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Old 08-05-2014, 04:36 PM
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Cuppycake Cuppycake is offline
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Default Money woes

Lately we've been finding ourselves a little cash strapped. Hubs has never been very good with money and I just sort of took over family finances over time. he's been saying he needs to spend more time with her, something that is great in principle but difficult in practice. She lives about 500 miles away. So the weekend before last he spent a long weekend with her, took off work Friday and Monday. Between the dates, gas, and whatever else they were doing he spent about $600. Add to that the time missed from work and I was really freaking out about finances this pay period. We make decent money, but not a lot. We have a very meager savings and not a lot of wiggle room most months. I told him I'm perfectly fine with him making the trip once or twice a month, but not if he's taking off work to do it, and I'm especially frustrated with his spending. Now he is accusing me of being jealous, that I'm trying to guilt him into not having fun with her. I on the other hand don't understand why he has to be spending hundreds of dollars to have "fun". I then asked why, if she wants to go out, doesn't she pay for it and he just made some comments about how he thinks it's a man's place to pay for dates. I think that's bullshit, especially when I know she makes plenty of money and doesn't have the same financially responsibilities that we do with kids, car payments, and all the joyful parts of adult life.

So what should we do? Do I go over his head, so to speak, and talk to her about it? I know that'd make him angry, he'd view it as me emasculating him. Do I withdraw all the money each pay period and put him on an allowance? I try and try to get him to see things the way I see them, I've written budgets and gone over them with him, I'm trying my best but I can't handle all the money bleeding out this quickly. I've always been frugal and he's always been a spender. I realize it's one of those issues we should have discussed years ago before we even got married. I'm just frustrated and don't know what to do because now when I try to talk money with him he immediately accuses me of trying to sabotage his relationship with her. And to be perfect honest I feel that if she can't enjoy him for just his company and love, and needs to be wined and dined and pampered then maybe she's using him. The difficult thing is that he's so infatuated with her that I can't say or imply ANYTHING negative about her, their relationship or his behavior without him flying off the handle, saying I'm jealous. I just don't know what to do.
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Old 08-05-2014, 04:48 PM
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Inyourendo Inyourendo is online now
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no do not speak to her about it. your husband needs to learn to be responsible and sadly if there is no funds for trips then there is no funds. if you are in charge of the finances i think an allowance is a good idea. my ex and i would pay all our bills, set some aside for emergencies then whatever was left over we split. if he blew his money he would have to wait until next payday to get more. he also wasnt allowed to take money out of our account because he already got his money, the rest was for bills. you can even get prepaid gas cards if you dont feel like he can budget his gas money for work.

also i dont think the cost of seeing her should all be on him. she should be contributing to his gas money coming out there and he shouldnt be taking unpaid time off work to see her.

in our home nate goes dutch with his dates, we cant afford to be treating.
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Old 08-05-2014, 05:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Cuppycake View Post
Do I go over his head, so to speak, and talk to her about it? I know that'd make him angry, he'd view it as me emasculating him.
To my mind, it's not even a matter of emasculating. It's a matter of meddling in his relationship, which is disrespectful to both of them. You have good reason to process this issue with him. Going around him to the metamour would almost surely do harm to all the relationships involved.

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Do I withdraw all the money each pay period and put him on an allowance?
Unilateral escalation. Would he happily comply with this plan? Or would he arrange ASAP to have his paychecks not go directly into the account you are managing? Would this not be seen as emasculating him, as trying to control him, probably (he might immediately conclude) out of jealousy of this other relationship? It feels like this solution would do further harm.

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Originally Posted by Cuppycake View Post
I try and try to get him to see things the way I see them, I've written budgets and gone over them with him, I'm trying my best but I can't handle all the money bleeding out this quickly. I've always been frugal and he's always been a spender. I realize it's one of those issues we should have discussed years ago before we even got married.
So maybe it's time to sit down again. Without having pre-written the budget. Bring the elements to the table and start from scratch. Income. Non-discretionary expenses. Discretionary family expenses. Savings. If he refuses to participate, ask him if he would be willing to see a relationship counselor with you. Money issues will keep wearing away at your union if one of you covers his eyes and says "I don't see the problem."

