Author Topic: Am I bad guy?  (Read 11859 times)

Chris-93AUS

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Am I bad guy?
« on: April 13, 2016, 06:39:30 PM »
This happened earlier today and its been weighing on my mind.

Have you had  a situation where your partner has suggested a trip away for a weekend and you calculated the cost of said trip and then shut them down?

My partner would like to spend a weekend away from her family with myself in a rather expensive city, go visit some friends and just relax, go out etc. My first thought was "Yeah, wouldn't that be great!" but then my newfound sense of stash-dreaming yanked me back into focus.

I wouldn't be relaxed, I'd be wondering how much money would be wasted on flights, accommodation, food, entertainment and shopping, I would be agitated and trying to avoid spending which in turn would put my partner on edge as well and the whole thing wouldn't be relaxing at all. I considered airbnb, cooking at home and free entertainment but honestly I would much rather stay put, go and do cheap/free activities locally even though it would mean my partner doesn't get a "real" break.

I calmly explained the potential costs, the fact that I myself had recently turned down a holiday with family so that I could save my money and continue paying down debt and she just said "ok".

I don't understand women at all, am I up shit creek?, prior experience with other partners has me feeling like I'm going to have an uncomfortable situation for the next few days and I feel like I'm the boring one that has to be the hard-ass when these types of situations occur.

To her credit we haven't really had many situations like this and she isn't the unreasonable type, so I'm probably just over thinking it.

Similar experience friends?

Jack

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Re: Am I bad guy?
« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2016, 06:48:30 PM »
Tell her all the stuff you wrote here (about how you think you'd it because you'd be feeling guilty about the spending).

Then go camping (still out of town, but cheaper).

FrugalFan

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Re: Am I bad guy?
« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2016, 06:57:11 PM »
Yeah she might feel a bit bummed. I second the recommendation to find a cheaper alternative that doesn't involve flights or an expensive city. Camping if you want to keep in really affordable. But could you rent an Airbnb or something within driving distance? I think it is important to still try to be fun and spontaneous while trying to save money. It might take a bit more forethought but I think it's possible.

lbmustache

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Re: Am I bad guy?
« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2016, 06:58:21 PM »
Find something in between. Airbnb, allows you to cook (saving money), pick a cheaper place to visit.

I also do not think a reasonable vacation needs to be as stressful as you are thinking. Read some of MMMs posts on it, he basically accepts it for what it is and rests easy knowing that he's financially secure to enjoy this rare luxury. Not sure where you are in your financial journey but it's just a thought.


bobechs

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Re: Am I bad guy?
« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2016, 07:16:30 PM »
Yeah, you are the bad guy.

Face it: you are always the bad guy.  Don't try to maneuver around it with mock humility, or ask us for sympathy just this one time, and just on this anonymous forum.

You are the fucking bad guy. Embrace that reality.

What you do with that fact, I can't tell you.

BarkyardBQ

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Re: Am I bad guy?
« Reply #5 on: April 13, 2016, 07:20:53 PM »
It's easy to get wrapped up in the early phases of cutting expenses and optimizing. The important thing to remember is that you should not deprive yourself of anything that would bring you happiness. You can do it less often or figure out a lower cost, but if you truly enjoy something for it's value, you can spend. The key is to do so conscious of your goals and be smart about your purchase and most likely frugal. If you chose to go, evaluate what you plan to do and what's most important, then you can determine what things you can spend less on. Once you're there, be comfortable with your decision or it won't be pleasant... then you'll hate traveling, not spending money. Nobody want's that.

You should also realize that simply being conscious of your goals puts you ahead. If you can save or pay off debts and understand your goal, a few purchases won't make a difference.

Dealing with your partner is a matter of compromising on whatever makes either of you happy. If you have shared finances then you are in this together and what may not be the most important for you, may be to her, so work with her. If you have separate finances, the same applies, but you can decide what each of you will be paying for.

Does she understand your plan, is she involved? I have found that if your SO isn't neck deep in your spread sheets, it's important to periodically show them or tell them progress. You should be sharing any short term goals for the next 12 months. A plan works too; for the next three months I'd like to save X and then we can spend X on something nice. It's also beneficial to show them and understand for yourself how larger periodic purchases might affect the plan over 5, 10, or 15 years. I have found that a random vacation, purchase or set of purchases each year only affects our 10 year plan to FIRE by a few months extra work.

