Dad's Spending Limits

Updated on November 01, 2006
J.K. asks from Birmingham, AL
11 answers

Does anyone have any advice on how to put a stop to my husband's spending habits. His mother and grandmother always gave him money and more money and every thing else he needed. I have been trying to start a budget, but as soon as he gets any money in his hands he HAS to spend it. He has stopped spending it all on him. He tries not to feel so guilty so he buys his 'toys' and then buys me something. Like "here is a movie for you and a few cds for me, but look I got you something." I have yet to see any of his pay checks. I am a sahm so it is very frustrating b/c bills are stacking up and bill collectors are calling. I am getting afraid to answer the phone. I try to talk to him about it but it just starts another fight. I am tired of fighting. I am also tired of not paying bills. Any one have any advice on how to pull the riens of his spending without having meltdown.

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answers from Asheville on

Me and my new fiance are going through the same thing. I am well on my way to be debt free on my own, through Dave Ramseys book. (Its amazing by the way!!). But I cant seem to get him on the same page. Any advice on how to get him to read this book would be greatly appreciative. He does not get the concept of bills, and how they come in monthly and you have to be ready for them when they get here. My advice is read the book. then find a way for him to read the book. I started out on my own with over $15,000 in debt and I am down to only about $2,000.00 on my own. I can see the freedom of no debt at the end of the tunnel and I am super excited!!! If only I could get him on board! Good luck!

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answers from Mobile on

You have a lot of great advice on here. Although I don't think that things would disappear to sell on ebay, that could cause some MAJOR problems in the marriage as well. I would definatley ask for the paystubs and the banking info so that you can do a proper budget. Make sure that you explain to him what you are doing and have him help you create the budget and look at the bills with you. If he's totally involved he may not fight so much and be a lot more receptive to stopping his spending. You want to make sure that you are both in it together and he doesn't feel like your taking something away from him. He may also feel a little threatened if you are "bossing" him around. I know that when I ask my husband for something (really telling him, but in a nice asking way) he does it without a fight, but if I come right out and say you can't - it's an automatic fight. Keep him very aware of how much money you have, and let him know that once you have the budget set you can find ways for him to have some spending money. My husband has a $20/week spending limit. I thought it would be a problem, but he loves getting his "allowance" and has no problem when he runs out early. It's also a great way for him to learn to save up for something he wants. It's like teaching a child about spending because he hasn't had those lessons in life before, just make sure not to treat him like a child. Men like to be the man of the house, you know you have to watch those tender egos...*grin*
Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dothan on


For lack of better words...nip this in the bud now before you get into severe financial trouble. If you need to have a meltdown to get his it. If you are afraid he will have a meltdown if you confront him...don't worry about. He needs to come to the realization that you could loose everything if he is not careful. Do the following first though:

1.) If you have access to the bank account and your finances, check EVERYTHING out. Find out how much he has been spending. Find out what is left.

2.) Next, what you dread the most, get started calling everyone in your stack of bills. Explain to them your situation. Tell them you are trying to work everything out. They need to know you are trying to "clean up" the mess. Keep in touch with them. Usually, if you put forth the effort, they will try to work with you if you aren't completely over your head.

3.) If you are in deep financial trouble, seek a financial advisor. Or someone you know who can help you figure out your best course of action get the bills paid off. You need to do this ASAP. You name, whether you like it or not, is attached to his debt.

4.) What kind of "toys" does he have? E-bay is a great thing. And easy. And sometimes, things could disappear to make a payment. I'm not saying this is the best idea, but he hasn't left you much choice.

5.) Remember, financial problems are a leading cause of divorce in America. Try to get some counseling for this for both of you. Maybe you could even talk to your in-laws regarding giving money. Maybe you could persuade them to give it to your kids rather than dad. Set your children up an account so they will have the money they need for their activities. You could also talk to his boss in confidence if it came down to that.

I wish you luck. Debt is a horrible thing and feels like a bottomless pit when you are in it. Just remember, you take the lead. You show him that you are a strong woman and that this is unacceptable. He should understand that. He maybe won't want to, but he should if he cares about you and your children.

Please e-mail me if you need any support. I'm happy to chat.

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Tuscaloosa on

You have received a lot of excellent advice which I agree with. Although, I do have one suggestion.

If he really is having a problem grasping the whole concept of bills and income... you need to try and get him to keep a log of his expenses from one paycheck to another. Then have him go over the list and ask himself... "Was this needed or could I/we have done without it?"

He may not realize just how much money he's going through every month. Once he sees it on paper it might wake him up.

