Saturday, November 5, 2011
The Money That Doesn't Exist
A friend and I were having one of those heart-to-heart discussions this week that women often have. We vent to each other because universally we understand that despite the fact that you're complaining about your husband you still adore him and think he's much better than the person's husband you're complaining to. You do understand that, right? She was bemoaning something her husband had bought her that was totally useless, unwanted, and even a bit bizarre. His heart was in the right place. Maybe.
According to her they have available money in three "places" when they want to buy something. First is, as you would think, the checking account. The CA as we'll call it was to be used to pay the normal monthly bills, buy groceries, purchase necessities, and occasionally splurge on a new dress. Second was the credit card. This was to be avoided unless buying on line where it's virtually the only safe way. The credit card bill was to be paid out of the checking account each month.
This all sounds wonderfully responsible, right? But I mentioned three places....what's the third place. Number Three is the Savings Account, which gets a regular deposit each month. Again, fiscally sound. However, according to her, once the money is deposited into the Savings Account it then becomes "the money that doesn't exist." The "money that doesn't exist" disappears from his mind. The "money that doesn't exist" isn't available because it...well, it doesn't exist. Their stove went out. It was an old stove and this wasn't unexpected. But rather than take money out of the Savings Account and buy one he surmised, because that money didn't exist after all, that they should just eat out until they had saved money from their checking account for a month or two or three, and could pay cash for the stove. In his mind they had no money to buy a stove with. You don't charge things when you don't have to. The "money that doesn't exist", doesn't exist so you can't buy anything with it. Ergo, you save until you have it. But you can't put that money you're saving into the Savings Account because if you do it becomes "money that doesn't exist".
Is this a male thing? For me, all money exists and is waiting for me to access it. But I wonder if that groaning I hear coming from my husband occasionally is his reaction to me using some of the "money that doesn't exist". :)