Bills and Budgeting

Vickie - posted on 03/04/2010 ( 9 moms have responded )

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I am so tired of trying to make the money streach a lot futher then what is really there. My husband doesn't help with the budget, he figures he gets his "allowance" every week and I can take care of the rest, but then he asks how much we have in the account and throws a fit about where the money went. He won't sit down with me to go over where it is going though. Also if he works a little extra and makes some side money it is always "I worked my butt off for this money" kind of attitude. But if I work a little extra or take on some kids at night here and there the money I make has to go into the account for the house.

I know I am venting, I just need some help to work out the budget, it seems like everytime I take 2 steps forward and think we are starting to do okay something comes up that throws up 5 steps back. We are trying very hard to get out of debt and get money in savings before the baby gets here, but it seems like I am the only one that cares about it. Just feeling a little overwhelmed right now! Any suggestions on how to work the budget so that it doesn't feel like every thing that comes up throws us way off?

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Christy - posted on 03/04/2010

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I am so sorry you are having to go through this. There is a man by the name of Dave Ramsey who is a very famous financal coach. He teachs families how to handle money and get out of debt. He has a varity of books and training videos out, and he is excellent! I also suggest you sit down with your husband and talk to himn about your fiancial situation and be honest about your thoughts and concerns. Set up some financal goals for your family and get him involved. I hope everything works out. Good luck!

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This is what helps us:
I made a list of all of our bills--utilities, dry cleaning, insurance, auto gas, mortgage, taxes (took the yearly amount and divided by 12), groceries, dh's lunches, and "extras" like oil changes, doctor visits, clothing.
I set up a monthly direct draft to one of our credit cards, so our monthly bills are all paid automatically and we end up with only one bill coming in the mail every month (MUCH easier not to loose stuff, and takes a fraction of the time to write one check). We use the same credit card to pay for EVERYTHING. That way when we get the bill, I can see exactly where every penny was spent. Now, my husband does get about $80/month to spend in vending machines at work, & I take out about $30/month for our son's allowance, but other than that, we don't use cash.
That way, when your husband asks you "where did all the $$ go?" all you have to do is show him the bill. Also, your account will not get so low as often, it will only be low once a month, and if you time the payment right, it will only be low for a day or so.
I should add that you MUST pay the bill in full every month or you have to pay interest, but if you are only charging your usual monthly bills, that shouldn't be a problem.
We use a card issued by Upromise which puts 1% of everything we charge into our son's college account :)

Bethanie - posted on 03/04/2010

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Check out local churches in your area and see if they are offering Dave Ramsey's "Financial Peace University" course. I think, for your situation and how stubborn your husband is, that actually going to a class rather then trying to get him to read a book will be more effective. Most offer childcare as well. Don't put this off any longer cause you really won't have the time when the new baby comes! Something you could start doing in the meantime, is righting out a budget. Since you're in charge of the finances, then he won't have much of a choice then to abide by it.

Put a bunch of envelopes on the fridge. Right out your budget for groceries, clothes, necessities, gas and extras (after all the bills are factored in). Put one catergory on each envelope and put the dollar amount on each one, that is the budget for the next month/2 weeks. Tell him, this is ALL we have for each catergory. When it's gone, it's gone. Depending on how much your bank will let you withdraw either put that in cash amount in each envelope or make him always provide you with a receipt and then deduct it on the front of the envelope from the budgeted amount. This way, he'll be able to "see" where the money is going. Like Dave Ramsey says, "Use cash when purchasing things because it 'hurts' more then swipping your card."

Vickie - posted on 03/04/2010

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We are actually on our third child. Thankfully the oldest is completely out of diapers and the other is only in a pull up at night. I looked over the Dave Ramsey website, it looks like a lot of what I am doing is what he says to do. Part of my worry right now is taxes. We had some issues with my husbands company "paying" taxes last year olny to find out in Feb that they were never paid. We got the money back that was taken out of his checks but we are going to be hit hard with fees and having to pay taxes for a whole year! We have 2500 in our savings account, our checking we run down to 50 everyweek after everything is paid, I just have a feeling that all the money in saving is going to have to go to the IRS and we are due to have our son mid-April. If our savings gets wiped out and we have nothing right before having our child how are we going to get caught back up?

