Need to Budget!

Updated on February 28, 2009
M.A. asks from Denver, CO
42 answers

Hi there. I'm looking for some advise for a family budget. My husband and I both work and more than anything I want to be a stay at home mom. For years I have been asking my husband to sit down with me so we can create a family budget and a financial plan. He refuses. He says we are doing just fine. We do not have tons of debt, but we also don't have much in savings. Our savings contributions and my 401K contributions are sporatiic and small. We are not rolling in money and we would REALLY have to cut back for me to stay at home. How do I get him to agree to budget with me? I asked if he would like to go to a financial seminar (Crown Ministries) and he flat out refused. I said he was being lazy and he agreed. Basically, it would be hard and he DOES NOT want to do it. He thinks we can not afford to contribute to savings every pay check and I think we can't afford not to. Plus, I will NEVER get to quit working if we continue down this path. He just does not get it that you have to create a plan of attack if you want to get ahead. How do I convince him we will be so much better off if we just sit down and do it!

PS Plus we do not have wills or gardians for our children. Another "nagging" thing I ask him about.

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So What Happened?

Wow, thank you for the overwhelming response! I have been looking in the Dave Ramsey website and will find a class. I even think my hubby might come with me!

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N.P.

answers from Salt Lake City on

This is a GREAT budgeting program. http://www.mvelopes.com/
Once I just had to do it myself, and then the husband thought it was great.

1 mom found this helpful
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A.M.

answers from Denver on

I would say that you should just go ahead and make the budget. Show him that it is feasible for you to be a SAHM and what it will require. Sounds like if this is something you really want you're going to have to do the majority of the work. It'll be a good intro into the SAHM world ;)

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C.B.

answers from Denver on

If you want a savings you have to do it. If you want anything done, you need to do it. It will not get done if you are waiting for him to do it. My husband is the same way.
C. B

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K.W.

answers from Boise on

First, I want to thank you for asking this question! The responses are fabulous and I have some great new ideas! But, I also want to share what I've used and works for me so far. First, I read "Smart Women Finish Rich" by David Bach. It was so fabulous and easy, I paid of over $30K in credit card debt BY MYSELF before I was married, then bought a house MYSELF. Then I read all of his other books as they came out. FABULOUS for educating me on financial things about which I had no idea! I even have a solid grasp on investing in real estate now and my husband and I just bought our fourth investment house.
As for family budgeting (which as VERY TRICKY for me when I decided to quit my job), I found www.YNAB.com. YNAB stands for You Need A Budget and is super simple to use. The concept is to get your debt paid off and live on LAST MONTH'S income so that you'll always have plenty to pay the bills. I love it. I actually found it when I was deciding whether quicken was right for me (it wasn't).
There's my two cents worth! Let us know how it goes! :)

2 moms found this helpful
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L.J.

answers from Denver on

Hi M.,

Wow, you've got a ton of responces! My husband and I did a Financial Peace University class by Dave Ramsey. It was awesome!! To find a class in your area go to www.daveramsey.com and click on the Finacial Peace University option from the list on the left. Then you can put in your zip code. You could just get the book but I think the class setting is the way to go! We got way more out of it doing it that way than just reading a book. It forces you to do your homework and the two of you to talk about everything! The course covers everything to do with finances and spending/earning money! Wills, insurance, budgets, college, mortgages, getting out of debt, retirement...! It has truly been a blessing in our lives!!! I've recommeded it to many of my friends and family! I've even given the book as a wedding present several times!! Sounds like a lame gift but I wish someone had done that for us!!! God bless!!

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N.W.

answers from Salt Lake City on

I put this guy's widget on my google homepage:
http://www.iwillteachyoutoberich.com/blog/toc/

he has some good articles that you might like. If you set that as your homepage...or google as your homepage with his widget on it, maybe your husband would keep seeing it and get interested.

