Monday, January 28, 2013
NANCY & DENNIS: CONTROLLING THE MONEY
Why should women control the money? Women are better money managers than men. Men tend to overspend and rarely know what they have spent money on. Men spend too much on friends, buying too many lunches and too many rounds of drinks at the bar. Men also spend too much on tools and toys they'll never use. When women take control of spending, she is doing both herself and her man a big favor. With me in charge, my husband's spending went way down. And those tools and toys that he absolutely needed a week earlier – well, when money isn't available, the need will pass and the money he would have spent can be saved, invested – or used for something really important, like a new pair of red pumps for me! And he agrees that the pumps are more important!
You may decide to tell your husband something about the finances, but you should be in control. Dennis has his paycheck deposited into a joint account, and I transfer those funds into my account. Once the money is in my account, I do with it as I please, paying bills, making investments, setting aside money for vacations and girls' nights out, and, yes, for my personal spending.
Ladies, don't feel guilty about spending “his” money! It's not his at all – it's yours – and he should understand that. Men in female-led marriages want the wife to spend their money – it reinforces your respective roles and men like this. They love providing for women and love being reminded of their place and of their vulnerabilities. It's a great way to make a man feel your power. I sometimes take Dennis shopping so he can watch me spend “his” money. I tell him that his money is hanging in my closet, on my shoe rack, or in my jewelry box. It's an emotional rush for both of us, but in different ways.
Some ways I control money:
Direct deposit - Dennis' paycheck is deposited in a joint account twice a month. On the day of deposit I transfer the funds into my account. And don't let your man tell you that his company doesn't offer direct deposit; they all do, it saves them hundreds a year in check printing costs.
Pay stubs – I review Dennis' pay stub to understand what is being taken out; I make any adjustments that I feel are needed. Women have to watch deductions for savings plans, credit unions, and so on. Make sure that what's being deducted is being deposited and remains in the account. Dennis told me about two men who were having “savings plan” deductions made only to immediately take them out to spend. Their wives were informed – end of deception – punishment administered – wives firmly in control! So, ladies, carefully review any savings plan statements and make sure that they are consistent with what is being withdrawn from your man’s pay.
ATM and credit cards – Women should be closely monitoring and controlling their man's use of ATM and credit cards. Better still, prohibit him from carrying them at all. This eliminates the temptation to spend money. Dennis is not allowed to carry ATM or credit cards. If he's fueling the cars or doing the grocery shopping, he is allowed to borrow an ATM card but ONLY after asking permission. When he returns he has to give back the card with receipts for purchases he made. A woman friend's husband was spending hundreds monthly that he could not account for. Taking his ATM card solved the problem.
Major purchases - Women should be responsible for all major purchases since these have a large financial impact. I make all major purchase decisions. Dennis is involved only with those that directly concern him, such as the new iron we bought a few months ago. And his being involved doesn't mean he makes the final decision, I do!
Allowance – Dennis receives a generous allowance twice monthly for his personal spending. This has to last him two weeks, and if it doesn't, he won't get any more.
Even though the allowance is for his use, he has to account for his spending. If he's unable to account for his spending when I ask, I may reduce his next allowance by the amount he can't account for. This encourages him to manage his money better.
Again, even though his allowance is for his use, he has to ask my permission for any purchase over $50. He has to justify what he wants to buy. The last time he asked, I told him, “No” and said that if he had $50 to waste, I could put it to good use and used it to buy new shoes.
You might consider only giving him money when he asks and can justify why he wants it. A woman who does this says it's more work but does cut down on his spending. He doesn't ask unless he really thinks he can justify it. An added benefit is that his having to come to her reminds him who's in charge.
Financial discipline – When my husband falls short of my expectations, there are consequences depending on what he's done, or not done, as the case may be. Denying him money or, better still, making him pay a fine encourages better behavior and reminds him who's boss. I insist that Dennis pay his fines in cash in an envelope accompanied by an apology note.
Some other points:
Dennis can have no more than $20 in his wallet at one time unless he asks my permission and justifies why he needs to carry more. This cuts down on the temptation to spend.
Check his wallet for more money than he's supposed to have, receipts, and so on. If he has more than he should have, Dennis forfeits it and may also have to pay a fine. He has to explain any receipts he might have. It cuts down on spending and reinforces our roles.
When he asks for money make him justify it.
When he asks for money, don't give him a quick answer; make him wait. If he keeps asking, deny his request.
When he asks for money, only give him some of what he asks; it's a great way to exercise your authority. If he complains, he gets nothing.
When he asks for money, give it to him but only for something in return, doing some chores for a woman friend, for example.