and now the spouse gets tested

November 30th, 2007

And Now The Spouse Gets Tested

The company my spouse works for is opening a huge on the premises cafeteria/restaurant/food court/shopping plaza (yes, like a mall) for all the employees. They have been building it for quite a while and it now is almost done. In fact, there is a company-wide meeting to discuss its opening and all the features etc on Monday.

My spouse has been somewhat involved on the software end of things in implementing it so he is privy to some of how everything will work, and informed me of a little bombshell this afternoon on the phone – the employees will be able to swipe their IDs to pay for things and it’ll come directly out of their paychecks.

And the control freak inside me started screaming and wincing uncontrollably.

My spouse, thus far, has gotten a tiny little bit of fun money a month to spend at work on snacks or coffee. And by tiny – I mean tiny, on the order of $2 or $3 a month. It is enough for him to treat himself now and then and not feel deprived but not make a significant difference in our overall budget. I give it to him in cash and he hoards it until he really really wants something. Well, now, he doesn’t have to hoard. He can just swipe away and get himself a candy bar every single day. Or coffee. Or eat lunch in the food court. Okay wait, I need to take a few deep breaths.

Honestly, my spouse has been great through this whole process of debt reduction. He doesn’t complain about bringing lunch every day. He doesn’t complain (too much) about not going out to eat ever. He doesn’t ask for more money or to go shopping. But he likes his little work indulgence once in a while. And now… it’ll be there all the time, and he won’t need to have any cash to use it.

More deep breaths. In… out… seriously, I’m just a wee bit of a control freak. Y’all knew that already right? ;)

There is one saving grace in all this. The swiping of the card sends an email receipt. He’s setting his account up so it sends the receipt to me, not him. So I can tell him he’s going overboard if he is (his suggestion not mine). So I feel a little better.

But not much. This is going to result in him spending more money, I *know* it, and the paychecks will be smaller and I will just cry. Ugh. I like the paychecks HOW THEY ARE. Ugh.

Okay, more deep breaths….  I need to have faith that my spouse stays committed to the debt reduction goals.  Faith.  Faith is stronger than candy…  hopefully.

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17 Responses to “And Now The Spouse Gets Tested”

  1. Control freak? Nooo!

    ;)

    I hope the spouse behaves!

  2. Wow, what a genius, nefarious idea on the part of the company. Why, oh why, do I suspect they make a profit off of doing it this way? :-P

    I hate things that make buying things a one-swipe/one-click process. Those… what are they, Visa? commercials were everyone’s swiping their cards and then everything stops while someone pays cash/writes a check and the cashier gives them a sour look annoy me so much! Cashier, you do realize that this new technology is only making you more and more irrelevant and you soon may be be out of a job, right?

    Then again, I live my life at a fairly slow pace compared to many people I know, so small back-ups at, say, the grocery store, don’t bug me very much. I’m the sort of person who parks far away from the building and walks just because it’s not worth the hassle to park in the closest spot I can find. I’m lucky enough to be able to walk and I need the exercise. I’ll save the close spots for those who need them.

  3. Girl, I’m feeling your pain!! I would be freaking out too!LOL My husband, like yours, rarely asks for or spends money needlessly. BUT, if all he had to do was swipe his I.D. badge to buy a Diet Pepsi he WOULD do it more often. I don’t think the guys always realize how much those $2 and $3 little “treats” can end up taking out of a budget.

    Good luck!!

  4. I agree with Sally. Sounds like a ploy to make more money for the company.

    This sounds like it’s not going to benefit anyone else. And I feel sorry for the people who don’t check their receipts, and get their paycheck, only to realize they’ve already spent a good portion of it on snacks.

  5. Calm down lol! Even if he goes overboard, that is no reason to cry. You aren’t going to get locked up in the poor house :)

    Obviously, I know him going overboard is not ideal or wanted in any way, but I am just saying to not sweat it terribly! :)

  6. I take my lunch everyday, and even if there is absolutely nothing to take, I have packages of instant Kashi cereal to make with the hot pot. Yesterday was one of those Kashi days, and they were serving baked potatoes with broccoli and cheese sauce in the cafeteria. And it was cold outside. And the potatoes smelled so good.

    I did manage to stay strong, and I did not spend the money on lunch from the cafeteria. But I really wanted to.

