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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

Acinonyx Sun 20-Oct-13 11:07:08

If you have joint finances then you are jointly responsible. It doesn't sound as though either of you are very talented with money - I sympathize as neither are we. I manage the money - and the savings have to be taken at the start of the month not the end or they will be spent. You also both have to be very clear what your disposable income is - we have no purchases over 50 without agreement so I can check whether we can afford it or not. To make this work you need monitor the account probably more often than you do - at least weekly and more often in the last week.

A bit improvement was agreeing not to use a credit card - that really teaches you to spend within your means and save for things.

Acinonyx Sun 20-Oct-13 11:07:55

big improvement - not bit! hmm

Rosa Sun 20-Oct-13 11:10:44

If you can break it down into black and white . Incomingsand outgoings so he can see where the money has gone.

Acinonyx Sun 20-Oct-13 11:12:11

Another thing we have tried with success is working out exactly what our disposable income is after bills and food. This is split 50 50 and I have my bit transferred to a separate account for me (and some for dd). I prefer this as it is so much easier to see where I am with my own spending otherwise the disposable and the bills are just one big pot and intuitively you think you have a lot more than you do. Maybe you both need disposable income accounts - as long as it doesn't lead to more arguments about who pays for what (we are very fluid with ours and I move stuff around when necessary to balance the books). You'd soon see who is spending the money.

MoneyMoneyProblems Sun 20-Oct-13 11:12:55

We only use the credit card because we get cash back, so everything goes on there rather than the debit card. It's paid in full at the end of every month. We have zero debt whatsoever.

I guess I should be stricter with DH and really spell it out to him each month, this is what we have, this is where it's got to go, and this is what we have left. I haven't been doing that really, we have been 'spending' the 'savings' money but I wasn't too fussed as I know by March we will be where we want to be.

He doesn't see it like that though. I don't think he realises how much things like groceries etc cost. He seems to think we always have money spare for shopping or treats etc. I guess that is my fault for just going along with it.

Any idea how I can get us talking again? It was a HUGE row... sad

mammadiggingdeep Sun 20-Oct-13 11:14:27 sound like his mum. So you like having to be the one in total control of the finances? I'd hate it. You're married, it should be a joint thing. How dare he be furious that you've saved nothing...he has totally handed over responsibility to you. I just don't get this set up. Not criticising you, I feel sorry for you that he's do bad with money you've been lumbered with all responsibility. Do you feel like its a burden??

Hatpin Sun 20-Oct-13 11:15:08

Do the three account thing - joint, and one each for personal spending. Savings taken out before you work out personal spends for the month (which should be equal). No credit card spending.

Preciousbane Sun 20-Oct-13 11:19:15

Well if everything is on the CC statement then it is easy to go through and see all purchases. Both DH and I do this as he gets cash back and I get points. Sounds like there has been a lot of blame apportioning going on.

Let him know that instead of arguing about it you both need to go through the statements together and that surely both of you want to turn the situation around and the only way to do this is by discussion.

MoneyMoneyProblems Sun 20-Oct-13 11:20:16

Umm TBH, I don't mind it really. I totally see how I could be his ' mum', or some people might say I'm a control freak, but I've seen and heard of too many instances of women who are 'burned' by not knowing the ins and outs of their money situation.

I like to know exactly where we are with things, I like to know the bills have been paid and all that.

I agree the three account thing is the way to go. I think he needs more visibility of the bills and just to have an idea of how much daily life costs!

PumpkinsPieEyed Sun 20-Oct-13 11:22:31

I think he is the wrong to the extent that he doesn't concern himself about money unless there's none there.

If you could make up a spreadsheet of income-outgoings since April plus
What has been spent on essentials or luxury-saved and just put it out for him to look through,
if he doesn't trust your word then he should do the maths himself though I'd be angry at Him thinking you'v spent it all on yourself.

Also another new spreadsheet for planned outgoings-saving til march 14
You are not the only one who should be responsible for the money.
Maybe sit down every month with the spreadsheet and if it goes tits up from his side then he can't blame you.

