Day 65 – Couch Time and No Beach

I’m going to keep today short and sweet.

First, you and I had sweet couch time. Now that the weather isn’t cold, you’re not sitting in the chair by the fire but over next to me on the couch. Nice to have your legs touching mine again.

Second, we decided to not go to the beach this summer so we can update our bathrooms (not a luxury, but a necessity as the tiles in both are either completely corroded or are about to start falling apart).

I have a feeling we’ll be heading toward a time of belt-tightening. We need to, I know.

Because We’re Tackling Our Debt

While we decided it might not be a good idea to follow the advice to get rid of our (very reasonably priced and relatively low mortgaged) home, we have finally decided to be violent with our debt.  Seemed like good advice from the guy who gave it to me, but a home is sometimes more important than the money it represents.

I’ve just accessed the money to pay off at least two credit cards. They inch up so slowly. We don’ t go out to eat. We don’t buy tons of fancy stuff. We’re not early adopters. We simply have had a few moments of weakness.

I’m sorry that you were so frugal and I brought my love of stuff into our marriage! And I hate we weren’t more disciplined to take note of our spending and be aware of our issues around that.

But we’re done. Line in the sand. Stake in the ground.

You and me vs. plastic. We’re gonna get it done. I’m excited.  Let’s do this thing.

Because You Got My Back

While there are times when I know that I’ve upset you for some reason, I very, very, very seldom feel as if you are disappointed in me.

As I work on our budget right now and struggle with having more month at the end of our money, I can’t help but feel bad. You deserve to be taken care of much better than this. Granted, we are in this together and both make our decisions, but still.  Whether it’s by more consistently keeping track of our budget or whether it’s by my bringing in more, I want you to feel secure financially.

You never make me feel like a putz. I appreciate you for that. You know I work. You could easily complain or fuss or give me a hard time.  Perhaps I watch too much TV to think that anybody does that to their spouse, but nonetheless, I feel like you’re always in my corner.

Because You Consign (and you do it very well)…

It’s that time of year (one of the two times a year) when you work your ass off and help make our family some money w/ our kids’ old stuff.

I appreciate how hard you work on this.  Mostly, though, I love to watch you do it. I love how meticulous and detailed you are. I love how careful you are to do things right.  It speaks so much at your gifts and the thumbprint of God on you: You care about your work. You care about being excellent.

I love you!

Because You Are in the Back of My Mind

I’ve had some rough days at work recently. There are a lot of things out of my control. There are a lot of opportunities but always enough time to hit each one of them when I need to.  Quite honestly, there are times when I want to shut it down and go see a matinee and tell everybody I’m on a sales call. Or there’s always the impulse to ball up in a fetal position somewhere in my office.

But you and the kids are always in the back of my mind (at the very least). You’re my first and last line of defense. When I feel like giving in or up for a day, I remember you guys. It’s a subtle encouragement because you guys love, respect, and think I’m worth something. It’s also a reminder of the fact that I’m responsible to be responsible. For our kids, I also remember that I’m trying to build character into my life that will hopefully be a source of courage for them.

I know you believe in me and that helps me get over little humps of self-doubt, procrastination, frustration, and overwhelming inboxes and to-do lists. Thanks for being in my corner. I love you for that.

Because She Does Them Consignment Sales…

I love Tina because since we’ve had our daugher and little boys, she has participated in every consignment sale her ‘mothers of multiples’ group has put on. This is hard work. If you’ve done a consignment sale, you know that it is hard-ass work! If you’re a husband of a woman who has done a consignment sale, you just say ‘yes’. Period.

Anyway, it’s a lot of work and she does it meticulously and consistently and it normally pulls in a few hundred dollars that we can plunge back into toddler gear. It’d be easy to just toss all the stuff in bags and send to Goodwill (and that’s not a bad thing), but she takes the time at a time when our family can use any little bit of extra cash available to help.

So, here’s to you, My Lady, thanks for hooking us up w/ some cash! And for all your hard, hard work!

Because She’s A Clip-Master

By ‘Clip-Master’, I simply mean she knows how to clip coupons and save.

Today, she spent $51, but saved $42. That is pretty huge in the long run. That’s two months worth of trash pick up. That’s a gas tank full of gas. That’s a bottle of silver tequila. It all adds up.

She does it all the time. I love her for it. But I’m not going to drone on today because it’s Friday and it’s almost 5pm and she probably wants me home so she can have a break. She deserves it.

Because She Can Rock a Dollar Menu

My wife can feed a small village with like $8.53 and a fast food restaurant dollar menu.

She’ll have like a pile of roast beef sandwiches and fries and walk away from the drive-thru window with more money than she came in with. Probably sells the toys and pockets $.75.

That’s a skill. I love her for that because I usually spend $6.00 by myself because I can be kind of an undisciplined lard-ass.

Because she frets about a $20 purchase…

I’ve heard some horror stories about women who put their families in the poor house through devil-may-care spending habits (I know dudes do this to their families, too). There are no boundaries, no consideration of, say, whether there’s plenty of money or not.

To a fault, my wife will check with me regarding purchases. She won’t buy $1 stickers if we really don’t need them (whereas I’ll do most anything to shut some toddlers up–I can be a immediate gratification type parent sometimes). She just called to make sure that it’s okay to get the DVD/Blu-Ray combo packs of Toy Story 1 and Toy Story 2. I said yes because I love spending me some money. 

Please don’t misread this as if I’m saying she’s just cheap. Sometimes it seems so. Let’s just say, she never knew what debt was until she started dating me. She never had a credit card balance or a car payment. She saved to put a huge downpayment on her first townhouse (I’d only rented). She stayed at the same job from ages 18-33, the first 10 years of which, they put her through school so no student loans.

Hell, as I write this, I feel kind of guilty. I’ve brought the poor woman down with my ‘gotta have this’ and ‘gotta have that’ attitude. Good thing for our kids, she’ll soon be in charge of our budget, books, and bills. It should be me checking in with her!