I’d be perfectly happy to take over the finances

I’d be perfectly happy to take over the finances, once we had come to some resolution regarding changing our spending habits, working with a debt counselor, finding some sort of repayment plan. I grew up with very frugal parents – there was always enough, but we didn’t have luxuries – so “downsizing” our lifestyle would not be a problem for me. I’d be happier if it was simpler….I don’t watch most of the stations we have on our cable service, for instance, and I’ve always wanted to do more family-centered stuff (rather than passively watching television, for instance).

The problem is, if I try to suggest this, he will take it as an admission of failure…also…because he is the sole earner at this point, he feels he should handle the money.

I really appreciate your input and feedback.

spending behaviorThanks for your response to my posting.

The debt is only in his name. I haven’t signed any sort of credit card applications.

I have one credit card in my maiden name (which I got in 1990, 9 years prior to my marriage) which I try to use rarely and pay off at the end of the month.

My husband gives me an allowance of $40.00 per week. I try to save this so I will have some funds available for when I need to purchase birthday/Christmas gifts for my side of the family. I still have small checking and savings accounts. The one luxury I’ve allowed myself is a subscription to the New Yorker (about $39.00 for the year) but I’d be willing to cancel it.

What brought this problem to the forefront was that my husband asked to borrow $800. out of my savings in order to meet the expenses for January.

I don’t think he’d be willing to take a second job.

What with our older boy being autistic the past four years have been difficult for me….his diagnosis was just two months before our younger boy was born…so I was seven months pregnant when we got the news. Our six-year-old tests at a one-year-old level. Doesn’t speak, we haven’t been able to toilet train him, and there are days when he alternates between weeping/laughing/screeching twiddling bits of paper, running back and forth aimlessly. I hate to admit it, but it is really hard to take, sometimes. It’s worst when he’s upset and I have no idea why and no idea how to console him, no matter how I try. The first two years after his diagnosis I was basically housebound, what with therapists from Early Intervention coming and going, and our youngest being so little.

Now he’s in a full-day program at a special school, which is great, since he has teachers trained about autism/applied behavioral analysis, but no one’s been able to tell us why he can’t speak or if he will ever speak.

Also, because of our financial situation, we can’t pay for the therapies and doctors that would be most likely to help him, and that kills me.

The situation with our older son affects our younger son…and that hurts too. Our older son has some frightening behaviors sometimes (biting, pulling hair) and both myself and my younger son have been bitten/had our hair pulled.

I’d be very happy living simply (even get rid of cable altogether) but I have the feeling my husband views this as a kind of punishment and that I am being “mean” and “punitive” by not bailing him out.

I feel that we have to cut wherever we can, get on some sort of debt repayment plan, and live very carefully/frugally if we are to extricate ourselves from this situation.

Just an example….I always switch off lights (TV, radio et cetera) when I leave a room, but my husband leaves them on. He has lights on even in the morning, when there is sufficient natural light coming in the windows (I’ll get up to find the blinds still closed and all the electric lights on).

But…it bothers him when I shut them off…since he says, “well, I’m going back in there” and complains that the apartment is too dark and depressing. Drives me nuts. But…it seems like he takes offense at my turning lights off even when there is no one in the room…and, in the same way, I know he will take offense if I suggest taking over the finances since he will take this as me saying he has failed.

I think, in many ways, it’s a male thing. He figures that, since he is a man and is earning the money, he can do what he wants, and, for me to suggest that he can’t is me trying to emasculate him. Many thanks for your response; I do appreciate it!!