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.
How to manage finances when DH won't?(33 Posts)
DH is not good with money. He had huge credit card debt when we got married. It took us the best part of 10 years to pay it off; in the end I put my foot down and we got rid of the cards and got a loan out to pay off the balances.
I started using YNAB 3 years ago to try and budget better. He promised to stick to the budget but he never has. He never stops to think about whether the money is there for something or not, he just buys whatever, whenever.
It's not as if he's drinking or gambling, it's always toys for the kids or stuff for the house, but he's spending outside our means and at the moment, each fortnight we're a little further into our overdraft before we get paid.
I spoke to him about it last week when he spent over 200 on lamps, and he promised to rein it in, but I've just seen on online banking that he went to Ikea and Homebase yesterday and spent another 130. We moved house recently and the place does need stuff done to it but I just can't make him see that we need to slow down and only do it at a speed we can afford.
I feel so controlling having to keep going on about this; I'm starting to think I should just take away his debit card because nothing else seems to work (and we've been together for 17 years so I've tried lots of approaches!) but that feels like financial abuse. I'm just so tired of being the only one trying to keep us on track.
What can I do?
Cut off the credit lines.
Change to a bank account with zero overdraft and no possibility of unauthorised overdraft.
Decide on the fair split of funds (so it's not abusive) and use a standing order each month to put that in separate accounts.
And yes, take the debit card off him except for a card on his spends account.
You could look if your local college does a budgeting course so you're not just punitive...
Or try to inspire him with the MSze
He needs to feel the pain to get this. You pick up the pieces, don't you? He needs to be involved in the budget.
Let him have no spends for two weeks and have to sit st home looking at his bloody lampshades!
I've tried so flipping hard to involve him in the budgeting. He's not interested. He just switches off if I try to discuss it, he finds it boring.
There are other things he could be doing... like counselling if this is emotional spending. Learning to routinely check his balance every day. Using a budget system that separates money out.
But honestly, short term, whilst he is forcing you into debt again I would take the approach of telling him to pick up the receipt and go take everything back, or you're ending the marriage. We all have our lines of what we'll accept and I'm sure there's shit I'd put up with that you would think I was crazy! But someone putting me in debt? No.
The Money Saving Expert site is brilliant, and the Debt Free Wannabe forum is inspirational and non judgemental. Browsing through some "statement of affairs" posts there might warm him up to the idea that he's not alone and can get better with money.
He finds it boring
I don't usually like the word "adulting" but...
You need to stop worrying about being controlling. You're not. You have bailed him out, you have tried to include him.
Cut the overdraft facility.
Transfer all but his discretionary funds out of that account on payday to a joint account that he doesn't have access to.
Let him find out what happens when he spends £330 on house stuff, and there's only £50 in the account and 3 weeks til payday.
It is not abusive to take away his debit card, as long as he has access to a fair amount of your joint discretionary funds.
It is abusive to drive your family into debt and disrespect your wife by not even bothering to show an interest in budgets.
He had credit card debts but we paid them off. You sorted out the consolidation loans - so he was off the hook over and over again.
All household money goes into a joint account that he does not have a card for. Work out how much you need for mortgage/rent, bills, food, essentials, plus a little to save. That stays in the account. All your direct debits come from there.
The rest gets split between your personal accounts. He's free to fritter his away on crap if he wants. You always have enough to cover the basics.
This is what we do. At the request of my DH who is terrible with money. It works very well.
Talk to the bank too. Make them refuse him an overdraft. Get an app on his phone that shows him every morning what's in his account and all his spends from yesterday. Alternatively close all his accounts and just give him cash
Bloody crap though.
YY to above re cutting his lines of credit. I would classify his spending as abuse.
Also, keep an eye out for credit cards that he takes out in his own name. Can you get him to put a note on his own credit record, to prevent him being offered more credit. Im not sure whether such a thing even exists but it would be worth checking it out.
Making his life a tad more uncomfortable may encourage him to get some help.
We both get paid into a joint account, for which we both have credit cards. I think it would be easiest to just take his card and hand him a set amount of cash each fortnight. I actually threatened to do that a while ago and he said he thought it was a good idea. He just doesn't want to take responsibility for his own spending at all.
Mind you, I'm pretty sure he'd be quick enough to complain if I actually did it.
He has texted to tell me that the 76.50 in Ikea yesterday was 'stocking up on lightbulbs'.
