to wonder why some people have no idea about family finances

(79 Posts)
redskyatnight Sat 29-Jun-13 08:29:52

Just musing really. Am I alone in finding it very odd where one adult in a couple/family seems to have no idea about their family finances?

This mainly came into my head because a friend and her DH have recently gone bankrupt and she had no idea money was even tight because he looked after all their family finances and she was happy for him to do so as she has no head for figures!

There are other example in RL and on these boards though. So many people seem to have no idea what their partner's earn (even ballpark figure) or how much disposable income they have as a family. (so have no idea what it's reasonable to spend so don't know if there partners are just being mean!).

Of course some partners are controlling but in the majority of cases I've seen personally, they are happy to share the information but the other partner is not interested.

I manage our family finances because I am anal and like spreadsheets DH is happy for me to do this. But we discuss them freely and both have a clear idea about what we can afford, what we can't, how much we are saving etc.

Eyesunderarock Sat 29-Jun-13 08:34:35

Puzzles me too.
Always smacks of immaturity and indifference IMO, not interested, someone else is happy to deal with it so I won't bother.
Puts pressure on the one dealing with it to manage, even when it goes wrong. Then when it all ends up shit creek, the passive one takes no responsibility because 'they didn't know'
Lack of communication stuffs up a lot of relationships.

PrettyKitty1986 Sat 29-Jun-13 08:37:32

I manage our finances.

I'm pretty sure, for instance, df couldn't tell you how much our mortgage is. Or our car insurance/council tax etc.

But he could have a decent guess...not having any idea of your general financial situation is ridiculous.

As for people not knowing how much their partner earns...how ridiculous. It's quite a basic fact to me. Also, I don't believe it when people say 'Oh I don't know how much he earns but I really don't want to know'. Bollocks you don't. He just won't tell you. Which is sad.

peteypiranha Sat 29-Jun-13 08:38:40

We are like this. It doesnt bother us in the slightest, and never causes any problens/arguements.

Eyesunderarock Sat 29-Jun-13 08:42:25

We are both not interested, OH even moreso than I, so we sat down, did our homework and set up a joint account to run as much as possible on DDs.
Major extras get discussed before we choose how to pay for them, discussion is minutes rather than days.
I can't remember how much he earns, but I know where his payslips and credit card bills are.

Technotropic Sat 29-Jun-13 08:44:03

Lol @ spreadsheets. Glad I'm not the only one!

Puzzles me to as there is 100% visibility in our house and we both know what's going on. One of us may do more organising than the other but otherwise we both know what's going in/out.

Crazy as it sounds we have a friend that didn't even know her husband had lost his job. Admittedly he was still leaving the house at 8:00am but wtf?

Tbh I've long since given up trying to understand other relationships and their dynamic. Ours seems so simple by comparison but I guess our friends probably think the same of us lol.

Eyesunderarock Sat 29-Jun-13 08:45:58

'Tbh I've long since given up trying to understand other relationships and their dynamic.'

And with the wisest words on MN spoken, the site collapses! grin

Dackyduddles Sat 29-Jun-13 08:48:12

I'm not anal over spreadsheets. Can think of few things I'd like to do less. I think a major issue is seperate finances. The issue used to be the man did it. Now I think it's that neither side fully trust and don't have it all open. If that makes sense.

Also a large dose of head in sand itis....

eatyourveg Sat 29-Jun-13 08:48:26

I'm with peteypiranha

LimitedEditionLady Sat 29-Jun-13 08:52:04

I deal with ours,it doesn't bother me because I know we would discuss any big purchases and I am better with figures and he hates figures!

peteypiranha Sat 29-Jun-13 08:54:49

We have completely joint finances we just do it so one of us controls it all.

peteypiranha Sat 29-Jun-13 09:01:43

We have it as all money goes in one account. Dh asks if he is allowed to take money out and how much, and I say yes or no. He asks for money to go out and I ask him what figure he is thinking and I say yes or no.

Everything goes in to joint account and we have a savings accounts but dh doesnt care whats in them. He also doesnt know any utility companies or how much anything is at all. Its been working for us for 10 years.

marriedinwhiteagain Sat 29-Jun-13 09:12:12

W have separate accounts. No joint account at all. Your DH has to ask you if he can take money out and how much shock. And neither would I expect to have to ask my DH if I could spend some money. However we have no secrets and no debts. But no, the day I had to ask my DH if I could spend the money I have earned would be the day I packed my bags to leave.

peteypiranha Sat 29-Jun-13 09:14:21

Its the best way to us so we dont overspend. Dh likes it and so do I. No worry this way, and dh hates figures. He has been doing it this way since he was 19. Dh texts me and asks me every time he takes money out the card.

