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DH spending our joint money on his DCs

(451 Posts)
ilikelongnaps Wed 12-Dec-12 15:36:59

I just want to post here to see if IABU before i tackle this with DH. I'm on mat leave atm receiving stat mat pay so things are tighter than usual. DH and I have a joint acc which we use for our DDs things (although if i'm buying her something not necessarily needed eg a new dress I'll use my own account. We put in an equal amount of money to the joint acc and i like to keep a buffer in there.

Xmas is coming and bearing in mind things are tight this year I've been so careful with buying for our dd. It's her first xmas and wont even notice that she has n't got stacks of gifts so i'm not bothered really but if i could i would have got her a few extra toys etc. I've bought her things with money from my own account and DH hasn't contributed to this.

Today i was checking our joint account online and its ALOT lower than I had expected. It turns out DH has been using the our joint account to buy his DDs bits and pieces eg among other things £30 spent in New Look and cash withdrawn here and there when he's been with them and almost £25 in mcds, all of which he told me about but I assumed it would be him paying out of his account, not ours. I know he's bought his DDs big xmas gifts this year that he said has left him short of money but now i'm stuck with hardly any money in the account to buy dd nappies and milk etc. and we were going to buy an xmas tree and a dd's first stocking.

It's not fair that he knows I'm not earning what I was and i'm going back to work in the new year but i was so careful and not done alot of things with dd that i would have liked to while ive been on mat leave and felt guilty about taking money from the joint account for 'fun' things and not bought any clothes for myself (I wouldn't spend £30 in New Look on myself atm as i wouldn't be able to justify it) and it just seems a bit unfair that just because he's low in his account he can just use our money to treat his dds which i would have no problem with if we could afford it but we can't.

So that was long! I guess i'm ranting and ordinarily i wouldn't mind him using our joint acc to pay for stuff for his dds as long as our dd was stocked in nappies and formula which i think are more important than a 10yo getting some leggings!

JenaiMathis Wed 12-Dec-12 22:56:34

I'm interested to know how large this buffer is. Are you actually unable to buy nappies, or is that you don't want to eat into a £500 safety net, OP?

Totally agree that this is, for now, a finance rather than a step issue.

timeforachangebaby Wed 12-Dec-12 23:11:36

but even if there is a buffer, it has come from the OP not doing things she would like to do with the baby, so it has come from OP making sacrifices, I can remember being in tears about 3 boxes of fish being rammed in the oven and eaten with no chips, no veg, when we were really skint.

It was a totally disproportionate reaction to a trivial thing really, but it was 3 main meals gone as a snack.

MacDonalds when you are on a tight budget is a treat, and sometimes its a case of straw and camels back, this is a time of year, when people are cutting back on non essentials to buy things like ipads. Not splashing out.

mammyof5 Wed 12-Dec-12 23:13:14

i dont think yabu. if you are struggling like you say at the moment i agree that mc d are a luxury if he couldnt afford it then they should have done something else dito buying stuff in new look. 55 is a lot of money when it comes to buying baby essentials

maybe sit him down and explain to him just how careful you have been with money.and this is why you are upset

if he doesnt at least try to understand than i am sorry be he is being an arse.

SantaWearsGreen Wed 12-Dec-12 23:36:50

I find the thought of seperate accounts depressing when you are in a long term committed relationship or are married. To me its a 'what's mine is yours' situation.

Money is paper and yet in the grand scheme of things it all seems so important. It can literally divide and break people. Its silly when you actually think about it. It doesn't mean all that much to me, I just would hope that DH wouldn't spend money we should be spending on important things such as food and bills on something frivolous and unimportant.

Your dh was wrong in spending money you don't have on stupid unnecessary things (£25 in mcdz, did he buy like 6 meals?!). It isn't about which account it came from, the money should just all go into one big pot and then a budget created from that. It is about the fact he spent money you do not have and money you need for your baby to eat.. Even if he had spent it on himself it would still bvu of him, its not even a question of who he spent it on.

I did notice a comment up thread which I found vu of you. You said you 'kindly' let the sds eat food from your weekly food shop.. what?! Do you expect DH to buy them seperate food for their stay and basically treat them as visitors or guests? They are his children and when you married him you married the whole package. That was a very unkind thing to say imo.

