Change of circumstances - how to adapt finances / lifestyle?

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Jet
Jet Posts: 1,624 Forumite
First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker I've been Money Tipped!
I would just appreciate some outside thoughts on this please.

I have been with my partner for 13 years and have found myself taking on nearly all of the household chores - he has 4 kids and I took on a lot of the work for them too, but they are now grown up with only 1 coming back from uni now.  It was very hard going at times.

I have always worked outside the home but only felt able to cope with working 4 days a week as I needed time to catch up on the mountains of washing and household chores.  The weekends were taken up with kids or with his constant want to socialise (which sounds lovely but becomes a chore when you don't get any time to just "chill").  He generally worked 5 days a week but shorter hours than me, so he was always home before me. We have employed a cleaner for cleaning the bathrooms and running a hoover around the communal rooms but it is the everyday stuff that falls to me. Pet walking, pet medications, shopping, washing, paying bills, tidying, changing the bed, taking recycling out etc etc

My partners income was around 3 times mine and he did used to pay for most of the socialising we did as a couple.  I have never felt he was mean with money.

We had a bills account which he paid 1.5 times more in than I did, and I felt OK with that.  We live in a house that comes (a large house that takes a lot of cleaning etc) with his job so no mortgage or rent.

Now I have inherited a substantial amount of assets that will generate me an income meaning I will now earn about half what he does and more importantly have more time.  The estate hasn't been finalised yet, so I don't have the income yet.

I have noticed that my partner is holding off on paying for things when we are out now.  He makes off handed comments about me being "rich".  It is certainly true that I will be asset rich and I will use those assets to generate an income (rental properties) but still only half of his salary.  He owns about 1/4 of the assets I will have.

I am grateful to have more time (I had to give up 2 days a week of my work to care for my sick relative) but I am also resentful that he really doesn't have to lift a finger at home as I just do it all.  In the very traditional industry he works in it is not unusual for the "wife" to stay at home, take on the household tasks and also help with the business, whilst his income pays for everything.  Our situation is different in that he doesn't (and never has) kept me.  He is also an employee not self employed.

I am torn between going back to work full time, getting a career and struggling to cope with the stress of being out all day, dealing with rental properties in my "spare" time and doing everything at home.  If I stay at home, I feel unchallenged and resentful that I am just making his life easier with no real contribution on his part either practically or financially.

I also think a lot of the problem is that he refuses to really acknowledge what I do.  I think he feels it is a critisism of him if I point out how many hours my household "duties" take each week.  I do feel taken for granted but I also know that if I just "leave" the chores, they simply won't get done and I cannot live that way - it would actually affect my mental health.

The thing that has prompted me to post this is that he said he is currently able to save 2k a month.  I am not able to save anything now and certainly won't have 2k of disposable income even after the estate is settled.  





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  • Jude57
    Jude57 Posts: 555 Forumite
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    edited 15 October 2021 at 3:09PM
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    Jet said:
    I would just appreciate some outside thoughts on this please.

    I have been with my partner for 13 years and have found myself taking on nearly all of the household chores - he has 4 kids and I took on a lot of the work for them too, but they are now grown up with only 1 coming back from uni now.  It was very hard going at times.

    I have always worked outside the home but only felt able to cope with working 4 days a week as I needed time to catch up on the mountains of washing and household chores.  The weekends were taken up with kids or with his constant want to socialise (which sounds lovely but becomes a chore when you don't get any time to just "chill").  He generally worked 5 days a week but shorter hours than me, so he was always home before me. 

    My partners income was around 3 times mine and he did used to pay for most of the socialising we did as a couple.  I have never felt he was mean with money.

    We had a bills account which he paid 1.5 times more in than I did, and I felt OK with that.  We live in a house that comes with his job so no mortgage or rent.

    Now I have inherited a substantial amount of assets that will generate me an income meaning I will now earn about half what he does and more importantly have more time.  The estate hasn't been finalised yet, so I don't have the income yet.

    I have noticed that my partner is holding off on paying for things when we are out now.  He makes off handed comments about me being "rich".  It is certainly true that I will be asset rich and I will use those assets to generate an income (rental properties) but still only half of his salary.  He owns about 1/4 of the assets I will have.

    I am grateful to have more time (I had to give up 2 days a week of my work to care for my sick relative) but I am also resentful that he really doesn't have to lift a finger at home as I just do it all.  In the very traditional industry he works in it is not unusual for the "wife" to stay at home, take on the household tasks and also help with the business, whilst his income pays for everything.  Our situation is different in that he doesn't (and never has) kept me.  He is also an employee not self employed.