AdmiralData Sat 29-Jun-13 09:19:50

Horses for courses methinks. My DH knows what bills we pay but happily hands his card over when I say we need such and such, he trusts my judgement to not overspend ... most of the time. He has a better head for figures but I tend to know more about our finances due to my anxiety disorder xD

marriedinwhiteagain Sat 29-Jun-13 09:20:28

Can't you each have your own spending money that you put into your own accounts for a bit of autonomy. What about birthdays when you want to buy something for each other. "Darling can I take £40 out to buy you a card and a present"?

When I wasn't working I used to buy what the family needed from my account and give DH a bill with the receipts attached at the end of the month; I also had a credit card in my name for bigger purchases and DH used to pay the bill. But I never had to ask before I bought anything hopefully because he trusted me; neither did he have to question although he might have had to say once or twice "go a bit easy his month because so and so hasn't settled the fees".

peteypiranha Sat 29-Jun-13 09:25:30

Most of our money is took up with paying for things either bills, holidays or other things we have planned for so some weeks he might be allowed a tenner some 40 quid. He tells me in advance if there is a big night out if he needs more, and I cut out things for myself so he can have it. It then works the other way if I need stuff.

I dont like him buying me stuff now. He used to be crazy when we met and spend over 1k on jewellery on me in first year, and always used to buy me stuff. Now I prefer money for the kids, or holidays but if he needs to buy stuff for presents he says an amount and I say if its ok.

peteypiranha Sat 29-Jun-13 09:28:41

It all depends as well sometimes he might only get a fiver for some ciders, but on other weeks he can get a bigger thing he asks for. Money is in week by week so its a bit pointless me transfering a fiver in to another account one week and 30 the next or whatever. He tells me what he wants to do and I will try my hardest to accomodate everything.

Longdistance Sat 29-Jun-13 09:38:42

My h used to do all the finances, when we moved here to Oz. Not any more as he was hiding things, and always moaning we didn't have the money for this and that. He set up a 'housekeeping' account for me. I was persuaded into anything after having dd2 and moving country.

Pre this we had our own accounts which worked well, and I was working and paying bills, and so was he. It seemed to even out. Then I went on maternity with dd2, left my job, emigrated, and fuckwit h thought he was the best at finances. He used to have the gall to ask me where the money went on his big fat belly

We've now got a joint account. And I now say what goes, and what doesn't. He must really hate it, but I don't care, as its not all his if he wants me stuck at home with the kids. We have rented out our house in the Uk which makes a profit. I have seen this account twice in 20 months hmm

He also has shares in several companies, that he invested in, that I really know nothing about. But know for the past 6 months that it hasn't come from the joint account.

I do however, have a Uk bank account still, and have been claiming back PPI from well before I met him. I'm certainly not sharing that, if he's not sharing his ISA.

marriedinwhiteagain Sat 29-Jun-13 09:41:36

Our 18 year ds was given a bank account and an allowance when he was 16 so that he could learn to budget rather than ask for money like a child. How can you emasculate a man like that? *might be allowed a tenner* the phrasing says it all - not even there might be £10 per week after all the bills have been paid. If a man were on here saying that it would be regarded as financial abuse.

peteypiranha Sat 29-Jun-13 09:49:11

Marriedinwhite - dh wont do it any other way as he panics about bank charges to. I always sacrifice what I want to put dh and kids first. What they want is always more important than what I want. I go many weeks not allowing myself anything at all except the 35p cans from down the local shop. If I dont do that we wont have the nice big stuff like new bathroom, car and holidays.

I have read on here you are quite well off so you wouldnt understand. We want a good life but on very low wages so that involves planning to the very last penny.

Can't you each have your own spending money that you put into your own accounts for a bit of autonomy. What about birthdays when you want to buy something for each other. "Darling can I take £40 out to buy you a card and a present

No I just spend the money out of the joint account and that's it. There's no asking - we're both adults and can be trusted to not spend insane amounts. We know our earnings, ingoings and outgoings - just happens to go all into one pot.

peteypiranha Sat 29-Jun-13 09:56:53

I have turned our lives arounf in last few years. We have had all new bathroom, a car, 3 holidays booked for next 18 months 2 of those abroad, and complete damp proofing. I have arranged all that on a combined income of just over 30k without getting in a pennys debt. Dh doesnt think Im abusive, he thinks Im a hero wink

I organise the majority of ours, even though it is all separate, (linked by standing orders) because I am better at it, but it is all completely transparent and we both have savings, both have income. I couldn't tell you how much DH earns off the top of his head as he is a company director and it fluctuates wildly, however I could go to a spreadsheet and find out for last year for example. DH could probably not explain the difference betweeen types of mortgage because he has never taken one out (our house is in my name). He'd find out if he needed to.

NotYoMomma Sat 29-Jun-13 10:01:42

I talk about money for work all day - at home I know our incomings, outgoings and what we have 'free' each month

know roughly how much we save

BUT DH does all of it, all the dds, the shopping around, bank transfers, putting money in savings.

I am just not interested

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