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Curious observer

September 21st, 2009 at 06:52 am

A friend of mine called me up earlier, being completely frustrated about how his wife is, according to him, micro-managing the way he spends again. On the surface, it seems like such an insignificant issue to get worked up over. I think it was over a $1 iTune song he bought their son. However, I'm sure the cost is not the issue because they make good money, but rather, it's the way both handle money and each other that is the problem....

The irony is, even though this man is my very good friend, I tend to logically agree with his wife because she's the money person in the house and she is the one who understands the big picture.

Interesting enough, when I asked her if she was excited that her husband, my friend, finally landed a decent job and that he could help her with the bills, she said that she was, but at the same time, she dreaded the money fights that would follow as well. Knowing her husband well, she knew he would feel entitled to spends at least part of the money on how ever he sees fit. How uncanny....

My friend is probably one of the best man you'll ever meet, but yeah... I suppose personal finances isn't exactly his forte. Still though, I had no advice or suggestions for him. I had no intentions of attempting to "solve" math problems. He was simply frustrated and he needed to vent. So, I just listened... well OK, I vented a bit about my ex as well, but only to commiserate with him about his plight. He needed a sympathetic ear, and as a friend, I was happy to lend it.

But as a curious outside observer, I must say, this stuff is beginning to seem kind of foreign to me. A small part of me is thinking, "Wow. You're such a lucky man to have such a great wife who is also good with money. Who cares if she fusses over a $1 iTune song? Just kick back, relax, and enjoy life minus a song or two."

Of course, such things only seem "simple" on the outside, and I am reminded of how even the smallest straw can break the proverbial camel's back if there is enough prior weight and stress on it.

So far, I am learning that we can't always decide our situation in life, but we can always make the best of it. This conversation with my friend helped me realize how fortunate right now in that I don't have to have money fights... er, most of the time anyway. I don't know what my future holds, but whatever it is, I do know I need to be in a much better financial situation than I am in right now.

3 Responses to “Curious observer”

  1. ceejay74 Says:

    I feel bad for couples whose money issues become a constant strain, too, especially when one wants to enjoy money now and the other has a vision for the future. Because both are valid, but you have to find the right balance.

    Thank you for reminding me how lucky I am. The danger of having three people pulling in different directions financially didn't even occur to me, because almost as soon as I sat down and figured out how dire our situation was and explained it to my family, they pretty much started deferring to me in every financial decision, saying that I had a more complete view of everything and so could be trusted to make the best decision. The very few times one of them makes a request to spend some money vs. letting me save or pay down debt with it, I really try to listen, because they don't do it very often so I know it must be something pretty important to them.

    I shudder to think how wrong it could have gone...AS and I had never stuck to a plan, and NT hadn't had to share finances with someone in many years.

  2. Broken Arrow Says:

    Very fortunate for you indeed, Ceejay. Many couples have a hard enough time, but to have financial harmony in a household of 3 is truly priceless.

  3. princessperky Says:

    Several friends and I just had a similar conversation, complaining about how their husbands spend the money.

    I really didn't have much to add, other than to ask if the men had some money to waste anyway they saw fit? While my husband and I do not have allowances, he spends his ebay earnings, and/or poker money any way he likes. (though if needed he uses some of it for the house fund)

    And cash is the same way, when we are fine financially he and I waste the cash any way we like. (and when things are not going well we waste a small portion of it).

    I think trying to micromanage all of the money gets many folk in trouble. Unless one person is truly perfect and has no vices, then let the other have a few of their own (within reason)

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