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Is it worth scraping and saving like this?

Discussion in 'Married Life' started by Nithya001, Nov 8, 2008.

  1. Nithya001

    Nithya001 Bronze IL'ite

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    Hello ladies,

    I have been reading the forums here for long. Some of you give really good advise to people with problems in married life. So after considering my problem I thought I would take suggestions from you all. I got married 2 years back and moved to US with hubby within the 20 days of marriage. We had an arranged marriage and our families have know each other since we were kids, though we lived and grew up in different cities. I spoke to my husband several times before we got married but never asked about his salary etc. although we had a rough idea of what he was earning here. It was out of deep respect for his family and the long acquaintance that my parents did not question his financial situation too much, more so because he had the reputation of being a nice guy and has no bad habits at all and is a deeply spiritual person who is into meditation as well.

    When i moved to US I realized that his salary is just enough for two of us to be able to pay rent and eat a healthy diet(I am glad for that). He was also very particular in spending money and never gave me more than 10 $ at a time to spend(that too once in a month or two) , I was ok about it in the beginning as he used to buy household stuff that I would ask for but gradually felt the pinch when I tried to curb all my desires and needs to save him from spending. I did not really bother much about it except that I realized that it will be years before I will be able to plan a family before he gets a permanent job. Although i did tell my parents about it on my visit to India after 1 year of life here. That did create some trouble as my parents had not expected that. His Mom who came to visit us before my India visit did not tell my parents anything about it too. At this point I would like to add that his Mom too was not clear how much he earned as he is a person who doesn't like talking about all this. We had some disagreements but later I thought it best to be quite and try to adjust in whatever we have.
    After two years of scraping through in US I have a feeling that do I deserve this. We do not go for vacations, but I don't mind considering our finances. We have no cable at home only internet so I sit all day browsing net. Cannot even go on a drive as it makes me feel guilty that i am wasting gas money. I do not buy dressess makeup any thing at all for myself, don't mind as I am not a very fashionable girl, but yes would love to have good things like all others my age. I bought a small food processor, the only gadget in my kitchen after 1 year when i had bruised my hand too much using a grater, I think about it because in India at my parents place I used to even knead dough in a food processor! I know these are petty things compared to that my husband is actually a nice guy. I do not spend even a dollar extra as I feel I might be putting financial stress on him. But I wonder whether I am doing all this in vain? He never tells me how much we can actually spend and how much he is able to save. Sometimes I feel that he can spend on the things I resist from buying but he is happy that I have turned into a miser. I know nothing of his bank details etc. He doesn't willingly give me even a dollar to spend for myself any time. I have no debit card and sometimes when I go outside just for window shopping too I don't have a single dollar, no cell phone in case I need it in emergency. What really hurts me is that on our visit to India he bought his elder sister a $250 camcorder! I did not fuss about it as i know he is earning and probably feels like giving gifts to his sisters. We bought lots of other stuff too for his family. Also he paid his Mom's airfare ($ 1000) on her visit here, she is a doctor and is still earning. I am not saying he shouldn't do this, in fact I am glad he has the heart to give gifts to his family(never to me) so generously considering his small salary and hard life here. But I wonder is it justified given the way I scrape here saving every penny. I know if I wanted a rich guy i should have asked his salary clearly before marriage so its my own choice that has landed me in this. But shouldn't he too understand that we need to save evrything instead of buying gifts? Everyone in his family now knows that we are even unable to plan a family due to money matters, still they never tell him to save for himself so that he can begin his life too. Instead his Mom just tells him over the phone who gave her what gift. Now he wants to send $300 worth of gifts to India through a friend who is going to visit next month. I never interfere in his gift giving to his family, but if he can spend that much of money on gifts why doesn't he spend openly on what I need for myself and our home? After scraping and saving every penny on grocery,utilities, personal spendings I guess $ 300 is what I might have saved him in a year and he wants to send gifts for that. Am I living cheap here only to let him be able to give gifts to his Mom and sisters who actually do not need our gifts(sisters are well married and his Mom still earning) isn't it time he thought about our life together too?
    I never discussed this with him as I feel its not worth creating issues over money in our marriage. Also I feel that living here on a dependent visa unable to earn I do not have the right to question what he gives to his Mom etc. Do you think I am right in this or I am only loosing confidence and self-esteem? How much right do I have as a wife over the decision of my husband spending money on his family given our finances? Should I discuss this issue with him or just try to forget all this and take things as they happen?
    I feel drained out with no friends, no financial freedom, not much to do for fun, no job living in this country. Thank you for reading this post. i feel relieved there is some place I can vent my feelings.
     
