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Money matters

How do I tell him?

226 replies

LiarLiar · 01/12/2004 14:12


Im in a mess and my partner doesnt know

i have lots of debt that i have been trying and failing to deal with.

im responsible for our families income and its fair to say that i have f*cked it up.

i have taken the big step of breaking it down and seeing where we are and its not good.

Monthly Income
Income Amount
Net Monthly Salary £ 150.00
Partner's Monthly Salary £ 1,500.00
Benefits £ 270.00

Essential Monthly Outgoings
Outgoing Amount
Mortgage/Rent £ 583.00
Council Tax £ 107.00
Electricity £ 25.00
Gas £ 25.00
Water Rates £ 40.00
Telephone £ 67.00
TV Licence £ 10.00
Basic Groceries £ 400.00
Petrol £ 200.00
Car Tax £ 17.00
Car Insurance £ 60.00
Other Travel £ 0.00
House Insurance £ 35.00
Entertainment £ 300.00
Clothing £ 50.00

Monthly Debts
Debt Total Debt Min Payment Rate
Overdraft £ 1,600.00 £ 0.00 0.10 %
Mint £ 1,148.62 £ 27.00 10.90 %
HSBC Gold £ 5,197.00 £ 148.00 14.90 %
Barclaycard £ 800.00 £ 20.00 17.90 %
Egg £ 6,000.00 £ 121.00 14.90 %
Next Directory £ 400.00 £ 40.00 10.00 %
TOTAL DEBT £ 15,145.62

I have been taking advice from people and ive started rejigging some of the debts to pay less per month but i think i need to take more drastic action to get out of this hole.

My dp knows nothing about it except that i have 3k on a credit card - when he found this out he went totally mad so i darent tell him of the real picture.

i dont have much of an income so i cant get a consolidation loan on my own but im very scared to tell him and cause problems in our relationship.

Would you tell? If so How?

If you see from the breakdown we are already living beyond our means before any of the minimum payments even come off


OP posts:
Branster · 01/12/2004 14:53

The biggest gift you can give to yourself is to cut ALL your credit cards and throw away ANY catalogues you have around the house. And I do mean you have to get rid of them physically.
I'm not going to comment ofn particulars of the amounts but you need to amke a reasonable pay back plan, say £300 / months towards all these debts. Try and get a 0% credit card and put the overdraft and Next bill on a lond from your bank if possible.
it is very, very important you do not fall back on any of the debt payments to ensure a good credit rating.
Also, your financial dealings are affecting DH's credit too, especially if you have a joint account.
Deffinetly cut down to nil on clothes and entertainment (not down to £50 or £100 but nil!) and reduce your food bill to say £300 /month by shopping around.
It is better to tell DH sooner rather than alter because
a) it's eating you inside all these lies
b) he has the right to know, after all it's all his money (your £150 don't really count in the great scheme of things)
c)you don't want to risk him finding out when he applies for re-morgaging or an iterest free purchase from a furniture shop etc because he might be declined credit by wrongly filling in details of monthly outgoing because he didn't know the figures.

Collect all you statements (which will show what the money went out for: food, clothes etc, it's not like they go out on something dodgy) and show them to him.
Don't expect a light response on his part, he has all teh right to be agry and act accordingly.
Then together you need to amke an action plan, perhaps he can get a loan or something like that on his name if your income doesn't allow for that sort of thing.

Think what exactly are you afraid of: him shouting, loosing his temper, leaving you etc. so at least you ahve a clear idea in your mind. it will not be easy, i don't think but this is a problem you need to deal with together. It's his money we're talking about here, not yours and he entrusted you with it. I expect he'll feel like you're not respecting him, he cannot trust you etc. And from then on you must tell him about every single purchase you ever made, even offer not to keep a debit card, cheque book with you.
I'm sorry I can't give you any kinder advice, I know it's easy to get in such a situation but this doesn't make for a valid excuse. You must tell him asap. It's a problem that can and will be resolved once you work on it as a partnership.
I'm surprised he has no idea of what is going on. Does he not see the statements? You must have gone to great lenghts to hide them I assume or he's just totally laid back about such affairs.
Tell him and seek help together, not on your own because your mothly income with all the cards you have on your name at such high balances wil not, realistically give you much chance of getting a good rate loan etc.
be brave and tell him. You owe it to him. Could you get a part-time job to cover part of teh payments for the debt?
And another point is: with his salary he is actually entitled to expect decent food, clothes, enetertainment on a regular basis, so once you start cutting back on these items, he'll notice and ask for them because his salary should provide him with them, shouldn't it? So he'll find out anyway.
Get rid of credit cards asap, please.

SantaFio2 · 01/12/2004 15:05

Branster that is absolutely excellent advice, i could do with you sorting my life out!

Bozza · 01/12/2004 15:19

LL I think LloydsTSB are doing a credit card with 0% on balance transfers at the moment. If you have a good credit rating you should be able to get one and then transfer your highest interest rate cards onto it.

