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Learning, Sharing, and Teaching => Ask a Mustachian => Topic started by: Breton18 on September 24, 2018, 09:24:08 AM

Title: In Desperate Need of Marital Money Management Advice
Post by: Breton18 on September 24, 2018, 09:24:08 AM
Hi Everyone, long time lurker here in desperate need of advice as money management is on the verge of ruining our marriage. We are a youngish married couple expecting our first child. I was raised in an extremely frugal family (by necessity). Before marriage, I had a house and no student debt. My husband on the other hand has approximately $50,000 in student debt and no assets.

My salary is in neighborhood of $80,000 gross and his is in the range of $30,000 gross. He is new to the labour market and this will increase with time. At the beginning of our marriage, I paid the majority of our household expenses and he paid some (minimal) token bills. I became resentful because he was spending every spare cent on stupid things he didn't need (xbox games, fitness equipment, golf clubs, clothes, anything that caught his eye at walmart). We have recently been working on contributing to joint expenses proportional to our income. This is still resulting in me paying more than I did when I was single because we got a dog (that he wanted), he eats a buttload of food, gets 3 showers per day, and has the TV on constantly (even when we are sleeping, which was another hard compromise for me). This is fine, but I want him to understand that the end goal is for him to improve in his career to better contribute to our family.

He currently owes money to me, his parents, and his credit card, yet started a discussion last night about absolutely needing a $300 pair of shoes. This is after we had an argument last week about him buying almost $500 worth of clothes for himself. He got really worked up and pointed out that I bought stuff for myself last week and it isn't fair if I get to buy stuff for myself and he doesn't. The things I bought for "myself": three new bras because my pregnant breasts would no longer fit into my 32A cups, and fabric to make a quilt for our future baby. I also meet all my financial obligations and don't owe anyone money. He backtracked and said he would not buy the shoes until November after he pays back me and his parents. He then completely lost his temper and started yelling about since he has a job he should be able to buy nice things for himself and he is sick of always having to give me his money, and I'm too controlling. The money he "gives" me is to cover his portion of our joint expenses, which is significantly less than my portion. He acts like he his handing me over his hard earned cash which I then go blow on cocaine and booze, rather than contributing to our bills. (That was a joke, I don't do drugs). He then backtracked again saying he was only window shopping for the shoes, and he needs to window shop for things like cars and clothes and expensive golf equipment to make him feel better about his low salary and poor financial lot in life, which he thinks is everyone's fault but his own. His $50k student loan - he truly believes this is the fault of the banks and society, not him choosing to take out excessive loans to go to school out of town and not working to help pay for school the whole time he was there.

His mother is 100% the architect of this problem and continues to propagate it. He will probably tell her about our argument and how mean and horrible I am thinking he doesn't deserve to buy $300 shoes with his hard earned money. She will then most likely go and buy him the shoes because of course her poor baby needs new shoes for his poor feet. They are not overly well off and I suspect they finance their lifestyle with credit cards. He has told me in the past he thinks it is "normal" to carry a balance on a credit card. I've been trying unsuccesfully to beat this notion out of his head for the last few years. Part of the issue is his feeling of entitlement. He likes to watch youtubers and then feels that he is entitled to own anything and everything they have. He doesn't have a car - he drives one of his parents' cars, and sooks that he wants a brand new SUV and with the two degrees he has, he should be driving a $40,000 SUV. He feels it is beneath him to drive a beater and he can't afford anything else so he has to drive his parents. My first two cars were old beater honda civics that I paid cash for - while making a lot more money than he does now.

Please help. How do I get through to him that we are a team and in this together? That we need to be saving money for the baby, not blowing it on wants. How do I teach him financial responsibility? How do I get him to stop feeling so entitled to material things because people on youtube have them? And how do I communicate this in an effective way? I'm an engineer with horrible communication skills. I deal best in logic and math, not emotions. I can't empathize with his feelings of frustration with his lot in life, or wanting material things to make him feel good about himself, because I don't have those types of feelings. He likes to claim that I don't have any feelings, which isn't true.

Sorry about the rant. I'm feeling very hopeless at the moment that our problems are not fixable.

PS - If I asked my parents, their solution would be to tell him he has to grow up and be more responsible. This won't work because he doesn't understand that there is anything wrong with his opinions.

Title: Re: In Desperate Need of Marital Money Management Advice
Post by: UniversityEmployee9 on September 24, 2018, 09:34:55 AM
IMO, the "proportional sharing of bills" idea is not a good one. You should have a single household budget that you can both agree on and any deviation from the budget needs the ok of both partners.

Splitting the bills seems to lead to animosity more than anything else.

Sent from my XT1687 using Tapatalk

Title: Re: In Desperate Need of Marital Money Management Advice
Post by: neophyte on September 24, 2018, 09:40:19 AM
Separate finances and marriage counseling at this point.

He doesn't want to change.
Title: Re: In Desperate Need of Marital Money Management Advice
Post by: Mrs.Piano on September 24, 2018, 09:43:14 AM
I am so, so sorry that all of this is happening, especially while you are pregnant. You are probably right in believing that it is not fixable. He will probably not change around these issues. According to your explanation, he has a high level of debt, a low income, and continues spending patterns which will not reduce his debt. He also has personal habits that you do not like (showers too much, eats too much, etc.). Save as much as you can, because you canít expect much help from him with this.
Title: Re: In Desperate Need of Marital Money Management Advice
Post by: crispy on September 24, 2018, 10:04:16 AM
I would recommend marriage counseling because there are no magic words that can fix the issue. I am sorry you are having to deal with this.
Title: Re: In Desperate Need of Marital Money Management Advice
Post by: ixtap on September 24, 2018, 10:08:16 AM
Above and beyond the money, you are decribing a (total?) breakdown in communication. You think he is childish and he thinks you are controlling, both leading to resentment. A marriage counselor would be recommended.

As for the finances, a possible solution to the current resentments: put it all in a pot and create a budget so that you each get a personal spending allowance. Decide together if his debt payments are a joint expense or need to come out of his personal allowance. Perhaps offer to forgive his debt to you as part of the restart. Perhaps work out the transition with the aforementioned counselor.

It does not have to be a literal all in one pot. Most of our wealth is in my husband's retirement accounts, you may also want a 529 for the kid. With this plan, you may even be able to get him to contribute to retirement, at least an IRA.

Title: Re: In Desperate Need of Marital Money Management Advice
Post by: frugalone on September 24, 2018, 10:16:12 AM
OK, I'm going to be the first to say "It"

I feel terrible for you being pregnant and just realizing what a tool he is.  You seem to be a very sensible person.  I would cut my losses now and leave the marriage as it seems this is a HUGE deal for you.  It won't get better.
Title: Re: In Desperate Need of Marital Money Management Advice
Post by: simonsez on September 24, 2018, 10:23:29 AM
PS - If I asked my parents, their solution would be to tell him he has to grow up and be more responsible. This won't work because he doesn't understand that there is anything wrong with his opinions.
Based on your version, I would agree with your parents.  You seem open to change and compromise to make it work.  He does not.  If this continues and you want your marriage to "succeed" based on current terms you will basically have to pay for everything and succumb to his preferences.

He might not understand right now but he will be FORCED to understand while paying child support and divorced/separated and living in ??? and paying for his own bills with ???

He, and you and your relationship and future child, will be MUCH better off with hard conversations now.  Now matter how dreary it seems, it IS fixable although it will not be easy and is up to both adult parties, not just one well-meaning adult.  Whether this requires professional intervention is up to you but is a good idea.  Perhaps the hardest part is that you have to realize that if he truly is not willing to change, you cannot stay with this person and they need to realize you are not bluffing.  Ultimatums are not ideal but last resorts are last resorts.

Good luck OP and congrats on the pregnancy!

Side note for your husband: Someone is the breadwinner and the other person is not.  Quit moping and be happy you aren't the breadwinner making 30k.  Get out there and earn all the while appreciating your lucky situation.

Title: Re: In Desperate Need of Marital Money Management Advice
Post by: Another Reader on September 24, 2018, 10:31:03 AM
Your husband is a spoiled moocher and he won't change.  He is replicating his financial relationship with his mother with you.  With your pregnancy you are tied to this parasite for the rest of your life.  If you divorce, he will ask for half of everything you have and you will have to take on half the debt.  He will demand 50 percent custody, child support, and possibly some alimony.  If you stay with him, he will be a continual financial drain.  Cut him off and he will leave you for another victim and the divorce scenario described will follow.

In your shoes, I would file for divorce and force him to move out of your house that you acquired before the marriage.  Assets acquired before the marriage and not co-mingled are not generally subject to division.  Get rid of this unfixable problem now, before he drains you dry.
Title: Re: In Desperate Need of Marital Money Management Advice
Post by: FiguringItOut on September 24, 2018, 10:33:56 AM
IMO, the "proportional sharing of bills" idea is not a good one. You should have a single household budget that you can both agree on and any deviation from the budget needs the ok of both partners.

Splitting the bills seems to lead to animosity more than anything else.

Sent from my XT1687 using Tapatalk

Absolutely NO to combining finances at this point.  He will just go and spend both of their incomes if he's given access to her money. I'm speaking from experience. 
Title: Re: In Desperate Need of Marital Money Management Advice
Post by: mozar on September 24, 2018, 10:34:18 AM
You are lucky that you are not financially dependent on him. He has let you know repeatedly that he does not feel like he is on a team with you and he has told you repeatedly that he does not think saving money for the baby is important.
I think you think that if you reason with him or he sees a baby he will suddenly grow up and become responsible. I don't know why you say you are bad with emotions because you are doing all the emotional labor in your relationship.

A book i recommend is "codependent no more." It's a long process to recover from codependency. It will take awhile to accept that your husband isn't going to change. He has no reason to as long as his mother enables him. Please at a minimum see a therapist by yourself.
Title: Re: In Desperate Need of Marital Money Management Advice
Post by: YoungGranny on September 24, 2018, 10:34:54 AM
I'm usually a fan of merging income and expenses but it seems like in this case with him resenting you for paying his share it would work better to keep expenses separately. Obviously things like rent and utilities need to be in one persons name but the rest can be separated out and paid for by that person. He wants to eat a lot? Fine but he needs to eat his food unless he chips in for yours. I know a lot of people make separate expenses work for their households so somebody can likely offer up better examples of how they actually make it work. I feel like you'll resent him more if he continues to spend "your" money versus creating those boundaries in the first place.

I also second the idea for counseling. Sometimes the impartial 3rd party can really help both of you come to an agreement.
Title: Re: In Desperate Need of Marital Money Management Advice
Post by: v8rx7guy on September 24, 2018, 10:37:14 AM
Sign up as a couple for Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University
Title: Re: In Desperate Need of Marital Money Management Advice
Post by: rubybeth on September 24, 2018, 10:38:02 AM
Have you actually sat down and made a budget together? Does he know how much your lifestyle costs? Does he know how much you are paying for things, and can you at least agree to try to follow a budget for a set period of time (maybe 3-6 months)? Maybe sign up for YNAB and work on it together.

