Well, due to another three-day holiday weekend, the BF ended up going with me to the grocery store again. This time, however, we spent $298 which is at the upper end but within the budget that I have been using when I go to the grocery store by myself, PLUS he will be contributing towards half of the pet costs so it looks like things have righted themselves.
We accomplished this with a one-two punch of 1) him being more sensitive to the fact that since every penny (practically) of my income is budgeted towards a bill, if I overspend there is nowhere else for it to come from, and 2) me being more sensitive to the fact that he makes more money than me, doesn’t want to be restricted to a Honey-sized budget if he can afford more, and he is and has always been perfectly happy to contribute more any time I have asked him to. He also pays most of our entertainment costs outright (dinner, drinks, movies, that sort of things) and often subsidizes our vacations so I can afford to go.
I did give some thought to Me Think’s comment in my OMG I got a D&B Wallet blog post that the BF is also weird about money, given the complete weirdness of his whole family and the fact that he was not particularly sensitive to my needs at the grocery store. I do think that it is very, very challenging for him to see things from anyone’s perspective but his own (this is very difficult for me sometimes because my degree is in rhetoric and the whole basis of rhetoric is that you can’t change someone else’s mind unless you can learn to not only see where they are coming from, but respect it), but I don’t think that he’s irresponsible with money. Here are some of the reasons why:
- He has not made a single credit card charge in over a year and a half and has paid off over $10K in credit card debt in that same time.
- He has also not missed a single student loan payment and has paid off over $10K in the last year.
- He has agreed with me that we pay too much rent and don’t need a pool – we are in the process of looking for a new place that is smaller, cheaper, and closer to my work (he doesn’t care about being close to his, and the locations we are looking for are near a light rail line so he might be able to ride to work).
We have each borrowed money from each other and it’s always been paid back promptly, and we keep a running balance of all our expenses (some things are in my name, some in his) and we settle up any time the balance reaches $100. He has also (I may have mentioned this in a previous post) come around to my way of thinking as far as home ownership, which is to say that it is for suckers. We do not ever want to have a mortgage and won’t buy a house unless we can buy it outright (probably upon retirement). He was previously extraordinarily gung-ho about home ownership so this is a HUGE step forward as far as I’m concerned.
We do not have identical financial philosophies – we disagreed about home ownership for a long time, I would have never rung up a fraction of the credit card debt he had no matter what the circumstance, he chose his profession purely for the money while I am happy to live more frugally because I enjoy my job. However, we are learning, not only to compromise, which is obviously important (and which I have always understood as giving up something important to you to gain something more important), but also to be willing to change our minds completely, which doesn’t entail giving up anything at all.
If this post made you want to re-evaluate your financial priorities, you might also enjoy: