So many people get divorced after having kids and now I know why, parenting is not easy but 110% worth the effort.
I don’t think there is anything that could prepare you for becoming a parent, not even having lots of siblings.
When we found out we were having a baby we knew that our lives were going to change, including our finances. My wife also knew that she was going to be a stay-at-home new mom and feared not knowing other moms to hang out with.
Over the past year she has met plenty of other moms on social media, at the park and other community events. She says it’s getting easier but she does miss getting out whenever she is inside for a few days at a time with our son. These days we tend to do lots together as a family which helps our relationship to grow and our son build a bond with the two of us.
Mrs.CBB is a people person so it’s important for her to get out of the house to keep her spirits up even though our son is the light of her life. She’s just as happy going for a walk with our son to the park, chatting to neighbors or just enjoying the outdoors in the back garden on the deck.
Becoming a new mom
My wife also understands how every new mom feels, exhausted after the birth of a baby and it’s ongoing. There is also a huge desire to get out of the house and to start working on getting themselves back on track. When I say “back on track” I mean health-wise, meeting moms and finding ways to earn extra income if they plan to be a stay at home mom.
Mrs. CBB says it’s nice to be around others who understand and are maybe going through the same thing so she makes this time with other new moms in the area once a week. One new mom she hangs out with is a small home business entrepreneur and sells homemade baby items from home. She makes extra income for the family and networks with new parents all over the world.
Since we are a budgeting family becoming new parents meant we knew how to save money without going overboard. Thankfully, I don’t have to worry about my wife spending too much money but she did say after reading this next fan question how easy it is to become lonely being a new mom at home all the time.
Family Financial Crisis
First of all, thanks to Mr. CBB for letting me share this with all of you today. After talking to him via email I realized that sometimes it’s easier to write it all down than to just think about it in my head.
So, here goes.
My wife has always wanted to be a stay at home mom and I never wanted to take that dream away from her. She had a good job earning about $65,000 gross a year in the Alberta technology industry but stepped down to care for our daughter who is now 1 years old.
We bought a smaller house years ago because we knew we wanted kids and that she would potentially stay home when she became a new mom. Our debt at the time when she quit her job was our mortgage, one car loan $15,000 and about $3,000 on a credit card. Since then we have managed to rack up over $30,000 in debt and I’m struggling to keep up paying them each month and all of our other budgeted categories.
Over the past year my wife has gotten involved with various ‘mommy groups‘ which at first I thought was a great idea for her and our daughter. What has happened though is that she is spending money constantly on new expensive outfits, toys and baby/toddler stuff.
Who spends $50 on a pair of jeans for a toddler? She will buy 2 pairs if there is a sale as well. Buy one get one 30% off because she thinks it’s a great deal. The only people making money is the manufacture because the pricing is outrageous in some of these higher-end shops. Most times the moms will make food and bring it to their mommy meeting spot which is one of their houses so they can all enjoy it. This seems reasonable to me but also costs money.
They also go on day trips which requires new gear and costs money of course which is fine I suppose but my wife is hardly ever home as she is out with our daughter and her mommy friends. She has so many friends that she is out and about 5 days a week.
She comes home for dinner most nights, cleans up and is gone again until close to our daughter’s bed time. She is a great mom and takes good care of our daughter but she is letting other things slide to be with her mommy friends including our relationship and finances.
I know she feels bottled up in the house as a new mom but she is the one who wanted to be a stay-at-home mom. We could have paid for daycare and she could have stayed working, that was her choice.
I don’t know why it’s so hard for her to say no to them and I always feel left out. The house is not getting cleaned like it used to and I’m doing all the cooking and laundry at night because she’s too busy with her friends planning the next mommy group getaway or working out.
I’ve talked to her before about her spending habits and asked her to slow down because it’s becoming too much of a habit and costing us lots of money. It’s not just stuff that she buys for our daughter either. When she is at the mall she buys clothes and home gadgets for me which I don’t even really need and lots for her. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy all the sexy outfits she wears but I don’t enjoy the on-going price tags.
I think she buys stuff for me because she believes I won’t get upset that way.
She did not spend money like this before she became a new mom so something has changed. She says she is still in love with me and we are generally always happy with each other. When we spend time together it’s wild fun and we enjoy each others company.
I do ask her for all the receipts so I can complete our budget at the end of the month. Going through the online bank statement and credit card statements it’s easy to see that her idea of a stay at home mom isn’t really staying home much.
I get that she wants to hang out with her new mom friends so our daughter can interact with other children while exploring the world but it’s costing us too much money. There has to be cheaper things to do that don’t require new outfits and new gadgets all the time. Her one friend buys second-hand clothes but my wife would never do such a thing. I wish she was frugal that way because we’d save lots of money.
I have to tell my wife that we are getting into some serious financial debt and am not sure where to begin. Just because I take care of the finances doesn’t mean she can just spend money when she feels like it. I earn 6 figures every year but there is so much to pay for including our daughter’s education fund and our retirement savings like most other parents do.
My questions are for other moms or dads out there who can help me with this issue.
