Money and a spouse who is irresponsible w/bills
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Old 09-05-2011, 05:46 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Money and a spouse who is irresponsible w/bills

Hi all. I need some marriage advice regarding my husband and our bills. We are newlyweds. Married 1 year and 7 months. He moved into my house when we married. He had an apt and was happy to join houses with me. At first, since everything was in my name and already set up, he just paid me the utilities, I paid the mortgage. We were 46 and 48 and did not desire to join checking accounts or merge money. He admitted to being bad with managing money but we both agreed it would work best for us if I just continued paying the mortgage and he paid for the utilities, which meant giving me x amount of money per month and I paid the bills. He gets paid weekly, I get paid once a month. He gets paid by the hour of job, I get paid a salary. All my paycheck comes in in one lump sum, his in different amounts all thru the month, since he is somewhat self employed.
Well, about 6 months into the marriage, I was tired of managing all the bills and having to always ask him, how much are you giving me this week, the power bill is due on this date, when will you have it, etc....It seems I was always asking him (like a parent/child) when he would have his part of the money. Then he was supposed to give it to me on Friday, but would forget and I'd still be asking for it on Monday, and becoming frustrated. So, I said, "Ok, that's it, I'm going to give you all the online log in information and you can just pay the utilities from you bank account each month. Maybe that will be easier for both of us. So he agreed to that and we both thought it was a solution. Well, not so much. I have learned that he has made a bad habit of paying the bills really late, always late actually. It seems nothing to him to not pay the power bill, water bill, cable, whatever, and say we can go out to eat or on a mini trip or something. Only thing is I didn't know he was choosing to not pay the bill on time for us to do that outing, or for him to buy a new tire, or b/c he didnt budget enough for fuel, whatever came up. He has no emergency fund or savings. He can't save any money. He goes and gets it out if he tries. Well recently I learned, after asking like I do from time to time, "How are the bills, honey? Everything getting paid this month"...I learned the ATT bill (which has internet, home phone, cable, my cell) is 2 months behind, at a tune of 620.00. I also know he doesn't make enough to catch that up. He has many excuses, but I think they are just that. SO, I spent the WHOLE holiday weekend coming up with a budget and having him give control back to me to pay the all the bills and he gives me X amount of money per paycheck. He agreed to it. I went to bed feeling better and less worried and had a good night's sleep. All day he didn't say anything, but a few minutes ago, he wanted to talk. SO, he tells me he has been thinking about it and he going to still pay the utilities and continue as he has been (meaning he paying them and not giving me the money to do it). I just about came unglued. But, I rebounded. I told him I wanted a negotiation. That he needed to tell me if he was going to choose at any point to pay a bill late, why he was doing so, and when he'd pay it. He said he would do that. I fear he won't, based on history. I think Dr. Phil says the past is the best predictor of future behavior, and I have asked him in the past to please communicate with me if a bill was going to be late. He hasnt tho.
So, how do I trust him with this? How can I let it go and not be a control freak about it. I am so relunctant to do this, yet, I know I really have no choice. Advice on how to handle it? Any boundaries to be set up? What is too harsh? I admit I am a control freak and I am trying to learn not to be. But I don't want to be always worried every time he comes in with a bucket of KFC if he chose not to pay the power bill for the convenience of fast food. Know what I mean? Thanks! Sorry for such a long post, Bless you if you made it to the end. I just felt there was a lot of background that needed to be given.
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Old 09-05-2011, 06:01 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Money and a spouse who is irresponsible w/bills

I don't really know what solution to give you, but I can totally relate.

I managed everything in my marriage/relationship the entire time merely because stbx could not do it.

I kept it as "give me X amount for the bank (which was only for bills) every week" and just maintained it myself.

Worked until he stopped giving me that X amount.
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Old 09-05-2011, 06:28 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Money and a spouse who is irresponsible w/bills

I would say it sounds like you are probably going to have to manage all of the money. I think that regularly happens. In my marriage, and we never had $ issues, my H handled all of the money and I liked it that way. I am impulsive when it comes to money so it worked better that way.

Can he get his checks direct deposited into your account, you keep what you need for bills and then withdraw the rest to give to him? I know it feels like you're a parent or something, but that may be how you have to do it unless he doesn't mind having his $ tied up in your account.
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Old 09-05-2011, 07:30 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Money and a spouse who is irresponsible w/bills

omg...i am soooo irresponsible with money....my husband pays some of our bills on line, which does make it easier.

my mom helps us out from time to time, and he will always ask me if i have xx for cable, or the phone. every time.

it doest bother me, but im a girl not a grown man.....if your husband could get direct depositing, he could set how much, and where it goes.

say like, 40 dollars every week could go to you, or he could just deposit a certain amount in his account every week, and you could have access to it that way, and you dont have to ask him, because the money will automatically be in on a payday.

and yes i have over spent the rent or cable on nothing at all...so now he monitors the bills, and will tell me, this week, phone, next week electricty.
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Old 09-05-2011, 07:52 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Money and a spouse who is irresponsible w/bills

My wife takes care of all that. Her choice I've offered many times but she has declined. When we got together my dad told me one thing about managing the money. He said " Son if you are bad with money let her handle the money, if she is you handle the money, if you both are bad with money then your screwed."
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Old 09-05-2011, 08:09 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Money and a spouse who is irresponsible w/bills

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lydia View Post
I would say it sounds like you are probably going to have to manage all of the money. I think that regularly happens. In my marriage, and we never had $ issues, my H handled all of the money and I liked it that way. I am impulsive when it comes to money so it worked better that way.

Can he get his checks direct deposited into your account, you keep what you need for bills and then withdraw the rest to give to him? I know it feels like you're a parent or something, but that may be how you have to do it unless he doesn't mind having his $ tied up in your account.
Um, the problem is that he won't give up control of his money. I tried to do as you suggest in March. We set up a joint checking account for the bill money to go into and then I could see the money deposited and we could pay bills out of that account. NO such luck. He just spent what was initially deposited for gas money when he didnt budget enough. I was very angry. I think it would work if he would do as suggested but he won't.
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Old 09-06-2011, 11:03 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Money and a spouse who is irresponsible w/bills

Could you "make" sure that the bills he is responsible for is paid before agreeing to an outing of sorts? I imagine this is very frustrating especially if most of the bills are in your name. However, if they are in your name then you have even more of a reason to manage them. I manage all the bills in our home, because of just this scenario... H has 3 bills he's responsible for paying, and he generally forgets to pay them, hence why I manage the 20+ other bills we have.
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Old 09-06-2011, 01:58 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Money and a spouse who is irresponsible w/bills

here's what i'd suggest...

every week he gives you $x to cover utilities. whatever the utilities are that he is responsible for, he gives you 1/4 of the monthly amount each week. no variations, no changes. make sure it's enough. make it a little more than needed.

then you pay the bills yourself. if when it comes time to pay the bill, pay it and any left over stays in the account for the next bill.

if he doesn't make enough to cover the amount that week, he owes you the next week. it's his job to make sure he makes enough.

if you get way ahead of the bills, give him some back as a "reward".
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