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Debt reduction when spouse isn't onboard

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Matthew Drollinger:
I agree that making a budget is the way to go.  Try convincing your husband that if he isn't under his own control (a budget created by the two of you), he is under control of those you are in debt to (since they take a portion of what you bring in each month), and the sooner they are paid off, the sooner you are no longer under their control.  Perhaps he doesn't want to give up the freedom of splurging, but in that case, therein lies the problem.  Creating a budget is actually pretty simple.  Make a list of all your necessary monthly expenses (and annual expenses divided by 12).   As an example, my expenses include: (Rent, Food, Insurance, Cable, Clothing/Household items, Phone Bill, Gifts/Charity, Normal entertainment, Electric Bill, Gasoline, Car Maintenance, Natural Gas Bill, Laundry, and Subscriptions.)  Include planned debt payments (divide the entire debt amount by the number of months you want to pay it off in)  Subtract the whole expense total from your monthly income.  That is the money you and your husband have left to play/save/do whatever with.  Save before you splurge.  In other words, if you find that you can save $200 a month after all planned monthly expenses, wait an extra month before buying that $350 piece of furniture.  That keeps your income on a positive path.  Look at your bills each month and compare them to your budget for accuracy.  Creating a budget can also alert you as to where you could cut services and where you're overspending.  Don't buy on impulse.  Plan your expenses.  (when I say "you" I mean "the both of you")  Good luck!  ;)

Tricia2723:
An update on our situation. God always provides. My husband just got a part time job at our parish school. This has raised his self-esteem by leaps and bounds. He also has taken responsibility for setting his own limits on what he can spend-this way I don't "control him".

As far as appleshing, he still doesn't know how much I appleshe-(it is only about 2%-no where near 10%). However, this job came about when I decided to increase my appleshing. The extra income will help. But the blessings of his self-esteem, being more active in church are too numerous to be able to count.  :

Rev_Mom:
As a pastor, I often am asked by couples to advise them on financial difficulties like this.
Couples need to be on the same page!  Draw up a budget .  Put the "must pay" items first, rent/mortgaage, utilities, groceries/eat out money, etc. If you consider appleshing or a percentage contribution to your church a basic, ::), that should be here (out in the open).  Savings (we call this the "kitty") come next.  This sum should be determined by of you.  Don't forget to look ahead at likely expenses you need to save for - taxes, health checks, dentist, etc.
Then you have what is left.   ;D
Here, you each have an "allowance" that may be spent without further accountability to the other.
Obviously a lot of us run out of cash before we run out of month. :o  Here is where he can be of help.  Is there a home based business effort he could use to make his own contribution to the family finances?  Explore this possibility carefully.  He needs to feel like a contributor - not a burden.  He needs rewards for his role in the family - could be he has just been rewarding himself when no one else did.  Just a thought.  Blessings to you both.  Remember, you are partners in this enterprise we call LIFE.  8)

CSinbad:
Find him something to do and/or get a friend or so to visit often.  Possibly Puzzles, going to a community center and doing activities.  Maybe he could baby sit kids depending on how disabled he is.  If so he could volunteer as a sub at the local Y and thus get a free membership.

I also think that contributing so much to the church without his knowledge is wrong.  You ask him not to spend much and then you turn around and give a lot to your church.  Is it by chance close to what he spends each month?  If so then you need to stop over spending first (I consider giving so much to the church over spendng.).  applesh only 10% of your income and you will be following Gods request.  That is what the Bible says to applesh (give).

You need to give him an allowance for his spending money.  You also should have an allowance.  Then both of you can spend it any way you wish, no budget.  The rest of your money should be budgeted.  (A necessary evil.)  Also if you pull out savings first then you won't miss the money because it isn't there to spend.  Get rid of all your credit cards but 1 main one.  Hide it and use it only for emergencies.  Cut up the other cards, pay them off then cancel them.  Debit cards and checks need to be put away as well.

Tricia2723:
Hi,
   What do you do when you are committed to paying off your debt and your spouse is also-but not as much. My husband is getting better but has these splurges about once a month that set us back about $300. We are able to pay all our bills-but never seem to move ahead. I am the main bread winner-he is on disability. So I know that having so much free time is part of the problem. When he did work, he didn't do this very much. He doesn't want to sit down and do a budget because that is too controlling for him. (Control is a big thing in his life-felt very controlled by family and school because of his vision disability.)
To be honest, I don't let him know how much I contribute to the church. He would have a fit.

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