DEAR SOMEONE ELSE’S MOM: We helped pay for our wedding, and shortly after that, we used all the gift money we got from the wedding to help put a down payment on a three-bedroom condo.
That was nearly a year ago, and even though we make OK money combined, my husband doesn’t want to spend any money on anything other than the very essentials. We barely go out. Our house has nearly no furniture, and all we have in the kitchen to work with is the stuff I got for my shower or off our bridal registry.
I get his wanting to be careful with money, but every time I bring up our going out or spending something on the house, he shoots it down, saying we can’t afford it. If I ask him when he thinks we’ll be able to afford it, he gets angry and walks away.
I don’t want to fight about money, but this seems strange to me. Is it? --- BRIDE OF A FRUGAL GROOM
DEAR BRIDE OF A FRUGAL GROOM: How a couple manages their finances is a core component in any marriage, and right now, it sounds like you two are on different pages. If you can’t come to an agreement on a basic philosophy of how to use your money, there’ll be trouble down the road.
With two incomes coming in, one suggestion is to set up a separate savings account, dedicated to household expenses. Agree on the amount you’re each going to put in per pay period. You could do the same for a fun fund.
Your husband may still be reluctant to touch any of the savings, but you can make the argument that this money was put away to be used when needed, without affecting your everyday budget.