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    Advice on wife's idea for our finances

    Hi Everyone,
    I have never been real good with money. Never got into serious troubles but haven't done as good as I could, and occasionally put us in a short term bind. After 20 years my wife has had it. She has stated that she wants to take over our finances and wants to limit what I can do. Based on things I've done in the last few months, this is probably a very good idea.
    First some background. I work, she is at home. In general she has been in charge of our finances the last 15 years - thank goodness, but I have still managed to muck things up on occasion. Causing money to be pulled out of our savings due to overdrafts, putting too much on a credit card so it either took a couple months to pay off, or for her to use our savings to pay it. I have been doing things like this a little more often in the past year. She got really angry last week and said she wants to make changes in how our money is handled and distributed.
    Her idea is for me to have a limited account, in which she is joint on it. With our bank that is a savings account that limits you to 6 transactions a month, I am fine with that, and I am also fine with her providing me with a small weekly allowance and gas money to that account. And extra money in an emergency.
    What I want input on is the rest of her ideas, I am not against them, not at all, they just seem stringent. We have discussed them at length in the last week and I agree in principle, but looking for others thoughts. Let me state first that we both have put in place Powers of Attorney, so should anything (God forbid) happen to either of us the other can take things over. Also other than the current money situation our marriage is very good and trust is high, except me messing up our finances occasionally.
    Her other ideas are for me to be removed from our current joint checking and savings accounts, so they are in her name only. She also wants my paycheck direct deposited into now her checking account, I checked at work and they will do that. Her idea is that if I am on a separate account with her on it, so she can monitor it, and it is different from the bulk of our money I can't mess that up, like I have been doing.
    After all these years of joint accounts it seems weird maybe because I am sort of a control person. But I do agree we need a fix. After all of our discussion this week I am actually ok with this and pretty much in agreement.
    Any thoughts?

    #2
    After 20 years your wife finally had enough (?).

    Go along with her plan.

    So What’s your biggest money management problem - unplanned purchases, lots of small purchases, something else?

    Probably will be good for you to know your financial weaknesses.

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by Jluke View Post
      After 20 years your wife finally had enough (?).

      Go along with her plan.

      So What’s your biggest money management problem - unplanned purchases, lots of small purchases, something else?

      Probably will be good for you to know your financial weaknesses.
      My biggest problems are unplanned purchases and lots of small purchases. She will go online to check our account and find out I have taken us close to zero. Also it is so many smaller ones, she has a hard time keeping track, and will mess up her budgeting. I know she has been very patient.

      I agree, I think it is time she limits me. With a small allowance, she has suggested $20/week plus gas money, and an account that allows only 6 transactions I will have to be very disciplined.

      It will be weird not being able to see >98% of our money as it is in her accounts. I guess that is the price to pay for messing up so much.

      Thank you for you input.

      Comment


        #4
        Go along with her on whatever she wants to do! I had to divorce a husband (dubbed Mr. Big Bucks by my son) that put us in such a horrible bind, it was the only way to get out. It didn't matter what I did or said as long as he could buy what he wanted with a credit card he figured he could. Kind of like the old Cathy cartoon - "How could I be out of money I still have checks left?" In our situation it was rather different as I was working full time too and I don't know how many times he would talk about his working his butt off and he should be able to buy what he wanted or words to that effect. What he never seemed to notice that I was working my tail off as well, making more than him, and I had the burden of trying to pay bills without money. At that point our minimum payments on credit cards was $1100/month!

        So in a sense, you guys could be in a lot more trouble than you think. You may be thinking all is well in your marriage, without counting the money problems, but you may find that the money problems is eroding the trust of your wife in a very fast way. How can she trust you in other areas if you are not trustworthy in this area? In other words, she has had it and it sounds like this has been festering for a long time. If you love your wife and want to keep her, it doesn't in the least matter what we think, do what she asks! Be grateful to her for taking this huge responsibility onto her shoulders.

        One of the best ways to prove that you are trustworthy with money again, is at the end of the year, you scoop up what you have left in your accounts (as you have been savings as much as possible) and present it to her for the 'family' savings. Do that each year. Your wife doesn't sound like the kind to want you buying her expensive pieces of jewelry or whatever for Christmas or birthdays. What she needs for her own peace of mind is money in the bank and a husband that is on board with the finances. This doesn't mean that you can't discuss the finances and make future plans, but no over the top plans.