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I'm just frustrated and don't know what to do because now when I try to talk money with him he immediately accuses me of trying to sabotage his relationship with her.
Leave her out of it. Leave spending history out of it. Talk about income and expenses going forward. Resources, necessities, savings goals, and free-to-do-with-as-you-please money. Strive for equity and make (and allow) zero demands about what happens with the last category of cash, which should be equal amounts for both of you. If he says this whole budgeting exercise is about your jealousy over her, tell him the only way it relates to her is that expenses incurred with outside partners are not family expenses, and have to be paid for out of fun money.

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Originally Posted by Cuppycake View Post
And to be perfect honest I feel that if she can't enjoy him for just his company and love, and needs to be wined and dined and pampered then maybe she's using him.
Not your problem, and its probably not gonna help you stay on the budgeting task to have these thoughts floating around in your head. Let her use him within the budget you two work out, and there should be no problem for you, right?

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Originally Posted by Cuppycake View Post
The difficult thing is that he's so infatuated with her that I can't say or imply ANYTHING negative about her, their relationship or his behavior without him flying off the handle, saying I'm jealous.
Say nothing about her. Say nothing about their relationship. Say nothing about his behavior. Talk about family resources and needs going forward. Talk about implementation to ensure that there is sufficient money in the bill-paying account at all times to pay upcoming bills. Talk about how to segregate the fun money so it can't be overdrawn.

Keep on topic, and don't let him divert the topic. If he can't stay on topic, get help with communicating.
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Old 08-05-2014, 08:13 PM
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Rather than tell him how it is, maybe you should ask him for solutions. Ask him how he thinks the budget to work. What does he believe should be cut from the budget in order to be able to afford the trips to see his gf?

If he states that you are doing this out of jealousy, tell him that no, it is simple math. There is a finite amount of income. If he is to spend that kind of money, then something else must be cut. Show him the options.
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Old 08-05-2014, 09:10 PM
LoveBunny LoveBunny is offline
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Hubby and I used to have epic battles over money. He was in charge of our joint account, and he would forget to pay bills and get overdrafts, plus we would kvetch at each other about money we felt was ill-spent. We finally decided to separate our accounts. Now, he's in charge of his money, I'm in charge of mine. He pays rent (he makes three times the amount I do.) I pay all the bills. We take turning paying when we go out, he pays a bit more often. I'm in charge of putting money into my own IRA, and he's in charge of his own 401k, plus keeping a healthy savings account for emergencies.We even file taxes separately.

It's worked great. The rent and bills get paid on time, we don't harp on each other's spending choices, and no one feels deprived, emasculated, frustrated, or jealous.
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Old 08-05-2014, 09:53 PM
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Originally Posted by LoveBunny View Post
Hubby and I used to have epic battles over money. He was in charge of our joint account, and he would forget to pay bills and get overdrafts, plus we would kvetch at each other about money we felt was ill-spent. We finally decided to separate our accounts. Now, he's in charge of his money, I'm in charge of mine. He pays rent (he makes three times the amount I do.) I pay all the bills. We take turning paying when we go out, he pays a bit more often. I'm in charge of putting money into my own IRA, and he's in charge of his own 401k, plus keeping a healthy savings account for emergencies.We even file taxes separately.

It's worked great. The rent and bills get paid on time, we don't harp on each other's spending choices, and no one feels deprived, emasculated, frustrated, or jealous.
Would you say that percentage wise what he pays out in bills is the same as you?
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Old 08-05-2014, 10:11 PM
LoveBunny LoveBunny is offline
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@Inyourendo: We both loathe, detest, despise, and can't do math, so we never hashed that out I would guess it isn't too far off, and if the OP is better at math and more motivated to budget, she could figure out how to make things even-steven within her own relationship.

