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Huge row over savings - who's in the wrong? I think 50/50? :(

(111 Posts)
MoneyMoneyProblems Sun 20-Oct-13 10:59:54

Long story short. DH is terrible with money. Has never had any savings and when I met him he was overdrawn. I helped him get out of his O/D, then he went clothes shopping and went into his O/D again - he just doesn't get it!

When we married we pooled finances and I am in charge of it all, spending, saving etc. We had a plan that every year (April to April) we will save £x000.

Last April we made target. Since then we have actually saved nothing, but I have budgeted to save like mad between now and next March so we will still hit target come April.

DH has just found out we have saved nothing since April and is FURIOUS. But, the reasoning for this is every month we have spent little bits here and there, that have swallowed up any potential savings for that month. Mostly however, we had an amazing holiday over summer where we totally went above budget. I must say that this was largely down to DH's spending on clothes, he likes expensive items, and he works so hard and I feel like such a nag if I say "no you can't have it!" or "no we can't go to the cinema or visit Starbucks this month!" He doesn't like being told no, but I DO admit I should have been firm, said "we can't afford it" about things, and saved every month.

Also I admit it's not just him buying things, I have had bits and pieces here and there too.

BUT we have had a huge row and we're not speaking. He fails to see how we have saved nothing and is basically asking me, "where has it all gone", implying that I've been spending 100s on the lottery or something! I have shown him the last few months of credit card bills but he just doesn't see it. He doesn't get it.

Who is BU and how can we fix this? sad

DeckSwabber Sun 20-Oct-13 12:09:19

Its certainly a shared responsibility.

My ex was hopeless with money as well and just threw bank statements in the bin unopened. Once when I 'booked in' some time to talk through finances he turned on the telly, lay down on the floor in front of it with a beer and said, 'so what do you want to talk about?'. He also used to do most of his spending in cash so it was hard to know where the money was actually going (a growing music collection in the corner was a big clue). So I know how frustrating it is.

I think more regular checking of the account is needed. Daily if necessary.

Could you transfer the planned savings amount at the beginning of the month (or payday) so that your account looks less healthy?

Identify treats and find a cheaper alternative? eg cinema night becomes DVD night with home made popcorn? Have 'cheap eats' nights where you have to feed everyone for £1?

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 20-Oct-13 12:11:26

I agree with sneezecakesmum. This is a teamwork & conflict resolution problem. You have an income, various fixed expenditures, a savings goal ...... and you're not sticking to the plan because of discretionary spending getting out of hand. As a team you should be able to agree a budget and keep to it without it being one person giving or withholding money from the other and without it descending into a big argument.

I'd suggest four accounts... a joint one for household expenses, small personal accounts each for personal spends, and a joint savings account that you 'pay first' with a standing order.

Helennn Sun 20-Oct-13 12:19:56

Dont take on all the blame for this. He has happily left it all to you, has enjoyed a fabulous holiday this summer and enjoyed buying other such luxuries. Has he once checked if you could afford this? Has he once asked how the savings were going?

Sounds like he wants it all ways, and when it doesn't happen he can absolve himself of guilt by blaming it on you. Horrible man!

Nagoo Sun 20-Oct-13 12:20:45

So when he wants something he puts it on the credit card. And then it's your responsibility to make sure it's paid off? He sees no relationship between what he spends and what you have left to save?

You should have told him his overspending meant you had no savings. You are protecting him from that reality, and preventing him from being able to make an informed decision.

By becoming the manager, you've taken on he responsibilty to guide, inform and also override him. If he doesn't like it, he's going to have to be his own boss.

MoneyMoneyProblems Sun 20-Oct-13 12:36:18

Has he once checked if you could afford this? Has he once asked how the savings were going?

No, never.

You should have told him his overspending meant you had no savings. You are protecting him from that reality, and preventing him from being able to make an informed decision.

Yes, I know.. I realise that now.


Just tried to talk to him. I said I was sorry that I should have flagged where we were overspending. I used the line about we had ringfenced money but obviously the lock wasn't strong enough! I said I will be more form in future in not letting us spend money where we don't have it to spend.

I suggested that we sit down on his and my pay days and we look at the spreadsheet to see where we are. I have suggested he has the savings in his name so he can see I am not doing anything dodgy with it. Finally, I suggested that as it's payday tomorrow, we itemise every single thing we spend this month. Then we can see where it goes. None of this seemed to appeal to him.

He said that he can't see how we have been spending THAT much money. I said, but it all adds up, the treats, the clothes, the presents, trips to the corner shop... he said, but they are one offs! We haven't bought THAT many clothes etc etc... He just doesn't see that it all adds up!!

