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How do you feel about being financially dependent? - Page 2

post #21 of 44

I don't know...I have two wonderful, "easy" kids, and I still never feel guilty about spending the money my husband earns. I'm grateful and happy to be home, but full-time parenting is mentally, physically, and emotionally draining, even on good days. There are no-off duty hours, lunch breaks, vacation days, sick days. Unless my husband were an oncologist with a heart of gold, I can't see his job being more difficult than mine. Therefore, no guilt.

 

I don't necessarily recommend the book What Every Mom Needs, but I love this quote from it:

 

"SITUATIONS VACANT: HOUSEWIFE/MOTHER

Applications are invited for the position of manager to a lively team of four demanding individuals.

The successful applicant will be required to perform the following functions: companion, counselor, financial manager, buying officer, teacher, nurse, chef, nutritionist, decorator, cleaner, driver, child care supervisor, social secretary, and recreation officer. Applicants must have unlimited energy and a strong sense of responsibility. They must be independent, self-motivated and able to work in isolation without supervision, able to work under stress, and adaptable enough to handle new developments in the life of the team, including emergencies and crises. They must be able to communicate with people of all ages, including teachers, doctors, business people, dentists, teenagers and children. A good imagination, sensitivity, warmth, and an understanding of people is necessary as the successful applicant will also be responsible for the mental and emotional well-being of the team.

 

HOURS: All waking moments and a 24-hour shift when necessary.

 

BENEFITS: No guaranteed holidays, no sick leave or maternity leave. No workers’ compensation.

 

PAY: None. Allowances by arrangement from time to time with the income-earning member of the team. Successful applicant may be allowed/required to hold second job in addition to the one advertised here.”

post #22 of 44

I've been a SAHM mostly for the last 13 yrs. We made the choice to pull our oldest out of public school 4 yrs ago and to homeschool which for our family has been wonderful. It has though extended my life as a SAHM. I did work for a little over a year in my profession and got my degree. I do volunteer work in my profession to keep my license current and I do plan to work part-time in the near future. The year that I worked full time I made $32K compared to DH's $120K. My paycheck went to pay off student loan for my degree, childcare costs and to pay off a car loan early. We've always budgeted day to day spending on DH's pay. I don't have a 401lk or an IRA and I have a savings account in my name only with maybe $2k in it. Our marriage is solid and I don't anticipate a divorce. But in the last year I've had 2 friends become young widows and that has spurred me to maintain some foot in my profession. I also plan to use what ever money I make part-time to fund an IRA and my kids college.

post #23 of 44
I always think about how I am soooo dependent on my husband. We have health insurance, but midwives aren't covered and my husband almost had a heart attack when i told him we WILL be having a midwife, so that means out of pocket. But I have discovered a love of selling vintage clothing/items online and that is helping to soften the blow of the midwife fee.
post #24 of 44

I am so dependent. Have been for many years. DH supported me through my last two years of college, I found out I was pg with DD1 on graduation day! I worked during her pg, quit and was a SAHM for 8 years. For two years I was able to work VERY part time around the kid's schedules, but it just wasn't feasible anymore with our therapy schedule and I haven't worked since again. With four kids, and special needs, I can't see when I will work again. DS1 will be with us for a long time. 

 

When we had children, DH and I agreed that I would be a long term SAHM because of his demanding career. Juggling child care just doesn't work. It's difficult enough to pull off with me "at home". DH is a business owner so my sacrifice is what allows his job to work. I don't have any money put aside or separate accounts. I have ok credit because we tend to take out credit cards and other accounts in my name only so that it doesn't interfere with DH's credit that he needs for his business loans/deals and our livelihood. 

 

I had been on some of the homes that we owned over the years but not anymore because I have no income, I can't get on the loan. That doesn't bother me. I know DH will take care of me even if we parted ways and in our state, I'm entitled to half of his business as well which is no small potatoes anymore. I worry more about what happens in case of  serious injury or death to him. We have hefty life insurance but it wouldn't be enough long term. Not with the COL in our area, four children, our extensive medical bills/issues, my earning potential with DS1 being at nil, and then DS1 who may be with me forever. I couldn't even begin to put a price on all that. I had always hoped to work even casual to keep my foot in the door somewhere and had the prefect arrangement for those brief years, but reality didn't turn out that way.

