I tried to have a budget meeting with Mark last night. This did not end well.
Thus begins my campaign to learn to effectively communicate with Mark about the budget. In his eyes, we’re doing all we can with the planning and cutting expenses. He says he agrees with my perspective, thus there is nothing to discuss. “No more lunches out, done. What’s to talk about?”
He does not like to deal with bills or finances in general. Before we combined households, his process for bill paying was very simple… he paid the bills when the shut off notices arrived (or the utility in question was actually shut off). Enter the bounced check fees, late fees, and reconnect fees. So , now I maintain the budget. I handle the bill paying and the finances. He is confident that I will handle things in a manner that is best for our family and in line with both our beliefs.
I fear that this means I am going to be the bad guy. We reduced spending because I said we needed to in order to live within the budget. We are paying off back debts because I have been proactive in arranging these payments. I pay the bills and help keep us on the financial track. He doesn’t disagree with me, so he doesn’t feel like we have anything to discuss but I feel like I’m imposing limits on the family’s spending that will haunt me later when he resents them.
My plan is to begin setting aside time to review spending reports and ask him how he thinks we’re doing, where we can improve our spending, and/or where we need to allow for more. I need to work on ways to engage him in the conversation without making him feel as though it’s going to be a “finance lesson” or an opportunity for me to gripe about money.
…. Maybe a Martini will make it an easier meeting.