decided to get serious about getting out of debt about 6 years ago. J took care of most of his debt by declaring bankruptcy. Yeah! Quick fix! We weren't married then. I had my own creeping credit card debt to deal with. So I started reading a few personal finance books, and chipping away at my debt. Then I received a gift from my grandmother and had my first big challenge: where do I put the money, and no, we are not spending it on something frivolous. I put 1/3 in savings, 1/3 in my Roth IRA, and 1/3 toward my credit cards. Then I read Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover and started to really think about what a debt-free life might be like. No, I'm not gazelle-like. But the debt snowball idea gave me a concrete plan to follow.

Since I've started, I've paid off:
$10,000 in credit card debt
$10,000 car loan - early
$10,000 jeep loan - early
and many smaller debts.

I've saved a sizable emergency fund. Which brought me *huge* peace of mind when I was laid off from my job last year.

I've bought a house and then refinanced the loan a few years later to a 4.75% interest rate and got rid of the PMI.

So aside from my mortgage, the only debt we have left belongs to my husband. Yep, after 6 years I finally decided to mix my good credit with his bad credit.

Here is an example of our struggle:

When I paid off the car loan, I thought "Yeah me! Now I can double up on the jeep loan and get that sucker paid off by the end of the year!"

J thought "Yeah me! Now we have an 'extra' $200 a month and I can go buy myself a Harley!"

No, no I haven't gotten over it yet. So we have one more vehicle loan to go, a small hospital bill, and a mortgage loan. And then some back child support to tackle.

But I can see the light. And money differences aside, J is extremely proud and thankful for the progress I have made. And I'm working on changing his mind from frugal=deprivation to frugal=freedom of choice. I think he's starting to see the light too. Most days anyway. We're trying to find the elusive balance between saving and having some fun too.

So goals for 2011:
Pay off braces. Done this week!
Pay off hospital debt
And shoot for paying off that d..arn Harley!
Fund my Roth.
Keep in budget each month.
While having some fun!


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 Post subject: Re: Battle of J vs. W
PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2011 12:27 pm 

Joined: Mon Nov 01, 2010 5:15 pm
Posts: 1095
Wow. Your hubby sounds like my wife. It sounds like you're on the right track, just don't let him derail you.


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 Post subject: Re: Battle of J vs. W
PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2011 12:31 pm 

Joined: Wed Oct 07, 2009 4:16 pm
Posts: 959
I don't like the idea of mixing finances with him. Does he consult with you before he makes big purchases i.e Harley? :|

_________________
Be what you want to attract.


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 Post subject: Re: Battle of J vs. W
PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2011 1:08 pm 

Joined: Sat Apr 30, 2011 9:46 am
Posts: 27
@Fantasma

I keep our finances as separate as I can. I have my own checking and savings account, my own Roth IRA account and I bought the house before we were married in my name only. J and I share one separate checking account and when his paycheck is deposited, I swoop in and pay his bills (harley loan and child support) and then transfer out what I need for household bills etc. I leave him his 'allowance' in the account.

We worked this system out over the years and we agreed together on what his allowance would be. He has his fun money and I don't have to worry about the hole in his pocket. J is well aware that he is not great with money, and is thrilled to let me worry about the details. It works for us.

J did consult me on the motorcycle ... and I lost. Sometimes you have to give in. We agreed on a bike that was on the low end of the Harley options as our compromise. I never have to buy him a birthday or Christmas gift ever again and he loves it dearly. :D


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 Post subject: Re: Battle of J vs. W
PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2011 3:01 pm 

Joined: Sat Jul 11, 2009 10:59 am
Posts: 255
Your husband and my fiance. For instance, when we got our tax refund, my eyes lit up at the idea of tripling our savings account in one day. He started cheering at being able to get a new laptop. Sigh.

At least your husband lets you control the finances and give him an allowance. I have had to bribe my fiance into creating a spending plan and staying under budget.


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 Post subject: Re: Battle of J vs. W
PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2011 5:36 pm 

Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2008 7:35 am
Posts: 1140
Location: Maryland
I have a Harley so I can't really be mad at your husband unless he doesn't actually ride it and just likes to spout off about having it/paying for it(ha ha), but I can totally understand your frustration. :)

Welcome to the forums, and keep updating your journal. We love new updates. Congratulations on all that you've paid off so far. You're doing great!


