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I should probably relax a little
Old 03-13-2013, 02:15 PM   #1
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I should probably relax a little

I think I need a dose of relax from someone!

H and I are big savers. Overall, were pretty moderate people in terms of wants. We like to camp for vacations. I buy clothes at the local thrift shop. My car is so quirky I probably could never resell it to anyone. We dont have expensive tastes, but we don't have to budget much either and can live on our take home.

We love our hobbies. Were both skiers, but to H its really his everything. He has big goals of solo touring in the mountains doing 20 miles a day and covering entire mountain ranges. He can do it. He bought some uber lightweight gear. He got new ski boots too (pricey), but he has not upgraded his boots in 7 years and has over 1.5 million vertical feet in those boots. It was time I agree. I guess its just all coming like this month and last month! Over $2k in gear just recently. He wants even lighter skis now. He did a very difficult ski mountaineering race recently and he did super well on his heavy gear. Now hes envisioning how fast he could have been on racing gear! Luckily he won (2nd place!) some lightweight skis, so hes going to sell those to put towards a super lightweight ski set up.

H makes 2.5 more than I do; our money is merged. We have the money. I guess I see other things coming up our mattress is really gross; I want to chuck this thing so badly. We dont even have proper curtains in the bedroom its a sheet! We need (OK want) a home laptop. I am using my work laptop and this cannot go on forever I have to return it. He has a work laptop, but I cannot use it because its super restrictive. Eventually I need a car my car has so many quirks. I can deal with it for now because it runs and its cheap. Id love to get new kitchen counter tops eventually. I did not tell him NOT to get more toys though. I guess I inadvertently made him feel guilty about all the recent purchases and pending purchases.

He reminded me that last year we put on a new deck, bought braces for each of us and went on a kick ass weddingmoon. All with no debt and savings left. We can do it. He is right.

Right now were putting so much in retirement. I mentioned in a post below, but we are over half a million right now in retirement (were 34, and 36). If we just ease up on contributions for a couple of months, all these big ticket items will be a thing of the past and the checking can stay the same. Our current take home after contributions, is pretty much what covers normal monthly expenditures. It's in a cushy checking account. So there's room to let it dip a little.

So why does it give me the heebie jeebies to think about letting the checking take a small dive or temporarily easing up on contributions for a couple months?

I should be able to ease up on this! Someone has some great preservative on this - like you only live once, or you can't take it with you when you die.
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Old 03-13-2013, 02:44 PM   #2
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It is my opinion that what each spouse earns in a marriage doesn't matter (within reason). Spending should be equivalent.

Ease up (just a little) and buy something that will defuse the angst.
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Old 03-13-2013, 02:54 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Free To Canoe View Post
It is my opinion that what each spouse earns in a marriage doesn't matter (within reason). Spending should be equivalent.

Ease up (just a little) and buy something that will defuse the angst.
He did say I should go buy something I want! However, I'm content with all of my toys. I'm looking at a new bed and blinds for our bedroom though.

This is not a tit for tat thing at all (I hope I didn't convey that it was!).

You'd think having over half a million would make you feel at ease and worry free at this age. I am working on getting all other things in a row (wills, living wills, etc) all set up so I hope that will make me feel at ease too.
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Old 03-13-2013, 03:20 PM   #4
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I would suggest that you start looking for a laptop and a mattress. You really won't know a good price unless you've been looking. Knowing that you've paid a good price in the end will ease the angst when you spend the money. That's how it works for me anyway.

I also had to set boundries for myself. Retirement accounts and the amount contributed are off limits but X amount of my checking account isn't off limits. In other words I have a minimum that I want in my checking account and anything beyond that I will tell myself to "relax" and spend the money.

I got a new driveway last year and could kick myself that I waited so long. You'll be happier, too - not haviing that check-list in your head.
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Old 03-13-2013, 03:28 PM   #5
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OP's not unique situation. I've had to encourage DW to splurge a little from time to time. We're still doing fine- financially & otherwise
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Old 03-13-2013, 03:32 PM   #6
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I read some books about Adult Children of Alcoholics ACOA. I remember something that is common to many ACOA - the "waiting for the other shoe to drop" syndrome. Everything can be going really well, you can plan for most emergencies, etc - but still you feel that something bad will happen and you're just waiting for it.

