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The Money Manager Double Standard

Here is proof that I am soooo not perfect.  :-)

Over the weekend, my husband went out to help teach people to Curl and I stayed at home to catch up on blogging.  Instead, I piddled around on the internet and played with our dogs.  I also remembered that we have been wanting new DreamFit sheets for a long time – like 3 years at least.  So I started looking around. 

DreamFit

First of all, DreamFit Sheets are freaking expensive!!!  I knew they would be since that is why we have been putting buying them off as long as we have, but I decided that our old set was 6 years old and needed a little backup help.  And these sheets really are awesome.  They are no slip sheets for a deep mattress like our Tempurpedic that truly don’t slip off.  Plus, like I said, our last set has lasted as our only set of sheets for 6 years.  They are durable as all heck.

The Hunt

Secondly, once I found the cheapest site, I had to decide between the 260 thread count set for $99 or the 400 thread count set for $149.  I hemmed and hawed for 30 minutes and even Googled the difference between thread counts.  In short, the 400 thread count sheets should be baby-butt soft.  So I splurged.  I bought the $149 sheets, got free shipping and no sales tax, and considered it an okay deal for great sheets that will hopefully last about 10 years too, lol.

The Double Standard

Then Mr. BFS called me on his way home.  I said hi and then told him I had spent $150 on sheets.  Was he mad that I spent $150?  Nope.  Was he mad that I bought new sheets?  Nope.  But he was frustrated that I spent such a large amount of money without talking to him in advance.  Why?  Not because he really cared BUT because I’d get mad at him if he did the same thing.

And he’s probably right.  I like knowing where all of our money is going before it happens, so I’d get aggravated if he spent large amounts without giving me a heads up in advance.  But he doesn’t ever care about what I spend, and we had been talking about new sheets for 3 years, so I never even thought about waiting.  That is a double standard…like a money manager’s double standard.  Huh…oops.

Anyway, I apologized right off the bat since I understood his point of view.  But I don’t think I’m able to change the way I’d react if he did the same thing.  I’d still get frustrated with him for spending without advance notice.  So, I now really have to remember to let him know in advance despite the fact that he doesn’t actually care.  Would it be easier for me to just not care?  Probably, but that is not the way my brain is wired.  I am a control freak about most aspects of my life and money is a big one.  So I’ll just remember to give advance notice in the future so I am not a complete hypocrite. 

You do see how this is absolutely hilariously stupid, right?  Like a bad sitcom?  Good.  As long as it’s just not me.  :-)

Do you have any weird personality traits like this?  Any double standards that you catch yourself at and have to make a conscious effort to either change or follow through on the other way?  Or did you stop reading and just want to yell at me when I mentioned $100+ sheet sets?  ;-)

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22 comments to The Money Manager Double Standard

  • I am guilty of being a control freak as well. It has come to the point with my significant other where she more or less will trust me on any purchases because she knows how committed I am to ensuring the best long term deal by buying good quality at low prices. In return, I don’t question her or get upset when she makes a decision and/or treats us to something like expensive sheets. It has worked so far.

  • This is too funny. My wife spends money all the time without telling me usually when I am busy at work. I usually only get frustrated when I have other plans that are unexpected.

  • Michelle

    I am glad you went with the high thread count sheets…you will be much happier. I feel like higher thread count sheets and nice towels are always worth the extra money, cause who wants to towel off with something that feels like cactus or slip under the covers onto sandpaper.

  • I can be a control freak, too, but as I’ve gotten older I’ve relaxed more and find it easier to just let go in some situations where I used to get quite worked up.

    I had to Google those Dreamfit sheets since I’ve never heard of them. I have a pretty thick Tempurpedic mattress, too, but I’ve never had a problem with sheets coming off the bed. I buy most of my sheet sets at discount stores like Marshalls. I can buy a set of queen sheets with a high thread count for $35 to $50 and the fitted sheets all are deep enough to fit my mattress.

    Frankly, I like crisp cotton sheets in the summer and the highest thread count ones are too soft for me. A thread count of 300 is my ideal. In the winter I like to use flannel sheets and those are best if they are very soft, though.

  • @My University Money, sounds like you two are well balanced. :-)

    @cashflowmantra, I thought it was funny that he didn’t care that I spent money, he cared that I would have cared…

    @Michelle, I hope so. If they feel just like the ones I already have, I will feel so stupid for spending the extra $50…

    @Linda, we haven’t used anything but that one set of Dreamfit’s we have simply since they are so much easier to put on the bed and feel so nice. We got spoiled with the set that came with our first queen-sized mattress ever, lol.

