Reply
Established Contributor
CreditCrusader
Posts: 799
Registered: ‎09-27-2011
0

Re: My wife is making my financial life miserable


IOBA wrote:

drkaje - you did a great job expressing your thoughts.

 

cc - there is no easy answer.   Either she makes changes or she doesn't.   Either she can make changes or she can't.

 

This is a generic, blanket statement that may or may not apply to your situation --- the people I know who have had spending money issues have had emotional or mental disorders.   Some disorders are diagnosed, others have not been.

 

For example - the x I mentioned earlier - diagnosed with being Malignant Narcissistic.

For example - an old roomie not mentioned - depression, obsessive compulsive (OC).

For example - a friend - emotional issues that she was not loved, so she compensated by buying herself gifts.

For example - a friend - emotional issues from being abused, so she compensated by buying herself things because she was "entitled" to them and the world "owed" her

 

I am not in your home, I have not met your wife, and I have no idea what the underlying issues really are.   But there is always a reason for the things we do.   And finding the real reason is sometimes a painful struggle.

 

If her dad can set her straight, bring him onboard!  Let her be angry with him, or you, or God - whatever it takes so she doesn't financially ruin your lives!

 

You mentioned your wife did not finish high school.   That was important enough to you to mention and it's probably a factor in this situation.   Maybe your wife doesn't feel like she can accomplish the basics of being financially responsible.

 

I am a big advocate for making the finances a family affair.  I won't disclose all of the finances to the kids, but I did start educating them early on with pieces of the big picture.   As young as 6 yrs old, they were part of deciding if we were going to order a pizza or cook a pizza, go out to eat or rent a movie.   I would phrase it something like, "Ok, Molly suggested pizza for family night.   That would cost about $20 for a pizza to be delivered to the house.   That would use up all of the "family fun" money.  It also means we can not rent a movie at all this month.   What would you like to do?"    One of my favorite ones was this - "Ok, if we go out to eat, that will cost us about $60.   That is equal to about one month of cable or three nights of pizza delivery."   The kids usually made good decisions.  And they learned the if we did this, it affected that.

 

Bring her dad in.  See if he can help.

 

Ask your wife what her financial goals are too.

 

And if you can/will, bring the kids on board and make it a game.

 

And keep us posted!


You seem to have some insight regarding my dilemma, so I'll toss this idea out there and see what you think:

 

I am convinced that my wife feels helpless regarding the finances in our house. It frustrates her that I don't earn enough to allow for the regular frivolous purchase - and she spends to compensate for that frustration.

 

I am of the opinion that if she earned her H.S degree (which she is one remedial-level English class from earning), got a part-time entry-level job that pays $7-8/hour or more (kids are in school full-time now) and had some pocket money in the range of $400-600/month, she would empower herself more and focus less on what I provide.

 

The problem is, she doesn't seem to be on-board with taking that last class even though she would attend for free (I am a faculty member of the college) and only have to attend one day a week. I am sure this is due to the fact that she has been, by choice, a stay-at-home mom for a decade now and is a little scared to enter the world of academia and business (God knows that would be a rational fear). Any advice/thoughts you might have (and that goes for everyone contributing here) would be appreciated.

I'm Spartacus!

hr>Starting Score: EQ 546, EX 547, TU 580
Current Scores (lender): EQ 725 , EX FICO 720, TU 737 FICO scores>
Goal Score: 750
Take the FICO Fitness Challenge
Senior Contributor
drkaje
Posts: 3,492
Registered: ‎07-25-2008
0

Re: My wife is making my financial life miserable

OK, CC!

 

This is the only time I've ever heard of a similar situation ending well. It only worked well because my buddy has a stomach for doing difficult things, the hard way. :smileyhappy: His wife had run up $14K or so in CC debt. Dude basically said "I'm not paying a dime", found her a midnight shift job at WalMart where she worked until the debt was paid to $0. She hated working there, being too tired to play with the baby, freedom on weekends, etc... Hiring a babysitter was not gonna really work on what he earned so midnight shift was the only option. Now she has no difficulty keeping a budget, paying stuff on time, and they're both on the same page with finances.

 

I don't know many dudes who would be that committed, LOL!


Starting Score: 675
Current Score: EX 753 FICO, EQ 737FICO, TU 738
Goal Score: 776 FICO


Take the FICO Fitness Challenge
Valued Contributor
IOBA
Posts: 2,697
Registered: ‎08-13-2009
0

Re: My wife is making my financial life miserable

[ Edited ]

CC - here's another perspective...  (from my DH)

 

She hasn't completed high school.  You are nearly finished earning your PhD.

