Dear Frugal Gal Who is Married to a Spender Husband…

Dear Frugal Gal Who is Married to a Spender Husband

Dear Frugal Gal Who is Married to a Spender Husband,

Oh, how I get you. Because, you see, I am you!

When my husband and I got married, I totally had no clue that people could truly find fulfillment in spending money. Yup, it was a recipe for complete success and harmony in our marriage. Ahem.

I knew he liked to buy brand names. I knew he liked nice things. But I figured that I could help him see how it was so much better to shop at thrift stores and get bargains.

So I went into marriage all prepared to fix my husband. Because, in my incredibly humble opinion (not!), that boy needed a lot of fixing.

I was going to help him understand how we could save so much money if he would just come over to my frugal side. I was going take those extravagant blinders off his eyes and help him see the frugal light.

It shouldn’t take much work, I was sure. Yes, you could say I was a wee bit naive. ;)

Then we got married. And I set to work fixing him.

For the first few years, we were so poor that there wasn’t any money to spend on anything but necessities. So I really thought all my “sermons” and words of wisdom had cured his “extravagant” appetite.

A few years into our marriage, with law school behind us and a blog that was quickly growing, our income began steadily increased and my fantasy ideas of how I had fixed my husband were all shattered by reality.

The reality was this: I had married a guy who liked to spend money.

I was aghast! I loved this man, but how on earth could he find fulfillment from spending money?!? My frugal self just couldn’t fathom it!

I had tried fixing and that didn’t work. So then I tried criticizing. And, as you can imagine, that was a complete flop.

I was stubborn and frustrated. However, I loved this man. I really did. And I didn’t want to live life feeling constant tension over money.

So, I humbled myself and started asking questions trying to determine what Jesse’s heart really was. And little bit by little bit, I realized that he wasn’t trying to be extravagant or ruthless; he just enjoyed spending money. It was the way he was wired.

Just like I was wired to enjoy saving money (and he had trouble understanding my frugal nature!), he was wired to enjoy spending money. There was nothing wrong with him. He just had a different personality than me.

I have slowly come to really appreciate him for how different he is than me. Without him in our family, I’d probably be a miser. He’s helped me realize that there is more to life than always doing everything possible to get everything at the rock bottom price.

He’s also helped me to realize that breathing room in our budget can allow us to enjoy some memory-making experiences — like taking the kids out for a special outing or enjoying a date night together at a fun restaurant. Without him in our family, we’d probably have a lot less fun at our house.

I’ve also learned that sometimes, it truly does pay to spend more for a nicer brand. Yes, really. Not always, but sometimes. :)

And, most importantly, he’s helped me learn the joy that comes from generosity. I love watching how much he loves to give and how he is always going out of his way to give to others. Seeing his heart for giving inspires me to live with arms even more outstretched.

The beautiful thing is, Jesse has also learned a lot about me and has come to appreciate my frugal nature — even if he doesn’t always understand it. He thanks me often for how I help our family save money and stick with a budget.

As my attitude changed, it’s made him a lot more open to making compromises for the health of our family’s finances. He’s learned to look for great deals on things he needs to purchase, he’s waited to buy items he wants until we could afford them in our budget, and he’s talked himself out of many purchases because he knew that it wasn’t a wise use of our money.

Dear Frugal Gal Who Is Married to a Spender Husband

We still have moments when there is tension or disagreements when it comes to money, but I’ve learned 4 strategies that have helped bring a lot more harmony to me as a saver who is married to a spender:

1) Nagging Doesn’t Work

If you want to ruin your relationship, start trying to nag and drag your spouse along with your latest and greatest ideas. It’s a recipe for disaster — and discord.

2) It Has To Be an Us Thing, Not a Me Thing

There is no “I” in team. If you want to successfully get on the same page, it has to be a game plan you come up with together.

Don’t expect your spouse to jump on board with you. Instead, ask your spouse if you can sit down together and talk about where you both are financially and where you both want to go together.

3) Compromise Is Key

When you sit down to discuss your finances, come with an open mind. Don’t have everything all mapped out and badger your spouse into signing off on your plan.

Share your concerns in a gentle manner and then listen to your spouse’s thoughts and concerns. If they see that you genuinely want to work with them and want to hear their heart on the matter, they are going to be much more apt to join you in the journey. But they will likely resist from the get-go if you don’t seem to care about their desires and or have any willingness to compromise.

4) Give Grace — And Some Breathing Room!

Because of our different personalities and natures, we’ve found a beautiful compromise in an agreed-upon Blow Category in our budget. We each get an allotted amount of money that we can spend on whatever we’d like, whenever we’d like. This set-up has worked well for us and prevented many unnecessary arguments over money.

When we both accept our differences, agree to compromise, set goals for our family together, and give each other grace, we have so much more unity. And this unity propels us to both be working together to wisely steward our money — instead of constantly fighting and bickering over stuff that really isn’t going to matter too much in 25 years from now.

These four strategies won’t completely remove any money fights or misunderstandings, but I truly believe that they will help improve your communication and oneness in your marriage. And when there’s more communication and oneness in finances, it usually will have a trickle down effect and improve many other areas of marriage.

So hang in there! Start taking baby steps forward and hopefully your effort to better understand and get on the same page with your husband will result in some of the same rewarding results that it has for us in our marriage!