You seem to have taken on a parental role with him, and you at least have to try to make him your partner in this stuff.

If he can't do it, or won't do it, then you can talk about separating.

Edited to add: I also like the idea of finding a marriage and family therapist.
Title: Re: In Desperate Need of Marital Money Management Advice
Post by: AccidentalMiser on September 24, 2018, 10:39:26 AM
Separate finances and marriage counseling at this point.

He doesn't want to change.

This.  If he resists, file for divorce. 
Title: Re: In Desperate Need of Marital Money Management Advice
Post by: nobody123 on September 24, 2018, 10:40:41 AM
Personally, as a grown man, I would have to be on the verge of homelessness to take a loan from my parents, use their car on a regular basis, etc.  I agree with what you think your parents would say, he's got a kid on the way and he needs to man up.  Ask him how nice those $300 shoes are going to look with baby spit-up on them.

Have you always thought this way about his money habits or is it a recent issue now that you're in "nesting" mode?  If you never said a word about the way he spent money and all of a sudden are telling him he's being childish about it I could see where there would be some friction.  I know when my wife was pregnant with our first I went crazy thinking about saving for college, having another mouth to feed, etc. while she was busy buying tons of stuff "for the nursery" and that lead to some tense discussions.

I will make the assumption that you still have separate finances because you didn't like how he handled his finances.  That issue should have been dealt with before you got married.  At this point, I would suggest writing down 5 financial goals you have for your family (529 for baby, debt elimination, whatever).  Ask him to do the same.  Sit down and see how many of your goals are similar.  If there's enough there that you're directionally aligned, draft a budget that uses your combined income to handle your day to day expenses while still working towards your goals.  Make sure he has some "fun money" he can spend on crap without you judging.  You should get the same amount (obviously you can just put what you don't spend in a savings account or whatever).  Try that for a few months and see where it gets you.  If your goals are not aligned at all, that tells you all you need to know.

Title: Re: In Desperate Need of Marital Money Management Advice
Post by: PizzaSteve on September 24, 2018, 10:41:58 AM
From your description, it is not his mother that is the problem.  He is an adult and needs to own up to his own behavior.

I have been studying zen buddism and they have a lot of good insights.  One is that honest communication about the suffering we are feeling with the one we love, not in the passion of a moment, but when we are calm is necessary.  He cant know, fully, how much he is causing you suffering and how much this is worrying you, unless you tell him.  If he loves you and realizes your suffering he should be willing to take action.  Tell him these situations cause you actual pain, as if you are being actually hurt by them, so it must change.  If he is uncaring about the suffering, obviously you need to plan to create boundaries.

You might start by sharing this thread and talking about it. He may also be suffering in ways he is not sharing, such as anxiety over loss of freedom, fear of responsibility for a child, feelings of inadequacy due to income when his fantasy of himself is as a strong provider.  Ask him to share his worries and plan mitigations (e.g. like he will still have freedom to do some guy stuff, just frugal freedoms, assure him the income difference does not diminish him in your eyes, etc.).
Title: Re: In Desperate Need of Marital Money Management Advice
Post by: UniversityEmployee9 on September 24, 2018, 10:43:52 AM
To the people here that are immediately jumping to divorce: don't you think that's a bit premature? Or it, at least, could be?

Plenty of people have relationship problems like this and are able to work through them, especially as the partners get older and more mature.

Some form of counseling may be necessary, but don't go calling a divorce lawyer yet. Especially since a child is now involved.

Sent from my XT1687 using Tapatalk

Title: Re: In Desperate Need of Marital Money Management Advice
Post by: The_Pretender on September 24, 2018, 10:46:02 AM
There is a pinned thread which I think would be a good place to start:  How to Convert your SO to MMM in 50 Awesome Steps.

There are a lot of things to work on and it will take a lot of time, patience and persistence.  There has been many debates here in the forum of to combine or not combine finances.  My DW and I combined on day one.  Similar situation, her earnings have always been less than what I make.  We worked to combine and build a joint budget lining out our income then subtracting out the fixed expenses.  We both then understood how much discretionary spend we had.  From here we decided how we spend this to accomplish goals.  which reminds me, work to line out goals for each other and family.  Maybe work to create a visual so he can "window shop" at the fridge to remind what you guys are working towards.  This was my wife's idea.  we visualized our 5 year goal/road map.  This visual was great as we accomplished many of them and had the satisfaction of crossing out.

So work to understand his desires/expectations for life.  For me, I wanted the freedom to do whatever job I want to do.  I too enjoy golf, but it is an expensive hobby.  One possible way to help make a small change with your DH is to use Golf as an example.  Lets say an annual membership to a local public course for a family is $1,500 a season.  He will also want to maybe buy a new club or shoes and golf balls.  So add $500.  So annually you could expect his golf hobby to cost $2K.  Doing the simple math of 25x spending.  you can take $2K x 25 = 50K needed to cover this hobby in retirement.  So you could work with him to see that you can start working towards saving this amount of money.  This helped with my DW.  She likes to travel so I asked how much do you expect to spend on travel (international) annually.  She said about 4K.  So I took this by 25 and got to 100K.  I told her, this is the number we'll need to be able to travel international every year for life. 

One thing to be aware of is avoiding resentment.  DW and I did couples counseling and it really helped.  These counseling sessions helped ease some of the resentment we both had in our marriage.  After this, we had become better at our communication.  We still can improve on our communication, but this helped us to get moving forward.  Check with your healthcare/employer to see if there is employee assistance programs that provide free sessions to in-network counselors.   leverage this benefit if it is available.

Congrats on the baby, sorry you are dealing with this now.  It is probably better to deal with these challenging conversations now.  Once the baby comes, communication is critical.  Marriage is difficult and takes time.  Hope you understand what is best for your family, baby and your personal mental health. 
Title: Re: In Desperate Need of Marital Money Management Advice
Post by: Cassie on September 24, 2018, 10:51:09 AM
Marriage counseling and a separate fun budget for each of you that you can spend how you want no questions asked. People suggesting divorce please stop. They have a baby coming and a marriage is hard work and takes effort. You donít give up that easy. Divorce is emotionally very painful.
Title: Re: In Desperate Need of Marital Money Management Advice
Post by: ysette9 on September 24, 2018, 10:53:27 AM
Yes, talking about divorce is likely premature, but I see the reasons why it is being brought up. This poster is married to someone who is fundamentally immature, self-centered, and doesn’t seem to share many important values with his partner. That is shaky ground for forming a stable marriage. Adding a baby to the mix cranks up the stress 10x. Babies were hard on us and we had been together for a bazillion years, had very similar goals and values, and were very much on the same page financially.

I think that this is a desperate situation requiring big tools to try to repair. If there wasn’t a future baby in the mix I would advise making sure not to get pregnant. Water under the bridge so move to the next options. Absolutely mariage counseling as well as something like the peace university. If it were me I would also be doing everything I could to protect myself and my future baby financially from the childish impulses of this partner. How does he feel about the coming baby?
Title: Re: In Desperate Need of Marital Money Management Advice
Post by: catccc on September 24, 2018, 11:04:48 AM
Yikes.  Couples counseling maybe would help him open his eyes to his ridiculousness, but then again with his attitude, he may just think that the therapist is just unfairly taking your side.  I would sit down with him and budget his $ and yours.  If possible, set up direct deposit so you can manage the funds for joint expenses.  I feel like separate finances can work depending on the couple, but it gets really tricky when you have a kid and their are variable kid expenses. It's easy to split the rent or mortgage, but if baby needs something, the parent paying for it will just be based on circumstance, probably.  Good luck.  Not a ton of advice, but just well wishes that you guys can work this out!
Title: Re: In Desperate Need of Marital Money Management Advice
Post by: nessness on September 24, 2018, 11:10:02 AM
Marriage counseling and a separate fun budget for each of you that you can spend how you want no questions asked. People suggesting divorce please stop. They have a baby coming and a marriage is hard work and takes effort. You donít give up that easy. Divorce is emotionally very painful.
I agree with all of this. You don't necessarily need joint bank accounts, but having a joint budget would help you guys get on the same page about where your money is going each month. And having (ideally equal) fun money amounts would avoid a lot of the arguments about who bought what, or having to ask permission to buy something. If he wants $300 shoes, that's on him to save up the fun money for it.
Title: Re: In Desperate Need of Marital Money Management Advice
Post by: onlykelsey on September 24, 2018, 11:13:10 AM
...

He currently owes money to me, his parents, and his credit card, yet started a discussion last night about absolutely needing a $300 pair of shoes. This is after we had an argument last week about him buying almost $500 worth of clothes for himself. He got really worked up and pointed out that I bought stuff for myself last week and it isn't fair if I get to buy stuff for myself and he doesn't. The things I bought for "myself": three new bras because my pregnant breasts would no longer fit into my 32A cups, and fabric to make a quilt for our future baby. I also meet all my financial obligations and don't owe anyone money. He backtracked and said he would not buy the shoes until November after he pays back me and his parents. He then completely lost his temper and started yelling about since he has a job he should be able to buy nice things for himself and he is sick of always having to give me his money, and I'm too controlling. The money he "gives" me is to cover his portion of our joint expenses, which is significantly less than my portion. He acts like he his handing me over his hard earned cash which I then go blow on cocaine and booze, rather than contributing to our bills. (That was a joke, I don't do drugs). He then backtracked again saying he was only window shopping for the shoes, and he needs to window shop for things like cars and clothes and expensive golf equipment to make him feel better about his low salary and poor financial lot in life, which he thinks is everyone's fault but his own. His $50k student loan - he truly believes this is the fault of the banks and society, not him choosing to take out excessive loans to go to school out of town and not working to help pay for school the whole time he was there.

His mother is 100% the architect of this problem and continues to propagate it. He will probably tell her about our argument and how mean and horrible I am thinking he doesn't deserve to buy $300 shoes with his hard earned money. She will then most likely go and buy him the shoes because of course her poor baby needs new shoes for his poor feet. They are not overly well off and I suspect they finance their lifestyle with credit cards. He has told me in the past he thinks it is "normal" to carry a balance on a credit card. I've been trying unsuccesfully to beat this notion out of his head for the last few years. Part of the issue is his feeling of entitlement. He likes to watch youtubers and then feels that he is entitled to own anything and everything they have. He doesn't have a car - he drives one of his parents' cars, and sooks that he wants a brand new SUV and with the two degrees he has, he should be driving a $40,000 SUV. He feels it is beneath him to drive a beater and he can't afford anything else so he has to drive his parents. My first two cars were old beater honda civics that I paid cash for - while making a lot more money than he does now.

Please help. How do I get through to him that we are a team and in this together? That we need to be saving money for the baby, not blowing it on wants. How do I teach him financial responsibility? How do I get him to stop feeling so entitled to material things because people on youtube have them? And how do I communicate this in an effective way? I'm an engineer with horrible communication skills. I deal best in logic and math, not emotions. I can't empathize with his feelings of frustration with his lot in life, or wanting material things to make him feel good about himself, because I don't have those types of feelings. He likes to claim that I don't have any feelings, which isn't true.

