One person I really need to thank for helping me through this year is my husband Aaron. Aaron is a natural saver. He’s someone who can easily live in “The World of Enough” and not have any issues with it. He manages his money well and naturally and is quite responsible about the whole thing.
Back before the Spending Fast I would be off spending gobs of money on things I didn’t need with money I didn’t have and he would pick up a shirt he liked then decide to not buy it because he had just bought something else not too long ago. That mind-set and way of thinking about money and spending money never occurred to me. I never thought about telling myself “NO” until I had to. That is until enough was enough and then things went way past being financially overwhelming and there I was thinking about and getting ready to do a Spending Fast for an entire year.
I really threw this whole Spending Fast adventure on him with NO warning and with no say. The blogging, the no spending, the change in lifestyle, everything happened at once and even within our 1st year of marriage. Nothing quite says let’s make marriage harder than a SURPRISE SPENDING FAST!! Whooo. Uh.
I guess I didn’t really think the Spending Fast would affect him that much since we don’t have a joint personal account but, uh, yeah, I was wrong about that.
We went from going to the mall and shopping and going to movies and out to dinner to having it all change. Sure, I still go (and went) to the mall but shopping and going to dinner with someone who isn’t shopping or eating dinner isn’t nearly as much fun if you’re the only one participating. Basically, it’s funner to do things with people who do them WITH you. Not just hang out with you while you do the thing. You know?
I’ve chosen to this Spending Fast and write about it along the way but Aaron’s gotten the not so good side effects of it. I have to admit, I’ve been a bit of a Mooch at times. Yes- that’s with a Capital M! More than once I’ve asked him to buy me things he normally wouldn’t. You know, like, movie tickets or clothes or I don’t know- whatever. He typically doesn’t succumb to my “charms” but just the fact that I asked was pressure for him and turned out to be annoying enough. Most of the asking I did happened in the beginning of the Spending Fast and I quickly found that it did nothing but make us both more miserable. It was sad for me when he said “No” and hard for him to keep telling me “No”.
Besides, I decided that I did choose to do this so I had to deal with the consequences. He pointed out that it would be messed up if at the end of the year I got all my debt taken care of and wiped out only to leave him with a stack of bills and debt. Yeah, that’s not what I was going for either.
I know the Spending Fast has been hard on him and at times (especially in the beginning) it’s been hard on our relationship. That’s never been something I set out to do. I never wanted to harm him or our relationship and it’s hard to think that maybe that happened even a little bit.
The $35 month allowance I gave myself to spend on/with him helped a lot. Since that was imposed I wasn’t always having to say “No… ” The-Spending-Fast-this or The-Spending-Fast-that. Which was nice. It helped me be able to continue to save and get things paid off while not hurting the relationship (as much).
SoOOOOOOOoooooOOooOOoOOOOOoooo, I would like to give a BIG and HUGE and GINORMOUS (as my niece would say) heartfelt THANK YOU! to Aaron for putting up with the Spending Fast this year.
It has been hard. It has been a pain. It has caused some grief. It has been a wily beast too. But, through it and because of it I think we will be better set up for the future. To be able to go forward without debt (!), to possibly get to experience financial independence (!) and to not owe a single cent to anyone (!) feels like a good outcome to me and I hope you agree that maybe the sometimes crappiness of the Spending Fast has at least been worth it for that.
I love you Aaron and thanks for putting up with my moochi-ness and all this.
… oh, and thanks for paying for the movie rentals the other night when they were both my picks. That was very nice of you.