1 mom found this helpful
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V.W.

answers from Salt Lake City on

Dear M.,

This is a source of contention in most homes. Don't be afraid to budget your own money if you have too! My husband really got on the Dave Ramsey "band wagon" a few years back. It took me a while to join him, but since then we've had fewer money fights, and we're debt free and saving up to buy our own home again. (renting is best for our situation right now, but we are antsy to get into a home before the economy really comes crashing down!!) Savings and over-spending/debt are the biggies in what caused this most recent economic problem. We paid off $30k in debts to be debt free three years ago and we've never been happier about a choice we've made as a couple. As far as a budget goes those are the MOST difficult things to do, but Dave's budgets make great sense and cover basically everything, and even give you room to screw up, blow money on stupid things, and still get it all taken care of. I highly suggest his ENTIRE collection of books and cd's!!

And your first budget is never going to be perfect!! Like Dave says, "You'll call several emergency budget meetings in the first month to make it work."

hope that helps!

V.

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C.G.

answers from Denver on

Hi M.,

As much as I like Crown Ministries, a lot of men relate to Dave Ramsey better! DaveRamsey.com has great resources that you can buy and use at home. It really did change our finances to the point that we no longer fight about money. We bought Financial Peace University about 4 1/2 years ago and have shared it many times. Our two oldest know how to and desire to stay out of debt as a lifestyle. They also have children's programs that are really neat and helpful.

If you were to buy the book on tape, or check it out from the library, Total Money Makeover and ask your husband if he'd be willing to listen to it - if you ask you'll get a lot further than demanding - he may just change his mind. Or listen to it at strategic times when your husband is around to catch his ear. Ramsey is practical, entertaining, biblical and in your face all at the same time! His program is fun to go through yet still teaches you a great deal. His dvds are of a live seminar that he gives.

Understand all of us have a spender and a saver to differing degrees. Your husband's reaction is actually very normal. He'll need to be wooed in and think this is all his idea! Our husbands have a need to lead so appeal to that side of him. Best of luck to you!

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M.M.

answers from Denver on

Both Crown and Ramsey are excellent sources. I would start by educating yourself and take over houshold finance.

That being said, I am assuming by your choice of resources you are a Christian. My best friend always reminds me to nag on my knees. Take it to God and let the Holy Spirit Change his heart. He has a fear there that he may not fully understand. I know when my husband does not want to fail at something, he wont try at all. It is agrevating. But, maybe he will see your initiative and see that it is possible!

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Z.L.

answers from Denver on

Sounds like you should create the budget and institute it. Otherwise it may never happen! I bet you he'll have more imput once the family is on a budget!!

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J.N.

answers from Salt Lake City on

Tell him that if he doesn't want to deal with finances, that's ok ... you will. Make a budget, budget his 'play money' as part of it, and then stick to it (if he uses it all up at the first of the month he's stuck without). Once he starts complaining (if he ever does) tell him you'd love his input, and schedule a time to work together on it.

Also, if you want to stay home with your kids (which I would strongly suggest you do!!), find a way, make a way. Go over, under, around, through, whatever it takes. Cut back everywhere you can. Consolidate and close accounts. Plan your shopping and errands to save on gas and impulse buys. It really is possible - it just depends on how much you are willing to give up to do it. (I recently decided to stay home. We've had to give up plenty of what I thought were necessities, but ended up being luxuries.) Good luck!!

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J.S.

answers from Colorado Springs on

I see you have many responses but I just wanted to say, DAVE RAMSEY. Some people may not listen to him, but on 105.5 every morning you can listen to his views. My husband and I have read his books, Total Money Management and we now contribute to savings with every paycheck, which we were not able to before. You both have to be on the same page so if you read it and get the overall view, see if he will get on the same page. After that, then I would tell him you are going to quit and stay at home. The reality is he HAS to be on the same page so you can get out of the situation. If you come up with a budget and show him how easy it would be, he may jump on the ban wagon. But he MUST. It will NOT work with you doing it alone. Once you can get that moving forward, you can get the guardian ship and will done. It maybe a thing where you fill everything out and he can look over and sign. Really, he needs to understand the family comes first and you should have everything in place if something should happen to you. Good Luck, and hope that helps.

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K.G.

answers from Denver on

I am taking a class at my church right now (without my husband who also refuses to participate in anything concerning our finances)and I am learning so much and I will be able to do a lot of things to help us on my own. The class is called "Financial Peace" by Dave Ramsey and the class materials include Dvds so you could go to the class on your own but you can watch the Dvds at home again with your husband. If you do an internet search on it, you will be able to find a class near you.

