So, when a frustrated husband decided to consult the moral compass of the internet otherwise known as Reddit's 'Am I the As*hole?' about his wife's opinion of their finances, people were quick to help deem a verdict.
I (31M) have been with my wife (30F) for 10 years now and she always has had this habit of making me look bad with our finances. Whenever anything regarding spending money comes up she will always say how broke we are and she doesn't have the money to do this or buy that. The thing is we are doing well financially. We have decent jobs and combine our salary is roughly $125k/yr.
As of today our net worth is more than $1 million but less than 2. I had saved/invested a lot before getting married so I gave us a good head start. I control the finances/take the lead but we both agreed to living a very modest life. We both have our cars from college for example (Honda & Toyota).
She knows everything about our finances because at least once a month I go over it with her every time I deposit money in our investment accounts or our kids college funds. For banking we have an emergency fund and I budget everything else to go straight into investments. We basically stay right at $10k in our banks savings account and $500 in our checking account after bills.
EDIT: Most of the time there is more than $500 in our checkings but once I pay our CC each month I then move anything extra. We always use the CC so its not like we only have $500 to spend. Our CC limit is $25,000.
A few months ago we had dinner with her friends and they talked buying a new car. My wife said something like, 'I wish I could get a new car but I'm always broke after paying the bills. We still have our college cars!' (EDIT: Wife does not want a new car). She will go on to talk about if she had money what she would want to buy and it always makes me feel ashamed.
This 'I'm broke story' has been happening for years. When we were driving home I asked her about. She understood we have the money but its how she feels because her bank account is always low. I said I can increase our budget or keep more money in our bank if she wants.
Since we are doing well I'm okay with spending more. She said no and again was happy with our finances. I explained that when she says we are broke it makes me look bad and I feel ashamed. It's as though I can't provide for the family and/or I am bad with money. She doesn't see it that way.
The same conversation has come up numerous times about us being broke. Recently, I reminded her numerous times it makes me feel and look bad infront of friends and family. I told her if she keeps saying stuff like that I will reveal that we are doing well with money. I gave her a few reminders I'd eventually do this but she kept going with the I'm broke story.
At a dinner with her sister and parents the same I'm broke story came up. I piped in and said, 'It's weird to hear a millionaire say they are broke.' My wife said, 'Haha, I'm not though.' And I quickly say, 'We are millionaires and you know that. We go over our finances every month.' Well the I'm broke story stopped after that and the night went on as usual. A little later the same thing happens with her friends and I use the same line.
Now my wife is mad at me for using that line and revealing roughly how much money we have. She said it seems like I'm gloating. I say it's better than making me look like I'm running us into the ground financially. So AITA for revealing our net worth when my wife says we are broke?
-I'm pretty open to us spending money and I don't restrict her spending. She has the CC to spend money monthly. Most of the month we have far more than $500 in our checking but I move anything above to our investments once I pay the CC every month. I know I won't have any big expenses then. If I do we have the CC limit and the $10k emergency cash.
-We live on a really cheap area and had a low cost of living. We never felt the need to upgrade until we wanted to start having kids. I didn't have to change our lifestyle much to save a lot.
-My job is in demand and pays well because nobody wants to live out in my area. So after expenses I take home a lot more than I would living in a major city. Probably 3 to 4 times more net savings annually if I had to guess.
-She doesn't want a new car and has told me that multiple times. She doesn't like driving and feels comfortable with her current car.
-She doesn't know what she wants to do when she retires. I know I'll be golfing, games, and eating edibles most days. I don't do any of this much now because we have kids and they will be my focus for a long time. I maybe golf 1 or 2 times a month amd thats the only times I take edibles.
-I'll speak more with my wife about this. After reading posts I think she may not feel like it's her money since she never saved much before we got engaged.
NTA (Not the As*hole). She was dismissive of your feelings and was constantly lying to the people around her. It’s a classic case of play stupid games, win stupid prizes. - macaroni_rascal42
ESH (Everyone Sucks Here). Paychecks, Politics, Prayers. The 3 forbidden dinner conversations. It sounds like your wife falls back on the 'I'm broke' line to cover up her insecurities of not 'keeping up' with her social circle.
And I get that you're not pleased with her comments, but having an argument about your finances in mixed company is...just kind of classless. No one needs to know how much money you make or don't make.
It's weird that you think her comments make you look bad, since you both work, and it doesn't seem like it's common knowledge that you manage the finances? I mean if someone's wife tells me 'we're broke,' my first thought isn't 'oh, it must be the husband, he's bad at money.' That I think is your own insecurity. - BroadElderberry
NTA. You're just being honest, she's just throwing herself a pity party by acting broke. - RamblingManUK
NTA - 1) She is LYING, 2) she is not being considerate of your feelings in this situation, and 3) it is real weird that she feels the need to make up sob stories about how hard she has it. Is there anything you can think of that would cause her to feel the need to play the, 'Woe is me' card all the time? - zgamer200
Esh. Tbh. Usually telling friends you are a millionaire will illicit a bad reaction internally if they are not as well off as you and then sometimes ppl get the reaction that you should pay for everything. Lying to friends is bad too.
I think you were too specific which may come off tactless to both wife and friends. You could have said that you choose to live frugally but are in great shape for retirement or something like that - BupiBear
ESH, just a bit. Can’t you both just agree to not discuss money with family and friends? It’s just a subject that never goes favorably. You two probably need to talk again, if your wife just keeps going on about how broke you are. - diskebbin
While the opinions were mixed here, most people agreed that both of them were in the wrong here and they need to come up with a better way to communicate the feelings they each have about their financial situation, especially in public. Good luck, everyone!