Thursday, April 5, 2012

Thursday Thoughts: On Marriage and Money

Hi Everyone!

I've been thinking about this post for a long time, so I decided to finally get it out.  It's no secret that I love to shop.....ahem, I have a shopping blog, LOL!  And, as my wonderful husband tells people all the time, I've always been honest about how much I love to shop and how much I love all things J. Crew.  One of the many things that I love about my husband is how he supports me wholeheartedly in every aspect of my life:  professionally, personally, and so on.  I can be honest with him about my struggles without him judging me.  I'm super blessed; my husband sees me at my worst, and he still loves me unconditionally.  Here's a picture of the two of us:

Now, let's talk about how everything I've said above relates to money and marriage.  I believe wholeheartedly in being honest and transparent at all times.  Most often, my husband takes me to the mall and drops me off at the door so that I don't have walk long distances given my neuromuscular medical condition.  He rarely comes into the mall with me because he's one of those get what you're looking for and leave kind of shoppers.  That's never been my story.  I mention this because he sees everything I buy.  And, he worked from home years ago, so he signed for the UPS packages his cousin delivered to our door.  Now, I leave the packages behind the love seat in our living room so that he can see what I've purchased.  Also, my husband snaps my blog pictures so he sees everything.  Moreover, all of our money is together, so there are no secrets.  This works best for us.

Lest I sound self righteous, let me tell you about my struggles:  I've rarely kept to my monthly clothing budget.  Indeed, I've exceeded it more times than I can count.  And, I'm not happy about that.  Moreover, a few years ago, I purchased a Kate Spade coat that my husband clearly told me was not in our budget at the time.  I figured that I'd try it on and convince him that it fit into the budget.  Nope.  I can't even begin to describe the disappointed look on his face when the coat arrived......twice.  The first time it didn't fit, and since there isn't a Kate Spade where I live, I shipped it back to get a smaller size.  The smaller size didn't work either, and my husband thought the coat was flat out ugly.  The second time he googled the nearest Kate Spade and we drove a few hours to return the coat.  This story is funny now, but it certainly wasn't funny in 2008!

I tell you all of this to say that I believe it's important to be honest at all times.

How do you reconcile/handle money/marriage/shopping?  Do tell!

Thanks for stopping by!


  1. what a great topic!
    even though i am also on a budget,i am having a hard time sticking to it and sometimes i find myself trying my way around it.
    like you i have a supportive husband,that is also very generous.
    so i guess iam a work in progress:)

  2. I really like this post! I have three kids in BRACES and 2 special needs children, so lately I haven't been purchasing too much. I use to shop way too much! Most of our extra income goes to Speech therapies etc but, I will get a few new fresh things each season. When I look back and think how out of control I was with my Jcrew shopping habits I could cringe. My husband never says one word and when tax return time comes, he offers to pay off my cards. But, now that I'm not shopping too much I enjoy it more! I think about my purchases instead of over buying! For instance, my splurge for the summer was the Jade pencil skirt and I want the dot one also. I still have things hanging with tags! I appreciate my purchases more now because I must save for them! I also have to continually purchase clothing for three growing kids, LOL... SO, I am definitely on a clothing budget!!!

  3. Forgot to say, what a cute couple you are! :))

  4. I also think you are such a beautiful couple!
    My husband is very supportive of me and anything I buy for myself. I pay the bills so I know how much money I have to spend and I pretty much stick to it. I don't hide purchases, I often ask for an opinion when I try things on.
    Of course, I could buy less but it's a struggle with myself and not an argument in my marriage. Thank goodness.
    I also sell things and that helps offset my budget, my husband knows this as well, it might make me seem smarter than I really am about it, LOL!

  5. My husband and I share a bank account and he sees every transaction that comes through our account (he loves to keep track of every dime we spend!). Needless to say, there are no secrets between us! I do have a certain monthly budget I try to stick to, but that amount is less than what one item usually costs, so I sometimes go over. As long as I don't go too far and eventually catch up, we're all good :)

    Lovely picture of you two, btw!

  6. What a cute couple!! I don't hide my purchases from my hubby but since I buy quite a bit, I don't necessarily tell him exactly what I bought (yes, justify my own actions haha!). He knows that I don't go crazy on things so he doesn't bother trying to control my purchase habits.

  7. Rynetta, your husband is so cute!

    I buy what I like, but I do sometimes spend too much!

    I don't hide purchases per se, although I do not always mention the shoes right away!

  8. What an awesome picture of the two of you! You guys make a beautiful couple.
    Great post! Being honest is the key to marriage and really to any relationship. My husband knows all of my purchases and I can always count on him for an honest opinion, which I don't always take but always value:).
    Thanks for sharing this. Have a great weekend.

  9. My husband is a sweetie too, and never says anything about my (ahem, slightly excessive) shopping. I am the money manager of the relationship though, so sometimes I wonder if it's because he doesn't know *exactly* how much I spend. hee hee. He never really feels the need to spend money on himself though, so I sometimes feel a little guilty for being the 'spender' in the relationship.

    I love your blog, btw. It is one of my absolute favourite bookmarks. (:

  10. Love the picture of the two of you, super cute! I don't hide but I think we have unwritten agreement that I don't talk about what I buy, obviously he can see everything is in plain sight. My husband knows that I am a serial returner and that I sell stuff. I do usually go over budget as much as I try not to. But I have been much better in 2012 than in many previous years. Oh and my husband pays the bills so he can see what I spend and even if I know he wished it was less he never says anything.

