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Husband has no concept of money and it's driving me insane!

New Member

Husband has no concept of money and it's driving me insane!

My husband has always had money issues but they have gotten a lot worse. We’ve been together for 12 years and married for 6. I have paid so much of his bills, his rent, his loans and I know I am enabling him but I hate to see him upset. He loves the 4th of July and always buys around $200 of fireworks. Can’t pay his share of the bills but can go out and spend $200 on fireworks! We went to the reservation (where they sell all kinds and where everyone goes) and bought some. He stops at an ATM to get out more cash because he said he took out $100 a few days prior but had spent some of it. We get to the fireworks stand and asks the guy what he can get for $150. I'm rolling my eyes thinking "$150 would be great to pay your share of a bill but you seem to think it's better to spend on fireworks." Then he asks the guy if $100 in cash is okay and $50 on his debit card and the guy says ok. H opens up his wallet and doesn't see his debit card. He panics asking me where it was. Well I'm not the keeper of your wallet! He then goes "Oh I bet I left it at the ATM". Yup, you probably did! Then he gives the guy his credit card and it gets denied! The he asks me if I can just use my card for the $50 and I say "Nope, I'm not spending any money on these". I thought he was going to throw a fit right there. I know he was blushing and he was embarrassed that not only had he left his debit card, but the fact that his credit card got denied and the guy working the booth is a friend of a guy that he works with! Gee H, maybe the fact that your credit card got denied is a sign that you shouldn't be spending $150 on fireworks! Maybe that could have gone for a credit card payment! So now his credit card is maxxed out and he's negative in the bank!


THEN on Saturday he shows me this Craigslist ad for a diesel van that is set up to haul motorcycles for $13,000! His plan is to sell his current trailer and our 2 trucks for a total of $7000 and buy something else and for some ungodly reason he thinks this is it. I tell him "It's $13,000!" He goes "No I know the guy and he said he'd sell it to me for $10,000". I say  "Okay, but even if you did sell everything for $7000 you'd still owe $3000!" He goes "Yeah I know, but it's a start". On what planet do you think this is an option?! You are maxxed out in credit cards, have a motorcycle loan for $12,000, have student loans for $8000 and you want to buy this huge van for transporting your bike which you won't be doing at all this year and even in your good years you would use it a max of like 5 or 6 times. Then there's that motorcycle he bought off a guy from work back in February that didn't run. He bought it for $600 and said he'd have to spend maybe $200 to fix it and then he could sell it for $1500. Well that is still sitting at work after 5 months but he just HAD to have it. He hasn't fixed his other two bikes that are supposed to be running but he had to pick up this other one. That along with his security system he just had to have 10 months ago which is still sitting in its box!


I have NEVER had money issues and was such a saver before I met him. Now I’m the one paying all the bills because he can’t help 9 times out of 10. He took out $40,000 from his 401k last year not realizing the penalty that involves even when I told him. We were stuck with a $5500 tax bill due to that and now we have nearly $500/month coming out in monthly installments to pay that off. It’s coming out of my account because he never has money in his so I’m paying for his mistake!


He knows how bad it is and is remorseful for about a day until he finds the next big thing he wasnts to buy and asks for my help in getting it.

Message 1 of 33

Re: Husband has no concept of money and it's driving me insane!

How old is he? Sounds like he still has a lot of growing up to do... do you guys have kids?

Message 2 of 33
New Member

Re: Husband has no concept of money and it's driving me insane!

He is 48. He has an 18 y/o daughter from a previous relationship, but she only visits occasionally. I even paid the share her last quarter's college tuition of $220 because he needed to wait a few days to have the funds in his account stabilize and then he'd pay it back to me. It's been 6 weeks and there's been no pay back. Just like when he needed a lawyer to set up a parenting plan years ago. He needed $3000 and I paid for it and never got anything from him and the plan didn't work anyways becasue she still rarely came to see him. 

Message 3 of 33
Community Leader
Super Contributor

Re: Husband has no concept of money and it's driving me insane!

Welcome to the board.  You sound like a very good woman. For his age, I am a bit surprised at his actions but I won't judge as I am just going by what you posted.  Have you tried sitting him down and pointing the errors of his way out to him? Sometimes, it take a while for people to grasp the "money concept".


It seems there are compatibility issues here and maybe seeking professional help might help also.

Message 4 of 33
Valued Contributor

Re: Husband has no concept of money and it's driving me insane!

Try sitting down and sharing thoughts on "shared goals" and what it needs to get to those goals; i.e. maybe pay down debt, save, etc. And always remind each othe rof the shared goals to work towards.

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Personal Lines of Credit: U.S. Bank ($5K), Wells Fargo ($11.2K), Citibank ($11.8K), PenFed CU ($25K), LA Financial CU ($20K)
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Jumbo Mortgage: 3.75%
Message 5 of 33
Established Contributor

Re: Husband has no concept of money and it's driving me insane!

It sounds like you are very unhappy., and I really feel for you. The others posters have suggested sitting down and talking, but I have a feeling you've tried that to no avail. I've seen this type of behavior in family members and friends. It's both self destructive and manipulative. I personally would not stay in such a relationship if I didn't truly love the person, or if I felt ge would not change. You've invested so much of your time, energy, and money on this man child who is old enough to know better but won't change. I've been in situations where I've felt family or friends have taken advantage of my kindness with money, and while it did cause some heartache, it did feel so much better to walk away and not continue the pattern of bailing others out. I wish the best for you. I hope you will consider counseling for yourself even if he won't go, you may be able to have a good counselor help you decide how to cope with difficult, irresponsible people.

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Message 6 of 33
New Member

Re: Husband has no concept of money and it's driving me insane!

I have told him several times about how we need to have a budget and reign in spending and there have been times where he's told me he needs to control his spending, but within 2 days that all goes out the window. We'll go and spend $100 on groceries and then get home and he'll  order Chinese takeout for $40! We JUST bought a bunch of groceries! Or he has to have a $200 part for his motorcycle. Oh and he keeps giving money for this video game. I can't even begin to wonder how mnay thousands of dollars he's given that! But then he'll turn around and pitch a fit because I spent $30 on something at the store when I could have gotten it $5 cheaper on Amazon! It is so up and down with him.


I think he has undiagnosed ADHD and the money issue is just part of the problem.

Message 7 of 33
Valued Contributor

Re: Husband has no concept of money and it's driving me insane!

Girl I have been down this road before. Luckily it was when I was much younger and had time to escape that relationship and get on with my life. Some guys (particularly the ones that have been overly parented) just can't grow up to grasp responsibility. Stop enabling him.

Message 8 of 33
New Member

Re: Husband has no concept of money and it's driving me insane!

He was most definitely NOT overparented! His parents I don't think really gave a crap about disciplining him or anything. He never learned the concept of money and saving.

Message 9 of 33
Valued Contributor

Re: Husband has no concept of money and it's driving me insane!

Good luck, I can't even come up with a good suggestion at the moment. 


Be ready to expend some emotional energy because things are likley to come to a head very soon. He may certainly have some undiagnosed issues, but these issues will need to be dealt with to right the families financial ship.

Message 10 of 33