Hello, I hope you had a good weekend. Ours was pretty low key and like always, we had a talk about the “budget” issue. If my darling husband is reading this, I don’t want him to take it the wrong way. I am just “ruminating” out loud, no judgement or complaint, just curious about what other people do.

I am talking about the issue of buying things for yourself or doing things on your own that cost money. How do you find the balance between giving your loving, working husband what he wants and needs in terms of time away from home for hobbies and himself vs having the same for yourself?

It is hard to find the balance and impossible for it to be “fair” without spending all your dosh. But basically Brian has a few hobbies but they cost a lot of money in the long run. Golf is $70 a round and he wants to get in as many rounds as possible, that price excludes food or drink on the course. Skiing is also $70 a lift ticket, again excluding gas, food etc. And then there is beer ($20 a case) and scotch ($40-$80+ a bottle). Now don’t start judging and thinking my DH has a drinking problem, he doesn’t. He has an appreciation for the good things problem! I repeat he does not have a drinking problem so pack up your judge suitcase and take it elsewhere.

I’m not saying he doesn’t deserve to have these things, and I know he works hard to get them. But that’s the problem isn’t it? Stay at home mom is the most under-valued, under-paid, under-appreciated, under-respected but most rewarding job on the planet. So how do you find room in the budget for yourself when you “don’t work”, “don’t contribute” as society seems to see it and define it? How do you justify saying no to the working man so you can say yes to yourself?

I wonder does this problem occur often in the reverse (i.e. man giving up so woman can have)? And how prevalent is it in families where both parents work? Do mom’s always take a backseat on themselves so that their family can have things?

I know what you are going to say, “you shouldn’t have to justify it” but I do, and he does too. It is stereotypical to say but woman are just more empathetic and sympathetic and have an easier time understanding others so unfortunately it is easier for a man to justify his wants to a woman than the reverse. I find it impossible to justify anything frivolous for myself on our tight budget unless I truly need it. For example, fabric to complete a gift for a family member, new jeans because the old one have a hole in the thigh, those are easy to spend on. It’s the just because I want it things that are hard.

Like this weekend, my brother in law send me a link for a RIDICULOUS good deal on a tablet computer. But then Brian says “why” and all could think is “because I want it and it would be fun!” Reasons enough? Maybe. Did I get it? No.

So should I start asking, “Why do you think you should get to spend $$ on _____?” I do sometimes and, like I said, I am easy to convince.

And like I said earlier (darling husband if your listening) I’m just talking not ANYTHING else. I am very happy, of course, but I might also like to change. Mostly, I want to know:

How do you find the balance of budget in your marriage?
How do you say “yes” without feeling resentful?
How do you say “no” without feeling guilty?
How do you get what you want without having to convince your family?


About the author: Leslie Brooks is a Calgary parenting blogger at www.RuffRuminations.com and the master mind at Hippo Hug, a line of beautiful and innovative weighted blankets that she hand makes. She writes about the typical and not so typical adventures she gets up to with her young son, husband and two dogs with frequent outings to local family fun spots. She will give you her no nonsense opinion on the experience.  Leslie has been featured on Family Fun Calgary, Sober Julie and Dinner with Julie. When she isn’t wrangling her little Spiderman into a trip to the pharmacy she can be found behind a sewing machine, a book or laptop; reading creating and learning.


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  1. In this household he uses the disposable income and I don’t. He is naturally a spender and I’m a saver (who never gets to save). I don’t know if it’s a gender thing but I think it was how we were brought up. He was given everything and never heard no. I never really heard no either but I simply didn’t ask.

    It’s been this way when we both worked, I stayed home and he stayed home. It infuriates me but it also is t worth the fights. I’ve learnt to adapt by putting cash aside for when I really want things so I’m not disappointed when the bank has run out

  2. Um, what???
    Your budget is not that tight if your family can afford expensive hobbies like golf, skiing and fancy drinking……..
    You have just as much right to frivolous things as he does… nobody NOBODY needs all those things your husband is spending money on….
    You have just as much right as he. Don’t let him make you feel guilty, that is so manipulative. You really don’t have to justify, if he can do his stupid golf, you can get your tablet. What you need to learn is assertiveness, there are many resources on the internet.
    We had the same problem in my family. My husband has 2 very expensive collection/hobbies. I have a pricey but not nearly as expensive hobby. Whenever he complains about mine, I bring up his, end of discussion. Your husband and his needs are not more important than your own. This whole “the mother should sacrifice everything for her family” BS is extremely misogynistic.

  3. Our roles are reversed on my end. My hubby used to be the breadwinner, but now I am. Works for us, and I prefer it that way. We have 4 kids.
    Whenever we feel the need to buy something for ourselves (new shoes, device, etc.) We always discuss it. If we can afford it, we buy it. If we can’t, then It’s a no-go.

    I think at the end of the day, the question is how does your spouse view your role as the stay-at-home parent? This is generally speaking by the way. No judgement. Some spouses feel they do more, thus deserve more..then it becomes, what are you willing to accept?
    Personally, your partner is or should be your equal. If doing something for yourself is something you need (which we do), then maybe he should be allowed 1 hobby (I.e golf) and you should be allowed 1 item/activity of equal financial value. It’s only fair.
    If he doesn’t get it, then maybe he should stay home and try your job for a week (if he’ll even last that long) so it can open his eyes.

    Personally, when someone agrees to something, there should be no resentment or complaints. If there’s a complaint, do something about it. If you’re not gonna do anything, then don’t complain.

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