I gladly let my husband take over our finances. But he never said no to me, and we got into debt! Now what?
This is why it’s not always great to have one person handle the household finances, even when both parties agree to it–two people rarely share the same financial values. But you sound content to let your husband play CFO, so here’s what you can do:
The debt is a red flag that you two have never thoroughly discussed your goals and priorities. Either your husband’s tolerance for debt is greater than yours–or he was too embarrassed to nix purchases. So sit down and talk about the big picture. Where would you like to be, financially and personally, in a year or five? Do you have a sense of how your money choices will help you get there?
As part of this chat, talk about the debt, and how aggressively you want to pay it down. You might even consider meeting with a financial planner (Napfa.org is a reliable source of fee-only planners) or a financial therapist (contact the Center for Financial Social Work at 800-707-1002) to get on the same page. Afterward, your husband needs to figure out a clear-cut household plan and share it with you. With luck, this debt could become the source of healthy money habits, and a happier marriage overall.
ASK THE MOM SQUAD
MP Dunleavey Our financial expert is author of Money Can Buy Happiness and mom of a 3-year-old. Send her questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.