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My husband likes to spend, I like to save- causing me anxiety and stress

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My husband has taken early retirement at 60, he has a works pension, but took a lump sum, so his pension is half what his wage was, he will not get his state pension until he is 67.
But he continues to spend as before, I don’t work due to disability, he has always been the main breadwinner, I have worked part time and even full time in the past.

We have 2 grown up children at home, the eldest works and pays board, the youngest has just finished Uni- been living at home- he has a part time job in his choosen career but work is more Freelance- not sure how to charge him board as income is not guaranteed.

We are comfortable but not rich, we own our modest home without a mortgage.

I have always dealt with the financial side of things, and I would say we have a traditional marriage, all income goes into a joint account, and he admits he is bad with money and likes to spend and ‘collect things’ he never looks at the price of things, where as I like to know I’m getting things at best price I can, he has never stopped me spending what I’ve wanted, but  I resent his  spending and his hoarding.

Has anyone else been in the same situation?

Ive tried to speak to him, but his answer is well we can afford it, we have no debt, only a 0% interest loan for some furniture I wanted, to replace 20 year old things which were not longer fit for purpose.
Ive tried giving him an allowance, but he saw it as a target and ended up spending more- I had the same amount and ended up spending very little.

Help, I’m getting stressed over it and it’s not doing my mental health any good.




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  • Newly_retired
    Newly_retired Posts: 2,984 Forumite
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    You could start by working out income and expenditure, taking into account your older son's contribution, plus ideally a contribution from your younger son, even if it has to be intermittent at first. If your sons' contributions were no longer coming in, would your houshold expenditure decrease considerably? Or stay much the same? Once you have clarity on that situation, looking at the next 7 years until your husband draws SRP, how much spare cash is there? IS it affordable to carry on as before?
    How does the lump sum fit in? Is it his or jointly yours? Was this discussed?
    Leaving the lump sum aside for now, I would be ensuring you each have an equal amount of spending money. His is not a target, it is a limit. Then how he chooses to use it is up to him, he spends, you save - fine. 
    I was in a similar situation, and I am glad I have a cushion of my own savings.
  • LinLui
    LinLui Posts: 341 Forumite
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    edited 26 May at 11:43AM
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    Let him deal with the financial side of things, and you take a break from it. 

    I totally get both of your positions! Which is odd, I know, but I can understand why you are getting anxious; but equally, I have some sympathy with him as "you can't take it with you" and money should be enjoyed while you still can. But at this stage I don't see how you can easily come together with such widely divergent approaches, so unless you can find some middle ground, then removing yourself from the stress seems to be the only answer.

    BTW, I don't think it is helpful or appropriate to argue to his spending is unjustified, wasteful and "hoarding" whilst yours is justified and reasonable - perhaps he didn't care about the 20 year old furniture??? You won't help your own mental health or find any form of negotiated agreement if your resentment of his spending is based on your view that he is wasteful and you are not - even if that is true. But it could equally be argued that he enjoys the things that working all those years had brought you both, whilst you are miserly in your approach. I am not saying that is true - just that there are always two sides to a story, and which is "true" often depends on where you stand. If you gave me an "allowance" of my own money I'd very definitely have a few choice words to say about that approach!
  • MattMattMattUK
    MattMattMattUK Posts: 9,015 Forumite
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    applepad said:
    My husband has taken early retirement at 60, he has a works pension, but took a lump sum, so his pension is half what his wage was, he will not get his state pension until he is 67.
    But he continues to spend as before, I don’t work due to disability, he has always been the main breadwinner, I have worked part time and even full time in the past.

    We have 2 grown up children at home, the eldest works and pays board, the youngest has just finished Uni- been living at home- he has a part time job in his choosen career but work is more Freelance- not sure how to charge him board as income is not guaranteed.

    We are comfortable but not rich, we own our modest home without a mortgage.

    I have always dealt with the financial side of things, and I would say we have a traditional marriage, all income goes into a joint account, and he admits he is bad with money and likes to spend and ‘collect things’ he never looks at the price of things, where as I like to know I’m getting things at best price I can, he has never stopped me spending what I’ve wanted, but  I resent his  spending and his hoarding.

    Has anyone else been in the same situation?

    Ive tried to speak to him, but his answer is well we can afford it, we have no debt, only a 0% interest loan for some furniture I wanted, to replace 20 year old things which were not longer fit for purpose.
    Ive tried giving him an allowance, but he saw it as a target and ended up spending more- I had the same amount and ended up spending very little.

    Help, I’m getting stressed over it and it’s not doing my mental health any good.
    How about partially splitting finances, so all family expenditure comes from the joint account, bills, petrol, food, holidays etc. but you both have an individual account for your personal expenditure and when it is gone it is gone. So if he spends all his spending money on collecting thimbles in the first week of the month then that is it, he does not get to buy more from the joint account, or use the joint account to go to football, the pub, buy a new bike etc. The same for you. 

    With regard to both children, charge them the same, that is the fair situation, that one has chosen to work part time is not a reason for one to pay less than their sibling. 
  • applepad
    applepad Posts: 396 Forumite
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    LinLui said:
    Let him deal with the financial side of things, and you take a break from it. 

    If you gave me an "allowance" of my own money I'd very definitely have a few choice words to say about that approach!
    I have tried to get him to deal with the finances, and his answer is, ‘ Well ,you’re SO good at it!’

