Partners and Financial Responsibility - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
Old 02-03-2005, 01:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
khrisday's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: High Desert of California
Posts: 3,913
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
My husband and I do not share our views about our finances.

He does not believe in having a savings "cushion", and so refuses to put anyhing into savings. He does not see investing in the future as a priority- even though we have no retirement and two children (one of whom has special needs and may need extra saving). He has no plan for getting out of our considerable debt, and he blames me for "not staying on budget", when I am given a certain amount of money each week and do not have access to the rest of the money.

He agrees to give my household money on a certain day of the week, then "forgets" to transfer the money. He will buy things, and then tell me how far behind we are financially- as if *I* can do anything about his spending.

I guess I am just frustrated and wondering if anyone else is dealing with this.
khrisday is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 02-03-2005, 02:04 PM
 
bamboogrrrl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Upstate NY
Posts: 420
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Get yourself a copy of Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover. I read it through our library. He has tons of advice and stories about couples working together on their "financial fitness." Maybe your DH can read parts of the book...

Sometimes people need to hear the "get your act together" message from someone else.
bamboogrrrl is offline  
Old 02-03-2005, 02:15 PM
 
Treasuremapper's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 3,589
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
I haven't had this come up, but I do have an idea. It is very easy to order a copy of your credit report. You may not realize everything that is going on with your dh financially until you get the report.
Treasuremapper is offline  
Old 02-03-2005, 02:16 PM
 
onthemove's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: with sequins and glitter glue
Posts: 1,043
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
that really sucks. yes we have a similar problem. at this time we have 2 cars and no payments so it is a great time to put some money away and pay off our line of credit. We had talked about a new car in the spring but i am fine driving my 87 mazda for a while longer if it means a little financial freedom.

dh takes me to his warehouse where he has bought a river boat! WTF?I have known he wants one for a long time. We moved to an area with amazing salmon fishing, he loves it, and all we eat as far as meat goes is fish, but most of our friends have boats and we could certainly do with out.

i currently am a sahm and have very little income which i have to make things work, and i am so tired of not feeling like i am a part of the large decisions that families make together. I also have no access to finances but our situation seems to get worse.

i'm sorry i have no advice just wanted to let you know you're not the only one dealing with this type of crappy situation... I know it's not easy.
onthemove is offline  
Old 02-03-2005, 02:40 PM
 
Treasuremapper's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 3,589
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
OMGosh, onthemove. I would be so steaming mad.

Some laws are so sexist. In Texas, it is a community property state. I don't know what the law is now, but there used to be a statute that said that the person who made the money had the right to "manage" the money. Where does that leave SAHMs?
Treasuremapper is offline  
Old 02-03-2005, 04:48 PM
 
dharmamama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Bywater, West Farthing
Posts: 4,447
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by khrisday
I am given a certain amount of money each week and do not have access to the rest of the money.
Why don't you have access to the rest of the money? That's a rhetorical question, I'm not asking for an answer for me. But I would start there. A marriage is a partnership, and you both should have an equal share and responsibility in handling the money.

I handle the money in our house and pay all the bills, but that does not mean I do it all by myself and my husband has no input or access. I just do the physical stuff (balancing the checkbook, paying the bills). All decisions on what to spend, what to buy, and when, are joint decisions, and my husband cen get into the back accounts any time he wants, as they are all joint accounts..

Namaste!
dharmamama is offline  
Old 02-03-2005, 08:34 PM
 
jen-mom's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: MI
Posts: 75
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I have to go with dharmamama on this one - I believe money in a marriage (or long-term partnership) should be "our" money. Not his and mine. For a while my DH earned almost all our money, then for a while I did while he finished school. Now we contribute fairly equally to our household income, though certainly not exactly 50/50. Regardless, there is no money that is mine or his. It's all ours. This works really well for us, as we're pretty even on our beliefs about spending and saving, so neither of us is likely to go overboard and do something excessive with money when the other wouldn't approve. We discuss major expenditures and make those decisions together.

