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Posts tagged with: wife

His, Her, and Our Finances…

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I’ve been reading a lot of finance books lately and they all seem to agree that, in marriage, the management of finances must be shared equally between the husband and the wife. If the responsibility is left to one person alone, the stress level is increased on the money manager and the relationship suffers.

My husband hasn’t paid a bill since 2004.

Don’t get me wrong. Up until recently, my husband was involved in the decision making. I was simply responsible for organizing how bills were paid. We have always worked our finances together – especially after deciding to pay off debt.

In January, my husband started taking more units in school while still working a full time job with side jobs. In June, he signed up for 5 hour night classes and when he isn’t studying, he’s working. Understandably, actively participating in finances isn’t possible anymore.

I didn’t think it would bother me. I’m a nerd. I live for Excel spreadsheets and I balance my checkbook almost hourly for fun. Take over everything? Sounds fantastic!

It’s been 7 months of sole money management and I’m beginning to get a clear understanding of why this is bad.

He doesn’t have a clue about our money and I’m constantly stressed about making the right decisions. I feel like I’m making mistakes and hurting us financially. It’s not that I can’t handle the finances on my own; I hate the sole responsibility. I’d be closer to a breaking point but I’m coasting through knowing he’ll be out of school by next week to offer a reprieve.

I have a countdown marked on my calendar.

I don’t know how people do it alone. Financial stress seems to permeate every part of your life and the feeling that you alone are responsible for the financial success of two people is, at the very least, hugely uncomfortable. We made some great progress on our finances this month (update tomorrow) but the pessimist in me only focuses on what I could have done better.

I miss my financial partner.

Are you a sole money manager? Or do you share the responsibility? What works best for you?


When You are Desperate for Cash…

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As soon as my husband and I received our paychecks a week ago, I wrote a check for $1,000 to Toyota. If I don’t pay this chunk immediately, I miraculously find ways to spend it on anything other than debt reduction.

The VERY NEXT DAY, the electrical went out in our garage. My husband said he was more than willing to prolong repairing it but couldn’t because he thought it was ‘potentially life threatening’ blah, blah, blah.

I offered to avoid the garage area, the open electrical box, and the live wires near the light switch but for some reason, he didn’t trust me to remember not to touch the switch while hungrily running to the garage freezer for a pint of Ben and Jerry’s – plus, there was some mention of a ‘potential fire hazard’.

The cost of the repairs? $150.

The amount of cash in our account? $162.

The amount of food in our fridge? None.

Our grocery budget funded the repairs.

It’s times like these, we are supposed to dive into our emergency fund. Electrical/housing/safety problem definitely qualifies as an EMERGENCY but for some reason, I can’t touch that cash without feeling uneasy.

Instead, I looked around my house for something to sell.

My eyes fell on a lamp, still in the box with a receipt taped to the top, which I purchased 2 weeks ago. The lamp in our living room broke and all we have is a fixture with a bare bulb. I bought a $40 floor lamp from Target to replace it but felt uneasy about spending money so I left it in the box while I debated it.

While I stood in the returns line to get back some cold hard cash for groceries, my sister called. When she asked what I was doing, I told her I was returning a lamp for grocery money.

You know you’ve reached a certain consistent level of crazy when your sister doesn’t hiccup over the above statement and simply says, “Cool. Anyway, are you coming to mom and dad’s today?”