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Contractor here fwiw.

Can you sit down together and make a forecast budget of household expenses and income, so he can see what you are both up against? Regardless of it being his business, he should be able to share how much income he intends to bring in over the next two weeks, two months, year etc. Maybe that will either push him to make more or take a better gig with someone else.

I'll tell you the first few years of contracting can be difficult, I actually didn't take home a salary for over year, reinvesting in staff / equipment. Now I make 20x what I made working for a contractor before I started my own thing and wouldn't do anything differently.

Its hard to tell without knowing more about specifics if he can make it or not, statistics are against it. Most contractors fail due to the difficult cash flow associated with the early growth.

Some contractors attempt their own thing and learn what they are up against, go back to working for someone else for a while, and then do their own thing again when they feel they are ready. Maybe that is a better path.

Its not easy to get it going, but it can be extremely lucrative.
 

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All I can say is that it takes longer than 1 year for a contractor to get his feet under him, and start to grow his business.

Every well established contractor I know in my area has more work than they can take. But ... every one of them struggled to get established their first few years. They all showed a net loss their first year. It takes time to grow the business..
I agree, it takes time.
The man has a dream, naysayers can step aside. Can't get rich working for the man. He want's to be his own man.
Has the OP hired an agent? H should get some outside perspective on what he can to do make his business work.
It could come t be that the whole situation reverses itself and over abundance becomes the next issue to deal with.
 

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Any time I ask him about his business plans I am told that it does not involve me. May I remind you that I have funded this business starting up as well even though I don't agree with it. He's been in business for almost a year and it's not going as well as he thought. I tried to let him know how hard it is to run a business. I don't want him to fail but he's the type of person that won't listen and has to do it himself before he knows I was right. I can't add him to my health insurance because it would cost over $500 a pay for the both of us which I refused to do. I'm not working just to pay health insurance.
And there it is, he is selfish at going ahead without a clear plan (what kind of dumb man is he!) and to be honest I am not surprised you have lost all respect for him, he doesn't deserve your respect nor financial support. If this is the way he makes decisions and does not include you while you must bear the burden of his decisions, he does not deserve you as a wife.
 

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You still didn't say what his business is.

Something to think about. What is the long term potential for his type of business? After the startup pains of the first few years, what's the upside?

Often with startups, you have to be willing to go through the growing pains before you see the payoff.
Who cares what his business is about? He has not planned, he has a mountain of debt and ongoing expenses. He refuses to share any details with his wife, who is funding his stupid decisions. We all know that it may take anywhere between 2-5 years for a business to make profits, in addition at least 90-95% of businesses never actually take off.

People do not enter into such decisions lightly and he has done so, showing no respect nor regard for his wife in the decision making. Why should she respect him or fund him?
I would pull the plug and refuse to pay any bills in his name, just keep the roof over your head and refuse to pay his staff (what the hell does he need a staff for?). How financially savy is he or you? Did he produce a business plan, budget, cash flow forecast, etc. Contracting jobs requires upfront cash flow for materials, etc., the time taken to complete contracts and receive money also requires having enough cash flow. You are right to be angry, I would be livid.

if he was earning good money, why did he not save enough money from his big salary to set up the business and sustain it for at least the next 6-9 months, why is he using your income? I think he doesn't know much about business by the looks of it, time for you to get out before you end up being responsible for bankruptcy hole he causes. If he has already lots of debt that already tells you he cannot manage money at all and probably wants to have a easy job with people working for him where he thinks he can make a quick buck. This will not end well. You are right to be pissed off.
 

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Who cares what his business is about? He has not planned, he has a mountain of debt and ongoing expenses. He refuses to share any details with his wife, who is funding his stupid decisions. We all know that it may take anywhere between 2-5 years for a business to make profits, in addition at least 90-95% of businesses never actually take off.

