General chatter - Question for SAHM about spending money...

10-23-2013, 09:03 AM
I've been unemployed for a little less than a year now. I'm home with the kids, so no pay check. This is the first time I have not worked since I was 15. Its weird to me not to have my own money.

DH is usually not the kind to make me feel like his money is his, unless we are fighting then he does throw that at me. But back pedals and says he does not want the kids in daycare (me to go back to work).

I have been trying to get my butt in gear to loss the baby weight but I'm really struggling. Over the years when I find myself struggling like this, I often find that I need some accountability or support. Usually I will join weight watchers, even if only for a few months. Once I've made more of a habit of my better lifestyle, I stopp going and I'm fine. I actually joined after baby #1 and baby #2. Just long enough to get out of my pregnancy rut. Its a rut for me as I slowly slip into poor eating habits each pregnancy.

Anyway, I am uncomfortable with asking DH for the money to join. He thinks its a waste of money for someone that already has nutritional knowledge. I've told him before that I dont need the points system, and I dont. I probably would just count calories, but go to the meetings, thats the part I need. I've looked in OA but that sooo not for me, no...and I looked into tops and the meetings night for our local group is the same night as my son's karate class, so I cant go. WW offers many different meeting times so I could go when its convenient.

I'm really annoyed because I'm a grown adult and I dont think I should have to ask anyone for money like a child. I hate not working and this makes me want to go back now!...I dont like not having my own money to do with as I please.

Any advice?

10-23-2013, 09:35 AM
It is of my opinion that regardless of each partners work status in a relationship that each person should have a 'fun money' budget to do with as they please without judgement from the other person.

So I'd sit down with your husband and say what you have said here. You don't want to go asking for money, you would rather have your own budget to do with as you please. You may spend it, you may save it but it is up to you and it is yours.

Not it really depends on your overall family budget how big that fun money budget should be. If money is really tight, it may be $10/month, if it is a bit looser, it could be much higher but I also think there is a general limit but that is me :)

My husband and I have a loose budget but I control all the finances. He has credit cards (and access to an ATM at a bank with a small balance but he never goes) and he can spend as he pleases but that is because he never spends money. I look over the credit card balance each month to check things out of the ordinary and my credit card sends me a warning for any purchases over $500. If I think something looks amiss, I'll ask him but that hasn't happened other than when I forgot he bought tires at Costco.

Overall, I think you have to find a method that works best for both of you.

10-23-2013, 09:41 AM
It's hard to spend money on yourself when you're not working, I know it all too well. I work part time and we still have this issue. The things I forego now that I never had to forego when I was working full time are regular massages, pedi, gym, fitness classes, clothes shopping, furniture shopping, the list is endless. Basically we only have enough money to pay our bills and food. It really sucks but we're buckling down.

If there is extra cash and your husband doesn't want to part with it that would be a problem for me. As long as you're being responsible with money there's no reason you have to agree on how to spend every cent. Each person should be allowed a discretionary fund for their own interests!

10-23-2013, 11:24 AM
Maybe you could take 1/2 of what you would spend on daycare if
you went back to work & keep this for yourself to spend as you wish.
You should have some of your own money since you are still working although it is at home. Good luck!

10-23-2013, 11:51 AM
Yea! What are you saving on daycare? That money is yours and then some lol. I breastfed for 18months, and when my husband started to whine about money I'd show him the tally of money I was saving by feeding LO breastmilk. He'd bite his tongue on the quick but he did need occassional reminders.

10-23-2013, 01:26 PM
I don't know what weight watchers costs, but is your husband able to spend that amount freely, or would he need to consult with you before spending that amount? If he would need to consult with you, then it all sounds fair. But if he wouldn't, then he is in a position of power, which in my mind and in my marriage, would be unfair.

I do feel guilty when spending a chunk of money that is only on me, but I try to push that aside. The only time I ever ask is if it is something very expensive and out of the ordinary, because I am a responsible adult and have my family's best interests in mind. But my DH would ask me, in the same circumstances. Because we are a team, not because one of us is in a position of power.

I think each family has their own sense of what that free-to-spend limit is. If it's unbalanced between what you are free to spend and what your husband is, then I think a renegotiation is in order.

Arctic Mama
10-23-2013, 06:26 PM
I've been not working outside the home since I was six weeks pregnant with my first. My husband is the sole income provider and our family is set up that way.

I'll be honest - some months we have the margin for me to have $100 or whatever of 'blow' money to spend however I like, without running it by him first. Some months, due to home repair or medical or extra gas or clothes or whatever else, we just don't. And my husband is the one who is responsible for making sure the money is in our checking when the bill triggers - he keeps the lights on, makes sure the appropriate amounts are moved for Costco, whatever.

It is not out of control but out of courtesy and appreciation for his responsibility in these areas that I run almost any purchase over $20 by him, and sometimes the ones less than that, when the month is tight. Because I love him, I wouldn't want him to come home from work, go to pay our Enstar bill, and find we're $26 short of what he needs and the online transfer won't trigger in time, you know? The money isn't his or mine, it is our family's income. And as members of the same flesh, working together for our best, we consult one another on financial decisions (me more than him, because he knows the account balance and I usually do not).

