Don’t Feed the Alligators

A Personal Finance Blog from a Small-Scale Landlord’s Perspective
05.31.2008
Breaking the Rules

Creative Commons License photo figure credit: P. C. Loadletter

Well this is basically going to be a confessional post….

I did a bad thing the other day…

I broke almost every financial rule we have….

I bought something over $200 without the other person’s consent…

I bought something without thinking about it for at least 24 hrs…

I applied for and used credit without my spouse’s knowledge….

In my defense we have talked about this purchase and had decided that it should be put on the radar as something to start thinking about. Of course in a perfect world I would be able to pay as I go and save along the way. Unfortunately at the company I went to the product is offered as a package deal with a deep discount for prepaying. That is why I should have done my due diligence and realized that this is a huge red flag and reputable companies don’t make you prepay for services.

I broke the unwritten contract we have concerning money and I feel awful about it. This is what I have done to remedy the situation.

After doing a little research (that I should have done prior to signing on the dotted line) I have realized that:

A) Although the woman I spoke with said they do not give refunds, the paper I signed clearly states they do.

B) I have written a letter to the company requesting a refund and have copied the credit card and the Company’s main customer service department.

C) I will wait to see if the company makes good on the refund. I will give them 30 days or until I get the credit card bill. If they do not, I will send the letter to the credit card company and dispute it with them.

I can’t believe I fell for such a scam. I just finished reading Predictably Irrational… I didn’t learn anything, clearly. I have learned my lesson now. This is why we have the 24 hr waiting period, this is why we talk to our spouses before making big purchases, this is why when it looks like it’s too good to be true, it usually is.

I’m not proud of myself but this is something that is very important to me. In the heat of the moment I got excited. I forgot everything I have learned about finances and purchases. I know now that I did not approach the purchase correctly or fiscally responsibly, and I may end up eating a 10% administrative fee because of it. After the matter is resolved I will make an appointment with a reputable, local, licensed practitioner and see if I can save up the money to start the process the proper way, the way we agreed to do so. I hope Mr. MITBeta can forgive my financial transgression. I will try to make it right.

Update: I have heard from the company and I believe they will be issuing a refund minus the 10%. Cross your fingers for me.

Editor’s note: MITBeta forgives ScrapperMom… but is still not happy about having to pay 10% for nothing…

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5 Responses to “Breaking your financial contract with your spouse”


  1. Rachel Says:

    Aw — this post is just a tease without knowing what the splurge was!

    You might be interested in knowing that Zen Habits just did a “money and relationships” post:

    http://zenhabits.net/2008/06/six-steps-to-healthy-finances-in-your-relationship/

    Frankly, I don’t think a weekly financial talk is necessary for all couples. For example, my husband and I have mostly separate finances and steady incomes, so things just don’t change every week or even every month, and we don’t need to talk to each other about purchases for financial reasons (if those purchases are going to take up floor space, now THERE’S an issue to fight about). Still, it seems related so I thought I’d pass on the link.


  2. ScrapperMom Says:

    Thanks Rachel for the link to the great article. There are a lot of good points in there, especially the fact that you need to be on the same page as your spouse on spending/saving in order to make things work.

    Let’s just say the splurge was on a “cosmetic procedure” that would have eventually saved me money on razors! I just figured keeping it generic would make it more universal. In the end it didn’t matter if it was a flat panel TV, a boat, or Lasik if it wasn’t in your budget!


  3. Michelle Says:

    Man, I’m sorry…


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