Comments

  1. Mr CBB, GREAT post! I know both husbands and wives like this, and it makes me so sad, b/c it’s tearing apart their marriages and their families. Selfishness in this form has no place in a marriage/family situation. If you are single and have no familial responsibilities, go ahead and drown yourself in debt if you must, but don’t drag your spouse/children down with you.

  2. It’s a tough situation this woman is in, but I have a feeling no letter or sit down conversation trying to convince him to create a budget will work. I think she needs to take matters into her own hands and tell him that she is going to get a separate account and manager her own money then. You just can’t change a person. I’m sure she’s already tried to reason with him. BTW I agree with you that we women worry about everything!

    • I don’t think a letter will change anything either. It was just my approach to answering the question and frankly don’t expect him to ever read it but great if he did. He might not change but sometimes when things hit rock bottom people consider their options. Cheers Tonya

  3. Great Jollyhoombah (@Hoombah) says:

    Well handled, CBB!!! A regular Dr. Phil. No, scratch that. I hate that guy. I mean that your skills with diplomacy and tact are present here and to a great degree. I don’t my parents ever got on the same page about money and it is sad to watch them now so late in their lives with the same squabbling as there was over 40 years ago. Yikes!

    • Thanks mate… I’m not a money counsellor by any means.. I just decided to tackle and structure the post that way. I guess it made more sense to me that way. I’m sure she has lots to consider and some great comments I’m reading from fans will help as well. Thanks for dropping by.

  4. Mary F Campbell says:

    And ladies and gentlemen, before we demonize the “spending spouse”, consider this:

    1. You picked him/her.

    2. He/She probably had the spending habits prior to marriage and either you chose to turn a blind eye or else you thought you were a miracle worker and would change them after you got married. This is your issue. Why did you ignore it? What made you think he/she would want to change?

    3. Wasn’t their lavish spending on you and their charming personality part of the attraction you felt? If it attracted you, it has in the past worked for them… even if it is falling short now. Let’s admit that spending as a means of seduction is glamorized all over the air waves, the internet and in print. Compulsive overspending is a lot like addiction… the first drink brings a warm, pleasant glow but no drink will ever be as good. The spender in your life is chasing that initial glow and you are enabling them to keep trying to find it by trying to hold the budget together at the expense of your self – your health, your sleep, your mood. What can YOU do to stop fixing the spending issue? Stop!

    4. People don’t change unless THEY want to. Even if they do want to, Rome wasn’t built in a day. He/She will slip back into old behaviors on occasion, under stress or peer pressure. Are you ready for this? What is your game plan on how to handle this back-track? Are you going to leave it to them to fix their messes and quit trying to make it all better? Leave it alone… they did it, they fix it. He/She is an adult so treat them like one and let them bear the brunt of their consequences. I know easier said than done because you wear it too but if you are hoping for permanent change… let them suffer the consequences.

    5. What is your bottom line? Are you prepared to continue living this way? Have you hit the bottom of your endurance pit? What will you do if his/her answer to permanently and finally changing their spending habits is really and truly, “No”? Are you going to stop robbing Peter to pay something for him/her when they whine and snivel they NEED to go out or buy some toy? Until you are prepared to walk away IF need be and build the life you want for you and your children… you aren’t going to change your enabling behavior. You need to stop your part of this dance of addiction. I don’t suggest you leave… just stop fixing the problem. Only then can you learn if this is salvageable. If at some point you do need to leave… please get some professional assistance for yourself so that you don’t repeat this pattern again in a future relationship. Change you…change your future.

    6. Let’s admit, we are all self-absorbed creatures. Parenthood changes that for some people but not all of us. If your partner is not motivated by your tears/pleading, the kids… their own personal pain MAY do the trick but that’s no guarantee on that either. You won’t find out though if you don’t stop fixing things though. Stop budgeting… give them the job of paying the bills. You can always resume the task later if you choose. Give them the chance to really see & understand that there isn’t enough coming in to cover their lifestyle of spending. I am sure you’ve heard that if you did a better job of budgeting, there wouldn’t be this problem. Let them prove it! And be prepared… there may be an awakening that you weren’t mismanaging the funds. Resist the temptation to grind their nose into that realization despite the hurt you feel for having been blamed… it’s going to bring him/her enough waves of guilt and shame. They get it. I pray this wake up call will be enough to jolt them out of their spending ways and to motivate them into working together with you to resolve the current financial crisis. If after a turn at the money management table, they continue to spend with the same fervor, you have your answer. Nothing changes if nothing changes. The ball is back in your court.

    7. Are you prepared to follow him/her as deeply into debt as they are on track to go? If not… you need to stop the clock on this. Get yourself a formal legal marital separation. Contact all your creditors and set up a sole identity in terms of your credit and assets. Take responsibility for where you are dragging your children financially. This isn’t all about you… the kids are counting on you to protect them! Establish your own bank accounts. Once you stop the clock on how much debt you are responsible for (and it is 100% if he/she walks away from it), you can still continue to work on the marital issues with third party financial & marital guidance before reuniting. You BOTH need to be willing to go to ANY lengths to fix your joint finances, your communication and your marriage before you reunite your family. Again… you are in charge of protecting your children and that includes from a dysfunctional marriage.

    Good luck! You can only change your part of this dysfunctional dance… the first step is recognizing you have a role in this problem. The second is actually doing something about it.

    The opinions expressed here are strictly my own… and ones of someone that has had to walk this walk.

  5. It’s an interesting post. In my family, my wife is not very interested in budgeting. That being said, she is very frugal and for that I am blessed. She is ok listening to me once a month as I discuss our finances, but she would rather avoid wasting money or spending on un-necessary things. I mainly refer to our budget during times of big change, especially like right now as we are buying a new home and she just left her job.

