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separate accounts?

Old 08-23-2003, 09:32 PM
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separate accounts?

Okay, so I understand that I cannot control my husband's drinking, but I am unwilling to finance it. We both work and deposit our full earnings into a joint checking account. We each get a set amount of cash each pay period (an "allowance" for lack of a better word) to spend as we wish. We recently bought our first house, so we have had extensive discussions about budgeting and how any "extras" we want have to come out of our allowance, which is pretty generous (I think, anyway). Now I am finding checks and debit card charges to various bars and liquor stores. There are pretty extensive charges (as I'm sure you can imagine). What do other people here do to keep the spending on alcohol from destroying the family finances? I am contemplating getting my own checking account, but I'd have to have contribution from him to run the household. It would complicate things, and would absolutely tick him off, but at least I'd feel secure knowing that the money to pay the mortgage and bills is definitely there. Thoughts, advice and experiences on this issue appreciated!
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Old 08-24-2003, 12:40 AM
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Hi Ariesgirl,

The first thing you wrote was that you understand you cannot control your husbands drinking. That’s good that you can see that, because it is most definitely true. And I don’t mean to sound sarcastic in anyway at all, it’s just hard for us codies to get to that place where we finally believe we can’t control them.

You could try sitting down and talking to your H (when he’s sober of course) and telling him exactly what you see going on and that you’re concerned about having enough money for the mortgage and the bills, and that you’re considering starting a separate account to ensure the funds are there. Would he be receptive to that?

My experience with my AH, when he was actively using was to do the same thing. In fact I went so far as to take his name off of everything, including any joint accounts we had. We were always short on money and I knew it was due to his carelessness and addiction and I was determined to control it. What I discovered is that alcoholics are conniving and deceiving and they WILL find a way to fund their habit no matter what.

I don’t think there’s any easy answer to this when the financial cost of their addiction begins to cause issues with taking care of the basic necessities and paying the bills.

Besides telling him exactly what you see and what your solution is, I don’t know what else you could do. Maybe some others will have something better to offer as a suggestion. My AH is in recovery now, but financially we are a mess. Maybe being confronted like that would help your H take a step in the right direction?
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Old 08-24-2003, 08:09 AM
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It sounds like you do the bill paying. My husband pays ours and I can only say what he would do. If I abused my debit card he would take it. He would call me on every one of the charges and checks.

We do our finances like you do...depositing our checks and taking cash for the week. Could you NOT deposit his check and use it when the mortgage is due? Could you NOT deposit your check? Could you reroute enough funds to a second acct for bill paying?

More people fight about money than any one other thing.

Hugs,
JT
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Old 08-24-2003, 08:36 AM
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I am the one who pays the bills, and I know exactly how much we need each month to get by, so I could take his name off the account or open a separate account in my own name into which I route the bill money. The savings is already routed into a separate account (which he hasn't touched yet), so that would basically just leave the spending money in our joint account, which is what he gets each month anyway. It's just such a hassle to have to live this way, when we each already get such a generous allowance. But, as I have mentioned before, he usually pays for all his buddies to drink, too. In fact, last night, he went out to drink at a friends and took all of his beer AND our dinner with him! I had to fix something else for the kids and me to eat. So I'm basically feeding and watering all the people he drinks with. Do I put a lock on the fridge, too? Of course we have discussed all of these things, when he is sober, but when he is sober he acts differently and agrees to be reasonable. Then he gets drunk and wants to be Mr. Popular, paying for everyone's drinks. I know part of this post is just venting, but I'm seriously seeking advice on how to keep the finances under control without making it seem like I'm trying to control him, which would just make things worse. I mean, how is putting the finances under lock and key and scrutinizing every charge different from searching the house for bottles?
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Old 08-24-2003, 10:29 AM
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It is different because you are taking care of yours and your children's basic needs. Searching for bottles is not even close.

It may be a pain to have to reroute etc but what is...is. You can wish with all your might that it wasn't but that is not fixing the problem.

We are all about taking care of ourselves.

Hugs,
JT
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Old 08-24-2003, 12:48 PM
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liability protection............

A person doesn't have to be living with an alcoholic in order to budget arguements - its a universal problem for everybody.

The real danger in being financially mixed up with an alcoholic is the liability issue (IMHO). I think it would be wise for you to make whatever changes you think necessary, not only to keep the budget intact, but to protect you financially incase he has an accident, looses his job, etc. These changes might consist of not only having separate accounts, but also changing legal ownership of assests.

And, don't worry too much about him understanding your concerns about finances, because he won't. They are oblivious to the risks they are taking with their money as their health.
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Old 08-24-2003, 04:44 PM
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Hi Ariesgirl,

Call me controlling, but I absolutely was not going to sit by and watch my husband drain our joint account while he was out on his crack binges, b/c he absolutely would have done that. I opened a separate account, and any money he deposited into our joint account was immediately transferred to my separate account. We both get allowances too, so in order to keep up his habit he had to make do with his allowance, or find some stuff to pawn.... I may not have had control over his using, but I made sure I had control over the money.

Hang in there,
JG
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Old 08-24-2003, 05:19 PM
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hi aries

I also kept complete control of the finances while my AH was active. I gave him a cash allowance each week, and stood firm when he complained about not having enough. He was just drinking it all anyway, and beer is pretty cheap. We really didn't fight about it, because he knew he was no good with money in his pocket. At one point he had me giving it to him each day, beause otherwise he was broke by Wednesday.
I also wanted to tell you that now that he is sober he is very glad I didn't allow him to drag us into financial ruin. Your guy may nto like you taking moves to control the money, but does he worry how you feel about his drinking away the bill money? It is funny how much more we worry about making them upset than they do about making us upset.
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Old 08-24-2003, 06:40 PM
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ariesgirl
I pulled my name off the joint checking a year ago when things started to get really bad. I leave him enough in his account to get by for the week and tell him what he has and the rest goes in my account so no checks bounce etc...
He didn't know for 8 months I had my own account.
do what you have to do to protect yourself!
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