Financial Problems in MarriageWhen 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.
My non earning spouse spends most waking moments grumbling about money. And yet, and yet she's neither physically nor cognitively challenged and could run right out and earn if it was truly such a horrible issue. But that's never going to happen because it's not really about money. It's about asserting absolute control over money or at the least, complaining to absolve herself of any responsibility. She's the spender but if I spend a nickel THAT'S a catastrophe.
Again, it's about control, also it's about not being accountable.
I remember the would no problem with me spending over 200 hundred dollars on a single date night with food and drinks (mostly her mixed drinks) but if I spent 200 dollars on replacing my three year old cell phone I was accussed of "pissing money away" on junk.
I feel sorry for those with depression, mental illness, hangnails, bad hair, bad childhood memories, etc. I feel sorry for the visually impaired but that doesn't mean I want a blind person flying my airplane and my compassion won't make the flight any safer.
You can buy new computer for $800,I think your wife got coned by distant family member.
It would be different thing if she bought a new computer to someone in family.
Do you have kids,imagine buying them new computer with those kind of prices,it would cost 20k if you bought computer with only highest priced elements.
And how close is she to that distant family member,is he only close to her when he needs money?
Why are you researching anything before you buy it to save few $ if she is gonna give that money you save to some distant family member who probably isnt that close to her.
Who does she care more about distant family member or you?
Maybe I am thinking about wrong keyboard,was it musical keyboard?
But still $800 seems a lot for a distant family member.
How often does she do this kind of things?
If its once or twice a month buying something like that I think its not so big deal but if she does it more frequently then it is a problem.
Its hard to tell if she is big spender or you are too controlling about money when you only posted 1 gift example,better example would be her monthly habit of spending on things that you don't feel good about.
My problem is quite different from many posted here, but I am sure I will get some good advice.
W and I make plenty of money. She makes $300K, I make about $140k. We have very manageable debt and save quite a bit. This doesn't, however, mean everything in the thrway214 household.
I grew up in a very thrifty family in the third-world. Every penny was carefully thought through before it got spent. So, I have very conservative values when it comes to money. I have a hard time spending spontaneously, and will do a good bit of research before I jump.
Wife, while fairly thrifty too, tends to spend more freely. She enjoys the occasional spree. Never out of control or unreasonable, but a lot freer than I am. She says she enjoys the occasional indulgence for a gift.
I just can't seem to get myself to spend more freely. It has become quite a problem between us. She says I am controlling because of this. When we got married, we agreed to discuss all expenses over $500. This worked fine for a while, but she has become very resentful of the arrangement. Last year, I relented and asked that she only inform me of anything more than $1000 - so I can plan for cash flow.
Perhaps also relevant, we are also dealing with R after her short but devastating EA. This process is what forced us to put all issues on the table and discuss them openly. I am carefully navigating the balancing act of standing up for myself, establishing rules of the road, and being a more sensitive, caring and emotionally supportive husband.
Do you guys have any advice to this penny-pincher on how to relax a bit, and be a little more generous with his wife? What mental tricks do you have for me?
I think alot of couples struggle with this. Your description of yourself describes my wife. I tend to be more spontaneous.
She used to be worse and very controlling about it.
I think after of a ton of arguments and heart-to-heart talks, she's finally began to trust me that I'm not going to spend the family into oblivion, and that I'm not some happy-go-lucky fool.
A great marriage relies on communication and two people making each other's needs a priority.
You have to decide what is more important, your budget or your wife's happiness? And she has to decide if her need to splurge/indulge is more important than your need for that financial security. Find that balance together. Hopefully, your wife has enough $ense to understand when/how to find a deal, and you can trust her as well in that aspect of your marriage.
There's no magic word I can or anyone can tell you to shut of that urge to manage every penny. We can only remind you of that other urge to want to please your wife.
We make quite a bit less than you do, but suffer the same dynamic and I think it is a common one.