And yes, sometimes I do feel guilty when my monthly piano lessons come around, because it is tighter and he had to cut elsewhere so I can continue. Some activities I pass up because the cost is exorbitant for the benefit (the gym is one - childcare is an arm and a leg and for what? An hour a few times a week of weights? A pool?). Regarding the gym, it made more financial sense, on our single income with a bunch of kids, for me to find a good at-home solution to do during nap time instead of go to the gym. And I found a local pool with an evening lap swim that let's me get that in, with him watching the kids, for a fraction of the cost of doing it at the gym. That flexibility is appreciated by my husband and pretty much required for making our lifestyle of six people on a single income work. It means driving cars that are 17 years old and fixing them ourselves. It means budgeting out iTunes purchases and kids clothing and eating out. It means I ask him when I want to spend money that isn't a normal budget line item we've already discussed, and that we have no sacred cows that we refuse to allow our spouse to touch, if it means keeping the water running and gas in one of the cars.

Successful finances in a single income situation are totally doable and without any resentment - but like all marriage issues it requires clear and frequent communication, love, compromise, and no assuming of motives or holding of grudges!

Arctic Mama
10-23-2013, 06:34 PM
I'm really annoyed because I'm a grown adult and I dont think I should have to ask anyone for money like a child. I hate not working and this makes me want to go back now!...I dont like not having my own money to do with as I please.

I'm sorry to say, but this attitude is absolute poison in a money discussion. Why would you assume that only children must speak to another about money? Why are you staking your self worth or your husband's love on the freedom with which it is spent? Why do you feel entitled to do and spend as you please, when you're an adult and a responsible party in a family situation?

These are things I really urge you to carefully examine - big heart check time. Your stumbling blocks on this issue, by and large, are located in the driving motivation behind these statements.

That's not to say your husband may not be handling this wrong, either - sacrificial love is required of a husband, as it is a wife, and I know my husband regularly does without and allows me purchases he sees no benefit to, because he loves me and wishes to please me and provide for my needs in this way. I'm as dear to him as his own body, and our money discussions reflect that, in the same way my desire to help him in any way is reflected in the care with which I petition him for resources when I know we don't have much to spare.

But whether you want WW or not (because, let's me clear, it isn't a need - we have very few needs in the world and a whole host of wants, which doesn't make them bad but should reflect in our prioritization of them) the underlying attitude that control of money without discussion or repercussion to the family, is your right? That needs some serious examination if you want to make this work and be content in it. It may well be that you can work in this desire of yours and I think explaining it to your husband as something important to you is a very good thing. But flexibility on your end with this, and refusing to allow bitterness to take root if he overrules you, is super important. Don't love money more than your hubby, even subconsciously. The quote above is a big red flag and one I urge much wisdom regarding (speaking from personal experience :hug: ).

10-23-2013, 07:51 PM
I think we will have to wait for GG to come back to give us more details before being too presumptuous. There are a couple of scenarios here such as:

1) After budgeting all the bills, savings allotment, any other allotments, etc, etc, there may be very little extra money to go around. In which case, discussions about discretionary funds maybe more tightly controlled.

2) After budgeting all the bills, savings allotment, any other allotments, etc, there is some extra money to go around to which her husband spends as he pleases but requires her to ask for money. I can see someone feeling they are being treated unfairly in this situation.

I really like the idea of each person having their own small budgeted 'allowance' each month because often people do get frustrated with their partners spending money 'frivolously'. Someone may love building model trains while the other person thinks it is a stupid hobby. Having your own budget will sometimes alleviate the frustration couples feel.

My husband and I are pretty good about things like I recently started a hobby which required a very small monetary investment and small space within house investment. I'd like to develop the hobby more after getting my feet wet and it will require a larger financial investment as well as a bit more space within the house. We discussed it at length due to the larger impact to our household. My husband is supportive even if he doesn't quite understand :) If he was the kind that wasn't, I'd want to have a situation set up like the above where I have my own budget to do with as I please. We are a bit different as we are a 2 income household but we deal with our money jointly.

10-23-2013, 08:05 PM
I don't know about you, but I wouldn't be asking for the money, I'd be getting it for myself. I'd be selling off stuff on ebay (and I have) before I'd ask my husband for money. I'd be asking the neighbours if they want their garden weeded. I'd be taking a Saturday morning job (if your husband can mind the kids). My self worth means more to me than asking for money. There are ways around it. Join a selling group on FB where you can sell off second hand unwanted household items, enough to cover your WW fee. This way you'll feel like you're still contributing to the pot until you can return to work.

10-23-2013, 08:55 PM
Another option may be babysitting. If you are a SAHM take in another child or 2 for some extra spending money. That is what I did when I stopped working and was a even gave my children someone to play with. Even just a few hours a day would help. Best of luck with whatever you decide.

10-23-2013, 09:36 PM
Ah, so many responses...

