Question for the ladies?
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  1. #1
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    Default Question for the ladies?

    How do I get my wife on board with the seriousness of our financial situation? I have always handled the finances. She has never balanced our checkbook nor really kept track of her spending. Very rarely does she even enter her purchases in our check register. We've tried envelopes, but then transfer from one to the other or go elsewhere for money when the budget is gone. In other words, when the money is gone, it has never really been gone. Taking from home equity loans, etc, has gotten us in to our mess. She does not spend money on herself, most of the waste (4 kids), is eating out. I don't want advice on cooking at home, coupons, etc., but rather how to get her to have a "gazelle" like attitude. With 24 hour grace on our checking, she is always able to use the debit card. If I cancel the grace period, she could still go negative with her debit card, but then we'd get $37.50 overdraft fees. I'm trying to get her to know how important it is when the money is gone or to know where we stand at any given time. A lot of times I am racing to the bank to deposit money for her overages. There never is any thought or planning to not going over until the next paycheck. She did come up with the idea of an automatic deposit to a checking that is soley mine, enough to cover mortgage and bills. This was great, but the joint checking still an issue. When we run out of money and I tell her we just have to wait until payday (I'm the sole breadwinner) it turns into a fight. I think our two week budget is fairly generous, $1,000 which is what is left after all our bills/mortgage. Also, I rarely spend any money, just for gas, almost all the budget is spent by her. Any ideas? Thanks P.S. There is no dialogue when it comes to emergeny fund, Christmas, or vacation savings. She leaves that to me? And then another fight breaks out when I say no vacation or very few gifts for Christmas. Please help!

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    Registered User 227melissa's Avatar
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    Cut up the debit card and give her a cash allowance, it worked for us. Make sure she understands that once the cash is gone that's it until next month. Sit down with her and show her where the money goes, what bills are due each month, what you should be saving, and how much is actually wasted.

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    Registered User imagine's Avatar
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    I learned a lot when hubby transfer the record keeping to me. He was totally in charge as he had the accounting degree. I learner a lot when I was the person that had to rush down to the bank to make a deposit.

    I say let her do the finances or atleast have her present and listening while you work through verbalizing what you are doing no lecture condesending tone. Just so she can see.

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    Been there, done that! Even bigger fight! Then I've become controlling and take from her independence. I've told her I have no problem with her having one for emergency situations. And I believe that. But to her that means not enough cash on hand (end of budget) to pay whatever it is. And then continued debit card useage until we get paid again. The fight usually turns to my shortcomings and that money is just one of her's, so , until I'm perfect, she's justified. If statistics are true, I will pass away before her, she will get my huge life insurance policy, excellent pension which I am already eligible for, and a good sum of money in our 401k. I will have gone through life with the money stress and she will finish hers on easy street, never uderstanding what the big deal was. We've managed to stay married for 21 years, but I've been stressed over this for years.

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    Registered User Libby's Avatar
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    Have you asked her to sit down and do the budget with you? (as in include her so she can see the REAL #'s?)

    OR

    Let her have a stab at it and see how much she allots to be paid out/bill per paycheque - w/o really paying the bills. After that, go from there in discussion.

    If she says that its your job, as childish as this may seem, I'd be pointing it out that its her uncontrolled spending thats going to put you both out on the street. Time to stop being nice about it and tell her the cold harsh truth. She needs to start being accountable for her own spending.

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    Registered User Spirit Deer's Avatar
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    Maybe she should get a job for her spending money.

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    Registered User frugalfranny's Avatar
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    She needs to be brought into the "equation"........either by doing, or by some serious 'sit down' communication........

    sounds like you helped to 'create the monster'.........now you have to 'tame the monster'..........maybe even allowing/forcing her to do it for a time.......but be prepared for a wild ride!!

    Good luck........

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    well if you took the whole course of Dave R's. you would be the geek and she the free spirit. We have the opposite set up.
    I make well documented paper lists every month and give him a photo copy. I show him the bottom line debt totals,discuss whats coming up,extend out how much we spend on each category per year,show the mortgage totals,a CC balance,explain the moneys gone for 2 weeks until the next payckeck.
    He nods and 15 min. later asks if I would like to go out to eat?
    So i put in $50. a month to eat out. It's more honest.