post #25 of 44

I work part time but am mostly financially dependent on my husband. We talked about our roles/responsibilities before we got married (this is a second marriage for each of us, we both brought 2 kids with us and are pregnant with a 5th). We agreed that he would be the financial provider and my primary responsibility would be child-rearing, but we share household responsibilities like cleaning and cooking, as it makes sense. I end up doing more of it but he helps whenever he is home or when I ask for it. Why it works for me is because we follow an Islamic framework wherein we both understand that any money I earn is discretionary money for me and I am under no obligation to pay bills or for other necessities. He gives me money for needed clothing or educational stuff, and recreational stuff within our budget. Anything I earn is extra for me to use however I want to. I pay for things like childcare and clothing for my kids from my previous marriage, with the help of child support from their father. Within that agreement is the understanding that if we were to ever divorce that he would be financially responsible for our shared child and a period of time (like a year or so) for me to get on my feet and find more work. Now, obviously that depends on him honoring his agreement in the event that that did happen, since it's an Islamic marriage that wouldn't necessarily be honored in court (we are legally married too). But, I've seen him handle his ex-wife and kids in a pretty generous and reasonable way, and he's a very involved father. So at least I can rest assured that if we did divorce, my kid would be provided for. 

I personally wouldn't want to totally quit working, just because I do enjoy having that discretionary money that I can save if I want/need to. I also need the grown up time. 

post #26 of 44

I am a working mom (by both choice and necessity) in a very secure and loving marriage and have to say that I really like having financial independence and don't know if I'd be happy without it. Growing up I saw so many women in my family and community who were trapped in unhappy/unhealthy relationships due to money OR forced to try and unexpectedly support a family with little work experience or professional skills resulting in great hardship. As a teen I swore that I would never let myself become powerless when it came to finances. I now have a very rewarding and challenging professional career that I enjoy and that provides the majority of the income needed to support our family. I also think my financial independence helps my marriage as my husband and I rarely fight about division of money and have more freedom with the income we earn (after the bills are paid of course) given that we're not necessarily accountable to one another for small purchases. I think there's something to be said for seeing your spouse as an equal and not taking them for granted (not that my husband ever would anyway but he knows he could never run around on me or otherwise tarnish our marriage because while it would be very difficult I have the means to leave him and support our child and myself if it ever came to that). Furthermore, I like being a role model for my son and any future children that we may have showing them that women can be just as successful in their careers as men and that parents should be equal partners. However, since having my son it's definitely been a bit of a struggle returning to the workforce when my maternity leave concluded and there are so many times that wish I could be home with him everyday (thankfully we have great child care arrangements and my younger sister watches him in our home while I'm working). I hate being away from my little guy and am so envious of the other moms who are able to participate in all the mommy-and-me classes and play groups that take place during the work week while we cannot. I also admit that I'm a little jealous of some of my SAHM friends who seem so carefree when it comes to finances since their husbands manage all the bills and all things money related while I'm responsible for budgeting, saving, the timing of bill payment etc. for our family (which is a LOT of work). I think I've made the right choice for me and our family but I don't think the choice is as easy or cut and dry as I always assumed it would be before I became a mom. I now have the perspective to realize that what works for one family may not work for another and there is no one size fits all, "right" way to parent. P.S. If we win the lottery I'm totally quitting my job and staying home with my son all day every day and wouldn't look back!  :)

post #27 of 44
I just realized about a month ago that I am technically financially dependent upon my husband. I had been teaching part time on and off online since my oldest was born, but that had basically trickled down to nothing.

I guess I don't feel financially dependent upon him because to me that would imply that I couldn't take care of myself. My profession is that of a community college English professor, so I am not qualified to make as much as he does, but I do believe I could scrounge up enough to support us at a grossly reduced lifestyle should the need arise. It would require downsizing housing and everything, so it would be a big change, but I could manage I believe with either child support or life insurance.

To me, being financially dependent means not being able to support oneself if necessary. I could say my husband is also financially dependent upon me because if I wasn't doing all of the child care and house care, he would have to drastically reduce his standard of living to pay for those things.

Being a sahm is weird. You make no money, but the amount you save is almost equivalent to a paycheck, so in that sense are you really dependent?
post #28 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by AmandaK View Post

I just realized about a month ago that I am technically financially dependent upon my husband. I had been teaching part time on and off online since my oldest was born, but that had basically trickled down to nothing.