 

The kids are in school now, growing up, and will someday leave.  

 

Then what does she have??  A husband who is much better educated than she is.  Kids who have left home.  She will be alone, without you and without the kids.   Her own insecurities are playing out over the one thing she has control over -- money and how she spends it.

 

Oh, and the other thing DH brought up is that your wife has no consequences to over spending.   You mentioned her dad bailed out her sister.  You bail out your wife.

 

There's probably an emotional level that your wife stopped maturing from.   That of a teenager.   I don't know what your wife went through that caused her to drop out of high school.   But whatever happened, dropping out of high school has been a major event in her life.

 

*******

 

If she has been home for more than a decade, she might be VERY intimidated about going to a college campus and taking a class.  She feels much older, and probably a bit raggedy, and definitely outside of her league.

 

Suggestions -

 

1.   Seperate out the finances.  No joint anything!

2.  Give her a prepaid cc to keep in her wallet.  She will have it and she can choose to or not to use it.  It will help boost her ego.  Even if it has $10 on it..it's something.

3.  Take your wife - just your wife - to the college campus and show her around a few times.  Let her get comfortable with the campus, learn where to park, know where the buildings are, be familiar with the layout.

4.  Have her dad brought into the conversation.   Dad might be able to help her out.  In my case, with DH, posting the debt on the fridge for everyone to see (I wouldn't take it down, even if family was over).   Embarrassment can sometimes be a good tool.

5.  Involving the kids with the finances - just pieces of the pie.   For example, food.  Say the weekly budget is $200.  As a family, make a menu, figure out costs.  Then have a reward if there is money left over after buying the groceries.   The kids will probably help keep mom on track.  Mom can save face by agreeing, when reminded, of the goal.   Or she can say she's just seeing if they are paying attn.  At the same time, everyone wins.

6.  Counseling.  Your wife may not have the maturity level, or the life skills, to manage money.   As each day passes, you two are growing further apart.   Your wife may feel like she's too "dumb" to help  the kids with homework as they continue going through school.   She may also feel embarrassed by her lack of education.

7.  If the goal is a house next year -- then make a house goal poster.   Have the kids help.  Have your wife help.   Put it up where everyone can see it.  Set up a savings account (your name only) that you guys can put money into to save for a house.   Update your poster every week.  Even if there is no change -- document it!!

 

Ask away.  I have experience with "partners" being financially destructive.  And you can PM me anytime.

Established Contributor
CreditCrusader
Posts: 799
Registered: ‎09-27-2011
0

Re: My wife is making my financial life miserable


IOBA wrote:

CC - here's another perspective...  (from my DH)

 

She hasn't completed high school.  You are nearly finished earning your PhD.

 

The kids are in school now, growing up, and will someday leave.  

 

Then what does she have??  A husband who is much better educated than she is.  Kids who have left home.  She will be alone, without you and without the kids.   Her own insecurities are playing out over the one thing she has control over -- money and how she spends it.

 

Oh, and the other thing DH brought up is that your wife has no consequences to over spending.   You mentioned her dad bailed out her sister.  You bail out your wife.

 

There's probably an emotional level that your wife stopped maturing from.   That of a teenager.   I don't know what your wife went through that caused her to drop out of high school.   But whatever happened, dropping out of high school has been a major event in her life.

 

*******

 

If she has been home for more than a decade, she might be VERY intimidated about going to a college campus and taking a class.  She feels much older, and probably a bit raggedy, and definitely outside of her league.

 

Suggestions -

 

1.   Seperate out the finances.  No joint anything!

2.  Give her a prepaid cc to keep in her wallet.  She will have it and she can choose to or not to use it.  It will help boost her ego.  Even if it has $10 on it..it's something.

3.  Take your wife - just your wife - to the college campus and show her around a few times.  Let her get comfortable with the campus, learn where to park, know where the buildings are, be familiar with the layout.

4.  Have her dad brought into the conversation.   Dad might be able to help her out.  In my case, with DH, posting the debt on the fridge for everyone to see (I wouldn't take it down, even if family was over).   Embarrassment can sometimes be a good tool.

5.  Involving the kids with the finances - just pieces of the pie.   For example, food.  Say the weekly budget is $200.  As a family, make a menu, figure out costs.  Then have a reward if there is money left over after buying the groceries.   The kids will probably help keep mom on track.  Mom can save face by agreeing, when reminded, of the goal.   Or she can say she's just seeing if they are paying attn.  At the same time, everyone wins.

6.  Counseling.  Your wife may not have the maturity level, or the life skills, to manage money.   As each day passes, you two are growing further apart.   Your wife may feel like she's too "dumb" to help  the kids with homework as they continue going through school.   She may also feel embarrassed by her lack of education.

