stanford73 wrote: ↑Fri Nov 22, 2019 5:19 pm
greg24 wrote: ↑Fri Nov 22, 2019 5:05 pm
stanford73 wrote: ↑Fri Nov 22, 2019 12:49 pm
In full disclosure, I've left the finances up to him--it's not my strong suit and he has an MBA--so I assumed all was being handled.
Finances and running a household aren't difficult. Its mostly simple math and keeping tracks of things.
An MBA doesn't really provide much finance education.
You could easily take over the finances.
That was the reason for the bi-monthly financial sit downs we did for a few years. I doubt he'll be open to me taking over the finances. I'm in the position of "not knowing what I don't know" about financial matters. DH is reckless, but I'm in over my head. I don't know what questions to ask, which is why I came here. Now I know more than I did yesterday thanks to the very knowledgeable, wise and kind people here.
I agree with many others that if you want to stay in this relationship and make the finances work, you need to take them over completely. (Ideally that is with cooperation of your husband. It's fine for him to be informed and have a voice, it's not fine for him to have ANY accounts that you don't have full transparency of transactions at this point.)
Otherwise you would need to continue to blindly trust your husband (who's been much less than transparent with you) to handle things for the future into your old age.
Option three is to leave the marriage.
For any option other than the blind trust choice, you'll need to figure out how to handle finances, either for the two of you, or for yourself alone. Even with the blind trust choice, you need to be prepared to take over the finances if your husband dies before you. You can do this.
Finances are not difficult, they just are time consuming and there can be a lot of details to keep track of. You can do this. You can use a spreadsheet or other software if you already like using spreadsheets, apps, etc. Or you can just use a pen, paper, calculator, and folders. Or some combination. Pick a method you are comfortable using to get started.
You will want to get a hold of details for every type of account, whether asset, debt, or recurring bills. You need to know institution, account numbers, how the account is titled (you, your husband, or both), whether beneficiaries are designated for assets, when bills are due, whether there are any automatic payments, etc. Also find out how account information is accessed - are there paper statements, online statements, passwords for online accounts, etc.
Then you'll want to gather/summarize net worth information:
All debts along with interest rates, amounts and dates for required upcoming payments
Look at monthly and/or yearly income and bills/spending, including amounts and which accounts each of these things go into and out of:
paychecks or business income for each of you
business expenses for each of you
social security deposits for each of you
any other source of income
tax payments on old debt and estimated payments if needed to keep up to date going forward
medicare payments for your husband
credit card payments
gas, oil changes, car repairs, license plate stickers
insurance (cars, house, life, other)
phone (cell and/or landlines)
subscriptions and memberships (streaming, newspapers, other)
other services - lawn, pool, etc
food, alcohol (groceries and eating out)
household supplies (cleaning products, toilet paper, cosmetics, anything else that you guys buy to keep the house running)
clothing, shoes, jewelry, haircuts, etc
other purchases - electronics, furniture, whatever else money gets spent on
anything cash gets spent on
(I may have missed some categories, so keep a watch out for others, but this should give you a good start)
Then look at the budget from the big picture - on a monthly or yearly basis, are you as a couple spending more or less than your income? Look back at the past year or two if possible, and project the upcoming year as best as you can (estimate where needed). Look for places to cut back as needed to reduce spending and increase debt repayment. With both of you still working, you ideally want your net worth increasing with a combination of debt repayments and the mortgage payment.
Many other people have posted details of ways for you to take control by checking credit reports, putting your husband on a cash budget or limiting him to using one or two credit cards where you will see every charge, etc. If he is not open to that happening at this point, he is asking you to trust him to do the right thing with the money. I don't think he's earned that trust at this point.
Again, you can do this. If you have questions, you can ask them here. The bogleheads site is full of people that want to help. If you need a good overview to help you understand personal finances (debt repayment, nuts and bolts of budgeting and bill paying), there are good websites and books available. Once you identify what areas you need to learn more about, you can ask for recommendations for books and resources here - there are bad websites and books available, too, so it will be helpful to be steered to good information.