It’s not him, it’s me


I lent my, and my family’s only, credit card here in the USA to my husband about 2 weeks ago to pay the vet. I haven’t asked for it back. Such great timing, I thought, because we decided to use cash this month, use debit if we must, and to leave the credit card at home.

There hasn’t been any transaction in that card since. So…hey…wait a minute.

Was it me? Has it always been just me? Only me who was doing the damage, err, spending?

We make joint decisions on non-grocery purchases so part of me believes I shouldn’t take the blame, but I can’t help it. I was fully aware of every transaction that appears in every statement.

Image from fotolia.com

At the beginning of our relationship, I promoted myself to money manager. He surrendered to me, you could say that. I reigned him in because I thought he spent frivolously. We introduced personal allowance, which we still practice. (By the way, it helps us feel that we have SOME control of our OWN salaries.) So now, it turns out, I need to be reigned in.

So…we’ve turned into each other before we met each other? Huh? What? Wot.

This is a big (not to mention nasty) reality to swallow, you know. I’m the budgeter for crying out loud. I really don’t know why I pushed for buying our toddler a new bike (with side supports) for $200. (Please don’t judge me!). I don’t know why I kept wanting to get take-out when the real reason was really wanting to be out and about, socializing, etc.

I’ve worked so hard since last year to be independent of credit, and yet I’m abusing it again. Just so you know, I decided to get a credit card here to “build my credit”. Being new to the country, I have no credit history and any financial institution barely “know” me. I wish I just got a miles card. I probably wouldn’t feel so bad.

Okay, just to clear, last month wasn’t exactly spend-for-shopping-for-ourselves month. A big chunk of our discretionary money went towards paying off the Visa. Spends that took place in summer just had to get paid and having waited until end of fall to do that was just a reckless decision.

So, back to spending REAL money this month, though it actually started last month. We haven’t bought take-out food nor ate out since Halloween. Wow. Really wow!

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3 thoughts on “It’s not him, it’s me

  1. I realized the same thing about myself when we filed our credit cards away. I find that I rationalize too easily if I think it’s something we “need.” Or if it’s educational, or a gift for someone else, etc, etc, etc.
    Since the change, we are (*grimace* I am) doing much better.

  2. orangelime says:

    The ONLY intention of getting the card was to build my credit. This meant I use it as though I were using our debit card. I thought I didn’t need my husband to have a handle on me. Obviously I was so wrong, and I also realized how hypocritical that was.

    Do you spend in cash or use debit cards?

    • We give ourselves each a personal allowance of $100/month. That way, we can buy things we don’t need without feeling guilty and without going over budget. We use cash for that. Every week after paying bills, I leave just enough money in our account to cover our tithe, groceries, and gas. We use debit cards for that. If we run into an emergency, I just transfer in a little money from savings or our business reserve line. That saves us from going negative in our bank account.

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