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My DH and I are in a real financial muddle - don't know where to start!(17 Posts)
Just that really - we need help, and lots of it!
My DH is a lovely man, kind, funny and generous
to a fault. Due to circumstances, we are having to move (rented) house in the same month he starts a new job, leaving us with only my wage for the month and a £3.5k bill to cover the deposit, first month's rent, referencing etc (we live in London). We are both 30 and married last year.
My problems are twofold:
1) How do we even start to make a realistic plan that means we can claw ourselves out of debt (both in overdrafts and a credit card debt, total I would guess is maybe around £3k, on top of the overdraft debt above)
2) How do I persuade DH that we really need to tackle this head on?
He just sticks his head in the sand - for example had a letter the other day telling him he was still paying insurance on a Nokia phone he's not had in YEARS. He never checks his bank balance as he's so scared. I tried to budget with the Money Saving Expert budget planner which lasted a couple of months but he just said he didn't earn enough to budget (in fairness for many years we were earning around than £35k between us and living in London). We have now both got new jobs which are paying more but I don't know what the quickest way to sort this mess out is.
For info, our new place has metered electricity and I can cycle to work but our lives are v busy and I just want to not worry about always being overdrawn. We work in industries where we are expected to look v presentable and our jobs are also quite sociable so a certain amount of post-work socialising is expected. I feel like this new house and our new jobs for us will be a fresh start so any advice anyone can give will be gratefully received!
You need to make a budget and get your DH on board it too. Budgeting may sound boring, but there is a reason why its the first us bankers make with customers.
And it works. Make oen in Excel or YNAB and then you can always adjust as times passes...
And then go trough every single post on your bank statements, paying for stuff you do not need is just plain waste of money....
Before the experts come along and give you really specific advice, have a look at mortgagefreeinthree blog and frugal queen.
Both give great ideas on paying off debt having been in dire straits and now living debt free. Elaine on mf in 3 also helps people who message her on occasion. But the crux of her plan is having a nest egg built up whilst tackling each debt. Im on my phone or i'd type more out but take a look..
I agree about an excel spreadsheet. Write down everything you spend. It may be a good idea to have an observational few weeks then start to cut back. Another good idea is to take out in cash your budget for the week. Pay for everything in cash (except for direct debits, standing orders etc). It will make you more aware of what you are spending. When it runs out, don't withdraw anymore until the following Monday or whenever withdrawal day is. This is tough but it works.
Set yourself a reasonable goal to pay off your debts. Don't use your credit card. Open your statements. Don't ignore them or they will pile up as will your debt. Go through them carefully. Be strict with yourselves and it won't take you long to resolve it if you both want to.
OP pop over to the debt support threads in Money Matters (we're on thread no4), lots of us in same/similar position..
Thank you SO MUCH for your advice and help, I feel a bit tearful at the thought I can sort this out! Will check out the sites and join you in the Money Matters thread!
I think it is laudable that you want to tackle this head on, and I have no doubt this must be a very scary time.
However, from what you've said in your OP, I don't think any of this will work until you have your DH on board. You said that he is scared by his/your financial situation, and it is, again, perfectly understandable. Before you do anything, I would suggest that you both sit down and look through things together . If he is reluctant to do it there and then with you, then maybe do it on your own and then sit down with him and show him the figures. It cannot work unless both partners are on board. Just like in business
Good luck OP. xxx
the sand is not where I'd say his head was....
it is the very rich that don't need to budget, the rest of us ALL need to do it.
this problem IS solvable, no-one is ill, no-one will die. But it will never be solved if you have a money-waster burning off all your hard work. He is an adult and part of what should be a life-partnership.
usual top tips:
- no new clothes for either of you unless you actually have nothing left of an item you need.
- no magazines, coffee that you don't make yourself, books (this great country has free libraries) Packed lunch or supermarket sandwiches.
- beat down all bills with comparison sites. As you live in sweaty London your heating bill should not be huge.
- posh mobile phones, non-freeview TV and mobile internet are luxuries. £10 PAYG phones for you both.
oh, and have some free fun. This weekend and next you can see lots of stuff in London for zilch, nada, nothing. Look up London Open house and heritage weekend.
Your DH needs to man up. Sign up for internet banking with a paper statement. Going through all direct debits and cancel the unnecessary ones.
hi, I found this a brilliant starting place in becoming debt free:
it gives you a clear idea of where you are at now.
once you have filled in the numbers, go through it one by one, and get rid or reduce by whatever means you can. Think carefully about things you need versus things you want.
Start a spending diary-every day write down every penny you spend, makes you think.
there are free apps you can use or just pen and paper.
stock take food and drink before making a meal plan and shopping list.
use cashback sites, for insurances and general shopping.
If you have satellite tv / mobile phone tariffs to pay, try either cancelling and use freeview /pay as you go, or ring provider and ask I f you can reduce prices at all.
try dropping a brand at the supermarket, try the value lines as well, some of them taste no different to the branded stuff.
have a separate bank account to your other half, and be mindful of any joint debts you have.
you can do this , but it would be easier/fairer/more enjoyable if you did it as a team.
Thanks for all your lovely and helpful comments!
I have got YNAB now and it has completely changed my thinking! The house move is going badly (there's a thread in chat about it...) but things should look up then.
The kind of 'building blocks' of our finances need to change but I have kept on at DH and he seems to be coming round. I felt bad today as I'd hired cheap(ish) removal men from Anyvan and I tipped them a tenner - usually I'd tip £20 for something like that but I knew it'd be coming out of somewhere else if I did that! Sloooow progress but getting there.
My DH finds it hard to tell people we're short of money but I'm making him turn down some invitations so this works.
have you got a deposit due to be returned to you from your current house?
We do, but I bet they take a chunk off for marks on the carpet etc.
no, there is a proper deposit arbitration scheme and has been since 2007. 'they' don't just 'take chunks off'.
If there is any non wear-and-tear damage, the deductions take into account the life of the item. So unless you've wrecked a brand new carpet, the landlord will get only a proportion of the value of the carpet related to its age and the area of damage. This usually equates to almost nothing. It WILL be nothing if it is just wear and tear.
Special that is GREAT news! We have spent the week cleaning like mad (and it wasn't bad to start with) to make it look at good as possible.
The inventory checker said it was a 'good domestic clean' and the only things he'd marked us down for we're snapping a handle off a window and a crack in the milk compartment of the fridge. He didn't show me the form do I don't know what was actually written but fingers crossed we will get the vast majority back.
We worked so hard scrubbing the window edges with a toothbrush, repainting scuffs and cleaning everything so I felt like we deserve it!
It's a 1960s London concrete-y flat so is looking a bit past it's best now and is a bit mouldy even in summer with regular mould treatments.
Trainer - a hint from an inventory clerk to me once, if they want to claim for something, check how much it would be secondhand, eg on Ebay, and offer that in settlement.
The things aren't NEW, so they can't claim new prices. It's amazing how cheaply second hand things can be on Ebay etc.
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