To suggest this way of splitting our finances?

(53 Posts)
Autumn12 Thu 22-Nov-12 15:18:17

My DH and I are about to aquire a mortgage and so it's probably high time we got a joint account. At the moment we split bills roughly 50/50. Once we start paying a mortgage our bills are going to increase quite a bit. So I've been wondering how we should split things to make it fair.

DH earns about 1/3rd more than me, so if we continue to split the bills 50/50 it will mean me having hardly any money to myself once everything is paid, while he will have quite a bit.

One suggestion I had thought of would be to pool all of our money into a joint account to pay bills, and then each of us to then transfer out the same amount each month into our own accounts for us to spend on whatever we like. But is this horribly unfair?

On one hand I think it's probably unfair on DH as he earns more than me yet ends up with the same amount of disposable income. On the other hand I think well we are married and money should be joint.

So AIBU to suggest this or not?

MaxPepsi Thu 22-Nov-12 15:24:38

He earns more, therefore he should pay more.

Many will agree with me, many will disagree.

My DH earns more than me, he therefore pays more into the bill account than I do. He agrees and is happy with this.

We are left with roughly the same amount of 'spending' money in our own accounts.

This might be a good time to go through your outgoings to see if you can actually save anywhere.

shesariver Thu 22-Nov-12 15:25:58

I know everyone works different but there is no way I could go down the "his money" and "my money" route with my DH. We have a joint account, all money gets paid into it and we both have access to it.

amothersplaceisinthewrong Thu 22-Nov-12 15:27:22

I would want a joint account with equal spends transferred out to personal spending accounts. This has worked for us for 25 years, including the ten years I was a SAHM.

That is how DH and I do it, budget for needs, then equal pocket money for wants. His reaction to this will be telling. grin

LittleMidge Thu 22-Nov-12 15:29:49

We don't have seperate money, all our pay goes into one account and that is what we have as a family to spend. We trust each other not to be silly with it but don't ask each others permission to buy things either. suits us very well.

PessaryPam Thu 22-Nov-12 15:32:02

I have been married for yonks and we have the one joint account that is tied in with the mortgage so is cost-effective. What is ours is ours, there are no separate bank accounts and it works well for us.

50BalesOfHay Thu 22-Nov-12 15:33:51

We just have our joint account. I earn about 50% more than DH but I don't expect to have more to spend than him. It works for us.

Autumn12 Thu 22-Nov-12 15:37:26

OK so nobody seems to think IABU so far, good.

I definitely want our own separate accounts for "spending" money. He doesn't need to know exactly what I spend every penny on or how much I spend in Boots, and he spends way too much money on socialising in the pub and lunches while at work. If we kept all of our finances joint I'd be constantly seething over how much he was spending.

EuroShagmore Thu 22-Nov-12 15:50:52

It's not unreasonable, but there are other ways.

We split the total joint bills roughly in proportion to our incomes, paying a fixed amount each into a joint account every month. Mortgage, bills, food shopping and other joint costs come from that account. Everything else is ours to spend as we like. So I pay more than him but I also end up with a bit more disposable income than he has, which seems fair.

Alisvolatpropiis Thu 22-Nov-12 15:57:08

My OH and I split things proportionally. He earns the better part of 3 times my salary. Not because he has an astronomically large salary, but because I have a low one.

It works for us. Both of us like to have our "own" money.

Plus, it's really hard keeping presents a secret if all the money goes into a joint account.grin

CailinDana Thu 22-Nov-12 16:09:18

I'm a SAHM and while I do earn a small amount from very part time work, it's only about 1/10 of what DH earns so all money goes into a joint account, bills come out of that, and we spend what we want. There's no "my money, your money" situation. Surely your DH would feel bad if you were left skint at the end of the month while he was rolling in it? I would find that set up really really odd in a relationship.

Merrow Thu 22-Nov-12 16:12:26

We do what you've suggested - keep back the same amount for frivolous spending. I'm the higher earner, and think it's a fair way of doing it. At some point we'll likely move to entirely joint spendings, but at the moment we both like the freedom of not feeling we have to justify a purchase!

grovel Thu 22-Nov-12 16:18:46

We put money into a joint account for bills in proportion to our income. My DH gets to keep more than I do in "his" account - but he tends to pay when we go out etc.
The truth is that most of these variations work if there is enough money coming in to keep both sides reasonably satisfied. No system works so well when money is tight.

CaliforniaLeaving Thu 22-Nov-12 16:44:33

If you are married it's not his money my money, it's Our Money. I think pooling it all in one account and having equal spending money each month is excellent. Dh and I only have joint accounts (after 27 years together) He only likes cash, so I get him his cash each week, I don't usually bother getting any for myself, I rarely need anything. But I pay my gym and Dd's dance from the joint account and get whatever bits I want/need from there too.