MoneyMoneyProblems Sun 20-Oct-13 11:26:13

There is a spreadsheet! A very detailed one grin It's my baby haha.

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's going to happen?"

Err, because it will if we stop buying odds and sods and stop having treats all the time?

Which I would be FINE with... I would be happy to eat beans on toast for a month and stay in all the time if it meant a huge wedge of savings. Totally! He never would though.

MoneyMoneyProblems Sun 20-Oct-13 11:42:39

I don't know what to say to him. AFAIC, we made a target and we will reach that target. It doesn't matter if we save the same amount a month or if it varies every month, surely.

I bloody hate this terrible atmosphere after a row.

RandomMess Sun 20-Oct-13 11:45:55

Perhaps apologise for not discussing it with him sooner and suggest that from now on you have a weekly finances meeting where you agree what spends to have for the following week and how much to save?

mammadiggingdeep Sun 20-Oct-13 11:49:54

No, didn't think you were a control freak...think he's totally handed over responsibility for his finances. I think I'd find it really unattractive, you must feel like a nag saying no to things....the 3 way account would defo stop all that

Dededum Sun 20-Oct-13 11:54:55

Are we married to the same guy! To be fair he is better than he used to be, but he lives in fantasy land. At the moment his wish list is Ds2 private education, extension and holiday in States. And this is meant to happen with zero savings!

His answer is I earn £x a year (a lot) and should be be able to do these things.

I think it is a deep seated emotional thing, which to be fair I can't really solve. But he earns good money and has no other vices. I just now have to be tough and say NO, cancelled half term holiday because we couldn't afford it. A few years ago would just have put it on the credit cards and paid off with bonus.

sneezecakesmum Sun 20-Oct-13 11:58:13

First of all open a separate account for all bills. Arrange a standing order to take out a lump sum immediately your joint salaries go in. Set up direct debits for all your bills from that account. Include in the lump sum annual bills like RAC, car insurance, TV licence (so these bills are 'paid in advance').

Set up a savings account, ISA or some such regular saver with the best rate possible. Ditto a standing order after salaries go in. This should be for your savings goal. You could add a bit extra for emergencies to this account.

Work out your outgoings, petrol, food etc and ring fence this. What you have left is for frittering! Either divide this in half and don't exceed it! You can still use cash back cards.

Moneysavingexpert I think has a template for outgoings you can use.

Do all this yourself on paper and then sit down with him and convince him it is his idea too, that way the argument is smoothed over.

I've always sorted the money and it's worked well for years grin

MoneyMoneyProblems Sun 20-Oct-13 11:58:44

Yes, he says that too, I earn X salary so why on earth can't we go to the cinema? And when he puts it like that I feel really small-minded for saying 'because we can't'.

sneezecakesmum Sun 20-Oct-13 12:00:33

Make sure you have an agreed overdraft in place on all bank accounts and check them regularly

MoneyMoneyProblems Sun 20-Oct-13 12:01:56

Thank you sneeze

I think it is just that we have spent beyond our means in the last few months. Not that we have spent more than what we earned, but we have spent more than what I said we would. I feel guilty now and I think maybe he does too (or maybe not, we are still not speaking hmm).

I think we do just have to go back to basics. Funnily enough we do do (or did!) pretty much everything on that list, the ringfencing etc.I just think we should have put a padlock on the fence and there wasn't one! grin

I think I am more at fault here actually. He thought we were saving steadily, and we weren't. I should have flagged this with him sooner. Damn.

sneezecakesmum Sun 20-Oct-13 12:02:47

Don't fall into the trap of being the 'purse strings'! Poor money managers will often employ this tactic to absolve themselves of responsibility and make you feel bad. Make him share the responsibility, he's an adult.

sneezecakesmum Sun 20-Oct-13 12:05:21

Still you did have a lovely summer and everyone argues over money. It's how you resolve arguments that matter, not the argument itself smile

RandomMess Sun 20-Oct-13 12:05:30

Instead of saying "no we can't afford it" when he says "why can't we go to the cinema" say "well that will come out of the savings fund - your choice"

Dededum Sun 20-Oct-13 12:05:57

When I set up separate saving accounts many years ago he took out a loan and got his teeth fixed for a couple of thousand. And he bought an expensive car without telling me again many years ago.
He travels a lot with work and then claims expenses back so not having credit cards is not an option.

