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  • FIRST POST
    • NorthLondonChick
    • By NorthLondonChick 5th May 17, 11:18 AM
    • 60Posts
    • 274Thanks
    NorthLondonChick
    Budgeting with an unenthusiastic husband
    • #1
    • 5th May 17, 11:18 AM
    Budgeting with an unenthusiastic husband 5th May 17 at 11:18 AM
    Hi Friends.

    Longtime lurker here as you can see by my 7 yr badge but pitiful amount of posts

    I dont quite know where to start and what to say so apologies if it gets a bit higglety pigglety and waffely!

    Im late 30s and from a family with little knowledge of money management. My parents struggled dreadfully to keep things afloat whilst I was growing up. I have very early memories of us all sleeping together in the living room over the winter to save on heating the house, of seeing one less plate of food at the dinner table & asking my mum where her dinner was only to be told she'd "have something later" (as an adult I now understand what that meant ) and of my mum opening her purse and just seeing coppers in there.

    Despite working since I was 15 I could see myself heading down the same path. I hit a rough patch in my early 20s after a sudden breakdown of a relationship & promptly found myself having to live alone & pay all the bills associated with that. After my rent and all direct debits, I had £12 week for food. It was tough but I got by. This taught me to pay in full things such as car insurance etc. I'd have had a darn sight more than £12 left over for food if I'd done that from the start

    Late 20s saw another very tough period after I bought a small studio flat then discovered that I couldn't actually afford to live there (very long story on my reasons for buying!). Luckily my job at the time meant that I was provided a taxi to get into work (as it was a 3am start) so I was able to walk the 9.6 miles back home 3 days a week. I would eat on those days to give me energy and just suck ice cubes on the other 2 days that I could afford the £1.20 bus. Again, somehow got through it in one piece & learnt so much in the process.

    Fast forward 10 years & all is well....at the moment. However, I feel that we're slipping. I am now married & live in a lovely house although it needs sprucing up. Having a husband is great as we have double income but he has a very different outlook on life than me moneywise. He is not as careful and dislikes being told how to spend his own money. He is extremely popular and likeable with a huge group of friends which means that he is out 2 or 3 times a week meeting them, going to leaving drinks, birthday drinks, etc (although he doesnt always drink at these as we are trying to start a family).

    His family are also very sociable & want to meet at least once a month. They only live 5 miles away but always want to meet for a restaurant meal which costs each person around £35/40 a pop. They seem fine with that but it makes me uncomfortable. It wasnt always like this but as my husband's siblings have gotten older & gotten jobs it means they have money to do these things whereas before we'd just all meet at the parent's house for a Sunday Lunch type thing as everyone was poor

    So I'm wondering how to approach all this. My husband is really lovely & I don't want to make him out to be mean but he has said before that he doesn't want to live like a pauper. He says he has worked hard to get to where he is with his income so he wants to enjoy it. We pay the same amount into a joint account every month & all bills come out of that. Anything left in our personal account is our own to do what we want with. I have made him start a pension as I've told him that I'm not supporting him in his old age

    We remortgaged last year & took out an extra £10k & did essential work on the house (new windows/radiators/ structural flooring work). We ran out of money so got a barclays 5 yr loan of another £10k to try to finish the rest of the house but we're about to run out of that too and are only partway through the house. We also bought new sofas on 1yr 0% interest free which is another monthly payment now. I can feel all this is stressing me out as I'm getting flashbacks to my youth. I don't want to have to walk 9 miles home from work every other day again I have spoken to my husband today and he's happy to chat about money & cutting back. Although at the moment he's saying the only issue we have is we spend too much on cat food so looks like I'll have my work cut out for me


    So my (very long winded!) question is:

    Do I try to put us on a budget for our joint stuff (realistically, mostly just groceries & making sure any Eating Out money comes from personal accounts) and build up savings/overpay 10k loan/mortgage?

