This is basically the week of Steal All of Lauren's Posts because I have no blogging creativity of my own. I'm okay with that. Something like "imitation is the highest form of flattery", right? That said, after Lauren's Horse Husbands: The Money Talk post, I wanted to delve into how Hubby and I manage our finances with a horse in the equation and only one of us bringing in a paycheck. I don't work. I have super high anxiety about dealing with society. I also have super high anxiety about being in control. So basically I'm like an OCD hermit, which is pretty much my ideal life.
|best horse hubby.|
When Hubby and I met, I was working at a horse farm that Hubby was renting an apartment from while he was farming. Yada yada, lots of things happened, and eventually I stopped working at said horse farm, moved with Hubby to a different place, and started working for/with him. It basically involved me sitting on any number of tractors for any number of hours a day, and then going home and making dinner out of spaghetti and butter.
Welcome to farming in upstate NY. It is not a high paying job.
It's also a seriously fucking miserable job if you're not really all that interested in growing corn. Disclaimer: I'm not really all the interested in growing corn. Eventually Hubby got a job offer down here in PA, we moved, and Hubby started bringing in a twice-monthly paycheck.
Not only am I an OCD hermit, but I am also a boss at Jedi mind tricks.
|um, wrong jump, hubby.|
So how do we make an expensive hobby like boarding and showing a horse work when it's Hubby 's money that's paying for it? Seems like the perfect time to use some fucking bullet points!
- Make yourself invaluable. Hubby goes to work every day and brings home the paycheck, but I do everything else. Laundry, dishes, cleaning, grocery shopping, bills, cooking, vacation planning, etc. This is probably the only way this arrangement works for us. If I just sat around and did nothing all day, we'd have some serious issues. But I work hard to hold up my end of the bargain, and all Hubby has to do is come home and eat.
- Budget everything. With every paycheck, I have a list for how every dollar is going to get spent. This way when I do have a show coming up, I know exactly how I'm going to pay for it without having to worry about whether or not it's taking money out of something else. I'm in charge of the checkbook and making sure bills get paid, but I also sit down with Hubby and show him how his money is getting spent.
- No frivolous spending. We don't spend money on pretty much anything extra--if we get a pizza once a month, we're living large. We don't eat out, we don't go drinking with friends, we're not at a movie every weekend. There are plenty of fun things to do for free, and it helps that we both like being outdoors.
- Buy cheap things. Pretty sure I'm the only horse blogger that lives by this rule. If I want something fancy, something expensive, I ask for it for my birthday or Christmas. Otherwise I have to buy it out of the regular budget, and that means it had best be cheap. I'm totally okay with this. I don't need big ticket items to ride my horse. A $100 girth or $300 bridle is not going to make me ride better. I don't need a $60 baby pad or a $150 par of open front boots. My tall boots don't need to be custom...or even real leather.
- Be smart in picking shows. Until our stadium is improved, there's no reason to renew my USEA membership and go to recognized horse trials. But even without that as a factor, I try to pick the cheapest shows. I only go to one days so I don't have to pay a stabling fee or for a hotel, and in Area II, schooling shows are essentially exactly the same as a recognized show--run over the same course, just not timed.
- The horse is not a pet. That's always been Hubby's number one rule when it came to funding the horse: I'm not allowed to have one that I don't use.
|how a horse husband survives the wait between ride times.|
Hubby also knows how to ride, and genuinely likes horses, but sometimes I do feel like I'm taking advantage of him when he's been working six days out of the week and on the seventh day I make him wake up at three in the morning to drive me to a show. But Hubby pointed out that there's a light at the end of the horse showing tunnel for him: summer is for my shit, and the fall and winter months are for his shit. Horses go on the back burner, and he gets to spend all his time hunting and trapping.
Hopefully that comes out as a somewhat cohesive post. It was interrupted halfway through by me having to go murder the puppy for gallivanting off to the neighbor's yard (which is not close) and pretending like she couldn't hear me when I called her.