This probably isn't the feedback that you want but... As someone approximately two years further along in life with a similar income disparity and MIL, I would honestly divorce him now.  I wish I had done it then.  Yes, even pregnant.  Feel free to PM me if you would like.
Title: Re: In Desperate Need of Marital Money Management Advice
Post by: Yankuba on September 24, 2018, 11:20:31 AM
I'm rich and I wouldn't buy a $300 pair of shoes if it was the last pair of shoes in the city.

What redeeming qualities does this man have? He must smell nice being that he bathes so frequently.

Mostly PTF here...
Title: Re: In Desperate Need of Marital Money Management Advice
Post by: honeybbq on September 24, 2018, 11:27:57 AM
I would recommend marriage counseling because there are no magic words that can fix the issue. I am sorry you are having to deal with this.

Agreed.

Wow, OP. This sounds crazy. I'm so sorry you are dealing with this situation, and being pregnant on top... I'd tell you to pour yourself a stiff drink but... we don't do that in US while pregnant.

What are your plans for childcare once the baby arrives? What about leave and FMLA? I'd start writing this stuff down so he can see it. Maybe he can be a SAHD but that is not going to fix the resentment he feels. Since I live in a place where infant care costs $2500/month, you need to have a budget and be able to see where your money is going to go in the future.

It's not about the shoes....
Title: Re: In Desperate Need of Marital Money Management Advice
Post by: Noodle on September 24, 2018, 11:30:04 AM
Marriage counseling and a separate fun budget for each of you that you can spend how you want no questions asked. People suggesting divorce please stop. They have a baby coming and a marriage is hard work and takes effort. You donít give up that easy. Divorce is emotionally very painful.


I suspect people are going there because consciously or unconsciously, the readers are picking up that all of John Gottman's "Four Horsemen of the (Marriage) Apocalypse" (contempt, criticism, stonewalling and defensiveness) are, between the two of them, present in the way the OP and her husband talk to and about each other. My understanding is that those are really hard to come back from even with a lot of work, and from what we are hearing here, it's uncertain about whether the couple would want to put in that much work. Maybe the place to start would be individual counseling for the OP to discuss what marital counseling realistically can and cannot accomplish, so she can think through what her next steps should be. Maybe something like separate finances or Financial Peace University would be effective, or maybe the deep-seated differences are too difficult to overcome and the best gift they can give a baby is two parents peacefully co-parenting from separate houses.
Title: Re: In Desperate Need of Marital Money Management Advice
Post by: DaMa on September 24, 2018, 11:43:49 AM
I had similar problems in my marriage.  My advice is to set x% of each income in joint account, and 100-x% in individual accounts.  Individual accounts are for the discretionary spending of the individual.  Then list what much come out of discretionary spending - clothes, personal toiletries, restaurant eating, vacations, etc., and what come out of joint - regular bills, groceries, gas, retirement savings, college savings, etc.  The X of each individual can be whatever you agree to, but I think you should do a flat %.  Your extra $$ will fund more of your life together now, but his will grow over time.  At the same time his discretionary will be less, so he'll have incentive to grow his income for himself.  You can then choose, if you like,  to use your extra discretionary to add to your retirememnt savings, college savings, debt repayment, etc.

Post that list of what is individual vs joint spending and revisit it as needed.  Also no credit cards -- if you/he can't pay them off every month you shouldn't be using them.

But I would also give a +1 for divorce -- your man sounds far worse than mine and if I had to do it again I would not.  We tried pretty much every suggestion given in this thread, and found the one I wrote worked best.  Dealing with my own resentment and judgement of what he spends is still my biggest issue.
Title: Re: In Desperate Need of Marital Money Management Advice
Post by: Laura33 on September 24, 2018, 11:44:27 AM
At this point, definitely marriage counseling.  You guys have entered a rut in which you act like the parent because he can't be trusted to handle his money, and so he rebels, which is what all right-thinking kids do when they reach a certain age.  You need to break that pattern before you can move forward.

I would also suggest you look closely for your own contribution to this problem, because the only way to break habits is to change the way you react (as you don't control someone else).  Example:  you knew he was spendy when you married him, right?  So part of the current issue is your belief/presumption that he would change his ways after marriage.  This is a common view among frugal people, btw -- what you are doing seems so logical and right that it is inconceivable that someone else, once exposed to the rightness of that path, would not immediately see the light and jump on board.  Example:  you guys agreed to a proportional split of the bills, but you still criticize him for how he spends the rest of his money.  WTF?  The whole point of the proportional split was so he would pay his fair share, right?  So if he pays that share, why is it your business to control what he does with the rest?  Sure, you lent him money, and you have every right to be angry if he is going to spend more before paying you back, but the fix for that is just not to lend him money -- not to lend him money and kvetch about how he manages the payoff.

The fundamental issue here is that he has a very specific view of what money is for, and you have a very different one -- and you both believe your view is right.  But the reality is that neither of you is "right" -- there is no such thing as an objective "right."  The first step to moving past your impasse is to acknowledge that both of you are grown-ass adults, and you both have equal rights to spend your money however you see fit.  Your job as a couple is to figure out how to make sure you meet your responsibilities to each other and to the baby, while still getting each of you as much of what you want as you can manage. 

I am going to say that again, because it was hard as hell for me, and so I am going to assume it is equally hard for you:  you are not "right," and he is not "wrong."  You are both equal adults, with an equal right and ability to make your own financial decisions.

So:  if you approach it from that angle, can you see why he is angry and frustrated?  Everything you say, everything you do, is telling him that he is wrong, and that he needs to give up everything that he wants to meet your approval -- and then even when he tries to meet you partway, you jump on him.  How would you respond in that situation?  How would you feel if every time you deposited something in savings, he was berating you because you could be using it for XYZ? 

The way you get through this is to stop talking logic.  Yes, btw, you are 100% right that he is being stupid and immature and consumerist -- I am actually 100% on your side here.  But you have to completely ignore that if you want to make progress.  He is being stupid with his money not because he doesn't know any better, but because it meets some kind of emotional need.  And you are saving and being frugal because it meets some kind of emotional need.  So what are those needs on both sides?  Sit down with a bottle of wine -- or a few, over several weeks -- and start talking about all your hopes and fears.  Ask him how he feels when he buys a $300 pair of shoes.  Like it or not, our society places a lot of pressure on men to be the breadwinner and earn a lot of money.  Yes, it is stupid and sexist and retrograde -- but if he feels "less than" because he only makes $30K, it's still very real to him, and so it is a "real" need of his that you guys together have to learn how to meet.  What he is hearing from you now is that his feelings are stupid and not worth anything.  What he needs to hear is that you value him, and it's important that he be happy, and you want to figure out some way for him to get as much of what he needs as you guys can afford.

Please also note that this is the beginning of the discussion, not the end of it.  The end goal is for him to realize that all that consumerist stuff is bullshit, and that the welfare of his wife and itty bitty baby is the most important thing, and that he'd rather have freedom and time with you guys than all the "stuff" in the world.  But you are not the one who can convince him of that -- he has to see it for himself.  And he can't do that while you guys are so locked into your positions, feeling defensive and attacked.  If you open up about your own fears -- fear of poverty, maybe?  Feel of that insecurity of what happens if the job goes away, or if there isn't enough money in the account to cover a medical bill, or whatever -- then your vulnerability can help him let his guard down, so that he then can be strong for you instead of strong against you.  And once you guys have learned to let your guard down and talk fears and insecurities, you can also talk hopes and dreams -- spending time together, spending time with the kid(s), not working your whole life, ditching it all to travel in a van -- whatever it is that you guys dream of, what you're working for.

Only at this point can you start talking numbers.  This is when you can look at where your money is going, and whether those purchases are taking you closer to your big goals or further away from them.  And then you negotiate how much you can both put toward current wants and how much should be dedicated towards future wants.

Good luck.  You have a hard road here, but it can be done if both of you are willing. 

(Also, please note that if he were posting here I would be ripping him a complete new asshole, because IMO he is being ridiculous and immature and stupid and all sorts of "horrible spouse."  But he isn't writing in -- you are.  And telling you that he's being stupid only doubles down on where you are now -- the lesson for you is to try to figure out how to move past that and hear the "why" behind the stupidity.).
Title: Re: In Desperate Need of Marital Money Management Advice
Post by: bluebelle on September 24, 2018, 12:02:30 PM
Marriage counseling and a separate fun budget for each of you that you can spend how you want no questions asked. People suggesting divorce please stop. They have a baby coming and a marriage is hard work and takes effort. You donít give up that easy. Divorce is emotionally very painful.
I agree with all of this. You don't necessarily need joint bank accounts, but having a joint budget would help you guys get on the same page about where your money is going each month. And having (ideally equal) fun money amounts would avoid a lot of the arguments about who bought what, or having to ask permission to buy something. If he wants $300 shoes, that's on him to save up the fun money for it.
I was going to say something very similar.....you need to come up with an agreed upon budget.  I'm much older than you and further down my financial path, but 20 years ago, DH came into the relationship with no assets, and liked to spend up to and a little past his income (albeit, not as extreme as your spouse).  I took over all the financial details of life, and paid all the bills (also made more than double what he did), but he agreed to a $ figure of 'free spending'.....and that worked for us.....I had on-line access to his bank account, I moved money around as needed and he knew he had $X of cash every two weeks on payday....
The other thing that really helped him, was understanding the difference between 'need' and 'want'.  He may 'need' new shoes', he 'wants' the $300 pair.  I always explained to him that you get no joy from getting a need, but you can get joy out of a want.  I need to eat food, I want sushi.

But you're in a tough spot, and your income is going to go down when the baby comes, and expenses are going to go way up once the baby is in care.  You're in my thoughts.  It's going to be tough if he isn't willing to man up.

I'm not defending his behaviour.....but you do need to find a way to have a dialogue about it, not a fight.  A counselor may help with figuring out how to do that.
Title: Re: In Desperate Need of Marital Money Management Advice
Post by: ReadySetMillionaire on September 24, 2018, 12:50:46 PM
The fundamental issue here is that he has a very specific view of what money is for, and you have a very different one -- and you both believe your view is right.  But the reality is that neither of you is "right" -- there is no such thing as an objective "right."  The first step to moving past your impasse is to acknowledge that both of you are grown-ass adults, and you both have equal rights to spend your money however you see fit.  Your job as a couple is to figure out how to make sure you meet your responsibilities to each other and to the baby, while still getting each of you as much of what you want as you can manage. 

As with many threads on this forum, we are at a point where groupthink is starting to take hold and things are being over-simplified. So OP, approach the "get divorced now" advice in this thread with caution.

I quoted the above from Laura33 because I believe it's incredibly insightful, and something you should consider.  People on here have strong, strong, strong opinions about money, but those aren't necessarily objectively correct. Money is a crazy thing that can be used for a lot of different material items or experiences.
I'm of the belief that spouses should work jointly towards big picture goals while also being able to be independent enough to do their own thing.