7.  If the goal is a house next year -- then make a house goal poster.   Have the kids help.  Have your wife help.   Put it up where everyone can see it.  Set up a savings account (your name only) that you guys can put money into to save for a house.   Update your poster every week.  Even if there is no change -- document it!!

 

Ask away.  I have experience with "partners" being financially destructive.  And you can PM me anytime.


Wow...that is some terrific stuff...and it really hits on-point regarding my situation. I love your ideas and appreciate the opportunity to PM you as well. I'm going to get started with some of these right away.

 

Thank you for your help!

I'm Spartacus!

hr>Starting Score: EQ 546, EX 547, TU 580
Current Scores (lender): EQ 725 , EX FICO 720, TU 737 FICO scores>
Goal Score: 750
Take the FICO Fitness Challenge
Established Contributor
kjm79
Posts: 1,008
Registered: ‎01-22-2008
0

Re: My wife is making my financial life miserable

WOW!  I don't think I've ever read a thread on these forums that have ever struck a personal chord for me the way this one did. 

 

I had/have a very similiar situation with my DH.  When he was young and lived at home his mom balanced his check book and bailed him out when he was in trouble with money.  After we married I handled all the finances, not by choice.  He would bring home his checkstubs still in the un-opened envelope.  He had no desire to know the passwords for our online banking accounts.  He had/has no concept of MONEY IN vs MONEY OUT.  I've done the spreadsheets, budgets, showed him in black and RED how much money comes in and how much goes out.  We sat down weekly and paid bills together.  Although he never voluntarily went to the checkbook to see our balances or even pay a bill himself.  While he did seem "shocked" at how much MORE went out than came in, his habits never really changed.  He said he cared about that "stuff" but actions showed otherwise.  I ended becoming labeled as the controlling wife by his friends and even some of his family.  Because he always had to ask "permission" before spending any money or even going out to lunch.  We tried the weekly allowance, still complained.  I tried explaining of course that it wasn't permission he was asking for, but it was confirming that we had the money to do whatever it was he wanting to do.  We had joint everything pretty much.  We actually separated for approx. a year after a while over this due to built up resentment on both sides.  All the remaing joint accounts that were open and owing I took and made sure they stayed current.  He opened a few cc's in his name.  Screwed those up of course.  let a utility bill go unpaid.  We've since reconciled and things are better, but he still hasn't quite got there yet.  A few years ago he lost his job and was out of work for months.  I'm the one who had to start the unemployment process, he was too proud.  After 6 months of NO work he and I had a LONG talk and he ended up joing the military.  He's been deployed once and returned home safe and sound.  I think his responsibility level has greatly increased.  Still financially immature though.  Getting better little by little.  We do have a few joint accounts still but also have our separate accounts.  He still pays very little attention to money in vs money out.  For example, just based on pay dates and due dates for bills we were short about $300 to pay all the bills that were due before we were paid again.  Because I save I was able to pull money from savings to cover that gap and will be able to replace it next pay period.  Frustrates the crap out of me!!  He's got the mindset that "we always make due" and "that's what savings is for".  I don't want to just "make due" or tap into savings for everyday expenses.  I've had to basically give him an allowance and there are times I have to tell him that he's not allowed to spend anything.  He complains about it of course and that it's his money too.  He's made the statments that I don't need to treat him like a child as well.  I've basically told him that until he actively participates in the family finances and SHOWS more financial maturity that this is how it's going to be.  I've also told him that if he wants to treat money like a child would treat money then he would be treated like that child.  The other option posed to him was that we can go separate on ALL our finances and we'd split everything down the middle.  He doesn't want to do that so he keeps quiet for the most part and goes along with it. 

 

Now we both work full-time jobs (he's also part-time with the army reserves) and we have two children.  Both finished high school and I went on to get a college degree while he has not.  Although, to his credit, he did help support our family while I went to school.  And now with Veteran's benefits he is looking into going back to school.  I do make more money than he does which I think has bothered him for a while but it's never been a real issue for us.  I think some of it may definitely be the lack of confidence in our significant others.  The military has helped him mature quite a bit.  Also, being separated and having to do everything on his own and failing at that was a real smack in the face for him.  Sometimes, something drastic has to happen before people really see what's going on.  Maybe CC's wife NEEDS her smack the face by having that talk with her dad, or being cut off from money and given a strict allowance.  Being forced to finish school.  Forced to work if she refuses to conform to a family budget. 

