My husband and I saved up for years so I could stay home when we have kids. Now that we have had our first baby, and it is down to one income, my husband is suddenly referring to our money as “his” money. He will say phrases like, “I make the money. I should be able to decide if we need that or not.” Or, “I don’t want you to spend any more of my money on baby clothes.”
He is successful, but I was also very successful at what I did and I made a lot of money so it is hard to hear him say this. What can I do?
“Incomeless in Wyoming”
First of all — congratulations on the baby! Also, congratulations on working together to meet a common financial goal of being able to live on one income. Many people never reach a goal like this.
In the meantime, let’s discuss the “my money” phrasing…
I know that it is hard going from a workplace where you did really well both career-wise and financially-wise. It doesn’t help when the spouse is referring to the money that you make as a family as "his" money. I think you should talk to him very soon (or things can escalate). But when you do, keep a couple of things in mind…
Chapter 1. Help create a budget together
It sounds like you may have worked up a good savings, but that there really is not a budget of any kind. Although there may not be a problem with the finances, some things from what your husband is saying makes me believe that at least he thinks that there is a financial problem. The quickest way to curtail this is to establish a budget.
I was a new mom once and I understand that you want to get a lot of stuff for your baby. You like getting toys, and books, and clothes. Most of the time people continue to spend as if they have the two incomes. Even if there is a savings that will quickly be depleted if there is not a cap on the spending.
If you had a budget of how much you can spend on non-necessities a month, then hubby might be a little more relaxed about the money.
Chapter 2. Is he feeling left out?
Lastly, it could also be that your hubby is feeling a little left out. He misses out on the fun stuff at home while having to work. Involve him in some purchasing decisions and he may feel even closer to you and the baby.
Chapter 3. The conversation
So here is an example of what I envision as a good conversation between a husband and wife on a topic like this (feel free to tailor it to make it your own)….
“Honey, I feel bad when you sometimes refer to the money we make as a family as your money. We worked hard to get here and we both work hard to keep this family going. That being said, I realize that you may be concerned that I am spending more money than we can afford right now. So to help us out, I have figured out a “kiddie budget” that I will stick to every month.”
Best luck to you and your family! It sounds like things are really looking good!