Author Topic: Reader Case Study – Am I using spouse's untouchables as an excuse?  (Read 27896 times)

Strawberry

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 34
  • Location: SF Bay Area
Income:
Me (37)- 87k Gross, 18K annual to TSP
Husband (47)- 65k Gross, defined benefit retirement and 5k annual to 403(b)

Monthly net income- 6700

Current expenses: $5300
Mortgage- $2256
   Principal and Interest - $1394
   Property Tax - $486
   Insurance - $65
    PMI – $311
Groceries- $500
Student loan- $330
Housekeeper- $260
Pharmacy- $230 (details below)
Commuting costs - $230
Utilities- $207
Restaurants- $260
Shopping- $165
Home Improvement and repair- $115
Alcohol and Bars - $100
Work related - $85
Internet- $80
Personal care- $105
Gifts and charity- $50
Cigarettes (DH)- $50
Movies and DVDs- $25
Cat- $20
Yoga- $20
Everything else including Cash and ATM- $200

2015 Hypothetical monthly surplus = $1400 (maps quite nicely to the cost of daycare for future kid)

Assets:  $461,000
Checking monthly cash flow- $10,000
Betterment- $11,000
Rollover IRA- $41,000
TSP-36,000 (reflects loan out; see liabilities)
Lending Club- $3000
House: $360,000 value; ~$54000 equity

Liabilities: $347,000
Mortgage at 3.25%- $306,000
TSP loan at 2.25%- $25,000 (for adoption; $13K tax credit once adoption is finalized)
Student loan at 4.5%- $16,000

I’m very new to this, so please tell me what I need to hear. I’ve been reading MMM for over a year, but it is just now that I’ve really decided that we need to go into austerity mode. We are preparing for the arrival of a baby this year.  As a fed, I have no paid maternity leave. My goal is more financial freedom, a stache of money that means I don’t have to worry a lot. I don’t want to quit my job, which is my dream job in a dream field that I am paid embarrassing amounts of money to do. My husband claims he would love to retire tomorrow. He hates his coworkers and his dysfunctional university environment.

My mental block is that we have some ridiculous spending habits that I will never get my husband to eliminate. I need your help and advice on the things I can control and maybe a bit of reality about what I can achieve with the husband I have. His non-negotiables include that enormous $230 “pharmacy” expense. This is what he spends monthly on his organic outdoor grown medicine. He really does need it and I prefer it to the other prescriptions that he would have to take in its absence. But, it is HARD to see that number and not just want to throw up my hands and exclaim that we will never be able to have the kind of savings cushion that I want.

Also, we have had a housekeeper since six months into our marriage. His need for order conflicted with my complete disregard for it. When we bought our house, we did a trial run without a housekeeper and it did not work. That $260 is there unless he becomes a SAHD.

My dream would be for us to live on my income alone and have him quit his job and stay home to take care of our kid(s). I don’t actually see this happening, however. Our current expenses are too high, even without the housekeeper and the medicine. Also, once he leaves the work force, it would be almost impossible for him to get back in if we needed him to.  So, I’m just left with a wishy-washy wish to save more money. That doesn’t feel hardcore enough to me. What should I focus on? Student loan? TSP loan? Eliminating PMI? Six month expenses stache? I want to be optimistic, but I think I’m using some of these larger budget numbers to convince myself there is nothing I can do.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2015, 06:14:50 PM by Strawberry »

MBot

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 509
Re: Reader Case Study – Am I using spouse's untouchables as an excuse?
« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2015, 02:22:45 PM »

Commuting costs - $230
Utilities- $207
Internet- $80

Groceries- $500
Restaurants- $260
Shopping- $165
Home Improvement and repair- $115
Alcohol and Bars - $100
Work related - $85
Personal care- $105
Gifts and charity- $50
Movies and DVDs- $25
Cat- $20
Yoga- $20
Everything else including Cash and ATM- $200

 I want to be optimistic, but I think I’m using some of these larger budget numbers to convince myself there is nothing I can do.

You can change all of this stuff. There's $517 between commuting, utilities and Internet. That can be reduced.

The BIG one though, is that you still have $1057 of "variable spending" besides all your husband's stuff. That's insane. $200 in cash? $165 in shopping? $260 in restaurants, $500 on groceries and another $100 on alcohol? That's facepunch-worthy.

Put another way, 20% of your monthly expenses is down-the-drain stuff that you can drastically reduce or control. That's over a thousand dollars. A MONTH. You're eating and drinking most of that and you can never get it back. But you CAN control that spending and change it.

LadyStache

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 231
Re: Reader Case Study – Am I using spouse's untouchables as an excuse?
« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2015, 02:28:37 PM »
If you have a housekeeper come in every week, experiment with having her come every other week and try to do a little more around the house yourself during the off week so your husband doesn't get stressed about the mess. If that works out well, you can further experiment with a once a month cleaning.

Work on groceries/eating out/alcohol and bars. You're spending 860 on these things every month. You should be able to cut that in half.

Call your internet provider and try to negotiate a lower rate, you're currently paying a lot.

And stop smoking!

Strawberry

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 34
  • Location: SF Bay Area
Re: Reader Case Study – Am I using spouse's untouchables as an excuse?
« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2015, 02:37:39 PM »

Work on groceries/eating out/alcohol and bars. You're spending 860 on these things every month. You should be able to cut that in half.

Call your internet provider and try to negotiate a lower rate, you're currently paying a lot.

And stop smoking!

I'm in total agreement on the dining and groceries. We are definitely working on that. Those are real numbers from last year (except groceries which is an aspirational reduction from a real 600). I hope to reduce them by quite a bit this year.

I just renegotiated the internet last week. It took all my powers of persuasion to convince my DH that we didn't need cable. He won't give up the high speed internet as well.

And as you might have guessed, my husband is the one who smokes and it is super gross. But, it is not easy to get a 47 year old who has been smoking since they were 12 to quit. I've tried. I'm going to try to use the baby as leverage, but I'm not optimistic.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2015, 08:54:16 AM by Strawberry »

swick

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2884
Re: Reader Case Study – Am I using spouse's untouchables as an excuse?
« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2015, 02:40:31 PM »
Yes, you are using them as an excuse, and yes there is a lot you can do about it.

As other posters have mentioned you are spending A TON on variable spending which could easily be cut down. This is low-hanging fruit that could lead to some big gains and motivation to tackle some of the other issues.

I have a sneaking suspicion though that the spending is replacing or compensating for other things in your life. Sounds like Hubby hates his job - is some of the spending stress related?

