tonight we put together my husband's budget – tips/strategies

posted 3 months ago in Finances
Post # 16
220 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2018

coffeecakez :  I second this point about the bartending money. OR out of his bartending money he gets to have $X amount left for “fun money” and the rest gets applied to the ongoing credit card bill. I mean like he gets like $50 cash for fun money, which honestly he can treat himself to quiet a bit per week on just that. Better yet, all of his bartending money goes towards the credit card bill to help pay that off.

I have zero experience with a commission based salary, so no comments there on how your helping him line out a budget. Your budget seems pretty good to me, you obviously understand the importance of paying off his debt and balancing the fact he has to pay for work expenses and there is a delay to when he gets reimbursed.

However, the way you guys split things seem odd to me. As PPs have mentioned, the budget you proposed seems overly strict. Heck, even when I had no job and struggled to make my bills Darling Husband understood I still should be allowed to eat fast food for lunch once in a while for my own sanity.

I totally get you need to do what works for you as a couple, but you are married, you’re a unit. I think I remember previous posts of yours and regardless of how much you’ve helped him pay off debt before or still do – why not still try to but be more strict about it? The goal here is to pay off debt. If he gets into a situation that 110% he needs your help to afford something, help him.

Perhaps you guys can sit down more regularly and if he says “I really want to eat out for lunch on Wednesday with the guys/Go to happy hour on Thursday after work” but “I’m going to struggle to make X payment” if I do that. That’s when you gently remind him (if he’s actively making an effort to pay off debt that is) “Should you eat out?” judge when the last time he got to treat himself was, and then you say “I’m willing to help you out X much this week/month/whenever but thats it”.

Post # 17
153 posts
Blushing bee

OK this is not going to work.  You will never get ahead.  Either he needs to get a job paying a lot more or you do OR you absolutely need to move.  Your rent should be around 25% of your take home income and his is much higher when his monthly income is $2200.  


If I were you I would take control 100% of the finances and pool all your money.  Cut up his credit card so you can only see every charge on your credit card.  Have him get another job because his work expense thing is just absurd.  Are you guys able to save anything if you pool all your money?  No way would I put up with paying off his debt just to have him do it again.  Don’t be his mother.  But seriously read up on financial blogs-bogleheads, frugalwoods.  You can’t keep going like this or he will just keep digging you bother further into debt.

Post # 20
2559 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2018

I’m all for helping out my spouse but you’ve bailed him out before and he has proven to you he cannot control his bad habits. Creating a budget for him isn’t going to solve that problem. This is something he should be heavily involved in (creating the budget/plan) or it will never work.

I would recommend what other bees have. Either he needs to demand a corporate card for work expenses, or open a new CC ONLY to be used for work expenses and paid off in full when he gets his reimbursement. 

He should cut up any personal credit cards and discontinue use because he clearly is not responsible enough to have a personal credit card. Use a cash based, zero based budget system. Every dollar has a name. It’s harder to do with a variable income but not impossible. My husband has a base salary plus bonus. We budget per paycheck with a set amount coming out for housing, food, fun, etc. The rest gets divided as needed (in your husbands case, that would be for debt repayment). 

Post # 21
4835 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: July 2018

Why can’t he start a new credit card with a low credit limit that is only for work expenses? That way work expenses don’t actually cut into his very limited cash flow and then then the personal card gets out in a drawer somewhere and he only uses debit? 

I don’t even understand why he works on a “pay back” expense system when the expenses are so high, I have never heard of that.  I have only ever had company credit cards, is there no way he can do this? 

When we were saving for our down payment my fiance was only just learning about personal finance and being responsible.  He had a similar trait to your husband in that if he had access to money he felt like he spent it so for the time that it took to get rid of this mentality he didn’t carry a credit card in his wallet and only had a personal spending debit card and there was only ever a predetermined amount of spending money in this account and money for bills and savings had already been transferred out on payday. 

