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Taking back the reins

January 28, 2012

I am slowly taking back some control in my life.

Financial control

Up until now my paycheck went into the joint checking account, were we pay all of our bills out of. The problem is that my husband has taken upwards of $400 out of this account in some months. Most months he takes over $200. Each time I confront him (3-4 times at least) he is all “my fault, sorry” but it keeps happening. Discussion of the budget or how much “free” money we have each month has made no difference. So I have:

  • Gotten him to open a “business account” for his artist expenses – he can fund this from his income (what there is of it.)
  • I am going to be putting $120 in his account each paycheck (2x per month) to pay for the cell phone and any spending money
  • secretly I have opened a personal checking account. I am going to have a “typically” pay amount go into the joint account but any extra (Quarterly bonuses, my new raise, expense checks, etc.) will be going into this new account. Hopefully this will allow us to accumulate some savings.

I feel a bit bad about this “secret” account. I don’t really feel like there should be secrets, but that said – if I look at how much “cash withdrawals” and fast food charges he has made in the past year (while the kids and I brown bag it) – It pisses me off and it has to stop. So I have made this choice to have a secret saving account.

Household control

I have taken responsibility for the state of the house. I have made peace with the fact that it makes me happy to have a clean house and that is only takes about 30 minutes a day to keep it clean. It isn’t worth the aggravation to try to get my husband to do his share or to even pick up after himself. It just gets me mad but doesn’t change anything.

Free Time

I have started to have weekly “calendar” meetings where he can tell me his time commitments (no surprises!) and I have started to request “free” time to work on projects and hobbies that I want to pursue, especially things that I can’t do when sitting home at night with sleeping kids. Up until now I worked all day and then spent all nights (and much of the weekends) at home alone with the kids. That doesn’t leave much time for errands, outings or hobbies. No, I haven’t added socializing in my schedule yet, but soon. Exercise is on the list too.

I have also started to spend more of my evenings working on hobbies and other productive items I enjoy. Some reading but much less TV.

Family Meals and Family Time

I have started having family meals at the dinning room table (ok, most of the time my husband doesn’t join us – but at this point, I am like “whatever”.) For me the goal is to sit with the kids and have a meal WITHOUT the TV ON. (Which has gotten to be a very bad habit at our house. it make me feel terrible to have the kids eat dinner in front of the TV!)

Next, I am going to start planning fun seasonal outings with the kids at least 1-2x per month. Also, special mom/daughter time at least 2x per month. This is important to me.

This is my plan and I am sticking to it! 🙂

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