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To limit DH to £50 per week?

(260 Posts)
MrsKoala Sun 20-Jan-13 16:25:36

Name changer - Inspired a bit by another thread, i am now wondering if i am being controlling.

I am a sahm and DH either works from home (all Jan) or into central London (2 hr commute). If DH is at home he will go to the co-op (which is very expensive i think) for something to eat when we have a kitchen full of stuff. He will return with snacks/lunch which adds up to about £10. He also will pop to wetherspoons in the morning for breakfast, which is about a fiver and often go to costa for a break in the avo for coffee and a cake. If he is at the office he can spend about £30 on breakfast, lunch and snacks/drinks.

I appreciate he just wants to get out of the house/office and we can afford it some months - If it means he gets ALL the money left over after bills and we don't save or put anything away for holidays. But most months he draws on our savings account as he has gone overdrawn.

I have suggested we both draw out £50 per week for our 'extras'. He thinks this is wildly unrealistic and is bristling with me when i have suggested he cannot use the savings account as a slush fund for £100 here and there when he goes overdrawn.

I want us to start living within our means but DH feels that he earns a good salary and should be allowed to buy coffee when he wants it (sounds reasonable but when you add it up it is shock ). We now have an issue where i am restricting myself to accommodate his spending. My MA will stop next month so we need to be even tighter with ourselves.

I wish i didn't have to try to control his spending but i am really worried - despite him earning a decent wage. Our outgoings appear to be huge and we are hemorrhaging money sad

So AIBU to give him a budget?

maninawomansworld Thu 07-Feb-13 11:52:20

We pay both our salaries into a joint account. Money for bills / mortgage goes into one account, pre-agreed savings go into other accounts such as new car fund, general savings, specific accounts for certain things that we want etc.. and then the rest is split evenly between us as or own and we are not allowed to get annoyed if we think the other is 'wasting' their money. Once it's gone though, it's gone and you've got nothing till next month.

HildaOgden Sun 03-Feb-13 20:17:53

Best of luck MrsKoala,it all sounds like a very positive move forward smile

Trills Sun 03-Feb-13 19:36:29

Good luck smile

scottishmummy Sun 03-Feb-13 19:24:09

ok, good resolution.keep eye on how all goes and best wishes with move

MrsKoala Sun 03-Feb-13 14:42:23


We had a massive talk/sort out and have gone thru the lot. Agreed to £50 per week, selling some shares for emergency savings, opened a joint savings acc for everything to go in. I have also enrolled on a course which has 3 further course progressions to achieve my dream career. We have earmarked 5k for that and it has gone into my personal isa. Also I am doing life drawing classes for a hobby to get me out and if I can start selling some work then that will be a bonus (sorry, I didn't answer up thread, yes I used to sell work and exhibit but am very rusty now).

I feel a weight has been lifted. Thank you to all for your advice, I couldn't have clarified my thoughts without this thread. smile

AThingInYourLife Tue 22-Jan-13 13:26:00

"He also has an element of 'face saving' because the people he works with are often young ans single and on the same salary, so at lunch suggest expensive restaurants. He has accepted that as a man with a family he is not in that position anymore, BUT he is a bit unsure of how to say no."

He wouldn't need to say no if he wasn't troughing so many cakes.

There's fuck all point setting him any kind of budget while he maintains that having a job gives him the right to be so greedy.

shewhowines Tue 22-Jan-13 12:26:31

Sorry yes i was aware £50 per week.

Astley Tue 22-Jan-13 12:25:28

shewhowinesit's £50 a week not a month! I don't thonk anyone who earns the sort of money he does would agree to £50 a month!

Personally I would agree to the £100 a week but say that you won't be able to afford skiing or any holiday this year if he spends all that. So if he were to only spend £50 a week that would be £200 towards a nice holiday. £100 a week is still a hell of a lot better than £30 a day and won't seem quite such a horrible shock.

FairPhyllis Tue 22-Jan-13 12:20:01

Hi Koala

I think you do sound like you are getting defensive because it turns out that there's no easy fix to the situation. You were desperately worried at the beginning of the thread, but as soon as people started criticising your DH your worries seem to have evaporated.

The point about defence workers needing to have control over their finances is a good one.

Part of the reason I am really concerned for you is that I moved to the US 6 years ago and know it well. I was able to work and I was living in a really nice small college town. Now depending on where you are going, you potentially are going to end up being really isolated, especially if you can't drive. You could very easily find that there is nowhere to walk to from your house with a pushchair and that you are basically trapped at home. This happened to a friend of mine when she went out with a baby for her husband's job. You may not even be able to do grocery shopping without a car - even I couldn't where I was living. This is a very socially isolating experience, especially as you won't be able to work, and it is notoriously difficult to make good friends with Americans. You also don't know how your MS is going to impact on you in the future.

