Wifes logic about money vs reality - Talk About Marriage
Financial Problems in Marriage When financial times are tough, it adds to the stress we deal with on a daily basis. This section is for talking about how financial problems affect our relationships and ways to cope.

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post #1 of 43 (permalink) Old 11-22-2015, 12:12 PM Thread Starter
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Wifes logic about money vs reality

I keep beating my head against a wall here with my wife.

The back story in summary..

4 years in, I have been the sole provider for our money, I am self employed business owner. Wife went to nursing school and has finally graduated and now is working full time ~36 hrs per week.

As any business, we have good months and bad ones. We had to scrape by sometimes on the slow months, and I also wound up getting into some business debt and personal debt, because we were a 1 income home, with 2 kids.

Now, we have 2 incomes, and my wife seems to think that things are magically changed. I showed her on paper countless times how HUGE our budget was for a single family. In the long run, its going to get us ahead, but I don't think were going to see some real progress for at least another couple months. Were looking at probably a 100k plus income at this point vs 60-70k with my income alone.

Were renting a house, and after all bills, untilities, car payments, food etc its still upwards of $6k a month for our budget, which IMO is INSANE!! Only one car payment is in there, but there is a lot going towards debt.

She has only been working for 2 months tops, and Im in a season where there is a lot of ups and downs in business. She also insisted in putting my stepson in football, which means 3 nights a week of taking him to practice, games on weekends etc. She also doesn't understand the time cost associated with this, I was having to rush home and try to be there by 5pm on those days, which of course hurts my ability to get work done, which also leads to making less money on those days. Another disconnect.

Now that she has income, I can focus more on getting the business out of debt, because that is the biggest source of our income, it needs the most attention, and its not much, just short term $2-3k of debt. I bring this up, and she automatically goes into 'I don't understand how we are still in debt' mode.

Then another argument that has been coming up is 'My paycheck shouldn't ever go towards your business'. Which infuriates me, because I put my business in DEBT to pay our bills on some occasions!!! Seems pretty one sided huh?

Another thing, her income is decent, not awesome, but we also have an increase in child care costs, so that offsets some of it.

She seems to thing things are automatically fixed, and that its ok if we just spend extra on things here and there.

She is not one to track her spending, ever. I always had to show her how were were 'both' nickel and diming the crap out of our money to the tune of $20-30 at a time.

I have tried budgeting, and she says shes willing to get on board, but what that really means is me having to do all of it.

So this week, were visiting family for Thanksgiving, bought the ticket a month ago. Im losing an entire week of income myself. I have a payment to a supplier that HAS to get paid, and some of it just plain needs to come out of her income too. Its the last big chunk of my business debt then im pretty much in the clear. Im doing the math, between shop rent and personal bills were going to be ok, but no margin for error. Im also waiting on getting paid from customers, so the timing of leaving is horrible but it is what it is. I work on cars as half of my business, and sometimes we wind up having to order parts, and wait, and then get paid later.

Im getting grilled like im a horrible person and my business is just failing now and she just has to pick up all the slack. Never mind the logic of this being a short month, not like were slammed with work, not that its horrible, but its just average. And with me gone my income is all but cut off.

Im getting a disconnect with her with cause vs. effect. She doesn't seem to see how leaving effects anything, and life should just go on normal and her income just picks up the slack, and should not have to pay for business bills. Showing her math and how budgeting works doesn't help because she will forget in 2 days and be right back to 'I thought things were just ok' again.

I just don't think she appreciates all the sacrifice that happened when she was in school, or the fact that what little income she got while in school ended shortly (GI bill from the military was there for maybe the first year of our marriage).

Business just has ups and downs, it doesn't mean anyone is doing something wrong. Were incredibly lucky that we were able to make it for as long as we did, with her for one thing COSTING money instead of bringing any in.

Sorry if this all seems a little much to take in, I just feel distrusted right now. Honestly I wasn't up front about the business debt, because I didn't want her to worry too much about it, because shes the type that the 'world is coming to and end' during those conversations.

I also don't feel like I get taken seriously, I have said countless times that this trip is a stretch, but then I see she just goes ahead and spends money on stuff that's not essential at all and wonders why I get mad about it. The attitude is that now that she makes money, she should be able to just spend without asking.

I don't like to think this way, but I also think about how much cheaper the single life was. Expenses have tripled but income hasn't lol. Don't get me wrong, I love my family, but at the same time its hell, if I had a partner that was less of an emotional based spender it would help, but that's not my situation.

