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Am I financially abusive? :s

(70 Posts)
Loveyouthree Fri 06-Sep-13 19:45:10

Name changed.

Me and OH rent together, are not married but have children together. At the minute we are very happy.

However after reading lots of posts on here I'm terrified I'm not treating him right re money. He is currently on JSA while I receive the usual tax credits etc.

I hate him buying things for himself.
If he spends more than a few pounds i ask him to tell me exactly how much he has left and if he can afford the bills.
I have a few hundred sitting in my bank, he has nothing. When he was desperate for some money for cigs (I don't smoke) I took a long time to give him £3.
He 'owes' me £70 as I paid for the removal van to our new house. He is struggling to pay me back.
I take him to sign on some can never forget an appointment.
He could do with some type of transport but I don't really want to put money towards a bike/moped,
I made him cancel a standing order to a charity (he'd only signed up cos he was to embarrassed to say no)
In contrast, when he got quite a good job earlier in the year, he sent me money if I asked for it, sent flowers to my door, bought me a v expensive gift and treated us to meals out/takeaways as often as I wanted it.

On the flip side, he has been fucking terrible with money in the past.
Got involved with wonga etc and is now in a debt management plan.
Used to pay our rent late. Forgot to pay council tax for about 3 months.
Forgot to sign on a few times last year and as a result we got sanctioned.
There are more!

He's trying hard and is much better now but am I right to keep an eye on him (as it were ) or should I just leave him be?

I know I'm a bit of a control freak yes. But last year I saved us from losing our home.

An advice? I want to keep making this guy happy.

expatinscotland Fri 06-Sep-13 21:39:41

Why does he have to go cold turkey? He can get patches and even Champix if he qualifies for it, on the NHS.

thebighouse Fri 06-Sep-13 21:41:04

My bf is like this. Lovely, kind (also shy) - but some sort of butterfingers when it comes to money.

I don't do debt. Ever.

If we live together I know our relationship will be like yours. I worry I'm controlling too! NOt sure what to think about it...

Loveyouthree Fri 06-Sep-13 21:45:03

Expat - tbf, I watched him put a patch on once. Within minutes he was vomiting everywhere and his arm turned red. I don't like smoking but I felt really sorry for him then and didn't think he should us them again. But I was pregnant and weepy!

Thebighouse - it's hard isnt it? You feel like you can't win. Maybe see how good your bf is with saving up for a house with you? If he could commit to that then it's a good start?

thebighouse Fri 06-Sep-13 22:55:08

Loveyou: Yes I think that is sensible. I get the feeling sometimes that he'd actually PREFER me to just take control of it all. :-/

garlicbargain Sat 07-Sep-13 02:30:35

I agree that you both sound like nice people - each aware that you have a problem, and willing to do something about those problems if not always able to. It's also quite handy that your problems are complementary.

But. I would say that you're veering close to abusive/controlling. I'll specify: you're harbouring a grudge over the £70 removal. From this distance, you look slightly insane about that - you wanted him to move, you had the £70 and he didn't. Even if he meant to pay it, the fact is he couldn't have moved in with you if you hadn't paid. It's morally wrong for you to cavil about it. The way you've written about him here is contemptuous at many points. You want to control what he spends his money on, as well as how much. That's infantilising him, at best; abusive at worst.

The big, defining question is: Do you each have an equal amount of 'spending' money? I don't mean things like fares and pizzas, which should be budgeted for, but frittering cash that he might spend on fags where you buy handbags, or whatever your thing might be.

If yes, then give up controlling how he spends his and enjoy your mutually-supportive arrangements. If not - you're behaving selfishly, you're not on 'his team', and I would call you abusive.

garlicbargain Sat 07-Sep-13 02:42:27

Just thinking about this from a personal perspective:-

Most people have some eccentricities in their attitude to money. Some, like me, get a sense of 'mattering', of validation if you like, by spending it. I'm aware of this and manage it, but imperfectly. Some other people get their sense of 'mattering' through using money to buy power, for instance, or to buy ostentatious jewellery. My mum uses money to enhance her prowess at gardening: that's her spending for validation. Yet other people get their sense of validation through money by hoarding it; they feel a sense of mastery by holding their money close.

I get the impression that your DP's somewhat like me: if he can buy daily pleasures with money, be they cigarettes or flowers to make you smile, he feels that all's right with the world and money's working OK for him. Are you a 'hoarder'? If so, your styles are indeed complementary but I think you need a brighter awareness of how it's working. Don't try to make him more like you; use your prudence to allow him to be more like himself smile

cronullansw Sat 07-Sep-13 04:56:00

I'd wait until he repays the $70 he 'owes' you before letting him sleep in the same room as you......

Inconsiderate selfish bastard that he is.

Yes, I'm joking of course, in the same way the OP has to joking about him owing her 70 quid, and her checking how much he's spending each day, because really, she can't be serious - can she?

