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How angry should I be?

(79 Posts)
naughtylist Thu 06-Mar-14 23:48:56

My husband and I both work, earn a similar wage but like to keep our finances separate to avoid arguments. We tend to pay half towards bills, I keep child benefit and buy all the childrens clothes, shoes out of my budget. Fair enough.

I was struggling financially last month. Had a lot to pay out but I wanted to give the children a nice week off school because we have not been able to afford a holiday in over a year so set up a plan to take them somewhere each day whether it was the zoo, the cinema etc. Asked DH for some money towards all this. He gave me a tenner and said he couldn't afford anymore so basically I had to pay for everything. He was also really tight with food shopping, only giving me £30 pounds per week. Kids were begging to go to the theatre for a show in April and tickets were selling out, asked him for half and he said sorry but he couldn't afford it. I paid for them stupidly because they really wanted to go. It left me with a fiver to myself for the last 5 days of the month. Our house is also really in need of redecorating.

A new tablet arrived for DH today. He told me he used his chistmas money from his family that he had been saving and said he had got it on offer for £200. I found a document lying on the floor that he had obviously dropped. It was £400. I am quite upset that he has not provided barely anything for his children this month and lied blatantly. I have confronted him, he looked very embarrassed, said he was sorry but that he never buys himself anything. I have told him what I think of him but said I would agree to leave it at that. How would you react to this? I think it's the deceit that bothers me the most.

IHeartKingThistle Thu 06-Mar-14 23:50:32

You're married. Why does he think he's entitled to more than you?

You sound like a lovely mum btw.

WilsonFrickett Thu 06-Mar-14 23:56:54

Well, playing devils advocate, you have separate finances so if he has money in his account, why shouldn't he spend it on himself? I don't think he's right, but your set up is wrong. There are loads of threads about money on here, but generally the consensus is (barring financial abuse) it should all go into the one pot with agreed personal spends for each partner.

Goofymum Thu 06-Mar-14 23:59:10

It seems that separating your finances to avoid arguments has actually done the opposite. Anyway, sharing finance or keeping them separate, it us still unfair for you all as a family to be struggling financially then he buys this tablet. To lie about the cost makes it even worse. You should be very angry about it. It's extremely selfish of him.

whereisshe Fri 07-Mar-14 00:02:31

It doesn't sound like you both take equal responsibility for the kids' costs. That would be a huge problem for me if I were in your position, because they are just as much his kids as they are yours. He's prioritising his own wants and you can't do that as a parent (not to say we all need to be martyrs but within reason kids come first).

At the very least could you have a joint account for the kids' expenses? With a pre-agreed amount from each of you put in monthly?

qwertyqwerty Fri 07-Mar-14 00:02:52

The tablet is irrelevant, it's a mere manifestation of your warped finances.

Sorry to be so blunt but I just don't get how you can live like this.

Seriously forget the tablet, and use this whole thing as a springboard to rejig your financial arrangements.

Caitlin17 Fri 07-Mar-14 00:07:50

Husband and I have always kept finances completely separate. When our son was small I paid for nannies and cleaners, he paid mortgage and utilities.He paid school fees.I paid school extras and any holidays son and I went on our own I paid everything to do with university and everything else just got paid/gets paid by whoever pays for it. It works and neither of us account to the other for what we spend.

The difference with you is I suppose we each have always earned significantly more than the average male wage so being short wasn't an issue. Your situation doesn't sound fair.

anastaisia Fri 07-Mar-14 00:07:57

I'd be most angry about the lying. That sort of pointless lie seems so disrespectful.

Though it doesn't seem to be working out to have separate finances if children's essentials like shoes aren't seen as a joint responsibility. Surely child benefit doesn't cover all their essentials and activities?

naughtylist Fri 07-Mar-14 00:10:31

Ironically, I like to keep separate finances because it normally avoids arguments. I think he spends money on silly things like bracelets that he thinks will provide him energy. He thinks I spend too much money on the kids clothes (which I probably do). But this is about trust. What we agreed is that food and what the kids need comes first, then whatever we want comes next. He has completely violated this in my opinion. He has gone to bed all happy that this is behind us but now I'm sat here thinking I have let him off with this way too easily.

Jolleigh Fri 07-Mar-14 00:11:51

By the looks of it, keeping your finances separate has evolved into him not paying towards raising the children and certain aspects of running the household. If you really wouldn't be happy sharing finances 100%, why not have 4 accounts...a private one for each of you where your wage sits, a joint account for bills and a joint account for costs associated with day to day living (petrol, children, food, etc). You would each then put an agreed amount into each joint account on a set day in the month. What's left in your personal account is yours.

Lottiedoubtie Fri 07-Mar-14 00:13:21

I couldn't be in a marriage without equally shared finances, it just creates this sort of resentment.

Jolleigh Fri 07-Mar-14 00:14:01

FWIW if he's lying then he's more than aware he's being bloody unfair.

foreverondiet Fri 07-Mar-14 00:14:01

I would be very angry, very selfish. Don't get how people who are married and have children together don't share money. Plus the lying as well.

Time to change the way you do your family finances I think?