Crystal to answer your question, yes I have made him do all the budgetting including planning out the groceries, this was around the time we had our son some 4 years ago. I don't think that it is that he thinks it is easy, I think he finds it easier to throw it on me because I am home all day and can handle it. Might I add that I have my daughter in school, my son home with me, I watch 3 kids from home and I am 8 months pregnant, but I have the time to do all the finances because I am home! :) We are no where near the arguement of divorce, I just want him to not get on to me if I say we have $15 in the account until we get paid 3 days later! His question is always where did the money go......Hummmm well lets see, and there I loose him! LOL

It is nice to know that I am not the only one that has dealt with this though, sometimes I feel so alone when it comes to struggling financial, especially when I have friends talking about going out to eat all the time and all the new things they have been able to buy.

Christy - posted on 03/04/2010

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Just go to www.daveramsey.com., also look at budget bookstores in your area. He is worth the investment. And as far as your husband is concerned, let him know that bad financial situations are one of the leading causes for divorce, and unless he wants to go bankrupt he better take you and your financial situation seriously.

[deleted account]

Don't feel too bad Vickie because I was going through a similar situation. The question I have to ask is if you had him be in charge of ALL the budgeting? I know this seems like a risky action but it actually helped my husband to see how difficult it can be to budget. Right now, he has it easy because he only has to worry about his own finances. Lucky him! He's your husband and father to your children so you both have a financial responsibility. You're working just as hard as he is when you're at home with the kids Take a break, have him do the budget for everyone and give it a month or two to let him see what you go through. I hope this helps and please, keep us posted.

Tam - posted on 03/04/2010

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wow! my man started on me one day and i was like you can do them from now on and he wanted no part of that! Its just financially hard on everyone right now. Have you tried using food banks to help out on the grocery bills? It really does help. You wont get everything you need but even one or two meals a week can really help the budget. I usually get more than one meal out of a food bank visit, and i go buy what else i need to make the meals around what i get. I have soup and sandwich everyday for lunch to cut the grocery bill down. we dont go out to eat very often either. Fast food is expensive and not good for you. You may be able to save money by buying kool aid/tea instead of pop. you can get sugar at a pantry. I use angel food ministries once a month. you buy it ahead and go get it at end of month. Hopefully our economy takes an upswing soon. idk how long everyone can continue on in these hard times. My gma warned me about the 30's! never thought we would see anything like that. I was wrong.

Breezy - posted on 03/04/2010

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I was going to reply, you have to find any book by Dave Ramsey, but Christy hit it right on! My mother in law has a saying, "If your waiting until you can afford it to have a baby, you'll never have a baby."
You said, "Before the baby gets here?" Does this mean its your first? My husband really grew up with we had our firsts. He wasn't so eager to go out to dinner, or to buy new pants or a new shirt. I do all the bills, I consult him and allow him to have a say, but most of the time it goes in one ear and out the other. I do find that when I dont talk to him about something, it does bother him, so even if he doesnt really care, at least I talked to him about it. I write down all the bills in order of when they are due, my husband gets paid weekly, so I allocate a certain amount for bills, grocery, and misc. items. I have to buy so many diapers a month, we get coupons, shop the big Costco and reserve about 150-175 a mo. just for diapers and wipes ( I have 3 still in diapers)
Dont feel prideful about thinking like a bird "cheep cheep" lol Its awesome to save money and really take Ms. Christy's advice and get a Dave Ramsey Book! He's so flipping awesome!!!

Vickie - posted on 03/04/2010

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It seems like everytime we have tried to sit down and talk about it, he will listen or at least act like he does but it goes in one ear and out the other. It gets very frustrating!! He wanted to be involved in all of it at one point so he took over the bill paying for a couple of months, it took me 6 months to get all the bills back to normal and pay the things that he had forgotten to pay so we didn't have stuff shut off!

I have heard of Dave Ramsey before, do you know if he has a website or anything? Right now we really don't even have the money to buy the book. Taxes are going to kill us this year (that is a whole other story) so all that we have is going towards that.

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