Post # 22
7153 posts
Busy Beekeeper

sunworshipbride :  mileage expenses typically work out to more than you actually pay in gas (unless he drives a hummer or something dumb) so that should work itself out. Also it sounds like he is spending more in expenses than he earns in commission. So much for good will? 

You need to get the debt under control before buying a house.  What has he said about all this? Is he worried and wanting help or are you trying to force it on him? Have you talked to him about the new expenses coming with the baby? If you aren’t planning on breastfeeding (or it doesn’t work out) then formula is expensive. Childcare is also expensive. The house and retirement are important, but honestly you’ll never get ahead if, as a couple, you always have credit card debt holding you back. 

How would he feel about you being in charge of all the finances? I know couples where one person just sucks with money – so the other person handles it and gives them an allowance. They discuss major decisions obviously, but the day to day spending is more controlled. 

Post # 24
681 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: January 2017

sunworshipbride :  I know you said you didn’t like You Need A Budget because of the cost, but it does make it easy to combine money from multiple accounts into a single budget. There might be free apps as well, but I know YNAB works with the four account D.H and I have, and we view it all as one pool of our money.

I think you need to go about this in a similar way. I would look at your fixed income and his lowest income, so $2K, and then budget all fixed expenses, debt payments, and discretionary spending from there. If he is willing to really work at this, he should cut up his personal card(s) and use only cash. You can open a new card for work expenses only, but he has to be willing to never use the card for personal expenses. You can use your combined income to pay down both of your debts, which is really important before buying a home. Then budget a set amount of discretionary money per week, and give it to him in cash. You may have to compromise a bit, like cut down on debt payments by a bit in order to give him a big enough weekly fund, and he will have to really commit to staying within his cash allowance. If he’s not willing to work really hard at this though, it’s not going to work well. He needs to realize that paying down debt and sacing for a baby are top priority right now, and if he continues to overspend on his credit card it’s going to be impossible to get ahead.  

Post # 25
7153 posts
Busy Beekeeper

sunworshipbride :  I kind of want to know what brewery this is so I don’t support a company that treats their employees like such shit! If they won’t give him a card can he ask if they’ll do more frequent expense reimbursements? Weekly or biweekly would help with the cash flow. 

The easiest way to take over the finances is to be joint and then dole out his weekly spending cash to his own account, but you can also just manage his accounts for him assuming everything is direct deposit and online billpay – you just need his logins. 

Post # 26
7153 posts
Busy Beekeeper

Also since you want to buy a house – keep in mind that his debt will effect your debt-to-income ratio and impact what you can buy. If you live in a community property state lenders will include his debt in the DTI ratio even if he isn’t on the deed/mortgage just because you are married. As much as you want to treat this as his debt and his problem – it really does impact you and your family’s financial goals.

Post # 27
5961 posts
Bee Keeper

So I have pretty high expenses for my job, similar to your husband. We also don’t have company cards, so I put everything on my own personal card (I just put in a $4800 expense today for last month). The bonus to this is – points! Maybe opening your husband up a new card with a % cash back could be a good thing to do moving forward. Chop up his old card, do the cash envelope thing, and keep his credit card as a work card only. 

Post # 28
269 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

I agree with the others. My husband always has tons of work expenses he gets reimbursed for, and he has a card that is ONLY used for business expenses, and that’s it. So, when the reimbursements come in, it should be exactly what he owes.

Maybe to discourage him overspending on it, you can have it with a set limit of $1000?

Beyond that though, I’d have him starting looking for a new, stable job with better pay. Even at his highest commission, he’s not earning a ton, and getting a second job with late nights to cover things will be REALLY hard on you with a new baby

Post # 29
9220 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

I know he is shitty with money based on your other threads, but are you splitting your housing costs according to income? His seem extremely high based on the money he has coming in. If you make a lot more money, it’s not really fair IMO to split it 50/50.

I would take 100% control of his finances, and hand him an envelope of “fun” money each week. Once that’s gone, it’s gone. He can give you the passwords etc for his current accounts so you can monitor them. Open a fresh credit card and have it send you an alert every time a purchase is made for his work expenses.

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