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Topic : 03/24 Moms Money Conflicts

Number of Replies: 296
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Created on : Friday, October 14, 2005, 04:01:34 pm
Author : DrPhilBoard1

(Original Air Date: 10/21/05) Money is often cited as the number one reason couples divorce. Dr. Phil talks with moms who say their need for cash is causing major problems. First, Andy and Lynn are newlyweds whose marriage is already falling apart. Lynn says she has to pay for expenses that her waitress salary can't possibly cover, and she has to beg her husband if she needs money. Andy says his wife relies on him for everything and he doesn't think she should get a free ride. Can their marriage withstand the pressure? Then, Alice has invented a product that she thinks will make her millions. But after putting in over $160,000 and turning their house into a factory, her husband has had enough. Does Alice have a great invention or should she just give up? Plus, two moms have a dream of opening up their own boutique, but their husbands say they both need a reality check. Join the discussion.


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October 17, 2005, 9:17 am CDT

Marriage is about Sharing

Marriage should be a joint venture between to loving people.  Its just like a business when it comes to finances.  Everyone puts their money together and pays the bills and groceries.  There should also be a savings that is shared.  So much of the total money should go to a savings account.  Then what is left can be discussed and both parties should be able to have a spending allowance without breaking the bank...  After you get married there is no more your money or my money.  

  

 What about when the wife makes more than her husband?  Does that mean he should not share in getting anything because he doesn't make as much as his wife?  When you get married you are become as one.  Your decisions and your life changes forever.  Its no longer just about you. if you both work, you are both contributing parties.  Money is probably the most important aspect of the relationship, but it has to be dealt with fairly.   

 
October 17, 2005, 11:53 am CDT

Right On!

Quote From: jandrus

My husband and I are not poor, but we aren't rich either. We don't have the luxury of taking vacations to exotic destinations, purchasing new vehicles every year, or keeping a full wardrobe updated with the latest fashions. Our recent wedding ceremony was about $3000 for 70+ people, and we thought that was a bit lavish. We do have a sense of class, but we don't let it rule us. Our plans for the future include purchasing a good chunk of land to build a small house on, learning how to garden and preserve our own fruits and veggies, raising enough small livestock to last us each year, and eventually incorporating enough "green" or energy-efficient technology in our living (such as solar energy, composting, etc.) that we won't have to depend on the government for water, septic, energy, or food. No, we aren't end-of-the-world fanatics or paranoid folks. We just can't see ourselves happy with a 3,000 sq. ft., $350,000 home, brand new SUV's, and in debt up to our eyeballs. We're strong believers in working to live, not living to work. We will both work our little butts off until I get my B.A. paid off, we get our land and house (which we plan on staying in for a LONG time) paid off, and we feel like we could survive on one part- or full-time income. Then we will do what we enjoy: entertaining guests and family, gardening, camping, keeping various poultry and goats, enjoying nature, and living a generally laid-back life. What are your goals? 

  

Other people are different. Some people actually seem to like moving from one expensive and not totally-paid-for house to another. Some people thrive on tropical cruises and European tours. Some people don't mind living paycheck to paycheck, always one or two paydays away from homelessness. Then there are the people that have been so well trained into our materialistic society that they can't see any way out of their debt or current lifestyle, or that they don't really need all the fancy toys and treats they buy to keep themselves happy. I can't leave out, as a final addition to my list, those who lead luxurious lifestyles because their income allows it. Sure we'd all love to have more money, perhaps even be fabulously rich, but for 97% of us it won't ever happen. C'est la vie. 

  

Learn what kind of person you are. What makes you tick? Do you need a manicure once a week? Can you see yourself working 70+ hours per week? Do you require at least two carats on your person at all times to feel whole? Do you even use those vacation days that you keep collecting? Do you plan on retiring at age 45? Can you feed your family on $20 a week if it comes to it? Do you like to always have the latest clothing, vehicle, technology, and high social status? Do you enjoy providing your own food and entertainment? Would you be happy with used clothing and other items? Do you see yourself staying put or jumping from place to place, job to job? Get to know what you want out of life before you decide to pair up. As Socrates said: Know thyself. Then you can get to know someone else and start blending your lives together.  

