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Senior Contributor
drkaje
Posts: 3,490
Registered: ‎07-25-2008
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Re: My wife is making my financial life miserable


FrugalRican wrote:

drkaje wrote:

I'm very blessed to have a GF with her financial head on straight.



Same here.

She's actually the one that taught me a thing or two about credit/finances. And I thought I knew a thing or two. Go figure.


Mine really took over finances for 14 months. She basically got things organized and transferred around to save money. She knows nothing about credit repair but has never had an issue or reason to learn.

 

I did the repair work on past mistakes. I'm done repairing, though. Last late payment falls off in Oct.


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FrugalRican
Posts: 2,876
Registered: ‎02-02-2012
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Re: My wife is making my financial life miserable


drkaje wrote:

FrugalRican wrote:

drkaje wrote:

I'm very blessed to have a GF with her financial head on straight.



Same here.

She's actually the one that taught me a thing or two about credit/finances. And I thought I knew a thing or two. Go figure.


Mine really took over finances for 14 months. She basically got things organized and transferred around to save money. She knows nothing about credit repair but has never had an issue or reason to learn.

 

I did the repair work on past mistakes. I'm done repairing, though. Last late payment falls off in Oct.


I thought that because I'm an A+ in budgeting and saving money that that meant that I was an A+ in credit scores/reports.

She's not as good with the budgeting but she doesn't spend unwisely either... so we've learned from each other.

 

Amazing how it can work out when two contrasting styles mesh and work together as a team.

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ReVeLaTeD
Posts: 180
Registered: ‎06-14-2008
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Re: My wife is making my financial life miserable

"My name is ReV...and I am a recovered spendaholic."

 

I see you also wanted feedback from those who were or are recovered financial issue creators.  I thus contribute - but I want to prepend what I share by saying that I have had this talk with many people, and they all say the same thing: "money doesn't matter in a relationship", but it does.  It should not be the sole reason you get into one, but the management of money and the mentalities of both people is critical to the success of the relationship.

 

One of many reasons why I will likely never be married.

 

Anyway, I won't bore you with the long story, but suffice to say, at 18 years old I went credit crazy starting with a Pac Bell PCS phone. Then an auto approved Robinsons May card.  Then a Mervyns card, then a Target card.  I squandered all of those.  I would get a decent paying job, then immediately finance a car, which isn't too bad, but because I wanted to be "cool" at the time, I would buy more car than I could afford.  Job dropped, I no longer could afford the car.  Or I would finance cars when unemployed with deferred down payments which aren't bad assuming you actually can come up with the money - which in more cases than not I couldn't.  

 

Eventually I got a really good paying job at what used to be known as SBC Pacific Bell, now AT&T.  Base pay was great, plus commission which effectively doubled my check.  I had strategized certain transactions so that the commission would come months later, left that job after 6 months, for the next 6 unemployed months they were still sending me full pay checks.  Thousands of dollars...and if you asked me what I have to show for that money, I can't account for the bulk of it.  I know some went to a cell phone bill, a lot went to clothes.  Yes, clothes, that I didn't really need.  Nearly $10,000 worth of designer clothes.  TO put it in perspective, it would have been about 10-15 shirts and 10-15 pairs of pants, then some boots, belts, and a little jewelry.  Of those, I have three of the shirts, none of the pants, today.  But I made a ton of more money than that, and have no idea where any of it went to this day.

 

Switched jobs a few times and started getting more mature mentally about work and the job and how to manage what I was doing.  My job tenure started to actually matter.  That was 2002, and the first year I stopped letting cars get repo'd.  I started to realize that it all began with the workplace, and that I had wrong all along because my parents never told me the truth about working: You.  Are.  Disposable.  I realized that in every single job from 2002 backwards, I got screwed in some way by someone, whether it was out of a raise, out of a promotion, or just punishment I didn't deserve, and because I didn't recognize it for what it was, I made piss poor financial decisions under the presumption that the job would not go anywhere.  That affected me a lot.

 

2003 I made the jump to a new job, my longest running actually, and dated a girl that I moved in with.  Her sister stole a bunch of irreplaceable items from me during a fallout and I lost more money, but this time it wasn't my ignorance.  I finally moved far away, into a room in a family's house, while I got my stuff together.  When I had enough money I moved into an apartment that was low cost at the time, terrible, but allowed me to get some things straight.  Unfortunately, I chose to rent furniture which was a huge mistake.  In 2004, I got a wage garnishment from the state of California over some old tickets where they wouldn't allow me to make a payment arrangement.  I sat down and looked at my finances and credit and realized that I was spending nearly twice what I made every month...and then the white light hit me.  I made the hard decision to file Chapter 13 bankruptcy, since I knew I owed the money, but could not afford to pay the full rates.  Tons of credit cards, loans, the furniture renting, my apartment, my car, everything was bleeding me dry.


