My Husband Handles All Our Finances
Problem: "My husband pays the bills and handles all our investments. I feel shut out from money decisions."
Joanne Rutsky, a mother of two in Columbus, Ohio, says she's being excluded from household budgeting decisions. "My husband insists on paying the bills," she says. "He simply won't hand over the checkbook." For at-home moms who find themselves in a similar position, there are no easy answers-other than to keep pushing for change. "Women need to teach their spouses to share the power and responsibility for the family's money," Mellan says. One strategy is to educate yourself about your family's financial situation. Find out how much money is in each account, how much your credit-card bills average, and how much you're saving for retirement and your kids' education. Getting your husband to let you balance the checkbook, take over the budgeting, or help manage your investments will also level the financial playing field. "I'm in charge of the family budget," says Becky Zaffuta, a mom of three in Bradenton, Florida. "I'll say, 'This bill came, and I think we need to cut back. Do you have any suggestions?'"