“We need to setup a new budget. This isn’t working; you are constantly transferring money from savings,” J states.
“Well, I don’t what else you want me to do. I can’t pull money out of my butt. You are spending way over your entertainment budget, and I transfer money to pay the bills.”
I lower myself begrudgingly onto the couch while he sits in the oversized office chair staring at the excel spreadsheet. I hear a little whimper from my baby’s bedroom upstairs, but he quiets himself.
“Ok, what about gas? Do you really need $200/month? That’s a lot of gas. We can cut it in half. Where are you going anyway?”
“Well, I pick up Aiden from school. And I go to MOPS every other Tuesday and women’s Bible study on Thursday mornings. Besides that, I really just go to the grocery store and a couple errands. Gas is so expensive right now, like $4/gallon.”
“You don’t need to go to church twice a week. You don’t need to go to Bible study anymore; it’s just a waste. You should be home teaching our kids more anyway. You can probably save $25/month just on that. I’ll give you $125 for gas.”
“What? But that’s not enough. I go to Bible study to be a healthier mom. They have a great childcare program for the kids too. They are teaching E her letters, like a different letter every week.”
“You always argue with me. You’re just a contentious woman. We can’t afford it.”
“But you’re spending over $200 every month just eating out and playing!”
“I said $125. You’ll just have to figure it out.”
I punch numbers on a calculator, hustling to prove my point. My cheeks burn as I fight back tears; I’m working hard to understand why he is being so rigid. How is it that this man that says he loves me is so cold? Since he separated our bank accounts and took over all the savings, these fights have been heated.
“Ok, look, I have to drive A to school every day. That’s seven miles each way, times four. If I get twenty miles a gallon, that’s $120 per month on gas just to take him to school and back. With gas prices this high, I need at least $200/month for gas.”
“Ok, fine. I’ll give you $150, but that’s it.”
“It’s really not enough.”