The amount of money we have frittered away is scary. But I am getting tougher!

At the moment I am getting my own back as we have dropped to one car and he is having to drive my knackered Honda civic. He finds it an affront to his personal dignity!

RandomMess Sun 20-Oct-13 12:06:06

It shouldn't be your responsibility to have to tell him what he can and can't afford to do, I think seperate accounts probably is the best way forward tbh.

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??

MavisGrind Sun 20-Oct-13 13:10:54

My XH sounds like this. He just doesn't see where the money goes. He will eat lunch out everyday, have coffees all the time but not get that he is actually spending money. It's 'just lunch' or 'just a coffee'.

He'll also do things like "I saw item X was on offer for £20 so I bought 5 of them" - not thinking that item X was not really needed in the first place. It's a proper blind spot and it runs throughout his entire family.

Glad I'm out of it tbh!

I suspect your DH needs everything down in black and white but even then his behaviour around money seems deeply entrenched. Good luck with that. smile

LateForMyOwnLife Sun 20-Oct-13 13:14:02

We have a five account set up and it works quite well. On the first of each month money gets transferred to the bills account which all our direct debits come out of, a set amount gets transferred to our personal accounts and a set amount to the savings account. Whatever is left pays for food, petrol, clothes etc during the month.

We only used to have 4 accounts but found it a pita trying to remember what direct debits were still due to come out at the end of the month.

MavisGrind Sun 20-Oct-13 13:14:04

What would happen if you got rid of CCs and put a fixed amount into an account for him and a separate one for you for spends? How long into the month before it's gone? Would that help him understand how much things cost?

Acinonyx Sun 20-Oct-13 13:16:33

If you are taking money out of savings that does not count as paying off the CC each month. If you want cash back or similar from your credit card - but some of the bills such as groceries on it and pay it off each month. Don't use it for non-essentials.

marriedinwhiteisback Sun 20-Oct-13 13:19:19

It doesn't sound too bad to me except for the credit card(s) and I appreciate you have no debt but I bet the amount by which you both overspend is more than the value of the points and the cash back.

Total of what comes in
Total of unavoidable bills that have to go out and include everything: rates, water rates, leccy, gas, tv licence, phone contract, BT, internet, gym memberships, charity donation (?), car tax, car insurance, house insurance, petrol, season tickets, etc, etc.

What's left is what you have to spend on food, to save, and to buy extras.

You need to have a reasonable food budget
Reasonable savings
Reasonable spends including clothes and hair, etc.

The savings need to go into an account at the beginning of the month and the spends need to go into your personal bank accounts and if he ends up with an overdraft and you don't there's the evidence of who is the better manager. And finally, in my opinion day to day spends, ie, coffees, paper, book magazine, bubble bath need to come out of a cash allowance because when £50 is in your purse when it's gone, it's gone.

tumbletumble Sun 20-Oct-13 13:24:26

My DH makes similar comments about 'but I earn a good salary - we should be able to have x' and 'where does it all go?!'. He knows I'm not lying - he just can't believe how our day to day expenses add up. Like you, I offer to show him the breakdown and he doesn't usually bother.

He'd never be cross and moody with me about it though. You may have been at fault initially for not flagging up the issue, but he's being unreasonable now.

MistressIggi Sun 20-Oct-13 13:24:51

He doesn't want to have the bother of managing the accounts, budgeting, adding up the cost of everything. He just wants to sit back and have it all magically work out alright.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 20-Oct-13 13:37:07

FFS Tell Mr 'Moody' to grow up. He's annoyed because this is an adult conversation, requires planning, teamwork, self-restraint and his financial IQ is arrested somewhere around the teenage years.

