Not fighting about money but looking for tips to help him develop better habits?

posted 5 months ago in Finances
Post # 31
Member
4988 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: July 2018

aclockworklilac :  And what about allowing or “forcing” your spouse to work 7 days a week to cover essentials while you save almost 3k a month? 

It’s spending all your money on extras while you allow (or force) your spouse to cover your essential expenses.

This is a complete guess, we really have no idea if he spends all his money on extras.  We know he went out and spent $30.  Maybe that was his one thing to cut loose that month. 

They only split bills proportionally and they split rent 50/50 so she really isn’t subsidizing him as much as you are trying to convey.  Perhaps if they split rent according to salary then he would have spare cash at the end of the month to put into the baby fund and go out with his friends? 

Post # 32
Member
2359 posts
Buzzing bee

“He’s using you to get 75% of his bills paid while he blows his minimum wage paycheck on alcohol.”

Unless he lost his high paying job, OP CHOSE to marry and procreate with this man knowing that she would be making more and covering 75% of the shared expenses.  She can’t all of a sudden expenct him to be making the same as her and have equal share in the expenses.

I will agree that it was shitty of him to take money out of their joint savings without talking to her first, but I do think it’s shitty that while she is able to put aside $800/month, he is chastised for spending $30 to go out with his friends.  

So he is forever punished about his level of income even though there is a good chance nothing has changed since she chose to marry him?

aclockworklilac :  

Post # 33
Member
283 posts
Helper bee

Well it’s OP’s life so I don’t think it matters much what we think in the grand scheme of things. But she is covering 75% of their joint bills and has referenced his “habits,” which generally implies a pattern of behavior repeated over time. This habits predate their marriage, which happened almost a year ago, so evidence seems to point clearly to this not being a one-time thing.  Had he made one stupid financial decision during their relationship, I don’t think the word “habit” would have been used. And I would have encouraged forgiveness. 

But the thing that sets off alarms for me is the dishonesty. Some counselors talk about something called financial infidelity, which involves lying and sneaking around to keep your spouse in the dark about your financial behaviors. He lied about having $20 to put in the baby fund and he snuck $115 out of it the next day to pay his share of the rent. If he were drowning and were honest about not being able to keep up, that would be one thing. But he’s lying and essentially stealing from her, undermining her efforts to be responsible, just so he can get his way and go out and do fun stuff. That’s a lot more than just not being smart with money. To me, it’s morally reprehensible. I’ve personally never seen any good come of staying in a relationship with someone who makes a habit of lying to me (about money or anything else). But everyone has their own limits and can make their own decisions about their relationships.

Post # 34
Member
7280 posts
Busy Beekeeper

aclockworklilac :  I think we need more detail before we can call him a deadbeat. What’s the income difference? Does he carry benefits for the family that aren’t being taken into account? Is he really irresponsible or is he so broke that $30 once a month with friends is crushing him? Proportionally splitting bills still leaves a discrepency in monthly discretionary spending/saving which I think is so petty in a marriage. 

If he is truly a spendthrift and can’t be stopped than she should remove him from the accounts (or open new solo accounts, move the money, and abandon the joint ones if she must), but I think one half of a marriage having more discretionary funds than the other is wrong. My husband and I both work full time (in fact his work week is 37.5 and mine is 35) and yet I make $20k. That’s a function of our career choices, not a character flaw or failure to work hard. In our marriage I’m not entitled to spend more of that money just because my name is on the check – we have the same discretionary allowance. 

eta: the lying is a big deal. I’m in full agreement with you on that. But if stealing isn’t a habit I’d want to dig deeper and found out why he suddenly feels he needs to lie. If she harps on him for every dollar he spends and lets him sit in credit card debt perhaps he doesn’t trust her enough to be honest. OP needs to find out how to get through to him about an excessive spending, but they need to be on the same page about what that is. $30 for a night with friends is not crazy – showing up and saying he bought a boat would be. 

Post # 35
Member
283 posts
Helper bee

And if I were to dig myself into a $5k credit card snafu buying non-essential things, I would work 8 days a week to pay it before I let my husband pay it off. 

It’s also worth considering the fact that she is paying down her debt and saving for a house for both of them. You guys are acting like she’s Scrooge McDuck sitting on a pile of gold just counting it for the heck of it. She’s doing things that ultimately benefit both of them.