Your water seems quite high to me. What sort of house do you live in? Would it be worth getting a meter? Agree that phone is very high. Is this calls or internet usage? Also think car insurance is high. When its up for renewal shop around.

Bozza · 01/12/2004 15:33

Also agree with Branster's excellent advice. There really is no future in not telling your DP.

LiarLiar · 01/12/2004 15:36

Branster - thank you for your post. It is full of useful things and all of them true - however, it has just made me cry alot. I think the root of alot of this is when I met DP I was a high earning independant single woman and very proud of what I had managed to achieve. DDs dad basically kicked us out with nothing so I had to start from scratch to find a job, home and everything else. This resulted in some of the debt but the rest has resulted from me being frivelous and not accepting that I was no longer a high wage earner. However when DP and I first met I was still in my well paid career and he was a student - he moved in with me and for 2 years until I was pregnant with DS he didnt pay a penny towards anything - I carried on paying all bills, food, clothes, everything for DD etc - I think that is what hurt a bit reading your post - YES I know he earns that money and he has a right to it but that felt like you were saying I was taking this poor mans money and frittering it away - most of the debt has come about because Ive been trying to keep him (and me and DD) in the manner he became used to when I was supporting him IYSWIM its just now Im a SAHM with 2 kids and even though his is a good salary its not enough to support that level of lifestyle anymore.

Did that make ANY sense whatsoever?

Im getting all upset now - Im just so FRIGHTENED of teh repurcussions I think I will get very defensive when he starts about ME spending HIS money when no credit is given to me for working hard, taking a risk to get on the property ladder and subsequently making 50k to enable us this place, nor will he remember the times when I paid for absolutely everything he will only cling on to me fucking up and spending all his money.

OP posts:
Branster · 01/12/2004 15:52

Oh honey, I'm so sorry my post made you cry. I didn't want that to happen. I was just writting down the facts in the hope of giving you extra urgency that you do need to tell DH, the sooner the better. I suspected your spending was based on your previous habits which were in fact substantiated by a solid own income. the fact that you had worked out the figures and had teh courage to post about the problem indicates to me that you are a smart woman with your head screwed on as it were. So I was not telling you off or anything like that because you know exactly what the situation is. What's done is done, now you need to get the £15000 transferred to soemthing that would require you to pay about £300 a month back but with DH' s help is more likely to happen, as you well know. the more you try and solve it on your own, the more complicated it gets for you presonally.
I know you do a great and hard job looking after the kids and house and that it is unpaid as such but from a male perspective that won't count for much i don't think. Try and tell him, have adrink beforehand if it helps to build up the courage and before you start tell him you are afraid of how he might react when he hears the news you are about to tell him. And you'll get anotehr job eventually to pay off these money if that is a concern for you, you just can't do it now so you need his help to pay it off now (as it is, he is paying off the cards if you think about it, he just doesn't know it).
Please don't cry anymore as it won't help you in any way and it makes me feel very bad too. Be productive, tell him, show him the evidence and work out a repayment plan. it may help if you have some loan rates, 0% credit cards offers laid out as a possible solution for him to choose from. have a money link that might be of some use in terms of APRs etc.
Please tell him and come back and let us know how it went. You can cry after you tell him the whole story, it doesn't help you now. We'll all help with suggestions for loans examples etc once you tell us what avenue you have both decided to go.
I'm really 100% behind you, I don't want to upset you further, I just want you to take productive action and you are capable of doing it.

Branster · 01/12/2004 15:54

SantaFio2 what is the problem you need advice with??!! Am curious now . have you got a thread on it? Will check it out.

LiarLiar · 01/12/2004 15:58

Dont feel sorry Branster! Its advice like yours that I need - it was just like a prediction of how he will react and I KNOW I will get bitter and nasty and shout about how he shouldnt treat me as a silly child as even though Im not helping out at the moment (although Im trying hard doing some work at home stuff) in the past I was the family breadwinner and for all Ive taken out and cost the family in terms of debt Ive put in a hell of a lot too - I guess Im scared that the admission of my mistake will wipe out any achievements also.

DP will F R E A K and I mean FREAK!! We had one humdinger of a row a couple of years ago as he found out I had about 3k on credit! His Mum is an avid Which subscriber and is always ringing me to tell me how best to put my savings to work (yeah right!!) she even rang me the other day for an impromptu lesson in how to balance your cheque book to your bank account to penny precision for no particular reason! So...its no suprise that DP has been brought up to believe that even a penny owed to someone is just not acceptable. (they are right of course but wont help me when trying to get my point across!)

BTW Ive stopped crying! Didnt cry for long as had more pressing matters to deal with - like the poo on the floor next to me, nice!

OP posts:
vict17 · 01/12/2004 16:01

Just remembering that dp's freaking won't last for long and that he will have to love and support you. What else can he do?

