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Secret debt - AIBU not to want to get a full time job

(662 Posts)
secretshamefuldebt Sat 23-Feb-19 08:25:03

I've name changed for this one due to shame blush after reading another thread on here by a husband about his wife's secret debt, I think I might have a serious issue to deal with.

Somehow in the past 4 years I've gone from having no debt to approx £20k in debt. I've estimated as I don't know the true amount because I'm too scared to look at my credit card with the biggest limit which I've been spending on like I drink water recently. About £4k of that debt is owed to my dad who kindly loaned me the money interest free to pay for our much needed car. There's no pressure to pay this one off but i still do a monthly payment. The rest is credit and overdraft.

Anyway this debt problem started when I got my first credit card just before my first maternity leave as money was tight. Initially I used it to pay for essentials & equipment for the baby (and I wasn't living out of my means just getting essentials). Money was very tight and my husband's business wasn't doing well.

When I went back to work full time I had just got in the habit of putting things on my credit card and continued to do so even though I no longer needed to. I got another credit card and the habit continued but I wasn't paying back what I owed on a monthly basis, I was spending more than my take home pay.

Last September I left my decently paying full time job where I earned £45k (though I was under paid the market rate by about 40%). I wanted to spend more time with my child and help build my husband's business so I now work part time for him 3 days a week. I don't earn very much though (min wage) and he pays all the household expenses as the business is doing better financially (around £2900pm not incl food).

I'm on mat leave now aboutto have my second baby and will only receive maternity allowance but will go back to work in September when baby is 6 months old. So I foresee that if anything the debt will continue to grow and won't get better any time soon if I carry on working pt on minimum wage.

The thing is, if I went back to work full time in September, my job market rate is £70-80k as what I do is v niche, before leaving my last job I was recognised with 2 industry awards, and I have been constantly contacted by recruiters/headhunters since leaving my last job to put me forward for full time positions (which I have ignored). I know with a salary like that I could clear the debt in 2-3 years but I would never see my children as the hours would be horrific.

Would it be unreasonable of me to carry on working part time in my husbands business and focus on helping it grow as quickly as possible so that the debt can be cleared in large chunks when big amounts of money come in (though this is not guaranteed)? This way I could see my babies grow up while they are young. Or do I need to get a steady income to help pay off the debt - is this a matter of urgency?

My husband doesn't know about the debt- he thinks I'm the financially responsible one . We have separate accounts for everything as his credit rating is so bad but in the past few years my credit rating has gone from good to below average.

SexNotJenga Sat 23-Feb-19 08:27:59

You need to get some proper financial advice and to be honest with your husband.

werideatdawn Sat 23-Feb-19 08:28:35

I really think you need to go back to work. I understand that means sacrifice in terms of the children but if theres no guarantee your husbands business will make the money you need, this will continue to spiral further out of control.

Crystalintheeyes Sat 23-Feb-19 08:29:22

Yes you are being unreasonable.

It’s lucky I’m not your husband as I’d leave you over 20k worth of secret debt.

IceRebel Sat 23-Feb-19 08:29:46

Yes you would be massively unreasonable. You need to sit down with your husband and tell him about the debt. Whilst it's nice to spend time with your children as they grow up, you need to prioritize the debt and get it paid off. Since you can't guarantee that your husband's business will continue to grow or provide enough to pay off the debt, you need to look at going back to your very well paid job in order to do so.

Figgygal Sat 23-Feb-19 08:31:21

Yes totally unreasonable you propose to basically ignore it and expect your husbands business The assumption of which there is no guaranteed income to support her and her family with that much debt

With two kids that is really irresponsible when you have the earning potential that you do

slipperywhensparticus Sat 23-Feb-19 08:32:12

You need to work out your childcare costs and offset them against your debts and if it would pay you to be in full time work

PinkHeart5914 Sat 23-Feb-19 08:32:52

You spent all this money, so yes you need a bloody full time job to pay it off ffs!

I’d leave you over this, it’s not only all the money you owe it’s the secret about it that would do it for me.

MoveOnTheCards Sat 23-Feb-19 08:32:53

I think you need to face up to the debt, talk to your husband and work out a proper plan that doesn’t rely on money coming in that isn’t guaranteed. If this means you need to return to work then that’s what you need to do. Many of us work to pay the bills when we’d rather not.

TestingTestingWonTooFree Sat 23-Feb-19 08:33:27

That ship has sailed, but I’d say you can’t afford a second child. You are where you are and you’re going to have to make some compromises. You need a proper plan for how to manage this. Maybe talk to one of the debt management charities? At least your earning potential gives you options.

