We’ve tried all sorts of different things to help manage and control the spending bug that likes to bite my husband…particularly when he’s bored. My husband has been doing well with his cash budget – every week, I give him whatever amount we’ve agreed upon based on our weekly budget so he can purchase his cigarettes, any lunch out while he’s at work, or anything else that he just wants to buy with the cash he has.
But, there’s been one area where my husband has consistently wrecked all kinds of havoc on our budget and money plans…his projects. You see, my hubs is a tinker. He LOVES to fiddle, fix, build, and be creative when it comes to working with his hands and he’s a master at carpentry (you should see the amazing bed he built our oldest son – all without nails or screws!) so he likes everything to be perfect.
My husband is notorious for telling me that one of his new projects will cost XYZ but then they end up costing us five times that. It drives me insane that I have to pull money from this category and this one and even that one just to cover another project.
So, I finally had enough. I looked at Pat and said “babe, do you ever want to be 100% debt-free, have a fully-funded emergency fund, retire one day, and live out our dream of a homestead? If so, then this has to stop. So, let’s fix this before I have to start buying Ramen noodles again for dinner.”
You see, I love watching my husband deep in one of his projects. It’s such a joy to watch the man I love working with his hands creating a masterpiece knowing that this is something that he loves doing. It’s even more fun when our boys are involved helping daddy. But, I don’t love that he gets so knee deep in them that unless I want a portion of my driveway to continue to be in pieces since he already cut it up I better hand over more money.
So, here was the solution we came up – a separate checking account where we contribute a set amount from each paycheck to. This way, he has his project money and doesn’t have to ask me how much he can spend. Since I tallied up the average costs of all his projects, I determined that the minimum amount to be kept in this account would be $500.
No, I’m not kidding that’s how much his most recent project has already costs us and will still require more money to be fully completed.
We set ground rules for this account, which are that I will hold onto the debit card until he needs it for a project purchase and that there must be a minimum of $500 in the account before he can start a project.
Our hope with this account is that it will help alleviate the strain on our budget that my husband’s projects put on us. I know some of you may be saying “shouldn’t this have been in your budget to begin with?” and the truth is yes, and we were putting it into the budget when my husband would let me know that he wanted to start a project and he’d give me the amount he was planning to spend. However, as I’ve already mentioned, he’d blow that budget right out of the water and we were left scrambling to reset the budget.
So now, we’re using a checking account from Capital One 360 as our “project fund” and hopefully this will keep the money flowing the right way in our home when my husband gets bit by the project/spending bug. (We’re treating this account similar to our auto fund which you can read more about here.)
Are you married to a spender or are you a spender? What has been the solution for y’all?
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