My wife has a love affair with eBay. She is constantly on the Internet searching through useless stuff and bidding. Luckily, she doesn’t win all of them, but she is collecting quite a lot of junk. She says she plans on refurbishing some of the vintage stuff and selling, as well as actually using the newer stuff she’s buying. But as of today, she hasn’t done anything with the items. I’m about to throw it all away, but that’s my money going to the dump. How do I get her to stop?

eBay Strike

Dear eBay,

Now, it becomes a problem when every waking hour she’s on the computer bidding on items and spending all of the Family’s money on stuff that she’ll never fix, sell or use.  I won’t go into whose money she is actually spending, but I will say, if it’s “her” money, she kind of has the right to spend as she wishes — as long as she’s still providing enough for the Family. If it’s “your” money … well, that’s on you to talk to her about her spending. If it’s the Family’s money, then you both need to sit down and actually budget out how much she can use for her hobby; just as you decide if you’re going golfing or not this weekend.

You also need to support her. Encourage her to do whatever she plans on doing with the items she bought. If she wants to refurbish an item, suggest y’all go out together to get items/supplies she needs to do so. If she plans on using items, tell (or suggest) that the new item she just bought might make a hard task simpler if she uses it. Take it out of the box and put it somewhere she’ll see it so that she is reminded that she just bought something and she could probably put it to good use. You need to help her out.

Lastly, you just need to communicate with her. Tell her that you’d rather spend time with her, not her and the computer. Explain to her that the money can be used for other/better things, and that you guys can budget in time and money for her hobby. Talk to her. Good luck.

(Editor’s note: Sharilyn Wells really doesn’t know much about anything, but she’ll definitely share her opinion with you whenever needed. To get a ‘straight up’ opinion to your countless issues, email paraglidebragg@gmail.com.)