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  • FIRST POST
    • sjwomersley
    • By sjwomersley 13th Dec 18, 2:46 PM
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    sjwomersley
    Discussing debt with my partner
    • #1
    • 13th Dec 18, 2:46 PM
    Discussing debt with my partner 13th Dec 18 at 2:46 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 2
    • sjwomersley
    • By sjwomersley 13th Dec 18, 5:15 PM
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    sjwomersley
    Moneyistooshorttomention -

    I'm not sure how your analogy applies?
    • Red-Squirrel
    • By Red-Squirrel 13th Dec 18, 5:21 PM
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    Red-Squirrel
    And to be fair upping spending would be my reaction to being told I couldn't spend...!!
    Originally posted by BrassicWoman
    Self sabotage? Cutting off your nose to spite your face?

    It sounds like they’ve talked and agreed this plan and she’s not been able to stick to it for whatever reason, rather than she’s doing it deliberately to be petulant.
    • sjwomersley
    • By sjwomersley 13th Dec 18, 5:25 PM
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    sjwomersley
    Just to be clear - I have never told her she couldn't spend. The £300 that's left after overdraft payments, bills and savings is there to spend on whatever she wants, whether that's a £300 handbag or 30,000 penny sweets.

    I know money is relative, but if you have £300 and no financial commitments for that money then I can't understand why that could ever be seen as a restrictive or menial budget.
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 13th Dec 18, 5:29 PM
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    moneyistooshorttomention
    Moneyistooshorttomention -

    I'm not sure how your analogy applies?
    Originally posted by sjwomersley
    A man telling me off about spending what is actually quite a small amount of money imo....

    ...which would have me querying with myself whether I wished to stay in the relationship or no....
    • sjwomersley
    • By sjwomersley 13th Dec 18, 5:35 PM
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    sjwomersley
    Moneyistooshorttomention -

    I don't think this is the same thing.
    • Red-Squirrel
    • By Red-Squirrel 13th Dec 18, 5:36 PM
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    Red-Squirrel
    Just to be clear - I have never told her she couldn't spend. The £300 that's left after overdraft payments, bills and savings is there to spend on whatever she wants, whether that's a £300 handbag or 30,000 penny sweets.

    I know money is relative, but if you have £300 and no financial commitments for that money then I can't understand why that could ever be seen as a restrictive or menial budget.
    Originally posted by sjwomersley
    Does stuff like food and petrol come out of the joint ‘bills’ account?
    • BrassicWoman
    • By BrassicWoman 13th Dec 18, 5:42 PM
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    BrassicWoman
    Just to be clear - I have never told her she couldn't spend. The £300 that's left after overdraft payments, bills and savings is there to spend on whatever she wants, whether that's a £300 handbag or 30,000 penny sweets.

    I know money is relative, but if you have £300 and no financial commitments for that money then I can't understand why that could ever be seen as a restrictive or menial budget.
    Originally posted by sjwomersley

    Because you have no hankering for a £2k Chloe handbag,,,
    April 19 grocery challenge £164.75/ £200
    • paddy's mum
    • By paddy's mum 13th Dec 18, 6:11 PM
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    paddy's mum
    What does she say (exactly) she has spent the money on?

    You are able to have that honest conversation, aren't you?
    • onomatopoeia99
    • By onomatopoeia99 13th Dec 18, 7:15 PM
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    onomatopoeia99
    A man telling me off about spending what is actually quite a small amount of money imo....

    ...which would have me querying with myself whether I wished to stay in the relationship or no....
    Originally posted by moneyistooshorttomention
    TBH I think it's him that should be questioning whether he wants to stay in a relationship with someone that cannot stick to a budget and is getting herself deeper and deeper into debt and seems unwilling to explain where the money is going or stick to a plan to tackle it.


    I'd have to think long and hard. I've seen where it leads and it is not good.
    INTP, nerd, libertarian and scifi geek. Home is where my books are.

    5.2kWp system, SE facing, >1% shading, installed March 2019.
    • xXMessedUpXx
    • By xXMessedUpXx 13th Dec 18, 9:38 PM
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    xXMessedUpXx
    I think you need to bite the bullet, sit down with her, ask her how this happened (shes spent the money on something, she doesnt have a gambling habit at all does she?) and agree to a plan going forward.

    This year, for the past 10 years ive had a £2000 overdraft that was costing aout £40 a month in charges. I honestly never thought i;d be free of it. That changed bcause i was lucky enough to be gifted £500 by my parents to go on holiday with (havent had one for 16 years), instead i paid off a quarter of my overdraft. My bf then came up with a plan that he would lend me the remainder, which he did. The overdraft is now gone, and i've so far paid him back £600 of £1500 that he lent me, i give him a set amount each week and anymore when i could afford it.

