Last month, I accepted another side job and have additional income. I thought now that there’s some more breathing room in our budget, it might be a good time to have a budget discussion with my husband. We pay bills out of our joint account, but maintain separate accounts to pay personal expenses. My husband has always talked about owning property as a goal. I am quite happy to continue renting and allowing a landlord to take care of repairs, but have adopted property ownership as a goal because it is a goal my husband has had since we moved in together. Following a period of unemployment, I have been underemployed until recently. With our combined incomes now having even more breathing room over and above our necessary bills, I sat down and drew up a budget. It was at this point that my husband revealed to me that our financial situation is not as I thought.
Despite having an understanding that neither of us would carry a balance on our credit cards, he has violated this and actually owes a significant sum spread over multiple credit cards. With his credit card payments, plus my student loans, we don’t actually have much breathing room at all. This puts the goal of owning property off for at least 3-5 years, rather than the 1-2 years I had been anticipating. This is why minimalism can be so helpful. Keeping goals in mind, minimalism helps us keep our eyes on the prize, financially and otherwise. My husband lost sight of his goal of property ownership and got distracted by stuff and this is the devastating result. This puts a huge damper on our upcoming vacation to Los Angeles, as I planned it assuming we had no debt other than my student loans. In light of this new information about our financial situation, an expensive vacation seems so irresponsible and I’m not sure how I’m supposed to enjoy it now.
It was pretty painful to uncover this financial infidelity, but we are working through it. All of his new purchases lately annoyed me enough when I assumed he was just wasting his paycheck on all of the new things he has bought in recent months. Knowing now that he has gone into debt for these things, most of which I tried to dissuade him from buying, or didn’t really bother him about in the first place because he assured me he would pay for it himself is painful. I would suggest that any couples definitely talk about money on a regular basis. Up until this point, we hadn’t talked much about money. There was enough in the joint account to pay our bills, and I didn’t really question too much where the rest of it was going as he makes the majority of the money right now. He is a decade into his tech/finance career and I am just starting out, making entry level salaries at my various legal and non legal jobs, trying to cobble together a living in a tough legal job market. Learn from my mistakes and talk about money with your partner. Now. Seriously. Don’t wait.
On a lighter note, I made an eBay sale! Haven’t sold anything in awhile, so that felt good. It was only a small thing, but it is no longer cluttering up my closet. I also discovered this week that people sometimes sell “mystery boxes” on eBay, in which sellers include a bunch of random items, usually for $30 or less. This may be a good solution for all those random odds and ends that aren’t valuable enough to sell on their own.
WHAT, IF ANYTHING, DID I SPEND MONEY ON THIS WEEK?
Last weekend, we went to a wedding of an acquaintance of my husband. We gifted the couple a good bottle of bourbon. (Consumables, ftw!). We were supposed to celebrate the birthday of my husband’s coworker at a pricey hibachi, Benihana-type restaurant, but I asked him to cancel in light of the financial infidelity he had revealed to me earlier that day.
WHAT ELSE WOULD I HAVE BOUGHT?
This week, I wanted EVERYTHING that was on sale on Rue La La (Somebody PLEASE take my phone and delete the app from it!)
- Prada sunglasses. I have 2 pairs of sunglasses, but my favorite pair is getting a little long in the tooth. (2 pairs may seem like quite a lot, but I have one black and one brown pair, and I wear sunglasses year-round in this climate.) The other pair I’ve honestly never been crazy about, and I think I might list on eBay.
2. Shorts. I liked these shorts; particularly, the sizable pockets. With very few exceptions, women’s pants either come without pockets or with pockets that are so small, they are not really functional.
3. Blouses. In particular, a white collared shirt is extremely useful in my profession and many of my blouses will have to be replaced when the year of buying nothing is over, but it can wait.
Total amount I saved that I would have spent this week: $469
Running Total: $2422