    If you haven't taken the 15 week course w/ the funny videos and such I would. It lays it out in a diff way. And yes you will have to relinquish control a bit and she will have to make a budget. You will have to meet together. See you are both doing the same thing. You let her do things you can't afford to not say NO and please her. She is saying yes to the kids when its no.
    you already know what has to happen.

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    Registered User khaski's Avatar
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    I think the first ? is- does she not 'get it' because she hasn't had to chance to really look at the big picture, or does she not WANT to get it? Have you tried making a budget for the month, TOGETHER?

    Money problems like this are often a sign of serious communication issues. I would do FP from Dave Ramsey or marital counseling, or both- sounds like a lot of resentment on both sides. I am sorry to hear of your burden.

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    Registered User MomToTwoBoys's Avatar
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    Take some financial management classes with her and have her watch Till Debt Do Us Part.

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    Registered User Contrary Housewife's Avatar
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    You say you have control of the budget, but really you don't if she has access to the accounts and can spend freely. She is acting like a child, and I am pretty sure you would not let one of your children run wild with your bank card.

    If you are the sole earner then get a new account in your name only and have your paycheck direct deposited. Use that to pay bills and mortgage.


    Your current account in both names becomes Her spending account, and you give her an allowance each month. When it is gone, it is gone and she will have to live with that until the next payday. Meanwhile you can save for vacations and Christmas and the like.

    There will be a lot of bitching and whining and probably fighting. But you need to hold the line until she can demonstrate that she can handle her finances like an adult.
    Stop trying to organize all of your family’s crap. If organization worked for you, you’d have rocked it by now. It’s time to ditch stuff and de-crapify your world.

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    I am seeing some of this in my family and what I am noticing is if you have never been taught how to manage money and are kept in the dark (so to speak) from spouse you continue to not understand. You need to start from square one teaching about money. Sit down with her each week and show her where all the money goes. Sit down and make a budget together and there will be no more spending money after its gone for the week.
    I have been very good with finances so I'm giving you advice that I've learned through the years. I don't know you or your exact situation, but hope this helps.

    I just reread your post. The only way she is going to get it; you have to teach her AND she has to want to do it. Maybe try to show her how bad the debt is. Just some suggestions.
    Last edited by craftypam; 03-24-2012 at 04:56 PM.

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    I second Spirit Deer's reply.

    "...I've become controlling and take away from her independance..."

    Does she actually believe that she is independant?

    Money is one of her "shortcomings"?

    Wow.

    It sounds like she is talking circles around you, and it seems like you are falling for it. There is no communication regarding any kind of budget, because it sounds like she just doesn't care about the bills. Maybe next month, you could skip the electric bill, and when she is screaming at you in the dark, it won't be too hard for you to hide.

    Good luck to you, and blessings...she is a "lucky" woman...

    carol

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    P.S.

    Just re-read one of your replies...

    "The fight usually turns to my shortcomings..."

    This is a classic tactic of a controlling individual.

    Carry on...

    carol

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    Registered User Momto5RN's Avatar
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    if she acts like a child treat her like one

    separate acct for her allowed spending with a debit card attached to it that doesnt allow for overages - you shouldnt get charged an over draft - she shouldnt be able to use it if the moneys not there - thats how our acct is set up.

    who does she socialize with - is she with a bunch of keeping up with the joneses, my kid has this so yours does too type of friends ?

    what was her childhood like - was her every whim met or did she have next to nothing ?

    basically stop avoiding the fights by giving in .
    ask her if she wants to have all the crap and the food eating out or if she wants a paid off house and security

    show her how if you lost your job everything could be lost .

    teach her the meaning of NO and how to say NO to the kids.

    ask her what she would do if you took a handfull of $$ and flushed it - because thats what happens when you eat out alot you have nothing to show for the $ except what goes down the toilet .

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