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    • sjwomersley
    • By sjwomersley 13th Dec 18, 3:46 PM
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    sjwomersley
    Discussing debt with my partner
    • #1
    • 13th Dec 18, 3:46 PM
    Discussing debt with my partner 13th Dec 18 at 3:46 PM
    Hello,


    Sorry if this is the wrong forum. The debts one wasn't accepting new threads.


    Earlier this year I discovered that my fiance was overdrawn by about 1,500. She doesn't like talking about money but I had to discuss this with her and we came up with a plan to gradually pay off the overdraft on a monthly basis.


    The plan was:
    1) Setup a new current account with no overdraft facility for her everyday spending.
    2) Leave the debit card of the overdrawn account at home and stop using the account.
    3) Her salary gets paid into our joint current account that we both have access to - each month I send money to her overdrawn account, her savings account, keep enough in our joint account for her share of the bills and then send the remaining 300 to her new current account.
    4) The 300 which goes into her new current account can be spent on anything, it doesn't matter as allowances have already been made for her overdraft, savings and essential spending. Once the 300 has gone it's gone.


    Until recently I have been under the impression that this plan has been working and her overdraft is being reduced, however, I have found out that it has actually got worse and she now owes 2,200.


    Since we came up with the plan earlier this year (August/September), about 1000 has been paid into her overdrawn account and 1,200 has been paid into her new current account. As the debt has increased this means she has spent 2,200 in the last 3/4 months. I absolutely wasn't expecting her to not spend anything on luxuries or non-essential stuff, but the thing is, she has nothing at all to show for all this spending apart from recently when she has bought Christmas presents (which I know only account for about 300 at most).


    I need to talk about all this with her but based on past financial conversations I don't think it will go down well. I just want to help her get out of debt so we don't start our marriage with money problems. In the past she has accused me of just wanting to control her spending but this is absolutely not the case, I don't care what she buys as long as she has the money to pay for it without getting into debt.


    I just need help with how to talk to my partner about this...


    Thanks in advance.
Page 1
    • Comms69
    • By Comms69 13th Dec 18, 3:55 PM
    • 6,978 Posts
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    Comms69
    • #2
    • 13th Dec 18, 3:55 PM
    • #2
    • 13th Dec 18, 3:55 PM
    Unless she makes the decision, this wont work.


    If it's a deal breaker, that's that really.


    You cannot force her to be careful with money
    • paddy's mum
    • By paddy's mum 13th Dec 18, 4:16 PM
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    paddy's mum
    • #3
    • 13th Dec 18, 4:16 PM
    • #3
    • 13th Dec 18, 4:16 PM
    If you can't even discuss financial arrangements with her without triggering accusations of control/financial abuse, don't even think about getting married.

    Similarly, if she has reneged on an agreed plan to get herself out of debt, she is to my mind giving you a kind of two fingered salute and that would make me very wary indeed, no matter how much I loved that person.

    Debt kills relationships and don't ever forget that little fact.

    Good luck in sorting it out.
    • Primrose
    • By Primrose 13th Dec 18, 4:26 PM
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    Primrose
    • #4
    • 13th Dec 18, 4:26 PM
    • #4
    • 13th Dec 18, 4:26 PM
    Just be thankful that you've discovered that a) she's not good at handling money and budgeting. and b) that she's also deceitful about debt now rather than after you're married.

    Debt and poor money management can be toxic to any marriage so I suggest you take this as a serious red alert warning.

    How to talk to her about it? Well, since this issue is onviously worrying you I would sit her down and tell her honestly that her money handling and her deceitfulness over her debt is causing you to have second thoughts as to whether she can be trusted to be a long term partner. Sorry to be blunt but I assume you are worrying whether this could develop into a major issue between you further down the line once you're married. And rightly so.

    If she really thinks you're trying to control her financial affairs it suggests to me that she will always resent you watching over her shoulder. You shouldn't need to feel you have to do this but clearly you do because you know she is unreliable in the way she handles money. Partners should be able to trust each other and the fact that you cant, so early in a permanent relationship does not augur well in my view.

    I'd put any wedding plans on hold and see whether she's serious about sorting her debts out . If she's not, well you have been warned and hindsight is a wonderful thing!
    Last edited by Primrose; 13-12-2018 at 4:29 PM.
    • BrassicWoman
    • By BrassicWoman 13th Dec 18, 4:38 PM
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    BrassicWoman
    • #5
    • 13th Dec 18, 4:38 PM
    • #5
    • 13th Dec 18, 4:38 PM
    What kind of lifestyle are you trying to live? 300 would be buttons for some... does your JOINT holiday/going out etc budget feel thrifty for both of you?
    Jan 18 grocery challenge 105.13/ 150
    • lika_86
    • By lika_86 13th Dec 18, 4:45 PM
    • 1,282 Posts
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    lika_86
    • #6
    • 13th Dec 18, 4:45 PM
    • #6
    • 13th Dec 18, 4:45 PM
    Out of curiosity, are you also left with 300 to spend?
    • sjwomersley
    • By sjwomersley 13th Dec 18, 4:51 PM
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    sjwomersley
    • #7
    • 13th Dec 18, 4:51 PM
    • #7
    • 13th Dec 18, 4:51 PM
    We have been together for about 8 years so this isn't a new relationship. It doesn't bother me that she's bad with money, it bothers me that she's wasting money on things and trying to keep it from me. Our mortgage is due to renew in a few months so I will have to see her bank statements then anyway when we submit them to our mortgage broker.