When you are evaluating purchases/services a really great way to look at it is by using Eric'as chart. It is simple but a great way to get to the "why" behind your spending decisions.
http://www.nwedible.com/2012/10/mini-money-challenge-occupy-your-brainwhat-you-want-isnt-really-what-you-want.html

Strawberry

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 34
  • Location: SF Bay Area
Re: Reader Case Study – Am I using spouse's untouchables as an excuse?
« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2015, 02:44:26 PM »


You can change all of this stuff. There's $517 between commuting, utilities and Internet. That can be reduced.

The BIG one though, is that you still have $1057 of "variable spending" besides all your husband's stuff. That's insane. $200 in cash? $165 in shopping? $260 in restaurants, $500 on groceries and another $100 on alcohol? That's facepunch-worthy.

Put another way, 20% of your monthly expenses is down-the-drain stuff that you can drastically reduce or control. That's over a thousand dollars. A MONTH. You're eating and drinking most of that and you can never get it back. But you CAN control that spending and change it.

Thanks for the facepunch. You are absolutely right about the food/ dining/ alcohol. I'm trying to do the grocery shopping this year and get it down to something reasonable. My DH cooks and is European so he goes to the grocery store literally every day. I need to pull my weight around the house more and lot of this would go down. Also, I quit drinking. So that might help!

The commuting has actually already been drastically reduced. I take the bus 4 days a week and my husband commutes by scooter. I think the actuals will be much lower this year. Utilities and internet are actually fixed. We did an energy audit this year and we're about as low as we can go. Internet is what it is. I cancelled cable and reduced that bill but I live in a very high cost of living area.

Strawberry

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 34
  • Location: SF Bay Area
Re: Reader Case Study – Am I using spouse's untouchables as an excuse?
« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2015, 02:54:27 PM »
I have a sneaking suspicion though that the spending is replacing or compensating for other things in your life. Sounds like Hubby hates his job - is some of the spending stress related?

http://www.nwedible.com/2012/10/mini-money-challenge-occupy-your-brainwhat-you-want-isnt-really-what-you-want.html

Thanks for the link and the response. I will definitely check that out. I think you're quite insightful about the stress. Actually, though, the spending is not my husband's but mine. I can't blame him for the shopping or the cash/atm business. There is a lot of it that I can control if I put my mind to it. For instance, my actual spending on clothes last year was $4,600 and over $1000 on books. I've tried to pare that down this year. Shopping includes a $50 clothing budget and the rest is for target/costco stuff that my husband buys (mostly toiletry and household stuff). I've tried not to be too drastic on the idea that I don't want to set unrealistic goals.

Strawberry

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 34
  • Location: SF Bay Area
Re: Reader Case Study – Am I using spouse's untouchables as an excuse?
« Reply #7 on: January 04, 2015, 03:12:33 PM »
I didn't want my original post to be too long in the interest of getting any replies so I left out some details. But since you've all been so nice in responding, let me add that I think that there is a vicious cycle of spending going on. I look at my husband's big  expenses (internet, cable, housekeeper, weed, cigarettes, alcohol, expensive home cooking etc.) and it makes me think I also "deserve" to spend at least equally on myself, hence the shopping and the going out to eat with friends. I guess I need to control what I can control and not worry about his expenses. This is actually an epiphany for me that comes from seeing your responses on my screen.

LadyStache

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 231
Re: Reader Case Study – Am I using spouse's untouchables as an excuse?
« Reply #8 on: January 04, 2015, 03:16:05 PM »
My DH cooks and is European so he goes to the grocery store literally every day. I need to pull my weight around the house more and lot of this would go down.

Haha. My SO does most of the cooking and is also European. He would go to the grocery store every day (and sometimes more) if I didn't pre-emptively stock up on stuff. :D

Metta

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 663
Re: Reader Case Study – Am I using spouse's untouchables as an excuse?
« Reply #9 on: January 04, 2015, 03:16:36 PM »
If you have a housekeeper come in every week, experiment with having her come every other week and try to do a little more around the house yourself during the off week so your husband doesn't get stressed about the mess. If that works out well, you can further experiment with a once a month cleaning.

Or negotiate for an area of the house that can be messy and hidden. That's what I did. Then I keep my messy area messy and work to avoid messing up my husband's neat freak areas. :)

Strawberry

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 34
  • Location: SF Bay Area
Re: Reader Case Study – Am I using spouse's untouchables as an excuse?
« Reply #10 on: January 04, 2015, 03:27:06 PM »
If you have a housekeeper come in every week, experiment with having her come every other week and try to do a little more around the house yourself during the off week so your husband doesn't get stressed about the mess. If that works out well, you can further experiment with a once a month cleaning.

Or negotiate for an area of the house that can be messy and hidden. That's what I did. Then I keep my messy area messy and work to avoid messing up my husband's neat freak areas. :)

These are both good ideas, thank you. I think the first is more likely, since we live in 760 square feet (!) and there aren't many hidden places. I think I might preemptively start keeping things neat so the housekeeper has less to do and start pointing it out to him on the Tuesdays before she comes. I really do think two adults should be able to keep a 760 square foot house clean. I've actually started on this path by doing the 333 project in my closet to eliminate the pile of clothes that drives him nuts. I didn't get down to 33, but 50 isn't too bad right?

Strawberry

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 34
  • Location: SF Bay Area
Re: Reader Case Study – Am I using spouse's untouchables as an excuse?
« Reply #11 on: January 04, 2015, 03:30:01 PM »
My DH cooks and is European so he goes to the grocery store literally every day. I need to pull my weight around the house more and lot of this would go down.

Haha. My SO does most of the cooking and is also European. He would go to the grocery store every day (and sometimes more) if I didn't pre-emptively stock up on stuff. :D

There have definitely been multiple trip days! I think it gives him comfort and I didn't really understand it until I went to Italy and saw how his mother shops at the various markets and gets most of her social interaction from the shopkeepers. It would be cute if it weren't so expensive :).

JetsettingWelfareMom

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 63
Re: Reader Case Study – Am I using spouse's untouchables as an excuse?
« Reply #12 on: January 04, 2015, 03:49:50 PM »
People are picking at the smaller expenses...but wait a minute...you said you're living in 750 square feet AND paying well over 2000 per month in mortgage AND spending 230 on commuting expenses. So now I'm confused. People usually sacrifice on 1 or 2, but not all three (i.e. small + big mortgage payment = central city small commute, or big mortgage payment + long commute = big house, etc). Can you refinance? How long is your mortgage at what rate?

Strawberry

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 34
  • Location: SF Bay Area
Re: Reader Case Study – Am I using spouse's untouchables as an excuse?
« Reply #13 on: January 04, 2015, 04:07:45 PM »
People are picking at the smaller expenses...but wait a minute...you said you're living in 750 square feet AND paying well over 2000 per month in mortgage AND spending 230 on commuting expenses. So now I'm confused. People usually sacrifice on 1 or 2, but not all three (i.e. small + big mortgage payment = central city small commute, or big mortgage payment + long commute = big house, etc). Can you refinance? How long is your mortgage at what rate?

