Always feel broke

United States
May 8, 2007 12:12am CST
I am not a spender. Don't get me wrong I like to buy stuff BUT I want to spend as little as possible. Sometimes I miss out on things cause I wait to buy them to see if they go on sale. My hubby and kids give me a hard time about that but I don't mind. I look at it this way if it were to be mine I would have it. It wasn't meant to be mine if I miss out. Anyway most of the time I feel like I can't make ends meet. My hubby and kids like to spend money. Even when I tell them time and again that we need to try to stop spending so much; it makes no difference. The biggest problem is that my hubby is the pickiest eater. He has said time and again that he would live off hamburgers and fries if I let him. Well he takes advantage of my being ill. I am not always able to cook. To top that off it is near impossible to cook for him cause he likes so few things. He is forever buying take out. (it is so bad that my almost 3 year old knows when he sees a fast food restaurant) I am tired of feeling broke all the time. We used to have much lower income and I don't feel any better off cause of (primarily) my hubby's spending habits. I love using coupons and sales for groceries and that has taken a backseat. I just don't know how to get him to understand. I am frustrated cause I really could use a new car. Mine is beginning to scare me. I told him we can't get one cause of the spending. He says to me "don't worry you get a new car and I will stop spending". He won't. He has proven that time and again. (oh and don't get me started on my dream of owning a home instead of renting - I can't save enough for a down payment) I hope that someone here can offer some ideas of how to get him to stop spending money like it is going out of style. Do you know how to get him to understand?
7 people like this
17 responses
@applsofgld (2506)
• United States
8 May 07
I know the feeling, I have always lived paycheck to paycheck. I envy those who don't have to worry about it, with my ex hubby he always had to have a new vehicle and prestige was so important to him, but the rest of us did without so he could drive his new vehicle, he told me once that he was not going to compromise his ride. Groceries, gas, clothing, furniture, utilities, health care, everything is on the rise. But you do need a decent vehicle and dependable transportation, that is important. I never buy new, always used. Great discussion :)
• United States
8 May 07
I'm sorry, I didn't finish. If he will listen to reason all you can do is explain how you feel. If he has the mindset like my ex husband had, it will not do any good. He will want anyway. It's a big issue in a marriage, but he needs to listen to you and make a compromise somehow. Good luck.
1 person likes this
• United States
8 May 07
Thanks. I have tried talking to him and he promises to stop spending and then as soon as a few hours later he is spending. He isn't one to worry about appearances or keeping up with the Jones. The biggest issue really is the take out all the time!! Thing that gets me is I keep the house well stocked with food and he would rather go hungry (which none of us like cause he gets really nasty) than cook something - that includes making himself a sandwich. What gets me most annoyed is that our income used to be so much lower and we survived. Now I still feel like that is all we are doing - surviving. Never getting anywhere. It seems to me that the more he makes the more he spends on take out. Thanks for the support!!!
8 May 07
I can only agree with the others here hun, have a long talk with him and try to get him to see the problems. I'm afraid my partner can also be a lot like this sometimes and will happily spend on guitars and gig equipment without thinking about the consequences.
1 person likes this
• United States
18 Jul 07
Isnt' it frustrating. I think what annoys me the most is that he expects me to control it all. That means I always have to be a bad guy if I don't want to feel broke. Instead of saying to himself "I don't need this" he expects me to stop him!!! Very annoying!!
@filmbuff (2909)
• United States
8 May 07
I totally agree with wondericequeen, I was and am going to suggest the same thing. What I would do is sit your husband down one day when he is receptive and explain that you need a car. Tell him you want to experiment to see if you can afford it. Next I would suggest figuring out together how much you think a car payment and the higher monthly insurance payment will be. (you may want to come up with these figures yourself if you think the act of doing it together will cause friction) Deduct that amount from the money coming in every month and put it in a high yield savings account so at least you are earning some interest on it. See how you guys do for a few months and if it will work out or not. Later, you can then use this money you saved as a down payment on the car. The above is how I would personally approach it from a purley fiscal standpoint. But I really don't think the issue here is money, at least not entirely. Rather that these parts of your marrige (his spending and eating habits) is what needs to be addressed. Marrige is give and take, and it sounds like you are doing all the giving and he the taking. You two have to work together to come to some type of compromise that works for the both of you. As far as the cooking goes, I don't know how old your kids are, but maybe some of the cooking tasks can be passed on to them when you are not able to do so. Perhaps a limit on take out is in order. It's possible that your husband doesn't really know what he is spending on take out every month, and the truth might shock him. Try doing away with all cash for a month, and only use a debit card to pay for all purchases. At the end of the month you can look at the receipts or bank statement and tally just how much money is going to take out. (It also gives you a pretty good financial picture on ways to save money, and where in general your money goes.) It is also my opinion that you should address the owning versus renting issue as soon as possible. Renting a home is just throwing money away. Depending on where you live, your monthly housing payment on a home loan would probably be less then what it costs you to rent right now. It sounds as if you are first time home buyers and there are lots of programs to get you into a home with little or no money down. Interest rates on home loans are very low right now and the houseing market is slowing down which works in your favor. Your loan payment becomes equity in your home that you bank on later, it doesn't go into someone else's pocket-- it goes into your pocket. I hope this advice helps, if there's anything you'd like me to expound on, please let me know.
