Thursday, June 25, 2015

Why I gave my husband a $700 phone for Father's Day.

When the iPhone 6 came out last year, my husband knew immediately that he wanted it.

I was skeptical. 

Growing up, my parents taught me to be frugal in everything possible. I never had my own cell phone growing up, although when I was a teenager, most of my friends had cell phones. (Except, of course, for the monster pay-by-the-minute phone my mom had me carry around for safety when I was driving alone. The thing was so big it barely fit in my purse. Needless to say, I couldn't use it to text. I didn't learn how to text until I left home.)

I've only had a smartphone for about a year, and it's nowhere near the newest version. I've just never been interested in having the latest and greatest iPhone. Frankly, I don't care. I mean, I can actually use the Internet on my phone. How unreal is that?! I really don't get how I could ask for anything more.

My husband, on the other hand, got used to always having the newest smartphone in the years before we were married. As a bachelor who worked as much as possible, he had the money for it.  

But since we've been married, I've always talked him out of having the newest phone. To me, it felt like a game of "keeping up with the Joneses." (Or keeping up with the Kardashians. I mean, the iPhone 6 seems a little extravagant to me.) Why not just wait a couple years and then buy it at a discounted price? (I love me a good deal.) 

My husband agreed with all this in word, but he still spent a lot of time wistfully eyeing that new iPhone and crunching the numbers. (Unfortunately, no amount of crunching could take the numbers down to a place where I was comfortable with them.) 

This month, I was considering what I wanted to get him for Father's Day. Did I want to get him something nice, or save a little money this year? And then I thought, I know what he really wants. And as though a switch had been flipped, I finally gave up my endeavors to force my thriftiness on him and I knew it was worth it. 

The truth is, I still don't get why he wants an iPhone 6 so much. It doesn't make sense to me. But I love him and I know that it would make him really happy, so I'm not going to ask him to answer to me.

My husband always puts my needs and our daughter's needs above his own, and that's really not an exaggeration. In fact, sometimes it's been a point of frustration with me when I ask, "But what do you want?" and he'll answer, "Well, I know that this is better for you, so..." He can't even give me a straight answer because he can't think about his own desires without considering mine. 

When we got married, my husband gave up his nice phone for a crummy, cheap one. Even when he switched back to a smartphone, he recycled an old one of his, made sure our phone plan would stay cheap, and bought a smartphone for me, too. He honored my desire to be frugal since we were students and we really didn't have the money. 

But now he's graduated and working full-time on a good salary, and we can afford it. 

So I decided to stop nickel-and-diming my own husband and agree to buy the one thing he really wants right now. 

Will I ever understand his desire to have the newest iPhone? Probably not. But being a good wife--for me, right now--means letting go of my own thoughts on the matter and just being happy that he's happy. 


  1. Awwww, so sweet! Keep making him happy - it'll be worth it!

  2. I know what you mean! Every time Ken proposes that we spend money on anything, my stomach tightens (even if he has a good point). It's hard for me to decide that it's worth buying "stuff." But when I know Ken really wants something, I try to change the question I'm asking myself. Instead of trying to decide if the item is worth the money, I ask myself if the boost to my marriage and Ken's happiness is worth the money. I also hate making impulse purchases, but since I have already decided that I'll buy Ken gifts, I don't have to count it as an impulse purchase if I buy something for him.

    1. "Instead of trying to decide if the item is worth the money, I ask myself if the boost to my marriage and Ken's happiness is worth the money."

      I love that! I think I'm finally figuring this out.