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Differences in attitude to money- is it enough to leave over?(62 Posts)
Changed name and will try to keep it short. Married 20 years 2 DC, DS away at uni, DD about to enter the last 2 years of school. DD is ASD and has had a lifetime of anxiety and mental health stuff. She is in quite a good place at the moment but becomes incredibly anxious if there is any marital conflict.
DH and I have lots in common- read the same books, enjoy each other's company, laugh at the same things, similar education and interests, close to each other's families and good sex life.
However we have completely different views on money and this has simmered away throughout our marriage. DH is very 'live for today', borrow for stuff we need, everything will be OK. He does not want to get old before he spends money on himself, as he saw his parents (now deceased) do. He says he is responsible because he has always worked full time and put all his earnings into our joint account. He inherited a good sum of money from his parents and has refused to invest it. It is currently sitting against our mortgage, not quite enough to pay it off.. We have had a wonderful family holiday with it and he has bought a few treats for himself (an elderly sports car).
I have a much more conservative view towards money, don't mind going without if it is for a bigger financial goal, and want more than anything to establish financial security for our dc. However we consistently outspend our income and I can see the inheritance dwindling down.
To avoid a dripfeed, I came into the marriage with more assets, but have not worked full-time since DC were born. I have carved out a good professional career but do not earn as much as DH and have always worked either 3 or 4 days. Now the DC are getting older I am getting caught up in care for my elderly mother who lives in another city.
DH is completely generous towards me - if I said 'I never want to work again, or I want a diamond ring, or to study in New York' he would immediately say 'go for it'. However we can't actually afford to live like this.
So at the moment I go about my daily life trying to save and cut costs and he goes about running them up.
A recent example. He needed a new phone. Went to a phone shop and came out having been upsold a new plan for our home internet, cable tv, incredibly expensive new tablet etc. Our monthly bill is now massively more. None of this was discussed with me.This keeps on giving because each month when the phone bill arrives I feel the same wave of fury.
I see him as flakey and wild with money and he sees me as a killjoy. I feel so tired of this and am beginning to consider how it would work if we separated. Then I think of the anguish this would cause the DC and my elderly mother etc. Running 2 households would leave us both worse off and I would probably have to work full-time. So do I suck it up and stay because it is mostly OK, leave and cause a lot of family pain, or continue to stay and feel infuriated?
No marriage is perfect but IMO to leave because of this is ridiculous. Talk to him and try and agree a compromise and way forward.
We have had this talk so many times. We try to understand each others' point of view. I acknowledge that he likes to spend money on himself. He acknowledges that long term financial security is really important to me.
Then we roll along for a few months until he does something mad again.
He does not see that his spending on impulse directly impacts my need for security. And vice versa.
You need to talk to him about it. I think that is what is causing your resentment, not being open with him.
I have a similar dynamic with my DP. I'm very careful with money and he is very laid back and generous. We name it. And do you know what, he is sometimes right and I should treat myself and I am sometimes right and he really doesn't need to buy something. But we talk about it, we know it is a difference between us so we try to find a balance.
I wouldn't leave for this.
What other things does he buy apart from a big phone package?
When you talk about it, does he acknowledge that it would be better to have some money saved up for a rainy period?
If so, would he agree to having a set amount put automatically into a savings account each month, then another into a utilities account and finally the rest into a personal spending account?
You need to talk and agree on spending plans esp for the future. Ensure that you will have enough income into retirement etc etc.
But I wouldn't destroy what seems like a lovely marriage over this.
Sex & money are always the two biggest deal breakers.
I couldn't live with such a spendthrift. Deal breaker for me
It sounds like you have a great marriage and are very compatible together apart from the money disagreement-I wouldn't end your marriage over this.
Does your DH know that you're considering ending your marriage over money? Maybe he'd be more willing to listen to your reasoning if he knew it was a dealbreaker?
Between the two of you you sound like you almost have the perfect balance in a way. You get to enjoy the benefits of his attitude to money, while your more conservative approach should balance it out.
What I'd recommend is you maybe starting a savings account and putting a certain amount in each month so you all have some back up if he does overspend (which seems to be what the inheritance is doing at the moment), and continue to reduce his spending where you can.
He might think you're a kill joy, but I bet there's many occasions where if he was to look back, he'd be glad you said no, and likewise you might be annoyed at his actions, but I bet you are glad you went on those holidays.
You sound like you have an otherwise great relationship, so please try to look at the positives (and maybe don't let him go to phone shops alone haha!).
I can totally relate here too as although DH and I are on similar terms with money, we are complete opposite when it comes to mess. He would happily live and work in a cluttered messy hole, whereas I get quite stressed if the house and work is too messy.
I spend so much of my home and work life tidying up after him and sometimes I fantasise about living alone in and just meeting him in hotels or somewhere he can't get too messy lol, but I love DH and there is so much more wonderful things about our relationship, the mess is worth it. And to be fair to him, although he thinks my rules (like put your clothes in the wash basket, not on the floor next to the wash basket) are stupid, he does occasionally follow them when he wouldn't have before. Last night he even put his socks in the wash basket (but nothing else 😭😂).