1 person likes this
• United States
18 Jul 07
Thank you so much for a great post. I know part of my hubby's problem was he was BEYOND spoiled by his mother. Well into adulthood too! (long drawn out explanation that I would rather not take the time to type out)
@maevic (821)
• Bahrain
8 May 07
i really understand you but good for me my husband is also not so spender. We have a good job and normal pay. If I will compute for our money, we have some extra money for shopping but we don't do that. I'm a planner, production planner by profession but also in life. I make short term goals, mid term goals and long term goals. I don't know how many people here are doing these things. Anyways, we decided to buy a house 2 months ago and the monthly amortization of our house is almost 70% of our total salary. Since we already planned for it, instead of saving some money on banks or spending it for shopping, we go for the house. Now, everything is budgeted. the remaining 30% of our money is still allocated for sending money to our parents, car insurance, grocery, gas, and other expenses. In other words, we caanot spend for some things that we like..like dining out, buying new clothes, accessories, etc. One way you can help ur husband understand is to show him how you are spending the money. Ask him to budget everything for one month..then he'll understand. If you got no money in your pocket there will be no extra spending.
• United States
18 Jul 07
I have tried that. Doesn't seem to work. I do have to say he is much better than he used to be.
• Hong Kong
8 May 07
Hey I am sorry to hear your feelings. I had that feeling too and it was extremely frustrating. I am not sure how many bank accounts you have but I find a method is really useful for me. You can sit down with your hubby and tell him that you guys are going to have one more bank account, which is especially for savings. Each month when he gets the paycheck, just deposit an agreed amount into that bank account and forget all about it, then you guys can still spend on other things. It might be a little hard at first but it's all habit. Like right now, he has developed into some habit of spending, but if you can turn that into a saving habit, he will thank you after a few months when he sees the bank account. Oh and you guys have to make an agreement that unless it's super super urgent, otherwise, you can't take any money out in that bank! It works for me and I am happy that I am more in control of my life.
• United States
18 Jul 07
I did actually start doing that. I even opened an account only in my name (it is empty right now because of our vacation but hey) so he can't take any money out of it.
1 person likes this
• Philippines
9 May 07
we're sharing the same dilemna. isnt there any rent-to-own housing program there? things will be much easier if you have own home instead of renting.
• Australia
8 May 07
Hearing on the problem which you have described clearly shows that just because of ur hubby's habits even your kids are goin on the same way. the only possibility for you to make him realise about the savings is never let him know how much are you saving or the credit of your accounts if he tends to ask you the credits just make him realise that it is difficult to save anything coz of the extravagant spending habits which he has got and the low income of the family. if he comes to know the situation which u r trying to put both ends together he would be thinking about the finances. we had the same problem but my gurlfriend made me realise the value of money which your hubby at this point is not knowing. once he knows wat is the value of money for each and every dollar spent he would change his habits. wives make the best finance minister and that's a spoken truth. i am pretty sure once you make him realise the value for money he is goin to change his habits. i hope this works for you
• Philippines
8 May 07
yah i also understand the feeling of that.. i'm a student nurse,, and of course there are many things that i ant to buy but sadly i don't have enough money to buy..
@mari123 (1862)
• China
8 May 07
someone is a spender,but he can run a bussiness and earning more money.and other is a spender,and don,t know how to earn money .i hop your husband is the first man,though he is a spender,but he love you and you family,and also you can tell him to save money,the life pressure is hard,you must save more money to your kid education,and other spending.
@katykat (46)
• United States
9 May 07
Maildumpster, so sorry for all your stress. We know how it is to struggle, and for you, it must be that much tougher with children. Fortunately for my hubby and I, we only have pet children, so there's a little less stress as they cannot demand for material things, but with your children, what I can suggest is everytime you take them out to shop, insist that they save their change. Take them out shopping for a Piggy bank or one of those unique savings banks, where you see the coins run down the slots (like the ones we had in the 70's) and encourage them to save this way, if nothing else seems to work. Have them help you with the recycling, these are all things my folks had me and my sisters do in order to appreciate the concept of saving. Another thing you can do, is everytime you get an extra $50 bucks, take the kids down to the bank and buy each a $50 Savings bond, at $25 a piece (I believe they are still sold at half of their face value, someone who works in Finance here, please correct me if I'm wrong here, this is how it was about 17 years ago when I worked for a Financial institution). This strategy too, can motivate children to save, although I don't know what the rate of interest is on these things anymore, I do know that they take at least 10-20 years to acrue face value, so say by the time they're 18 years old, they'll have some extra money for college or whatever their career goals may be...As for your husband, the fast food thing is going to be a tough one, my hubby too is a bit of a picky eater, but he REFUSES to eat Mc Donald's as he says it is poorly processed meat, and most of the fast food joints these days do used processed foods..Not at all healthy for ANYBODY. It can also lead to diabetes, heart disease, obesity and a number of other health ailments. What YOU should do, is watch a few cooking programs at home, learn some of his favorite dishes (heck, home made burgers are tops with my hubby, says they don't get much more better than that!!!), who knows, you may be able to teach an ole' dog some new tricks with some of your newly learned reccipes :) AND on top of that, save yerselves a BUNDLE! Why waste the $$$ on cr@ppy food, when you can make better at home! AND just think of the wonderful new places you can go visit in your brand new (or even used) car!!? Maybe even splurge on a hamburger or two!! ;) Oh yeah, don't know where you and the old man work, but if you can arrange to have your bank do automatic withdrawals out of your paycheck into a savings account of some kind, that's another good strategy to save...Ever hear that saying, what you don't see, you don't miss??? I had my employer deduct $50 out of every paycheck and I was able to save a bundle in about 5 years time!! Just remember, you can't miss something that's not there! Out of sight, out of mind! Save, save save!! Save recycle cans for crying out loud, those things really add up!! Good luck and do hope you get your car real soon!