MoneyMoneyProblems Sun 20-Oct-13 13:54:58

I agree with all of the last few posts!

I am not going to discuss it any more with him now. Yes I should have flagged it, but I have apologised for that and suggested a number of ways to sort out the problem.

Starting tomorrow I will pin a list of all spending to the fridge so he can see it every day. He has happily shown no interest or taken any responsibility for the finances so I am not going to feel crap and guilty any more, because it's not ALL my fault.

perfectstorm Sun 20-Oct-13 14:04:05

Sorry, but he's being a brat. The reality is that you save from discretionary spending. He wants the treats and the savings and is throwing a strop when confronted by reality. How is it your fault? I can understand the disappointment, don't get me wrong, but not the flounce.

I'm awful with money, and DH is good. I appreciate how organised he is and accept if we're both self-indulgent one month the accounts suffer. I don't blame your DH for being bad with money, but I do for wanting you to do all the work and then perform miracles. Has he ever once thanked you for all the extra work you put into the family accounting? I do my DH. It's a chore, and one he does uncomplainingly. Why are you not entitled to a similar amount of appreciation?

LineRunner Sun 20-Oct-13 14:05:55

Actually OP I think his attitude is a real problem. His saying, 'I earn therefore I should spend' is childish and ridiculous when there are already money issues.

mammadiggingdeep Sun 20-Oct-13 14:07:12

To be honest...of course he doesn't realise the cost of living...he doesn't KNOW the cost of living because he's not budgeting. You are. That's why I don't get a set up where one person literally is in control of it all. The other person can plead ignorance.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Sun 20-Oct-13 14:12:28

I would stop trying to cajole him and just get furious.

If he can't take any responsibility then he doesn't get to criticise you.

Ask him if he is really so stupid as to think that if you have £1000 a month to spend on food/clothes etc and he is going and spending £200 a week on non-essentials that the books are going to balance. I've pulled those numbers out of the air for ease, but he just sounds like he has no clue at all.

He is being the tit here, not you.

FairPhyllis Sun 20-Oct-13 14:12:50

I don't like this thing of him making you responsible for him and his spending. If he wants to magically have x amount of savings each year then he has to be actively involved in making that happen, instead of handing it all over to you, sabotaging any attempt to save and then getting stroppy that nothing got saved.

lljkk Sun 20-Oct-13 14:15:41

DH can't believe how much things cost. He honestly thinks we should feed the family for £70/week.

We are itemising every penny we spend & honestly we don't have any stupid habits, but it adds up.

EBearhug Sun 20-Oct-13 14:31:37

He honestly thinks we should feed the family for £70/week.
Perhaps you should try it for a week, just to make the point.

VeryStressedMum Sun 20-Oct-13 14:36:58

I would stop trying to appease him, I'm assuming there is nothing wrong with his brain so i would safely assume he understands the situation perfectly and where the money goes. Maybe he feels like he's being denied what he wants to buy and if you're all being so careful (mostly) then why is there no money, who knows really...regardless i would be telling him that's the situation you can see it on the speadsheet and in the statements believe it or not...

PottedPlant Sun 20-Oct-13 15:16:30

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MoneyMoneyProblems Sun 20-Oct-13 15:33:27

All these XHs and STBXHs are making me nervous! We have a great relationship otherwise. In fact this is our first proper huge row all year!! sad

I will updat with how we get on with the itemising...

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 20-Oct-13 15:50:23

The reason for all the X's is that belligerence over financial matters is often indicative of a more generally selfish, immature or irresponsible person. Few people work out the finances properly before merrily moving in together or getting married and they really should. Younger, childless couples IME can bobble along quite happily on two incomes with no real need to budget or plan. Everything in the garden is rosy - no challenges. Then the day comes where the money has to be managed carefully - maybe there's a baby on the way or they need to save up to buy a house - and, if one of them objects to any form of self-restraint or inspection of their spending, that's when things kick off.

