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Monday, March 15, 2010

Unnecessary Expenses

Okay I am trying not to be annoyed at my husband. Cathy and I went away this weekend to teach a class in Eastern Idaho and while I was gone this is how my husband spent our money.

He did not do anything big; I just get a little annoyed at unnecessary expenditures. Do I need an intervention?

1. He took the kids to Carl's Jr: This one bugged me the least. I am sure my kids liked it and we don't do it very often, so it really is not that big of a deal.
BUT HELLO! We have a pantry stocked FULL of can soup, mac n' cheese, and cereal. Plus a freezer bursting with pizza, bagel bites and tots. This would have cost less than $1. Carl's cost $10 or more I am sure.

2. He bought 3 boxes of light bulbs at Lowes: He was trying to be helpful and probably didn't realize I already have a stash of light bulbs in the laundry room and I could have scored some cheap ones at Target with coupons.

3. He rented old kids movies at the video store: This one bugged me big time and he knew it! We live one block from the Library where you can rent the same video for FREE, and he usually forgets to return these costing us way more money than we planned. Eeek. I did find out that he ACTUALLY returned them the next day. Phew.

So none of these were a big deal, but I have to admit I had to keep myself from being a little irritated about them. I HATE UNNECESSARY EXPENSES!

Props to my hubby though. I came home to a CLEAN house this weekend. Woot, woot!

So I want to know. 


Which expenses bug you?
or 
What are your unnecessary expenses?

UPDATE:

Ok in reading your comments I am totally feeling bad. I should not have used my hubby as an example, he is a great guy and perfect for me because he is very minimal in the unnecesary expenses.  These things were just on my mind because they just recently happened and thought I could use them as examples. My husband is a total DIY guy and is great at cutting costs!  I was just admitting that I do get irritated over dumb things sometimes.
In fact here are a few example of how I have spent money I maybe did not need to.
1. Fruit Snacks: Ok I got them for FREE and .10 a box, but do my kids really need them? I go back and forth on this one. They like them yes, and are excited when they get some, but they are not healthy and even thought they were cheap I still paid tax on top of that.
2. Running to Costco for Milk: Sometimes I will run to Costco to get milk instead of paying and extra .15 a gallon at Albertsons. Unless I need several other items at Costco it really is not worth the gas to drive. So I try to think of things I need there to justify the trip.
3. Clothes: When I buy clothes I buy them on a good sale or at garage sales. It is nice to have new things. but sometimes I look at my closet or my kids closet FULL of clothes and think, even though they were cheap it does not mean we need so many. I would have saved more by not buying them in the first place.

OK so if you do not want to sound like you are ragging on your hubby like I probably just did.....

Tell me: What unnecessary expenses do you make?
or you can vent a little, we won't judge you. :)
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37 comments:

Donaldson family said...

Drives me crazy when my husband is interested in something but doesn't want to "shop" around for better prices or look online for a coupon.

Michelle Barnes said...

My husband likes to carry cash. For some reason, he feels "safer" using cash than a card!! So he will go to ANY ATM to pull out money! Usually not our own bank that at least doesnt charge you!!! So when he gets his $20 out, it really costs us $25!!! It REALLY irritates me!!!

*~Jackie*~ said...

I hate when my hubby comes home with groceries, I do all the grocery shopping because I plan it out with coupons.. He comes home with stuff I was planning to buy that week with coupons.. UGH.. I just see the money wasted.. Owell what can you do huh.. At least the kids were fed and entertained, and he thought he helped out.. =0)

GaoyouMom said...

I have a different perspective, as a single parent with the responsibility of earning all the money as well as spending it. If I ever had the luxury of a weekend away with a girlfriend with a husband at home taking care of the child and keeping the house clean, I wouldn't care one bit about a fast food bill, video rentals, or the cost of a few light bulbs. Yes, these things do add up, and if it was happening on a regular basis then you'd need to work that out with your husband so that you're both on the same page with your spending. But for just an occasional thing, I just don't see it as big deal.

But since you asked, the expense that bugs me the most is the phone bills. We have a home phone and DSL service but not other frills, and I have a cell phone. We do not have cable. I cringe at the phone bills. Need to do some research to see how I can reduce this expense.