Came out of BK in 2007 a much smarter person.  The attorney said "nobody finishes the plan", yet I did without missing a single payment, AND I financed a car midstream.  I got lucky though...one of the loans which was the largest of my debts at the time got refunded in full, I had gotten significant raises at the job I was at which allowed me to catch up on things, and I got bonuses which I was able to throw at the problem to get it paid down faster than planned.

 

Today, I am so retentive about my budget and credit that I don't buy anything that doesn't have a practical purpose that I can justify.  I do still spend, but I don't overspend.  I always have money in a bank account somewhere, and I always make sure that every bill is paid timely.  I have to go to work but I'll elaborate on my strategy if it helps as soon as I get a free moment.

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kimbasoo
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎01-21-2008
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Re: My wife is making my financial life miserable

I have been in that same situation several times in our over 2 decades of marriage and have bailed her out numerous times. She still hasn't changed her lack of financial responsibility. The only way I can sleep at night is by having separate accounts and paying all the bills myself. She has forged my name on checks before and I have to hide all my account information and passwords. I know you have a lot on your plate but if you don't take over the bill paying you may end up not having food to put on your plate.

 

Best of Luck

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IOBA
Posts: 2,659
Registered: ‎08-13-2009
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Re: My wife is making my financial life miserable

ReVeLaTeD - thank you for sharing your story with us.

 

What would you advise young people on how to create a realistic budget?

 

What would you recommend for someone who has created a realistic budget (meaning they actually included all of their expenses in real numbers) and is stabbed with the emotional dagger of seeing that their expenses exceed their income?

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PolarBearCO
Posts: 7
Registered: ‎06-29-2007
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Re: My wife is making my financial life miserable

Well, your first order of business is to address the infidelity. Altering a check you wrote and signed is an unfaithful, disloyal act. Your second order of business is to show her a budget that pays the bills, feeds the kids, saves for the future, etc and explain to her if she wants a bigger budget she needs to go back to work. Period. Your wife isn't bad about money. She's bored and unfaithful, and passes time by spending money. Good luck.
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ReVeLaTeD
Posts: 180
Registered: ‎06-14-2008
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Re: My wife is making my financial life miserable


PolarBearCO wrote:
Well, your first order of business is to address the infidelity. Altering a check you wrote and signed is an unfaithful, disloyal act. Your second order of business is to show her a budget that pays the bills, feeds the kids, saves for the future, etc and explain to her if she wants a bigger budget she needs to go back to work. Period. Your wife isn't bad about money. She's bored and unfaithful, and passes time by spending money. Good luck.

We can be plainer than that.  And I say that because...to IOBA's question of "what did you do?"  The simple answer: I had to admit that what I was doing was wrong.  Not because of being in debt or having creditors chase me or even nearly being homeless, no.  It was wrong because I know deep down I'm way more intelligent than that.

 

So let's be plain.  Altering a check is ILLEGAL.  Nothing to do with faith, or loyalty.  It's against the law.  People go to jail all the time for that.  Now, I don't suggest you lock your wife up.  But I do recommend making sure she understands that what she does is against the law.


I also don't fully agree about showing a budget.  In my mind, the and account separation IS the best way of dealing with the situation. 

 

- Keep your money in your own account, secure your passwords.

 

- DO NOT write checks.  Don't even own a checkbook if you can avoid it.  If you have to, just get a bank check from the bank when you need to.  But ultimately, your goal is to get it to where you're paying through your online banking.  That way, the only way to get access to your money is (A) your ATM card which should be on your person the majority of the time, or (B) going to the bank, where you are the only one authorized.  This seems to be an extreme measure, but you're dealing with an extreme situation.

 

- IF it were me, I would allow her to use only that money that she makes.  If she's constantly running out of funds and whining that she can't get what she wants, simply say, "maybe if you were more frugal with your spending, you'd have money for nice things".  Once you see she gets responsible with her own money then you can start to add a little at a time from your own pocket.

 

 

 

As for what I had to do, it wasn't nearly as easy, because it was all my own money.  I had to get to the point of wage garnishment and the embarassment of my payroll department knowing I was in debt before I got a wakeup call.  It was a job I didn't want to lose, so I made hard decisions.  I did without.  I went on Ramen for a while.  I stopped buying things "just because".  I mean I've bought video game systems that I played for three hours and then not play for years.  I'm on my fourth stereo system.  I would just buy things.  I had to stop that and start scrutinizing whether I really needed stuff.  But honestly I think it was when I got to the point of making tons of money and having absolutely nothing to show for it that really got me thinking: Is it the money that matters, or is it what I do with it that matters?  If I run into a tough spot, am I okay?  Will I survive?  Am I going to last past the first month?  The first year?  Will I end up homeless? 

