29
   

Men v. women: differing perspectives on money

 
 
Reply Wed 3 Dec, 2008 10:13 pm
Mr. B and I rarely disagree on things so this has me baffled. Since he is having a hard time explaining his position, or I'm having a hard time understanding it, I thought I would come here and ask about it because I am trying to understand.

Here's the story:

We are going to a fancy dress party. It is really a once in a lifetime deal. We will most likely never attend an event that requires such clothing.

I took Mo, who is seven years old, to the formal wear rental place to get a suit to wear. The outfit comes complete with shoes, shirt, tie, jacket, pants. They even threw in a pair of socks that we can keep (apparently rental socks don't have much appeal). We will have the suit for about three days. It was not inexpensive.

When I told Mr. B the price he was seriously upset. He said I could have spent double that and had a suit to keep. I explained that a suit "to keep" would be outgrown and worthless in just a few months. I explained that buying the shoes alone would have cost half of what the rental cost. I explained that we would never need this suit in the next three months.

He still feels that renting is a waste of money.

I totally don't get his opinion.

He totally doesn't get mine.

What might account for such a huge difference of opinion?

Thanks for your reply!

 
Green Witch
 
  3  
Reply Wed 3 Dec, 2008 10:35 pm
I'm with you, Boomer. Renting was the most practical and economical way to go. I assume you are not going to Obama's inauguration and Mo would have no opportunity to wear a new suit again before his next growth spurt. I would let the matter drop for now and in about six months mention how much Mo has grown and it's a good thing you didn't buy him an expensive suit (he he).
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Dec, 2008 10:41 pm
Rationality seems to be slipping for hubby. My guess is that at some point in his life he spent a huge wad a dough renting a crappy suit. After that experience we burn into our brain "NEVER AGAIN!"
0 Replies
 
NickFun
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Dec, 2008 10:59 pm
I am invited to formals a couple of times a year. I once had my own tux but then I lost weight and I was never able to wear it again. Now I rent. Always a perfect fit, always in new condition, never needs dry cleaning and I get to wear a different one to each occasion. Sometimes I want top hat and tails. Other times just a tux. Tell Mr B to chill out. The kid would never wear it again anyway.
0 Replies
 
ebrown p
 
  3  
Reply Wed 3 Dec, 2008 11:42 pm
I don't think this is a man vs. woman thing. As a man, I my first thought is that if this really is a one-time thing, then renting makes sense.


0 Replies
 
Butrflynet
 
  1  
Reply Thu 4 Dec, 2008 12:17 am
You could always suggest several family nights out for dinner at a very fancy restaurant so Mo will have reason to wear the suit again before he outgrows it.

The result will be the same. Mr B still won't have anything to show for it after paying the price for the fancy dinners and he'll have a tax write off for the suit that gets donated to the Good Will when it no longer fits Mo. Or, he could make use of the saved money from both the suit rental and a few buckets of KFC and make a deposit to Mo's college education fund. He would definitely have something to show for that investment.
0 Replies
 
OGIONIK
 
  1  
Reply Thu 4 Dec, 2008 01:12 am
@boomerang,
boomerang wrote:

Mr. B and I rarely disagree on things so this has me baffled. Since he is having a hard time explaining his position, or I'm having a hard time understanding it, I thought I would come here and ask about it because I am trying to understand.

Here's the story:

We are going to a fancy dress party. It is really a once in a lifetime deal. We will most likely never attend an event that requires such clothing.

I took Mo, who is seven years old, to the formal wear rental place to get a suit to wear. The outfit comes complete with shoes, shirt, tie, jacket, pants. They even threw in a pair of socks that we can keep (apparently rental socks don't have much appeal). We will have the suit for about three days. It was not inexpensive.

When I told Mr. B the price he was seriously upset. He said I could have spent double that and had a suit to keep. I explained that a suit "to keep" would be outgrown and worthless in just a few months. I explained that buying the shoes alone would have cost half of what the rental cost. I explained that we would never need this suit in the next three months.

He still feels that renting is a waste of money.

I totally don't get his opinion.

He totally doesn't get mine.

What might account for such a huge difference of opinion?

Thanks for your reply!




idiocy, lol. rent away, dont buy suits until they are 25.
0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  3  
Reply Thu 4 Dec, 2008 05:31 am
@boomerang,
I have no idea why Mr B is upset about this, when he seemingly wouldn't have been upset about BUYING a suit, that, as you say, might have a useful life of one party.

Sounds like it is just one of those little quirks of belief we all have.
0 Replies
 
Merry Andrew
 
  3  
Reply Thu 4 Dec, 2008 06:53 am
As so many others have been suggesting, this is not a man/woman thing. Your husband has a blind spot on this subject. Could be it's based on some general idea that if you buy something, you have equity; if you rent, you're just giving away money to someone else. Since I don't know the gentleman I can't say what his thinking is. I am a man. I prefer to rent in many cases rather than own. Not just formal wear but anything that's not going to get constant use.
0 Replies
 
Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Thu 4 Dec, 2008 07:14 am
@boomerang,
Personally, I think that it would be very short sighted to buy a formal outfit for a kid, that he would use only once. I think the same thing for adults, even if they tend to remain the same size.

