Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Wisdom Wednesday

OK. Daring One has Tip Tuesday, I'm going to have Wisdom Wednesday's. Not to copy or anything, I just love the idea of knowing what I'm gonna post about at least once a week, and my online friends at my mom's board all tell me I'm "The Wise One", so, Wisdom Wednesday's it is.

Actually, I've always aspired to be an advice columnist or a divorce mediator. Secretly, that is. People have been coming to me for advice for as long as I can remember. If you ever need someone to see your situation pretty objectively, I'm your girl. So. Since I'm lucky enough to have a small but significant number of people who seem to be reading my blog somewhat regularly, (Thanks so much BTW, I'm so flattered!), if you ever want my advice or opinion and you don't mind it appearing on Wisdom Wednesday, drop me an e-mail with Wisdom Wednesday in the subject line, I'll even change your name to protect the innocent if you want.

Since the email tide will probably be on the underwhelming side, you, (my lucky reader, you), get unsolicited advice on the subject of my choosing! LOL This should be fun!

Today I'm going to give you a peice of my mind concerning family finances, feel free to add your two cents worth! On the afore mentioned mom's board, a young mom vented about her feelings of having to "beg daddy" for money since becoming a SAHM, she felt like she didn't dare ask for money for haircuts and make-up, and that her husband was "stingy" when it came to buying clothes for the kiddo. My advice to the girl:

"Budget, budget, budget. You need to communicate with your spouse on money matters and it has to be a balanced conversation. There should NEVER be any question of your equality in this, or any other decision making process. If you are SAHM, you BOTH made the decision, and you BOTH benefit from it. The service you provide the family and the children must NEVER be devalued by your spouse. A family budget is made out of family money. Not yours and his seperate, yours and his together. How in the world are you going to save for a home, car or retirement if you don't work together? You need to sit down together, go over the income, go over the expenses, decide if you really can afford to be at home, cut back where you need to cut back, and make financial goals to work toward together.

You have to get real about money and get past the emotional factors involved. Emotions cost us dearly when it comes to money. Educate yourself. And if the family decision is for you to stay at home, neither of you should begrudge that decision. It isn't HIS money you're spending. It's the family's money you are both responsible for. Step up and claim your new roles with confidence, I promise you can't afford not to."

I will admit to being the luckiest girl in the world. My husband has shown nothing but complete confidence in the way I handle the family finances. He never once has been upset about me buying anything. But I'm afraid I'm the exception rather than the rule. Many of my friends come to me and vent that their husband doesn't "get" how much money it takes to run the house-hold. And these are women who I know to be frugal and responsible shoppers. These are women who shop at Walmart, find deals and clip coupons, even though they really don't "have to". And they resent the short leash their husband has them on. Especially when they don't get consulted about major purchases!

It comes down to the attitude, IMO. I think ALL moms need to make sure they take a pro-active role in the family finances, but SAHM's have some special hurdles to climb over. Sit down with the hubster and know where everything is at. Make goals together, and be accountable to one another. Don't be left in the dark about any aspect of your finances, and above all, don't be afraid to see that money as "Family Money". You both work hard for it, even if you don't leave the house. This is an area that really reflects what a couple feels for one another. I know without any show of doubt that my husband really, really, really values my contributions on the homefront, due, in part, to the respect he has always shown me with regard to money. He has never once made me feel inferior or made me ask for money. It has built confidence and inspired me to always do my best to take good care of our money.

And that is this week's wisdom!


Maine Mom said...

I'm a SAHM. It has worked well for my husband and I to have me be in charge of paying bills, buying groceries, buying things that we need. I am fortunate as well that my husband hands over money to me pretty freely and he doesn't keep track of what I'm spending. I tend to be the more stingy one with money, so he knows I won't go out and buy something we can't afford.
I'm looking forward to the next Wisdom Wednesday!

EmmaSometimes said...

It's good to see how other's live. I have done the banking and budgeting at our house (due to my banking background). It's like pulling teeth to have hubby involved in finances for the last 13 years. This year has changed a bit with self-employment and he took care of taxes this year. It's nice to finally have him involved. By the way, he is the spender. He has to tell me (making me promise to the death..hehe) to spend money on myself. He gets his allowance and that's all he minds to until recently. So, it's good to see how others handle the obstacle in a reverse fashion.

Good post!

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