This has just came to a head with the the current circumstances. Were we staying home instead of traveling, I would be making money and not spending, so its just the combination of all of that, and now Im the bad guy because its that way. Of course if we didn't go back to visit family this week, it would be resentment and guilt tripping for months.

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post #2 of 43 (permalink) Old 11-22-2015, 01:17 PM
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Re: Wifes logic about money vs reality

You should keep you business and your personal expenses and debt separate.

Could the two of you take one of these classes Financial Peace University - daveramsey.com
it might help get you on the same page and working together.
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post #3 of 43 (permalink) Old 11-22-2015, 01:30 PM
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Re: Wifes logic about money vs reality

You created two problems:
1. Mixing business money and household income
2. Not getting your wife totally involved in the household finances.

What you need to do now, is to separate the two. Get all the financial statement from your business and all household debts and expenses. Sit down with your wife and work thru them. Get her to start paying some bills and become more involved.

You need to get an accountant to set up your system so, that your business is run on its own and not be involved with your personal finances. The two has to be separated.

You and your wife might also want to meet with a financial planner so you can map out your financial future together. So you are both working towards the same goal. Good luck.
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post #4 of 43 (permalink) Old 11-22-2015, 01:33 PM
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Re: Wifes logic about money vs reality

IMPO-I think she should help get the business out of debt, since part of the reason for the debt is because she was not working at the time. Once the business is out of debt, then all expenses should be separate IE business and household.

Once the business debt is cleaned up, she needs to understand that the business bills have to come first from your end, in order to keep the business going and what you have left will go toward the household. Let her know that means that more of her income will end up toward the household, she should not have a problem stepping up to the plate as you have done while she was in school.

Make sure that you both sit down and do the bills together each time so she can see how the money is spent. You probably have done that already if so keep on doing it. It will give you both a better understanding about where the money is going.

She is probably excited that she has an income, and feels good about buying things, which you can't blame her. But sit down with all monies and if there is extra divide that between the 2 of you and then each of you get a little fun money.
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post #5 of 43 (permalink) Old 11-22-2015, 01:40 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Wifes logic about money vs reality

They have always been separated. I just had to take more pay for myself in order to cover our household. But if I need to borrow from personal to pay for business im going to do it. Cant get shut down over not wanting to pay a bill because I means taking some personal money to do it. The impact of that would be 100x worse than just having a little less personal money to deal with.

The truth of the matter, we really couldn't afford to have her in school, and not making any income during that time. Which really is a rock and a hard place, need the money of her income but went broke waiting to get to it.

We have been thru dave ramsey, I agree with everything he says. We just were living beyond our means and had no real way to get it under control unless we both participated, with her not only not having income, but also increasing expenses, im suprized we made it at all. To make any of DR stuff work, you first have to make more than you spend...period.

The argument would of just been 'you don't make enough money, your a bad provider' etc. If not straight out saying it, by implication.
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post #6 of 43 (permalink) Old 11-22-2015, 01:42 PM
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Re: Wifes logic about money vs reality

It always amuses me when a partner who hasn't bothered contributing to the financial burden for most of a relationship finally gets a job and has this "your money is my money, and my money is my money" mentality.

Its borne from someone who takes the long-term financial burden and struggle from the other person for granted.

Part of the problem, however, is that you're not standing up to her crap. If the trip this week was infeasible for you due to serious business issues than you should have told her that you're sorry but you aren't going. Period. She clearly doesn't get it but you do so you need to tell her 'NO.'

Then you need to be totally upfront with her and tell her everything and hopefully bring her into a financial agreement on how to handle things going forward.

If she refuses to agree or comply, then you need to put your foot down and set some clear boundaries. Ask yourself how she gets the power to make the decision when she's never accountable for the outcome.
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post #7 of 43 (permalink) Old 11-22-2015, 01:47 PM
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Re: Wifes logic about money vs reality

1. Keep a well defined line between your business and personal finances. I made the mistake of not doing this. It has cost me a lot in the long term and you want to make sure that your business liabilities trickle into your personal life as little as possible.
2. Regularly reintroduce your wife to your finances. Make it clear that you want/need her input. My wife is not a wasteful person by any means. She is actually fairly frugal but I have often felt that we are not completely on the same page otherwise. Every once in a while I print off a copy of the books for that month, sit her down, and go over our financial situation with her: where all the money comes from and goes, what all the accounts are for, how long it will take to pay this loan off, etc. I usually ask her what she thinks about our finances and if she would like to change anything while making it clear that I find her input necessary and want her to have a clear understanding of how our finances work in case anything ever happens to me.
She usually cares nothing about managing our finances but she does participate when I ask for input and I do feel like she understands everything.
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post #8 of 43 (permalink) Old 11-22-2015, 01:50 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Wifes logic about money vs reality

the reality of owning a business, business effects your personal life and vice versa. They may be separated by different banks, or different accounts, or different locations etc but its still all tied together.