People do not enter into such decisions lightly and he has done so, showing no respect nor regard for his wife in the decision making. Why should she respect him or fund him?
I would pull the plug and refuse to pay any bills in his name, just keep the roof over your head and refuse to pay his staff (what the hell does he need a staff for?). How financially savy is he or you? Did he produce a business plan, budget, cash flow forecast, etc. Contracting jobs requires upfront cash flow for materials, etc., the time taken to complete contracts and receive money also requires having enough cash flow. You are right to be angry, I would be livid.

if he was earning good money, why did he not save enough money from his big salary to set up the business and sustain it for at least the next 6-9 months, why is he using your income? I think he doesn't know much about business by the looks of it, time for you to get out before you end up being responsible for bankruptcy hole he causes. If he has already lots of debt that already tells you he cannot manage money at all and probably wants to have a easy job with people working for him where he thinks he can make a quick buck. This will not end well. You are right to be pissed off.
Don't buy it. Of course his business is important. My advice would be different for building contractor, CPA, it consultant, lawyer, lobsterman, restauranteur, surf shop owner, and YouTuber.

You aren't a mind reader, neither is OP. You don't know what thought he put into his decision. All you know is that OP didn't like the decision. She absolutely has a right to ask about his business, but he is under no obligation to report to her. No more so than she is obligated to report to him how she does her work. She is his wife, not business partner, not loan officer, or financial advisor. I get the impression that because she has to shoulder the burden of supporting the family while he gets his business off the ground that she feels she has the right to dictate to him how he runs his business.

I think she is operating from a place of fear. The nature of contracting, especially early when getting established, is sporadic income. She sounds like she wasn't prepared for that fact, nor the fact that a first year is almost never profitable. She seems to be taking actions from that place of fear that aren't helpful to their relationship ... demanding, I-told-you-so, toward husband, and going to his mother to take her side. There is no situation where that is going to assuage the fear, because all that will accomplish is turning her husband defiant and defensive. Perhaps if she wants to stay in this marriage she changes her tone to one of support instead of accusation?

They have been married for a year. She can choose to honor her "richer or poorer" vow, or she can bail. It's her choice. Perhaps its for the best if she can't stomach the feast/famine cycle of her husband's business.
 

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Don’t resent him because he couldn’t take his job anymore and has to quit. At least hear his side of the story. If he wants to quit has job, go travel, with the non-working wife and three kids at home, then that’s a problem. But if he is trying to start something new, then maybe you need to work with him on that dream.
if you are resending him because he won’t be able to provide you with the luxury life style that you thought would stay forever but now it may be in danger, then you need to see if you divorcing him would be more financially beneficial to you, or stay and work towards something better. :)
I am not saying marrying for money is a bad thing. Just want to weight in for long term gain.
 

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Take my advice only if you want to stay married to your spouse.
We can't pay our bills! And most of them he made before we were married. He has a truck payment and a tractor he bought prior to marriage. I just feel like he is wanting me to cover the bills he made before marriage and they are very expensive payments. And I can't afford to do so.
It's time to stop paying for his tractor and fancy truck. If he wants to keep them then he needs to pay for them directly from the money he (doesn't) make.

. He made $15 more an hour then me and now I'm making more then him. He made all these bills based off his previous job. And now we have a mortage. The mortgage payment is what I make in a two weeks pay.
Just like anything else in life, if you can't afford it, then you can't keep it. Time to sell the house and lease an apartment. Less income means tighter budgets. You must make the hard decisions to keep yourself afloat.


I just feel like he didn't think this through how it would impact us financially. And he has an employee which my paycheck has been used to cover their pay.
Do not pay for his employee's salary. That should be funded from the operational budget for his business. No budget = no employee.


Also he has had health issues in the past and with no insurance im worried that something will happen to him. And we are stuck with a huge hospital bill.
Of all of the things you mentioned this is the one I'd be most concerned about because it's the one that could destroy you financially. Keeping your money separate and cutting back expenses is one thing. Going into bankruptcy because of a medical emergency is another.

If you're an American, is it possible for him to buy into Obama care?

ETA:. Check his credit report at least once a month. If he starts opening credit lines or applies for credit cards, run - don't walk- to your divorce attorney.
 

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Well, some folks here have offered you some of the plain, simple truth. Your husband is reckless with money. No way can he support employees in the beginning year(s) of his new start-up business. This is 3-10 years down the road.

