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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.

CailinDana Fri 06-Sep-13 20:00:27

What does he think?

Squitten Fri 06-Sep-13 20:02:16

So he was working earlier this year in a good job? What happened to it?

Loveyouthree Fri 06-Sep-13 20:09:32

Cailin - he's even offered to give me his card before so he couldn't spend. I don't think he sees it. But then he's not been in a relationship before so he might just think this is all normal.

Squitten - made redundant (was only temporary but he worked away and earnt quite a lot, by our standards anyway. That money is all gone now - he doesn't do saving!)

expatinscotland Fri 06-Sep-13 20:10:14

'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!'

Who the fuck forgets to pay rent and council tax? My DH is severely dyslexic and dyspraxic and has never forgotten to pay council tax for months on end or forgot to pay rent. He has an alarm on his phone that reminds him.

Nagoo Fri 06-Sep-13 20:13:08

It depends what he thinks about it. It doesn't sound like either of you are swimming in cash. If you are skint, then you have to watch the money, and if you are better at it, then it makes sense for you to take charge.

I boss DH about a bit re: money, I tell him to switch his CC balance, and set up standing orders, I ban him from using the joint account to buy pasties or whatever it is he spends a million pounds on a tenner at a time. I don't want to be in debt so I make sure he isn't.

Loveyouthree Fri 06-Sep-13 20:14:08

Expat - well, quite. He is very forgetful. Even forgot the year our daughter was born once when he nipped her to the minor injuries unit!

Doesn't have a direct debit set up so has to ring up on the 1st and pay.

Loveyouthree Fri 06-Sep-13 20:16:08

Nagoo, I feel so much less 'abusive' now! You sound just like me. I usually say to OH:

'I might be tight with money, but if we were both like you we'd have nothing!'

And he agrees.

quietlysuggests Fri 06-Sep-13 20:16:59

I think you sound mean to him and on that basis, I think your relationship is not good. You sound like you don't like him, you certainly don't trust him and you don't treat him like an adult.

expatinscotland Fri 06-Sep-13 20:17:31

There is really no excuse, though, Love, especially nowadays a phone or tablet can remind you. Or if you know you will forget you DD.

But it sounds like he's utterly worthless with money, to the point of risking homelessness, and would blow everything you have, which isn't much

expatinscotland Fri 06-Sep-13 20:18:47

'You sound like you don't like him, you certainly don't trust him and you don't treat him like an adult'

But he cannot be trusted. To even pay rent. To the point where they nearly lost their home.

Sorry, OP, I don't know what to say because I wouldn't have gone very far with someone that ridiculous.

Loveyouthree Fri 06-Sep-13 20:19:43

Quietly - I agree in part. I hate myself for not treating him like an adult or trusting him. What do you advise?

expatinscotland Fri 06-Sep-13 20:20:20

' 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.'

Which you can't afford!

Loveyouthree Fri 06-Sep-13 20:22:58

Expat - I told him this!

He knew the job was temporary, yet bought two iPads (one each!)!! I begged him not to.

He's now suggesting I sell his iPad. Hmm.

NatashaBee Fri 06-Sep-13 20:31:17

I don't think you are being unreasonable to keep an eye on things and ensure that he pays essential bills so that they don't get forgotten - I think that's justified given his history.

Other things, like not giving him money for cigarettes, demanding to know how much money he has left, and him 'owing' you the money for the removal van, are a bit more of a grey area. If you were rolling in money and insisting he paid his share on principle - probably unfair. If money is tight and you are having to watch the pennies, then it's justified. It sounds like it's the latter.

But do you really want to be mothering him and keeping an eye on the pennies forever? I couldn't live like that, but I couldn't relinquish control back to someone who'd made that much of a mess with money in the past. Do you involve him in financial planning at all - sit down and go through a spreadsheet with him to show him what has to be paid and when?

quietlysuggests Fri 06-Sep-13 20:38:46

I suggests you together work out your budget, and that he gets x amount per week to spend as sees fit, without having to explain himself to you. Even if it is 10 pounds a week, he should not have to beg for 3 quid.

Loveyouthree Fri 06-Sep-13 20:42:26

Thanks, could try that, quietly.

Portofino Fri 06-Sep-13 20:47:22

I would share the money incoming, pay the bills, maybe save a bit if you can afford it, then divvy up what is left so you both have the same. I cannot understand any other way unless you are mega rich and have to think about tax planning.

Portofino Fri 06-Sep-13 20:48:07

And that goes for any level of income/set up.