DH and I have always been 100% transparent with our spending, no matter who is working or not. If one of us needs new sneakers, we will often tell the other weeks in advance "hey my sneakers are getting old, I'm going to get a new pair soon"...I think its less about spending and more about we just blah blah blah about everything to each other. We never make any big purchases without the other. This type of open-ness has always come natural, and we have all joint accounts, use each others credit cards, pay bills without concern for whose money is whose (when I was working)...

However I feel guilty for spending money on things I want and don't need. This has come up before. DH assures me that its ok, but it has come up during fights...which he does retract and say that he wants me home with the kids. I did work full time when my other ones were babies, but I always worked around his schedule, doing late evenings or over nights if I had too.

If I were working, in the past, I'd just say in conversation "I want to join WW"...rather than feeling like I have to ask, to see if the money earner feels that its a worthy cost.

We don't really have a budget. We barely spend money other than bills. Thankfully neither of us are shoppers. We basically hoard stuff (I'm kidding, but we do save a lot ) so we have clothes and shoes, hand me downs for the kids. We both grew up very poor, so we still live in that mind set for the most part, but DH makes a very good salary. I actually used to sell on ebay while he was still in school. But I don't anymore.

I did talk to DH about it and he was all for it. He said its not a waste, that its for my health, losing weight and not to worry about it. I guess I was anticipating an issue that wasn't. DH actually said that I feel guilty, but he doesn't mind, but I confuse my guilt with his others words I think he will not be happy with me wanting to spend money on something because I feel guilty about it..which after some thought, I kind of think is true.

Arctic Mama
10-24-2013, 12:33 AM
Good! I'm glad you guys were able to talk about it and come to an agreement. Guilt has no place if you can afford it and benefit from the use :)

10-24-2013, 09:36 AM
They say most couples fight about money and most divorces are about money too. We as women and especially SAHMs feel guilty about everything we do for ourselves unless it's for the benefit of our family. You may not be able to get your husband on board with thinking that WWs is necessary, but you can get him on board with believing that your discretionary funds can be used on whatever you want regardless of what that money is spent on, so focus on that. Try not to make it personal "you don't want me to lose weight and be healthy>???" because that's not the point. Focus on the allottment of the funds for personal use.

What works for one couple doesn't work for another, especially when it comes to money. Some women need permission to buy a freakin lipstick from the famiily fund which to me is ridiculous, but if that works for them then who are we to judge?

10-24-2013, 02:23 PM
My post was kind of ranty so I'll edit:

It's fairly easy to set up a budget that allows each of you a certain amount of money per pay period to blow without checking with the other. For one thing, it's not always convenient or possible to check every single purchase, for another sometimes a girl needs new undies and doesn't want to ask her husband for permission!

That has worked for us for years. We both check in about the budget about once a month, see where we are on common goals (paying something off, saving for something else) and we each get a certain amount to spend. It works and it keeps us from over spending.

I don't think it's a good idea to set up a system where you have to run every single purchase by the other person or one person has to ask the other for money. That would cause some resentment - especially if only one person is having to check in for spending money while the other does not.

10-24-2013, 04:48 PM
My husband and I have similar issues even though we have no kids and are both on disability, and technically my income is slightly greater.

I do tend to project my guilt, discomfort and ambivalence about spending money onto him.

He has been taking care of all the finances since my health and memory problems prevented me from doing so. Asking for money would start an argument, because he would ask why or even just "how much" (not meaning it to sound like an accusation, but that's how I would take it).

10-30-2013, 01:32 AM
Money, other than sex, the biggest issue in most intimate realtionships!

My DH and I have totally different styles about money.

I'm a saver. Save to buy it. He's a borrow it, have it now, make payments. I hate payments.

We solved our issues after many years of marriage, by separating our money. He pays certain bills, I pay certain bills, what is left over, is ours to budget as we see fit.

I know, this is not for everyone, but it works for us.

I actually pay more bills than he does. Once in awhile I have to remind him of that when he whines he *thinks* he's broke.

I do think, that each spouse should have a budget amount, to be spent as they wish, your budget, depending on the amount, and with the agreement, that if something comes up, you agree to work it out.

11-02-2013, 02:46 PM
However I feel guilty for spending money on things I want and don't need. This has come up before. DH assures me that its ok, but it has come up during fights...which he does retract and say that he wants me home with the kids.


I guess I was anticipating an issue that wasn't. DH actually said that I feel guilty, but he doesn't mind, but I confuse my guilt with his others words I think he will not be happy with me wanting to spend money on something because I feel guilty about it..which after some thought, I kind of think is true.

I'm glad you two talked about it and figured it out!

The first part of your quote -- no fair! He can't say it's OK but then throw it in your face when you fight. Even if he retracts later, it's been said. I think it would be good for him to consider how he's really feeling.

The second part of your quote -- I do the same thing -- feel guilty because I think he will think my spending is frivolous, etc. Of course, given part one of your quote, you may be right!

I've been home with the kids for 10 years, some leaner, some more flush. I've found that communicating with my husband, asking how he feels, telling him how I feel, always helps, but for me, this situation is always somewhat present.