    I know I can't force her to be careful with money, I just want suggestions on how I can talk to her about it. I like to think I'm good with money and I've tried to explain things to her as best I can, but it's obviously not worked so I need to try a different tact.


    The 300 / month that goes into her current account is kind of "fun money". Money from her salary goes into a separate savings account so she doesn't have to save any of the 300 in order for us to pay for holidays, home improvements etc.


    I earn less than my partner and I have to pay travel costs to get to and from work (which she does not), yet I always have money leftover at the end of the month. I don't feel like I'm having to sacrifice anything or that I struggle to afford a night out or anything like that.


    The situation she's got into just doesn't make sense to me. I could understand it if she had an expensive hobby or was a shopaholic but like I said before, so much money has been spent without anything to show for it.
    • Red-Squirrel
    • By Red-Squirrel 13th Dec 18, 4:52 PM
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    Red-Squirrel
    • #8
    • 13th Dec 18, 4:52 PM
    • #8
    • 13th Dec 18, 4:52 PM
    Why were you paying into savings when she still had debt? Was the way you had divided up her income something you had agreed together?

    My first thought is perhaps a gambling problem, as there's nothing to show for the money, but if she's going to open to you about something she probably feels ashamed of you'll have to make her feel really safe and that you aren't going to judge.


    Good luck, it won't be easy.
    • onomatopoeia99
    • By onomatopoeia99 13th Dec 18, 4:53 PM
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    onomatopoeia99
    • #9
    • 13th Dec 18, 4:53 PM
    • #9
    • 13th Dec 18, 4:53 PM
    Out of curiosity, are you also left with 300 to spend?
    Originally posted by lika_86
    Is that relevant? If I started dating someone that had more spare money each month than I did, I wouldn't expect her to curtail her spending or give some if it to me so we both ended up with the same amount to spend. I'd be pretty horrified at the idea to be honest.
    INTP, nerd, libertarian and scifi geek.
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    • sjwomersley
    • By sjwomersley 13th Dec 18, 5:02 PM
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    sjwomersley
    Red Squirrel -


    It was a joint decision how to split up my partner's income. The reason we have been putting money into her savings account (RCI Bank, 1.4% instant access) is because we will need to pay for our wedding in April so there needs to be a stack of money available.


    After splitting up my own salary into savings and essential spending I'm also left with about 300. I earn less than she does but I'm not having to pay off an overdraft so it balances out.
    • Red-Squirrel
    • By Red-Squirrel 13th Dec 18, 5:08 PM
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    Red-Squirrel
    Red Squirrel -


    It was a joint decision how to split up my partner's income. The reason we have been putting money into her savings account (RCI Bank, 1.4% instant access) is because we will need to pay for our wedding in April so there needs to be a stack of money available.


    After splitting up my own salary into savings and essential spending I'm also left with about 300. I earn less than she does but I'm not having to pay off an overdraft so it balances out.
    Originally posted by sjwomersley
    For future reference it always makes sense to pay off debt before saving. Debt costs money, that overdraft will have interest to pay and a monthly fee.

    That aside, it sounds like you've come up with what would be a pretty sensible plan to deal with a debt if the person who had run it up had addressed the underlying reasons and got to a place where they could live within their means. It hasn't worked because she hasn't got there, and that's the really difficult part.


    On the debt free wannabe board they refer to the 'lightbulb moment' and your partner hasn't had hers, and you can't have it for her I'm afraid!
    • paddy's mum
    • By paddy's mum 13th Dec 18, 5:22 PM
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    paddy's mum
    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
    Originally posted by sjwomersley
    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.
    • BrassicWoman
    • By BrassicWoman 13th Dec 18, 5:35 PM
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    BrassicWoman
    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.
    Jan 18 grocery challenge 105.13/ 150
    • Primrose
    • By Primrose 13th Dec 18, 5:36 PM
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    Primrose
    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".
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 13th Dec 18, 5:43 PM
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    moneyistooshorttomention
    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.
    Originally posted by BrassicWoman
    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??

    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).
    Last edited by moneyistooshorttomention; 13-12-2018 at 5:45 PM.
    • Red-Squirrel
    • By Red-Squirrel 13th Dec 18, 5:43 PM
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    Red-Squirrel
    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.
    Originally posted by BrassicWoman
    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.
    • BrassicWoman
    • By BrassicWoman 13th Dec 18, 5:57 PM
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    BrassicWoman
    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.
    Originally posted by Red-Squirrel

    And to be fair upping spending would be my reaction to being told I couldn't spend...!!
    Jan 18 grocery challenge 105.13/ 150
    • sjwomersley
    • By sjwomersley 13th Dec 18, 5:59 PM
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    sjwomersley
    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.
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 13th Dec 18, 6:02 PM
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    moneyistooshorttomention
    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 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".
    • BrassicWoman
    • By BrassicWoman 13th Dec 18, 6:03 PM
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    BrassicWoman
    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.
    Jan 18 grocery challenge 105.13/ 150
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