How We Think About Money

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The other day I had some mommy errands to run.  And I wanted to run them alone.  So I dropped the rest of the family off at the mall.  Daddy needed new shoes.

I went and did what I needed to do.  I did it frugally.  I called the boyfriend to see where he was.  Everyone was at GameStop.
I walked into the store and saw him purchasing a video game.  WHAT?!  They were just there for shoes!  I looked around and there were, indeed, shoes.  There was also a basketball.  In my crazily stingy mind he had gone on a shopping spree.
I asked him what had happened.  Apparently the shoes were on sale.  So was the basketball.  And the video game.  We had set a budget for the shoes, and when he came in under he went to spend the rest of the money. He didn’t go over budget.
My thought process when buying shoes:  “I need to get some awesome shoes as cheap as I can.  I can’t spend any more than $XX.XX.”
His thought process when buying shoes:  “I have $XX.XX to spend on shoes.  These are awesome and under budget.  I wonder what else I can get with the rest of the money…”
I don’t think either one is truly right or wrong.  We’re just different.  And thank goodness we are.  That basketball will get a lot of use.  I’m excited to play.  The video game I could care less about.  But I know he’ll get a lot of playtime out of it.  And it was really cheap.  If it weren’t for the way he looked at money, I’d miss out on a lot of the small, fun things life has to offer.

How do you handle this type of situation?  Do you think like me?  Like him?  Or would your decision be completely different?

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27 thoughts on “How We Think About Money

  1. Modest Money

    Sounds like he’s treating it like the price is right. All too often couples do have different mindsets about money and it can be tough to deal with. In this case it sounds like the extra purchases are small enough and will be used enough to not worry too much about it. If your budgeting is rather tight though, you may need to reinforce the need to save. You do need to leave some room for fun purchases though.

    Reply
    1. femmefrugality

      It can be. Neither one of us is shop crazy, though, so I think we’ll be all right. We do need to find a way to save more, but like you said, I can’t be too upset with him. We need to enjoy life every once in a while.

      Reply
  2. Meredith

    Oh gosh, I can’t even make a call on this one–my husband and I have basically been fighting around the clock re: budget/money. It’s not a pretty scene!

    Reply
    1. femmefrugality

      It’s a good thing to work out and come to terms with for sure. I know a lot of marriage counselors deal with money or refer people out to deal with money. Not saying you need a counselor! Lol. Just saying you’re right….it can turn into a HUGE thing!

      Reply
  3. lil desiqua

    Haha this sounds sooo familiar! I think like you, and my bf thinks like yours. Luckily, we have separate bank accounts, so when he buys things I consider “extras” I can’t get too mad…it’s his money! Plus generally he’s pretty good about spending vs. saving. Glad I’m not alone!

    Reply
    1. femmefrugality

      I think opposites must attract! I’m glad he’s not too far at the other pole, though. That would be bad news. We have separate accounts, too, but I benefit from the bills he has to pay. 😉

      Reply
  4. nicoleandmaggie

    I think like you, DH thinks like me. It’s ok though because I *know* he thinks like that so I can mentally budget for it. He won’t ever go above the amount budgeted. He’s also got an allowance. So it’s all good. If he wanted more expensive shoes than what we budgeted, then he could pull money out of his allowance to cover the extra– we haven’t done that with shoes, but we did it with his fancy Aeron chair (there wasn’t $1K in the budget for a *chair* but he put together birthday and Christmas money plus the budgeted money and some allowance).

    Reply
  5. michelle

    I think like him! When my husband accidentally tossed my summer wardrobe, he told me I could have his birthday money to replace the items. Well, I did GREAT and was way under budget…so then I decided I should go ahead and spend it all while I was out. I’m horrible! Thankfully, I had to return a few things and redeemed myself. Err…my bigger-than-I-thought-it-was ASS redeemed me 🙂 Always try clothes on!

    Reply
    1. femmefrugality

      Too funny! Like I said, I don’t think it’s THAT bad. Would it be better to sock it away in savings? ABSOLUTELY! But it’s not like you’re braking the bank. They money was already there to be spent.

      Reply
  6. ERIKA

    Haha BF thinks like you and I think like your BF! Honestly though I go through phases. Sometimes I am in total frugal mode and I am like NO SPENDING and if I buy something it’s going to be the cheapest ever, and I will not buy anything ELSE. If I come under budget, PERFECT! Some other days I’m like welllll I returned something and since I returned that and it was $50, then if I buy something for $10 I’m totally winning. I really hate when that side of me comes out but I’m still trying to get it under control. You’re right though, there are little things in life that you may miss out on if you are constantly thinking of saying no. If they’re cheap and they fit in the budget, I wouldn’t stress too much about it. The only time it would be a problem is if the buying unnecessary stuff becomes constant!

    Reply
  7. AverageJoe

    That is awesome! He thinks like Michigan State University departments! When I worked there we were told by our boss near the end of each fiscal year “go order stuff so that we get as close to the budget as possible!” We’d go on a spending spree just because we had $XXXX to spend.

    In his defense it was a video game. Totally acceptable. Durable. Long-lasting.

    Reply
  8. Christa

    Ha! This is a great story that illustrates the differences in thought processes, and it’s just like my hubby and me. Over time, we’ve kind of melded into one type of spender, but at the beginning, I’d save and he’d spend in that situation. Too funny!

    Reply
  9. momto8

    I have the whole family trained to clear it with me first before they buy anything…I give in easily though, so it is not as bad as it sounds.

    Reply
    1. femmefrugality

      That seems like a great rule…especially since your family is so large! At least one person should be coordinating the finances so that bank account doesn’t end up empty!

      Reply
  10. More Than Mommies

    I think like you… but my husband would buy the shoes and then blow the budget. He has gotten a lot more responsible with money–but he doesn’t look for the best deals usually. 🙁 It can be frustrating, but he works hard for the money so I don’t mind giving in to the occasional splurge.

    Reply
    1. femmefrugality

      Sounds like we’re in a very similar boat. He’s pretty responsible with his splurges, and they’re not like cars or boats or anything, so I feel pretty safe about it. I thought my reaction was the bad thing in this situation 🙂 And they do work awfully hard for it.

      Reply
  11. MyMoneyDesign

    Did you see us there at GameStop too? 🙂 My seven-year-old lives in that store! My wife and I also have the same situation. I will go to the mall and find something I need, but put it back because I don’t REALLY need it. Yet when I meet back up with the rest of the family, there they are with 2 large bags of stuff. Like you said – neither scenario is really “wrong” so long as we can afford what we’re buying.

    Reply
    1. femmefrugality

      Haha! My grown boyfriend would live there if he could, too. After we walked out of the shop he had this whole spiel that went something like, “You embarrassed me in front of my friends.” I felt like a jerk face. Especially after I realized how crazy I was being. It’s seeming like relative opposites attract.

      Reply

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