  7. Insidious. I’m sure he’ll do ok, even if he’s not perfect. *hugs*

  8. This is a horrible idea!!! I know most colleges you buy can almost anything on campus using your ID card BUT you must prepay, so it’s almost like a gift card idea. You prepay a certain amount onto your card. It is very convenient to buy snacks or meals on campus because you just swipe and go (plus they give student discounts if you use the card in some places). I know for the university near me, vendors off campus are now accepting the student ID card as a form of payment as well. That is what his work should do–create so you can purchase items using their ID cards BUT the money is not straight from their paycheck but through a separate payment fund they set up. Also what about fraud? Disputed purchases? Or even errors? Seems like the company is setting themselves up for a headache if they directly take money out of their employee’s paychecks.

  9. Hi there,

    First of all, it sounds like your hubby has been great in all of this — he’s taking his lunch, he’s bringing his soda (right?). He wants to do the right thing.

    I think there’s only one real answer to this: you’ve got to build up a little “work spending money” budget for your hubby, and give it to him in cash, with the debit card as a backup. Allowing the paycheck to be hit like that would cause serious, serious, serious problems to your plans — I think it’s unethical on the company’s part, honestly. The worst case scenario would be lunch every day — let’s say 20 lunches, maybe at $8 each? That’s $160 a month, and that’s too much for your budget. Giving it in cash gives you more control.

    How much to allocate for a “work spending money” budget? I think $2 a month is not enough, because the temptation to swipe is too great. It also is kinda demeaning, I think.

    Here’s what I would do: I would take out $10 (from the emergency fund), and give it to him on Monday morning, and see if he can stretch it out. And if it were me, I would do it *this* Monday. Adding a little “luxury” like this to his regular habit will do amazing wonders to his ability to withstand temptation.

    And then figure it out together: is it $10 a month? $10 every two weeks? $10 every week? Don’t be judgmental about it: be realistic. Is his happiness at work worth any less than your buying food for your son’s classes? And remember that properly budgeting the money in advance will be a whole lot easier than accounting for cuts in the paycheck.

    I guess you could also see if you need to add more bring-to-work snacks (candy bars? sodas?) to your regular grocery budget.

    Good luck!

  10. Ohm……Ohm…… :)

    My hubby can do this too….ugh!! It was really hard when he first discovered this opportunity at first b/c it was like “free money” to him. Once I saw what was happening, I cracked the whip :)

    I think the email alert set-up is a great idea. He’ll know that you are watching every time he is tempted to buy that candy bar.

  11. @Bill – my spouse was happy with the $2-$3 per month. I wasn’t demeaning him – it is what he requested. It is $2-$3 more dollars per month than my own snack budget. lol (Yes I do occasionally spend money on snacks for me while grocery shopping but I buy him snacks too. I hate doritos. lol)

    I’m not sooooo worried about the spouse (okay I am but I am trying not to be), I just need to let go of my control freak nature. he wants out of debt too, even if he’s not the one blogging about it every day. I have to keep sight of that. And breathe. A lot. lol

    It may be that we stay on a cash based system (my preference) but spouse seems excited about using his card. heh. I am sure he’ll have something to say tonight when he gets home and reads this heh. (I told him I was writing it, I did).

  12. PaidTwiceSpouse Says:

    November 30th, 2007 at 6:52 pm

    @Sally, Siena, Lynnae, Bill- maybe I’m being a “homer” because I’ve worked there a few years, but I’m not sure it will be that bad as a very large percentage of people eat out for lunch anyway.

    @Bill – don’t feel bad for me, I wasn’t spending much at work before we accelerated debt reduction because I have been replacing candy and chips with fruit and other healthier snacks I bring from home as my metabolism isn’t what it used to be. :) Plus, PaidTwice is a good cook, so I don’t mind the “lunchovers”.

  13. I owe my soul to the company store

    dah doo doo dah dah la dah dee dah

    If you recognize the lyrics yer’ showing yer’ age!!!

  14. Your family’s case is the opposite of mine.

    I am the bean counter. (cannot be a control freak,my wife is DA BOSS of the house, so I have to be careful and really choose my words, when it comes to the “spending” word).

    At least your spouse has been drummed in with the basics, bring lunch etc…..

    Go with the flow…I am sure everything will work out just fine.

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