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Help! My Husband Might Take Away My Debit Card!

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Guest blogger Michelle Kemper Brownlow: I spend too much money, and I suck at math. This is not good for my checkbook. I am married to a tightwad who checks every line of every bill, yet I probably spend $25 on late fees every month. I call 411 with my cell and cause overages that hubby wasn't expecting, and I eat out way too much. The trouble this has gotten me into makes for a very long list, including eleven overdraft fees.

debit card
I'm not sure what my problem is. Every two weeks, I get $400 direct-deposited into my checking account. This is to cover groceries, book orders, school pictures, etc. for those two weeks. I blame my money troubles on the fact that because we only have one checkbook, I have to transfer money from one account to another when I need to pay for something that isn't budgeted to come out of the grocery account. 

Not too long ago, I logged on to transfer money, but the bank's server was down so I couldn't. Two more days went by before I realized I still hadn't moved the money. When I went online, trying to be responsible, I found that I had been charged with eleven "insufficient funds" fees, at $35 a pop! I crawled into the bank and pled my case: "Your servers were down, and I was penalized." They refunded half of those fees, but my husband was still pissed. Funneling spending from various accounts through one account somehow screws me up every time. 

I also have a habit of using the "for emergency only" credit card to keep from having to transfer money. In my mind, it's only a couple times a month that I swipe that card. But when the bill comes, I gag at the balance and vomit when I realize they are ALL my charges and my husband will see them when he reaches for the mail. 

Each month, I promise I will balance my checkbook with EACH receipt I am handed before I leave the parking lot of that establishment. I swear I will only use the "emergency" credit card for gas. And I take an oath to not hit the drive-thru with the kids more than once or twice. I fail miserably every time. 

This month, my goal is to get to the mailbox before my husband and use my freelance checks to pay off everything I transferred, everything I bounced and everything I charged. This will, of course, leave me with the need to transfer more money from our joint account to cover the writing conference I usually pay for with my freelance income. 

Moms, what are your best budgeting tips?

next: 'It's a Boy!' Card: Cute or Crass?
26 comments so far | Post a comment now
willsmomma October 12, 2010, 10:48 AM

wow! what a bunch of cold mommas! can we just try to remember that she is ASKING FOR TIPS?! she came clean and is trying to get some advice…not judgement. half of you told her to get a job yet i wonder what your own job is since you are responding to her blog! michelle, sit down and talk openly with your husband. try to set “resonable” goals and don’t agree to something you know you can’t. good luck and thanks for opening some people’s eyes to the reality of finances and marriage.

Erica October 12, 2010, 1:46 PM

Some of you are idiots. She has a money spending problem, it has nothing to do with not having a “real” job. Self-employment and entrepreneurism has been the driving force of this country since the founding of it. Everyone else that thinks they have a “real” job are merely cubicle drones. She needs to be spending her own money though. If she doesn’t have it, she needs to work harder at her freelancing career to make it.

Besides, you need to stop eating out so much. You and you’re children are going to get fat.

REALMOM October 13, 2010, 2:41 PM

woooo, ladies, ladies, simmer down now! Michelle girl. I spend so much money girl it’s a shame, lol lol. My husband is also a cheapskate and he knows it. I don’t think your marriage is in trouble and maybe you do spend too much money. Perhaps your husband really needs to know how much money it takes to run your house. That’s all it took for my hubby. Men don’t count all of the extras like tp, lotion and soap and cleaning supplies and laundry soap and fix it supplies and etc……. he will get over it.

tysmom October 18, 2010, 9:06 AM

I agree with the use cash rule! What I don’t agree with is all the mean spirited and negative comments. Come on folks! She’s sharing an experience not looking for sympathy! If anything, I find her candor brave! I guess we have a lot of perfect people in this community…

pharmacy tech November 4, 2010, 3:19 AM

Keep posting stuff like this i really like it

tabletki na pryszcze April 3, 2011, 7:38 AM

It’s good too read your site again dude, i see some interesting updates here…

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