Tonight I wanted to kill Mr F.
He and I have our differences. One of us commits to things and the other one wants to commit to things.
Guess which one is Mr F.
Today I got an updated bank statement. It appears that a couple of days ago Mr F took $20 out of an ATM.
"Big deal." You say.
You'd be wrong about that.
On the surface 20 bucks is just 20 bucks. But if you consider that tomorrow I have to call the hospital and negotiate payments on Kid's EEG and we still can't cover her tuition and our mortgage... 20 bucks becomes a very big deal. Sometimes we are so close that just a couple of dollars can swing our balance into insufficient. That's why I don't allow Mr F to take cash out of the account.
That doesn't mean he can't spend money if he needs to... he has a credit card... but Mr F is one of those people who just can't have cash. Case in point the $20 withdrawal.
"Did you take $20 out at an ATM last week?" Mrs F asks
"I guess." Mr F replies (fyi...me no likey that answer)
"What did you need it for?" Mrs F continues.
"I wanted it just in case I needed it when I was on location." Mr F says.
"What did you buy?" Mrs F inquires.
"A soda." Mr F lamely reveals (okay so I'm not terribly impartial).
"What did you do with the rest?" Mrs F pushes.
"I still have some... but I think I spent some on some of the stuff we needed." Mr F continues (you see what I'm up agaisnt... right?)
So this is the problem with cash. If Mr F has cash he will spend it. On small piddly things like soda and gum... but it will magically disappear over time with no accounting for what it was spent on or why.
The soda,I gathered, was probably $1.25. I told Mr F that just this afternoon I put back the turkey meatballs I usually buy and bought meat to make my own. It'll take a couple of hours of my time but it'll save us... get this... a dollar... so I did it. Cause saving that dollar was worth it to me.
Mr F got a soda.
Do you see the problem here?
I don't need Mr F to apologize for getting the soda (okay maybe I do) I need him to want to fix our situation badly enough that he (on his own) wouldn't even think of wasting $1.25 on carbonated sugar water. There is no amount of money so small that it doesn't count. As I said to him I need him to be an actual partner in this with me. I feel like I'm bailing out a boat that has a bunch of tiny holes in it. I can't win if he doesn't stop chipping away at the bottom of my goddamn boat.
Mr F said he does want to be a partner to me... but... he just doesn't have my "intensity". Word to that. I have yet to experience a level of bad that is actually enough to make him commit to anything. And people for the record we have seen *BAD*... it was only 5 years ago that I had to take over the finances due to a serious level accrued debt... due mostly to just plain poor attention to detail... and quite a bit of wishful thinking. The man cannot give 100% (I think I've mentioned that before... he's actually pretty much pathologically set to only achieve 80%... for real).
Mr F finds his wallet and hands over the change. He told me it was $14. In actuality it was $12.96.
I told him I'd give him $10 back if he thought he could challenge himself not to spend it.
"Just give me one dollar." He said.
At least he knows himself. That's something.