Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Advice on wife's idea for our finances

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    The first part of this is a response to GoodSteward.
    No these are my views, whether she was reading my posts or not. I was leaning towards adopting her plan to begin with and with the encouragement of some here, I went along with it. I did not take too well to what seemed like posters ganging up on my wife. Admittedly they don’t know us, but some of her reactions were within our “norm”.

    When some of the early postings here made me realize the impact my spending was having on my wife and our marriage I understood better where she was coming from and I do understand that while what happened recently is not of a large scale, it is the principle of the matter. Yes, it was my money spend, but I started out being conservative and then went back to my “old ways”, my wife was like what the? My reaction to this is more due to the past stress I had put on my wife. Maybe it is overreacting, but it is how I feel currently.

    We put the current plan in place so that she would be in a place to clean up our finances and so that I could not possibly mess things up. That part is going very well. She has been able to make a decent dent in our credit card debt, and my little mess up had absolutely no effect on her plans. Once I realized the impact I had been having previously on her and our marriage, yes, I built up a lot of guilt and still have it. That is why I suggested my accountability, and while she listened to posters and let me have some allowance, my level of built up guilt is still such that of the $40 she gave me over the last month I returned $38 to her. I am still working on changing my thoughts about money, but I was happy with myself to be able to return $38 to her because I spent so little. I am thinking of going to financial counseling to understand my issues first and then maybe both of us go, but right now we like things as they are.

    As mentioned in earlier posts we meet and discuss the finances each month, we go over my spending as a learning exercise for me, and she goes over what she is doing with the money she has control over. Over and above monthly expenses most goes to the credit card and some goes to savings. She has as yet not spent any on herself, but I will actually encourage this once the credit card debt is gone, I want her to enjoy what is essentially financial independence for her.

    We initially agreed on the amount of money I get weekly, it was my suggestion to limit it to a $20 allowance plus money for gas (which has now gone up to $25 with the recent gas increases). I wanted the amount to be low enough to make me think about my spending. I do NOT feel it is “underfunded”. After the “relapse” we have talked and it is clear that it is my money to with what I want, the shock the last time was that after starting out saving an average of $7 per week to blowing it all (allowances and the previously saved) in a couple of weeks. She said she wouldn’t chastise me for something like that in the future, but would encourage me if I saved any.

    I wrote the above in response to GoodSteward, before we met for the month. My wife tried to make me keep the $38, but I wouldn’t have it. We are going back to the regular allowance so I don’t want or need that money. She reluctantly accepted it, but thanked me for my gesture. There was nothing to discuss about my spending, obviously. She continued to pay down the credit card she is now estimating 5 more months.

    We had two more topics of discussion. Both of which based on GoodSteward’s comments, may cause a reaction here, but this is where we are at and while my posts are now more updates than requests for advice, any input is helpful to us as we work through all this.

    The first topic was regarding my comment above about her essentially having financial independence. She said that while she loves the current set up, she hadn’t thought of it that way, but after reading that, she realized that is exactly what we have set up, and she LOVES that description. I have my money and how we have set it up, it does not interfere with her money, which is essentially all of our money for which she is in charge. She updates me monthly, after the fact, about what she has done with the money so I know what has gone on, but she is in charge of those routine month to month finances and free to do as she feels appropriate. This is what we want and why we did this. She has told me what she is going do when something out of ordinary comes up. In addition, I am free to question what she has done and why but have not felt the need so far. I trust her explicitly since from the beginning she has always been better and more careful with money. Like I said she has not gone off and spent on things for herself, so far, she is just trying to clean things up, which was the whole idea of this in the first place. Also, when it comes to big ticket items we discuss what to do first. I have to admit that I am very happy that she likes the idea that she is essentially financially independent and basically has full control of our money. (If there wasn't fundamentally total trust in her by me to be charge in of our finances, this wouldn’t be working or likely to be able to work out in the long run!)

    The second topic was that we should have a written agreement regarding our financial set up. She thought it would be very useful for us to have this written down so the impact is clearer and more apparent and much less likely to lead to misunderstandings like a month ago. This also let us discuss, renegotiate, and set up a longer term plan. I am not going to go over the discussion in any depth, just will clarify things (in parentheses), and provide what we agreed to and both literally signed up for. To make it more formal, I suggested we have her sister witness it, she agreed and we did. Please read the whole next paragraph before reacting to it.

    We agreed to keep the separate accounts in place for at least 5 years (yes we extended it again, as we like how things are going so far). My allowance will stay at $20/week for at least 2 years (my suggestion though I had to persuade her to keep it at this lower amount, she agreed in part due to the next item). After that time my wife will determine my allowance (based on everything likely to go up and likely a fair amount). With the current gas price issue, my money for gas will be evaluated every 2 weeks. She promised no more negative reactions to what I do with my money. At the end of the at least 5 year period of separate accounts, we will discuss how to handle things in the future. Barring serious unforeseen circumstances, we decided that there would no changes to the agreement for 1 year (we want a nice long period of stability to see if this keeps working). After that time, the agreement can opened up for discussion by either of us.

    While this may not be what others here would do, we like how it is going so far and are actually glad we decided to put it in a written agreement, as it makes it clear what we both want to do.

