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To be sick of DH's lack of budgeting skills

(106 Posts)
singsong777 Wed 20-Mar-19 08:28:51

DH and I spent beyond our means last year on a few short breaks away, going to restaurants a lot and that kind of thing. It left us with a £3.5k credit card bill at the end of the year, which we paid off straightaway but left a big dent in our savings.

This year I'm determined that we live within our means, putting away £400 per month between us into savings and living off a strict but decent budget. We essentially have about £80 per week each to spend on frivolities after all other bills (including food) have been paid.

However, DH is struggling to stick to this and now, a week before payday, is badgering me about money, asking if we can take £50 each out of our savings to get us through the week. We both have about £30 for the next seven days, which will have to buy a few cheap bits of food, a bus ticket here and there but not much else. Ok it's not a huge amount, but IMO it's perfectly adequate considering we have all other expenses paid.

DH thinks I'm being ridiculous as we have almost £7k in savings and says "£50 here and there won't hurt". But like I say, I'm really keen to build up our savings this year to make up for last year's overspending. I'd also like to buy a new bathroom and make other improvements to our house.

We own our home (mortgaged) and have no DC.

AIBU to force DH to stick to this budget or should I give in and let him take £50 out of our savings?

thecatsthecats Wed 20-Mar-19 09:23:45

Well, for what it's worth, I subscribe to your individual approach.

I'm all for financial diets, especially denying yourself on a short term basis to improve your financial standing (e.g. leaving non-essential £50 purchase until next month's budget, in order to 'bank' the saving that month and so on).

However... to what extent did you both sit down and set this goal, and talk about what it looks like on a lifestyle level? Just asking since you say I'm determined etc? And it was both of you who financially overstretched yourselves last year...

Both my husband and I overate for a long time. Now I'm going to the gym 5x a week and dieting. But I haven't made him do the same, or set a target like 'we're going to lose 10st between us'. That's a relatively simple equivalency to me.

(Though again, personally, £80 is a good amount to spend on frivolities a week - you can include a gym membership (£6), a simple pub lunch out (£15) and a night out (£50) for that amount in most locations, and still have a few quid left over!)

DisplayPurposesOnly Wed 20-Mar-19 09:29:29

I think PP has a point about shared goals. Staying out of debt is a no brainer of course, but you need to have an agreed approach to savings and home improvement.

I don't understand how you each have £80 for frivolities (which is pretty generous) but only each have £30 until payday.

leafinthewind Wed 20-Mar-19 09:32:12

He's already blown his, hasn't he?

bridgetreilly Wed 20-Mar-19 09:32:53

I don't understand how you each have £80 for frivolities (which is pretty generous) but only each have £30 until payday.

Because they've already overspent on previous weeks, I assume. Both of them.

OP, I would ask your DH to write down what he thinks he needs to spend money on in the next 7 days. Make an actual budget for it. And then he - and you - can see whether it's reasonable for him to have a bit more money or not.

Eliza9917 Wed 20-Mar-19 09:43:16

So he's spent 320 in 3 1/2 weeks?

Arowana Wed 20-Mar-19 09:48:50

I am in favour of your style of spending, OP. I don’t overspend, I’m happy to deny myself short term treats in order to save up for longer term goals etc. My DH is the same.

However, not everyone agrees with this. Some people would prefer to enjoy the little things along the way. I assume your DP is really more like this, however much he may have seemed to go along with your plans when you first discussed it.

It’s really important to iron this out between you now, as it can become a serious source of conflict between you in the future. Maybe you both need to compromise a bit from your ideal position?

BlindAssassin1 Wed 20-Mar-19 09:51:09

What does he actually want the extra for? Is it for subs for a sports club, you know, a bill that is due even if its for a hobby, so not essential, or is it just crap that's going to get frittered away?

singsong777 Wed 20-Mar-19 10:11:18

Thanks for the replies. Yes, he doesn't need the money for anything essential - he just fancies going out with his mates for a few beers on Friday, maybe a pub lunch at the weekend, a visit to the cinema and various other nice things. Whereas I would prefer to stick at home, have a frugal weekend and book a nice lunch on the following Sunday (post-pay day). It's nice to have something to look forward to as a treat and know that you've "earnt" it in a sense, by sticking to your budget the month before.

I admit that I'm a bit strict/single-minded about these things - if I have a target like this I'm very prepared to make small sacrifices to meet it, whereas DH is more a "live in the moment" type guy. I think he just sees £50/£100 here or there as no big deal, whereas in my mind, it's £1,000-plus a year that we could actually spend on something more worthwhile (home improvements, a holiday maybe) rather than just frittering it away.

singsong777 Wed 20-Mar-19 10:13:14

To those asking why we only have £30 each left - we did both overspend a bit last week as we had two birthday parties in the diary. But I'm now happy to live off £30 for the next week to make up for that, whereas DH isn't.

UnexpectedItemInShaggingArea Wed 20-Mar-19 10:17:15

Problem is you have different attitudes so you are acting like his mum doling out his pocket money. That's not a sustainable situation in a relationship.

I'd be inclined to really resolve this before you have any kids.

For this instance can you compromise on £25?

thecatsthecats Wed 20-Mar-19 10:18:02

What he wants should be acheiveable and compatible with your aims, so long as he does learn to deny himself OCCASIONALLY on that budget - and I think knowing how to is pretty important.

4x £0 = £320

He can go to the cinema but not get lots of snacks.
He can go for a few beers but know he can only have 4-5.
You can have a pub lunch for £10 a head if you skip the starters etc...

