Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: In a van down by the river...
Re: Can finances really ruin your marriage??
Before I make my real comment, let me point out one thing. You both work. Your husband just happens to be the only one that currently brings home a paycheck. As you said, you are a team and both obviously feel invested in making your relationship work.
Please do not take any stock in the ignorant comments made your husband's family. If their opinions held any water, he wouldn't have married you. And if they can't see that you and he are a team after four years, then they probably never will.
It's so awesome that you have so much empathy towards your husband. Finances are tough and unfortunately many men (the good ones, anyway) often still feel like they have to carry this weight on their shoulders alone. If he is feeling high levels of stress over this, sometimes even small gestures can be enough to show him that you understand, really care, and want to help.
I don't know how good you are with finances, or if you do any of these already, but some suggestions could be:
- Couponing. Most of the major chain food stores and food manufacturers issue coupons through newspapers and online. If you flexible regarding brand names, sizes, and meal planning, you can save $10-$20 per week on food (that's $500-$1000 annually)
- Buy food in bulk and separate out into smaller portions at home. You have three kids. Chances are that you have enough hungry mouths at any given time that food would rarely go bad. Even if more expensive at the time you buy, typically, the larger the package, the lower the "cost per unit". Look at the different sizes of the same item on the shelves. It's amazing how much further a dollar can be stretched this way
- If you drink coffee or alcohol, drink at home. Don't get it from coffee shops or bars. The mark up is outrageous.
- Check your doors and windows for drafts. A lot of money goes into heating and cooling living space. Eliminating drafts, especially is summer and winter, can save few bucks each month.
There's other things, but you get the general idea. Share what you're doing with you husband. Sometimes the little things we do make all the difference. They will show him that his effort is appreciated and you are trying hard to make sure the money he earns is being stretched further. He'll be reminded that he's on a team, his stress goes down and happiness goes up. Can't hurt to try, right? Good luck...