My husband and I always seem to end up in an argument over money. He gives me an allowance and then complains if I need more money. He doesn’t understand how much it costs to raise kids and now that they are getting older, they eat more and shoes and stuff cost more. He acts like because he works and I don’t, that it is his money and he has the say so about it. I love my husband but he can be so hard headed. I hope you can give me some advice. Sandy, not my real name.
Welcome to the club! Money is one of the top issues that couples have disagreements about. When you were first married and didn’t have any children, there probably weren’t the same issues as you are facing today. Working on a relationship is difficult enough, and then adding children to the mix increases the financial demands.
As long as you two are willing to have some civil conversations, I think you can incorporate some new strategies that can help you as a family and as a couple. First of all, it is important that both of you understand and have input in your financial affairs. I understand from what you wrote that you have an allowance. I am wondering if you have access to your bank accounts? That is a conversation to be had at another time. Budgeting is an excellent idea, but in order to have a budget that works, it needs to be created based on your net income and your actual expenses. Maybe your budget needs to be revised to better reflect what the actual costs are in your home.
As a couple, talk honestly and directly about the goals you have for your family short and long term. Make a habit of having these discussions on a regular basis. Understand and pay your bills together with your partner. Set goals and make financial decisions together. If you have abdicated the financial responsibilities to your partner because he is better at it, get involved so you understand your financial picture. It is important in the event that something unforeseen were to happen to your spouse.
Be aware that making changes to habits and roles that have been established for a long time can be met with resistance. It is my hope that this will have an overall beneficial effect on your relationship and your finances. Good luck, Sandy, as you embark on your journey. Remember to tell your husband how you want to be a partner in this with him and that you want to better understand your financial situation so you can be a support to him.
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