Thursday, April 29, 2010

Money and my husband

Two things that do NOT get along. Or maybe they get along too well. However you look at it, it is an issue that has created a lot of problems for us.

At the end of each month we tend to very much agree on our upcoming budget. Yet as the new month starts and progresses these goals tend to disappear with each stressful situation. Money just burns a whole into his pocket and his mind seems to tell him that there is a money tree in our backyard.


One of the symptoms of bipolar disorder can be poor impulse control and he is definitely struggling with that. He has gotten better about it but there is still more work to be done. When he first started having more problems back in 2007 he would insist on spending money we didn't have to spend and if I tried to put my foot down a bad argument would ensue. It was easier at times to just give in times. Almost three years later we are still trying to break this cycle. It has caused a lot of headaches (and heartaches).

As always, I try to apply my motto 'One day at a time' to this. We have seen progress and I am hopeful that we continue to get better at this. For L to get better at controlling these urges and for me to continue to get better at setting boundaries.


AK said...

We have similar issues. But I'm more the impulse shopper.
We've finally resorted to an "allowance" envelope for each week, for everything including groceries.
It keeps me more accountable on the day-to-day, because honestly I can splurge just as much at the grocery store as anywhere else.

Kristin said...

We have always had this issue with our (adult) daughter. She can spend a fortune at Walgreen's - in a flash. On what? Nothing and everything. What she is buying is never the issue, the impulsive need to acquire is. The act of buying things fills a void, if for only a brief time. When the person is not a child and you cannot just give an allowance to them to do as they please, this relationship to money becomes more complicated. We support our daughter and pay all her bills. (She is suffering from bpd.) What has worked the best, is giving our daughter money twice a week (once a week didn't work - she blew through it too fast). This money is entirely hers to
spend as she would like. When bills don't get paid, the consequences are too dire, so you should take the reins there. Less fights in the long run and less stress when it comes to tallying up how much you need to have and where you are going to get it from. Good luck! It is such a difficult issue and if it was something they could control, they would. But, we have learned that it isn't.

Kris said...

@Kristin We have tried giving him a set amount of money twice a month, one a week etc. It has helped quiet a bit but there are still times especially when he is manic when he will yell and scream until I am tired of saying 'No'. It at times is a daily struggle for us. He has no access to his account other than what I give him which on his bad days is a big issue for him. After all, he is an adult. The problem is finding the balance.

Kristin said...

I know exactly what you mean. We have been doing this for years - trial and error. My daughter overdrew her account 200 at the beginning of the week. I didn't want a fight so I let it go because it hadn't happened for a couple of months. But, I cannot let it go very often. We talk a lot about what she can do in place of spending money. Unfortunately, it is the most satisfying thing for her to do. Better she says than a great meal. I suppose it is the release of endorphins and adrenaline that feels good at the moment of purchase. But, I really don't know. It is frustrating because it such a big part of every family's life.
It used to be that she dealt solely with me. But, we decided to change that and she deals with my husband, her step-father, now. She is less apt to escalate to a full-blown tantrum with him. Is there a third person you could insert into the situation? I finally had to tell our banker about our daughter's illness because I refused to pay the exorbitant overdraft charges. With the banker aware of the situation and my husband fielding the crazed I-Need-Money-NOW phone calls, it has gotten a little better. (ignoring, of course, the 200 at the beginning of this week....)
I'll let you know if we come up with a better plan. You do the same!

Kris said...

@Kristin We are currently in the process of setting up a third person as our 'accountant'. For now a family member but we are waiting on hearing back from the VA about someone outside of the family to take over this task which would eliminate a lot of stress for me.

Kristin said...

That sounds like a great plan. Too bad you have to wait. I hope things go smoothly in the meantime.

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