Women and financial dependency

(74 Posts)
BlingLoving Thu 28-Mar-13 15:54:07

In the last few days I have seen thread after thread from women asking about what to do about money as they're not earning any on ML or as SAHM and so they have to ask their DP for money whenever they need anything. Many of them make the point that DP pays for everything else so they feel bad asking him for money for anything else.

I want to both cry and scream simultaneously.

Please point me to some kind of charitable organisation or lobbying group or something that is working to address this issue. Because if there isn't one, I think I am actually going to have to start one myself.

Darkesteyes Sun 31-Mar-13 03:10:19

Sabrina the stories in that link shock angry I came to the same conclusion as you.
I hope that the people being financially abused in that article.(and their abusers actually) realise that from Easter Monday the domestic abuse laws widen to include coercive control.

I can see some abusers getting a short sharp shock in the coming weeks (and month) i bloody hope so!

Booyhoo Sun 31-Mar-13 03:20:53

i think there isn't enough financial education. i think alot of people dont know what all their options are when entering into a marriage or choosing to share finances with a partner. i've said it before and i'll say it again. financial education needs to be happening in school for age 5 (obviously at an age appropriate level) right up til 18 so that we have young adults leaving school with a pretty good grasp on how money works, what their rights and options are, where to get advice etc. i'm not saying they all need to be talking accountant jargon with their mates over a maccy d's but at 18 a massive financial world becomes available to them and it would be nice if they had a bit of an idea how best to use these products and how to make themselves secure.

Booyhoo Sun 31-Mar-13 03:42:39

this is also why i think there should be a national rate worked out (like the cost of living) for how much it costs to keep a child, standard across the uk i the same way CB is. both parents (regardless of whether together or separated) would be responsible for paying half of this amount each into the account nominated, so if mum was going to be the primary carer then it would be paid to an account with her name on. if parents were separated and sharing care then the amount divided according to the precentages of care given and put into both parent's accounts. if there was to be a SAHP then both parents could agree that the employed parent would be paying the full amount into an account in the nominated parent's name. but the UK has a long way to go before the Govt cares enough to make things fair for women and children so this is all wishful thinking. and yes i know there would still be parents 'absenting' themselves and other problems but it's not as if the current system is fantastic in this regard.

NotMostPeople Sun 31-Mar-13 09:39:56

I'm afraid we are going to have to agree to disagree. I fundamentally disagree with your point that if one parter works longer hours that its fair that the harder worker has more cash. There are so many variables. How do you quantify what's hard work? Do you knock time/money off for a boozy client lunch because its quite fun? What if both partners work similar hours but one earns substantially more than the other? What if the higher earner isnt necessarilly the harder worker? how do you decide who works hardest? the nurse, the nursery worker, the cleaner or the solicitor, the architect or the doctor? Would you want to live in a marriage where your partner has a substantially more luxurious lifestyle than you? Or with a partner who would think this was ok?

How can it be about if the SAHP is staying at home through choice or not? How do you police that? Under your suggestion DH would have more cash to spend on himself than I do. So I'm getting itchy feet and would like to get a job, this isn't so much about the money more because I'm getting bored. Would I go to Dh and say I want to get a job now, so being a SAHP isn't a choice any longer therefore until I get a job you must give me more of your cash? Couldn't he then say he doesn't agree with that choice and refuse to part with more cash. It's not equal is it? Surely a marriage should be.

namechangeguy Sun 31-Mar-13 09:54:59

I don't know how people can go into a marriage/partnership and not immediately pool everything, including income. If it isn't all to be shared as required, why get together? Stay living apart, go out together but stay independent. To live together and yet keep your own money seems to be the worst of all worlds. I know people who do it, but I have never understood why.

BeeBawBabbity Sun 31-Mar-13 12:10:48

But this is about what constitutes financial abuse. If my partner announced he was giving up work because he didn't fancy it any more, then of course I'd cover the bills. Sharing all the spare cash equally as well might be financially fair but is it fair in terms of lifestyle? That's why I think it matters whether or not its a choice. And if I was reluctant to share equally when he had chosen not to work then I don't think that's abuse. Similarly, if two people work different hours through choice, and contribute proportionally to bills, then I don't think it's abuse if one is left with a bit more money than the other. In this situation one partner has in effect traded-in money for free time. (Obv this hypothetical situation is when children are absent or older and don't need a lot of looking after.)

I've already said that if both people work similar hours then I agree sharing the spoils regardless of wage is fairest. I agree that wage rarely reflects the hardness of the work. I guess what I really mean is its ok if working longer results in more cash.

I don't think anything needs to be 'policed', different couples will be happy with different arrangements. It's just my own observations on what constitutes abuse.

