Confessions of a Good Wife: Tales of Being Married to a Penny Pincher

BY: - 23 Jan '13 | Marriage

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Does anyone remember Julius (Chris Rock’s father) from the sitcom “Everybody Hates Chris”? His father was notorious for saving money at all costs and feelings of his family. We laughed as Julius accounted for all of the money he spent — down to a penny. We laughed as he imposed hilarious rules on his family in an effort to save money, much to the dismay of his wife, Rochelle and his children. However, this weekend as I was sitting in a restaurant celebrating my birthday I realized that I to was married to a penny pincher.” Not just any old “penny pincher” but one who will go to all costs to save a dollar (and yes, I mean a dollar).

Take for instance this weekend. My husband woke me up early on Sunday morning to make sure we could get a spot at one of my favorite restaurants, Papadeaux. Now we go to this spot often so it’s never a surprise to see how much money we spend when we go there. We’re veterans, or so I thought.  You see I had ordered an entree and when I couldn’t eat it all my husband exclaimed, “Do you know how much that entree was? You better take that home! You have at least $13.85 worth of food left on the plate!” As soon as those words came out of his mouth we both laughed (along with our kids)  and happily packed up our leftovers to take home. As we rode back home, I began to think about if  my husband’s money saving ways were really funny or annoying.

Before I go into a long tirade about his antics, let me give you some ‘situations’ that show just how serious my husband is about spending money.

Exhibit 1: The other morning I was sleeping in when all of a sudden someone was right over me calling my name. I thought I was dreaming until I felt my husband shaking me awake. Alarmed, I jumped up only to see my husband right there waving the electric bill. He frantically asked, “Hey what’s this .43 charge on our bill?” As I tried to gain control of my senses, I thought he said $43 so I took the bill from him and said that no, he was really talking about the $0.43 added onto our bill to help a low income family. Trying NOT to “catch an attitude” early in the morning, I mumbled what it was and rolled back over but my husband wasn’t having it. He tapped me on my shoulder again and asked, “Well do we have to pay it?” In my mind I was thinking, “What in the world is wrong with him?” But still intent on getting some sleep, I nodded my head with hopes he would leave me alone. Instead he sat down right there and called the electrical company to argue with them about the added $0.43 on our bill.  By the end of the phone call not only had he gotten the “extra” money taken off our bill but had negotiated a better rate. 

Good stuff, right? Well if you had your sleep interrupted, you wouldn’t think so. 

Exhibit 2:  We regularly go out to dinner and everyone knows at a nice restaurant not only can the bill add up quickly, BUT so can the tip. So the other night we go out to eat with a group of people and  by the end of the night we had eaten up a bill of close to $300 dollars and of course they automatically add the tip to tables of more than 6 people. Somehow or another, another husband in the group made a comment about how much the tip was going to be (close to $75) and my husband almost had a heart attack there. He literally combed through the  bill, line by line until the entire total was accounted for. Now we go out to eat A LOT so he’s used to a tip, but I don’t know if it was the amount, but he almost lost his mind while we all looked at him like he was crazy.

Exhibit 3: My husband will drive all over the city looking for cheap gas. It doesn’t matter if it’s mid day traffic or late at night. If gas is cheap he’s on it. I try to reason with him that driving 10 miles out the way to get cheap gas isn’t really a “come up” but all he sees is dollar signs.

Now I could go on and on about more  instances where my husband is the money police but I don’t have all day and some things are just too embarrassing to even type out. So as we drove home that night, I realized I am married to Julius, the Ultimate Penny Pincher. They may look different but their goal to ‘save a buck’ is exactly the same. Now at this point everyone would expect for me to try and initiate a “talk” with my husband about his “penny pinching” ways but I’m not. 

Simply put, saving money is my husband’s character. He obsesses about saving money and focuses on the “small things” while I focus on the  big things and my love for shoes (not such a good thing). So instead of trying to change his behavior, I let him be. Yes, I may get cross at him for waking me up from my deep sleep to discuss an extra $0.43 on a bill but he does it for us. I may even get angry when he takes 15 minutes reviewing the bill with the waiter after a dinner out, but I know that AGAIN, he’s making sure that our money is being spent appropriately.

Before you give me kudos about accepting my mate as he is let me say it has taken me a long time to be this relaxed. At first I wanted to change things about  him that annoyed him. Not serious things but things that just annoyed me. However, that was before kids, jobs, and everything else. Now instead of looking at my mate’s faults as hindrances to our relationship, I look at them as quirks that makes our relationship different. So the next time we’re out to dinner or at the mall, I already know that my husband is looking for the next deal. It’s okay, I love him just the way he is!

