| | Re: Husband Makes more Money then me, can I tell him how to spend it?
I agree with a lot of Elegirl's suggestions. You say your husband is NOT home much because of his job. Securing a financial future for YOUR ENTIRE FAMILY is something that should take PRECEDENCE in the free time you two DO have together. It may take several meetings over a couple of months, but you CAN get yourselves squared away and only have to revisit the topic annually to make any necessary changes (new baby, buy a house, vacation, investments, etc.)
1.) Tell your husband that you two MUST make a plan together on how to manage your money. Tell him you realize how hard he works and you want a good life for ALL THREE OF YOU to show for his efforts. Also point out that YOU work hard, TOO. You're RAISING HIS CHILD and taking care of your home, your bills, etc.
2.) Sit down WITH YOUR HUSBAND and show him IN WRITING
a. your GROSS INCOME (how much money you both make every month)
b. how much your fixed costs are (the ones that are the SAME every month like rent, car payment, etc.)
c. how much your variable costs are (the ones that are different every month depending on how much you use like electric, food, water, phone, etc.). Take an average for the past 12 months. Don't forget things like insurance (home/renters, car, etc. that only come up once a year) that's why you need to look at your checkbook for the PAST YEAR.
d. Write down how much NET INCOME (the income after bills are paid) you have left per month.
e. Subtract from your NET INCOME 20% of your net income to put into SAVINGS. YOU DO NOT TOUCH THIS MONEY. It is for investments, buying a house, medical/family emergency, etc.
f. See how much is left. If there is a SUBSTANTIAL amount left, then consider putting 20% of GROSS INCOME into savings instead of 20% of NET income. Or you could MORE THAN 20% in savings, but you both MUST AGREE.
g. The money that is left is your DISCRETIONARY INCOME (you have the discretion to spend it any way you want). 1/2 should go to your husband and 1/2 should go to you. Your H can spend his on ANYTHING HE WANTS with NO NEGATIVE COMMENTS from you. If you think it's a waste of money, he doesn't need it, it's stupid, etc. SO WHAT! HIS money, his choice. The same applies to YOUR discretionary income. NO NEGATIVE COMMENTS from your H.
BTW, buying stuff for your child does NOT come out of discretionary income (except for ice cream cones, etc.) Your child's needs should be an item included in your variable costs.
This should alleviate your H's fears that he won't get the fruit of his labors by allowing him to indulge in what he wants WITHIN BUDGET. Your fears of no future home will be alleviated by SAVINGS. As long as you BOTH abide by your spending limits (no cheating, no whining), you should see immediate improvement.
Does your H have access to global cell/internet connection onboard ship in his off-hours? If so, you might email discussions on financial matters. If not, you MUST schedule time when he's home. It won't take forever to sort out, but it will take some time on the front end...and some on-going commitment.
Your H should be looking at your bank statements EVERY MONTH when he is home from work. Highlight the growing SAVINGS balance every month and tell him you appreciate his efforts to improve your family's financial future. Also tell him how excited you are about saving for a home. Ask for his ideas on reducing expenses (cheaper cell phone plans, cable tv bill, grilling out in good weather instead of a restaurant) and also solicit his ideas for investment for your savings (home, retirement, vacation, etc.)
Hope this helps you both. I must say I (respectfully) TOTALLY DISAGREE with the 'hiding money' suggestion. That is rug-sweeping the problem and does not solve anything! You must deal with adult issues as adults and, once resolved, you're done with them...they're not on-going problems. GOOD LUCK!