    I am torn between going back to work full time, getting a career and struggling to cope with the stress of being out all day, dealing with rental properties in my "spare" time and doing everything at home.  If I stay at home, I feel unchallenged and resentful that I am just making his life easier with no real contribution on his part either practically or financially.

    I also think a lot of the problem is that he refuses to really acknowledge what I do.  I think he feels it is a critisism of him if I point out how many hours my household "duties" take each week.  I do feel taken for granted but I also know that if I just "leave" the chores, they simply won't get done and I cannot live that way - it would actually affect my mental health.






    I'm sure others will have a view on this but my take is that your partner has a mindset that will be next to impossible to change unless HE really chooses to. He seems to think that only work outside the home has any value and can't seem to see that everything you do has enabled him to be able to work each day and know that HIS children are cared for, his clothes and home are cleaned and there's always food in the fridge, along with everything else you do. I'd hazard a guess that as well as the practical, day-to-day stuff, you also do the emotional and psychological heavy lifting, too. Or does he do the menu planning, remember to buy cards and gifts for HIS children, do the same for Christmas? Thought not.

    I'd get a notebook and for the next few weeks, write down every single thing you do and how long it takes you. From this, you can calculate what it would cost to buy in those things, a cleaner, ironing service, food delivery, concierge service to do the card and gift buying, etc. Every single thing you do, you can pay someone to do, even if you live in a remote area, if you pay enough, you'll find someone to do it.

    Then, once you have an idea of your true value, sit him down with facts and figures and insist you discuss, as adult partners in a relationship, how to divide the household tasks and decide how much you will each contribute financially.

    To be blunt, him buying a few drinks or meals on a night out you'd rather have done without is a drop in the ocean. What does he bring to the relationship? Not necessarily a question you need to answer here but if you declined to go out I'm guessing he'd go alone. What do you get from the relationship? I'm not suggesting he's not a nice man but he certainly sounds like a selfish one. He can afford to save £2,000 a month? He could be saving into a pension which would be good but if these are savings over and above pension contributions then he can afford to pay for help in the home.

    A final couple of thoughts. Given that you live in tied accommodation, are you making plans for where you will live when he retires? Also, as you're about to become a landlord, I'd highly recommend you check out the House Buying and Renting board here. There are excellent stickies at the top of the board that you might find useful, and some very experienced landlords post there.
  • Siebrie
    Siebrie Posts: 2,907 Forumite
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    edited 15 October 2021 at 3:43PM
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    Excellent advice from Jude57. Can you look into putting the rentals into a company?
    For your personal life, it may be worth it to you (leave him out of the equation for a moment) to get more cleaner's hours. If he complains, he can do it himself. With the double income you suggest the 2 of you have coming in, you should not feel run-off-your-feet with housework. Delegate!
    Are you wombling, too, in '22? € 58,96 = £ 52.09Wombling in Restrictive Times (2021) € 2.138,82 = £ 1,813.15Wombabeluba 2020! € 453,22 = £ 403.842019's wi-wa-wombles € 2.244,20 = £ 1,909.46Wombling to wealth 2018 € 972,97 = £ 879.54Still a womble 2017 #25 € 7.116,68 = £ 6,309.50Wombling Free 2016 #2 € 3.484,31 = £ 3,104.59
  • Jet
    Jet Posts: 1,624 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker I've been Money Tipped!
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    Thank you both.  Food for thought.  Yes, he is certainly selfish but I don't necessarily think he's a bad person.  He does actually do all the birthday and Xmas remembering for his family - if I'm being cynical, perhaps because he doesn't want me to get acknowledgement for it?!

    I did briefly look at putting rentals into a company but think there wasn't really enough to do so.  I should probably investigate more.  I have dealt with rentals through my work and my old house is also rented so I do have experience with renting.

    I had literally written a list of all the tasks I do today and counted 40 off the top of my head compared to his 8.  I will try and write down all the timings too over the next few weeks to really get an idea of how the split is.

    With regards to getting a cleaner for more hours, it's not really that side, it's the odd tasks like getting pet meds, paying the bills and the meal planning, shopping, cooking and washing that really take up my time and not easy to outsource.