Post # 36
Member
283 posts
Helper bee

I agree with you about income being a poor measure of character or work ethic. He could be a super-devoted, talented high school teacher for all we know. I get that. I do, however, think it’s important to live within your means and not be a burden on other people. Some things can’t be helped—layoffs, medical/dental emergencies, etc. But I consider it a moral imperative to do your level best to pay your own way through life and be comfortable in the lifestyle that you can either afford yourself or one that someone will freely and happily share with you.

I think that a lot of people are on board with the idea that married people should have the same amount of fun money regardless of income. I don’t happen to be one of them. My husband makes more than I do right now and his discretionary budget is larger than mine, as it should be. High-paying jobs usually come with more stress and more challenges. I enjoy my work more than he does and I have a chill boss and a flexible schedule. I can’t share those perks with him, so it seems fair that he should have more enjoyment of the rewards he gets for all the bs he puts up with every day. I just don’t need to blow off as much steam as he does. He will retire long before I do and at that point, I’ll have more stress and more fun money. We both made our choices about our careers and we will help each other out with living expenses, but we are each responsible for funding our own frivolity . LilliV :  

Post # 37
Member
2040 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2018

I do agree that he needs to have better financial literacy and be completely transparent with the OP about his financial outlook for the month. However, it also seems that they have different standards of living in the same house, which is problematic as well. The plan they have leaves him in a situation where he is asking if he can spend $30. Is the OP similarly strapped, or is she going out for dinner and drinks while her husband is at home because he can’t afford to? I understand that she planned better, makes more, and is entitled to spend how she pleases, but, unless my husband had bad intentions, I wouldn’t feel right about that. While I think it’s admirable that the OP is saving so much money (and she should definitely continue on that general track), perhaps loosening the reins and having more of an equal divison of spending money will be better for everyone in the long run.

Post # 38
Member
2040 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2018

“High-paying jobs usually come with more stress and more challenges. I enjoy my work more than he does and I have a chill boss and a flexible schedule. I can’t share those perks with him, so it seems fair that he should have more enjoyment of the rewards he gets for all the bs he puts up with every day.”

I get that, but it’s not always the case. My high-paying job is not particularly stressful and I have a chill boss and a flexible schedule. Many low paying jobs come with lots of stressors, set work hours, little benefits, poor working conditions, and less respect and dignity for the employee. Should that spouse have to come home and feel undeserving of the same standard of living as the higher earner? I can’t see myself shopping for clothes and going on a girls’ vacation while my spouse can’t afford a dinner out.

Post # 40
Member
2359 posts
Buzzing bee

sunworshipbride :  ok, well that paints a completely different picture and shows me that he is very financially irresponsible.  I hate to break it to you, but getting him to change will not be an easy task (my exH just started applying for new CCs and hiding the balances from me….I got lucky in the fact that he was too embarrassed to admit that the had racked up almost $25K worth of CC debt, that he didn’t try to pin any of it on me in the divorce).  

I would definitely recommend both of you sitting down with a financial advisor.   Like immediately.  

Post # 41
Member
7280 posts
Busy Beekeeper

sunworshipbride :  that really sucks that you paid them off once and he didn’t ask for budgeting help at that time. I know you said he’s living beyond his means, but I still don’t know what that looks like. Minimum wage is a joke and not enough to live on in the US so is he spending beyond his income on essentials and minimal frivolities? Or is he wasting hundreds of dollars a month?  

Is it realistic for him to get a second part time job? How would that impact his primary job and household responsibilities? I know for example my husband is launching a second career right now and while the extra money is nice, it puts a LOT more on me in terms of chores and childcare. Are you willing to accept that tradeoff?

You sound like you hustle and that’s great, but not everyone has the physical, mental, and emotional capacity for that lifestyle. You also sound a little bitter that you paid for the house and the wedding and are holding it against him. 

 

Post # 42
Member
283 posts
Helper bee

Girl, you are the most patient person I know. I hope he works his issues out and learns how to be a decent partner and parent. I’m not hopeful, but you deserve a lot more than what you’re getting.

Post # 44
Member
7280 posts
Busy Beekeeper

sunworshipbride :  3 times a week is a lot even if you aren’t in debt! That adds up fast. I would definitely get to a financial counselor. A outside person can say exactly what you are already telling him without him feeling like he’s being nagged or judged by someone he cares about. 

Post # 45
Member
345 posts
Helper bee

This doesn’t sound like a partnership at all. Didn’t you post about his financial issues and lack of income and work ambition prior to getting married? I guess that post was deleted since most people advised you against marrying him while you had such reservations about how he handles finances. You knew that he was like this prior to getting married, why would you expect that he would just suddenly change? It sounds like you’re acting like a parent to him instead of a partner.

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