I think I have that in this case.

Probably nothing about spending in hindsight!
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Old 03-13-2013, 05:10 PM   #7
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Start a separate fund for your fun stuff. When you have enough for the next thing on your list, spend it. If you run out of things on your list, add it to your retirement. Have it a good size so it delays your spending a bit, but still allows you to live in comfort and happiness.

Life is too short to live without certain comforts. We finally splurged on a nice duvet for our bed, and am so happy to snuggle into it every night. We had a "someday" trip that after two friends our age died a few years ago, we decided that "someday" might as well be "today".
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Old 03-13-2013, 08:45 PM   #8
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I read some books about Adult Children of Alcoholics ACOA. I remember something that is common to many ACOA - the "waiting for the other shoe to drop" syndrome. Everything can be going really well, you can plan for most emergencies, etc - but still you feel that something bad will happen and you're just waiting for it.

I think I have that in this case.

Probably nothing about spending in hindsight!
Completely agree, ginadog. You sound admirably frugal. You shouldn't feel guilty about replacing your mattress or occasionally spending on the hobbies you are passionate about. You deserve to be comfortable and enjoy your pre-retirement life too.

I am very frugal too and totally focused on early retirement, but will spend money on the things I'm passionate about (photography and budget travel). Gotta live for today too!

I agree with you that maybe this is a more generalized worry that has its roots elsewhere. Have you considered trying meditation or yoga? Or maybe talking to a counselor? Sorry if that is too personal a suggestion.
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Old 03-13-2013, 09:25 PM   #9
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Start a separate fund for your fun stuff. When you have enough for the next thing on your list, spend it. If you run out of things on your list, add it to your retirement. Have it a good size so it delays your spending a bit, but still allows you to live in comfort and happiness.

Life is too short to live without certain comforts. We finally splurged on a nice duvet for our bed, and am so happy to snuggle into it every night. We had a "someday" trip that after two friends our age died a few years ago, we decided that "someday" might as well be "today".
+1

DW and I budget a separate amount for each of us for "fun stuff, no questions asked". We can either spend it all in a month or roll it over and let it accumulate to get something bigger. This way we can each get something for ourselves without (or, in some cases, give the other a very nice gift) without worry and without impacting ongoing savings.
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Old 03-13-2013, 10:02 PM   #10
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Do you have a set budget you both agree on for each year? We have a budget that has expenses by category including hobby costs. If you hammer out a budget once a year together, then there really is no need to have to think about or argue about whether or not you can afford this or that on an ongoing basis, unless you have some unusual income or expense changes during the year.

One thing to remember is that compared to most spouses in the world, your husband is probably super frugal overall. So maybe take a glass is half full kind of approach.
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Old 03-13-2013, 11:40 PM   #11
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You should not have to live that way. Spend more on yourself.
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Old 03-14-2013, 03:50 AM   #12
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DH and myself are LBYMers, but we need balance, too.
We take vacations, have a nice home and enjoy our hobbies - while we can.
Saving can become an obsession.
We do not want to live like "he who dies with the most toys wins" but also not like "he who dies with the most money wins".
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Old 03-14-2013, 07:13 AM   #13
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+1

DW and I budget a separate amount for each of us for "fun stuff, no questions asked". We can either spend it all in a month or roll it over and let it accumulate to get something bigger. This way we can each get something for ourselves without (or, in some cases, give the other a very nice gift) without worry and without impacting ongoing savings.
+1 We started something like this years ago when we got married and it has worked well for us. She has spent and enjoyed more of hers over the years while I tended to save/invest mine. But I get the most enjoyment out of having the means to get her something she would like. Kind of like O'Henry's "Gift of the Magi" without the final irony. There is still enough in my account to get whatever I would like, although after all these years of saving I'm having a difficult time spending. But I'm slowly working on that. Every once in a while you need to enjoy what you have worked for.