Until this year, I spent way too much on eating out. It's convenient, but it was costing way too much money. We eat out much less often now, but I won't give it up entirely because we do enjoy dining out with friends and socializing that way. My free time is too limited to entertain at home.

To Michelle -- the bank fees would bug me too. An emergency or one-time situation is one thing, but it's pretty easy to bank for free.

Just my opinions here.

Susan

Tyree said...

I have a hard time when my husband buys anything (control issues anyone) but then I look at the useless stuff I buy that makes me feel good (decorations & clothes anyone) and realize he has weird needs to feel good to (pop at the gas station-huge waste of money, dorritos, golf) Anyway I have to let it go as long as it's less than $5-$10 and not very often :) It's worth my husbands happiness. I sometimes bring home treats for him that were not rock bottom and say I love you you are worth the extra $4 and he'll say your worth more than that am I only worth $4. I have to remind him thats not all he's worth (and he's joking.) But I do have to remember his happiness is definately worth the few extra dollars he might spend.

Russell said...

I think we should be appreciative of our husbands trying to help out. Afterall they are not the ones doing the couponing full time. They are just trying to help out when we have asked them to do so. Sure they sometimes overspend in the process, but I know when I try to help my husband with things he generally does in our house I probably waste some precious time. However he always thanks me for helping. In my opinion if you've got a husband willing to take care of the kids all weekend and leave a clean house for you to come home to I would give him a big hug and kiss and let the rest go.

Ali Smith said...

The thing that bugs me the worst is when my hubby feels he just "has" to have a certain something and he "doesn't care what it costs" he just wants it! Lol. For instance, before the Quaker sale, I was having to buy boxes of chewy granola bars for FULL PRICE often because it's just a "necessity" to him. Lol. Beyond the hubby, I kick myself pretty often for little extras I grab while out and about. Like...how easy it is to just stop by and grab a $1 burger while I'm out and about instead of heading all the way home to get something to eat...or how Starbucks in Target always just calls out my name as soon as I walk in the door...or...well, you get the idea. Shame on me! Lol. That is one reason I actually prefer NOT to carry cash. I have it on me it's so much easier to just spend a couple bucks here, a couple bucks there...when I use my debit card, I have to think about what I'm spending a little bit more.

Kelli and Chad said...

I bet your kids had a lot of fun :) Sometimes unnecessary expenses are necessary! Maybe I just think that cause I am not the frugal one in our household, ha ha. Wich is why I LOVE your blog, and it has helped me so much. But just remember he is a man....and he could have gone out and bought a car when you were gone (my brother in law did this) Thanks again for your amazing blog!!

Monica said...

Thanks for your comments everyone. Hope you did not take me the wrong way. I appreciate my husband and all he does. I am sure I need to do a better job showing it sometimes.
Just wondered if I was the only one that gets bugged about a few bucks sometimes. I have to remind myself not to be irritated, it is not a big deal!

AJ said...

I hate necessary, unplanned expenses. Like a new windshield. Or new tires. Those are the ones that bug me: the completely unplanned ones that cost mega bucks! Or when the insurance doesn't pay what you thought it would and you end up footing a much higher bill than you did plan for.

I'm the one with the "get me out of here" problem. My husband is more than content to stay home and eat. I'm the one who likes to take the kids out when he's gone. It's more a way to pass the time than it is a matter of not wanting to cook. Because they always choose nuggets and fries anyway, which like you said, we have in the freezer. Maybe I need an intervention.

Sophie said...

My biggest unnecessary expense is my daily Starbucks trip. My husband and I allocate so much money each month to spend on whatever we want and this is what I choose to spend it on. I have to say though it is getting MUCH harder to spend $25 a week there when I can buy so mcuh food for the same amount now!!! You definentely start to look at money differently when you coupon. The only thing that bugs me about my husbands spending is that he doesnt spend any money for long periods of time, then decides he needs a new $450 RC truck or parts and just goes and buys it. That drives me crazy!!!!

Sara said...

It bugs me so much when my husband orders a beverage when we go out to eat instead of just getting water. We rarely dine out, and only with coupons or birthday deals, so it irks me when he puts a $3 strawberry lemonade on the bill increasing as much as 30%!

