If you think your spouse is spending too much money


#1

What do you do? I’m tired of arguing about it. My spouse won’t look at a budget. In order to not get too resentful about it, I’ve started going out and doing my own “shopping” after my spouse goes on a spending spree. I figure we’ll fall into our hole twice as fast, but we at least we won’t be pointing fingers at eachother and arguing about it. Sound irresponsible or sensible?
(I think I’m breaking a rule here - I posted this is moral theology and didn’t get very many responses, so I’m duplicating it here - forgive me.)


#2

Am I understanding that you are retaliating your spouse’s shopping sprees with your own? That is an irresponsible thing to do, I think. Things will just continue to escalate, and the underlying problems in your marriage will grow bigger and more difficult to deal with. What you need is financial counseling. Try a book called “Your Money or Your Life” and I’m sure that other posters will weigh in with Christian financial book titles as well. Then, get to a counselor who can sit down with both of you and help your spouse see how damaging these spending patterns are now and how they will affect your future. Please do not throw yourself into the same pit your spouse has … someone needs to remain honest about what is happening to your finances and your marriage as well. And don’t stop praying.


#3

Thank you for your response.

I know, I do feel irresponsible on one hand. But it’s not like “retaliating”, it’s more like letting go of resentment. We’ve been fighting less about $ since I’ve started this, so isn’t that good? I know at some point in the future we will come to a money crisis because of this, but we’ll get through it together, instead of blaming eachother. I think maybe my spouse has to lose all the money in order to think of something besides spending it.
My spouse refuses to see a problem, so will not agree to counseling. Besides - that costs money, too, right?


#4

You don’t say if one or both of work or if you have one joint account or a seperate household expenses account or if this is a wife or husband??? I’ll use “he” because I do the money here so “he”, my dh, is who I would be talking to.

**My advice: **


**1. Make a list of the bills you have, amt and when due, and standing balance. Then make a budget for each payday that will pay those bills on time. **


2. Now look at the money left over, if any. If there’s money left over, try to create another “bill” called savings with some of it to add to the above budget.


3. Show your spouse what’s left. (Actually, I think it best that he be involved from step one, but sometimes it’s best to just get the plan and show it.) Ask honestly how the money left should be divided. Half to each of you? 1/3 to each of you and 1/3 to kid needs? Whatever. That amount should be taken out in cash on payday and given to each of you. When your cash is spent - you’re out of luck.


For our home, it was an issue of thinking it didn’t matter what was spent because there was never enough no matter what anyhow. Once I sat down and did the budget and showed that we could pay the bills with a budget, my dh felt better about talking about it. Otherwise he felt I was just demeaning his paycheck and nagging, kwim?


There is very little money left over, but the $10 per payday we each get is our alone to spend. It’s enough that once in a while he can go out for lunch at work or I can get one of those outrageously expensive coffees I like.


It’s also helpfull when either of you get a case of the “wants”. You have the budget right there and you can see very clearly that if you buy __, it’s going to take away from ___.


Do not assume that losing all the money will bring you together on this and the spouse will see the light. Very rarely does it work like that.


#5

Here’s what we do when we get money:

We pay our bills right away. Then we buy food for 2 weeks.
Frank buys his transit pass for 2 weeks. IF we have anything
leftover, we try to keep it. We take a portion of that for our
weekly church donation. ( anyone have spare table and chairs
they’d like to donate to me? I could use a set! ) We always
try to make sure we have enough to eat.But, sometimes that’s
not always possible because of the bills. If one cannot afford
to buy food, then local food banks help. Believe me, we need
them! My husband and I both manage the money. We talk
beforehand about what is getting paid, and how much to pay
out. We do it as a team. but, for those of you who have partners
not good with money, and you are, ask them politely if you can
manage the money. If your food is getting bought, and your bills
are getting paid, there is harmony in the house:)


#6

Your screen name is “nobody.” Is that how your husband sees you?


#7

[quote=nobody]What do you do? I’m tired of arguing about it. My spouse won’t look at a budget. In order to not get too resentful about it, I’ve started going out and doing my own “shopping” after my spouse goes on a spending spree. I figure we’ll fall into our hole twice as fast, but we at least we won’t be pointing fingers at eachother and arguing about it. Sound irresponsible or sensible?
(I think I’m breaking a rule here - I posted this is moral theology and didn’t get very many responses, so I’m duplicating it here - forgive me.)
[/quote]

Because you are the responsible one, you are not enjoying your spending. Are you really enjoying being vengeful? The day of reckoning will come. Will it make you feel good to know that you played a big part in the disaster? Your behavior is setting a pattern. Whenever your spouse wrongs you, you get even. That road leads to divorce court.

You’re tired of arguing about it, so don’t argue. That at least is something positive.