I had to do some bail outs, accounts with money having money spent while checks were waiting to clear. Some of it was me, some of it was her.. I definitely think she wasn't listening well though. 2 days after the buckle down speech there would be purchases on ebay/amazon or some weird health food website or athletic wear. Not that any one of those things were a problem but the combination was wearing us down.

Last edited by 3kgtmitsu; 11-22-2015 at 01:54 PM.
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post #9 of 43 (permalink) Old 11-22-2015, 02:17 PM
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Re: Wifes logic about money vs reality

This is like EngimaGirl says, you need to set boundaries and let your wife knows them. When, something is not working for you and prevents you from earning a living, you have to show her the financial implication. You cannot continue to let things slide and have her living in her fantasy land. You can only do this by having her sit down with you and go over the finances.

Until, the two of you are on the same page. Nothing is going to change. Sit down weekly/biweekly and go over your finances. Give her a copy of the budget. Get her to start logging all of her expenses. Every penny so, she can see where the money is going.

You have to stop protecting her and bring her into reality. I am the bad guy in our house. I take care of our finances. So, I understand what you are going thru. I have to constantly keep my husband in check or he will give everything to our families because he is too kind hearted.

I day trade, so it's a constant battle to grow our money and spending it. I just have to remind him of our goals. I open my books to him, show him my projection. Then, we look at household income and expenses. I just have to keep him alert to how the money is coming in and how we are spending it.

The most important thing is that I have to open up to him with the money. The children are also, involved. So, no-one goes crazy asking for stuff. We have a daughter in college now and that is not cheap. And the child loves to eat. Our son will be off in 1 1/2 years time. So, staying on top of everything is very important.

One person cannot be spending like there is no tomorrow and the other person is trying to keep things floating. Or very soon, we all will be drowning. So, somehow you have to get her to participate fully in the running of the finances.
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post #10 of 43 (permalink) Old 11-22-2015, 02:20 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Wifes logic about money vs reality

Kind of brings me to the whole reason I posted this.

I tell her were cutting it close, I was stressing about the trip and being gone. Its all about the timing, and having cars sitting waiting on parts that im out of pocket on. Were out $1300 non refundable tickets if we don't go. So no one wants to stay home, but if the tickets were not purchased yet it would be a no brainer, don't go. Travel is too expensive around holidays anyways. But we would still be ok if we just don't spend much while away.

This morning I get a notification from the bank, over a purchase made online for essential oils, $132, not only did this infuriate me but that's twice this month meaning $264 for what IMO is garbage and does nothing, and is as far from a necessity as you can get. That is a total disregard to the budget...period. $264 is not that much, but its like a kick in the teeth when your already trying to get ahead. It doesn't many actions like that to wash out an income.

When confronted, her response is 'I didn't realize we were cutting it that close'. 2 days ago we just discussed the budget. I put my foot down, shes getting it refunded or were not going, whether or not we can afford it is a moot point. I take that as disregard to what I say.

So this is my conundrum, I feel like shes on board to save money, except for when she wants something, then caution goes to the wind and its my fault somehow. I feel like I am married to the master of manipulation and guilt.

I feel largely she has been trained to think this way, which makes me question if shes really ever going to be a true partner not always have her own agenda.

End rant.


Quote:
Originally Posted by EnigmaGirl View Post
It always amuses me when a partner who hasn't bothered contributing to the financial burden for most of a relationship finally gets a job and has this "your money is my money, and my money is my money" mentality.

Its borne from someone who takes the long-term financial burden and struggle from the other person for granted.

Part of the problem, however, is that you're not standing up to her crap. If the trip this week was infeasible for you due to serious business issues than you should have told her that you're sorry but you aren't going. Period. She clearly doesn't get it but you do so you need to tell her 'NO.'