        At one point Mr. Big-Bucks decided we had to go on a family vacation to his aunt and & uncle's home. This was a two day trip by car, a week there and two days back. Other than the money I had managed to save in a coin jar we had NO money for this 'vacation' at all. 5 people on vacation and no money. This was not something we should have been doing and then we had to bring his mom home with us for three weeks and then I had to drive her back and pick up stepson and bring him to our house. At least MIL paid for the food and hotel on the way there, But I had yet again no money for the trip. I remember at one point I was totally exhausted and called him about getting a room for the night and he said well we really can't afford it sleep in the car! I got home and found during the time I was making this 900 mile drive and sleeping in the car, he had bought some worthless piece of software for over $100! And when I say worthless, it was, he could never get it to work right. Your marriage may have not devolved into this kind of situation at this point, and if so be thankful. But I think your wife has put you on notice that it is do this or else. If you love her, do it. That is my advice about what she wants to do. If you show her you are trustworthy in this area, and it may take a long time as in years, eventually things might change.
        Gailete
        http://www.MoonwishesSewingandCrafts.com

        Comment


          #5
          I don't agree. You are acting like an irresponsible child. Your wife is not your mother. It's time for you to grow up and behave like a responsible partner to your wife.

          You need to make yourself accountable for every penny you spend. You should track every expenditure you make in a notebook or spreadsheet as you make it. Keep all the receipts. Ask yourself, do I really need this item? At the end of each day, you should sit down with your wife and go over the list of what you spent and why. Break your bad habits by not repeating your unnecessary purchases as you see they were not necessary or even important.

          Every major purchase should be discussed between you before it is made. No impulse purchases because it's on sale or whatever your excuse is. Spending for large purchases should be made jointly, with a plan. If you violate this principle, return what you bought.

          Make no mistake, it's your behavior that needs to change. You can give yourself a cash allowance every week and hand over the debit and credit cards for safekeeping if you think that will help you while you are changing your behavior. Keep the joint accounts, but don't have easy access to taking money out of them.

          Marriage is a partnership but you haven't been acting as a financial partner in your marriage. If you can't do that, then maybe you are headed for divorce. Your wife is communicating to you that she will not put up with your behavior any longer. Couples counseling might be helpful in preventing a divorce.

          Comment


            #6
            Gailete, thank you for your reply. While I haven't caused the problems you had to endure, I do NOT make things easy on my wife. Hearing another woman's perspective is very helpful. As I have started to get responses, my wife has been reading them with me.

            She said she is not even thinking divorce, but is tired of all of this and wants it to stop! She called out 2 of your comments: "Go along with her on whatever she wants to do!" and "But I think your wife has put you on notice that it is do this or else." Especially the latter one. While it has been a discussion over the last week, she has been pretty adamant that we have to do things this way. Because I have tried in the past to do better, but still cause problems (not as major as yours, but plenty bad in my wife's view), she is pretty much at the "or else" point.

            I do hate that she feels the only way to handle this is to essentially cut me off from the majority of our money and put me on an allowance and a restricted account, but as this week has progressed I am more and more in agreement, and need to "Go along with her on whatever she wants to do!"

            Your perspective is very helpful.

            Comment


              #7
              AnotherReader, I posted this in part because my wife does feel a little bit like having to be my mother, but feels it has to be this way.

              Major purchases have never been a problem they have always been joint decisions, it is all the smaller and unplanned purchases, as noted by Jluke, that causes the problems. It is more the number than the amount of an individual purchase.

              And yes I will be giving up all my credit cards, the only credit card I will have is for emergencies and that will require her to text an acceptance. Obviously if it is an emergency we will be in communication for her to know. My debit card will be tied to my restricted savings account.

              As we have been through this a few times previously, she just wants to take control over all of this. We have tried a few of the things you mentioned but my wife is insistent on this approach.

              We will wait a few more days for further thoughts, but it looks like I will be doing what she wants. Gailete was very supportive of that.

              Comment


                #8
                Gailete, thank you for your reply. I actually replied to you before I did to AnotherReader, but it didn't post. So I will try to capture everything I said.

                While the problems I have caused are not any where as severe as you had to endure, they are pretty bad where my wife is concerned. It is good to hear another woman's perspective on this.

                As we have been getting responses, my wife has been reading them with me. She is not even considering divorce but she says all of this has to stop! There are two of your statements that she strongly agrees with: "Go along with her on whatever she wants to do!" and "But I think your wife has put you on notice that it is do this or else."

                While it has been a discussion this past week, she is very adamant on implementing this new financial arrangement. She feels it is the only way we can make the finances work, it basically is an "or else" situation.

                She feels she has remove me from access to the majority of our money and put me on limited funds, so that she can get a handle on all of this. The more I think about this it is probably the best way to go. Again thanks for the input, I will likely go along with whatever she wants to do.