 

Our family goal is also to buy a house next year.   I'm been working on cleaning up his credit as well as bringing down our overall debt.  He's starting to grasp the concept of what needs to happen to reach our goal.  But it has not been an easy process at all and some of it he did have to learn the hard way.  Good luck to you CreditCrusader! 


Starting Score: TU? EQ 585 EX? (12/06) (CH 7 bk 11/04)
Current Score: (5/12) TU 699 (myFICO) TU 709 (WalMart) EQ 690 EX 686 (CC denial 7/11)
Goal Score: 720 Across the Board by Mid 2012
Take the FICO Fitness Challenge
Senior Contributor
drkaje
Posts: 3,492
Registered: ‎07-25-2008
0

Re: My wife is making my financial life miserable

I don't consider our spending to be extravagant but am cutting back on stuff and re-structuring how CC debt will be paid down because two student loans have no more grace period left.

 

Having been on both sides of the equation, I think it really comes down to discussing things and having a reasonable expectation about one's budget and spending habits. We're going to hit Duncan at least once/week, for example. I can't realistically say "Cutting out Duncan will make me get out of debt ten dollars a week faster!". Yes, it's technically true but ain't gonna ever happen. :smileyhappy:


Starting Score: 675
Current Score: EX 753 FICO, EQ 737FICO, TU 738
Goal Score: 776 FICO


Take the FICO Fitness Challenge
Valued Contributor
IOBA
Posts: 2,697
Registered: ‎08-13-2009
0

Re: My wife is making my financial life miserable

kjm79 - argh!  I can totally feel your frustration!  Is DH still in the military?   Do you have a family budget?   I have a few strategies that are great for military.   :smileyhappy:  PM or I can post them here.

 

Make a house poster.   I'm telling you, seeing something every day, helps you stay focused.

 

drkaje - so leave Duncan alone that way, by start looking for coupons and do their "preferred customer" thingy (punch card, emails) and saving some change that way.  :smileyhappy:  We just have to stay away from the laundry mat.  DD is right next door.   It means laundry day costs about $15.  :smileysad:   

 

It takes time and effort to become debt free.   It takes a LOT of patiences if the partner is not on board!

Senior Contributor
drkaje
Posts: 3,492
Registered: ‎07-25-2008
0

Re: My wife is making my financial life miserable


IOBA wrote:

kjm79 - argh!  I can totally feel your frustration!  Is DH still in the military?   Do you have a family budget?   I have a few strategies that are great for military.   :smileyhappy:  PM or I can post them here.

 

Make a house poster.   I'm telling you, seeing something every day, helps you stay focused.

 

drkaje - so leave Duncan alone that way, by start looking for coupons and do their "preferred customer" thingy (punch card, emails) and saving some change that way.  :smileyhappy:  We just have to stay away from the laundry mat.  DD is right next door.   It means laundry day costs about $15.  :smileysad:   

 

It takes time and effort to become debt free.   It takes a LOT of patiences if the partner is not on board!


I'm jonesing for a cup right now, LOL!

 

If it'll make you feel better, I'll even pay cash!


Starting Score: 675
Current Score: EX 753 FICO, EQ 737FICO, TU 738
Goal Score: 776 FICO


Take the FICO Fitness Challenge
Valued Contributor
IOBA
Posts: 2,697
Registered: ‎08-13-2009
0

Re: My wife is making my financial life miserable

Cash is good...and take the loose change and put it into a "loose change" savings account.  Our is expressly for traveling/vacation.

 

Lol - DH said he thought we should do a load of laundry today.   I replied, absent mindedly after just reading your earlier post, "Naw, we can't afford it right now."  He did a double take and asked me to explain that.   "Explain what?" I asked him, still distracted.   He said, "Explain why we can't afford to do one load of laundry today."

 

:smileyindifferent:   "Did I really say that?"   

 

lol - had to explain to him that I associate doing laundry with DD.  :smileyvery-happy:

Valued Contributor
IOBA
Posts: 2,697
Registered: ‎08-13-2009
0

Re: My wife is making my financial life miserable

Just curious...what is the update with wife?  Which one of the seven ideas have you started with?


myFICO is the consumer division of FICO. Since its introduction 20 years ago, the FICO® Score has become a global standard for measuring credit risk in the banking, mortgage, credit card, auto and retail industries. 90 of the top 100 largest U.S. financial institutions use the FICO Score to make consumer credit decisions.

>> About myFICO
FICO Score - The Score that matters
Click to Verify - This site chose VeriSign SSL for secure e-commerce and confidential communications.
Fair Isaac Corporation is a BBB Accredited Financial Service in San Rafael, CA
FOLLOW US Social Media Facebook Twitter Pinterest Google+
}