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You Asked: How Can I Make this Work?

Dear Sugar--
I am currently the only one working in my marriage because my husband broke his leg on the job and can't work for the next 4 months, but he still seems to spend way too much money!!

I am struggling with pulling all the weight while he stays at home all day, ordering in food, dirtying up the house, etc. What can he or I do to make sure we have enough money so we can pay our bills for the next three months until he can return to work? --Agitated Angie

To see DEARSUGAR's answer

Dear Agitated Angie--

I am sorry your husband is injured and you are feeling the pressure of providing for your family, but making ends meet can be done. For the next few months, you are simply going to have to cut back on all your expenses. Make sure not to leave the lights on, the TV on when you're not watching it, don't use the AC or the heat unless you absolutely have to, etc. Also, your husband has to stop ordering take out food ASAP. That is an unnecessary expense, not to mention the amount of cash he is using to tip the delivery person. If he can't stand up to cook, make sure there are groceries in the fridge for him while you are at work.

Can your husband apply for worker's compensation or unemployment? If you are seriously worried that you can't make ends meet, can you ask your family or a good friend if they would loan you money until your husband gets back on his feet? Could you apply for a second part time job at night? While you might feel the burden of being the head of the house, luckily this is only a temporary situation. I wish you luck Angie.


Join The Conversation
Msmarissa006 Msmarissa006 10 years
sounds like you guys need to set up a budget plan
Marci Marci 10 years
I agree with what everyone has said, Dear included. You need to talk with your husband. He must know how much it costs to run your household so simply sit down and do the math with him - minus one income. He'll get the picture. And ordering take out is a NO NO on a budget.
blackjade blackjade 10 years
communication, communication. On top of all the workers comp info the take-out ordering has got to stop. Make a few meals for him to keep in the fridge. He can help -hand him a knife, cutting board and sit him at a table with veggies or whatever. Go through cookbooks and find things you'd like to eat together for dinner...and then make enough to have leftovers for him the next Then maybe on Friday's (or Wednesday just to break up the week some) order in dinner for the BOTH of you.
pinupsweetheart pinupsweetheart 10 years
I agree with bfly1133. Communication between two people is key. I know it is a struggle to keep a household going on your own, but your husband may be unaware of the struggle. You need to sit down and show him where you are struggling with the little money that is left in check book. I am sure with the broke leg your husband is now allowed back at work, however I am sure some light standing and movement will help. You and yoru husband should speak to the doctor about how much he can be standing on it such as to throw the dishes in the dishwasher or take out the trash. Maybe a walking cast is available to help speed the recovery.
Natty Natty 10 years
i hurt myself at work and filed for workman's comp. it was not enough money to get by on. it didn't even cover my rent. luckily i had a savings account that helped me. i ended up going back to work too soon, but dealing with the insurance company was so stressful, at the time it was easier to just suck it up and go back than put up with what they were putting me through. They hired a detective to follow me because they thought it was an insurance scam. they were paying me $150 a week (i was waiting tables, and was making at least $500 a week), and they managed to pay an investigator, which i'm sure cost more than what they were paying me. they were harassing me all the time. it was terrible. is there a job that your husband could do from home, like stuffing envelopes, or customer service? explain to him that this is not a vacation, and he needs to cut back on expenses, and find a way to contribute. show him the budget, and what is happening to it. you really need to discuss this with him, and make it clear that this is effecting both of you. he might not be aware of the financial concerns. Good luck
summer-roberts summer-roberts 10 years
I would sit down with pen and paper and create a budget if you do not already have one. Discuss your worries about not being able to get the bills paid. Hopefully his hospital expenses are not something you are paying for as well. He obviously is not the CFO in your home or he would know already how this is effecting your finances. Perhaps you can make sure there are convenience foods for him while you work. If he can hobble to the door for the delivery guy, he can hobble to the kitchen to put his dishes in the dishwasher. I wouldn't expect him to vacuum, sweep or take out the trash, but he could be doing more to clean up after himself.
bfly1133 bfly1133 10 years
Whoopsies! Sorry about the double post. Must have hit the post button twice or something! :)
bfly1133 bfly1133 10 years
You know, I think the key to a lot of the Dear Sugar posts is positive communication. So many people today get frustrated by something, but don't speak up about it. Resolution cannot come until someone voices that there is a challenge to begin with. In this case, she needs to explain the situation to her husband and they need to come up with a plan that will allow them to pay the bills without going into debt. Many of the posters have already stated great ideas. I think she also has to understand that her husband can't help out in the same ways as before, so they both will have to compromise when it comes to cooking, cleaning, etc. They also need to talk about how this whole situation is affecting them.
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 10 years
Maybe your hubby is depressed. I might be depressed too if I was unable to work for 4 months. If he has a broken leg it's probably hard for him to cook. So maybe you just need to prep meals for him so he doesn't have to order out? I'm sure that's not something you're super excited about doing but it might help... Good luck.
toxic_boi2004 toxic_boi2004 10 years
I agree with everyone else you should def discuss workmans comp with him. Also dear sugar hit it right on budget your expenses. Every little bit helps. Also don't rob peter to pay paul. Aka don't use your credit card because you used money to pay bills. Try to not do that as much as possible you could sink into a dark hole this way. If calculated well you can and will get thru this.
cubadog cubadog 10 years
If he was hurt on the job he should be getting workman's comp or short term disability. You need to have a little chat ahout the finances and let him know you are struggling!
jhuck jhuck 10 years
I agree with Dear and History. You should also talk to him about how he's going to be home all the time and you're going to be picking up extra responsibility. Ask him if he can help out around the house, or at least clean up after himself.
HistoryGeek913 HistoryGeek913 10 years
Not a fun situation to be in. If he broke his leg on the job he should be getting workman's comp. Is that not enough to make ends meet? Also, Dear's right on about cutting down expenses. You need to sit down with your husband and make him realize how tight things are. Only borrow money from friends/family as a very - very - last resort.
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