I like "money blindness." Your whole comment was spot on, bookman. Time for the blinders to come off!
Caligula, you are my new best friend!
I appreciate your understanding, and there is some truth to what you say. I think my husband latches on to my spending because he's not in control of it. He's happy to spend on the weekend on eating out, wine, treats for the children. I can see that will probably stay the same, if I'm the one who has to pull in the pursestrings in the week. He will get to be fun daddy, while I say no to the kids.
Non-discretionaries! Yes! Our mortgage is about 45% of net income (but is on a decent rate, so won't be switching), we could do with changing our gas/electricity plan, we've done 2 major building projects and had 2 kids in the last 5 years; so it's not just me having an occasional Starbucks that is send us into debt. And weirdly, when I bring that up, my DH says he doesn't care if I go to Starbucks or go out for lunch. Confused much?
Anyway, it all points to the need for better communication, transparency and change of habits. This is clear to me. It may be that I will have to do it on my own at first, but I like the suggestions of how to proceed, either in my account or in the joint account. I see there is some flexibility, or at least the possibility of it once I can show my husband what I can do.
I really appreciate your time and thoughtfulness - it is so refreshing for an open forum! (Off to download the trial)