If you have talked many times and he continues then i ould suggest you take steps to ring fence your income,expenditure and assets to protect yourself. his will ensure that you are not unwittingly subsidising his excess spending and make him more accountable for it.
I have always been a big fan of three accounts in the home. A joint one and two personal ones. Do you operate that strategy?
You aren't actually poor though are you? Not struggling?
Of course you want your mortgage paid off and a good pension when you retire but is he endangering that?
Why haven't you put the money against the mortgage already? Having it accessible must be tempting. Why not remortgage now and have it out of sight?
If you were genuinely poor and not covering bills whilst he was buying shit I would say that's a big deal but your problem is more about how to manage the money you have so I don't think it's quite as serious.
I think it depends how much you're talking about here. If he was gambling with debts of tens of thousands then it would be an issue but if you have been married for twenty years and you are financially ok, then maybe it's just different spending styles.
You need to allocate spending money so you both know what you can spend - it should be equal. For things like broadband packages etc I would try to forget that now it's done but agree in future that any changes to household expenses are discussed together. We have a joint household account where everything goes into and direct debits etc come out of and then we transfer an equal amount of spending money to separate single accounts (which are actually both joint but we use one each) to spend as we wish. Could this be something you could do? Then he can save or spend as he wishes as you can too.
I wouldn't leave over this but would impress upon him it's last chance saloon time.
You also need to do something with the inheritance - it's doing nobody any good sitting in a savings account (with probably little interest) being gradually chipped away at. Pay off your mortgage to reduce outgoings and avoid overspending? Invest in another property? Something anyway. Put it out of temptation.
Sounds similar to my dh and I.
We have a setup whereby we have worked out what the bills are, the rest is divided between the two of us in our separate current accounts. I do not believe in joint accounts given our attitudes to money are so different.
Any extra spending or stuff for ourselves comes from our own money.
It means he can spend up each month and I can live simply and save and that provides the buffer for him too at times. Then if I'm after something big he then buys it to up for things as that satisfies his love of spending and I don't like to spend so I don't have to, or else he knows that money needs to come back to me the following month.
This caters to both of our attitudes to money and we've never argued about it.
Here is another example.
H recently bought Paul McCartney tickets. He loves the Beatles so I can understand him wanting to see PMc.
However - I have seen PMc once and feel that is enough in a lifetime. I am also away on a work trip that day - which DH knew when he bought them
He is not quite sure who he will go with - offered the second ticket to his sister who is not interested.
He bought the tickets from a website which in that same week was exposed in our media as being quite dodgy- charging overinflated prices for tickets which are not always genuine. He paid $1000 for the two tickets.
So at this stage he has no one to go with, has overpaid, the tickets may not work at the gate and he spent a huge amount of money on this debacle.
First I heard of it was when he rang me to tell me he had bought them.
At no point does he think ' I'll just talk to Russian first and see what she thinks.' I am naturally a really consultative person and I just find this infuriating.
We are financially OK but could be much better off than we are if we had done a few things a bit differently.
What would the benefits of being "much better off" be? Would it be living the same way you are now with a bigger nest egg?
That is frustrating OP but I note you say (rather primly!) that seeing Paul MC once is "enough for a lifetime" which to be honest sounds really dour and joyless.
The other concerns are relevant, of course.
Doesn't sound at all joyless to me. Fair enough if it was for an artist or event he had been wanting to see all his life but not for someone he's already seen and when he has little idea of who he will go with. That sounds like spending for the sake of it to me. I wouldn't be at all impressed if my dh wasted £500 frivolously like that! (Or vice versa!)
Op I would take your dh somewhere neutral and say you have serious matters to discuss. Say that this current state of affairs is causing you profound anxiety and leading you to question your marriage. Say you are anxious for your DC, university fees, their futures as well as yours. Propose several strategies: discussion and agreement of spending above a certain amount, regular payments in to saving and pension plans, sensible investment of inheritance. When all that is taken care of, he can spend what he likes up to a certain limit, and you can relax.
Blimey, good thing you're not married to mine I'm sure the Gallagher brothers thoughtnhe was stalking them in the 90s!
It's not so much the different attitude to spending that would bother me but the lack of discussion. You don't necessarily need to be accountable to each other for every single penny, but in an adult partnership I think bigger decisions should be taken together. If my partner did this I would tell him I thought his behaviour was immature, irresponsible and disrespectful - especially when you have kids who are still in education. Not sure I'd leave yet, but I'd definitely be angry if it kept happening. I suppose it depends where you draw the line.
He does seem a bit on the excessive side when it comes to spending, but maybe he spends first and asks questions later because of your disapproving attitude about purchases. I'm not saying your wrong to disapprove but could you perhaps be a bit too disapproving hence why he acts in this way? My MIL is a bit like this with drinking, if you've had more than one drink she tuts and rolls her eyes making passive aggressive comments like you've rocked up completely pissed
After mortgage and bills, I would have an agreed set amount going into separate accounts so you can both make your own no questions asked purchases.
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