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Marriage and Money

(72 Posts)
tummyfull Wed 24-Apr-13 14:39:38

How does it work in your relationship when the DH/BF earns and you stay at home? Is it shared equally? Do you spend as you wish?

We live overseas so no bank account for me. DH earns, I have to ask when I every time I need money. I never get what I want, or how much I actually need. I am not high maintenance but never seem to have enough for what I want/need. I don't do anything really for myself but at times I like to go for a coffee or lunch - once a month sometimes, if that. I am not that good with money so it may just be me.

I am just so confused because I will ask for money for something, DH will give me a look or just go silent. The minute I see his look I say okay no problem, I won't do xyz or buy xyz and then he says no, it's okay, you can spend it. Of course I don't do it.

I feel a bit trapped as I don't really know where I can and can not spend money. Sometimes we seem to have money for really great holidays, at other times we don't have enough for me to go to the doctor's. I feel the only way I can justify spending is when it comes to the children. Not really for myself.

He tells me he gives me money every time he has some (he runs his own business which is very capital intensive). I don't doubt that but how long can this go on. I know I am being completely ungrateful and sound very spoilt but living like this for the past 5 years has really got to me.

Apologies if I am rambling (and sound slightly childish) but I am really struggling with so many feelings, the money aspect being one of them. I just want to know how it works with others.

sydlexic Wed 24-Apr-13 14:46:58

We have a joint bank account DH takes £200 per month and gives the rest to me, I organise the finances. I can buy whatever I want if we have the money, but I am quite careful.

Wilding Wed 24-Apr-13 14:48:35

You don't sound spoilt at all - it sounds to me as if your husband is financially abusive. Making it difficult for you to ask for money is not normal.

Shodan Wed 24-Apr-13 14:54:54

That sounds awful- I'd feel the same as you if my DH made it uncomfortable to ask for money.

DH is the sole breadwinner. He pays money into my account, I buy groceries, clothes, haircuts, whatever for my self and the DC. He pays the bills from his account. If I need more, I tell him how much, he pays that into my account.

Occasionally, if I've gone a good bit over (like this month, when I paid for some curtains and a tent on my current account), I'll tell him why it's gone over. He never asks, and only occasionally gives me a jokey shock face if it's a lot over.

But then, he trusts me not to go mad, and I trust him not to be a dick about money.

Your DH, though, is being a bit of a dick.

pinkpeony Wed 24-Apr-13 14:57:04

I have always worked so haven't been in that situation. But my mother was a SAHM most of the time, my father's earnings always went into a joint bank account that she had complete access to with cards, chequebooks, etc., as she had to manage the household and children from that account and all their assets are in both of their names.
Your husband is trying to control you through money and is being financially abusive.

Moanranger Wed 24-Apr-13 14:57:52

My situation is I always had and made my own money, so no help to you, but I suggest that you prepare a sensible budget and sit down with your husband and agree it. Include occasional fun money for yourself. Then agree a weekly/monthly payment to you. You really should have either your own bank account or a joint one.
He should trust you, and his behaviour is not of someone who does. After agreeing a budget and running it for awhile, you both can see where the money is going. At the moment neither of you has any idea of how much you are actually getting, and whether it is a realistic amount. Good luck!

TobyLerone Wed 24-Apr-13 14:57:52

We have a joint account into which DH pays an amount which covers the mortgage and all the bills. The DCs' maintenance goes into that account, too, which means there is always some left over. I am absolutely free to use this as I wish.

I don't have 'my own' money, as such, although I do do a little bit of cleaning for an elderly neighbour for which she pays me a small amount of cash in hand.

If I want/need anything, DH is more than happy to provide it. And he has offered to put a separate amount of 'spending money' in an account for me every month, but I really don't need that.

ilovepowerhoop Wed 24-Apr-13 14:58:14

we have a joint account and a card each. If I need something I buy it, no need for permission unless it is expensive and even then it is a discussion rather than asking for permission. Dh works, I don't.

Gillian1980 Wed 24-Apr-13 15:00:32

I work so I do have some income of my own but I earn a lot less than by DH.

We have our own bank accounts and I transfer a portion of my earnings to him to go towards the mortgage and bills. Then I buy the food from my money and whatever is left I can spend.

We are both very open with each other about how much we have in our accounts and will readily transfer money across to one another if we need to. Despite having our own accounts, we both consider it "our" money. I would find it quite anxiety provoking if I didn't know how much money we had between us ot wasn't sure if I could access it when needed.

I would have a frank discussion about your finances and tell him that you would like access to the bank account, or for him to give you a set amount each week. Whatever you feel would work for you.

I would be wary about making statements about it being "abuse" as I don't know enough, but I find it unsettling that he can be married to you but not be willing to be open, honest and sharing with money.

CockyFox Wed 24-Apr-13 15:01:15

Joint account, no asking, we don't tend tohave eenough money left after bills for splitting but just each buy what we need. I would hate to have to ask for money.

tummyfull Wed 24-Apr-13 15:05:48

DH says I have a hang up about money. That it should be no big deal to keep asking for it. I've seen his mother at times do it with my FIL.

Makeminealarge Wed 24-Apr-13 15:07:19

Before I started working part time, as a Sahm I still had a joint account with partner. I was free to spent what I wished (depending on what was left over after bills) and usually discussed what was reasonable for us both to spent for our ourselves or dc. Now I work all money goes into one account and all payments out of that one account. I don't really spent money on myself these days despite earning a decent wage due to the costs of living at the moment. But I see that my warning contribute to the overall running of house bills etc. it is hard when you can't spent money in yourself but I try to see the bigger picture -we have a decent house, kids are well fed and dressed, own decent furniture way reasonably and bills are paid for. For me this outweighs small luxuries or treats for myself.