- What types of activities are there for mommy group time that won’t cost lots of money?
- How often do you buy your kids new outfits including accessories and is it reasonable to say that second-hand clothes are perfectly fine?
Most of all,
- How do I tell my wife we are in serious financial debt?
It’s time to break out of this mess and all I could think about was the blog where I got our budget from because I’ve read other fan questions and am hoping for some constructive feedback. I love my wife but I’m afraid that if we don’t get this taken care of that things may take a nose-dive between us and fast.
Thanks for any help.
Stuck in a corner
I’m sorry to hear you are having a tough time with your finances but rest assured there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I don’t know how much money you pay out each month and I also don’t know your exact net income but it sounds to me that your wife needs to be involved in making financial decisions including budgeting.
You are NOT the first father/husband who has emailed me about his wife spending too much money but your story was an interesting twist because it had more to do with being a new mom and spending more time outside of the home with mommy group friends.
Talk to your wife
I’m no relationship expert but it certainly sounds to me that she misses being around people and this is what makes her happy. I don’t know if you both go out on your own at all but it certainly seems like the time has come to make that a reality. If you know someone who could watch your daughter while you both enjoy an evening or even afternoon out together that would give you back some of that “together time”.
Once you sit your wife down to have a heart t0 heart financial conversation with her I hope you bring along all the debt stats to show her. Sometimes, talking about debt is not enough so having the financial evidence present will help bring her back to spending reality. If she has no idea how to budget you should first motivate her to get involved and help her to understand.
Our budget as you already know is fairly straight-forward and easy to use. Even if she just inputs the receipts as they become available at least she is participating in the financial process. When you see the numbers it puts a whole new spin on spending because those numbers don’t lie.
If she is missing her career or interacting with people I know many stay-at-home new moms that start blogs or write to make money which is also considered a small business if income is involved.
My amazingly smart blogger friend who is a stay-at-home new mom to twins Catherine at Budget Blonde has a great online freelance coaching course for those who want to make money from home writing for other blogs or starting a blog. This may be a great option for her to explore if that interests her or using her talents to create another home based business. She may also enjoy starting up a home daycare to bring in extra income and meet other parents.
We take our son swimming once a week which costs us under $4 at the local community pool. There are also lots of city-based baby centres that are free which we attend. Going to the park is a big deal for our son because he loves to run around and kick the ball and go down the slide. That’s all free. In the winter we will do the same thing but bring the sled with us so he can enjoy the snow.
In the summer my wife would go to the park with another new mom and they would set up a little picnic while the kids played next to them. There is also a ‘Mommy and Me’ class they participate in which is free at a local school community room.
There are gyms and other facilities in our city that we’ve been to but they cost anywhere from $5-$15 each time we go. These are activity centres that are higher-end or clubs where you have to become a member first. These can get pricey so we limit the amount of times we go to them because they aren’t necessary ALL the time.
Budget and then spend
As for the clothing for your daughter, I think it’s a bit much to be honest. I get that she wants her to look good BUT she’s only 1. It’s easy for a new mom to get caught up in all the hoopla that surrounds the new mom life and suckered into buying baby stuff. Most baby related things you won’t ever use and I’m betting you can go in your daughters closet and find clothes with price tags still on them that she won’t fit in.
There is nothing wrong with buying second-hand baby clothing as we do it all the time. Just recently we bought a massive box of all name brand boys clothing for $60 from Kijiji Canada a buy and sell online website. I know if we had to buy it at retail that it would have cost us hundreds of dollars more.
We buy second-hand stuff from moms who couldn’t control their new mom baby urges to spend and all those baby gifts that parents never use because they got too much stuff. I think once your wife can see how beautiful her daughter can look with hand me down clothes or buying used clothing she will understand how much money you can both save.
Don’t be shy, go into a second-hand shop and buy an outfit or search on Kijiji as there are tonnes of clothes for toddlers available. Once you dress your daughter tell your wife where you bought it and I bet she won’t say that she doesn’t like what her daughter is wearing.
My guess is that when she is with another new mom or a group of moms at the mall shopping that it’s easy to get caught up in the spending and cooing over the baby clothes in the shops. Women love to shop, that’s the truth and it likely won’t ever change (men do too, trust me) but shopping smart doesn’t mean you can’t look good.
I know I’m only one voice for you but the first thing you need to do is sit your wife down and have a chat with her about your finances. Until then, if you keep putting it off the problem will continue to mount and only frustrate you more.
Best of luck to you and please email me down the road to let me know how things are going for you. I’m sure the fans will have some other advice for you.
Before you go, if you haven’t had a chance to read these 2 blog posts on Canadian Budget Binder I would suggest you do. They may give you a bit more insight.
- How to handle when your spouse spends too much money
- Mom dresses child in designer baby clothes to show wealth
- How having a baby affected our budget
Please Note: If you have a question you’d like me to read and answer please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or use my contact form on the blog. Send me as much detail as you can about your situation preferably as above so I can properly respond. I will contact you if I’d like to hear more about your story. Thanks
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