Feeling financially used by wife. - Page 6 - 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 #76 of 84 (permalink) Old 04-06-2016, 07:32 AM
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Re: Feeling financially used by wife.

Would it be better if you file separate taxes?

Keep all your income separate. Have a joint account for household expenses and you both contribute equally to it. Or an equal percentage based on earnings.

I have friends who do this. And it works great for them. They each claim a child.

But like other suggested you need to take a firm stand with your wife on your finances. She does not get to live willy nilly with no consequences.

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post #77 of 84 (permalink) Old 05-02-2016, 05:22 PM
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Re: Feeling financially used by wife.

I tried to read through all six pages, but only made it to about page four.

Has anyone mentioned estimated quarterly tax payments? I ask because you mentioned your wife doesn't have any taxes taken out, which makes me wonder if she is being paid as an independent contractor (not surprising, since she is a hair stylist).

If that's the case, she should be withholding about 25-28% of each paycheck (self employment taxes are such a drag) and paying her taxes quarterly. Otherwise the IRS will assess penalties if you leave such large payments until tax time.

In response to the general idea of your post, shoe prices aside, I don't think you are out of line feeling like you're the one pulling your weight financially. Allow me to give this example: I don't think anyone here would be anything but giddy if their SO were to spend 5k on a purchase for them, 5k is a decent chunk o change! However your SO has put you in the position where you have no choice but to spend 5k on her. My point is, why should that be seen as an extravagant gift, but then on the flip side be considered a small obligation? Granted, I don't make much money, so 5k may be more for me than you.

One thing I would ask: Does she contribute the lions share to the household in other ways? You guys split chores?
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post #78 of 84 (permalink) Old 05-16-2016, 09:30 AM
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Re: Feeling financially used by wife.

When it comes to taxes, there are a few things you need to look at.
Does your wife get her income reported via a 1099? I’m assuming she does.

  • That means that she can write off business expenses against that income… does she?

  • She will need to pay self-employment taxes on anything that is not offset as a expense. Self-employment tax is 15.3%. It only covers Social Security and medicare.

  • After that, she will pay income tax on her net income. If she were not married to you, she would be in a very low income bracket. So the income tax on her net income would probably be about 10% after her personal deduction. So she would owe very little in income tax, if any. But since she is married to you, her income is added on top of yours and she ends up owing at your highest bracket.. probably about 25%. (It’s a bit hard to talk about these things when we have no idea how much each of you actually earns.) But, because of you, her taxes are remarkably higher. So she get screwed over. Let’s be fair when we look at all this.

Now some people have suggested that you file “married but separate”. Have you run the numbers for you filing that way? The very highest tax bracket is “married but separate”. Get something like turbo tax and run the numbers. Usually, the only reason for using this tax bracket is so that a spouse can claim ‘innocent spouse’. You know, like your spouse is running a business and hiding money from the IRS to not pay taxes. Or your spouse is a mafia king/queen-pin and you know that the IRS is going to go after them. So the innocent spouse files separate, that way they are not held responsible for the millions in taxes that the IRS is going to levy on their criminal spouse.
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post #79 of 84 (permalink) Old 05-16-2016, 10:09 AM
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Re: Feeling financially used by wife.

Originally Posted by NewBoundariesMan View Post
I'm rethinking that now that I saw the $155 expense for shoes on her cc statement (which I thought we agreed she would never use).

I feel used.

She is implicitly forcing to pay for things I hate: $155 for a pair of shoes!!! She is a hair dresser so I understand good shoes because of all the standing but $155!?! I say implicitly because in the end I am enabling her by paying for everything. right?
If these are shoes that have good support so she uses them for work (you said something that makes me think that this is the case), then they can be written off as an expense against her income.

That price is not high for a quality pair of shoes for someone who stands on their feet all day. The trick would be to get her to buy them when they are on sale or to find them online at a discount. Her health is worth the extra bit of money.

Originally Posted by NewBoundariesMan View Post
(I had to rewrite the above like 20 times - I had to think really hard to figure out what was really eating me)

Another example, When we meet she had approximately 4k in credit card debt. I've helped her manage her money and in 2 years she has $0 CC debt and 13K roth ira. It's like she's taking me for granted financially.
Let’s see, she has to pay 15.3% in self-employment taxes
25% in income taxes (if she’s on a joint tax return with you and probably if filing married but separate).

Between those two taxes, she gives 40.3% of her income to the feds.

And you want her to put $542 a month into a Roth IRA.

If she earns $24,000 a year, her self-employment taxes are $3,672 leaving her with $20,328 of net income.

At a 25% tax rate, her income taxes are $5,082 (which agree with your numbers). So now she has $15,246 left.

Now take about the $6,500 for the Roth IRA, and she has $8,746 a a year in income that she can actually live on. That’s $723 monthly.
What is the total of her car payment and other expenses that she covers?
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post #80 of 84 (permalink) Old 05-16-2016, 10:18 AM
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Re: Feeling financially used by wife.

Originally Posted by NewBoundariesMan View Post
I have actually explicitly told her I'll pay for X because I want you to hit that savings goal.
You “told” her. That’s no an agreement, that’s you telling her. I have no doubt that your intent was nothing but good. But my bet is that she took it as you telling her what to do.

One way to do this is to get her to make the money transfer to her Roth IRA BEFORE you pay for her car. That way you know you have her agreement on this. Or you can let her pay for her car repair and you match it by you paying into her Roth IRA.

You two need to be using a Policy of Joint Agreement

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post #81 of 84 (permalink) Old 05-16-2016, 10:19 AM
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Re: Feeling financially used by wife.


Checking in on you. How are you doing? Has anything changed?

Are you still reading here on TAM?
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post #82 of 84 (permalink) Old 06-13-2016, 03:04 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Feeling financially used by wife.

@EleGirl yes I'm still reading on TAM.

I haven't thought about revisiting this thread until now. Thanks for your feedback.

Here is what ended up happening:

Out of the 7K she paid $600 and is going to be making month payments on a credit card debt of $1200 we used for a vacation.

She setup a savings account and the bank automatically transfers $50 / week from her checking into this new account. The money will be used for next years taxes (unless she raids it before hand).
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post #83 of 84 (permalink) Old 06-13-2016, 03:30 PM
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Re: Feeling financially used by wife.

Just remember equity in marriage doesn't have to be on the same piece of the pie as long as it is with the pie itself.

What I mean by that is I make more money then my wife, but she does a little bit more of the cleaning around the house, though I help. This seems fair to me.

I am not saying let her take advantage of you but at the end of the day you are a team, teammates sacrifice for each other to reach the same goal.
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post #84 of 84 (permalink) Old 06-20-2016, 08:11 PM
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Re: Feeling financially used by wife.

Do you have any control over her accounts? What happens if she stops contributing?
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