Andro Sun 31-Mar-13 17:08:40

I don't know how people can go into a marriage/partnership and not immediately pool everything, including income.

Because it can be so much of a pain that it's just not worth the stress. DH and I were both financially very secure, we both had savings in various set-ups and we both had investments - trying to pool that lot would have resulted in a serious financial loss on both sides.

We chose a set up that works for us; we're equally responsible for house/family costs, nobody is being taken for a ride and I can use my debit card (for my personal account) to buy him a surprise without the statement giving me away!

Schooldidi Sun 31-Mar-13 17:32:50

We haven't got a joint account but that's only because we're too lazy to set one up (and I had debts from before we met). The way our money works, works for us and I'm actually slightly better off than dp at the minute. Neither of us particularly has a huge amount of money, but we're both managing to save a bit each month just in case some emergency comes up.

My sister and her ex never had a joint account. He earned it all because they agreed she would be a sahm for a while, and their jobs just didn't work well for childcare as he worked away for a few weeks at a time and she had always worked in the evenings. She never knew how much money they had, he would regularly 'forget' to transfer her any money for food, she really, really struggled. Now they are divorced she's on benefits and feels a lot better off than when she was living with her ex, even though he earns a reasonable salary. I think she was being financially abused, she put some of this down on the divorce papers as unreasonable behaviour and he refused to sign until she had taken off any reference to finances at all.

notcitrus Sun 31-Mar-13 23:33:28

We've never had joint accounts as it was so hard to set one up when we first moved in together, and never bothered since.
And one reason we don't is in fact the advice I got from my mum and other wise adults: always have some money of your 'own' which your partner can't touch - just in case they turn out to be abusive, so you have a running-away fund, and the more convincing reason to someone in love: just in case the bank screws up or something and the joint account goes temporarily overdrawn or is frozen.

It's so easy to transfer money as needed that we never revisited the joint account idea, but works because we regularly agree how much money is going into savings/used on building work, and how much money we need in our main current accounts to pay bills etc.

scottishmummy Mon 01-Apr-13 00:05:59

I don't pool my money because I don't want to,it's never been necessary.and it's mine
We have joint for mortgage,nursery,utilities but individual accounts.as we like it
Couples arent compelled to pool money,nor does it make family more/less functional

Sunnywithshowers Mon 01-Apr-13 00:23:54

I don't pool money with my DH - we have a bills account that we share, but otherwise our accounts are separate.

After one abusive marriage I like knowing that I have my own savings that I can access in a crisis. My DH is lovely, but it is reassuring.

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Mon 01-Apr-13 00:42:40

Having just supported a good friend through a divorce from a man who financially abused her for well over a decade, I would, now, always advise women to not be completely financially dependent on their spouse.

Which maybe sounds a bit funny when I said earlier I'm a SAHM. But, I'm married to a very decent and generous man and I have a quite decent savings account in my sole name. I also have a credit card in my sole name which is paid off from the joint account. I know I'm lucky - but it's really not so out of the ordinary that if one partner stops work in order to raise children, the other should share the money, and make sure the sahp has some financial independence, is it?

I think full disclosure of finances along with each partner maintaining an account in their sole name is the key. But I've read so many awful stories of FA on MN, that I sometimes despair.

I am well aware that I'm vulnerable if we were to split though - I've been out of te job market for a good few years now and will find it hard to get decently paid work, that allows for caring for 3 dc, now. I think that is a huge problem that mothers face now - that it is so expected that she bears the brunt of the child care.

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Mon 01-Apr-13 00:44:24

SHould also say that if I had my time again, much as I love being a sahm, I wouldn't necessarily make the same decisions workwise.

Sunnywithshowers Mon 01-Apr-13 00:56:46

My BIL used to talk about my DSis spending all of 'his' money. I wanted to tell him to fuck off, that she was bringing up 'his' children. Thankfully, he's no longer such an idiot (we've all grown up grin) and I don't worry about my DSis' finances now.

WidowWadman Mon 01-Apr-13 08:11:51

"I don't know how people can go into a marriage/partnership and not immediately pool everything, including income. If it isn't all to be shared as required, why get together? Stay living apart, go out together but stay independent. To live together and yet keep your own money seems to be the worst of all worlds. I know people who do it, but I have never understood why."

namechangeguy - Why should we pool everything? We've got a joint account for bills, but keep a personal account each, from which we can spend for fun and fripperies without feeling the need to justify it to the other. If I buy a present for my husband it's from my money, not the joint, and when he buys me something he bought it from his. To be honest I never understood how it can work if there's only a joint account.

