Is Your Budget Doing More Harm Than Good?

Do you stress over your money?

Is your spouse under the impression that you are constantly fighting over money?

Are you constantly fighting over money?

Have you completely eliminated your quality of life?

Do you spend hours each week analyzing where your money has gone?

A total budget can have a negative effect on the other parts of your life. If your spouse isn’t 100% on board, maybe he/she needs some “blow money” that doesn’t need to be tracked.  If you aren’t spending enough time with your children because you are tracking expenses and adjusting your budget every day, you need to automate something, or at least loosen your standards.  Maybe tracking every penny isn’t the right method of budgeting for you.

Don’t let the perfect budget destroy the rest of your life. If money is still a fight, you’re going to need to compromise on something, now, or you’ll end up compromising with the help of a divorce attorney.

Don’t forget, you are living now, not in the future.   Plan for the future, but live in the present.  There is a balance there, somewhere. Find it, or you and your loved ones won’t be happy.

Update:  This post has been included in the Money Hacks Carnival.

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No Brakes

Slow Down

Growing up, I was mostly poor, but I didn’t realize it. The electricity was never shut off and I never missed a meal, but there was rarely money for anything extra. Clothes were only purchased immediately before school started. Shoes were always at least one size too big. Hand-me-downs were a way of life. With very rare exceptions, new toys were given on birthdays and at Christmas. As a Christmas baby, this was unfortunate. If I wanted something during the year, I had to buy it. I had an allowance on and off–more off than on–for a few years. So, I got my first job-a paper route-when I was six. Most of the toys I accumulated as a child, I bought.

Through all of this, my parents never said “We can’t afford it.” I was simply told that if I wanted something, I could either save my money or wait for Christmas. I never saw my parents paying bills, but they got paid. I never saw a checkbook get balanced, but it did. There were only a few times money management was ever mentioned, even in passing.

Naturally, when I moved out on my own, I expected money to take care of itself, just as it had the entire time I was growing up. That wasn’t terrible until I got married, bought a house, built an addition and decided a needed a new car. There was nothing in me to apply the brakes. I can count the number of missed payments I’ve had on one hand-with fingers left over. I can’t begin to guess the number of purchases, both large and small, that I should have skipped but didn’t.

Shortages growing up coupled with absolutely no budget training turned into financial irresponsibility as an adult.

My wife grew up with almost the exact opposite training. She was also poor, but the household budget was clearly in evidence and generally taken to an extreme. Her training involved getting “the best bang for the buck”. If an item was on sale and could potentially be useful, her mother bought five. I don’t mean five similar variations. That’s five identical products, same size, same color. She still has a display box full of screwdrivers with interchangeable tips. It looked useful and it was on sale, so she bought them all.

Through all of that, the bills were always paid.

This training has made it difficult for my wife to turn down a sale price. If something is on sale-or worse, clearance-there is an excellent chance it will be coming to our house. Once again, there are no brakes.

Shortages growing up coupled with almost two decades of watching every sale turn into a purchase has turned into financial irresponsibility growing up.

Neither one of us were prepared to handle the financial aspect of being an adult. That is something we intend to improve on for our children.  We intend to give them the ability to brake themselves.

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5 Things Guaranteed To Annoy Your Wife

The grotesque nagging wife

The grotesque nagging wife (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One from the vaults….

If you’re married, or anything close to being married, you’ve irritated your wife.  Even if you think you are perfect and the epitome of unannoyingness, I promise, there has been a day when she strongly wished you traveled for a living.

It’s long been known that the two things most likely to break up a marriage are money and sex.   The former because there is too much, too little, or just the right amount going to the wrong places, and the latter because there is too much, too little,  it’s not with each other, or it is with each other, but you’d really prefer otherwise.   If your problem is the latter, I can’t help you.

If your problem is the former, I can help you understand some things you may be doing that are driving her batty.   Kill-you-in-your-sleep-and-pretend-it-was-the-dog type of  batty.

1.  Nagging her about her shopping, but buying whatever you want.  Gentlemen, this is known as a double standard.   Don’t do it.  In my house, my wife’s on an allowance.   It was her idea.  A few months later, I realized that I needed to be on one, too.   Naturally, her allowance is bigger than mine.   I don’t mind the disparity, because she still smokes.  If her allowance didn’t give her room to smoke and shop, her allowance would be nothing more than a polite fiction.  Whatever you do, find something that works for both of you and meets both of your needs, fairly.    Anything else will only build a resentment that will burn for a long time.