While I don't agree with his spending choices, I think it's important to understand where his head his at in all this.  I think many people -- including most people I know -- spend everything they have when they first get their career going.  It's the first time they have money to burn, and they're going to burn it.  In fact, before discovering the FIRE concept, I was probably somewhat in that camp.

Another thing -- I think it's important to understand what his passions are and let him run with it (to a reasonable degree).  Ten years ago, my wife would have laughed you out the door if you told her that her eventual husband would spend $1,000 a year going to sporting events.  But that's my thing, and I enjoy it, and she let's me have fun with it.  Maybe you need to sit down with your spouse and try and understand why he wants to spend on what he's spending on.

I think it's a bit unfortunate that you and your spouse didn't square all this up before getting married.  But it is what it is -- I'm sure my wife and I have some unknown disagreement brewing that we will have to work through.  My guess is that it's something on how to raise kids, how to discipline, something like that. One mild one, now that she's pregnant -- she's been frustrated how I haven't taken on the "how to be a dad" literature.  So I ordered two books on Amazon, I'm reading a chapter every night, and I'm doing my part.

Speaking of literature, it was me providing my wife with personal finance literature that really made us get on board.  She used to spend most of her income and did a decent job saving, but I bought 3-4 books, read them, told her they were good, and it changed the way she thought about money.

So back to you, I think it's important for you to be proactive about this. Really set forth your goals -- both personally and in your relationship.  How much do you want saved by insert X age (this was a goal for me)? When do you want to retire? And what are you going to do to accomplish all this?

Also, what about counseling?  It's not out of bounds to consider -- with a kid on the way, I would try to work on this issue. I agree with others that the counselor should be able to aid with this dialogue, and will probably help both of you achieve a better understanding of your spouse.

And lastly, think about why you married him the first place.  I'm sure it's a combination of attraction and personality that made you feel like you wanted to spend the rest of your life with him.  Don't lose sight of that.
Title: Re: In Desperate Need of Marital Money Management Advice
Post by: FiguringItOut on September 24, 2018, 12:55:17 PM
I had similar problems in my marriage.  My advice is to set x% of each income in joint account, and 100-x% in individual accounts.  Individual accounts are for the discretionary spending of the individual.  Then list what much come out of discretionary spending - clothes, personal toiletries, restaurant eating, vacations, etc., and what come out of joint - regular bills, groceries, gas, retirement savings, college savings, etc.  The X of each individual can be whatever you agree to, but I think you should do a flat %.  Your extra $$ will fund more of your life together now, but his will grow over time.  At the same time his discretionary will be less, so he'll have incentive to grow his income for himself.  You can then choose, if you like,  to use your extra discretionary to add to your retirememnt savings, college savings, debt repayment, etc.

Post that list of what is individual vs joint spending and revisit it as needed.  Also no credit cards -- if you/he can't pay them off every month you shouldn't be using them.

But I would also give a +1 for divorce -- your man sounds far worse than mine and if I had to do it again I would not.  We tried pretty much every suggestion given in this thread, and found the one I wrote worked best.  Dealing with my own resentment and judgement of what he spends is still my biggest issue.

A huge issue I see with this approach is that he will just supplement his discretionary spendings with credit cards and other loans.  And as married couple, she will be responsible for this debt.
Other than counseling and divorce I dont have any suggestions.  But as someone who's been there done that a divorced 3 years ago I see red flags.
Title: Re: In Desperate Need of Marital Money Management Advice
Post by: Another Reader on September 24, 2018, 01:09:40 PM
Normally I agree with Laura33 but not here.  The red flags are everywhere.  He's spoiled and manipulative.  He shows zero interest in changing and the wife is just another source of money for him to spend.  See if he will go to counseling and sit down with you for the discussions Laura33 and others suggest.  If not, he is not likely to change, and it may be time to minimize the damage and move on.
Title: Re: In Desperate Need of Marital Money Management Advice
Post by: onlykelsey on September 24, 2018, 01:36:21 PM
Normally I agree with Laura33 but not here.  The red flags are everywhere.  He's spoiled and manipulative.  He shows zero interest in changing and the wife is just another source of money for him to spend.  See if he will go to counseling and sit down with you for the discussions Laura33 and others suggest.  If not, he is not likely to change, and it may be time to minimize the damage and move on.

+1.  I know we're just seeing her side, but spending problems is one thing.  Disrespect for her is another.
Title: Re: In Desperate Need of Marital Money Management Advice
Post by: singpolyma on September 24, 2018, 01:45:42 PM
Your finances sound terrifying. He "owes" you money? How does that even make sense in a marriage?

However, rather than tear down your financial situation I agree with many others here that finances are at most a symptom of a relationship problem. Find a good counselor and work things out.
Title: Re: In Desperate Need of Marital Money Management Advice
Post by: MDfive21 on September 24, 2018, 01:50:08 PM
... has the TV on constantly (even when we are sleeping, which was another hard compromise for me).

i got this far.  this guy doesn't care for you at all and in your shoes i would just get a divorce now, move across the country (or far enough you won't run into him around town) so you won't have to see him and collect the measly child support he can provide.  he's not worth your time, and any advice you get here will do nothing but make you want to leave him more.

...

after reading the rest of your post, my advice stands.
Title: Re: In Desperate Need of Marital Money Management Advice
Post by: remizidae on September 24, 2018, 01:54:12 PM
Breton18--How far along in the pregnancy are you? I would strongly consider an abortion. Not a great plan to bring a child into an unstable marriage. You can always get pregnant again once you've gotten this relationship (or the next one) to a healthy place.
Title: Re: In Desperate Need of Marital Money Management Advice
Post by: Laura33 on September 24, 2018, 02:08:15 PM
Normally I agree with Laura33 but not here.  The red flags are everywhere.  He's spoiled and manipulative.  He shows zero interest in changing and the wife is just another source of money for him to spend.  See if he will go to counseling and sit down with you for the discussions Laura33 and others suggest.  If not, he is not likely to change, and it may be time to minimize the damage and move on.

+1.  I know we're just seeing her side, but spending problems is one thing.  Disrespect for her is another.

Where's the disrespect?  I see a massive disagreement about how to handle the money, and a lot of frustration on both sides, but I don't see him disrespecting her.  At least not any more than she clearly does not respect him.  (Admittedly, her DH is not exactly earning respect by acting like a toddler; but at the same time, it would never occur to me to complain about the financial impacts of how long my DH spends in the shower or how much food he eats).  I'm just not seeing a lot of respect shining through on either side.

But let me rephrase my advice.  OP:  If he were your boyfriend, I would advise you to ditch him, because your money styles are so different.  If you were newlywed DINKs, I would still probably advise you to ditch him for that same reason.  But you have a baby on the way, which is a reason to see if you guys can find a way through this before calling it quits -- and the fact that you are here instead of in a divorce lawyer's office suggests that you want to find a way through this if you can.

So if your goal is to try to find a way through, do what I said above.  You cannot "make" him see you as a team if he does not already -- but you also should not interpret his desire for more "stuff" as a signal that he doesn't see you as a team.  Also:  IME, my DH telling me that his approach is "logical" will send me through the roof, because it implies to me that he thinks I'm so stupid I can't see something that is blatantly obvious.  So be careful about how you present yourself to him -- his strong emotional reaction suggests he might be inferring some of that.

OTOH, if you see a marriage counselor, things don't improve, and you decide to call it quits, I don't think there is a single person here who would criticize that decision.  It's hard to stay married to a 3-year-old.

@ReadySetMillionaire -- your "too bad you didn't figure this out before getting married" comment struck me, because I made the same mistake.  I think it comes down to the unspoken assumptions you go into a marriage with -- there are certain things you just assume everyone does, because they are so obviously right and logical, and so you are just flat-out stunned when you discover that your spouse doesn't do things that way and doesn't even think you have to.  That was me and my DH with money:  I was much more like the OP here, and DH was a much-more-mature version of her DH (though at least he had only $3K CC debt and a work ethic).  It literally never occurred to me that he wouldn't handle money my way -- because I was Right, because that's the way it should be done, and because he was a smart, logical guy and so would figure that out as soon as I explained it all to him.  Umm, yeah, didn't quite work out that way.  Silly man thought money was to be spent on toys, and if he ever needed more money to pay for said toys, he'd just go work more.  And he didn't understand why I got so royally pissed off when he blew $120 on Oakleys -- I mean, we had the money, so what was my problem?  (A:  they were so unnecessary!  Walgreens has sunglesses for $10 -- and the Oakleys weren't even polarized!)

So the tl;dr is that OP shouldn't kick herself for not having worked through this before -- because even if the signs were clear and it was a mistake on her part, there's really no use beating yourself up about it now.  The question now is just deciding if the relationship is worth saving, and if so figuring out the best way to go about that. 
Title: Re: In Desperate Need of Marital Money Management Advice
Post by: frugaliknowit on September 24, 2018, 02:08:59 PM
Freeze your credit, disable him on any joint accounts (until/unless he is "cured").  Marriage counseling and possibly divorce.
Title: Re: In Desperate Need of Marital Money Management Advice
Post by: SunnyDays on September 24, 2018, 02:50:39 PM
Normally I agree with Laura33 but not here.  The red flags are everywhere.  He's spoiled and manipulative.  He shows zero interest in changing and the wife is just another source of money for him to spend.  See if he will go to counseling and sit down with you for the discussions Laura33 and others suggest.  If not, he is not likely to change, and it may be time to minimize the damage and move on.
[/quote

I was about to say the same thing.  He IS wrong.  How can he afford $300 shoes and a $40,000 car on his salary?  Can't.  So he expects his wife to pony up because he "deserves" it and it will help him feel successful.  That's just wrong.
Also, this is not about money, it's about his attitude and expectations.  It won't matter how the money is divided or whether he gets fun money, because his expectations are out of line.  Get to the bottom of why he feels so entitled and so bad about himself without all the fancy stuff and maybe there's a chance of him waking up and the marriage working.  Otherwise, I would hold up little hope.  Sorry.
Title: Re: In Desperate Need of Marital Money Management Advice
Post by: mm1970 on September 24, 2018, 02:50:47 PM
Marriage counseling and a separate fun budget for each of you that you can spend how you want no questions asked. People suggesting divorce please stop. They have a baby coming and a marriage is hard work and takes effort. You donít give up that easy. Divorce is emotionally very painful.

+1 on this one

Quote
He then completely lost his temper and started yelling about since he has a job he should be able to buy nice things for himself and he is sick of always having to give me his money, and I'm too controlling.

This comment struck me.  Because: I remember a coworker with 4 kids who was having money problems.  He didn't talk about them much but one day mentioned his CC debt and said "but how can I tell my wife to stop shopping and buying things - she works hard for her money."  I said simply "because you cannot afford them".

I agree (generally) with Laura33 also - EXCEPT (and I'm not in your budget here), if he is SPENDING more than he makes, then yeah - that's a "wrong". 

So - I wouldn't jump straight to divorce, but to counseling.  And sometimes just having "fun money" can really help.  No judgment. 

It sounds like, however, that you haven't sat down and worked on a budget.  I mean, if he's going to say that, above - who does he think is paying the bills?  Rent/mortgage, food, etc.  Does he pay his own bills?  Does he see the bills?

