Getting Ahead, and Getting Hubby Involved

Updated on October 28, 2011
J.V. asks from Chicago, IL
16 answers

I'm at a loss. I am usually really good at creating financial plans that we can meet, but in the last few years, with stagnating salaries, etc. we just aren't making it. Hubby got a promotion 2 years ago, but he only just got the raise last year, so we missed out on a whole year of that added salary. And this was after no raise for 2 years. We are doing OK, but we need to do better. We keep adding expenses (more kids) without adding more income. We stash as much money as we can into our retirement account, I coupon, we have kids college funds, so we look OK.

But we aren't. We aren't meeting our financial goals, and the only way we can meet them is if hubby gets a bigger salary. This is a possibility, and he has been telling me for at least 2 years that he is underpaid by at least 30k. Yet, he does nothing about it. He told his boss at the start of this year he was going to look for a new job. It is now 10 months later. The only thing hubby did for this supposed new job was start a linked in account.

So ladies, we are planning on having yet another kid. We need more income. I am a SAHM who would only be able to get a job making peanuts --I left my profession to have kids and there is no way to get back into to, once you are out, you are dated and that be that. So me getting a job that would make it worthwhile for me to work isn't an option.

How do I get hubby to go after this extra money he knows he is worth? Money doesn't motivate him. He is motivated by approval, not money. I get this, but we need more money! There is only so much couponing I can do! We are already a paperless house, I make my own cleaning supplies, I have two freezers, I am frugal! And he refuses to cut certain fats out of our budget (wine, whiskey, etc). I've done everything I can to create a lean budget, but to meet our long term goals, we need to increase income significantly. Ideas as to how to motivate him without him feeling attacked or like I don't approve of his contributions?
A few additions pieces of information, save for student loan, one car payment and our mortgage, we have no debt. We meet our bills with no problems, our credit is in the 900 range. We have no problem putting good food on our table, we have more than enough to have another child.

Because of the house market crash, we have lost equity in our home. We purchased our home before kids, and we are outgrowing it. We need more space. Since we lost over 100k in equity, we have to start from scratch to be able to move or to be able to do a build. So, the issue is, how to find the extra money to make a move that will be necessary in a few years?

As to my ability to make money, I am trained as a research level professor. I have been out of the field for over 7 years. I have no idea what is going on in that field, and no one is going to hire me, when there are new Ph.D out there with "cutting edge" work already. I knew when I left that I was leaving my profession for life, it's the way it works. Me getting a PT job would be silly when hubby just needs to move jobs to make 5 times what I would make PT without doing any more work. If I were to get a job, more would be dumped on him, and we'd have to pay people to do things for us. It isn't the economical thing to do.

What can I do next?

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So What Happened?

Thanks to everyone who gave me some suggestions on motivating hubby. I'm really in a bind, He's the one that told me that a new job was necessary for us to meet our financial goals, but he just doesn't move.

And no, it isn't about him liking or not liking his job. He doesn't move on anything. I don't' know why, but he has a bunch of medical procedures he needs to get done before the end of the year too, that require surgery, and he hasn't even called to make appt to get things started yet. He doesn't have that much time left, yet, he puta it off. He pushes everything off, unless he absolutely has to.

I love the idea of squeezing him out of his bedroom. Maybe that's the kick he needs!

Featured Answers


answers from Albany on


You can't make him be something he's not (with regards to income OR head!). I do not believe you can 'motivate him without him feeling attacked'.

I guess if YOU want more money, go to work. I'd be willing to bet he secretly wishes you would.

Otherwise, things will get better, keep doing what you're doing. We had years when we were using the second mortgage to pay the first. I worked part time, I babysat.

Time went by, things got better. Still it may always be one step forward two steps back. If you have the bills paid and food on the table, why fret?


8 moms found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

All I can say is we are a family of 5 living off of 29,000 a year with no debt other then a house payment (mortgage) and a car that will be payed off in December.

