Ode to My Frugal Wife

valentine

Last week, a friend confided in me about his financial problems. He and his wife were living paycheck to paycheck and had many credit card bills piling up. He said that he talked to his wife about budgeting and cutting things like cable and eating out, but she wasn’t on board with doing those things. She didn’t understand why they had to make those “sacrifices” and said that they deserved some of the nicer things in life since they work hard. He was also stressed about what to get his wife for her birthday. She reminded him that it better be a NICE present, since she got him an expensive present for Christmas.

Having this conversation made me realize how lucky and fortunate I am that my wife and I are on the same page when it comes to our finances, especially since money issues are one of the main causes of stress in marriages. While my friend’s wife refuses to cut expenses and make a budget, my wife understands that we do it because we want to secure our family’s financial future. While my friend’s wife thinks that getting rid of cable and going out to eat less means deprivation and sacrifice, my wife recognizes that that is not always the case and that you can live rich cheaply.

As it is almost Valentine’s day, let me list just a few of the many reasons that I love about my frugal wife:

-I love that my wife thought that it was cute when I made her a homemade card for Valentine’s day when we were dating.

-I love that my wife thought it was sweet last Valentine’s day when I sent her a photo montage showing our journey together (the photo montage was set to the song “Best Day of My Life”).

-I love that my wife is fine with me not buying flowers on Valentine’s day…the prices are always jacked up.

-I love that my wife is fine if we do not celebrate Valentine’s day on that specific day…restaurant prices are also jacked up and service is poor because they’re so busy.

-I love that she enjoys taking walks with me

-I love that she knows that the amount of money I spend on her gift does not reflect how much I love and care for her.

-I love that she recognizes that a thoughtful inexpensive gift is better than a thoughtless expensive gift.

-I love that when we go out to eat, she doesn’t mind that we use coupons.

-I love that my wife does not worship expensive brands, but prefers quality items.

-I loved that when my co-workers shamed me for being frugal during Christmas, my wife and I were able to share a few laughs. My co-workers teased me for not being romantic and told me to immediately go to Tiffany’s or face the wrath of a disappointed and angry wife. They also told me that I was supposed to get a present from my then 5-month old son for my wife, but that I need not worry my cheap frugal self because this gift, unlike my gift, didn’t have to be extravagant. (Gee thanks…maybe I won’t have to raid my son’s college fund to pay for it). Well they must not know my wife that well, because she places our financial future above material goods.

I love that my wife did not demand a push present even though she probably deserved one. I mean she had an unintended homebirth and delivered our son by herself. If you don’t believe me, you can check the birth certificate where it says her name next to “attendant at birth.”

Maybe I’m not the “sweep-you-off-your feet” romantic type of guy. We’re both probably too practical for that anyway. But we try to “outlove” each other and constantly make an effort to love the other more and to make each other happy. Fortunately, we’ve also realized that buying material things and spending a lot of money doesn’t necessarily bring happiness. We work together as a team to get to the same goals. It would be much more difficult to attain our financial goals if we weren’t on the same page working together.

So even though I don’t say it enough…I love you Mrs. Living Rich Cheaply! Happy Valentine’s Day!

46 thoughts on “Ode to My Frugal Wife

  1. Brian @ Debtless in Texas

    This is awesome, the Mrs. sounds like a keeper! It makes life so much easier when your husband/wife is on board with the cutting of the spending. It took my wife getting pregnant to get our financial house in order and she couldn’t be happier about. In fact, she lets me do whatever I want with the finances…which means cutting everywhere possible. I hope your Mrs. reads the blog and sees how awesome she is and how much you appreciate her. Wives like ours are hard to come by, they should be cherished like the gems that they are – but that doesn’t mean wasting a bunch of cash on stupid stuff.
    Brian @ Debtless in Texas recently posted…Preparing for a Baby Without Breaking the BankMy Profile

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    1. livingrichcheaply@gmail.com Post author

      Thanks Brian! Congrats on the upcoming baby and glad you guys got your financial house in order! Having a little one can be stressful at times…wouldn’t want to have financial conflicts as well! Of course, I told the Mrs to read this post! haha. You’re right, wives like ours are hard to come…so we are very lucky!

      Reply
    1. livingrichcheaply@gmail.com Post author

      Thanks John! You right and I definitely think frugal and romantic may be even better. Being frugal is harder and you have to be more creative whereas spending lots of money is easy in some sense.

      Reply
  2. Tonya@Budget and the Beach

    Awe I love that! You are SO right in that not being on the same page can be a major stressor in relationships! I had one old co-worker who used to have a hissy fit if her husband didn’t treat her like royalty on her birthday, valentine’s day, etc. Eventually he cheated on her. Not excusing that, but there has to be a mutual level of appreciation, and open dialog when it comes to finances…and expectations.
    Tonya@Budget and the Beach recently posted…How a Friend Helped Me Save $20,000My Profile

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    1. livingrichcheaply@gmail.com Post author

      Thanks Tonya! I don’t understand the hissy fit…sure those holidays may be important but it ultimately is just one day. I would assume they had deeper issues too.

