Hi bpsoshare...I am the bp sufferer in this household and spending money was one of my main vices during my mainia...and later even in my depression as a way of trying to make myself feel better. When you are bipolar and spending, many of times, and in my case, it is seen as a lifeline to the bp person. I seriously spent to try to feel better....the same way an addict turns to their drug of choice.
A year ago my name was taken off of almost everything. My name is still on the house and vehicles and I do have my own savings account now (just got it 2 months ago!!) But as far as a joint bank account...that just doesnt exist. You need to take drastic measures to protect your finances, as if your wife is like me...I could justify every penny I spent. But soon it turned out of control where I was hiding bills and applying for new creditcards...even in my husband's name.And even taking money out of my children's savings accounts.
Over the past 5 years I bet I have done 100,000 of damage. And like you said...no big items. But it adds up quickly.
My husband handles the finances now....something I am sure he abhorrs but it is a necessity. We also have a general neighborhood mailbox at the end of our block that you need to have a key to access. He got the lock changed and I do not have a key. I no longer have the feelings associated with the spending...but we have 3 daughters and the risk is too much when considering we have 3 college educations and 3 possible weddings to pay for! At first it was very hard being taken off of the accounts. My name is not even on my daughters savings accounts which I set up for them. But I know now that it was the right thing. Because my problem was bigger than me.
Now occassionally my husband will let me have the check card to do the grocery shopping, he makes sure I always have some money on me so I can still feel like an adult and not a teenager on restriction. And for exame I will help him pay the bills sometimes by actually writing out the checks for him to sign and get in the mail. Trust me it isn't easy but you must protect yourself in all of this too.
We don't actually have any real money in the account as its so overdrawn. Any money spent is added to our overdraft and has to be within the overdraft limit. I've just got paid so there is now £2500 available before the overdraft limit is breached. But we have to live for another month so most of that will go on household bills and groceries for a family of five. I can't transfer the balance to the new account as yet becuase the bank will not give me another overdraft of that size, I will have to transfer some and pay off the rest on a monthly basis.
I'm checking the account daily so unless my wife buys something very expensive I'll know if she is breaking our agreement before its too late. She hasn't used the account for two days.
I know if my wife really wanted to go and spend she could get through several hundred before I noticed, but then she could take out credit cards aswell and I woudn't know for several weeks. For now I'm going to have to trust her and hope I'm not let down. At the same time I'm transferrng the last of my savings to my new account and will use this as an emergency backup.