It also bothers me when I listen to people complain about not having enough money and then I see them make what I think are unnecessary expenses, such as new cars (or even almost brand-new), exotic vacations, Starbucks, alcohol, spendy clothes shopping, regularly dining out (and also ordering appetizers, beverages, desserts, etc), taking out home equity loans to do cosmetic remodeling, buying any kind of food you want any time you want without even waiting for a sale (i.e. steaks, etc), and more. In my opinion, if someone is doing the things mentioned above they have no right to complain about not having enough money. If you need to cut your budget, it will take a little sacrifice, planning and forethought. But in this society where instant self-gratification and the urge to "keep up the Joneses" is prevalent, truly frugal people are rare.

juska2 said...

Drives me crazy! In the long run, it doesn't really matter and I'm sure I won't even remember next week, but it just feels disrespectful to me when 1) I am working more than full time and 2)spend a TON of my very little free time couponing/shopping -- only to find out that he just wasted the money that I worked so hard to save. For example, he was making a dinner (which I was truly thankful for and the only redeeming part), but needed a few "extra" things at the store. He went to Albertsons and spent $20 and brought home 4 items. You're killin' me man! AARRRGGGHHH! At that point, I'm thinking "why bother with the couponing? I get almost no time to myself. I never get to read, be lazy, etc." But truly, I can't give it up because it's the only way we are surviving right now.

Matt & Kristin said...

It sounds like we all have about the same problem. Overall, I have to remember that we are saving so much money by the work that I do with our groceries and household items that these "unnecessary" expenses that I admit bug me are just water under the bridge. A year from now, there is no way that the extra $5, $10, even $100 is going to matter. Instead of being frustrated with the way my husband spends/saves money, I need to remember his intent in the situation. If he went to the store to get a couple last minute things for dinner that cost more than twice what I would pay, I try to remember first that he is making dinner and that his intent is to serve me. We serve each other in different ways, especially when it comes to money. But at the end of the day, it's just money and just stuff, and he is way more important that that.

Milich 411 said...

I can relate. I hate McDonalds sometimes. Simply because it exsists for my hubby to go and spend an average of $10! a meal. This erks me bigtime. All I can think about is all the time I spend cliping coupons and the groceries I could have bought with that $10, and he used it on one meal. Let alone an unhealthy one! BUT, I also have to stand back and try to let the little things go. In moderation, these little things and only set us back a few dollars (that fourtunately we've already saved) and bring our family members happiness. The way I try to see it, My husband brings home the bacon in our house and doesn't throw a fit when I go out and buy a new purse or clothes. He's glad to support me and make me happy. So, I do the same and bite my tounge EVERY time we go through the (stinkin) drive through. haha. And kudos to your hubby for having the house cleaned! I would have only expected the kids to be alive and the house still standing :)

Shawna said...

Gaoyoumom, I feel I can relate with your comment the most. Even though i am married. My husband will help around the house if I ask him, but asking him to take the kids for a weekend is totally out of the question. I can't even get out to the grocery store without my little ones unless I hire a babysitter and that is cost prohibative. I would spend a lot of money on the 'little' things if it meant I could go away for the weekend with the girls and know that there was no need to worry because my kids were safe and in competent hands. I'd pay a lot for peace of mind if you know what I mean.

Blake said...

You can probably return the light bulbs. :)

Monica said...

Blake-

Hehe you are right, I am over it at this point though. Like I said it is not that big of a deal.

Katie said...

I just read all this, and I aggree with everyone here! I just wanted to say, that even though it is a little more expensive, I make a point to take my kids to Carls Jr, or Planet Kid (PK is cheaper, but a drive to boise...) becasue it is totally worth the little extra money so thet I can just sit there while they run rampant and tire themselves out! I don't hav eto lift a finger! AND planet Kid has Free Wi-Fi, so I bring my computer, and work on homework or something else! I have an EXTREMELY tight reign on my husband and the money, he can't spend $1 without me knowing about it. I used to get SO mad when he would get a hamburger or something even small, because I didn't budget it, and we didn't have the money. While out with my friend one day she called her husband and he had just spent $25 or so taking all his work buddies out to lunch, and they only had $8 in the account. She was mad, but jus ttold him what he did, and that he needs to pay more attention and be more careful, because it now cost them $45 in overdraft fees. He got the picture. When she got off the phone she was so mad! I asked her why she didn't yell at him, or anthing really, because I would hav elost my top... she said "you hav eto pick your battles. Money is just money. it's not worth it. Not a Battle I want to pick" That hit me hard! since then I have been conciously aware of what Battles I do pick, and it is SO much better! I coupon to save money, he would be spending the same wether I coupon or not, Since I am saving so much money, it helps me put it into perspective. If I wasn't couponing, we wouldn't have any extra money, and he would be doing the same thing. At least I can save a lot this way!