I understand that not every couple is lucky enough to have both partners share views as equally as we do. But there are some basics that should not be negotiable, such as saving for the future and for emergencies (assuming income allows you to do that and still eat and have shelter). I think you may need to discuss this with your DH further to understand why he doesn't feel you should be saving for retirement or for emergencies. Does he just expect to work till he's 80? Even then, what about emergencies? What would he expect to happen if you suddenly had a large unexpected financial burden. If you can find someone to see for counseling (on money, and also just on the communication about money) go for it! It's extremely important that you be able to communicate about these things. You can generally find free or low cost counseling if you can't afford to pay for it, so don't take cost as an excuse to not do it. And as Dear Abby says - if he won't go with you, go without him for now and you'll learn better how to communicate your needs in this area.

Once you can talk better and agree on what makes sense for your family in terms of savings you can then move on to the spending part. Certainly you need to set aside money first for the basics like rent/mortgage, car payments, food, etc. Beyond that, if you're fortunate enough to have high enough income to have "play money" many couples find that it works to set up a separate account, or just a certain amount, for each of them to spend however they like, no questions asked. You want to spend $100+ getting your hair cut and dyed? Fine - save your "allowance" till you have enough, and your DH can't complain about the frivolity of it. He wants an outrageously expensive fishing rod? Fine - same deal, and you can't complain. The catch is that you have to agree on an amount up front.

I also agree that I simply would not be willing to agree to not having access to the family money. I don't care who earns it - it's not his. It belongs to both of you, and I would not stand for being cut off from it. I also don't care what the laws say on the subject. The state can make whatever laws they want on who technically has the right to control things, but in my marriage I would insist that we be partners with equal input.

I don't think I'm being overly-simplistic about this, though I know it doesn't work this way in a good many marriages. But if I were you I'd work really hard to open up the communication about money and insist on more equality in this aspect of your relationship. It's worth fighting for!

Good luck.
jen-mom is offline  
Old 02-03-2005, 10:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
khrisday's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: High Desert of California
Posts: 3,913
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I do not have access to the rest of the money, and have a set weekly "allowance", because I REQUESTED IT. Yes, that's right- I asked for him to set up our main accont so that I could not transfer in the money willy nilly because *I* have a spending problem. Your assumptions about my marriage are wayoff- my husband is not a controlling dictator- far from it. I'm sorry I wasn't more clear in my original post. The reason we are not currently saving is because there is nothing to save. It's pretty simple, our bills and groceries equal out to what my husband makes right now. I have been trying to cut down our groceries and other living expenses so that we have somethingto save. I'm sure your advice was well meant, but I find it rather condescending.
khrisday is offline  
Old 02-03-2005, 10:20 PM
 
Belleweather's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: The Heart of the Heartland
Posts: 3,197
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Community property doesn't mean 'he who earns it, owns it' at all; in fact, it's rather the opposite. Legally, it means that everything you own that you've both contributed to belongs equally to the two of you.

For instance, DH and I live in a community property state (WI). We have a checking account into which I deposit my monthly earnings, which are from basically full-time work, and DH deposits his student job earnings which are basically moive and latte money. But because we're both making deposits into the account, under Wisconsin law it's the property of the Marial Community and so were DH and I (god forbid) to divorce, it would be a 50/50 split. It's the same with anything that we buy out of the proceeds of that account -- car, furniture, books, underwear, DSL, whatever. It would also be the same if DH was being a stay at home parent and I was earning income because my income is considered the property of the marital community.

I also have an investment account that was mine before I met DH. Because it wasn't earned income but inherited money, it's still just mine. But if DH made a deposit of even a nickle into that account, he would be entitled to 50%. Or, if I started making deposits of my earned income into it, he would potentially have a claim to 50% of it as a marial asset as well.

Now, does it always work that cleanly in Divorce? Of course not... there's always a lot of bargaining involved in trying to come to a 'fair' property settlement. But that's the *theory* of community property in a veeeeeeery teeny nutshell.

