This guest post was written by my lovely wife Lindy Lathrop. I asked her if she wanted to write a post about what it is like to live with/put up with someone like me! :) So here it is! If you like what you read, check out her blog To Capture Today!
Hey everyone! My wonderful husband, the money man, decided it would be a good time for a guest blog from yours truly — the free spirit (aka, his wife). I warned him that my blogs are usually long, and was he sure that he wanted me to do this, but he said yes :) So here I am.
You see, if we were to look at our money relationship the Dave Ramsey way, Mick would be classified as the “Nerd” (the one who enjoys creating budgets and controlling numbers), whereas I would be classified as the “Free Spirit” (the creative, spontaneous one).
So the big question is, how do I deal with a guy who loves budgets and numbers while not feeling like I’m in financial prison, or how do we deal with his “a budget says I love you” view compared to my potential “a budget just makes me feel controlled” viewpoint?
First of all, I should clarify that I love budgets. I may fail to adhere to them all the time, but I do feel more free when they are there because there’s not a constant fear of “wait, HOW much money do I have now?”. Having said that, here are three things that I as a free spirit love about our money relationship:
- He consults me. Every month before he reconfigures the budget, he asks me if there is anything coming up that we should plan for. The Women of Faith conference, or a family member’s birthday, or a friend’s wedding. Will I have more than two voice lessons, or will I be needing more gas than normal. For example, we don’t have a strict $20 budget for gifts every month, and when it’s spent, he doesn’t just say, “Well, sucks to be your sister — we’ll give her a birthday present next year!” No, we plan month-to-month for the needs of that month. [I should probably clarify that most of our budgets are the same each month — only a couple fluctuate, and we also sometimes add a category as necessary].
- He doesn’t condescend my “needs.” The clothing budget is probably higher than it needs to be, as well as the toiletries budget. But he doesn’t complain or make me feel like I’m eating up money in frivolous ways; rather, he knows that we can afford it, and although he’d probably rather pay off debt a little faster, he’s putting me first and loving me in my language.
- He doesn’t second-guess me. Going along with point number two, I love that he doesn’t make me feel like I’m doing something wrong when I spend more on something than seems reasonable. I’m your typical girl who likes to buy things, and I’m also your typical free spirit who will sometimes buy impulsively, but I’m not careless, and Mick knows that. So even though I suck at and sometimes beat myself up over not being able to bring the grocery budget lower, he doesn’t judge me. He knows I try, and that’s what’s important.
Having covered that, are you ready for Part II? [what, there’s a part two?! Oh yes there is ;-)]
Mick loooooves his side hustles. Selling Magic cards, refurbishing Xboxes, selling other people’s stuff for them on Ebay, being very particular about what credit card is used where in order to get the most money back….some he’s stuck with for a long time (Inbox Dollars, selling Magic cards), and some have faded with time (Xbox refurbishing). But he is CONSTANTLY coming up with new ideas.
At first I was nervous. No, I am the free spirit — you need to be the rock! But as time went on, and as he proved himself trustworthy, it became okay that sometimes he’d finagle the budget a bit so he could try out a new idea.
What’s more important is that we’re loving and fair to each other. When he decided to juice more often, he added money to the grocery budget so that I wasn’t left high and dry. Budget-makers who are married to free spirits — this is VITAL! It is so important that you remember to show your other half love in a way that they will feel loved. I am fully aware and convinced that having a budget and paying off debt quickly is a true demonstration of love; but if he didn’t show that love every day by giving me freedom, grace, and responsibility, I wouldn’t feel loved.
Figuring out and working with money in a marriage relationship is really all about loving the other person, respecting them, and trusting their decisions. I’m sure it’s a little bit different for everyone, but this has been some of the most important stuff for me :)
Thanks for reading! :-D