  • Retired but still Budgeting

    I would have said, “But honey, we HAVE been discussing it for 3 years.” Or, ” I bought the dog’s food and forgot to tell you also.” Think that is a major difference between buying something that has been discussed (and is a durable, maintenance item) and finding out a partner bought something of supposed quality at a high price without checking out competing prices. Now I have to Google DreamFit Sheets too. I hope you go and offer to do an article on them if they give you 50% off, lol
    We have this old, but very nice mattress that is like 12″ deep with a pillow top. We have broken those elastic bands trying to get sheets to stay on. We have one set of 100% cotton 400+ sheets that really fit. Think they came from Target. Got them as a wedding gift, and I am not saying how old they are, but if I could find some like them I would get another set.
    I get mad at honey when he buys another screw driver set, but it isn’t because of the costs. Its because he already owns 12 sets.

  • Yes, I consider the grocery budget kind of mine, since I do all the grocery shopping and cooking. So when I send him to the grocery store for one thing and he comes home with 6 I have to bite my tounge. :) I’m getting better about it though… I really am.

  • I am the control freak in our relationship. I used to consult my husband about things I was buying but he really didn’t care. He doesn’t trust himself to make good financial decision (as it is mostly my territory) so he asks me for everything and complains if I ask him anything for wasting our time. :) I still do it just in case but only if we have never discussed about that before at any point of time.

    I have some ridiculous high thread count sheet (1000 or something) but beyond 300-400, I think they are all the same. I bought that because that was the only design I liked for our Cal. King sized deep bed. I swear our older sheets 450 TC were softer than this :)

  • Hehe, busted. I am guilty of this too. Bicycle gear is a weakness of mine and I always seem to find a way to include something in our monthly budget. I then get all worked up when my wife spends on recreational items for herself. I have learned however, that life is better when we can both enjoy our hobbies, and most of the time these cost a few bucks. Gotta spend it on something.

  • This is absolutely hilarious! Not because you bought the sheets and had a tiff over it….but because I have two sets of sheets right now that are just like the Dreamfits, and I never even heard of them before today, this minute.

    So, how did I get them? I had a bright idea one day when I was really, **REALLY** tired of trying to get the corners to stay put on my super-thick mattress….and I made them myself! I didn’t even know these were available to purchase, but I wondered why I had never seen anything like this made before.

    I guess I missed a business opportunity, but after going through the agony of measuring, cutting and sewing the elastic in **just** the right place….$150 looks cheap to me! And now I know where my next set of sheets is coming from.

    Will you please post your opinions about the higher-thread-count set? I am not sure which ones I want to buy, and some input would be appreciated.

  • Being newly married, we get to slowly start dealing with these issues… If we aren’t using our personal “fun money” then we have decided we need to talk to the other before we make the purchase…

    and so far that seems to be working for us. :)

    If he went out a blew $150, i’d be really upset because money is tight for us… but if it was $150 of his personal money, I wouldn’t bat an eye :)

  • Unfortunately, my wife and I have had more than one “discussion” on this very topic. :)

    I’m the money manager in our household, and I always seem to justify my expenditures without discussion because I know how much money is available, and whether we can afford it.

    Obviously that’s not the point – we are BOTH supposed to have that knowledge and the spending is supposed to generally be a joint decision.

  • Sometimes I think we should be called homo hypocritus :P

    I sometimes have the same issue with my girlfriend, like when I bought an expensive smart phone and she was flabbergasted. I had let her know ahead of time but I guess she didn’t believe me. I explained that it wasn’t so different than her buying a laptop not too long before which was again somewhat more expensive.

    She did see my point of view in the end and now she’s more comfortable with me making these types of purchases since from my point of view she does the same thing from time to time. It’s just important to communicate and not keep the other party in the dark.

  • My wife and I have these types of conversations now and then. She gets annoyed because I’ll authorize a big $300-500 repair bill on the car or around the house, but then get on her about spending $40 at the store. The point I raise is that the repair bills are pre-funded from regular savings. We end up getting through it but yes there are occasional spats about it, which is probably typical in any joint finance situation!

  • “If he went out a blew $150, i’d be really upset because money is tight for us… but if it was $150 of his personal money, I wouldn’t bat an eye”

    This is the best suggestion I have seen. My husband and I implemented it some ten years ago (we’ve been married 19) and I’ve often wondered why on earth we waited so long (and I resisted it strongly at first)! Not only does it free each of us to buy whatever we want (no questions asked) as long as we have individually saved the money for it (this is especially valuable for women), it gives both of us an incentive to work hard at saving money. We have our general fund from which we pay the bills, and a moderate-sized joint savings, but most of what we have is held in individual, private savings, cd’s investments, whatever.

    One other caveat that works well for us: our private savings are just that – I don’t know how much he has and he doesn’t know how much I have. Or where it’s stashed, or anything at all about it. The only change in this we have made in the past few months is that we have now become joint owners, just so when/if something happens to one of us, there’s no problem with the other one getting the money. This does not change the nature of the accounts -they are still private, and it requires trust – and in our case, we have each proved to be deserving of this trust.