AuntMarch Sat 23-Feb-19 08:34:14

Yes, go back full time and drop again when debt cleared

WhatToDoAboutWailmerGoneRogue Sat 23-Feb-19 08:34:23

You need to get a full time job, explain the debt to your husband and what you are personally doing to fix it.

Anything else would be selfish and irresponsible.

secretshamefuldebt Sat 23-Feb-19 08:37:41

The thing is the only reason it's a secret is because I didn't realise this was a big deal until reading the other thread. And now I'm worried that is is a big deal. I just assumed things will work out (I'm quite bad with money and have never budgeted before but before children used to make sure my income exceeded my outgoings so only worked in well paid jobs and never used credit).

Your responses are scaring me...I feel sick- is this the kind of thing that would affect a marriage? The debt doesn't personally affect my husband as our finances are separate and we don't have any assets.

LakieLady Sat 23-Feb-19 08:38:02

The very fact that you don't actually know how much debt you're in shows how much you've been burying your head in the sand here.

You need to work out the extent of the problem and share it with him. Only then can you (both of you!) work out what to do about it. Given that you have great earning potential, going back to work asap and throwing money at the debt until it's cleared may well be the best option.

Parker231 Sat 23-Feb-19 08:38:58

You need professional help as you don’t seem in the real world. Destroy your credit cards today and sit down with your DH to work out a budget to ensure you can repay your debts. You need to return to full time employment asap.

Butteredghost Sat 23-Feb-19 08:39:47

I feel sick- is this the kind of thing that would affect a marriage?

If you think it's no big deal and wouldn't affect a relationship, why are you keeping it a secret?

Girlsnightin Sat 23-Feb-19 08:41:21

In the kindest way I think you are being very selfish. Let's face it, you have the most earning power but choose to work part time on min wage, continue to spend like you were earning more, have had two mat leaves, but don't want to go back after 6 months to pay off the debt you created, and move the responsibility of repayment to come from your husbands potential earnings?

secretshamefuldebt Sat 23-Feb-19 08:41:33

Working full time made me so miserable it was really affecting my mental health. May be a different environment wouldn't have the same effect but I can anticipate my hours would be 8/9am- 8/9pm. Or if I managed to find a flexible place I would be logging back on in the evenings a lot when I got home.

Thanks for the suggestions I'll contact those agencies this week to see my options.

paintinmyhairAgain Sat 23-Feb-19 08:42:18

if i was your husband, i like to think i support you through this but not sure i could, there has been so much secrecy, i certainly would find it very hard it to trust you again if ever, so that alone would possibly break up the marriage.

Settlersofcatan Sat 23-Feb-19 08:42:37

Yes, It's a big deal and your husband will be very upset about you not mentioning it.

Providing financially for your children is also pretty important and 20k of debt puts them in a vulnerable position.

Given what you say about your previous career, I would let the headhunters set you up with some options and then have a go at negotiating flexible working - e.g. 4 days compressed hours or a day a week from home. It might be unusual in your industry but if you're in demand, it might be more achievable than you think

MoveOnTheCards Sat 23-Feb-19 08:42:55

Of course this kind of thing will have an effect on a marriage (not always the same, granted). It means you need to rethink your plans together to pay it off. Not to mention keeping it from your husband... what about the trust there?

I struggle to understand how it hasn’t occurred to you before that this is a growing problem that needed to be addressed (especiallybif you’re so focussed and successful in a serious job, where I imagine you need to use business-related skills on a regular basis?)

Littlechocola Sat 23-Feb-19 08:43:14

Lots of us would love to be at home with our children but can’t afford to.
Neither can you.

Talk to your husband.

LostInShoebiz Sat 23-Feb-19 08:43:17

The debt doesn't personally affect my husband as our finances are separate and we don't have any assets.

You’re married and live together at the same address so while it is not his debt, it affects him. If he applied for credit,even a store card, this could affect him. What if his business fails? Wouldn’t that be relevant to you? So how is this debt nothing to do with him.

You’re being incredibly irresponsible. I wouldn’t leave you but I’d be cutting up cards and dishing out pocket money for the next 20 years.

IceRebel Sat 23-Feb-19 08:43:19

The debt doesn't personally affect my husband as our finances are separate and we don't have any assets

Of course it affects your husband, you have 20K (perhaps more) of debt, which you can't pay off and is only going to keep rising. At some point you're going to have to come clean to him.

secretshamefuldebt Sat 23-Feb-19 08:43:28

@Butteredghost it wasn't a secret as such I just didn't think to share it since our finances are separate and I didn't really think it was an issue. As of today since reading the other thread it's now a secret I now realise the seriousness of the situation.sad

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