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To send this to my DH....

(44 Posts)
MarriedtoanOsterich Thu 27-Aug-09 02:55:47

I am away with family for the summer, and have name changed as my Mother started reading Mumsnet,

Little background...
DH had a great job, great salary which we massively overspent thinking it would last forever (very stupidblush). Now we are in a situation of taking our dcs away from their school, cancelling tennis lessons, basically cancelling everything that is not essential for living. My trip away has cost nothing and was supposed to give DH time to get some business (in sales) and room to do it (no other responsibilities for him to worry about. I have written to all the people we owe money to with minimum payment promises, and he keeps paying them their minimum payment not the one I have agreed after the CAB advised me.

So now I read our bank statement (couldn't get online) and thought I'd send him this.

Dear Mr Ostrich,

I've been looking closely at your spending and I am struggling to not go a little mad. Now I understand some of the $450 cash (no pound sign) may have been for food, but a little funny that you made 160 in two days and 130 in a couple cpt too.....

Other unnecessary spending includes credit cards and things we shouldn't be paying for, and sky is still too much. I think you need to reduce the package asap, get rid of movies or the whole thing.

If you had not been wasting money over the last 6 weeks we would have been $1017.60 better off. $230 were account charges.

So to be kind I had a look at how much you'd spent in shopping for food and petrol...... (this was to see whether the cash point withdrawals could have been for food).

On food (stores appearing on the statement) you've spent $335.06 and petrol $88.84

You have spent more than $50 a week on food, allowing for washing powder and dishwasher (which I hope you have not been using for just you) at least $45 a week.

And petrol, in a car you shouldn't really be using, over $10 a week.

So me coming to my parents, excluding bills, has still meant the running cost of our family (IE YOU) is nearly $1500, which is $260 a week......... for fuck's sake.

So when we tell the boys no more stage coach and we have no money for Mabel's birthday you will need to have a look in the mirror to find the person to blame, you will have to think that Domino's pizza and nights out were all at the expense of your children. You should be disgusted with yourself. When we have no money for poor baby X to have a wardrobe or any clothes, look again.

I am so upset that you still don't get the fact that beer in your belly literally means less food and clothing for the children. I think you have hurt them enough, time to start putting them first.

Your Wife.

MarriedtoanOsterich Thu 27-Aug-09 03:06:14

ostrich.....just noticed my nameblush.

jybay Thu 27-Aug-09 04:14:32

Er, have you already sent this? It's not that I think YABU, you're not, but sending this sort of thing in writing tends to end in tears (recipient feels disempowered and has time to brood and get really bitter), whereas a good old-fashioned slanging match gives both sides a chance to have their say.

pasturesnew Thu 27-Aug-09 04:41:08

Agree with jybay, also I would try focussing on one thing for now, as it's clearly a massive adjustment in lifestyle for both of you and quite upsetting in particular I'd have thought for him (not to take away from how you and DC must be feeling, of course). The main thing for now I'd concentrate on is getting him to understand how money can be wasted on account charges and agree to avoid these.

It might also be good value to see if Relate or similar can help you to discuss your money issues as assume you don't want your relationship on the rocks on top of everything else.

mmrsceptic Thu 27-Aug-09 06:06:49

Slightly disagree with jybay -- I think writing down and showing is helpful. But with that tone it won't be. With a different tone, and with a please could you read this and talk to me afterwards -- it could be.

You are right about the spending but the aim is to reduce the spending, not score points. With that tone, you'll just make him resentful which prevents clear thinking and acceptance. You need to help him towards clarity and acceptance. Proving you're right -- well that achieves one thing but not the secondary action, which is self discipline and thrift.

Think about how you could word it differently and write it down only if he's not responsive to a conversation. But during the conversation have the figures to hand or in your head.

oliviasmama Thu 27-Aug-09 06:55:33

I agree with everything you've said but it's like red rag to a bull. Be prepared for the onslaught!

(I'd be absolutely livid with him!)