In our case, my husband grew up in poverty and worked to support his family and help keep food in the table, and the lights on from the age of 12. I admire him in some ways for his challenged upbringing because it has given him some perspective that I have never been exposed to before. He tells me stories of working 8 hour night shifts every night at the local 24 hr fast food joint while studying for his high school exams on his breaks and going to school during the day (despite his working he made perfect attendance in school all four years of HS!). Meanwhile I lived in a comfortable home where my biggest gripe was how my parents wouldn't shell out enough money for all the designer clothes I wanted to buy. My dad is a big tech junkie and always has to have the latest and greatest gadget...I grew up having the first flat screen TV, the first ipod, etc. My dad would drop money on those things without a care...and they had the.money to do so.
So we carry those tolerances for spending with us into adulthood.
I cut my teeth and got a dose of reality before meeting my H because I supported myself from age 18 and knew what it took to pay bills. My H is horrified when he hears about my childhood and money has been contentious with us.
In our case I have shown him over time that we make joint decisions on how money is spent and I respect some or the boundaries he's put in place. You need to make your wife understand how you grew up and where your anxiety is coning from, and be willing to meet her halfway in compromise.
Likely you will never get rid of that knee jerk anxiety reaction. My H still has it even when its a purchase that we've talked to death and planned for. All that you can do is learn to hold your tongue at times. Posted via Mobile Device
I actually understand how you feel completely! I don't see separation in the "his" money "her" money syndrome. I believe that when two people are married in union, then everything is united including money/annual salaries.
My husband and I also have the mutual agreement of spending. We talk about spending anything over $100 but we are self employed and therefore have to watch it. I don't think this is about "control." I think it is about "respect." She needs to respect the fact of communicating with you. I don't think you're being a penny pincher at asking her to let you know when she is planning on spending $500! I don't care if she makes $600k a year, it just isn't fair to you and from what it sounds like, you are very understanding, fair and yet you must control the bills.
She needs to realize that her $300k/year job could be gone tomorrow. It's happened before. She needs to hear from you that you aren't asking to be nosy or question her....but just to plan accordingly. So many people take for granted that they make a lot of money. Just recently, a friend mine's husband.....big wig of a large company raking in about $400k/year...got the hammer last week, lost his job, and at his age, is going to have a difficult time finding another position that will be comparable. Long story short....wife is a big money spender and they still owe ALOT on their house (she told me ).
So try and get your wife to understand that it isn't about you being controlling or stingy, it's just about respect for each other. If that still doesn't work, then heck with it and go out and buy yourself a new sports car! Bet that will get her attention. (sorry, I'm not trying to make light of your situtation).
Don't get me wrong here. I love my husband so much. But our financial situation is also stressing us out. We make just enough for the family--enough to send the kids to school, which is, by the way, consuming 70% of our income, the rest of the 30% is divided on food, and everyday expenses with almost nothing left for savings.
I control the financial aspect and my husband surrenders all his money to me, although I know he keeps a little for himself. Problem is, after he surrenders everything, he's off to la la land..he does not care what I do with the money AND he does not care whether I need more or has some extra left for savings. I give him a detailed accounting every pay day and he just doesn't care.
I want him to participate so he'll know where we are financially. What should I do?
1) Is this purchase of $xxxx (like the $800 keyboard) going to put us into financial difficulty to pay this months bills?
2) Is this purchase of $xxxx going to be a big help to anyone or make someone happier- someone that needs a big boost? (Even if it is just for a night -say a splurge on dinner out at a restaurant)
3) Is this purchase of $xxxx going to make a difference in the year end total of investments/accounts etc - ie: Is it really going to make a difference a year from now?
Tell yourself that if the answers to the purchase is 1) no 2) yes 3) no.. then it is okay for your wife (or you) to make the purchase. & put it to rest. don't fight about it, don't bicker, don't dwell energies on it.
Obviously your financial situation is quite different from mine... but.. I am overly frugal sometimes ( a lot of times)... I have to remind myself to think in terms of above. Of course, my limit is $20 on each "splurge" purchase instead of $500-1000.. but you get my drift.
My brothers' favorite saying:
Rule 1) Don't sweat the small stuff
Rule 2) Everything is small stuff.
I forget the author of the book.. Richard something... But that's bro's philosophy. He would say your thriftyness issue is a "small stuff" issue.