      Reply
  3. Felix Money

    I agree with you that it’s important to be on the same page with your spouse. We have cut the cable, and we try to save where we can. We are both embarked together on this journey of financial independence, I’m so lucky too. The stress of living paycheck to paycheck is not worth the pretty things.
    Felix Money recently posted…It’s Random Rant Time!My Profile

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    1. livingrichcheaply@gmail.com Post author

      Just read an article on Yahoo where the couple weren’t on the same page but still made it work. I think it’s difficult though. I think the couple in the article both had high incomes which is probably the only reason it kind of works.

      Reply
  4. Shannon @ The Heavy Purse

    Awwww … what a great love letter to your wife, Andrew. I am a fan of Valentine’s Day but Chris and I have a same mindset towards money and love. We enjoy Valentine’s Day as a fun day and don’t take too seriously. He and I both know the money we spend on each other isn’t indicative of our love for one another. It always makes me sad when I see people who believe that and I feel for your friend.
    Shannon @ The Heavy Purse recently posted…Let’s Talk TaxesMy Profile

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    1. livingrichcheaply@gmail.com Post author

      It really is sad when people believe that the amount spent is indicative of their love…it’s just not a healthy perspective on money.

      Reply
  5. Laurie @thefrugalfarmer

    Awww, so sweet!!! You guys are two peas in a pod. Just yesterday, Rick emailed me to say that his friend had asked if we wanted to join them at the annual RV and camping show in town. Citing busyness and “frugalness”, I emailed back and asked if he’d be disappointed if we didn’t go. He answered: “You mean I have to avoid the 45 minute drive AND not spend any money? Not disappointed at all.” :-) Frugal rocks, especially when it’s done together, LOL.
    Laurie @thefrugalfarmer recently posted…Gardening for Beginners: Helpful TipsMy Profile

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    1. livingrichcheaply@gmail.com Post author

      Thanks Amanda! It does make gift giving much less stressful, both mentally and on the wallet. Not to make generalizations, but for some reason it seems like men are generally the ones who are expected to spend a lot on gifts.

      Reply
    1. livingrichcheaply@gmail.com Post author

      You’re right, it is no surprise that money matters are the main cause of stress in marriages.

      Reply
  6. Done by Forty

    I was telling our insurance agent that my wife wants to spend money acquiring assets (houses) rather than any other ‘thing’, and he told me I was a blessed man. It really is the best thing: having a partner who wants to create the same kind of life as you do.

    I think, in some ways, it’s not really any big problem to have two people who are spendy, either. So long as it’s within their means, why not live it up if that’s what they both truly want?
    Done by Forty recently posted…Central Europe Travel HackMy Profile

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    1. livingrichcheaply@gmail.com Post author

      Yes, it no doubt is a blessing! I think a couple with a good income who like to spend, but within their means, can work fine too. I know some couples who do very well financially so they can afford to live what they consider a luxurious life…to each their own. However, if FI is their goal, than you can’t go wrong with being frugal.

      Reply
  7. EL @ Moneywatch101

    Great story and yes its nice to have a frugal partner. I wonder what happened to those people growing up who constantly want brand name things? It makes life simpler and less stressful to be on the same page. Congrats to her she is very brave delivering the kid at home by herself.
    EL @ Moneywatch101 recently posted…The Dividend ChallengeMy Profile

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    1. livingrichcheaply@gmail.com Post author

      I’m sure many of those who grew up wanting brand names still want that…and are no where near FI.

      Reply
  8. Emily @ Simple Cheap Mom

    This was such a sweet list! As a frugal wife, these things are nice to hear and I’m glad that I hear things like this around my house too.

    Mrs. LivingRichCheaply: bravo for bringing your son into the world yourself. You deserve more than a push present, you deserve a metal (I actually think all mom’s deserve a metal for going through pregnancy, labour, delivery (by whatever means), but yours should be a different colour!)
    Emily @ Simple Cheap Mom recently posted…Early Retirement Extreme isn’t Our GoalMy Profile

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    1. livingrichcheaply@gmail.com Post author

      Thanks Emily! Glad that the Mister gives you those well deserved compliments…and yes, I agree with you on getting a metal!

      Reply
  9. Jon

    Loved your article as my wife and I are also on the same page you guys are and that is exactly why we get to travel with our kids and stay debt free while creating lasting memories that we all will cherish our entire lives. Isn’t it a blessing to not feel obligated to outspend others? Congrats to you and your wife!
    Jon recently posted…The Key to a Successful BudgetMy Profile

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    1. livingrichcheaply@gmail.com Post author

      Thanks Jon! Glad you and your wife are also the same page. You really can lead an amazing and blessed life when you work together towards the same goals…no need to outspend each other!

      Reply
    1. livingrichcheaply@gmail.com Post author

      Thanks! Yes, money and debt can often cause stress in a marriage…so it’s wonderful when you work together to get rid of debt and, in turn reduce stress.

      Reply
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