Are you a newlywed? Your spouse’s attitude toward money didn’t develop overnight. What has changed?

You can get counseling through Catholic Charities that’s based on a sliding scale according to your ability to pay. The irresponsible spending isn’t about the money. If you husband refuses to go, you still need to go.


#8

[quote=Pentecost2005]Your screen name is “nobody.” Is that how your husband sees you?
[/quote]

that’s kinda mean don’t you think?


#9

[quote=Marilena]that’s kinda mean don’t you think?
[/quote]

No, I don’t. It’s a valid question. Painful, perhaps. But sometimes painful questions are fruitful.


#10

[quote=Rob’s Wife]**…**It’s also helpfull when either of you get a case of the “wants”. You have the budget right there and you can see very clearly that if you buy __, it’s going to take away from ___.

Do not assume that losing all the money will bring you together on this and the spouse will see the light. Very rarely does it work like that.
[/quote]

Yes, thank you. We have tried that many times, off and on for years. Unfortunately, when my spouse is out of the cash, the debit card and then the credit card gets its exercise. Just when I think we’re doing okay (looking at the checking account), I get blind-sided by the credit card bill. I close the account if I can; right now I’m holding off paying one bill, but isn’t that cheating the credit card company?


#11

[quote=Courtneyjo]Because you are the responsible one, you are not enjoying your spending. Are you really enjoying being vengeful? The day of reckoning will come. Will it make you feel good to know that you played a big part in the disaster? Your behavior is setting a pattern. Whenever your spouse wrongs you, you get even. That road leads to divorce court.

You’re tired of arguing about it, so don’t argue. That at least is something positive.

Are you a newlywed? Your spouse’s attitude toward money didn’t develop overnight. What has changed?

You can get counseling through Catholic Charities that’s based on a sliding scale according to your ability to pay. The irresponsible spending isn’t about the money. If you husband refuses to go, you still need to go.
[/quote]

I really don’t feel like I’m being vengeful. I actually feel a weight of resentment being lifted off me. My spouse doesn’t get mad at me. No, I won’t feel good knowing I contributed to the disaster, but that’s the point. I won’t have any feeling of resentment to my spouse for it. The just not arguing about works for a while, but I’m weak, and the resentment builds up when I see all the “stuff”. It’s been like this for many years. It’s only in the last few that I’ve been re-embracing my Catholic faith and trying to change my ways - including not fighting with my spouse. I really don’t believe we will ever, ever get divorced.


#12

Can’t you just take the cards from him? Ask him to hand them over?
If not, are they in your name? If so, take them back and explain to
him why you are doing this. Tell him things are not going to get
better unless he agrees to let you manage the money. Your not
going to get anywhere unless he agrees to let you manage the
money. Your always going to be in this situation unless you deal
with it.Be kind to him, and ask him to hand them over. He is
obviously aware of the situation, and he should agree that it is
time for him to let you manage. I was really bad with money in
my first marriage, and I learned when it was done ( this was not
why it ended ) and on my own to manage money. The reason
why we don’t have alot is because my husband earns peanuts
for a living. We do what we can as a team. I’d suggest you talk
to your priest, and ask your husband if he’d be willing to take a
money management course. Some financial counselors offer
them for free. Its called a workshop. If he still refuses to hand
them over to you, I don’t know what to say to help you further.
If the accounts are in your name, then you can take control
of it. If they are join, you have to have his permission to get
him to let you control it. If everything is in his name, then he
has to be willing to let you control the finances. In Canada,
when everything is in one partners name, you have to have
written consent sent to the banks and credit companies in
order to be able to just speak about it. i’d suggest to you to
ask your husband if everything is in his name, to give you written
consent and he has to fax it to them himself, to manage the
money with the bank, and credit card companies. The sooner
you do it, the sooner your problems are over. God bless,
and I will pray for you. Added point: you can set the example
by not going out and spending what you have. you both need
to get financial help asap. The sooner you do it, the better off
you are. Simply don’t go out on your sprees, and get the
counselor asap. Deal with it together or it will not get better.


#13

[quote=nobody]I really don’t feel like I’m being vengeful. I actually feel a weight of resentment being lifted off me. My spouse doesn’t get mad at me. No, I won’t feel good knowing I contributed to the disaster, but that’s the point. I won’t have any feeling of resentment to my spouse for it. The just not arguing about works for a while, but I’m weak, and the resentment builds up when I see all the “stuff”. It’s been like this for many years. It’s only in the last few that I’ve been re-embracing my Catholic faith and trying to change my ways - including not fighting with my spouse. I really don’t believe we will ever, ever get divorced.
[/quote]

Ok, look at it this way: if you want someone to practice good behavior, you must model it. It would be a charity to your spouse to not imitate their bad behavior and perpetuate the cycle.

