iVillage Member
Registered: 06-01-1999
Sun, 04-27-2014 - 9:32pm

I am recently married to the man of my dreams and my first love.  I have been very successful in my career and have my finances set.  I use a money program and know where my money goes and how much will be needed for upcoming bills.  He on the other hand has his pension going towards child support and his current job doesn't pay him much.  Also, he is starting fresh financially due to his divorce and him being deployed the last nine years of his military career.  His ex filed for bankruptcy prior to their divorce and left him owing the creditors. 

Long story short, we were short on funds and we had agreed previously, we would not pull money out of his pre approved loan. With my tax return we paid off that loan that he had prior to me.   Today I found out he pulled money out of the loan, only $100 but the only reason I found out was I was looking over his shoulder as he was doing entrees into the money program. 

I am set to retire in four years at the age of fifty.  I have worked hard and saved so I am able to do this.  He promised not to do it again.  I'm not sure what to do. 

Right now the bills come out of my checking account.  I make more then he and the money he makes we spend on everyday things including dining out, movies, daily expenses.  He's also a junk food junkie.  I noticed everyday this past week he eats out spending an average of $15 at fast food restaurants.  This is crazy because he packs both our lunches in the morning! 

I'm thinking of just giving him $100 a week and he could do what he wants.  Not sure what to do...any suggestions? 

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-08-2014
In reply to: ymgonza
Sun, 04-27-2014 - 10:44pm

You should talk to him about you taking over the financial planning for the marriage.  I know of people who are married and do that and even give allowance to the spouse.  Even my mom and dad did that but they had joint accounts and my dad gave my mom  money when asked for essentials.  It worked for them. I think they did that cause it was mortgage bill, car bill, car insurance and private school tutiton for four kids  It seems you're on top of things so giving him an allowance is good so you can stay on top of things financially.  Hopefully he agrees.  

Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999
In reply to: ymgonza
Sun, 04-27-2014 - 11:38pm

Your husband is lying to you, and effectivly stealing from you.  This casts doubt on everything he has told you about his past.  I suspect he was a bigger player in the financial difficulties he has than he admits.  Plus it hardly seems possible that he was in the service long enough to collect a pension, and have the ENTIRE AMOUNT going toward child support.  Something here isn't right. I would not give your husband an allowance.  He would probably resent the implication, and it would not solve your problem since he had no problem with lying before.  You need marital, and financial counseling ASAP.  Untill that time, if I were you, I would cancel the preapproved loan, remove my money from his ability to obtain it, and notify the 3 credit agencies that you want fraud alert, and that they are to confirm with you (on YOUR CELLPHONE)  if ANYONE attempts to open credit under your name or as your co-signer. 

Community Leader
Registered: 08-25-2006
In reply to: ymgonza
Mon, 04-28-2014 - 12:18pm

Hi Y, welcome to the revamped marriage board.

Boy, this is tough.  As someone who also struggles to live within in my means, unfortunately we generally need a swift kick in the behind to change.  I know that one posters said that your DH may be offended by the idea of an allowance, and this is very possibly true, so it needs to be approached as a means to meet your JOINT goals, not to punish him like a child.  

Me and DH went to a financial counselor and although it was kind  of hard (he makes more than I do , and I am the one with CC debt)  but it needed to happen.  The counselor encourage us BOTH to have an allowance.  It didn't matter who made what and who's name the debt was under.  We each had to abide by the same principals.  

In all honesty, we havn't exactly followed that, but the appointment gave us both a different perspective.  My DH isn't going to drain his account to pay off my credit card, but he now sees it as more of a joint goal.  So when money gets tight in my account, I don't feel like I have to "sneek" like your DH did.  

I hope some of this makes sense.  It is so easy to feel like the parent if you make more money, and so important to work together as a couple, regardless of the income discrepancy.  

I would approach the $100 not as stealing, but more as "why didn't you feel like you couldn't come to me if you were low on money?"  

Good luck and I hope you keep us posted.  

ETA: Have you ever seen his credit report?  Hoping you have but if not, I would highly suggest it.  My and my DH are both in recovery and the $15 a day on junk food is the same kind of behavior.  Again, anything I suggest is for both of you.  Picking on him will just make it worse.  

Serenity CL making a marriage work

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
In reply to: ymgonza
Mon, 04-28-2014 - 7:32pm

I do agree that the solution is to have a joint financial plan, otherwise you are going to look like the mom giving him an allowance which will probably make him resentful.  Did you both agree that as a cost saving measure you would bring your lunch or was this just you telling him to do it?  Is the lunch enough for him to eat and feel full--you know that men could be used to eating more food and a sandwich might not cut it but eating a lot of junk food every day isn't good for his health either.  I usually bring my lunch but today I had to be out and went to a restaurant since I knew I wouldn't have to cook dinner--a kind of large meal of chicken sandwich, fries and drink cost me about $11--so it seems pretty high that he would already have a lunch and then still spend $15 on more food.

Also the divorce stuff doesn't really make that much sense to me and I'm a divorce lawyer--was he not retired at the time of the divorce and that's why he is paying most of his pension on child support?  Child support is based on income and usually we are talking 25-33% of gross income, not most of a person's income.  If his income has gone down since the divorce, could he get his child support payments lowered?  Also what was said in the divorce decree about who should pay the debt?  If it was joint marital debt, it would be unfair to stick one party with the debt--it could be that the divorce decree said that the wife should pay some of the debt.  The bankruptcy would mean that the creditors wouldn't be able to go after her but if the divorce said that she should pay something, she would still have to pay it, bankruptcy or not.  If I knew there was a divorcing couple with a ton of cc debt, I would tell them to do a joint bankruptcy before they got divorced so neither one of them would have to pay it (there might be other reasons for not doing it, but generally that makes sense.)

Well they say that one big cause of divorce is a difference in money management so it's difficult if a spender marries a saver--I do think that you have to compromise and come to a solution that both of you can live with.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-14-2008
In reply to: ymgonza
Wed, 04-30-2014 - 2:11pm

This is a tough one.

Lots of people do not talk about finances before they get together. It is so important because like it or not, it affects other areas of our lives.

I like the joint plan idea.

The conversation should include how hurt you were about him dipping into the loan. He has to know the severity of things here.

I don't know about the details of his divorce but just straight out ask him numbers about what he is bringing into your family and do a budget together. Allowances have to be the same. That is no judgement money. But once its gone for the month its gone.

Good luck. Let us know what works for you here.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-08-2008
In reply to: ymgonza
Sat, 05-03-2014 - 6:16pm
I am in total control of our money as I am just more interesting in learning about it and doing the research. I instituted a $100/every 10 days allowance for us to just make sure he could make decisions about how he spends some of the money and to not fight about smaller purchases. But we BOTH have that same amount of money and I used to make much more than him. We never treated each other different in our indulgences...except my hair. I got an expensive hair dresser and we both love my hair. But recently he opened up our CC and it only had my one hair appt on it for the month - $150. He brought it up at dinner last night because he was shocked it was so much. I told him last time it was $175 and I always tell him when I come home. He said, "yah...but I just didn't realize". He is okay now that the shock has worn off. I have difficult hair so I need the help and I make enough money to be able to do it :) Good luck finding a joint solution for you. Dee
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-08-2008
In reply to: stormydancer
Sat, 05-03-2014 - 6:17pm
that sounds like I get my hair done every month...I got 3x/year...haha...