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AIBU to resent DH's attitude to money? Sensible or penny-pinching?

(123 Posts)
PaddingtonBearLondon Thu 04-Aug-11 22:50:16

Two and a half years after our DD was born I still feel annoyed at my DH's attitude to money. At the time he insisted that we didn't touch ANY of our savings as they were all for a 'rainy day'. What do you think counts as a 'rainy day' when it comes to money?

My taking maternity leave meant our household income dropped by 70%. DH was also made redundant whilst I was pregnant but found a new job the month before DD was born. A 'rainy day'? Apparently not. So I went from being by far the main earner to not being allowed to touch any of our savings.

So I tried not to pay for anything other than essentials (mortgage, groceries, utilities and nappies) and gratefully made good use of freecycle. But I resented not being able to go out and socialise with other mums much (since being in small London homes they inevitably met up at cafes or had expensive days out envy).

I realise that this would be the norm for anyone trying hard to get by on a low wage (and I'm sorry as this probably sounds spoilt to you) but it just seemed strange to me to be scrimping so much when we had about a year's worth of joint salary carefully saved up. confused

And do you think it makes any difference who saved the money in the first place? As it happens I earnt most of it before we met but once we got married we shared it. Maybe I should just be grateful that he is a bit tight-fisted sensibly liked us saving and didn't spend it all on drink or whatever?!

I accepted his decision at the time as he was obviously worried about suddenly being the main breadwinner and I was no longer contributing financially but I think I could have enjoyed my maternity leave if I'd used a little of our savings. Our next DC is due in a few months and I plan to spend a little this time round grin

Okay, rant over. I know I need to move on from this and stop resenting it but it still bugs me.

So, do you think he was being very sensible or overly penny-pinching? Honest opinions please!

Okay, I'm ready to get flamed for being a spoilt cow....

Lilyloo Thu 04-Aug-11 22:54:20

Whilst i agree with you on the enjoying the savings a little in coffee shops , i can also see dh point. I guess there is a fine line between penny pinching and being sensible ( you and dh need to find it )
Also think you need to establish a clear boundary on this given this is about baby no1 and baby no2 is on it's way , good luck

chicletteeth Thu 04-Aug-11 22:56:21

Makes no difference who saved it.

Just think, you could both be out of work in this climate and need this years savings.

My DH was out of work for 10 months and I was on mat leave and we had to use ours; we really took a large chunk out of it.

There are so many free days out that you really shouldn't need to go into them anyway; if it's just for socialising that is.

Why do you need to spend whilst on mat leave and how will that make you enjoy it more. I am confused by this statement.

chicletteeth Thu 04-Aug-11 22:56:36

Oh yeah YABU, he was being sensible.

squeakytoy Thu 04-Aug-11 22:57:40

each of you should have your own separate savings account so that you can do as you wish with it.. that will solve the problem.

fivegomadindorset Thu 04-Aug-11 22:59:12


PaddingtonBearLondon Thu 04-Aug-11 22:59:38

Chicleteeth, I just needed to have some adult company. I used to take DD1 to the nearest park on my own but the other mums in my antenatal group were more interested in going to places which weren't free.

PaddingtonBearLondon Thu 04-Aug-11 23:03:04

Squeakytoy, we did have separate savings' accounts but he checks the accounts each month so would have known if I'd spent anything from mine.

wikolite Thu 04-Aug-11 23:03:08

YABU she sounds very sensible to me, savings should be kept so they can be used if required not spent frivelously in cafes.

AllGoodNamesGone Thu 04-Aug-11 23:05:24

I think he was being a bit OTT and he wasn't the one at home with a young baby and no money. I think you could have compromised and agreed on an amount per week for you and the baby to socialise with so you could have gone on some of the outings.

bubblesincoffee Thu 04-Aug-11 23:05:29

I think he was being sensible.

Did you ever say to him that you wanted to use a couple of hundred for coffee and socialising because you were feeling isolated while unable to do so?

If you did and he said no, yanbu. If you never made it clear to him how you felt, yabvu.

PaddingtonBearLondon Thu 04-Aug-11 23:05:36

I'm not talking big expenses. For instance, I think buying a moses basket or something that I could have carried DD1 around the house in would have helped me a lot. Do you really think that would have been too extravagent?

