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Am I a mug?

(10 Posts)
KouignAmann Thu 20-Nov-14 17:22:16

I have a lovely DP with an obsessive hobby. I knew that when I met him. I enjoy the hobby too in moderation. He spends most of his disposable income on the hobby. He won't change and I don't want him to. He is considerate, shares the chores, cooks and cleans and does DIY and puts bins out etc.

We have bought a house together. I pay the bills as I earn 3 times his pension and he still has a house with costs nearby. He is selling his house to pay off our small mortgage then costs will be minimal and shared.
I am spending my savings on the house, building work and new cooker etc. I am happy to do this and he works hard on the house renovating etc while I am working. I pay for our holidays too.

Today he said "I have been naughty" and "confessed" to buying another £250 item. Last month's item cost £400.

My question for you all is this: In my effort to be reasonable and not controlling am I giving him a green light to spend his money freely on his toys while I earn and pay for our lifestyle? We have enough money and we have no debts thankfully but something feels awry here. I am not sure what as it is his money. He must think he is taking the piss if he feels he has to confess to me. I have explained I am not his mother or his ex-wife as I think he is projecting the role of disapproving adult onto me. He needs to own the decisions he makes.

In the interests of fairness should I put aside the same amount he spends on toys for my own use? He wouldnt stop me buying anything I wanted to but I am more interested in doing up our home at the moment.

Thanks for reading this far. This isn't a huge problem but I am wrestling with the dynamics between us and value the MN collective view.

PS For those that may recall this is the clutterman but that is not a current issue because I am a ruthless declutterer and he lives in fear


Perhaps you could both agree on a budget for you both to spend each month?..then it might encourage him to think more carefully about what he buys just a little thought i had. Hopefully more ppl will be along soon.

Spell99 Thu 20-Nov-14 17:52:21

In my experience many relationships have a spender and a saver (within reason). I've only seen real problems with two spenders or one extreme spender.

What works for some is 3 bank accounts. Your money, his money & Our money. What you each do with your own pot is your business. Might not work for you but there you are.

magoria Thu 20-Nov-14 18:01:01

You are not married. I hope you have legally tied down how much you have and are investing in this property at present compared to him.

If you separate will he walk away with all his purchases plus 50% of the property while you walk away with 50% of the property?

I am not including his payment (he will make at some stage) if/when he sells his house because at present that is his and you have no rights to it as a partner.

I don't know how much you are paying for all this but £250 this month plus £400 last month is more than my current cooker but he didn't even think to chip in.

That is a worrying mind set. What happens if your savings run out, are ill or unemployed?

Moniker1 Thu 20-Nov-14 18:12:32

I am spending my savings on the house, building work and new cooker etc. I am happy to do this and he works hard on the house renovating etc while I am working. I pay for our holidays too

The thing is is this going to be ongoing - ie he spends silly amounts on 'toys' whilst your hard earned cash pays for cookers and holidays.

And the 'confession' makes it more irritating not less.

If he is off anyway working on renovations isn't that great a contribution.

How much of his income goes on the house and everyday costs, food etc. Maybe get him to contribute to holidays at least as he benefits as well.

KouignAmann Thu 20-Nov-14 18:42:05

Thanks for your thoughts. I have a declaration of trust to protect my capital and my will leaves all to my DC even if we marry, as does his. I have good insurance and sick pay to cover my income. But I agree I think I will ask him to chip in for holidays on principle. Good idea

KouignAmann Thu 20-Nov-14 18:42:58

Oh and we have his hers and joint accounts as you suggesd

Sandthorn Thu 20-Nov-14 18:48:08

Similar situation here, and we use the 3 bank accounts method. Whether you pool finances partially (including "you pay for X, I pay for Y") or completely, there has to be a negotiation about what's in scope, and what's the budget for each item.

Home maintenance is a classic example: for one person it's all about regular saving for when the boiler packs up, or the flat roof needs replacing. For others it's being able to redecorate the whole house every few years. My husband leans towards the former, and me to the latter. I might want to budget a couple of hundred quid a month for it, him in the tens. We have to find the acceptable middle ground, and if I want to spend more than that, that's up to me. Essentially, making the house look nice is something of a hobby for me; yes, he benefits from it, but if it was up to him, he'd put up with dodgy plaster in favour of a new surfboard, and he's entitled to that. When it comes to holidays, the roles reverse: he pays the lion's share because, while I like them well enough when they happen, I'm really not bothered if I don't go away at all.

A couple of questions to get some more perspective on your situation: was the cooker a necessary replacement for one that no longer worked, a fun upgrade, or a bit of both? Was the building work essential repairs or maintenance, or a lifestyle-enhancing but optional development. In any case, your partner benefits, but his responsibility to contribute does depend on the circumstances, particularly if his say in the spend has been limited.

Honestly, I think you both need to spend some time together exploring your expectations of money and lifestyle... It'll save a lot of grief in the long run.

KouignAmann Thu 20-Nov-14 19:08:53

Cooker a wreck in the house when we arrived. Definitely needs replacing. Building work mainly the necessities plus a new wood burner. The rest we will leave for now. We do share the same values but I am used to having enough money while he is not. I think he is just enjoying himself!! He is easy to talk to about anything

Quitelikely Thu 20-Nov-14 19:16:49

I think you are resenting him ever so slightly because your financial priorities are different at the moment.

I'm glad you're protected in every other way though.

If I was you I would actually say that you feel although you don't mind contributing more towards things you do it because you understand your incomes are different, however he still needs to show he is willing to contribute towards white goods etc if he has the means to do so and IMO he obviously did have the means to do so both last month and this month.

Can you suggest you pay 75pc and he 25pc or something along those lines

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