Post # 1
I never thought I would never trust FI but lately he’s been rather irresponsible with our money. For the longest time we were living paycheque to paycheque but since he got this new full time job a couple of months ago things have been better, I actually have an account balance in between paycheques and stuff. For the past few weeks money has been tight as we are paying for some unexpected repairs but we were still fine to cover our basic expenses.
The other week I had just enough in the bank account to buy about $100 in groceries for the week that would hold us over until the next pay. He had my debit card because he had to run over to the corner store one night to get some milk, but he forgot it in his pocket. I realized this after he left the next morning but I thought “I trust him not to spend any money, he knows there is only enough left for groceries”. So when I get the card back he said I still had my grocery money, I stopped by the ATM on the way to the store to take $100 out and it declined. I checked the account – only $75 in it! He had spent about $30 to take his friends out to lunch! We had a talk and I told him that it hurts to think I can’t trust him with our money, he promised he wouldn’t do it again and claimed he didn’t realize I was serious about only having enough for groceries. There have also ben some other problems where he literally whines for cash when we don’t have any.
So on Friday I had gotten paid $640 for some work I did in cash. I decided to just wait until this week to deposit it as I only have a cheque clearing on Friday and there was no rush. I had this money in my purse all weekend and he knew about it, I never once thought to check it. When we were cleaning we also found an old cheque for $50 we could cash. Originally we couldn’t afford to go out for dinner on my birthday this weekend and we were going to wait but this cheque prompted FI to make reservations at my favourite restaurant, I was so thrilled it was all working out.
I was planning on depositing the money tomorrow so I took it out of my purse (which never left the apartment) and recounted before putting it into an envelope. There was only $580… $60 short. I tore my bag apart, tore through the apartment, checked the garbage bags, couch, under the fridge… nowhere. After I finished searching the only options were that he must’ve took it, I called him and confronted him and he swore up and down he didn’t take the money. I was crying as I was waiting for him to come home because I was thinking that now we had to cancel my birthday plans and I still was convinced he had to have taken it due to the past incident.
Huge embarrassment here… he got home and insisted on looking. He found $45 in my coat pocket (I don’t know why I didn’t check there) and a receipt for about $13 worth of groceries from Friday…
Needless to say we both feel awful. I am very upset that I accused him of stealing $60 out of my purse and he is upset about that too. But I’m also still upset about the incident from a few weeks ago when he just spent money from my account without asking and lying about it later. I’ve tried apologizing for making the accusation but he won’t accept it, he also refuses to talk about this trust issue I now have with him over money. I’ve decided to let him cool down until tomorrow but this has to be discussed as I can’t always wonder if he took money.
I don’t know what to do or how to handle this situation so I’d really appreciate any advice.
Post # 2
WeddingBells2014: Ooo, that’s rough. I’m so sorry. My only advice is to keep your very own account even as you get married. I was previously married to a man who was terrible with money. This guy make $100K a year and we still didn’t have money. Since we’ve been divorced, I’ve been able to save some money even though I make way less. I just think it’s important as a woman to maintain some independence in that department.
Post # 3
First incident your FI was in the wrong, he shouldn’t have spent money on his friends when he knew money was tight, but if he apologized and said he didn’t know you literally meant you only had enough money for food, OK. Second incident actually sounds like a non-incident – you got upset and it turns out over nothing. You can’t repunish your FI because you THOUGHT the second incident was his fault due to something he already apologized for previously.
It sounds like maybe you have the finances too much under your control. Why would your FI be whining for money to you? He should know your financial circumstances the way you do, he shouldn’t need to whine. Maybe you guys should start doing budgeting together so you can both always be on the same page. There is a lot of power in being the one who understands and controls the finances, but if you don’t want your fiance whining to you for money or spending things you had set aside for a different purpose, then you guys had better work together!
Post # 4
RedHeadKel: We each do have our own account, it is just that every time he gets paid he hands (most of it I think) it to me in cash and I then deposit it into my account which all of the expenses come out of. I feel awful that I can’t trust him to go out and buy something at my request using my card…
Post # 5
WeddingBells2014: was the lunch incident a one time deal? Was he ever like this before he got a new job? If that’s the case I would cut him some slack if it was the first offense. Once you get a new job, it’s common to treat yourself a little because you have been frugal for so long.
Post # 6
ohnatto: I’m not trying to punish him at all right now. I’ve apologized, which he won’t accept. I’ve tried to get him to talk about the issue, which he refuses to do. I am the one getting the punishment right now for asking if he took it.
I have such a tight grip on the budget because he proved in the past he cannot manage money at all and he will spend all money available to him without thinking. It was his request that I handle the money so I wouldn’t waste it so easily.
