Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

Money, equality, feeling shit about it

(63 Posts)
howmuchdidyouspendonthattelly Sun 06-Oct-13 15:16:10

Have n/c for this. Need to offload.

DS1 just accidentally broke the new tv. We've only had it a few weeks. The previous one was perfectly good, but DH does like his tech, and decided to upgrade to something better. I stayed out of the purchasing decision - not interested in things like this, so I let him get on with it, as I do with all tech decisions in the house.

He's just revealed that the tv actually cost £1400. I had no idea. He spent his work bonus on it. And it's looking like it may not be covered on the insurance.

I'm sitting here feeling gutted because I've been worrying about our finances for months now. Worrying about covering the standing orders that come out of my account (music lessons for the children, repayment of large overpayment of child tax credits from years back, my phone contract, about a third of the food budget, and all my clothes and personal expenses). I can't afford to get my teeth looked at, or my glasses replaced, even though my eyesight has changed and I'm struggling with my old glasses. I'm a SAHM and I don't turn the heating on all day no matter how cold it gets, despite being hypothyroid and very anaemic, so always cold and tired. I buy my clothes from charity shops, get my hair done twice a year (£35 quid), and rarely go out. The house is a shit heap - we're still sleeping on a broken old bed I bought off ebay years ago, have no curtains in our bedroom, nowhere to hang our clothes apart from one old ikea wardrobe and a hanging rail. DH in the mean time has bought a MacBook, the TV, and has spent about £900 on shoes in the past 2 years.

We've somehow fallen into a pattern of dysfunctional spending and I don't know how to deal with it. I earn 12K a year working part-time and he earns 65K. I know the answer is for me to work more so I have more money that I control, but I just feel I can't. My health isn't great - I'm very, very tired all the time and can't get to the bottom of what's wrong, despite repeated doctor visits. I find my part-time work, my 3 dc's (one of who has autism), the house and the dog about as much as I can cope with. I just feel I couldn't cope with working any more than I am now.

I've never, ever commented on DH's spending so much money on tech, shoes and clothes because I feel guilty about working part-time, when he has a full-time, challenging management job that he doesn't massively enjoy. I've always felt that not having material things for myself is a price I'm willing to pay not to feel pressured to work any more than I am at present. But now I've lost my child benefit payment and my work is unreliable (I'm self employed, and have lost a few important contracts this year. Next year I'm likely to earn less than I am now) I'm constantly worrying about paying my bills, and it seems to me all wrong that I should be fretting about covering my standing orders for the kids music lessons, while he is spending £400 on a pair of shoes.

I feel so disempowered by the whole situation. I'm frightened to raise the subject with DH because I'm worried he's going to come out with something which will make me resent him. Or put me under pressure to work more, which I feel I can't do. :-(

RandomMess Sun 06-Oct-13 15:19:47

Erm you do all the childcare and the lions share of cooking & cleaning? So you don't work part time then do you, you both work full time.

You are married and you should have joint and equal access to money of the marriage!!!!

pantsonbackwards Sun 06-Oct-13 15:24:47

You two should really be talking about this stuff!

My dh and i discuss anything that costs more than 10 quid because we don't have much money.

It sound ridiculous that he makes such big purchases and you can't afford much but i can't tell if its because you don't actually talk about it and so he doesn't know how skint you are.

OhBabyLilyMunster Sun 06-Oct-13 15:33:39

Over 65k and you cant afford new clothes? Something is amiss, im afraid. Are you/ he in debt?

Offred Sun 06-Oct-13 15:33:56

You are being quite badly financially abused, one of the reasons this CHB cut was such an awful idea. sadsad

The money he earns should be shared with you, surely he must see you struggling?!

Could you maybe call women's aid for a bit of support?

ihearsounds Sun 06-Oct-13 15:35:33

How dense does he have to be to not realise that other things need to be bought? Even without having a chat, he should be aware of his surroundings to realise the bed is broken, no space to hand clothes and no curtains at the window.

Why are you paying for all the activities? Why isn't he putting his hand in his pocket? Come to think about it, why haven't you got access to more money full stop?

Boohoo he has a demanding job. Like raising a child with autism isn't demanding. Or raising children in general isn't demanding. He shouldn't be guilt tripping you to do anything. He should be the one to make changes, and stop being such a selfish, self absorbed poor excuse of a provider. He should be putting the needs of his family before his fucking shoes and other shit he deems he wants.

