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Valued Contributor
madmann26
Posts: 1,401
Registered: ‎08-30-2012

Finding myself in a quandrum.....

So,

 

Long story short, I suck at money management. This has been the cause of most of the tension in my marriage. I see the money as "my money, since I earned it" not as "our money", which again, has caused some strain. I have always taken care of my family and this is not the issue.

 

I'm not sure how to get passed this. I have a lot of issues that have haunted me since childhood and am seeking professional help with that. Over the course of our marriage, I have done some really stupid (#it and I have always found a way to rationalize it. Example below:

 

This year  I received a 22% bonus, which after taxes, came out to around $13k. I didn't blow the money, I was semi-responsible and paid off all our outstanding bills, including CA's and the rest of it was just sitting in a bank account. I did spend some of it but the majority of it is there.

 

My wife finds out about it and armageddon breaks lose, not to be surprising though.

 

I guess I am putting all this out there to ask how to couples here, deal with money/finances/etc.

 

Thanks in advance.


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llecs
Posts: 32,880
Registered: ‎08-04-2007

Re: Finding myself in a quandrum.....

Once you're married, everything becomes both of yours, as opposed to "mine". All the debt is shared with the couple. The income is shared. Assets are shared, burdens are shared, and so on. If you hide money you are essentially saying, "I don't trust you" to your spouse. Even if you don't intend or mean that, she will think that. Trust is a foundation for marriage and if you chip away at that then you chip away at the marriage.

 

If I were in your shoes, I would sit down with the spouse and mention exactly how much you received as a bonus. Say that you felt there were obligations you had to pay and take care of out of that bonus and that you went ahead and paid them. Tell her exactly how much is left over after paying the bills and mention that you have some ideas as to what to do with the money. But before telling her what you would like to do with it, ask her what she thinks we should do with it and sit and listen. Don't discount any idea. Truly listen and take notes if needed. Once she is done and rattles off an idea that is your idea, tell her "great idea, I think we should do as you say" or something like that. Let the idea come from her. Maybe it's to save it, or fund a kid's account, or fulfill a household need, or whatever. But let her come up with the idea and any mistrust issue by not saying anything will go away.

New Contributor
aces33
Posts: 84
Registered: ‎04-01-2013

Re: Finding myself in a quandrum.....

Well you got yourself into a bit of a pickle BUT you can get out of it.  Simply give your wife 5.000.00. Also let her know you werent hiding the money but you knew if you came home with that kind of money and she knew she'd find something to do with it.  Let her know you paid down some bills and were holding onto the money to do something special , you just didnt know what. You dont need counseling to know how to share.  Save yourself the heartache and let me tell you what the counselor will tell you anyway. You have every right to say it's your money you earned right , just like it's your wife's right to tell you to clean up after yourself and do your own dishes and i'm not in the mood deal with it.  Little bit on unselfishness on your part would go a long way. Also , go buy her some diamond rings if 5k too much to part with. Women love jewelry.

Valued Contributor
dodfire
Posts: 1,453
Registered: ‎04-14-2012

Re: Finding myself in a quandrum.....


llecs wrote:

Once you're married, everything becomes both of yours, as opposed to "mine". All the debt is shared with the couple. The income is shared. Assets are shared, burdens are shared, and so on. If you hide money you are essentially saying, "I don't trust you" to your spouse. Even if you don't intend or mean that, she will think that. Trust is a foundation for marriage and if you chip away at that then you chip away at the marriage.

 

If I were in your shoes, I would sit down with the spouse and mention exactly how much you received as a bonus. Say that you felt there were obligations you had to pay and take care of out of that bonus and that you went ahead and paid them. Tell her exactly how much is left over after paying the bills and mention that you have some ideas as to what to do with the money. But before telling her what you would like to do with it, ask her what she thinks we should do with it and sit and listen. Don't discount any idea. Truly listen and take notes if needed. Once she is done and rattles off an idea that is your idea, tell her "great idea, I think we should do as you say" or something like that. Let the idea come from her. Maybe it's to save it, or fund a kid's account, or fulfill a household need, or whatever. But let her come up with the idea and any mistrust issue by not saying anything will go away.


+1

Great advice!!!

When you marry someone....2 become 1

There can be no secrets!

You said you were not great with money.....well maybe she is? Maybe the two of you working "together" would be a great team?

In all of the choices you make in marriage, pause for a second and ask yourself. How would I feel if my spouse did this?

*8/10/13
Senior Contributor
drkaje
Posts: 3,482
Registered: ‎07-25-2008

Re: Finding myself in a quandrum.....

