I try very, very hard to be as frugal as I can be. But it’s difficult to be frugal in a two party relationship when the other partner won’t participate. Never mind that DH and I went broke two times in the last forty years (and that three times will NOT be a charm). The guy just wants what he wants and that’s all there is to it. After all, according to DH, he deserves it. Get out the violins ladies and gentlemen; somebody’s singing that old charmer: “Hey! I worked for it. I deserve it.”

Only one problem with this tired love song, DH has been out of work since March 2019 and it doesn’t look like he’ll be working any time in the near future. That means we two retirees have to make our budget work on our existing passive income streams (two social security checks, one pension and one dividend-paying investment).

It doesn’t take much to go broke. A few bad financial decisions. Throw in a pinch of bad luck and you can get yourself into a whole heap of financial misdoings. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. I have no idea if that rhyme goes on for ‘fool me a third time’. You’d have to be a complete dummy for that.

So, it was with much sadness when I bought my hubby a pair of PJs from our local Salvation Army ($7.99) and I later found said pair in our garbage pail the very same day. Right now, as a tactic to save money where ever I can, I occasionally go to either Goodwill or The Salvation army and buy used items for our wear. Ditto for house and home needs. I have no problem cleaning up and using someone else’s good stuff. DH, on the other hand has a very big problem with it. Over the years he has refused to eat out of someone else’s dishes, cook off of other peoples pots, decorate with other people’s furniture or accessories and dare I say it: wear clothes that other people have worn before him. Thus the trash bin.

To be fair my husband has OCD and suffers with ADHD. In other words, he has issues. But these are inflationary years and people, no matter their ailments, must all make the appropriate amends and bend to their financial realities. PJ bottoms right now cost around $10 to $25 a pair. (This was not a good time for me to have sold my sewing machine a few years back because I used to make all our PJ bottoms. It’s an easy sew). Hubby needs pajama bottoms. The winter is closing in on us and the guy has got to find a way to keep warm. All his regular stuff is worn out. It’s a need now. Not a want. But I have a budget to follow. And DH isn’t being any much help. He stated he will NOT wear someone else’s ‘underwear’. He considers PJs someone else’s private wear.

DH’s discourse doesn’t stop with clothes and house goods. He also demands that every one of his dinner meals consist of meat and potatoes. He’ll go vegan during the day but at night he wants his Flintstones. Yup. You got it. I’m not having too much luck chowing down in the meal department with this guy either. I will admit he is getting better and he is coming around a bit more. But I digress. Back to the clothes dilemma.

I, being the sole financial guru of the pair, sharpened up my shopping skills and went out seeking the very next best thing to Goodwill bargain hunting: sales! I found a really good deal on Amazon (Walmart was a close second). I was able to score three pairs of 100% cotton flannel bottoms for twenty bucks. I had to buy three to get the deal. The original price came to $32 but I still had a lingering $12 Amazon gift card balance and I also qualified for free shipping. (I had cancelled my Amazon membership a while ago because I just wasn’t happy with Amazon anymore PLUS you get free shipping anyway if you spend $25 which is very easy to do when you keep a written need/want list….thus the $119 annual Amazon membership isn’t necessary).

I re-categorized the $7.99 I spent at The Salvation Army as a donation. Hubby will now be the best well dressed PJ bottom wearer on our block and crisis avoided. Even though I’m out twenty bucks, when divided by the three pairs, it comes out to about $7.00 each which is Goodwill pricing anyway!

As for me, I’m very comfortable shopping at Goodwill and The Salvation Army as well as consignment and thrift shops. I’m also very content eating more vegan meals and watching our bottom line. I’m in charge of all our finances. Always was. Always will be. I understand hubby’s train of thought but we’ve got tough times coming up ahead. DH was a little bit too young to remember the stagflation of the 1970s. I’m six years older than he is and I know a bit or two. I’ll do my best to hold down the line and I hope I never have to read DH the riot act.

To be honest, DH does do his part to keep our costs down, such as the hundred of DIY and maintenance projects he accomplishes. He wants new clothes. He wants what he wants for dinner. He works hard. He deserves it. I just hope to God I can keep on balancing our bottom line.

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