I mean, I repeat, I agree with your approach - it's mine too! (though - smugness admitted - I would never have frittered £3.5k I didn't have) But again, BOTH of you got into the habit of frittering, and now only YOU have fixed it - which has made for this imbalance.

QueenEhlana Wed 20-Mar-19 10:18:31

Instead of a 'maybe' with what your savings are for, why don't you sit down with him and discuss the purpose of the savings. Talk about what type of holiday, what the specific home improvements will be, etc. Have a 'maybe' goal clearly isn't enough incentive for him. But having a firm THIS is what I'm saving for, might help more.

Also, you could split the savings into two, one longer term, and one shorter term. So maybe something smaller with more immediacy, eg a new laptop, TV etc. Some people need to visualise the 'carrot'.

singsong777 Wed 20-Mar-19 10:21:00

Yes, I do feel a bit like that Unexpected (love your username by the way!)

I suppose like others have said, DH and I are just very different people when it comes to money. Perhaps I do need to compromise a bit more - I'm aware that I can be very inflexible when I set myself a certain target to meet.

Sicario Wed 20-Mar-19 10:22:40

Poor budgeting is life ruinous. Stick to your guns but talk to each other and stay on the same page if you can.

Kleptronic Wed 20-Mar-19 10:23:19

Can he borrow it from next month's budget, if there's no unexpected birthdays/expenses next month.

ShartGoblin Wed 20-Mar-19 10:28:18

What do each of you earn as a percentage? I know you're being very sensible but you just can't have this level of financial control over someone. It's not right. Yes he might fritter all his money away but that's his choice. Provided the bills get paid and nobody is getting into debt it's up to him what he does with his portion of the money. Yes you got into debt last year but if you have 7k in savings now I think you need to accept that he's your partner not your child.

If my dp took all of my wages off me and gave me an allowance and no freedom to have any kind of spontaneous social life I'd become very lonely and very bitter.

I agree that you need some control to avoid getting into debt but you've gone too far. You have decided what your priorities are and you are taking all of his money and he's not even allowed to go for a pint with his mates on a whim. It is wrong.

Of course if he's a layabout that does nothing but spend your money and earns none of his won that might be different but I feel you would have mentioned that if that were the case.

Grace212 Wed 20-Mar-19 10:31:56

"Problem is you have different attitudes so you are acting like his mum doling out his pocket money. That's not a sustainable situation in a relationship"

this. Can you reset the goals or separate the savings accounts partially?

I have your attitude to saving but I think it would be bizarre to have someone say to me "you don't have enough to go to the pub this week".

sansou Wed 20-Mar-19 10:32:07

I think that the question is how much does he want his weekly budget to be? i suspect that your DH doesn't feel that he needs to be restricted to a specific budget and he can have the lifestyle that he wants if he can afford it. (There's nothing wrong with that apart from the fact that you resent him for it!)

You have different financial priorities and need to sit down and have discuss your goals e.g bathroom renovation spend, next holiday, etc.

£7K savings and £400 pcm - I would put some of that into longer term savings like an ISA as opposed to shorter term spends like DIY & travel.

ALargeGinPlease Wed 20-Mar-19 10:32:08

It's a tricky one. I am more like you, in that I'd rather budget and save, but equally i can see it would be very unattractive to live with someone who was so controlling about what is, in effect, my money.
I think all you can do is sit down with him and go through the budget again and decide what you both think is a fair budget. You could also ask him for his ideas for when this situation arises again (as it will do, as fundamentally you have different ideas around spending/saving).
I would set some clear goals for what we are saving for and the various timescales that could be achieved depending on the rate of saving.
I think, though, that you may have to compromise a little here, because although i think you have set a fair budget, as i say, its not your money to decide how it's spent/saved.

Ratbagcatbag Wed 20-Mar-19 10:34:06

I have to say it does seem really controlling. If I was expected to sit down and explain my planned expenditure to see if you would "allow" me some of my money back from savings I'd be separating accounts pretty quickly.
It's all what you have decided to do and your goals. His are different. His are live for the moment and enjoy a bit of spontinuity within his life.

Who earns what proportion of the money?

paisho Wed 20-Mar-19 10:42:04

I think it's just a case of you two having very different attitudes when it comes to money. I'd split the finances if I were you, and open a separate account solely for household expenses such as groceries, electricity bills etc. That way, you can save your own money, and he can spend his on whatever he wants.

DarlingNikita Wed 20-Mar-19 10:43:25

Maybe talk about having joint savings for specific goals like holidays, house improvements etc? You could both put however much a month towards those and then whatever is left over, you can both fritter on whatever you want.

I agree with pps that you can't sustainably or reasonably tell your partner that they can or can't go to the pub/have a starter at dinner. If you ringfence your savings more clearly, you won't need to worry about what he might be spending his extra on.

waterrat Wed 20-Mar-19 10:53:59

I'm like your DH. I prefer to go to the pub with my friends on a Friday than have an expensive holiday and miss the little things that make life worth living.

You are however right that 50s and 100s add up to a lot.

Essentially you are right to be sensible but he has different priorities - saving 400 a month is a lot - maybe with the life style he wants to live you could save a bit less?

Eliza9917 Wed 20-Mar-19 10:58:34

Kleptronic Wed 20-Mar-19 10:23:19
Can he borrow it from next month's budget, if there's no unexpected birthdays/expenses next month.

He won't learn to live within his means if he does that.

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