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    • Former MSE Paloma
    • By Former MSE Paloma 1st May 15, 2:46 PM
    • 526Posts
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    Former MSE Paloma
    MSE News: Are you secretly hurting your spouse by looking after the family finances?
    • #1
    • 1st May 15, 2:46 PM
    MSE News: Are you secretly hurting your spouse by looking after the family finances? 1st May 15 at 2:46 PM
    "My other half deals with the finances. I don't know anything about it." I've lost count of the times I've heard this ...

    Read the full story:

    Are you secretly hurting your spouse by looking after the family finances?

    Click reply below to discuss. If you havenít already, join the forum to reply. If you arenít sure how it all works, read our New to Forum? Intro Guide.

Page 1
    • michaels
    • By michaels 1st May 15, 3:14 PM
    • 22,415 Posts
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    • #2
    • 1st May 15, 3:14 PM
    • #2
    • 1st May 15, 3:14 PM
    I try but DW refuses to accept any knowledge on the grounds that if she doesn't know about it then why should she moderate her spending according to our household income....
    Cool heads and compromise
    • Turtle
    • By Turtle 1st May 15, 5:38 PM
    • 946 Posts
    • 2,563 Thanks
    • #3
    • 1st May 15, 5:38 PM
    • #3
    • 1st May 15, 5:38 PM
    I try but DW refuses to accept any knowledge on the grounds that if she doesn't know about it then why should she moderate her spending according to our household income....
    Originally posted by michaels
    Wow that's quite childish. Does she stick her fingers in her ears and sing so she can't hear you?!

    I look after all the finances in our house (apart from his sole current account) and my husband wouldn't buy something expensive without 'asking'. He knows I wouldn't lie, so if I say we can't afford something that's fine. I do worry how he'd manage with all the accounts that aren't just his though, I've told him where the spreadsheets are and I'll keep my fingers crossed that nothing happens to me!

    • nicing
    • By nicing 1st May 15, 5:55 PM
    • 28 Posts
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    • #4
    • 1st May 15, 5:55 PM
    • #4
    • 1st May 15, 5:55 PM
    I do try to involve my husband whenever possible, but he says he is just not good with these things. I have a spreadsheet with all our financial commitments etc, and we sit together every month or so, so that I can show him how we are progressing. I do try to make sure he knows, so that I know he can keep up to date for our kids sake, should something happen to me.
    • verysillyguy06
    • By verysillyguy06 1st May 15, 7:49 PM
    • 35,175 Posts
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    • #5
    • 1st May 15, 7:49 PM
    • #5
    • 1st May 15, 7:49 PM
    Lotta strange questions on this forum: Surely the question is irrelevant? If you want to know, you do finances with your that case, you surely hurt yourself?
    You have the right to remain silent.Anything you do say will be misquoted and then used against you

    Knowledge will give you power, but character respect.

    Bruce Lee
    • Tigsteroonie
    • By Tigsteroonie 1st May 15, 7:52 PM
    • 23,232 Posts
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    • #6
    • 1st May 15, 7:52 PM
    • #6
    • 1st May 15, 7:52 PM
    I could write a one-page bullet point list for Marley, it still wouldn't make any sense to him, finances will always be a complete mystery
    Mrs Marleyboy

    MSE: many of the benefits of a helpful family, without disadvantages like having to compete for the tv remote

    Proud Parents to an Au-some son
    • mum2one
    • By mum2one 1st May 15, 8:17 PM
    • 16,154 Posts
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    • #7
    • 1st May 15, 8:17 PM
    • #7
    • 1st May 15, 8:17 PM
    my parents are the generation where the man does all the money dealings and the woman just has a savings account, after over 50 yrs of marriage they've gone along with the arrangement.

    But when my father got took ill last yr (cancer), he spent 1 month in hospital 100 miles from us (happened on holiday) she was a fish out of water, and it was left to me to pick through it all, since then I have all accounts on online banking, even now although dads in remission she still doesn't deal with banks.

    I think couple should work together, even if the 2nd person just sees a spreadsheet. x
    Tackling the debt free life one day at a time xx
    RIP Dad, - Always love you, - He was 1 in a million xx
    • enthusiasticsaver
    • By enthusiasticsaver 1st May 15, 9:31 PM
    • 8,466 Posts
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    • #8
    • 1st May 15, 9:31 PM
    • #8
    • 1st May 15, 9:31 PM
    I have always looked after the finances due to the fact I used to work in a bank and my husband shows no interest in it. I do show him spreadsheets and he has copies of where our savings are and passwords etc but he is just not interested in budgeting etc but I make him look at what we spend and what we have coming in every 3 months.

    We have joint current accounts but most of the savings are in my name as I pay lower rate tax and he would not bother to move savings accounts when the interest rate drops. He says he is no good at all that but I think it is just laziness. He is good at other things though like DIY which I am hopeless at.
    Early retired in December 2017

    I'm a Board Guide on the Debt-Free Wannabe, Mortgages and Endowments, Banking and Budgeting boards. I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum running smoothly. Any views are mine and not the official line of Pease remember, board guides don't read every post. If you spot an illegal or inappropriate post then please report it to
  • Errata
    • #9
    • 1st May 15, 9:48 PM
    • #9
    • 1st May 15, 9:48 PM
    Some couples very sensibly play to their strengths. The only time a partner can be "hurt" is when there's skulduggery going on.
    .....................I'm smiling because I have no idea what's going on ...
    • Delree
    • By Delree 2nd May 15, 6:11 AM
    • 527 Posts
    • 636 Thanks
    I work in rent arrears collection and the amount of times I've had a bloke on the phone say "the missus deals with all that" is unbelievable. People need to take more responsibility.

