Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Spendthrift Husbands- Ask the Readers

I've encountered quite a number of women, both in real life and over the internet, that have gotten their act together and realized that their consumerism habits must change, that their extravagant lifestyle is simply racking up debt and misery and money worries. These smart ladies decide that they need to put a budget together, get their spending in check, and are all ready to save when---
Their husbands stop them.
What do you mean, cut back? Live a little and leave the finances to me. You're worrying about nothing, they chide.

Mocking their wives' efforts to conserve, these spendthrift husbands waste money on stupid frivolities and nonsensical purchases.
All this is tempered by their wives' attempts to cut back spending, in the hopes of at least balancing things out. For each 1000 dollars their husband is spending, these women look to save another thousand, so at least they're evening out the finances.

But what about when the husband not only won't curtail his spending habits and get on the frugality bandwagon, but goes as far as to get upset at his wife for her frugality? These husbands want their wives to stop "being so uptight" and feel that their frugality is simply stinginess. Not only does hubby want to be irresponsible with his money, but he wants her to be careless as well. He gets annoyed at his wife for cutting back on her own luxuries, for cutting back on the grocery bill, and for not pampering herself financially.

Some women have approached me about this topic, and to be honest, I'm at a loss as to how to help them. While my husband and I sometimes have disagreements over how to allocate certain portions of our money, on the whole we've got the same views on the importance of living within our means, making things from scratch, and being conscious of our spending habits and reducing waste.

When someone tells me that this is their reality, I seriously do not know how to advise.
I will not minimize the importance of a happy spouse; I believe in the sanctity of marriage, and sometimes keeping the peace in a union needs to be on the front burner, with all other issues relegated to the back burner. At the same time, forgetting the affect of financial stresses on a marriage would also be detrimental. Most marriages in the US today end because of fiscal strife and disagreements. When the husband is the main breadwinner, the situation is especially compounded.

What do you think one should do when money is really tight, you're not living within your means, and your spouse is against rethinking his spending habits and does not want you to do that either? Readers, help me out here.

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