This married couple is in their 30s and thinks very differently when it comes to having financial goals. He values financial security while saying his wife “spends like a drunken sailor.”
He works full-time and is the breadwinner, and his wife is a stay-at-home mom. He says she spends without much thought and gets everything she wants and needs. He says she has no concept of saving. For example, they spent $40 more on the credit card than his 2022 take-home pay. He says this means all of their loan payments were paid out of their savings account. They have a healthy savings account because he has always prioritized having one.
His wife loves to go on vacation, but he doesn’t care much for them. He calls himself a homebody and loves being at home, watching his child experience new things.
He hasn’t said no to the vacation but has set saving stipulations before they can consider going. He says they must save twelve months of mortgage payments before they can go on vacation. Currently, they are halfway to his goal.
His wife is upset, saying he is punishing the family by making a ridiculous stipulation for going on vacation. He says it’s a reasonable and achievable goal. His wife believes saving for twelve payments is extreme, but he feels he is prioritizing their financial health. He is reaching out to the online community to ask if he is wrong.
Several readers said he’s right to take their finances seriously, especially since their expenses were more than his take-home pay.
“If your expenses are more than your income, you simply cannot afford to be going on vacation.”
“I think these are very reasonable goals, and you are meeting her in the middle. You aren’t saying vacations are off the table, just that you need to prioritize. Dave Ramsey says to have 6 months of all your bills in savings first. I personally think you’re just being smart. Maybe reward her with a small vacation once you are 6 months ahead.”
Many readers mentioned that disagreements over finances are one of the biggest reasons people divorce.
“Why did you marry? You know that money is one of the top 3 reasons for divorce, right? This should have been sorted out a long time ago.”
There is a reason that money is the second most frequent reason for divorce: it’s virtually impossible to maintain a stable marriage if you are not on the same page financially.
Some readers said there is room for compromise and financial decisions should be made together. His wife needs to understand finances better, whether he helps her learn or she takes some financial literacy courses.
“You two need to come together (maybe with a financial counselor) to agree to a monthly budget, to agree what percentage of income needs to be saved, and to agree how much can go into a fund to save for vacations.”
“Vacations are not strange things. People do take them. That’s where you’ll need to compromise; everything else will be on her. She may need a card with a limit on it, or even only cash to use if she really isn’t familiar with how it works to not overshoot your budget.”
“The thing is, your family’s financial plan has to be set by both of you. You can’t just make a plan and tell your wife to follow it.”
“Fiscal responsibility is really important. But I feel like there is room for some compromise. Maybe do a cheaper vacation for an easier goal?”
Some people also say he is being ridiculous by wanting to save twelve months’ worth of payments before they can go on vacation, and he needs to compromise.
“Having 12 months’ worth of mortgage payments saved up before even considering a holiday is ridiculous too. Like make sure you’re comfortable and have cover, but that’s over the top.”
“Requiring the mortgage be paid a full year in advance to go on vacation is overly cautious at best, but it feels like the intention is punishment rather than caution. Catching up from overspending would be fair, though. Both of you are trying to make financial decisions completely independently when you should be a team.”
What do you think? Is he overly cautious by requiring twelve months of mortgage payment saved before going on vacation, or is he being smart about their finances? Is his wife being unreasonable by wanting to go on vacation when they spent well over budget the year prior?
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