It is obvious that your husband is not a trained entrepreneur. I'll let you in on a secret...... neither was I. I went from a 31.5k (1983) salary to 19k my first year (1984). It was my fourth year before I made more than 31k bottom-line. By the grace of God, and the teaching of the bible in my FOO and hers, I was not a "spender", and neither was my wife. There were NO credit purchases, ever, for anything. There were NO car payments, NO mortgages, NO employees (until the third year, and then they were contract employees on part-time hired only for one major contract I took) My wife also worked on that contract with me, her dad too....

I'll never forget seeing 4 retired guys coming up the road, 2 in the seat, 2 in the bed of a pickup truck, with a huge table made of a full 8' x 4' plywood sheet, with huge underpinnings...... it took all 5 of us to get it into our basement, and I was considering calling the circus and selling them an elephant pedestal...... I asked them "what do I owe you...."..... the leader of this unlikely crew was a man I didn't know, in fact, I didn't know the other two (besides my FIL) said ".....5 dollars ...(wink) for screws.....". it was just one of those moments when my eyes wouldn't stay dry. 35 years later, they still won't.....

It was, perhaps, the most meaningful thing my wife ever did for me. I mean, hell, I could have just bought a work table..... but she, in all the resplendent Godly nature He had put within her, saw me carrying my car battery in the basement, back to the car to charge, back into the basement and the chest-freezer I converted into my work table, and mobilized the 4 septuagenarian musketeers ....... in to, perhaps, the most resounding vote of confidence I ever received..... definitely, the most meaningful one....

I want to suggest that you order a book....called "Business by the Book", author Larry Burkett. 6 bucks on Amazon Kindle.

I confess to you, I never actually read the book. Only the Book. But, I learned what this book has to say by listening to Dr. Burkett on the radio daily for a few years. While I worked.

Your husband's business plan needs to include the book, and the Book. His business plan also needs to include him stepping up to the plate and ridding both of you of ALL debts. ALL....immediately, concisely, and forever. I'm afraid your husband has had some very faulty teaching along his way to this point. So have you....... if he wants to make his business work, he has to learn to be an investor. So do you.....if you want to make your marriage and your life work.

The book I suggested to you will point out that the BEST investment one can make in life is debt elimination. Let's face it.... it's the ONLY investment that is 100% guaranteed to make you money. Other investments ebb and flow, advance and retard, and some just plainly lose. But if you eliminate debt, it is absolutely guaranteed that you will spend less money for the same amount of goods and services.

Your marriage needs YOU to step up to the plate, also. Get rid of that mortgage. Get health insurance for your family. I can understand that you don't want to work just to pay health insurance. So, therefore .... "batter up"..... go get the education, the discipline, whatever YOU need so that YOUR salary grows to far exceed the cost of health insurance.

If you divorce, that is exactly "where" you are going to be ..... you will be working to spend a lot of your earnings for health insurance. That is, if you don't make changes to YOU. Your newly-acquired house will be in foreclosure.....

Without improving your skills and your ability to deliver...... let's face another fact of life. We are ALL business people. For those who work for others, the employer is the "customer". Businesses who deliver more, make more money. Those who regard their employer, or their spouse as some kind of "pack mule" who is supposed to carry their burden for them, fail. At marriage, and at business.....

Let making his business work be your husband's problem. Let making YOUR life work be YOURS, and let making your marriage work be BOTH your problems.

Dont "throw the baby out with the bathwater".....
 

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Don't buy it. Of course his business is important. My advice would be different for building contractor, CPA, it consultant, lawyer, lobsterman, restauranteur, surf shop owner, and YouTuber.

You aren't a mind reader, neither is OP. You don't know what thought he put into his decision. All you know is that OP didn't like the decision. She absolutely has a right to ask about his business, but he is under no obligation to report to her. No more so than she is obligated to report to him how she does her work. She is his wife, not business partner, not loan officer, or financial advisor. I get the impression that because she has to shoulder the burden of supporting the family while he gets his business off the ground that she feels she has the right to dictate to him how he runs his business.

