Had a question about how different folks share finances with their SAHMs.
Context: Life-long beta married to my oneitis. Two kids, 1 and nearly 3 yo. Wife is SAHM, I run my own business, home three days a week with family. We had a 1.5 year stone-cold-dead bedroom.
Working on myself since November. Lifting, BJJ, etc - lost about ten pounds, BF maybe around 16% right now? Look a million times better, though, and working on building more muscle at the moment. Things started heating up a few months ago, with a few minor fights and one major blowout focused on her behavior with the kids. Ever since, she has stepped up her game, started dressing nicer, sex frequency was the highest it's ever been in March at 8x.
This month has seen things die down - probably because of beta behaviors creeping back in. Right now, Working very hard on assertiveness and leadership - see my most recent OYS here (https://www.reddit.com/r/marriedredpill/comments/67f9em/own_your_shit_weekly_april_25_2017/dgqexwz/). Had a few shit tests over the weekend after a good few months of none.
Background for this particular incident is below - feel free to skip to the end to get to the actual question I'm asking:
Last night, I was talking to my wife after a normal evening about my business. I mentioned we had hit our best month ever - we grossed my old yearly salary in April - and talked a bit about how, if I can set up the business to run without me, I will probably start a new business, one better aligned with my life mission, and how I wasn't sure yet what that looked like.
She immediately turned this around, to be negative, and to be about her - a pattern I've noticed from her in the past. She asked if we really had hit our financial goals (saving for retirement, funding the kid's college funds, paying our bills) - and I said we had (I set up all of those things).
She then said, with a sigh: "I really need to be more financially independent."
"What do you mean?"
"Well, it's all your money, so you kind of do what you want. But I always have to ask you for everything, and I don't have enough money to do anything I want. So, I don't know. Maybe I need to get a job or something."
I fucked up at this point, engaging in the topic: "Oh, I don't really spend much money on myself, though."
"You don't think you do? What about the gym, or jiu jitsu?"
"Well, the YMCA costs us 75$/month, but it also saves us money on the kids swimming lessons, and you can use it, too. And BJJ I got waived, because I did their online marketing for them."
I then remembered that I shouldn't really be engaging with this, so I switched to A&A. "But, yeah - if you feel like you don't have enough money of your own, and you don't want to ask me for things...you probably should get your own job. I know you wanted to work again anyway."
She got veeerrrrry silent, went up to bed early, by herself, was asleep when I got up there, spent the morning in bed, then sulking around the house. I just did my thing and had fun with the kids.
As I was leaving, she said, with a glower: "We need to continue our conversation from last night."
"Yes. I am NOT okay with it."
To which I said "sure" and went to work.
OK, so she does this pretty often: she's initiating a fight/conversation/whatever.
I've come to look forward to these, because it's a chance to practice holding frame, showing leadership, etc.
From experience, I know I'll do better if I walk in with a particular frame and plan in mind. That involves thinking through how we share our finances.
This is what we currently do:
- I make all the money.
- The money goes into a business account. She has access to that account via debit card in case of emergencies.
- We have a joint checking account. A set amount debits into that every week. That covers all our bills, groceries, etc plus incidentals and family fun money.
- Big purchases have to be discussed, because they need to be pulled from the business account. She asks me before doing this.
- However, in situations where we don't have enough to cover bills (say, we spent too much one week or whatever), she can pull from business to cover it without asking. She always tells me about it.
- I pay her $150 a week just for her own spending/fun. She gets a check in the mail. During the conversation above, I said we could raise this amount to 200/wk.
- I pull what I need for my own spending from either account, but I really don't spend much. I also have extra cash that comes from music I've written, and often will use that for fun/take out night with the wife/whatever.
- My wife pays the household bills. The big stuff, such as health care, I take care of. I also set the direction and larger goals for the family (savings, investments, etc.)
- My wife has been, at all times, a very trustworthy and adept handler of the household finances. However, she also had a fair amount of credit debt when we got married. I paid all that off last year.
- Being financially independent means getting a job, and I fully support that if that's what my wife really wants. Somethings tells me it isn't, however.
I'm curious how other people divide their family finances. Do you give your wife her own money to spend? How much, and how do you determine that? What's equitable here (Regardless of how she is as a wife or lover, I really do value the work that she does as a mom, and think she deserves the freedom that comes with not having to ask me for everything)? Are there different set ups that I'm not thinking of?
My gut feeling is that the approach we have is more than fine, and that all this is merely a test. However, I'm open to other ways of doing things, and to the idea that my approach could be improved.