I’m having troubles with my spouse recently. He does not bother about the family finances and we have 2 kids. He only cares about work and nothing else. How do I convince him to be more savvy and read up more? - Seedly
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Anonymous

Asked on 14 Aug 2018

I’m having troubles with my spouse recently. He does not bother about the family finances and we have 2 kids. He only cares about work and nothing else. How do I convince him to be more savvy and read up more?

I'm doing all the work for the household finances and planning as well. It's really tiring and wish that he is able to help out more. He brings home a decent salary around $8k a month. But unfortunately he does not have a sense of how to help the family planning.

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Junus Eu
Junus Eu
Top Contributor

Top Contributor (Apr)

Level 9. God of Wisdom
Answered on 18 Mar 2019

I agree with Dawn and applaud him for bringing in the dough for a start! As a working adult, there were times when I would end work very late, and start early the next morning. The last thing on my mind is to start thinking about family finances, not because I don't care, but there are so many things that are burdening me at work. On top of work issues, there would be inevitably people issues, politics, promotion issues that he would need to think of as well.

If he lost his job, that would likely be more immediately detrimental than him currently not caring about household finances, especially if he is the sole breadwinner.

To think about it from another perspective, perhaps he trusts you wholeheartedly to manage the family's finances! You could always broach the topic on weekends where he might be less stressed, and even start with your children first re: personal finance? You never know, he might start getting interested!

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Dawn Fiona
Dawn Fiona
Level 7. Grand Master
Answered on 14 Aug 2018

It is great that he's focused on work and earning money to feed you and the family :) in that case, what about being the one in charge of the planning? Some people are more suited to plan / earn / invest / manage. I'm the CFO doing all the financial planning and allocation for my husband and I too, and the kids expenses, haha. I let my husband focus on work cos that's his strength.

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Working hard for a decent salary to bring home is also part and parcel of the family planning.

Perhaps you can rephrase the topic with him properly

"should we do something now with our savings so you can WORK LESS in the future?"

should we invest more so that you can retire early?

in a way, caring about work means he is having work pressure too. talk to him and ask him if he has issues at work and see if you can share them. he may return the favour and ask what pressure are you facing in family finances.

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Bjorn Ng
Bjorn Ng
Level 9. God of Wisdom
Answered on 24 Dec 2019

Hey there, it's great that he is bringing the dough home ($8K/month)! By family finances, I hope you do not mean that he is also not spending properly. In that case, I was thinking why not you be the "boss" of the family finances/planning? Then, you can share with him on what he thinks about it and if he have other comments.

At the end of the day, I believe communication is key between husband and wife. I honestly believe he has his reasons for focusing so much on work. I also believe that both you and him will grow closer together when both views are being shared and understood.

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Adelyn K
Adelyn K
Level 5. Genius
Answered on 04 Dec 2019

Yes, i agree with the others that it's good your husband contributes to the family finances with his salary of $8k which provides quite a decent coverage for a family of 4! :) As you've mentioned, he does not have any sense on how to help with family planning, so I don't think he doesn't care or bother, but more like he is genuinely unaware. If he really doesn't bother about the family finances, he won't even contribute and just leave you to plan on your own.

I think you are also likely doing a very good job in managing your household finances and plans that he rather leave it up to you rather than bumble together and cause a mess. But maybe it's cause you've been doing it for years so now you are feeling rather tired and wishing that he can take on some of the burden for you. But I think his lack of financial planning may have been from the beginning, even before you married him? So it can be quite tough for him to suddenly learn the ropes when you've been doing a pretty good job of it.

Also, it's not mentioned if he's the sole breadwinner. For him to bring home a salary of $8k, reading up more on financial issues is probably the last thing that he will want to do after work. I only tend to read up on financial stuff when I'm on holiday cause that will be the time where I can concentrate on reading and not on worrying about work. So that may be the same case for your spouse too.

I guess the key concept is not for him to read up on his own, but for you guys to learn as a family or with you. Be more encouraging in your attitude towards him, cause he will be starting out as a financial noob. And if you put him down or show that you are more capable than him, that ma bring down his ego and discourage him from learning further. Bring your kids in, if they are in primary school, it will be a good age for them to start learning financial literacy. And will help you stress less!

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I start with this quote

"Happy wife is Happy life for hubbies out there.

Happiness bring healthy mind and body

Good Health and Happy family"

Hi sis, In my own opinion,

I think you got a good husband, focusing his high state energy perfomance for his money making job.

As a family, we got our ultimate KPI or core focus, in which we focus to bring "food/money" back home, we are the provider.

Perhaps he trusted you can help him to manage your family resources.

Ultimately he cares. :)

Looks like I am on his side.

Let's find a good time when he is comfortable or less stressful to discuss about this key matter.

Repeating this quote:

""Happy wife is Happy life for hubbies out there.

