How do you make sure you spend money on yourself?

Something happened over the weekend. I still can’t quite believe it happened. Everything was in slow motion. It almost felt like I was in a movie.

Hubs and I went to the local county fair. We do it every year. We went with friends, rode some rides and had a good time. Right before it was time to leave, Hubs picked one last ride. Him and the boys went on it. The ride makes me sick so I was thankful to stay on solid ground and get some quality chat time with my BFF.

We saw them get on the ride, saw that the ride was crazy and went back to the chit chat. Then BOOM. Something flew off the ride and landed 15 feet in front of us. The non-riders started gathering and murmuring amongst themselves. What was that? Where did it land? I saw where it went so I pointed the group in the right direction but went back to talking. I hadn’t seen this friend in too long. I didn’t need to see someone’s shoe or whatever it was.

It’s a phone!

I started to pay attention. Someone lost their phone? That’s a bad day. Most of us have expensive computers in our pockets. Someone screwed up by not securing it.

The gathered group figured out where it was and the families on the ground started taking memorial passes at the shattered pieces, commenting. That could be John’s phone or That sucks. 

I was curious. I had to. I walked up to see the damage. I peered over the fence and found it. DamnitThat looks like Hubs’ phone. I tried to keep calm. He has a super common Samsung phone, so let’s not jump to conclusions.

He gets off the ride and he’s calm. That’s a good sign, I thought. But, the people on the ride didn’t know something flew off. All the families on the ground told their loved ones and there were more memorial passes. Glad that’s not my phone  and more That sucks!

Hubs checked his pockets and I’m sure you can see where this is going. It was his phone. His Samsung Galaxy S5 phone was in pieces on the concrete.

My wallet hurts.

My mind started running over what was going to happen next. He needs a phone. Maybe not a fancy phone, but a some sort of smart phone. Talk and Text, yup. Web, probably! He uses email on his phone all the time. My brain kept thinking This is going to be at least $300. 

And then things got really passive aggressive. Let’s walk through it.

I started thinking that he needs to pay for this. He’s the one that screwed up. He should buy the new phone. But what good does that do? All our money is joint. There is no “he” pays for it. We pay.

Then I thought, he’s been complaining about his phone for the last few months, asking to get a new one. This one still worked so we held off, but now he gets to get a new phone. He’s getting what he wants because he screwed up. That doesn’t seem fair.

What about what I want? I’ve conditioned myself to be very careful with my money. The night before the incident I was looking at cross stitch patterns. I’m making a Harry Potter gift for my sister and for a couple extra dollars, I can get the pattern for all the Hogwarts Houses. What I want is $13, but I saw that the shop has sales so I followed it on instagram and Facebook, hoping to find a coupon. He gets a new phone because he screwed up and I wait to spend $13. I only have until the end of September to make it, so waiting could be problematic! Damnit, I’m going to buy that cross stitch and all the floss I need to make it. Maybe even one of those fancy floss organizers!

But why should I stop at that? He gets his greatest pain point relieved because he screwed up, why can’t I spend the same amount he gets to spend. Heck, why can’t I buy all the things? He’s always been the spendy piece of this relationship. When is it my time to blow money on stuff?

Maybe it is time for me to blow money on stuff. Clearly, me waiting for a 25% coupon off $13 is a waste of my time. I spend all this time and effort keeping our bills low, challenging every one, and he goes on a ride, screws up and gets a new phone. What’s the point of all my efforts? I pinch to pay for him to be irresponsible?

But I don’t want to be irresponsible. I don’t want to blow money just to blow money. I’ve worked really hard to get where I am financially. I’ve trained myself to go without, to control my lifestyle. All of my passive aggressive thoughts (and the aggressive ones too) would only turn the ship another direction with lifestyle inflation. Do I need to buy the cross stitch? Yes. Do I need to find ways to spend $300 because he gets to spend that much? no.

Do I have my spending toned down too much? Maybe. But I’m not quite sure how to fix it. I don’t want to be impulsive. When I see something I want, I put it on the waitlist. Then I wait. Sometimes I buy it, but most often, I can go without. I’ve tried giving myself a spending budget. Heck, I even have a special account I’m supposed to spend. But the money keeps building up. Eventually, I transfer it to another account and start over. The current balance in my Kate Must Spend account is $20.01. I’ve had accounts like these for probably 10 years and I can’t remember a time when I ever took money from it.

*shrugs* I don’t know what to do.

A broken phone caused a lot of things to run through my head. Most of them were filled with passive aggression and lifestyle inflationary thoughts. None of it was fun.

How do you make sure you spend money on yourself? Do you have any recommendations for affordable Android phones? Help.

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6 comments

  1. I don’t like spending money on technology either, and when I do, I look for the most affordable item that can last me a few years, at least. That means I don’t go for higher end models and am okay with second hand stuff, as long as they work properly. There are plenty of android phones in the market, and if you want something on the cheaper side, there’s a Chinese company that makes them – I wont mention the brand name here coz I don’t want to promote them, but I’ll give you a hint, it starts with H. Good luck 🙂 and don’t feel guilty about being frugal…

  2. I see your viewpoint. Maybe though we as women deny ourselves too much. I know I do! Children always come first, then husband, and then me. It just means you are a good wife and mom. On the other hand he really didn’t mean to do it. You have thank goodness it didn’t hurt anyone when it flew out!

  3. I relate to this so much, it’s not even funny.

    My husband is so clumsy and careless and it costs us a lot (went through a ton of phones for a few years, current thing is small speeding fines, hate those tickets!)

    It sucks that I’m frugal, responsible, AND make most of the money, while he’s spendy and earns, well, not a lot. I’ve had all of those thoughts you articulate.

    For various reasons we have moved away from totally joint finances. Given our money styles we needed SOME separation. It’s better when he has some he is wholly responsible for and accountable for – including times like these.

    Is phone insurance worth it for him?

  4. Ugh, I’m so sorry! What a lame situation to be in. It you set aside a few bucks a month though, you can probably get as much floss as you want without waiting on a regular basis, especially since your desires are a little more low key.

    You could also check eBay for old phones. People sell them when they upgrade sometimes and there’s nothing wrong with them.

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