If you have to imitate your spouse’s bad behavior in order to stop feeling resentful, then this is a problem. Do you really think that if disaster strikes you won’t feel resentful towards your spouse for having initiated the whole thing to begin with? Not fighting because you too are doing the bad behavior is only a delay tactic, and not a positive thing.

Now that you’re re-embracing your Faith, you can pray and fast to help your situation. Try praying the rosary when you’re tempted to pull out the debit card, or asking Christ for His help (“Jesus I trust in You” said a thousand times in a row can work wonders). You can also go to Confession and Communion. If for some reason you can’t partake of these, there is the Act of Contrition and spiritual Communion. And there is always Eucharistic adoration.

Even if your spouse won’t particpate, counseling can teach you positive coping skills.


#14

I have the same problem. After 8 years we are making SOME progress, finally, I don’t know if he has matured some or because he went to school and I became the bread winner for a while, although I am not working after Wed., and he has 2 jobs now.
We don’t have credit cards, only debit cards, although that has caused many a fight in bounced check fees from him not telling me about charges.
Oh, and something else that helped change his ways, our electricitry got cut off one time, I didn’t have $ to pay the bill, and he had to pawn some of his tools and my wedding ring so we could get it back on. I think it was pawning my wedding ring that did it to him. So now things are better but not perfect, and I have even begun looking into how I can separate my finances from him. I want to rebuild my credit to buy a house (we have rented for 8 years, and have 6 kids… getting hard to find landlords) but I can’t do it when he ignores creditors. (if anybody knows how to do this without a legal separation or divorce let me know!)
We recently have gone to a cash budget. It is not set in stone, and if we run short we do use the debit card. $100/week groceries and diapers, $80/week van gas, $50/week car gas, and $20 for each of us, for whatever we want. He spends his on Cokes. I spend mine on cookies and books. And I actually withdraw the cash on Friday and put in envelopes.
Interesting note: He spends, I plan and budget and think about buying something for weeks sometimes.
Growing up, he went to his parents, asked for $, they gave him usually more than he asked for.
My parents gave me my allowance on the 1st and 15th of the month (so I could get used to living on paycheck time) and I had to buy everything I wanted (aside from school stuff) with it. I wanted to go to a movie, I better have the $. I wanted new shoes, my $. My mom would buy me new shoes when the old ones were unwearable, AND we could no longer fix them with Shoe Goo.
Amazing what impact parents have on finances.
Anyway,
You can only control what YOU do. You can’t control what your spouse does. Spending $ because your spouse does will not help you out of the red and into the black.
You may consider setting up a separate account, a household account, and moving all the money needed for the week/month over. An account he doesn’t have a debit card or can write checks on.
I had to save up $1000 copay to have a baby, I opened an account in my name only and when i deposited the paychecks, I took $100 in cash and put it in the account. I just got to $1000 but I think I will keep doing it. I didn’t think we had a $100/week extra, but if it’s not in the checking account, it didn’t get spent. So I think I will keep doing it because our dryer is on it’s last legs, the van needs new shocks, and 2 of the kids need beds.
You may consider learning to be frugal, and saving $. This is what saved me until my husband recently, and painfully slowly, has indicated he may be willing to work with me finance wise.
Here’s a good website: The Dollar Stretcher, www.stretcher.com
Lots of info on finances, saving $, frugal lifestyles, and even uncooperative spouses.
PS as far as counseling- your priest should be free of charge. At the very least, Confession is. Confess your resentment towards your husband, and also spending $ you don’t have, be absolved, talk to the priest, and see if things don’t improve.
Good luck
mommyjo2


#15

another thought:
Stuff won’t make you happy
Stuff won’t actually take away your resentment
Stuff won’t change your husband
Stuff won’t heal your marriage.
Christ can make you happy
Christ will lift your burdens
Christ can change your spouse’s heart.
Christ can heal you marriage.
Christ says, do away with the stuff; sell what you have and follow Me.
So stop spending $ on things trying to not argue with your spouse; put away your credit card, and follow Him. Even if your spouse does not.
mommyjo2


#16

[quote=nobody]Yes, thank you. We have tried that many times, off and on for years. Unfortunately, when my spouse is out of the cash, the debit card and then the credit card gets its exercise. Just when I think we’re doing okay (looking at the checking account), I get blind-sided by the credit card bill. I close the account if I can; right now I’m holding off paying one bill, but isn’t that cheating the credit card company?
[/quote]

Okay. This isn’t a money issue - it’s a trust issue. Your spouse is lying to you by going behind your back spending money.


I would do few things:


1. You can call the credit reporting companies to notify them that your name may not be used to obtain credit. I don’t know your situation, but my spouse would not be approved for credit without my name on the application.


