It seems like you want her to track the finances...and think it's something she could do for the family, then you are absolutely going to keep at the same cycle. You will have an impression of how things seem, she'll have control of the knowledge of how things are, and depending on y'all's patterns, you will keep talking (yelling) past each other. You should get an online service like Mint.com, set it up to interface with your credit card/bank accounts, and automate it to stay updated. I am sure that is too hands off for many of the people here (it is too hands off for me), but then it will show you at least what you are spending without adding new work/dumping that work on your wife. As to books, go to the library. Invest in a Kindle and make heavy use of Project Guttenberg (there are tons of free e-books out there). For the cost of three new books, you get years and years of free ones.There is no reason you cannot change your grocery patterns, other than you've expressed no enthusiasm for shopping, and the wife is keeping the family fed. If you want this to change, it may mean that you have to invest yourself more heavily in the kitchen/shopping arenas. I tend to think, btw, that the cost of "like-items" (generic peanut butter vs. Jif, Taste-os vs. Cheerios, etc) is not so great so as to worry about it--especially if there is a notable difference in taste or texture...buying things you don't need, however, might make a difference (it would be a great long-term investment to wean--not force--your kids off soda, for example).Your marriage issues and your debt issues are intertwined, and though this is not the forum for it, it seems like you aren't communicating with each other. This is your business, of course, but I DO wonder if the pastor-counseling approach is the best way to go. You go, you hear what the pastor says, and each take your own lessons from that (which may be different), and reinforces the lack of communication. Combined with your mental health issues, the stress of children, etc, it may be a case of getting what you pay for, so to speak. I recommend a qualified marriage counselor... You mentioned early on about how she has no Christian grounds for divorce--remember that the state of Kansas does have no-fault divorce options, Christian grounds or not...so don't be too surprised when, if this approach proceeds, that she has used her full control of the finances (and I am not saying that you would do this, wife), to pay for the papers that you end up getting served with.Just my thoughts...
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