    Or do I just concentrate on my own personal account & cut back on everything to try to overpay the loan/mortgage even though it is a joint thing? I also have a BTL mortgage on a tiny flat near my parents 400 miles away in just my name which is in negative equity. I'm debating trying to clear that. It has always just ticked along (the rent covers the mortgage & I can cover the rent when its unoccupied).

    Gosh, this is a monster post! Sorry and well done for getting to the end! xx
    She believed she could, so she did.
Page 2
    • freshcotton
    • By freshcotton 7th May 17, 6:58 AM
    • 222 Posts
    • 564 Thanks
    freshcotton
    We just have the one current account where both salaries are paid and I set the budget. Whilst this can, at times, lead to some "discussions" about money, for us it's the most efficient way to manage our money. But I understand not everyone works the same way.

    My parents always pooled their money so maybe it just seems normal to me.

    OP, you appear to have a lot of equity in your home so financially I presume there have been a lot of good times too? Maybe focus on your fortunes rather than worry too much, whilst always being careful with money of course.
    Mortgage Start - August 2013 £145,000 ************ Balance at April 2017 - £59,000

    Target - Overpay by £2,500 each month ************** Mortgage free by December 2018!
    • itchyfeet123
    • By itchyfeet123 7th May 17, 6:26 PM
    • 371 Posts
    • 413 Thanks
    itchyfeet123
    Or do I just concentrate on my own personal account & cut back on everything to try to overpay the loan/mortgage even though it is a joint thing?
    Originally posted by NorthLondonChick
    On one hand, you can only really control your own actions, so focusing on your own account makes sense. On the other, how will you feel if you scrimp and save and go without some things in order to put something into the mortgage, while your husband gets all the benefits without having to cut back?

    What I might do in your situation is start cutting back and saving, and then when you have a certain amount, point out to your husband how much you've been able to save and describe some of the things you've given up to do so. Seeing you with a nice big pile of cash might motivate him more than he currently is.
    • zippygeorgeandben
    • By zippygeorgeandben 7th May 17, 11:20 PM
    • 567 Posts
    • 660 Thanks
    zippygeorgeandben
    Hi Friends.
    Im late 30s and from a family with little knowledge of money management. My parents struggled dreadfully to keep things afloat whilst I was growing up. I have very early memories of us all sleeping together in the living room over the winter to save on heating the house, of seeing one less plate of food at the dinner table & asking my mum where her dinner was only to be told she'd "have something later" (as an adult I now understand what that meant ) and of my mum opening her purse and just seeing coppers in there.
    Originally posted by NorthLondonChick
    Hello there.
    It's late on a Sunday but I just read this opening paragraph. I really felt for you reading this opening statement. I hope the rest isn't a tearjerker but I didn't want to just read and run!
    x
    End Sep 2016 End June 2017
    £8236.57 £5989.54
    (Tesco 4.8%) £222.61pcm
    £6185.75 £1165.92 (Zopa 4.0%) £62.25pcm

    £5344.50
    £3170.04 (Sainsburys 0% until 06/19) £71.32pcm
    £2000.00 £1600.01 (Sister 0%) £133.33pcm

    Total debt
    £19.766.82 £13,505.42 Original DFD May 2019.
    • enthusiasticsaver
    • By enthusiasticsaver 8th May 17, 7:03 AM
    • 3,659 Posts
    • 6,567 Thanks
    enthusiasticsaver
    I know each to their own, but we don't have mine/yours money. Yes it is is different accounts but that's just to get maximum rewards from the accounts. The thing that we couldn't do is have equal money for personal stuff. My wife's list includes, make up, shoes, hairdressing, presents for work, greeting cards, avon, clothes etc.

    I don't need much. Couple of pints and perhaps a packet of veg seeds!

    Hope you get sorted
    Originally posted by Mnd
    I can understand that and initially I was in two minds about how to set up our finances but my husband is a fritterer and I pointed out our budget could not sustain uncontrolled frittering. I manage our finances and was scrimping on other areas to compensate for this. Sometimes he would look at current account and see loads there so spend until I pointed out a direct debit which was due to go out. It is all on stuff for his hobby, tools etc. I read and go down the gym (which is a joint membership so paid from bills account) but does not cost much. I use our local library or the occasional kindle book so don't buy lots of books.

