When your priorities don’t align

Today I had a long conversation with Hubs. He wants to increase our allowances for a hobby he enjoys. It requires us to find $186 a month to increase both of our allowances by $93.

For the last 4 months, my whole purpose has been to 1. Lower expenses, and 2. Increase income to widen the gap between what we earn and what we spend. The “gap money” goes to paying down debt and saving for our future, be it early retirement or just freedom to do what we want in terms of work.

It was really difficult to hear that he felt really restricted by his current allowance, since I have no issues at all. That said I had to admit that we haven’t increased our allowances for over a year, and the amount isn’t huge (currently we have $152 a month Per person to spend however we want).

He also explained that he wants to enjoy his hobby guilt free since it does enrich his life (which I’m all for)…it is just that I would choose very different ways to enrich my life, and ones that are less expensive. Regardless this is important to him so we talked about where we could get the funds to make it happen.

Our options are 1. Consistently increase income by $186 per month. Or 2. Reallocate dollars from other things to put towards our fun money. Or a combo of both.

I asked if we could work together to find areas that we could save. We think insurance is one area, but it will take some work to negotiate better rates. Personally I would rather Hubs is able to enjoy his hobby vs overpaying a greedy insurance company.

Another area we identified is parking. Currently Hubs pays $115 per month, but we really haven’t explored other options within a reasonable distance. We reviewed our subscriptions to see what could be cut, but nothing seemed frivolous. We talked about cheaper child care options, cancelling one of our vacations (or looking for a cheaper option), dining out less, although we don’t spend much on that.

Anyway hopefully if we shave some here and there and make a small effort to bring in income, we can make up this money. I’m coming to terms with the fact that he doesn’t want the same frugal lifestyle that I do, and has different values than I do in terms of how to spend and save. If I want to make our life work I have to accept this.

Maybe separate finances are the way to go in the future, I’m not sure. Hopefully it will get easier. At least now we understand each other a bit better.

What experiences do you have with differing priorities? How do you keep the peace in your family? Let me know in the comments.

2 Replies to “When your priorities don’t align”

  1. Hi T,

    I think it’s probably rare to find a couple where both spouses are on exactly the same page when it comes to financial goals. I know from my own life that my wife plans to work longer than I do – we’re both pretty frugal, but I have to keep in mind that she plans to work longer, and so I shouldn’t worry too much if she has other expenses she wants in the near term (she actually probably spends less than I do…but that’s another story).

    One thing that stood out to me reading your post…you mentioned you have no trouble with your current spending allowance, but you also mentioned that to increase his allowance by $93 you would also be increasing your own allowance by $93. Do the allowances have to be equal? 😉

    Neal

    1. Thank you Neal for your comments. I am glad you and your wife have come to agreement already. The answer to your question is, yes. Regardless of the fact that my extra allowance will be going into my Questrade TFSA. 😀 I think if roles were reversed, and I was the spendy one, I would want us to have equal allowances…does that seem silly?

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