OccamsRaiser Fri 07-Mar-14 00:24:12

We came to an arrangement where both salaries are deposited into a joint account (which covers mortgage payments, bills and 'general living expenses' such as groceries, childcare fees, things for our DC, savings etc)

We then we have our own personal accounts where an equal, set (admittedly fairly low) sum for personal expenditure goes each payday plus things like birthday/Christmas money get deposited. Spending from this account is then completely at the individual's discretion - no questions asked over how the money is spent.

Do you think something like this might work better for you? Things like paying for the childrens' week of activities would come from the joint account. He would be contributing more fairly to the wider family expenditure, but still be able to 'save up' for things that he wants (like the tablet)...

brdgrl Fri 07-Mar-14 00:36:01

I'd be angry.
I don't think that having separate finances is always a bad thing and it probably works well in some marriages. It sounds though like it has just let you guys sort of go on 'thinking separately', instead of having to come to grips with different attitudes about money, IYSWIM.

DH and I have vastly different incomes at the moment. We keep one joint account and then we each have a separate account. Based on what we each have coming in, we have divided up responsibilities as well, and sorted it so that we each have a certain amount of 'discretionary income' after all the standing expenses are sorted. I'd never question what he spends that on, and would expect him to keep quiet about what I spend mine on - but that is only after all the other obligations are met. We have roughly the same amount of 'spending money' this way, after accounting for each of our's responsibilities. We talk about major optional/luxury expenses and how to manage those on a case-by-case basis, but smaller luxuries are up to us to fund from our 'spending money'.

This is a good system for us. We do still have arguments when he overspends (he has had to come to me a few times when he has run out of money before his next cheque is due, and I am unimpressed) - but it is a lot clearer where the responsibilities lie, and since we started doing it this way, he has been forced to get a better handle on things.

We do have 'full disclosure' - we know what is coming in to each other's accounts, and while we don't really look at each other's books, so to speak, there is no hiding of anything, and when we do sit down to talk about budgeting, it is all out in the open.

brdgrl Fri 07-Mar-14 00:39:03

If you DO carry on like this, you at least need to get a contribution from him towards the kids' needs/luxury items. You get the child benefit, but that can only be partially offsetting the amount you need to keep them clothed and have a bit of fun too. He should be paying his share.

WooWooOwl Fri 07-Mar-14 00:41:24

If you keep your finances separate, then your DH is not obliged to provide money for things like shows and days out every day of the half term just because you decide you want to do them.

You are right about the food though, because that is something that the dc need, but the rest isn't about need, it's about want.

Nanny0gg Fri 07-Mar-14 00:46:20

This setup is going to cause more resentment long term because you are not on the same page regarding necessities let alone luxuries.

And your DH is not fulfilling all of his obligations.

I cannot understand how it's anything like a partnership.

It can only get worse.

brdgrl Fri 07-Mar-14 00:57:47

woowoo, I generally agree that it is important to maintain a distinction between what children need and what they want, but I disagree here that DH can opt not to contribute simply because it is the OP who is making the decisions about the kids' clothes and activities.

If they were divorced and we were talking about separate households, my answer might be different. But they are running the household together, as a partnership, and so have divided up duties for the running of that household, which then they each need to be able to get on with. It seems that OP has been 'designated' as the main carer for the kids on a day-to-day basis. Priorities need to be set jointly, but the DH doesn't get to hand over the responsibility for the kids being clothed, and then micromanage how it is done. Similarly, if she were in charge of grocery shopping, I wouldn't say that her DH is only obliged to contribute to the bare necessities but still partake in the meals. A budget should be set, some general principles agreed - jointly - but it isn't fair for the DH to unilaterally decide that he will only contribute to the bare necessities of the children.

wyrdyBird Fri 07-Mar-14 00:59:29

This is not a healthy situation.

You should not be in a position where you don't have enough for food, or where it's tight going, because your DH won't pay enough towards it.

Your children are both your children, not an expense for you to bear just because you have the child benefit. That's not fair enough.

He lies and indulges himself with a gadget, yet apparently feels no guilt about your children begging to go to the theatre which you couldn't fully finance, or leaving you with £5 to last you out. And he's gone to bed thinking it's all behind him?..

This is very bad. Yes, you should be angry. No decent partner or father would behave like this.

Qix Fri 07-Mar-14 01:01:27

If he has ordered it online then he has 14 days from receiving it when he can send it back - most companies say you can do that even if it's been used.

Gillg57 Fri 07-Mar-14 01:15:15

Keep your separate finances. That way he won't have access to more money to spend on things you don't need.

EverythingCounts Fri 07-Mar-14 01:47:03

We have a similar setup to OccamsRaiser. You need to agree a joint budget to cover bills but also stuff for the DC, and then if there's money left, he can treat himself out of his leisure spends. It doesn't sound at all fair that you get all the kids' things.

As for 'going to shows and things' being about want rather than need, well, so's the tablet. Don't see why the man gets to have things he wants without any discussion but everyone else has to beg and plead for more than the absolute essentials.

MrsTerryPratchett Fri 07-Mar-14 01:59:21

I bought a tablet recently. I had saved up my personal money. However, personal money comes after jointly financed everything is paid, including kids' activities. If there isn't enough, we get less pocket money. If DH wants to spend his extra cash on CoD and beer, he can. I don't understand why the children's finances are yours, that seems odd.

TheRealAmandaClarke Fri 07-Mar-14 02:14:31

bracelets that give him energy ?

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