    He wanted an account he could use just for his hobbies without me nagging him to rein it in and I said the fairest way to sort it was take disposable income after bills, savings accounts, monthly household expenditure and split it down the middle. He gets his hobby money for the month and I can have a splurge on clothes or whatever every few months or pay for a fancy haircut. He has to keep an eye on what he spends as obviously he does not have back up of joint savings/bills money.

    8 months savings of my allowance took me on a Dominican Republic holiday with my sister in February. He has become more disciplined since arranging our finances that way so it works for us. I don't feel guilty about buying myself anything when needed (all MSE still ) and he has money to spend as he pleases without me saying what was this debit for etc etc.
    Debt and mortgage free and saving for early retirement
    • NorthLondonChick
    • By NorthLondonChick 8th May 17, 11:53 AM
    • 60 Posts
    • 274 Thanks
    NorthLondonChick
    Thank you so much to everyone who replied It's great to hear how other households sort things out!

    One thing I do want to clear up straight away is when I said DH is very sociable & goes out a lot. I didn't mean in a "lads lads lads", downing shots, singing footy songs in the street & coming home covered in kebab juice kind of way.

    He is a manager & the majority of his team are volunteers who stay for various fixed periods ranging from 1 week to several months. They are always coming & going so he tries to arrange a lunch/drinks/bowling night out everytime a bunch leave as he is very appreciative of their help & wants to show that. The company he works for could not function without the help of these kind souls.

    Also, he is so lovely that most people keep in contact with him once they leave so he has ended up with a huge group of friends which is constantly growing. So we are always getting invited to birthday do's, weddings, leaving London do's, returning to London do's, friend's kids parties etc. I go with him to these ones so it's not as if I am sitting at home eating cold beans whilst he is out But it has meant he has a large group of friends. Honestly, you should have seen the first draft of out wedding invite list...

    Ok, hope that's cleared up

    So we had The Talk & turns out DH earns £2k mth and not £3k which is both reassuring (that he hasn't squandered nearly as much money as I feared) & very convenient as that's what I earn. So we can each contribute the same.

    We've agreed that things are different now compared to when we were boyf & girlf - we are now One Household.

    We went through DH's outgoings for last mth & he seemed unfazed by it when I added up how much he was spending in each category. But once I added them all together I think he had a LBM. There was no getting away from the fact that he had his take home pay figure in front of him & his outgoings for last mth figure in front of him...and they were wildly different. He even took the outgoing sheet off me to examine as he was sure it couldn't possibly be that amount. But it was.

    So we have decided to keep the joint account money the same (both paying in £1200pm). This covers our household & joint expenses plus around £200 buffer. Most of it is rigid such as the mortgage, water bill (we cant have a meter), tv licence etc. The place where we can have the most impact is groceries.

    We worked out where our sticky bits are - for us we never seem to have stuff for lunch at the weekend so end up going out to a coffee shop and we struggle with perishables. We usually do a big shop every 6-8wks so regularly run out of salad/veg/milk/cheese/eggs. This makes up pop into local co-op every couple of days & come out £30 lighter

    So we are going to do an online shop every 2 weeks (approx, I am going to work on that today). This should help keep our perishables up to stop us dropping in to local shop & also make sure we have lunch stuff. It also means I can properly meal plan & just buy what we need rather than having a cupboard crammed with stuff but "nothing to eat" (anyone else have this problem?!). I think the main key is to try to stay on top of things & be organised. We are really bad at having to pay more for stuff for the convenience.

    I'm aiming for £50 fortnight for "cupboard stuff (rice, tinned tomatoes, pulses etc). We're going to go to Iceland for frozen stuff which wont be that regular as we tend to only eat chips if we've run out of potatoes & keep a box of fish fingers in there for emergencies. I am going to work out a budget today for it.