Kodie Bear said...

Two words--Diet Coke. I could put one of my kids through college on the amount our family's spent on Diet Coke.

Domestica said...

I am there with you Kodie! Soda. I personally rarely drink soda, but my husband loves it and he will spend $10.oo on a soda run at a corner store. I can get the same stuff at the grocery store, even at regular price for less!

But I really shouldn't complain. He has really tried to curb his spending and soda addiction. He no longer drinks it with every meal and with snacks.

Melody said...

We pay for everything in cash and set aside money for "Entertainment" which includes eating out, renting movies, etc. We have to be frugal about what we do so we don't blow the fund for the whole month (even though I've finally convinced my husband to stop ordering the meals at fast food joints!).

We each have our own personal money that we can spend on whatever we want. If he wants to eat out for every lunch, he can until his money runs out and then that's it until the end of the month. It has saved so much arguing and stress because neither of us feel guilty for our own purchase and we can't get angry with the other about what they spend their money on.

Seriously, has saved our marriage!!

Cathy said...

Wow Monica - who would have thought your post would unleash so many comments! Ha ha! :)

Now that we've all be able to vent, you now need to go hug your man and tell him five reasons why you love and appreciate him! {hugs!}

Cathy said...

Great solution Melody!

The Hendricks ID said...

My husband has actually caught on really quickly, whenever we need something that isn't a normal coupon thing he is like dont you want to look for a coupon or a rebate on that.
I would say my week spot is clearance shopping, like old navy or Kohl's 90% off, I love going to the kids section, it is hard to turn down 1.00 pair of shorts or something but then sometimes I too lookk at my kds closet and realize it doesn't really matter if it is only 1.00 if they didn't need it.
You guys are all amazing though.
The only thing my husband gets bothered about is the time I spend on the computer at night looking at deals and printing coupons and stuff, I just ask if he wants to do the shopping and pay full price and he says no way, but I need to try and be less obsessive and not get all the deals and not be on the computer so much.

the mumpersfromidaho said...

Picking up coffee when I have an espresso maker at home!

Kristi M. said...

My unnecessary expenses would also have to be the items like clothes found at thrift stores or yard sales for my preschooler. Does he really need that even if it it $.50. Same thing with couponing and getting things cheap. Do we really need the chips which aren't really that good for you but cheap. I am trying really hard to think about some of this stuff.

Susan said...

I hate it when I spend so much time couponing and I grab lunch or dinner on the way home. Why did I bother saving all that money to blow it on eating out!

luvmyboys said...

I hate the fact of the matter of buying a whole bunch of newspapers to get the coupons/doublers you need...hello! what you spent on getting all the papers probably washes out the savings on the actual coupons!! UGH!!!Are you really saving in the long run when all is said and done?

Amber said...

luvmyboys,

I struggled with that for a long time and didn't subscribe for months after I started couponing. But today I can firmly say it is absolutely worth it. Read my post on it here: http://www.fabulesslyfrugal.com/2010/02/do-i-really-need-five-sunday-papers.html.

Julie said...

OK, well, there are a lot of comments, but I thought I would add this: Normally, I am not a frugal person. Trying to save money and all that is completely against my nature. But I'm not only responsible for myself now; I'm responsible for my whole family's budget and making sure we can pay all of our bills and stuff, and it can be tight. Unnecessary expenses have only really started to bug me in the past six months or so as I've started couponing more and more. Normally, my husband is the frugal one and will pretty much do whatever he can to NOT spend money, which is great.

