Just to be clear (mainly for my wife who may read this one day) I love my wife, am proud of who she is/was, and plan to be with her forever! So, this is more of a reflection of who we were, and how we changed over the last 15 years together. Enjoy!
Some background on our “situation”. We met in college, fell in love quickly, and were married 10 months after first meeting. I had a different lifestyle than my wife, and I knew this as I drove around a nice truck, ate out regularly, and always had cash on hand for road tripping to the beach to surf or climb mountains in Colorado. I was on a full ride basketball scholarship, and worked also to have cash to have a life. My wife lived at home with her family of ten people, hustled for scholarship money, worked in a computer lab, at a kitchen store, as a secretary for a children’s shelter, and drove a broke down SUV of some kind that worked for a few weeks of our relationship. I knew she was super frugal, because we could go on dates to Applebee’s, and she had never been there before and found a coupon. I introduced her to many fast food places, life experiences, and we traveled to Colorado to hike and climb. She was fine with this, and it made me the exciting guy for taking her to a new Austin, Texas coffee shop or to a cheap independent movie theatre. We lived like frugal kings in college, with no student debt of any kind!
My wife also trusted everyone she met, as I was the cynic and took caution with people
trying to take advantage of us and our frugal ways. I saw her naive view of people as sweet, cute, and attractive. But, over time I knew that if something happened to me she would have to find the wolf in sheep’s clothing on her own. I let her make mistakes, and the one that I feel was a turning point for her was the Nigerian scam with my old Playstation 2.
I told her to sell my old Playstation 2 and all my games on Craigslist about 3 years into our marriage and we had our first kid, so it was time to grow up some. She got a great deal from someone online for all of it. They would pay for shipping and send her a check once they received the Playstation 2 and games. I told her it was a scam and to block that person. She argued back and I told her to make the deal then. It didn’t matter to me that much if I lost it because we didn’t need the $200, but I felt she could learn something about this crazy world. So, she set it up, sent off the Playstation 2 and games, and we are still waiting for our money to this day. I brought it up for the next year here and there to prove my points better, and that was the day I began to ruin my sweet trusting wife.
She also use to get physical stress eating out at restaurants, making large purchases, and any little bill that came our way. Over the years eating out more, buying multiple houses, cars, campers, and having kids who bring unexpected bills all the time has changed her. She still uses coupons, looks for deals, and shops around, but that sweet innocence is lost in her. She pays bills without batting an eye at them, enjoys going to all inclusive resorts with me without the stress of how much was this, and she shops for cars online already thinking and pricing our next family vehicle. I enjoyed taking care of her, and looking out for her. But, now she is a worldly woman, who knows a little of everything, and is kicking butt and taking names. I ruined her!
I have also changed in this time, and for the more frugal because of her. I hardly ever looked for the best deals, shopped around, or used coupons, and now my wallet is full of coupons, gift cards, receipts with codes on them. I also never buy new stuff anymore like I use too. I pretty much almost never buy stuff period, and I have hole sin my socks. So, she has taught me a lot about frugal lifestyle living. I have had no money in my wallet for months at a time, and can still eat out with freebies, coupons, and deals with my kids. I call this hunting and gathering, like our ancient ancestors. I also sold some old books to fund a lunch with my kids, at her suggestion the other day, and she didn’t forget her frugal ways, so the vast knowledge is there on file for rainy days.
I feel a little guilty about ruining my wife, and her innocent nature, but at the same time I am immensely proud of her and her personal growth. I will miss that old version of her, but as we grow old together, and have more life experiences, I know she will continue to grow and move forward as a more savvy investor too. I also know that if something was to happen to me, everyone in my family would all be fine. It’s just fun sometimes to think about how far we have come together, and think about where we might be in the future. I love my wife dearly, may have have ruined the sweet innocence in her, but I know as a family we are always changing, adjusting, and growing for the better from our experiences together.