Friday, February 17, 2012

The hard part of being the sole provider

I did not have a very good evening last night.  Dh got onto a rant (again) about not having enough money and how I am always saying we can't afford what he wants. I replied that I had just told him we could spend $2000 on the landscaping project!  His "oh so logical" response was that that kind expense (and anything he wants to spend money on, really) should just be part of our budget!  There is no getting through to this man that we live on ONE set income and what that means.  I make a salary and that is that - that's what we have to live on and there isn't enough left over after all our regular expenses to just buy whatever he wants or to go on vacations (like apparently everyone else does several times a year).  I even offered him the job of managing our money so he could allocate where it goes.  Of course he doesn't want that - he just wants to feel like he's a victim and life is so unfair to him.

But, I held my ground and I don't really care anymore what his problem is with how I manage the money. If he wants more money then he can go out and find a part time job - he spends that much time a day doing stuff around here and manages to get through it, with his health problems. He spends hours and hours on his computer, so find a desk job, then.

I also realized something, while thinking to myself last night, that has been so wrong in how I have been managing our money and why it's been so hard to get anything saved up. I was basically budgeting a month ahead of time and then thinking I could spend now whatever is leftover. That probably makes no sense reading it - but I get paid twice a month, on the 15th and the last day of each month.  I have nothing extra out of the 15th check, as mortgage, auto insurance, food and gas use it up.  But, on my check at the end of the month I have some left over after paying regular expenses.  For example, on Jan 31st I paid all my bills due the first half of February, looked at my budget for all of February, and would say to myself - oh I'll have $700 left over and then would let Dh spend most of it on something.  But, of course, all through February will come up more unexpected things and by the end of February I was barely making it until I got paid at the end of February.  Now I am waiting until the end of each month and then what is leftover can be allocated to savings or spent on something "extra".

On a happy note, my income tax refund got deposited into my checking this morning! I only filed last Friday - boy that was fast! I'm transferring $1000 straight to savings, so now I will have $2522 in my EF.  I am happy with that amount. It's such a stress reliever knowing that is in there for emergencies.  If the refrigerator finally dies (I'm sure it's getting there, it's 23 years old) or one of the cars needs repairs, we'll have the funds and I won't have to borrow the money from my my mom and then have another monthly payment trying to pay her back quickly. I just want to get out of the circle of always trying to catch up.

10 comments:

  1. I also budget like you... I don't pay the bills when they are due, I pay them according to my check. I get paid every 2 weeks, so on the first half, I pay stuff that’s close to being due, all on the same date. Same for the next paycheck. I like this since I don’t have to worry about due dates and what not. For the extra expenses in the month, how about allocating extra into a pre-built fund? I have an EF and the I have an additional Murphy fund which is smaller and normally gets any rolled-over money, but also gets something with every/most paychecks, and is used to cover for non-bill things that were not previously scheduled. Last, arguments about money are the least fun type of argument, so hopefully you and Dh will work something out where the both of you are happy.

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  2. Yes, waiting until the month is through and any possible emergency bills come up and THEN treating the 'leftover' money as extra is a much better way to handle it.
    And about the EF.....are you ok with just that much in it? It's good to have over $2K but just one car repair or one appliance replacement and that would be gone. Do you have long term goals there of a larger pot of cash?

    So your hubby can't work?....or he stays home why? He can't or won't work but he wants to spend money on fun stuff because he deserves it? Sounds like a lot of people in this country today. ;-)

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  3. I really dont consider anything extra money until the month is over. With the DH and my paycheck fall I pay different bills each week but really nothing is ever extra is all has a place even if its the vacation or the ef fund

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  4. I don't really know why I was thinking the extra money, over our expenses, was available at the beginning of the month. I guess because I have always (for 20 years) done up a budget each month with what I know to be happening that month, mostly to try and make sure I don't forget about non-monthly stuff...like car tabs, haircuts, etc, so I'd look at the budget and just assume I was actually going to have that much when the month ended. Dumb.