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C.B.

answers from Denver on

The best way to get him to agree, in my opinion, is to sit down and make the budget yourself. Make one for your life now, both paychecks, daycare, gas, everything! Then make one for you not working, no daycare money, no gas money for you (well way less), and one paycheck, then show him that it is doable. If he has something to compare with, it makes it easier to see, and then he doesn't have to do the work of making the budget. I am the one in charge of our budget, I make it and show hubby what is going on and he always agrees. The one thing with a budget is that you have to give each family member play money. We added my gas money in my play money, because mine isn't a need like his is!

Good luck!

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D.T.

answers from Denver on

Financial failure is usually based on a failure to plan. You know that old saying, "You don't plan to fail, you fail to plan" It's true! Especially for women, who earn 77 cents to the man's dollar, that's down a penny from a few years back, so we aren't making the headway we should. If you could put just $200 a month into a good mutual fund, in 30 years you could have about $1.3 million and that's with just $200 a month!

Do you have term life insurance? Is it adequate? How will you know? You need to decide if one of you dies what do you want to have paid for? The funeral can run $10k, how about paying off the house (mortgage insurance doesn't do that - not for you) the kids college, an income for the survivor, pay off your debt? Will the coverage increase to keep up with inflation? You want pure term.

Do you intend for your child to attend college? Do you know what that will cost in when the time comes? Saving now will take a whole lot less at a time than waiting. What about retirement? Don't count on Social Security, it will have gone belly up long before you get there and it was never intended to be retirement support but a but of extra. How much money will take for you to retire? That depends on a number of questions; What age? What standard of living do you want? What is your debt situation at retirement age? Retirement with your house paid off is a whole different thing than one where you just refied for another 30 years.

Your retirement money should be separate from your husband's. However united you are now, things happen and too often women find themselves middle aged or older with virtually nothing. You should have an emergency fund - money invested and readily accessible in case the furnace or tranni need replaced.

You are right! You should have a plan in writing, it is the responsible and adult thing to do. Don't let your husband get away with resisting on this - your futures depend on it. You know that financial stress is one of the primary causes of marriages failing? Get a hold of a Primerica rep, they will do a free Financial Needs Analysis for you. They'll come to your home, sit down with you and ask the right questions to help you and will give an understandable written plan based your answers and needs. They can tell you exactly how your mortgage works and what any current ins you have really provides. A mahjor consummer watch dog org rated their FNA as the second best avail., theirs is free, no 1s is about $5000 - $7000. Not a bad deal, no obligation. It won't hurt and it might just change your future. Stick to your guns on this one.

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L.S.

answers from Grand Junction on

M.,
Hi I admire you for seeing a great need inspite of your husbands slothfulness. I'm also thrilled to hear of someone who would actually like to give up the work a day world for their kids..GREAT! My suggestion to you is that you might want to go ahead and take the lead on the budget idea. You mentioned Crown Financial and I couldn't suggest a better start. It may seem daunting at first but I know that you are on the right track and I suspect your hubby will come to his senses if he has someone to help "jump start" him. Budgets are beyond important for families, especially these days. It will enable you to see where you do spend your money and open up avenues for you to start seriously saving. Plus, it will be something you can teach your little ones too and make them better stewards of money. There will be al kinds of blessings if you can take the reigns and get started...the sooner the better. God Bless You!

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A.U.

answers from Provo on

Well, my husband isn't quite as against the whole budget thing as you describe your husband being, but even so, when I decided I wanted to quit work I actually did sit down by myself with an Excel spreadsheet and worked one out myself because I knew we'd never get it done together. I tried to look at our past spending to create a realistic budget, cutting things that I thought we could live with, and then once it was complete I asked for 10 minutes of his time to go over it with me and see if he thought it was realistic. I have done the same thing with my will-- made one of my own with a program like WillMaker-- and then let him know what it says. Perhaps if you put in the time to set it all out for him he will realize how important it is to you and won't be so scared for what he will have to give up...? Good luck!

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K.C.

answers from Denver on

Is your hubby hiding something financially? Seems strange that he gets upset when you want to budget. I don't mean to be skeptical about this but honestly, when people react to a request from their spouse in that way it raises a red flag.