Just in case... if you don't already... get a seperate bank account... don't blend your incomes if it's as bad as you say. Or better, yet... open an account that is only for your bills. Determine how much you both should deposit into it each paycheck in order to make your payments.

This is definately something you guys need to get a handle on. Money is the "root of all evil". And it has caused quite a few divorces... it was a contributing factor in mine. And once your credit is ruined... you'll play hell trying to get it re-established again... I know.

Good luck & God Bless



answers from Montgomery on

Lee is on to something there....well said!



answers from Spartanburg on

well, if something is not done you are going to end up with creditors calling and harrassing you to the end that they will sue you, and you will end up in a desperate state where you may need to file bankruptcy just to get some peace. I would sit down with him and have a very serious talk regarding your financial situation. Pull out the bills and go through everything see what is actually owed and pull up your bank account online there you can see all activity going on, and print our your statements and sit down and go over them. You may need to open a separate checking account, and when he gets paid, move over the money you will need to living expenses and he can use the rest. Or work out some sort of allowance plan so that he can still get things if he needs them, but not be in over excess. If he doesn't listen or come around, you may need to pull in some of your close friends and do something like an intervention. you need to get through to him and stop this behavior or it is going to ruin you guys financially and may ruin your marriage.



answers from Tuscaloosa on

It will take some time, but I think that if you quantified it for him, how much he spends, and what debt you have, it might let him see what he is doing to your future. Really show him. Men understand numbers not feelings. Also, show him the the intersted that is being accrued and the amount of money that is being waisted in interest. Money you could have, not give it to a bank.
He is going to have to cut up his credit cards, and give up checks, and debit cards. Then you can give him a set amount each day or week and don't allow any purchases that aren't on a list. i.e. no sponstaneous purchases. And don't let him go to the store at alone, atleast for a few months until he is under control. It's an addiction for him. Treat it as such.



answers from Wilmington on

You really need to get him in a good place where you can approach the conversation in a non blaming way, or his state of mind where he won't take everything you say as an attack. Money is the leading cause of divorce. Debt not being paid back is affecting both of your credit scores which will hurt you for a long time. Maybe that could be a starting point, how it will affect home purchases, car purchases, anything, you will have to pay a higher interest rate if you have a low credit score.
One more thing I noticed and want to mention. When a dear friend of mine never saw her husbands pay checks it turned out to be a bad thing. He was not always at work when he said he was. Not that this is the case with your husband! But I would insist on seeing paystubs and financials, you have a right to know what is going on.
I wish the best for you both!



answers from Charlotte on

I'll share two things that helped us because in this case, I was the one with the spending problem. I'll admit it, I'm a shopaholic. It took us years to dig out of our credit debt and become debt free, but it was worth it. I'm 31 and we're down to one car payment (almost done) and a mortgage payment. I've been there with you afraid to pick up the phone and spending all my time worrying about money.

Wish I could say it will be easy, but it won't.

1. Dave Ramsey --
listen to his radio show, get your husband to listen, get both of you to his seminar if you can, find a local Financial Peace University class if you can, follow his plan because it works if you make a commitment to fixing your life

2. While Dave Ramsey would disagree, we also play the allowance game in our house. Each paycheck, we both have money automatically deposited into separate accounts with the balance deposited into the joint account for bills, mortgage, groceries, etc. This is money that we each have 100% control over. There are 2 rules for this money: (1) no criticizing what the other person buys with it and (2) when it is gone, it is gone -- no stealing from the house money for something unless the other spouse agrees. I use my allowance for things like new bedding, non-necessity clothes, trips, etc. My husband uses it for things like electronics, car accessories, CDs, etc. As our income has increased, so has our allowance. I can't tell you how much this has cut down on money stress in our house. If I want to spend $150 on shoes or a purse, I save my "allowance" until I can afford it and he can't say a thing.



answers from Dothan on

Hi J., I work but had the same problems with my husband.My check was to be used for bills, but his to use as he saw fit. Maybe it was for hunting, fishing or just some other toy that he didn't really need. I had him help me at the table to build a budget. I handed him all the bills, the bank statement,some stamps and a monthly planner. I didn't have any more trouble after the first couple of weeks. You will have to go behind them to make sure they got paid. The power co called I now get his checks and he gets 40.00 a week unless something comes up. This stopped my stress, our arguements and the phone from ringing..Good luck.



answers from Tuscaloosa on

My husband is bad with money too. I give him a weekly food/gas allowance. He doesn't have access to our bank account unless he's overseas. If he's deployed, he has a debit card, and I put money into the account for him. It's completely seperate from the bill account. Luckily, my husband's paychecks are direct deposited so they go automatically in the bank. Could you do something like that with his?

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