It’s amazing what you can learn with a little eavesdropping!
To be honest I wasn’t eavesdropping, that would be rude. But I do enjoy a very open relationship of communication with my wife. We were best friends before we were involved and since we’ve known each other since High School there is virtually nothing we won’t discuss. (Except when I go out for a nice meal while traveling)
Based on what I learned this weekend there seems to be an understanding among women that there are things that men just don’t understand about money. Here were the top 5:
5) “Little girls are entitled to more than one pair of shoes” – OK they caught us. Ladies, to be truthful we don’t object to more than one pair we object to dozens. Men have come to realize that women love shoes. As a result, in September of 1998 the men of the world united. We have conspired to break this bad habit while our daughters are young. But we are not unreasonable; a pair of tennis shoes and a pair of cleats is alright.
4) “Fashion” – No other single word can cost so much (except divorce). Women, you are right. We don’t understand fashion and never will. Why you can’t wear white after Labor Day will never make sense to us, and what’s wrong with white socks and black shoes anyway? We are never going to understand why you can’t wear the same outfit twice or that a garment that was perfectly good last year cannot be seen in public this year. About the best I can offer is a compromise. If you’ll cut your clothing budget by 25% we won’t wear brown with blue anymore.
3) “Kids grow” – This is simply not true. We know kids grow. We figured that out when came home with $300 in back-to-school clothes. Give us some credit, please! I think the issue with this topic is really about #4-Fashion. As we see it, just because the kids grew doesn’t mean that they need all new clothes. Men see sending kids to school with high-waters as a character building experience.
2) “Grocery Prices” – Holy bejesus, you’re not kidding. Since when did the price of milk get as high as gasoline? Sorry guys, I have to lie on the sword here. After years of avoiding the grocery store I let myself get sucked in. Prices are out of control. Whoever said there is no inflation has not been to a store this year.
1) “The other credit card” – What? OK, now this is just wrong. Typically, isn’t it always women that talk about wanting truth and honesty in a relationship? Then they go and do this! Unfortunately, this is not the first time I have heard about this. Come to think of it, without names, there are several ladies within my own extended family that have played this game. This is just wrong. But men, you have nobody to blame but yourself. Have you never heard that you can pull a free credit report every year?
These 5 issues shed a lot of light on the relationship between men and women when it comes to money. In some respects we may need to agree that we disagree. The average man will never be the fashionista that our lovely wives are. In other respects, for the mutual good of our long-term financial well-being we do need to come to an understanding of how we use our money.
Men can open to the idea that our kids and our wives should be presentable in public but can we find ways to only buy clothes that will actually be worn and can we figure out how to get our money’s worth? We don’t admit it easily but we know that more than one pair of shoes are needed. Please, let’s be reasonable though. Closets full of clothes that never get worn are a financial waste.
We have to eat. But there are ways to eat frugally; we can be smarter about what we buy and when and how we prepare our meals to cut down on the waste. Husbands should take a more active role (I know I am going to pay for this one!) in grocery shopping. We don’t understand because we are ignorant.
Ladies, in your hearts you too want to eliminate the psychological and emotional barriers of money in your relationships. Unfortunately hiding our spending habits and credit cards not only damages our financial well-being it is also detrimental to our relationship and romance. Eliminating these barriers can only happen when we come clean and we are honest with each other about our entire financial situation.
To start the process, I will admit that men have their financial vices as well. For every hidden credit card, I’ve known a guy that has bought a new electronic gadget, gun or guitar on the sly. Trust and honesty takes two.
I speak from experience; I’ve had marriage of monetary deceit and financial denial with no communication. It failed. I’ve also had the pleasure of a marriage with unconditional love and open communication. When you and your spouse can talk openly about money, marriage, dreams and desires it is liberating. There is nothing that you cannot accomplish as a team but little that can be accomplished together, when you are working alone.
Ladies, what did I miss? Is there something else that men don’t get about money?
Gents, what are your thoughts? Is there something we can do to bring the sexes closer together when it comes to money?
Carnivals that have featured Eliminate The Muda posts this week include:
Carnival of Money Stories – Hosted by Almost Frugal – This week is my introduction to Almost Frugal. Anything frugal excites me as does this blog. Stop by and take a peek, I think it is a blog we will both be adding to our RSS feeds
Carnival of Personal Finance – Hosted by the MightyBargainHunter – MBH is a blog I check regularly and is always filled with good information. This week MBH hosts a one-stop shop of Personal Finance information for the week. Regardless of your question or personal financial difficulty there is likely an answer in this list of blog posts.