Being cheap has put us in debt.

Call it what you will but I’m open about it. I’m cheap. We all know this. I sugar coat nothing; but I realized that even in my efforts to be the “Frugal Fowler” I have incurred great debt.

Yes, it has been a while since I’ve posted. Sure, I’ve been busy but mainly uninspired. I’m finding less interest in seeking the best ‘bang for my buck’ these days and seeking more of the natural expenses life offers. No worries, I still go crazy for a great deal (Friday Freebies, you betcha!) No, you won’t find me grocery shopping at high-end uptown grocer’s market or buying clothes at the mall- thank-you dented cans and upcycled clothing- but there has been an internal battle-of-blah that tonight was momentarily interrupted by a harsh reality.

All my pennies pinched have been lost. I have accrued unanticipated debt and I’m taking Brent down with me.

This daunting revelation came to light tonight after (another) canceled date night. I was tired, my mother in law is in town, the kids want to just hang out, it’s been a long day, let’s just get take out and relax, maybe play cards at home. These all seem like credible excuses, and they are. The problem is, this has become my MO. Whenever it comes to going and doing things as a family, I’m in! But when it comes to just Brent and I, even on a special occasion, the guilt of spending money on just us takes over and I find a reason to opt out. Every year we talk about going somewhere for our anniversary. I’m not talking Paris, I’m talking a quick drive over to the ocean for the day or out to the mountains for an overnight. Some of which could easily be the equivalent to a solid date night in Raleigh when we are talking dollar signs. And yet every year we wind up doing something somewhat low key and “much more affordable” because of me. Brent is such a laid back individual and beyond rational and logical, so it doesn’t take much of my nonsense rhetoric to get a plan changed. Don’t get me wrong I love a good at-home date night just as much as the next guy-of course I do! But sometimes you have to go for a walk in the park, spend the money on gas to drive a few extra miles, take in a movie while fighting over the armrest or get up early and make that breakfast date happen. Tonight while mindlessly scrolling the WWW, I came across a pinterest-post-turned-conversation-starter and realized that all of my efforts at saving money have cost my marriage a great deal. We don’t just go, we have reached the negative when it comes to quality time. Debt incurred. Interest rates accruing.

Money is said to be a leading cause of divorce. I admit I’ve never done the research. However, anyone who hears the uplifting and encouraging numbers equating to marital success (complete sarcasm btw) knows that money is not far from the blame list (at the top nonetheless) for most. I find momentary peace in my vision of what these couples are like, we haven’t yet (and hope to never) painted that picture. Granted, we are by no means the picture of perfection. I wouldn’t wish our messy palette of paint on anyone, but the canvas is turning out to be quite lovely. The problem is that at this moment it is turning grey and that is my fault. For both B and I our top Love Language is Quality Time, and yet we are both so quickly to be dismissive of it. To put it back on the shelf. To NOT make the investment. I can’t help but think that we aren’t the only ones doing this. Of course we aren’t. But I’m not looking to invest in those marriages, I’m looking to invest in mine. Choosing not to is unacceptable and completely detrimental to what we’ve worked so hard to build.

From this moment forward, I will make the following addendum to my vows.

B, I promise to not allow my cheap-ass ways interfere with the quality of fun and adventure we experience together. I love you.

With Love.
One crazy-wild, uber-tired and openly cheap-ass wife ox