Re: My wife is making my financial life miserable[ Edited ]
10-29-2011 07:35 PM - edited 10-29-2011 07:36 PM
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.
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.