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to ask you what you consider 'essentials'

(91 Posts)
limon Sun 20-Jan-13 10:42:08

As long as you aren't really struggling financially, do you consider toileteries and hair cuts and clothes you don't actually need as 'essentials' that should come out of the family 'pot'.

BeanJuice Sun 20-Jan-13 11:33:33

I don't think a haircut is essential.

wanderingcloud Sun 20-Jan-13 11:33:52

like Alibaba we get basics, such as toothpaste, shower gel etc from household budget but make up, moisturiser, haircuts are discretionary spending so I have long hair I get it cut once a year if that but I like to buy more expensive moisturiser and make up. oh likes getting his hair cut at barbers every month and expensive moisturiser but he doesn't buy MAC lip gloss! We only buy clothes that we need out if the household spending, generally we agree on this beforehand e.g. I need maternity trousers for work, that would be household and I'd tell oh I was getting them out the joint account but if I want a pretty maternity top just for odd night out, that's discretionary, So I would pay out of "my money" as it were. We both work full-time so I don't know if that makes a difference.

bigbadbarry Sun 20-Jan-13 11:33:56

Are you struggling or just narked that he spends more on fripperies than you do? If the former, posh clothes and highlights would go, for me. Moisturiser is an essential for me especially in the cold weather. If it is just about fair division of spends, we go for the "big pot" approach but neither of us ever resents the other spending (but neither of us is a particularly big spender). Others go for the half and half approach, which is also fair.

HollyBerryBush Sun 20-Jan-13 11:37:03

Post this on relationships, switch so the woman is the SAH - and you'll be accused of emotioanl and financial abuse.

Frankly all this who needs what and entitled to what becaue they may or may not be physically bringing money into the house is hairy bolleux!

You are either a partnership and it is family money or you are aren't. If you aren't then you are treating the SAH as the lodger and doling out a bit of a wage IMHO

limon Sun 20-Jan-13 11:38:08


He works about 2 days and looks after ds's.

I earn about 4 x what he does.

His regular day brings in enough for him to pay our broadband, landline, half of elec/gas and his equipment insurances. His freelance income is his "disposable".

I pay

Council tax
Tv Licence
Expenses for two cars
Half of elec/gas
£400 per month into a joint account for his use (food shopping, fuel, days out with kids and anything else he needs)
The rest of my earnings goes into savings for the family and my only luxuries are toiletries, hair cuts etc and the odd lunch out.
Basically everything family related.

Every once in a while he ends up a bit short - but that's because he's

limon Sun 20-Jan-13 11:40:47

Does that sound like financial abuse? This is why I've posted I really want to know.

He flatly refuses to have a "family pot" into which everything goes in and everything goes out.

I think he's probably got more disposable income than me when you factor in his good earning months with his freelance work.

HollyBerryBush Sun 20-Jan-13 11:41:32

Based on what you have written, it comes across that you like the balance of financial power.

ImpatientOne Sun 20-Jan-13 11:41:55

It's all relative, what one person considers essential could easily be seen as extravagant by others dependant on levels of disposable income...

My DH and I do not have any separate money but we do not question each others choices. We would only discuss spending on a non-essential if it was a substantial amount around £300+

That said we are fortunate to have a fair income at present, things would be different if our situation changed.

MrsKeithRichards Sun 20-Jan-13 11:42:40

Haircuts are totally essential couldn't bear ds looking scruffy, I wouldn't attempt to go near anyone's head with a pair of scissors and I like my hair styles, I hate the look of long unkempt hair. I mean hair that's just what long for the sake of being long, no shape, structure, layers or anything. ugh.

limon Sun 20-Jan-13 11:44:41

No I don't ... I hate it. But DP won't take any responsibility. I've tried to show him the finances spreadsheet but he just won't engage in any discussion about family finance!

He is quite happy with the way things are and doesn't want to do things "jointly". I really hate that.

TeWiSavesTheDay Sun 20-Jan-13 11:46:44

It's really hard to say whether it's fair or not without knowing the actual sums involved.

It seems like you don't know exactly how much he earns and that's not right. No matter how you choose to divy things up you should both be clear on exactly how much money is going in and out.

limon Sun 20-Jan-13 11:47:12

Oh I didn't finish my post. The reason he ends up short some times
Is that he's uses all his disposable up and then has a bad month freelance wise.

Bearing in mind he has just spent £1k on a piece of non-essential hobby equipment. And I've just spent £600 on repairs/servicing for both cars.

IDontDoIroning Sun 20-Jan-13 11:47:33

Seeing as you pay the bulk of the day to day main living costs I think Thant it's only fair that he contributes his bonus pays to the family pot. Either that or you take more for yourself on a regulator basis and he tops up his with his bonus money. Seems to me he wants the penny and the bun.

zukiecat Sun 20-Jan-13 11:50:27

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

fuzzpig Sun 20-Jan-13 11:51:30

Haircuts not essential IMO, I do the MN haircut on myself and DD which works really well, and trim DS' hair (he is 3 and has what I think is referred to as an 'Eton flop'?!)