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 Post subject: Re: Battle of J vs. W
PostPosted: Thu May 05, 2011 12:33 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 23, 2009 9:01 am
Posts: 5205
Tightwad wrote:
Wow. Your hubby sounds like my wife. It sounds like you're on the right track, just don't let him derail you.


Hmm, imagine if you all swapped partners...


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 Post subject: Re: Battle of J vs. W
PostPosted: Thu May 05, 2011 12:40 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 23, 2009 9:01 am
Posts: 5205
Wende,

Good for you for being the grownup in your relationship. I think you are doing everything right and are doing a great job of looking out for yourself. I don't have any criticism of you or what you are doing.

But since you are the adult here, have you considered making sure he saves and contributes to his own retirement? What if something happens to you? Would he be able to, and have the resources to, take care of your family if you were killed or disabled?


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 Post subject: Re: Battle of J vs. W
PostPosted: Thu May 05, 2011 2:33 pm 

Joined: Mon Nov 01, 2010 5:15 pm
Posts: 1095
DoingHomework wrote:
Tightwad wrote:
Wow. Your hubby sounds like my wife. It sounds like you're on the right track, just don't let him derail you.


Hmm, imagine if you all swapped partners...


That'd be really good & really bad... :)

In our golden years, two of us would be living in the penthouse eating caviar & the other two would be living in a shotgun house eating cat food.


Last edited by Tightwad on Thu May 05, 2011 2:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Battle of J vs. W
PostPosted: Thu May 05, 2011 2:39 pm 

Joined: Mon Nov 01, 2010 5:15 pm
Posts: 1095
DoingHomework wrote:
But since you are the adult here, have you considered making sure he saves and contributes to his own retirement? What if something happens to you? Would he be able to, and have the resources to, take care of your family if you were killed or disabled?

Excellent questions but I'm skeptical that he could or would do it no matter the consequences. As the saying goes "those convinced against their will are of the same opinion still" holds true most of the time.


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 Post subject: Re: Battle of J vs. W
PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 2:29 pm 

Joined: Sat Apr 30, 2011 9:46 am
Posts: 27
You all have made me laugh! Thanks for that, I love it.

J and I were able to take a much needed weekend trip last week and it was great! The part of me that wants no debt thought 'I could pay off the hospital', but the part that needs some fun said 'This will help keep me out of the looney bin'. That said, we did stay in the less expensive nearby town, ate the lame continental breakfast, and ate snacks brought from home to save some money. There you go.... some of my frugal ways are rubbing off on J. So we kept in budget and had a great time.


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 Post subject: Re: Battle of J vs. W
PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2011 1:27 pm 

Joined: Tue Sep 23, 2008 6:05 am
Posts: 330
I'm a little late to this discussion, but yeah, I know people who think exactly like your husband.

The trouble with the Carpe Diemmers is that they're not being entirely rational. TRUE that we can all get hit by a bus tomorrow, BUT the probability of that is extraordinarily unlikely. When confronted with proper data and statistics, their argument will quickly and easily fall apart. So, that's not the problem. What is then?

Well, it comes down to the simple fact that they do not want to think about money, and instead, they just want to have fun and enjoy life today, regardless of the cost or consequences. Their arguments are simply rationalizations to justify their behavior.

Now, having said that, please understand that I'm not saying they don't have a point. We DO need to live life for today, because it is true that once a certain point in time passes, it is gone and lost forever.

The trick then is to live for today without ruining your chances of a future. To find the delicate balance of saving and spending. This part tends to be difficult in a marriage because both parties have to be willing to make compromises and come to a mutual agreement regarding what the household wants to spend and what to save and invest.

So, interestingly enough, it often times comes down to communication issues. If both sides are willing to talk and work things out, the marriage will work out. If not, money may turn into the biggest threat to your marriage.

Good luck out there!


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 Post subject: Re: Battle of J vs. W
PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2011 10:10 am 

Joined: Sat Apr 30, 2011 9:46 am
Posts: 27
Well said ekrabs!!

Just about every day I find something to laugh at when it comes to our money habits and choices.

