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Husband's attitude to money is stressing me out.

(10 Posts)
oscarwilde Thu 21-Mar-13 12:10:53

So as not to drip feed
We do all the right stuff - have a shared account that both our salaries go into, take a monthly allowance from it to spend as we please on personal stuff (though he often spends money on the credit card on personal items which then need to be covered out of family money. If I'm honest I resent it as I am v strict with my own money) and the remainder is "family money". We mostly agree on what that should be spent on - most of it goes on mortgage, bills etc like everyone else.
What is left over is the issue, it's always committed to paying something off. We have markedly different approaches. I am a saver and my DH likes to spend, spend, spend. Usually before the cash is there and always on the basis of we can afford to repay it so why not have it now. He's the ultimate instant gratification guy.

We've recently had some significant expenditure as we moved house and had to gut it, ran quite a bit over budget and we have wiped out all of our savings including a substantial sum received as part of a redundancy payout. There's still stuff to do but it's not urgent and could easily wait a year or two. I would prefer to get a buffer back in the bank before committing to anything else. I'd also like to be realistic about the timescales for getting to this nirvana.

At the moment, I find my husband constantly surfing expensive home decor sites looking at replacing existing perfectly good items [bbq, furniture etc]. I feel like I am always the person saying no, we should wait. I am the higher earner of the two of us and it is stressing me out as I makes me feel more and more pressured.
On a practical level how do you manage the difficult relationship question of money where you don't "control" the purse-strings? I don't want to control the purse strings but my attempts to moderate his spending are failing miserably.
I've tried sitting him down with a spreadsheet of our budget but he doesn't want to know because between us, we always manage to come up with the cash. Claims he is the "big picture" guy which drives me up the wall as he has no idea what our household bills are most of the time and is happy to sail close to the wind financially all the time. We have a large mortgage but no huge debt otherwise.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 21-Mar-13 12:35:10

"he often spends money on the credit card on personal items which then need to be covered out of family money."

I'd have thought this is the wrinkle in what sounds like an otherwise good system. Paying off his personal credit card with family money effectively means he's got free rein on the joint savings.... which is a problem if he has no sense. He has personal money to spend so, if he wants new BBQs or whatever, how about making it that this is the source of the cash? If he uses his personal credit card it has to be covered by his personal money...

Alibabaandthe40nappies Thu 21-Mar-13 12:42:58

Argh that would piss me off no end, but if he won't see then he won't see.

What are your financial goals? Ie. how many months income do you want saved, how much into retirement funds (not necessarily a pension) and so on?

We have a decent income and it is tempting to think 'ooh let's get that now and we can pay for it on payday next week/fortnight', but actually that leaves you very vulnerable.

Can you negotiate a percentage to go into savings, and some to be put into a pot to spend?
We divide our disposable income up into 75% into savings and 25% for spending. This is after the allocation for food, stuff for the DCs, money aside for car costs and repairs, and our own personal spending money is taken out. Holidays would come out of the 25% - so we don't spend it all every month else it would never build up!

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 21-Mar-13 12:49:10

Expanding on the Alibababa's idea to put a percentage of disposable income into savings, how about setting up a savings pot that is difficult to access? Some accounts, for example, you can deposit via DD or Standing Order but withdrawals have to be in writing. Others, like fixed term bonds, are quite difficult to get the cash out of until they mature. Yet more have stiff penalties for early withdrawal. If you go the Unit Trusts/Stocks & Shares ISAs route there's a delay to get money back, commission to pay etc.

If you can genuinely shrug your shoulders and say.... 'can't pay off your CC this month love because the money's tied up '.... it might curb his enthusiasm.

OwnedByACockerSpaniel Thu 21-Mar-13 15:46:57

Oh my DH used to be terrible at money managment, we would have nothing left in the pot at the end of the month sad What we did with mutual agreement, as he knew he was bad with money was open an account for him, I would then Send over £150 for him to spend as he wishes.

I know it sounds like I give him pocket money, but it was something we agreed on as he could see his own flaws. If we go on holiday or to an event and we are together then it all comes out of the joint account, but to save my sanity and our savings I give him a set amount. If he needs more then I give it, but I do ask "for what?" If he says boys night out he can have it if he says "because I need another 40 superdry t-shirts because the 90 I already have is not enough" hmm I try and reason with him, and convince him he does not need it.

However it was something we BOTH agreed would be the best option, it was totally mutual, and if he turned round and said "I don't like this arrangment anymore" we would stop it without question. He seems quite happy about i though and often jokes about "getting his pocket money"

OwnedByACockerSpaniel Thu 21-Mar-13 15:48:22

he drew the line at doing chores for it though grin #joking!!

oscarwilde Fri 22-Mar-13 10:18:06

Ownedby Lovely suggestion - he'd have a fit [he does properly pull his weight apart from the floorderobe situation] grin
It's a joint credit card but the bank insists that it's in one name and it's in mine. He therefore can't view the balances and see it creeping up (so can plead ignorance re the escalating numbers), but if we put it in his name, experience has told us that it gets out of hand.

Goals are probably the issue as they need resetting. Once there's a target that he is fully bought into he's much more careful with money. Problem is that we both have good jobs and decent pension schemes so the attitude seems to be that long term financial planning seems to be something we should get around to in our 50's....Argh - I'm going to have to sit him down again and play the boring killjoy spouse. Sick of it.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Fri 22-Mar-13 10:22:07

I would tell him that you are really sick of it, that it is eroding your respect for him that he can't behave like a grown up with money.

If you are both earning well and have pension schemes, then you could be in a really great position in a few years. Have you got DCs? What are your plans in respect of education, helping them onto the property ladder?

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 22-Mar-13 10:29:41

How about withdrawing his card from your credit card account and he has his own with a very small borrowing limit instead? Or even one of those pre-pay cards where he deposits the money in advance. He needs to manage this himself which he can't do if it's in your name. Limited credit for which he is 100% responsible might be the way forward.

hermioneweasley Fri 22-Mar-13 10:35:45

Agree that shared goals is a good way forward

TBH I have no idea how people cope with differing attitudes and values towards money as I am hugely grateful that DW and I are both tight!

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