Time to be frank about finances

Ruth’s husband is incredibly secretive about their finances and she’s worried that he may be hiding something. Relationship expert Jo Lamble offers her advice.

Q. Ruth

My husband simply won’t talk to me about money. I have no real idea about the state of our finances, except the basics – that our mortgage is paid off and how much we pay on a car loan. Every time I suggest doing something to the house, going on holiday, or even going out to dinner, I’m told we can’t afford it. Yet he thinks nothing of updating his wardrobe twice each year. We both work and shouldn’t be struggling financially, what can I do?

A. Provided by Jo Lamble

It’s quite unfair for you to be kept in the dark about money because it’s important that couples work as a team when it comes to the family finances. One person is usually in charge of paying the bills, but both individuals need to know what money is coming in and going out in case anything happens and you’re on your own.

Perhaps you could suggest a joint meeting with your bank manager, accountant or financial adviser. Frame it in terms of needing to be educated for the future and wanting to budget for renovations or a holiday. If he flat out refuses, then you might need to talk to him about the issue of control, telling him that you respect the way he has always managed the family finances, but you don’t like being kept in the dark about something so important because you worry about the future.

Jo Lamble

Do you have any suggestions for Ruth? Or perhaps you have a question to ask relationship expert Jo Lamble?

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