Now my BMWK family, does your mate “pinch pennies?” If so, what do you do about it?

About the author

Franchesca Warren wrote 44 articles on this blog.

Franchesca Warren is writer, author, blogger, educator, runner, entrepreneur, mother and overall BossyGirl. She's currently working on her second book detailing her chronicles of working in two of the roughest urban school districts with a release date of August 2012. You can find her full-time on her blog chronicling her life trying to balance it all and run a marathon by the end of the year. In her spare time she runs her own editing company, The Editing Nerd, and working on the launch of her first magazine. For a daily account of the good, bad and ugly of being a BossyGirl follow her on Twitter!


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Making Love is Good, but It’s Not Good Enough to Sustain a Marriage

BY: - 23 Jan '13 | Intimacy

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Yes, sex feels good, and it’s one of the perks of marriage. But, sex will not sustain a marriage. You must think beyond the flesh if your marriage is going to withstand the tests of time. In addition to sexual intercourse, there are two other types of intercourse in which married couples should engage if they plan to live happily ever after: emotional intercourse and spiritual intercourse.

Merriam-Webster defines intercourse as “communication or dealings between individuals or groups; interchange of thoughts, feelings, or bodies.” We all know what sexual intercourse entails. And many couples, if they didn’t have pre-marital sex, can’t wait until the wedding night to experience it. I don’t blame them. God created a good thing when he created sex, and He gives us permission to enjoy it within marriage.

Nevertheless, if you ask a couple who has been married for longer than 5 years (maybe even less), they will tell you that sexual intercourse is good, but it is not good enough. Emotional intercourse and spiritual intercourse are just as important, maybe even more so.

Emotional Intercourse

This is a sharing of heart and mind. Maybe you have seen a couple who has been married awhile, and you notice that they complete each others’ sentences. Or, they can just look at each other and instantly understand what the other person is feeling. Couples who have emotional intercourse just “get each other.” They realize, too, that it’s better to be open and vulnerable in a relationship than closed and suspicious. When you have emotional intercourse, you don’t mind shedding tears together. You enjoy cuddling and kissing without taking it to the next level. You take time for dinner dates and enjoy each others’ company. Emotional intercourse involves laughter, lots of laughter; tears, lots of tears; and forgiving, lots of forgiving. So many people have been abused emotionally that they are afraid to have emotional intercourse with their spouse for fear of being hurt again. But, if you are going to have a long and joy-filled marriage, you have to seek help and heal from emotional scars of the past. Because, in all honesty, there will be times when you just don’t feel like sexual intercourse, but the emotional intercourse will sustain you until the feelings for sex return.

Spiritual Intercourse

Spiritual intercourse has to do with being equally-yoked with your spouse; or, in other words, being in agreement about the importance of God, His word, and your reliance on Him in the marriage. Spiritual intercourse looks like a couple praying together, worshiping together, giving and serving together, praising together, reading the Bible together, and so on. Whatever you do to grow closer to God and to each other is an aspect of spiritual intercourse.

Spiritual intercourse, in my opinion, is the most powerful kind of intercourse because it’s the closest to God, who is a Spirit. When your physical bodies are tired or just unable to engage sexually, and when you’re too angry or hurt to speak to each other, you can call on your spirit to remind you why you fell in love in the first place.

A lot of relationships have problems because they start off heavy with the sexual, skim the surface of the emotional, and rarely ever reach the spiritual. Or, if they do touch on all 3, they fail to nurture them consistently. And when you don’t nurture something living, it dies. Which is the precise reason why it’s important to have this discussion and to be intentional about growth and balance. More of one type of intercourse and none of the other is not good either.

So, a worthwhile discussion to have with your significant other is about the importance of these 3 types of intercourse. Which one do you need more of? Which one causes you the most anxiety? How do you rank them? Whatever you all decide as a couple will be unique to your union. No two marriages are same. What is similar, however; is the fact that sexual intercourse will not sustain a marriage. You must bond beyond the flesh if you want a marriage that stands the tests of time.

BMWK — What is the importance of these 3 types of intercourse to you? Is there another type of intercourse we can add to the list? Please share.

About the author

Dr. Michelle Johnson wrote 75 articles on this blog.

Dr. Michelle Johnson is the founder of Alabaster Woman Ministries, an online international women's ministry. She is a wife, mother, writer, speaker, teacher. Through her daily blog, online radio show, and video Bible studies, Dr. Michelle encourages women and married couples to make God the center of their lives.


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