So that brings me to the "did you really budget everywhere you can?" Question. Cause we live a pretty happy life on just 30k and you are telling me that you husband is short about 30k at least for what he gets paid...So he makes more MORE then enough to support three kids let along probably 4 more at that...

It is hard when the hubby and wife are not on the same page...lucky for us me and my husband are...Good make more then enough you can't see it...too many wants.

6 moms found this helpful

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answers from Chicago on

Sometimes you have to be thankful for what you have! You have a husband that has a great job, and is still working even though the economy is bad, you get to stay home with your kids. You have enough to put good, healthy meals on the table. Maybe you won't be able to move into a bigger house, make due with what you have, kids can share rooms, it teaches them to share! From an outsider it sounds like you have it great, be thankful!!

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Naples on

J., I would tread carefully with this.
You made the choice to give up your career/earning power and have your family rely 100% on your husband financially.
With that, comes the responsibility to make the best of what he provides, and not complain, or demand more more more.
And yes, you may have to give up some of your desires (a bigger house, more kids).....and probably change/reevaluate your "long term goals." Very few families these days can live on one income, without making some big sacrifices and tough choices.
You think him going out and magically getting a promotion or a better job in this awful economy, is the answer. I would be careful about harassing him about that because, he could very well turn it around and say YOU getting back in the workforce is the answer!
You have valid reasons as to why that won't work, you won't make enough to cover childcare, etc.
Well....I'm sure he has valid reasons too, as to why he can't just suddenly up and make tens of thousands more a year.
Frankly I envy get to be a SAHM in are so fortunate. It is too bad you don't see it that way.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Boca Raton on

You sound very organized and logical, and he sounds like more of a Type B person - you guys probably make a great combo!

I would stop hashing over a year's salary increase that went unrealized. What's done is done, and there's no getting that back. Continuing to fret about it will just make your husband freeze up. And you can't change him or anyone else.

I would also consider getting or creating a side job. Is there any way you can help people do what you're great at doing (budgeting carefully and running a household)? You sound fantastic!

Good luck and I hope you guys can work this out.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

LMFAO! Title is VERY misleading, hahaha

ETA - Have you thought about at home jobs for yourself? Maybe Baby Making needs to be put on hold right now. Good luck!

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

First off - you need to change your title - it might get pulled..

Sounds like the budget you set forth was based on raises instead of what you were actually bringing in the door.

And to be honest, it sounds like you are only focused on money and meeting a goal. Which is admirable, but you may be missing out on so much more in LIFE because you are fixated on money.

If you have a college fund, great! Take that money and pay off any debt that you have. While I respect the fact that you want to set aside money for your children's college, keeping your head above water is what matters most.

Stop having kids. You know what causes it. If you can't afford them. Stop having them. Birth control, vasectomy, tubal ligation...there are a number of things that can be done or used to stop having babies.

You CANNOT get your husband to go after money - that's NOT his goal. It's YOURS. You don't approve of his want more. You know he's not a "money" man. He is HAPPY in his job. Not many can say that. I'd rather my husband be happy in his job/career than to be chasing something that his wife wants....take stock. he's HAPPY.

I don't know what career you had before kids, however, NOTHING is impossible...and no one is dated...look at the new faces in modeling...what about the W. they just showcased last week on a morning show who is now in her 50s and getting gigs left and right? So really? NOTHING is impossible. If you need to get a job - then start small to get your foot back in the door and volunteer or intern while the kids are in school. You might be surprised at what happens.

As to making a budget work? Go to the library and check out Suze Orman or Dave Ramsey...they have great advice for taking control of your finances. Living with what you HAVE versus what you WANT.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Cleveland on

