Taking one’s head out of the sand

Last night I talked to my husband about how we needed to pay our credit cards off, and that if we paid down one of them to a dull roar, I should be able to pay down most of the credit card bills by the end of the year.

He did not believe me and I could see his distress as he tried to make sense of my suggestion. He could not believe that we could do it, particularly as he claimed that we spend a lot of money on food and other necessities. I explained that I had built those costs in and that fixed expenses had all been met by my quick budget calculations. What I was referring to was the discretionary spending. If we reduce our profligate spending (going out, gifts, fun stuff) down to about $150 per week, we will have enough money to pay off all but $8000 of our credit cards by January 2012. We will still have money for the occasional bottle of wine, we can certainly travel to Melbourne for my sister’s wedding, and maybe we can buy the occasional pair of shoes. But after that, nada. Zip. It took my husband a long long time to understand that I am serious and that we can do it.

My hubby had earlier accused me of flouting tax law because I have not done my tax for 2 years. I explained that I’m not doing it at the moment because I may be hit with a big tax bill and that I want to wait until I have the income to support paying it off. He was agitated that I may “be caught”. I laughed and explained that my business is neither making nor losing money, that it can support itself but that it is not turning a profit. As to my personal income, I explained that because my APA is tax free I am uncertain as to where I should be taxed and that I pay extra income tax on any earnings through part time work. He was dubious, but I have done this many times before. This is not part of the argument we were having about our spending. Sometimes hubby argues like a girl.

What has been happening with us is that because I have no idea of Hubby’s financial position, and because he has no idea of mine, I cannot make informed decisions about our spending. I suggest something and then he tells me – usually after we’ve spent the funds – that we couldn’t afford it. Hubby hides from his finances, but assiduously does his tax. I know what is in my account from week to week but I can’t take account of hubby’s financial status. All this must change! Our heads have been in the sand for too long! I’ll let you know how we get along.

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