JumpingJackSprat Fri 06-Sep-13 20:48:21

If bills are (now) taken care of and youre asking him to justify every pound and giving him stress when he asks to borrow money then quite possibly you are yes. What about paying all bills out of a joint account then you each get the same amount of money to spend on yourselves - if he chooses to spend it on fags thats up to him but dont hassle him about it. i wouldnt be asking my partner to pay me back for a removal van either. are you a couple or arent you?

Loveyouthree Fri 06-Sep-13 20:50:06

Portofino- that's where I think I have a big problem. I don't 'get' joint accounts; I think every little transaction would piss me off. Even he agrees with this!

I like having my own money. I am a very selfish person, and I don't know why. OH is much more generous.

springytufty Fri 06-Sep-13 20:51:50

You sound like his mum tbh. Passion killer if there ever was one hmm

He does sound lovely though, I can quite see why you want to make it work with him - he knows he has a problem and is completely open about admitting it. How about him doing a course to learn how to manage his finances? There's plenty around. I'd make it a condition of your continuing relationship - then you won't have to be a hitler because he'll start carrying his own weight financially: win/win.

Loveyouthree Fri 06-Sep-13 20:52:12

Jumping - I suppose its because I used the money I'd saved for my car tax etc on this removal van. As usual he said he would have the money then at the last minute didn't. And I will need to tax my car!

springytufty Fri 06-Sep-13 20:54:49

You both sound lovely, actually - both prepared to admit you've got a problem.

It may be that you're a tight-arse because he's so hopeless. Can you imagine having a joint account with someone who put moreorless the same into the pot?

Loveyouthree Fri 06-Sep-13 20:55:05

Springy - tell me about it. I feel disgusting in myself (rarely get a break from clingy, breastfeeding baby!) but thankfully OH is still crazy about me. I don't know why.

I did recommend a budgeting course that was on at the local college but he's v shy re things like that. Maybe I'll bring it up again?

springytufty Fri 06-Sep-13 20:55:56

btw living off JSA is a nightmare. There is nothing spare at all.

Loveyouthree Fri 06-Sep-13 20:57:27

Springy - o thank you, I didn't expect that! I suppose a joint acc in those circs would be easier.

Portofino Fri 06-Sep-13 20:57:28

We have a joint account and a credit card each, one that can have a positive balance. A personal account would be the same I guess. All money coming in goes to the joint account. We pay the the bills, put some in savings, put some away for dd, holiday fund etc. Then we put an amount on the individual cards. So I never fret about Dh buying shit - he can spend HIS money however he wants without negative effect on anyone else.

springytufty Fri 06-Sep-13 21:00:14

Too bad if he's shy - would he be 'too shy' to be on his arse?

This ain't going to go away - he has to deal with it. He wants to be a decent sort and this is the way: do the course. Or you're going to have to chuck him out. You can't live like this for ever (and you will unless he addresses it - like, properly, not half-hearted).

MissStrawberry Fri 06-Sep-13 21:01:00

What you say are the bad ide of him is not as bad as what you are doing to him imo.

So yes, you are being abusive to him.

Portofino Fri 06-Sep-13 21:01:21

Box set of The Prisoner anyone ? wink

MissStrawberry Fri 06-Sep-13 21:02:13

"keep making him happy"

Are you sure you are making him happy already??

Loveyouthree Fri 06-Sep-13 21:04:20

Missstrawberry- I possibly am. I wish I could be more laid back. But what should I do?

I did send him £100 a few weeks ago... Trying to help I guess. But I do buy everything for the kids, the food etc and pay for some bills. I need to know I have money In the bank, if that makes sense?!

We're very lucky in that we live in such a cheap place in the country that housing benefit covers or full rent with him out of work (although he desperately wants to be in work!) so that's one less worry atm.

MissStrawberry Fri 06-Sep-13 21:04:49

But you say you had takeaways as much as you wanted. So you also spend money you don't have?

Loveyouthree Fri 06-Sep-13 21:06:34

He seems happy... And I can tell when he isn't!

Aahh it's hard... I know I'm too tight with money. I've just been seriously let down by every boyfriend I've ever had and wasted far too much money on them so now unfortunately OH is paying the price (literally) confused

springytufty Fri 06-Sep-13 21:06:38

Does he have issues with numbers btw? a good friend of mine has just admitted that she has always had problems with numbers, but has never told anyone. She's in her 50s. (she's done ok, considering she's never been quite sure about money/numbers)

springytufty Fri 06-Sep-13 21:09:02

woh, hang on a minute: you pay for everything?? I said JSA was a nightmare, but only when you're actually trying to pay your way - like pay your electricity bill, buy food. If you're paying for everything, what is he spending his money on?