Gillian1980 Wed 24-Apr-13 15:08:04

I would add that we are not particularly well off and had very little left after mortgage, bills, food etc.

So if it is a big purchase then we tend to discuss it out of courtesy and respect for one another, but it is a discussion not an asking of permission.

I would never tell my DH he wasn't allowed to buy something or vice versa, we may just discuss the best time to do it or work out if we need to cut back elsewhere to accommodate it.

DistanceCall Wed 24-Apr-13 15:12:07

You say that you're not really good with money. Is there any history of this in your marriage? I mean, have you ever overdrawn or spent too much or something like that?

I think Moanranger's advice is good - sit down with him and set a budget for both of you so that you have a good idea of how much money you earn and what gets paid etc.

And make it clear that you are not a child and should not have to ask him for money. Joint account.

Gillian1980 Wed 24-Apr-13 15:15:17

Also, if he has learnt it from his parents then he may genuinely not see a problem with it. So it would be worth explaining to him that just because its what he grew up knowing, its not the only way of doing things and you're not comfortable with it. Work with him to find a way which you both feel ok with.

Fluffy1234 Wed 24-Apr-13 15:16:16

We have a joint account which DH's salary gets paid into and all bills come out of. If either of us want a biggish thing for instance over £50 we would mention it to the other one just so we both don't spend what we may not necessarily have. I do all the car insurance/mortgage/bills stuff.

tummyfull Wed 24-Apr-13 15:18:38

Okay, so what is reasonable 'fun' money for me. What can I justify? I got a hair cut about 2 months ago and I wouldn't consider getting another one for another 4/5 months, as that money I would use elsewhere. I am suppose to go out with some friends next month so I know from the next food money, I'll keep careful so I have enough left for the lunch. I find it so frustrating to live like this.

I think DH has an idea of our finances but he works with other members of the family - brothers, uncles etc and they have some strange way of working. There never seems to be any money!

tummyfull Wed 24-Apr-13 15:20:27

I have never overdrawn or overspend. I am not a big spender though I like to occasionally get my nails done. I won't get my nails done for the next few months now as I need to go for lunch and do a few others things.

5 years of living like this as driven me insane but I really don't know if I am being spoilt or I actually have a genuine concern.

DistanceCall Wed 24-Apr-13 15:21:22

Look, this is a marriage, a partnership. You should know about your finances, and shouldn't have to ask for "pocket" or "fun" money. Your husband should trust you not to overspend if both of you know what is going on in your budget.

And it might be a good idea to disentangle your family's finances from your husband's family.

Otherwise, that's abusive.

DistanceCall Wed 24-Apr-13 15:21:44

And no, you're not spoilt. You're being a doormat.

AttilaTheMeerkat Wed 24-Apr-13 15:21:46

"DH says I have a hang up about money. That it should be no big deal to keep asking for it. I've seen his mother at times do it with my FIL"

Couple of red flags there re financial abuse; this is being done to control you. Its about power and control; he wants that over you. He's learnt this from his parents so its deeply ingrained. Talking to him will likely not make a jot of difference to his overall attitude. You do have to keep asking for money and he keeps you quiet either by giving you a look or saying no to any reasonable request for cash. These techniques do work as you then don't do it.

Living like this for any period of time will become intolerable and you've had five years of this. I'm horrified for you.

Being overseas should not deny you access to a bank account.

tummyfull Wed 24-Apr-13 15:26:04

I have talked to him many times. He says when there is no money there is nothing he can do. He says once things start up/kick off there will be money. It's been 5 years.

To be honest, even when we had joint accounts I always felt like I was seeking his approval when I spent money. When I did work, he always earned way more then me - maybe that's the reason. Once he said to me that he earns more so I am responsible for the housework. This was pre children and when both of us worked. He also said that I don't earn enough to pay the rent or for any other major purchases but he is more than happy to pay for me. That still haunts me as wrong.

Maybe I do have a hung up about money....

tummyfull Wed 24-Apr-13 15:33:21

It's so nice to hear that I am not being difficult. I am so confused. Sometimes he'll go and buy me something really expensive (when we are back home) and then I'll starting wondering if I am being unreasonable about this whole money situation.

I have said to him, I need a certain amount each month. He said he can only give me what he has. Once he gave me a large amount and I spent it fairly quickly. Since then he has not given me a lot as he said he gave me a large amount once and I spent it too quickly. I feel like a child begging for pocket money. I want to go home in the summer but we may not have money for it. I feel trapped.

slug Wed 24-Apr-13 15:38:38

We have a joint account. We both have our own accounts as well. When DH was a SAHD, the process was this:

My salary was paid into my own account
Enough for bills etc was transferred into the joint account
Half of the remainder was transferred into DH's account (we used to refer to this as his beer money) If he didn't have a bank account, cash would be an appropriate alternative.

This way we each had our own spending money, however small, so we didn't feel the need to justify any small expenses. I personally don't really want to know how much he spent on my birthday present, nor does he need to know how much I spend on makeup. All I needed to know was that we were still solvent. Money would flow between all 3 accounts to even out peaks and troughs as needed.

Now that he's working again we put the same amount in the joint account, keep the same amount for personal use and save the excess.

hellsbellsmelons Wed 24-Apr-13 15:39:55

Can you not work?
Even part time to get yourself a bit of pocket money?
Not sure how old DC are so not sure if this is possible or not?
Evening job when your DH is home to look after DC???

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