    @South Country Girl – you will be amazed at how quickly the money adds up once you get the hang of it! Congrats

  • We have a rule to consult with the other when a purchase is over X amount. That works well for us. While you’d already talked about the sheets to your dh, he probably just wanted a reminder. I’m jealous of all of you control freaks! There are days that I need some motivation like that!

  • @Gharkness- We actually only have joint accounts for everything… fun money is cash we take out of our checks and I have a little jar/place I keep mine and so does he if we don’t want to carry it around with us.

    We generally save together for the big items we’d like and alternate choosing what our new goal is… So its not completely how you describe it… We keep join CC and checking accounts so we don’t have to worry about the other secretly getting into debt… but I don’t have to tell him I spent $12 getting my eyebrows waxed… or $50 on a bra.

  • @South County Girl: looks like I assumed too much! Sorry. Whatever works for you, is what you should do :-)

  • @gharkness — No worries! We have only been married a bit over a month, but I think we might eventually have different savings accounts if we start amassing too much to keep in any jars… but its working really well with not having solo checking accounts. My husband likes that I can see his spending and while we have money conversations and make decisions together, I make sure everything balances and the bills get paid because i’m more detailed orientated.

  • We have fun money accounts too – money we can use without being nagged, lol. But I was using our joint money to buy the sheets, hence the issue. :-)

    @Maggie, there are days that I rather not care, lol.

    @gharkness, my question for couples that keep a lot of money stuff separate is always, what do you do if one of you didn’t save for retirement like the other one? One person eats beany weenies in their golden years and the other gets filet mignon? That was supposed to be a little funny, but the question is real. I am totally not judging though if it works for you! Just curious.

    @Money Beagle, yep, that’s it exactly.

    @Invest It Wisely, my top advice to all couples, communicate and be happier for it. :-)

    @Travis, good to know it wasn’t just me, lol.

    @gharkness, I am glad I may have hooked you up with your ideal sheets!

    @Hunter, it is hard to change but sometimes necessary, lol.

    @Suba, I heard anything over 400 wasn’t justifiably better – thanks for reiterating that point!

    @Ashley, hahaha.

    @Retired, I got defensive at first but then realized he was bringing up a different issue than sheets. He was trying to point out that I shouldn’t get all naggy when he does something similar, like buying good kitchen knives (which I did overreact about the week before even though we had mentioned it in passing). Sometimes it is just better for my relationship for us both to admit when we each are being hypocrites and move on. :-)

  • @gharkness, my question for couples that keep a lot of money stuff separate is always, what do you do if one of you didn’t save for retirement like the other one? One person eats beany weenies in their golden years and the other gets filet mignon? That was supposed to be a little funny, but the question is real. I am totally not judging though if it works for you! Just curious.
    =====================

    Actually, that’s a VERY good question! I can only say that over the years, whenever I have expressed a concern to my husband about some purchase that we **needed** and that I thought our joint funds might not cover, always, ALWAYS, his first words are: “I can contribute $XXX out of my personal funds if you need me to.” (I have always found a way to avoid borrowing from his personal money, though.)

    It helps that we both have very similar spending profiles. Neither of us is going to let the other one starve. We still have our joint funds, and that arrangement will continue as we go into retirement, and we will both contribute what’s needed from our retirements into our joint account, and reserve the rest for personal use.

    It also helps that I am a CPA, so money management isn’t exactly a strange idea to me, (which is why I have been able to amass quite a lot of money in my personal accounts) and my husband actually doesn’t **ever** plan to fully retire. He has a lot of hobbies that make money and that he wants to continue to do as long as he is able.

    In the end, it’s definitely a personal choice between couples, and what works for one couple won’t necessarily work for the other. If you don’t mind me giving a little anecdote….it was always my idea that all marital funds should be shared, and we did so for many years. Then, out of the blue, hubby says: I am going to open a personal checking account for my own spending. I was horrified. I was livid. I was absolutely certain he was planning to leave, and he was just being nice while he was getting ready. And then, in the middle of all the horrified-ness, it occurred to me that if **he** could open a personal account, so could **I**.

    He never left – never intended to…..and, as the story goes….we never looked back!

    And, oh, can I add one more thing? The best book I EVER read about money and personal finance was “How to Hide Money from your Husband.” Ok, I know it sounds inflammatory, but it makes the very good point that many women miss, that it’s absolutely essential to have SOME money of your own (even if you don’t have the personal accounts, etc….a sock drawer with some money stashed away is better than nothing). And the less likely you are to THINK you need it, the less likely your husband thinks you need it, the more likely you are to **actually** need it.

  • [...] set and never use the old ones again, lol.  He has officially apologized for ever having any negative thoughts about their purchase at all, [...]