FredFredGeorge Thu 22-Nov-12 16:48:21

CaliforniaLeaving Just because you are married, not everything becomes joint - it can do, but it doesn't have to. As grovel says though, it's really all about if there's enough money it doesn't matter, if there's not enough money - it does...

messtins Thu 22-Nov-12 16:51:56

We do what you suggested - both salaries into a joint account that pays all the bills and household expenses and we both get equal "spending money" into seperate accounts. If there is any surplus in the joint account it goes into joint savings. I work part time at the moment so DH earns considerably more than me, but we are both contributing to the smooth running of our family in different ways. I think once you are married their shouldn't be "his" and "mine", except that you need a little freedom to spend money on things the other partner might not approve of or see as necessary, and to buy each other gifts.

CharlieCoCo Thu 22-Nov-12 16:55:54

A percentage of income for Bills etc would be better/more equal, so for e.g. it shouldnt be 50percent of the bills, it should be 50 percent of your income as an example, so if he earns more, he pays more but you are both contributing the same percentage and you both have money for yourself.
Or, you share all your money and not have his or her money. Different strokes for different folks, but i dont think if hes earning 3 times the amount hes paying the same amount on bills as you as that isnt equal.

Autumn12 Thu 22-Nov-12 16:59:11

OK it's good to see that I'm not about to suggest something totally cheeky.

There is enough money to cover everything and leave a good amount of disposable income. If we split it equally I will end up having about the same amount that I have now after bills and savings etc. DH would end up with less than he currently has to play with each month. I'm not sure what his reaction will be which is why I wanted to sound it out first.

It's not really been an issue so far as we have been fortunate to have fairly low outgoings for the past few years. They are about to increase substantially. If we continue splitting them all equally I will end up having to severely limit my social life whilst DH will be able to afford to carry on as he does now. So I'm hoping he will think that what I'm suggesting is fair.

Purple2012 Thu 22-Nov-12 17:04:52

My husband earns quite a bit more than me and he puts more into joint account and we are left with the same amount of money of our own to spend. Although the money in our joint account is used to feed/clothe/buy presents etc for his daughter.

Also it was my money that paid for the deposit on the house so I have probably put more in than him, but it's always been our money.

My parents also regularly give us gifts of money which goes into joint savings and I have also had savings things that we get pay outs for which has come from my money.

We also help his family out a lot.

Blimey, now I've written that all down he has done well for himself!!!

Purple2012 Thu 22-Nov-12 17:07:22

Also, my parents have always had joint money but they have friends who have been married over 40 years that have always had separate so if they go on holiday they pay half each, even if they go out for a meal they split the cost.

Autumn12 Thu 22-Nov-12 17:10:33

DH's family are like that, they have their own money and I think they take turns to pay the bills etc, whereas mine are very much of the all money is joint money mind set. So it will be interesting to see how he feels about it.

cantspel Thu 22-Nov-12 17:24:27

Open a household account work out all your bills. He pays 2/3rds and you pay 1/3. Then you each pay that amount into the household account but each keep your personel accounts for your own spends.

katiecubs Thu 22-Nov-12 17:54:18

We pay everything into a joint account then take back a couple of hundred each for personal spending (clothes, going out with friends, presents etc). Works well for us.

Christelle2207 Thu 22-Nov-12 18:14:12

We pay about 60% each of our net income into a joint account which then goes to pay for mortgage, bills and also things like regular food shop. We then put a further 20% or so in a joint savings account. So although he pays more, we both pay in the same proportion and have the same proportion left to do what we like. We both get work bonuses though, which we keep to ourselves.

With my ex we split things 50/50 but as he earned (a lot) more than me he would always pay when we went out. I prefer my current system though.

brimfullofasha Thu 22-Nov-12 18:22:10

YANBU. We do exactly that. Wages get paid into a joint account and we pay ourselves a set amount each month. I like this as it means I have disposable income to spend on what I want. I tend to be more frivolous with money than DH whereas he will save up and buy gadgets. It does mean he is slightly worse off and I am slightly better off than before but we are both happy with this arrangement. When LO is born next year we can reduce the amount of money we 'pay' ourselves.

ThePlEWhoLovedMe Thu 22-Nov-12 18:23:58

My parents (who have been married for 45 years) do not have a joint account and neither do I. It IS my money and his money in this house BUT for the moment this works well because we both earn good amounts which are similar. I hate the idea of a joint account ... I want to spent what I want when I want with out worrying/feeling guilty. I know some of you will say that you can do that with a joint account ... but really can you ?? If I want to spend £400 on a handbag then I can... my OH thoughts don't come into it ...and I don't want them too. Jeez my OH came home with a new car ... it is his money and he can do what he likes with it !

I agree with Gravel though ...if money was tight (or if there was a big wage difference) our way just wouldn't work.