Great question. Two answers. First- I bundled all vehicle costs into the "commuting category". So, that is car insurance for two cars (!) and a scooter, the bus daily for me, gas (including husband's scooter commute, weekend trips, and vacation averaged) and bridge tolls and parking for the one day a week that I drive to work. Second- we live in the SF Bay area, so housing is expensive. I work in San Francisco and my husband works in Berkeley. We live closer to hubby's work and our house is perfect. We don't need anything bigger and there is literally nothing cheaper. It is nothing short of miracle that both my husband and I work in the same very competitive dream field and we both have jobs in the bay area. This is unheard of, so we feel very fortunate.

Our mortgage is an FHA 30 year fixed at 3.25%. We streamline refinanced in 2012 from a 4.5% rate and are stuck with that dreaded PMI until 2017. I called around recently about refinancing, but we likely wouldn't appraise at 20% equity and would be in a higher interest rate. I've thought about a 15 year mortgage, but I'm more inclined to put more toward the existing mortgage principal and free that monthly income up for any other priorities that arise, especially with impending baby. Does this seem like a good plan to you? I'm open to other suggestions and appreciate you taking an interest. It is our one big expense that keeps me from the dream of DH as SAHD. The rest is, as many have astutely pointed out, subject to belt tightening and could go away if one of us lost our job tomorrow.

Allie

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1835
Re: Reader Case Study – Am I using spouse's untouchables as an excuse?
« Reply #14 on: January 04, 2015, 04:11:11 PM »
With a baby, you are going to have much less time and need more things.  Having 1400 left over to cover daycare seems like it's perfect, but unless you have a stash of cloth diapers all ready to go, the baby costs are going to add to the number.  Diapers, formula, clothes, etc can be expensive if you let them.  This may be a good way to open the conversation with your husband.  He may not want to give up the weed and alcohol, but he may be willing to look at the target, grocery, and other spending. 

Have you considered setting up a defined budget together?  It may be a good eye opening exercise.  Price formula, diapers, health care for baby, and such and add them in to see how things shape up. 

caliq

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 675
Re: Reader Case Study – Am I using spouse's untouchables as an excuse?
« Reply #15 on: January 04, 2015, 04:15:37 PM »
Why do you have two cars in a major metro area if you commute on the bus and your husband commutes on a scooter?  I get the need for one car for trips or rainy days for your husband, etc. but two?

Strawberry

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 34
  • Location: SF Bay Area
Re: Reader Case Study – Am I using spouse's untouchables as an excuse?
« Reply #16 on: January 04, 2015, 04:22:37 PM »
With a baby, you are going to have much less time and need more things.  Having 1400 left over to cover daycare seems like it's perfect, but unless you have a stash of cloth diapers all ready to go, the baby costs are going to add to the number.  Diapers, formula, clothes, etc can be expensive if you let them.  This may be a good way to open the conversation with your husband.  He may not want to give up the weed and alcohol, but he may be willing to look at the target, grocery, and other spending. 

Have you considered setting up a defined budget together?  It may be a good eye opening exercise.  Price formula, diapers, health care for baby, and such and add them in to see how things shape up. 

Yes, yes, yes! I think so much of this is related to my anxiety about FINALLY having a baby. That's a long story with a whole lot of sadness built in, so it can be difficult to get hubby off of his cloud and down to reality about what a baby will actually cost. I feel like such a downer pointing out that the baby won't just be the 30K that we are spending on adoption. I like the idea of a defined budget, but I just brought it up with him and he doesn't see the point until we actually have a take home baby in our arms. To quote him "let's worry about that when it happens". I see his point and realize I should be grateful that someone will be willing to give us their infant and trust that it will all work out, but I'm a planner. I think I can do some of this without him and maybe once the baby comes, he will come around...?

Dicey

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 11250
  • Age: 61
  • Location: NorCal
Re: Reader Case Study – Am I using spouse's untouchables as an excuse?
« Reply #17 on: January 04, 2015, 04:26:53 PM »
And as you might have guessed, my husband is the one who smokes and it is super gross. But, it is not easy to get a 47 year old who has been smoking since they were 12 to quit. I've tried. I'm going to try to use the baby as leverage, but I'm not optimistic.

GAAAAAAKKKK! OMG! It is going to take a ton of will power not to reach out and sweetly offer a free facepunch for this! Please, please, do not even consider using the baby as leverage for ANYthing! No, NO, NO!

You are to be congratulated for finding such relatively affordable housing in the Bay Area. Don't prepay it at the expense of retirement/EF/college saving.

Questions: How long have you been together/married?
Will you be comfortable in your small space once baby comes along?
Babies are wonderful, messy, expensive creatures. Does DH buy into all of this?
If you can learn to be comfortable with controlling your own spending, do you think it will make enough of a difference or will DH just spend what you save?

Strawberry

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 34
  • Location: SF Bay Area
Re: Reader Case Study – Am I using spouse's untouchables as an excuse?
« Reply #18 on: January 04, 2015, 04:32:48 PM »
Why do you have two cars in a major metro area if you commute on the bus and your husband commutes on a scooter?  I get the need for one car for trips or rainy days for your husband, etc. but two?

Another great question. We have one "good car" that I bought two years ago with cash ($4000) so that I can actually drive to work on the freeway and road trips (VW Passat). The other car is a 1991 Toyota Corrolla that DH bought years ago for 500 bucks. It is fuel efficient, will never die, and he uses is for all his errands. I floated the idea of selling the Passat, but he likes having it for vacations and my commute. I actually wouldn't mind taking the toyota on the freeway, but he has banned its use off of surface streets. It is a total beater and we couldn't sell it and he could no longer tell his story of buying a car for $500 bucks. I've thought about getting per mile insurance, since we've only put about 10,000 miles on the car since we bought it 8 years ago, but I've never really looked into it seriously. Does anybody do that? Is it worthwhile? We drive less than 10k a year with both cars combined and pay $50 a month for insurance.

Strawberry

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 34
  • Location: SF Bay Area
Re: Reader Case Study – Am I using spouse's untouchables as an excuse?
« Reply #19 on: January 04, 2015, 04:48:37 PM »
And as you might have guessed, my husband is the one who smokes and it is super gross. But, it is not easy to get a 47 year old who has been smoking since they were 12 to quit. I've tried. I'm going to try to use the baby as leverage, but I'm not optimistic.

