Yesterday, I wrote how my wife's friend getting married is a sudden expense for us. If you haven't read that article I highly suggest you do, or this article might seem out of place. I got an amazing amount of comments on that post, I want to take a moment to thank everyone who took the time to share their thoughts.
I mentioned yesterday that this expense is likely to be a minimum of $1800. It could easily run as much as $2500. Though my wife makes a very good income, my income has dropped in the last few months as I try to start up a variety of small businesses.
During the discussions of this with my wife, I went to what I do, logical arguments. I started to calculate how many friends she has and what the costs would be if half of them decided to get married. While that's an unrealistic expectation, it would hurt our financial goals. As I thought about it more, this is one situation where thinking logically isn't helpful for me. Behind the scenes I realize that it's more about these psychological factors:
- The value of a dollar is different for me than my wife. In the past, my wife and I earned similar incomes. This lead us to keep our finances separate. Keeping our finances the same seemed the easiest and most practical thing to do. We automate some money into a joint account each month and pay common expenses from that. With my lowered income, this expense would be more than I make in a month. Thinking about paying more than a month's income this suddenly is causing me some stress. When I look at it from my wife's point of view, I imagine that she'd find it still expensive, but not to the point of causing her stress.
- I'm no longer like everyone else. Well no one is really like everything (or anyone) else. However, I'm different than many other people in that I write about money everyday. As part of that, I'm trying to make the conscious effort to be as frugal as possible.
Yesterday I mentioned that this has the potential to completely change how we feel about money. While keeping our finances separate worked in the past, it might be time to think about combining our finances. I think this would alleviate some of the stress spending money gives me.
As for the decision to go to Spain, I think we are leaning towards going later this year. We'll be better able to manage costs at that point. This would give us the opportunity to spend more time with the couple. It would also allow us to plan a vacation of things that we want to do. My wife wouldn't be able to ask for the time off for another week, so we've got some more time to think about it. It may turn out to be a moot point by then with airfare and hotels likely to rise.
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