    With some of the extra money, my wife has put together a little getaway for us for the Memorial weekend and no discussions of money, she says she budgeted for the whole thing to be fun and enjoyable. We are looking forward to it!

    Comment


      While I am still a little perplexed at what happened to trigger such a response(ongoing at that), it is awesome you guys have worked this out. Honestly, few people figure things out this far together. Most that look for advice get plenty of it, but rarely figure out a method that both actually LIKE, which is a key to making any plan work.

      Considering your explanations and the state of mind of both of you, if this is making both of you happy, then great job! Keep it up! I think a lot of people could learn from your experience on the need to address personal financial issues, and how to actually fix them.
      Everything happens for a reason. Sometimes that reason is you're stupid and make bad choices.

      Comment


        I'm still trying to get DH engaged in 'where the money goes.' He accepts my printed Net Worth statement and supporting figures of major spending category percentages and occasionally asks 'is there a problem?' I mess around with 5 year predictions but our economy is like a roller coaster and health issues are becoming frequent.

        I wish your wife would create her own SA blog on the other side. She needn't acknowledge her relationship. I suggest your wife check her numbers against suggested effective numbers for families in your income bracket. What percentage of income goes to the various major categories. [see Kipplinger's]. What has/can be done to bring down interest rates on different types of outstanding credit? https://debtfreecharts.com/collectio...s/credit-cards

        Are retirement plans correctly allocated considering age and RISK parameters?

        Comment


          Congrats on coming up with a solution that works for you. No one size fits all. Keep us updated and enjoy your weekend away!
          LivingAlmostLarge Blog

          Comment


            I am back after a while. Things are still going well. Over the past 2 months I have saved $40. My wife has gotten the credit card down to where she feels comfortable spending some money just for her. I like that she can do that for herself, that she is truly enjoying her "financial independence". We are both very happy that she is in control of our finances and I particularly like that she is spending some money on herself. I have adapted to the small allowance and feel that it is actually more than enough money just for me. While we sticking to the agreement to not change our written agreement for a year from the time we started this, we do discuss what we would to do in the future. We are both actually very comfortable with my allowance where it is at, she didn't want me to stay at $20/week but over time seeing I am fine at that amount she is thinking that the change in about a year and half may not be as big as she initially thought. That would work for me. It gives her more money to improve our finances. Also we talk about the two accounts being in place for more than 5 years but that is just a thought. Thanks everyone for the support!

            Comment


              Good for you two. I know that for most couple this is not a solution that would work, but if it does for you, then so be it. As a wife that handles the money, I know full well the crushing stress of having too much month and not enough money and with a self-employed husband and me on disability, there is only so much that we can do. He finished out his last piano restoration job and is slowly starting to get into helping me with an eye to taking over my business, to free me up to work on things that I can handle physically better than what I currently do. But the best part, is from his pay out from that job, I put a chunk in a tax savings account and the rest in a drawing account that I can tap as needed. It feels like a boulder has been taken off my shoulders! So I can truly emphasize with your wife!
              Gailete
              http://www.MoonwishesSewingandCrafts.com

              Comment


                Great news. Thanks for the update.

                Comment


                  Thanks for the update. How many months until you both are credit card free?

                  Comment


                    So how is the debt going? What is going on with her controlling it? How has it improved? Are you willing to share? What sort of progress and once the debt is paid what are your goals? How long until the debt is paid?
                    LivingAlmostLarge Blog

                    Comment


                      She thinks we will be done with credit card debt about January-February next year. About the time we will revisit our written agreement. So it will be a good time to reset everything, but as I mentioned since it is going so well as we are currently doing it, we are really not likely to things too much. She likes the idea of saving what we are now putting on the credit card, and that will be easier without a lot of changes. Things are MUCH smoother with her in control of essentially all of our money.

                      Comment


                        that is good news. How much in debt were you and what have you paid off?
                        LivingAlmostLarge Blog

                        Comment


                          We were about 7000 in debt and my wife says it will be paid off next month. That is when we will finalize our new written agreement. Since this has gone so well and she has gotten our debt paid off a lot sooner than either of us thought, I persuaded her that our Christmas spending should be 90% for her. I want her to have a really nice Christmas. More once our debt is paid off.

                          Comment


                            congratulations on being CC debt free? That's a huge accomplishment!
                            LivingAlmostLarge Blog

                            Comment


                              Hi everyone, We are finally credit card debt free and as agreed we discussed and rewrote our written agreement. This year has gone so well, it was easy for us to move to the next stage.

                              We decided that the two account system will stay in place for the foreseeable future. Over time my wife became very comfortable with me not being able to mess things up, so it was easy for us to decide to leave it this way essentially permanently. I am more than fine with this.

                              We went back and forth a bit on my allowance, but since I am not having any issues with $20/week, we agreed this would not change for the next 2 years. After that I said I would be happy if it went to $25/week, she said we would discuss then. Just like the last time we had her sister witness the agreement, but we decided it would be better if someone from my side of the family also witnessed it, so my sister did too.

                              This was probably the best thing that has happened for our marriage in quite a while. It is good to see her so happy and worry free. Thank you to everyone for your input and support.

                              Comment


                                The magic words: "finally credit card debt free". Congratulations and great job!
                                james.c.hendrickson@gmail.com
                                202.468.6043

                                Comment

                                Working...
                                X