Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Money Things I do that Drive My Wife Nuts

As in any good relationship, both my wife and I of course have a few things that drive each other crazy.  Being someone who writes about personal finance, I have a few things that I’ve discovered about my wife that drive me nuts when it comes to her handling of money.  However, in an effort at full disclosure, I have a few items that drive her nuts as well. 

While we’ve learned to live, and in some ways love our various financial habits, here are a few of mine that particularly get under my wife’s skin.

I track every penny I spend.  While I don’t force this same sort of exactitude upon my wife, I know that she still thinks I carry it a bit too far.  However, she’s willing to let this part of our financial life go since she realizes that it not only helps us form better spending policies and look for ways to cut costs, but it also assists me in coming up with new subject matter for my personal finance writing.

Swap Fun for Finances
While this habit of mine has saved us a lot of money over the years, it has also cost us some fun in the process.  I often tend to overanalyze how costs will add up from partaking in certain activities rather than just going with the flow, which is what my wife is more apt to do.  While this tends to cut down our entertainment and miscellaneous costs, at times it also cuts down on our enjoyment of life and living.

To better balance this aspect of our financial lives, we do several things.  First off, we look for activities that we not only enjoy, but are cost effective as well, like going to the park, canoeing, camping, taking our son to the library, going out to eat at affordable family dining venues, and similar items.  And since we are doing activities together, we typically share the cost with one another, which allows us to double our spending power, or in essence, cut the cost of such fun in half so that one person isn’t carrying the entire weight of our entertainment expenditures.

Watch and Worry
Largely due to my knowledge regarding personal finances, I likely tend to worry more about them than the average person might.  You may have heard the phrase, “Ignorance is bliss.”

In some cases, I wish this was the case in our situation, and I’m sure my wife feels the same way sometimes.  While she is happy that I try my best to safeguard our personal and financial information, I sometimes take it to the extreme and spend too much time and effort worrying about the possibilities and repercussions of certain personal financial situations.  While this helps us better protect our finances through doing things like tracking expenses, watching account balances, changing passwords, and similar activities, my wife’s ability to maintain a more even keel about such issues helps balance my overprotective attitude.  

Deal in Cash
Personally, I love dealing in cash.  I find it to be reassuring and it doesn’t leave a paper or electronic trail of account or credit card numbers that can be hacked into or stolen by those without the best of intentions.

My wife is more of a credit card kind of girl and finds my love of cash somewhat silly.  However, we balance each other well in that you really almost have to have a credit (or at least a debit) card these days for certain transactions, yet by using cash in many situations in which credit card usage isn’t necessary, we decrease the chance of our card information being compromised.

Costing us Money to Save Money
I come from a family that’s great at saving money, but whose efforts sometimes lead to situations in which we end up spending $1 to save 20 cents.  Such situations remind me of my grandfather driving an extra 10 miles out of his way to save two cents a gallon on gas. 

Thankfully, self-awareness and my wife pointing out such ridiculous behavior to me over the years, has awakened me to this fact.  I’ve therefore become better at being able to look outside the immediate near-term savings to consider long-term affects and cost implications of saving $1 today only to have it cost me $10 tomorrow.

1 comment:

  1. I signed us up for a carpool discount on our easy pass (RFID tag). This entails passing through the cash/ezpass lane, which is usually backed up. He's never used it and wastes $2 every time we take a tunnel or bridge. Drives me nuts. Great article!