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    Why can't my wife understand?

    My wife sent me to these forums because she thinks that I spend too much money on my hobby and it is always ruining our budget. I understand that I need to cut back and not spend as much on my hobby, but my work is so stressful that if I don't do anything, I will explode. And her harping on me all the time to stop wasting money on my hobby only makes me more stressed so I spend even more. Isn't stress relief a legitimate reason to spend money?

    #2
    Originally posted by gridfel View Post
    Isn't stress relief a legitimate reason to spend money?
    Stress relief is important for all of us. It is a reason to spend money? Only if you have the money to spend. Stress relief could mean going for a brisk walk each night after work. It could mean taking a bike ride. It could mean playing online poker for free. It could mean pouring yourself a glass of wine, putting on some good music and reading a book. It could mean watching your favorite show on TV.

    Saying you have to spend money on your hobby in order to relieve stress sounds like it could be you trying to rationalize your spending. If your hobby spending is ruining the household budget, it is a problem and needs to be corrected.

    Do the two of you have a good handle on where all your money is going each month? If so, have you worked together to cut back on things that can be reduced? If the only thing left is your hobby spending and the budget still isn't in order, then that needs to go next.
    Steve

    * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
    * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
    * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

    Comment


      #3
      It could be two things - like Steve said, it could be your hobby is legitimately hurting the budget, one done in writing that you both agree upon. By agree upon I mean you both sit down and go over the numbers and just because you don't like your hobby allotment, that doesn't mean you spend more than what's budgeted. If you guys are living paycheck to paycheck and having trouble making ends meet, then the hobby has to go. I don't care how stressful your job is, find a new hobby that will relieve the stress. You put your family first, no matter what, and if that means the hobby taking second seat, then so be it.

      What most couples on here will tell you is that they have a certain percentage set aside for spending money. Try having $50 or $100 a month that you and your wife both get to spend no strings attached. If she wants to buy a new purse, she gets to save up for a few months and buy it. If you want something extra for the hobby, then you can save and buy it. And switch to cash entirely. Don't even carry your debit card. You will spend less with cash. Cash hurts to use, a debit card is just a swipe and says approved.

      Comment


        #4
        There are literally hundreds of no-cost hobbies out there.

        Comment


          #5
          I don't think it's fair that I should have to give up the hobby that I like and have enjoyed for years to find one that is less expensive if I already know the current hobby is relieving my stress. There may be hundreds of no cost hobbies, but they are all useless if they don't help me stay calm.

          It's not like I'm spending a fortune on my hobby. It only costs a few hundred dollars a month and sometimes not even that. While I do admit that it does go over our agreed upon budget some months, sometimes it's necessary to sacrifice to keep the stress levels down. It would be far worse if I ended up losing my job to stress.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by gridfel View Post
            It's not like I'm spending a fortune on my hobby. It only costs a few hundred dollars a month and sometimes not even that. While I do admit that it does go over our agreed upon budget some months
            You and your wife are having money problems.

            You are spending "a few hundred dollars a month" on a hobby, a want, a luxury.

            You admit "that it does go over our agreed upon budget some months."

            What exactly is it that you think your wife is supposed to understand?

            What is the point of the two of you having an "agreed upon budget" if you aren't going to follow it?

            I don't know how much you earn, but unless it is an awful lot, I'd have to say that something that "costs a few hundred dollars a month" shouldn't be preceded by "only" when describing it.
            Steve

            * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
            * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
            * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

            Comment


              #7
              Besides, is she actually saying you have to give up the hobby. Isn't it possible to just cut back how much you spend on the hobby? Since we don't know what hobby you are referring to, it is impossible for us to suggest how to go about that, but I can't think of any hobby that has a mandatory fixed cost to participate.
              Steve

              * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
              * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
              * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by gridfel View Post
                I don't think it's fair that I should have to give up the hobby that I like and have enjoyed for years to find one that is less expensive if I already know the current hobby is relieving my stress. There may be hundreds of no cost hobbies, but they are all useless if they don't help me stay calm.

                It's not like I'm spending a fortune on my hobby. It only costs a few hundred dollars a month and sometimes not even that. While I do admit that it does go over our agreed upon budget some months, sometimes it's necessary to sacrifice to keep the stress levels down. It would be far worse if I ended up losing my job to stress.
                gridfel,

                Your hobby is your relief time, but your wife needs relief too.

