Post # 1
Sorry for another venting post but I need some advice. Money seems the be the biggest issue FH and I argue about…mainly his spending habits.
As a backstory, he is a recovering addict (as some of you may know from other posts) and he had a “slip” a couple weeks ago but is back on track.
We have been engaged for almost three months and are paying for a lot of the wedding ourselves. I am in a difficult situation because I am a Stay-At-Home Mom and finishing up my last semester of undergrad right now so he is the “breadwinner” so to speak.he is terrible at saving and I asked him to start saving months ago (just $200 a paycheck which is WELL under what we are capable of saving but I figured a good starting point for someone who has never saved in his life), and he has yet to put a penny into savings. I mentioned he is a recovering addict because I wanted to add that while he claims we don’t have the money to put into savings right now, he spent $700 in three days on his last relapse…including the 5 star hotel he treated himself to when I told him he could not stay at home with our child while he was still getting high.
He had another costly relapse months ago as well where he drained our (then) joint account. I quickly removed him from the account obviously.
Here’s my dilemma. He is starting a new job where he will be making double the salary he is now. I asked him if, since he will be making twice as much (and his current salary covers all of our expenses and more) we can put about half into savings since we have a lot of wedding expenses coming up. The thing is that, since he has proven untrustworthy with finances in the past I would like to put that money into a separate savings account that I will open at my bank….without him on it. Just until he can prove that he can be trusted with all of that extra money and won’t go blow it all in one weekend again.
He is adamantly against this idea and wants to keep everything in his checking account (since he “doesn’t see the point of moving money into a savings anyways”–he sees is as an unnecessary hassle).
Do you guys think I am being too rigid by wanting to do this? I am not only worried he will blow all of the money on something stupid, but it also makes me uncomfortable not knowing what we even have to go toward the wedding expenses since everything will be in his account that I don’t see AND much of the wedding expenses were charged to MY credit card.
Post # 2
kortizi0: I absolutely don’t think you are being unreasonable. However I don’t know how you are to go about changing his mind :-/ Unless he adds you to his checking account and you can move the money over yourself, maybe just have him pay any wedding expenses on his own dime ( his credit, his money)
If he doesnt pay, no wedding. Its sort of a way of protecting yourself from debt in the event anything bad happens ( not to be a debbie downer, but you aren’t married yet and he pays all your expenses)
You should not go into debt for this wedding if you have no income.
Post # 3
kortizi0: I would go for 45% or 40% savings, to be put into short term cash certificates or investments. Not just the wedding, you guys will need to think towards school for your child, a safety net in case he relapses again, and eventually retirement. Maybe visit a financial planner together? You don’t need to mention the drugs but that SO occasionally splurges a lot of money on luxuries could come up in that conversation. Seeing the power of interest may also help the way things look for your SO to understand the value in saving.
anyway, 40-45% means a good chunk of money is being saved but there is still a little extra ‘fun money’ coming in for little splurges for the whole family.
Good luck! It sounds like a scary situation finance-wise, and I hope for the best for all three of you.
Post # 4
I think you are completely in the right. If he had a slip as recently as a few weeks ago i would be very nervous about keeping all the money in the same account. I would definitely push for the seperate account in your name explaining you will doing most of the wedding purchasing and to stay on budget you need access to the wedding account.
Furthermore, for his addiction problem, he needs treatment. It might even be a good idea to put wedding plans on hold until he gets help. He needs counseling, group therapy, anonymous meetings, some of it, all of it, something. If he doesn’t think he needs help, he won’t admit he has issues that need addressing, that is a big red flag. The best thing you could do for him is to demand he get help or you are leaving. Especially since there is a child involved. Just my experience with addicts and my own addictive personality, unless there is a very strong reason for me to stop or alter my behavior, I won’t. I know I overstepped what advice you actually asked about, yet I hope you take it to heart. Look up about addiction and addiction recovery services in your area. Try to help him get the help he needs, but take care of yourself and your child above everything else.
It’s not easy, my thoughts go out to you.
Post # 5
Are you positive you want to move forward with planning a wedding to a recovering addict who has relapsed twice in a few months?
My best friend is an alcoholic who has been to rehab six times – we are 23. It is draining on our friendship. I can’t imagine having a romantic relationship with someone still in the rocky stages of recovery. If you want someone to talk to re: caring about someone with an addiction, my inbox is open.