What makes me nervous, a bit, is this attitude because - my mom was the one who "paid the bills", but for much of her married life, she didn't make any money.  For 13 years, she was a SAHP who had to get blood out of a stone, and she got yelled at if she did the budget wrong.  After a divorce, she was happy.  Then she remarried to a lovely man who made the money and handed her the bills.  But he acted as if he were single.

He had this category for his animals, and that category for trips, and another category for his hobbies - and there wasn't enough money coming in to cover them all.  My mother would get SOOO stressed about it, and I kept telling her "hand over the check book!  He has to do it himself!"  Well, he has it figured out now, because she died many years ago.  But it was ridiculous - he got to see ALL of the income as "spendable" but had lost COMPLETE connection with reality on actual bills.  Because he didn't see them.

Instead of making him pay "you" for his portion.  Make him pay the actual bill.  If you are at 25/75 split, make him pay every fourth month.  Or have him actually pay 1/4 of the bill out of his account, and you pay 3/4 out of yours.
Title: Re: In Desperate Need of Marital Money Management Advice
Post by: Jenny1974 on September 24, 2018, 03:44:19 PM
I have been exactly where you are.  In fact, I currently make about 5-6 times what my DH makes.  We've been married almost 18 years.  We did the whole separate accounts thing for several years primarily because he was not great at controlling his spending and I didn't want to have my financial goals shot to hell because of it.  We did that for about 3-5 years and probably fought about money at least once a week.  I hated having to "ask" him for money for his portion of the bills.  Even though I was paying a much larger portion, he'd always get salty as if I shouldn't make him pay anything.  I resented him greatly for that.  Turns out that wasn't really what he was thinking and the reality is, I was such a control freak I didn't want to take the leap and fully trust him with "my" money.  Anyway, after we had our DD, the whole separate account thing really caused issues.  I felt like I was paying for everything for our DD.  The fights ramped up until finally, one day, I just said "Screw it!  Let's just put it all in one account."  That was the smartest decision I made.  It really changed the whole dynamic between us at the time.  We were functioning as a team instead of two separate cogs.  Did he still spend on some things I didn't exactly like?  Sure . . . but to my surprise, he tamed things a little.  We kind of met in the middle.  I loosened up a bit and he tightened the reins a bit. 

I understand your reasoning for separate accounts/finances.  However, the amount of fights and sleepless nights that caused were not worth it in the end.  I had to learn to meet my DH in the middle.  I'm glad I did because he ultimately surprised me and things have worked out just fine.  I can't remember the last time we had a money fight. 

Title: Re: In Desperate Need of Marital Money Management Advice
Post by: mommymustachian on September 24, 2018, 08:56:55 PM
I was in your shoes a few years ago. The man I was married to depleted my savings, ruined my credit and treated me like his personal ATM. I worked hard to support him and two babies while he barely worked and spent my money on shoes, toys for himself, gifts for his girlfriends etc. I struggled to pay rent, daycare (he refused to be a SAHD) despite always being underemployed. I'd be scared to check my account because even after pay day it could be empty or worse overdrawn because of him.

I stayed for far too long. He was never going to change but I stayed out of a false sense of duty. My kids were 2 and 3 when I finally walked away from the financial and other forms of abuse. I've never looked back. I'm thriving!

Edited to add: feel free to message me if you want/need someone to talk to.

I wish you and your baby all the best!
Title: Re: In Desperate Need of Marital Money Management Advice
Post by: iris lily on September 24, 2018, 11:06:31 PM

... If there wasnít a future baby in the mix I would advise making sure not to get pregnant. Water under the bridge so move to the next option...

Still valid advice, see reply #42 on this thread.

OP, dont become a member of the ďIt took 2 kids for me to figure out I didn't want to be married to himĒ club.
Title: Re: In Desperate Need of Marital Money Management Advice
Post by: Jenny1974 on September 25, 2018, 06:39:19 AM
I find the "divorce him" posts a little disturbing.  To me, this sounds like the growing pains of a relatively new marriage.  It takes time and effort and introspection to work through these issues but, is it impossible?  Heck no!  Learn from one another . . . open up to one another . . . find a compromise.  Maybe eventually you will come to the conclusion that you've tried all those things and you can't be happy together.  I don't think you are at that point. 

This is an opportunity for you BOTH to grow as a couple and learn how to resolve conflict.  I don't think throwing in the towel at this point is warranted.
Title: Re: In Desperate Need of Marital Money Management Advice
Post by: ysette9 on September 25, 2018, 07:11:15 AM
I find the "divorce him" posts a little disturbing.  To me, this sounds like the growing pains of a relatively new marriage.  It takes time and effort and introspection to work through these issues but, is it impossible?  Heck no!  Learn from one another . . . open up to one another . . . find a compromise.  Maybe eventually you will come to the conclusion that you've tried all those things and you can't be happy together.  I don't think you are at that point. 

This is an opportunity for you BOTH to grow as a couple and learn how to resolve conflict.  I don't think throwing in the towel at this point is warranted.
Interesting perspective. Did you marry young by chance? To me, their differences seem quite fundamental. Short-term vs long-term thinking, selfish vs bigger picture thinking, etc. Maybe I just have that opinion because my husband and I sorted out things like who was going to do the laundry and buy groceries when we got married.

It is true though that our biggest issue has always been communication. I think we communicate well overall, but we have learned some tough lessons about how to speak up when we don’t like something or to voice unspoken assumptions and differences stemming from our upbringings. It sounds like OP and spouse need to spend some serious time doing that.
Title: Re: In Desperate Need of Marital Money Management Advice
Post by: Cgbg on September 25, 2018, 07:29:13 AM
OP, youíll soon be raising a child. One screaming, demanding infant is enough.

Dump him.

His parents are enabling him. You think thatís gonna change? Until the day they die, youíll be fighting the money battle with him.

Iím firmly in the cut-your-losses camp.
Title: Re: In Desperate Need of Marital Money Management Advice
Post by: debbie does duncan on September 25, 2018, 08:47:50 AM
I am sorry you are going thru this. You are married to a Narcissist. It will only change when you change  your drama triangle. SO is very happy the way things are so you have to force him to change and it can be easy for you or hard. Change the lokcs when he is out....cancel joint acct access Protect youself and the baby. Let him realized he needs to change his behaviour or you are done catering to a man childs wants. A few links to help you see things in a different light ? Good luck honey.
https://i2.wp.com/gfx.bloggar.aftonbladet-cdn.se/wp-content/blogs.dir/393/files/2015/02/Karpman-Drama-Triangle-How-to-STOP-the-Drama1.jpg?zoom=2
https://www.reddit.com/r/raisedbynarcissists/comments/3davsm/tip_setting_boundaries/
Title: Re: In Desperate Need of Marital Money Management Advice
Post by: oldladystache on September 25, 2018, 09:04:23 AM
Posts: 1 (1 per day)Age:N/A
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Title: Re: In Desperate Need of Marital Money Management Advice
Post by: SKL-HOU on September 25, 2018, 10:33:23 AM
OK, I'm going to be the first to say "It"

I feel terrible for you being pregnant and just realizing what a tool he is.  You seem to be a very sensible person.  I would cut my losses now and leave the marriage as it seems this is a HUGE deal for you.  It won't get better.

I think this is your best choice. I was in a similar situation (also an engineer thankfully). I cut my losses (wasn't just financial) and left the marriage. The best thing I did for myself and our kid (who he does not see by his choice).
Title: Re: In Desperate Need of Marital Money Management Advice
Post by: ixtap on September 25, 2018, 10:37:26 AM
I don't think it matters whether or not a child is involved. However, I would advise against filing for divorce while pregnant without having made a good faith effort at counseling.

If nothing else, the counseling will help you keep from second guessing yourself down the line.
Title: Re: In Desperate Need of Marital Money Management Advice
Post by: Goldielocks on September 25, 2018, 10:52:00 AM
Ack.  I could not bear to read through more than 10 or 15 responses.

OP -- the first half of your note read like not uncommon marriage issues THAT YOU CAN GET THROUGH.  I am certain the second half of this will trigger a lot of marriage advice responses, that you may not be looking for.  (I can't look!)

Regarding finances -- if you married young (not a blended or mature family situation). 

1) Treat income as COMBINED.  Your family earns $110k/yr.  Period.
2) Set up a HOUSEHOLD ACCOUNT to pay all the monthly expenses, contribute to savings, etc. Ideally that only you pay from, but you both can see. He can help set up the budget, if he wants to be involved, etc. but should not be the controller / payer from this account until he shows mature financial skills.
3) Set up EQUAL MONTHLY PERSONAL ALLOWANCES.   Two accounts, that automatically get the same amount each month, that you can spend from as each of you likes.  *
4) Sit down and review (monthly / quarterly, whatever works for the two of you).

You have shared debt now (the student loan), shared expenses, about to share a child, etc.   All should be equal.   Deciding if you are happy with unequal income, or differences in taking care of the home, or the communication challenges are separate from the issues about finances.

As long as he is not over-running the allowance, and keeps his credit score up by making required payments, he should be able to use his money however he likes.   Even if it is paying for a balance on his credit cards.   

TLDR:

It took me 15 years of marriage before we set up the equal personal monthly allowances to separate accounts.  This eliminated 80% of the resentment on both sides, and reduced our communication failure frequency.

PS -- I am an engineer.  I have made most of the money in our marriage by a large portion, and my DH definitely wants nicer / different things than I do (like a car that is not 13 years old, a workshop with ALL the tools, etc).   I am also the "feeler" in our relationship, but I can be very logical about getting what I want.  I am certain your husband can be logical, too.
Title: Re: In Desperate Need of Marital Money Management Advice
Post by: SKL-HOU on September 25, 2018, 11:00:00 AM
I was in a very similar situation. My ex was un/underemployed. He didn't seem to make any effort no matter how much I told him how stressed I was that I was the only breadwinner and he didn't seem to care. He has 2 kids from a prior marriage that he was paying CS for and was spending his time with them instead of working enough. we had 2 mortgages (one for my townhouse, one for his house that we lived in). I told him several times how stressed I was. I asked him what are we doing to do when I have to take time off with the baby. He didn't care. I asked him to put $10 aside just to show me that he was thinking about our child. he didn't. We went to counseling. His answer at counseling to how are we going to pay for daycare or some other bill was to not pay another bill.
I ended up having my child at 25 weeks due to all this stress. I left his dumba$$. I am much better off in every way. My ex didn't even buy $500 worth of clothes but I was tired of being the only responsible one. My recommendation, cut your losses... He sounds several times worse than my ex.
Title: Re: In Desperate Need of Marital Money Management Advice
Post by: Jenny1974 on September 25, 2018, 11:01:13 AM
I find the "divorce him" posts a little disturbing.  To me, this sounds like the growing pains of a relatively new marriage.  It takes time and effort and introspection to work through these issues but, is it impossible?  Heck no!  Learn from one another . . . open up to one another . . . find a compromise.  Maybe eventually you will come to the conclusion that you've tried all those things and you can't be happy together.  I don't think you are at that point. 