ThePlEWhoLovedMe Thu 22-Nov-12 18:24:46

oppps OP ...your suggestion sounds perfectly fine. YANBU.

Overthehillmum Thu 22-Nov-12 18:32:01

When i started living with my partner he earned more than me, not a huge amount but i had quite a lot of debt, he was happy to open a joint account and his money became our money, he was happy to do it as we were a couple, paid off for him as i now earn x3 a year more than him and i am more than happy that we share equally.

Unless there is a history of bad money management or gambling then it sounds perfectly fair to me.

Callipygian Thu 22-Nov-12 19:00:04

We are pretty old school, DH earns around 3 times what i do (before tax) and we have a joint account that all of our money goes into and our bills come out of. We buy things for ourselves from the joint account.

I will generally ring him if i'm going to buy something that is more than £100 (he does the same). He doesnt mind that he earns more than me because he also works much longer hours so doesnt do cooking, cleaning, ironing, Christmas shopping (except for my present) etc.

We started dating when we were young teens and have lived together since we were in uni, so everything is pretty muddled up together, we share computers etc.

Rudolphstolemycarrots Thu 22-Nov-12 19:58:49

We are a team. We put all the money together and take out about the same. At times I have earned more but at the moment I am a SAHM.

Rudolphstolemycarrots Thu 22-Nov-12 19:59:23

We have never been flash with money and so trust eachothers spending.

Olympicrock Thu 22-Nov-12 20:03:31

That's exactly what we do

TheMouseDancing Thu 22-Nov-12 20:05:42

I'm starting to think I'm getting a raw deal after reading this hmm

Me and dp have our own accounts that we have our wages paid into, dp earns almost double what I earn. we each then pay the same amount into a joint account each month to cover mortgage, bills etc.

What is left in our own accounts we do with as we like mine gets spent mostly on dd

nocake Thu 22-Nov-12 20:08:52

We do the same... we each keep £x a month to spend as we wish. The rest goes into a joint account to pay bills and any spare goes into joint savings.

It works well for us but whatever you choose needs to work for both of you. There's no point having a financial setup that one of you resents.

whois Thu 22-Nov-12 20:11:21

I prefer the 'pay in proportionate amount to that you earn' method rather than the 'take out exactly equal' method but each to their own.

Climbingpenguin Thu 22-Nov-12 20:17:24

we did pay in proportionate until we got married and then it was 'take out exactly equal'. The past few years has been split between who has been the earner and the SAHP and it's still always been our money to share equally.

ShellyBoobs Thu 22-Nov-12 20:40:29

cantspel - OP's DH earns 1/3 more but you think he should pay double what OP pays?

confused

Teabagtights Thu 22-Nov-12 20:44:41

It's obvious the higher earner pays more towards the household. The lower paid shouldn't have less money left to themselves. If he earns a third more then he pays a third more towards the bills leaving you with both the same spends. I'd never do a joint account but I'd not be happy to pay the same as someone who earned more that be pretty shit.

Mouse dancing you are having the piss ripped out of you.

TheMouseDancing Thu 22-Nov-12 20:54:03

teabag I think you're right, we've done it this way for 10 years! I honestly thought it was the done thing confused - things are definitely going to change!

Op, would go with what everyone on this thread has said, pool your finances to pay the bills then split equally why is left.

MissCellania Thu 22-Nov-12 20:58:38

isn't this something you should talk about before you get married?

whathaveiforgottentoday Thu 22-Nov-12 21:02:46

We have a joint account and separate accounts. I made a spreadsheet which totals our bills then works out our proportion of joint income and we pay that proportion into our joint account and all the bills come out of that account. The money leftover in our own accounts is our own. DH currently pays slightly more into the joint account, but when we first started I was earning more, so I paid more.
Works well as DH is not good with money and likes spending, so if he wishes to spend the leftover money on something I consider trivial, thats his business. Saves lots of arguments.

UnexpectedItemInShaggingArea Thu 22-Nov-12 21:05:26

That's what I was thinking MissCellania

OP - what about savings, are they joint or individual?

JollyJock Thu 22-Nov-12 21:19:15

What you want to do is what I would like to do, OP.

What we've actually done is different.

Before this summer:
Each have our own accounts. Our wages go into our own accounts. We each pay a certain amount into a joint account. This was around £650 each. DH paid a little more than me. All our household bills came out of the joint account (mortgage, heating, holidays). Our individual accounts paid for phones, car insurance, loan repayments, contributions to charities etc. Our individual accounts also pay for food shopping and fuel. We also each paid £35 a month into a 'car fund' which was supposedly to eventually buy a new car but actually was used for MOTs.