    Thanks for the great post as always!!!

    • I have talked to many people where one spouse doesn’t want to deal with the budget but knows the information they need to know in case something were to happen to their significant other. They are both frugal but sorting out the actual budget just doesn’t interest one of them. If that works, great…. at least they know where their money is going. Cheers mate

  6. OMG I LOVE THAT LETTER! I bet that without knowing it/intending it you just provided many wives with another wonderful printable tool! LOL:)
    We can always count on you to cut to the chase and not sugar coat things Mr CBB, and we love you for it! :)

    • What’s that… you love me? hahaha… Thanks Julia… you’re the best.. can always count on you!!! I never quite thought about the printable tool but in a way you may be right if other women feel the letter might motivate their spouse.

  7. I’m not married so I don’t really have any personal experiences similar to your reader but she definitely has my sympathy. It must be very difficult when you love someone who has very different money philosophies than you do. Money compatibility often gets overlooked but it is something that I will talk about with my future husband (someday, I hope!). We don’t have to see eye-to-eye on everything but we have to find a middle ground that works and most importantly have to respect and communicate with each other.

    • My wife and I both talked about money from the start. We were both coming into the relationship with money and we both wanted to know where we stood on money. We didn’t budget right away but we were and still are very frugal.

  8. This is a great article. We usually get on about our finances pretty well, but I have noticed that when times are tough it’s harder to get him to talk about it at all. For the exact same reasons. It’s silly.

  9. There’s good advice there Mr. CBB, and kudos to you for tackling a difficult, sensitive subject. Every relationship is different though, and every couple has to find their own way through money stuff.

    Relationships in which one person is a spender and the other a saver certainly come with their challenges, as do relationships where one spouse handles all the money management. Relationships are also challenging, private, matters, and they’re dynamic too – constantly changing.

    I’m pretty darned sure that none of us ever knows the whole story about what goes on in another couple’s partnership.

    I can tell you that at my house there have been many rocky moments arising from money. Fortunately we’ve found a way through that works for us (so far). It’s not necessarily a way that would work for others (including you from what I’ve read about your financial relationship with Mrs. CBB) and that’s okay.

    Where am I going with this? I’m not sure, except to say that selfishness and ego should have no place in financial decisions but very often do find their way into those discussions, and that while we can all offer advice, it’s up to the couple in question to find their way through. Or not. Sometimes, an attitude like that is quite beyond amendment and the problem beyond resolution.

    I wish them luck in finding a way through that works for them, and I commend you on your good financial commonsense.

    • You know I thought about you at one point while I was writing the post only because over the past year I’ve gotten to know you and you’ve mentioned money in your household on more than one occasion, especially the budget. I don’t think I’m going to solve their problems, it’s up to them you are right. I think when people hit rock bottom or are close to it they seek out any positive help and motivation they can find. I commend her for that and for the sake of her marriage that she is willing to go as far as she is. She clearly is in love with him and hopes to find both their path back together on this topic. Cheers Beth!!!! :)

  10. Christine Weadick says:

    Mary, you made some very good points, Thank you. I think we women do worry about the money more. I sure do here.
    There are a lot of good points in the article but some men won’t see it. They don’t want to. Even if she talks to her hubby and he listens it doesn’t mean he will actually do anything there. Some people can talk a good line… agreeing with all you say, you walk away thinking the person is great and they really know what’s what and so on….. talk is cheap….. they are good at talking the talk, but not so good at walking the walk…….

  11. Good feedback, Mr. CBB. Money troubles likes this can be concerning for a relationship. I think my big problem isn’t so much with his money habits, as it is with the his lack of care and respect for his wife’s opinions. If he’s so concerned with what his buddies think, then maybe he needs to be married to them instead of her.
    I think your tips under “take charge of the situation” are awesome. You are encouraging people to talk honestly and respectfully about their concerns which is important. People aren’t always going to agree but they can at least acknowledge and appreciate the other person’s perspective. Cheers!

    • Thanks Lindsey,
      I think he genuinely doesn’t see it as a problem because of their income. I really do think talking with each other is the first step. I hope one day she will come back to let me know how it all works out.

  12. Oh wow, I don’t even know what to say about this one. I’m not married, but even being single I would never want to date or be in a serious relationship with someone who was financially irresponsible, especially at his/her partner’s expense.

  13. I really hope this couple can come up with a reasonable financial plan so they won’t be at odds. I hope it happens before they really have an emergency and lose what they do have. Yes, she did choose him, but maybe they didn’t have money when they got married. It’s hard to see how someone will react to making good money before they have ever actually made any. It’s never too late to change and get on the same page, especially if they want to raise a financially responsible child. I wish them the best of luck.

  14. I think this applies to both males and females sometimes. J doesn’t always budget, and in fact I have to practically force him to!

  15. Ego and finances don’t mix. I would invite this couple to sit down and really examine their spending and decide what is worth it. People break up over money all the time. Would hate to see it happen to then.

  16. He better read your letter and appreciate the help. Relationship is about compromise :) hope the two of them can sit down and talk it out. Sometimes you just have to leave out the I in famly :) With a second baby on the way it’s important for them to get on the same page. Speaking of which, I wonder if they gave a name to the royal baby yet. I wouldn’t mind James or George. Anyway, I’ve never really thought about this topic myself since I don’t have a spouse yet, but I think the suggestions you point out about our egos can be associated with the workplace as well, especially if you’re in charge of the company finances.

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  3. […] 1.  Mr. CBB over at Canadian Budget Binder addressed an issue many people struggle with: when one’s spouse isn’t on board with budgeting and getting out of debt.  In the particular story he relays, it’s the hubby who’s in denial.  Head on over and read Mr. CBB’s well-thought out advice on A Man’s Ego and His Budget. […]

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