Paying off debt is a little different than accumulating for FIRE, but if it's something you would enjoy doing retired, you should be willing to make it part of your life now.

You can always cut another expense to add one or increase spending for one with more value.
« Last Edit: April 13, 2016, 07:28:13 PM by BackyarBQ »

onlykelsey

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Re: Am I bad guy?
« Reply #6 on: April 13, 2016, 07:25:26 PM »
I am both the woman and the financial head in my relationship, so I'm not sure if this is useful to you, but I would find a way to make clear that you're not poo-pooing her idea for a trip or her desire to spend time away with you.  That's probably paramount.  Find another way to spend time with her, or say that in X months you'd love to take that trip.

I'd also train yourself out of painting all women (or men) with one brush.  you're not dating them all.  You're dating this one, and treating her thoughts and desires as interchangeable with the other 4 billion women on the planet will do you no favors.

MrDelane

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Re: Am I bad guy?
« Reply #7 on: April 13, 2016, 07:28:36 PM »
I've been in your shoes many many times.
Over the years I've also learned to appreciate the importance of focused time away from every day life to enjoy my wife's company.

When she suggested a trip last year I had the same initial reaction you did... and we we had the same sort of exchange.

In the end, we talked it out, looked at our finances, and came up with a budget that we both thought was fair.  You have to decide how much is some time away worth to you?  Figure out what that number is, and then work within it.

Vacations are no different than anything else we buy... except we're buying time and memories. Decide what its worth to you, and then find a way to create a vacation within that budget.

That's my two cents anyhow.
« Last Edit: April 13, 2016, 07:30:13 PM by MrDelane »

little_brown_dog

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Re: Am I bad guy?
« Reply #8 on: April 13, 2016, 07:33:31 PM »
She wanted to do something special with you and you essentially told her it was a waste. You should have said it was a great idea but maybe could you do something in [insert closer cheaper but more romantic location] since it would be easier. My husband sometimes does this and even though I know he doesn not mean it in a bad way, it always comes across terribly like money is more important. Annoys the crap out of me and I'm the more mustachian one!

hint to men with female partners: when these suggestions come up look for the general sentiment first, do not just react to the details. If the general idea is to do something special or nice with you, you do not want to just shut it down...it will inevitably come across like you do not want to spend time with her, or she is not important enough to you. And then you will be screwed because once you realize what has happened you might have a harder time convincing her that your desire to do something similar is genuine and not just a way to appease her. She wants you to be excited about the thought of couple time the first time she suggests it, not after she gets hurt because you told her it was too much trouble.
« Last Edit: April 13, 2016, 07:41:28 PM by little_brown_dog »

MrDelane

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Re: Am I bad guy?
« Reply #9 on: April 13, 2016, 07:40:43 PM »
hint to men with female partners: when these suggestions come up look for the general sentiment first, do not just react to the details.

I would say that is good advice for anyone dealing with a partner, male or female.

hodor

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Re: Am I bad guy?
« Reply #10 on: April 13, 2016, 07:46:34 PM »
I've done exactly that, my partner wanted to do America and Japan the same year as buying a house. I laid out the situation and we put a hold on Japan.

I'm making the assumption you would be still visiting a city in Australia. Flights are cheap, it's only a weekend, can't you crash at one of the friends? Maybe one night in a place off wotif of similar.  You need to find a middle ground or it will harm your relationship. You can't expect someone to completely change their world view and habits instantly, though it can happen, because you have.

I'd be inclined to go, maybe scale down some expenses to help you relax a little.

Choices are tough.

Chris-93AUS

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Re: Am I bad guy?
« Reply #11 on: April 13, 2016, 08:11:11 PM »
Thanks for the input all,

I had a further discussion with her and she understands, we are both going to come up with a list of more affordable alternatives with the goal of a weekend away in the next month or so :)

I am both the woman and the financial head in my relationship, so I'm not sure if this is useful to you, but I would find a way to make clear that you're not poo-pooing her idea for a trip or her desire to spend time away with you.  That's probably paramount.  Find another way to spend time with her, or say that in X months you'd love to take that trip.

I'd also train yourself out of painting all women (or men) with one brush.  you're not dating them all.  You're dating this one, and treating her thoughts and desires as interchangeable with the other 4 billion women on the planet will do you no favors.