Spending all of my money and time on this wild, wild life.
Belleweather is offline  
Old 02-03-2005, 10:48 PM
 
Jane's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Kenmore, Washington
Posts: 6,956
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Hmm, there is a financial advisor I like, Ric Edelman (www.ricedelman.com). I like his explanations and I agree with him on the stuff I already knew, so I was willing to listen on the stuff I didn't know yet. There's a ton of free stuff on his site.
Anyway, he talks about an emergency fund, but that you shouldn't have savings if you have debt. If you have savings, then you should pay off your debt. If there's an emergency - well, that's what credit cards are for! This is part of a plan to eventually have no debts and have savings, of course, but maybe it's something your dh could buy in to?

Homebirth Midwife biggrinbounce.gif

After 4 m/c, our stillheart.gif is here!

Jane is offline  
Old 02-04-2005, 12:32 AM
 
dharmamama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Bywater, West Farthing
Posts: 4,447
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
he talks about an emergency fund, but that you shouldn't have savings if you have debt. If you have savings, then you should pay off your debt. If there's an emergency - well, that's what credit cards are for!
That doesn't make sense to me. Hey, I'm in debt, but if there's an emergency, not to worry! I'll just get into more debt!!

I have heard that if your savings is earning less than the interest on your debt you shouldn't be hoarding money in savings, but I have never heard anyone say that you should have no savings whatsoever just so you can pay off your debt.

Khrisday, I'm sorry I misunderstood your situation. I was posting out of concern for you, not out of condescension.

Namaste!
dharmamama is offline  
Old 02-04-2005, 12:39 AM - Thread Starter
 
khrisday's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: High Desert of California
Posts: 3,913
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by dharmamama
That doesn't make sense to me. Hey, I'm in debt, but if there's an emergency, not to worry! I'll just get into more debt!!
That's exactly what I am trying to avoid. I don't want to hoard away millions, but just enough for a car breakdown or other emergency.
khrisday is offline  
Old 02-04-2005, 02:11 AM
 
Jane's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Kenmore, Washington
Posts: 6,956
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I think he explains it like this:
Credit Card Debt: $1000
Savings: $500

Pay the $500 to the credit card, and now you have $500 in credit in case you need it instead of $500 in savings. It's based on the fact that you would not be charging anything ever except in an emergency.

Homebirth Midwife biggrinbounce.gif

After 4 m/c, our stillheart.gif is here!

Jane is offline  
Old 02-04-2005, 11:19 AM
 
dharmamama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Bywater, West Farthing
Posts: 4,447
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apricot
I think he explains it like this:
Credit Card Debt: $1000
Savings: $500

Pay the $500 to the credit card, and now you have $500 in credit in case you need it instead of $500 in savings. It's based on the fact that you would not be charging anything ever except in an emergency.
That just sounds to me like he's saying, instead of being able to handle an emergency with your own funds, borrow money to handle the emergency and then pay it back with interest. It still doesn't seem fiscally wise to me.

Namaste!
dharmamama is offline  
Old 02-04-2005, 11:52 AM
 
jen-mom's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: MI
Posts: 75
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
khrisday - I, too, am sorry that I sounded condescending. It wasn't meant that way at all. Your original post sounded very much like your husband controlled everything and that because of that you felt you couldn't manage the household, but that he blamed you for it. It sounded very one-sided, and I was concerned for you and your marriage the way it was written. Obviously a total misunderstanding, but there was nothing at all condescending about my reply. I was just offering what I thought was the best solution for the specific situation that was presented.

Sorry again. I think I'll stay out of this forum in the future. It's an area where too many people can get hurt.
jen-mom is offline  
Old 02-04-2005, 03:37 PM
 
Jane's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Kenmore, Washington
Posts: 6,956
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by dharmamama
That just sounds to me like he's saying, instead of being able to handle an emergency with your own funds, borrow money to handle the emergency and then pay it back with interest. It still doesn't seem fiscally wise to me.
If someone is in debt, they've already done that. Their savings is a fake.

http://www.ricedelman.com/planning/debt/step7.asp

Quote:
Step #7: Empty Your Bank Account
By Ric Edelman
From The Truth About Money.

To accelerate this process, withdraw any money you have in the bank and send it off to the creditor at the top of your list.