This is an opportunity for you BOTH to grow as a couple and learn how to resolve conflict.  I don't think throwing in the towel at this point is warranted.
Interesting perspective. Did you marry young by chance? To me, their differences seem quite fundamental. Short-term vs long-term thinking, selfish vs bigger picture thinking, etc. Maybe I just have that opinion because my husband and I sorted out things like who was going to do the laundry and buy groceries when we got married.

It is true though that our biggest issue has always been communication. I think we communicate well overall, but we have learned some tough lessons about how to speak up when we donít like something or to voice unspoken assumptions and differences stemming from our upbringings. It sounds like OP and spouse need to spend some serious time doing that.

Actually, I was 26 and DH was 34 when we married so we weren't super young.  I can look back now and say, while I thought my way was the right way at one time, over time I have learned that a lot of the way I viewed money early in our marriage was based on my fear of being vulnerable.  Every time my DH would spend on something I would deem unnecessary or irresponsible, I would use it as justification my controlling tendency toward "my" money.  That way of thinking provided an adequate excuse for keeping my DH out of "my" money.  When I was truly honest with myself, I realized that my own fear was skewing my view of everything DH did financially.  When I finally let go and learned to fully trust my DH, it was an eye-opener.  The reality is I was making judgement calls on the way my DH spent money based on my fears  . . . fear of being vulnerable and fear of poverty.  Now, DH would not deny that he is a bigger spendypants than I am but that's not saying a whole lot since I'll squirrel away ever stray dime I have sometimes forgoing actual needs.  Just because my financial flaw looked pretty on the outside (no debt, lots of savings, etc.), did not make me any less flawed than my DH confusing wants with needs.

Honestly, I don't think a forum devoted to super savers and frugal types is really a place to get an honest assessment of this situation.  Truth is, a lot of us are the way we are with money due to some pretty unhealthy childhoods/experiences.  I think a marriage counselor might help them both focus on what drives their financial decisions.  My hunch is, at the end of the day, this has little to do with money and a lot to do with their own personal demons.
Title: Re: In Desperate Need of Marital Money Management Advice
Post by: onlykelsey on September 25, 2018, 11:17:16 AM

Honestly, I don't think a forum devoted to super savers and frugal types is really a place to get an honest assessment of this situation.  Truth is, a lot of us are the way we are with money due to some pretty unhealthy childhoods/experiences.  I think a marriage counselor might help them both focus on what drives their financial decisions.  My hunch is, at the end of the day, this has little to do with money and a lot to do with their own personal demons.

I still disagree with your initial comment, but this is probably spot on.
Title: Re: In Desperate Need of Marital Money Management Advice
Post by: koshtra on September 25, 2018, 11:24:25 AM
I'll pile on in recommending marriage counseling. This may be fixable, but the I rate the chances that you two will fix it on your own at about 30%, and with the help of a counselor, at about 60%. 

You both need to learn some basic communication and fair-fighting skills. Not just for the present crisis, and not just for the present pairing. These are life skills you can't do without, regardless of how the next couple years pan out.

I'm so sorry, this sounds really hard. You're right on all the financial stuff, of course (what Mustachian would say anything else?) But remember, happiness is what this is really about.



Title: Re: In Desperate Need of Marital Money Management Advice
Post by: MDfive21 on September 25, 2018, 12:22:50 PM
Posts: 1 (1 per day)Age:N/A
Date Registered: September 24, 2018, 07:32:53 AM
Local Time:September 25, 2018, 09:02:18 AM
Last Active: September 24, 2018, 08:33:38 AM

yep, and it's toooo good.  hits all the buttons doesn't it? 
Title: Re: In Desperate Need of Marital Money Management Advice
Post by: Goldielocks on September 25, 2018, 12:36:24 PM
I had similar problems in my marriage.  My advice is to set x% of each income in joint account, and 100-x% in individual accounts.  Individual accounts are for the discretionary spending of the individual. 

Ok, I had to respond to this one.   This is very shitty for the person with low income.  This solution only works for non-married persons who each have careers and decent income that they are happy with beyond the relationship.  This is not what we have here:
--  One person with $80k (likely to go to $100k soon) and another with $30k, who is quite likely to end up at $0k taking care of kids for a while to offset daycare costs....!


Why -- The person with $80k gets a much, much larger spending account, even if they pay for 75% of the household expenses.   
EXAMPLE
e.g., Household expenses and savings are $60k/yr... assume 25% net taxes   One pays $45k (75% of expenses), one pays $15k (25%).
Spouse 1:  $80k * (75% after taxes)-$45k = $15k....   
Spouse 2:  $30k * (0.75)-$15k = $7.5k.   

One person gets to spend $1250/mo, and the other person gets to spend only $625/mo.  The lower income spouse is going to think this is not fair...especially if they like nice things.

What happens when the lower income spouse takes a year off work or goes part time to offset child care?  eg. their income drops to only $15k?

Spouse 1 can spend ($80k *0.75) - (80/95 total income) * $60k expenses = $9,475/yr -- yes it is less than before, but...
Spouse 2 can spend only $1,775/ yr, even though they proportionately pay only 15% of the household expenses due to lower income.
Title: Re: In Desperate Need of Marital Money Management Advice
Post by: ysette9 on September 25, 2018, 12:43:07 PM
We agreed upon a $ amount that we each got as fun money each month/pay period. That was siphoned off into individual accounts and then everything else was in joint checking, from which we paid all of the bills. We had money dates (still do) to agree on a budget and priorities. This works really well for us.

Granted, we are reasonably mature and analytical people with similar goals. We respect each other and are willing to sacrifice the short term for the long term.
Hopefully OP and her spouse can get there eventually because it didn’t sound like he was demonstrating any of the necessary prerequisites for that kind of a system to work.
Title: Re: In Desperate Need of Marital Money Management Advice
Post by: Goldielocks on September 25, 2018, 01:07:55 PM
Posts: 1 (1 per day)Age:N/A
Date Registered: September 24, 2018, 07:32:53 AM
Local Time:September 25, 2018, 09:02:18 AM
Last Active: September 24, 2018, 08:33:38 AM

yep, and it's toooo good.  hits all the buttons doesn't it?

But much more creatively written and no short follow up posts egging us on.... 
Title: Re: In Desperate Need of Marital Money Management Advice
Post by: GUNDERSON on September 25, 2018, 10:05:15 PM
I'm terribly sorry to say it but my advice mirrors that of some other posters.  I would think seriously about cutting ties with this person. Not because of the money issues, but because of the immaturity, selfishness and inflexibility expressed in a number of ways, and narcissistic manipulation.
Title: Re: In Desperate Need of Marital Money Management Advice
Post by: Villanelle on September 25, 2018, 10:23:46 PM
For me, there are several things in the post that make it seem like this is far deeper than a financial philosophy question.  For example, the comment about him blaming everyone but himself for his salary.  That statement is rife with contempt, and contempt is probably the biggest red flag there is in a relationship. 

Frankly, it doesn't sound (based on this tiny snapshot of a complex relationship) that either of you has much respect for the other.  That shows in the spending--he doesn't respect you enough to value your spending priorities, for example--, in the way you speak about him (see the above paragraph) and probably lots of other little ways.  If you weren't married, I would absolutely encourage you to end it, seeing little hope.  If you weren't pregnant, I'd still probably suggest you part ways--no harm, no foul.  With a kid on the way?  You can certainly fight like hell to turn this ship around, but not every ship can be turned.  At a bare minimum, I'd get into individual and couples' therapy ASAP, because each day that ticks off without sorting this out is just more damage to the core of your relationship.  Know that this is *extremely* unlikely to get better on it's own, and if the two of you could have fixed it alone, you would have already sorted it.  So get help from experts.   Immediately.  This may be fixable, and it may not.  If both of you aren't willing to commit to a long, uncomfortable process, I'd say it isn't.  But if you are, give it a try.  Go in to it with as little ego as possible, and willing to be brutally honest with yourself and your therapist.  And remember that he isn't the adversary in this and it isn't about getting him to see your way.  Marriage failure is the adversary and it's about finding middle ground that both of you can live with, and live in happily and peacefully. 
Title: Re: In Desperate Need of Marital Money Management Advice
Post by: AMandM on September 26, 2018, 11:04:06 AM
Divorce will mean that your arguments about how to spend money will turn into court battles over how to spend money and how to divide your child's time between you. More draining and more expensive.

OP, stop trying to fix your husband. You asked, "How do I get through to him that we are a team and in this together?" but you do not describe him or treat him as a teammate. A team has shared goals and works towards them together. You and your husband have different goals and you think being a team is making him work towards your goals. Get to counseling ASAP, preferably together but alone if he won't go, to figure this out.
Title: Re: In Desperate Need of Marital Money Management Advice
Post by: CU Tiger on September 27, 2018, 12:57:01 PM
Sign up as a couple for Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University

I second this. My husband and I learned to talk about money w/o fighting at FPU.

Let Dave Ramsey teach your husband to grow up. One of his sayings is Adults make and follow a plan; children do what feels good.
Your husband sounds like a child with his money, and needs to grow up.
Title: Re: In Desperate Need of Marital Money Management Advice
Post by: Kakashi on September 27, 2018, 02:22:41 PM
I never did understand the whole splitting of income and expenses in a marriage.   Wife pays the phone bill, husband pays the gas bill.  So what happens if the husband racks up extra charges on the phone bill, does he "owe" the wife?  Finances is one of the major reasons for divorce.  Yet most people don't seriously consider finances and financial philosophies before they get married. 

Certainly your husband sounds young and immature.  Xbox games, going to mommy, etc.  Hence, young, immature people often deal with the here and now rather than delayed gratification or future planning.  Furthermore, it sounds like there's a difference in values that have been impressed on him since he was young.  There's no doubt also some psychological factors.  The "man" has traditionally been the breadwinner and decision maker.  But since you are the breadwinner and hence "dictating" what he should/should not be spending money on, you have demoted him in his place to that of a child.  You may not see this, but it is apparent simply by what you wrote. 

However, I also believe the concept that "I make $xx and hence I get to buy what I want" from the primary breadwinner is equally flawed and immature.

Honestly, if you're having this amount of financial strife so early, statically speaking, I don't think your marriage will work out.  Normally, I would advise just get a divorce if it's just the 2 of you.  However, you have a child on the way that complicates everything.  Everyone suggests counselling.  I personally don't believe much in counselling will actually change anything...but if you want the marriage to remain intact, it's worth the effort. 

The BEST you can do is come up with a tentative negotiated agreement.  You only get to spend $xx and $yy, blah blah.  But even this will come other tension in the future as either he or you will want to change that negotiated agreement.  It will always be a point of contention in your marriage.  Unless one of you actually changes.

I'm sorry for your situation, it's a tough one. 
Title: Re: In Desperate Need of Marital Money Management Advice
Post by: Awesomeness on September 27, 2018, 05:49:56 PM
I was married to a man like this. Entitlement attitude was the main issue for most of the marriage. He earned the family income so that added to his attitude that he deserved things. Reading on forums here and how a healthy couple handles their finances was mind blowing to me. I tolerated a lot  because he earned it and I was a stay at home mom. Best thing I did was start saving outside his income and I got half that in the divorce. Thatís my old lady money. Glad to have it.

