Apparently my wife had different ideas.
She mentioned she had a few things in mind that she wanted to do with our money:
- Hair coloring: It had been awhile and those grays were misbehaving
- Makeup: Much of her makeup was either gone, or past the point of how long makeup should last.
- Clothes: Some of the shirts she wears to work were getting faded and in need of replacement.
The sum of which would exceed the amount of money we had available for the weekend. It took me by surprise when she stated that she been thinking of these items for awhile, but was trying to make them last as long as possible.
To me this was a breakdown in communication between my wife and I. During each budget discussion we ask ourselves if there are any upcoming expenses that we should plan for and these were never mentioned. While I admire her for trying to hold off as long as possible for these expenditures, it would have been better if she would have mentioned these items during our budget discussions so we could have discussed and planned for them. Instead, now we were faced with expenses that my wife wanted immediately. While none of them are absolute life necessities, they are items that make life more enjoyable for both of us.
Happy wife, happy life, right?
We decided to take some actions as a result of this learning experience:
- We agreed to make an effort to mention during budget discussions expenditures for items that we would like to have in the near future. This will allow us to plan for them in our weekly spending plan or save up for them if necessary.
- We agreed to add a “Household Items” fund to our budget that we would put some funds into each budget period if we can. This will be the method by which we can do things that do cost a significant amount of money (like a hair cut and color for someone that has very long and thick hair) without putting a large dent in our weekly entertainment budget.
- Finally, we agreed to mention during our budget discussions future wants that we would definitely need to save up for. For example, I have my eye on a new charcoal grill next spring but have not mentioned that to my wife.
In this specific instance we had the ability to fulfil most of my wife’s wants (the clothes had to wait another week or two) because we didn’t have any other activities or items in our weekly spending plan. We would have had to have a more serious discussion and a potential argument could have occurred if we both had items we wanted or needed to purchase at the same time with the same pot of money. With the changes we agreed to, we will hopefully avoid that situation.
Have you ever had a conflict with your spouse because you disagreed on how to spend your discretionary spending? How did you resolve it?
Brought to you courtesy of Brock