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Blended family budgetting advice

(18 Posts)
VikingBlonde Wed 21-Mar-18 18:36:16

I wonder if anyone has any helpful ideas or would mind sharing how they split finances / manage family budgets across blended families?

Background: My DP and I live in different houses each with 2DCs but his are EOW only. My house has more room so often all 4 kids are here. From my previous thread it's got me thinking about how much time spent together is right for all 4DCs and me, and also for how much of the extra housekeeping stuff that then falls to me as the 'host'.

Currently we split every "expenditure" down the middle, say if we were going camping we'd split the cost of the pitch fee half and half. Or if we are on a day out, that gets halved. Fair enough for something visible and that they see us shelling out for.

But what's creeping into my mind (and keeps doing so) is the background living costs. For example, my freezer and store cupboards are usually well stocked with the basics so I can throw together a quick kids meal without having to think about it/go out and buy it, his is a very bachelor pad place without that sort of backup, it's an Oh bum i'll nip to the shop for some sliced pan and a tin of beans vibe when kids are there.

If we stay at his the kids are on camp beds and in sleeping bags - no additional laundry, nothing left for him to deal with after we are gone. If they stay at mine they're in beds which need washing every now and again obvs, the DSDs leave me all their laundry which gets done and put away, I clean up after it all and feed people and replace the basics that keep a family home running as well as covering all the bills, keeping the car going etc.
I don't begrudge any of this (or do i? hmm) and like to look after my people, but I feel that any financial split ought to be fair and right now it feels like if we split things 50:50 it doesn't acknowledge the extra costs I incur simply by being organised enough to have 4x kids meals at my fingertips and enough loo roll in the cupboard for 4 andrex puppies DC and clean towels for everyone all ready... y'know?

DP has a company van with fuel & upkeep all paid for, and a decently paid job, plus he does lots of overtime and AFH work which I've covered childcare to accommodate for a few times.
I work for myself and things have not been that busy recently so i do feel quite skint a lot of the time. I did have a lodger to help with income, but DP didn't really like it/her hmm so I haven't gone back and my spare room has been sort of morphed into the kids' room... but I think I need to get another lodger in. uh oh I'm sensing my own pattern here!

DP does keep his own home & I realise that's not free, and if he comes to mine he often brings wine/flowers etc, but he is at mine a lot, I usually cook a nice meal and I do a lot of his laundry too (washing machine has just died too which is another £100 I need to scrape from somewhere).

We are going away over the holidays to a house my mum owns (this was left by a relative before people start assuming we are loaded). I feel that DP should be getting the weeks shopping in at least for this, as my mum runs the house and we are borrowing it for free, he & DSDs will be ferried up there in my car, & a holiday cottage for 6 in a nice part of the country over holidays would be at least £500... I'm not saying if we didn't have the option of the cottage we'd find a £500 alternative - cos I haven't got a spare £100 - but it's the principle which I think he misses a little because he sees it as just "free" ... which is starting to make me feel resentful and we haven't even gone yet! ha ha!

I just wondered if anyone would be comfortable sharing with me how they manage this sort of set up?
Joint account for things that are spent on joint things?
A household kitty?

I just thought you wise people might be able to give me some creative ideas of how you manage this which might give me an idea or two without getting (quite so) cross about it.

Thank you!

OP’s posts: |
whatisanamebyanyother Wed 21-Mar-18 18:39:38

I’ve just posted in chat re my bf and money and have a lot of these issues on top of the ones you mention

VikingBlonde Wed 21-Mar-18 18:54:46

whatisaname I'm a bit new to this MN lark so not sure how to find it - I'm sure it's a very common situation and I bet there are loads of creative ways MNers manage it... whicih I'm dying to find out!

Are you able to point me at your conversation somehow? TIA and sorry for being a newbie wally!

OP’s posts: |
whatisanamebyanyother Wed 21-Mar-18 19:08:16

If you look for chat in fun and games topic it’s called newish bf money woes or similar... or search active should be there

TwoDots Wed 21-Mar-18 19:27:33

Before i lived with my DP he would stay at mine half the week. Needless to say my bills went up. He always paid me the difference each month. He would then pay for any date nights we had, and would often bring food over for us to cook on a particular evening. He would sometimes fill my petrol up too. It worked for us

VikingBlonde Wed 21-Mar-18 19:46:36

TwoDots this is very helpful. Cheers.

OP’s posts: |
swingofthings Wed 21-Mar-18 20:50:41

There is no right and wrong way to go about it but it shouldn't be a taboo subject to discuss between yourself. What's wrong with seating down and discussing cost of things and the fact that your budget is a bit tight at the moment?

You might not be living together, but you are couple in a partnership, so discussing such matter should be no different to discussing what you are planning to do over the week-end. Maybe you could start to work out what it actually does cost you extra to have them over and then decide if it's worth asking him for help, and if you do, what would be the best way to contribute, whether financially or by doing a shopping before coming say.

