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 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!