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My husbands spending is negatively impacting our family. He spends between $350 – $400 a fortnight on smokes, beer and coffee. We can’t afford it. If he runs out he just uses bill money. Because of his spending we can’t live comfortably and it’s a struggle to afford basics. I feel like my kids are going without and so am I. I am incredibly frustrated by all this ‘wasted’ money that could be going towards caring for our kids and doing things as a family. We don’t do anything nice as we can’t afford to go out. I struggle to pay the bills with what is left. I have no issue with him having some spending money each fortnight for what he chooses but all his bad habits are costing more than we can afford. What would you do?


Posted anonymously, 4th October 2020


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  • If you have talked this through with him, then you have problems if he cannot see what is happening. . Try getting him to see a financial planner.


  • Yes it might be time to have a serious chat and ask him to cut back. If he doesn’t take it seriously you may need to give him an ultimatum. It’s not fair on his family and he needs to understand that.


  • This is not a sustainable situation for you or your kids – his use of addictive substances is affecting your life, he has an issue whether he is prepared to see it or not. The question is what you are willing to do to address it? You probably need to give him an ultimatum – either he contributes to the family or he will not have a family to come home to. You should probably go to a financial counsellor, either together or alone, and get it all set out in black and white so you can show it to him. Then tell him it’s up to him – he can change or you can leave. If he chooses not to change his ways then you will need to stick to your guns though! You can’t continue this way, if the kids are going without due to his habits, then something has to drastically change!


  • I’d sit down with him and explain what he is doing to the family. Talk about seeing someone to help with the finances and if he isn’t willing to then tell him you will leave with the kids. It may just give him the push he needs. If he’s not willing to contemplate these ideas then he’s only thinking about himself and won’t change. My eldest boy went through the same type of thing with his wife and kids but his was gambling. He phoned his Dad to borrow money to pay some debts and was given an ultimatum. He would be lent the money but he had to own up to his wife first. They talked it through and he’s never done anything like it again. Wish you all the best in solving this dilemma.


  • I think it all depends on if you love him and want to invest in your relationship with him and how he is with the kids. Personally I would first sit down together and talk and maybe make a spreadsheet of the money that comes in and that what goes out and maybe get a financial adviser to help him in the same way you can get help with debt relief.


  • I think you need to discuss it with him first. Let him know how you feel, how your family feels, suggest help and/or financial counselling. I think you need to exhaust some other avenues first.


  • I would suggest talking to a counsellor and a financial advisor


  • Tell him either he stops wasting money, goes to marriage counselling with you or you will take the kids and leave. If he won’t do the first two then leave and don’t come back.


  • Leaving him is not the answer. Have you tried talking to him, explaining how you feel and setting up a budget? Maybe he needs help as he’s obviously got some addictive behaviour. Leaving should be a last resort.


  • Leave him! I did.
    In my experience, this is a part of a person that it difficult to change. The lack of respect and responsibility plus the issue of addiction. It is essentially financial abuse and it’s not acceptable for him to put you in such a stressful position. It leaves you carrying the mental load of parenting and struggling. I know because I’ve been there. I overlooked it out of love for 14years until I found out he had secretly got ‘us’ in debt by withdrawing on our mortgage!! I left him and even though it was extremely hard, it was the right decision. I now can provide for my 3 young kids, ensure all our bills are paid and afford to do thing with the kids and my anxiety and depression has improved.

    Leave him, rebuild your life and create a future where you aren’t being pullled under the poverty line by selfishness. If he loved you he would respect your family and future unlike how he is acting now.

    A leopard can’t change its spots! Best wishes for you and your kids.


  • If you have tried to talk to him about your concerns about his addiction, and you have tried to set a budget I would be left with asking if you if you just can’t handle the selfishness he is displaying anymore, he isn’t thinking about you or your family but that’s what happens with addiction, so I would be asking him to take steps to improve the situation and if he refuses to change then unfortunately it sounds like you need to put your family first and leave…


  • This is one of the big reasons I did leave my husband (in the process of now). Except I am the ‘bread winner’ (I hate that term too!)
    I also do everything. We have been together 11 years, 1 child now 9.
    We have a lot of debt and I feel like we are going backwards because he doesn’t care if we are in debt. Spend spend spend and all on himself.
    I do budgeting and pay bills, grocery shop etc. I can’t even get him to stop and get a few basics, because he will always get extras that he wants and spend $40 instead of $10.
    He has become so lazy and selfish in the last 3 years. . So, I called it.
    He is no father and no husband, would not have counselling.
    I have just been made redundant due to covid. But I am relieved that he will be out of the picture in 5 weeks.
    You need to be strong and do what is best for you and your kids.
    I am looking after myself and my daughter. We are both excited for a new start.


  • What would I do? talk to him; separate bank accounts so he can’t access bill money, surely he must realize bills need paying; seek outside help/counselling, especially since the discretionary things are addictive (AA maybe) and bad for health; seek GP help for quitting smokes?; lay down the things you want eg family holiday? trip to zoo for family? etc. and one week he gets his choice and the next you get your choice (but will be hard when he tries to do without the smokes etc. even if he agrees); be nice in handling it, since him feeling blamed/ judged/ criticised etc. isn’t going to solve anything and may just tip him off side even more; deal with my own negative feelings and hurts from an obviously difficult relationship; reevaluate in a few weeks and months and check it’s moving in a healthy direction for all; be patient; make sure the kids are ok through it all… especially the smoking which can destroy their lungs if he does it at home… maybe start there for a reason to quit?


  • He is behaving like a selfish, self absorbed bachelor. How old are your children and has he done this from day one? He’s married now with responsibilities to his children and you. I would not let my children go without for his luxuries.
    Get some counselling, see a budgeting company and buy him a thermos for his coffee – if that doesn’t work out then he is too selfish to stay married to.


  • Been there done that for to many years, then I saw the light and left. Now what I earn is mine.


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