HappyMummyOfOne Sat 07-Sep-13 13:17:28

Presumably then when he starts working its all his money and you wont want any of it given you dont share any of yours (all be it benefits as you mention no salary).

How on earth can he owe you money for working, if a man made that comment he would be lynched on MN!!

TiredDog Sat 07-Sep-13 13:27:21

This is tricky - I don't think treating a partner in this way is good but I can see why you do.

I struggled massively with an ex who had poor budgeting skills. I controlled all the money to ensure mortgage and other bills were paid. He spent what he liked. I policed. He spent. I policed. So I got to feel like the villain, he got nagged and I had no money because I was always bailing him out

I eventually set up two separate accounts. The bills came from a joint account and surplus was split into these separate accounts. He continued to use the joint credit card (for petrol and food shopping) and spent all of his account...coming to me for extra. He bought me a very expensive Christmas present... On the joint credit card. The debt of my 'present' hung over me for a year

I eventually left him before he dragged us into bankruptcy. Tragic because I'd loved him but I couldn't manage with the stress of his poor money skills

Loveyouthree Sat 07-Sep-13 13:28:08

As I said, I need it back for the car tax soon. I'm not loaded.

And yes, once he's got a job, if the bills etc he agreed to pay are paid, he can do what he likes with any disposable income!

TiredDog Sat 07-Sep-13 13:28:20

When I say he used the joint credit card...I mean he used it for what he wanted rather than just the joint bills sit was intended for

Loveyouthree Sat 07-Sep-13 13:28:28

That was for happymummy

Loveyouthree Sat 07-Sep-13 13:30:30

Tired - that sounds stressful sad

I don't think I could ever have a joint account with him. It would bring credit rating down. Maybe I'll get flamed for that, but credit is important, and I've been really careful and gone without to make sure I don't end up in debt.

Loveyouthree Sat 07-Sep-13 13:31:30

Bring my credit rating down*

WafflyVersatile Sat 07-Sep-13 13:32:43

I can understand where a lot of this comes from if he is bad with money and agrees this is the case. He also asks for your help to curb his spending. In a partnership each person has strengths and weaknesses and I don't think it's a bad thing to accept that we all have our weaknesses and split responsibilities to work around this.

But maybe things could be arranged slightly differently so it's less 'controlly'. What is your joint income? take the necessities from this, agree a personal spending limit for each of you to have separately to spend as you wish and he has full access to this. Once it's gone he needs to rein in his spending to the minimal (eg no nights out) money for short term savings and money for long-term saving for both of you. As you say if you both were like him you would be in financial trouble so it's good IMO for you to have control of financial buffers and savings. but it should be transparent and you should go over budgets together. Maybe more understanding and having to think about it will improve his financial acumen.

It's a bit mean to 'take a long time' to give him some money.

Loveyouthree Sat 07-Sep-13 13:41:52

Waffly - thank you. That's good advice. Joint income at the minute is about 1200 a month. I certainly don't want to be controlly, as it were.

Just thinking... I have a current account I don't use anymore, with a chip and pin card. Maybe we could pool money into there and share the card?

Loveyouthree Sat 07-Sep-13 13:53:50

Ok so just worked out outgoings etc, and currently I have about £100 more left than he does.

So what do i do with that? Anything?

slightlysoupstained Sat 07-Sep-13 14:03:40

If he's that bad with money, I don't recommend learning with a card - it's too abstract.

DP is not great with money & when we were particularly short a few years ago & he had absolutely nothing left after debt repayments, the best way we found of budgeting was to take out £70 every Sunday night and put it in the "shopping wallet" - if either of us was going to get food in, we took that (mostly him so it worked). It did not get topped up again. If it ran out, it ran out. He bought groceries, petrol (for his use), and could spend anything left or we'd put it in jar to save for treats.

Having the reminder every time you open the wallet that "shit, it's Wednesday and only 30 quid left - better put this back then" was helpful. You don't have to keep a running total in your head or remember to look it up and handing over 20 quid LOOKS different to handing over a fiver. (Plus you don't have that "oh they charge for cards if you spend under a tenner, I'll add a bottle of wine to take me over")

Having no discretionary spending money at all is both depressing and also means he has no sense of it disappearing IYSWIM.

WafflyVersatile Sat 07-Sep-13 14:03:54

I wouldn't do the shared card account thing. He'll fritter it by the middle of the month you will both be skint, by the sounds of things.

I'd try to change your mindset from 'I have 100 more than him to after we allocate each other equal personal spending budgets we have £100 left, if your aim is to have stable finances but be less controlly.

Put it into short-term savings/buffer/emergency fund? If it builds up move to long-term? spend it on something fun?!

WafflyVersatile Sat 07-Sep-13 14:04:46

slightly's model sounds sensible.

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