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Monday, March 2, 2009

Regarding Annie's Budget (and other issues)

*****FYI, I have been granted permission from Annie to post the following - with certain stipulations, which I have adhered to completely. For the most part.****

So just in case any of you haven't read Annie's column about her SEVEN PAGE budget, and how she and her uber-responsible husband spent the morning going over it together, let me tell you the rest of the story.

I'm sitting innocently in my kitchen, trying to make up for the chinese food I'd eaten the night before by lunching on a head of steamed cauliflower, when my phone rings. It's Anne. She's irritated. She goes on for several minutes about their budget, how they're sticking to it, and how her husband thinks they should amp up the penny-pinching.

Then, after a lengthy tirade about how he tried to pry twenty-five dollars out of her "grocery" envelope to cover the salt for the water softener (which I totally agree should come out of the "household maintenance" envelope regardless of the fact that salt is technically a food item), she says the following:

"How dare he tell me how I should spend my grocery money. I am responsible. Our grocery budget is under percentage - UNDER PERCENTAGE!" (They follow this budget plan that says what percent should go where. They're very responsible. They have a SEVEN PAGE budget. Now back to Annie's tirade...) "Well, he and the kids are gone, and I need to get out of this house. I need to do something. I need to spend money. But I don't have any money." (slight pause...) "Yes I do have money - I have a credit at the kids' clothing consignment shop! I gotta go." Click.

I literally said almost nothing during this monologue. And then, about two hours later, she called me and we had the following conversation:

Annie: I got the best stuff at the kid store...blah, blah...Gap shorts for $3...blah, blah.

Me: Sounds great.

Annie: And then I found some money (from an undisclosed location) and I found this cute...blah, blah, blah...at Down East, which was totally justified because...blah, blah, blah.

Me: Wow, sounds great. Where are you, anyway? It sounds noisy in the background - are you in a store or something?

Annie: Oh, I'm taking myself out to lunch at Cafe Rio. Jason and the kids are gone, I'm alone, I can do whatever I want.

Well. And yes she can. And will. And this cracked me up because I would no doubt have done the exact same thing.

I think Annie and I need to read a few chapters from that infamous book of mine, Do's and Don'ts For Husbands and WIVES (circa 1913). Something tells me the illustrious author would never approve of such behavior from the "modern wife".

I prefer to think we're just way ahead of our time.

13 comments:

Barbaloot said...

I am very impressed with your listening skills. Clearly you were able to help Annie out in a time of crisis with little to no talking. I need to learn from you...

Machen family said...

Yes I can see that you are the wise one of the family that everyone turns to in times of financial frustration. But enough of that! Tonight we see which girl Jason will betroth......

Annie Valentine said...

Wow, that was a dead-on rendition of how it went down. Oh, and no one has read about our seven page budget yet because it hasn't been submitted to my editor. Thanks for the teaser though.

Melissa Bastow said...

Is cheating on your budget more enjoyable when it's 7 pages long? And what's with uber-responsible penny pinching husbands? Mine would like it if I never spent money EVER. Like, who needs deoderant? Didn't we buy some last month? Why do I need more? There really is no need to buy more deoderant. How selfish am I? Don't I know there's a mortgage to pay? (Ok, this might be a SLIGHT exagerration. But really - slight.)

Natalie said...

I'm just super impressed about the 7 page budget. Anyone with a 7 page budget deserves to treat themselves to Cafe Rio (and WHY don't we have one of those around here anyway?!)

Summer Warmoth said...

I agree Cafe Rio is the most delicious EVER. Possible the only good Utah thing. Well okay, okay, there is the $7 super cute Cougars sweatshirt I just found at the Springville Walmart. ALso the part where I don't know of ANY Walmart here that sells super cheap Sentsy knockoff stuff.

Jason said...

Jen...first time lurker on your blog, and I stumbled upon this winner. To set the record straight, that is not exactly how the story went. I assumed that we were taking money out of the grocery budget for salt. When my wife informed we that was not going to happen, I begrudgingly agreed that it should come from somewhere else. I didn't know she went clothes shopping and out to eat by herself after I relieved her from our 3 children for 8 hours, but that is OK because she deserves it as long as it is in the budget.

For the record, I am not uber-tight. If I was, we wouldn't need a 7 page budget right now, but better late than never. Anne is the one really doing this budget so well.

Cecily said...

I totally would have done the same thing. If you're by yourself no one can tell you no!!

That Girl in Brazil said...

I read this one after Annie's post came through - and I DID pause about the 7 page budget thing. I thought OURS was detailed and it's only TWO.

'Course, we don't have Cafe Rio to cheat with.

lifeinthehighlands.com said...

Budgeting money is like counting calories. You end up spending/eating more because you are focused and stressed about it.

At least that's my theory, and I'm sticking to it.

Jen said...

Jason -Suuuuure you're lurking for the first time ever... And uber-responsible is NOT the same thing as uber-tight. I chose my words carefully, because I know all about Annie and a checkbook. She needs you. Uber-responsible is a good thing.

Hope you come back sometime and leave me another comment.

Oh, and when you said "winner" did that have a sarcastic ring to it, or was it just the font?

Jason said...

This really was the first time I saw your blog. Didn't know you had one. Do you have a computer?

Marivic_Little GrumpyAngel said...

A 7-page budget? Wow! Really. That requires discipline. And a little bit of rebellion now and then is totally acceptable.