  

It's so sad that so many people are entering into a marriage or partnership without discussing essentials like money, family, labor, and life-goals. These are necessary topics. I can't see how something so huge could be tucked out of mind until after a crisis has reared up.  

I think you make very good points.  I think it is very important for couples planning to get married to discuss their life goals to see if they are similiar.  Most people don't do this and problems arise later. 
 
October 17, 2005, 12:06 pm CDT

Two Sides

Quote From: momloveson

There is a fairy tale being perpetuated out there that if you just had "enough" money, then you wouldn't be fighting with your spouse about it all the time. 

  

I can tell you from experience that that isn't true. My husband and I fought about money when we brought in $35K a year, and we continue to fight about money with a six figure salary.   He is obsessed with retiring when he's 50.  I'm a thrifty mom who wants to enjoy at least a little bit of our income now.   

  

Proper budgeting is key to living within your means.  But its not going to fix every money issue.  We save thousands of dollars a year.  We live in a old modest home.  We have no debt (except for the mortgage).  We save the max toward our 401K's.  Yet we continually argue over expenses that seem ridiculous to me. 

  

I'm an severe asthmatic and he's refused to take me to emergency because insurance may not cover the cost.  He doesn't believe that people die from asthma attacks.  He's argued with me the very handful of times I've had to take my son to the doctor.      

  

Because of where we live (to save money of course) our public school district is disgraceful and has a drug use problem.  Most of our neighbors send their children to private school.  We have one child, exceptionally bright--of course :), who I believe should not be at the public school.  My husband, however, sees no investment potential in sending him to a private school.  We do send our son to a small private school, but it is a constant arguement.   

  

My husband doesn't believe that he is getting a solid investment in extracurricular activities for our son (ie: soccer, swimming, music...not all at once) so he actually made my son stop swimming lessons which he loved (they were only $5/lesson) to save the money.  

  

I do not wear designer clothes--if it weren't for Costco I'd be naked.   Actually, I have 4 total pairs of shoes and 1 purse.  I get an "allowance" of $150/month which is supposed to cover everything I need...makeup, clothes, haircuts, shoes, any personal care products, gifts for MY extended family, hobbies, dues, lunches, and ANYTHING that I need to buy that can't be considered a necessary household item.  

  

Why all this arguement....because my husband works and I "don't".  Yeah right....with a 5 year old?   

There are 2 sides to every story.  I'm sure your husband has his side.  What do you argue over?  You and your husband seem to be doing well financially.  Why do you need more?  You say your thrifty, but it doesn't sound like it.  If you need more  spending money, why don't you get a job?  Your child is old enough to be in school. Most women have problems with husbands who are financially irresponsible.  Your husband seems responsible.  If he is inconsiderate at times maybe he doesn't feel appreciated.  Many women would give anything to be able to stay at home with their pre school children, but their family finances don't allow it. What's wrong with Costco clothes?
 
October 17, 2005, 9:55 pm CDT

Do I have money concepts or what

 My husband and I argue about money all the time. He doesn't call it arguing he calls it "productive talk"  He wants me to get a job, I seriously have been looking. A lot of the time I think why should I or how could I. I am 24 years old I have a 8 year old son, a six year old daughter, a 5 year old daughter, two boston terrier pups, a kitten, and I am currently enrolled FULL-TIME in school. I am taking 15 credit hours, which takes a lot out of me. Not to mention my homework, I help my three kids with their homework. I am the house keeper, I am their taxi driver to all of their extra-curricular activities, I am the cook, and I am now looking for a job. The way I see it. If I get a job, the amount that I would make wouldn't even cover childcare cost for the my three kids. My fiance' gets up at 5am at the latest 6am (that is when he sleeps in) and then he goes to work, he doesn't return home until 7pm (which is the earliest that he gets home.) So I am basically doing this by myself. He expects me to get a job and keep up everything else I do. I don't think that I can manage. What do you guys think? HELP!!!
 
October 18, 2005, 1:16 pm CDT

budgeting yourcredit card debt

Quote From: littlej452

Wow Ladies 

  

I think its awful how men complain about giving money.   They are treating people as if they are children and not wives.  Sorry if I offend anybody. You shouldn't have to ask for money, it should be given to you on a regular basis.  You all should be able to go out and enjoy yourselves.  I've seen my friends fight with their husbands over money.  I have to say my husband and i never fight about money. 

