Tuesday, 12 March 2013

The Good Life

What the hell has happened to our finances? 

Christ for the first time in years we literally are both at the very cusp of our overdraft limits and so is the joint account. Each time I flex the little bank card, I expect it to be spat out of the machine with a big buzzer going 'uhhhhh-uhhhhhh I don't think so', while I flush a shade closer to the red noses currently on sale and all those in the queue behind me look on sympathetically but with that look in their eye of 'thank god its not me, or stupid woman how can she let herself get in that position at her age' all the while eyeing my Radley handbag and Timberland winter coat and tutting loudly (both of which were presents I hasten to add from more than one person clubbing together - so there!).

I am not saying I am any better because I have not been but hubby is terrible with money and has no concept, however as I rarely actually let him see the bank accounts I guess some of that blame lies at my feet. Thing is if he saw it looking healthy he would spend, if he sees it struggling, he shouts and bemoans the fact he works so hard and he should be allowed to spend what he wants etc so vicious circle. But he is crap, he was invited sailing on his bosses yatch and he went and bought himself a brand new thick jacket, waterproof trousers, shoes and spent nearly £200.00 - why, because he didn't like the navy blue winter jacket with the detachable fleece hanging in our downstairs toilet worn about 10 times in 2 years, it didn't look the part, he wanted some new shoes and OK he needed the trousers. Why did he need a new jacket of £99 when he has 2 in the cupboard he never wears? He spent £700.00 on 2 tailored suits when he started his new job as he is apparently beyond wearing debenhams - does he wear them, does he hell, he never wears a suit jacket and both of those are now redundant as the trousers have both worn through on the bum after less than a year. See what I have to put up with. If I say no though, he literally sulks and doesn't speak to me for 4 days - healthy relationship hey! (and lets not even mention the credit cards which I have just transferred to interest free and have cut up so no more can go on them).

Anyhow sliver lining and all - i think being in this position has been a good thing, a big slap in the face and back to reality - we are living beyond our means, we have been silly and its now time to reign things in again, which we can do.

How though?

Hubby wants damned spreadsheets - yes spreadsheet which I apparently have the time to create and share with him.

I want to say £1742.00 a month goes out on all bills/mortgage etc, and after this we should be taking £200.00 out of the bank per week and spending that on food shopping and anything else we need. How are we spending more than that I don't know but it all adds up.

Over the past year or so I have become a right bugger for 'popping to the supermarket for bread and milk' and returning with at least 3 shopping bags. Only last week I went for milk and a light bulb and came home with some new shoes (only 9.00 in the sale but not necessary, but hey they were purple and nice), and I am constantly thinking things are a bargain so just getting - cooking stuff, bags, stuff for the boys, all not necessary. Hubby just spends, spends spend. most recently he parted with £130.00 for a F***ing TV remote - I kid you not. It does everything, its touch screen, it is enriching his life, he can control everything from one remote but it cost one hundred and flipping thirty pounds. I was NOT happy. This is what I mean, he thinks we have a limitless supply of money.

Anyhow I am now spreading the nutella a bit thinner, slicing the cheese less generously and not putting extra ham in the sandwiches! I am also clearing my freezer and cupboards, baking more and making the most of what we have in.

Any help or advice is welcomed

Its actually been a relief to get to this stage again as I think we needed it after too many years of living the good life.


Sarah Mac said...

Sometimes RP, despite how bloody scary it is, a wake up call is needed. My ex had exactly the same attitude towards money (complete with sulks) - it's left me in a pretty dire situation while he sailed off into the sunset debt free (who says women always come out best???).

Anyway, I'm now with a very different kind of person, the kind that works hard in order to play hard (within his means). It's facing up to reality, it's tough but freeing at the same time.

One thing that I find helps is to not use credit or debit cards (as debit cards anyway), it's far more real if you use cash. don't hand the card over, go to a cash point and take out what you need. I know it kind of defeats the object of a debit card but it makes you think and, half the time, I'll bet you wouldn't do it.

Try to find a time to sit down together and work through the finances when you aren't feeling stressed about it. Keep it business like rather than throwing accusations. Work out what you need and what's left and what can be spending money. I know, easy to say, hard to do but it is the only way to end sleepless nights.

You honestly dont need as much as you think you do - I know, I've been where you are and where I am now with an income of much less than half of that which I had before and we still have everything we need.

Think big not small, less cheese in a sandwich helps but it's not going to change the big picture.

You are facing up to it, dont let it slide (speaking from experience here ;).

You can do this together - lecture over lovely x

Theramblingpages said...

Thanks Sarah. When I returned to work full time, we were not in a good situation financially and in about a year managd to shift about 6K worth of debt just through being sensible so I know we can do it but it makes me angry that we have got so lapse and didnt learn out lesson. Never again. I agree about the credit and debit cards. I want to cut them all up but having a credit card is a bit of necessity for me from a business point of view - I missed a flight home once following a meeting on a friday night, next available flight my ticket could be transferred to was the following Monday evening so I was a bit stuck. Company said they would cover the cost of a new flight for me when i invoiced so thank god I had a credit card to stick it on as it was nearly £1000!! However, I know we can do it and we will do it, I think because I had a tax account and it had more money in it than we had ever had we got a bit complacent - that is until horrid Mr Tax man came along and took it all! Appreciate your advice x

Sarah said...

I'm hoping to move house very soon and will be paying for my own mortgage (which husband still pays right now despite him not living here). I really need to be sensible and start deciding what I can and can't afford. I cancelled my gym membership and my Sky subscription choosing instead to get a Freeview box. Like you I go to the supermarket and come back with a variety of stuff that I don't necessarily need... this week it was a DVD that was on offer. I think doing my shopping online restricts the impulse spending and I need to get into a better routine for this. I can still easily go out on an afternoon and rack up the pennies though on soft play, lunch, tea & cake when I'm with the kids and my friends!! It's going to be tough!