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Huge row over savings - who's in the wrong? I think 50/50? :(

(111 Posts)
MoneyMoneyProblems Sun 20-Oct-13 10:59:54

Long story short. DH is terrible with money. Has never had any savings and when I met him he was overdrawn. I helped him get out of his O/D, then he went clothes shopping and went into his O/D again - he just doesn't get it!

When we married we pooled finances and I am in charge of it all, spending, saving etc. We had a plan that every year (April to April) we will save £x000.

Last April we made target. Since then we have actually saved nothing, but I have budgeted to save like mad between now and next March so we will still hit target come April.

DH has just found out we have saved nothing since April and is FURIOUS. But, the reasoning for this is every month we have spent little bits here and there, that have swallowed up any potential savings for that month. Mostly however, we had an amazing holiday over summer where we totally went above budget. I must say that this was largely down to DH's spending on clothes, he likes expensive items, and he works so hard and I feel like such a nag if I say "no you can't have it!" or "no we can't go to the cinema or visit Starbucks this month!" He doesn't like being told no, but I DO admit I should have been firm, said "we can't afford it" about things, and saved every month.

Also I admit it's not just him buying things, I have had bits and pieces here and there too.

BUT we have had a huge row and we're not speaking. He fails to see how we have saved nothing and is basically asking me, "where has it all gone", implying that I've been spending 100s on the lottery or something! I have shown him the last few months of credit card bills but he just doesn't see it. He doesn't get it.

Who is BU and how can we fix this? sad

Acinonyx Sun 20-Oct-13 11:07:08

If you have joint finances then you are jointly responsible. It doesn't sound as though either of you are very talented with money - I sympathize as neither are we. I manage the money - and the savings have to be taken at the start of the month not the end or they will be spent. You also both have to be very clear what your disposable income is - we have no purchases over 50 without agreement so I can check whether we can afford it or not. To make this work you need monitor the account probably more often than you do - at least weekly and more often in the last week.

A bit improvement was agreeing not to use a credit card - that really teaches you to spend within your means and save for things.

Acinonyx Sun 20-Oct-13 11:07:55

big improvement - not bit! hmm

Rosa Sun 20-Oct-13 11:10:44

If you can break it down into black and white . Incomingsand outgoings so he can see where the money has gone.

Acinonyx Sun 20-Oct-13 11:12:11

Another thing we have tried with success is working out exactly what our disposable income is after bills and food. This is split 50 50 and I have my bit transferred to a separate account for me (and some for dd). I prefer this as it is so much easier to see where I am with my own spending otherwise the disposable and the bills are just one big pot and intuitively you think you have a lot more than you do. Maybe you both need disposable income accounts - as long as it doesn't lead to more arguments about who pays for what (we are very fluid with ours and I move stuff around when necessary to balance the books). You'd soon see who is spending the money.

MoneyMoneyProblems Sun 20-Oct-13 11:12:55

We only use the credit card because we get cash back, so everything goes on there rather than the debit card. It's paid in full at the end of every month. We have zero debt whatsoever.

I guess I should be stricter with DH and really spell it out to him each month, this is what we have, this is where it's got to go, and this is what we have left. I haven't been doing that really, we have been 'spending' the 'savings' money but I wasn't too fussed as I know by March we will be where we want to be.

He doesn't see it like that though. I don't think he realises how much things like groceries etc cost. He seems to think we always have money spare for shopping or treats etc. I guess that is my fault for just going along with it.

Any idea how I can get us talking again? It was a HUGE row... sad

mammadiggingdeep Sun 20-Oct-13 11:14:27

Sorry...you sound like his mum. So you like having to be the one in total control of the finances? I'd hate it. You're married, it should be a joint thing. How dare he be furious that you've saved nothing...he has totally handed over responsibility to you. I just don't get this set up. Not criticising you, I feel sorry for you that he's do bad with money you've been lumbered with all responsibility. Do you feel like its a burden??

Hatpin Sun 20-Oct-13 11:15:08

Do the three account thing - joint, and one each for personal spending. Savings taken out before you work out personal spends for the month (which should be equal). No credit card spending.

Preciousbane Sun 20-Oct-13 11:19:15

Well if everything is on the CC statement then it is easy to go through and see all purchases. Both DH and I do this as he gets cash back and I get points. Sounds like there has been a lot of blame apportioning going on.

Let him know that instead of arguing about it you both need to go through the statements together and that surely both of you want to turn the situation around and the only way to do this is by discussion.

MoneyMoneyProblems Sun 20-Oct-13 11:20:16

Umm TBH, I don't mind it really. I totally see how I could be his ' mum', or some people might say I'm a control freak, but I've seen and heard of too many instances of women who are 'burned' by not knowing the ins and outs of their money situation.

I like to know exactly where we are with things, I like to know the bills have been paid and all that.

I agree the three account thing is the way to go. I think he needs more visibility of the bills and just to have an idea of how much daily life costs!

PumpkinsPieEyed Sun 20-Oct-13 11:22:31

I think he is the wrong to the extent that he doesn't concern himself about money unless there's none there.