I think you kind of want "it all" but there are usually sacrifices in life. You wanted to be a SAHM knowing you couldn't get back into your career but you made that decision it sounds like vs your husband forced you to. I'd love to be a SAHM but I haven't left my job partly bc I don't think I could get back into my career either. So we have the benefit of my income now, you have the benefit of staying home. We both have had to sacrifice. Money is also one reason we didn't have more than 2 kids. It's not the only reason but it's one. I don't want to be worried about money so I sacrificed having a 3rd child. You already have 2 kids so having a 3rd is a choice you're making and it comes with a downside if money isn't plentiful. Some people are lucky and do have it all. Lots of kids and lots of money and stay at home. But I think they're in the minority. Maybe your husband likes his current job. That's VERY important. Forcing him to find a higher paying job (which may not be easy) might result in him making more money but working way longer hours and/or being miserable. It's not worth it. I wish my husband made more money too but since he doesn't and I want to be comfortable financially, I work. I don't put it all on him. It sounds like your husband coudl cut some out of your budget but he needs to enjoy life too. You're getting to be a SAHM, maybe he needs his wine... He's not just a work horse.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

Well, you're right that you need to decrease spending or increase income. But you can't "make" your husband do anything.
Planning another child is something you need to do with your eyes completely OPEN to the reality of the situation NOW.
That may well mean things are going to continue to be tough....and tight.
What about a PT job for O. (or both) of you. There are places you can work a few (12-16) evenings/weekends per week.
Frankly your excuse about not being to "get back in" to your field sounds like an excuse. And if you have to work "for peanuts" maybe it's a few peanuts you can use. You can do *something PT, off-hours, that doesn't call for childcare.
After all a sure fire cure for B-R-O-K-E is a J-O-B. People do what they need to do.
My husband has not received a raise in 3 years, in spite of the fact that he gets point ABOVE excellent every year at his performance review. He is told he is "topped out" for his job. Sucks for sure, but for now, it is our reality.
Frankly, in tough times, I would consider suspending 401K contributions, especially if your husband can't give up alcohol for the sake of feeding his family!

6 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

It's hard to tell here how you've talked about it in the past, but considering your organization and goal-setting, it's possible that you've approached him more as a manager than a partner. If you go into this with the framework that everything will be alright as long as HE does X Y or Z, then you're putting all a lot of external pressure on him. He has to believe in your ideas, and feel a part of the process. Ask questions about how he's feeling and what HIS ideas are, and then really listen. Approach him as a partner and you are more likely to get what you want.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from San Diego on

Get licensed and watch a couple of babies. I see no reason why you expect your husband to bear all the burden and yet you inist on having everything at the same time. So many of us are struggling with little or nothing in retirement and working 7 days per week, with 2 jobs. If you can't afford another child then DON'T have one.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Charlotte on

After your SWH, my opinion stands. But I'll add this, J.. Put the baby's crib and all his/her furniture in your bedroom. Don't co-sleep, but make your hubby uncomfortable with "3's a crowd". Put up with the small house until HE feels so crowded that he will work on finding the job. Don't worry about him feeling attacked. He'll get the picture by having to LIVE IT.

My eyes popped when I saw your title - so early in the morning! You might want to edit that...

I think that your husband is too used to you doing all the work to keep you guys afloat. Tell him that you are having a baby and he has to figure out how to afford it. Maybe that will get him to push himself more.

What is it they say, necessity is the mother of invention? Go ahead and invent. He'll figure out that it's necessary for him to get another job. Hand off paying the bills to him. That will help too.

Good luck!

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Erie on

Please edit your title. lol.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Nashville on

........tee hee hee ;0) My husband CRACKED UP when I showed him your mis-spelled title!! Funny how big of a difference one missing letter "a" can make! Great morning laugh!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Tampa on

Well, I deal with a similar situation in my house as well. I work full time though. You cannot make your husband be any more motivated than he is. He has to want to do better....It sounds like you are doing OK, just not as well as you want to be. I feel your pain!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Maybe get the financial planner involved. Hearing from you rather than and expert can also make a huge diference. I did the Finanacial Needs Analysis that anaylse your current and futire needs. Evalute all aspect of Retirement, education, protection etc etc and give you a blueprint and FEIN (Financial Independance Number) number. Looaking at the plan if you are not able to provide for education or your retirement, might open his eyes and he may look for new job, add more income and/or become frugal like you are!! Good Luck. If you need I can give you my advisors number.

1 mom found this helpful
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