Post # 1
Okay Hive, I’m going to try to keep this short.
FH & I have been engaged for 10 months, however; I’ve known him for 15 years. This will be my 3rd relationship, but only my second marriage. Both times before, I was always left to “figure it out” financially. There was always money for what they wanted and never money for what we needed. (and there are children involved.) Well, my FH wasn’t like this at all. He even helped me out for a bit (back when we were just friends) when I was having a bit of trouble. Turns out he was getting settlement checks from a lawsuit so he had an extra $2500 to burn every month. Now, his settlement has been fully paid so he no longer gets those checks but he doesn’t seem to know how to reign in the spending. (need to know point, he works full time, I work part-time and go to school full-time. I want to get another job, but he gives me a hard time.)
What happened tonight: I have $17 left until payday. Not tomorrow, NEXT Friday. I made sure there was food in the fridge and freezer. He has a doctors’ appt tomorrow, so I wrote a check for his copay because he has $2.57 in his account after he writes the rent check. $10. Cutting it close. Yes. Is it necessary? Absolutely. It’s for a specialist (he’s a diabetic) and a surgical follow-up.
I’m doing homework and he starts talking to me about the local HS football game on Friday and he’s going to try and win the 50/50. I ask him how much does it take to get into the football game? $3 and the 50/50 tickets are anywhere between $1 – $5. Rent is due tomorrow and I just know he’s going to send it late so he can go to this football game. That now causes, stress, $90 in late fees and an overall feeling of anger and betrayal.
I think that this could potentially be a deal-breaker. So I left the house and went for a walk to calm me down. It only made me angrier because it’s close to midnight and it’s quiet and I had too much time to think. I walked in the door and he asked “what my problem is”. (Really?) I told him that I was angry and I didn’t feel like I could rationally articulate what the issue was and I didn’t want to fight so I was going to go to bed. And he says, “whatever”.
I’m shaking right now. Please help me.
Post # 3
Not to state the obvious… but (you know this)… you NEED to sit down and talk to him about finances. If you are cutting it that close every month it is all the more important that you two work together as a team towards a common goal. What does he think is going to happen if he keeps spending like that? Does he not care about going into cc debt? Does he not care about his credit score? Is he too immature to think about the consequences of his actions? This is a really important problem that you need to deal with ASAP
Post # 4
@CorgiTales: Thankfully, it’s normally not this close. The baby got sick and I had to take two days off. Since I’m part time, that was two days missing in my paycheck. I’m not defending him, it’s still a little tight at the beginning of the month. But there is normally more than that in the accounts.
Post # 5
Like Corgitales said – you need to talk to him about this. As soon as possible.
We are both students and working part-time, so I know exactly what you are dealing with and I am the financially responsible one (and the one who gets super stressed out if we’re cutting it that close!) My Fi realizes he is not very good with money and basically we both agree that I should handle all of the important payments/finances.
You need to talk to him and figure out something that will work for both of you – whether it be a very specific budget, an envelope system, or even depositing most of his money into a joint account so that the only thing in his account is spending money…
The fact that this seemingly cheap activity of going to the football game is likely to cost you $90 should be a serious wake-up call for him and a good place to start the conversation you need to have. I would try not to be accusatory and blame him for all the financial problems (and avoid using the words always & never…), but focus on what both of you need to do to be happy with the monthly budget. Have you talked to him about the stress it causes you? I think my stress is the biggest motivator for my Fi to be more responsible with money…he hates to see me so stressed out. While getting out and taking a walk to cool down is a great idea, if you dont let him know that there is a problem, how will he know that something needs to change?
I know everyone recommends an emergency fund and I know how hard it is to pocket away any spare money, but it sounds like it might be a really good plan for you – if you can just put $5-10 a month (or week) into a cd, savings account or even a Christmas club account, at least you would have little bit to work with during the more difficult times.
Post # 6
It’s always a good idea to wait and calm down before having an important conversation, and taking a walk and venting here are great ways to do that. I think Pwitty’s advice on how to approach the conversation is excellent. If you agree on a spending budget, make sure to let him know that the amount can change if unexpected expenses come up, and when they do, remind him that you’ll need to cut back on spending for a while.
It’s extremely unlikely that he will ever be as responsible as you are with money, so be aware that you’re always going to be the one keeping track of where you are financially. If you don’t mind doing this and he agrees that it’s smart and necessary to go with your decisions on financial matters, everything should work out fine.