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  2. harisur

    harisur New IL'ite

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    Hi Nithya,
    I read your situation and feel really sad for you. This is what so many women in our country are going through. The first mistake you have made is not knowing what his salary was and if he had any savings. Being a nice person and showing respect to everybody and his financial situation are two different things. Have you sat and talked about your feelings to him? He should know how much effort you are putting in not spending money unnecessarily. If you have to buy some stuff talk to him about it and if he wants to know why you have to spend the money you can gently point out the money he spends on his sisters and mom. After marriage a man's first priority should be his wife and everybody else comes after her only and vice versa for the wife too.
    Are you good in cooking food? If there are any Indian grocery shops near your home, advertise that you will be able to cook nutritious, good food at economical price. Tell a few friends too to pass around the word and you might be able to earn some money through this. Sorry if this reply is too long. I hope these words helps you.
     
  3. Nithya001

    Nithya001 Bronze IL'ite

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    Harisur, thanks for reading through my post and replying. I do not want to talk about what he spends on his Mom and sisters at all, because he is pretty close to them and I have a feeling that if I make a point about it, I will be the loser. had he been earning really well i wouldn't have even paid attention that he spends on his family, I understand all of us want to do that, even I have younger brother, sister in India and sometimes I wish I could send them something on their birthdays, but strongly resist from even mentioning it to husband.
    But what I feel bad about is that , am I nothing to him, in two years of marriage he never felt that we should go somewhere together. All he talks to me of when we go out is what deals I checked out and where can we get the cheapest grocery. We do try to go for inexpensive outings close by on weekends and evenings and all he can remember at those times is that he needs to call his Mom or sis in India. If we do not call on a weekend his Mom calls and asks why haven't we called. whenever we call they talk for not les than 30 mins. In the beginning I used to call my parents too, but the manner in which he offered me to call my family made me feel that I am being too expensive for him. No I do not call my family except on festivals. His manner makes me feel that since I am not earning I have no right to spend his money even to talk to my family. Whereas his Mom and sisters chat endlessly when we call them. This is actually getting on my nerves and sometimes I suspect that he is just trying to have me for very cheap.

    I wish there was some other way I could remind him that he is being unfair to me without even mentioning his family. Sometimes I feel I should start spending what I like so that he gets a dose that he ought to be spending on me too as a husband, but I am unable to do so , perhaps because of my own scruples.
     
  4. devyani_s

    devyani_s New IL'ite

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    feel very sorry for ur situation. let me tell u that there are some sites like ehow etc where u can write articles and get paid through paypal. its not huge but if u put your heart into it u can atleast earn around $500 a month. first ask your husband to open a paypal account with his social security number so u can get paid. its not at all a fraud site. it is a genuine site. all the time you are spending on internet you can earn for that. this site is not one of those earn from home. but a good one. eHow | How To Do Just About Everything! my friend writes articles there and doing good with the pay. you can take her help on how to get started there.

    there are some other sites too where u can write reviews about the latest movies.

    reading your post looks like u can come up with some very good writing skills.

    once u get paid start shopping online and buy ur chick goods. tell your husband that like everyother girl u need these stuff. probably if he starts seeing u do it he will realize the importance of money in your life too.

    after witnessing the whole scene here with u guys your MIL shouldnt be expecting anything from u. if she is not understanding then its not your fault. if next time ur husband wants to send them anything else dont stop but just lovingly ask him if he can postpone it to next month cuz u may need to buy a few necessary things for home.

    reading ur post looks like you are not one of those DIL who cannot take it if husband takes care of his parents. good but u should make him feel that he should take care of himself first to be able to the rest and only with love u can show him that you are half of him and he should take care of the bare necessities first.

    hope i was some helpful to u...
     
  5. chocolate

    chocolate Platinum IL'ite

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    Nithya,Some percentage of Indian wives here or abroad are in similar situation. Even I was in similar situation.My in laws have put into my husband's mind that I shud have no account or money with me any time as I have no need of it.Not that my husband doesnt feel so. He does the same too.After some persuasion I was able to make my husband give me cash regularly. Although he hasnt gotten me any cards.But thats okay as I have an SSN now. Sooner or later I will get my own cards for extensive use.

    When I got married ,even after marriage my husband wouldnt tell how much his salary was. Neither had any savings. I felt cheated and wanted to walk out of marriage. But by then he got laid off and I thot let me give him one more chance and helped him find a job.After that things were worse and he had a credit card debt of 25k. I bought the cheapest of things from grocery to essential things.It didnt help much as he wasnt able to repay the debt even after 5 yrs of marriage.But luckily I got my work permit and it was a big assurance. Although I havent gotten a job still inspite of trying full time. I know I will get it sooner or later and that is a light at the end of the tunnel.

