Monday, February 2, 2009

Opposites Attract And Other Things That Will Make You Lose Your Mind

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 ( 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).

Hilarious Update:

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.


Bean Collins said...

I can understand your situation. My partner makes noise about saving money, but then when I say "How about I make your lunch and pack you a thermos of tea, instead of hitting starbucks EVERY SINGLE DAY?" he changes his tune. No commitment! I think it's a congenital male defect.

Mrs Furious said...

"I think it's a congenital male defect."


Staci said...

Oh my gosh. This is exactly me and my hubby. I do all the finances too.

He can NOT have cash. He can't remember ANYTHING he ever buys with it. And until two months ago he was allowed to use the ATM card without telling me ahead of time. Not any more. I went to the DOLLAR store (of all places) and put my $7 worth of purchases up on the counter swiped my card and DECLINED! I was mortified. We DID have MORE than enough money to cover my purchases. Except...he decided he needed something that day and didn't let me know.
Needless to say...he got an ear full. :P

Flash forward to this morning...

He told me he was going to use the ATM card and I told him...okay, but there is only $10 in there. Guess how much he spent?


Nice, huh?

That's why I lie about our balance. If I don't he would go right up to the last dime we have.

cramerj said...

you all grown ups?
Surely these small amounts of money wouldn't impinge on most budgets?

julie said...

"Just give me one dollar." He said That's really funny.

Mr Furious said...

Yeah, cramer. Grown-ups with kids, mortgages, bills, unanticipated medical costs...

When you don't have enough to pay 'em all, even "these small amounts of money" are a problem.

(Look at me, all fresh from his lecture...)

BsOnlyToots said...

haha LOVE Mr.F's reply!

And to cramer: YES! When you have children and ONE INCOME and have a VERY set budget, these 'small amounts of money' do GREATLY 'impinge' on OUR budgets!

Slick Willie said...

I spend most of my money on women and beer, the rest I just waste

lucinda said...

It's not just about $1 something, it's about the commitment to live debt free because in an economy where your budget works and then the company folds it's downright terrifying to a grown up to be partnered with someone who doesn't make that commitment.

Renee said...

Uh oh...I think I have the congenital male defect except it is the female version :)....this post could have been written by my husband-LOL-apparently, Mr. F and I have a lot in common... I have been working on this over the past couple of years and can happily report that I have been on budget for over a year now which is a BIG accomplishment for me. Funny how most couples we know are the reverse of us!

Heather said...

Uh, what's with the weird comments??

I'm glad to hear other wives have to take control of the finances. I always wanted my husband to take care of everything; then I read Money, a Memoir, and realized that was pretty dumb of me. So now I handle most of it.

Haley said...

I vacillate... it's like I have a tiny Mrs. F on one shoulder telling me to put back the croissant that I don't really need, and a tiny Mr.F on the other handing me an overpriced cup of coffee to go with it.

Usually Little Mrs. F wins, but Little Mr. F can be very convincing.

Mrs Furious said...


I'll be back... Baby is in need....

"Uh Oh help mom"

Christy said...

I can really relate, because I am the Mr F of our marriage. I haven't always been this way. I just like to live in denial. It's nice here.

Mrs Furious said...

Mr F might have actually incurred bodily harm if that happened to me...

I wish there was a magic way to get both parties on the same page. It is so frustrating... and obviously our in-laws faults ;)

"you all grown ups?"

I knew that'd make you laugh.

Does Eric set your budget?


I also wanted to have Mr F handle the money... Yeah... that's not going to happen ever again.

Totally the lack of commitment. If you consciously decided to spend $1 that is one thing... but just not commit to paying attention and owning your choices that is the problem.

Mrs Furious said...

Oh there has been plenty of living in denial around here... by both of us. It was nicer there.

Marie said...

Aahh..denial. I love that place! We vacation there often... :-)

Haley--too funny! Now I can't stop picturing mini-furiouses sitting on my shoulders..hilarious!

and btw, why must my 18month old fall asleep in the car for 15 minutes and then refuse to take a REAL nap???!

Heather said...

not commit to paying attention and owning your choices that's exactly what the Money, A Memoir book is about. Consciously deciding to be passive and hoping it all works out = not so good. It's like the opposite of Suze Orman.

Our financial planner, btw, has heartily endorsed Charlotte. We shall see in May...

Staci said...

"our in-laws fault!"

So true. :)

BsOnlyToots said...

HAHAHA Mrs.F the inlaws! YES it IS their fault! lol I blame EVERYTHING on them, because, well, it IS their fault most of time! lol

Mr Furious said...

and btw, why must my 18month old fall asleep in the car for 15 minutes and then refuse to take a REAL nap???!

Could be worse...that 15 minutes could be fuel for staying up until midnight! That's what Baby like to pull these days...

Mrs Furious said...

You and me both ;)

Mr F is right Baby is pulling the fall asleep at dinner time = stay up until midnight. It is a vicious cycle!!!
I try to keep her awake but she'll actually nod off while eating... you can't stop it once it starts and it's never for the night... it just recharges her long enough to not go back to bed at bedtime. She's been watching a lot of BL these days!

I believe that about Charlotte. With Nascar there Pete has job opportunities as well. My Dad knows a lot of people there FYI.

Deb said...

LOL at Haley's answer - I have the dueling Furiouses on my shoulders, too. Fortunately, I'm now tethered to two children at all times, and I haven't mastered taking them out in public yet, so that has cut down on my spending severely.

As for that congenital male defect, it's in the "why" chromosome, as one of my friends puts it. As in, "WHY are they like that?"

SK and Family said...

Ah, I am a day late on this post, too--I don't know if you read my late comments, LOL!

I told you about the Grocery cart challenge--well, I decided to start this past week. I gave my dh a "pep" talk about it, requiring him to get on-board with me and commit to a grocery budget (we've never commited to a set amount before). He completely agreed--he is the "saver" and I am the "spender", so I thought we would be fine. I checked our balances on-line yesterday, and HE went over his budget--DOUBLE the amount. So, I emailed him a note, and he emailed back an excuse that he bought enough groceries for the next two weeks (we live a crazy life right now, between two houses and three towns). I asked, "How are you not going to spend ANY money, except for gas, next week?" and he insisted that he wouldn't...I'll believe it when I see it...

I,on the other hand, came in under budget for me and our four boys! It almost makes me think that it's one of those situations where it wasn't his idea, so he's not really into it...

Sorry for the long comment...

Mrs Furious said...

"WHY are they like that?"

I always get the comments... sometimes I just get behind in responding.

"It almost makes me think that it's one of those situations where it wasn't his idea, so he's not really into it"
Ah YES... I think some of that goes on around here ;)

AND I am now obsessed with all those grocery blogs!!

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