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Complex Money Matters With Hubby!

Discussion in 'Married Life' started by BeingSoulful, Feb 11, 2020.

  1. BeingSoulful

    BeingSoulful Silver IL'ite

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    We have been married for almost 5yrs. Our finances have always been separate. We give each other space for financial independence and respect each other’s decisions on choices of expenditures we make apart from the routine shopping bills. After moving to US, I took up an average paying job, we decided my salary will be our savings and hubby would manage everything else. I worked for about 3yrs and used 70% of the savings towards the down pay of our new house we bought year and a half back. Hubby contributed the rest. We had our baby girl last year and considering the nanny /day care expenses we decided it was wiser for me give up my job and stay at home to take care of the little one. Hubby was ok with anything I decided to do. Our medical expenses were paid off with his FSA account plus his savings. I did not contribute towards medical expenses. However I took care of the new house setup (minor expenses on stuff to organize and the decor, carpets etc) and also took care of baby needs right from clothing to diapers etc. We shop about $150 to $180 avg every 2weeks for grocery( Indian store+ Others for milk, bread, baby food) and hubby pays. It’s over a year I stopped working so he pays the mortgage and other bills too himself.


    We support his mom & brother back in India. Sending cash every few months plus additional luxury expenses that comes along with buying expensive gifts for them all the time. Hubby is a caring man, never says no for anything I want to buy & in-fact never says no to anyone who iapproach him for help. But this also makes him very lenient on money matters. Last year I found he is lending money to one of our common friends (3 or 4lakhs) without mentioning anything to me. This is not the first or the only instance. There are more than 3 or 4 friends who took money from him. 2 are not even in talking terms now so that money is gone I guess coz hubby would never ask them for sure. And he loves spending money on branded expensive stuff that he won’t even use like gadgets that cost $500 to $1000. This year he bought me the latest iPhone with watch & pods easily costing $1800. He’s very secretive when it’s money, I am not involved in certain aspects like how much he sends home, how much bonus he gets in the year, how much savings he’s got, how much debt we have apart from the home loan, balances on his cards, how much money he has given to whom, I dono nothing! We both come from middle class families and don’t own huge properties back home. I am worried on where we are heading financially.


    With my account he knows every detail & I am transparent in My transactions with others too. I discuss everything with him. I have always had a very disciplined finance management, my mom was very particular and I am glad that was ingrained in me as well. On the other hand I see hubby all over the place with his money. No tracking/ no budgeting, anyone gets anything of any cost. There’s no fine line on things. I clearly see people taking advantage of him. But he doesn’t like my interference. I want to stay at home for another year or so. And his job is no longer stable with many changes in the hierarchy.


    How do I get this on track?! I want us to have more structured planning in terms of what we spend and what we save. Every-time I try to talk, it becomes an argument.


    Any inputs in highly appreciated! Thank you ladies..
     
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  2. Rihana

    Rihana IL Hall of Fame

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    BeingSoulful, what you have described is a common scenario in families with young children - the woman becomes busy with the child, husband is mostly good about money, but the wife is in the dark about the family's finances and future plans. Sometimes money is given to others without her knowledge, and she has less to no say in the family's big purchases.

    Fighting for her right to be fully informed and consulted can lead to her getting more alienated from the family's finances. Each argument ends with no conclusion, and life's must-do's like Monday, dinner, care of the baby take priority till the next fruitless episode of discussion.

    The addition of a child to the family, and you having some time to spend on the family's finances is a good time to start the slow process of changing the family's dynamics w.r.t finances. Given that husband is mostly good about money except the loaning to friends and big purchases, do not bring up the past. Always only talk about the future. Do not bring up any of what you have mentioned in your first post above.

    Start by asking a few questions about the taxes filed this year. Don't simply sign the document. Look over it, glance at the numbers. Be very careful to not make it an argument. It should be only a small sign that you are starting to pay more attention to finances.

    Start to work on creating a will and living trust or related documents. With you guys owning a house and having a young child, this is a good time to start on the will/trust creation process. Look up some online guides for these. Nolo.com is a good starting point. The guides will tell you what info you need to gather -- bank accounts, brokerage accounts, 401K, etc. If husband tries to say he will take care of it, tactfully but firmly say you'd like to also work on it. Split the to-do's related to will/trust.

    If you feel you guys as a family spend a lot in some area, such as take-out food, Costco, amazon... casually ask about the credit card online statements. Look at them together. They show the expenses by category.

    The idea is to get involved in the finances without directly insisting that he stop being secretive. You don't want to be in the situation where you do get access to the information but it negatively impacts your relationship for good. Trust is delicate, whether it be related to financial matters or emotional/fidelity/ loyalty.
     
  3. Angela123

    Angela123 Gold IL'ite

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    I totally agree with Rihana here.

    It is not smart to demand all the information at once. Instead, slowly gather information. Ask questions to get involved in finances, but don't annoy.
    For along time, I was completely oblivious about what my husband earns and how we spent money. This is mainly because I didnt want to know, I was lazy. Believe it or not, after my husband's dad was hospitalized and even though he had money in the bank, we had to borrow money from the relatives and return it when dad was out of icu, after getting his signature on checks!! MIL didn't know how to handle any finances nor she knew which bank dad had account in. This was an eye opener for all of us and I started becoming involved in finances. I slowly took up paying utility bills and credit card bills (from husband bank account of course) and then slowly moved on to understanding how much we spend on insurances, saving, mortgage etc. Also, pay attention to is the terms and conditions on loans/mortgages/life insurances etc. and what to do when we have a claim and all. After I started working, we don't have separate bank accounts and we share credit cards and check books. DH sets up everything and I track all the money. This helps me better manage the funds.
     

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