My husband and I have separate checking accts.  He pays the bigger bills and I pay the smaller ones(therapy bill is mine and its huge).  I have a son who is handicapped and requires 3 therapies.  I do work full time.  For about 2 years I was taking a 7 1/2 hr pay cut per check.  I had to take off work for therapies, MRI's, lots of testing and getting him on the bus, .  His school also did late start where he wouldn't go in till 10 2x out of every month.  My husband never takes part in any of this.  I was really struggling to get the bills paid and never being able to go out with friends.  I often wondered about getting a part time job.  everytime I ask for money he says didn't i just give you money.  Luckily my friends are broke also so we all get together every friday and have girls night.  What stinks is my husband is into kayaking right now so hes constantly buying kayaking stuff and fishing stuff and here i am with no money. 

For all of you who get complaints about the housework.  I myself would not tolerate that.  When my husband complains, I take his clothes and leave them in a laundry basket and don't wash them.  I don't tell him I did that.  He also doesn't get dinner for a week.  I do all the cleaning and cooking.  I am constantly picking up after him.  he has no right to complain about anything thats done for him.  When I try to talk to him about it, he says I bit__ just like his mother. 

  

If anyone has some good advice on how to get rid of credit card debt, I'd like to know.  thats part of the reason I have a hard time budgeting my money. 

first of all you should stop using your credit cards.  

Then sit yourself down with tour husband and all the bills his and yours as well as 12 months paystubs after the ussual deductions take the average monthly income. start with outgoing, like the bills that are not going away such as mortgage, phone(s), cable car payments, insurance, therapy, etc add them up and put aside then go over the groceries clothes, toiletries, gas, etc for the year, and divide by 12 this will give you an average amount, put aside (the reason you do these apart from the other bills is because you don't pay the same all the time). Then add up the extra ciricular expense such as kayaking, movies, dinner out, etc. 

after everything is added up take the income and subtract the expenses then show your husband the difference. if he refuses to help you out after that then i would leave him to pay all the bills.this will hopefully make him realize that it's not a great feeling to barely keep your head above water with no help. 

 Don't forget when you're married your debt affects his credit as well 

 
October 18, 2005, 10:00 pm CDT

Another Belittled Mom in CA

I'm really surprised to read there are so many of us women in the same position.  It's embarrassing to talk about, because in my heart of hearts I know my husband must not think very much of me if he has these issues about supporting us. I'm a full time teacher's aide for a special ed program that I love.  My daughter is 12 & my school schedule follows hers which I choose purposely once she was school aged.  Before that I worked with my husband for 15 years in his business where he was making great money, but I never received a wage. Now with my monthly wages I pay for our medical benefits & give him the rest of my paycheck. It's the most humiliating thing, to ask him for money & he questions my purchases yet I can't question his.  When he works, he makes more money in a week than I do in a month & he continually tells me to get another job.   I could go on and on with this story, it's really pathetic that I've let this go on. 

  

I am so angry with myself for letting this go on to the point where I have no money nor a way to support myself. My husband is always right so there is no way for me to express my feelings & they are just eating me up inside. 

  

I need to learn how to let this anger & frustration go.  Any suggestions? 

  

Thanks for this forum! 

 
October 19, 2005, 12:39 am CDT

Overworked

Quote From: puzzled

 My husband and I argue about money all the time. He doesn't call it arguing he calls it "productive talk"  He wants me to get a job, I seriously have been looking. A lot of the time I think why should I or how could I. I am 24 years old I have a 8 year old son, a six year old daughter, a 5 year old daughter, two boston terrier pups, a kitten, and I am currently enrolled FULL-TIME in school. I am taking 15 credit hours, which takes a lot out of me. Not to mention my homework, I help my three kids with their homework. I am the house keeper, I am their taxi driver to all of their extra-curricular activities, I am the cook, and I am now looking for a job. The way I see it. If I get a job, the amount that I would make wouldn't even cover childcare cost for the my three kids. My fiance' gets up at 5am at the latest 6am (that is when he sleeps in) and then he goes to work, he doesn't return home until 7pm (which is the earliest that he gets home.) So I am basically doing this by myself. He expects me to get a job and keep up everything else I do. I don't think that I can manage. What do you guys think? HELP!!!
It sounds like you are about to burn out already.  You could suggest to your fiance' that you will get a job if he will take on some of your other responsibilities.  Maybe you could work in the evening hours while he is home.  Then he could fix dinner, put the kids to bed and clean the house.  That sounds like a logical compromise to me.
 
