Sunday, May 4, 2008


I decided that even though our money arguments, while very few and very far between, are educational and I feel like others might get value out of them, I'm not going to share them.

I am, however, going to talk about one thing that happened last night.

We were given a rebate for a type of Whiskey through a program called bzzagent. Hubby decided last night to go to the store and pick some up. We looked at the form, discussed what we needed and what size qualified, and off he went.

When he got home we noticed that we weren't given a receipt. I looked twice in the bag, checked out the floor area surrounding the kitchen, and even checked the bottom of the bottle. Nope, no receipt. Not in the car or in his wallet, either.

He absolutely refused to go to the store and ask for his receipt. I couldn't believe it. We live just over a mile away from the store and there was no traffic.

This actually sparked a big argument.

His thought: I paid for this with money from "my" envelope which you said I could do anything I wanted with. So, I can buy a $13 bottle of whiskey if I want.

My argument: It will take three minutes to go back to the store and get the receipt and get $12 of that money back.

This is a common issue and I don't know how to bring it up in a way that I can make him understand.

Whenever there is an issue that involves asking for something that would monetarily benefit him in some way, he closes up, gets extremely defensive, and will throw up issues that are related but have nothing to do with the one we are discussing. This is the only topic he does this with.

He won't call clients a day or two after he's given them a massage to check in; nor will he call clients he hasn't seen in a few months. He doesn't want to "bother" them.

Last night he didn't want to be a jerk by going back. They probably had dozens of receipts in the trash and he didn't want anyone to dig through the trash. There were eight people there when he was there and he didn't want to wait in line, make a fuss, and then have people waiting and getting impatient.

It was better, to him, to let go of $12 than call someone on their mistake of not giving a receipt.

We didn't get anywhere in our conversation. I couldn't get him to see that it wasn't about how he spends his money. We both get an amount to spend however we want, but once it's gone, it's gone. He can buy quarter-dispenser-rings and gummy worms for all I care.

Finally I called the store. I apologized for bothering them on a Saturday night and acknowledge that I appreciated their time and help. She laughed. Apparently, other than one rush, it's been dead due to the Kentucky Derby.

I told her about the receipt and she asked me a few questions. What was purchased? What size? Was anything else on the ticket? How did he pay for it? Which cashier was it?

I asked when a good time would be to come by and she said anytime. So I told her I was on my way.

The two clerks were extremely nice and apologized for my having to drive back there. I thanked them for their help. One other customer left when I walked in the door. Otherwise I was the only one.

It took me five minutes, less than ten cents worth of gas, and I made $12. If he doesn't want it, I figure, then I'll take it!

I need to find a way to have this conversation with him, however. Suggestions?

1 comment:

Lise said...

Hmmm, I dunno. From the way he talked about "I can do whatever I want out of this envelope," it sounds like he might be a little resentful about how your finance habits have changed due to paying down debt.

How does he feel about this whole plan? Is it something you came up with an imposed on him, or is it something you came up with together?

I think to get his buy-in for debt reduction, you need to make him feel like all these things are his idea, not just something you arbitrarily came up with one day. I think it helps if you discuss your goals together, and of course, sometimes you just have to compromise. That's what marriage is all about, alas.

That said, it sounds like being that outgoing is just not in his nature... my husband and I are pretty much on the same page in terms of financial goals, but I think I'd have a very hard time getting him to go back to the store for a receipt. He's just shy like that.

In the end, I think you did the right thing. At the end of the day the responsibility of X task in a household falls to the person who it bothers more.