LiarLiar · 01/12/2004 16:01

Do a moonlight flit and take his bank account with him?!

OP posts:
Branster · 01/12/2004 16:02

Realistically, what are the worst repercussions you are afraid of: him leaving you IMO (unlikely to happen) or you staying in this situation and ending up with CCJ or something awful like that which would worsen his credit rating a grate deal.
If he was to leave you over this, than he's not a very smart man. So I really don't think he would leave you.
But you'll probably have to put up with a moody man for quite somne time, which is very uncomfortable but you can keep your head high at least and things will improve.

LiarLiar · 01/12/2004 16:03

SIGH this is exhausting all of this going round and round in my head.

Its my birthday in a few days and with christmas coming up am I wrong to want to avoid a very moody man for a little while?

OP posts:
Branster · 01/12/2004 16:06

babe, at least you won't feel guilty about him spending a fortune on your presents. Please tell him this week (friday at the latest as you'll have time to discuss a strategy over the week-end). Also consider seeing a financial advisor, they get other rates on loans I think than us mere mortals.
The problem will be solved one way or another.

Branster · 01/12/2004 16:07

I have to go now but I'll ahve a look here later. And please keep us informed, we'll all do our best to help you.

LiarLiar · 01/12/2004 16:07

He is not completely in teh dark - he knows money is tight and we have agreed not to buy each other presents and knows that I am budgetting food shopping etc - Im not entirely sure where he thinkis the money is going but knows we are skint!

OP posts:
Bozza · 01/12/2004 16:10

Good luck Liarliar.

LIZS · 01/12/2004 16:10

Thing is, if you don't tell him soon, he may go and spend more than he ought for your Birthday and Christmas and make things worse and you'll feel awful. You don't want it to come out during an argument, which it most likely will do if you let this gnaw away at you and become stressed.

Bozza · 01/12/2004 16:12

Also liarliar I think that he is partially responsible in this situation because he has obviously been very blase about leaving all the finances to you and spending without much thought.

LIZS · 01/12/2004 16:14

posts crossed. If he knows things are so tight then he should be more amenable to a scrutiny of family finances, including monthly expenditure and your debts (are any in joint names btw ?).tbh if he doesn't already know about the one your sister has run up on your card, I think he'd be not unreasonble to rage about that, rather than the others for which he should bear at least some responsibility.

prufRockingAroundtheXmasTree · 01/12/2004 16:22

You know - this isn't really that bad at all. I know it seems it to you, but with total debts of £11,145 excluding your sisters, and an annual income after tax of £23,040 your debt isn't as high as a lot of other peoples - only 48% of your after tax income. I bet a lot of other people on here would have a worse ratio.

YOu do HAVE to tell your dh. Sorry, but you do. You will need to apply for 0% deals in his name to get decent credit limits. Look here for possible 0% deals - I can see at least 6 you could try. IM considerableE (I surf credit cards) Virgin, MBNA and Halifax are the most generous atm, so try those first.

How much is your mortgage and what is the rate -you can save thousands by switching, and you could remortgage for more to clear your credit cards.

And don't be too hard on yourself. Yes you have made a mistake, but it is your money too (I'm presuming you do most of the childcare to allow your dh to go out and earn the money? And it's not like you've spent it just on yourself.

JJ · 01/12/2004 16:27

LiarLiar, what has worked for us before in very emotional situations is a letter (or in our case, email) about the situation. Give it to him when he won't be around you for a while; give him a chance to take it all in; tell him what you're scared of; tell him how you're thinking of dealing with it and ask for his input.

My heart goes out to you.

LiarLiar · 01/12/2004 16:40

Is it just not worth me applying for 0% deals on my income? I put 150 a month down but it has been more than that recently but because its not very liable I wanted to err on teh side of caution

OP posts:
Bozza · 01/12/2004 16:45

LL - that last post sounds like you are thinking about not telling him. ;) But I recently applied for a Sainsburys card and I had to put my own income and also household income which I think might have affected my credit limit.

BTW the Sainsburys card is no good to you because it is only 0% on purchases not balance transfers so would just be a temptation to run up more debt rather than clear existing stuff.

prufRockingAroundtheXmasTree · 01/12/2004 16:50

No - there is no way you would get 15k of credit. And you need to tell him - it will not be as bad as you are imagining. I do know from past relationships how you can fear admitting to something, until the fear builds up to worse than the actual event.

LIZS · 01/12/2004 16:53

I don't think you'd get anywhere near enough to clear the other ones on £150 pm especially if it fluctuates and you can't fully substantiate it. Sorry, you need his support to manage yourselves out of this - and I still think someone neutral and experienced would help you get a better grip on the situation. Would a letter to him work, as JJ suggested, or at least having some paperwork showing the extent of the problem and some possible solutions when you have the discussion ?

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