I'd do a little digging and see what you find. My sister hid bills from her husband for years and years. She would freak out if he asked questions about their finances. She had credit cards all over the place and owed 100 K!!

Why don't you do the budget yourself? If money stresses him out and that's why he doesn't want to do a budget than it may be easier to get him on board if you do all the work and present it to him in a nice little package. Then he doesn't have to think much about it or do the hard work involved. Make your dreams a reality girl! Good luck!

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C.M.

answers from Provo on

We just started taking this course called "Financial Peace University". It is the Dave Ramsey course. It is awesome!! We are in week 3. Our church leader recommended it to us. Dave Ramsey's course it taught in many workplaces and churches all over. Our friends took it and have eliminated all debt. You can start a savings and this course tells you everything with 13 classes just one each week. Look on Daveramsey.com and click on Financial Peace University and you can even find a class in your area. We hired attorneys this last year on our own to do our Wills/Trusts and Guardian for our kids. It feels great to know we have done that. We are not rich at all but you need to have things like this in place. Good luck!!!

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M.W.

answers from Boise on

Give your husband a two-week notice stating that you will be quitting your job and making a budget that will work for your family based on HIS INCOME alone. You should be a SAHM, and he is avoiding that by not being a real man who takes care of his family. Tell him you need him to be the man and to take care of his family so that you can take care of the house, the budget, and the kids who need mom full time. Good luck!

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M.R.

answers from Boise on

My husband is similar. We have seperate accounts, do not share money, and pay our bills seperately so when I started staying home I had to figure out how to do it. First I paid off all of our debt so we were at zero. Then I put away my income for 3 months and we only lived on his income even though I was still getting a pay check. When he realized that it would work and that we could actually save a lot of what we were spending, I quit my job. I still do odd work, own my own business and substitute at my old job so that I have play money because my "allowance" has been absorbed by the economy and my gas tank but it's working out. I've stayed home for 5 years. Our youngest is 3 1/2 and so ready for preschool that most likely I will go back to work full time again next school year.

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S.R.

answers from San Francisco on

Congratulations for thinking smart and caring so deeply about your and your children's future!

Your husband is in denial. How can you not have a will for your children?! YOU can go to financial planning without him so don't use the fact that he won't go as an excuse. Crown Ministries is awesome and is a great place to start. Ask around your friends for a financial planner in your area that you can go and sit down with and get some professional advice. Hiding our heads in the sand will not make these issues go away.
Take charge (and it sounds like you want to), be smart, your children will admire you and thank you later!

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M.B.

answers from Denver on

Tell him it is actually costing your family about 20k a year ( of your NET income, not gross!!) for you to go to work.If you include the cost of child care, gas to get to work ,meals out, nice clothing for you as well as dry cleaning, the list goes on. And of course most importantly no one loves their kids more than mom. Men have different ways of seeing things so figure out a way to communicate this to him with out hurting his pride. You could also maybe figure out a way to be home until they go to school full time, if you like your work at all. Dave Ramsey has a great program called financial peace that includes a budget form. You can also go online and calculate what you are actually bringing home after taxes. I would highly reccomend Dave Ramsey, there are books you can get from the library if you don't want to spend money right now, he talks alot about relationships and money and family matters, it really works. Good luck to you, I think this is a classic man/woman problem these days by the way! Stop waiting for his permission, I call myself the CFO of our family, I do the budgets because I pay the bills and do most of the shopping etc.

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S.B.

answers from Colorado Springs on

I didn't read all of the other posts, but did see that Dave Ramsey was already mentioned - we have used his program for 5 years and love it! Yes, the class is great and you could do it yourself, but it would be much more successful if you do it togehter.
One suggestion to get your husband going: Dave Ramsey is actually really entertaining to listen to. He is on the radio in the mornings on 1240am, but I think you can also listen to him through his website. Would it work to listen to him in the evenings, when your husband would be there and would just "overhear" it? No gurantees, but this might be one way to get him interested in something without you being the one "nagging" about it (not that I think you are nagging, but I know how many of our husbands take our requests;). A lot of times it takes them hearing it from a different source. Try www.daveramsey.com to get started - tons of good education and resources on his site.
Good luck!
S.

