How Do You Handle Money Matters With Your Significant Other?

Different aspects of life tend to frustrate my husband and I at different levels. Take our refrigerator as an example. For the past year or two our fridge has been leaking water just above the deli drawer. The problem only seems to occur in the summertime and we only notice it during particularly hot months.

We tried removing the contents from the fridge and allowing it to defrost over a matter of days, (which was recommended by a number of people and websites), but it didn’t seem to resolve the issue. When our quick fix solution didn’t work I placed a small sponge on the top shelf to soak up any water that dripped. At the end of each day I would simply ring out the sponge and then place it back inside.

Recently I noticed that it would be easier to place a very small bowl, (like the ones you get at diners when you order coleslaw), inside the fridge at the very spot where the water drips. Rather than ringing out a sponge I now simply dump the water out of the bowl each night.

In my mind the problem is solved. It’s not an ideal situation, but collecting the water this way ensures that the other contents inside the fridge won’t get wet and soggy. It’s a quick solution that doesn’t cost us any money or additional effort. The problem is that my husband is less than thrilled with this workaround.

He would prefer to replace the fridge with a new one. Lucky for me and my frugal ways, we can’t easily replace the old appliance, because the cabinet above it was installed within millimeters of the top of the current one. The appliance is quite old and new refrigerators are now built taller, which means to replace the fridge we would also have to pay someone to replace the cabinet.

At the heart of the debate is not just the money we need to spend on replacing the fridge and fixing the cabinet, but also the fact that everything else works appropriately. The ice maker works, the freezer stays cold and we’ve never had any other problems or issues other than this tiny drip, so I can’t bear to spend good money on an appliance that’s currently working.

So what do you do when you and your significant other don’t agree on how to resolve a money related issue? Do you discuss the pros and cons and compromise with the individual who feels more strongly about the problem?

So far I’ve been winning this debate. I’ve convinced my husband that it’s not worth replacing a working fridge and cabinet just because the refrigerator is dripping, but at the end of the day I’m not certain how long he’ll go along with my decision. Every time he reaches into that fridge and has to move the tiny bowl filled with water I can sense the agitation growing inside of him.

I’ve thought about calling a repairman, but I’m not sure that tiny little drip is worth the cost of repairs. I’m not bothered by the leak or the fact that I have a tiny little bowl inside the fridge collecting water. Still knowing that my husband is so bothered by the issue, should I hire someone to investigate the problem?

6 thoughts on “How Do You Handle Money Matters With Your Significant Other?”

  1. I'm like you. I would prefer to place a bowl under it, but my BF would prefer a new one. I usually end up caving in though, so I don't think I'm the best one to give advice šŸ™‚

  2. there's no way i would replace a fridge over a tiny drip that only occurs a few times a year. seriously? tell your husband to get over it.

    but maybe in a not bitchy tone : )
    i would wait for something else to break before i replaced it. or unless i like ran into some extra cash…well actually no, if i ran into extra cash i'd still find something else to spend it on (or to pay down debt)!

  3. Put a bigger bowl under there? Less dumping and more likely DH won't tip it over or something!

    We usually try to talk things out and see who has the stronger opinion and what we can afford. That being said…

    We replaced our broken stove and broken dishwasher and left the kinda broken fridge. So, I'd say frugalness wins for the day to day stuff. When we go to sell the house there may be a new fridge there for show though, but that's more of an investment, not an expense so I'm for it.

  4. @Michelle – Make certain you compromise equally whenever it's important to you. A lifetime of caving can lead to resentment. We're not exactly 50/50, more like 60/40 in his favor, but it's important for him to see my point of view and let me win a couple šŸ˜‰

    @Newlyweds – I couldn't agree more! We don't have debt other than mortgages, but there are a bunch of better ways to spend that mone than on a slightly drippy fridge.

    @addsup – I thought about a bigger bowl, but didn't want it to take up too much shelf space. You might not need a new fridge when you sell your place. I don't know that I've ever looked inside appliances when house shopping šŸ˜‰

  5. Depending on what you anticipate the cost of calling a repairman to be, you might want to consider buying insurance for a year or two. I never let mine expire after buying my home but I use it every year. I had someone fix my convection oven once and I routinely have to call a plumber for our antiquated building so it's worth it to me.


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