Post # 1
Before my boyfriend and I were engaged, I snooped in order to get his passwords, to see if he was planning on proposing. WRONG I KNOW! Anyway, I have access to his bank account. (We live together but have separate accounts). Here’s my concern.
He is constantly (couple of times over the last six months)borrowing money from his employer in order to pay his bills. Which means he is not doing as well financially as I thought he was. In fact, he is doing really really bad. There are withdrawals of smallish amounts of money every few weeks from his accounts. 60 bucks here, 60 bucks there. He is bouncing checks. He is behind on the mortgage for the home that he owns, even though he has tenents that cover the mortgage.
I don’t know what to do about this, if anything. He chips in with the mutual bills, at the agreed amount that we set when he moved in. He pays for our activities. I would like to initiate a conversation about this, but I don’t want to come clean about the snooping, but I would like to start getting the finances in order. I have been really broke previously in my life and I know that I can get by on a lot less than what he has been spending. I’ve tried to talk to him about cutting back on things, and he will have none of it.
I dont’ know what to do.
Post # 3
Honestly, if you’re going to marry this guy, and want him to be honest with you about his finances, then you need to be honest about snooping.
He is probably going to be angry, and you do owe him an apology for going through his stuff…but I don’t see any other way to start the dialogue than to just tell the truth, and express your concerns.
Post # 4
I agree w. @sara_tiara. This IS a big problem, and it’s lucky that you found this out now.
Just be honest, and hopefully he can be honest with you. It won’t be a pleasant conversation, but it needs to happen.
If he can’t give satisfactory answers, rethink marrying him.
You don’t want a) secrets b) financial turmoil to start your marriage. Trust me. I spent 5 years with a guy who had no clue how to manage his money, and it was misery.
Post # 5
I agree with the pp’s you need to say something. Apologize for snooping and then start the money talk.
Post # 6
This is something you guys definitely need to figure out ASAP. But how I would go about handling it depends on several different factors. Do you two live together? How are the bills currently divided? I just ask because it’s hard to give advice without knowing those things.
Post # 7
Bringing up money AT ALL can be uncomfortable. I would just jump in head first with your financial information as well. Lay it all out on the table and have a discussion about the household finances, who pays for what, what is owed, who will be responsible for the bills, etc. I honestly wouldn’t even bring up the snooping part ( I would also stop that, BTW!) , and just say ” moving forward, I want to discuss X,Y and Z and agree that doing A,B and C will get us financially on track”. Every couple is different, and some are married and do not mingle accounts. If you are going to operate like that, then know that he doesn’t handle his money as well as you’d like. If you plan on operating from a joint account of some sort- I would address this issue sooner rather than later.
Post # 8
What you’ve done is wrong, and you need to face the music. But he needs to be upfront with you about his finances, especially if you live together.
Post # 9
You have got to tell him. If I found out my boyfriend at the time went through my email or Facebook I would feel my privacy was viloated and i would be extremely upset. But a bank account is a whole other story. I’d flat out call the police if I discovered my then boyfriend stalked my account passwords and snooped through my finances. I’m sure I would calm down later but I’m not sure if I could ever forgive that. There are just some things you don’t do. Of course lying about my finances and bouncing checks is something I don’t do either and I’m hoping he isn’t lying to you about any of that.
Post # 10
I don’t know that you necessarily have to admit it.
Just say you think it’s about time you figure out how you’re going to handle finances now that you’re engaged & figure out what the plan is for after you’re married regarding checking, savings, retirement, all that & say it should be laid out on the table. I think that’s a better alternative then cornering him about the snooping, because either way he’ll probably be humiliated.
Post # 11
Believe me, I know I shouldn’t have snooped! He is a good man. But I’m afraid that if I tell him he will call everything off. He has high principles. I know that I have to clean that up at some point, but right now I’m not ready to.
@wonderstruck…we split the utilities, my mortgage, down the middle. I tend to buy the groceries because I also have two children and figure why should he be paying to feed them?He usually pays for our activities.
Since we are recently engaged, would it be proper to sit down and go over each of our financials? We do not have a joint account. He has his and I have mine. I know that he has his mortgage and a bike loan but other than that, I have no idea. And he has a vague idea of what I owe in debts, but not concrete.
Post # 12
@rathernotsay: YES you NEED to have some sort of financial talk BEFORE you get married. and talk about EVERYTHING! you’re getting married for goodness sake! you can’t be secretive at all about this stuff!
Post # 13
@rathernotsay: OK, but what if he doesn’t tell you the whole truth (which BTW is a VERY real possibility, because I’d imagine he’s embarassed)? Then what? At what point do you admit what you know?
I really think that this has the potential to blow up in your face unless you tell him what you know and how. And if he has such high principles, then he is only going to be more angry and hurt the more that you’ve lied.
Post # 14
I would not tell him BUT you can’t go into his bank account without his permission now or in the future. If he is paying attention, he may catch you as I know my online banking always tells me at each new sign in when I last signed into the account. So, if I had not signed in recently and it said last sign is was yesterday I would be suspicious.
Anyway, I think you can bring up money without telling him you werei n his account. Since you are planning to marry the gus, it is legit to have a serious finance discussion. I would suggest you get your account in line and be prepared to share your current balance and spending habits and ask him to do the same. maybe ask him today if he would set aside a couple of hours this weekend to talk finances and budget with you. this would also be a good time to talk about the possibility of combined finances and combined ownership post-marriage. I think it is never too early in an engagement to start the money conversation as it can have serious implications. Furthermore you need to discuss how to finance weding or honeymoon expenses so starting a combined savings account is not a bad idea. I would also put all current debt on the table from both parties including mortgage, car loans, student loans, etc. so you know where each other stands.
Post # 16
OMG, I am so sorry that you are even in this situation, this must be very difficult! Snooping is less than ideal and even though we may not agree with it you need to have an open, honest discussion with your FI about finances. Is borrowing money from his employer to pay his bills even legal? Does his employer know that this is happening because if they do not then it would be embezzlement which is punishable by jail. When you marry someone it is both an emotional and LEGAL bond. Depending on your state laws, you will likely be responsible for his debts and liabilities equally for anything that either of you acquire during your marriage starting on Day 1 post marriage unless you have a pre-nup that states otherwise for both assets and debt. Having money discussions is awkward at first but necessary. I strongly, strongly encourage you to have open, honest financial discussions with him. Finances are one of the top 3 reasons why couples divorce. Please be smart and enter into your marriage with full financial disclosure. Best of luck to you!