    One more thing, you shud try talking to your husband. See if it works.If it doesnt try to get some help from your parents and join for masters of whatever you want to do.That will help you a lot in getting a job later. Now after so many yrs of hard work I am able to get a work permit.Also my parents will help me in case I need to pay tuition.Make yourself a priority. Think about joining a course and changing visa. You can earn a small amount along with studying .That will be your own money and lot of assurance.
    Good luck.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2008
  6. Gem_in_i

    Gem_in_i New IL'ite

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    Am really sorry for you.
    But a question in my mind is wht sort of life and marriage is tht to not be an equal in everything.
    Are you scared of your husband or is their a lack of communication?
    I can't believe in this day and age the wife still has wait on her husband to give her $$$
    Can't you tell him you want $$$ for your own use? Am not saying to go spend wildly but at least have something for you.

    Guess I grew up in a different environment and expect to be treated as an equal.
     
  7. mridusudha

    mridusudha Silver IL'ite

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    Nithya,

    You definitely need to talk about this with your husband. Communication is the key thing. Don't talk about the gifts he gives to his family because he might be angry. But make him understand that even you are part of his life..Infact you are the most important part of his life. Definitely sit down and talk about taking a vacation first. Even though it's a small one try convincing him to take a break and just go...You definitely deserve one!! Please sit down, talk and let him know how you feel...COMMUNICATION is the key thing.
    When I came to this country 7 yrs ago, my husband had a $ 15,000 credit card debt from doing his Masters...Even I came to US just after 20 days of getting married. But as soon as we came here both of us sat down and spoke about his salary. We put down on paper how much we can pay for the credit card and what we can buy for ourselves...He just told me one thing...Spend some for yourself but definitely be in your limits...We had to make few sacrifices but ultimately paid off the credit card within 20 months...it was a huge thing for us but communication between each other helped us a lot...
    So please don't put down yourself and lose self-confidence...I am sure once you get the opportunity even you will start earning the money...So just sit down and talk of how you feel with your husband...
    Hope god gives you the strength!!
     
  8. cheerful

    cheerful Bronze IL'ite

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    Dear Nithya,
    I would like to know if you have ever told your husband that you need anything for yourself.
    I used to think that my dh should know and buy things that i wanted. But he never. There are some people who are understanding and buys things for their wives. But in some cases we just have to tell them. This has worked for me and I thought what a fool I had been all these years. If we neglect our own needs, I think others will do the same thing except our parents.

    Like everyone suggested, talk to your husband, but nothing about sending gifts to your in-laws. Discuss the ways to improve your financial situation, this is the right time bring up such a talk ..:) because the market is really bad. If nothing changes or not, you just have to take charge of your life. Ultimately we all want a happy married life. So What do you think you can do to earn a little extra money for yourself. Do you know Chacha.com has been recruiting people online.(you just need to find answers for the questions sent by customers, it's pretty easy, all answers are available through google.) Try it out. Sometimes your DH will have to register for yourself.Or if you do cooking , try to do some catering. Think and try to do something.

    This is your life, you just have to make things happen.(We all are capable of it, most if the time we do not know how much potential we have until we try it out). Probably your husband is trying hard to make money and please everyone. He would probably think that you know his situation so you have learnt to adjust for such a life.

    We all should be treated equally. When you said about your sister/brother. I did the same thing first year, I did not send not send any gifts after marriage, thinking that my hubby may not like it. They are our siblings who else will send them gifts. After that I usually picks up a gift at the store and tells my husband that I need to send this for "x". I started doing it for my-in laws and for his friends as well slowly. now it has become equal, his family and friends,my family and friends. Of course friends merged to "our friends".It takes time and we need patience and guidance, hard work and smartness. Other ILs would certainly will guide you more.

    Tell your husband that you would like to go a for a vacation during thanks giving or new year. Plan in advance so that you get better deals and tickets.

    Good Luck,
    Cheerful
     
  9. roopadadia

    roopadadia Silver IL'ite

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    Nithya,

    Major problems are solved thru proper communication channel.

    I think you both need to take time out and sit down and talk about yourself and your future together. That includes everything you both, career, family, finance and misc. Only then we will you both be able to achieve your common and individual goals.

    After marriage both should understand that everything is ours and not your or mine. But one thing that i and my DH firmly believe is if both are earning then both should have an individual bank account. BOth should have the same liberties and the same restrictions.

    Also, as others have mentioned see what you can do from home. What are you good at and look out if you can turn that into a profession. Also, going to red cross or libraries or some such places and giving your services will also help you to network with people around you.

    Try to find something online.
     
  10. hollyhock

    hollyhock New IL'ite

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    Nitya,

    you should definitely discuss this with your husband .Atleast he will realise that you are not totally happy with him.Try to explain him that you are really willing to work atleast to manage your own expenses.Show your dissatisfaction in a nice manner so that he understands that you are sacrificing even the simplest things of life.Give a try to speak out what you feel .,he will understand because you are also very important for him.

    Hope you see a positive change in your hubby soon.
     

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