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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am a very budget-conscious girl (unlike my husband- it honestly slips his mind to keep track of finances). I am a frugal shopper (we get the Angel Food box) & plan the meals 2 weeks+ ahead for our family of 3. Tristan is cloth-diapered and basically the only disposable item I purchase is toilet paper.
My husband is a smoker and without thinking, he drops a few dollars here and there for fast food on a regular basis. I have tried reasoning with him, but it just irritates him. I honestly approach it in the most un-nagging way I can, and infrequently at that, but if the subject is even mentioned he gets on the defensive.
We literally cannot afford for him to spend any money on fast food or cigarettes- the money is simply not there! So how do I make up for the money he spends? The only thing I can come up with is to anti-spend, i.e. save the money that he spends from the money that I have alloted for our groceries and gas for my car.
Please help me to anti-spend! Any tips or suggestions or even your own similar experiences would be greatly appreciated.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Mama.Pajama View Post
Any tips or suggestions or even your own similar experiences would be greatly appreciated.
I don't have a husband, so can't comment on "partnered budgeting," but I have some experiences to share about living constantly with less. When I diet long enough, it's really hard not to break down and overeat - the best diets actually plan some "splurge" eating. Similarly, when I'm on a really stringent budget, I need some "permitted splurges" or I get resentful and cheat myself. And finally, when I try to tightly budget AND strictly diet? I'm a mental wreck unless I can keep focused on explicit, calendared extravangances.

This is all to say that your husband's context, judging from your other thread, seems to be "strict time-budgeting" - he's a full-time student AND full-time worker, yes? Well, in his shoes I'd find it VERY hard to keep to a strict monetary budget, too. I think he sees fast food and cigarettes as his deserved breaks from working so hard.

Can you mutually agree on some small monetary splurges (written on the calendar so he can anticipate them), or non-monetary ones: a massage (by you), great home-cooked feasts, sex, a special rare outing? I don't think this is the time to ask him to quit smoking, but that's just my $0.02 - I well remember the strain of working hard to put myself through school full-time!
 

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What about him having some cash that he can spend however he likes? He won't have to account to anyone about how it is spent, and when it is gone, it is gone. It doesn't have to be a large amount, just something that he has control over without. If I had to take it from the groceries I probably would, just to keep the peace. If he is working and is in school, hopefully this will be temporary and better times will be ahead.
 

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Originally Posted by Denvergirlie View Post
Give him the budget to find areas to cut back in.
But not passive aggressively. Just sit him down and tell him that you understand he needs to have his smokes and junk food, but the money has to come from somewhere, so go over your budget together and allocate money to be spent however for each of you.
 

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As someone who's DH also spends money on smokes and fast food, I feel ya.

I agree you need to sit down with him, go over the budget and let him see the numbers. If there is really no way you can afford his current lifestyle, he needs to be aware of it!

If it's possible, allocate some funds for his own use and tell him when it's gone he needs to find a way to increase his income to support his habits.

I should take my own advice
 

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Similarly, when I'm on a really stringent budget, I need some "permitted splurges" or I get resentful and cheat myself.
THIS.

I just go halfway crazy if I can't buy *something* useful or splurge on fast food about once a week. Partly it's because I'm unemployed and just halfway stircrazy as it is, but I really need a little splurge even in a tight budget. SO I budget for the splurge! hehehe

You need to make a budget on paper. The money can't go anywhere that isn't written on the paper. This means you guys decide that there is $x for spending money, and at the end of the budget there is $0 leftover, so he sees that he can't go over. For us right now this means that whatever is left after the bills gets put into spending. It can also mean that I cut my own gas budget in order to have more Sonic money, but that's my choice. Don't decide things for him unless you have to, you don't want to talk down to him. You should both agree that the bills come first and hopefully be able to come to an agreeable amount for spending/splurging.

For a spender who doesn't think about it we get $50 each/2 weeks in cash. There is nothing else, when it's gone it's gone. Cut up the debit or credit cards, or at least hide them at home DO NOT carry them in the wallet everyday because it's just too easy to use the card when you run out of cash.

eta: We used to budget in DH's cigarettes, a carton on payday. That way he didn't have to buy a pack along and possibly use up money from elsewhere because he had to have a pack later in the second week. Also he could get his carton at the cheapest place, making sure he didn't drop in the most convenient place and overpay just because that's where he was when he ran out.
This might help you guys.
 

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Husbands always kill budgets
.
Even when our budget was tighter I set aside some money for dh to get snacks between work and school; that is a really long day. This may involve more meatless meals or cassroles.

Dh has his own checking account (he doesn't carry the debit card to our main checking account) that I put his money for gas, his allowance (now that we can afford that) and his "snack" money. He manages his account; if he rides his motorcycle more often, he has more money for snacks.

I also have a separate account for gas, groceries, diapers, and allowance, just so I can keep everything straight.

It took us a long time to work this out; every time I needed to try something different I said, "you know you don't have the inclination to do the finances, so you need to support what I need to do to keep track of everything."

I agree with trying to buy his cigarettes for him, as part of the grocery shopping, instead of him pick up a pack here and there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by Emmeline II View Post
Dh has his own checking account (he doesn't carry the debit card to our main checking account) that I put his money for gas, his allowance (now that we can afford that) and his "snack" money. He manages his account; if he rides his motorcycle more often, he has more money for snacks.
I appreciate this advice! I will definitely consider separating our accounts into "Expenses" and "Expendable", though on our budget, I can't guarantee that there will be anything in the "Expendable" account.
Also, the cigarette carton as a part of the groceries is a great idea- we actually used to do this regularly when we first got married, but somehow our system disintegrated...
Go figure.
Any more advice is totally welcome- I'm all ears!
 

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Kick him. J/K. Sorta.


I go thru this w/my dh about beer. I mean, we both like beer, but he likes it too often sometimes. It can be a budget killer just like cigarettes!
 

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Please, this is just IMHO, but after reading your other post in SAHM as well...I mean I understand that money is tight, but it really sounds as though your DH is really in a tough position, and so maybe the idea of giving up what he may perceive as his only luxury seems unreasonable to him. Unless the amount he is spending is absurd, you might want to try and trim your budget elsewhere and let him know that you understand that those things are important to his sanity as he works 40+ hrs. per week, goes to school full time, etc.

My DH used to smoke cigarettes and we couldn't swing it, so he got a pipe...the initial expense of buying the pipe is offset by how cheap loose tobacco is, and while admittedly he said at first it definitely wasn't the same, he has fallen in love with it and now says he could never go back, lol. But then again we live in NY where ciggys are like 7-8 bucks a pack! Maybe switching to a pipe is an option for your DH?

I dunno mama, HTH! Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
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Originally Posted by darkblue0729 View Post
Please, this is just IMHO, but after reading your other post in SAHM as well...I mean I understand that money is tight, but it really sounds as though your DH is really in a tough position, and so maybe the idea of giving up what he may perceive as his only luxury seems unreasonable to him. Unless the amount he is spending is absurd, you might want to try and trim your budget elsewhere and let him know that you understand that those things are important to his sanity as he works 40+ hrs. per week, goes to school full time, etc.
See, that's another facet to the story that is really complicated. With the inhuman amount of working he does, he deserves to splurge a little. But unfortunately the money is not there- our bills and groceries are barely covered by what he makes.
But things may be looking up- I think that I may have found a way to bring in a couple hundred extra each month, so that will be extremely helpful. I really do think that it's important for my husband to have some money that is reserved just for him, to spend however he wants. The last thing I want to do is nag him when he works so hard to take care of us...
Anyway, thanks for the suggestions girls and I'm all ears to additional ideas.
 
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