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To think DH is a spendthrift??!!

51 replies

mackoo0524 · 20/07/2017 08:55

Hi ladies, feeling quite angry and upset about DH's spending habits and just wanted to have a little vent and to see what you all make of it...

We have a 10-month-old DS. We live in a 2-bedroom-flat in London which we own with a mortgage, and would like to upsize in a couple of years't time. DH has a reasonably well-paid job whereas I became a freelancer a year before DS was born, in order to focus on TTC because we had fertility issues (spent over 15k on various tests and treatments but conceived naturally in the end). I started working again a couple of months ago and earn about 1k per month working from home part-time. My mum helps with looking after a DS a couple of days a week, DH babysits on the weekend and we use a nanny every now and then too.

Now... My DH LOOOOOOOVES going out!!!! He went out a lot less while DS was still very little but now he's back to going out a couple of times a week. Which I don't mind too much, if not for how much money he's spending... If it's just after-work drinks it's not so bad I suppose, but on a 'proper' night out he easily spends £50-100 a night, and he does not a few times a month. Earlier this month it was his 40th and he spent about £400 in one night?!!

For DS's 1st birthday he insists on doing a Gymboree party which will cost us close to £700, once catering, alcohol (OF COURSE) and everything else is taken into account. That's in addition to a family dinner (with both sets of grandparents) we'll have on DS's actual birthday...

I'm just a bit furious because I think he's being really quite selfish/ irresponsible?!!! I manage all of DS-related spending, he mostly wears secondhand clothes I got on Ebay, most of his toys are secondhand too! I do buy new things for him every now and then but mostly I'm quite frugal. We're not materialistic people so that suits us fine. But everytime we go to a friend's child's birthday party, if it's DH's friend, he insists on spending at least £40-50 on birthday presents which I find really excessive!!!! He thinks anything less than that would make us look really stingy...

AND DH is really keen to have a second child too and he knows we need to move to a bigger place in a few years' time. At the moment we're hardly putting any money away even though I'm doing my best (I was always the one managing our savings while he took care of the mortgage) but it's so hard being on a much smaller income... I've thought about going back to work full-time but financially we won't be better off than now because childcare costs in our area are crazily high!! Full-time nursery would cost close to two grand a month!

So... AIBU???? He is a great dad and he is putting food on the table, managing the mortgage payments etc etc so am I being too harsh on him?? I'm just really anxious about our financial future, especially if we want a second child and a bigger house!!!

Should I have a proper conversation with him about this?

Thanks for reading my essay...

OP posts:
Caenea · 20/07/2017 09:00

Hello OP!

It might be that he honestly doesn't realise how much it adds up to, it's quite easy to spend an amount of money on "one night out" but not really process how much those nights out actually add up to over the course of the month...

You could add them up and actually show him. £40 on a birthday present for anyone not immediate family is INSANE in my opinion. You could say "Oh, I'm going to buy so-and-so a gift", spend £10-£15 and "save" the rest and then show him how much just doing that has saved you both. Some people will respond better if they actually see the totals, not just the list of figures.

araiwa · 20/07/2017 09:01

£50 on a night out in london is half a pint of beer isnt it?- hardly excessive. only 40 once too. only have 1 first birthday. nothing seems ridiculous

if you start to question his spending, be prepared to have your income questioned

Caenea · 20/07/2017 09:01

And £700 on a party your child will not even remember is ridiculous.

user1479669774 · 20/07/2017 09:02


I don't think your being unreasonable to be upset at his level of spending.

I would sit down with him and have a proper conversation about it.

I would also do a budgeting activity, write down everything your spending and work out how much you want to save each month to realistically reach your goal to expand.

EssentialHummus · 20/07/2017 09:05

does his level of spending still allow you to spend what you need elsewhere/save reasonably as you'd like? Are you short every month/ are you making cutbacks to facilitate him? How much is left every month?

specialsubject · 20/07/2017 09:10

If your husband goes to work tomorrow and is told that the company is folding and he is redundant, where are with savings?

Happens a lot...

FlandersRocks · 20/07/2017 09:14

I'd be less concerned with the cost of the party and more with the fact he's budgeting for alcohol at a one year olds party - seriously, why?

In summary, yes, you need to sit down and have a out family finances and how much play money you have each each month/how much to save and so on.

NCEndOfLifeDilemma · 20/07/2017 09:19

How do you organise your finances as a couple? Do you have a joint budget, joint accounts and targets for saving? If not, start there.

BarbaraofSeville · 20/07/2017 09:20

£50 on a night out in london is half a pint of beer isnt it?- hardly excessive. only 40 once too. only have 1 first birthday. nothing seems ridiculous

None of those things are ridiculous on their own if you can afford it, but doing them all regularly adds up to probably tens of thousands of pounds per year. From the OP a conservative estimate of the DHs 'couple of nights out a week' could be £500 pm or £6k per year.

The OP says that they're barely saving anything despite having a lot of disposable income and identified needs of future house move, nursery costs and maternity leave, if they are lucky enough to conceive again. They are also in the unfair situation where the DH is spending a huge amount willy nilly and the OP is stressing herself trying to be frugal to make up for it, which is probably impossible when you have someone who spends so much.