Offred Sun 06-Oct-13 15:35:33

Ohbaby - op has no access to her h'e money. Only her £12k salary.

That aside £65k doesn't go that far after tax for a larger family. We still had to shop in charity shops the year my dh earned around that.

howmuchdidyouspendonthattelly Sun 06-Oct-13 15:35:40

I know we should be talking about it.

The whole child benefit thing has also shaken me.

His response to finding out that we're no longer entitled was to expect me to just stop claiming it, with me losing £1800 out of 'my' income and him carrying on as normal.

"Erm you do all the childcare and the lions share of cooking & cleaning?"

Kids are in school. I have between 9.15 and 2.50 with no children to deal with. My work takes up about 2 days a week max. I have more free time than him, there's no doubt of that, but I don't sit around on my arse except when I'm mumsnetting . I always seem to doing something that needs to be done.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 06-Oct-13 15:36:28

I don't understand the part about finding out something that will make you resent him. If he's blowing all the family money on high-tech crap and leaving you short then you damn well should resent him.

Offred Sun 06-Oct-13 15:37:35

It doesn't matter if you have more free time. He's financially abusing you. What is the rest of the relationship like?

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 06-Oct-13 15:38:34

BTW... you shouldn't have stopped claiming the CHB. If you'd kept claiming they'd have clawed it back via his tax bill. Too late now but another example of financial abuse/misinformation on his part. You need a family meeting about budgets, that's all. Where is the money coming in, where is it going out, what's left in the middle. It's basic stuff.

Offred Sun 06-Oct-13 15:38:37

I think you should re claim the CHB btw and let him self-assess.

Offred Sun 06-Oct-13 15:42:26
howmuchdidyouspendonthattelly Sun 06-Oct-13 15:44:28

"Over 65k and you cant afford new clothes? Something is amiss, im afraid. Are you/ he in debt?"

We live in London. Life is fucking expensive. We have a four bedroom drafty old house, so our heating and lighting bills are big. Also cost of music lessons for kids - about £230 a month. Commuting. The car.

Our only debt is the mortgage and our repayment of tax credits, and my floor loan.

He pays for the mortgage, insurance, food, electric, gas, council tax, most of the kids clothes, school shoes.

I think it's my fault for not being more direct about it. I'm frightened to make an issue of it, because he may tell me he expects me to work more and I feel I can't cope with working more than I am. So I've dodged the whole conversation.

howmuchdidyouspendonthattelly Sun 06-Oct-13 15:45:19

I haven't stopped claiming cb, so now he has to do self-assessment. He's not pleased about it.

howmuchdidyouspendonthattelly Sun 06-Oct-13 15:46:28

"What is the rest of the relationship like?"

Respectful. He's kind, funny, amazing with the children. Patient. Hard working.

It's just this one thing.

DropYourSword Sun 06-Oct-13 15:47:45

I thought marriage was a partnership and you worked as a team. Together. Not him with his large wage while you make do on 1/5 of what he earns.

Offred Sun 06-Oct-13 15:48:06

Oh that's good news.

I don't think it is your fault.

The fact you are frightened to discuss it indicates to me that he is the problem. He is not the boss of you. He cannot expect you do more work just because he happens to earn more and he must have noticed you are struggling.

He sounds awful really.

More worrying really than the apparent financial abuse, is that you are afraid to talk about this to him. Why do you expect him to fail you, why do you expect him to say something you resent unless you know that his keeping you poor is intentional, or that you know he doesn't respect you or your role in the familysad . The reason the cb stopped is because your household income is too high, except you do not have access to the household income, and your dh knows this.

Offred Sun 06-Oct-13 15:48:39

He doesn't sound particularly respectful tbh.

DropYourSword Sun 06-Oct-13 15:48:53

Sorry,I wrote that before your update.

RandomMess Sun 06-Oct-13 15:49:20

Perhaps you just to suggest that you sit down and work out a budget together?

Can you actually afford the house, the music lessons etc.?

Offred Sun 06-Oct-13 15:51:03

He has spent £400 on a pair of shoes and you can't afford dental care or curtains... He wanted you to take the CHB hit and you think his answer will be for you to work more... How is any of that him being respectful?

Offred Sun 06-Oct-13 15:52:10

And "this one thing" is probably the single most important thing in a relationship; equality.

OhBabyLilyMunster Sun 06-Oct-13 15:53:08

You need to sit down together and level on what life actually costs for your household then. Although £230 a month on music lessons sounds a bit off if you cant even afford furniture.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now