Beware of the Cute

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Beware of the Cute

The image above is of what I believe to be two of the cutest creatures on the planet, my eight-year-old son, Will, and our cat, Spumoni (If you would like to know more about Spumoni, he is being interviewed today by Frugal Hound over on Frugal Woods). Because of their level of cute factor, I need to guard myself when I am with them because I have realized that I have a weakness for cute and when you have a weakness for cute, you will make poor financial choices.

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When I first met my hubby, he was incredibly frugal minded. This mentality stemmed from years of working as a teacher and making less than $25,000 a year. Making a meager salary really has a way of forcing you into frugality. When I met hubby, I was not frugal minded in the least. I was in my third year of working for an investment bank and working hard to keep up with my Jones co-workers.

FB Hubby had a weakness for cute

As I shared in a past blog post, I definitely had a series of money problems and not the least of which was an entitlement mentality. I felt as though I worked hard for my money and I therefore had a right to spend my money as I saw fit.

When I met hubby, I lived in a tiny one-bedroom apartment yet I had a cleaning lady. I also dropped my clothes off to get washed and folded on my way to work in the morning. I barely cooked a meal at home, and I just didn’t think too much about budgeting and saving more.

Unfortunately for both of us, hubby had a problem with saying no to me. He actually still has a problem because he says that he thinks I am so cute. When I make a face or I get excited about what I want, it’s tough for hubby to say no to me. So for ten years, I led us into making a number of really stupid money choices, and hubby didn’t raise his voice of concern because I had the cute factor on my side.

I had a weakness for cute

Our finances took an even bigger hit when my son was born and now hubby had two cute faces he couldn’t say no to. Not to mention the fact that my son’s cuteness took a hold of me as well.

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Two years ago when hubby and I started to get a hold of our finances and make smarter choices with our money, I felt a great deal of regret for my previous irresponsible ways. I got angry with hubby and asked him why he didn’t impart his frugal ways more, and he said, “You are just so cute, I had a tough time saying no.” He now knows, though, that no matter how hard I try to pull a cute card, he needs to stand his ground, stay strong and tell me “NO!”

Sometimes you have to get strong and say “No!”

I used to think that if hubby told me no that it would make me mad and make me feel as though I was being controlled, and I am not the type of gal who likes to be controlled by anyone. Now I realize that when he tells me no or when he puts his foot down, it is not a form of control, but rather it is a form of love and support for our shared financial goals.

I have a great deal of regrets about my past money choices, but I refuse to keep making them. Financial freedom is my primary goal, and in order to get there faster, I need for hubby to be strong against the cute and I need to stand strong against the cute as well.

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It is not easy saying no to my son, especially when he looks at me with his big brown eyes and says, “Pleasey extra cheesey!” However, over the past few years, I have gotten better and better at it. My son is actually good about accepting no in return because we talk a great deal about financial health and fitness in our home and he understands that part of maintaining strong financial health means making choices with our money.

Don’t let cute make you emotional

Our money choices are definitely wrapped with a great deal of emotion, and when we are confronted with cuteness, it’s tough to not make emotional money choices. I see it happen all the time with my clients; kids and pets have a way of forcing us to spend money we didn’t anticipate.

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In order to overcome the cute, you have to keep your long-term goals in sight, and sometimes keep the cute out of sight. I know that it is tough; however, you need to protect your money from your emotions.

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Part of protecting your money is identifying your weaknesses and creating a solution for not succumbing to the weakness. For me, I talk about money with my son all the time, so he knows that his cuteness doesn’t have as much control over me as it used to. For my husband, he reminds me of our goals and that constant reminder keeps us both on track.

Gifs Source: Giphy

Have you made money choices based on cuteness? How do you defend against the cute?

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Shannon is a financial planner who left a “traditional” financial services firm to start her own company, The Financial Gym, because she felt traditional financial services firms did not have the tools or resources to help people in their 20s and 30s who are starting out and trying to build assets while also managing debt. She realized that the key to long-term personal financial success is a commitment to financial fitness and making smart financial choices. Through her blog, Financially Blonde, her book, Train Your Way To Financial Fitness, her podcast, Martinis and Your Money and The Financial Gym, Shannon is committed to making financial fitness fun, easy and accessible for everyone.

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