Yesterday J suggested buying bird seed at the local feed store to save money. I love the birds, but wow, can they put away the seed. Great idea - stop on your way home tomorrow... Nope, he wanted out of the house, so we took a scenic drive to the next town to pick up bird seed. 50 miles later, we spent $8 in gas to go save $7 on bird seed. But it was nice to get out of the house and bird seed is way cheaper at the local feed store.

Speaking of gas, J is obsessed with gas prices and comments on each sign as we drive by. I could care less. Yesterday he suggested only putting $20 in just in case gas prices miraculously dropped a few pennies in the next few days. Umm, are you freaking kidding me? Fill the sucker up so I don't have to stop every other day! I'll take the potential 60 cent hit.

J is a squeezer too. He is incapable of letting the dollar amount be an uneven number, so he'll pump a little more, and a little more, oops - a tad more in search of perfection. Drives me nuts. Ha! Who else does this?? I know tons of people do and I'm probably the minority that just lets the pump click off and then quits.

On J's side: he replaced the front brake pads on the jeep himself this weekend. $26.
Friend that doesn't do car maintenance: gajillion $$ to replace rotors. Priceless.

*we're not discussing last month's mechanic mishap which resulted in stitches at the ER. That was not priceless. Ironic, but not priceless.


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 Post subject: Re: Battle of J vs. W
PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2011 12:57 pm 

Joined: Tue Sep 23, 2008 6:05 am
Posts: 330
Hehe, your husband sounds like quite the character. I mean that in a good way.

Another way of looking at it is that, if not for you and your financial savvy, chances are good that he'd be in a huge financial mess in no time.

For what it's worth, I don't think couples where only one is financially savvy spells doom. I know another couple where the husband just doesn't care about finances, but he does recognize the importance of it, and is perfectly happy to go along with whatever financial plan his wife sets up. He trusts her fully to keep him out of that mess. I think they celebrated their 35th anniversary just a month or so ago.

Of course, every couple's balance point is different, so your mileage may vary.

When things get tough, just remember that he needs you, even if he doesn't realize it. :D


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 Post subject: Re: Battle of J vs. W
PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2011 7:11 am 

Joined: Sat Apr 30, 2011 9:46 am
Posts: 27
Positives for May: We were able to take a short trip without using credit or EF and we paid off the braces. All in all, May was a good financial month.

However, the month ended with a few glitches. Our property taxes went way up this year and caused a shortage in my escrow account. I decided to pay the shortage up front and not spread it out over the year so my monthly mortgage payment would still be do-able for us. I did have to take $200 out of my EF to do that. Up?? Yeah, well last year they went way down - to a level that had me gleefully and quietly celebrating what was obviously a big mistake. So really, they readjusted back to a more normal valuation and the escrow gravy train ended. Next year they will go down again slightly, which reflects the housing market and has me thinking that my delusion that my home value is about equal to my remaining mortgage is well, a delusion. I suspect I'm underwater right now like umpty thousands of home owners. This is not good since I may have to try to sell.

Second glitch is that J was trying for a different job which would have paid better, better benefits and would have given us a little more financial stability. He didn't get it. We've got some tough decisions to make. We live in a rural area. Jobs are scarce and wages are worse. I haven't been able to find employment and have serious doubts I will. We've talked about moving to be closer to my family and to a less rural area in hopes of more opportunities (and somewhere warmer). We'd be long gone if I didn't own a house.

I didn't even want to buy a house because of this exact scenario. Always listen to that little voice W, always. But I was talked into the house and I didn't listen to myself. And the boss that pushed me toward buying a home... well, I don't have that job anymore. And the husband that pushed me... well, he'd like to just walk away from the responsibility. But it's not his house and it's not his credit. It's mine.

So... to try to sell and move on a hope and a dream of better opportunity and shorter winters? Or stay and dig our heels in for another year hoping I can find a good job here and that J doesn't lose his? Go, stay, go, stay. Where is my crystal ball??

On to June: Given the unknown, I think I'm going to let our few debts ride and work at saving as much as I can. I need to practice paying myself first - I suck at it! I'm always saying 'if I have $ left at the end of the month, it'll go to savings'. Well, it rarely makes it there and I could do so much better if I quit playing that mind game with myself.

Decisions, decisions.


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