Help! My Spouse is Sabotaging my Finances!
Sally quickly ran down the stairs to answer the doorbell. She was not expecting anyone. So she wondered who it could be at 11 O’clock on a Thursday morning. She opened the door and was greeted by two men in blue overalls, who asked if they could come in. They introduced themselves as auctioneers with instructions from the bank to evict her family from their home because her husband had defaulted on his loan. Sally looked at them in utter shock. Her stomach churned and her mouth suddenly went dry. Defaulted?
Sally quickly gathered herself together and asked the men to leave. “This must be a mistake, gentlemen. I will have my husband call the bank and clear it all before the end of the day.” They agreed to leave. She immediately phoned her husband. He told her that they would discuss the matter when he got home.
As a self-employed mum, Sally had developed a perfect routine for her two children. She drove them to school, piano lessons, swimming practice, adn tennis training. She made sure that their days were filled with activities and learning. Her house ran like a well-oiled machine and she was happy. She served nutritious meals and hosted her husband’s friends and colleagues every so often. In all her busy-ness, she had never once thought to check their finances as a family.
Her husband Alex took care of that side of things. He was a successful gynaecologist and provided a comfortable life for his family. She trusted him with everything.
When Alex arrived, he explained to Sally that he had used their house as collateral (security for a loan) for a project that had gone very wrong. He had also accrued significant credit card debt and could no longer afford to keep their children in the private school they attended. He had messed up big time!
Sally went into shock after Alex’s confession. She was so devastated; she needed to be admitted to hospital for depression. She underwent several therapy sessions alone and marriage counselling sittings with Alex for over two years before they could pick up the pieces of their lives again. She learned the hard way the importance of knowing their joint financial status.
Sally began to help her husband with the accounts and family budget. Eventually they were able to pay their debts and begin saving again.
Excerpt from the book: Money-Wise: Create, Grow & Preserve Wealth
There are several takeaways we get from this excerpt that is based on a true story.
- Lack of knowledge about your financial condition is dangerous. It is important to know a) how much you earn, b) how much you spend c) how much you owe and how much you have (assets)
- Choose the right marriage partner. Lack of disclosure concerning debt, significant expenditure and other financial obligations while dating is a huge red flag and should not be ignored.
- Ladies, if your husband is not open to having discussions about finances, and you struggle with being able to work together as a team, don’t just sit back and let him handle everything, leaving you out. Build your knowledge about possible ways to grow your income, how to save, where to save and how to invest, and just get started, even as you remain respectful and humble 🙂
- Communicate. Keep your communication lines open and grow your friendship with your spouse.
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