I apologise if you took offense, was not my intention to come across as painting every woman the same way

onlykelsey

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Re: Am I bad guy?
« Reply #12 on: April 13, 2016, 08:31:14 PM »
No worries, I wasn't offended. Just pointing out a habit. I think everyone falls in to it, but it doesn't help any of us haha.

Bicycle_B

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Re: Am I bad guy?
« Reply #13 on: April 13, 2016, 09:06:23 PM »
I am both the woman and the financial head in my relationship, so I'm not sure if this is useful to you, but I would find a way to make clear that you're not poo-pooing her idea for a trip or her desire to spend time away with you.  That's probably paramount.  Find another way to spend time with her, or say that in X months you'd love to take that trip.

I'd also train yourself out of painting all women (or men) with one brush.  you're not dating them all.  You're dating this one, and treating her thoughts and desires as interchangeable with the other 4 billion women on the planet will do you no favors.

+1.  And I'm a guy.

MMMaybe

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Re: Am I bad guy?
« Reply #14 on: April 14, 2016, 01:50:19 AM »
I think its reasonable to avoid luxuries when you are paying off debt.

However, I am a big believer in compromise. Instead of shutting her down, you could have looked into cheaper options or less expensive ways to achieve the same goal.

My way or the highway type of responses, never ends up going well.

slappy

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Re: Am I bad guy?
« Reply #15 on: April 14, 2016, 06:42:05 AM »
Last year, hubby and I took a trip to see my brother, sister in law and niece.  We are still paying off the debt from that trip.  :(  With that said, it was absolutely worth it!  We had such a great time!  I'm thinking of doing it again this year, except I will look into different credit cards and try to get as many points as possible to pay for the airfare and rental car. Maybe you could do something similar?  You can find credit cards that have sign up bonuses and then use that money for travel expenses. 

Inaya

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Re: Am I bad guy?
« Reply #16 on: April 14, 2016, 07:02:26 AM »
Another option is always to make a savings account (be it an actual savings account at a bank or a jar on top of the fridge or whatever) specifically for a nice trip. Any spare cash you come across goes into that account, as does any budget you managed not to spend. Got some cash from a side hustle? Put it in the account. Found a quarter? Put it in the account. Planned to go to Starbucks, but didn't? Put the amount you didn't spend in the account.  It gives you a nice short-term goal and something to look forward to and it shows her that you're taking her idea seriously, but you're still going to stick to your financial plans.

plainjane

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Re: Am I bad guy?
« Reply #17 on: April 14, 2016, 07:11:31 AM »
Last year, hubby and I took a trip to see my brother, sister in law and niece.  We are still paying off the debt from that trip.  :(  With that said, it was absolutely worth it!  We had such a great time!  I'm thinking of doing it again this year, except I will look into different credit cards and try to get as many points as possible to pay for the airfare and rental car.

I'll be the bad guy and strongly suggest that you take a year off of visiting that side of the family, pay off that debt, then save up & get the points so you can do the trip without going into debt again.

FrugalFan

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Re: Am I bad guy?
« Reply #18 on: April 14, 2016, 07:20:42 AM »
Last year, hubby and I took a trip to see my brother, sister in law and niece.  We are still paying off the debt from that trip.  :(  With that said, it was absolutely worth it!  We had such a great time!  I'm thinking of doing it again this year, except I will look into different credit cards and try to get as many points as possible to pay for the airfare and rental car.

I'll be the bad guy and strongly suggest that you take a year off of visiting that side of the family, pay off that debt, then save up & get the points so you can do the trip without going into debt again.

Agreed! You shouldn't be going into debt to take trips! Save up for the trips ahead of time if you really want to go.

Kitsune

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Re: Am I bad guy?
« Reply #19 on: April 14, 2016, 07:21:43 AM »
I am both the woman and the financial head in my relationship, so I'm not sure if this is useful to you, but I would find a way to make clear that you're not poo-pooing her idea for a trip or her desire to spend time away with you.  That's probably paramount.  Find another way to spend time with her, or say that in X months you'd love to take that trip.

I'd also train yourself out of painting all women (or men) with one brush.  you're not dating them all.  You're dating this one, and treating her thoughts and desires as interchangeable with the other 4 billion women on the planet will do you no favors.

+1.  And I'm a guy.

+2.

And, in general: most of the time, arguments about money are not about money. They're about the feelings/needs/ideas we attach to the things we want to get with money.