    Sluggy - No, I definitely want to grow the EF to more than the $2500 it's at, but now it will have to grow at a slower rate than the past 2 months of bonus's and tax refund. But, considering 7 weeks ago I was at zero EF balance, I am pleased with my progress and at least I finally have a plan to work on it. Dh can't work (sometimes I feel like "won't") due to health problems (muscle disorder) but yes, he does feel like he deserves to buy whatever he wants. It's a never ending battle with us, though for the most part he has gotten better about curbing his spending the past couple of years and when he does want something now he tries to find it used, which he would never have considered in past years.

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  5. I'm sorry, but d probably kill your hubby. lol! He's not being realistic & I don't think he realizes he very hard you're working to provide & make sure you have money tucked aside "just in case"! I'd do the end of the month thing you said, but tuck a bit added first, THEN tell him what's left. We have $2500 in our EF now too... (tv for hubby & my inhaler) I don't think it's possible for everyone to have a huge EF, hubby brings home just over 40K a year & I budget to the dime. Obviously someone ask ringing in $100k is able to have a bigger EF. I'll be adding to ours as I can too. Good luck to you!!

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    1. Yep, I just keep planning to tuck away! At this point it's just not possible to have a huge EF fund, we just don't have that much extra each month, but I finally realized I have to start somewhere.

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  6. ONe--I'm glad to hear you are planning on growing the EF eventually. From $0 to $2500 in 7 weeks is great btw. I just see alot of PF bloggers online who don't seem to want to grow the EF larger than a few $K. I know it's hard to do, no matter what your income per year to have the discipline to keep tucking back funds when it looks like you have enough for an emergency. I just keep thinking how "experts"(=no me!lol)say you should strive for 6-8 months worth of expenses put away. I am thinking they are prolly right with the lack of stability of most people's jobs in the current economy. You can go from employed to pink slipped in short order and the time frame for finding new employment is estimated to be longer and longer than in the past, plus many new jobs don't pay at the same level, which puts you in a worse place going forward, even though employed again.
    I just hear/see a lot of complacency on PF blogs with their small EFs. I know it takes years to grow one to the size it needs to be to cover the big emergencies, plus a little luck avoiding dipping into it for the little emergencies like repairs and replacements, etc.

    I hope you didn't think I was ragging on ya! You just gave me an opportunity to bring what has been weighing on my little brain.... ;-)

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    1. I didn't take it that way at all! They were good questions to help explain my situation and your comments are spot on. We've always seemed to have bad luck, especially with large medical bills every few years it seems, so its been hard to save much.

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  7. I got into the habit of paying all household bills around the 10th of the month with the mortgage due in the second half of the month around the 21st. I find if I split the mortgage payment apart from all other bills, it helps me to organize my finances better. It's all psychological! As for my spouse, he is like your DH by the sounds of it. He gets mad when he can't spend money on random items because that's what we both always did and I was far worse than HIM at it. I see now that it is good to have at least one partner taking on the job of trying to keep the finances on track because one or other MUST do it. I would say, keep doing what you're doing but your DH must get involved in tracking expenses and determining how to spend/save income otherwise there will be resentment. It's tricky because my spouse likes to bury his head in the sand and throw caution to the wind. I use the spouse's extreme desire to retire early in 4-5 years as the carrot. I tell him that retirement will not happen if we keep spending money on BS and also, seeing as how we are moving into an RV at retirement, that we/he cannot bring all this stuff along for ride - there won't be room. It's the ONLY thing that works in getting him to stop spending. It makes him stop and think. The only thing that stops me from spending is the thought that he will not be able to retire when he wants to. We operate from a place of fear LOL

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    1. You are lucky your dh is getting on the same page as you. I really thought when my Dh had to stop working and us live on one income that reality would take hold for him and all his "big dreams" (fancy house, cars, buy whatever he wants, etc)would stop and he'd realize he needs to be content with the life we were dealt. He has never been mature about money (oh man, I could write a book about his parents money management style!)- if it's there it's meant to be spent. He has come along quite a bit, like I said, but every so often his anger about it all rears it's ugly head and I have to deal with the fallout and feeling like I am not providing enough. That's how he has always gotten his way when he wants to make a big purchase I don't agree with - anger, pouts, puts on the guilt and I always gave in. He did the same thing to his parents as a child. But, he doesn't really like me very much the past couple of years, since I won't give in anymore. At least the money available now to start on the landscaping project and if I can get him started on that he will be busy for quite awhile, which will help keep his mind occupied from feeling broke.

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