Saem12 Wed 21-Mar-18 20:58:36

If I was you I wouldn’t have anything ‘set in stone’. I think if you are doing all that extra work and extra expense etc then he should do other things like treat you all to a day out inc food or what ever activity you do. He could say here’s £50 towards your next food shop. Or take him food shopping with you before the kids come and get him to buy everything. You might feel awkward saying it but it has to be said otherwise your resentment is going to build and build.

Saem12 Wed 21-Mar-18 21:01:00

If you don’t ask you don’t get! And if I was doing all those things for my fiancé in the beginning he would have just rolled with it thinking ‘hey this is alright’. He isn’t going to come up with it himself. You need to address it with him and gage his reaction. He should be like ‘oh yeah of course’.

VikingBlonde Wed 21-Mar-18 22:24:28

Thanks all. Sometimes it's good to get it all out, thanks for listeningsmile.

As of this eve: We are opening a joint account- hurrah! We can go into finer points when that's open I guess.

OP’s posts: |
swingofthings Thu 22-Mar-18 06:27:36

My advice would be to go over the finer points BEFORE you open it. What is the point of having a joint account if you are not completely clear from the start how it will be used? The joint account only makes it easier to apply, it's setting the rules that is more difficult. If you can't agree on these, including the finer details, than I think you are putting yourself at risk agreeing to a joint account.

VikingBlonde Thu 22-Mar-18 07:57:24

Swingofthings yes that's good thinking. I need to work out what the average daily cost of running the place is and then kind of have a clear idea of what "hosting" actually costs on a basic level. Then we can work up from there.

It is so frustrating when the DP goes "oh but it's been so expensive for me recently it was Xmas (I hosted that and yes he paid exactly half for everything but I had people here AND spent ages wrapping/shopping/hosting/creating hashtag memories) and birthday and then Mothers day it's been really expensive..."hmmangry

I guess the question I need to get to the bottom of is how much my time spent making our home lovely is valued as well as the cost of keeping it running.

DP very sad at idea of lodger. Well, yeah but it's an income innit and as I know my house does not pay for itself. It's not forever but something has to give.

Thanks again for listening. Sorry I go on and on

OP’s posts: |
QuiteCleanBandit Thu 22-Mar-18 08:06:37

Crikey you arent married but he has got you doing "wifework" already.
Why are you washing his/DC clothes ?
Really sneaky that you feed them etc as well !
Get a lodger and see him when his DC are with other parent.
He is taking you for granted big time

TempusEejit Thu 22-Mar-18 12:39:04

What quitecleanbandit said.

So Christmas etc was so expensive for him? No shit Sherlock, it's potentially expensive for everyone and if he can't afford it them he cuts his cloth accordingly, not sponge off his partner and her kids.

And stop doing their washing!!

NorthernSpirit Thu 22-Mar-18 12:52:51

I think he’s taking advantage of you.

You don’t live together, but.... EOW you host him and his children. You clean the house, clean up after them and feed them. You do his kids laundry and do his washing. Way too much. He’s taking advantage of you.

When my OH and his kids (2) visited mine. My OH would get the shopping it, he’d clean up after the kids, offer to cook. I certainly didn’t run around after them and do all their washing.

We now live together and have estimated the cost of living - we pay a % of our net salary in to cover costs. We have the kids EOW and my OH covers the cost of any big items for the kids - like eating out, the cost of taking them swimmining etc.

VikingBlonde Thu 22-Mar-18 13:43:21

He does wash whatever I leave over at his - we have wardrobe space at each other's places - but it's just due to me having kids here most nights & staying in, the %age him being here is greater so it ends up me doing more.

Sorry, BG not well explained. He does contribute to food etc when we're here and often buys us all a pub lunch if we are out etc, it's just because I plan that if we come back from somewhere Hank Marvin there tends to be more options here without having to nip out and procure it.

I did point out by buying pub lunches he gets to do a big showoffy thing that gets unanimous thanks whereas me remembering snacks and packing a thermos of hot chocolate and having emergency plasters, wipes, or magicking up fish fingers and keeping fuel in the car etc is unrewarded unnoticed emotional labour and cost.

I need to be more assertive as to how much things cost and make it fairer.

At the mo I am feeling rather peeves and a bit of a mug. sad

OP’s posts: |
TempusEejit Thu 22-Mar-18 13:57:40

Could your DP spend at least one in every two of the weekends he has his kids just with them, at his? That way your own kids get you to themselves occasionally, and his kids get their dad to themselves too. You absolutely shouldn't be babysitting to enable him working if you're not beneftiting from that work i.e. that money clearly isn't contributing towards your household budget if your expenditure is still more than it would be were he not around (despite the pub meals etc). I don't mean this unkindly but he's taking you for a ride.

TempusEejit Thu 22-Mar-18 14:05:09

Oh and I think your DP's attitude towards you having a lodger is a big red flag, how dare he try to dictate what goes on in your house just because he wants you to continue facilitating an easier life for him and his DC in your lovely welcoming home at the expense of your time, effort and finances whilst he gets to enjoy his nice grown-up bachelor style pad (why has he not made it more welcoming and homely for his DCs? Oh yeah because Viking can do it round hers). I'm actually feeling quite angry on your behalf.

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