Money Problems

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anonymous user
Registered: 12-31-1969
Money Problems
Wed, 08-29-2012 - 3:30pm

I'll start with a little rundown of the situation. My husband and I are high school sweethearts. We've been together for nine years, married for two. Our relationship is mostly great. Before we had even moved in together, we ended up with a joint bank account. My husband is very bad with finances, which he got from his parents. He had missed two car payments and almost lost his car, had his car insurance cut off twice due to missed payments, and had his bank account frozen a few times because of missed credit card payments all in the span of a year. After the final time of having his bank account frozen, I offered to help him get his finances back on track; it wasn't going to do us any good in the future if his credit was messed up. So we went into my bank, got a joint bank account, and moved all of his automatic payments over. From then on, we combined our income and paid everything from that one account. There was, and still is, no "my money, his money," it's our money.

My issue is what caused my husband's problem to begin with. He spends without any thought or consideration to how much is in the bank account, how much he has already spent, or what it is he is actually buying. He used to spend large amounts of money when his payments were due, so there wouldn't be enough money in his account to cover the bills. He would never check to see how much was in the account until he got the calls, or the account was frozen. All of this is exactly how his parents handle things. They have had their power cut off due to missed payments, but still had their cable and internet (until those were cut off, too) and all the other crap they had bought that month, for one example.

My husband got a lot better with the large spending. We make pretty much no purchases without talking about it first. Things like needing to by pain killers for work we just make sure to mention later. The problem now is all the little purchases. He will make multiple small purchases of junk food while he is at work (he works in a grocery store). These small purchases add up. Once over a three day span, he spent $70 on junk at work. At the time we didn't have a ton of cash, so the rent payment ended up coming back because we were $30 short. That ended up with us having to pay a $40 NSF fee, and a fee for a money order to pay that month's rent because they wouldn't take a cheque.

I had tried talking to him about it, asking why he kept doing it. I yelled at him a couple of times because I was so angry. I had to move all the money into my personal bank account a few times to prevent him from spending any more. Eventually after a huge fight, my husband cut up his bank card so he couldn't actually use it anymore. That turned out to be the only thing that worked.

Things were fine in that respect until recently. He went to the bank a couple of weeks ago to get another debit card. I found out because I was going to pay some bills and noticed a transaction at the grocery store that I definitely didn't make. I called him and he told me he did it. He said he got the new card so he could prove to me that he could be better with his spending habits. I told him he wasn't off to a very good start, and he apologized and said it wouldn't happen again. I let it go, against my better judgement.

I hadn't needed to check the bank account over the past week until last night. I noticed 12 individual transactions from his store that had occurred over the past four days, adding up to about $50. Needless to say, I was angry, but I was more disappointed than anything. I asked him about it, and he didn't have much to say. I told him I was angry because he was doing the exact thing he told me he was trying to prove he wouldn't do. He said he was sorry. I told him I wanted to know what he was going to do about it and he said he didn't know. I told him he needed to figure it out.

I just don't know what to do anymore. It's bad enough I have to take care of all the bills on my own, I don't need this trickle of money leaking out on top of it. He is a grown man, but he makes me feel like I'm dealing with a child when it comes to this. I have tried everything I can think of to get him to stop. I know in the end he has to do it himself, but I'm just not convinced he can. We have a monthly budget, we did it up together. He knows how much the bills are and when they come out or need to be paid. He has a full understanding of our cash flow, but it's like he doesn't care until I find out and we have to deal with it. We aren't hurting for cash now, but I think anyone would be upset if they knew they were basically losing $50 a week.

Sorry the lengthy post.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-05-2006
In reply to:
Wed, 08-29-2012 - 4:05pm

He sounds like my ex wife and for her, it was therapy to spend on things that were non necessities and to do so without regard for our budget.

Look a little deeper and you might find that he is staving off some demons that would otherwise haunt him should he refrain from indescriminate spending.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-29-2002
In reply to:
Wed, 08-29-2012 - 4:12pm

My DH and I have a set amount that we each are allowed to spend freely without discussing it with eachother.   What we have in place is a joint account and 2 separate personal accounts, and with each pay period our set amount is put into our personal accounts.  That is our money to spend as we see fit. 

The rest of our money stays in the joint account and is used to pay our bills.  Our mortgage, utilities, insurance, etc all comes from that account.  And whatever is leftover is transferred to our savings account, just as soon as we know everything has cleared.

Perhaps setting up a personal account for your DH with a set allowance that he gets regularly for his spending would help. 

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-02-2008
Wed, 08-29-2012 - 4:14pm

I want to ask first how old you guys?? It does sound all immature and everything.

What I would suggest is if he acts like a child then treat him like one ? You handle all the  money and give him an allowance and when he is done with his allowance he gets no more.. After that if he wants something he has to work another job or collect cans or whatever.. His bad habits are still around and if you want any financial peace he has to change his habits and behavior . Until then this will keep happening..

Keep the money all separate until he can prove he is financial responsible.. The other thing is that when I read your post it did seem a bit petty that he is just buying snacks. He isnt buying cars or houses or gambling.. So its a two edged sword. Its not like you guys are living high on the hog.. Could he get a better job??


iVillage Member
Registered: 01-02-2008
Wed, 08-29-2012 - 5:31pm

okay well Good Luck with it all then.

sounds like you were just venting

I wish you well!!

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-16-2002
In reply to:
Fri, 08-31-2012 - 1:31pm

I'm curious, does he only spend this money on "snacks"?  Is your husband a compulsive overeater?  That sounds like a lot of money to be spending over a short period of time just for snacks.  I agree with the other poster who recommended therapy because it sounds like your husband can't control himself, he may even need medication.  Good luck.

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

.  -Albert Einstein

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-02-2008
Re: Money Problems
Fri, 09-07-2012 - 10:40am

I like that idea and I still cant understand the thing about the snacks.. Heck where I live you can either spend alot or a little.. I know I dont do this but we have a dollar store where you can get a bunch of snacks for like 10.00...................

We also have cheap free things to do...

There is always another job he can do or mow lawns or something for extra money.......................

Is there more to the story???

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-16-2004
In reply to:
Tue, 09-11-2012 - 3:33am

Because  my husband and I both have exes that spent without thinking  we  have made sure this can't happened again.  All our money is on an account where we have no card connected to and every week we transfer allowance and food money to the card  accounts.

Our bankcard is a debit card of the type where we can't spend more then we have, which makes sure we don't use too much.

Also your husband needs therapy, shouting wont help, he needs to get to the root of the problem.

Avatar for khatru1
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-07-2004
Thu, 09-13-2012 - 11:31am
Sure as long as you trust him to not pull out the plastic when the allowance is gone.