                Plese go over your budget with your wife together. Decide where the two of you can cut back so that each has expense money to do with as they will without contention or concern.

                If you spend $300 a month on your hobby, what does your wife get to spend for her "relief" from stress? -- If it's not equivalent, then it's not fair to her. If she does not have a hobby per se, she should still have the same $ equivalency to spend on whatever she decides; or even to save separately if that is what she decides.

                Sounds like she handles the money and you are really only interested in the one thing.

                She sent you here because of her stress with you and the hobby money issue. You two need to work out the budget -- together. Compromise where necessary.

                Seems like you're adding to her stress levels by reducing your own. You may need to decide how important your hobby is to the total family well-being.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by gridfel View Post
                  I don't think it's fair that I should have to give up the hobby that I like and have enjoyed for years to find one that is less expensive if I already know the current hobby is relieving my stress. There may be hundreds of no cost hobbies, but they are all useless if they don't help me stay calm.

                  It's not like I'm spending a fortune on my hobby. It only costs a few hundred dollars a month and sometimes not even that. While I do admit that it does go over our agreed upon budget some months, sometimes it's necessary to sacrifice to keep the stress levels down. It would be far worse if I ended up losing my job to stress.
                  If you can't afford the hobby, it's not fair for you to have it. Period.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by Seeker View Post
                    If you spend $300 a month on your hobby, what does your wife get to spend for her "relief" from stress? -- If it's not equivalent, then it's not fair to her. If she does not have a hobby per se, she should still have the same $ equivalency to spend on whatever she decides; or even to save separately if that is what she decides.
                    I don't agree that each partner needs to have identical dollar amounts but I will agree that each partner needs to be in agreement about the arrangement and feel it is fair. If what is important to me is getting my car detailed every month for $50 and what is important to my wife is getting her nails done twice a month for $90/month and we plan our budget accordingly, that's fine (neither of us could care less about those things but you get the idea). I wouldn't demand an "extra" $40 since my indulgence is cheaper than hers.
                    Last edited by disneysteve; 05-17-2009, 03:13 PM.
                    Steve

                    * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
                    * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
                    * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by disneysteve View Post
                      I don't agree that each partner needs to have identical dollar amounts but I will agree that each partner needs to be in agreement about the arrangement and feel it is fair. If what is important to me is getting my car detailed every month for $50 and what is important to my wife is getting her nails done twice a month for $90/month and we plan our budget accordingly, that's fine (neither of us could care less about those things but you get the idea). I wouldn't demand an "extra" $50 since my indulgence is cheaper than hers.
                      Yes, me too Steve.

                      However, the title of this posting is what it is.... and the reasons (i'd imagine) that wife isn't "understanding" is because of a feeling of stress or unfairness. I just wanted to point out what she may be feeling.

                      Neither person's stress is more important.... but agreement about dollars in marriage IS important.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by Seeker View Post
                        the reasons (i'd imagine) that wife isn't "understanding" is because of a feeling of stress or unfairness
                        Obviously we don't have the whole story here, but it sounds like she isn't "understanding" why he keeps spending hundreds per month on a hobby when they are having financial problems. It sounds like they've made a budget and he isn't sticking to it.

                        OP, can you explain why you think your hobby spending is okay even though it exceeds your budget and is causing financial and marital problems at home?
                        Steve

                        * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
                        * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
                        * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Come on, isn't anyone else curious about what the hobby is?

                          Do tell!

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Okay, turn it around, you are trying to get the budget under control, you talk with your wife, you set up a budget together, but then all of a sudden she starts buying bejeweled doggie figurines (I am making that up...but whatever it is, it is important to her). She starts over spending, and when you ask what has happened to the budget she gets defensive and starts saying she NEEDS to buy these for her happiness.

                            Wouldn't you be a little stressed?? I do believe hobbies are important, but I also believe you can contain the expenses on the hobby. It would help if we knew what it was, but I still think you could find ways to keep within your budget.

                            And it wouldn't hurt to add some other stress relievers to your life that don't cost, not give up the hobby, but other ways so this isn't your only outlet. Take a walk with your wife so you can talk about things, that really helps.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              If your job is that stressful, find a new job.

                              Comment

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