For example: when I feel crappy and unattractive, my go-to was to buy clothes. Short-term fix, I feel cute. Long-term, I'm back to the original issue AND I have a 50$ dress that I can wear but didn't really need. Realization: I go see my husband, he tells me I'm cute, a few gropes, maybe some sex, I feel better short-term AND better long-term AND I haven't spent 50$ on a dress I didn't need.

Or: when I'm overworked and stressed at work, I buy hobby-related things (sewing supplies and books, for the most part. A LOT OF BOOKS.) because it makes me feel like there is hope that I will be able to get around to it and that I'm not 'stuck' doing the work with zero hope of hobbies. In theory, fine; in practice, putting that 200$ into savings gives the leeway to actually LEAVE that job, or spend it on things that actually let me work less or have more free time.

OP: if your partner says 'I want this expensive trip' and you reply 'that's too much money', you may be right about the money (I think you are!), but you're not looking at the REASONS. If the reasons are 'because I wanna feel schmancy and rich by throwing money at the casino', then she's probably not the right one for you and should subsidize her own habits. If the reasons are 'I am stressed out and we're not spending enough time together and we need to get away to somewhere we're not likely to get interrupted to disconnect from stress and reconnect with each other', then... she might have a point, and you can try to find a way to meet those needs WITHOUT spending tons of money. It's possible. She's likely to work with you on it (and, frankly, I'd recommend being with someone who CAN work with you on that kind of stuff, since it's a super transferable skill that will do wonders for the rest of your life). But I think the issue is that you're only addressing what she's saying ('I wanna go on a trip') rather than what's behind it ('because of X reasons'). And that's likely to come bite you in the tush.

Welcome to doing the emotional labour of a relationship. It's important. It's usually gendered. It will seriously serve you well if you learn it.

patchyfacialhair

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Re: Am I bad guy?
« Reply #20 on: April 14, 2016, 07:29:38 AM »
I usually start with "that sounds like a great idea!"

Then I usually ask "is there a way to make this trip more budget friendly while still having fun?" This gives the both of us time to look for alternatives and sleep on it. I've found that my wife is impulsive but is incredibly reasonable if she is given time to think it through. Recently, she was feeling tired from a few weeks of long days at work. She suggested something like "let's go to Aspen or Vail and get a hotel and massages!" After looking at a 4 figure cost to do all that, we slept on it, found a great deal at a resort locally (like 80% off), then, after all that, we didn't book anything...ended up just staying home watching netflix and chilling. You just gotta try to read between the lines and figure out what she's trying to accomplish.

tooqk4u22

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Re: Am I bad guy?
« Reply #21 on: April 14, 2016, 08:19:59 AM »
hint to men with female partners: when these suggestions come up look for the general sentiment first, do not just react to the details.

I would say that is good advice for anyone dealing with a partner, male or female.

Agree with this....but I am guilty of same and working on it.   Do as a I say, not as I do. 

Compromise, discussion, sharing and all that are great.....but the heart of the matter is that it can be difficult when you have a partner with different views on lifestyle/expense/wants/needs - you may be able to pull them your way some, but if you love em then it is more likely you will go more their way. 


AZDude

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Re: Am I bad guy?
« Reply #22 on: April 14, 2016, 09:43:18 AM »
Probably look for a way to save money elsewhere to take the trip, or an alternate trip. Some things are worth the money.

zolotiyeruki

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Re: Am I bad guy?
« Reply #23 on: April 14, 2016, 03:34:27 PM »
hint to men with female partners: when these suggestions come up look for the general sentiment first, do not just react to the details.
+1

Also, this happens to DW and me every once in a while.  We're neither of us spendypants, so whenever something like this comes up, we simply delay the expenditure.  So if DW wants a weekend away, I say "go ahead and start planning."  A lot of times, the impulse to purchase goes away in short order. If it doesn't, we'll take a look at our (monthly or yearly) budget and find a way to pay for it.

obstinate

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Re: Am I bad guy?
« Reply #24 on: April 16, 2016, 12:10:58 AM »
Generally speaking, the best thing to do is ask.

deborah

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Re: Am I bad guy?
« Reply #25 on: April 19, 2016, 02:53:22 PM »
It's also a good exercise to think about the inexpensive things to do in an expensive city. For instance, if we were to go to Sydney, I might go to the botanical garden and some of the museums and art galleries that are actually free, go an a ferry around the harbour (which is much cheaper than a cruise, and does the same things), walk around the area of the Opera House, Mrs Macquarie's chair, take the bus to Bondi Beach... I did all this the first time I visited Sydney, and had a great time - even though these things were quite cheap.

roadtrippers

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Re: Am I bad guy?
« Reply #26 on: April 19, 2016, 03:44:08 PM »
I usually start with "that sounds like a great idea!"

