Thursday, September 29, 2011

{a fancy phone and a reasonable bike}

Times aren't like they used to be. If you haven't noticed, we're in a recession my friends, which is why the hubs and I have decided to start a budget of sorts. Do we follow it 100% of the time? No...but still, we try not to go crazy with our money, which is why I decided that it would be prudent if we only spent $100 on birthday presents this year. Normally, I wouldn't have set the bar that high in the first place (I know, I know, I'm cheap, although I prefer frugal) but I really, really wanted a new bike. Not a fancy bike you get from the legit bike stores. No, all I wanted was the Huffy on sale for $75 at Target. I'm not entering any races, nor do I plan on doing any hard core off-roading. I just wanted a bike to take out on a cool, summer evening after work now and then, and getting a little exercise while I was at it was just an added bonus. (Also, I haven't had a bike in years since my dad sold my old one at a yard sale my first year of college.)

The week prior to my birthday, I had strategically placed the ads for the bike around the house where I knew the hubs would see them, and I made sure he knew to get the bike while it was on sale, so we could stick to our budget. I was even more excited when I got the bike a few days before my birthday (yay, early birthday presents!) and rode it up and down our street, like a 7 year old, riding a new bike for the first time. All that was missing were the glittery tassels, but accessories weren't in the budget. forward to tonight. When the hubs got home from school, he ran upstairs, and gave me a big kiss. I had just sat down at the computer to start a blog (who knew our pending conversation would be fodder for a blog post), when he handed me his old phone, with a big grin on his face and said, "Here, it's yours!"

I guess I should rewind just a little bit. You see, when I asked the hubs what he wanted for his birthday, he told me he wanted a new phone. He said it was only $150, and at first, I was like, "Nuh-uh...that's over the budget amount! My bike was only $75!" He told me that there was a $50 mail in rebate, so technically it was only $100 and he said he'd also use the extra $80 he got from family towards it, so I gave in and told him he could get the new phone. Plus, let's be honest...I knew I would get his current phone, which is a heckufa lot nicer than my li'l blackberry, so it seemed like a win-win situation. Okay, so fast forward back to tonight.

So he gives me his old phone, and I say, "Oooh, let's see your new one!" He proceeds to take this freaking nice, fancy new phone out of his phone holder and suddenly, all I can focus on is the new holder.

"Oh! Uh, you got a new phone holder too?"
"Yeah, but they gave me a really good deal on it. It was only like $25."

At this point, I'm thinking, "Well, the phone was $150 and the holder was $25, so that's not that bad. I mean, our budget was $100 and he used his extra birthday money on the difference...

Then he says, "Yeah, I got a new car charger too and had the guy at the mall put a protector shield on the face."

At this point, all I can ask is, "Well how much was that?" (Remember, I'm frugal)

"Oh, like $45 or so......" I'm sure he started to see the steam rising from my ears.

"Wait, so did you put this all on the debt card? What happened to your birthday cash? Did you just deposit it?"

"No, the phone was $175 with tax, and I used the debit card on that, and I used my cash for the accessories."

"WHA?! So you spent $250 on your birthday present?!"

At this point, all I can do is shake my head and laugh because I'm seriously baffled. I feel like I'm being punked. Here's why- I'm the type that thinks, "Hey, if I want a $100 gift and I was given $80 extra, I'll use it towards my gift so we don't have to spend the entire budget!" Instead of, "Yay! An extra $80 to spend on more presents!" Is it a woman thing? I guess I'm just more responsible that way, but lemme just tell you how frustrated I was! I couldn't believe he would have the nerve to spend that much money on a phone! Before I could get too mad, I just shook my head and stared straight ahead with a blank face. That was he cue to slowly back away and let me cool off.

