Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
At an impasse over finances and how to move forward(671 Posts)
Name changed for privacy. Trying not to drip feed and apologies if this is long.
Background: DP and I have been together 18 months. I have a teenage DD whose father is not involved and does not contribute financially at all (never has). DP has no children.
DP owns his own house (not outright - there's another 15 years on the mortgage). I own my house (23 years left on mortgage). I have slightly more equity in my place that he does.
DP moved in to my place earlier this year. He rented his place out and currently has tenants living there. His place essentially pays for itself (technically it makes a profit as DP will have a small tax bill to pay on it each year). The idea is to think about having a baby next year.
Prior to moving into mine, we had some work done on my house. This comprised structural work and a new kitchen. The work had been on the cards for later in the year, but DP is a keen cook and loathed existing kitchen, so paid for the work which ran to more than envisaged (c. £25k rather than the original estimate of £15k). My plan had been to remortgage later in the year and use the money to do the kitchen then. As it is, I'm in the process of re-mortgaging in order to pay DP back the £25k.
Foolishly, we didn't sit down and thrash out how financials would work between us when DP moved in. I'd previously had lodgers in the spare room to help with living costs. When DP moved in, we agreed no more lodgers as it would make the place feel cramped. I'd assumed, wrongly, that when DP moved in, we'd split the household bills 50:50.
In terms of overall financials, I earn £52k and DP earns around £85k. I have no savings and a small amount of debt (around £3000 on credit card). DP has significant savings, shares and no debt. My monthly outgoings (in direct debits/standing orders alone) are around £2500 (not including food or petrol). A significant amount (around £600 per month) goes on school fees (although DD has an assisted place). I have very little disposable income.
DP's outgoings are only what he contributes towards the household which is currently £475 per month plus some money towards food (which is still not agreed). DP wants to split the food bill three ways as doesn't feel he should contribute towards the food costs of DD. He doesn't contribute towards the mortgage as feels that if he did, he would want a share of the property. I don't want to put him on deeds, as he already has a property which is being paid for by his tenants.
We've been arguing over this for the past few months and still have no resolution. I feel that he is profiting from the relationship (essentially he can save in excess of £4k per month, whereas I have about £100 per month disposable income and no hope of saving). I have lost my claim to child benefit since he moved in (although it would have been reduced partially owing to my salary). He feels I want to use him to subsidise my lifestyle and use him as a gravy train. He also feels I am emotionally blackmailing him by saying how it upsets me that he won't contribute towards DD's food costs.
I would really like some recognition that we're living as a family and that we share some of the burden (and I have no expectation that DP should pay towards things like school fees, school uniform or anything like that). Even if it was a gesture along the lines that DP would pay for meals out (if we go out for dinner or to the cinema) or holidays. Instead, I feel criticised for the choices I've made and the lifestyle I've lead. DP is fundamentally a saver; I am not. I accept that. I accept too, that I've put things on a credit card and paid if off later, rather than saved for it beforehand. I have an excellent credit score (have never defaulted on anything) but do have a lot of stress about finances and lack of money. DP has never once worried about money.
We spent all of yesterday arguing - the issue continues to crop up again and again when I am down to my last few pounds and worrying how to economise before payday, and DP is angry that I'm in the situation. At the moment, I have around £300 to cover food/petrol/going out/school uniform until the end of the month.
I was awake for hours in the night, as was DP, just getting more and more upset and stressed. I feel utterly drained. I don't know how to resolve this. My friends think DP is being unreasonable. His friends think I'm selfish and grasping. I'm trying to arrange to see a counsellor so that we can talk things through in a neutral environment. I just can't see how we move forward without one resenting the other. Nor do I know how on earth we'd manage finances if we have a baby.
Any comments or suggestions most welcome.
18 months is not a very long time to have been together, I would rethink your plans to have a baby with him so soon.
Sorry but you are not living as a family, he won't even pay for food for your dd! I definitely wouldn't even think of having a child together until such a time as finances are settled and you are living as a family. Marriage would solve the issue in that all your worldly goods would be combined and he would presumably have joint financial responsibility for your dd, does he plan to adopt her if she has no contact with her father?
You have a lot to resolve but tbh it's not looking great at the moment
And having to see a councillor after only 18 months is not a good sign at all!
Paying him back £25k that he lent you to buy a new kitchen because he didn't like your kitchen is just bonkers in its entirety!
18 months isn't a long time, no. Unfortunately, owing to ticking biological clock, there isn't much we can do about waiting, other than freezing eggs (which isn't my preference). In all other aspects, the relationship is brilliant. He gets on extremely well with DD (no plans to adopt her as she is nearly 15 and does see her biological father occasionally).
If we were to get married, his preference would be to have a pre-nup. I'm not averse to the idea - we could protect each of our own properties. I can't see that he would ever take any kind of financial responsibility for DD in the future - his argument is that it's her father's role to provide financially and it shouldn't be his problem if her father fails to pay anything. My argument is that DD and I come as a package and that by moving in together, it's a tacit acknowledgment that we're a family of some kind.
So when he moved in you lost a, benefits, b, income from lodgers and c, you had increased expenditure for a new kitchen you did not need while he is actually paying less as has no costs for mortgage while making a small profit from letting his house.
Ask him how he would envisage that you would sp!it costs if you had a baby and went on mat leave.
DD's father has never paid a penny. We were in a casual relationship when I got pregnant. He scarpered. He only met DD for the first time just over a year ago. He is self-employed and has always claimed he doesn't earn enough to contribute (despite now being married with two other children). The CSA has been useless.
