My wife and I are generally joined at the hip on weekends, this past weekend being one of the few we’ve been apart over the 5-years (this week!) we’ve been married. I went to visit friends in Toronto, while she went on a “girls weekend” to Buffalo (which seemed to be a shopping trip more than anything). People who have read this blog for a while might realize that a trip focused around shopping is my own personal hell.
In our household, I am the main driver of our financial plans. For a 15-year plan to work, some compromises needed to be reached. Mostly, these compromises center in on me butting out of her business most of the time, as long as she has done what she needs to do on a monthly basis to maintain our financial plan. This method is done by design in response to the statement “This plan seems like a good idea – tell me how much I have to give you to make it happen and then leave me alone” (or something like that). So, she essentially writes me a cheque once a month and I minimize the amount of negative complaints around her purchases (but really, who needs 3 pairs of boots that look exactly the same?)
If we made our budget tighter, and left less money for shopping trips to Buffalo (or trips to microbreweries in Toronto for me), we would be able to retire a few years earlier. It is our choice to “ease back” on the intensity so that we can spend money on some stupid things that would probably be ridiculous to hardcore Early Retirement people.
Left to my own devices, I would probably lean less into silly spending, and more into exiting the workforce as quickly as possible. Easing back on our savings and spending allows my wife to buy the vast majority of things that she wants to buy, while dealing with a super fiscally conservative husband. I think we have both compromised to achieve the balance we are at today. I am less of a stick in the mud around money, and my wife is not constantly being harped at for her excessive purchases of $8 “girl shirts (which are basically disposable clothes).
Are you the “driver” of your financial plans? Were you able to meet in the middle with your significant other, or are did you do it on your own?