Don’t give up! I’m cheering for you…

Crystal

P.S. For more suggestions, check out my post on How Can We Improve Communication About Finances In Marriage?

photo credit #1; photo credit #2

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How I Save With Off-Brands

how i save with off brands

Guest post from Liz of The Quick Journey blog

As a wife and mom who is trying to save money for our family, trying “off-brand” products sometimes makes me nervous.

Will the off-brand items be as good?

Will they taste the same?

Will the products hold up as well as the name brand?

Those are all questions I have when I am about to place a cheaper branded item in my shopping cart.

If you shared these same concerns, I wanted to share a few off-brand items that I feel are equal, or better than the name brand items. These are items that I will buy without hesitation because I have had such good success with them in the past. These are items that taste yummy, hold up to wear and tear, and perform really well despite the lower price tag.

1. Diapers

I am super picky about what diapers I use — I like a diaper that holds moisture well and doesn’t get saggy.

After diapering four kiddos (one is still in diapers), I will choose Target brand diapers every time. I much prefer them to the name brand diapers and the lower price point coupled with coupons and the Cartwheel app… you can’t go wrong!

2. Plastic Baggies

When I have snacks and food inside a plastic baggie and then shoved in a full diaper bag, I need those baggies to stand the test of time! There is nothing worse than cleaning smeared PB&J out of a diaper bag.

My favorite, go-to, baggies are the Boulder brand from Aldi. I have tried every version and size of their baggies and they are just as good, if not better, than the name brand.

3. Paper Towels

As I mentioned above, I have four kids, so there are a lot of messes happening in my house on a daily basis. While we like to limit our use of paper products, there are just times that require a paper towel.

I used to be a huge fan of the name brand towels that cost an arm and a leg, but I now use the Walmart Great Value brand of paper towels as I find them to be very durable and long-lasting when scrubbing yucky messes.

4. Canned Goods

I have found, after much trial and error, that canned goods, like soups, veggies, fruits, sauces, are pretty much all created equal. If you are new to off-brand buying, canned goods is a good place to start! Definitely do your pocketbook a favor and save your pennies by buying off-brand canned goods.

These are just a few of the off-brand items I  but to save more at the grocery store!

What off-brand items do you buy?

Liz is a stay-at-home momma to her four kiddos. She enjoys cooking, drinking a piping hot cup of coffee, and reminiscing with her “high school sweetheart” hubby. She shares her journey through motherhood on The Quick Journey blog.

photo source

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What Kim Kardashian Can Teach Us About Contentment

Contentment

I usually “live in a cave” when it comes to current events… but it’s almost been impossible to avoid the fact that Kim Kardashian chose to pose nude for the world recently.

Only God knows her heart. Only God knows why she made this decision.

I’m not here to call her names. She’s been called enough things this week.

I’m not here to talk about how her actions make other women feel. Many other writers have done a great job of that. Nor am I here to open up a discussion on what is and isn’t appropriate to be shared with the public.

But what I think we all can learn from Kim Kardashian is an important lesson on contentment.

Yes, contentment.

You see, so many of us buy into the lie that money and fame will buy happiness. We chase after more. We wish we had a bigger house, a nicer car, a better job, more clothes. We want to be in a place where we can afford to buy higher quality items or have more wiggle room in our budget.

We look at that family at church, or the family in our neighborhood, or that blogger online, or that family member, or that movie celebrity and we envy what they have that we don’t.

We think, “If only we had this…” “If only we had that…” If only we had more money…” “If only we had more in savings…” “If only we had a better job…”

We believe that more will automatically equal greater happiness and fulfillment. We want what the Jones’ have.

But here’s the thing: the Jones’ probably aren’t happy.

As Kim K. has shown us this week, having a net worth of $65 million dollars doesn’t equate happiness. Even though she can pretty much afford to pay for whatever it is on earth that she wants, from my perspective, it appears that she’s still seeking something she doesn’t already have.

Contentment

I think it’s fantastic to get on a written budget. I think it’s often helpful and good to look for ways to increase your income. But, ultimately, know that the best thing you can invest your time and effort into is developing contentment.

If you’re not 100% fulfilled, happy, and embracing right where you are, there’s a good chance you’ll never find fulfillment or joy elsewhere — no matter how much money you make, how many likes your post gets on Facebook, what kind of house you live in, or what kind of promotion you get at work.

Contentment is much more valuable than the greatest net worth on earth.

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Toluna: Earn $1-$5 for Taking Surveys


Another great survey opportunity for you to check out is Toluna. They pay $1 to $5 each time you qualify and take surveys. You’ll also be given opportunities to test products for free and share your opinions. Plus you will get an entry for a $2,500 sweepstakes when you register!

Find more legitimate survey companies to sign up with here.

(Note: The links in this post are affiliate links. Read our disclosure policy here.)
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Sign up for Pinecone Research & earn money for taking surveys


Wanting to make a little income taking surveys? Pinecone Research has some openings available for new applicants!

Pinecone Research is one of my very favorite survey companies and one that I found offered the most surveys for the best pay. Now, mind you, you’re not going to get rich taking surveys, but you can earn a nice little stream of income from it.

See more of my recommended survey companies here.

(Note: The links in this post are affiliate links. Read our disclosure policy here.)
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