I echo pp, you do not have a family set up here. It would be different if your incomes were similar but they are not. Why doesn't he contribute toward your DD? I perhaps understand not paying for school but the basics like food and holidays should ideally be contributed to. After all, you are all now a 'family'.
My DP doesn't yet live with us and has no children of his own, but he contributes 50% of holiday cost for all four of us. He also splits the cost of presents and uniforms etc. He does this not because he needs to or because we need him to, but because it's a kind thing to do and he has more income than we do.
So he's living rent free in your house whilst making money on his place? And he thinks that's fair?
So in the money he contributes has he made up the lost benefits, lost lodgers income & covered the extra food & utility costs?
He doesn't sound very nice at all. Do you really want to have a child with a man who thinks you're after his money?
The maternity pay quest in is a good one. Does he envisage you pooling all finances once you do become a family? With the exception he won't pay anything for your dd, will he support you when on mat leave? Will you be calculating how much food your dd eats in a week so that you can be sure to pay this yourself? The whole situation is far from ideal I wouldn't be having a child with someone who treated me like this!
There must be some kind of financial advisor who could come up with an objectively fair way to split money, while holding onto your current homes? You earn a lot of money OP and you should have £25000 in savings, not paying it back for a kitchen you don't want! Definitely agree terms before considering a child. Look at how miserable you are now. Is he suggesting marriage, or just a baby?
How will your DD be supported whilst you were on mat leave?
Agree that counselling is definitely the way forward here
Part of the issue is that our attitudes towards money are so utterly different. He hates spending any money at all. When he was living alone, he set himself a target to spend £50 per month on something that wasn't necessary. Month after month, the £50 got rolled over because he couldn't spend it.
Even when he was earning less than £20k per annum, he always, always had money in the bank. His parents are the same. He has never had debt, never had a credit card, never had a student loan.
He is terrified that by sharing any more finances, we will get into debt. He thinks my approach to money is irresponsible and that I don't live within my means. I accept that I probably shouldn't be paying school fees given I can't afford them easily. And that I shouldn't go on holidays. Or buy presents for people. I probably over-compensate towards DD because I want her to have the same privileges I had as a child, and because she doesn't have a father. I appreciate that being in debt is hugely stressful, and that worrying about money is horrible. But, it hasn't stopped me being in debt, putting things on finance and struggling each month to a greater or lesser degree. I know I should do more financial planning and live more frugally.
I would be totally willing to give him control of family finances. I would be happy to have joint savings goals and work out what things we'd need as a family. I'd be happy to meal plan and to economise. What I'm not happy to do is feel that he is judging me for my choices (having DD, sending her to the school she goes to) and feel that he is making a financial profit from being with me.
His view is that if we broke up, he would feel massively angry if he felt he had been taken financial advantage of. I feel that looking at things from the perspective of breaking up isn't a particularly healthy attitude.
So he is having his morgage paid for, but not contributing to yours. Hes grabby!! Change tack. Rent yours move to his, have your morgage paid. Give him 400 plus food.
Have you written it down for him, just as PennyJenny did.
I have tried to have this conversation with you and I fear my words are not being heard. Below is my situation:
a. When you moved in I lost some of my child benefits
b. When you moved in I lost the income from lodgers so that we could feel more of a family, less cramped
c. When you decided you did not like the kitchen this meant that I will have to further increase my mortgage expenditure
d. I am in a considerably worse financial situation than I was before you moved in
a. Pay nothing towards that increased expenditure, given that you expect to be repaid in full
b. Pay little towards the running of this house
c. Gain a small profit from letting out your own house
d. Are now in a considerably better financial position than you were prior to moving in
As you can see all of the financial benefit is yours. I am merely scraping by at the end of every month and you are begrudging contributing anything over and above the minimum of bills.
This leaves me wholly supporting you. What is it you think I am getting from this deal that makes your position so acceptable?
Be warned, if you continue to berate me for being in a financial position you have helped create my answer may not be as polite as you may wish....
I would seriously have to reconsider my options, if I were you. He does not sound as though he has really considered your position at all.
Also - presumably you're earning about 3k net per month. So you have about £300 per month for everything else, as you say. How are you going to cover the increased mortgage payments to pay your DP back the 25k.
Don't remortgage until you have had a serious conversation about finances. I'm worried that you're going to end up more in debt to fund a kitchen he wants!
no to the baby.
Splitting a food bill three ways instead of fifty:fifty when he's earning 85k is a massive red flag. how much does your dd eat? Not enough to fight over I'm sure. I can't imagine how I would calculate exactly what one of my children eats a week, but I can't imagine feeling inclined to love a man who'd want me to do that calculation, to save him 30 pounds a week.
This child who he grudges 30 pounds a week to (if that) would be the older half sibling of his planned baby.
It's too mean. It's not right.
His biggest fear is being taken advantage of???? I'd say your biggest fear would be living with a man who puts money before everything else. Common decency, The Right Thing, Generosity, Being the Bigger man, being a good family man in a blended family. He's not going to be able for that if he's counting every cent and feeling screwed.
I wouldn't get a cat with that guy.
He earns 33k more than you but he won't pay for your DD's food?
Incredibly mean and meanness is not a nice quality.
Sorry, but if he is currently saving £4k a month that he keeps, and this point about paying a third of the food bills rather than a half is a big issue for him, then he's mean. Think about whether you want to be dependent on a mean person when you have a young baby and your career is on hold. Think about whether you want to spend your life with them, come to that.
Also, i assume his renters are paying his morgage, so as he himself is now renting from you, he should pay towards the morgage, thats how it works.
Join the discussion
Please login first.