I don’t want to give anybody the impression that we have a perfect marriage free of any confrontation. Because that simply is not true. Also, we don’t not fight about money because we have plenty of it. That is again very not true. We are comfortable, but with 5 people in our family, our budget is tight. My husband finished medical school a year and a half ago and is still in residency. He works very long hours and for now, his compensation per hour is fairly low.
We own a house, 2 cars and have 3 kids. There are ALWAYS unexpected expenses. Someone is sick, something is broke, something needs replacing, it seems like it never ends.
Trust and Respect
But the reason we don’t fight about money is because we trust and respect each other. We have a system of who pays what bills. We have 1 bank account and share all of our finances. If I purchase something, my husband knows I carefully considered the purchase and knew it would be within our budget. The reverse is also true. We do not hide purchases from one another. With the exception of a gift for him, if I buy something online I am not secretly hiding any traces of the purchase. I wouldn’t want my husband to be buy things for himself and try to hide it from me. So I give him the same respect I want.
I’m not a huge fan of the “hiding the online order packages from my husband” memes and jokes. To me, they enforce unfair stereotypes that men earn and are more responsible with the money, while women sneak around and spend it without making responsible choices. This is not true in our house and not true in many of the households I know. Women earn money too, and they are perfectly capable of making responsible purchasing choices.
Another aspect of our mutual trust is that we trust each other’s judgement of value. I’ve recently really started investing in my skin. Skin care products can range from inexpensive to insanely outrageous. I’ve started spending more than I was before but within reason. My husband knows I have been doing this and I’ve shared with him what I’ve gotten and how much it costs, and he has never once made me feel bad or guilty. He understands and respects this is important for me to do for myself, and he trusts that I what I am paying is what the value is to me.
We also both strongly believe in not carrying credit card debt, so we approach our budget and purchases with that mentality first. And through our hard work and determination it’s something we’ve stuck to through our nearly 8 years of marriage, with the exception of a few no interest for 12 months type deals. We always pay those things off before the interest kicks in. There have been months where a lot of things came up and I was worried we would not be able to stick to this goal. It’s hard. When things have gotten tight, we’ve reigned in our spending and did our best to make it work.
Quality and Finding a Deal
We both are aggressive in searching for the best deal, especially when it comes to a large or important purchase. Quality is also very important to us. I frequently call my husband the research king because he is awesome about searching out the best options and scouring the internet for reviews when we have a big purchase to make.
Of the two of us I am more of the planner, so I usually do all of the planning when it comes to family trips. But we do agree on what we can afford and want to do. I will usually plan out a few options and then we pick from those and make a plan. We enjoy giving our kids experiences and would usually rather spend on that than more “stuff.”