I recently heard from a reader asking for advice on how to tell her husband about her debt. While we’ve talked about whether debt in marriage is considered yours, mine, or ours, we haven’t discussed the dynamics of divulging your debt to a spouse. I will be the first to admit that I have no experience in this department.
Since her situation is very different from mine, I offered to turn her question over to my readers for help.
I have been acquiring debt since 2009 when our son became sick and was diagnosed with cancer. My credit card debt included household/family bills, medical bills, coping/grieving costs, stress shopping, along with items for college (I was going back to school for my RN). After our son passed away, I also found it hard to not buy our other son gifts, since while we were away taking care of our oldest, our youngest was living with family.
I am currently working with Lutheran Social Services. They have consolidated my credit cards for me. Every month I pay $944 to them and then they pay my credit cards. Originally my total debt was $37,258. Now I have $33,491 remaining. I should have them all paid for in 4 years.
My husband gives me $2,000 every month to pay bills Additionally, I bring in around $650 after taxes, insurance, dependent care, flex spending.
My husband has no clue about my credit card debt. He doesn’t know that I pay $944 each month for my credit card consolidation.
I have cut up all my credit cards that are under the LSS plan. I do have one credit card that I use for my Mary Kay and 31 business. I do sometimes have to use that credit card if my husband does not give me the money to pay for extra bills that may come up that we did not expect.
My husband has money, but it all goes back into the farm. His mother takes care of our farm checking account and paying the farm bills out of there. If I need extra money I have to ask her for a check.
My husband is a saver. His way of thinking is if there is not money in the bank, then don’t pay the bill. He feels that if you put something on your credit card you should be able to pay it off when the bill comes. He does not have anything to do with our home checking account.
I have tried to do a budget and I have tried to talk to my husband about it. He thinks that budgets are stupid. He just wants to know how much money I need from him a year. He doesn’t understand that unexpected expenses arise such as tires for the car or extra medical expenses. I have asked my husband to also sit down with my to pay the bills, and he doesn’t have the time. He has never sat down to help pay the bills or asked what bills we have.
How do I tell my husband about my debt?
Please gently offer any kind-hearted advice on how C can go about telling her husband about her debt situation. She is open to any suggestions that your might have. Feel free to share any similar experiences that might help. Remember that the purpose of Wednesday Debt Discussions is to encourage and support one another.
Linked to Thrifty Thursday