The only exception that would make sense to me, is if a person goes around in a crowd that has frequent formal affairs. Otherwise, IMO it is a waste of money.
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Thu 4 Dec, 2008 07:30 am
@boomerang,
I agree about it not striking me as a man/ woman thing.

I wonder if the underlying issue is this:

boomerang wrote:
It was not inexpensive.

When I told Mr. B the price he was seriously upset.


Perhaps the issue is just that you made a decision to spend some serious money without talking to him first? (I know that it would seem like if that were the issue he would have said so, but it's happened to both me and E.G. that we get upset about something and we're not quite sure why until one or the other of us lights upon an explanation.)

That came up with us recently, just can't remember what the item was or the cost. I thought it was below the "must discuss first" threshold, he thought it was above.
0 Replies
 
parados
 
  1  
Reply Thu 4 Dec, 2008 07:51 am
@boomerang,
Ok.. imagine you go to Macy's and buy a suit for Mo for $150,000. Then after the campa.. I mean party, you donate it to charity. You can then get a cam...er.. tax.. yeah.. a tax write off for most of the cost of the suit.

Of course you could just rent the dang suit and be done with it.

edit. - Oops, I got the decimal point in the wrong place for the cost of a suit.
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Thu 4 Dec, 2008 08:18 am
@parados,
parados wrote:
edit. - Oops, I got the decimal point in the wrong place for the cost of a suit.

No, you just used 2009 dollars.
0 Replies
 
alex240101
 
  2  
Reply Thu 4 Dec, 2008 09:54 am
@boomerang,
Mr B does not want to go to that "fancy dress party".
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Thu 4 Dec, 2008 10:31 am
Thank you all for your replies. I'll stop questioning my sanity. I really thought I'd crossed into some weird man-law world and I'd seriously violated the rules. Women don't really have the option of rental clothes, unfortunately, so I thought maybe I had made some huge mistake.

I conceed that it is not a man/woman thing but a Mr. B thing. Suit "equity" sounds most like what he was trying to explain but he got off on this rant about how spending so much for clothing for one day is symbolic of everything that is wrong with everything. While I do kind of agree with that I don't see how spending more money on something that will be worn for one day improves the "everything".

He seems to have mellowed a bit on it this morning.

I'm still really confused about his reaction.

We had discused renting v. buying but we had not discussed price so maybe that was part of it. And Mr. B is very much looking forward to this party.

(Parados -- I'm not getting the "campa....", "cam....." reference. What's that supposed to mean?)
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Thu 4 Dec, 2008 10:37 am
@boomerang,
(Campa... = "campaign" = Sarah Palin's wardrobe...)
0 Replies
 
ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Thu 4 Dec, 2008 10:46 am
@boomerang,
I understand his frustration... and sometimes frustration doesn't go well with logic. I am the budget hawk of my family and I know that seeing a chunk of money go somewhere with nothing to show for it raises my blood pressure too.

I think in my family (not knowing the particulars) I may have wanted to buy the kid a nice suit... something that he might use again rather than the tuxedo.

Arguments that are based on frustration sometimes go beyond reason... but that's the spin I would have put on it.
0 Replies
 
Butrflynet
 
  1  
Reply Thu 4 Dec, 2008 12:30 pm
@boomerang,
Quote:
I conceed that it is not a man/woman thing but a Mr. B thing. Suit "equity" sounds most like what he was trying to explain but he got off on this rant about how spending so much for clothing for one day is symbolic of everything that is wrong with everything. While I do kind of agree with that I don't see how spending more money on something that will be worn for one day improves the "everything".


It may not have anything at all to do with the suit itself. In these uncertain financial times, even the richest people amongst us are having to watch their more extravagant spending habits.

There is a lot of uncertainty about the immediate future for the economy. People who own businesses are nervous about the survival of the business and the workers they employ. People who have jobs are nervous about losing them. Those that don't have jobs are nervous about how to keep finding money to pay bills and put food on the table.

Maybe Mr. B needs an opportunity to just vent his own nervousness so you can reassure him that you're still working with him rather than against him.

His whole point is probably about the need to make an appearance of prosperity such an expensive formality in these conditions and has nothing to do with the actual transaction of renting or buying the suit.
0 Replies
 
parados
 
  1  
Reply Thu 4 Dec, 2008 12:42 pm
@boomerang,
It's a guy thing. He blew up about it. Now it's over.

Nobody died so all is forgotten.
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Thu 4 Dec, 2008 11:11 pm
@boomerang,
Hi boomerang

My hunch is that it was the actual cost of renting Mo's suit. Your husband was probably gobsmacked that rental of clothing for 3 days could have cost so much. (You said it was very expensive.) I suspect that he wouldn't have had such a problem with rental if the cost seemed more reasonable to him. I understand perfectly that there's little point in buying expensive clothing for a child that they will probably have out-grown by this time next year.
 

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