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K.G.

answers from Denver on

www.DaveRamsey.com and his book "The Total Money Makeover" saved the financial area of our marriage. It is working awesome because it wasn't my husband's way or my way, but something we've been able to build together. It hasn't been super easy, but well worth it. We wish we had a Dave Ramsey plan for every aspect of our relationship.

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J.B.

answers from Denver on

Hi M.,

I think you are very wise in wanting to be financially responsible. My husband and I took a Crown class last year and it was wonderful. I think that sometimes it is easier to just keep doing what you've been doing-even though you will keep getting the same result. Perhaps your husband is very concerned about the finances also, but is under so much stress that he is in denial about it. I'm happy to talk to you about what all is involved in a Crown class (it isn't that hard). I also recommend that you really pray for your husband to be willing to work on this together. Blessings, J.

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J.A.

answers from Denver on

Sounds like you need to set up the budget yourself. I did. As far as gaurdians for your kids, he is just being irresponsible. You should definately be the ones to choose where your kids would go in the event of your demise. If he won't discuss it I would do that myself as well. Sorry.

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S.L.

answers from Boise on

Hi M.,
I understand very well what you're feeling. I wanted the same thing as you. I did research and found the company I'm working with, that allows me freedom to work at home and around our girls' schedules. I am contributing to our retirement and my husband is happy. I stopped nagging because it didn't work. I figured my own budget and my husband is responsible for certain bills. I know what I need to make to pay my share and put into our retirement fund.

We have 2 daughters, 7 & 8. It is extremely important to me that I'm able to be at home with our girls.

I'm now passionate to help other moms learn how to make income and be able to stay at home. I'm doing it around my girls' schedules. It's a Boise based company. I can share more if you're interested. Read about the company at www.jus.tv. The growth of this company is explosive and recently launched in Japan. I have no sales experience and it's going very well.

I would encourage you and your husband to see the move "Fireproof" The message is HUGE. A Christian-based movie that speaks volumes.

I would be happy to help you. Let me know!
Blessings.
S.

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A.B.

answers from Provo on

I'm with all the others who have mentioned Dave Ramsey. We downloaded "The Total Money Makeover" from I Tunes in February. We were $13,000 in debt and had no savings. Now we are debt free and are at almost $2,000 in savings (We're working for quite a bit more). He makes it easy to understand and gives you the inspiration you need to make it doable.

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K.D.

answers from Provo on

Just do it yourself. He obviously doesn't want to be involved, so let him know that you will be taking over the family finanaces. He'll probably be happy to not have to take care of that "chore". But, (and here's the key) when you do that you also have to let him know that he's on an allowance now -- which he probably will balk at. As for the wills and guardians -- just do those too. You can have your own will (separate from him) or you can create a joint will and then just get him to sign it.
And, have you considered that he doesn't want you to be a SAHM? His dragging his feet on this is a passive-aggressive way of not having to say "no" to you being a SAHM while keeping you working.

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A.F.

answers from Salt Lake City on

I was thinking the same thing as a lot of the other responders. Do it yourself! At least start it yourself. I know when my husband and I started up our budget, it was very overwhelming and we didn't know where to start. Fortunately, he was just as motivated about doing it as I was and we worked together to get ours done. But I think if you get it started and organized the best you can, and then bring it to him, it may seem a little less overwhelming and impossible. Plug in some numbers and make some estimates, try it out for a few months and see how it works. I actually have taught some mini classes (nothing big. Unprofessional-just sharing what's worked for me with friends and neighbors who've asked...) and I have a great little packet of information on how to get started, what to include, and a budget form that you can fill out that has basic and common budgeting categories. Anyway... If you want those (Microsoft Word documents) send a message with your email so I can send them as attachments. Good luck with it. I think setting a budget is a very smart idea. Your hubby may just have other things on his mind and things on his priority list that are more important or easier to think about than a budget. It's not an easy thing to just sit down and do. It takes time and effort and he may just not be willing to put the energy toward it right now. I really think if you get a lot of it set up and done first, he may be more willing to work with you on it.

