Celebrating Improved Habits

Today I want to talk about a big part of my life that doesn’t get much of the spotlight around here.

My darling, love of my life, Hubs.

Sadly, all I typically talk about are his horrible feet and how much they are costing us. Not the best legacy. 😦 Time to change that.

Hubs and I met nearly 7 years ago. The last 7 years have been an excellent adventure and I love the crap out of him. With that said, my darling Hubs has always been the spender in this relationship. Since this is a money blog, I wanted to share a major shift in my home that occurred recently.

I started this blog nearly 2 years ago to chronicle my journey of paying off my student loans. This is the only real debt I’ve ever taken on. I’ve never had credit card debt and while I technically have a car loan right now, the interest rate is effectively a wash against my savings account interest. For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been cost conscious and a saver. Hubs has a different story. This is his story.

Growing up, Hubs was a spender. He had a lot of credit cards and a lot of credit card debt. Most of this debt was incurred in his quest to collect ’em all. Yes, Hubs is a collector, a collector of many things. In addition to being a collector, Hubs is also a man of convenience.  With food, he has often said, “Why should we eat at home? It takes time to make it, and time to clean it up. With all that time, we could go out to eat and be on our way.”

Limiting his collecting and increasing his inconvenience have been my greatest challenges as a frugal wife. These challenges are what I am so proudly updating today.

It’s time for an update because he’s made major progress. Maybe not even progress. Progress feels like incomplete recognition of what he’s done, he’s made major changes. Here are some of his highlights.

He started his financial transformation before I met him. He had some serious credit card debt (like $35,000!) and he faced it head on. He paid all of it off a few months before I met him.

Since he’s been in my life, my collector started selling his collection, with patience and pride. He’s realized that all of those collections are only worth what someone will pay for them. He’s also realized that if he is not enjoying them, he should sell them to someone who will enjoy them… or at least collect them. It’s been a slow mindset shift, but dollars in a bank account are now more prized than a collectable on a shelf.

My convenient man is learning the power of a little extra effort. He’s seeing our food bills and how they plummet dramatically when we eat at home. He’s also realizing that his wife is a darn good cook and can re-create most of what he wants from the restaurants at home (with the exception of Chipotle. We love you Chipotle. We can’t quit you.) Now, eating out is a treat not the norm.

My spender is holding on to the power of saving and investing. We recently had a conversation about adjusting our savings so we could shovel more money into the house fund, temporarily lowering our 401k contributions. He emphatically told me No. He won’t change his hearty 401k contribution. I was told the only direction his contribution is going is up.

My spender is also finding new ways to save or track our expenses. He sees value in places I may have missed and he’s generous where it matters. He challenges my frugality in the best possible ways and for that I am grateful.

In sum, it’s been a slow road but I am over the moon to report that I have a frugal husband.

Hubs :) In the Great Barrier Reef

Hubs 🙂 In the Great Barrier Reef during our Honeymoon

Have you seen changes in your spouse as you challenge your own financial responsibility?

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18 comments

  1. Congrats to you both! My husband and I have both made a lot of changes. And while he isn’t the spreadsheet guy, he does pretty well in the frugal camp. And he’s good at reminding me when numbers are less important than relationships or health. It’s good to have that voice of reason!

    1. Thanks Maggie. And you’re right. If we were both spreadsheet nerds, things could get tricky. The counterbalance has been comforting and fun to look at situations differently.

  2. Sadly, I must report that my “Got a problem, just throw money at it” philosophy has transferred to my husband, just as his frugality finally got to me. We’re a work in progress, but I love my financial opposite.

    1. Thanks Claudia! It’s such a big mental shift as a spouse to know your other will save and not always spend. I’ve found myself questioning him less, which I’m sure he appreciates! Ha!

  3. My husband is definitely getting more on board with my attempts at budgeting and being frugal. We are both beginners and while I may be more enthusiastic about it now, I was probably way more spendy than him before…

    1. Its all a progression. That was hard for me as the frugal spouse to recognize his journey. He came so far before I met him, but when we met he was still a spender. I know that was hard for him to not get credit for how much he changed. He went from 1-10 and I only saw 7-10. Keep trying. You’ll get there.

  4. What a lovely tribute to your husband! 🙂 My fiancé actually has really great money management skills (his dad almost became CEO of a local credit union here, so you can imagine he set him up very well with a 401(k) at age 20, and the concept of using credit healthily). Although, he knew how to manage money well & did not incur any debt – besides allocating money to his 401(k) he did not do much saving elsewhere. Since starting this journey of financial independence about a year ago, he’s suddenly found that his savings are sky rocketing & is excited to contribute to our goals! Not just a frugality aspect, but we continuously open up on conversations about money & evaluate all of our purchases (whether it will slow down, or speed up our future goals). The next big step is really combining finances prior to (or after) the wedding! We both contribute equally to bills, expenses, goals – but it would be nice to fully combine finances.

    1. Thanks Lyssa! It’s funny how some savings things click and others don’t. Usually it is people with a huge savings account and no investments. It sounds like your fiancé was the other way around!

      Tracking your progress is so important. I’m glad he’s seeing the changes. 🙂

  5. Congratulations to both you and your husband! 🙂 What a beautiful post to celebrate his accomplishments and your growth as a couple. Also, I agree about Chipotle! No matter how I try to recreate it at home, it’s impossible! Forever worth the splurge 😉

  6. What a great post! I love knowing this! The only people who can’t change are those who refuse to change, but anything is possible with the rest of us. How wonderful that your husband has changed his ways and come around to the frugal life — that will for sure shorten your timeline to early retirement!

    P.S. The broiler will work wonders to replicate that charred Chipotle goodness. 🙂

  7. Congratulations to you both. That’s wonderful to be on the same page financially. What a real achievement. My husband and I are both frugal but didn’t really realize it until we were deep into our relationship. We inspire each other to save more, it’s fun 🙂

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