You were way ahead of me and itís great you have the income and house and arenít dependent on him. Congrats on your baby too. Even w the issues, babies are a blessing.  Enjoy him or her to the fullest.

If there are other issues, like alcohol or his guy time is out of hand, Iíd strongly urge you to listen to the others about divorce. Maybe even consult one privately and see how you can protect yourself and your child. Maybe a post nup could be signed, would be a nice wake up call for him and a good test to you to see how heíd react. I did not want to divorce but I filed hoping it would knock some sense into him but it just revealed he didnít give a shit about me so I got some clarity there.   

Let his actions speak loudly for him.  If he just berates you about money or says he will do better but doesnít actually do anything to change, there you go.  Thatís what you need to listen too.

Thereís a lot going on here and itís very doubtful he will change his ways. Mine never did. It just got worse and worse over the years. The last year he actually bought himself a 66,000 truck to drive one mile to a part time job. ďI deserve itĒ.  He actually said that to me. This was after a 26 year marriage and the last couple years he felt entitled to screw other people too, entitled to the max. This may sound extreme but dbags like this do exist and I was unfortunately married to one. It wasnít always like this but I could never do anything to change him. I would only get lucky sometimes and his behavior would get better for awhile til it wouldnít.


Good luck to you.  You sound strong and capable.  Iím sorry youíre in this situation.
Title: Re: In Desperate Need of Marital Money Management Advice
Post by: Pizzabrewer on September 27, 2018, 06:05:35 PM
Posts: 1 (1 per day)Age:N/A
Date Registered: September 24, 2018, 07:32:53 AM
Local Time:September 25, 2018, 09:02:18 AM
Last Active: September 24, 2018, 08:33:38 AM

^^^
This.

Most likely a troll.
Title: Re: In Desperate Need of Marital Money Management Advice
Post by: use2betrix on September 27, 2018, 08:06:50 PM
So - why did you marry this guy? I have a hard time believing he was much different before marriage. Itís easy to blame the husband (and I do) but the OP needs to have some major self realization as to why she would feel willing to settle with someone on a such an opposite extreme of themselves.
Title: Re: In Desperate Need of Marital Money Management Advice
Post by: Finances_With_Purpose on September 27, 2018, 10:04:25 PM
At this point, definitely marriage counseling.  You guys have entered a rut in which you act like the parent because he can't be trusted to handle his money, and so he rebels, which is what all right-thinking kids do when they reach a certain age.  You need to break that pattern before you can move forward.

I would also suggest you look closely for your own contribution to this problem, because the only way to break habits is to change the way you react (as you don't control someone else).  Example:  you knew he was spendy when you married him, right?  So part of the current issue is your belief/presumption that he would change his ways after marriage.  This is a common view among frugal people, btw -- what you are doing seems so logical and right that it is inconceivable that someone else, once exposed to the rightness of that path, would not immediately see the light and jump on board.  Example:  you guys agreed to a proportional split of the bills, but you still criticize him for how he spends the rest of his money.  WTF?  The whole point of the proportional split was so he would pay his fair share, right?  So if he pays that share, why is it your business to control what he does with the rest?  Sure, you lent him money, and you have every right to be angry if he is going to spend more before paying you back, but the fix for that is just not to lend him money -- not to lend him money and kvetch about how he manages the payoff.

The fundamental issue here is that he has a very specific view of what money is for, and you have a very different one -- and you both believe your view is right.  But the reality is that neither of you is "right" -- there is no such thing as an objective "right."  The first step to moving past your impasse is to acknowledge that both of you are grown-ass adults, and you both have equal rights to spend your money however you see fit.  Your job as a couple is to figure out how to make sure you meet your responsibilities to each other and to the baby, while still getting each of you as much of what you want as you can manage. 

I am going to say that again, because it was hard as hell for me, and so I am going to assume it is equally hard for you:  you are not "right," and he is not "wrong."  You are both equal adults, with an equal right and ability to make your own financial decisions.

So:  if you approach it from that angle, can you see why he is angry and frustrated?  Everything you say, everything you do, is telling him that he is wrong, and that he needs to give up everything that he wants to meet your approval -- and then even when he tries to meet you partway, you jump on him.  How would you respond in that situation?  How would you feel if every time you deposited something in savings, he was berating you because you could be using it for XYZ? 

The way you get through this is to stop talking logic.  Yes, btw, you are 100% right that he is being stupid and immature and consumerist -- I am actually 100% on your side here.  But you have to completely ignore that if you want to make progress.  He is being stupid with his money not because he doesn't know any better, but because it meets some kind of emotional need.  And you are saving and being frugal because it meets some kind of emotional need.  So what are those needs on both sides?  Sit down with a bottle of wine -- or a few, over several weeks -- and start talking about all your hopes and fears.  Ask him how he feels when he buys a $300 pair of shoes.  Like it or not, our society places a lot of pressure on men to be the breadwinner and earn a lot of money.  Yes, it is stupid and sexist and retrograde -- but if he feels "less than" because he only makes $30K, it's still very real to him, and so it is a "real" need of his that you guys together have to learn how to meet.  What he is hearing from you now is that his feelings are stupid and not worth anything.  What he needs to hear is that you value him, and it's important that he be happy, and you want to figure out some way for him to get as much of what he needs as you guys can afford.

Please also note that this is the beginning of the discussion, not the end of it.  The end goal is for him to realize that all that consumerist stuff is bullshit, and that the welfare of his wife and itty bitty baby is the most important thing, and that he'd rather have freedom and time with you guys than all the "stuff" in the world.  But you are not the one who can convince him of that -- he has to see it for himself.  And he can't do that while you guys are so locked into your positions, feeling defensive and attacked.  If you open up about your own fears -- fear of poverty, maybe?  Feel of that insecurity of what happens if the job goes away, or if there isn't enough money in the account to cover a medical bill, or whatever -- then your vulnerability can help him let his guard down, so that he then can be strong for you instead of strong against you.  And once you guys have learned to let your guard down and talk fears and insecurities, you can also talk hopes and dreams -- spending time together, spending time with the kid(s), not working your whole life, ditching it all to travel in a van -- whatever it is that you guys dream of, what you're working for.

Only at this point can you start talking numbers.  This is when you can look at where your money is going, and whether those purchases are taking you closer to your big goals or further away from them.  And then you negotiate how much you can both put toward current wants and how much should be dedicated towards future wants.

Good luck.  You have a hard road here, but it can be done if both of you are willing. 

(Also, please note that if he were posting here I would be ripping him a complete new asshole, because IMO he is being ridiculous and immature and stupid and all sorts of "horrible spouse."  But he isn't writing in -- you are.  And telling you that he's being stupid only doubles down on where you are now -- the lesson for you is to try to figure out how to move past that and hear the "why" behind the stupidity.).

1,000x THIS.  I say that as someone who had to learn a lot of these things the hard way myself...

You have a communication problem.  NOT a money problem.  You have several communication problems, actually, but they're all things you can work through.  It's tough, but I suspect you're uniquely qualified to work through this with this man - there is hope - since he's already your husband.  The two of you got together for a lot of reasons.

You can try strategies like speaker-listener techniques to get you past some of these points - but, like everyone else, I highly recommend martial counseling, stat.  A good counselor can work wonders if you're both invested in it.  At least get yourself counseling to help walk through this. 

You asked several questions, and they reminded me of exactly the types of ways I might frame questions early on in marriage, so I'm going to pause here and now answer those questions after learning these things the hard way:

Quote
Please help. How do I get through to him that we are a team and in this together?  That we need to be saving money for the baby, not blowing it on wants. How do I teach him financial responsibility? How do I get him to stop feeling so entitled to material things because people on youtube have them? Stop trying.  You can only control YOU.  Don't even think about changing who he is until you really, truly absorb that truth. Let go of the idea that you have to change him - you just have to live with him.And how do I communicate this in an effective way? Stop trying.  THIS isn't what you want to communicate, nor is it going to be heard.  You want to communicate how things make you feel and align on overall goals.I'm an engineer with horrible communication skills. Extra bonus points for realizing your limitations: that's the first step towards progress.  And I'm not making fun here - that's a big help, and it took me a while to realize my own communications pitfalls.I deal best in logic and math, not emotions. I can't empathize with his feelings of frustration with his lot in life, or wanting material things to make him feel good about himself, because I don't have those types of feelings. Sure you do.  You may not sympathize with how he expresses things, or exactly what he's going through in some ways, but you know what it is to feel insecure and do silly things because of it.  Why do you think he wants $300 shoes?  See @Laura33 's post...there are probably other things going on here, having nothing to do with money, that you guys aren't discussing because the communication shuts down and goes sideways before you get there.He likes to claim that I don't have any feelings, which isn't true.

A few quick tips:
1.  You can only control YOU.  You can only change what's in the circle right around you - yourself, your emotions, and YOUR responses.  You can't make him do anything.
2.  OWN your part.  You have a part in this conflict.  It's 100% your part.  Own that part.  Even if it's small, or you don't think it's big, own it.  Do that first.  (If you don't see your part, well, we can all help you...just ask.  @Laura33 got a start at it, by pointing out that you married the man with all these issues present, and also, the communication issues.  This isn't to beat you down, but to highlight that you definitely have pieces you can own and doing that can/will improve the situation.) 
3.  YOU make bad choices too.  Similarly silly ones, too, in fact.  We ALL do.  That's part of being human: being broken and sometimes making bad decisions.  We just do it in different ways and areas.  Some folks turn towards alcohol for emotional reasons, some overeat, some isolate, and on and on and on.  Empathy will help here.  You have areas where you don't cope perfectly, same as him.  His just show up with money. 
4.  You're NOT right.  I completely second what @Laura33 said about that.  You see your perspective, but he has one too, and it's a balance.  And that doesn't mean there *isn't* an objective right or wrong in the universe, but what it means is that putting relationships through that filter - trying to figure out, objectively, who's right/wrong, assign blame, etc. in a relationship is a fast-track way to destroy the relationship.  Especially with a marriage.  (Bonus tip: this is something you can own, as you are *definitely* contributing to these marriage difficulties.) 
5.  Humans are poor communicators.  Many of us very much so.  We can't articulate our own feelings, our own heart, and why we do what we do.  We don't even understand ourselves much of the time, we've just learned certain patterns.  Corollary: judging and getting upset with humans for doing this is a fool's errand...it's going to hurt you as much or more than it hurts others. 

I'm hopeful for you - you sound like you're trying hard to do the right thing.  If you put that energy into getting the help you need and acting upon it, it can be life-changing.  I'm going to PM you a few other suggestions as well. 
Title: Re: In Desperate Need of Marital Money Management Advice
Post by: DaMa on September 28, 2018, 06:55:31 AM
I had similar problems in my marriage.  My advice is to set x% of each income in joint account, and 100-x% in individual accounts.  Individual accounts are for the discretionary spending of the individual. 