Happiness bring healthy mind and body

Good Health and Happy family"

Life is too short to worry or to stress out things that we cannot control

Perhaps we can control our innerself or our emotion to make it a better day :)

Better family :)

All the best :)

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Frankie Aufhauser-Rappaport
Frankie Aufhauser-Rappaport
Level 9. God of Wisdom
Answered on 08 Mar 2020

I feel, you should convey to him with friendly words, that the situation is not acceptable anymore.

You should ask him also openly what his goals for family life were and are.

The situation should then not be painted black/white, but compromise for common goals should be found.

The best way - i feel - would be a way where he doesn't feels guilty or ashamed by your inputs, but where he feels that You strongly need his help for your daily activities for the good if the families. You could also already actively propose/discuss small single steps to deescalate the load on You.

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Rais M
Rais M, Accountant at SME
Level 7. Grand Master
Answered on 08 Mar 2020

Each parent needs to play a different role in a family, otherwise it could lead to unnecessary conflicts.

In your case, I believe your husband is purely focusing on making more money for the family and he trusts you to manage the household finances. This is in fact a good sign in a relationship. Can you imagine if both of you wants to manage the finances, and have completely opposite point of view?

Talk to your husband. Have an open communication on how you feel.

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Andy Sim
Andy Sim, HR Professional at a Financial Institution
Level 7. Grand Master
Answered on 06 Mar 2020

Hi Anon, someone would definitely be stronger in finances/planning while the other is stronger in say building a career or doing the housework etc. It may be good to sit down with your spouse and have a talk about this, and probably list down all the items to discuss and agree on it. So in a sense have an agreement with him to split the different roles and then work tgt to achieve your goals as a couple.

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MT2020
MT2020
Level 7. Grand Master
Answered on 06 Mar 2020

To me, he might just want to work hard to give the family a better. But in doing that, he might not realised that he have neglected his family. During one of his off days, you can sit down and have a chat with him and let him know about your feelings and how both of you can work things out together.

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Yanisa Koh
Yanisa Koh
Level 6. Master
Answered on 12 Dec 2019

For some people, reading up, researching and making plans for finances just isn't their cup of tea. I think the most important thing is that he is bringing home a stable and very good salary. Does he give you free rein to decide and control over that salary? Perhaps you can consider accepting that he just doesn't have the interest to make the plans, and just enjoy the process of making plans and SPENDING the money! (prudently)

Take care. Don't let these things stress you out too much.

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Isabel Wong
Isabel Wong
Level 6. Master
Answered on 11 Dec 2019

If he isn't interested or too busy then perhaps you can try to set a time monthly/quarterly where you review your finances and goals together.

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L
Learner
Level 2. Rookie
Answered on 11 Dec 2019

I faced the same issue as you few years back. After trying to discuss and do family financial planning together with my husband for few years back, I gave up as he is not interested at all. For past 3 years, I have been planning for our family financial planning goal and only do review with my husband in a half-yearly basis to check if we are meeting goal and validate if the goal is realistic. We both are happy and working together to achieve our financial goal now. =)

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Start by taking a step back to understand the situation from his perspective. Listen and hear the reasons for him to spend much time on work.

Next, discuss on the future for your family in terms of long-term planning. This is often easier said than done, especially because of the time required to do a comprehensive planning. As a result, schedule time with him to discuss a particular topic, e.g. retirement, children's education. List out all the topics that are important to the family.

From there, work backwards to discuss on channels available to help your family achieve the goals. Every week or whenever time prevails, discuss on one topic and strike it off the list. Over time, your family will have a clear picture on how to work together to achieve the same goal.

Here is everything about me and what I do best.

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Choon Yuan Chan
Choon Yuan Chan
Level 9. God of Wisdom
Answered on 04 Dec 2019

This kind of issue, both husband and wife must sit down and talk openly about it. It is true he is bringing in money (the financial aspect); however if you want him to help out in other areas of the family, do tell him but again with tact.

Relationships have to be built on open communication.

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Hwee Kian
Hwee Kian
Level 7. Grand Master
Answered on 04 Dec 2019

When you mentioned he does not care or bother about family finances, do you mean to say he's not contributing?

First up, I think he's doing a great job with a salary of around 8k, so if he contributes to the pool for family finances then I think he can't be faulted. Importantly, speak to him to plan for kids insurance, own insurance etc. At least that's the fundamentals to get it sorted.

Next, in terms of further planning, maybe you can seek out a financial adviser to plan around your total household income vs total debt and then maybe a 3,5,10 year plan so that visually he knows the situation and then you can discuss mutually with him on what needs to be done to secure your future. All the best!

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VC
Vicki Chng
Level 6. Master
Answered on 04 Dec 2019

Hmm. To me it's usually one partner who usually manages the financial affairs. Kind of like a wedding, 1 party plans the other executes after being asked to do something specific.

Maybe you could try sitting down with him and discussing it together? Mention how you feel but always keep the conversation to the topic, maintain neutrality and try not to bring in negative emotions. The key to a good relationship is communication. All the best!

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