Schooldidi Mon 01-Apr-13 09:21:57

We don't want to pool everything either WW. I had a load of debts when we met and I don't think it would have been fair for him to have to share those, as well as share the costs of running our house. He was already taking on partial financial responsibility for my dd1 because her biological father has never paid a penny towards her. We have a workable solution for us, the only time it might fall down is if one of us loses a job, in which case we'll need to sort out something different. If I was a sahm then dp would be quite prepared to share his salary, the same as the far more likely scenario that dp loses his job and becomes a sahd I will share my salary and make sure he doesn't have to ask for money tis ok, there won't be any money for luxuries anyway

badguider Mon 01-Apr-13 15:05:12

we don't pool our 'daily, luxury spending money' - we keep that separate. I know in my head roughly whether i've had a week of lots of lunches out and expensive coffees or whether i want to cut back on that and buy a new pair of boots or something. DH knows in his head what he wants to buy next for his hobby and how long it will take him to save his 'spends' for that thing.

BUT we are very clear as to what is 'oersonal spending money' and there's no way i'm buying babygrows out of mine.. but then I don't enjoy shopping as a hobby and i'm only likely to buy baby stuff we need rather than for fun so it's not an issue to buy all baby stuff from the joint grocery/toiletries/house budget. I guess it might be slightly more grey around baby and I going swimming or to petting zoo while DH is at work... am I going for 'me' or for 'her'? So far it's not been an issue but maybe it could be?

scottishmummy Mon 01-Apr-13 15:40:11

I think bigger issue is women seem to take on Bulk childcare and become unwaged or pt
Reading mn it usually goes,oh dp couldn't go pt,job not flexible etc.so woman drop work
If woman unwaged she in precarious career and financial position,and her dp isn't

Sunnywithshowers Mon 01-Apr-13 15:45:01

I agree scottishmummy.

specialsubject Mon 01-Apr-13 16:19:40

interesting stuff here.

1 in 4 women victims of domestic violence? I cannot find the source of that statistic. Don't get me wrong, if it happens once it is too many but I wonder if the statistics are skewed due to those who are subject to repeated attacks (Because as we know, there is never just one 'slap')

it looks like the main issue is so few people behaving in an adult fashion - being able to manage money, knowing that shopping is NOT a hobby, being able to resist stupid spending pressures (Easter, Christmas, weddings etc), being able to prioritise and being able to share and discuss like grownups. That is what the next generation should be learning - but they are all been taught to buy Easter eggs and want overpriced crap given to them.

that is what saddens me. And makes me ever more grateful for the wonderful man on the other sofa.

IsBella Mon 01-Apr-13 19:45:16

SpecialSubject that figure is the one quoted by Women's Aid all the time and it's fairly consistent. It's based on British Crime Survey figures, which are considered more reliable than the Police figures (the police accept that btw, that's not a controversial thing to say - they know that most crime goes unreported and so the BCS is more accurate than the figures they collect).

It's not based on repeated attacks, it's based on actual numbers of women. So it includes women who have been subjected to one attack and then all those who have been subjected to more than one attack. If you did a cross tabulation on women who have been subjected to 6+ attacks, the figures are still quite high, but obviously not as high as 25%.

It really is a quarter of all women who experience some form of domestic violence in their adult life. Most never report it to the police, but it's incredibly common. When you first see those figures, you do a double take because you can't believe just how prevalent it is and you think it must be some kind of mistake. Sadly, it's not. sad

If you click on the 2nd PDF down in the link here, there's a bunch of stats if you're interested.

grumpyinthemorning Fri 05-Apr-13 16:03:37

How does working longer hours mean you work harder? That's not necessarily the case.

Dp and I have a joint account for family spending, plus separate accounts for ourselves. Mine has my benefits in, and I have a small amount of savings. Yes, we have joint savings too, but as xp was financially abusive, it makes sense for me to have my own money. It's my wages for the work I do at home, I guess.

morethanpotatoprints Sat 06-Apr-13 14:26:31

My dh is the sole earner in our household, but I have never felt nor made to feel that I have no money or not entitled to say how it is spent.
I know its no joking matter but my motto is what's mine is mine and what his is mine. I think it helps if the non earner manages the finances because it can make you feel in control, rather than dependant.

Snazzynewyear Sat 06-Apr-13 14:51:02

We also have our own individual accounts still that wages are paid into, but transfer money into our joint account from which household bills are paid. It's a balance of having control as individuals over spending but feeling like you are always focused on the joint goal of how the household runs best and spending accordingly. Sadly there are many men who as 'breadwinners' hmm see their money as theirs to dole out. It is often seen as an generational / class thing but in my experience isn't necessarily - my dad, a now elderly working-class man, handed his money over every week to my mum to manage because she knew best how to handle money, and never thought this at all odd or felt hard done by.

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