So week one in our new house was pretty fantastic.
Our stuff made it all in one piece, our days were filled with sun and exploration, we joined our community pool for 1/2 off the price (woo!), and at one point my wife stopped me to say just how happy she was to finally have a place all to ourselves where we can live peacefully for years to come… It was great!
And then week #2 hit.
Or what I like to call – “SEE!!! THIS IS WHY I DIDN’T WANT TO BUY A HOUSE!!!” ;)
I bet you know what’s coming next, but basically a $hit ton of things broke all within 48 hours of each other and by the end of it we were out almost $1,600. Or pretty much an entire mortgage payment flushed down the drain just like that!
First – a toilet of ours was leaking and couldn’t be fixed so it had to be replaced.
Then our AC unit went out in the midst of a heat wave, and of course during after hours when extra fees are tacked on.
Then we found *another* toilet was slowly leaking underneath the floor board and also had to be replaced (hint: if you ever see yellow stain marks around the base of your toilet you might want to have them checked as that’s a sure sign! Something I wasn’t smart enough to know, nor our inspection guy apparently who didn’t even mention it!)
And then lastly, we had some tree guys come out to assess two very large – and very dead’ish – trees on our property that didn’t look the safest once we started paying attention, and those estimates came out to $4,000-$9,000 depending on how serious/fast we want them gone… Which is also something we should have caught PRE-purchase if we were being diligent enough! But we weren’t because I had seen those trees a million times before and the only thing that had crossed my mind back then was – “Oooooh!!!! Pretty!! I love creepy trees!”
There were some other little things we had to take care of that week too (like a fun wasp infestation – yay!), but basically it was a helluva “welcome back” to the Home Ownership Club, and for a little while there our family’s bliss was out the window…
BUT! The one good thing that came from this, outside of hopefully not having to replace toilets for the next decade, is this silly little trick I randomly came up with which really IS pretty silly.
I know you’re going to laugh and probably write it off, but hear me out as I swear it did wonders for me and maybe it’ll do the same for you if you guys combine your household finances too. (It doesn’t work if you don’t)
Every time we had to pony up money, I pretended it was MY WIFE’S money we were spending and not a single dollar of my own ;)
Even though of course it IS my money too – and hers (it’s BOTH of ours!) – but thinking that it was all HER paying for it somehow took the sting away much faster, haha… And also reminded me that we’re technically splitting everything 50/50 anyways, so it really isn’t *that* bad when it comes down to it because at least it’s NOT all mine!
Of course I didn’t dare say any of this out loud as who knows how that would go (you’re not reading this right now, are you honey??), but at the end of the day you gotta do what you gotta do sometimes to keep sane, and pretending my wife was fronting the bills for everything here def. stopped me from putting the house right back on the market ;)
(I also think that for those of us who manage our family’s finances we tend to subconsciously treat the money as “our own” so we can do the best job possible, and often times this can add an extra layer of stress too which I bet plays a part here psychologically in the effectiveness of this trick… Though maybe a psychologist can chime in with some additional thoughts?)
At any rate, try it out the next time something breaks in your house/car/anything else your family shares and see if it makes you feel better. You’re not gonna lose anything giving it a shot (unless you don’t keep it to yourself – which is uncharted waters!), but if it calms you down even a hair I’d say it’s worth the 2 second experiment.
Or if you’d like – just pretend it’s all J. Money’s $$$ paying for things and you’ll both get off scot free!! Haha… There are no rules in fantasy-land after all, you can try anything you want! ;)
Interesting thing about “scot free” which I just Googled – it has nothing to do with the Scots, nor scotch! Here’s a cool article on it if you’re curious about its origins –> TodayIFoundOut.com