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My husband and I fought over $540

So I’m always reading about how husbands and wives argue about money. I’ve known my husband for almost ten years and we have only fought about money a handful of times. Those fights all involved the expenses involved in purchasing homes. Either our primary residence or a vacation home we looked at a year or so ago. We talk about money and our expenses a lot, so I never imagined fighting about money. Until yesterday…

A few months ago I purchased a 1994 Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight. Ever since I purchased the car I noticed that the driveway was constantly full of what looked like little oil spots. So when the oil light went on in my car the day before Easter I decided to take the car in to a mechanic. I drove the car to Merchant’s Tire and Auto expecting to spend $16.99 for an oil change. I even had a coupon ready.

After waiting about two hours a gentlemen walked out of the garage and informed me that transmission fluid had been leaking from the car, not oil. And that driving the car even a short distance would be unwise. So he suggested that a mechanic fix the leak from the transmission and change the oil. About two hours later, three 1/2 hours after I initially arrived, the mechanic returned stating that a few other minor repairs would also be advised.

After waiting for almost four hours I figured the mechanic might as well go ahead and make the other repairs. I knew that my husband might be upset about the expenses. After all, he knows a very reliable mechanic. But I figured it was worth spending the extra money since the car was already in the shop and I had already waited a few hours for the repairs to be made. That was a BIG mistake.

After leaving Merchant’s, four 1/2 hours after my initial arrival, my husband called. I informed him of the $540 bill and he went nuts. He couldn’t believe I didn’t take the car to the mechanic that he trusts, and that I allowed Merchant’s to make repairs to my vehicle that cost much more than his mechanic would have charged. This reminded me of an old co-worker of mine. He once told me he’d never allow his wife to get the oil changed without him, because she once left the shop with an $800 bill.

Well, I knew full well what I was doing. And I was prepared that my husband might get angry, though I must admit I was shocked by just how disgruntled he became. It just goes to show that no matter how often you talk about finances with your significant other, some fights about money will still occur. The lesson I learned. Never take the cars to a mechanic that my husband doesn’t recommend. Or, in the future, let him take care of oil changes.

Justine Kaley

Wednesday 19th of April 2006

Instead of letting your husband decide what's right for the car, you both should decide because you both use it. A marriage is 50/50. If he does not like certain mechanics then you both should check www.bbb.org to see if any mechanics in your area have had any customer complaints.