My wife is making my financial life miserable
10-28-2011 08:52 AM
Please allow me to preface this post by saying that I love my wife dearly. We all have flaws and hers are no worse than anyone else's...they just hit our family's finances...and HARD.
I am the bread-winner in our home per mutual decision for the past 12 years. My wife made the decision to stay home with the kids - a decision I applauded and resolved to support financially. She didn't finish high school and has no work/credit history, but she keeps a terrific home and the kids are better for having her there with them at home and engaging in activities at school. I put myself through school and am a step from a Ph.D., so my job prospects supporting a family of 5 seemed more positive.
Her glaring flaw is that she is TERRIBLE with money. I have tried to bring her into the family finances because, quite frankly, working a full-time job and two part-time jobs is a difficult enough burden to bear without being responsible for deciding what needs to be paid and when. Plus, it would be good for her to understand basic household finances in case she ever had to assume the duties down the road.
My wife has repeatedly spent far more than our budget allows...run up credit cards...altered checks I have written to reflect a much larger amount (without telling me...credit union was thrilled, as you can imagine)...and simply refuses to manage money or credit in a responsible fashion. We have three children, so I am actually charged with supporting a total of 5 people without help...a task that is made more difficult by my wife's spending habits.
I have tried many things...including depositing money weekly so that she would only have a set amount to spend. She responded by trying to overdraw the account (we are opted out of OD, thank God...but CU called to notify me anyway) when she spent 90% of her weekly budget in the first day.
Now, I have been reduced to putting cash in her wallet so that she only has a day's worth of money to spend. She is hostile and resentful of this...coining the practice as "treating her like a 12 year old" or "being controlling". However, because I am feverishly trying to improve our credit so we can finally buy a house in 2012 and get our family budget in order, I feel as though I have been forced into this position so as to not bankrupt our home and once again dash our children's hope that we will own a home.
I would really like the advice of anyone who has either had to deal with an irresponsible spender or is a reformed irresponsible spender. I would also like to avoid the feminist empowerment lectures as well, if possible. This isn't an issue of control (which I would gladly sede to my wife if it didn't mean a one-way trip to the poor house) or empowerment (which mostly comes from within). It's about how I can address a glaring concern in our home relative to my inability to bring my wife on board the financial responsibility wagon.
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Current Scores (lender): EQ 725 , EX FICO 720, TU 737 FICO scores>
Goal Score: 750
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