GAAAAAAKKKK! OMG! It is going to take a ton of will power not to reach out and sweetly offer a free facepunch for this! Please, please, do not even consider using the baby as leverage for ANYthing! No, NO, NO!

You are to be congratulated for finding such relatively affordable housing in the Bay Area. Don't prepay it at the expense of retirement/EF/college saving.

Questions: How long have you been together/married?
Will you be comfortable in your small space once baby comes along?
Babies are wonderful, messy, expensive creatures. Does DH buy into all of this?
If you can learn to be comfortable with controlling your own spending, do you think it will make enough of a difference or will DH just spend what you save?

Good point. I actually am not much of a nag about the smoking and "leverage" is the wrong word. I just think we might start to think differently about his nasty habit once we have a poor defenseless little creature around. He can be selfish with the smoking with just me, but with a baby? Maybe, maybe not. Good point, though. I'm not that person and certainly don't want to be.

We've been together for 9 years, married for 7.

We're happy with our living space and we don't really have a choice. He was raised in Italy and is used to way less space than American standards require. He grew up with a sibling in a much smaller space than we have currently and his family is quite wealthy. It's just a different expectation. I'm actually quite lucky on that front. I feel like I've been really hard on him here, but he really does have quite reasonably frugal ways when it comes to this big stuff.

We've been trying to have a baby for 5 years and he is super excited about the prospect. He is very nurturing, probably more so than me. He does have way less experience with babies than I do and I think he's in for some reality checks around how much work they are and how messy but isn't every new parent? You never actually know until you've lived it.

You're last question is spot-on... the big question I'm asking myself. He is not super-spendy. I think the existing expenses are the limit and they haven't really expanded as we've gotten raises etc. In fact, he has responded well to some budget constraints in the past. For example, our 2013 monthly grocery bill was about $900/ month (!). He managed to get that down to about $600 a month in 2014 even though I got a raise. So, he's not expansionist with his spending.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2015, 06:45:05 PM by Strawberry »

Allie

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1835
Re: Reader Case Study – Am I using spouse's untouchables as an excuse?
« Reply #20 on: January 04, 2015, 04:54:18 PM »
How soon is the baby coming?  caring for a baby shouldn't be done seat of your pants.  You will be sleep deprived and insanely busy.  Add baby stuff to your lists for a couple weeks before it arrives so you are all ready.  It will give your husband a taste of the expenses and ensure you aren't caught in a situation where you have to google "t shirt diaper" at 3am.

ScienceSexSavings

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 119
  • Location: Montrιal
Re: Reader Case Study – Am I using spouse's untouchables as an excuse?
« Reply #21 on: January 04, 2015, 05:03:10 PM »
I agree with most of what's come up so far, and I'm going to add some thoughts as a former pro housekeeper. First of all, if you're getting weekly service for that price you have one hell of a good rate, or your housekeeper does really short visits. I can't think of a single client I visited weekly that would be as low-maintenance as two adults, one of whom is very tidy. Even with the baby, I don't think you'll need service that often. A lot of baby-related mess can't be left for a housekeeper anyway, you have to deal with it pretty quickly. There's more garbage to go out and more laundry to do, but usually that wouldn't be left piled up for the housekeeper (at least not for me?). The biggest things we tackle in homes with children are the scattered clutter and the messy floors. Your husband will probably be tidying the clutter regularly, and I'm sure you guys can handle doing the floors 1x/week if it's an issue for him. So, I recommend service every other week.

Strawberry

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 34
  • Location: SF Bay Area
Re: Reader Case Study – Am I using spouse's untouchables as an excuse?
« Reply #22 on: January 04, 2015, 05:04:11 PM »
How soon is the baby coming?  caring for a baby shouldn't be done seat of your pants.  You will be sleep deprived and insanely busy.  Add baby stuff to your lists for a couple weeks before it arrives so you are all ready.  It will give your husband a taste of the expenses and ensure you aren't caught in a situation where you have to google "t shirt diaper" at 3am.

We're adopting, so we don't know when it comes. That is when someone gives birth and is unable to care for their infant and thinks we would be the perfect folks to raise it.  I've been planning for this for 5 years, but there is something psychological going on with DH that he won't count his eggs until they are hatched (pun intended). I'm with him on at least part of this. I will not buy stuff until relinquishment papers are signed.

Strawberry

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 34
  • Location: SF Bay Area
Re: Reader Case Study – Am I using spouse's untouchables as an excuse?
« Reply #23 on: January 04, 2015, 05:12:20 PM »
I agree with most of what's come up so far, and I'm going to add some thoughts as a former pro housekeeper. First of all, if you're getting weekly service for that price you have one hell of a good rate, or your housekeeper does really short visits. I can't think of a single client I visited weekly that would be as low-maintenance as two adults, one of whom is very tidy. Even with the baby, I don't think you'll need service that often. A lot of baby-related mess can't be left for a housekeeper anyway, you have to deal with it pretty quickly. There's more garbage to go out and more laundry to do, but usually that wouldn't be left piled up for the housekeeper (at least not for me?). The biggest things we tackle in homes with children are the scattered clutter and the messy floors. Your husband will probably be tidying the clutter regularly, and I'm sure you guys can handle doing the floors 1x/week if it's an issue for him. So, I recommend service every other week.

We've had the same housekeeper every week for 8 years (with a 6 mo hiatus) and she has never raised her rate, so we are getting a great deal. Twice monthly service would likely be almost as expensive because we would have to renegotiate our original rate. You're actually making me think we should give her a raise... eek. I'm  hoping that having someone home full time for a while after the baby will give us the break from the housekeeper that we need to establish a new regime in which his need for clean gets a bit more realistic. Also, I'm much more mature than I was when we first got married. I could probably pull my weight now... or think about the expense and do a lot it myself.  As I said before, I'm going to start preemptively cleaning.

TerriM

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 507
Re: Reader Case Study – Am I using spouse's untouchables as an excuse?
« Reply #24 on: January 04, 2015, 07:17:05 PM »
I don't mind the organic medicine if he'll get rid of the cigarettes!!!!!   

You have a baby coming.  The cigs really need to go.

Mommyof2

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 16
Re: Reader Case Study – Am I using spouse's untouchables as an excuse?
« Reply #25 on: January 04, 2015, 07:55:10 PM »
I am an adoptive mom- I don't see saving for this event in your budget.  FYI we were told around 30k, we spent closer to 70k by the time we were done.  I also don't see a savings account on your list with the cash in it, how are you planning on paying for the adoption?

