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Wednesday, January 6, 2010

WFMW - Backwards Addition

If you don't know my husband, you don't know how much of a struggle it is for my family to remain under budget. Sometimes, I have no idea how we've done it. When his hours at work were cut obviously the budget was cut. He doesn't understand this.

We talked about different things to eat, different meals. (He's a meat and potatoes kind of guy. Minus the potatoes.) He was fine with grilled cheese, a meatless night, breakfast for dinner , you know, the really frugal meals. But when it comes down to it and I serve dinner it's a whole different story. He throws a fit because there is no meat or he doesn't want to eat this tonight. I've tried including him in the menu planning but he always says he doesn't care whatever I chose.

I've always done the finances and when I would tell him there wasn't any extra money, he would tell me "oh yea there is." He's always buying things he does not need! We're trying the Dave Ramsey Baby Steps this year for our new years resolution. The day after we talked about this he came home from WalMart spending $50 on wants. We had a huge argument and he says he's done his spending until March (he gets $25 a month, he spent 2 months worth). We will be doing the envelope system which I hope will help with this.

I just don't know how the heck to keep our finances in line with only me doing this! He says he wants to save money and have money but then he does the opposite!
So my question for you is are your husbands on the same page with you financially? If they are, how did you"get" them there?

This post is linked to WFMW.


  1. Let him pay the bills for 6 months. It could be dangerous, mind you, but it seriously woke my hubby up. He realized that there really were times when there was no money. I think it is hard to grasp what it costs to live if you never see the bills and their effects.

    Just my two cents. Good luck!

  2. I wonder if you turned the finances over to him, if that would help? I know that must be a frightening idea, given how financially irresponsible you feel he is. However, I don't think there is any other way to make him come to terms with the reality of your finances. Speaking for myself, I will say that I used to be hugely stressed out about our finances. I hated it. When I finally let go and let my husband take over, it was such a relief! Of course, he is very responsible with our money, and I don't know that I could have done what I am advising you to do. It will take a lot of prayer, and a lot of trusting God. You may have to resign yourself to very skimpy meals, and perhaps having your utilities shut off on occasion. But if you can truly let go, trust God, and tell your husband "I'm tired of fighting about this, and being stressed out all the time. I want you to be in charge of these things, please, so I don't have to worry about it anymore." It may not force him to be more responsible, but I think it will be a tremendous stress relief for you. And maybe you could ask him to give you the grocery money, in cash, at the beginning of each month, so at least you would be sure of having something to eat. The bottom line is, you can't force your husband to be "in line" with your ideas of how the finances should be run. The only attitude you can change, is your own. If you can decide to trust in God to provide, and not hold it over your husband's head when he doesn't do things as you think he should, and let your husband worry about where the money you need will come from, I think you'll be much less stressed. I hope that is helpful, and doesn't sound like I'm being flippant about your problem. It's hard to condense advice into a one-paragraph comment!

  3. My husband and I are on the same page financially, and I think it started pretty much before we even got married, so I'm not sure "how" we did it. However, in order to "stay" on the same page, we have a monthly budget meeting. We go over what we spent the previous month and plan together what the budget for the current month will be.

    When we were first married we divided the bill paying; that lasted just a couple of years before we decided that it works best for us if he earns the money and invests our savings, and I take care of the routine bills and shopping.

    So, my first suggestion would be to try communicating, communicating, communicating. We're working with our college-aged son to understand the difference between needs and wants, and it's hard. For example, we think a cell phone is a want and he thinks it's a need. The truth is it's probably somewhere in between, and that's why you need to communicate.

    Another suggestion would be to have him take over the grocery shopping and meal cooking for a month or two. That might help open his eyes.

    My cousin has one night a week where she fixes whatever her husband wants for dinner, and the children need to eat it without complaining. Maybe you could adapt something like that in your family. If he knew he was getting a giant steak every Friday (he doesn't have to know you found it on sale!), maybe he'd be happier with low-cost soups and casseroles the rest of the week.

    Well, I hope this helps. This is my first visit here, but I love the tips and advice I've found, and I'm looking forward to coming again. Have a wonderful day!

  4. My husband & I were JUST like you & yours. Mine is a spender & I'm a saver. I do the finances & he wants to spend. He understands now why this is, but only because 3 wks after my daughter was born via c-section, I had an emergency appendectomy & almost died. I was in the hospital for a week. So he dealt with the finances for over a month. He realized he didn't have a clue how much we owed for bills, rent, car pmt, etc. Plus when he grocery shopped, he didn't know how to do it frugally like I did & he very quickly learned how much stuff a baby needs & how HUGE those costs were. He learned all this while shuttling kids to other family members, visiting me in the hospital, & working at his new job so he didn't get fired.

    I see now that this crash course in reality was the best way for him to learn this lesson. I'm not sure how you could teach it to your husband.


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