Author Topic: In Desperate Need of Marital Money Management Advice  (Read 10473 times)

ixtap

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Re: In Desperate Need of Marital Money Management Advice
« Reply #50 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.

Goldielocks

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Re: In Desperate Need of Marital Money Management Advice
« Reply #51 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.
« Last Edit: September 25, 2018, 10:58:49 AM by Goldielocks »

SKL-HOU

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Re: In Desperate Need of Marital Money Management Advice
« Reply #52 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.

Jenny1974

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Re: In Desperate Need of Marital Money Management Advice
« Reply #53 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.

onlykelsey

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Re: In Desperate Need of Marital Money Management Advice
« Reply #54 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.

koshtra

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Re: In Desperate Need of Marital Money Management Advice
« Reply #55 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.




MDfive21

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Re: In Desperate Need of Marital Money Management Advice
« Reply #56 on: September 25, 2018, 12:22:50 PM »
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yep, and it's toooo good.  hits all the buttons doesn't it? 

Goldielocks

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Re: In Desperate Need of Marital Money Management Advice
« Reply #57 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.

ysette9

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Re: In Desperate Need of Marital Money Management Advice
« Reply #58 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.

Goldielocks

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Re: In Desperate Need of Marital Money Management Advice
« Reply #59 on: September 25, 2018, 01:07:55 PM »
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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.... 

GUNDERSON

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Re: In Desperate Need of Marital Money Management Advice
« Reply #60 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.

Villanelle

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Re: In Desperate Need of Marital Money Management Advice
« Reply #61 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. 

AMandM

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Re: In Desperate Need of Marital Money Management Advice
« Reply #62 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.

CU Tiger

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Re: In Desperate Need of Marital Money Management Advice
« Reply #63 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.

Kakashi

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Re: In Desperate Need of Marital Money Management Advice
« Reply #64 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. 

Awesomeness

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Re: In Desperate Need of Marital Money Management Advice
« Reply #65 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.

Pizzabrewer

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Re: In Desperate Need of Marital Money Management Advice
« Reply #66 on: September 27, 2018, 06:05:35 PM »
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^^^
This.

Most likely a troll.

use2betrix

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Re: In Desperate Need of Marital Money Management Advice
« Reply #67 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.

Finances_With_Purpose

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Re: In Desperate Need of Marital Money Management Advice
« Reply #68 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. 

DaMa

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Re: In Desperate Need of Marital Money Management Advice
« Reply #69 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?)

Slowtraveler

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Re: In Desperate Need of Marital Money Management Advice
« Reply #70 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?

erutio

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Re: In Desperate Need of Marital Money Management Advice
« Reply #71 on: September 28, 2018, 10:18:06 AM »
we're all being trolled here.

herbgeek

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Re: In Desperate Need of Marital Money Management Advice
« Reply #72 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?

JGS1980

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Re: In Desperate Need of Marital Money Management Advice
« Reply #73 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

PizzaSteve

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Re: In Desperate Need of Marital Money Management Advice
« Reply #74 on: September 29, 2018, 05:39:21 PM »
we're all being trolled here.
Well, the discussion was interesting anyway....

onlykelsey

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Re: In Desperate Need of Marital Money Management Advice
« Reply #75 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/

aceyou

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Re: In Desperate Need of Marital Money Management Advice
« Reply #76 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. 

RavensBrew

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Re: In Desperate Need of Marital Money Management Advice
« Reply #77 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!

marty998

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Re: In Desperate Need of Marital Money Management Advice
« Reply #78 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.

PizzaSteve

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Re: In Desperate Need of Marital Money Management Advice
« Reply #79 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.

Dr.Jeckyl

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Re: In Desperate Need of Marital Money Management Advice
« Reply #80 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.

Milizard

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Re: In Desperate Need of Marital Money Management Advice
« Reply #81 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!

PizzaSteve

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Re: In Desperate Need of Marital Money Management Advice
« Reply #82 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.