Dear Coleen: My husband is terrible with money and tries to hide it from me

Dear Coleen

I’ve been married 12 years and the relationship has generally always been good. However, my husband is terrible with money, and although it never bothered me when we were younger and had fewer responsibilities, it’s starting to get to me now.

I’ve not worked full time since having our kids, so I’ve gone from being a breadwinner to earning pin money, which helps a bit but doesn’t make a huge dent in our bills.

He’s bad at planning and budgeting but the worst thing is that he doesn’t tell me what he’s doing with our money.

I’ll go into our joint account to see it’s been cleaned out for the mortgage (which should come out of his bank account) or something to do with the car or the house.

I feel I have no control and I live in fear of the house being repossessed or not having cash for something the kids need.

I think he’s trying to take care of things and not worry me, but it’s having the opposite effect.

Not being told about where we are financially just leaves me fearing the worst.

Coleen says

You’re coming up with theories about why he’s behaving like this, but you need to have a conversation and ask him directly.

Instead of doing bank account detective work, get talking. You’re a partnership and have a right to know what’s going on and to make decisions.

Suggest to him that you sit down together and go through everything – working out how much is coming in and how much is going out, and coming up with a budget.

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Some people are just bad with money – it comes in and they spend it. I know a lot of people like that.

But rather than this becoming an even bigger issue to the point where you can’t stand him, confront it now. Don’t accuse him of being rubbish and secretive, which will only make him defensive, but make it clear you’re worried and have no peace of mind because you seem to be bleeding out money you don’t have.

Don’t let him fob you off. Print out statements and bills, and go through it all.

Explain that it’s important to you to know the full facts, so there are no unpleasant surprises and that you need to know there’s money there for the kids or emergencies.

You need to start operating as a team and being supportive of one another.

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