October 19, 2005, 1:17 am CDT

Reversed Roles

Quote From: lpapas

Our stories are very similar, except my kids are still home.  They are early school age.  He works 80+ hours a week, while I take care of the kids, house and go to his business every day to help, do paperwork, etc.  I put in 15-20 a week there.  He is constantly complaining and criticizing how little I do, how I don't appreciate him, I could go on and on.  I have my name on the house, but other than that his name is on everything else.  I do not have access to a bank account.  I have my own bank account, but I don't make money so it pretty much just sits there unused.  I have a credit card for gas, groceries, etc., but he constantly threatens to take them away or cancel them.  He says I don't work, but I do.  He says I lay around all day, and boasts about eveything he does, how hard he works.  I suffer from low self-esteem, I have lost myself, my identity.  I am afraid to do anything when he is home.  If I am not being 'productive' I hear it! 

  

I thank you for writing in.  Hearing other people's stories helps!  I have an appointment with a lawyer tomorrow, to see legally where I stand, and if he every pulls the rug from under my feet I will be prepared.  I also applied for a job and have an interview on Wednesday.  I am going to prepare myself for the worst and not be a sitting duck anymore! 

  

  

It seems you and I are in similar yet opposite situations.  I work full time (40 hrs.) and have just taken on a part time job to make ends meet.  I pay all the bills (including his child support payments and student loan), and everything is in my name.  I also take care of my children and most of the household duties. 

  

My husband recently started his own business, and cannot afford to pay himself.  I know he is not sitting around all day.  Yet, I feel as though I am being taken advantage of.  He could have a paying job and contribute to our living expenses.  I did agree to support him for the first year while he established his business.  Now, four years and several thousand dollars in debt later, I'm getting a little fed up.   

  

Unfortunately, I take out my frustration by insulting my husband's character.  He really believes that his business will profit some day, and refuses to give up his dream.  He accuses me of not having any faith in him because I don't want to support him any longer. 

  

I've been confused on how I should feel about this issue.  Should I stand behind him in his dream and support him for as long as it takes to make or break the business?  Or, do I have a right to want him to give up his business, get a "real" job,  and start helping out with the bills?  

  

        

 
October 20, 2005, 8:52 am CDT

Santa Claus is coming ....... not this year :(

Oh boy...I don't know how to put this. Well, I have a 'blended' family. My 3 oldest children they are very comfortable with a lavish Christmas. I suppose I overloaded them on the presents when I was with their father (divorced 2.5 years now, I won sole custody of them 1 year ago....still going through transition). It has been an emotional and extremely difficult few years for all of us.  

  

My husband (common-law) puts the roof over our heads and pays the bills. He has his own extracurricular activities and that's it. I support the children, food, clothes, and school stuff on CTC (in Canada we get child tax credit, money from the government for children based on our income...different from welfare, I wish I could get). That at times runs out 1.5 weeks before I get my next cheque. So we are eating KD and wieners very often, sometimes 4 times a week. My husband eats at work.  Gosh I feel ashamed for even sharing this with all of you.  

  

Budgeting, I think I do a most excellent job! All considering. When extra events arise, new school supplies/clothes; when the school told me the children needed indoor shoes as well as outdoor shoes, I cried. I scrounged to buy them new outdoor shoes, as I have been doing since I left their father, indoor too ... I have to cash-in beer bottles, honestly. Hallowe'en (no store bought costumes). Thanksgiving and we are not doing the big family thing, so I have to find money for our own feast.  

  

My husband, bless him, I am very grateful for all that he has done for my children! After all, I wouldn't have them if he didn't buy us our house (the children lived with their dad and his sister and I lived in with my husband's family's house; I was very unstable at that time) and he paid for a good lawyer...I think that's what broke his bank account. He doesn't financially support the children, his daughter....yes he will give me money if I need it for her, but wait, she's only 10 months old still. The children's father...DBD, dead beat dad. He hasn't seen the children since I was awarded sole custody of them just a little over a year ago. He calls every so often, though I always allow them to talk to him, I wish he would just go away. He doesn't pay court ordered support, nothing.  