If this advice shocks you, please understand that it makes absolutely no sense to have money in the bank earning 3% while you have debts that cost 18% or 21%. While you’re at it, liquidate any other assets you have, such as savings bonds, stocks, mutual funds, even baseball cards.

Liquidate all your assets, with one exception: Do not liquidate your IRA or company retirement accounts. The tax penalties would be so high and you would be jeopardizing your future retirement to such an extent that it's not worth it.

“But if I close my bank account, I won’t have any money,” you might be complaining. Well, I’ve got news for you: You don’t have any money now! You just don’t realize it. And if you’re worried about needing cash in the event of an emergency, let me ask you: What do you think a credit card is for?

Homebirth Midwife biggrinbounce.gif

After 4 m/c, our stillheart.gif is here!

Jane is offline  
Old 02-04-2005, 04:47 PM
 
dharmamama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Bywater, West Farthing
Posts: 4,447
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
"And if you’re worried about needing cash in the event of an emergency, let me ask you: What do you think a credit card is for?"

I can see that we have very different ideas about this. In my own scenario, we have our adoption loan on a credit card at a 4.9% interest rate. We have enough money in savings to pay off the balance on the credit card, but to me that doesn't make sense because then, if we had an emergency, we'd go right back into debt. I'd rather pay off the debt incrementally and not have to continue putting myself in debt if I had an emergency than start the vicious cycle of "I put it on the credit card because I had no money and I have no money because I had to pay the credit card bill."

Maybe I see it differently because I don't view our adoption loan (even though it's on the credit card) as consumer debt, and it's also the only credit card balance we have. Also, we don't have an 18-21% interest rate (and I would never take a credit card if that's the rate they gave me). If we use a credit card at all, it's for something we don't have the option to pay cash for (like when we order something over the internet or book a flight), and we always pay off the balance as soon as the statement comes.

Oh well, different strokes for different folks!

Namaste!
dharmamama is offline  
Old 02-05-2005, 12:56 AM
 
Belleweather's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: The Heart of the Heartland
Posts: 3,197
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I wonder if it partially depends on your definition of Emergency? DH thinks of an emergency as something catastrophic happening to us; a car accident, an asteriod striking the house, a fire, whatever. In that case, I can see how he'd feel more okay just having credit available to cover 'emergency' expenses, because he thinks of them as inherently really, really, really unlikely to happen -- so it's okay to borrow money at interest in an extreme situation

I have (IMHO) a more realistic view of emergencies that include things like general unplanned for expenses -- car repairs that come up, medical needs like prescriptions or Drs. Appointments, just things that need to be taken care of RIGHT NOW, even though we haven't got the money and can't wait another pay period. In my world, emergencies happen and having savings is planning for them to happen and borrowing from yourself at no interest rather than borrowing it at high interest from your credit cards.

Spending all of my money and time on this wild, wild life.
Belleweather is offline  
Old 02-06-2005, 11:29 AM
 
mamaduck's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 6,596
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
khrisday, is one of you better able to manage the finances than the other? After your first post, I was going to suggest that you take over. But then your subsequent posts made me rethink that.

For my family, I manage our money. Dh has access to checking but not savings, and I try to transfer little bits of money to savings whenever I can. I write a budget monthly, I pay the bills, grocery shop, and put gas in my car *on* payday. Money goes into 401K *before* the check is even cut. Then I balance the checkbook and I let him know what is there to work with for misc. stuff.

Our debt load is also high, but all of it is under 5% interest. Mortgage, HELOC, car loan, and a little student debt that is almost done. In the 9 years we've been married I've improved his credit score *vastly* and he recognizes that its my doing.
mamaduck is offline  
Old 02-06-2005, 01:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
khrisday's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: High Desert of California
Posts: 3,913
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
no- we both suck
He had the finances because he was supposed to be better, but that obviously isn't working. We made an appointment to sit down and talk about finances last night, and he doesn't even have all the financial information information in one place so that we coudl look at it!
khrisday is offline  
 
User Tag List

Thread Tools


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off