We don't budget at all, ever. So with day-to-day stuff, we just kind of pay for whatever we buy out of our own money. I typically pay for groceries, because I'm the one who does the shopping, plus I eat at home more than he does. I pay for upkeep on my own moped, he pays for his bike (we don't own a car.) If I'm buying clothes for myself, I might buy him up an outfit. Likewise, if he's ordering take-out on his card, he'll order some for me too. My asthma meds, I pay for. His blood pressure meds, he pays. If I send him out to fetch catfood or wine or whatever, he pays out of his own funds. He paid for plane tickets to our last vacation. We just assume it all evens out, and of course, if one of us needs a bit of cash to get through the night, we'll usually help each other out.

Actually, this way of handling finances was a direct result of my first relationship outside the marriage, and him getting mad that I was using "his" money to go on dates. However, if I'd have known how much better we'd do with separate finances, I'd have instigated them long ago!
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Old 08-05-2014, 10:21 PM
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The OP may have a 1 income family like I do.

Ive seen couples before treat their finances completely separate, ive seen some people happy and some people cause resentment esp when one makes a lot more or for instance my ex would view things for the kids as my want rather than a need so he expected me to pay for that stuff out of my personal fun money. Just like now I still can't get him to help out with the cost of activities for the kids
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Old 08-05-2014, 10:34 PM
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Hi Cuppycake,

I definitely see your issue. Money is definitely a big consideration when doing any kind of dating, especially long-distance, and especially when poly (multiple people, multiple dates, joint finances, etc.).

The bottom line is that you (or rather, hubby) can't do what you (he) can't afford. It's a simple as that.

I definitely would not talk to her, though. I'd personally be mortified if my partner spoke to the woman I'm dating about paying for things. I think you have to deal with this money issue just between the two of you. As someone else said - don't even focus on their relationship, whether she might be using him, what she should be paying, etc. Only focus on what money you guys have and how much you've got left after all essentials.

Are you both earning and putting all of your funds together? Is he earning more / the only earner and that's why he thinks he should be able to have more money to spend on dates? Are you the only one earning?

If you are both earn a full-time wage, my advice would always be to have two separate bank accounts with a direct debit set up to transfer a chunk of each of your wages into a joint account straight after pay day. Your contributions could be 50/50, or could be based on how much you each earn. This would also help when hubby wants to take unpaid time off work, since you can agree on a regular sum that needs to go into the joint account. If taking time off means that he can't afford that sum, then he can't take time off.

If you guys have a major wage imbalance - or only one of you is earning - and it would not be practical to do this, personal allowances are your only option. I do have a tendency to believe that in this case, the remaining money should be equally split.

I'd advise that you come up with a 'proposal' rather than a dead-set plan. Sit down with him and go over it. If his issue is that you want to put a huge chunk of money into savings that he could be using for his dates and you just can't agree on it, splitting the difference could be a compromise.
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Old 08-06-2014, 12:54 AM
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We are a single income family, I stay home with the kids (3 years and 3 months old.) I make a little bit of money now and then grooming pets, but it's a negligible amount and is usually used on a night I don't feel like cooking, lol.

I appreciate all the insight and will likely ask him to sit down with me and go over a few months worth of bank statements so we can both see exactly where money is going and how to best budget "fun money." That's really the only option, to set up a system where we each get separate accounts for personal spending.

Sometimes I feel that he views his wants as needs, and our family needs as wants. And I think a previous poster hit the nail on the head when they said he views it as HIS money since I don't work. Sad thing is that he's been saying for months that I can use his GI Bill to go back to school, but he's not making any headway on that. It's a separate issue that needs to be discussed, but that's be putting cash in our account every month, plus I'd finish my degree and be more likely to get a job that actually paid enough to be worth putting the kids in daycare.
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