    Obviously £2200 is a lot more to lend someone and i dont recommend it unless you are sure you'll pay her back but tbh it actually helps me massively that my debt is to my bf. When it was just the overdraft it was easy to ignore (as i did for a decade) but knowing i owe him is making me more conscious of my spending and encouraging me to pay him back asap.
    "Life Is Like A Beautiful Melody Only The Lyrics Are Messed Up"
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    • gettingtheresometime
    • By gettingtheresometime 13th Dec 18, 9:55 PM
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    gettingtheresometime
    Do you think she's got debts you don't know about?
    Lloyds OD / Natwest OD / PO CC / Wescott / Argos Card cleared thanks to the 1 debt v 100 day challenge


    Next on the list - JD Williams
    • sjwomersley
    • By sjwomersley 14th Dec 18, 7:09 AM
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    sjwomersley
    We don't have a car so there's no petrol costs or anything like that. All our food shopping comes out of the joint account (we class it as another bill, it's just easier).

    BrassicWoman - my partner doesn't have a hankering for a £2,000 bag either! Her latest clothes purchase was a second hand dress for £7.

    I've spoken to her about it and she didn't realise her overdraft account was still linked up to Amazon, Uber, Just eat and a few other websites so she didn't know that account was being used. We have agreed to cancel the debit card to make sure it becomes unusable on all the websites and once the new one arrives it's being locked up at home.
    • paddy's mum
    • By paddy's mum 14th Dec 18, 8:18 AM
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    paddy's mum

    she didn't realise her overdraft account was still linked up to Amazon, Uber, Just eat and a few other websites so she didn't know that account was being used
    Originally posted by sjwomersley
    What you and your fiance do, and how you choose or agree to handle this is entirely your own business. However, one thing jumps out at me and using a lifetime experience of people and their all too human frailties, I hope you will allow me to comment.

    It would appear that you still don't know where or upon what this large sum of money has been spent. It must be nightly caviar and champagne from the local takeaway to rack up that kind of debt. If the costs have been met from the (overdraft) account, then the money has not been taken from another account which will therefore plainly have the money still in it unspent...no?

    Not knowing, for you, is dangerous territory since you plan to marry next spring. You have only to read a few threads on the Debt board to learn where obsessive spending takes the debtor's loved ones.

    There is no rule that says you must be like an Agatha Christie plot and "reveal all" to us on here but I do most sincerely urge you to make very, very sure that you know exactly what is going on and where the money is being spent before making decisions that can affect you, your marriage, future children and your own wellbeing, potentially for the rest of your lives.

    I wish you well with something that clearly is very worrying to you but also remind you that where debt is concerned, ignorance is not bliss.

    Good luck.
    • Kynthia
    • By Kynthia 14th Dec 18, 8:35 AM
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    Kynthia
    We don't have a car so there's no petrol costs or anything like that. All our food shopping comes out of the joint account (we class it as another bill, it's just easier).

    BrassicWoman - my partner doesn't have a hankering for a £2,000 bag either! Her latest clothes purchase was a second hand dress for £7.

    I've spoken to her about it and she didn't realise her overdraft account was still linked up to Amazon, Uber, Just eat and a few other websites so she didn't know that account was being used. We have agreed to cancel the debit card to make sure it becomes unusable on all the websites and once the new one arrives it's being locked up at home.
    Originally posted by sjwomersley
    So she's not a gambling addict or being deceitful. Perhaps you should talk to her before jumping to conclusions. If one morning a month you go through finances together it would becomes a regular thing rather than it only being brought up when you're worried about something. Just make sure your discussions about money are truly on a equal footing with you both discussing an issue and coming up with solutions together. You coming up with a proposal, telling her why it's a good idea and asking her if she agrees is not the same thing and won't have her buying in to what is agreed in the same way. Plus there's no point agreeing a figure if she cant stick to it, so make sure haircuts, makeup, gifts, socialising, clothes, etc are fully understood. It's better to save slower than have one person feeling too restricted and resentful, and another annoyed that the plan isn't being stuck to.
    Don't listen to me, I'm no expert!
    • FBaby
    • By FBaby 14th Dec 18, 9:01 AM
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    FBaby
    She is a careless spender. You can bet she does have things to account for it, she is just keeping it from you. Very easy to do or will pretend whatever she bought was 1/5th of the price.

    She is who she is, you won't change her, and clearly its not impa ting on your feelings for her or your desire to marry her, so that's just the way it.