2.  Nagging her about her shopping, yet demanding she do all of the shopping.   My wife has a weakness: clearance tags.  If something is on sale, there’s a good chance it’s going to come to our house.   I have an aversion to shopping.  I hate it.   Our budget dies a little bit each time my wife shops alone.     We’ve come to an agreement.   Now, I do most of the shopping, so she doesn’t feel tempted.   I’m learning to embrace my inner material girl so we don’t have to have “discussions” every time she steps out for milk and comes home with $100 worth of clothes for the younger brats.

3.  Nagging her about her shopping.  Nobody likes being nagged.   If you’re having a problem that keeps repeating itself, talking about it more won’t help.  Neither will talking about it louder.   You need to find a way to communicate that she will hear and understand.    Different people communicate in different ways.    Find the way that works for both of you.

4.  Nagging her.   A wise man once said, if everyone around you is a jerkface, maybe the problem isn’t everyone around you.   Have you ever considered the idea that the problem might be you?   If nagging is the only way you have to deal with people, you need to work on that.  Don’t blame her.  Maybe you’re ticked off about something that isn’t irritating.  If that’s the case, she certainly has the right to be annoyed that you are nagging her.

5.  Going on and on about how much you’d like to be me.   Yes, I live the rockstar life, driving the station wagon with 6 disc changer and all.  Yes, I am the neatest thing since sliced bread, and even that was a close contest, but really, confidence is important.  You don’t have to be me to be cool.  You’re swell, too.   You’re right, this one isn’t about money, but it’s probably still irritating.

There you have it, my perfect solution to a happy marriage: don’t nag and quit trying to be me.     There are other important bits, like love, respect, and communication, but this is a good start.

What do you do that annoys your spouse?

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Why Jodie Sweetin’s Latest Divorce Should Make You Start an Emergency Fund

Jodie Sweetin, American actress; cropped versi...

Jodie Sweetin, American actress; cropped version of :Image:JodieSWEETin.jpg Taken March 7, 2007 at Rutgers University with Bethany S Murphy. Original file history Image:JodieSWEETin.jpg 00:12, 8 March 2007 . . Bethanyshondark (Talk (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There’s lots of people talking about former Full House star Jodie Sweetin these days. Recent news reports are telling us that this 31-year-old mother of two is now on her way to filing for her third divorce. Yep, that’s right. Divorce #3. Sweetin got married in 2012 to Morty Coyle, and reports say that she is already on her way to filing the legal documents necessary to ask for a separation, which she claims is due to irreconcilable differences.

It was in 2008 when Sweetin filed for divorce from husband number two, Cody Herpin. She blamed the breakup on an already rocky marriage, as well as extreme financial hardships. Sweetin’s first marriage to Shaun Holguin, who she married in 2002, ended when she entered a treatment center for her longtime drug abuse.

Divorce

Because the life of a celebrity is more often than not on display for the whole world to see, there tends to be a belief that famous people get divorced more often than us other ordinary everyday folks. Although this isn’t true, when the news is telling us about a celebrity who’s getting ready to file for their third divorce and they’re only in their early thirties, it tends to make people start thinking! Thinking about what they would do if they ended up being in a similar situation.

Emergency Fund

Although everyone of course intends to stay married forever once they exchange those sacred vows, reality tells as that of least half of all marriages are going to end in some type of separation or divorce. This is the reason why the vast majority of people who plan on getting married one day don’t even bother to plan for what they would do in case of a divorce. They simply don’t think that divorce is something that will happen to them, just everyone else.

Although Sweetin surely didn’t believe that she would have three failed marriages by the time she was 31, her failed marriage situation is helping other people by letting them understand how important it is to have in emergency fund in case such a situation comes up. An emergency fund is going to allow for a lot more freedom of choices if the instance of divorce does happen to come up.

Good to Know

Money struggles have been an issue in all three of Sweetin’s marriages, which is still the number one reason for divorce in America. It’s not hard to start an emergency fund and is something every newly married person should do asap. Well, waiting until they first return from their honeymoon might be a good idea.

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