Money Forward

This blog is about money and trying to keep my money from flying out the window.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Looking at goals differently

After a slight hick-up during the weekend, I've decided that how we look at our goals needs to be changed. My fiance and I have made a list of goals we would like to reach and their time frame. We also said about how much these goals would cost. This was more secondary and so was not really in both of our minds at the same time. Also, to just know about our goals just isn't enough.

This weekend my fiance wanted to buy some clothes that would be nice for after the wedding reception and for the rehearsal dinner. She needed some new black pants anyway. We set a budget. I suggested that she look at some of the cheaper places first, rather than going to the Limited, Ann Taylor, or any of those more expensive places. She agreed. Well she went with her sister who likes to shop and spend money, even though she complains about not having enough and her financial situation is nto that great at the moment. Her sister refused to go into any of the department stores (like Macy's) with her (because they're supposedly cheap and not good enough quality) and since my fiance wanted to shop with her sister, they basically only seriously looked at the more expensive stores. Anyway, things were found that were really expensive. My fiance bought the clothes for many reasons, although she felt bad about it. Her sister added things like how she shouldn't think about money because she needs to look good, and money shouldn't force her to not look good, and basically only the expensive clothes are good enough. That's a slightly twisted version because I can't think of exactly how it was put, but it's the basic idea.

I agree that she should look great (which she will no matter what she wears), and that she needed new clothes. She doesn't even really like the tops she got. And I was basically called cheap by her family and there are questions about whether I can provide and let her get what she wants. Luckily, she is not like her family all that much when it comes to money. But she couldn't fend it all off because she wants to make them happy, and she knows we have some money.

Since this happened, I decided that our goals weren't in our faces enough. Yes, hearing the people upstairs be loud until 2 AM reminds us that we want to buy a house someday, but this is forgotten when you're out shopping. And I want her to be able to stand up and say, "this just doesn't fit in our budget, and I'm sure I can find something else." So from now on we're going to have a spreadsheet showing what we want, their prices, along with expensive necessities (tuition), and the amount we have in savings. We're going to post this somewhere, like on the fridge, to costantly remind us what we are working for. I was also considering putting a sticker on the credit card with some of this information. I'm not sure if that will be ok or not though. It might be worth a try so we'll always be reminded when we spend.


  • At 12:40 PM, Blogger Maria said…

    I can empathize with your fiance because I too have a sister that is a spendthrift, but the only difference is that her and her husband are quite wealthy. She just buys it for me, but its usually something that I wouldnt buy for myself.
    Before a girl (woman) gets married, she pretty much listens to her family in all areas, once she is married, she will develop confidence in you two as a married couple. This is no different when it comes to finances.
    I wouldnt put alot of constraints on WHERE she can buy clothes, but just how much can be spent.
    I too love expensive stores like Ann Taylor but since I've been better with my money, I limit myself to one outfit or one really nice piece instead of several from other less pricey stores. Quality over quantity. Does that make sense?
    Clothes should be a part of your Spending Plan because everyone needs clothes. If you dont put clothes as one of your categories, there will be alot of instances of spending sprees on clothes.
    On another note- you might want to suggest that your fiance (wife) go shopping ALONE instead of with her sister. Shopping with other people can impair your judgement.
    I still go shopping with my sister but just for fun, not necessarily on a mission to buy something specific. That way I can visit with her but not feel forced to use my credit card.
    Just a few suggestions. This is definately a PROCESS though and I'm sure that it will evolve.
    Good luck!

  • At 12:44 PM, Blogger Maria said…

    Also, I neglected to mention, that since you two are ACTUALLY married yet, she's probably kind of nervous about the COMBINED money process. Is he going to show up at the wedding if I dont agree? Is he going to divorce me if I dont follow these goals?
    It's good to set goals but until you are actually married, they are just hypothetical.

  • At 12:44 PM, Blogger Maria said…

    I meant to say "arent actually married." :)

  • At 3:24 PM, Blogger MoneyFwd said…

    I generally agree. And I don't care where she gets her clothes, I just want her to try different places rather than just go straight to the high-end establishments.

    good idea on adding clothes to our spending plan. I'm not sure where we can fit it, but I agree that we should do it since we can't always just go and spend like crazy every few months.

  • At 4:01 PM, Blogger Maria said…

    I have added categories such as clothes (for me and my son), gifts(birthdays & Christmas) and Fun money (mine is only $20/month, but yours could be 'date night $) because I knew that they would sneak up on me and then I would be uptight about having to take the money from somewhere else or heaven forbid, use my credit card!
    I know it's hard when you are first combining your incomes but in the bigger picture, these kind of items added to your budget will make a huge difference in morale.


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