Happens a lot and splits up a lot of couples

JustThisOnceOrTwiceOrThrice Sun 20-Oct-13 15:58:59

So he was rubbish with money before and didn't get it. Now you are in charge but he still doesn't get it and over spends but you are being mummy in relation to the finances and so he can blame you for his failures.

I don't think you can be in charge of the money when he takes no responsibility for his part in the spending. It would be different if he understood it, but its not fair of him to blame you for actions which are at least in part his.

He is abdication all responsibility for every part of this.

I would consider splitting finances again. Let him take some adult responsibility.

JustThisOnceOrTwiceOrThrice Sun 20-Oct-13 16:11:25

I think you're still babying him. He needs to see for himself what things cost. Either you go through your spreadsheet or credit card statement and add everything up under categories, or he does it.

RandomMess Sun 20-Oct-13 16:26:33

If you pay for everything on credit card you should be able to go through the last few statements and work out exactly how much these weekly treats and show him that's where the £x amount that should have gone into savings have gone to.

I agree give him weekly/monhtly spends which is to cover all of his and the dc clothes and treats and let him learn how to budget with that...

PottedPlant Sun 20-Oct-13 16:26:36

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MavisGrind Sun 20-Oct-13 16:27:10

I suspect though that he still won't see it. If it's an attitude to money like my XH's (of yes, another X!) then you can talk until you're blue in the face, lay all the receipts on the table and provide a series of highly illuminating colour coded graphs set to show tunes and he won't get past the frittering. I realised we were in trouble when I pointed out that a proposed change of job, which involved moving, was going to potentially put us £60k in debt. His career was worth this apparently hmm

He can't expect savings is he takes no responsibility himself for outgoings. It's just not going to work.

Lweji Sun 20-Oct-13 16:49:07

I am a bit with your H, in that if you had a plan to save and you were in control so that you'd have X saved by Y month, and you managed to allow it all to be spent, then what on earth have you been doing?

You don't seem to be much better than him and he's lost all control over expenditure.

I think you need to budget properly, to pay all bills, put money directly into savings every month, budget your shopping and stick to it, and share an allowance for little bits between the two.

No special holidays and shopping on holidays. If you go on holiday, take a defined amount in cash for the little bits and souvenirs. And stick to it.

I think you have to admit to him here that you haven't got a good control over the shared money and you need a new, jointly responsible plan.

AcrylicPlexiglass Sun 20-Oct-13 17:12:21

I can't talk to my partner at all about money as he is a baby in this area, both emotionally and in terms of financial skills. I will not be his mother so we have separate accounts.

AcrylicPlexiglass Sun 20-Oct-13 17:12:49

I am shit with money too but would like to be better.

MoneyMoneyProblems Mon 21-Oct-13 01:30:19

He is indeed abdicating all responsibility.

I have actually remembered a conversation we had, I think it must have been maybe June time? He wanted to buy something and I did say "this will come out of money we have put aside for savings", he replied along the lines of, we can only save what we've got left over, if we haven't got anything left over in a month then we can't save it.

I have brought this conversation up with him but he denies all knowledge! But I did say a few times over the past few months, this is coming out of savings you know! I think the problem is I did it in a jokey way, like I said before I didn't want to be the nagging bossy wife taking away all the fun in life.

BadLad Mon 21-Oct-13 03:01:55

The reason for the many Xs in front of DHs etc is that, in my opinion, differing attitudes to money rarely work out.

Two savers can be content in cutting expenses, living thriftily and watching their pot grow. They are likely even to enjoy the budgeting and planning together.

Two spenders can be happy together, with their zero balances and piles of accumulated crap. I think very often this sort of couple does have a fallout, but that tends to be in the future, when a large unexpected expense comes along, and they don't have anything to pay it with. But in the short term, they carry on spending their income.

A saver and a spender together are likely to have problems immediately. Either the spender gets their way, and the saver quietly fumes as the money is frittered away from paycheck to paycheck, and at the end of every month they are no better off that when they started, or the saver gets their way, and the spender feels emasculated and controlled and unable to buy what they want.