If you're moving to the DC/VA/MA area, where many defence firms are, it's one of the most expensive regions of the US, and it is also all set up for car drivers. The cost of living will not necessarily be lower than in the UK. Any money problems you have may actually get worse.

Moving abroad is really hard - take it from me - and is a strain on any relationship, and even more so on one where you can't communicate about money, as you have described. I am honestly frightened by the situation you have outlined, because you are in such a vulnerable position and appear to have your head in the sand about it.

shewhowines Tue 22-Jan-13 12:19:19

Sorry yes I see that with the move your finances will improve. Then I don't see why you can't use savings to bridge the gap. It's obviously important to him.

NatashaBee Tue 22-Jan-13 12:16:50

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

shewhowines Tue 22-Jan-13 12:16:30

Ok so now you both need to agree TOGETHER whether you subsidise what is obviously important to him, and dip into your savings/shares or stick to a budget. I think it is NBU of him to want more than £50 if is important to him and you have savings. After all this is one reason why you build savings up - HOWEVER you cannot do this forever, so he needs to use some constraint.

You need to agree and compromise on how far you are willing to let your savings fall. Perhaps start of with £100 per month with a view to reducing the budget gradually over time? It does seem a bit too much of a jump to go to £50 straight off. Is there any other areas that you can trim a little?

Finances will change anyway when you go to the States.You might be better/worse off with the different cost of living. Perhaps re-evaluate then? It shouldn't be you making all the sacrifices though, whatever happens.

As in all relationships you need to talk to each other and both of you need to take into account what is important to the other. You don't need to have a 50/50 split of disposable income just an agreed amount each that will make you both happy. You may be happy with less than him but he must see that you must live within your means, even if you do budget to dip into your built up shares each month.

I still think YABU to demand the £50 but I agree YANBU to see the need for him to see that some new arrangement must happen- even if you do agree to re-evaluate in the States. He does need to see that the status quo must change in the very near future.

MrsKoala Tue 22-Jan-13 12:03:57

it is covered after 1 year tinker. i am having a meeting with them next week to ensure everything is covered. dh made this his first point when they made him the offer.

tinkertitonk Tue 22-Jan-13 12:01:52

Health insurance.

OP, you wrote that you have ms. Your health insurance provider in the US is likely to regard that as a pre-existing condition and on those grounds refuse to pay for any of your treatment. It is imperative that, before you move to the US, you discuss this, not with your DH's HR people, but directly with the insurance provider. And get the results of the discussion in writing.

MrsKoala Tue 22-Jan-13 12:00:48

that's another reason to move. his commuting/travel costs are costing £600 per month and we rent a car for £500 per month as ours died the week before xmas.

when we move he will be a walk to work and the company will rent us a car.

MrsKoala Tue 22-Jan-13 11:57:54

we have stopped the shares completely this month as my MA stops so we will need the money. after all our considerable outgoings we are only left with £600 per month now - even when he stops the shares. so any more than £50 is taking us close to the edge, and we wont be saving anything either.

shewhowines Tue 22-Jan-13 11:45:14

TBH i seem to be a lone voice here with some sympathy for your DH.

He has not frittered away savings as such. He has moved your savings into shares - albeit monthly rather than in one go.

He may have even done you a favour, in that now everything is invested and tied up, he will have to be more open to budgeting.

However, despite the fact that he spends, what most of us would think of as unreasonable, amounts of money on fripparies, he and you CAN afford it. He has not got you into debt. You still have savings although in another format. Just because you don't prioritise snacks/coffees etc, it doesn't mean that he shouldn't see that as important. Of course that doesn't mean you should go without either.

With no money from savings to subsidise the shares, you now need to work out together, where to go from now on.

If he still wants to buy shares then he will need to budget and reduce his spending. It may mean you can't sustain the £850 per month - even if he does budget. But with budgeting you can buy more shares.

You don't need to save that amount per month. It looks to me that you could still buy a reduced amount of shares whilst still budgeting for his current level of spend on snacks/meals etc. It is NBU of him to wish to do this otherwise in his words "what's the point of working?"

You need to take into account your own financial needs and work that into how you progress from here. You shouldn't need to be ordering the cheapest main and drinking water either.

You are in a very privileged position to be able to have savings of any sort. He hasn't frittered them away, he has transferred them.

Now you have to work out how many shares you can afford whilst allowing him to spend what he wants and letting you have some money for yourself too.

