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Discussing debt with my partner

48 replies 5.4K views
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  • paddy's_mumpaddy's_mum Forumite
    4K posts
    I've been Money Tipped!
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    I just want suggestions on how I can talk to her about it

    it bothers me that she's wasting money ...and trying to keep it from me

    It appears to me that she has left you with only one option and that is to come out with straight as a die confrontation, and if that leads to a humungous row, so be it. The time for being pleasant, friendly and understanding has gone and it meant not one jot to her.

    You've tried talking nicely, you've tried to set up a fair way forward, you've tried to explain and none of it got you anywhere, except that her behaviour is pushing future plans further into potential debt territory. All that you have written suggests either spending addiction, stupendous selfishness or something being kept hidden. What does she say she is spending the money on and, by the way, a reply along the lines of "oh, this and that.." doesn't count.

    Primrose raised the word 'deceitful' and I suggest her assessment is accurate. Deceit is a treacherous form of dishonesty and if you cannot nip this in the bud now (perhaps using the services of a neutral counsellor) you are in for a lifetime of doubt and unhappiness.

    The time for softly softly has passed but I sincerely wish you luck in resolving what I know to my own personal cost is a punishing problem to everyone connected with a spendthrift debtor.
  • BrassicWomanBrassicWoman Forumite
    2.8K posts
    Sixth Anniversary 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Mortgage-free Glee!
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    £300 is one coffee a posh sandwich and a pudding every day.


    Or a couple of dresses, some decent makeup, and a meal out once a week.


    Just saying, I don't think it's got to be a gambling problem - just her lifestyle does not match yours. She seems to be short £100-150 a month to match her current lifestyle.
    May 19 grocery challenge £100.79/ £200
  • PrimrosePrimrose Forumite
    9.4K posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts I've been Money Tipped!
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    I do think if you've been together for 8 years and she's still not good at handling money and getting herself out of debt you have a very fair assessment of the way she deals with money.


    Now you can take the lighter view about all this but are you sure that the money is all going to be there to pay for your wedding if her debts have increased at a time when she knew there was a very big bill to be paid further down the line. In her place I would have been squirrelling away every penny I could to ensure that a marriage started off on a good financial footing.


    I think you've been too soft with her.
    How the heck can you let her (and she be prepared to waste £300 per month on "fun" spending when she's in debt and you also have a wedding to pay for? .


    She needs to get her financial act together and you need to start talking tough or you'll be back on this forum a couple of years down the line complaining of deeper debts and not being able to meet your financial commitments because she still wants a large chunk of monthly "fun money".
  • edited 13 December 2018 at 6:45PM
    moneyistooshorttomentionmoneyistooshorttomention PPR
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    edited 13 December 2018 at 6:45PM
    £300 is one coffee a posh sandwich and a pudding every day.


    Or a couple of dresses, some decent makeup, and a meal out once a week.


    Just saying, I don't think it's got to be a gambling problem - just her lifestyle does not match yours. She seems to be short £100-150 a month to match her current lifestyle.

    I was rather thinking along those lines too.

    It isn't a good idea to be in debt - but my first reaction to that statement was "Crikey - my overdraft was £2,000 donkeys years back - and it wasnt down to being bad with money either. It was down to low wages and the extra expenses of being single". I certainly wasnt "leading the life of Riley" for sure at the time.

    How low an income are you both on??:eek:

    Is there any possibility of one or both of you getting a better-paid job? - because it looks like at least one of you is earning a very low salary (rather than either of you being bad with money).
  • Red-Squirrel_2Red-Squirrel_2 PPR
    4.3K posts
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    £300 is one coffee a posh sandwich and a pudding every day.


    Or a couple of dresses, some decent makeup, and a meal out once a week.


    Just saying, I don't think it's got to be a gambling problem - just her lifestyle does not match yours. She seems to be short £100-150 a month to match her current lifestyle.

    You're right it could just be overspending on consumables, but she's actually spent £2200 since September according to the OP so quite a bit more than you're counting here.
  • BrassicWomanBrassicWoman Forumite
    2.8K posts
    Sixth Anniversary 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Mortgage-free Glee!
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    You're right it could just be overspending on consumables, but she's actually spent £2200 since September according to the OP so quite a bit more than you're counting here.


    And to be fair upping spending would be my reaction to being told I couldn't spend...!!
    May 19 grocery challenge £100.79/ £200
  • I earn £21,500 and she earns £28,000. We are both in mid - late 20s so I wouldn't say we are on particularly low salaries.

    Like I said, if she was shopping a lot and had something to show for the expense (like new clothes, makeup etc.) then I could at least understand where the money has gone.

    Although the situation is bad, I'm fairly certain this is the only debt and she has never failed to pay her half share of all our bills etc. I know the savings she has for our wedding are there because due to how RCI bank works all deposits and withdrawals have to go through a linked account, i.e. our joint current account, so I would know if she had been spending any of that.

    My main concern is that she hasn't kept me in the loop with how she's coping (or rather not coping) and that if I don't do something soon she will use up the overdraft and move onto credit card spending.
  • moneyistooshorttomentionmoneyistooshorttomention PPR
    17.9K posts
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    I'd tend to react as well by deliberately "treating myself".

    To me - this is rather coming over in the same light as a family I saw walking down the High Street a few years back. He was yelling at the top of his voice about something she'd spent money on - and it was less than £10:eek: Honestly - he yelled the figure at her and it was something daft and tiny like £4.36.

    He was doing the yelling right in front of everyone in the High Street and their two little children (who both looked distinctly scared at hearing all this - poor little mites).

    I felt sorry for her and, in her shoes, the response would probably have been a (very quiet) "£4.36 is a lot less than the divorce bill we're about to have to pay if you don't stop treating me like this".
  • BrassicWomanBrassicWoman Forumite
    2.8K posts
    Sixth Anniversary 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Mortgage-free Glee!
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    to what extent can you financially seperate yourselves so you are not linked to her debt?


    you can't control her - only your response to the situation.
    May 19 grocery challenge £100.79/ £200
  • Moneyistooshorttomention -

    I'm not sure how your analogy applies?
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