@vanities (11409)
• Davao, Philippines
8 May 07
Thats a tough job ! explaining to him and yet he seems adamant on spending more! maybe before spending you could at least set aside percentage of the income to trust fund in the bank in that way he cant easily withdraw it..since the way i understand from your discussion he is good at spending money for food..then why not create a recipes which you can cook, i presumed that there food that can be bought in the supermarket that is already been mixed such us burger patties and the like..ask him what he likes and try cooking at home, our home is considered a little restaurant that we must make different menus for the family..
@blondbat (504)
• United States
8 May 07
Hey Maria! Maybe I can offer some suggestions. Is there any way you can set up some kind of a budget btwn yourselves. Allow him some "mad money" - cash in his wallet to do with as he pleases. Even if it includes fast food - with the understanding that when it's gone it's gone. As far as the food - if he would rather go hungry than make himself a sandwich - then let him! We have that problem at our house as well, but for different reasons. My MIL cooks most of the time, but she's not that good at it most of the time. In addition, she takes care of a former priest at her church and cleans houses (LONG story) so she doesn't always cook, or we don't always want what she made. So we have a choice of doing for ourselves or getting take-out. We did that just a little too often recently and it HURT! So now, we just cut back on it and eat at home whenever possible. Fortunately my hubby will at least grab some peanut butter and bread and feed himself, or I will make grilled sandwiches or salads. You just need to figure out a way to give them all just enough rope - and when it runs out - oh well. Hubby and I joke about it, but we are on an allowance system - we get a certain amount of money each week - for whatever. When it's gone than OH WELL. Can you try something like that? Whatever happens - good luck and try not to stress too much - you don't need to make yourself sick over this! I know the feeling about a little extra money - all of a sudden you feel like you have a little cushion and you go crazy. DH & I do that, but fortunately we have caught ourselves doing it and buckle down. Just keep pointing out the *nickel-and-diming* and maybe it will sink in!
@rblvstl (10)
• United States
8 May 07
My first question would be who does the budget. You both should be doing the budget so that he can see where the money is going. Second, I would keep track of what is spent where and then you can get a better picture of where all the money is going. My husband and I spend all of our money on paper before we even get paid so that we are working our money not the other way around. You may want to check out Dave Ramsey. He is great for this type of thing. In every relationship there is a spender and a saver. Good Luck!
@lingli_78 (12834)
• Australia
8 May 07
well, the only thing that you can do is have a serious chat with him and try to make him understand... my hubby is exactly the same type of person like your hubby in the past... he doesn't appreciate money at all and he always spend everything that he earns... no saving... instead, he has lots of debt... i am totally opposite person... i value money and i like to save... we have big fight everyday in the beginning of our marriage because of this... but things start to improve now and he knows how to appreciate money now and learning how to save... it takes lots of efforts and tears to make him understand that... so i suggest just be patient and keep on reminding him in a stern way until he understand... good luck...
• India
8 May 07
Hi maildumpster! I am sorry to hear about your poor state of finances. I used to be like you too earlier and my salary never used to last be more than a 15 days. Eversinse i have adopted financial planning things are great and i am able to save too. In a condition like you described i suggest that you should sit down and discuss and budget your expenses lest you may regret later.
@gasmas100 (585)
• India
8 May 07
i too had a similar habbit. keep a piggy, one that u would need to break to remove the money. pour all ur lose change in it everyday, besides popping in a few small bills everyday, if not atleast frequently. ull have alot of HARD EARNED money to call ur own savings---saving u from the feeling broke.......install that habit in ur kids too, teach them to save a bit of thier pocket money, so they have a good deal of money hndy over time--as said 'save for a rainy day' trust me, it wrks'.
@joice86 (1079)
• Philippines
8 May 07
Oh, that's a difficult one to deal with especially when your husband don't understand the situation. Maybe it would be better for you to talk with your husband a certain percentage you could save every month. Just save it and don't spend it. And the rest of your income, is only the one you are going to spend. Forget about the money you save, so that in that way you will not be tempted to spend it. Hope this one can help...Because for me it works. I only spend the money after separating my savings.