JetsettingWelfareMom

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 63
Re: Reader Case Study – Am I using spouse's untouchables as an excuse?
« Reply #26 on: January 04, 2015, 08:52:31 PM »
A lot since I checked before. Whatever timeline they gave you in homestudy triple it. The PMI popped out at me as being off the hook, but SF is the worst, and yeah, you're living cheap there. Bet you're bundling a bunch of your husbands smoking costs into his, well, smoking costs....hard to believe that habit costs $50 per month there,....I'm looking for low hanging fruit and am amazed at how little I find. Best I can say is take the time every day, consciously, to see where your money is going. Spend your dollars like they are pennies and everyone is precious...no point starting fights with your husband. Just put some money in a jar for this and that and be done with it. 

Faraday

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1192
  • Age: 57
  • Location: NC
  • Solar Powered Slice
Re: Reader Case Study – Am I using spouse's untouchables as an excuse?
« Reply #27 on: January 04, 2015, 10:50:27 PM »
Your PMI is huge. I'd try to ram enough money toward the mortgage to get that PMI gone.

Do away with some of the discretionary stuff and jack up yours and his 401k contributions. You might as well stop giving money to Uncle Sam and instead give it to your 401k. Get rid of that PMI and you can push that same $$ amount toward your 401k...

lifejoy

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3923
  • Age: 31
  • Location: Canada, eh
  • Lovin' the Mustachian life!
    • Not Buying This
Re: Reader Case Study – Am I using spouse's untouchables as an excuse?
« Reply #28 on: January 05, 2015, 08:26:34 AM »
I have to point out the obvious: a smoker pays $50/week until they have to go to the hospital for goodness knows what. Then it's $$$. My husband works in a hospital and so many illnesses revolve around smoking. I see this as a major long term cost problem :(

Strawberry

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 34
  • Location: SF Bay Area
Re: Reader Case Study – Am I using spouse's untouchables as an excuse?
« Reply #29 on: January 05, 2015, 08:38:25 AM »
I am an adoptive mom- I don't see saving for this event in your budget.  FYI we were told around 30k, we spent closer to 70k by the time we were done.  I also don't see a savings account on your list with the cash in it, how are you planning on paying for the adoption?

Thanks for the advice. Congratulations on making it through the adoption process. I'm sure we have a lot to learn from you and other adoptive parents. The adoption fees are paid, the homestudy is done, and the remaining 15K we have for adoption isn't reflected above because I consider it spent. I have it socked away in a special account.  I know adoption is different everywhere, but I don't foresee  a way we could spend more than the remaining 15K on direct adoption costs. We have set birthmother expenses quite high even. Maybe you have some insights about that? I do want to be prepared.

A lot since I checked before. Whatever timeline they gave you in homestudy triple it. The PMI popped out at me as being off the hook, but SF is the worst, and yeah, you're living cheap there. Bet you're bundling a bunch of your husbands smoking costs into his, well, smoking costs....hard to believe that habit costs $50 per month there,....I'm looking for low hanging fruit and am amazed at how little I find. Best I can say is take the time every day, consciously, to see where your money is going. Spend your dollars like they are pennies and everyone is precious...no point starting fights with your husband. Just put some money in a jar for this and that and be done with it. 

Thanks for the encouragement. You are all so wonderful. The PMI is awful, but it doesn't go away even if I pay the principal down. I'm stuck with it for five years. I really hate it. Homestudy is done and we are "in circulation"! Whoo-hoo. It did all take much longer than we thought, but mostly it was us not moving as quickly as we should have.

Husband rolls his own cigarettes, which is why it is so 'cheap'.  He goes to different stores for his habits, so it is easy to categorize on Mint where the money goes.

I don't mind the organic medicine if he'll get rid of the cigarettes!!!!!   

You have a baby coming.  The cigs really need to go.

Agreed, but see above where I used the word "leverage" and was rightfully called out. It's a fine line to walk with another adult without being controlling and trying to change the person you married. He is smoking (everything) outside now and I'm hoping that will lead to quitting finally. This one is not really about the money. I'm already agreeing to raise a baby with a 47 year old and that is scary enough without the habit. My grandmother died of lung cancer and I took care of her for the last few months of her life. I can't imagine going through that again. He's convinced he's going to live into his 90s though, like all of his grandparents. I don't bring it up anymore. Maybe once we get matched with a birthmother...
« Last Edit: January 05, 2015, 08:43:32 AM by Strawberry »

Strawberry

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 34
  • Location: SF Bay Area
Re: Reader Case Study – Am I using spouse's untouchables as an excuse?
« Reply #30 on: January 05, 2015, 08:46:34 AM »

Do away with some of the discretionary stuff and jack up yours and his 401k contributions. You might as well stop giving money to Uncle Sam and instead give it to your 401k. Get rid of that PMI and you can push that same $$ amount toward your 401k...

My TSP (federal 401k) is maxed. I've thought about maxing his 403b and maybe I should. He has a very generous defined benefit retirement, so I just use that as a mental crutch and have been prioritizing our monthly cash flow instead. I think you have a point though. We should be paying ourselves first and we'll just have less of that monthly cushion to spend.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2015, 08:50:25 AM by Strawberry »

bogart

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1057
Re: Reader Case Study – Am I using spouse's untouchables as an excuse?
« Reply #31 on: January 05, 2015, 09:03:52 AM »
I'm so sorry about the struggle you've had to navigate building your family -- congratulations on your plans to adopt. 

No real words of wisdom on the finances though I'll disagree 100% (or at least 97%) with the idea that, "... caring for a baby shouldn't be done seat of your pants.  You will be sleep deprived and insanely busy.  Add baby stuff to your lists for a couple weeks before it arrives so you are all ready."  Eh.  Babies don't require much, and you live in a major metro area in the era of Amazon.  You'll be fine, and a lot of the stuff babies "require" is very subjective.  I found a battery-powered crib-mounted mobile essential for a short (but important!) interval, as it made it possible for me to take a shower while baby stayed happy, but I certainly didn't need it the first week (and once I did feel strongly about having it, I ordered it online).

My DH was 55 when our son was born after years of infertility treatment (his second family, my first), and a smoker; he's since switched to e-cigarettes (and smokes them only rarely), FWIW.  I can point you toward what I've found to be a very supportive online community of moms (and a few dads) and aspiring parents navigating infertility/loss and/or adoption, if you'd like; PM me.

greenmimama

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 718
Re: Reader Case Study – Am I using spouse's untouchables as an excuse?
« Reply #32 on: January 05, 2015, 09:11:51 AM »
I am an adoptive mom- I don't see saving for this event in your budget.  FYI we were told around 30k, we spent closer to 70k by the time we were done.  I also don't see a savings account on your list with the cash in it, how are you planning on paying for the adoption?

Yes saving for the adoption would be great, I am an adoptive mom also 3 times actually all domestic infant adoptions that never cost more than 10k, and my kids are 3, 5 and 8 so it wasn't 20+ years ago :) It can be done for a less amount but saving for it is always a great idea.

