How to make DH feel rich and pampered while actually being really frugal
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  1. #1
    Lee
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    Question How to make DH feel rich and pampered while actually being really frugal

    So here's my main issue. I can cut our budget to the bare bones and we could be saving so much money, yet my husband, I think, has a psychological problem with this because he doesn't want to feel resitricted.

    If I could come up with some ideas on how to make him feel like he's lving a life of complete luxury, whie actually not spending much money at all, I think we would have a much more harmnious house and a bigger savings account.

    So far I have thought of:

    - Baking more often so that he ALWAYS has delicious biscuits (cookies) or cakes around to snack on, and take to work.

    - Menu planning so that he always has a GREAT dinner (on time) and a GREAT lunch to take to work the next day.

    - Leaving him notes around the house, in his lunch-box, in his car etc so he feels cared about (he's a big romantic. his would appeal)

    - Never actually TALKING to him about money that I'm saving. (I might have to start a blog or something because I'm sure gonna need to talk about it SOMEwhere lol).

    - Getting him a "present" (something that he'll actually use and love, but doesn't cost much - maybe homemade or secondhand) randomly perhaps once a month so he feels 'treated'.

    - keeping the house tidy so he doesn't feel mentally cluttered and prone to crankiness. (I need to work on this )

    - Having a calendar up on the wall with "rent due" marked clearly, and PAID very clearly after it (when it has been paid) so he is not worrying that I haven't paid rent.

    Anything else? I know he doesn't actually object, in theory, to saving money. He WANTS to, so we can have a place of our own on day. But he needs help to feel safe about it, and not like things are being taken away from him.

    He already gets a personal allowance of $50 a week to spend on whatever he wants (tobacco mostly).


    Can you think of anything else? Obviously stuff that doesn't cost money (or not much), but would help him feel 'rich' and secure and pampered.

  2. #2
    Registered User Momto2Boyz's Avatar
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    My husband has the same idea. I call it the "act poor, feel poor" syndrome! Whenever we are really trying to save for something, and we cut out everything, he starts to feel poor and I swear, he actually spends more money.

    When times were really tough for us, we treated ourselves once a month to dinner out. It didn't have to be expensive, when you don't eat out much, even fast food can be a treat. So, we picked a weekend each month and wrote it on the calendar, and it was something to look forward too.

    I also keep a sheet on the side of the fridge with our savings goals on it. I keep the dates, that I plan to put x amount away, then I post it up there for him to see. He's not big on talking about money saving, but when he could see it up on the fridge, it seemed to help him see how plausable the savings was!

    We've found that splurging on things that we normally really go all out on helps. Keep good inexpensive meals on hand. If i plan a night of mac n cheese, or too many nights of hamburger helper, then DH'll want to go out becuase he doens't like his menu choices. We are huge coffee drinkers, and DH and I both used to have a horrible Starbucks habit. Now, I keep travel mugs handy and splurge a bit on better coffee (I use 2 scoops of the cheap stuff (ie folgers, hills brothers) and I mix it with 2 scoops of good stuff (like Tulley's or Starbucks or flavored coffee) and I'm able to make really good coffee at home!

    Maybe look at what you would normally spend money on and see if there is a way to reproduce it at home cheaper. It sounds like you are on the right track by validating his feelings of deprivation! Hopefully, you guys can come up with a solution!

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    My DH is kind of like that too. I just make sure that he has cold beer in the fridge for the weekends and have something yummy in the cupboards (even a bag of candy). It's just those little things and he's all happy (and so am I because I'm saving money).

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    Registered User Trishagirl's Avatar
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    Yep My dh is the same way he loves chocolate so I keep some chocolate on hand and then he's a happy camper! Or I make some pumpkin muffins.
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    Registered User The Muse's Avatar
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    I've learned to cook and bake "restaurant good" so he doesn't even miss going out to eat anymore. Last time we went out, he commented that the food wasn't as good as what he gets at home

    I think you have a great list.
    Last edited by The Muse; 12-22-2008 at 09:45 AM.

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    Registered User nvmommyx6's Avatar
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    Another thing you might do is print him out a "coupon book"
    I did this for my hubby and it works wonders, Little coupons for shoulder massage, foot massage, or other adult favors!!!!!

  7. #7
    QM
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    I sooo know what you're talking about! I look forward to seeing other tips/ideas because my hubby, too, starts feeling deprived when we start cutting back as much as possible.

    What I've recently been doing is keeping the temperature in the house around 66 degrees during the day, and about half an hour before he comes home turn it to 68 or 69 so it's warmer for him. Before bed I turn it down to 65 because everybody is covered and sheets and don't feel how cold it is anyway.

    If you every want to 'talk' about the money you're saving, post it on a challenge to yourself so others on this forum can cheer you on. Most of us Frugal Villagers came completely understand where you're coming from!
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    Registered User rainbowgc's Avatar
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    I have found that nothing makes a man feel more pampered than having his woman give him a shave. Try it, it connects you.