 

After that I got extra friendly with Excel and just laid out all of my various monthly expenses and what each one was bleeding out of me if I paid the minimum.  At that point I ignored interest rates because they really didn't matter in the grand scheme.  Once I got a dollar figure, then it was deciding whether that was too much per month, and if so, what I could cut out.  Simple things like turning lights off when Ieft rooms and not using tons of water made differences, but I also had to look at dumb things like my cable service: I watched three TV shows yet was paying $80/month for JUST cable/satellite service.  All three of those shows are available online, free, two of them from Hulu, one from YouTube, and I only have to wait 24 hours at the most.  So I cut it, and just pay for internet.  The internet can be as low as $40/month if i choose, so I have control over that expense.  Right now I have a surplus, so I pay for one of the faster tiers at $120/month.  But for that money, I can work from home, watch TV, watch PPV, manage my home security system, manage my online files, and (soon) manage my online content system AND my personal web sites.  IT pays for itself.  Cable was a drain.


Then there's credit cards and making sure each card has a purpose. 

  • I have a gas card that doubles as a Visa card, but I use it 99% of the time for gas only. 
  • I have a credit union card that is my largest line, it handles certain larger purchases.  Like travel. 
  • I have a Hooters card that is my oldest card, it manages my discretionary spending.  Like food.
  • I have an HSBC card that is my lowest limit, it handles one-off smaller expenses.
  • I have a Discover card, it is my "non-Amazon online purchase" account since it has virtual card numbers.
  • I have an Amazon Store Card that takes care of 99% of what I buy from Amazon.  Every so often I'll pay cash though, if it's a larger purchase.

The HSBC card, for example, is really not necessary, but I keep it because it's my second oldest card at this point.  If I ever got stuck in a financial rut, I could easily close all but the credit union card and make do.

 

 

 

 

But...none of that matters unless one thing rings true: You've got to want it.  A person has to want to fix their situation.  You can't fix things for them.  They have to want to change.  That's why I say that the only way you're going to spur that is to let them fail a bit.  It's like some of the old schoolers who used to throw kids into the shallow end of the pool so that they would start swimming on their own...sometimes you have to do that with certain people who are afraid to grow up.  My read of your wife is that she's afraid of growing up.  It's sink or swim time...and you have to show her that life isn't an ATM.

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webhopper
Posts: 7,230
Registered: ‎09-16-2011
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Re: My wife is making my financial life miserable


kjm79 wrote:

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! 


Very touching story, thanks for sharing :smileyhappy:


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Imdone123
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Registered: ‎11-21-2010
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Re: My wife is making my financial life miserable

Greetings.....

 

My wife has tried to ruin me financially, but she did NOT succeed.  Perhaps describing things so as to imply that she tried is NOT accurate...but a little emotional.

 

I have a substantial income, and we have a 10,000 square foot house.  My wife has two children from a prior marriage, and I have one.  We share an 8yo son together.  My wife is NOT at all capable of managing money.  I recognized this early in the marriage.  We have been married for 9 years.  That said, she purported to need money every month.  Therefore, as her husband, I gave to her $3000 per month over a 6 year period of time.  In total she received $237,000.  Today her credit score is about 300.  She has no funds whatsoever, and she was working during this same period of time.  No one knows where this money went.  While she received these funds, 100% of all expenses were paid in the house.  We had a nanny, a house keeper, etc.  She had no expenses WHATSOEVER regarding the house.  Her ex refused to pay child support...and he is a lawyer.  I have maintained a very good credit score, got my oldest son through an Ivy League University- he graduated debt free ontime, and kept our youngest in private school.

 

The lesson:  DO NOT HAVE A JOINT ACCOUNT.  DO NOT GIVE THE WIFE ACCESS TO ANY OF THE MONEY.  IF YOU HAVE A JOINT ACCOUNT CLOSE IT.  PLEASE UNDERSTAND THIS SITUATION WILL NOT GET BETTER.  WHEN ONE OF YOU WORRIES ABOUT THE FINANCES THE OTHER DOES NOT HAVE TO,  SHE COULD SPEND EVERY DIME YOU ONLY TO FILE FOR DIVORCE AND ASK THAT YOU CONTINUE TO TAKE CARE OF HER.  And while not allowing access creates marital discord, which would you prefer?  If you divorce and your personal credit is ruined than anger and hopelessness abounds.  If however, you continue to NOT allow the wife access to funds, she will become angry and feel as if she is not a part of things, and therefore she will seek a divorce.  To whit, you will feel a sense of relief and freedom having not allowed access versus "**bleep** was I thinking for allowing her access."  Either way you will be divorced.  The thread for this blog is Love and Money.  A marriage in America based solely on love is doomed to fail, as is one based solely on money.  If you cannot balance the two with your wife, the marriage will fail.  The longer you stay, the more it will cost you if and when you leave...now she may leave when she has had enough or the money dries up.

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drkaje
Posts: 3,490
Registered: ‎07-25-2008
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Re: My wife is making my financial life miserable

^ WOW!


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