Loveyouthree Fri 06-Sep-13 21:09:08

Yes. I admit, I'm pretty bad with money sometimes.

But the bills in my name are never ever late.
I don't have a single debt.

Loveyouthree Fri 06-Sep-13 21:10:58

Springy- no he does have some bills in his name. And the debt management plan. The rest goes on random things I suppose - drinks, food, but for us both.

Like I said at the minute things seem ok re money. Taking one day at a time, but touch wood. I just wanted to change my attitude towards it.

littlemisssarcastic Fri 06-Sep-13 21:13:11

I don't understand why you think he owes you £70 for the removal van.

Apart from that, anyone could be forgiven for thinking you are mother and child.

I can't imagine how damaging that must be for both of you, to be in a relationship like that.

Do you only mother him where finances and appointments are concerned? Or do you organise his whole life?

littlemisssarcastic Fri 06-Sep-13 21:14:52

How many DC do you have OP?

springytufty Fri 06-Sep-13 21:16:05

Perhaps you could do the course together?

I record every purchase. yy that's a bit ott (comes from being poor in the past) but at least I know what is going on/where. You also get to see that there's more available than you realised. If you get a plan, all the angst goes: you know exactly how much you've got and how much left over. No guilt, no worry, no touching wood that you'll somehow get through.

Liara Fri 06-Sep-13 21:18:09

It's tricky.

DH was always hopeless with money. Wouldn't pay bills, spent a small fortune, never knew how much money was in the account, you name it.

I wanted separate accounts (we both earned very good money at the time), as I was keen to save more that he wanted to.

He felt like separate accounts would be akin to us not being married, so agreed to do things on my terms. I said I wanted the mortgage paid off by x date, made him budget all the expenditures and have a right to veto anything he wants to buy. I would regularly go through the bank account and ask him to justify anything that stood out to me.

Some of our friends were pretty shock at the way I treated him about money at the time.

Over time, however, he has come to be much more careful with money and he is now very appreciative of my making him do that, specially as it has meant we could quit the high paying but awful jobs and switch to a lifestyle that suits us much better (but where cash is always short).

Loveyouthree Fri 06-Sep-13 21:18:22

We have three children.

I do organise a lot for him! I could stop. But then, what if things didn't happen? I'm a worrier!

And thanks springy.

Loveyouthree Fri 06-Sep-13 21:20:33

Liara, that's a nice story. Thank you. It does sound mental to outsiders doesn't it? But there not the ones panicking because a bill hasn't been paid. And I don't want to leave him over this, I want to work through it instead.

littlemisssarcastic Fri 06-Sep-13 21:23:53

So out of his JSA, he pays the bills and the food/drink for you both?

You said in your OP that 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.

Later, you said no he does have some bills in his name. And the debt management plan. The rest goes on random things I suppose - drinks, food, but for us both.

I'd imagine there's not much of anything left after paying bills, food and drink to enable him to pay you what he owes you for the removal van. confused

MariaLuna Fri 06-Sep-13 21:23:58

Forgot to sign on a few times last year


He didn't "forget". He is just not taking responsibility for his own life and "shyness" about going to college to learn how to organise your finances (= life) is not an excuse either if he has children to support.

No, of course you are not financially abusive if you need to keep a roof over your head and food on the table for your children and yourself.

Please. Stop enabling him by giving him money for cigarettes. Let him go cold turkey. It may kick his ass into action.

You say you have a couple of hundred in the bank. What when that's gone?

Why did he not save money when he had a job instead of blowing it on "tat"?

I couldn't live like that with a child to bring up.

Loveyouthree Fri 06-Sep-13 21:27:00

Sarcastic - when we moved, he had the good job. He just spent his money and forgot to tell me as per.

I meant food as in, a block of chocolate as a treat. I do all the food shopping.

Loveyouthree Fri 06-Sep-13 21:29:15

Maria - I did want him to go cold turkey but at the same time it's shit living with a moody, snappy craving person. It's like he has a personality transplant.

I don't know why he didn't save the money. I hinted at maybe he should on several occasions but it did get frittered away.

littlemisssarcastic Fri 06-Sep-13 21:32:40

I could not live with someone I could not trust with money to that extent.
Your DC could have lost their home because he forgot to pay the rent!!

In order to ensure your relationship works, you will have to spend your life being the parent, taking the responsibility where he wont/can't.

TBH, I wouldn't want to be in his position either.

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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