Nagoo Thu 04-Aug-11 23:09:10

I saved up prior to maternity leave so that I'd have some money for coffees and softplay.

You've got a job to go back to, yes? And he's got a job now so you can project your income? So spend a little bit and you can save back up when you get back to work.


What is it for? Does he have a plan?

FunnysInTheGarden Thu 04-Aug-11 23:13:32

YANBU and what you really need to do is be in charge of the money so you could do what you wish, within reason, and not have to ask him for cash. Why don't you deal with the money?

Thistledew Thu 04-Aug-11 23:14:10

It is a good idea to have savings that are kept specifically for emergencies - ie where there is no household income. The normal recommendation is to set aside six months to a year of essential expenditure and not to touch this unless you know that it can quickly be replenished, except for essentials such as a replacement boiler or unexpected car repairs.

Your DH was not unreasonable to say the money was not for spending on coffees etc, but you were both unreasonable not to communicate to each other your attitudes to saving and for not reaching an agreement about the matter.

PaddingtonBearLondon Thu 04-Aug-11 23:15:02

chicletteeth, Ten months! That must have been really tough. I'm not surprised you think I'm BU if you had to stretch for that long. I thought most people aimed for 3-6 months' savings (if they've got anything left over).

squeakytoy Thu 04-Aug-11 23:16:38

Squeakytoy, we did have separate savings' accounts but he checks the accounts each month so would have known if I'd spent anything from mine

Well I wouldnt be happy with that to be honest. So long as you are putting a fair share into the pot, then what you spend your spare bit on is your bloody business.

He is not being unreasonable to want to keep some savings for a rainy day, but you still have to have some pleasures out of life in the meantime too! and it shouldnt be up to him to dictate what you can and cannot spend your own money on.

PaddingtonBearLondon Thu 04-Aug-11 23:17:19

Nagoo, DH always goes for worst-case scenario. I.e. Both of us losing our jobs, boiler needing replacing, car falling to bits, medical problems, etc, etc. I agree it could all happen but unlikely to happen all at once surely? And, yes, I'll be back to work after maternity leave.

PaddingtonBearLondon Thu 04-Aug-11 23:19:42

FunnysInTheGarden, DH doesn't want me to deal with the money because my accounting would be too simple for him. He likes to itemise everything. He takes a whole day to do it each month whereas I'd just have a rough look at what we've earnt v what we've spent and check we've got something going into our savings.

ImperialBlether Thu 04-Aug-11 23:20:46

I think it does make a difference that you earned the bulk of your savings before you met him. I don't think that gives him a right to say you can't spend any of it.

PaddingtonBearLondon Thu 04-Aug-11 23:23:22

Thistledew, The normal recommendation is to set aside six months to a year of essential expenditure. So 6 months, not 12 and 'essential expenditure' not 'income'?

ninedragons Thu 04-Aug-11 23:25:51

I think we can't really say given percentages and years' worth of salaries - sterling amount is the only relevant thing. If a year's worth of salaries is 12k, no, you should not be frittering it. If it's 250k in the bank, off you go to Starbucks.

You should probably have a very long and detailed conversation before DC2 turns up. I agree you should save some money specifically for socialising while you're on maternity leave.

Shame you didn't buy the Moses basket for DC1, because you would have got at least two uses out of it!

Flisspaps Thu 04-Aug-11 23:27:32


PaddingtonBearLondon Thu 04-Aug-11 23:28:48

I'm off to bed now but thanks everyone. I'll have a proper talk with DH at the weekend.

LRDTheFeministDragon Thu 04-Aug-11 23:29:59

I don't really see what 'sensible' has to do with it, if what you're talking about is the price of an occasional cup of coffee. Yes, it's great to save. But a coffee is maybe 2.50 for a big mug, right? Not a huge amount for once a week if you have savings.

I may be reading your OP wrongly, but it sounds as if you didn't really discuss this/didn't get your point across to your DH. Does he understand how you felt?

I think you'll go mad if you don't budget for a cheap treat every now and again - for both of you. I'd not be happy with someone who told me I couldn't spend shared savings at all my way - but maybe compromise by saying you'll only do coffee once every couple of weeks not weekly?

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