Ask Paul: I can't afford a coffee without pocket money from my husband
I have been "pink recessioned". I was earning $60,000 a year and then overnight I lost my casual job. I was fortunate to have enough in savings to clear all my debts, but in my panic to do that I didn't really think about what was going to happen next. Now for the first time in my marriage of 13 years I don't even have the money to go buy a coffee.
My husband earns so much that I simply don't exist as far as government benefits are concerned. So my question is, how do I have this conversation to, I guess, ask for pocket money? And what is even reasonable to ask for? - Helena
Goodness, Helena, I've been answering readers' questions since our first issue in mid-1999 and I thought I had answered just about every money question known to humanity. But this is a new one.
Vaguely similar questions are more usually along the lines of relationship breakdowns and one partner (all too often the female) having no access to money, control-freak male partners and so on. But from the light tone of your email, my sense is you and hubby are a good pair. Even better, you make it clear that there is ample money coming in from his work.
So, I reckon the solution to this one is a nice meal and a great bottle of red and a chat about a line of funding until a new position opens up for you. As his high earnings makes you ineligible for government support, I hope he will have a bit of a chuckle and suggest an amount. If not, or he is a man who loves a budget, why not jot down a few points about what is a sensible amount.
Seriously, though, I hope this conversation goes really well. While most modern relationships don't "fully merge" family funds, it seems to me we agree to marry or partner for better or worse. In your case this is a moment of "worse" and I would like to think that he will be really happy to assist during your pink recession.
Do send me an update; I reckon quite a few of us will be waiting with bated breath to hear how it goes!
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