Post # 1
We were married last year and I decided I was not ready for us to share our finances until he developed some better habits. Currently, I pay $2000 a month on student debt (aggressively paying it down) and will be debt free in September. I also pay $800 into my various savings accounts monthly towards our down payment fund. We split rent and we split the rest of the bills 75%/25% (I pay 75% because I earn more). Since getting married he has continued to live paycheque to paycheque and is always broke at the end of the month and either borrows from me or racks up more credit card debt (he owes $5000 on his credit card and is paying it down at a very slow speed.) The stress of being broke month to month was getting to him but not enough to change his habits or spending behavours.
So a few weeks ago I gave him another push towards finding a part-time job to do on top of his full time job. I drafted his CV (I know… but it needed to get done) and I sent it out to a bunch of places. He found something and has had a trial and they’ll let him know on Monday. So I do have hope that he’ll at least earn more,
What I am disheartened about is his reluctance or refusal to change his habits. We made a deal that any time either of us wanted to spend money on something non-essential (eating out, drinks out with friends, workout/yoga classes outside my normal gym membership, shopping, etc.) we’d put $20 in our baby saving account (I’m currently 3 months pregnant.) I thought this would be a good way for him to save a bit towards the baby costs and also act as a deterrent when he wanted to go out but couldn’t afford to go out plus put $20 in the account.
So on Sunday night he asked if he could go out with the boys. I said sure, just make the deposit first. He said “no problem”. Then on Monday he took $115.00 out of our baby saving account without talking to me first. When I discovered it he said “I didn’t want to ask you for money and I knew I’d be short for rent this month.” I said, “okay, as we’ve discussed before, please give me a heads up before you take from our joint savings, and also I love you and I’m not trying to be a jerk, but if you knew you were going to be short this month why did you go out on Sunday” He said “it was only $30 out with the boys but you’re right I shouldn’t have spent that.” and I said “my point is that you didn’t have the $30 dollars to spend in the first place, let alone the $20 you put in the baby saving account.” He said “I know I know, I’ve got to stop doing stuff like that.”
So we aren’t getting into fights about it because that seems unproductive, and he does seem to “get it” but he doesn’t seem to “action it”.
Any tips for additional measures I could take?
Post # 2
sunworshipbride : yikes – he’s taking money from the baby fund while you’re pregnant and not telling you?! Honestly I’d cut off his access to the savings accounts until he can get his act together. In the future when he asks “can I go?” turn the question right back around and say “did you budget for it?”.
Post # 3
Yeah, I would set up an actual savings account that he has no access to and each use Venmo to put your $20 baby savings into the account. That way, he can’t be dipping his hand in the jar for cookies, so to speak.
Thats deceptive behavior, and a bit of a flaw in character. I’d be very unhappy with that situation, especially with a baby on the way. He needs to start taking responsibility for his adult obligations. If he can’t pay rent, he shouldn’t buy drinks. Period.
i hope for your sake that he gets the better job, but let’s be honest— people who are so poor with money management at one salary will do equally poorly at a higher salary; they’ll just spend more.
Does he know how to budget? He shouldn’t be spending money on anything “fun” until his credit cards are paid down. Ugh.
Post # 4
Why would he change when you’re doing everything for him? You’re paying his way for most everything, you give him money when he wastes it on other things, and you don’t hold him accountable.
Yeah, his CV needed to be done, but not by you. All you’re teaching him is if he procrastinates enough, you’ll take care of it. He’s keen to let you worry about the money while he does whatever.
He has no reason to change, and he doesn’t want to. He’s just placating you and telling you what you want to hear, “I need to do this, I need to do that..”
I would stop bailing him out. If he askes for money again tell him you’ll sign him up for financial peace university so he can learn money management.
Post # 5
I had a similar issue with my fiance a year ago with this! He has cleaned up his act and paid $4000 into his student line debt in two months so im super proud. What i did first was with him i made a list of all his essential bills like rent, car payments, insurance, phone bills, gas, food…
Then i added that up and added up his monthly income. Once that was done, I looked at how much he’d have left over at the end of the month after he pays his bills and then i took 75% of that and suggested he put it towards his debt. So that leaves him with 25% to spend on whatever he wants. It took a couple months for him to get used to is, but now he is doing great and plans to start putting that 75% towards a savings account once his debt is paid off!