  

Money is always an issue. And stress on everything, well being, marriage, perhaps resentment towards my children from their step dad, I dunno. I think the children walk on egg shells, they never know what mood I'm going to be in. They bring special meal day forms home from school, and they are in tears. They know, they ask me if I need help going to the beer store. I don't drink, sociably. My hubby...yup he does!   

  

I sigh, money truly, if you are use to a better lifestyle and have to go to a much lesser way of living, money depresses me. I mean I understand it all, but the children, how, will they forgive me, will they adjust, its so sad.  

  

Christmas.......so they are use to getting everything and anything they ask for, which is ridiculous, I know. That's how I was raised. As my beliefs evolve, I believe it's a religious holiday and it's much too commercialized, it should be spent making gifts from the heart and spending time with family. Pioneerish. But the kids see it as, I want this and I want that, they other kids have all the new toys and gadgets. But I just can't get over my own guilt for not being able to providing  them with the lavish Christmas that they are use to.  

  

This year none of my children, daughter 11, 2 sons, 9 and 5 and baby girl 10 months, don't believe in Santa, as they have been told from their new friends. I told the children that Santa might not come this year and not because they behaved badly yesterday but because I just don't have money to buy them presents. My daughter says not even one present from you and her step-dad. I say nope. Tears form in her eyes.  

  

How do I deal with the emotional stress. It's already starting. I'm edgy, short tempered, I'm yelling at them all the time, i just can't deal. I sleep when everyone is home, so I don't jump all over them. My husband is starting to ask what's wrong with me all the time. I just don't know how to manage my emotions. I  don't know if I should stick to my own beliefs your do I save the beer bottles and try to get them stocking stuffers......I think money is truly EVIL. 

 
October 20, 2005, 8:25 pm CDT

on a budget

I'm so sad to read the stories that have been posted here. I'm not yet married, but will be next May. My fiancé and I have discussed finances at length. We've decided to each have our own checking accounts, and open one joint account to pay bills with. We will both continue to work, even with children. When we pay bills, it's a joint effort. We both are at the table looking at what's owed, and we both know everything about our financial situation.But I understand that some people don't have that luxury. My first suggestion is to demand to be included in financial decisions, because if only one person knows what's really coming in and going out, that could lead to a serious problem later on (especially if divorce or separation is involved). My other suggestion would be to have separate accounts and one joint account for bills. Even if you don't work, make sure to save some of your "allowance" (I despise using that term) and stash it in the bank and DON'T touch it unless it's absolutely necessary. Doing so gives you a cushion to work with in the event that the relationship falls apart. My last suggestion is to stop using credit cards. If you can't afford it, don't buy it. Many of us use credit cards with the intention to pay the whole balance at the end of the month, but it usually doesn't happen that way. What ends up happening when you carry a balance month to month is you end up paying more for your purchases than you would have if you'd paid cash, due to interest and fees. It is never good to be in any type of money conflict with personal debt. Holding personal debt also raises your debt-to-income ratio, which has a negative effect on your credit, and may prevent you from getting important loans--like mortgage or auto loans. So before you begin relying on that shiny piece of plasic in your wallet, have a serious discussion with your spouse about your finances. Have your partner live a day in your shoes if you don't feel appreciated for the work that you do--when I did that, my fiancé gained a new respect for me going to school and working full-time, and he was more willing to adjust his contribution to the joint account. Ideally, you want to put 55% of your income in the joint account, and 45% in your own account, so you always have the cash you need to pay for the things you need and want. Don't forget to include bills like groceries, kids necessities,life insurance, and medical bills in the joint account. If your partner carries the health insurance, make sure you ensure that you are covered--I have seen spouses intentionally and unintentionally leave their partner off of the insurance contract. Also, avoid putting your partner on your vehicle loan--when your cosigner is your spouse, that could lead to arguements about who is to pay the loan. Keep the loan in your name only, and you pay for your own vehicle. It is okay to have a third vehicle that has both partners' names on the loan, with the payment coming from your joint account, but make sure you are covered yourself before you do that. This way, if something does happen badly in your relationship, you still get to keep your transportation, and also you won't feel like you are a slave to your partner's income.
 
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