I'm just glad that I have a DW who, like me, doesn't like wasting money.

MoneyMoneyProblems Mon 21-Oct-13 05:47:45

I'm so pissed off I'm lying here wide awake. I've actually thought of some other things that the "money destined for saving" has gone on since April:

- after the holiday we got a £300+ phone bill. My phone was switched off the whole time, I kept on telling DH that keeping his on would incur data charges but he insisted it didn't.

- washing machine broke down so had to get a new one.

- DH bought a new bike. He hasn't had it more than a few months yet last week was actually talking about spending "£500" on a "better one" after Christmas.

The more I think about this the more pissed off I am getting. I am so angry with him. He has NEVER once appreciated the effort I put into sorting all the bills, the spreadsheet etc. Some people are saying I'm bad with money - but I've never been in debt, had an overdraft or a late payment etc. I did hit our savings target last year and believe we will this year. And he has the fucking audacity to have a go at me?

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 21-Oct-13 06:38:51

Oh dear... you've let the sun go down on the argument. Yes, he does appear to have selective memory. But, then again, you didn't have all these examples handy at the time either. Even more of a reason to have regular family meetings about money, keep accurate accounts and make sure everyone is on the same page.

Sunnysummer Mon 21-Oct-13 06:46:34

Cash back on credit cards is great IF you are very disciplined about spending, but can you honestly say that the cash you are getting back outweighs the overspending and more importantly the arguments?

If you have these challenges, I agree with pps that you'd probably be better off working out an 'allowance' for each of you in your own account or even in cash for each month or fortnight, and definitely when you're on holiday. This way you both get to choose how you spend and can't end up trying to apportion blame.

Fwiw I'd generally say he was BU to expect you to keep track of overspends, but not if you were not letting him know about it.

But it does sound like you are making progress - going from where you were to being debt-free (even if you are also savings-free for now!) is a big change, good luck hitting your April target

ThreeTomatoes Mon 21-Oct-13 07:12:57

i know this keeps being said, but you really, really need to separate your accounts and make him solely responsible for his own spending.

We have our own accounts that our salaries go into, and monthly standing orders from those into a joint account that pays for everything joint - groceries, house, bills, everything dd-related (swimming/piano lessons, shoes/clothes), a certain amount towards joint holidays or presents, etc etc. (Hopefully you can both sit down and work out what counts as 'joint' and how much for each category). Our standing orders then leave us both with exactly the same amount of cash each per month, to pay for our own stuff - mobiles, clothes, CDs/DVDs, trips out, etc. What we each spend personally from our own accounts is entirely our own business. Thankfully we both take note of every penny we spend and neither of us want to over-spend so it all works peacefully - I guess my concern about you doing this is that he would blow his account, which technically could become your problem ultimately? I'd feel very nervous if i had to watch DP get more & more into debt ... but anyway, my point being, he would then see exactly who has the spending problem!! He couldn't possibly claim then that it has anything to do with you, if he doesn't manage to stick to his own budget while you do.

BranchingOut Mon 21-Oct-13 07:15:35

Sympathies. To me it sounds as if you have quite a good grasp of what it means to save and how to do it, but the problem comes when you have to rein him back.

The only way is a wholesale reorganisation of your accounts.

One joint account for bills, groceries and DD only.

Transfer to savings account straightaway each month. Set this up as a standing order so that some money always goes into savings.

Single accounts for spending money. Identical transfer to this account.

NO credit cards. What good is the cashback when your DH is squandering the money anyway?

Lweji Mon 21-Oct-13 07:34:59

In addition he clearly needs to have a pre-pay phone and a debit card with no overdraft facilities.

And it might be helpful to mention all those Xs. He should be heading fast to the door if he can't take responsibility over his spending.
Or get a post-nup.

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

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

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.

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.

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....

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.

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.

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!)

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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 10:55:01

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.

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.

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.

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.

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....

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.

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.

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

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

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.

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!

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.

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