Cheers!
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Old 03-14-2013, 09:57 AM   #14
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It is my opinion that what each spouse earns in a marriage doesn't matter (within reason). Spending should be equivalent.
To me, it has little to do with income and everything to do with effort. I've made 3x (or more) of what my wife does for pretty much our entire marriage but I feel she's pulling her weight because she's not sitting around letting me do all the lifting. She's working as much as I am and as hard as I am, and that's good enough for me. (Plus, she has a new career she's likely to keep for long after I plan to retire, so that's my payback -- and she wants it that way!)

I think it's important in a relationship to avoid keeping score on everything. I mean, over time if something is lopsided -- in terms of spending, in terms of working for the common good of the household (inside and outside of the home) -- it will be obvious over time and no scorekeeping is necessary to know it's time for a talk.

The example I use is this: Let's pretend there's a 500-inning baseball game between a really good team and a rather bad team. Even if we don't tally each run of the game as it crosses the plate -- even if we don't know the actual score (it might be 328 to 81), we KNOW one team scored a hell of a lot more than the other team. We don't need to keep score in order to know who did the vast majority of the run-scoring. But if over the long run you don't know who scored more runs, it's close enough to not fret over!

That's how see it in a relationship as well.

For what it's worth, we don't have any fixed budgets for discretionary stuff we each spend on a whim. Usually if something is under $100 or so, we don't bother checking with each other. And as long as we are getting all the bills paid and meeting our savings goals over time, I don't sweat the rest. Sure, we could save a lot more, but we're more than on pace to meet our goals over time, and while it's important to save and invest for tomorrow, we don't *know* we'll be around to enjoy tomorrow, so there's some living to "enjoy today" to be done as well!
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Old 03-14-2013, 11:50 AM   #15
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...it's time for a talk...
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Old 03-14-2013, 11:58 AM   #16
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Thanks for all the replies.

Don't get me wrong - we go on vacations - like every month, but they are very affordable and usually involve camping or a free place to stay. We go on more vacations than most people I know (or our definition of vacations is drastic from others!).

Quote:
Originally Posted by ziggy29 View Post
I think it's important in a relationship to avoid keeping score on everything. I mean, over time if something is lopsided -- in terms of spending, in terms of working for the common good of the household (inside and outside of the home) -- it will be obvious over time and no scorekeeping is necessary to know it's time for a talk.

Don't get me wrong - we do NOT keep tabs or scores on anything either. It's all "our" money. I was just putting facts in my OP. No one is dangling the income difference over the other's head.

We do not have a toy budget, frankly because it's not necessary. The toys are bought so inconsistently honestly (same ski boots for 7 years for a person who gets 70 days of skiing in per season is pretty good). He is very reasonable with money and researches purchases for weeks before hand.

Hubby was all prepared to batten down the hatches for me if that made me feel better. I said that's not necessary.

In hindsight, this is not a budgeting issue. It all lies within ME - I need to learn how to feel secure and safe with the life we've built. It's not like a certain dollar amount would make me feel good (because half a mil would do the trick you'd think!). It's all internal things.

I have read lots of books about ACOA. I did see a therapist for a while for another topic (a bad former relationship) but the whole ACOA came out in this time frame which explained so much. The books were better info I thought.

I guess you can say I'm aware of it and I know when I'm worrying for no reason. Awareness is part of it. Now how to let go of the worrying, I guess I'll work on that.
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Old 03-14-2013, 02:15 PM   #17
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1. Save the planned amount for retirement.
2. Set aside money for irregular expenses like roofs, appliance replacement, etc.
3. Pay all the expenses you share in common.
4. Divide the remainder in half. This is for your individual spending. Save it or spend it.
5. Create allowances to compensate if joint decisions impact individual expenses. For example house location may mean one spouse drives a lot farther to work.

We use the individual accounts to pay for cars, clothes, cell phones, gifts, gas, and anything else that is not shared. No need to worry about what's fair, no need for approval. And you can still pool together to get something you're going to share.
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