Excess spending worries wife
BY AMY DICKINSON
Sunday, December 16, 2012
1/08/13 at 8:23 AM
Dear Amy: I am concerned that my husband of four years may have a psychological disorder related to spending.
He has two motorcycles, five trucks, three boats and two woodstoves. He now wants to buy a Smart car (energy-efficient electric) on the basis that it is so much less expensive to operate than a gas car. Every week I pick up three to five boxes of new purchases from the post office.
He works at a community college in an information technology position and has used this position to justify buying himself the latest-model laptops. But when we needed to purchase a freezer recently, he didn't have money to contribute. Whenever I try to talk to him about it, he uses rational-sounding arguments to justify the expense, especially when it comes to energy use (that is his specialty).
I am drained and depressed by his actions, and I am considering moving out, in part so I can find somewhere to park. Any ideas? - Depleted
Dear Depleted: Your husband's arguments may sound rational, but the roundup of vehicles, toys and appliances in your household reveals the reality that he has a spending/buying problem. You don't reveal other sources of income for the two of you, but it is hard to imagine that he could afford these purchases on a typical college staff salary.
Even if he could afford this (wasteful) abundance, this is creating a problem in your marriage, so you two must sit down with a financial planning professional, lay every single bill on the table and negotiate a solution. If he has plunged himself into debt, you will be liable because you are married to him. So this is very much your business, as well as his.
Personal finance guru Suze Orman would give your husband a no-nonsense wake-up call. Orman's newest book is "The Money Class: How to Stand in Your Truth and Create the Future You Deserve" (2012, Spiegel & Grau).
Dear Amy: My mom always seems to have a problem with any of her kids' significant others when we are with them. The whole time we are dating, she calls them names and criticizes them, but once we break up, she becomes their friend.
Recently, I decided to leave my boyfriend of more than two years. There has been a lot of pain and hurt, and he has caused a couple of problems between my mom and me. Now, she "likes" him.
I am bothered by her actions and told her so, but she doesn't care. What's your take on this? - Disappointed Daughter
Dear Daughter: Your mother seems overly involved in the personal lives of her children. Now that you recognize her pattern, you should not invite her comments or engage with her when she makes them.
If you are old enough to have a long-term romantic relationship, you should also be mature enough to create and enforce boundaries with your mother. She won't draw acceptable boundaries, so you should.
Send questions via email to email@example.com or by mail to Ask Amy, Chicago Tribune, TT500, 435 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60611.