Congrats on your impending adoption, how far along in the process are you?

Imustacheyouaquestion

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 261
Re: Reader Case Study – Am I using spouse's untouchables as an excuse?
« Reply #33 on: January 05, 2015, 09:14:47 AM »
Re-read MMM's "Your Debt is an Emergency" post. Read it with your husband, and ask if he agrees that you two are in a debt emergency. If so, you can proceed with more aggressive savings ideas. As it is, he seems pretty accustomed to your normal expenses. And if he doesn't see a problem with not saving more, how are you going to ask him to change those habits?

The fact that you borrowed $25k for an adoption itself indicates that you aren't on good footing with regards to cash flow and expenses. If your hypothetical savings is $1400 per month, where has that surplus been going in 2014?

Facepunches for housecleaning  - as long as you are in debt, you shouldn't pay someone else to clean your house. Skip some restaurant nights and spend the extra hour or two cleaning up around the house.

I'm confused about the commute. 2 cars, 1 scooter, 1 bus pass. Your husband commutes locally on the scooter, uses the old car for errands, you take the bus 4 days/week and drive the other car once a week? Can you take the bus 5 days per week? Can your husband ride a bike (this would be added incentive to quit smoking!)? You can always rent a highway-safe car for road trips or occasional events. Paying insurance on 3 vehicles while you're in debt doesn't make sense.

Home Improvement and repair- Cut this down to necessary repairs at the moment. Improvements can come later.

Alcohol and Bars - time to cut this now. You're not going to have time with a kid anyhow.

Work related - $85 (?) what's this?

Gifts and charity- $50 - Your favorite charity should be you. Helping others comes once you've secured your own airmask.

Cigarettes (DH)- $50. Even smoking outside is a health risk for the baby (3rd hand smoke).

Movies and DVDs- $25. Netflix costs $8.99/month for streaming. You can reconsider an entertainment budget once you're in the black.

Everything else including Cash and ATM- $200. This is actually a lot of money that's unaccounted for, especially with all of the shopping/personal care/cigarettes/etc that's already in your budget. Try keeping a ledger for a month to see where this goes.


morjax

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 35
Re: Reader Case Study – Am I using spouse's untouchables as an excuse?
« Reply #34 on: January 05, 2015, 09:23:45 AM »
I'm  hoping that having someone home full time for a while after the baby will give us the break from the housekeeper that we need to establish a new regime in which his need for clean gets a bit more realistic.

This is a *BIG* YMMV, but as a new parent, I don't feel like being home full time with a newborn was a break in the least for us. We were dead tired, and it was a gigantic adjustment that was more exhausting than any job I've had. To be fair, DW had persistent mastitis lasting beyond two months X(

Before I scare you too much, I'll also say that having a kid has been perhaps the most rewarding experience I've had so far. Exhausting, but rewarding. The Little one is now pushing two and things are much smoother, but the start was a rocky turbulent time for us.

Another Reader

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5110
Re: Reader Case Study – Am I using spouse's untouchables as an excuse?
« Reply #35 on: January 05, 2015, 09:24:58 AM »
I'm sorry to say this and it's going to sound mean, but I'm having trouble understanding how you made it through the home study.  Are you saying a real adoption agency would give a baby to someone that uses drugs as much as your husband does?  That's just insane.  Or did your husband lie to the social workers about his drug use? 

In your shoes, I would stop and ask myself what kind of parent is he really going to be?  Based on what you have said, he's apparently a child himself.  I don't see him being much of a parent, no matter how "nurturing" you think his personality is. 

If you adopt, you will likely be the only parent.  The child will be exposed to and will likely pick up his bad behavior.  If the baby is coming from a home with drug or alcohol issues, your husband will compound the problem that already exists. 

In your shoes, I would not consider adopting until he starts acting like a responsible, non-addicted adult.  And if he does not get there, then either he or the adoption would have to go.

Strawberry

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 34
  • Location: SF Bay Area
Re: Reader Case Study – Am I using spouse's untouchables as an excuse?
« Reply #36 on: January 05, 2015, 09:43:47 AM »
Re-read MMM's "Your Debt is an Emergency" post. Read it with your husband, and ask if he agrees that you two are in a debt emergency. If so, you can proceed with more aggressive savings ideas. As it is, he seems pretty accustomed to your normal expenses. And if he doesn't see a problem with not saving more, how are you going to ask him to change those habits?

The fact that you borrowed $25k for an adoption itself indicates that you aren't on good footing with regards to cash flow and expenses. If your hypothetical savings is $1400 per month, where has that surplus been going in 2014?

Facepunches for housecleaning  - as long as you are in debt, you shouldn't pay someone else to clean your house. Skip some restaurant nights and spend the extra hour or two cleaning up around the house.

I'm confused about the commute. 2 cars, 1 scooter, 1 bus pass. Your husband commutes locally on the scooter, uses the old car for errands, you take the bus 4 days/week and drive the other car once a week? Can you take the bus 5 days per week? Can your husband ride a bike (this would be added incentive to quit smoking!)? You can always rent a highway-safe car for road trips or occasional events. Paying insurance on 3 vehicles while you're in debt doesn't make sense.

Home Improvement and repair- Cut this down to necessary repairs at the moment. Improvements can come later.

Alcohol and Bars - time to cut this now. You're not going to have time with a kid anyhow.

Work related - $85 (?) what's this?

Gifts and charity- $50 - Your favorite charity should be you. Helping others comes once you've secured your own airmask.

Cigarettes (DH)- $50. Even smoking outside is a health risk for the baby (3rd hand smoke).

Movies and DVDs- $25. Netflix costs $8.99/month for streaming. You can reconsider an entertainment budget once you're in the black.

Everything else including Cash and ATM- $200. This is actually a lot of money that's unaccounted for, especially with all of the shopping/personal care/cigarettes/etc that's already in your budget. Try keeping a ledger for a month to see where this goes.



Everyone has been so nice so far. This is more like what I was expecting. So, thanks :-). It is going to be hard not to be defensive about a lot of this stuff and just make excuses, but you raise of ton of legitimate points.

Starting with savings and cash flow. This is my 2015 budget that eliminates a whole bunch of 2014 spending like cable, gym memberships, weekly massages and almost $1200 worth of other non necessary stuff (the amount clothes and books was shameful). 2014 was scary negative cash flow territory due to a whole lot of stress. We used to have about 25k worth of savings, which was wiped out by various attempts to have a baby. My husband was not willing to put any more cash into adoption; we actually could have swung it if we had wanted to.

I've made some edits on the original post to add more details to some of the stuff. The "work related", for instance, is professional memberships. They are non-negotiable as a professional and not paid by the federal government for obvious reasons.