AnyFucker Thu 27-Aug-09 07:19:24

as badly as you think he has behaved, that patronising tone is unlikely to be helpful

what happened to just talking to people ?

dailymailrus Thu 27-Aug-09 08:14:42

It comes across to me as you are blaming him for everything. If i recieved this letter I would be annoyed. Just sit down and talk.

rubyslippers Thu 27-Aug-09 08:17:47

oh FGS - talk to him

i would go nuts if my DH sent me a letter like this

sit down, get all the bills and statements out and talk through them like adults

it is not only your DH's fault you are in a financial mess now - you say "we massively" over spent - this mess hasn't been created in the time you have been away

you both need to start working together to get yourself out of this situation

diddl Thu 27-Aug-09 08:22:13

I agreewith dailymailrus.
Your hubby had a great salary, but you both caused the debt by spending money that wasn´t there!

SammyK Thu 27-Aug-09 08:24:53

Why is he paying more on token payments than he has to? If he can't do it properly tell him you will be doing it from now on.

If he can't get on board with the minimal spending agree you will both leave cards in a cupboard at home and have a little cash for a set period of time for things you might need.

It sounds like you will be making major adjustments to your family lifestyle, and it will take time for you all to settle into this. If he is ostrich like it may take him longer. hmm I would be as tempted as you to send that arsey letter but I think you will have more impact talking face to face about it.

tatt Thu 27-Aug-09 08:27:03

you're away so I guess talking about it isn't an option? Also you're angry - not the best time to write. Instead why not start I'm sitting here with tears running down my face because we can't afford clothes for the baby. We have to cut back further on our spending and we really need to cut out sky (when can you cancel the contract). Then is there anything you can suggest you'll give up? Then mention the large amounts of cash and ask what it went on and the large food bills and ask why they were necessary.

You can get angry later when you are sure what this has gone on - but you don't really know it was drink do you? And in a sales job isn't he going to have to do some driving?

GibbonInARibbon Thu 27-Aug-09 08:39:46

Sorry but would not send that. I'm guessing it was written very shortly after seeing the statement and whilst I can understand your anger, I'm not sure the tone in the letter will help. He will undoubtedly get defensive and withdraw from any reasonable conversation.

As other posters have said talk to him. Try and calmly explain rather than angrily blame.

There may also be some underlying resentment towards him? feeling as if he has put your family in this position yet taking no responsibility for it? I can understand all of these feelings but you really must talk about it face to face.

Good luck smile

rolledhedgehog Thu 27-Aug-09 08:47:25

I think the last sentence is particularly it really all his fault? You have no part in the overspending at all?

Fruitysunshine Thu 27-Aug-09 08:59:17

You have already agreed token payments with your creditors yet he still pays minimum amounts?

Why is he spending so much on food whilst you are away if he knows that you are already on a reduced payment schedule?

WHY do you even still have sky if you are on reduced payments to creditors? That is a luxury and can easily be replaced by freeview - whilst not having any packages, still gives you more tv choice.

I am shocked to be honest. We are in a similar position and have slashed every single thing we could in order to clear our debt from removing our daughter from private education right down to buying the cheapest of everything at the supermarket and only buying what we need, not necessarily what we want. We will have to do this for a few months but we are determined to get ourselves out of this hole we're in. It is horrible, almost humiliating, but we are talking about our emotional and financial survival and it sounds like your husband has not quite grasped the seriousness of your situation.

You both acknowledge your part in the state of your finances but you don't appear to agree on how you plan to get yourselves out of this mess - because if he did agree with it he would not be spending at the rate he is.

I would NOT send that letter but "park" the issue until you get home and then approach it with him in a manner that will allow you to get your point over in a way that he "gets" you. These are tough times for everyone, just don't allow your marriage to take any unnecessary pressure by arguing when a different approach could get you to your aim - which, I assume, is for your hubby to spend less and grasp the reality of your situation?

BubbaAndBump Thu 27-Aug-09 09:01:37

How about something more along the lins of 'I'm starting to get really concerned about our finances. Can we put a couple of hours aside this evening to talk about it and try and resolve some issues?' ~ gives him time to think about it (IME men don't like being sprung upon)

I have written things down in the past to DH as he puts up a barrier and shuts down if we talk before he has a chance to think things through. Much more effective for us both.

