Thursday, July 15, 2010

It's all about the Benjamins... Or the Washingtons. Whatever.

I think it was on Speaking From The Crib that my favorite scene from Goodfellas was recently mentioned.  Karen Hill tells her husband, Henry, that she needs some money, and when he asks how much, she basically holds her fingers apart to indicate her response -- and she's not indicating she just needs a little bit, she's indicating the size of the stack she needs.

Sweet deal.

Well, okay, so the money is completely and totally dirty and she now has blood on her hands and all that, but still...  That would be like a dream come true for me, if only The Husband could legally (you know, without killing people by stabbing them in their neck repeatedly with a pen -- and I know that wasn't Henry Hill doing that, but man that part stands out) make so much money that I could ask for it like that. 

(That pen part was so gross.)

So I'm a stay-at-home-mom.  I have a sweet deal, and I know it.  For the most part, I can't complain.  (That doesn't mean I don't complain.  My friends know this.  Sorry, ladies, and thanks for listening.)  Anyway, I stay at home, and currently I do not do anything to bring money in to our household.

I know, I know, what I do is invaluable -- blah, blah, blah.  I get it.  And I'm happy doing it.

At the same time, I would like to buy my girls kids' meals once in a while without being wracked with guilt. 

And I know a lot of SAHMs are in the same boat as I am.

But I want to form a very special kind of support group.  For women whose husbands majored in Finance.  Or Accounting.  Anything where they work with numbers and/or money and they monitor the checkbook and credit card balance with the white hot intensity of a thousand burning suns.

The Husband is incredibly awesome with money.  He is pretty much a genius with all things financial.  I find great peace in that.

However.  (You knew it was coming.)  I would also like to be able to go to the store when my older daughter's dresses are so short that she looks like she could be in a Hannah Montana video (I've never seen one, actually, but I saw her performance on DWTS, so I'm assuming that she's going the skank route now) to buy her some new dresses without having to ask, or without having to explain that getting 4 brand new dresses for under $22 is a really great deal, and on top of that, these dresses are going to be worn again by our younger daughter, so I'm doing pretty dang well.

I can't remember the last time I paid full price for anything, or when I've purchased something that wasn't on a rack that didn't have a HOWEVER-MUCH-PERCENT-OFF or a CLEARANCE sign above it.  I shop for myself and the girls at Kohl's and Target.  I get our shoes at Payless.

I do not mind shopping like that.  I don't think I would change how I shop even if I had unlimited funds.

I just wish that I could get some credit for being a smart shopper.  And I don't mean credit like credit credit, like Visa or MasterCard, I just mean for The Husband to not hyperventilate when I come home with a shopping bag -- which really isn't all that often.

Even when I did earn my own money, he took a lot of interest in it.  And I don't mean interest like interest interest, like 8.250%, I just mean The Husband always wanted to know how much I made.  I was in direct sales, and he didn't ask me how the show/party went, if I had fun, he mostly just wanted to know about the bottom line.

(To be fair, I think he's just wired like that.  I mean, being that way makes him very good at what he does.)

And when I do manage to earn some "fun money" for myself, I would like for The Husband to not ask how much I spent or what I spent it on.  Because I do not ask him how much his golf shoes cost.  I do not ask him how much it costs him when he goes to play 9 or 18 holes.

And if he thinks that he needs a new pump for his fish tank, I take him at his word.  If he says the cleats he wears for softball are falling apart, I believe him.  I mean, he would know best.

Just like I would know best if the girls' toes are poking through the tops of their shoes or hanging over the edge of their sandals, if their shorts are too short, if they need haircuts.  Or if I need new shoes -- because, believe it or not, I don't buy shoes on a whim.  Or if, God forbid, I need a haircut.  (Just wait until I need to get it colored!)

But also, sometimes I'd like to take the girls out for a treat now and then.  And I can't help but notice... When he takes the girls out (which he does, often, because he's an amazing father), he doesn't have to call me and ask if it's okay if he swings by Wendy's with them.  He doesn't call and ask if I think it's okay to buy them a movie.

I have asked for an "allowance" of sorts, but I'd kind of like it to come with no strings attached -- if I'm given money to do with what I please, I would like to do just that without being asked where each nickel and penny went.  Is that too much to ask?  Between his natural inclination to be so into money and its comings and goings, and it technically being his money, should I just let it go that I feel like I need to provide a spreadsheet with how much I want to spend and when?  Will I ever really feel comfortable spending money, am I always going to feel like it's someone else's?

"I don't really want an answer. I just want to send this cosmic question out into the void." (<--- That's a line from one of my favoritest movies, which I want to buy on DVD because I only have it on VHS, but I always feel like that would be wasteful spending.)


shortmama said...

