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How do you manage ‘different’ attitudes to money? Long sorry...

(13 Posts)
Webuyanyname Mon 06-Jul-15 15:23:41

Dp has never been great with money, he spent years maxing out his overdraft (despite being a high earner), had tens of thousands of pounds in credit card debt that took years to pay off etc. He's better now (he mostly doesn't use his overdraft) but he still has little savings (after 20 years of working).
We both earn the same and (in theory) everything is paid 50/50. In reality I pay any big expenditure (house repairs etc) and dp pays me back over a few months.

Dp likes to shop when he's bored. He'll buy something without thinking twice about whether we need it. He'll buy things for dd which is sweet but she really isn't short of clothes/toys/books. He overbuys at Xmas/birthdays which is generous but also irresponsible. I think its genetic (his mum and brother are the same).

Recently dp casually mentioned that his brother had asked him for some money (several thousand pounds) to invest in his latest business venture (online vinyl sales). His brother has no experience, no business plan, no capital etc. In reality this is a gift to support his hobby. I lost it.

We have a good standard of living, are high earners and don't need to stint but our mortgage is hefty and we're in our forties. Dp has twice been made redundant. Shouldn't spare cash be invested for dd or used to overpay on the mortgage?

I've tried talking to him but he says I'm worrying about nothing as I've plenty of savings but I'm sick of being the one to provide financial security all the time. I feel like dp doesn't feel he needs to save as he can always rely on me to pay for that broken boiler/roof/window etc. I feel incredibly pressured while dp seems so blasé. It’s really affecting our relationship sad

Skiptonlass Mon 06-Jul-15 15:47:31

Stop paying more than 50% for things. It's one thing to support a partner through a period of lower earnings and another entirely to be used as the bank of wifey so that he can spend money like water.

Id make it perfectly clear to him that while you appreciate his generosity with gifts, it's more important to be a partnership and create a solid financial base for your later years. What are your retirement plans? Does he want to work till he's seventy? How would he cope if you lost your job? Maybe a trip to a financial advisor to talk about exactly how much you need to put by to fund retirement might shock him?

And no, no, no to the lending money to the brother. Just no. You'll never see it again, lending money to family is a nightmare. And it's as cliched a vanity project as he could get. Does he even have several grand to. Give him? Or is this to come from you as well?

tumbletumble Mon 06-Jul-15 15:57:36

DH and I are both careful with money so this would drive me a bit mad!

Having said that, you say "I pay any big expenditure (house repairs etc) and dp pays me back over a few months", so am I right in thinking that he does always pay you back eventually? And would the money for his brother come from his earnings, not yours?

As long as you keep your finances separate and you are not subsidising him, does it really matter if you have different attitudes towards saving and spending your own money?

Clearly you think that you are "right" and he is "wrong". I am on the same side of the fence as you btw, so this is not a criticism, but just to point out that not everyone would agree. Some people prefer to spend and enjoy their money now, not save up for the future.

Webuyanyname Mon 06-Jul-15 16:08:18

tumble - he does always pay me back, no question. And the money to his brother would come from him, not us.

Skipton - its things like a broken boiler needing replacing in the middle of Winter or a broken window etc. Things that need fixing urgently or things that we just want done (like the garden being redone so its safer and better for dd to play in). If I waited for dp to save the money we'd have no boiler for 6 months and no garden for 5 years.

Its just that I feel the burden of responsibility is on me. I'm protecting us against redundancy/illness etc. He's taking no responsibility for that.

Before dd I was much more willing to let him spend his money how he liked but now I feel only one of us is thinking about her welfare first.

pocketsaviour Mon 06-Jul-15 16:21:06

I've tried talking to him but he says I'm worrying about nothing as I've plenty of savings

Yes the key there being that YOU have plenty of savings, so it would be you bailing him out if he loses his job.

I do empathise with you as my last ex was like this. I was on about 2/3 of his salary, yet every month I was bailing him out by week 3. All expenditures were down to me. Finally he asked me to lend him 3.5k to buy a new (used) car; 6 months later I pressed him to finally start paying me back; within a month he'd left me for another woman. One with a big inheritance coming. hmm

Like your DP, he was an impulse spender and had no conception of saving up until he could afford something; if he wanted it, he had to have it right then and there.

If you asked him to commit to saving a set amount every month, perhaps selling it as "if we both save together we'll get a good rate of interest than if we did it separately" do you think he would go for it?

