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We Thought You'd Never Ask: marital money matters

You've arrived just in time for the latest installment of We Thought You'd Never Ask, the sarcasm-laced series in which my husband and I debate various burning questions sent in by readers like YOU! If you have an issue or need some advice, leave your question in the comments or send me an email at hollowtreeventures {at} gmail {dot} com. And now, time for the show!

WTYNA about marital money matters by Robyn Welling @RobynHTV

Today we're talking about busting the family budget - specifically, Meredith from The Mom of the Year asks, "What's the best way to budget for necessities without your spouse blowing a gasket?" Like, let’s just say, for example, you find something you desperately need (sea salt spray in this case - hypothetically speaking) available in bulk during a SUPER-SPECTACULAR one-day only sale. Should you go ahead and spend roughly four times your mortgage payment to stock up at the lower price (so, really, you’re SAVING money)? Or do you use that money for something boring, like actual mortgage payments?

Robyn: Well, I think it all depends on the item. Is it mutually beneficial to both parties? If not, ask yourself this: can you convince your spouse that it is mutually beneficial? It’s up to the purchaser to make the case that $300 worth of boxed wine is an investment in the entire family’s future sanity,* or to play up the fact that the sudden purchase of a brand new XBox One will translate into fewer hours the family will be subjected to college basketball on TV.
*Booze is a bad example, though. Everyone knows better than to question the logic behind buying alcohol in bulk.

Gerry: Booze is a bad example. Why do you think I bought approximately 5000 times more booze than we needed for our wedding reception? Meredith, if it makes the other spouse happier, it shouldn’t require much discussion. If buying it means not paying the mortgage, just make sure you can barter the sea salt spray or XBox for three hots and a cot.

But I jest. The real answer is that XBoxes and other electronic devices are essentials, as the future of our civilization lies squarely on our ability to whup our friends and family members at Call of Duty, whilst things like health and hygiene are frivolities that should be eliminated from our list of daily concerns. #longestsentenceaward

Robyn: I’m with you on health and hygiene being frivolities (said the girl who expects you to love her no matter how long she goes between showers), though I doubt the ability to utilize imaginary digitized weapons against fictional evil-doers will save civilization as we know it.

It seems like we're having trouble agreeing on what constitutes a “necessity.” If we can’t come to a consensus about that, maybe the answer lies instead with what you’re willing to trade in order to justify your unplanned budget-buster. Meredith, I suggest you offer to cut something else out of the budget to accommodate the additional expense of 150 metric gallons of sea salt spray. Some ideas for the chopping block are: cleaning supplies, laundry detergent, or food. If he still isn’t buying it (SEE WHAT I DID THERE?), accuse him of not wanting your family to have clean toilets or dinner. Soon, your husband will be too confused by your logic to care about your various spray expenditures.

Gerry: Someone is going to mind that the cleaning supplies have been axed in favor of body mist, but I doubt it’s going to be the husband. I’d rather have a scrubby clean, sea-salt misted wife over a sparkly toilet any day. As for the food, I’m sure you’re aware that there is rarely time for food in the middle of a Halo marathon. So buy your sea salt body mist magic wrinkle reducing lotion spray or whatever it is (and an XBox) and get started living.

Robyn: Great, then everyone's happy! Just be aware that, if you follow Gerry's advice, some of that living might be done in a sleeping bag at the YMCA.


Join us for the next WTYNA, when we tackle an (apparently very popular) topic: the dishwasher. Like, who's supposed to BE the dishwasher? Who's supposed to load the dishwasher? And why, whyyyyyy can't anyone seem to do it correctly?!? Jean from MamaSchmama, Rebecca (a.k.a. Frugie) of Frugalista Blog, and reader Kylie want to know - and so do I. See you then!

I hope you enjoyed yourself while you were here - and I hope you come back! Please share inappropriate giggles with me on Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook, or subscribe via email so you don't miss a thing!


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