In-laws Article: Financial Independence

July 29, 2009, 9:58 am

The following article is exclusive to Hitched Magazine.

5 Ways To Become Financially Independent From Parents And In-laws
by Jenna D. Barry

Do you live with your parents or in-laws? Do you work for them? Do you owe them money? Do they provide daycare for your children? Do you depend on them for transportation?

Many couples, especially newlyweds, sometimes lean on their folks for financial support and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. However, it could be a bad thing if (1) your parents or in-laws are controlling, manipulative people, (2) you feel obligated to do everything they want because they take care of your monetary needs, or (3) your spouse feels financially trapped by them. Unite with your spouse to identify problem areas, reach loving compromises, focus on mutual goals, and brainstorm ways to achieve those goals–even if they seem unattainable.

Here are 5 ways to become financially independent from your parents and in-laws:

1. Move out. If you think your parents invade your privacy, then move out of their house. If you are living with your in-laws while saving up to buy a house, consider postponing that dream if it means saving your sanity and your marriage. Find an apartment or a cheaper house that you can afford now. Get a roommate if necessary. Consider moving to a part of the country where housing is less expensive. Work overtime hours and cut back on other expenses as necessary.

2. Get a different job. If you feel that your folks boss you around or know too much about your finances, then it might be best if you stopped working for them. Pursue a job you love, even if that doesn’t fit into their plans for the family business.

3. Pay back your loan. If you constantly feel obligated to get your parents’ approval because you owe them money, then do everything in your power to pay them back as soon as possible. Get a bank loan. Downsize to a cheaper car or smaller house. Get a temporary second job, eat cheaper meals, etc.

4. Find alternative daycare options. If you’re angry because your in-laws undermine your authority with your kids, then don’t depend on them for your daycare needs. Hire a babysitter, be a stay-at-home parent, start your own small daycare, etc.

5. Find another mode of transportation. Perhaps you can carpool, use public transportation, or even ride your bike to work.

Decide as a couple what is best for your marriage (even if it’s not the most wise financial decision), and realize that you may have more options available than you think.

Jenna D. Barry is the author of “A Wife’s Guide to In-laws:  How to Gain Your Husband’s Loyalty Without Killing His Parents.”  Find more at

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You can have a GREAT marriage, even if your in-laws aren't so great!

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You may be quick to blame your in-laws for your marriage problems, but in reality the biggest part of the problem isn't your in-laws, it's your husband's loyalty to them.  When a man marries, he is supposed to transfer his loyalty from his parents to his wife. His behavior plays a key role in how well you get along with his parents.  The goal of this book is to help you gain your husband's loyalty.

If you are in need of hope and encouragement, this book is for you!  Jenna Barry offers hilarious, heartfelt advice about how to have a terrific marriage in spite of difficult in-laws.  As a wife who has personally experienced the despair that comes from having an unsupportive partner, she suggests specific things to say and do to gain your husband's loyalty.  This book won't teach you how to become best friends with your in-laws, but it will teach you how to think and behave in a new way so they no longer have any power over you.  A Wife's Guide to In-laws has over 40 cartoons, two fun chapters written just for your hubby, and worksheets to help the two of you reach loving compromises about common problem issues.

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About Jenna

As a wife of 22 years, Jenna D. Barry (a pen name) has learned how to gain her husband's loyalty through communication, persistence, and a whole lot of love.  She has familiarized herself with the needs and frustrations of other wives by participating in on-line in-law support groups and by talking to marriage therapists, friends, family, and co-workers.


Jenna is the author of the book, A Wife's Guide to In-laws:  How to Gain Your Husband's Loyalty Without Killing His Parents. She has been a radio guest on The Mike Bullard Show and her articles have been published in newspapers, websites, and magazines worldwide.  She writes monthly articles for Hitched Magazine and has been quoted in The Washington Times,, The London Free Press,, etc. She leads a support group for daughters-in-law right here.



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