    We already get a Meatbox delivered once a mth for £70-80 depending on what we put in it which lasts all mth. We're going to eat more veg based meals to make the meatbox last even longer. Or we may keep it monthly but order less. Our main supermarket buys are rice, pastas, store cupboard essentials, salad/veg & stuff to make HM sauces for our meat. And if anyone can give me a tip on how to stop our cat from taking 2 bites of a meal then walking off & refusing to eat the rest then let me know!

    We also agreed that as this was "joint money" then it meant that both of us owned it so one person was not allowed to buy anything without the other agreeing to it too.

    I think these two changes will have a huge impact on that account. We've also just sold our car which will save £149pcm plus other associated car costs.

    We've agreed to have a £1000 emergency fund that is in no way to be touched unless in an emergency. I have to find an account today which is away from our current barclays one but still instant access. This gives us a buffer incase washing machine blows up/oven breaks etc etc so we wont be tempted to buy a new one on credit. This will be taken out immediately from our respective savings.

    We've also agreed to start a savings account for house repairs. Just £50pcm each but it's something. Our house is in need of a lot of structural repairs (dodgy joists which bounce which has made the wall plaster blow so cracks everywhere & plaster crumbling off). The good news is we've done 1 room so now we know roughly the costs involved. Last time we started the work then ran out of money & ended up living in a building site for 8 mths hence why we borrowed more to complete the work. We can make sure we save up enough to get the whole room done at once so that we dont get stuck halfway again.

    We're also opening a baby fund of £50pcm each. Again, nowhere near how much a baby costs but it's a start & will help with buying a cot/pram/money towards another round of ivf.

    I suspect we could save a lot more but I'm treating this Money Diet like a Food Diet - if you go in all guns blazing & go too far the other way then it'll fail. I'd rather go slow & steady & make progress over time. We intend to increase gradually once we've gotten into the swing of things.

    The money for the joint account, house savings, baby fund and personal savings all come out the day after payday so if we run out of money at the end of the mth then it's our own personal spending that gets hit.

    So out of our £2kmth pay each, we'll have £700 left each for our travel/lunch/personal savings/phone bills/toiletries/hobbies etc. This is plenty. We've agreed that it's our own money to do with as we please without the other person moaning. I suspect I'll use mine to overpay my BTL. I owe £25k on it & since it's on a fairly low SVR & tenanted at the moment I think I can make a decent dent in it.

    I am going to put £50 in my purse every week & thats it. I'm going to leave my debit card on my bedside table. I will have the joint account card if an actual emergency comes up when I'm out but wont be using it willy nilly as I have to ask permission now

    I suspect that this will have an effect on DH too as if I have spent my week's budget then he is unlikely to go out by himself. So he should save a little too

    So weirdly, despite having the same amount in our accounts as we did on Friday when I posted this, I feel much better & more at ease

    Huge thanks to all the strangers who took the time to answer xxx
    She believed she could, so she did.
    • Whoknowskt89
    • By Whoknowskt89 8th May 17, 12:34 PM
    • 251 Posts
    • 603 Thanks
    Whoknowskt89
    In regards to the cat, I'm guessing you feed him biscuits and meat and it's the meat he's taking two bites of then turning his nose up at?
    If so, even with pouches, put 2 teaspoons or so of food in the bowl, cover the pouch (tin foil works) then pop in the fridge. That way if he wants more he'll meow or go to the biscuits or if he doesn't, you've got food for later that day or the next day without wasting loads of food.
    Mortgage £67 615
    Debt free date 30/06/17 (excluding mortgage...)
    Emergency fund £853/£1000
    Christmas fund £80/£160
    Savings aim (including EF fund) Jan 2018 £3050 Jan 2019 £9450
    • NorthLondonChick
    • By NorthLondonChick 8th May 17, 12:49 PM
    • 60 Posts
    • 274 Thanks
    NorthLondonChick
    Hi Who Knows. Great idea thank you! I tried something similar (leaving food out for a bit then covering whole bowl and putting in fridge til later) but this idea is much better. Yep, the biscuits get completely ignored unless I am willing to feed them to The Duchess one at a time. And no one has time for that!
    She believed she could, so she did.
    • MrsLWW
    • By MrsLWW 8th May 17, 2:45 PM
    • 72 Posts
    • 231 Thanks
    MrsLWW
    Well done NLC,

    Sometimes having everything sat our in front of you in black and white completely changes your point of view - did for my DH and seems to have for yours - great result!