Ok in this moment I will be glad that my hubs is in no way involved with our finances!

purseblogger said...

Oh girl, my hubby asks the questions too. I pay the bills but if I come home with a shopping bag or groceries, I get grilled. I hate it too. I am so with you on your views and desires. I hope we both see the day where we can have a little "extra" where we don't need to worry so much about these things. xoxo

obxbchgrl said...

Umm, it is your money. Hear me out.

Say you worked outside the home. Now, if you were working outside the home, you would have to pay for some sort of child care. Right? So, the money that would go to child care is actually your paycheck as the child care giver.

Really, it all makes sense when you look at it like that.

MiMi said...

You know that a sahm with 2 kids is actually valued at 250,000 a year? They did a thing where they figured it out once. Swear.
Also. I'm in your club, my hubs majored in accounting too. :(

leigh said...

Did you just jump into my brain? Seriously?

From Tracie said...

You've Got Mail!!

I think you might already know...that I send this question out into the void all the time. I'm still waiting on an answer.

Mandi Miller said...

Oh my husband is the same way! We are missionaries and had to raise all of our support, my husband is a genius with our finances! I'm glad I don't have to keep track of all the stuff. Although I told him he needs to make sure everything is laid out for me if he dies because I don't know what bills need to be paid and when! :)
But... sometimes it's like passing an Act of Congress to buy shoes for Maddy or new clothes! Drives. Me. Crazy. He is a wonderful man, very loving but before Maddy was born he wanted to "go over" our grocery list every week with me and ask why I was buying what I was buying. Oh my gawsh! After I went on a cooking strike (I told him if he wanted to question everything I buy then he could grocery shop and cook himself) he stopped doing that! Haha! He's just wired that way to be tight with his money, except sometimes when it's what HE wants to buy, like the day he came home with a brand new LCD Flatscreen TV. "But honey, it was on sale for $799!" That's fine... one day I should do the same just to see what he would do!!!!!! :)

Chelle said...

I totally understand this--and am right there with you. I feel guilty all of the time for doing anything--and the husband? Basically can do what he wants. I don't care...I don't ask.

But when it's me doing the spending it's like he's going to have a stroke. I, too, am happy to be a frugal girl. Buying clothes on sale, shop at Kohl's, Target, etc.


I just wish I knew the answers!

Dee Crowe said...

I know what your saying, but when I decided to quit my job and be a SAHM...I pretty much figured that I was earning what I was spending on groceries and for the kid and for myself...thankfully the husband doesn't bat an eyelash when I do buy something..but I know not everyone has a husband like that. All I can say is, we truly give up much more than our jobs when we decide to stay home with the kids!

A Lil Story said...

ugh. i can't even say how much i understand this post. I love being a SAHM... I HATE not having my own checking account and never knowing if and how much money I can spend on whatever. hate it! ugh.

Brandy said...

I work outside the home and make more money than my husband but he still questions every penny. like if buy a song on itunes or something.

Brandy said...

oh and I think you should get an allowance that is just for treats. no questions asked. it would make you feel better.

caroline said...

One thing that has helped out marriage out a TON (now, please know we have only been married for 2 1/2 this might come back and bite me in the a latter on..and I don't know how Ramsey would approve but...)
is a joint checking for all major things like rent, utilities, car repair/payments, husbands gas, husbands misc., cable, phone, internet, etc...
he primarly uses that account and follows it.
I have a separate account that I use for only my gas, groceries, my clothes, kids stuff, my misc expenses.
It took us awhile to figure out a weekly amount, but it works. If I want clothes or need stuff for the little one, I either coupon more, or we eat pb&j all week long. It works, we still discuss some things..but if I find a good deal, he just is excited I was able to get it within the budget and he doesn't have to think "where is this $10 going to come from" because let's face it...we are all running it tight right now.

slivengo said...

I just now read this... but I could've written it myself. :)

So grateful for a husband who is amazing with our finances, but still a little stressed about it at times...

Earlier this year, we started something similar to what Caroline referenced above.... We have a main checking account where our savings go and main bills are paid from each month. I have a separate account with an agreed upon monthly amount that I have to make work each month. P deposits the money in my account at the beginning of the month. Out of that comes groceries, gifts for other, clothing for all of us, eating out/entertainment/babysitting. I have to stretch it some months when we have tons of birthdays/weddings in a month, and have to save some up for when the girls need new clothes. Wow, though, it has made a huge difference in our home.

My monthly allowance took a small hit though when I begged for the minivan, and agreed to pick up the difference in the monthly payment out of my account. :) That's ok. Scarlett, (the mom-mobile) is worth it. :)