Saturday, April 30, 2011

I'm an Island of Frugal in a Spendthrift Family

I swear, every time I turn around, I just can't win.
I try to be frugal.
Sometimes to the point of being ridiculously frugal....or so my family tells me.

But they sure don't help me want to loosen up on the frugality measures, when every time I turn around, they are being spendthrifts.
Or just not doing what I ask carry out the small frugal measures I ask of them.

Like Hubs for instance.
He was going to Lowe's this morning for gardening supplies.....manure, seeds, plants, etc.
I had a $10 off $50 purchase card which expires today.
I gave him my list and the card with instructions to spend enough to use the discount.
Pretty simple, right?

So he comes back with most of the things on my list and hands me the receipt.
He spent $43.49 BEFORE tax....$46.10 after sales tax.
So he spent just under enough to get a $10 discount.

What part of spend OVER $50 and use the $10 discount did he NOT understand???!!!
So he gave up $10 in FREE gardening supplies.......

He is looking at me like, "Hey!...It's no big deal."
And he walks away....

I on the other hand just want to SCREAM & SMACK HIM!

This is what he does.....he throws away money.
He throws shit out that's perfectly useful and buys new.
He doesn't take advantage of deals and discounts.
It's "not HIS way" he says.....
He feels that since he makes a good income, he can afford to waste money.
This is the guy who was writing checks for cups of coffee while in
And the kids know how he is, so they never ask me for things.  They go to him because he will buy stuff he knows I wouldn't approve of and he will just buy at full retail too! argh

I keep telling him when his income goes away and we retire, he won't have the luxury of being a spendthrift.
I keep reminding him that if he had been more aware of wasting money throughout our marriage until this point that he could have retired at 50 like he wanted to.

This trait of his drives me insane!
I get so discouraged sometimes.....

Is your partner on board with your frugal ways or are you fighting their spending like a salmon swimming upstream too?



  1. Your husband sounds like mine ;)

  2. And mine :) Well for another couple months, anyway.

    I'm sorry it's so aggravating, and I totally understand that it is, believe me! Other than comiserating with you, though, I don't have any advice other than lots of deep, cleansing breaths...

  3. Shane was a little spendy when we first met, especially when it came to going out eat or to a bar. He'd grown up in a household where his dad did the shopping and bought only name brands. He then lived with a woman with a couple of kids who wouldn't eat leftovers. He also had this crazy notion in his head back then that it was ok to buy only brand new cars and that it was taken for granted that he'd always have a car payment. In other words, he thought debt was ok.

    It really didn't take him long, though, to get on board with frugality. He saw the fun in garage sales and flea markets, saw how much farther our food dollars went if we shopped sales or at Aldi, and decided that my cooking was good enough to keep us out of restaurants.

    He and I both make the occasional mistake, but he's almost as good as I am at finding the daily good deals, and much better than I am at negotiating bargains on big ticket items. So yeah, I'd say he's on board.

  4. Its an uphill battle here too! DH thinks nothing of the $50 every 10 day on cigarettes, $17 weekly for PBR beer and a case of Pepsi a week habit! Why oh why do I even try!?

  5. Mine is doing really well @ helping to maintain a frugal lifestyle :) He scours the stores for tear pad and blinkie Q's, clearance items etc. Sometimes he finds better deals then me! A couple of weeks back he spotted a huge rebate on all our scotts lawn chemicals for the year. He purchased the items and even submitted the rebate himself, awesome!

  6. MY DH is pretty frugal. Sometimes he blows it but not very often. So I just let those little times slide. I feel we need balance in everything.

    As far as retirement, depending on what age you think he will retire at and how long his family lived to, remind him of the formula.

    For every million dollars that you have socked away, it will generate income of about 4% a year or $ 40,000. In a period of high inflation it will generate less. You need enough to pay your expenses each year. If you need $50,000. or $60,000. to live the way you want then you need $1,250,000 or $ 1,500,000. Since our government is printing money like there is no tomorrow, I would plan on high inflation coming and to be safe, I would want at least $2,000,000. if you want $60,000. to spend each year. Sometimes when you show actual amounts to hubbies, they wake up.

  7. That $46.00 receipt would have driven me nuts. Fred spends a lot of money. That said, he just got bit by the coupon bug last week. He bought an organizer yesterday and was clipping away this morning. How hot is that?
    Hey, on Wednesday, I'll be talking about you. Well, actually, writing about you. Are you scared???
    Your Friend, m.

  8. You know, I might have just taken all the stuff back, returned it, then repurchased it with enough additional to push it over the $50 mark. I'm not above doing something like that, depending on how close the store is and whether I could take care of any other errands on the same trip.

  9. Sheila--Thank you! Now I don't feel so
    And heaven help us..... ;-)

    Pretty--I've taken so many deep cleansing breaths in the last day that I am ready for a

    AnnieJ--I'm glad to hear you broke, Shane on board fairly quickly. You 2 sounds like 2 peas in a pod sometimes, in a good way! 8-)

    Marilyn-Your hubs has some not so frugal-friendly habits there, doesn't he? Good luck with that. ;-)

    HeatherAnne--Man, oh man! A hubby who does REBATES even? THUNK!!...that was the sound of me fainting. I'd be happy if he would just use the coupon I shove in his hand at the store!lol

    Precious--Thanks. We've sat down and used all the calculators and formulas to figure out the money part. It won't be 50 because he's 53 So we are shooting for 60, but that will depend on how the investments do the next few years and how much the college costs continue to rise, since we are still funding 3 college educations-that won't be finished until he hits 60. Then we have to figure out what we're going to cover the 5-6 yr. gap between retirement and Medicare.
    Geez, what a brain

    Mark--Did you let Fred watch extreme couponing?...uh
    I'm going to star on your blog this week? Oh geez.....this could go badly, right? I am afeared, VERY afeared!!! ;-)

  10. I remember oh so well those college costs. That is why I had to wait until 54 to leave my job. DH was always on track for 55 and left a few months before.

    That medicare gap of 5-6 years is a biggie. My SIL and BIL just figured it will cost them $12,000. each to replace what they have at work now. If I were them, I would be looking at a less costly hospital plan and pay the Dr's out of pocket as they went along.


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