Girl Ninja and I are pretty different. She’s reserved, I’m obnoxious. She’s beautiful, I’m not. She’s a “hope for the best”, I’m a “prepare for the worst.” Typically, our differences compliment each other, but every once in a while, we butt heads. This is especially true when it comes to money.
I love personal finance, I know significantly more about personal finance than Girl Ninja, and I’m a horrible communicator. Those three characteristics create some pretty interesting financial conversations. Here’s an example of what one such conversation might look like….
Girl Ninja: I saw this really cute duvet cover at West Elm that would look great on our bed. I think I’m going to get it.
Me: No you’re not.
And that, my friends, would be the extent of our conversation. Girl Ninja usually stops talking to me, and I usually don’t want to be talked to. She’s pissed because I didn’t even consider her feelings. I’m pissed because she didn’t even consider our pocketbook.
I know I’m the reason we fight about money. I admit fault. I often say things in a way that don’t represent the love and respect I have for her. Instead of saying “No, you can’t buy that duvet cover”, I should have said “Do you think the $70 that duvet costs is worth it?”
You see what I did there? Instead of TELLING Girl Ninja what she can and can’t do (like I even have that authority), I created an opportunity for dialogue. Maybe she’d respond “You know what, you’re right. It does seem like a bit much and I can think of a few other things I’d rather spend that money on” or “Well I really hate the one we have now, and I know that $70 is kind of a lot, but this one is worth it, and we’ll use it for years.” Booya for being open minded. This is what i like to call healthy communication. And In a relationship, communication is king.
I’ve put together a short list of things I need to remember next time we talk money…
A) Just because Girl Ninja says she likes/wants something, doesn’t mean she is going to buy it.
B) She has an equal vote in how we spend our money
C) I knew she wasn’t as crazy frugal as I am when I married, how can I expect her to be different now?
D) That she is right.
If I just kept those things in mind (especially option D), we would literally avoid 99% of our money fights.
For the PF nerds out there: Do you find yourself getting caught up in the “I know more than you, so you should just listen to me” mentality? How do you combat your inner PF nazi?
For the free spenders: How do you put up with us PF lovers?