I think YABU to make him stick to a budget of £50.
Decide together if you want to buy shares or have money to spend on whatever you both want. You need to decide together how you allocate your disposable income. He can afford his current lifestyle but will have to give up buying some shares each month.

MrsKoala Tue 22-Jan-13 11:25:15

well we are no where near bankruptcy. but thanks anyway. i'm not sure what their policy is tho. i will ask him.

Gigondas Tue 22-Jan-13 11:07:02

The point about bankruptcy is more clear cut than bribery- in some jobs it is a sackable offence.

MrsKoala Tue 22-Jan-13 11:00:20

Oh and he doesn't use it as an excuse - he denies he is any different to anyone else. It's others who have noticed his traits and mentioned it. He would hate to be thought of different. He already suffers because of his dyslexia. This is part of the problem, rather than admitting he doesn't understand bills he just keeps paying. Like never checking in a restaurant - because he has no idea whet the rough estimate of the bill should be.

MrsKoala Tue 22-Jan-13 10:57:19

x posts

Molly - i do do that when possible and i bought him a posh modo coffee thing which stinks the kitchen out

But i do get on my high horse and say why should i, you are a grown man etc.

He is transferring his uk 25 days holiday allowance over to his US contract. And also they will pay for him to come to the uk once every 3 months for a couple of weeks to work with uk clients. Which means i will come back then too and we can all stay at my parents in London.

MrsKoala Tue 22-Jan-13 10:52:13

Yes AThing, ONE of the reasons is defo that. Atm he has to go to the states for a week a month and also as well as his 9-5 uk hours the states office want conference calls at 8pm - so he has to cover US hours as well.

He is also an active person - ants in his pants. And when at home will default to working constantly because it is always visible. But where we will be moving too will be a 2hr drive from ski resorts and have local bike trails and walks etc so we want to be able to do stuff like that as a family.

And yes But tens of thousands on coffees and snacks doesn't? that's really the point of this thread. He sees a lump sum and thinks that's a lot, but finds it hard to equate £10-30 per day with tens of thousands. He is incredulous that it could come to that because 'it's just a cake'.

We ARE doing the cash thing - i think i mentioned that in all my waffling upthread - sorry if it got lost. He has agreed to that, BUT he has said he will struggle on £50 and wants £100. So it is now about getting him used to it. He has said he finds the cash idea a good one - BUT is also slightly defensive and adamant that if he needs more he has to have access to some. It is just now working on a joint opinion on what need is.

He also has an element of 'face saving' because the people he works with are often young ans single and on the same salary, so at lunch suggest expensive restaurants. He has accepted that as a man with a family he is not in that position anymore, BUT he is a bit unsure of how to say no. This situation is fairly new (ds is only a few months) and i presumed he was mentally prepared for it during the pregnancy. When we discussed it he made all the right noises. But i suppose when reality hit his self preservation for all he knew kicked in.

He knows the cost of keeping us and will get there in the end - of that i am sure. It's just the battles to get there (this is his MO - he takes a long time to accept things, whereas i can make a decision and change just like that).

I do not defend his selfishness. He admits it is a character flaw and when it is illustrated i am suffering he will change, but he will not recognise that suffering without help and would probably be happy if i said nothing. I accept that. I just make sure i let him know my needs now (in the beginning i was waiting for him to notice and he was just carrying on oblivious). i have flaws too. But we adore each other. He frustrates the hell out of me tho (and i do him) but he's worth it.

And yes, i do admire him, and he admires me. We both can do what the other can't so find them a bit amazing. I like that.

Also we are recently married. So this was never going to be a 'dealbreaker' issue for me.

mollymole Tue 22-Jan-13 10:47:44

When he is at home can't you pre-empt his little trips by producing a cup of coffee at say 10.30 and then saying to him -'lunch at 12.30' and then both of you sitting down together to eat what you have prepared. Again, a quick snack for him in the afternoon with a drink. You can even pre prepare the meaks/snacks so that you aren't tied to the house all day.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Tue 22-Jan-13 10:44:59

The more I read of this, the more I think this guy is not half a clueless as he is making out.
He seems to have a very firm grip of certain things, like how everything should be run to suit him and how much it might cost for the OP to do something for her, for example.
And how convenient that he refuses to go and seek help or a diagnosis. There is always the possibility that they say that nothing is wrong with him, and then where has his excuse gone to?

I am also hmm at the idea that there would be a better work/life balance in the US, where employees get less holiday and are expected to work long hours and weekends once they are at senior level.

Whoknows - the OP tried that this week and her DH spent it all in two days and then said he needed more.

Chunderella Tue 22-Jan-13 10:34:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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