I’m getting ready to update our one-income budget post like I do every year, but before I do I have to explain a really, really, really important part of budgeting.
You see, I receive more comments, emails, and questions regarding this post than I do on any other post all year long and one of the questions I get often with this post is….about my husband’s cigarettes.
Of course, some folks feel that it is their duty to educate me on how bad smoking is….which yes, I already know and I promise you my husband does too. Others don’t understand why I allow my husband to smoke because I should just “force him to stop”.
Here’s the thing, I can’t possibly force my husband to do anything. He could pretend to stop smoking for my benefit so I could feel gratification that I won and he’s no longer smoking but I’ve seen what happens to couples in that exact situation.
You see as any smoker knows, they can’t stop smoking unless they want to. So no matter how many times I tell my husband to quit he’s not going to until he wants to and if he stops for me because I’m forcing him to, he’ll just end up hiding the fact that he’s still smoking from me.
Then the other question I get about this is, “couldn’t that money be put to better use somewhere else in the budget”? In other words, couldn’t we just apply that $120 a month towards our debt-payoff plan or emergency fund?
Yes, that money could be put to better use than slowly killing my husband, but here’s the deal. If we stop including cigarettes in our budget and my husband tries to hide the fact that he’s smoking from me we’ve introduced secrets in our marriage which I’m convinced is worse than a mistress because it leads to many other destructive behaviors in a marriage.
And if we stop including cigarettes in our budget and start applying that money elsewhere like towards our emergency fund, we’ll end up $120 short every single month.
Why? Because my husband is a smoker – he’s addicted. He’s been smoking since he was 15 years old – that’s over half his life and unless he truly wants to quit, he’s not quitting anytime soon so he’s still going to smoke and therefore our budget would be wrecked every month.
Trust me, I don’t like that line item in our budget but without it, our budget fails.
This is the part of budgeting that most folks fail at – the vice or habit part. You see, we all have something, something that we all enjoy or want to do and if we don’t include it in our budget, our budgets will be wrecked every month. Sure, your or your spouse’s vice or habit might not be smoking but maybe it’s a Starbucks or Target habit. If your Starbucks habit isn’t in your budget you’ll wreck it time and time again.
Related post: 7 Reasons Why Your Budget Isn’t Working
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