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Arguing about money

(16 Posts)
AnotherEmma Mon 01-Dec-14 23:51:55

We don't have money problems as such (we have savings and good salaries) but we disagree about what to do with the money we have. It's starting to really frustrate me. We don't seem to be able to discuss it without getting annoyed with each other. I'm wondering whether we should have a joint "pot" we both pay into for mortgage, bills, and essentials. And then keep separate money that we can spend how we want. That might help although we would probably still argue about big joint purchases like furniture, holidays etc.
Has anyone else had this problem? How do you deal with it?

AnotherEmma Mon 01-Dec-14 23:53:13

PS Sorry forgot to say I'm talking about my husband!

Isetan Tue 02-Dec-14 00:27:49

What exactly are you arguing about, Is it about spending or saving?

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 02-Dec-14 07:48:02

I used to be married to a man with a really poor attitude to money and how we managed it was to cover off the essentials with a joint account into which we contribute an amount reflecting our respective incomes. That way we had a roof over our heads and the lights stayed on. We each retained an amount of 'spends' in personal accounts plus credit cards which were our individual responsibility to manage. I could have never been financially dependent on him (like being a SAHM) - too risky

When you argue over furniture and holidays what is the argument about? Spending too much? Not enough?

AnotherEmma Tue 02-Dec-14 18:08:59

Hi, sorry for the late reply - I did write one earlier (on my phone) but the screen froze and I lost it before I could hit "post". (Happens a lot on the mobile site - grrr.)

Anyway. Our difference is that he's a saver, I'm a spender. We've been together 7 years and have mainly managed to compromise. I understand it's important not to fritter money away, he understands the value of spending it from time to time. Ironically we seem to have more disagreements now that we have a considerable amount of money (from an insurance pay-out). I realise we're in a lucky position and it's a nice "problem" to have but we disagree on what to do with it.

There is enough to save AND spend. There is something big I want to buy that we had set aside budget for, but now it's come to buying it, we're disagreeing - I want to get the best one within that budget, but he's now questioning why we should spend that much. It's a considerable amount but I think it's justified given the item and how much use and pleasure I/we will get from it. Plus we will still have 4 times that amount left in savings.

That's the main topic of argument but as we have recently moved house and have lots of things to buy, there are other purchase decisions stressing me out. For example we found a sofa we both like and I just want to buy it, but he says it's expensive. I guess "expensive" is relative, it costs £1,400 and we can afford it, so I just want to buy it because quite frankly I really like it and I can't be bothered to shop around. (I've said if he doesn't want to buy it that's fine but I'd like him to do the research and find alternatives.)

Lastly I want us to go on a lovely holiday as we really need one (we've had a very difficult 18 months) but I don't even dare bring it up given all the other disagreements. I just can't face more arguments about the budget and other things.

It's fair to say we're in a difficult place at the moment! I'm sure we will work it out - we just need to talk things through - but I'd appreciate any tips.

And I was worried about saying I'm the spender in case you all think I'm the bad guy! So please don't judge me. <ducks>

I just hate the feeling that I have to get his permission for everything - I realise we are in a partnership so we have to make big decisions (including big purchases) jointly. But oh my it's hard sometimes.

atwitsendbutpaddlinghard Tue 02-Dec-14 19:36:43

Have a look at Mr Money Moustache www.mrmoneymustache.com/ for interest and to see extreme pov from dhs side grin
[?unhelpful]

atwitsendbutpaddlinghard Tue 02-Dec-14 19:39:45

www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/09/18/is-it-convenient-would-i-enjoy-it-wrong-question/
enjoy now and work longer
or retire early and have lovely long life without work
grin grin

prettywhiteguitar Tue 02-Dec-14 19:41:27

I hear you, every time there is a big purchase in our house there is a massive row about it and last minute withdrawal. Dp has come to realise that it is his problem and anxiety rather than I am a spend thrift.

Still bloody annoying though

fairylightsintheloft Tue 02-Dec-14 19:48:17

hmm you're not dissimilar to me and DH. We earn decent money but live in the SE, have a large mortgage, large childcare bills etc so every month there's not much left, but we're not worried about covering bills etc. DH worries constantly about dipping into our overdraft and can really spoil nice things like getting a new bed for DD by penny pinching - as it is I am looking at one of the cheapest options (a mid sleeper with tent) for about £200 all in but he is sucking his teeth and moaning when there are some out there for 4x that much. We have had three holidays go sour because he has argued for the slightly cheaper option and had crap accomodation / flight times or weather because he wouldn't pay the extra to go a bit further afield and it wears me down. We earn roughly the same and it all goes into one pot which is much simpler but I do sometimes resent feeling like I have to "check" with him before getting something above about £25. OP I think maybe you need to make a medium term plan about what you arr going to do with your lump sum and lay it all out so your DH can see where it is going and that you are not "frittering" it. Ask him exactly what he is worried about - what is his rationale for getting a cheaper sofa etc.