    Re the cat - had similar with ours. He was licking off the gravy or jelly and leaving the meat - I seen some of the wee tins of "Gourmet" and thought I'd try him on that as he was getting skinny - he adored it but we did notice he was eating to the one side - turned out it was his teeth, so he's currently at the vet getting a scale and polish! Only problem is, now he's had a taste of this "Gourmet" I doubt the stuck up wee so'n'so will go back to regular pouches - so I'm furtively googling to figure out where the cheapest place to buy it is lol!

    Anyway - moral of the story, get his teeth checked lol.

    L Xx
    Debt peak approx £30,000
    CURRENT DEBT: Jan2017: £21,249 - Feb2017: £20,953 - March17: £19,223 - April 17: £18,463.89 - May 17: £16,374.26- June 17: £15,618
    My parents always said "If you can't afford it cash, you can't afford it!" so true!.... mind you, turns out we can't afford much lol
    • Whoknowskt89
    • By Whoknowskt89 8th May 17, 2:55 PM
    • 251 Posts
    • 603 Thanks
    Whoknowskt89
    With biscuits, have you tried treat balls?
    More aimed at things like rabbits but may encourage her to eat more.

    Re gourmet, if it's the tins, try zooplus. You also get reward points with them and delivery is really quick despite being from Germany!

    I may well be a crazy cat lady at 27.....
    Mortgage £67 615
    Debt free date 30/06/17 (excluding mortgage...)
    Emergency fund £853/£1000
    Christmas fund £80/£160
    Savings aim (including EF fund) Jan 2018 £3050 Jan 2019 £9450
    • NorthLondonChick
    • By NorthLondonChick 8th May 17, 3:22 PM
    • 60 Posts
    • 274 Thanks
    NorthLondonChick
    I read somewhere that cats like their meat varied. Something to do with instinct and them making sure they get all the vitamins they need. It kinda explained why she would scoff something like mad for a while, then go off it as soon as I bought a box of 48

    I now buy 4 or 5 different brands and rotate them each meal in a bid to give "variety". It's had mixed results. There doesn't seem to be any reason to why one brand gets swallowed up in a matter of seconds one day than totally ignored the next time round.

    Her teeth and gums were bad so she got them scaled and polished and throughly cleaned in the summer - but thanks for checking.

    I am mortified to admit that I spent £65 on "posh" cat food on Prime Now last month. Needless to say that is being nipped right in the bud!
    She believed she could, so she did.
    • zippygeorgeandben
    • By zippygeorgeandben 8th May 17, 6:36 PM
    • 567 Posts
    • 660 Thanks
    zippygeorgeandben
    I've tried and tried making my cat enjoy organic cat food but no, he just wants mass produced cheap crap!
    End Sep 2016 End June 2017
    £8236.57 £5989.54
    (Tesco 4.8%) £222.61pcm
    £6185.75 £1165.92 (Zopa 4.0%) £62.25pcm

    £5344.50
    £3170.04 (Sainsburys 0% until 06/19) £71.32pcm
    £2000.00 £1600.01 (Sister 0%) £133.33pcm