Now:
We each have our own accounts. Our wages go into our own accounts. We each pay a certain amount into a joint account. This is slightly more for me than for DH and is around £1000 each. The joint account pays for household bills, food shopping and my fuel. Our individual accounts pay for phones, car insurance, loan repayments, contributions to charities etc. DH pays the loan for the new car and his own fuel. I make a £35pm contribution toward the car loan. We have got rid of our 'car fund'.

We have a joint savings account in DH's name and we put windfall money in there. I have my own savings account also but I use it more as a short-term saving pot. E.g. I'll save a little if I have some extra in March then take it out for holiday shopping in June.

I earn £1300 a month after tax and childcare are paid (childcare vouchers pay ALL my childcare) and DH earns £1800 a month after tax.

DH is comfortable paying for most of Christmas and will pay for most of next year's holiday.

ivykaty44 Thu 22-Nov-12 21:21:48

I often wonder in these threads if jobs in the home are also split 50/50 or if the lower wage earner does a larger proportion of the household chores?

nokidshere Thu 22-Nov-12 21:42:28

Money is money in our house. Makes no difference who earns what or spends what. Naturally we inform each other if we are going to make an expensive purchase but that's just so we don't both think there is x amount of money left.

We have two joint accounts. One where the bills go from and one whic has disposable income in it.

"One suggestion I had thought of would be to pool all of our money into a joint account to pay bills, and then each of us to then transfer out the same amount each month into our own accounts for us to spend on whatever we like."
That is exactly how we do it. Our respective incomes have varied quite a bit over the years, from near-parity to our current positions of DH massively outearning me. Throughout, we have had equal amounts of "pocket-money". We both feel that this is fair.

suburbophobe Thu 22-Nov-12 21:55:11

Well, I am absolutely for each one having a separate account, and a 50/50 one for bills.

How you work out the logistics is up to you both.

Autumn12 Fri 23-Nov-12 00:00:26

Thanks for all of your replies.

Just to clarify for those who asked
We did discuss finances before we got married and we sorted out an arrangement that worked for us then. Years later our situation is about to change and so we need to rethink things. Currently our bills are quite low so we split them equally. DH has quite a bit more disposable income than me, but the amount I have is a good amount so it hasn't mattered. Plus DH pays for the car related expenses and uses his bonus for our holidays. However, our outgoings are about to more than double that will impact me a lot if we continue to split bills equally.
We have separate savings but that's only so we can both make use of our annual ISA allowance. We are usually saving for something specific like our wedding or a deposit on a house, so it all ends up joint money.

Autumn12 Fri 23-Nov-12 00:01:23

Thanks for all of your replies.

Just to clarify for those who asked
We did discuss finances before we got married and we sorted out an arrangement that worked for us then. Years later our situation is about to change and so we need to rethink things. Currently our bills are quite low so we split them equally. DH has quite a bit more disposable income than me, but the amount I have is a good amount so it hasn't mattered. Plus DH pays for the car related expenses and uses his bonus for our holidays. However, our outgoings are about to more than double that will impact me a lot if we continue to split bills equally.
We have separate savings but that's only so we can both make use of our annual ISA allowance. We are usually saving for something specific like our wedding or a deposit on a house, so it all ends up joint money.

Kafri Fri 23-Nov-12 01:01:30

DH wage goes into one joint account and covers bills etc

My income goes into another joint account and covers the 3 Fs - food, fuel and fun

It's not his and mine-it's ours. Not for everyone but works for us. :-) x

ChippingInLovesAutumn Fri 23-Nov-12 02:49:05

I think it's good to get into the way of thinking that all money that comes in is 'our' money - not my money/your money - so it all goes into a joint account. Then bills get paid, you put a chunk into savings (if you are lucky) and either you both spend out of the joint acc or you both have equal money trf into your own 'spending' account, preferably not too much otherwise you'd never save anything.

This way of thinking makes money 'ours' - this is quite important when you are on ML & when you have children. I don't think it's good to think about my money & your money when you are a couple and even less so when you have children.

Of course some people make it work in other ways, but it's rare that it ends up 'fair' as children cost money and one person usually ends up using 'their' money for the children whilst the other hangs onto the Lions Share for their own 'spends'.

Iteotwawki Fri 23-Nov-12 03:25:32

I have always earned more than DH (especially when he was a full time SAHP) - its always been a single joint account. My salary goes in every fortnight and becomes family money - what's left after mortgage, bills etc stays there to offset the mortgage.

We have a joint credit card for day to day expenses (food, fuel, stuff for boys, random spending) which gets paid off in full each month. We have another joint card with a permanent 6 months interest free which we use for higher value items but we discuss most spending over $100 anyway.

DH tends to use cash a bit, I don't. He takes out what he needs, I take out what I need, every now and again one of us will query a statemented item with the other to make sure it was one of us!

Works well for us. I would hate for him to feel he had to ask me if he could spend family money on something just because I earned it (he's saving me a fortune in childcare, housekeeping and dog walking costs!).

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