Have been cutting DH's too but now he is looking for work he is going to the barbers so ATM I suppose for him it is essential to have it done properly (and I'm too ill to sit there for half an hour and cut it anyway)

Anything beyond tv license is totally frivolous IMO, we did have cable before DCs but when we moved we didn't bother getting it again (in fact we had over a year without connecting the telly at all)

In our house though everything is basically the 'family pot', we share all money. DH and I have £20pcm each for really frivolous things like DVDs (we record it in a little book and everything blush) but stuff that is important (for a more comfortable life), but not essential, just gets paid for out of regular money just like proper essentials. I view work clothes (and shoes) as essential but regular clothes aren't really. We aren't big spenders on that sort of thing though - it is things like DVDs/board games etc that are our weakness, which is why we put our budget in place. Working really well so far.

We aren't well off at all but if things were tighter I guess we would move more of the 'not really essential but important for comfort' items into the 'frivolous' camp and budget accordingly I suppose?

mademred Sun 20-Jan-13 11:59:22

Years ago when my ex got us into a financial mess , I went to the cab for advice, they listed our income and outgoings, and on their list of essential items that they send to your debtors, was clothes, fags and alcohol and lottery.i suppose to many people they are essential as food and a roof over their heads. If I had the money to waste then I would buy all sorts , but now im on a strictish budget, we get things as cheap as possible without crompromising too much on qaulity.

limon Sun 20-Jan-13 12:00:27

I think for my own peace of mind I might record my frivolities for a
month to see if I'm taking the lions share or not.

FredFredGeorge Sun 20-Jan-13 12:01:39

Haircuts cost 7 quid though don't they?

Moisturiser is an interesting one that everyone says is essential - petroleum jelly is just about the best moisturiser you can buy as a moisturiser, it's just gross and smelly so it's not very nice to use so most people spend more on stuff that isn't gross. The essential is dead cheap though.

If you're short of cash and feel upset, why save so much - what are you saving for that your DH doesn't appear to agree with saving for if he's not using his extra money? It sounds like your choice is to save.

I couldn't care less if DP has more disposable income than me (I'm sole earner at the moment) as long as the family is living within our means we're fine. Of course any family where money is more of a struggle or different people have very different ideas on money then there's more likely to be conflict.

newNN Sun 20-Jan-13 12:01:55

If he won't agree to share everything and have one family pot from which all things are paid, then I suggest you pay him half of what it would cost to pay childcare for the days he has ds and then insist on a proportional split of all bills. You would pay a higher contribution because you earn more, but he would only have money left for non essentials after he had paid his share of the bills. If he won't agree to share hid bonus, then I would literally split the bills 50/50 and only give him half the cost of childcare for th days he has ds, rather than the proportional split. I was all prepared to say you are being U, but your layer posts sound like he wants you to pay for everything, leaving him with more spare cash than you, which is unfair.

PackItInNow Sun 20-Jan-13 12:04:28

Roof over heads, clothes/bedding, heating, food and electricity, fridge-freezer, toothbrushes, toothpaste, toilet roll, washing up liquid and soap are the basic essentials. The other 2 essentials are the NHS and state education. Anything else could be counted as a luxury because I could quite happily get by without anything else.

Luxuries IMO are:
1. Haircuts at the hairdresser,
2. Toiletries such as shampoo, shower gel (hair and body can be cleaned with soap) etc,
3. Make-up,
4. Internet (can go down the Job Centre to look for jobs or the library for information on different subjects)
5. Dishwasher
6. Microwave
7. Satellite TV (Sky etc)
8. TV (can make our own entertainement by playing I-Spy etc,)
9. Games Consoles
10. Beauty Services (Spas and nail bars etc)
11. Holidays

I can think of loads more luxuries, but it would take too long to list them all grin.

MerryCouthyMows Sun 20-Jan-13 12:08:15

Haircuts essential. Toiletries essential. Basic makeup (eyeshadow, lipstick, eyeliner, mascara) essential.

Clothes you don't need - not essential.

helpyourself Sun 20-Jan-13 12:12:20

Unless DH is 'bad with money' I'd put it all in one pot and everything, including highlights comes out of it. But that works best if you both have the same goals. We pool all money, but both hate spending it.

limon Sun 20-Jan-13 12:18:38

Fred overall, we aren't 'short of cash'
We run two cars, can pay the rent, eat well etc.
newNN if we did that, he wouldn't have enough money to cover his proportion.
helpyourself he's 'bad with money' in that he doesn't save or budget - when he has it, he spends it.

limon Sun 20-Jan-13 12:19:19

oh, and we have Freesat which costs nothing now we've bought the box.

limon Sun 20-Jan-13 12:21:05

Fred it's not that he has more disposable income than me that worries me. It's whether I am being in some way unfair.

Also, we need to save. We have a small child, and two cars. Our child will need to have school trips, potentially braces, maybe university one day. The cars need servicing and repairing from time to time. That's why we save.

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