ViolettaFleur Thu 27-Aug-09 09:17:55

It sounds to me like your husband is enjoying your absence and having a bit of a ball, Dominos and nights out? I would be extremely peed off. I probably would send that email, although I agree it will cause incredible ructions.

I take it you are staying with your family to save money. To see that he is living it up while you are doing this must be infuriating. I totally understand where you are coming from. You have worked hard to get things sorted with your creditors and cut back and then you see him wasting money on himself like this.


KIMItheThreadSlayer Thu 27-Aug-09 09:24:49

If things are as bad as this and he is still over spending I would take all his bank cards away, take him off the joint accounts, take full charge of the money and give him "pocket money" until you are sorted out

Nancy66 Thu 27-Aug-09 09:37:31

I wouldn't send that - it's really unfriendly and patronising. The poor bloke is obviously having a really hard time, give him a break.

You barking at him for having a pizza isn't going to make any difference to your finances in the grand scheme of things.

Why don't you appoint yourself in charge of the family purse so he can concentrate on work?

weaselbudge Thu 27-Aug-09 09:58:11

I don't think YABU in your general thinking but I do agree the letter is probably going to make matters worse. I'm going to generalise here using my experience of men:

1) he is probably suffering majorly with self-pity and guilt and loss of self-respect for losing his salary.
2) he is probably missing you dreadfully and resenting you being away while he's left to find more work

3)men are usually useless at cooking for themselves especially when they're wallowing (see (1) above)

4) he is probably useless at budgeting if you have been in charge of shopping etc in the past.

I'm not saying it's right or that you should excuse him but I often think women are the stronger sex in situations like this and often there's not much you can do about it except to grit your teeth and take back control of the finances. Whatever you do, you probably don't want to de-masculinise him anymore as this will make him even worse and drive him to a F* You mentality! And i think this letter is going to make him feel as big as an ant.

mayorquimby Thu 27-Aug-09 11:45:06

yabu, talk to him ffs. your his wife not his boss/bank manager.

waitingforfanjo Thu 27-Aug-09 12:00:29

I agree that YANBU to be annoyed, BUT sending a letter/email in that tone will make things worse. It's very patronising & sounds like you are talking down to a naughty child. Don't send it.

njmomof1 Thu 27-Aug-09 12:11:30

YABU by wording the letter the way you have but YANBU by being angry.

Really like tatt 's approach, think it would be more constructive and have also had to use bubbabump 's tactic which works well too.

Perhaps reword it and then give him a call to talk once he's thought about things. Also, as you've taken charge of the Creditors does your DH know exactly who's got to have what in £ and p? Perhaps set up standing orders for the time being and let DH know to leave x amount in account on the 25th then it's only 1 thing for him to remember in that instance.

MarriedtoanOsterich Thu 27-Aug-09 13:35:09

Well, I didn't send it, although I did want to. I am hours away in time as well as travel and so I was furious with his lack of responsibilty AGAIN! He got his salary slashed a week after the birth of our fourth child. We, well all except him, have made massive sacrifices. The dcs and myself. My baby doesn't have a wardrobe and not much to put in one, tbh.

We both over spent, I lived practically like a WAG, glossing over unhappiness in the main. However since November of last year I have adjusted. It took a while for it all to sink in but three months ago I phoned the CAB and got advice. He took weeks to even sign and post a letter, and has only just applied for a new bank account to ensure he's not paying massive bank charges and interest and the wage he earns do actually make it to cover our needs. I have had a summer of no cash, not able to pop to a shop and spent needless money and it's done me lots of good.

I have spoken to him and asked if he will look at the account and think if he needed to spend all the money. Also I want him to add up all the cash withdrawals... see if even thinks about it when he withdraws. I have asked him to look at the price of school shoes and if we have the money, or could have had it.

We have a 'date' to talk about money on Wednesday night (two days after I return) and a review of spending diaries after 10 days. I am positive that now he has nowhere to hide all may improve.

Fruitysunshine Thu 27-Aug-09 14:17:17

That sounds like good progress, as much as you can make anyway with being so far apart from each other.

Good luck!

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