MoneyMoneyProblems Sun 20-Oct-13 12:38:52

firm not form.

In the end I said look I just don't think you understand the cost of living, how all these treats add up. I said I will (and he should) itemise every little thing this month so that we can see where it goes. I said maybe it was a good thing this had happened as now we can share the responsibility more.

It was quite a one-sided conversation! He just kept repeating that he could not believe that we have saved NOTHING in the last five months.

Thing is we have put the money in the savings but then pulled it out to pay off the CC.

Dededum Sun 20-Oct-13 12:43:11

MMP - I do wonder if men like this need specialist counselling? There is definitely a black spot in my DP's understanding of finances, however much we talk about it.

I can make sacrifices in my personal spending but if he doesn't then one ends thinking 'Why the f**k do I bother?' because the pain isn't shared.

DeckSwabber Sun 20-Oct-13 12:44:29

Mr Micawber's famous recipe for happiness:

"Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen [pounds] nineteen [shillings] and six [pence], result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery."

Even £1/day adds up to £365 a year, either frittered away or saved.

MoneyMoneyProblems Sun 20-Oct-13 12:46:00

There is a definite black spot with him, and TBF I was forewarned. Like I said when we first got together, I will never forget how finally we had sorted out the never ending mess that is overdraft fees and interest... he had a budget all in place... then he went and bought a top which pushed him over his agreed o/d, cue all the fees and charges again! And he was just totally blase!

MoneyMoneyProblems Sun 20-Oct-13 12:47:11

I know Deck! The irony is that we are in no debt and we should still reach £x target next spring! So reeeally he can't be too peeved surely?!

MoneyMoneyProblems Sun 20-Oct-13 12:48:16

Definitely definitely doing the itemised thing this month, and probably up to Christmas if necessary. I think he needs to see the cost of groceries etc. He seems to think we have all this spare cash sloshing around AND still manage to save, but no not really...

Hatpin Sun 20-Oct-13 12:48:20

And that is why you must stop using the credit card.

Cash back or no, the credit card means you overspend, whereas the 4 account scenario will give you better control.

DeckSwabber Sun 20-Oct-13 12:48:48

That is weird behaviour.

Hatpin Sun 20-Oct-13 12:49:11

And no overdraft facility on your personal accounts.

MoneyMoneyProblems Sun 20-Oct-13 12:51:01

Agreed, no CC spendingsmile

DeckSwabber Sun 20-Oct-13 12:51:11

Are you saving up for something in particular?

To be honest I would worry that even if you get to your target your husband will simply blow it all come April.

Make sure its locked up, maybe a high interest fixed bond.

MoneyMoneyProblems Sun 20-Oct-13 12:53:04

It's for a deposit, ultimately (i.e. after a few years), so he would get served with papers if he blew it haha.

MoneyMoneyProblems Sun 20-Oct-13 12:53:26

We just broke up the final savings target down into yearly ones to make it seem less scary.

FunkyBoldRibena Sun 20-Oct-13 12:57:45

Get netflix and a coffee machine.

It does seem like he thinks you're sneaking money away to pay for fripperies without telling him. Ask him directly - does he think you're lying? I'd be very wary of putting the savings in his account btw.

MoneyMoneyProblems Sun 20-Oct-13 13:01:03

Don't worry, I offered to put him in charge but I knew he'd say no!!

He says he doesn't think I'm lying... In which case where does he think the money's going?! hmm

Preciousbane Sun 20-Oct-13 13:03:08

A joint savings account with both of you as signatories seems a good idea.

KittiesInsane Sun 20-Oct-13 13:03:18

Why are you putting the savings in his name, if he has form for spending them all?

MummytoMog Sun 20-Oct-13 13:06:30

I have a lot of sympathy for you - and well done for having no debt, we have loads (directly attributable to having a credit card grrr and mostly my fault tbh) but as we've just increased our mortgage and need to pay to fit a new kitchen, I've really been cutting down on our food shopping and bills. Then OH will go out for dinner three times in one week and bye bye budgeting. Argh. I've never yet been able to explain to him in a way he can understand that going to the mini market every day for 'odds and ends' is not a cost effective way of doing food shopping. Getting to the point where I want an account set up for all bills, and then an account I let him use. He has never checked our personal account in the last few years, I'm the one who has to look at the massive overdraft and work out where the money can go.

MoneyMoneyProblems Sun 20-Oct-13 13:06:48

He's being unresponsive and moody now. What more does he want me to say? Or suggest??

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