I guess I don't feel financially dependent upon him because to me that would imply that I couldn't take care of myself. My profession is that of a community college English professor, so I am not qualified to make as much as he does, but I do believe I could scrounge up enough to support us at a grossly reduced lifestyle should the need arise. It would require downsizing housing and everything, so it would be a big change, but I could manage I believe with either child support or life insurance.

To me, being financially dependent means not being able to support oneself if necessary. I could say my husband is also financially dependent upon me because if I wasn't doing all of the child care and house care, he would have to drastically reduce his standard of living to pay for those things.

Being a sahm is weird. You make no money, but the amount you save is almost equivalent to a paycheck, so in that sense are you really dependent?

Yeah, sometimes I think it would be easier if my DP just hired me, like a nanny with a pay check and clearly laid out duties. We're one of those families that would struggle more (all things considered) if I worked, so it is really a service that I stay home.
post #29 of 44

I am financially dependent on my husband.  I guess I am in the minority that this never worries me.  If something happened to him we have a life insurance policy that I could live off of until my youngest goes to school and then I would get a job.  All of our assets and bank accounts (except retirement) are in both of our names.

Taking children out of the equation entirely, me staying home increases the happiness of both of us in many ways.  Because I do all the household tasks during the day we can enjoy and relax for most all our evenings, often together.  No one has to rush around grocery shopping, or doing laundry, or doing any of that after being tired from a full days work.  The only chore anybody does after dinner is feeding the dog.

I always think about how spoiled I am that I don't have to work hard at a job that I hate (hubby does that).  He is spoiled because he has someone that takes care of his clothes, food and errands.  Basically we are both spoiled in one way.  Me working would take much more away from our family than we could gain from any amount of money(unless it was enough to hire a live-in maid like Alice from the Brady Bunch).  I may work part time again when the children are in school but only to prevent my loneliness/insanity investing at least 50% of my income in retirement so hubby can retire earlier. I like to think that I retired at 27 when I started staying home.

I think it would be much more difficult for him if something happened to me than if something happened to him.

post #30 of 44

I can do anything I need to take care of myself in the event that I need to. It does not scare me one bit to be dependant on my husband right now, I will face any challenge that may come my way. If anybody can do it, it is women:) That being said, I live in Canada and there is plenty of resources available.

post #31 of 44

How does he feel about being dependent on me to take care for virtually everything of real value in his life? It is my job to love and to nurture,to listen and to validate. To lead by example. He is the one essentially throwing himself on the mercy of another.  Personally I feel like God is radiating everything I need, not my husband's paycheck.

post #32 of 44

It sucks sometimes. I am 23, hubby is 26, he works full time and I am home with our 5.5 year and 6.5 month old daughters. Mostly, I just feel bad for the pressure it puts on him. I look forward to contributing financially one day. In the meantime, I feel what I do has value, and I make this clear when necessary. I am lucky in that we have a pretty fair deal in regards to my access to 'our' money. We all have what we 'need'.

post #33 of 44

I've been partly or wholly dependent on my husband financially for parts of our 12-year marriage, due to grad school, then living in a country where I could not obtain a work visa, then raising a young child. There have also been brief times when I brought in the main income, for instance due to an unexpected layoff. In each case I think we both felt fine with the situation; we had both agreed to the arrangement, and shared an understanding that "non-earning" is NOT necessarily the same as "non-working". Obtaining an education that will pay off in future, raising children, and maintaining a house all have value to the family. That being said, we have been aware that a single-income family can be more vulnerable to things like death, illness, or job loss of the primary breadwinner. As such, we've made sure that we both have a financial presence (accounts, credit cards), and our financial situation is reflected in our choice of insurances. 

post #34 of 44

We don't have his money & my money. Haven't since we moved in together 16 years ago (although I worked full time or multiple jobs up until we had our children). Our accounts & bills have always been in both of our names, no questions asked. We are open about our money with each other, we both make decisions together although he earns most of it & I pay the bills.

 

Does it occasionally worry me I do not have a career? I suppose, but I know if push came to shove I could get a job, I could make it work.

 

At the same time: I see how dh struggles with the weight of the responsibility to provide at times. He is currently between jobs & he feels a lot of pressure to find something that pays comparably but also wants to make some changes. I am fully supportive of making a big change but the pressure comes from within him.