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    Registered User G'MaDebbie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rainbowgc View Post
    I have found that nothing makes a man feel more pampered than having his woman give him a shave. Try it, it connects you.
    ummmm...what are we shaving?! lol
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    I agree with all the rest although I think as well you do need to talk to him about what you are saving. That's just my opinion. My dh likes to know what I'm doing with the money. A little extra pampering goes a long way when you tell him you are saving for a specific goal.

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    I think your ideas sound great. Keep him happy and save away!

  12. #12
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    Occasionally I get like this - forget DH! It sounds like your hopeless romantic's main love language is gifts. A few things to remember...it's the thought that counts.

    For me, it meant a world of difference if DH brought home flowers every now and then to cheer up the dining room table or mantel piece. I didn't care if they came from Safeway or the upscale florist...I just wanted the flowers to cheer me up. And I didn't care if it was a bunch of roses or one carnation. Actually, I prefer carnations as they last longer.

    For my DH I would occasionally buy his favourite candy and leave it with a love note/homemade card on his pillow for him to find when he arrived home from work.

    Another thing to do is to have a candlelight dinner with just DH and you every now and then. And, if you have kids, it won't hurt to institute the venerable institution of the fancy Sunday dinner. I tried that with some success. I picked up all the necessary supplies at thrift stores and garage sales...or sewed them myself (recycling tablecloth into nice cloth napkins, etc.).

    If DH likes to go out to eat as part of his 'luxury', take him out to afternoon tea at a local cafe, rather than out to supper. Or out to breakfast or lunch, which is often cheaper than going out for a supper meal.

    If DH likes to be pampered, maybe redesign your bathroom to be more of a spa type area, with homemade soaps and lotions...picking up thick fluffy towels at the January white sales coming up soon! Even better yet, declutter that bedroom and make it romantic by adding tealights, oil diffuser, music (CD player from garage sale here), silk flowers (on sale this time of year), etc. I figure the one room that makes the most difference in the marriage is the bedroom...make it a romantic getaway and you'll have done wonders for your marriage!

    What you're talking about is frugal luxuries. I guess it's a case of plugging into what your DH likes and finding a frugal way to provide it. For me it meant analysing just exactly why I wanted these things and then brainstorming alternative ways to get them.

    For example, when I saw how much we were paying for dining out, I sat down and figured out why I dined out. I did it to be around people, because I was bored of cooking, because I was tired and needed a break, for a treat, etc. I then brainstormed specific ways to handle those occasions. I went out for tea instead of supper when I wanted company. I borrowed ethnic cookbooks from the library for when I was bored of cooking. Or we had a picnic. Or DH grilled. I megacooked meals for the freezer for days I was tired. And when company came and we needed a treat, I'd have a cheesecake all made, sliced and frozen, with some hm coffee mixes in the cupboard.

    It doesn't take much to figure out creative alternatives once you realize why you have the desires you do. I always maintained that frugality, even if it never saved me a cent, did raise our standard of living far above where it was initially. And a large part of that is due to this approach of asking myself why I want/need something, and brainstorming ways around it.

    Hope this helps.

    Jean
    Last edited by peanut; 12-22-2008 at 12:57 PM.

  13. #13
    Registered User pollypurebred39's Avatar
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    Wow! We women sure go through a lot to make our men happy. I wonder if they really know how much effort it takes to keep them happy. Hmmm.....I have a great husband but if my husband put as much effort in pleasing me as Lee and all of you ladies do pleasing your husbands I don't think I could ever be cross with him!
    Last edited by pollypurebred39; 12-22-2008 at 12:58 PM.

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    Registered User UUMomof3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pollypurebred39 View Post
    Wow! We women sure go through a lot to make our men happy. I wonder if they really know how much effort it takes to keep them happy. Hmmm.....I have a great husband but if my husband put as much effort in pleasing me as Lee and all of you ladies do pleasing your husbands I don't think I could ever be cross with him!

    I was just thinking the same thing!

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    Registered User old_lady_in_the_shoe's Avatar
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    I do a lot of the same things:

    I bake goodies so hubby has special thing to eat (much cheaper and healthier than store or bakery purchased)

    I also bake all our own bread, buns, and rolls (my husband thinks I do it because he likes it better, lol...the savings is huge)

    If he wants to "go out" I always suggest lunch...say it is less busy, less same menu, but it is usually 2/3 or 1/2 the price as a dinner menu...

    I also have a family car wash day...tons of fun, not to mention that now hubby wont run it thought the money hungry car wash because the car is "dirty"...

    I also tell hubby "I saved $39 at the grocery today...in coupons, because I know he works hard for our money and I am working hard to keep as much of it as possible for us".

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