Webuyanyname Mon 06-Jul-15 16:43:45

pocket - your ex sounds terrible, feel I've no cause for complaint now!

Dp's unwilling to save in fixed interest bonds as he'd have to tie his money up for min 12 mths and he doesn't have sufficient to do that.
He does have an ISA though not sure how much gets paid into it or how regularly.
He's invested in shares in the past though not made much money on that.

Dp seems to be better when he's actually got less money (eg when he's paying me back for something) as he starts to be a bit more prudent again. But then he has spare cash and off he goes again.

Joysmum Mon 06-Jul-15 16:45:07

We have separate finances. I'm really anti joint accounts despite being the SAHP.

Bills are paid, there's a regular savings amount put aside for rainy days and the rest is in personal current accounts.

My she is the one who'd spend more on a month to month basis whereas I have a big spend every few months. We've no need to justify or explain spending, there's no need to do any maths. There's no arguments.

I'd never have a joint account.

Skiptonlass Mon 06-Jul-15 16:53:08

hmmm... marriage is a partnership and that if both are similar earners then both pull their weight equally. We don't have a joint account but we earn a very similar amount and pay everything equally. Both of us would happily do more in a period of lower earnings (I'm just about to go on mat leave for example so my earnings will drop and dh will take on more) but I think both of us would be pissed off if the other was spending frivolously and leaving necessities unpaid. Those necessities include savings for the future for me - what's his opinion on his future? How does he think he'll be able to retire/ meet future emergencies?

Perhaps a more equitable way would be to keep your separate primary accounts and open a joint account as well. Each put in x amount of cash a month, directly after payday. This should be an amount that covers mortgage, bills, holidays, repairs to the house. Leave each of you an amount in your primary account that's just for you.

Of course, this only works if he's not going to raid that account for fripperies... Maybe you could hold the purse strings on it?

LovesPeace Mon 06-Jul-15 17:20:54

dumping financial responsibility on your partner/borrowing from them because you don't have your own savings is the hallmark of the manchild.

Not sure there is a solution to a feckless twit - and he thinks things are fine because you are making them so.

Perhaps insist he saves towards your next joint bill for boilers etc? He may well refuse and say you are controlling though. Whereas him spending your money - his right, as your partner. It's a no win situation for you, a no lose one for him.

hereandtherex Mon 06-Jul-15 17:37:20

I'd get him to overpay the mortgage.

I think, subconsciously, you are expecting him to lose his income and your are worried about the mortgage.

Failing that, get him to pay housekeep to you which, if you do not use, you can pay off the mortgage.

QuiteLikely5 Mon 06-Jul-15 17:43:22

Hmmm I'm not sure he is doing anything wrong.

I understand you wish he was a saver and not a spender but like you say he always pays you back and he does seem responsible in the sense that he works, earns a good salary.

I think if attitudes towards money are different they are always going to be that way.

If you weren't with your dh you would still be the same with money and so would he, once his bills were paid.

I dunno it's a hard one.

Webuyanyname Mon 06-Jul-15 20:25:28

Skipton: i think he just doesnt like to think about it. He digs his head in the sand.
We do have a joint account as well as our own personal accounts.
I think as suggested we should aim to have enough in the joint account for emergencies/repairs etc, maybe that's the answer. We're currently putting enough in there for bills, food etc (ie known, regular outgoings) but there not much left over each month. If we put more in each month then that might help create a bit of a safety fund and surplus for mortgage overpayments.

I just think we owe it to dd to ensure she has a secure future. We're both on good salaries, there's no reason why we shouldn't be able to create that for all of us. I've just got to convince dp!

Dp is a decent, kind man and an excellent dad so I don't want this to blow up out of proportion but its not just about different attitudes to money. To me, part of caring for dd is planning for a secure future for all of us. We're grown ups now, there's no big inheritance coming our way and no one has a guaranteed job for life anymore.

Melonfool Mon 06-Jul-15 23:06:29

My dp isn't great with money - I save for us both in the joint account, in fact I have it split into three accounts now.
One is the day to day bills and food; one is mid term savings - so savings for holidays etc; and the last S long term savings, safety net. We've lived together just over two years and have £7k in that last account, I'd be happy when it's double that but if I didn't take control of it there'd be nothing. The mid term is about to be spent on re doing the en suite. We don't buy anything that hasn't been saved for.

I save my own money too, I have less disposable than him but manage to save more. Not quite sure how. But I also can't bear the thought of there being no safety net.

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