Big Spender

Communication and trust are vital to a happy marriage. Everyone will tell you this about any relationship but what most people don’t talk about in marriage is how your thinking must change.

Before I entered this relationship I had to think about myself and make decisions about my money and my time. I had to make decisions only keeping my best interests in mind.

After you enter a relationship and eventually a marriage all of this changes. Instead of looking out for yourself and taking your wants and whims into account you also need to take into account the wants, whims and feelings of your significant other.

No one tells you this when you agree to marry the lady or guy of your dreams. It is something which must be learned and practiced.

I did something stupid recently. I bought a watch. It was expensive. This was a huge mistake on my part. This mistake was two-fold.

My mistake was not because I bought the watch.
My mistake was not even because of the price of the watch.

First, my mistake was the timing of the purchase.

I had just gotten paid and was feeling that look at all the money in our account feeling. I bought the watch and didn’t think anything more of it.

Until I got home.

It was at that point I realized the magnitude of my mistake. I had spent a sizable chunk of the money we were going to have left after the rent check, which I wrote out that evening, went through.

I had forgotten at the time of purchase but my wife had mentioned the night before about not spending a lot of money because it was going to be tight until she got paid in a couple of days. Also because we had agreed not to buy Christmas present for each other this year.1

Second, I did not think to talk to her before I spent $100 of our money.

No longer is this my money and my life. This is now our money and our life together. We are working very hard to pay off our credit card debt2, pay down student loan debt and generally be smart about how and where we spend our money.

I had not taken any of this into account when I clicked that buy button.

When you enter a marriage, you are no longer only responsible only for yourself. You are now responsible for yourself and your spouse. Your decisions are their decisions when it comes to time and money. In the future, I will consult my wife and make sure I’m thinking about what is best for us, no just for myself.


  1. There is very little we need. Even coming up with a list of wants for family has been very difficult. 

  2. We will be credit card debt free by early next year! 

1 Comment

  1. I disagree fairly strongly on certain parts of this – or at least how I interpret them.

    With money, yeah, both sides ought to be involved in major decisions, since they could affect basic necessities (rent, food). Likewise issues such as “should I change jobs”. That said, I don’t see a problem with smaller purchases if both sides are contributing income. I usually ask Scott what he thinks about a purchase, but he doesn’t get a veto 😉 (Same in reverse, of course)

    But time is different. It still belongs to the individual. Outside of video games, Scott’s interests and mine diverge quite a bit – but when he wants to spend his free time on them, I have no reason to insist otherwise. No right, either. When you work a 40+ hour week, all free time becomes a precious commodity. If he spends it with me, I’d hope it’s because he wants to, not due to a sense of obligation. I know that’s how I feel about spending my time with him.

    Basically, the way you think and act doesn’t have to drastically change after marriage. There’s a process of adjustment, true – but not a paradigm shift. The individual still exists independent of the partnership.

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