“I’m stuck in a penny-pinch mindset”: My partner and I bought a house, but he only wants to buy high-end items. How can we agree?

Dear Quentin,

My wife and I spent years saving for a new home and living well below our means. It may sound strange, but now that we have a new home, we feel overwhelmed by the prospect of spending our savings on the items we were actually saving for.

Basically, my partner feels bolstered by our nest egg and opts for high-end items every time, while I’m stuck in a penny-pinching mindset. I feel like we have to list everything we might want to buy and weigh each item against the rest, and it’s completely overwhelming.

Can you recommend a way to make an intermediate shot?

Thank you for your help.

The diametrically opposed duo

Dear opposites,

You can only do one thing at a time, and many new buyers sleep on air mattresses before buying a mattress. I slept on it the last time I moved, and when I bought my first house, I used a wallpaper table covered with a tablecloth for dinner parties. So before you think about furniture and washer-dryers and stoves, you should look at the broader economy, your own job security, your emergency savings (6 months minimum) before spending more money.

Congratulations on the purchase of your home. The general rule, which I don’t object to, is that 28% or less of your gross income should go toward your mortgage, and your total monthly debts should not exceed 35% of your gross income. Obviously there is a bit of wiggle room, especially since your income is likely to increase over time, as well as the value of your home, but your repayments should remain constant if you have a mortgage. at a fixed rate.

Ultimately, you and your spouse should be operating from the same playbook: macroeconomic data. There is a lot of economic uncertainty and fears of an impending recession, as the Federal Reserve raises rates in an effort to rein in an annual inflation rate of 9.1%. Yet the data does not support a recession with anything close to absolute certainty. If that happened, it would be quite unique. Although initial jobless claims are at their highest level in eight months, for example, the jobless rate is 3.6%.

You and your spouse should be operating from the same playbook: macroeconomic data.

In addition, wages increased by 5.7% in the first half, even if they do not keep pace with inflation. The personal consumption expenditure price index rose 1% in June on the month. However, it rose 6.8% on the year, the highest annual growth rate in four decades. And while gross domestic product fell for the second straight quarter, the biggest negative was a trade deficit, where people bought more imports as businesses struggled to keep up with supplies.

If you base your spending on your needs rather than your wants, and adapt those wants based on the unusual economic environment, you are more likely to agree on a spending plan. There are items worth investing in: a refrigerator and a washing machine, but there are plenty of other things that don’t need to be the most expensive in the store. Write a list of those expensive appliances. They could cost you more in the long run, if you skimp and they break down.

Your list might look like this: “1. High-end kits. 2. High-end desires. 3. Necessities that make not must be the gold standard. 4. Desires that we really don’t need and would be better off giving up in order to increase our emergency fund. It will help to see them written in black on white. Once you have your needs, take your time. Live in your house. Sometimes the best decision is to wait for life to unfold and not make any decisions.

One final caveat: the thrill of buying something expensive, fancy, and new probably won’t last as long as the next recession.

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