WaitingForMe Tue 02-Dec-14 19:56:33

Can you make the debate about value? We drive older cars but drink good wine, I budget carefully and shop at Lidl but we live in a large house.

DH and I discuss what is important to each of us and establish what our approach will be. This includes savings and investments as well as holidays etc.

Joysmum Tue 02-Dec-14 19:59:13

We pay all the bills and a set amount to savings and then disposable income is divided equally. We can't see how not having equal claim is fair?

I refuse to do joint accounts. I've seen far too many horror stories on here to persuade me otherwise. We have separate accounts.

DH is a big month spender. He likes his tech and his expensive car.

I'm frugal monthly but then have a nice lump sum to blow on whatever I fancy.

There's no bean counting involved. No calculating what's fair or needing to justify spending patterns so we never argue about money.

If we don't agree on spending on household things like furniture or holidays, the person wanting to spend more has the option to make up the shortfall from their own money if it's that important to them smile

davejudgement Tue 02-Dec-14 20:05:03

Years ago I bought all the things I desired and quite frankly didn't give toss about my financial future.

Now as I approach 50 and have just been through one of the worst financial periods of my life accruing debt to keep the wheels turning for over two years; I have reached the point where I can now sell up, move out a bit, go mortgage free with better house and clear my debts with change.

I have a retirement plan in place so that I can do all the things I want to do rather than have to do within 5 years.

I am going to need a new sofa but I will shop around until I find a £1,400 sofa for £700. Yes I will be able to afford the £1,400 sofa, but I think about how long it takes me to earn the £700 difference + tax.

A friend of mine had to recently sell her house due to unforeseen circumstances and now more have cropped up which will swallow the savings she has left over from the sale. She's fucked basically.

AnotherEmma Tue 02-Dec-14 20:32:26

Thanks all for your replies, it's good to hear other perspectives and advice, and to know that I'm not the only one! I haven't had chance to discuss it with DH yet but hoping it will help.

Cabrinha Tue 02-Dec-14 22:20:00

Would it help to agree some "rules" for spending?
There'll always be one offs that you'll disagree on smile but for the kind of spending that it is repeated, or basic spending approach, at least you might be able to have one round of debate only.

e.g. Rule 1: nothing un-essential gets bought unless we are sitting on savings equal to 6 months worth of outgoings

Rule 2: we will go on holiday every year, but we won't spend more than x% of our salary (or agree a fixed anount)

Rule 3: up to £x of joint money can be spent by each partner even if not agreed by the other, per year.
So - maybe you each have £1K to spend per year without any debate. You might buy a sofa. He might decide the holiday can have an upgrade. But you agree there are arguments about this. It's in the budget. Kind of a joker card!

How do you hold your savings? All in one account? I ask, because although I like to spend as well as save, I really hate seeing my savings go down. I will actually go overdrawn from my current account because I hate withdrawing savings!
It may be he sees the savings as a sealed pot. In which case, it might help to have a couple of accounts - the untouchable savings, the holiday fund, the luxuries fund... I know it might sound crazy, but I know how reluctant I am to see hard earned savings go down! Yet I'll happily spend money that hasn't made it into the pot yet!

CogitOIOIO Wed 03-Dec-14 10:16:53

Savers usually save because they need financial security in order to feel comfortable. For a saver to be a spender, they have to plan, set aside cash, demonstrate value for money & affordability and document the whole thing. Spending has to be done in a way that presents no risk. If you're 'in a difficult place' in your relationship and your partner is feeling more insecure, their natural instinct will be to save for things going pear-shaped and they are not going to prioritise spending money

AnotherEmma Wed 03-Dec-14 21:08:40

I understand the need for financial security. But sometimes this goes beyond what is rational/reasonable and then it needs to be addressed. For example it makes no sense to have tens of thousands in savings if you also have a mortgage you're paying interest on. By all means have a generous emergency fund (eg to cover 6 months of outgoings) but any extra should be use to overpay the mortgage IMO.
By the same token it's pointless depriving yourself or your family of things you need or would get value out of if you can comfortably afford it without eating into savings.
DH and have discussed it and haven't made a decision about the purchases but have agreed to review our finances and it was good to calmly discuss our different points of view without falling out. Phew! Getting there.

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