  11. Wow. I'm actually quite shocked & a little more than suspicious of many folks replies. I can't believe (no matter how little your salary changed if at all during the brunt of the recession) that husband's really don't care that their wives are out spending money on stuff they don't need. I'll be blunt & honest here - most of the purchases I see on fashion blogs are wants - not needs.

    I also think most husbands generally just want to keep the peace & don't say anything because I imagine when or if they do - it's like walking into a shitstorm. So they say nothing & keep kicking that can down the road & turn a blind eye. If you're happy - then they are happy is probably the theme. But are the husbands really happy? Sure are a large # of divorces going on these days & not because people are happy.

    I think there are a helluva lot more purchases being made that aren't actively brought to the attention of the other spouse than folks are admitting too. Not necessarily "hiding" it from the husbands per se...but not actively disclosing it either. My husband is probably no different that most men in that he really doesn't always notice exactly everything I have in my wardrobe & I think many women capitalize on that "weakness" in their husbands. If the husband does eventually notice a new purchase or starts to count up the # of JCrew transactions - then I imagine there is a lot of quick tap dancing going on by many women to justify it all. What's the old saying - tis better to ask for forgiveness than ask for permission.

    I've spent a boatload of money over my married years in clothing that I've since sold on eBay or donated. Never do I recoup that cost buying selling or donating either. A serial returner doesn't necessarily profit either. While I enjoy reading fashion blogs - I live vicariously through yall's purchases. Costs me nothing & at the end of the day I still have plenty of clothes in my closet to wear & money in the bank.
    Not until the husband & I together went all Dave Ramsey & paid off all our bills (our mortgage will be paid off in 2014 on home #1 & in 2016 on #2) did we both sit down & honestly discuss where the money was going. I was ashamed & more than embarrassed at how much money I spent at JCrew et al.

    That was then that my husband told me that he hated that I was spending so much on clothing etc. He said he ever brought up the subject because we used to find enough reasons to spat at one another back then - so why would he volunteer to start something he knew would turn into a fight - so he didn't. Plus he figured that if I was happy - he was happy (in theory, but deep down he wasn't due to his desire to save more than spend ESPECIALLY since I had perfectly good clothing in my closet already).

    I believe we to be a pretty good slice of Americana & can't for 1 minute believe that there aren't more husbands who would rather you stop blowing money (his, yours or both) and if you don't believe that to be true…It's probably because your husband isn't keen on actively walking into a shitstorm.

  12. What a lovely couple you make Rynetta, very photogenic.

    Interesting comments here, especially Jane. I agree that consignment and resale don't cover the original cost of 99.9% of purchases. Once in a while you may get lucky with a real gem that is in demand but fashion moves so fast it's rare.

    It is pure folly though, to expect that everyone else's situation is the same as yours. A solid marriage is built on trust and if either spouse cannot have an honest, if even difficult conversation with the other then there is a serious lack of trust. If people are hiding behavior - whether it is shopping, drinking, eating, smoking, whatever, they should ask themselves why they feel the need to hide it from their spouse. If someone can't discuss their concerns about their spouse's behavior, they need to explore why just as well.

    Personally, I would be disheartened to learn that my husband was afraid to talk to me about anything. We are building a life, together. It's all or nothing and trust is the foundation.

  13. Jane's comment has given me pause for thought, which I appreciate, but as the previous commentor has mentioned, is a bit of a generalization based on her own experience.

    Would my husband prefer I spent less on 'wants'? I'm sure he would. But marriage is in some ways a series of compromises we make for each other. I've made a few life-changing sacrifices for my husband over the last few years. He appreciates that more than he can say, and tacit approval of my spending is one of the token ways he shows it. The point is, every marriage is different. Jane's 'sh@tstorm' comment made the issue seem very one-sided, and actually read a weeee bit sexist, IMO.

    What I appreciate about Jane's comment though, was her honesty about her own experience. And like her, going forward I would also like to shift my focus to more long term financial goals!

  14. I absolutely loved reading through this post and the other comments. It's such an interesting, yet very seldom discussed topic.

    My fiance seems to be quite a bit different than many other husbands. He notices every time I wear something new, whether it's a new pair of shoes or a new necklace (and not because I make a point of telling him! Well, I do now but it didn't always used to be that way!) He also has an opinion about my fashion choices - for instance he hates what he refers to as "weird" colors or patterns (like J Crew's Byzantine Blue or Feather Paisley print).

    I'm definitely a shopaholic and didn't even realize it for the longest time. J Crew's final sale was my weakness, because I would see the sale prices and assume it was worth it. In fact, I still have things sitting in my closet with the tags still attached. Ugh it makes me so sad to think about all the money I wasted on something I didn't even wear once.

    My fiance and I make about the same amount, so he didn't really try to stop my spending because at the time it wasn't interfering with our lifestyle. Then we started going on more vacations, and eating out more, and I got more expensive tastes (like Kate Spade or Tory Burch... ugh). Things just added up and something needed to change. Now I'm on a strict monthly budget for clothing purchases that I do not go over even by a penny. So instead of going nuts during the J Crew final sale, I barely even look anymore because I chose where to spend my money wisely and usually research what I want to get very thoroughly before I buy. If I don't, then I feel like I'm cheating my future husband because it's not fair to him to have to fund every dinner out or vacation. At the same time, the guy has worn the same pair of jeans every day for a year so a part of him doesn't understand why I need five skirts!

    Anyway, really interesting topic. I'm still a work in progress with getting my spending more on track and building up the, what do they call it, 8 month emergency fund. The key for my fiance and I was communication. Hiding purchases is never the answer.

  15. I make 3x more than my hubby makes and I still feel guilty every time I go shopping. Should it matter who makes more when it comes to spending habits?


Comments are welcome. Rude and disrespectful comments will be deleted!