Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Disposable Income

For the first time since last November or December, K has to watch what he's spending. The long-term contract he's been working on has come to an end, and other than a paycheck that he thinks (!) he's owed, he's got no money coming in for the next few weeks. He has another job scheduled to start in two weeks, though, at a pretty fat weekly salary, and is confident in his options for work after that, so he's not panicking, but he is going to have to watch himself more than he usually does for a little bit. He returned the iPhone he bought; there's an extra $400, right there (though he spent about the same amount yesterday on the new pair of glasses he's been needing for months and months and finally had a chance to buy). He means to save money for these sorts of inevitabilities--the couple of weeks one spends between jobs as a freelancer--but for whatever reason (believe me, I wish I knew what it is), he doesn't. He's not going to be delinquent on rent or be unable to feed himself or anything, but he's going to have to make conscious decisions about money for awhile.

This morning, leaving the house, I said, "I'm jealous that you get to sleep late." He responded, "I'm jealous that you get to make money."

I wonder if this will change his future outlook. I'm optimistic that it might, I suppose, but then again, he's had these periods before and not altered his behavior afterwards. He knows my help (budgeting & setting up savings accounts & whatnot) is available if he wants it, though, and I'd be super-thrilled if he'd take me up on it. Otherwise, I'm staying out of it and not getting too pushy.

7 comments:

Mrs. Micah said...

Yeah, unless you have a combined income you really can't do more than offer. I do most of the financial legwork (which I like) but my husband knows that by having me do it he has to stick to what I decide, or participate if he wants to modify it. Works fine because he'll participate if he cares.

Kim said...

Smart move. I'm going through the same thing trying to encourage organizing ;) But yeah, I think that unless your financial state depends on each other's, it's best to let each other do thinks your own way. If that makes sense...

Anonymous said...

This English major (with an MA in Literature and ABD in Rhetoric) has these two bits of wisdom to repeat. Take them as you wish:

1. Men enter a relationship expecting the women to never change, yet she does. Women enter a relationship expecting the man to change, yet he never does.

2. Paraphrased from **The Millionaire Next Door**: One key attribute of millionaires is that their spouses are almost always on the exact same page with regard to the value and importance of personal finance and savings. There are no serious conflicts with savings goals and methods; rather, there is agreement, cooperation, and mutual support.

Dasha said...

I have to agree and sympathize with you. My partner has significant savings and I am not thrilled with how he is investing them, but other than making it clear that I am willing to talk to him about this and help do any research necessary, I don't feel like I can tell him what to do. As long as there is no debt on his side, I'm happy :)

plonkee said...

I don't know about anyone else, but I find it much easier to improve other peoples finances than my own. I'm guessing its an extension of 'the grass is always greener'.

Andrea said...

My live-in boyfriend is the same way. He makes tonnes of money (especially compared to me who just stopped being a student 5 months ago), but he also spends it like he's always going to have it.

He's a freelancer as well, but it's been over a year since he's had any "between contract" time, so he's never really got to worry about not having money, just that sometimes he has to wait to get paid for something that he's already finished.

We were discussing personal finance with a friend just a few days ago and he joked about how in 5 years I'd have my student debts paid and still have a down payment for a house, and he'd be broke despite the fact that he makes 5 times as much as I do. Which I don't think is very far off.....

Jeff said...

I dunno...didn't returning the iPhone entail some kind of penalty? And a freelancer hasta have a phone.
It's the $400 glasses I don't get. Those must be great glasses!