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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

Inertia Thu 24-Oct-13 00:24:26

He sounds petulant and demanding.

Don't put the savings in his name only- given his financial history he'll blow the lot.

I would go for a joint account to pay all bills , food shops etc- but not to be used for anything else (maybe an account with no debit card, just DDs / SOs ?)

Then each of you has a personal account with equal amounts of money going on , to be used for treats, clothes etc. The problem here is that he is likely to spend all of his personal money on stuff he wants, then demand you spend yours on meals out and treats for both of you- you might need to plan for that.

I would also have a savings account or ISA for each of you, with a set amount going into the savings before anything is allocated to personal accounts.

LadyLapsang Wed 23-Oct-13 23:22:01

So many of you make your finances so complicated. Nearly 30 years down the line we still have our own accounts and the only spreadsheet is our savings so if one of us should drop down dead the other one knows where the money is. If our undergraduate DS can manage his money with no overdraft (& no student loan this year yet) why can't your partners? Really so many of you sound like you are in a relationship with a child!

clam Wed 23-Oct-13 22:09:40

How old is your husband? He sounds about six - petulant and immature.

"I've shown him... he's still saying, "well you said we would have X by April and so far we have saved nothing. So you say we will now save Y every month until April, how do I know that will happen?"

Yet he's the one who's got his head stuck in the sand. You're not the bloody money fairy who can make this all be better - for him. He needs to grow up and take some responsibility for all this - not rely on you to sort it all out and then have a big baby strop when it doesn't work out, primarily because of HIS attitude towards spending.

HopeClearwater Wed 23-Oct-13 21:56:06

Oops sorry DeDeDum . Good to hear things are getting better.

perfectstorm Tue 22-Oct-13 20:08:54

Sorry, that was phrased in such a garbled way. I hope the sense is discernible anyway. A primary account to pay shared bills, then a savings one with a sum paid in every month from that primary account - then two personal accounts with no overdraft facility, which you can spend as you like. That way he can fritter, but he can't fritter savings, and can't spend what he hasn't got.

It seems really unfair if you've not done most of the the spending, but are being yelled at for not refusing to partake of his suggested family treats, as though his additional extravagances don't count in some way.

perfectstorm Tue 22-Oct-13 20:05:19

OP you need a joint account where only standing orders or jointly signed purchases come out (washing machine, holiday etc) so BOTH signatures are needed - and take savings money from that account into the savings. Then you have individual spends into personal accounts, also from that account, each month... with no possibility of overdrafts on either, I would suggest, given your H's habits. And your own phones, and other truly personal expenses are paid from that as well.

See which one of you builds up a credit balance in their personal account. Hint: it won't be him.

Apart from anything else, it sounds like even when things are going okay the savings come from your going without, while he has treats aplenty.

Dededum Tue 22-Oct-13 17:33:34

Hopewater - That was my post not the OP's - maybe 15 years ago I should have done something about it.

To be fair he supports me unconditionally now I have MS, works bloody hard, earns good money and has no other vices (drink, smoking, gambling, porn, philandering etc..). He had a shit childhood and think these financial issues all stems from that. It's a work in progress but we get stronger not weaker as time goes by....

HopeClearwater Tue 22-Oct-13 15:08:38

he is having to drive my knackered Honda civic. He finds it an affront to his personal dignity

This is a massive red flag! He's bought himself this, that and the other, including a £500 bicycle, and now he's complaining about the car he drives?!!
I'd never have recommended this once, but now I'm an old bag in my 40s, veteran of a difficult marriage, I would start salting away savings of your own that he doesn't know about. This guy will bleed you dry and stop you from saving for the things you want to save for.
Good luck.

NotAsTired Tue 22-Oct-13 13:12:51

It's never easy living with someone who has a completely different view about money to you, especially if the other person is immature about spending.

Pay yourself first. As in put a standing order in place so that x amount goes into savings. Non-negotiable.

Have 2 individual accounts that you pay into. If he is so bad with money, he can open a basic account like Barclays cash card or Co- op cash minder. These accounts won't let him have an overdraft so he is unlikely to get in debt but they do have debit card facilities. Put x amount of money into his account every month. Then he is entirely in charge of his own treats. Maybe it will teach him to budget for things.

If there is any doubt, agree before spending what comes out of family account and what comes out of individual accounts. Eg a bike comes out of his account but a meal out for the family comes out of joint account.

Hopefully, in the mean time, your savings are getting healthier.

You dont mention children?

If you dont have any, I would suggest divorcing him simply because this is not going to get any better. If you ever have children together this is going to get much much worse, as children is a very big expense and commitment. He cant keep overspending with the result that you cant pay nursery fees, or for essentials your child might need.

ThisIsMeToo Tue 22-Oct-13 10:55:01

Btw, I wouldn't want an organisation where he has his saving account and the OP has hers. Because at the end of the day, if they were to get divorced, that money would be divided in half, regardless of the name on the saving account.
What it says is 'you live together, you have shared responsibility for the expenses and shared ownership of the savings'.
So the OP work hard to have some savings whilst her DH would just cruse doing whatever he wants.
And then when something happens, they need a new car, they want to go on hols, the money is going to come out from where? the OP savings! Sorry but that isn't an acceptable arrangement in my eyes.

What really really matters is that he is taking some responsibility of his spending at least.

struggling100 Tue 22-Oct-13 10:53:20

I am concerned that you say that your partner is allowed all these expensive 'treats' - what about you? Does he think that these might come at a cost to your financial partnership, or is it just 'me want'!?