    He also openly admits he is ‘bad’ with money and if he was in charge we would be bankrupt 

    As for ‘own money’ he would never say that, if it was not for me, we would not have the savings we have . I have contributed to the household income when I could, and it has always been ‘ Our money’
  • applepad
    applepad Posts: 396 Forumite
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    With regard to both children, charge them the same, that is the fair situation, that one has chosen to work part time is not a reason for one to pay less than their sibling. 
    The oldest son works full time and is doing well in his career, the younger is Graduating this Summer and although his job is in the field he studied, it is by virtue of its nature that it will be part time until he makes a name for himself.
    He has talked about paying board, but we have yet to sit down and have the conversation. It will be after Graduation.
  • Danien
    Danien Posts: 246 Forumite
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    edited 26 May at 12:50PM
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    What me and my husband do (I manage the finances as he's not good with getting things paid), is that we both have separate accounts for personal, spend on we like spending. We did a budget and worked out how much we could afford to pay in each month. We both get the same 'allowance' each month and personal non agreed spending only can be made from that account for each of us. Knowing that he can only spend from that account helps my husband manage his collection and computer games spending and save for expensive items.

    We agreed what counts as personal spending and what doesn't and agreed no personal spending from joint account or savings. If either of us want something outside of our personal accounts then it has to be agreed with other.
  • LinLui
    LinLui Posts: 341 Forumite
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    applepad said:
    LinLui said:
    Let him deal with the financial side of things, and you take a break from it. 

    If you gave me an "allowance" of my own money I'd very definitely have a few choice words to say about that approach!
    I have tried to get him to deal with the finances, and his answer is, ‘ Well ,you’re SO good at it!’

    He also openly admits he is ‘bad’ with money and if he was in charge we would be bankrupt 

    As for ‘own money’ he would never say that, if it was not for me, we would not have the savings we have . I have contributed to the household income when I could, and it has always been ‘ Our money’
    It doesn't matter how he manipulates you into managing the money. If this isn't helping you,  then don't let him. 

    And I wasn't suggesting that he considers ask the money his - you were clear that you can spend what you want too. But it isn't about pronouns... the money is his / yours to spend. That is his approach to it and he simply didn't doesn't agree with your limiting the money he spends. You've tried that and it doesn't work. Unless you can get him to agree - and that doesn't seem likely - then you will continue to stress about the situation and it will cause you harm to your mental health. So you tell him that,  you hand over the money management,  and you tell him to grow up. He's 60, not 6, and can manage money if he wants to.  He just doesn't want to. And why should he when you will do it?
  • thegreenone
    thegreenone Posts: 1,070 Forumite
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    What did you/he do with the lump sum?
  • Danien
    Danien Posts: 246 Forumite
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    edited 29 May at 2:06PM
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    LinLui said:
    applepad said:
    LinLui said:
    Let him deal with the financial side of things, and you take a break from it. 

    If you gave me an "allowance" of my own money I'd very definitely have a few choice words to say about that approach!
    I have tried to get him to deal with the finances, and his answer is, ‘ Well ,you’re SO good at it!’

    He also openly admits he is ‘bad’ with money and if he was in charge we would be bankrupt 

    As for ‘own money’ he would never say that, if it was not for me, we would not have the savings we have . I have contributed to the household income when I could, and it has always been ‘ Our money’
    It doesn't matter how he manipulates you into managing the money. If this isn't helping you,  then don't let him. 

    And I wasn't suggesting that he considers ask the money his - you were clear that you can spend what you want too. But it isn't about pronouns... the money is his / yours to spend. That is his approach to it and he simply didn't doesn't agree with your limiting the money he spends. You've tried that and it doesn't work. Unless you can get him to agree - and that doesn't seem likely - then you will continue to stress about the situation and it will cause you harm to your mental health. So you tell him that,  you hand over the money management,  and you tell him to grow up. He's 60, not 6, and can manage money if he wants to.  He just doesn't want to. And why should he when you will do it?
    I'm not sure it's down to manipulation to have her manage the finances- lots of couples have one or the other manage finances depending on who is better with it.

    The problem here is he wants her to manage the finances but then doesn't let her do it - spending more than the allowance he has to spend.

    But you are right he is acting like a child.
  • calleyw
    calleyw Posts: 9,854 Forumite
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    this is not new.  He has always been spending money like that.  But now with a lower income its causing issues and more noticable.
    He won change unless he wants to and it sounds like he does not want too.  You are already tied to him money wise by having a joint account. With my ex husband (no money was not the issue) we had a joint account that we each paid in to and that was to cover food, council tax, energy bills, internet, water bills etc.  We each already had own bank accounts before meeting and that was for own personal spends.  So if he wanted to spend all his money on harbio within a few days of payday that was it.  No taking from the joint account. Access to the account was to check the account balance,  add more money if necessary or hive off money to a savings account. You each need a basic bank account with no overdraft.  His money goes in to there and once it spent that its. 
    Also your adult child who is freelancing needs to get a second job such as a supermarket stacking/pizza delivery etc.  As nothing in life is free.  That money you could use to save to help create a buffer.  Which in turn will help lower your stress level
    Hope for everything and expect nothing!!!

    Good enough is almost always good enough -Prof Barry Schwartz

    If it scares you, it might be a good thing to try -Seth Godin
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