2. Refuse to pay or deal with bills that your spouse has created behind your back. If a collector calls, give them the spouse’s number at work. When the bills come in, don’t even open them - hand them to your spouse without a word or attitude.


3. Open a seperate account in your name only and transfer only the amount needed to cover household expenses. This will be the account that ensures the mortgage gets paid and the lights stay on. Tell your spouse that you are doing this and that the money will be transferred automatic every payday.


#17

[quote=nobody]What do you do? I’m tired of arguing about it. My spouse won’t look at a budget. In order to not get too resentful about it, I’ve started going out and doing my own “shopping” after my spouse goes on a spending spree. I figure we’ll fall into our hole twice as fast, but we at least we won’t be pointing fingers at eachother and arguing about it. Sound irresponsible or sensible?
(I think I’m breaking a rule here - I posted this is moral theology and didn’t get very many responses, so I’m duplicating it here - forgive me.)
[/quote]

Ouch! Topic soooo close to home.
Though I do not agree with falling into the hole twice as fast, so irresponsible.


#18

[quote=Rob’s Wife]Okay. This isn’t a money issue - it’s a trust issue. Your spouse is lying to you by going behind your back spending money.

I would do few things:

1. You can call the credit reporting companies to notify them that your name may not be used to obtain credit. I don’t know your situation, but my spouse would not be approved for credit without my name on the application…
[/quote]

As a married couple in most states they look at both credit histories when applying for any type of credit. They did this to my DH and I when I bought a house…he had nothing to do with the house (payments, my name only on deed etc.) but they still looked at both of our credit histories.

2. Refuse to pay or deal with bills that your spouse has created behind your back. If a collector calls, give them the spouse’s number at work. When the bills come in, don’t even open them - hand them to your spouse without a word or attitude…
Once again it does not matter whose name the bill is in…as long as you are married it effects BOTH of your credit histories.
This is not going to help the issue in the long run, just cause more problems.

3. Open a seperate account in your name only and transfer only the amount needed to cover household expenses. This will be the account that ensures the mortgage gets paid and the lights stay on. Tell your spouse that you are doing this and that the money will be transferred automatic every payday .
This is a wonderful idea…this way you know the basics are covered each month.


#19

Mommyjo… Your situation with your husband sounds like mine. He always had his parents taking care of him growing up. We never had much so I got used to it. I learned to earn my own money for things I wanted and didn’t really have anybody to fall back on when my money ran out. His mom even kept doing this after we married, until I finally put a stop to it. He was in law school and I was working (no kids then). He would use the debit card to go to lunch with his buddies or whatever, then call his mom and she would deposit $20 in our account! I finally told her thank you for trying to help but really she was hurting our marriage. Our financial problems are ongoing, although getting better I think, with time and maturity on both of our parts. It is easy to get into that trap of keeping things equal. Sometimes I would just get so mad and go on a spending spree just to get back at him, although in the long run it hurt me more b/c he doesn’t get stressed about it like I do. He was in the military, so not making a whole lot of money, now he is in his first year at a private firm, so the money is getting better. Funny though, no matter how much money was coming in at different times in our marriage, we have always had “issues.” It’s not the amount you make, it is how you decide to spend it, and if you disagree on how to spend it, you will have problems. I recommend going to marital counseling to a GOOD licensed marriage counselor who will make you confront all of the issues. A financial counselor I think would help also. Try reading the book by Dave Ramsey “Financial Peace.” It will get your thinking in line. Both of you need to read it though!


#20

Go Here:
daveramsey.com/shop/Audio_CD_Special_With_Free_Boo_P227C48.cfm?afid=7

Your husband has to want authentic wealth…and the fact of the matter is that you actually own NOTHING until it is paid for. Dave Ramsey can help you get through to your husband!

There is no better feeling in the world than having no payments for cars, credit, house…

After the first of the year, all of my credit cards and cars will be paid off…and we will be hitting the house. Our estimates are that in four years…Everything will be paid off. It wasn’t easy. My husband was a spender too…and I began our marriage with his debt…20,000.00 in credit…I owed nothing…the first thing you have to do is get your husband on board…Mr. Ramsey can help you with this. Paying off the cards, believe it, has brought us closer together…and when we send a final payment to one it is a huge accomplishment…instead of sitting around admiring what we bought…we sit around talking about the money that will begin rolling in after there is no more debt…in effect…taking away the obsession to spend and replacing it with the excitement of the fact that we will actually be able to pay cash for a new car (pay off the old, set aside that extra money and whallah! New car in twelve months)

Dave Ramsey is a christian…(not Catholic but we can’t all be perfect)…and always states the importance of tithing…He also has strategies that help your wayward spendthrift spouse to get on board!

Good luck! God Bless!


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