Our solution is a spreadsheet on Google Docs, which is shared by us. At any point, either of us can check exactly how much money we have. Savings money comes out on the 1st of the month and gets transferred into another account at the same bank that can be transferred in instantly. If we are running short, transferring it back requires a conversation. This means that the issue of what we prioritise and what we leave is aired.

However, I think there are differences in spending that you have to accept a little bit. My partner also has a penchant for expensive clothes (his wardrobe is worth a lot more than mine!). He earns more than I do so I tend to give him slack about this, but not to a point where it's really impinging on things like house projects. It does mean that I tend to sacrifice things personally: for my birthday and Christmas presents, I tend to get things that help us as a couple (a food mixer, a raised bed for the garden), whereas he gets personal gifts and clothing. But I don't really mind this too much, and it makes him so happy to have nice things.

ThisIsMeToo Tue 22-Oct-13 10:49:23

What about putting the amount you want to save on a saving account at the start of the month, one where you can't take the money out wo having some penalties.

Have a saving account as a safety net that is always accessible.

And 3 CC. One for general spending, one for your 'personal' spending (ie clothes, cinema, coffee at Costa...) and one for his personal spending.
Agree on how much you can each spend, how much you need for general stuff and keep to it. That way, he will have to see when he is over board and won't be able to put all the responsibility onto you.
And by putting the money aside at the start of the month, there is no risk of spending it.

We also put any money that is left at the end of the month on the saving account. Even if it's £10. Because £10 or so over the year quickly adds up to a couple of hundreds.

thegreylady Tue 22-Oct-13 10:38:54

What has happened is that he has handed the responsibility for savings to you. In his mind that means you will see that it happens and he can do what he likes. We have our savings go in by direct debit every month and it is not an instant access account. If we want to withdraw money it takes 7days. If you do something like that then he can't just spend it.

Squitten Tue 22-Oct-13 10:03:36

There is only one way for you to make your point to this child man. You must seperate out the savings pot. You have yours, which you pay into, and he has his. That way it is utterly crystal clear who is saving (you) and who is not (him).

I honestly think unless you do that, he's just going to coast by on your hard work and you will end up feeling utterly resentful of what he is doing. Cog is right - things like this are what break otherwise good relationships

IamGluezilla Tue 22-Oct-13 09:44:17

Can't believe anyone has given you a hard time OP. Your husband has sabotaged your efforts and see I plenty of evidence he is just immature and selfish. His "why can't we have X when you're earning Y" just says it all really. He feels entitled to a lifestyle he can't afford and by the miracle of his selfishness it is all your fault.

He has obviously a long history of this sort of carry on so I wouldn't be hopeful of a resolution any time soon, but I would be spitting furious.

ThreeTomatoes Mon 21-Oct-13 13:22:15

MorrisZapp - this is one case where a 3rd account really is needed, so that the money for the household/family is ringfenced and managed solely from that account, with standing orders going into it - and DO NOT use that 3rd account for anything else!! That'll give the OP security wrt those important things, and will give her & her DP sole responsibility for their own accounts.

LineRunner Mon 21-Oct-13 09:19:10

OP, how are you today?

I really think you have got the shitty end of the stick in your relationship. Financial compatibility is hugely important and it's bloody stressful where it is absent. I know this from bitter experience.

There are some men who just feel so entitled to spend that they don't choose to think about the effect this is having on their partner, who has to keep bailing them out of what is often, legally, a joint debt.

It's horrible behaviour, really.

MistressIggi Mon 21-Oct-13 09:13:08

Where did he think money for a new washing machine, bike or ridiculous phone bill (the kind of thing a teenager might do) except from savings?
This thread is making me want to open an extra account, we have a joint one for all household expenses but would actually be a better idea to have one for bills/regular debits and another for food shopping, as that tips us over the edge every month. Though, yet another account for me to manage..! (If I died dh would not have a clue where the money is. Or if I left for that matter!)

Lazyjaney Mon 21-Oct-13 08:36:39

Your DH is a grasshopper, a live for today with no thought for tomorrow type, OP. He will probably never manage money responsibly. He has put you in the position of being the nasty bossy person telling him what he can't do, and has abdicated all responsibility. He's probably never going to change, the only thing that will work is limiting his spend and ensuring there is no credit option - probably a separate account with a debit card.

I'd think that going through the last 6 months and looking at where the money has gone may be educational for him.

CuChullain Mon 21-Oct-13 08:30:58

We both have seperate accounts, we both work and quite like our financial independence. I earn more then her, so I pay a larger share of the mortgage, bills, food etc, same goes for holidays and any other joint 'treats'. All those outgoings are tracked on a spreadsheet. In turn if she wants to splurge out on a pair of shoes thats her choice, and equally, she cant criticise me when I buy a new golf club or 'accidently' buy some international rugby tickets.

Walkacrossthesand Mon 21-Oct-13 08:13:57

I take issue with all those saying that OP doesn't have a handle on money. She knows exactly how much spending money they have each month - trouble is, her DH over-rides her on each individual occasion and then blames her when they don't save. The 'mobile phone abroad' thing is very telling, too - he 'knew best' while you were away, but you were right and the phone was racking up charges. That would have been when the row was, for me....

marriedinwhiteisback Mon 21-Oct-13 08:03:47

Oh dear. We have two accounts - one each - and in 25 years have never had a row about money. Because we are both savers. He sounds irresponsible with money to me and I'd be taking stock of the entire arrangement.

MorrisZapp Mon 21-Oct-13 07:57:23

Three accounts? No need. We have one each, his and mine. It works because nobody owes anybody else a penny.

I won't be made to justify spending my own salary.

Joint account would be death.

nkf Mon 21-Oct-13 07:48:35

Neither of you sounds as.if you have a handle ok money tbh.

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