Janet and C-Max Energi

Is Your Filipina Wife Costing/Saving You Money?

The most negative stereotype about marrying a Filipina revolves around money; how much she might want, how much to help her family, and how many pairs of shoes to buy to stay happily married.

Janet’s lived here about 11 months and we’ve been married 10, which no doubt makes me an expert. 🙂 I certainly haven’t kept track of it, and she’d kill me if I did, but my guess is that Janet has actually saved us money. On our weekly grocery shopping runs, she’s even better at pinching pennies than I am, and I’m pretty damn good. And once she found out the dishwasher takes about two hours to run (with the associated electricity costs) she started hand washing the dishes most of the time “to save electricity.” No sense in my saying that as a Software Engineer, we can afford the electricity; she still hand washes.

Yes, like most women, she loves the malls, but her purchases tend to get made at H&M or Forever 21, bastions of inexpensive clothing for young women. When she sees a $25 shirt she inevitably exclaims, “OMG that’s so expensive,” and passes it by.

But recently she upped the saving money ante and decided to take on Ford Motor Company. To my shock, as a 61 year old who has never purchased a new American car (only imports), I was preparing to buy a Ford plug in hybrid (determined to spend more on electricity to make up for what we save on the dishwasher). The dealership had kindly given me a car to test for two days. I hemmed and hawed, each time getting  my payments a bit lower, until I was sold. They found the exact car I wanted in the color Janet wanted. She had no interest in the car; it could have been a ’91 Yugo, as long as it was ruby red!

Now Ford has been having a teeny tiny problem with the EPA lately. Seems their methodology of how they rate their hybrid cars’ MPG had come into question. I had been reading about this while negotiating on the car, but didn’t care. My previous car was getting 18-19 MPG using premium, so any way I looked at it, I was going to save money. Nonetheless, Ford lost with the EPA and had to revise their estimates downward. The day I was to take delivery on the car, Ford announced on their website that current owners of their hybrids would be getting a check to compensate them. I certainly didn’t expect to be included but called Ford just in case. They confirmed that the cutoff date was two weeks earlier and while they apologized profusely, I would not be getting a check.

Over dinner that night, just before I was scheduled to pick up the car, I told Janet the story. “They should give you the money,” she said. I agreed but said I understood that there had to be a cutoff date and I hadn’t even gotten the car yet. “The salesman should get you the money,” she insisted. I maturely reminded her that salesmen in the U.S. don’t have much influence on gigantic corporations. “Then cancel the car,” she said.

“What?” I laughed, assuming she was joking.

“Tell them to give you the money or cancel the car.”

Now being the thickheaded husband I am, it took Janet several repetitions of this mantra until I realized she was totally serious and not joking. By that point I wanted the car and didn’t want to cancel the deal, but I realized my wife was drawing a line in the sand and I had to respond.

“But surely you can understand that the salesman can’t…”

“Tell them to give you the money or cancel the car.”

“Ok, I will talk to the dealership and ask them what they can do.”

“Just tell them you’re not buying the car if they don’t do something.”

I arrived at the dealership and my smiling salesman greeted me, confident that I’d been reeled in. I took him aside and confided that I had a “marital problem.” I told him the story and he said he could check with Ford the next day. I told him not to bother; that I had already given Ford my VIN # and my car didn’t count against the rebate.

“I can’t go home with the car, unless you do something for me. So that I can tell my wife.” The wife who’s less than half my age and no more than half my weight.

Of course the salesman gave me the typical – “we’re making very little on the deal” bullshit.

Finally he said, “I can give you a set of all-weather mats. I’m sure I can swing that but it’ll take me about a week.” The mats are about $100 and in my wet part of the country I usually buy a set of these anyway. So, I agreed and we both breathed a sigh of relief.

I brought the car home triumphantly. Janet immediately wanted to know, “What did they do for you?” I told her about the mats. “How much do they cost?” she asked.

“Not sure. I think quite a lot. It’s a good deal and they did it only because of you.”

The next week I went to pick up the mats. Janet, who had not gone with me previously for the long process of car shopping and dealing, came with me to get her mats and meet the salesman. So, now I had the new red car, the hot, fierce negotiating wife, and rubber all-weather mats. All was right with the world.

12 thoughts on “Is Your Filipina Wife Costing/Saving You Money?”

  1. This is funny! 😀 😀
    Anyway , that’s what I mean Dave. I am just a simple pinay. As long as there’s a food in the table & the heater is on then I am happy like a bird. There’s only so much everyone can afford.

    As what they said, Cinderilla is a proof that a new pair of shoes change your life. Therefore, I’ll say our metallic red car brightens my eyes 🙂 .

  2. Confusing story — not quite sure what this had to do with Filipina costing any of us money. More about a buying experience at a dealership than anything else.

    1. Mark – Thanks for commenting and sorry to have confused you. The piece was about whether your Filipina wife costs or saves you money. The stereotype is that they cost. My experience has been that not only does Janet not cost me money, she fiercely protects me and therefore saves money.

      Like most Filipinas, she can be shy and quiet. That’s why it was so funny that she was insistent about my getting something in the deal.

      If you read more of my pieces, you’ll see that I don’t tend to lecture too much. I’m not writing documentary style. Just trying to humorously make a point through our daily experiences.

  3. Wait a minute. You are tell me, that with you at 61 years old, your Filipina wife has to teach you about chutzpah? LOL! 😛

Leave a Reply