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M.H.

answers from Denver on

When we were first married, my husband refused to talk about money, as it made him physically ill to think about it. So, I was in charge of budgeting, bill paying, saving, planning, etc.... Four years later, after me not pushing him, but being open to him participating, he is now active in planning with me. It is still mainly my job, but he is willing to hear what we are doing.

I have been encouraged by various resources from Dave Ramsey, M. Hunt (debtproofliving.com), and Crown Financial. M. has a monthly newsletter with money saving tips that I find really helpful. And her book Debt Proof your Marriage is great.

One thing that has been helpful to me is to automate things. I have my hubby's check automatically deposited into checking and savings and 401K. Then, the only money I am free to spend is in the checking account, for the budgeted amount. Does that make sense? The rest is already put where it goes, and I am not tempted to buy that great outfit with the money that should be in the savings account, if that makes sense.

Hope that helps. You can definitely start a plan and implement it on your own, but he has to be willing to be supportive and cut back on expenses with you. Also, get a will done! Yikes!

Good luck!

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D.P.

answers from Denver on

I am very budget savvy and would love to help out. Please contact me at [email protected]____.com if you would like information.

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D.K.

answers from Denver on

I agree you have to have it all down and THEN show him, don't wait for him to do it with you.
Write down what it costs you to work. How much in child care, gas, insurance to drive further from home on your car, wardrobe, meals out and so on.
Then write down what it would cost you to stay at home.
I am divorced and still when I sit down and do the math, I am doing part time child care at home and get support, if I were to go back to work I would barely break even or even be shorter then I am now monthly due to the cost of child care and gas! NUTS!
If you own your own business, do you do it from home? What would you save having it out of your home on a part time basis?
As far as wills, you can do it online anymore, get it notorized and it isn't hard. I need to update mine big time but it isn't a hard thing to do.
Just list out your bills on one side, what you both bring home.
Then list out what you would save, or what it would cost you to stay at home, then list out putting back 10% of your income each month to a savings account.
I had a savings account and by todays standards you should have six mos salary. Unfortunately I had to use mine for attys in my divorce but it is a constant fear with me not having one any longer. If your husband got all of a sudden laid off, how would you live?
Tell him it isn't about him doing something, it is about caring for his children enough to have a plan together for every given situation. That is his responsibility to them! Not you.
All these that said they got out of debt and are turning their lives around, I wish I had their tricks! :) My financial life is screwed up due to divorce and me being at home right now. Thankfully my son will go to school full time next year and my getting a better job with benefits will help in the long run.
Just ask your hubby what his plans if he is laid off would be?

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C.F.

answers from Denver on

Hi M.

I know exactly how you feel. I felt like this in the past with my husband and we got through it. What I found was that it is not just tradition, but inbred in a male that the man should be the breadwinner of the family and it is very hard for the man of the house to admit that he cannot provide for his family the same way he used to. He will try and convince his family (and himself) that everything is fine so that his wife and family don't worry. He's actually trying to protect you without realizing it. Meanwhile, he is spinning cogs in his head to try and figure out what to do. By default, he may try to ignore the topic out of fear and maybe hope that something will happen to reverse this situation that he is loosing control of. My husband needed me to show him that I am totally dedicated to him and that he still has the role of 'ruler' in the home. Fortunately this was not hard to do. I simply started to ask for his advice on almost everything and asked for his help with all tasks around the house. Once he felt secure with his 'man of the house' standing, I then asked him his advice on savings and such. By asking him his advice rather than telling him that we needed to do this, I was able to allow him to be in control of the topic and it was then laid out in his terms. I swear, it's a genetic thing. They are the breadwinners - providers and protectors. Wives are the gatherers - taking what our 'breadwinners' give us and harvesting it into a nurturing environment for our families. I hope you get the chance to stay home. I work from home and I could never go back to working outside. I am here every minute for my 11 year old. I volunteer at her school, I meet her after school and walk home with her (when she lets me!!) I help her with homework and I am able to monitor her exposure to questionable things such as the internet, tv and cellphone use. I also have a 17 and 21 year old and I worked evenings so that I could be there while they were growing up. Best of luck

C.

