My husband and I are in our middle 20s, this August will be our second anniv., we have a 1yo w/ another due at Christmas. We had what I consider our biggest fight so far about a week ago w/ regards to money. He is going back to school full time this fall on top of a full time job. I also work full time. We have a little credit card debt, paying off a computer, 2 fairly new vehicles, not a lot in savings and lots of home improvements I’ve been dying to tend to.
What started it all is when I got his credit card bill and I asked him what all of these charges were. Just after our son was born last summer, we took a chunk out of savings to pay off his card and get the interest rate lowered. We have pretty much put our cards ‘away’ with the understanding that if either of us felt compelled to spend, we’d talk to one another first and make sure we were both okay w/ it. Of course, I instigated this and he pretty much just went along w/ it. I do all our books, meaning I sit down and write out the bills and I am constantly budgetting ahead of time for extra expenses. Right now, my main concern is saving enough money to cover my next 6wk maternity leave since I will not have enough PTO. We don’t make a lot of money, and what he charged to his card (behind my back) constitutes a week’s wages for me. And it so happens that it was online gambling.
I used to go shopping a lot before we were married, constantly having to have new clothes. I would still love to go shopping, but since having my son and getting our first home, my perspective has changed quite a bit. I feel like I have been fasting for a year (financially speaking as far as getting things for myself), so I was infuriated when my husband blew this money and proceeded to go out of town the following weekend to see his buddies on what was our son’s first birthday. I will say, that he did come back in time to be w/ us for supper and go to the park, but it still irks me.
We just do not see eye to eye on this. I’d like to get our debt paid off which I had projected getting done by November (in time for Christmas and the new baby), but my husband feels like I am too much of a tightwad. I feel like the only way to get thru to him is for his middle brother to talk about money w/ us - he has a great deal of regard for him. But I do not want to go behind his back b/c he will not be able to hear his brother over his thoughts of betrayal from me.
My MO right now is for us to get into a habit of spending and saving that works for both of us - saving to where I am comfortable and spending on ourselves (dates and such) where he feels satisfied. I am constantly budgeting whatever spare money we have for things like birthdays and Christmas. My big beef is that we have 2 gift drawings for Christmas w/ his family - one w/ his parents and siblings, another for extended family, aunts, uncles, and cousins. Granted, each of us only has to buy for one person, but there is this unspoken rule that everyone buys for all the kids under 18. For years now, it has been up to me to try to find the ‘perfect’ gift for these people, meanwhile getting ‘stuff’ I neither want or need and my husband and I are left w/out enough money to buy anything for ourselves or our son. This I find esp insulting. I would just assume forego the pressure of shopping and keep my money for us. I have told my husband the last few years that we simply cannot afford Christmas and I want to sit it out this year, but in his family, this is just unheard of. And then he wonders why I’m such a stickler for saving! I don’t want to charge Christmas to my card and spnd the entire next year paying it off, with interest!!!
I am constantly praying for God to change ME, change MY heart, b/c I feel like I am always the problem and I shouldn’t expect othes to change, but I really feel like he needs to come my way some. I have even mentioned speaking w/ our priest whom we both love and trust, but my husband is very private about things like this and would never talk about it openly w/ others.
What to do? I have considered starting and auto-deduct of $25.00 or so each pay period which I know he wouldn’t mind, it’s just finding the discipline to do little things when I want to see big results.
Any advice (and prayers) would be helpful.
Thanks so much.