    Personally it would be a huge turn off and as a matter of fact, one thing that really attracted me to my DH is his attitude to money. I was with a spender before who go into serious debts as a result, keeping it all from me. Thankfully not married. I certainly made sure the man I was marrying was money savvy, but that's me.
    • Red-Squirrel
    • By Red-Squirrel 14th Dec 18, 9:48 AM
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    Red-Squirrel
    We don't have a car so there's no petrol costs or anything like that. All our food shopping comes out of the joint account (we class it as another bill, it's just easier).

    BrassicWoman - my partner doesn't have a hankering for a £2,000 bag either! Her latest clothes purchase was a second hand dress for £7.

    I've spoken to her about it and she didn't realise her overdraft account was still linked up to Amazon, Uber, Just eat and a few other websites so she didn't know that account was being used. We have agreed to cancel the debit card to make sure it becomes unusable on all the websites and once the new one arrives it's being locked up at home.
    Originally posted by sjwomersley
    Sorry but I don’t see how that explains £2200 in less than 4 months. That’s a lot of taxis and takeaways.
    • getmore4less
    • By getmore4less 14th Dec 18, 12:08 PM
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    getmore4less
    IN a lot of cases the problem is motivation.

    Budgets are about planning what you want to spend money on in advance.

    In the plan there needs to be goals that have a higher priority than all the other stuff that money gets spent on.

    Are there any goals that need a proper budget that is stuck too that might motivate the change a habit.

    the usual ones are kids,deposit for a house, new cars, holidays.

    You have the house so bigger house/mortgage free can substitute.

    pick ones that might be motivational and work back from those.

    do you have a proper budget yourself?
    do you have 5 and 10 year plans with longer term goals in it.


    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
    What is this savings account for?

    if you have joint goals make sure the accounts for those goals are not joint you save your agreed shares and track them separately.


    I have to say that £300 does not go far, my beer budget is bigger than that.

    I've spoken to her about it and she didn't realise her overdraft account was still linked up to Amazon, Uber, Just eat and a few other websites so she didn't know that account was being used
    she needs to start a spending diary so she can track her spends to her plan.

    I earn £21,500 and she earns £28,000
    that's going to be about £1,500 and £1,800pm depending on pension and deductions.

    Why not try working through a proper budget for 2019(needs to be a full year) and see how you both want to prioritize the 2019 spending.

    by normalizing on a full year you get a much better picture.

    don't dwell on what has gone, make a plan on what you want for 2019 and beyond.

    The SOA format might work(it does the adding up) or get something like MSMoney that can do a proper job or write yourself a simple spread sheet.

    some bit will be easy(spend 1 is usually mortgage followed by spend 2 council tax
    total income : £18,000 £21,600
    spend1 :
    ....
    ....
    left over : when the left over has gone negative you are not earning enough so have to look for cutbacks.


    .................................................. ........
    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
    She earns £1,800, there is £300 spending money, £250 for the overdraft, that leaves £1250 for the savings and the Joint bills.


    I think you need to have a close look at your joint bills thats a lot of money(doubled) to just run a house.

    Edit:
    another thing I would probably do is have a less aggressive initial target for the OD.
    £250pm would have been 6months(£1,500) I would drop that to £100pm or even start with zero reduction(just cover the fees), stopping it getting bigger is a major step forward. once it is no bigger for a few months look at reducing the debt.
    Last edited by getmore4less; 14-12-2018 at 12:15 PM.
    • HampshireH
    • By HampshireH 14th Dec 18, 3:28 PM
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    HampshireH
    Who doesnt notice when their uber, takeaway and amazon purchases don't come out of their very tight budget each month.

    This really doesnt sound legitimate. She must have known. How else did she think they were being paid for.
    • bouicca21
    • By bouicca21 14th Dec 18, 4:00 PM
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    bouicca21
    If you've been together fir 8 years how come the overdraft problem seems to be recent?

    It's one thing being !!!! at budgeting and living pay cheque to pay cheque, but building up an overdraft is different. And if it is a relatively new problem then there must be a reason

    It's also about attitudes. I couldn't bear the thought of having an overdraft but I know plenty of people who think it's no big deal. If you have a horror of debt and she thinks differently then it's easy to see that she will perceive you as controlling. The first conversation has to be about that. Only when you understand each other's attitude to debt will you be able to budget properly.

    Being me, I'd just pay the overdraft down rather than save, but as I say, it's all a matter of attitude.
    • getmore4less
    • By getmore4less 14th Dec 18, 6:01 PM
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    getmore4less
    there are 2 good good sayings that cover the basic issue.

    You can only spend each pound once.


    this is about balancing the budget, the plan allocates ech £1 of income to what it will be spent on(some may be future==savings)


    borrowing from your future self.

    this means if you spend more money than is coming in you have to earn that money in the future.
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