At first, I was so mad, I couldn't even stand it. I mean, we're on a budget! I didn't get my bike PLUS new accessories (i.e. tassels). Just the bike. From Target. For $75. Seriously? After about 15 mintues of fuming, I slowly started to cool down. The more I thought about it, I had to give him the benefit of the doubt. I mean, the hubs doesn't go out and buy things all the time, nor does he get mad if we're out and I want to spend $25 on soap from Bath & Body Works. Then again, I also feel like sometimes he's generous like that because hes building up points toward something to buy for himself (aka a fancy phone with all the bells and whistles). Seriously though, the phone with the rebate will only come out to be about $125 (even though that's still over budget) and the extra money he got for his birthday was his to spend, but still...does anyone else see my point? Are there any other women out there who feel the same as me, in that you feel like you are the responsible, reasonable one? Heck, had I known how this would pan out, I would've gotten the nice, upgraded $150 Huffy! Okay, I probably would have still gotten the one on sale, but tomorrow, I'm going out and buying myself some glittery tassels....


cathycan said...

lol, "glittery tassels" hehehe

paula said...

Oh girl...I feel your pain! I have the same "problem" with my hubs. Be glad your hubs is spending his on electronics though instead of CRAP like soda and cigarettes. It seriously pisses me off SO BAD!

nsolady said...

Yes to the tassels, but don't forget to get that new cushy seat cover too. You'll need it for the long rides you are going to take on that "bargain" bike. I assume you have a matching helmet already??? What you gonna do? Men just act like little boys and then give you that silly little grin and expect you to forgive and more importantly forget... immediately. Good luck and good shopping.

Katie said...

This story made me laugh because it sounds just like me and my husband only he's the responsible one and I'm the one always spending more money than I should. Just pat yourself on the back for being the one in your relationship; someone has to do it.:) By the way I'm friends with Laura H. and I read your blog cause I think you're funny(hope you don't mind).

Laura said...

Um, did you just steal this post from my blog? Hahaha. Seriously, this is exactly my life, too. It's amazing how DEAD ON this whole story is! I get a cheap thing, he gets something 2x more expensive, and then I sit around, mad, but at the same time, feeling guilty for being mad b/c I spent $20 at kohls the other week.
You know, when all is said and done, I love reading posts like this b/c it makes me feel like we're all in the boat together!
I do say this, though -- Gavin is MUCH more frugal than he was when we first got married. My frugality has rubbed off on him little by little... maybe when we are oldies we'll finally be on the same page! :)
Miss you!

Anonymous said...

Chill out..Your his wife not his mom...Sometimes you have to pick your battles. Are you he HAPPY..yes! I have been married over 30 years, he needs you to be happy for him..he needs you to love that HE is happy. If you went out and bought a darling basket or tassels for your bike you wouldn't starve, and I am sure steam would NOT come out of his ears. Make him feel good about his purchase..not guilty. He loves YOU..That is way more important than him going over budget!!! If this was a daily thing, then this would be a sounds like it isn't. You are a lucky lady..and he is a very lucky man!

Shan @ Design Gal said...

Anonymous- while I agree with you that I am not his mother, my point in writing this was that there is usually one person in a relationship that feels they need to be the responsible one. Yes, I was happy he got his phone, however, shouldn't he also be looking out for my happiness? It's a two way street. You're right, we won't starve if he goes over budget every now and then. Either way, I don't think you got my point, and that's fine.

McCall said...

Anonymous - How do you know this is not the battle she picked?? Maybe he does do it all the time and this was the last straw. You don't know so, don't comment next time. And for the record, you clearly missed the point. A budget is for TWO people and when one is following and the other is not, feelings get hurt and the budget is pointless. It should've been discussed prior to buying the $250 phone. I'm sure all is well now and lessons where learned.

If you can't say something nice, and in your own name, don't say anything at all.

Katie said...

Andrew's a good guy and I'm sure he didn't mean to hurt you, but I can totally relate. It hurts when you've decided something together and the other person doesn't follow through. For a moment, and longer if we let it, it feels like betrayal. Every major financial decision should be discussed beforehand. And, yes, $250 is major--especially with what you guys are going through right now and the finances you may need.

This is how couples learn and grow together. Discuss it and hopefully it won't happen too many more times (I'd say it won't happen again but I never learn things on the first go-around).

Love you, girl.

{B} said...

Sounds like John. Let's go splurge on dinner just the two of us. Soon. :)

pollydove said...

Shannon ... as I read this, it totally reminded me of McCall and Jared. I am pretty sure he has done this exact same thing a time or two and McCall feels the same way. Then I read her comment - she is funny! All I can say about this is that budgeting is hard. BOO to those of us who have to budget anyway right?!?! ;)