Post # 7
Can I ask how old you both are? If you’re both in your 30’s+ this may be a deal breaker. If you’re younger (especially if he’s younger) this can be fixed and if he agrees to a lifestyle change. Regardless, he shouldn’t go to the football game (why would you pay 90 in late fees?). If he can’t see where you’re coming from I think it’s time to find someone a little more responsible.
Post # 8
@maureen9004: I’m 30, he’s 47. The late fees are for if the rent is late.
@pwitty: That’s a great idea!! I can set up a house account. I was so worked up that such a simple solution was beyond my scope of thought.
Girls, thank you all so much. I think I’m better prepared on how to address this. I tend to get emotional and fighting doesn’t solve anything so that’s why I was waiting. I talked to my FSIL and she said that none of them are good with money.
I’m so glad I found this place! I’ll let you know how the convo works out….
Post # 9
Good luck! Also, I just saw that you put a poll up that wasn’t there when I commented before. I didn’t vote bc I’d say the answer is between two. Yes, it would absolutely be a deal breaker for me, but I don’t think that means you need to walk away right now. Give him a chance to redeem himself. 🙂
Post # 10
47 years old, and he wants to attend his high school football game, and thats more important than making sure his family has a roof over his head and food in their mouths?
What exactly happens if somewhere between now and next friday a major emergency comes up? you’re screwed!
Post # 11
Man, this is tough. He’s not a kid – I think you should look at what the rest of his financial picture look like: how does he view money? Credit? Debt? How long ago did the settlement payments stop? What are his long term financial plans (retirement? Anything?)
Honestly for me, and especially because you have children, this would be a dealbreaker.
If he knows how much you each have left until next Friday, and wants to GAMBLE with the last $ you have left – that’s problematic. He is spending his rent money GAMBLING – he is going to go into debt ($90 late fee on rent) to GAMBLE.
You guys need to sit down ASAP and talk through this (I know you already know this though), good luck!!!
Post # 12
agree with PP. It’s not like he’s a child and has never had to manage money. With a family, bills and responsibilites gambling should be the last of his concerns! Maybe you could meet with a financial advisor or a counselor to discuss your financial problems and goals. Why do you say that “he gives you a hard time” about getting another job?
Post # 13
I don’t mean to be negative, but that would be an absolute dealbreaker for me. He is not a child, he is a grown man, and the odds are that if this is his behavior at 47, that is going to be his behavior the rest of his life.
A few things you said worry me. One is that you two are out of money and he is going to spend what little you have left on a raffle in hopes that he will win? That sent off HUGE red flags for me. That is the attitude of every problem gambler I have ever met. They always insist they are doing it “for the family” because they are convinced they will win…and you know how that turns out.
Another is that he was receiving a settlement that he knew would not last forever, but he was spending the money every month. He is nearly 50 years old with NO money in the bank..yet instead of putting some away for an emergency (not to mention retirement), he instead increases his standard of living and spends it all as fast as it comes in.
It may sound harsh, but there are plenty of loving, kind, thoughtful, intelligent guys who have all the wonderful qualities your FI has AND who are financially stable. You do not want to live like this the rest of your life. He has already demonstrated that this is not a temporary thing. If he gets money, he spends it. It will always be that way.
EDIT: I reread my post and I know it sounds harsh. I really, truly do not mean to be unkind. But I am very worried for you. Your post brought up all kinds of memories of what I went through with my ex-husband. He was very much like your FI in his attitude towards money. I got so tired of my kids doing without because he spent the money as fast as it came in. I am still paying his bills off (because he did them in my name and in the divorce, he had no assets to transfer to me to cover his debts). I just don’t want you to ever go through what I did.
Post # 14
@Rgeddy: He thinks I should concentrate on school, and be here for the kids. Which I completely agree with and love that he is supportive of school. But….we can use the money right now.
Post # 15
I think this a a serious problem that needs to be addressed. He is not a young guy, and to not have it figured out by now would worry me.
Post # 16
I have to agree with @Neva. He’s 47 and as financially irresponsible as a child. There is no reason for him to not have a better handle with his finances and especially a more substantial savings given the settlement. I think a responsible person would have saved up at least half of it. I know you said that you missed two days of work, but even with that pay, it’s cutting it close. Sorry, This would be a deal breaker for me. I would not be able to live deal with someone that couldnt get a grip on it, I need that stability or at least someone who would be working on the same page as me to get there.