They need to sit down and work out how much they have coming in, what their everyday bills, food and transport and child related costs are, what they need for annual and unexpected expenses such as holidays, insurances, Christmas, a sensible budgeted amount for gifts, car or household repairs etc.

From what is left, they need to save some to cover the future house move, increased childcare costs and only then consider what is left truely disposable. And it should be split 50/50 between the OP and her DH so they have the same amount of money to spend freely on themselves.

OP I know you say that you're not materialistic people, but it sounds like your DH really is with his big nights out and extravagent gifts for fear of appearing stingy.

pitterpatterrain · 20/07/2017 09:20

Do you have an agreed budget and savings goal?

It can be hard to switch from spending when you like, into more considered spending if that is the prior habit

Agree with a PP how much do you have in the bank for worst case scenario, how many months net income does it represent?

Put together your moving house plan: do you have the stamp duty saved up? What equity will you have and how much extra would help get you to a lower LTV on a future property?

namechange20050 · 20/07/2017 09:22

What's wrong with booze at a one year olds birthday? When my LO turned one we had a party at home with jugs of pimms and champagne.

namechange20050 · 20/07/2017 09:22

That post was for 'flanders'

Lweji · 20/07/2017 09:27

Someone will do it, so:

"DH babysits on the weekend"

What? Is he not the dad?

Anyway, your work is a long term investment. It may not pay off while the baby is in nursery, but it will in terms of career gains.
Would he give up his job?

FamilyHolidays · 20/07/2017 09:27

Your DH babysits on the weekend?
and you say he's a great dad?

mackoo0524 · 20/07/2017 09:27

Thanks everyone for your replies!

I think you're right, he probably doesn't realise that it all adds up. So at the moment if I consistently made 1k a month, we could probably put away a few hundred pounds a month. The thing is, my income is not guaranteed because I work freelance.

We have emergency savings and investments so if he were made redundant we'd have something to fall back on. We also don't have any debt apart from our mortgage...

I don't want him to sacrifice his social life but I think when you have a family, it's not unreasonable to have to make some sacrifices!

A lot of his friends are quite a bit better off than us now (two full-time incomes) and they all spend lots on their kids' birthday parties and presents etc (for example, when DS was born, they all gave him very generous presents) so I can totally understand why he doesn't want to appear stingy and look bad. And if someone buys us a £50 gift we can hardly just get them a £10 gift in return, I totally understand that! But it's just that they can quite easily afford something like this and still go on holidays etc but we can't...

To be fair he did say that the Gymboree party will be a one-off, we won't be doing this every year!

And yes London is soooo expensive, even on a good income it's not easy...

OP posts:
Groupie123 · 20/07/2017 09:39

Can you go back to work full time?

Groupie123 · 20/07/2017 09:39

*employed work

TinyTear · 20/07/2017 09:42

if the gymboree party is a one off - PLEASE save it for when the child is at least 2, ideally 3 when they can remember and play with the others.

At 1 year old they don't have the skills to play with other children, they play next to them

I have attended many gymboree parties and the activities and stories are suited for 3 year plus, younger siblings always look rather lost and overwhelmed

BendydickCuminsnatch · 20/07/2017 09:46

Oh wow, he's FORTY! I was imagining mid 20s, by your description. We moved out of London, (to Surrey, DH still works in Old Street), bought a 3 bed house £10k cheaper than we sold our 2 bed flat for. Saved a pretty penny there!

Bluerose27 · 20/07/2017 09:52

Look into the money jar system of budgeting. It allocates percentages of income to different areas - 55% to necessities, 10% to long term savings etc. (Not sure of the % , just an example)
But it also allocates 10% to fun each month. So do feel they're not overly restricted and savers feel all the money is not being blown.
So if DH buys a £50 present that's fine (!) but he can't then also go out 4 times because all the fun money will be gone

Therealslimshady1 · 20/07/2017 09:56

The kids party is excessive, and unnecessary, just get some family over for a meal.

alifemoreorlessordinary · 20/07/2017 09:58

I thought a "spendthrift" was someone who was mean with money? misses point of post

LaurieFairyCake · 20/07/2017 10:01

I'm with your dh - I value drinks and food out much more than things. Londons got so many free things to do and just mooching about is lovely - all our disposable income is going on making our free time great while we're out enjoying London.

But we naturally budget that expenditure- so for us it's about 30% of our disposable income that we spend on days and nights out.

We've spend a lot less on weekends recently as we've been in the park with picnics recently as the weathers been so nice - our goal over the summer is to go to all the London parks and grab a deli sandwich on the way to it.

ellenripleysbiceps · 20/07/2017 10:02

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

KimmySchmidt1 · 20/07/2017 10:07

Spending £700 you dont have on inviting lots of OTHER PEOPLE to a 1 year old's birthday party? Showing OTHER PEOPLE he caqn afford to spend £50 on a baby's birthday present? Flashing the cash on a night out with OTHER PEOPLE?

There is a common theme here - showing off and competing with others to make himself look better off than he is.

That is a character flaw, it is shallow, immature and is damaging your financial future. You need to get a grip on him.

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