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C.C.

answers from Dallas on

Well, this isn't the best solution, but its what I had to do. 1. go on a long drive. he is stuck in the car and has to talk to you
2. bring up what would happen if you or he dies. scary, crappy but it has to be done
3. id he still won't work with you....
I made of our guardianship and will for my husband and myself and just marked where he had to sign. He might take more of an interest if he sees something already done. Does it sole the problem of him being lazy, no, but your kids are protected. Once you fill out the paperwork make sure to send copies to the people involved and make sure one is somewhere safe, but accessible.
Don't forget to make a durable power of attorney. If you and your kids are in an accident and you can't speak for them who will?
Good on you for being proactive.

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Y.N.

answers from Boise on

Hi M., how are you?? I hope that I am not getting to you a little bit too late but I am a financial advisor and my market is the middle class Americans that most people are taking advantage of or are ignoring. I think that the best way to be able to sit down with your husband is to get him involved in your finances. The best way is to have a casual conversation about your future. What do you really WANT for you as a couple and for your children. Have you talked about their collage expenses?? What about your retirement?? Talk about paying yourself first so that you can do things that you both enjoy. I do not know if you have watched the movie call "The Secret"?? Find this movie and watch it together. Also, I do not know if you know Suzie Orman, she is one of the financial gurus in the country and she featured on Oprah show so many time and she has a new book out called "2009 Action Plan" it cost $9.99 you can get it anywhere like amazone.com or Barnes and noble. You can buy a book or a CD version. Have him read the books and just have a conversation about your future and what you would like to accomplish. Better yet have him come to our financial seminar that happend every Tuesday nights from 7:30 to 8:30 PM at 1773 Millennium Way, Meridian ID 83642. Ask for Y. and I will make sure that you find a comfortable sitting. I hope I am able to help.

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J.H.

answers from Salt Lake City on

You are absolutely right by being worried about a budget. Everyone needs to budget. Anyone that says they don't is not taking responsibility for their money. It is scary to think you are living from paycheck to paycheck that you are not planning for the future. I have a great budget sheet I can email to you. This is an easy one I got from Suze Orman that you use in Microsoft Excel. I have also have found many ways of saving money, and like you I also own an Interior Design business. I blog about this kind of stuff. I suggest you also check out this book. "9 Steps to financial freedom" I promise that if you follow every step in this book it will change your life!

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K.B.

answers from Denver on

Is there any reason that you NEED him to participate in writing out a budget? Of course, ideally, you'd work on it together, but I don't see why you couldn't at least get started on it yourself. You might be able to find s form, or something on line to help you categorize your spending.

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T.G.

answers from Fort Collins on

Go to www.daveramsey.com There you will find some basic budget forms. You will find his programs in several churches around. There you will also find a book that may be of help.

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L.H.

answers from Denver on

Since your husband isn't that open to planning, I'd suggest starting small and building up from there.

Make a monthly and annual budget to track your income and expenses. You don't need fancy software or a financial planner for that. You can use Excel or even just do it on paper. Make a chart for each month that shows you income and each of your living expenses (rent/mortgage, car payments, utilities, groceries, gas, entertainment, etc.) Some of the stuff is easy to estimate from your monthly bills; other stuff you will have to make a guess at. This will help you see if you have any money left over at the end of the month or if you need to start trying to cut costs somewhere (good places to cut costs are cable tv, phone plans, and other things that have lots of different payment packages).

Also make a list of all the big things you want to buy this year (e.g., vacation, Christmas presents, new couch, etc.). Eventually you will add savings for college, retirement, etc. to this list. Break the cost of these items out into monthly savings so you can save throughout the year and won't have to go into debt to buy the things you need. Set this money aside in a interest-bearing back account each month if you can. It's also good to make a list of stuff you want, but can't afford, so if you get bonus money or a tax return, you can consider buying something from the list.

I'm a stay at home mom and one thing that has helped me cut costs is to start tracking what I spend money on. I make a list of everything I spend money on each month, so I can see where I am spending too much. Our grocery costs used to be out of control; now I shop a lot smarter and don't spend nearly as much.

Once you get some basics down, it would be good to get some outside help with retirement planning, college funds, and paying off any existing debt you might have.

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T.S.

answers from Fort Collins on

I agree with the other posters - Dave Ramsey!! Our church also offer the course (Financial Peace University). Email me if you'd like more info.

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