Budgeting isn't easy
Here's a thing about Mr. and Mrs. Financial Underdog. Myself, I consider myself a financial nerd. Money and financial issues interest me, and I'm the kind of person who actually has fun coming up with budgets and planning our spending. I'm a bit on a thrifty side, the kind of guy who automatically calculates the potential savings when choosing Heinz ketchup over a no-name one.
My lovely wife, Mrs. Financial Underdog isn't quite the same (which is awesome). She doesn't quite like to talk about money, and while she now willingly participates in budgeting, she just needs to know that things are going good, we have enough money for all our needs for the month, and perfectly balanced budget doesn't excite her as much as it does me. But she's kind, beautiful, smart, and awesome to be around (just in case she's reading it).
As you can see, we're quite different. While we might have similar dreams and plans for our future, we function and think in two different ways. Just like in any family, one person is a bit more serious about grown-up stuff than his/her spouse. This one person usually takes care of bills while the other one just needs to know that bills are being paid as needed.
Oh no, here comes the budget!
So, when I came up with this whole budgeting thing, I came to my wife all excited. I explained that instead of just spending money willy-nilly, we now have different categories where all our spending will go. These are our house expenses, those are our groceries, here's anything related to the car. Every single dollar we spend, we assign it to something! Isn't this awesomely fabulous?
My wife was not excited
But she didn't say anything negative, and was willing to try. A few months went by, and every month we'd sit down to do our budget. And every time she'd go through the motions without much interest in the process, and sometimes I would get a feeling like I'm the only one who is actually interested in doing it. A few times we'd get into an argument over how much we should be spending on this and that. We'd work things out, but overall, I could see she wasn't happy.
So, after a couple of months, I flat out asked how she likes how we handle money. I was quite surprised to hear from her that she wasn't happy with the whole process. She mentioned that the whole budget feels like shackles to her - the fact that she now has to budget for every single dollar she spends felt ridiculous to her. What's worse is that she has to plan her spontaneous purchases now - because if she doesn't properly plan it ahead, then the budgets won't be perfect, and something will be off - and then I'm not happy because I just can't handle seeing numbers not being perfect. As a result, she felt guilty for spending money. So, overall her message about the budgeting process was quite negative.
Find out how we solved this problem by visiting the full version of this story at http://moneyramblings.com/guilt-free-spending-money/
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