Skip to comments.Dave Says Don't Let Your Husband Be Weak
Posted on 06/21/2011 6:21:08 AM PDT by Kaslin
My husband and I have been married less than a year, and already were having huge disagreements over money. Hes got a big heart, but often hell just give money to friends and family. Sometimes, this leaves us short when it comes to monthly bills, paying off debt, and saving anything. I guess he thinks well get by somehow, but it scares me. What can I do?
It sounds like he does have a big heart, and Im sure thats one of the reasons you love him. But this kind of behavior is completely irresponsible. Whats worse, its driving you crazy. At this point, you have every right to be scared and frustrated, because the message hes sending you is he wants to take care of everyone else before he takes care of you and your family. Thats not a good idea.
Broke people cant help broke people, meaning only the strong can help the weak. At this point, you guys should be working together to get your own financial house in order. Im talking about becoming debt-free, with a fully loaded emergency fund of three to six months worth of expenses in place, and something set aside for your golden years. Then, once all that has been taken care of, if you have a friend or family member in financial need, you can gift them $300 or whatever you guys agree is an appropriate amount.
Im a big giver, both at my business and in my personal life. But Ive learned that my first gifts should go to my wife and family. After Ive taken care of my own, then comes giving outside of the household. You guys need to take care of yourselves right now. Kill off the debt and build up some wealth so that your husbands heart can function in that gift!
My husband and I are both spenders. We want to get on a plan and handle our money better, but is there anything that will help us learn to give up stuff now so that well have more in the future?
I know what youre talking about. Old habits are really hard to break, especially when theyre fun old habits. Even when you wake up and feel the pain and realize you shouldnt have done something, its easy to slip right back into the same old stuff, isnt it?
The only way Ive ever been able to achieve anything like that is to find something specific I want bad enough out there in the future to give up something in the present. You may have heard me say, Live like no one else, so that later you can live like no one else. Well, this is more a case of you have to want to live like no one else later, so that today youll live like no one else.
I saw a bumper sticker once that read Nothing tastes as good as thin feels. Ive got to agree with the idea behind that. No discipline is pleasant, but its the pain of changing something in your life that eventually leads to a positive result.
Think about it this way. A great definition of maturity is learning to delay pleasure. Ouch!
There are two ways of exerting one’s strength: one is pushing down, the other is pulling up. ~ Booker T. Washington
Not to be confused with Booker T. & the MG’s:
Have a Great Day, CSM! Keep livin’ like no one else, as shall I! :)
I don't loan money to people unless I would be comfortable considering it a gift that doesn't get repaid.
I wish you luck and good fortune....
Also.......42 years invested.
I feel that I shall live this way for the rest of my time in this particular universe; the cost of a divorce now far exceeds my ability to suffer the financial consequences.
And nothing says that can't be one of their budget items even now if it means that much to the husband, just set it at a level consistent with their income and other expenses. Give him a budget of $50 a month or whatever that he can give to people whom he feels need it.
If not, firmly but kindly explain that things are going to be different. Bills will continue to be paid, but she will no longer have direct access to funds you've earned. Open a bank account that she's not on and have your pay put into it. Figure out how much you can afford to give her, and hand it to her in cash each pay period. That way she can't do anything that will mess up your budgeting.
The worst that could happen is she divorces you, and the hell you're going through now has to be worse.
Sit your husband down and explain what it takes to run the weekly, monthly , quarterly and annual budgets. When he starts to comprehend that property taxes aren’t a monthly affair but a quarterly one, insurance can be bi annual or annual. Explain that you budget monthly savings to pay quarterly bills and so forth so when he hands out money as if he were the friendly banker that it totally screws up all the saving you have been doing. Tell him to ask YOU before he gives anyone more than the cash he has in his pocket.
How long have you been married? More than two years? If so, you trained her to be a spender. It’s not going to be easy to break a habit that you taught her.
Dang! She must be a real looker for him not to bring up the subject of finances before he said I do.
Actually giving should be the first line of their budget, but in the case above that giving should not be putting his own family at risk.
I was perfectly comfortable giving several thousand dollars to a close relative struck by undeserved disaster, UNTIL they* said that when they* got on their feet, they*'d donate it to a charity. NO. NO. NO. If you ever ARE on your feet (that's probably several years away), you can donate it back to ME. That was the money I'd been saving for a shed for the backyard, which I really need and still don't have.
Handing cash to people is fraught with danger....to them. My siblings had the opposite approach and they are paying for it to this day. They took money from my parents constantly. One hasn’t held a job in over a decade and the other works a part-time job. When my sister was in her “cocaine days”, I bought her food because even gift cards got turned into coke. Not practical food but more exotic food that she liked. Olives, artichoke hearts, that kind of stuff.
I’ve just stopped buying stuff. I get books at the library and read them on the deck. I don’t need any more stuff.
You’ve confused “giving” and “loaning”. If you loan someone money, you expect something in return. If you give money, they can go on a drunken binge with it and you won’t care because it is THEIR money now.
Oh no - I considered it a gift until they said they considered it a loan, but that it was one to be paid forward, not back.
I have....just like Dr. Frankenstien....created my own monster.
And it bothers me the most that she is physically and mentally more than capable of earning income. She just refuses to.
To quote Ayn Rand..."By what right? By what code? By what standard?"
I agree. In fact, spouses should not make unilateral decisions to spend money, either. Anything over a couple of hundred dollars gets run by the my car. She knew the car needed tires. We had talked about getting tires. But, I still called her when I was about to actually purchase the tires. We are at a point where a few hundred dollars isn't going to bounce any checks, but that money isn't mine; it's ours. And I have no right to spend it as only I see fit.
I think finding someone to marry with the same fiscal philosophy is at least as important as someone with the same political philosophy and second only to the same religious philosophy. Of course, finding someone who agrees with you in all three areas, as I was fortunate enough to do, is wonderful.
I hate to say it but off in the distance I see the doors to a divorce court starting to open. Is there any way for you to take a large chunk of your assets and put them under someone else’s control. Bring yourself right down to the ledge of bankruptcy and see if that opens her eyes?
I would not give to one of my three nieces for that reason. I only give when I know the reason, and the person, well enough to know that it won’t be misused. And, as I said, we’re not talking large amounts of money. This is usually enough to get groceries, or pay a utility bill. If in doubt, and there are small children involved, my husband and I will discuss the matter, and make a check directly to the utility or the landlord.
I am pretty good with money, but my wife (stay at home CPA) is better, and she is much, much better at keeping things organized. Thus, she handles all the finances. We make major decisions together.
(I also do most of the grocery shopping!)
I’m not chastising you. I think that “tiding people over” contributes to the overall problem. People will avoid the hard task of budgeting or “doing the right thing” as long as they can get over the next hump.
An example: We had a single mom get in trouble with bills and people took up money for her. Her employment situation worsened so someone asked “Do you have family that can help you?”. Her answer was “I’m not speaking to my family”. Her pride separated her from her family. As long as she was able to get help from others, she didn’t see the need to fix the relationship and we were feeding that problem.
I know a man that is in the payday lending loop. His whole disability check goes to payday lenders. We discussed paying them off but we were convinced he would get right back into trouble. His problem isn’t payday lending. It’s the inability to budget his money. Dave Ramsey says that he always ties money given to the recipient doing a budget. He pays them to do a budget. Great idea.
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