Then I usually ask "is there a way to make this trip more budget friendly while still having fun?" This gives the both of us time to look for alternatives and sleep on it. I've found that my wife is impulsive but is incredibly reasonable if she is given time to think it through. Recently, she was feeling tired from a few weeks of long days at work. She suggested something like "let's go to Aspen or Vail and get a hotel and massages!" After looking at a 4 figure cost to do all that, we slept on it, found a great deal at a resort locally (like 80% off), then, after all that, we didn't book anything...ended up just staying home watching netflix and chilling. You just gotta try to read between the lines and figure out what she's trying to accomplish.

This is really good advice. You have debt to pay down, and are trying to be responsible, which is great. But if this relationship is important to you, think about what she is really looking for: a night away from your usual responsibilities at home? If so, Air BnB or a Groupon might work for a local one night getaway. Maybe she just wants a night when you unplug and just kill a bottle or 2 of wine and talk? Good luck!

honeybbq

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Re: Am I bad guy?
« Reply #27 on: April 19, 2016, 04:55:56 PM »
It's money "wasted" to you.  It's not wasted to her. If this isn't a habit, and it's important to her, why not work out a budget you can live with? It's not like it's going to be thousands and thousands of dollars, is it?  We all need a mental health break once in awhile.

renata ricotta

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Re: Am I bad guy?
« Reply #28 on: April 19, 2016, 05:32:44 PM »
This happened earlier today and its been weighing on my mind.

Have you had  a situation where your partner has suggested a trip away for a weekend and you calculated the cost of said trip and then shut them down?

My partner would like to spend a weekend away from her family with myself in a rather expensive city, go visit some friends and just relax, go out etc. My first thought was "Yeah, wouldn't that be great!" but then my newfound sense of stash-dreaming yanked me back into focus.

I wouldn't be relaxed, I'd be wondering how much money would be wasted on flights, accommodation, food, entertainment and shopping, I would be agitated and trying to avoid spending which in turn would put my partner on edge as well and the whole thing wouldn't be relaxing at all. I considered airbnb, cooking at home and free entertainment but honestly I would much rather stay put, go and do cheap/free activities locally even though it would mean my partner doesn't get a "real" break.

I calmly explained the potential costs, the fact that I myself had recently turned down a holiday with family so that I could save my money and continue paying down debt and she just said "ok".

I don't understand women at all, am I up shit creek?, prior experience with other partners has me feeling like I'm going to have an uncomfortable situation for the next few days and I feel like I'm the boring one that has to be the hard-ass when these types of situations occur.

To her credit we haven't really had many situations like this and she isn't the unreasonable type, so I'm probably just over thinking it.

Similar experience friends?

The problem (well, at least A problem) is you're doing a cost/benefit analysis with only your preferences in mind. Let's say that Weekend Away on the Cheap costs 2x what a Staycation costs. You say to yourself, "self, I would enjoy a Staycation exactly as much as a Weekend Away. So, it's not worth paying twice as much for something I would enjoy exactly as much." The Weekend Away:Staycation ratio for you is 1:1.

You failed to take into consideration her preferences in this scenario. What if the ratio for her is 4:1? That means for the two of you as a couple, the average ratio is 2.5:1. The increased cost is now Worth It, and this plan is therefore a Good Compromise. Through additional questions about other, cheaper cities she might find fun, you can probably find an even better compromise!

Obviously, all human compromise cannot be precisely quantified. But the point is that when weighing whether something would be a good idea, you must take the other person's preferences and feelings into account. If you don't know about her priorities, ask! Don't make an executive decision in your head, talk through problems and potential solutions to come up with a compromise that works for both of you! If you don't, well, I guess you're not a bad person, but you're probably kind of an inconsiderate boyfriend, IMO. But, these things can be changed with practice. :)

All of this is assuming that a Weekend Away is actually affordable, just not ideally optimized. If you truly can't afford it, I think you approach it from "I'm really sorry, I can't afford that. Can we do [something else thoughtful she'd like instead]?"
« Last Edit: April 19, 2016, 05:37:19 PM by bridget »