On the car insurance- does anyone actually pay less than $50 a month for insurance? It doesn't seem like a huge expense to me, but maybe I'm crazy. I don't really see keeping the cars around as a big issue aside for the ridiculousness of having 3 vehicles. And to answer your questions- my bus only runs M-F and I work on Saturday. Italian husband would not be caught dead on a bike and his scooter gas runs about $6 a month, so I've got no qualms there. 

Agreed on the housecleaning facepunch, but that is really nonnegotiable. My husband does not think our debt is an emergency the way I do. He's not a mustachian and I'm trying not to use that as an excuse.

Home improvements and repair is really a savings category for repair and upkeep. We don't spend it every month, but it does get spent annually. Our house is actually in great shape, but we do maintain it to keep it that way.

I quit drinking so the alcohol and bars should go down substantially. He still drinks of course and we homebrew with friends... which is factored in there.

Question for you- do you think I should prioritize paying down the debt (TSP loan and student loan) before retirement? Or, it seems you are suggesting to find that money is this mass of excess?

And finally, the "everything else including cash and atm" should be familiar to most Mint users and is really just an artifact of the kind of spending that I see come up at the end of the month that totally baffles me. I just stick it in that category. I'm going to pay closer attention and ask my husband more questions this year. I hope to eliminate that category altogether, but there will always be weird one-offs. My legder is mint and I will use it. Thanks for the encouragement.

Strawberry

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 34
  • Location: SF Bay Area
Re: Reader Case Study – Am I using spouse's untouchables as an excuse?
« Reply #37 on: January 05, 2015, 09:49:44 AM »
I'm sorry to say this and it's going to sound mean, but I'm having trouble understanding how you made it through the home study.  Are you saying a real adoption agency would give a baby to someone that uses drugs as much as your husband does?  That's just insane.  Or did your husband lie to the social workers about his drug use? 

In your shoes, I would stop and ask myself what kind of parent is he really going to be?  Based on what you have said, he's apparently a child himself.  I don't see him being much of a parent, no matter how "nurturing" you think his personality is. 

If you adopt, you will likely be the only parent.  The child will be exposed to and will likely pick up his bad behavior.  If the baby is coming from a home with drug or alcohol issues, your husband will compound the problem that already exists. 

In your shoes, I would not consider adopting until he starts acting like a responsible, non-addicted adult.  And if he does not get there, then either he or the adoption would have to go.

My husband has a prescription for a medication that is completely legal where we live. I think he will make an excellent parent and the social workers agree. We plan on being open about this with birthmothers as well. We certainly wouldn't want someone placing their child in a home where they were uncomfortable with our everyday lives. We don't expect it to be a huge issue.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2015, 10:02:15 AM by Strawberry »

Strawberry

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 34
  • Location: SF Bay Area
Re: Reader Case Study – Am I using spouse's untouchables as an excuse?
« Reply #38 on: January 05, 2015, 09:54:14 AM »
I'm  hoping that having someone home full time for a while after the baby will give us the break from the housekeeper that we need to establish a new regime in which his need for clean gets a bit more realistic.

This is a *BIG* YMMV, but as a new parent, I don't feel like being home full time with a newborn was a break in the least for us. We were dead tired, and it was a gigantic adjustment that was more exhausting than any job I've had. To be fair, DW had persistent mastitis lasting beyond two months X(

Haha... not a "break" from work but a break from the housekeeper. Just meaning that we wouldn't have her come while we are home, not that we will suddenly have free time :-). I'm prepared that this will be rough. I know you are never fully prepared, but I think I have somewhat of an idea. Disclosure that I have a brother who has 8 children and I've seen a lot of parenting up close. I'm not expecting rainbows and unicorns... well maybe some rainbows.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2015, 10:01:46 AM by Strawberry »

JetsettingWelfareMom

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 63
Re: Reader Case Study – Am I using spouse's untouchables as an excuse?
« Reply #39 on: January 05, 2015, 10:10:33 AM »
Ditto on the mean...almost everyone becomes parents in less than perfect circumstances. You grow together in a process after the child comes. I personally find pot use less offensive than prescription drugs. On the plus side babies are far cheaper than being single in a big city, IMHO...a lot of drinking and outing expenses just go away. If you have money socked away for the adoption that does not get spent, hit your debt with it--student loan first and credit, etc...

scrubbyfish

  • Guest
Re: Reader Case Study – Am I using spouse's untouchables as an excuse?
« Reply #40 on: January 05, 2015, 10:12:12 AM »
...we live in 760 square feet (!) and there aren't many hidden places. I think I might preemptively start keeping things neat so the housekeeper has less to do and start pointing it out to him on the Tuesdays before she comes. I really do think two adults should be able to keep a 760 square foot house clean. I've actually started on this path by doing the 333 project in my closet to eliminate the pile of clothes that drives him nuts. I didn't get down to 33, but 50 isn't too bad right?

Yep. I'm naturally very messy, which surprises me, and I highly value order and cleanliness. So, I'm like your hubby and you rolled into one :)    I also live with my kid in about 450 sq feet. Key for me is to own as little as possible. If I don't have it, I can't make a mess with it. So, I've got extreme minimalism goin' on. And then, because I have extreme minimalism goin' on, I get to use a Roomba vacuum! That is, with so little in the way, this tool works phenomenally. (I only recommend a high quality one, though. Lower quality ones won't do the job, thus would be a waste of money.) I run her every couple of days while I'm out for a walk. So, all that's left is dishes and wiping countertops, which my kid and I take turns at. I have probably 12 items of clothing (not including socks and underwear).

DollarBill

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 902
  • Age: 45
  • Location: Austin TX
Re: Reader Case Study – Am I using spouse's untouchables as an excuse?
« Reply #41 on: January 05, 2015, 10:12:30 AM »
You need a Housekeeper for 750 sqft??

rocksinmyhead

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1491
  • Location: Oklahoma
Re: Reader Case Study – Am I using spouse's untouchables as an excuse?
« Reply #42 on: January 05, 2015, 10:28:01 AM »
I'm sorry to say this and it's going to sound mean, but I'm having trouble understanding how you made it through the home study.  Are you saying a real adoption agency would give a baby to someone that uses drugs as much as your husband does?  That's just insane.  Or did your husband lie to the social workers about his drug use? 

In your shoes, I would stop and ask myself what kind of parent is he really going to be?  Based on what you have said, he's apparently a child himself.  I don't see him being much of a parent, no matter how "nurturing" you think his personality is. 

If you adopt, you will likely be the only parent.  The child will be exposed to and will likely pick up his bad behavior.  If the baby is coming from a home with drug or alcohol issues, your husband will compound the problem that already exists. 