You paid off all the outstanding bills and put most of what was left in savings? That's actually great money managementl.

 

I would have handled things differently but really can't criticize the decision. Your trust issue may have just been common sense.

 

Sure people are going to go all marriage-stuff on you but in the end.. All trust issues aside; did you honestly think DW would have agreed with paying off all the outstanding bills and saving money? I know people love the your money is our money thing but couples don't always agree on spending, especially when it comes to a windfall.

 

Someone has to play Devils advocate. :smileyhappy:


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InvincibleSummer3
Posts: 640
Registered: ‎11-20-2012

Re: Finding myself in a quandrum.....


drkaje wrote:

You paid off all the outstanding bills and put most of what was left in savings? That's actually great money managementl.

 

I would have handled things differently but really can't criticize the decision. Your trust issue may have just been common sense.

 

Sure people are going to go all marriage-stuff on you but in the end.. All trust issues aside; did you honestly think DW would have agreed with paying off all the outstanding bills and saving money? I know people love the your money is our money thing but couples don't always agree on spending, especially when it comes to a windfall.

 

Someone has to play Devils advocate. :smileyhappy:


I actually agree; this isn't necessarily as bad as it could be. But the quote " I see the money as "my money, since I earned it" not as "our money", could indicate a bigger issue. I was a stay at home parent for a time, and if I felt like I didn't have a say in where the money was going just because I happened to be the one not working? Ouch. That would have been pretty painful.

Madmann, I think you're on the right track seeking some help, but I have to say the easiest way to break up a relationship is to not agree on financial goals. I divorced in 2011 largely because my ex and I could not get on the same page about where we wanted to be financially. He just wasn't good with long-term goals, and I felt like we were jeopardizing our ability to take care of our kids. He is a lovely person, really, but when he got depressed the bank account would just go sideways with the spending.

 

I ask this as gently as possible: when you say "semi-responsible", what does that mean? I noticed you didn't just say "responsible", which makes me wonder why you needed the qualifier? Some went to bills, and that's good. Just for the record, "just sitting in a bank account" maybe isn't a bad thing either. So what was she objecting to?

Senior Contributor
drkaje
Posts: 3,482
Registered: ‎07-25-2008

Re: Finding myself in a quandrum.....

@ IS,

 

Tons of couples keep separate finances with no ill-effects. Combined finances are the norm (here) but the demographic isn't typical on boards that deal with personal finances.

 

I would have discussed things with DGF and gotten her advice. That has nothing to do with me being a nice person or henpecked, it simply comes down to us being on the same page financially and I value her opinion. In OP's case (considering the money went to pay bills and she's still twisted) they probably aren't on the same page. It's easier for a man to blame himself than deal with an angry wife. Even in a case like this..... No matter how mad she is, the bills are already paid. :smileyhappy: At this point it's really just a matter of how much money it's gonna cost him for silence.


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Senior Contributor
drkaje
Posts: 3,482
Registered: ‎07-25-2008

Re: Finding myself in a quandrum.....

@ madman26,

 

What's she upset about?

 

Here's how you address the issue. Simply ask: "What would you have done differently with the money?"


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Valued Contributor
IOBA
Posts: 2,655
Registered: ‎08-13-2009

Re: Finding myself in a quandrum.....

The way we deal with finances...

 

* All of the money goes into a joint account.

* I am the Money Honey Queen by agreement - both my husband and I agreed to it.

* We have a budget that gets weekly massages because life happens.

* I discuss the plan for the paycheck.  DH says he's not concerned about it and doesn't need to know.

* I ask, before starting a budget massage session, the family if they can think of anything happening in the next two weeks that we need money for.  It's great - family members stop, think,  respond, and take part in the money conversation!  (They don't care when it's a budget topic, but this one - it works.)  They often come up with things for the next month and for the next six months (so I can save for it).

* On payday, I pay bills, and give a quick verbal update that sounds like this "It's done.  All bills are paid.  We have xxx left over.  What do you want to do with it?"  I get responses to this too...usually a "we can go out to eat" or "put it on a CD" or "can you buy a new CD with that?"  "have we paid the full amount into our IRA for this year?" or "let's save for xxx"

 

I do post in view of everyone (even house visitors) what the goals are and our CD bingo charts.  When we were paying down debt, I had a debt chart posted right on the fridge.  (My personal income is not posted.   It's what we keep, not what we make, that is important.)

Senior Contributor
drkaje
Posts: 3,482
Registered: ‎07-25-2008

Re: Finding myself in a quandrum.....

@ IOBA,

 

I'd be 100% okay with DGF handling all finances.


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