Then you need to be totally upfront with her and tell her everything and hopefully bring her into a financial agreement on how to handle things going forward.

If she refuses to agree or comply, then you need to put your foot down and set some clear boundaries. Ask yourself how she gets the power to make the decision when she's never accountable for the outcome.



Last edited by 3kgtmitsu; 11-22-2015 at 02:37 PM.
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post #11 of 43 (permalink) Old 11-22-2015, 02:43 PM
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Re: Wifes logic about money vs reality

I don't know if this would help but both my husband and I keep our finances in spreadsheet format....and a separate file for our business.

For year's when I had to budget, I used a reverse budget process. So what I would do is figure out all expenses, all investment deductions and put them all as subtractions from my income line. Then whatever was left over, I was able to spend or dump into a savings account. Its simplistic and it works very, very well. You both need access to that spreadsheet and she should be actively involved in setting it up so that she gets it. Right now, she's not getting it.

The deductions were set-up with my bank and the money was simply moved....so it wasn't in my checking account and therefore, couldn't be used for something unintended.

When I got remarried, my husband basically uses the same approach (except he goes into full nerd mode with graphs and scenario planning) and we both went through each other's stuff.

It really helps to know how your money is working for you and what left-over is available. Everyone needs a bit of discretionary income to spend on whatever they want but it needs to be understood and managed.

I wouldn't pick on any of her individual purchases, that's just likely to start a war. Its pretty common for men to not understand the stuff that women spend money on and vice versa. But she needs to be FULLY involved in the budgeting process for both your personal and business finances and you need to work together with her.

I think the problem is that you're being a bit wishy-washy and then getting furious because she's not reading between the lines. I can guess this because if you were being perfectly clear, the $1300 tickets would have never been bought in the first place. There's no way someone's buying you a ticket for something that you've strongly said you're not going to.

I think a lot of this is about murky communication.
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post #12 of 43 (permalink) Old 11-22-2015, 02:53 PM
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Re: Wifes logic about money vs reality

She seems like someone who needs external limits set for her. She feels that since she now has a job, it's now possible for her to spend on herself instead of having to be frugal. She sees that you are now a two-income family and wants to benefit from that right away, and doesn't realize the hole you had been in before she became employed.

You were borrowing from Peter to pay Paul, and now that Mary has money, it needs to be used to repay Peter to stop the whole cycle. She may find that hard to comprehend.

I would suggest explaining to her that prior to her employment, you were not surviving but were falling backwards for quite some time, and there's a hole to dig out of before she can spend as she likes. Give yourselves each an allowance for fun spending, but put limits on it that slowly go up over time. So she can see that the limits are temporary. If she's not understanding that from the way you are explaining it, she may think you are trying to run the finances like this forever.

If she has trouble with the notion of her income supplementing your business, tell her that it's her turn to pay all the household bills for a while during the business' recovery period. That might be easier for her to accept (even though we all know it's technically the same thing) as it doesn't feel to her like she's rescuing your business.
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post #13 of 43 (permalink) Old 11-22-2015, 02:58 PM Thread Starter
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Sigh..yep been thru all that. Btw the tickets were purchased months ago. Not like thats effecting the current situation. Its just a case of not being listened to. She also just spent some money on a race and athletic wear. She needs to just have a seperate account for all that instead of it just draining our main account. She can have some personal fun money but dont spend what we need to survive!
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post #14 of 43 (permalink) Old 11-22-2015, 03:04 PM Thread Starter
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Shes had a 'if the card works it must be ok' approach for a while. She said while she was single she always just winged it and never budgeted..which became very clear when she acted like $200 here $300 there was no biggie. She had become accustomed to jusr having the GI bill and a couple other monthlys always just being there..and to this day has a hard time adjusting although complaining about bills not being paid. Im a lot more regimented and i have to plan for weeks even months out. I just dont know how to get her to be Really on the same page.
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post #15 of 43 (permalink) Old 11-22-2015, 03:06 PM
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Re: Wifes logic about money vs reality

Quote:
Originally Posted by 3kgtmitsu View Post
I keep beating my head against a wall here with my wife.

The back story in summary..

4 years in, I have been the sole provider for our money, I am self employed business owner. Wife went to nursing school and has finally graduated and now is working full time ~36 hrs per week.

As any business, we have good months and bad ones. We had to scrape by sometimes on the slow months, and I also wound up getting into some business debt and personal debt, because we were a 1 income home, with 2 kids.