If you could make up a spreadsheet of income-outgoings since April plus
What has been spent on essentials or luxury-saved and just put it out for him to look through,
if he doesn't trust your word then he should do the maths himself though I'd be angry at Him thinking you'v spent it all on yourself.

Also another new spreadsheet for planned outgoings-saving til march 14
You are not the only one who should be responsible for the money.
Maybe sit down every month with the spreadsheet and if it goes tits up from his side then he can't blame you.

MoneyMoneyProblems Sun 20-Oct-13 11:26:13

There is a spreadsheet! A very detailed one grin It's my baby haha.

I've shown him... he's still saying, "well you said we would have X by April and so far we have saved nothing. So you say we will now save Y every month until April, how do I know that's going to happen?"

Err, because it will if we stop buying odds and sods and stop having treats all the time?

Which I would be FINE with... I would be happy to eat beans on toast for a month and stay in all the time if it meant a huge wedge of savings. Totally! He never would though.

MoneyMoneyProblems Sun 20-Oct-13 11:42:39

I don't know what to say to him. AFAIC, we made a target and we will reach that target. It doesn't matter if we save the same amount a month or if it varies every month, surely.

I bloody hate this terrible atmosphere after a row.

RandomMess Sun 20-Oct-13 11:45:55

Perhaps apologise for not discussing it with him sooner and suggest that from now on you have a weekly finances meeting where you agree what spends to have for the following week and how much to save?

mammadiggingdeep Sun 20-Oct-13 11:49:54

No, didn't think you were a control freak...think he's totally handed over responsibility for his finances. I think I'd find it really unattractive, you must feel like a nag saying no to things....the 3 way account would defo stop all that

Dededum Sun 20-Oct-13 11:54:55

Are we married to the same guy! To be fair he is better than he used to be, but he lives in fantasy land. At the moment his wish list is Ds2 private education, extension and holiday in States. And this is meant to happen with zero savings!

His answer is I earn £x a year (a lot) and should be be able to do these things.

I think it is a deep seated emotional thing, which to be fair I can't really solve. But he earns good money and has no other vices. I just now have to be tough and say NO, cancelled half term holiday because we couldn't afford it. A few years ago would just have put it on the credit cards and paid off with bonus.

sneezecakesmum Sun 20-Oct-13 11:58:13

First of all open a separate account for all bills. Arrange a standing order to take out a lump sum immediately your joint salaries go in. Set up direct debits for all your bills from that account. Include in the lump sum annual bills like RAC, car insurance, TV licence (so these bills are 'paid in advance').

Set up a savings account, ISA or some such regular saver with the best rate possible. Ditto a standing order after salaries go in. This should be for your savings goal. You could add a bit extra for emergencies to this account.

Work out your outgoings, petrol, food etc and ring fence this. What you have left is for frittering! Either divide this in half and don't exceed it! You can still use cash back cards.

Moneysavingexpert I think has a template for outgoings you can use.

Do all this yourself on paper and then sit down with him and convince him it is his idea too, that way the argument is smoothed over.

I've always sorted the money and it's worked well for years grin

MoneyMoneyProblems Sun 20-Oct-13 11:58:44

Yes, he says that too, I earn X salary so why on earth can't we go to the cinema? And when he puts it like that I feel really small-minded for saying 'because we can't'.

sneezecakesmum Sun 20-Oct-13 12:00:33

Make sure you have an agreed overdraft in place on all bank accounts and check them regularly

MoneyMoneyProblems Sun 20-Oct-13 12:01:56

Thank you sneeze

I think it is just that we have spent beyond our means in the last few months. Not that we have spent more than what we earned, but we have spent more than what I said we would. I feel guilty now and I think maybe he does too (or maybe not, we are still not speaking hmm).

I think we do just have to go back to basics. Funnily enough we do do (or did!) pretty much everything on that list, the ringfencing etc.I just think we should have put a padlock on the fence and there wasn't one! grin

I think I am more at fault here actually. He thought we were saving steadily, and we weren't. I should have flagged this with him sooner. Damn.

sneezecakesmum Sun 20-Oct-13 12:02:47

Don't fall into the trap of being the 'purse strings'! Poor money managers will often employ this tactic to absolve themselves of responsibility and make you feel bad. Make him share the responsibility, he's an adult.

sneezecakesmum Sun 20-Oct-13 12:05:21

Still you did have a lovely summer and everyone argues over money. It's how you resolve arguments that matter, not the argument itself smile

RandomMess Sun 20-Oct-13 12:05:30

Instead of saying "no we can't afford it" when he says "why can't we go to the cinema" say "well that will come out of the savings fund - your choice"

Dededum Sun 20-Oct-13 12:05:57

When I set up separate saving accounts many years ago he took out a loan and got his teeth fixed for a couple of thousand. And he bought an expensive car without telling me again many years ago.
He travels a lot with work and then claims expenses back so not having credit cards is not an option.

The amount of money we have frittered away is scary. But I am getting tougher!

At the moment I am getting my own back as we have dropped to one car and he is having to drive my knackered Honda civic. He finds it an affront to his personal dignity!

RandomMess Sun 20-Oct-13 12:06:06

It shouldn't be your responsibility to have to tell him what he can and can't afford to do, I think seperate accounts probably is the best way forward tbh.

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