    Total debt
    £19.766.82 £13,505.42 Original DFD May 2019.
    • Bellisima
    • By Bellisima 17th May 17, 9:36 AM
    • 54 Posts
    • 58 Thanks
    Bellisima
    Like you, I am very careful with money and worry if our "social" spending gets out of hand. When you have grown up in a poor household it does make you very careful. Do you have to go to every social gathering every time? Why not just go every other time? I've recently inherited a little money, but I'm still so very careful and worry in case it runs out! I hope you find a solution that pleases you both.
    • pinknsparkly
    • By pinknsparkly 17th May 17, 1:56 PM
    • 32 Posts
    • 155 Thanks
    pinknsparkly
    I echo the views of the other responses on here.... There's absolutely no point in you scrimping and saving trying to make the most of your income if your hubby runs up a credit card bill and then you need to take out another loan to repay it. It has to be a joint effort! There will be no concept of "mine and theirs" when you are on maternity leave, his income is the only true income you'll have.


    I'm in a similar situation to your mat leave in that I'm currently finishing up a PhD on no income whatsoever and my other half is the only one with income. Like you, I pre-planned to have a pot of savings to cover the time period in which I was likely to be unemployed (including time to look for a job) but we are still cutting back as much as possible to avoid having to dip into the savings any more than is absolutely necessary. It's taken a lot of effort on my part to get him there, and he still often decides he/we deserve a treat (takeaway, boozy night at the pub) but he is much better than he used to be. It's all about baby steps. Now I've got him used to taking leftovers for lunch (most days) rather than buying a Tesco meal-deal he's even accepted an offer of me doing some batch cooking to keep him fed this weekend while I'm away. Usually he'd flat out refuse and just spend the weekend ordering takeaway!


    Good luck. Having a baby is going to turn your life upside down, and I certainly think that these conversations need to be had now rather than once baby is here!
    • enthusiasticsaver
    • By enthusiasticsaver 17th May 17, 2:00 PM
    • 3,659 Posts
    • 6,567 Thanks
    enthusiasticsaver
    You have made a fantastic start. The only thing I would say is when or if you have children look again at joint finances as one or other of you will be taking leave and have a massive reduced income (probably you). Your husband sounds like he is on board with budgeting though so good move to start with.
    Debt and mortgage free and saving for early retirement
    • pinknsparkly
    • By pinknsparkly 17th May 17, 2:04 PM
    • 32 Posts
    • 155 Thanks
    pinknsparkly
    Sorry, I missed the fact that there was a second page. I wrote the above after only reading the first page!


    Sounds like you're definitely on the right track! I did notice that you'll each still use your own "personal" money for lunches. I would seriously consider making your own (or taking in leftovers). In the past, switching to packed lunches from buying them has easily saved me over £100 a month
    • Working on MyTMMO
    • By Working on MyTMMO 17th May 17, 2:42 PM
    • 1 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    Working on MyTMMO
    Well Done!
    You are doing brilliantly, and I'm sure you'll agree that half the battle is being aware of what you're doing and trying to achieve. Dealing with money 'off the cuff' is really not wise - especially if you're looking to having children or retiring one day! Just wondering if you use YNAB in your budgeting like a previous poster mentioned? We're getting to grips with YNAB and it seems a really helpful tool - it deals in £ Sterling and not just $ Dollars, and lots of helpful tips and videos on their website. We don't download transactions from our bank with it (although I think you might be able to in the UK) for security reasons, but also to make us aware of exactly what our Bank Statement transactions are actually doing to our overall budget picture! You're doing so well - keep it up!
    • NorthLondonChick
    • By NorthLondonChick 31st May 17, 5:57 PM
    • 60 Posts
    • 274 Thanks
    NorthLondonChick
    Thank you everyone for your help and good wishes xx

    I've started a debt free diary on here to help track my progress and make me accountable. It's been 3 weeks so far (started on week 2 of the month)& we've stuck (mostly!) to grocery budget thus having almost £300 left over this month to put towards our house renovation fund. Plus I had £150 left over in my personal account to put towards a surprise tax bill which helped massively

    Even hubby is surprised and seems to believe it'll work a bit more now. And, as expected, me having a personal budget has rubbed off a little on him as he is spending less too. Really pleased so far with the progress - hope it stays this good xx
    She believed she could, so she did.
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