Reader question: Handling Family Finances

by Kim

I have a question about family finances and how to make a budget, I hope you can help. My husband has always been the main provider, he sets up the budget and I try my best to follow through. I am now a stay at home mom and the problem is that I've trusted him with the finances too much to the point that I have never made a major financial decision. He tells me it's my money too, but no decision is made unless he agrees, he has total control of it all and I do not purchase anything with "our" money. Trips are made upon his approval, right down to bed sheets; and you being a man I know would understand they are never necessary. How can I be more involved in the decisions about what to do with the money if I don't see a way to get involved. I trust him and respect him greatly, I know he would never make a decision to harm our financial situation. I am very accommodating and that is why I find myself in this situation now 12 yrs later, I always let it slide, but it is turning frustrating to me that nothing is done, no trips, no furniture unless he thinks is a good idea, not even because I want it...

LM Says: Kim, I am going to be careful here with any feedback because this, in my opinion is more a matter of communication within your marriage rather than personal finance.

Let me ask, is there a particular reason(s) why your husband has taken charge of the family finances? Without knowing more I suspect some reason why he believes he needs to be in charge of this. I would suggest you approach him with your concern and most of all suggest a plan on how to tackle future financial decisions and above all make it very clear to him that you want to be involved.

You mentioned you have "let it slide..." in the past so perhaps you shouldn't anymore. By you letting it slide this might make him feel that the way he is handling it is Ok.

But above all sit down and talk this through, not only tell him what you don't like but tell him how you would like it to be.

Please let us know how it goes. Thanks for asking.

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