I think you need to have a discussion about taking away the debit card etc. I really struggle with money - I have ADHD and financial impulsivity and inability to control spending is a big part of that (I'd never buy things for myself but I'd just buy random things for other people) - so DH and I agreed that any credit cards we take out will be in his name; if I'm on a meds break I don't have access to large sums of money.
It may seem controlling from one perspective but from another perspective it's just looking out for your entire family. Do you think he'd see it that way if you had that conversation?
I replied to the lightbulbs text with 'what about all the conversations we've had about not spending lately?' and he replied to say he's turning his phone off because he 'can't be putting up with this shite all day'.
I'm not sure I can live like this.
Just seen your update that he doesn't react well to being reined in. I'm afraid this would be a deal breaker for me. Staying would be dependent on is cutting off the credit limes himself and getting some help for whatever it is. All the best.
Personally, I think you should put the money you earn in a separate account, one that he doesn't even know about. I would then do what so many others have suggested... get rid of overdraft, cut up his debit card, and give him a cash allowance.
Honestly, I don't know how you can handle this behaviour from him. I'd kill him.
My ex was like that. No matter what we earned he would spend more. I paid off all his credit card bills from a house sale as the interest charges were amounting to £100s every month. He'd go overdrawn and get charged another 100-200 on unauthorised overdrawn charges. It was awful. We wasted so much money on paying charges just because he was so careless with money (and we were earning about £60k jointly so weren't hard up).
I ended up leaving because he cheated but his spending over our income would have split us up eventually because i would feel sick every time we got a bill through the letterbox.
I know you say you don't want to, but you must take sole control for your own peace of mind. You will find it much easier to cope with when you know that you are managing everything.
Transfer everything into your name. Give him a cash allowance each week. And tell him you are not prepared to have your future jeopardised by his stupidity.
wtf stocking up on lightbulbs? please change your account get your salary paid seperately and pull the plug...
i hate budgeting absolutely i find it v boring and my eyes start to roll in my head too...i get that, I also ended up with bad cc debt in my early 20s..
I had a crappy financial childhood and my mum was a nightmare with money...but hey now i'm an adult and have a family so i can't just spend like that....I do think about what/when I buy even though most of the time we can afford it- dh manages the money and just lets me know if things are getting tight -
If he wont take responsibility for family money just cut him off from it.... give him the cash allowance and thats it...take back the lampshades/lightbulbs etc he needs to know how serious this is ....
What a jerk! He doesn't want to put up with "this shite"?! Honestly.
What does he do? I'm assuming he has responsibilities. That he upholds to keep his job. My dh is very financially cautious whereas I spend more but I'm conservative with what I spend. I'd find this hugely frustrating. It's simple money comes in, work out bills etc, what is left. How he can't work this out is beyond me.
The fact that he feels it all boring is hugely disrespectful to you. I'm sure you don't find it hugely interesting either but he's an adult.
I'd cut him off. He can't be financially responsible he's treated that way. Take his cards. Very little access to money, cut off overdraft until he smartens up his act.
His financial attitudes are deeply ingrained; I would think one or even both his parents display such similar attitudes to money.
He is not going to change and particularly not whilst you are there bailing him out as you have done previously. That has not helped him and you either because its only given you a false sense of control. I presume you thought that he would change his spendthrift ways, particularly when children came into being.
I would actually reconsider your own long term future within this relationship. You can only change ultimately how you react to him.
His father was the sole earner in his family and lied to his DH's mother about how much he earned, even though she struggled to feed them all on what he gave her. He also encouraged DH and his siblings to lie to their mother about their earnings when they started work. I know exactly what DH earns because we do the same job, otherwise I'd wonder!
Honestly, I'm at the stage where I just can't be bothered any more. We don't have a great relationship anyway, I'm inclined to just throw my hat at it and leave him to it.
He sounds like the kind of person who brings 1000 loo rolls home because "they were on offer", regardless of whether you have space for them or the money was needed for something else.
I dont see what else you can do other than take his card and give him his share in cash, you shouldnt have to and its still you taking the responsibility that he should be sharing but if he refuses to engage at all then I dont see what other option you have short of splitting up.
I'm sorry NotAPuffin , this is crap for you.
Be careful with that joint overdraft , if you split you'll remain jointly responsible for this until it's paid off. I'm guessing you'll be the one paying it off too as he doesn't seem to give a crap. Bitter experience here I'm afraid!
Hope you get it sorted.
Money is one of the most common things to split a marriage. Taking out the bit about his spending he doesn't seem to care how you feel or how it impacts the family. He just goes about his merry way doing whatever he pleases and if he over spends you're left to be the joy killer and deal with it.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.