I think she is operating from a place of fear. The nature of contracting, especially early when getting established, is sporadic income. She sounds like she wasn't prepared for that fact, nor the fact that a first year is almost never profitable. She seems to be taking actions from that place of fear that aren't helpful to their relationship ... demanding, I-told-you-so, toward husband, and going to his mother to take her side. There is no situation where that is going to assuage the fear, because all that will accomplish is turning her husband defiant and defensive. Perhaps if she wants to stay in this marriage she changes her tone to one of support instead of accusation?

They have been married for a year. She can choose to honor her "richer or poorer" vow, or she can bail. It's her choice. Perhaps its for the best if she can't stomach the feast/famine cycle of her husband's business.
Well if she is bankrolling him right now and he is using her for financial support he needs to be much more accountable than he is currently. She is not dictating how his business is run she is upset at his poor financial planning. Why didn't he plan ahead. he was earning well before hand. No savings put aside for the venture, doesn't sound like the makings of a business savy man to me. I still stand by what I wrote.
 

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I'm self employed but DH has a good paying job. I already had my own business when we met but it's still feast or famine.

When you are married, you need to talk about financial decisions together. When you begged him not to follow his dream & become self employed you were looking a balance sheet but not various quality of life issues. There is an upside to being your own boss. Right now he perceives you as begrudging him that freedom. However, he does need to become a lot more forthcoming.

They say when you open your own business you should either have 1 full year of living expenses in the bank or a spouse who will support you. I can't stress enough how important that is. You do need a good business plan which is doesn't sound like he's sharing with you. That's a problem. Being married makes you a team. Both of you need to be better teammates.

DH & I deal with it this way: his salary pays for the routine things -- mortgage, recurring bills, groceries etc. I pay for the splurges when the business makes money & we have cash. For example, in years past, I bought the vacation home (cash no mortgage); the fancy vanity sports car; I paid for the kitchen remodel; I pay for all the vacations & fancy dinners out; I bought him a new Lexus SUV earlier this year but last year my business lost money due to Covid so we lived very frugally. Now I have an opportunity to expand but need a capital investment which will come out of joint savings. The business is signing a promissory note drawn by a lawyer to repay our marriage. If DH wasn't on board with this loan I would have either found another more expensive way to finance the expansion or reconsidered it. Point is, he gets a say in the finances of my business when they effect him (c.f. I'm not asking him how much I should pay my staff; whether they get raises; or whether I should buy new office equipment etc. because they are internal financial decisions based on profitability).

I realize that you have only been married for 1+ years & don't have a good handle on this yet, but you talking to him mom about this was a bad move. It feels like you are tattling on him & now it feels like you & his mom are ganging up on him. You have undermined everything & set yourself up in an adversarial role.

What you need to do is be more supportive. Instead of bashing him, sit down with him to write a business plan with him and a marketing plan. Offer any skills you have to support the business. Can you help with marketing? Can you design or update a website for him? What can you do to contribute to the success of the business? If he sees you as more of a partner, things will be easier & he will be more open to your suggestions. Perhaps buy him some books about how to grow a business; suggest websites to him that may help. Depending on the industry & your willingness to help, if he makes you a significant partner he may be able to attract more clients if he's WEBC certified (it's a diversity program designed to help women & minority owned businesses get more contracts).

A household budget will help too. You come across as entitled & selfish rather than supportive. The failure to pay $500 for his insurance could have truly devastating consequences if he gets hurt. Self employed people need more insurance than those with jobs. Self employed can't collect unemployment (although it was allowed in Covid).

There is a path forward but you both have to communicate better.
 

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My husband left an amazing paying job to be self employed. He has no health insurance and work is sporadic with him making alot or nothing. I begged my husband to stay at his old job and he stated how unhappy he was. I tried to give him the benefit of the doubt and try his own business but it's not working out. I try to tell him these things about no insurance or no consistency. He does not care to at least hear what I have to say. It's effecting our marriage in a terrible way. I can't even stand to be around him because I have so much resentment towards him. I work full time and my paycheck has had to go to bailing him out of his business choice that he made regardless of how I felt. At this point, I'm considering divorce. Any advice would be helpful.
97% of all business that you start from the ground up is going to fail, so I agree with you. He should not have left his old job until he built up his side-business to the point of supporting his family.
 
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