Laugh if you want, but I have anxiety over spending money... and I want your advice.
When I was 10, my dad lost a very good job and the house he built. We slept on the floor of a relative's house for many months, were on welfare, etc. Lack of money was the source a lot of hurt and many conflicts. When I moved out at 17, money was still tight. I hear that it still is.
Anyway, my husband earns decent money. He grew up in a fiscally responsible household. We have minimal debt, controlled - we could pay it all off, but the steady payment history is good for credit score. We are putting aside money each month, and max out matched 401k contributions.
Pretty much everything we have are hand-me-downs, my clothes included. We need a bunch of new furniture as everything's pretty much on it's last leg. Our walls and floors are pretty sparse (a few pictures and that's it; no rugs) because I can't bring myself to spend money while we have some debt.
Being miserly means that everything is really shabby -- our table and chairs are hand-me-downs, and the chairs are too wide to fit under the table legs... so they are pushed out from around the table, and we have to move them to walk around them, for example.
BUT... I don't want to buy JUNK that's just going to break quickly. We'd have to go into some debt to get nicer things, and the idea freaks me out.
So.... what can I do? My husband seems frustrated by my lack of spending (even though I am appreciative of his job!) - can you help me understand what's going on in his mind? What tips on finding balance on saving vs. spending and buying new things? How do you work out similar money conversations in your household? What would you tell a wife who frets about money even though it's not an issue? What solutions have you adopted to accommodate you and your spouse's different attitudes toward money?