He whines for money for the things he wants. Even when I show him the budget and show how we can barely afford our bills, he’ll call from the store with his friend and bug me for hours to buy him a $60 game because his friend has it too and they could play together. Or (in a more adult situation) he’ll want to go out to dinner at the expense of half a weeks groceries and whines for hours thinking I can somehow make it work like a money magician or something.
I guess I really got to sit him down and go over the budget line by line so he understands where the money is going… just seems every time I’ve tried to involve him he gets with the argument of it is too stressful so I should just deal with it – which then results in incidents like this.
Barely_Blush: He acted like this years ago when he did his own money, the paycheques barely lasted the first week at the rate he was going and it wasn’t spent on his needs at all. I am all for him treating himself to something for the new job but he has had some treats already. He’s been allowed to purchase alcohol out of the grocery budget plus he’s had some extra dinner’s out this past couple of months. To me I think that is plenty of treat since we haven’t done stuff like that in years but I guess he has a grander view of it.
Post # 7
WeddingBells2014: Ugh. It sounds like you have bent over backwards to try to teach him about money, but he’s setting you up as a mom figure. I understand partners should be able to rely on each other for support and capitalize on each other’s skills, but he is using you as a crutch and then whining about it, which is supremely unsexy.
Maybe you guys just need to do another sit down where you let him know it’s not OK to simply go through life relying on you to handle all the finances while he hides behind the “I’m bad with money” excuse. Everyone is bad with money when they just start out… it takes years to really understand what budgeting means, and to develop the willpower to stick to it. Maybe you guys should consider going to budgeting classes together – so not so much pressure is on YOU to teach him skills?
Post # 8
WeddingBells2014: yikes, this is going to be hard. Habits are hard to break, and the more you try to lecture him, the more he is going to rebel and whine. If that’s the case, don’t lend him your card and keep it safe. Make sure he has no access to your account nor does he know how much you have. Then maybe you can teach him a lesson by not buying groceries for one week. Yes, that might mean you will starve but he won’t learn the lesson until he is in a dire situation.
Yes, it sucks that you will have to lie about the money, but he needs to learn and he drag the whole family down. What happens when you have kids? is he going to take the baby’s food money and use it on himself? Not having fiscal responsibility is bad. God knows how many people I know who pretend to be rich and using credit cards, only to find out they have no money left and living off from other people. It’s sad.
Post # 9
It would have to be a pretty emergent situation for me to consider ever lending someone my card. If I were you, the first thing I would be doing is changing my PIN. In my case, I completely trust DH, and our main chequing and credit card accounts are joint. I would worry the bank though, what if there was a skimmer on the machine when DH used my card? By breaking the rules the bank sets out, I could lose out on the fraud protection. When your husband isn’t using the money for what it’s intended for, you just have more reasons to not share cards!
Do you guys each have your own spending accounts? I think that would be the next step, set up rules as to what can come out of the main account that you’re controlling, and both of you can have your own spending money. It would be fair, as you’re not using the grocery money on manicures or whatever you do, so he might feel better that he went out for lunch with friends, so he can’t buy a $60 game. It gives him equal frivilous spending control to you.
As for the false accusation, hopefully he’ll be ready to forgive you soon. We all screw up at times.
Post # 10
I really think that he needs to take a personal finance course. It is too much of a hassle for you to handle the money, just so he can bug you later. You also should not have to hide your cash and cards from him, just so he won’t spend your money. I also don’t think that you should HAVE to do these next few things, but for your own well-being you may have to.
Keep your own checking and savings account that he cannot touch. Stop telling him how much money that you make and when. That is like waving a carrot in front of a starving horse. The only money he should know about is his. Stop giving him your debit card. Keep a small amount of cash in the house, hidden as well as possible. If he needs money take it from there and replace it as needed; keep him from our cards.
You should not have to treat him like a child, but that is how is he behaving. Clearly, he is not going to suddenly become amazing with the finances. Try to work this out now because money is a huge problem that can and has ended marriages. Best of luck!
Post # 11
I think you both have done some things wrong. I agree with a PP who says you should set out some frivolous money for each of you each cheque, and he can do what he wants with his frivolous money whether that be games or going out for lunch. does he grocery shop with you? Maybe he should so he sees where the money goes.
it also may help if instead of using cards at all you use a cash jar system – have all the money you need for the two weeks between cheques in jars marke with what they are for. Then you keep a ledger with what the money went to. That hopefully also will help him see where it goes?
bottom line, you both need to be on board with where your money goes or it will definitely be a bigger deal than it is already.