Except--and I don't mean to rag on him, because he's awesome, and we've "discussed" this issue A LOT of times--he will buy the cheapest thing even though he knows it won't last or work properly and then he'll have to keep buying the same thing over and over again. In my opinion, it is wiser to buy the thing that will work properly or last a long time the first time rather than waste the time (and eventually the money, because all those cheap little things add up). Every year when we buy winter clothes for the kids, for example, he wants to get the cheapest ones we can find, but I know our boys are VERY hard on clothes, so I buy quality ones I know will last all winter and even be in good enough condition to get handed down. When my husband buys stuff for the kids, it usually doesn't even last a whole winter, and it drives me crazy!

However, I buy stuff when it's very cheap, like fruit snacks, that we don't need--or super cheap cereal, when we already have a pantry full of it. So, yes, I'm not perfect, and like I said, I do love and appreciate my husband and it's just one of those things.

Casey and Natalie said...

I have to say that impulse buying bugs me.... shopping around, hunting for good deals and maybe scoring coupons on items I would have never expected would have them has saved me a bundle! And any time that I purchase something without researching it first, even if we think it's a good deal bugs me... Almost every time we do this, we find a better deal within a week or I realize I didn't NEED it in the first place. My biggest weakness is on snack food because I'm always couponing and always seeing "good deals" on these items. Even $.50/each on a bunch of junk food adds up.... My husband is actually the hero on this one and encourages me NOT to buy those things unless we've previously agreed on it (for a special occasion: easter, birthday, etc). --Like you said in your post, even if it's free you paid tax on it and sometimes used up a doubler that could have been put towards a better deal on real food. =)

Sophie said...

Monica-

We go to Costco now for only milk too!! This is like the most amazing accomplishment as we were Costco addicts just 6 weeks ago! It was super exiting to go this past weekend and leave only spending $4.19!!! My son actually goes to Wings for gymnastics, so from here on out I will have my hubby pick it up every other week when they go, but I wouldn't mind making an extra trip because I think their milk tastes better than any other brand.

Stacy said...

I have been a coupon user for years...to me it justifies the spending that my partner does. For one he doesn't look for the best deal he thinks about convience. I always try to stay one step ahead of him and his thinking. I think in all we even out our spending...I am frugal and he's not. I try not to make a BIG deal out of it, but it sometimes bugs me.

Cathyb said...

Sometimes I am harder on myself (or my husband) over the little bitty things than the big expenses. Whenever this happens I try to remember that time and convenience are worth something too. I also remind myself that sometimes I am going to have to pay full price for something, or more for something than I would like to, but at least I am not always buying it at this price. Sometimes I just have to back away and see the big picture and not fixate on the little things that bug me.

Carolee said...

It sounds like some of your readers need to be introduced to the cash envelope system! I started doing it a year ago and I included an envelope for my own spending money and one for my hubby. Now he can go do whatever he wants with his spending money and when it's gone it's gone! He's a bit more discretionary with what he does with it now, and we don't have the "how much did you pay for that?!" conversations anymore! Plus, I don't have to feel guilty when I want to get myself a milkshake or some yummy smelly lotion or whatever--it comes out of my spending! I LOVE the cash envelope system!!

Loren and Tama said...

I'm still pretty new to serious couponing, so I find myself making too many annoying unnecessary purchases. I am learning to get some good deals, but am also already good enough at couponing to know when I am making a purchase that could be much cheaper if I were to try harder! It's frustrating to know that there is likely a coupon out there for something I am buying, if I were patient enough to look for it.

But my biggest unnecessary expense, by far, is Diet Pepsi. The stuff is like liquid gold to me. As a night shift nurse, it has become like life-blood to me to keep me awake at night :) Though I was thrilled this week that Target has it on sale for 4/$11 ($2.75/6 pack for 24 ounce bottles) I have never seen it that cheap. So, although it is unnecessary, and is only helping to feed an unhealthy addiction, I am grateful for some newfound bargain-hunting skills and couponing skills to help me make it through the night a little more cheaply. Thanks again for that, fab ladies! And...if anyone is looking to get the Diet Pepsi deal at the Milwaukee Target, you may want to check back later today...after they restock :) Mmmmmm.....