                Comment


                  #9
                  I can see that you are aware of your weaknesses when it comes to purchases and handling money and want to make your wife happy but I think this strict approach will cause more problems then it cures. Sooner or later if you are the only income you may come to resent it.
                  I think many things need to be thoroughly discussed and trust will need to be rebuilt but it won't be if she has you on a choke chain. Not to mention should this not fix the issues you have she now has any money in her name only. seems like a good move for her not you.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Gailete, thank you for response. I actually responded to you before AnotherReader, but it didn’t post. I will try to capture it all here again.

                    It is very useful to get another woman’s perspective. While I haven’t caused problems as severe as you had to endure, they are pretty bad in my wife’s perspective. As we have been getting responses, my wife has been reading them with me. She is not even considering divorce, but she says this has to stop!

                    She took two of your statements to heart: “Go along with her on whatever she wants to do!” and “But I think your wife has put you on notice that it is do this or else.” While we have been having a discussion this past week, she pretty adamant in implementing this plan. It is almost to an “or else” point.

                    We have tried different approaches in past, in fact we have even discussed similar plans to this in the past, but have not done them. At this point she is insistent we implement this, this time. I hate that we have gotten to this point, but I am pretty much in agreement that it is best to restrict me from the majority of the money and put me on restricted funds. Especially since fixes have only been transient in the past. It is probably best that I “go along with her on whatever she wants to do” as you have encouraged. Thank you for your input.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Gailete, thank you for response. I actually responded to you before AnotherReader, but it didn’t post. I will try to capture it all here again.

                      It is very useful to get another woman’s perspective. While I haven’t caused problems as severe as you had to endure, they are pretty bad in my wife’s perspective.

                      As we have been getting responses, my wife has been reading them with me. She is not even considering divorce, but she says this has to stop! She took two of your statements to heart: “Go along with her on whatever she wants to do!” and “But I think your wife has put you on notice that it is do this or else.” While we have been having a discussion this past week, she pretty adamant in implementing this plan. It is almost to an “or else” point.

                      We have tried different approaches in past, in fact we have even discussed similar plans to this in the past, but have not done them. At this point she is insistent we implement this, this time.

                      I hate that we have gotten to this point, but I am pretty much in agreement that it is best to restrict me from the majority of the money and put me on restricted funds. Especially since fixes have only been transient in the past. It is probably best that I “go along with her on whatever she wants to do” as you have encouraged. Thank you for your input

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Smallsteps, this level of control is what I think I may have to go along with. As mentioned previously she has been essentially in control of our finances, but I have been causing issues. It is her who is resentful of the financial issues, as she should be.

                        She just wants to remove the issues with this process. The more I think about it, it is something I will have to endure. Unless she divorces me, see response to Gailete, the Powers of Attorney we have in place solve other potential issues.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Gailete, thank you for response. I actually responded to you before AnotherReader, but it didn’t post. I will try to capture it all here again.

                          It is very useful to get another woman’s perspective. While I haven’t caused problems as severe as you had to endure, they are pretty bad in my wife’s perspective. As we have been getting responses, my wife has been reading them with me. She is not even considering divorce, but she says this has to stop!

                          She took two of your statements to heart: “Go along with her on whatever she wants to do!” and “But I think your wife has put you on notice that it is do this or else.” While we have been having a discussion this past week, she pretty adamant in implementing this plan. It is almost to an “or else” point.

                          We have tried different approaches in past, in fact we have even discussed similar plans to this in the past, but have not done them. At this point she is insistent we implement this, this time.

                          I hate that we have gotten to this point, but I am pretty much in agreement that it is best to restrict me from the majority of the money and put me on restricted funds. Especially since fixes have only been transient in the past. It is probably best that I “go along with her on whatever she wants to do” as you have encouraged. Thank you for your input.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            No...don't do that! And, I am a wife.

                            She doesn't have to remove you as an owner of the account to limit your access to it. I would not let her do that.

                            I would keep the main account joint. Set up another joint account that has limited funds and attach a debit card to it. Transfer a set amount of money to the new account each payday, month, etc.

                            You don't have access to the main account except if you have to write a check with her looking over your shoulder :-). You use the separate account for daily expenses and with a set amount of money in it. Your activities don't affect the main account, you will not overdraw it, etc.

                            Shouldn't this plan keep you in check?

                            I am a woman and I would never suggest that my husband not be on an account with me. And, I would never be okay with him wanting me off an account - especially a main account.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Can you operate solely on cash? Allocate a set amount from each paycheck, convert to cash, and only use that. Throw your debit/credit cards into a safe and don't carry it with you.

                              Edit: This thread has really made be chuckle.
                              Last edited by Tabs; 01-21-2018, 09:06 PM.

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