    I've recently sat in an office with a husband and wife revealing how much debt they're in to the husband. The husband was having a go at his wife but I stopped him and told him that willfull ignorance does not absolve him of blame. He's as much to blame for this mess as his wife and instead of shouting they should team up and work with me to solve it. They didn't. They're funeral.
    • jayII
    • By jayII 2nd May 15, 7:05 AM
    • 38,158 Posts
    • 107,076 Thanks
    I do ours but I insist that OH has a basic grasp of what is happening and where various savings pots are. He'd probably manage, just to do the basics if he ever needed to. I think he finds my fussing with money cute. *rolleyes*

    I also sorted all my mum's various pensions, did probate and so on, when she was widowed. She's since learnt to have a basic grasp on her finances and online banking. It would have been much easier for her if she'd shared the responsibility with her husband from day one.
    Fighting the biggest battle of my life. Started 30th January 2018.
    • Imp
    • By Imp 2nd May 15, 7:44 AM
    • 1,014 Posts
    • 1,425 Thanks
    I used to look after our finances but my wife and I would argue due to her excessive spending so now I never look at the current account but maintain a savings account to bail her out every now and then.
    • duchy
    • By duchy 2nd May 15, 7:56 AM
    • 18,251 Posts
    • 46,601 Thanks
    Strange question with the assumption that the partner dealing with finances is deliberately stopping the other person's involvement. Like most of the posters - most couples I know the non involved partner just isn't interested rather than there is something controling going on.

    (Sometimes these "from MSE" questions tell you more about the age and level of life experience of the person asking the question than anything else.)
    I Would Rather Climb A Mountain Than Crawl Into A Hole

    MSE Florida wedding problem
    • buglawton
    • By buglawton 2nd May 15, 8:01 AM
    • 8,314 Posts
    • 5,088 Thanks
    No mention in Martin's article about whose name the accounts are in and how that affects individual's credit records. Very remiss.
    • onlyroz
    • By onlyroz 2nd May 15, 8:28 AM
    • 15,988 Posts
    • 30,527 Thanks
    Some couples very sensibly play to their strengths. The only time a partner can be "hurt" is when there's skulduggery going on.
    Originally posted by Errata
    Or when a partner dies or develops dementia.
    • missyrichards
    • By missyrichards 2nd May 15, 8:33 AM
    • 1,102 Posts
    • 4,222 Thanks
    I handle the financial side as my husband used to do it but it turns out I'm much better at it. I have worked in (very basic) financial and bank jobs so it suits me more and we are both frugal anyway. I keep him informed on everything though.
    • fairy lights
    • By fairy lights 2nd May 15, 8:34 AM
    • 8,665 Posts
    • 28,872 Thanks
    fairy lights
    We both take an equal role in dealing with our finances, we couldn't have it any other way really as neither of us would want sole responsibility for our money, and wouldn't want to be kept in the dark either.
    • Pincher
    • By Pincher 2nd May 15, 11:08 AM
    • 6,516 Posts
    • 2,491 Thanks
    It's a lot of responsibility. I think a lot of people chicken out, because they think they will mess it up.

    It's relatively easy to transfer the assets to the survivor for a married couple TAX FREE. The problem is, the concentration of wealth in one person will be subject to inheritance tax when the survivor passes away, and he/she does not have a clue!
    • BigAunty
    • By BigAunty 2nd May 15, 11:20 AM
    • 7,941 Posts
    • 14,422 Thanks
    I recall many posts on here, overwhelmingly from women, whose male partners took total control of all of the household income and expenditure, usually as part of a pattern of domestic abuse.

    This forced them to be totally financially dependent on their partners (which the abuser desires in order to better control them), ruined their confidence and made it harder for them to end the relationship. Quite often, the male partner would prioritise the spending on their hobbies, gadgets, social life or vices like alcohol or gambling. It's good to see that financial violence is considered part of defining domestic abuse.

    In one case, the woman was forced to be a stay at home mum and wasn't permitted to work or study. Her partner also refused to let her receive the Child Benefit which meant that in the many years that she lived with him, she received no contributions to her National Insurance and this would greatly impact her entitlement to a state pension.

    In another case, the unemployed male partner forced his girlfriend to work as a cleaner but collected her salary, plus all the other benefits.

    In another case, the affluent male partner with a high salary and high savings would not pay the stay at home mum any housekeeping money, nor pay anything towards clothing/expenses of their biological child and she was forced to survive on the child benefit alone of around £20 a week. She was verbally abused for spending 30p on a donated item for a foodbank.
    • BigAunty
    • By BigAunty 2nd May 15, 11:26 AM
    • 7,941 Posts
    • 14,422 Thanks
    In contrast, there was a female poster whose mentally ill and unemployed husband utterly refused to have anything to do with the household budgeting so would not look at any bills or statements, for example.

    He suffered from severe social anxiety and OCD, I think, and one of his pre-occupations is that she would pre-decease him and he would not be capable of raising the children on his own. His illness made him very controlling towards his wife - he did his best to sever all her ties with family and friends, sabotaged her social events and attempts to study and find work. He constantly phoned and texted her. He didn't want her to leave the house.

    So on the one hand, he feared any kind of domestic responsibility, even basic stuff like being an account holder or looking at a bank statement, so he shunned this. But on the other, if he could have participated in basic household responsibilities, he would have more confidence about managing things without her.

    He made himself deliberately dependent on her and ultra needy. He had a social life, was studying at degree level and was a competent father yet when it suited him, he just shrugged off other lesser responsibilities and made out that he wasn't capable of simple things and that's why she had to indulge his behaviour.
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