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Forum -> Household Management -> Finances
Dh and money

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Post Wed, Feb 21 2024, 8:21 pm
My dh grew up in a family that took frugal to another level. His father had a good job but both his parents came from immigrant/holocaust survivor parents and both families grew up with very little money. My dh grew up honestly lacking a lot, emotionally and physically and it's a neis he came out so normal.

Fast forward to married life - hopefully most people do NOT have this experience, but adjusting to my in laws lifestyle and home was beyond difficult when we first got married and even still is today... and unfortunately after being married long enough, I see it spilling over onto my dh.

He tells me I'm an extreme and I'm just a spender, but the level of craziness with hoarding, taking anything free (including food), wearing articles of clothing even with holes, stains etc and honestly anything that "saves money" is starting to affect our marriage in such a negative way. His "comeback" is always insulting me for wanting to spend instead of save - and maybe sometimes he is right - but unfortunately buying things is sometimes part of life, and I'm not talking about luxuries.

Now purim coming up and I was already told I HAVE to get costumes at the gemach, we are NOT buying any costumes for the kids, it's such bad chinuch (and it costs $ so obviously that's a no-no). I said OK, I will go to the gemachs, but if I don't find anything then what? In the past, if I bought costumes for the kids I used it as an opportunity to add some more costumes/clothes for them to play with during the year..

In general, everything I do or spend is analyzed.. not only does it make me nuts, it honestly PUSHES me to spend more out of spite and resentment.

I know everyone will say go to therapy.. it's unfortunately in his blood. He's not the type of person who can't hear the other side - he is definitely someone who has seichel and is open to discussion, but he was brought up in such an unhealthy, frugal home that nothing is going to change him.

Just had to vent, it's been a really hard week for me in this area. Not looking to trigger anyone going through a difficult time financially, because I really do have compassion and feel for anyone struggling in this area, but the chokehold I constantly feel like I'm put in is just as suffocating and I don't know what to do.

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Post Wed, Feb 21 2024, 8:40 pm
I hate waste and it manifests itself similarly to how your husband presents. If you can’t find costumes, I would see if you can borrow from a group chat-you would be amazed at what you can find. If you are unsuccessful, would he be open to your buying and donating to the gemach after-maybe they can give a tax receipt. That might make it OK for him. Donating any mis-purchase to displaced Israeli families from the south makes me happier to give away things even with tags. (Otherwise I would keep them forever waiting to find a match/lose weight/learn to alter myself)
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Post Wed, Feb 21 2024, 9:10 pm
Can you speak to a Rav together? I think if he is the type, a Rav telling him that he can do that for himself but needs to be more generous with you (as long as its within budget) might help. And it's less costly than therapy and creates shalom bayis.
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Post Wed, Feb 21 2024, 9:19 pm
Did you ever try a shalom bayis fund or a budget with some money going to a discretionary account for you to spend as you see?

I have similar roots to your husband and it was very hard for me to make a budget because just spend the least possible right? Ultimately a budget was super freeing and very helpful (it’s not an airtight one at all but a baseline).
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Post Wed, Feb 21 2024, 9:20 pm
Maybe simi mandelbaum can help you, if he’s willing to work on this issue that’s coming between you. She is a financial therapist and I think she does really good work.
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Post Wed, Feb 21 2024, 9:58 pm
I completely understand what you’re going through. DH lost his father when he was young. There was so much financial pressure, plus my MIL probably suffered from depression for years. I always feel that everything is tied to money. I have to overthink every purchase. He watches our accounts like a hawk for our “protection. I feel like big daddy is watching. We are in therapy and I brought this up more than once. It makes me feel bad all the time.

I spend more than I did in the past and I try not to worry. I go away when I have breaks (cheaply of course). We don’t go on vacations and we pretty much never eat out. We are and always will be perpetually poor in my husband’s eyes. He believes it’s the right way to live. I’ve been miserable (in this area) for so long. I don’t believe this is what HaShem wants.
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Post Wed, Feb 21 2024, 10:10 pm
Do you work? Sometimes it’s easier to have your own income so you can have a go to stash for extras. This way your husband won’t feel like your spending his money
(I know all the money should be shared but sometimes it helps psychologically)
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Post Thu, Feb 22 2024, 12:57 am
Sounds really tough. Because I wish my husband was a bit more like you! We have no money but he was brought up Uber wealthy. We used to be comfortable but now We.Are.Not.Making.It.
And he can't get into that mindset. At all.
I grew up being conscious of spending but not deprived at all. I never had to wear ripped clothing but we also didn't buy tons "just to get".
Now we are down to 1/3 our income. We just don't make it month to month. And he buys snacks and groceries that are extras. Buys when he can borrow. Invites people over. We can't feed ourselves without help. Stop offering to others when it's not like they need either...
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Post Thu, Feb 22 2024, 2:57 am
It sounds as though working out (and sticking to) a bugger together might help. Obviously, allocate a certain amount to savings. But the the destination of each dollar and what it is doing for you would be clear. It wouldn't just be everything disappearing into a black hole without trace, so it would allow him to feel safer.

Include a category for miscellaneous, as well. Things like Purim costumes would come out of that category, but nothing should be unbudgeted.
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