Ok, I had to respond to this one.   This is very shitty for the person with low income.  This solution only works for non-married persons who each have careers and decent income that they are happy with beyond the relationship.  This is not what we have here:
--  One person with $80k (likely to go to $100k soon) and another with $30k, who is quite likely to end up at $0k taking care of kids for a while to offset daycare costs....!


Why -- The person with $80k gets a much, much larger spending account, even if they pay for 75% of the household expenses.   
EXAMPLE
e.g., Household expenses and savings are $60k/yr... assume 25% net taxes   One pays $45k (75% of expenses), one pays $15k (25%).
Spouse 1:  $80k * (75% after taxes)-$45k = $15k....   
Spouse 2:  $30k * (0.75)-$15k = $7.5k.   

One person gets to spend $1250/mo, and the other person gets to spend only $625/mo.  The lower income spouse is going to think this is not fair...especially if they like nice things.

What happens when the lower income spouse takes a year off work or goes part time to offset child care?  eg. their income drops to only $15k?

Spouse 1 can spend ($80k *0.75) - (80/95 total income) * $60k expenses = $9,475/yr -- yes it is less than before, but...
Spouse 2 can spend only $1,775/ yr, even though they proportionately pay only 15% of the household expenses due to lower income.

I want to respond to this.  My DH and I actually have even amounts of individual money, however I had no issue with his making less than me, and there was no expectation that he should grow his income.  Also, we basically had the same goals -- to be debt free, to save for college and retirement.  If OP and her spouse have different goals -- she wants to save, he wants to buy luxury items, the method I suggest would work better IMO.  She would use her higher income to pursue her goal of saving while he can pursue whatever luxury items he can afford.

The key is to sit down and come up with a plan TOGETHER that both agree to that allows her not to monitor or need to approve his purchases.  If they can't do that, they are in trouble.  Is she really going to be ok with him spending 7.5k on himself while she spends her 15k on saving for the family?  Or do they agree that they each have 5k for themselves, while putting 12.5k in savings?  (Notice how the second scenario fits your equality plan, but both actually have less money to do what each wants?  And yes, she could put 1/2 of her 5k in savings to get the same result, but would she resent it?)
Title: Re: In Desperate Need of Marital Money Management Advice
Post by: Slowtraveler on September 28, 2018, 09:05:59 AM
That was a hard read. We have one side of the story but from how it sounds, both parties don't respect each other. This can be a catalyst to bridge the communication gaps or to let go. I'm sorry you and your family have to endure the stress you're going through right now.

Is there anyway he can use Excel to track every dollar he spends so he can see why he has no savings? Any way to connect him saving with a larger future goal he's crazy about? Any way to get him inspired to save due to a newfound passion for it?
Title: Re: In Desperate Need of Marital Money Management Advice
Post by: erutio on September 28, 2018, 10:18:06 AM
we're all being trolled here.
Title: Re: In Desperate Need of Marital Money Management Advice
Post by: herbgeek on September 28, 2018, 11:28:23 AM
+1 on the all the good advice above.

One thing stuck out for me in what you said:  he's very proud of having 2 degrees, but is only making 30K?  Unless you are in a very low cost/salary area, this seems off to me.  Why so low?   Can he do side hustles to increase income?
Title: Re: In Desperate Need of Marital Money Management Advice
Post by: JGS1980 on September 28, 2018, 01:04:17 PM
Divorce will mean that your arguments about how to spend money will turn into court battles over how to spend money and how to divide your child's time between you. More draining and more expensive.

OP, stop trying to fix your husband. You asked, "How do I get through to him that we are a team and in this together?" but you do not describe him or treat him as a teammate. A team has shared goals and works towards them together. You and your husband have different goals and you think being a team is making him work towards your goals. Get to counseling ASAP, preferably together but alone if he won't go, to figure this out.

Amen, my favorite post of the thread
Title: Re: In Desperate Need of Marital Money Management Advice
Post by: PizzaSteve on September 29, 2018, 05:39:21 PM
we're all being trolled here.
Well, the discussion was interesting anyway....
Title: Re: In Desperate Need of Marital Money Management Advice
Post by: onlykelsey on September 29, 2018, 07:17:29 PM
we're all being trolled here.
Well, the discussion was interesting anyway....
+1  I had never heard of the karpman drama triangle thing someone linked to above. https://www.lynneforrest.com/articles/2008/06/the-faces-of-victim/
Title: Re: In Desperate Need of Marital Money Management Advice
Post by: aceyou on September 30, 2018, 07:52:39 PM
OK, I'm going to be the first to say "It"

I feel terrible for you being pregnant and just realizing what a tool he is.  You seem to be a very sensible person.  I would cut my losses now and leave the marriage as it seems this is a HUGE deal for you.  It won't get better.

I am sorry, but this is my opinion too. 
Title: Re: In Desperate Need of Marital Money Management Advice
Post by: RavensBrew on October 02, 2018, 02:14:50 PM
My sister moved in with her boyfriend who sounds exactly like your husband. He couldn't get it through his head how bills work and would always say things like "we'll figure it out" after he would spend his money partying with friends. "I need to relax and have fun!" he would say after sitting on the couch all day because he got laid off. My sis was lucky though, they didn't have kids and weren't married. I know you wrote this post in a moment of frustration but I think you know what you need to do... you're probably going to have to cut your losses. It sucks but like everyone else said you will never get through to him and he has no desire to care.
Damn... for me the TV thing alone would be divorce worthy. I am sorry for your predicament and I wish you the best. Good luck!
Title: Re: In Desperate Need of Marital Money Management Advice
Post by: marty998 on October 02, 2018, 03:34:44 PM
He couldn't get it through his head how bills work and would always say things like "we'll figure it out" after he would spend his money partying with friends.

This is how a 14 year old who has never experienced any consequences of their actions behaves.
Title: Re: In Desperate Need of Marital Money Management Advice
Post by: PizzaSteve on October 22, 2018, 09:55:56 AM
we're all being trolled here.
Well, the discussion was interesting anyway....
+1  I had never heard of the karpman drama triangle thing someone linked to above. https://www.lynneforrest.com/articles/2008/06/the-faces-of-victim/
Great link.  Thanks.
Title: Re: In Desperate Need of Marital Money Management Advice
Post by: Dr.Jeckyl on October 23, 2018, 10:45:49 AM
Money creates so many problems in a marriage. This is especially true when both parties are used to their money being their money. Before this he had no one to answer to but himself. There needs to be a serious discussion of future together and goals. Then you need to understand how you both will contribute to these goals. There are going to be a lot of ways to set your finances as a married couple and there is not one absolutely right way. Personally, my wife and I are 50/50 partners in our finances. I make more and am the one that takes responsibility for our finances. We both have an equalish (sometimes one of us spends more depending on circumstances) allowance that we give ourselves. The allowance is given after we pay for the must haves and other obligations. The allowance is only for the things that we want. I want a new pair of running shoes, she wants to go out with the girls... I have a friend who makes much more than his wife and they split their bills and are constantly complaining about it.

All that being said, he needs a little growing up and realize that while he does make money and should be able to spend some of it he shouldn't be able to spend all of it. Maybe if you each had this separate but equalish amount of money that you can spend on anything it might help.
Title: Re: In Desperate Need of Marital Money Management Advice
Post by: Milizard on October 23, 2018, 01:49:27 PM
From your description, it is not his mother that is the problem.  He is an adult and needs to own up to his own behavior.

I have been studying zen buddism and they have a lot of good insights.  One is that honest communication about the suffering we are feeling with the one we love, not in the passion of a moment, but when we are calm is necessary.  He cant know, fully, how much he is causing you suffering and how much this is worrying you, unless you tell him.  If he loves you and realizes your suffering he should be willing to take action.  Tell him these situations cause you actual pain, as if you are being actually hurt by them, so it must change.  If he is uncaring about the suffering, obviously you need to plan to create boundaries.

You might start by sharing this thread and talking about it. He may also be suffering in ways he is not sharing, such as anxiety over loss of freedom, fear of responsibility for a child, feelings of inadequacy due to income when his fantasy of himself is as a strong provider.  Ask him to share his worries and plan mitigations (e.g. like he will still have freedom to do some guy stuff, just frugal freedoms, assure him the income difference does not diminish him in your eyes, etc.).
I hope it's okay to go off topic a bit here, since it appears OP is MIA. I just started studying Buddhism a bit, and wonder if you might have some recommendations for books or whatnot.

OP, if you happen to be reading, I will not pile on but will provide a suggestion.  Try to adjust your % contributions so that so both end up with roughly the same amount of spending money before the wastefulness is accounted for. Increase your personal savings to make this happen, if you can get the numbers to work out. Dog expenses, come out of his spending. Excess water usage, his spending,  etc. I wouldn't include food unless there really is a lot of extra special stuff he consumes (like expensive cuts of meat, for example). Men normally just need to eat more than women.  I  read a lot of resentment in your post, and I believe that you are justified to feel that way, but resentment just eats away at you. I know that from experience!
Title: Re: In Desperate Need of Marital Money Management Advice
Post by: PizzaSteve on October 25, 2018, 07:17:40 PM
From your description, it is not his mother that is the problem.  He is an adult and needs to own up to his own behavior.

I have been studying zen buddism and they have a lot of good insights.  One is that honest communication about the suffering we are feeling with the one we love, not in the passion of a moment, but when we are calm is necessary.  He cant know, fully, how much he is causing you suffering and how much this is worrying you, unless you tell him.  If he loves you and realizes your suffering he should be willing to take action.  Tell him these situations cause you actual pain, as if you are being actually hurt by them, so it must change.  If he is uncaring about the suffering, obviously you need to plan to create boundaries.

You might start by sharing this thread and talking about it. He may also be suffering in ways he is not sharing, such as anxiety over loss of freedom, fear of responsibility for a child, feelings of inadequacy due to income when his fantasy of himself is as a strong provider.  Ask him to share his worries and plan mitigations (e.g. like he will still have freedom to do some guy stuff, just frugal freedoms, assure him the income difference does not diminish him in your eyes, etc.).
I hope it's okay to go off topic a bit here, since it appears OP is MIA. I just started studying Buddhism a bit, and wonder if you might have some recommendations for books or whatnot.

OP, if you happen to be reading, I will not pile on but will provide a suggestion.  Try to adjust your % contributions so that so both end up with roughly the same amount of spending money before the wastefulness is accounted for. Increase your personal savings to make this happen, if you can get the numbers to work out. Dog expenses, come out of his spending. Excess water usage, his spending,  etc. I wouldn't include food unless there really is a lot of extra special stuff he consumes (like expensive cuts of meat, for example). Men normally just need to eat more than women.  I  read a lot of resentment in your post, and I believe that you are justified to feel that way, but resentment just eats away at you. I know that from experience!
Google is a good resource, but I just searched on mindfulness, zen and buddism at our local library and downloaded audiobooks.

I've really enjoyed the audiobooks by Sakyong Mipham on Mindfulness.

But really Google will get you many lists by people much more knowledgeable than I.