 

For US this works, but it obviously doesn't for everyone.

post #35 of 44

I feel as a women, we should be financial independent just in case something happens in the future such as divorce, separation or death. I think that having that financial independence will help to grow strong and be aware on how to invest the money it has been earned with our hard work. However, it does not mean that we can't share our earning with our husband. Everything can be share but having a little bit of independence will help help as well to be better and grow in different aspects.  

post #36 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Union View Post
 

I feel as a women, we should be financial independent just in case something happens in the future such as divorce, separation or death. I think that having that financial independence will help to grow strong and be aware on how to invest the money it has been earned with our hard work. However, it does not mean that we can't share our earning with our husband. Everything can be share but having a little bit of independence will help help as well to be better and grow in different aspects.  

 

I can't really agree that being financially independent somehow makes you aware of how to invest money.  Many hard-working individuals are also in a lot of unnecessary consumer debt. 

post #37 of 44
The majority of Americans are not financially independent- meaning, that they can't live off of accumulated wealth and instead rely on some sort of income from work. In that respect, most Americans are financially dependent on one (or more) employers. This can be pretty devestating if someone is laid off.

I think all adults (married, single, working, SAH) should make efforts to protect their own financial interests. Each adult should have their own IRA and/or 401K. For married couples, you should attempt to have a similar balance for each spouse's retirement accounts (i.e., if one has $1000 in a 401K, the other should have $1000 in a different 401K or IRA).

Another method might be to have the house/car title with only the non/low-wage earner listed.
post #38 of 44

I do not dislike being "dependent" on my husband for money. I kind of find that term insulting actually. My husband is dependent on his job for money. I do a job too ... a pretty hard one. My kids are dependent on me as their mother and my pets dependent on me as their caretaker. Everyone is dependent on someone/something. Even if you are independently wealthy, you are dependent on the stock market, banks and stability of your society in general. 

I'm sure there are tons of working moms that are just as bad off, if not worse in the financial security and investment department as stay at home moms. Having a job doesn't guarantee financial savvy. 

post #39 of 44

I was okay with it -- until I wasn't.

 

I was 100 percent a SAHW/P for nearly 12 years.  It did not bother me in my 20s or even most of my 30s.  However, as I started moving towards 40, and realizing that I did not even qualify for social security because of how little I paid in, and how if for some reason we got divorced I would be entitled to nothing out of retirement plans or anything like that...and *seeing friends in their 40s/50s in just that situation*...it did bother me.  So I went back to school last year and now have my own very part time business.  It's a foot in the door, and while it certainly isn't enough to "live on" esp. with 4 kids, I am in the workforce.  Honestly, I do feel better about things even though my financial situation hasn't changed.  (It helps that my job is my passion).

 

I'm having my baby on Friday, and will not be transitioning back to 100 percent SAHM.  The peace of mind that I have now from having my own space, doing my own biz stuff, ect. even if it can't support me fully is not something I'm willing to give up again.  Of course, we are also lucky to be financially secure in a way most people are not, he works from home and I can set my own schedule to my choosing so all of our kids have the benefit of 2 parents that are at home (if not 100 percent revolving around the children's schedules--but our family has never operated like that anyway).

 

But I honestly did not realize how much of a stressor being dependent was for me.  My DH never made me feel that way.  I think it is mainly due to growing up in a home environment where the power differential was extreme and abusive.

post #40 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mulvah View Post

I handle the money which gives me the illusion of having some dependence (if that makes sense), so that helps, too.

 

Like you, we have a secure marriage so it is hard for me to think about scenarios in which I might be out on my own.  However, I don't like being financially dependent on someone else when I really think about it.



^This^ is basically how I feel/ how my marriage works from a financial perspective, in a nutshell. My spouse gives me control of the bank account. I'm the one who gets to dictate how we spend his money. I'm far more frugal, and far more mathematically inclined, so it works for us.

He has far more earning potential than I do, so I do worry about if the unthinkable happens. After we almost got hit head-on by an SUV barreling down the road at 55MPH in the wrong lane over a blind hill on a rural road, we decided to get life insurance. Sure, it's not a perfect solution, but the thinking is, $100,000 would help me tremendously until I figured out a way to manage financially without him.

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