Post # 6
natasha0b : Great suggestion.
Any suggestion for how to budget for his work-related expenses which he pays for himself and gets reimbursed for later (once a month)? How do you work that into a budget?
Post # 7
He absolutely needs to get this under control before you have the baby. You currently already have a baby (your husband) and are pregnant. I would put your foot down, you shouldn’t be the only person saving for your future while he goes out to bars and blows money.
Post # 8
sunworshipbride : depending on the amount of expenses I might just use it as his savings amount. So rather than add that amount back in knowing it will be reimbursed just pretend it part of his expenses and then deposit the reimbursement check straight to savings.
Post # 9
sunworshipbride : What about trying the Dave Ramsey “envelope method” with your spouse? It seems he has poor impulse control when it comes to swiping/tapping a card, and has no idea how to stick to a budget. Leave the debit/credit card at home and carry only cash, allocated into appropriately-marked envelopes for various needs. Pay rent, utilities, debt first, then withdraw the cash. Budget it out. When the cash runs out, you’re done. Sorry. It sucks, but for someone who has a disconnect between his plastic money and his real money, going cold-turkey is sometimes necessary. Good luck!
Post # 10
I commend you for not fighting about it, I’d be livid! First, I’d definitely cut off his access to the joint accounts so he can’t just take from it. Second, I’d stop lending him money and getting him out of his mess. How is he going to learn if you keep just fixing and doing things for him? Third, there’s no way in hell I’d buy a house with him if I’m the only one saving for it, if he probably wont be able to make the payments, AND he’s in debt. God forbid, he ends up going into collection/bankrupcy (that is if you get sick of bailing him out), anything with his name on it is subject to seizure. If he can’t manage it, I’d demand to take over, he gets what he gets and if he runs out cause he cant pace his spending and cant eat lunch by Wed, then that’s just too bad. Either that, or you’d have to accept to ‘taking care’ of him financially and just keep giving him more money and having him spend more than he can afford.
Post # 11
Miss-Mauverick : I used Dave’s system for years and I love it. I plan to help him create a budget this month and I will suggest that’s how he manages the leftover money for non-essentials.
Post # 12
This whole thing is a hot mess IMO.
I would be taking over 100% of the finances. We would both have the same “allowance” for fun money each week.
What exactly is he spending all his money on? I mean you have an “extra” $2800 for your student loans and savings accounts, but he doesn’t have $30 to grab a drink with his friends?
eta: in many places your spouse’s credit card debt can eventually affect you as well. I think it’s nuts to let him continue to put things on his credit card.
Post # 13
Westwood : He doesn’t make a lot of money. I do. But you’re right – part of me just wants to tell him maybe it would be easier if I took over his finances, but part of me just wants him to learn these skills on his own. Maybe it would be easiest for him to just turn over his paychecks and I’ll give him what is left over for his “non-essentials” but I don’t know how we’d work in his work expenses “fund” into that…
Post # 14
sunworshipbride : How much are we talking? Is it always roughly the same ammount?
If so, what i would do, is the first month treat it like an essential (I do this with gas and groceries). Then when he is reimbursed the following month add that into his income.
So the second month lets say he is reimbursed $300 and you have $300 as an essential for work, it will balance itself out. The first month is kinda like an extra bill. I hope im explaining this well.
What does he do for work and i might have a better idea. I helped a friend budget who is a real estate agent and they pay for a lot out of pocket and it can be months before they see that month coming back. And its always a different amount so very difficult to budget for. We ended up getting her set up with a business banking account and see put X ammount of money into that account per pay so when these business costs came up, it wasnt taken out of her personal finances.
Post # 15
sunworshipbride : again, what are these extras he’s spending his money on? Are they really frivolous things or just like, an occasional night out or lunch?
Do you give yourself the same amount of fun money he gets?