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 12-Dec-12 23:41:24

I think that bit was a joke the op did put a smilie in

JugglingMeYorkiesAndNutRoast Wed 12-Dec-12 23:45:09

If it was me I'd be trying to see things more like I had 3 DD's - I'd be wanting to treat my step-daughters more as daughters too.

timeforachangebaby Wed 12-Dec-12 23:54:20

Santa op was being tongue in cheek when she said she kindly let them eat etc.

Snazzyfeelingfestive Thu 13-Dec-12 00:11:27

The 'kindly' bit was a joke.

Juggling agree, but even then I wouldn't countenance 2 of my daughters getting iPads when the other is getting very little. There should be an agreed approach to spending on all 3.

MyLittleAprilSunshine Thu 13-Dec-12 00:13:23

I hope he pays some money back into the account with his wages. After all although they are your stepchildren, unless you live with them you don't really have a financial responsibility, he does. Of course it's nice to treat them and obviously not to leave them out on gifts, that's hardly the issue. If he had budgeted or bought out of his own account, there wouldn't be a problem. I am sure in years to come when you have more money you wont mind putting some money towards your DSDs presents. It may seem selfish but I'd sooner sort out a baby than a teenager. Teenagers can go without expensive tops and lavish tablets, whereas babies need new clothes, a few games to stimulate their brains etc.

exoticfruits Thu 13-Dec-12 07:47:39

You need an agree spending approach, but the baby doesn't need much at all. It is the one time that you can get away with second hand clothes and toys- all of which you can pick up really cheaply in wonderful condition- and their brains can be just as stimulated with a saucepan and wooden spoon or bowl of clothes pegs etc. By the time your youngest is old enough to want iPads the eldest will need less.
Of course you both have financial responsibility- you got his DCs when you married him. No way would I have married my DH if he put our joint DCs before my DS. We are a family of 5 and not a family of 4 - and an equal one. I would be utterly horrified if DH thought our eldest wasn't as much his responsibility as the 2 youngest.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Thu 13-Dec-12 07:54:13

Why on earth is everyone insisting that this money was for milk and nappies? confused

In the OP, and we were going to buy an Xmas tree and a ds's first stocking

This isn't essentials money that he spent on frivolous stuff, it's money that was going to be spent on luxuries either way.

Toughasoldboots Thu 13-Dec-12 08:04:56

Babies do not need new toys and new clothes I agree. It's far more difficult with teenagers and more expensive.
Babies don't need or care about extra things at Christmas . I don't understand how this went from a Christmas tree and stocking to 'vital' things like milk and nappies either. I do actually, it elicits more sympathy.

apachepony Thu 13-Dec-12 08:13:31

Exotic fruits, is your eldest's dad on the scene providing reasonable support? If so, is this support spread amongst all children or does eldest get more?
As it is, it appears the op's dh has contributed absolutely nothing to their joint dd's christmas, how can this fair?

NotaDisneyMum Thu 13-Dec-12 08:13:47

I just love the double standards when it comes to Stepmums - it reinforces everything I have read grin

If my DSC are MY financial responsibility as I have chosen to be with a man with DCs from a previous relationship then how come I can't go to their nativity, parents evenings, have their ears pierced or talk to them about developmental milestones?

How come paying for my DSC is expected but taking emotional responsibility for them is overstepping?

Perhaps my DSC mum has got it right after all - anything I buy for the DSC is destroyed by her if its taken to her house.

Toughasoldboots Thu 13-Dec-12 08:20:13

For me, it's to do with practicalities though. I just wouldn't spend the same on a baby as teenagers. Two of my closet friends have recently had happy accident third babies and there is a ten year and fourteen year gap between the next child up and the baby. Neither of them are getting anything at all for the babies. They don't care. Presents at that age are for the parents benefit.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Thu 13-Dec-12 08:22:36

Nota, that's exactly what makes being a step parent so difficult.

My DH has to consider my children in decisions he makes, he takes responsibility for them financially and will always put their needs and wants before his own, yet when it comes to making big decisions for the dc, like what secondary school they will go to and the like, he knows his view will be considered, but won't have anywhere near as much weight as mine or my ex's. when we are only allowed three tickets to the school play he doesn't always get to go.