Now, we have 2 incomes, and my wife seems to think that things are magically changed. I showed her on paper countless times how HUGE our budget was for a single family. In the long run, its going to get us ahead, but I don't think were going to see some real progress for at least another couple months. Were looking at probably a 100k plus income at this point vs 60-70k with my income alone.

Were renting a house, and after all bills, untilities, car payments, food etc its still upwards of $6k a month for our budget, which IMO is INSANE!! Only one car payment is in there, but there is a lot going towards debt.

She has only been working for 2 months tops, and Im in a season where there is a lot of ups and downs in business. She also insisted in putting my stepson in football, which means 3 nights a week of taking him to practice, games on weekends etc. She also doesn't understand the time cost associated with this, I was having to rush home and try to be there by 5pm on those days, which of course hurts my ability to get work done, which also leads to making less money on those days. Another disconnect.

Now that she has income, I can focus more on getting the business out of debt, because that is the biggest source of our income, it needs the most attention, and its not much, just short term $2-3k of debt. I bring this up, and she automatically goes into 'I don't understand how we are still in debt' mode.

Then another argument that has been coming up is 'My paycheck shouldn't ever go towards your business'. Which infuriates me, because I put my business in DEBT to pay our bills on some occasions!!! Seems pretty one sided huh?

Another thing, her income is decent, not awesome, but we also have an increase in child care costs, so that offsets some of it.

She seems to thing things are automatically fixed, and that its ok if we just spend extra on things here and there.

She is not one to track her spending, ever. I always had to show her how were were 'both' nickel and diming the crap out of our money to the tune of $20-30 at a time.

I have tried budgeting, and she says shes willing to get on board, but what that really means is me having to do all of it.

So this week, were visiting family for Thanksgiving, bought the ticket a month ago. Im losing an entire week of income myself. I have a payment to a supplier that HAS to get paid, and some of it just plain needs to come out of her income too. Its the last big chunk of my business debt then im pretty much in the clear. Im doing the math, between shop rent and personal bills were going to be ok, but no margin for error. Im also waiting on getting paid from customers, so the timing of leaving is horrible but it is what it is. I work on cars as half of my business, and sometimes we wind up having to order parts, and wait, and then get paid later.

Im getting grilled like im a horrible person and my business is just failing now and she just has to pick up all the slack. Never mind the logic of this being a short month, not like were slammed with work, not that its horrible, but its just average. And with me gone my income is all but cut off.

Im getting a disconnect with her with cause vs. effect. She doesn't seem to see how leaving effects anything, and life should just go on normal and her income just picks up the slack, and should not have to pay for business bills. Showing her math and how budgeting works doesn't help because she will forget in 2 days and be right back to 'I thought things were just ok' again.

I just don't think she appreciates all the sacrifice that happened when she was in school, or the fact that what little income she got while in school ended shortly (GI bill from the military was there for maybe the first year of our marriage).

Business just has ups and downs, it doesn't mean anyone is doing something wrong. Were incredibly lucky that we were able to make it for as long as we did, with her for one thing COSTING money instead of bringing any in.

Sorry if this all seems a little much to take in, I just feel distrusted right now. Honestly I wasn't up front about the business debt, because I didn't want her to worry too much about it, because shes the type that the 'world is coming to and end' during those conversations.

I also don't feel like I get taken seriously, I have said countless times that this trip is a stretch, but then I see she just goes ahead and spends money on stuff that's not essential at all and wonders why I get mad about it. The attitude is that now that she makes money, she should be able to just spend without asking.

I don't like to think this way, but I also think about how much cheaper the single life was. Expenses have tripled but income hasn't lol. Don't get me wrong, I love my family, but at the same time its hell, if I had a partner that was less of an emotional based spender it would help, but that's not my situation.

This has just came to a head with the the current circumstances. Were we staying home instead of traveling, I would be making money and not spending, so its just the combination of all of that, and now Im the bad guy because its that way. Of course if we didn't go back to visit family this week, it would be resentment and guilt tripping for months.

Sit down and relax...Look at this as a long haul...not WE HAVE TO PAY EVERYTHING OFF NOW.....Get a little perspective on things, and then tell your wife she is going to pick up some of the slack on a regular basis...Either give her a certain number of bills each month, or a certain amount of cash in a bills only account...Look at getting squared away over the next two years....And make sure she knows her help is vital, and much appreciated...
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