Friday, March 13, 2009
Do you and your significant other have the same spending style? For the most part, Tom and I do. This helps avoid a lot of stress in our relationship.
Neither of us goes for fancy things. I’m not saying I don’t drool when I see a granite countertop or my neighbor’s new windows that actually open and close, but aside from an obsession with “house stuff,” I’m not a big spender. You know about my thrift store jaunts and dumpster diving. And when it comes to clothes, I’d rather wait 6 months and wear a knock-off than be on the cutting edge.
Our charitable giving is also aligned. We love to give money away. Oops, I bet there is some Internet troll-like thing that scours the Net for the words, “We love to give money away.” Before my in box starts filling up with messages about somebody’s poor uncle Jed or Mrs. Mary Williams in Africa let me just say we already have designated charities we support.
However, when it comes to two areas we differ. Electronics and Legos. I would be content to use my TV/VCR combo, while Tom has jumped on the crazy and possibly fleeting bandwagon of DVD’s, HDTV, DV-R and goodness knows what else! You can read about his hilarious encounter with his Blackberry here. Okay, so maybe it’s not a bandwagon, but you saw what happened to Beta and 8-track tapes. I’d just hate to jump into anything too soon.
We also differ when it comes to Legos. You may hear that girls are more expensive than boys, but in our house that isn’t true. For Molly’s birthday, we can barely figure out what to get her. Her room is already filled with tchochkes, and her idea of a good time is to line up little slips of paper and play school with her stuffed animals.
Her tastes are not expensive, b/c she doesn’t discriminate between Swarovski Crystal and a cotton ball rich in sentimental value. Her wallet is full (although I do borrow from it from time to time), and her Wal-Mart and Target gift cards sit unused, taunting me from the pile of rubble that is her room.
Jake, however, is always plotting his next Lego purchase. Birthdays are a Lego explosion around here. When I wonder aloud to Tom if there is such a thing as Too Many Legos, he gives me a blank stare. I guess it’s the equivalent of asking him if one could have too many baseball cards.
When I point out that our latest acquisition of Lego Café Corner, retail $139.99, could buy 1.5 pregnant goats through The Heifer Project or enough mosquito netting for a small village, I am looked at as a spoilsport.
Yet, if we journey back two Christmases ago, let’s see who was spoiling the sport….
We had purchased Molly an American Girl Doll named Samantha. The week before Christmas we got a call from our local toy store that out of 1,400 entries, I had WON another American Girl doll! Talk about a girl’s Christmas dreams coming true (Molly’s, not mine…really).
The first thing Tom asked me was, “You’re going to return the first doll, right?” Hell, no. Let’s not penalize the girl for my good fortune! I stood my ground, we ended up keeping both dolls, and of course Molly is now back to playing with cotton balls and q-tips.
So I’m wondering, in these days of belt-tightening and reprioritizing, which are just nice ways of saying the crappy economy, how do you spend, how do you save? If you are married, how do you and your spouse deal with different spending styles?