In your shoes, I would not consider adopting until he starts acting like a responsible, non-addicted adult.  And if he does not get there, then either he or the adoption would have to go.

My husband has a prescription for a medication that is completely legal where we live. I think he will make an excellent parent and the social workers agree. We plan on being open about this with birthmothers as well. We certainly wouldn't want someone placing their child in a home where they were uncomfortable with our everyday lives. We don't expect it to be a huge issue.

OHHHHH. hahaha, I FINALLY put together the "organic outdoor grown pharmacy expense" with the fact that you mentioned weed once. I  kept thinking, "what kind of medicine is organic and outdoor grown? some kind of herbal remedy? I wonder if they could find it cheaper online?" even medicinal MJ is probably a million years away from being legalized in OK, so definitely not what came to my mind! :)

scrubbyfish

  • Guest
Re: Reader Case Study – Am I using spouse's untouchables as an excuse?
« Reply #43 on: January 05, 2015, 10:32:11 AM »
Also, +1 to MBot's post. The vast majority of your budget lines are $0 in my life. Your life is different than mine, of course, but my first notice was how many lines of your budget are voluntary/non-essential/unnecessary. But, like you said, you're just starting at this stuff. I would use YNAB, a program that transforms how we see and use money, with tremendous effects achieved. It quickly brought my spending down from more than $3000/mo to about $1100/mo, with very little sense of "sacrifice".

Also, you said a housekeeper is non-negotiable to your hubby. It sounds more to me like a clean house is non-negotiable to your hubby. I think once you get your stuff pared down to the point that cleanliness is unavoidable, he might be very open to letting the housekeeper go. (Did he have one when he was single?)

Imustacheyouaquestion

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 261
Re: Reader Case Study – Am I using spouse's untouchables as an excuse?
« Reply #44 on: January 05, 2015, 11:23:43 AM »
[Everyone has been so nice so far. This is more like what I was expecting.

[\quote]

I'm not trying to be mean, but I can't think of any item my life that is "non-negotiable" with my SO. If he literally cannot live without all of these expenses (despite many creative solutions proposed on this forum), then I think financial freedom in your future is going to be hard to come by.

Quote
Question for you- do you think I should prioritize paying down the debt (TSP loan and student loan) before retirement? Or, it seems you are suggesting to find that money is this mass of excess?
[\quote]

You need to run some numbers with loan calculators to figure this one out. Unbury.us is a good start. I wouldn't drop your TSP down below the 5% match under any circumstance.

Quote
And finally, the "everything else including cash and atm" should be familiar to most Mint users and is really just an artifact of the kind of spending that I see come up at the end of the month that totally baffles me.
[\quote]

You can recategorize ATM transactions and/or add cash transactions manually (either via web or the Mint app). My point is $200/mo is not a small amount and maybe tracking it a bit more closely will help you identify an opportunity for savings!

Strawberry

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 34
  • Location: SF Bay Area
Re: Reader Case Study – Am I using spouse's untouchables as an excuse?
« Reply #45 on: January 05, 2015, 09:44:32 PM »
You need a Housekeeper for 750 sqft??

I agree that it is ridiculous. We had one for our 500 sqft apartment too. It's actually amazing how messy a space can get when you have 1200sqt worth of stuff in 750 sqft worth of space. I think minimalism might be part of my answer here.

Also, you said a housekeeper is non-negotiable to your hubby. It sounds more to me like a clean house is non-negotiable to your hubby. I think once you get your stuff pared down to the point that cleanliness is unavoidable, he might be very open to letting the housekeeper go. (Did he have one when he was single?)

THIS. What a  good way to reframe it, making the cleaning my responsibility. Nice call. He did not have a housekeeper when we didn't live together. He actually used to come to my apartment and clean it when we were still friends (before we even thought of dating). So he has always despised my slovenliness. He just had more tolerance for it when he didn't have to live in it. 
« Last Edit: January 05, 2015, 09:55:16 PM by Strawberry »

scrubbyfish

  • Guest
Re: Reader Case Study – Am I using spouse's untouchables as an excuse?
« Reply #46 on: January 05, 2015, 10:03:19 PM »
He did not have a housekeeper when we didn't live together. He actually used to come to my apartment and clean it when we were still friends (before we even thought of dating). So he has always despised my slovenliness. He just had more tolerance for it when he didn't have to live in it.

Strawberry :)  Your honesty is going to get you very, very far in your journey to advance your finances. It's a joy to read you. You're going to do beautifully, I believe!

rocksinmyhead

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1491
  • Location: Oklahoma
Re: Reader Case Study – Am I using spouse's untouchables as an excuse?
« Reply #47 on: January 06, 2015, 07:06:14 AM »
You need a Housekeeper for 750 sqft??

I agree that it is ridiculous. We had one for our 500 sqft apartment too. It's actually amazing how messy a space can get when you have 1200sqt worth of stuff in 750 sqft worth of space. I think minimalism might be part of my answer here.

Absolutely! I am trying to get there with us, too... getting rid of stuff so it is easier to stay tidy. I'm not naturally a super tidy person, and my bf is about the same, maybe a little messier, yet being in messy spaces makes me really anxious and crabby, so I want to be able to keep our home as tidy as possible with a minimum of effort, and I think that totally means getting rid of unnecessary crap!

He did not have a housekeeper when we didn't live together. He actually used to come to my apartment and clean it when we were still friends (before we even thought of dating). So he has always despised my slovenliness. He just had more tolerance for it when he didn't have to live in it.

Strawberry :)  Your honesty is going to get you very, very far in your journey to advance your finances. It's a joy to read you. You're going to do beautifully, I believe!

Agreed! Also I just want to say I love your comments, scrubbyfish... you are really good at getting to the heart of things but in the kindest way possible, which I think is a great skill :)

scrubbyfish

  • Guest
Re: Reader Case Study – Am I using spouse's untouchables as an excuse?
« Reply #48 on: January 06, 2015, 09:24:45 AM »
Agreed! Also I just want to say I love your comments, scrubbyfish... you are really good at getting to the heart of things but in the kindest way possible, which I think is a great skill :)

Thank you, rocksinmyhead!!

snshijuptr

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 147
  • Age: 33
  • Location: Southern California
Re: Reader Case Study – Am I using spouse's untouchables as an excuse?
« Reply #49 on: January 06, 2015, 09:38:35 AM »
As to the smoking, have him look into the effects of third-hand smoke. My daughter was born premature, and at 2 years old, my husband is still not allowed to hold her if he has a cigar. After reading up on third hand smoke, he gave up all smoking until our kids are 5 years old. Third hand smoke applies to all smoke (tobacco, weed, fires). They are all bad for developing lungs.