    He is already paying into a hefty pension but could pay more in and he keeps saying he will but hasn't as yet.  He has stopped paying child support now so that has also helped boost his income - albeit he pays for his kids in other ways.
  • carefullycautious
    carefullycautious Posts: 2,463 Forumite
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    edited 15 October 2021 at 4:47PM
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    The ground rules should have been discussed at the start.

    You would have been better off being a housekeeper at least you would have been paid. Sorry to be blunt.

     And make sure you look after your assets and don't let the money disappear into the household. 
  • newlywed
    newlywed Posts: 8,255 Forumite
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    Look at ways you can save time on those other things. Pay bills online or by direct debit. Have a monthly meal plan that you simply repeat until you get bored or until seasons change. 

    Cook double and freeze so next time you don’t have to cook again. Check out stonesoup.com for some seriously simplified recipes, many of which take 20 mins.

    doing these things have changed how I feel about many of the routine tasks.
    working on clearing the clutterDo I want the stuff or the space?
  • Sea_Shell
    Sea_Shell Posts: 9,517 Forumite
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    I'm assuming as you've said partner, you're not married?

    Do you have wills in place?  What do you want to happen to these newly inherited assets if (and when) something happens to you?

    All to your partner, and then potentially on to his kids, or keep them in your side of the family?
    How's it going, AKA, Nutwatch? - 12 month spends to date = 2.38% of current retirement "pot" (as at end April 2024)
  • elsien
    elsien Posts: 32,951 Forumite
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    edited 18 October 2021 at 12:19AM
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    Out of interest, what is he doing in the time between him getting home and you getting home and starting all the jobs? 
    He remembers his families birthdays - big deal. There aren’t any kudos for that, that’s just what people do. 

    After 13 years it’s going to be impossible to change because as far as he’s concerned there’s no benefit to him in doing so, but what are you getting out of the relationship? 


    All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.

    Pedant alert - it's could have, not could of.
  • Retireinten
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    I can relate to this, the kids are our kids though but we have what I call a traditional marriage insofar as I do all the things you do to keep the household running whereas he does the 'manly' things. 

    The one difference is that although I've generally worked fewer hours than my husband over the years, I've earned the same or more.  I am currently four days a week and earn £5k a year more than him.  He's also the bigger spender. He really has got it made, to be honest! 

    It has caused a huge amount of tension and resentment at times, usually when my high pressured job clashes with managing my homelife and sends my stress levels through the roof. And although he 'sees' some of what I do he doesn't really  get it. He could work away from home for 6 months and we'd carry on as normal (I'd have to put the bins out and mow the grass). He'd stumble on day 1 because he would not be able to get to work and get the kids to school/before school club etc etc. He's done none of the practical side of raising the kids.

    Anyway, I digress, he's not a bad man, he's a great dad and a supportive husband in many ways.  And we do really need to take some responsibility for the dynamics in our households because we've allowed this to happen... And now it's ingrained behaviour.

    I think you need to decide want YOU want to happen from here. Maybe you need to look at this from a financial perspective without the rentals initally? What does he own (including pensions and savings) compared to you? And then talk to him calmly about how you unfair things have felt from your end both financially and in terms of roles ... and listen to him as I suspect he will feel he's contributed more and at least partially supported you financially over the years.


    One thing I would be keen to protect is that inheritance. You have contributed to the creation of his assets by paying towards and managing the home. He has not contributed towards your inheritance, that's the nature of inheritance. Take some legal advice and makes sure that inheritance and any income generated from it remains yours regardless of what happens to your relationship. 
  • pinkshoes
    pinkshoes Posts: 20,132 Forumite
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    My life is kind of similar.

    We have 3 kids, and I do nearly all the childcare, school runs, housework, food shopping, meal planning, laundry etc... I also teach 3 days a week, which in terms of hours is about 35 to 40 hours a week term time. 

    I have found being assertive works. e.g. I often use Gousto meals, then show him the 4 meal cards and say "Which two are you going to cook?".  I also now try and do the cleaning when he is around at the weekend and say "do you want to clean the bathrooms or the kitchen?"

    Mr Pinkshoes has certainly approved in terms of how much he helps. Saying that, I see where he gets it from, as even though his parents are both retired, his dad expects his mum to wait on him hand and food. She does EVERYTHING!

    I do think you need to sit down and work out what is "fair". e.g. show him a list of all chores and ask him to do half. 
    Should've = Should HAVE (not 'of')
    Would've = Would HAVE (not 'of')

    No, I am not perfect, but yes I do judge people on their use of basic English language. If you didn't know the above, then learn it! (If English is your second language, then you are forgiven!)
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