The original poster (OP) and her husband of nine years have four children together. OP is a stay-at-home mom whose husband makes approximately $150,000 a year. He decided to break down the family budget below:
- 50% goes to day-to-day expenses
- 25% to children’s education savings
- 10% to family savings
- 7.5% to his personal spending and 7.5% to her personal spending
OP says her husband’s budgeting leaves them no extra money for vacations or big trips. OP is responsible for all the shopping, including clothing, groceries, furniture, etc. OP learned to use coupons and cards to collect points to save money. She usually gets two or three different reward points and saves 10% to 25% per transaction. Her husband only knew about the coupon savings but not the rewards points.
She’s Been Paying for Annual Girls Trips Herself
For the past five years, OP has been going on girls’ trips with her family. She’s been telling her husband that her sisters, sisters-in-law, mom, and grandmother have been paying for her to go since they can’t afford it. But really, she’s been using the rewards points to pay for her ticket, then using rewards to pay for groceries and paying her credit card off later to be able to go on the trip.
This year her brothers, brothers-in-law, father, and grandfather decided to make a boys’ trip and invited OP’s husband. Her husband told them unless they can help with the cost of the trip as they do for OP, he won’t be able to go. OP’s brother told her husband that nobody ever paid for her trip. Her husband confronted her, and OP had to confess what she had been doing.
OP’s husband is hurt and says the points could have been used for more family things rather than her hoarding them for herself. Also, if she had set him up with his own credit cards, he could have saved rewards points and could have saved up for family vacations.
OP’s family calls her selfish for not telling him about using the points. OP feels like she worked hard to get the points levels, and using them regularly for purchases would have burned through them quickly. They wouldn’t have been able to use them for bigger purchases.
Readers are Divided
While nobody believes she was right to lie and not tell him she was using rewards points, many also feel his budget may be too rigid.
“And by “burn through them quickly and not allow them to be used for bigger things,” you mean used for things for somebody else and not just for you. You’ve been deceptive about this with him for years. You should also sit down and revisit his rigid budgeting numbers. I appreciate his frugality and his long-term planning, but nine years without a vacation? Yeah, no.”
I don’t think making sure daily expenses are covered, there is a family savings account, the children’s educations are paid for and each spouse has an equal amount of personal money is “insanely rigid.” And OP HAS gone on vacation while the husband and kids have not–his whole argument was that this could have been used as family vacation money.”
OP later clarified that all expenses come from 50% of pay, so they both have 7.5% for personal spending. “The 50% day-to-day expenses. The 7.5% is entirely mine to do whatever I want with. My vehicle, gas and insurance also come from that 50%”
“He’s not penny pinching or financially abusing his wife – she lays out their exact budget and they each get equal spending money. Their savings goals are not extreme (25% for 4 kids’ education and 10% for family savings). At 50% of 150K it seems they are living above their means on the day-to-day expenses. So the opposite of penny pinching.”
Considering moms spend the majority of their money on their kids, her spending $ likely goes to the kids needs.
“This woman is clipping coupons and using the rewards points for groceries also. Not just for a girls vacation.”
Should the husband be doing his own research on how to save money?
“Yeah I also don’t understand how the husband can’t sign up for a credit card himself? If he’s ever had a personal credit card, he should know about rewards points. Even my bank credit account has reward points. Like she’s definitely the jerk for hiding her points and lying, but he’s also an adult and can make his own investment decisions.”
One reader came to OP’s defense: “I can’t stop thinking about how she has been pregnant or nursing for nearly nine years straight and has such a strict budget dictated to her she can’t use her own reward points openly on a vacation w/o mommy duties and feels she has to hide it. She shouldn’t lie, but she shouldn’t feel like she has to either. People need breaks!!!”
There are several things to consider here. Is OP’s husband’s budget too rigid? Is this a form of financial abuse, or is it money mismanagement? Is the fact that he felt her family should pay for his trip an indication that he is overly cheap and has problems? Is she selfish to use the rewards points for herself that she scrimps and saves to accumulate?
This article was produced by This Mom is On Fire.
This post and comments originally appeared on Reddit.
Feature Image credit: © Jacob Lund via canva.com