But on the other hand, he gets to have these wonderful children in his life, he gets to be a big part of their lives and take pleasure from watching them grow up. He gets to be their friend and when they need to be disciplined, that falls to me or the ex.

He gives a lot, and I'm very thankful and appreciative of that, but I don't think he gets a bad deal either. After all, he chose to join our family, no one forced him to marry me!

NotaDisneyMum Thu 13-Dec-12 08:31:45

outraged So the financial support provided to DSC by their step-parents could be considered a payment for the privilege of being a part of the DSC life?

I'm afraid I don't see it that way at all hmm

Moominsarescary Thu 13-Dec-12 08:43:10

Teenagers don't need iPads, my older scare no more important than my younger dc. They may have more spent on them because they're older but I wouldn't be buying iPads if it would mean buying the other dc nothing.

Of I'd say it's nearly Christmas so we can't have a mcd this week.

Moominsarescary Thu 13-Dec-12 08:43:12

Teenagers don't need iPads, my older scare no more important than my younger dc. They may have more spent on them because they're older but I wouldn't be buying iPads if it would mean buying the other dc nothing.

Of I'd say it's nearly Christmas so we can't have a mcd this week.

KellyEllyChristmasBelly Thu 13-Dec-12 09:17:23

My DH has to consider my children in decisions he makes, he takes responsibility for them financially and will always put their needs and wants before his own, yet when it comes to making big decisions for the dc, like what secondary school they will go to and the like, he knows his view will be considered, but won't have anywhere near as much weight as mine or my ex's. when we are only allowed three tickets to the school play he doesn't always get to go. Does he have children from another relationship?

financialwizard Thu 13-Dec-12 11:40:32

This is not a step parent issue at all, it is a budgeting one. My husband and I have a sole account each, sole savings account each, joint current account and joint savings. All income goes into the joint current account and I run a spreadsheet to tell me what spare cash we will have every month after bills and savings and then we will split the remainder 50/50. Presents for the children will come out of the joint savings after agreeing what we are going to buy each of them. If we need to spend anything over £50 on anything throughout the year we talk about it because both our previous partners were so bad with money that we tend to err on the very cautious side.

As an aside we have 3 children, only 1 of which is our child together, my ds11 lives with us and is treated by my husband as his own and my husband has a 13 year old DS who I call my part time son. They are all treated as equally as we can, although the older 2 are by far the most expensive!

waltermittymistletoe Thu 13-Dec-12 12:04:33

You know it doesn't really matter whether the money was for nappies or a tree! The facts are that DH took money from their joint account without discussing it, and he did so knowing that he was blatantly spending it on two children and leaving one out.

Some of you think it doesn't matter because OP's dd is a baby but that's beside the point. If OP wanted to spend that on her baby that's her choice.

Now she can't because he took it for his older two. It's just not very nice is it?!

SoWhatIfImWorkingClass Thu 13-Dec-12 12:26:08

Notadisneymum, you make a very good point there.

Stepmums are welcomed from a financial point of view, they are very much a convenience.

Anything else and they are interfering and over stepping boundaries.

Love it!

eslteacher Thu 13-Dec-12 12:46:05

YANBU. When you don't have joint finances and the DSC already have two parents who are financially responsible for them, its reasonable for there to be a line drawn somewhere re: the stepparent's financial contribution. Sounds like your DP is either overstepping this line, or doesn't understand where you want it to be.

bochead Thu 13-Dec-12 14:00:23

Be careful to set some ground rules here OP. Effectively your DP is prioritising the welfare of the older children over that of the younger. Favouritism causes all sorts of long term damage to families.

I have a step son in his twenties whose father lavishes money on (The lad won't wear trainers on under £75 and thinks nothing buying £50 T-shirts). He even bought him a flat last year.

Meanwhile my son gets no maintenance at all and never has. The worst thing is that this year DS has finally become aware of just how much one child is favoured over the other and it has really damaged his relationship with his father. (Dad & I are not together).

Once parental behavior is entrenched it's almost impossible to change and favouritism causes all sorts of emotional issues further down the line. I really regret not kicking up a bigger fuss when DS was still an infant. For emotional security children need to be treated equally (in an age appriopriate way of course and ipad for an infant is silly). Let this be the last year you are soley responsible for buying the babies presents.

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