About the finances, does he understand how much needs to be saved for the wedding? Break it down for him. Can you two come up with a mutual compromise for a goal? Half of his income seems like an awful lot so I don’t blame him for bristling about that.
Post # 6
I think you know the answer to this. He cannot be trusted. However, I think the deeper issue is the addiction. It doesn’t sound like he is much into recovery. I would not even be thinking about a wedding until he has been sober for several years, not several weeks.
If you are not concerned for yourself living with an addict, I think you need to think long and hard whether this is the life you want your child exposed to.
Sorry to be so blunt, but this situation sounds scary to me. Good luck
Post # 7
I don’t know if this seems silly, but maybe call an accountant and see if they can sit down with you two to talk about realistic money management? Maybe that will help him see how important it is to manage it since you will becoming a married couple.
Post # 8
Instead of worrying about how you’ll be paying for the wedding, I think you need to be focusing on getting your fiance help with his substance abuse. I would think working on getting him to take staying clean seriously would be more important than money at this moment. Him being irresponsible with money is probably just a side effect. Personally I think you’re missing the bigger picture which shouldn’t be about charging things to your credit card or wanting him to put half his new salary in your new savings account, rather him getting high when he has a fiance and a child at home. I find that to be the most troublesome and worrysome out of everything you said IMO.
Post # 9
babeba: I definitely agree. Working in a bank for a long time, I have had the ability to learn tons about being more responsible with money as well as getting lots of advice from financial advisors I worked with 🙂
On the other hand, I think it is a control thing for him more than anything. He doesn’t want anyone else touching his money. I guess this is something to sort out BEFORE we get married of course, as I firmly believe in the joint accounts philosophy. Of course, separate savings are not out of the question, but I’m personally not a fan of completely separating finances.
Post # 10
I would not be marrying someone who had relapsed twice in the last year, especially if I had a child. I’m not saying you need to leave him, but I think the lack of stability in his recovery is a much bigger issue than the finances right now.
Post # 11
frywedding2015: agreed. I told him he couldn’t come back home unless he was 100% sober and WANTED to stay sober. He is working with his sponsor again and we are going to meetings regularly (I’m an alcoholic) so he seems to be back on track. I can definitely say it is difficult to get sober since I have been on both sides of addiction, but it us MUCH more difficult living with an addict than being one myself lol :/ luckily we still have nearly a year until the wedding so I have plenty of time to assess how things are going with him. If it gets closer and he still has not gotten back ok track, then I will definitely have to rethink or postpone.
Post # 12
208bride: I agree it seems like a lot, but right now he makes 6 figures…and he will be doubling that. Our expenses come nowhere near needing even half of what he makes, so we plan on using most of it (at least half) to pay off some debt and the rest into savings (for various things….wedding, honeymoon, safety net). It is just hard for me to trust him with so much extra money just laying around as he likes to splurge on unnecessary luxuries or in the event that he relapses again. Hoping that doesn’t happen, but not totally ruling it out.
He has suggested putting $500 a paycheck into my savings and the rest into his, which isn’t the best compromise but is better than nothing so we may see how that works for a while.
Post # 13
GirlyGirl24: yes, the only thing about that (being a recovering addict myself) is I know that I cannot make him get sober..He has to want to. I can set boundaries–for instance, if he uses he cannot stay here or even come “visit” myself or our daughter unless he is sober, he has to be working a program of some sort, going to meetings regularly, etc.–but if he does decide to relapse I can’t really do much beside enforce those boundaries.
It would be a waste of my energy to constantly babysit him though because he is going to do what he wants…I just have to hope that what he wants is to be sober. (He did have years of sobriety when we started dating and had our daughter).
My only reason for worrying about the money situation is that I don’t want us to be left with no way to pay our bills should he squander everything away. I want to put that money in savings so that I know we will all be taken care of should anything happen again..
Post # 14
1) it is his paycheck and you are not married, so I don’t see why it would be fair to put the money where he can’t access it. (For the record, I am a non-working Stay-At-Home Mom too)
2) you should just put all your wedding planning on hold until he can prove sobriety- like for a solid year or two.
Post # 15
If you don’t trust him not to put all of your household’s savings up his nose or in his arm, you’re better off not marrying right now. Plan a budget for the wedding and tell him you still want to marry him but you won’t do it till you (he) have saved $15k (or whatever the price of the wedding) plus three months of his salary.