Would really appreciate some views on this..

(67 Posts)
Millietj Wed 08-May-13 10:37:12

My husband earns two thirds more than I do - for ease sake (not real figures) let's say he earns £2000 per month and I earn £1000 per month.

Am I right in thinking we should split everything so that he pays two thirds of everything and I pay one third? Is that fair? Or should we split jollies, ie holiday spending money, birthday parties etc 50/50 and just split bills with that percentage?

Any views? Would really appreciate some unbiased views on this!


squeakytoy Wed 08-May-13 10:40:55

Ideally, as you are married, all money should go into the same pot... and each have equal access to it.

Dp earns double what I do since I went part time but we still split everything 50/50. Bills get paid then whatever is left is our money. I would struggle with the idea of working it out according to wages. There have been times when I've been the higher earner but we split everything then too. We just view it as household income.

LEMisdisappointed Wed 08-May-13 10:42:25

Put all of your monies into a joint account and share and share alike?

Or - pay all of the money into a joint account - the bills are paid out of this, you both take a regular amount for yourselves (if you are lucky enough to have this excess envy) of equal amount. Then what is left over can go into a savings account. That way, he isn't paying more because he earns more, neither is her getting more to play with because he is earning more. That seems fair to me. He may earn more than you, but i daresay you work equally as hard for your money.

Millietj Wed 08-May-13 10:43:49

I know most people do like to have a joint account and to be honest there are days when I'd like that too but we're just not that sort of people. He likes to have his money and I quite like to have mine - neither of us like to justify our spending to the other. EGA, do you mean that you just put everything into a pot, pay the bills and then split the remainder 50/50? Or do you have separate accounts and even though you earn less, you still pay an equal share of the bills?

NigelMolesworth Wed 08-May-13 10:44:05

In our house we have joint money. DH currently earns significantly more than me but as we are each working towards the overall wellbeing of our household, we agreed that we got the same amount of 'pocket money' each month but the rest of our salaries goes straight into the joint pot. This avoids all arguments like yours where presumably your DH is arguing he should only pay half despite earning considerably more than you?!

Personally I think you can tell a lot about a person from their attitude to joint finances...

nokidshere Wed 08-May-13 10:44:47

DH earns more than me.

all money goes into the account

Bills get paid

Anything left over is for us both


BrianMakesMyYoniMoany Wed 08-May-13 10:45:01

I agree with squeaky. Ideally, it shouldn't really be 'your money' and 'his money' it should all be joint.

What happens if e.g. you are on maternity leave and not earing anything - do you not have access to any money?

squeakytoy Wed 08-May-13 10:45:08

In that case, both put an equal amount each month into the joint pot for shared costs (bills, shopping, general stuff) and then have your own accounts for what is left over.

Millietj Wed 08-May-13 10:46:25

Lem, he does work hard and lots of hours - I work have a job that I go to for 6 hours a day but I'm up and "on" from 7am with DD and basically finish for the day about 8pm. DH cooks dinner every evening.. But he still maintains that I work part-time - I genuinely could kill!!!!! Anyhow, thanks for saying that!

YoniMitchell Wed 08-May-13 10:49:37

Over the years DH and I have swapped places in the 'who earns more' situation and we've always had a 50/50 split across expenses.

We pay a set amount (the same) into a joint account each month which is used to pay all household bills (mortgage, utilities, insurance, car, groceries and some meals out etc.) and then what's in our own accounts is for each of us. That way we cover our joint expenses fairly (IMO) and still have freedom to do what we like with the rest.

Ad hoc costs, such as holidays etc. are split roughly 50/50, although we don't actually sit and work it all out with a calculator, it just happens that we split the costs as we spend (e.g. I'll get X, he'll get Y).

DeepRedBetty Wed 08-May-13 10:50:29

We both pay into a joint account by direct debit from our personal account, and that is used for household bills blah blah. Whether you want to do it fifty fifty or pro-rata with your individual take home pay is up to you. Personally I think it should be fifty fifty, you are after all Millietj and MrMillietj plc. That should leave both of you with some money that's entirely your own to fritter at will.

DeepRedBetty Wed 08-May-13 10:51:44

Sorry just read back own post (too late) I've put it the wrong way round, I meant pro-rata. doh!

We have separate accounts but mostly because we've never got around to sorting out a joint one. Most direct debts come from my accounts which pretty much wipes me out so Dp transfers money to my account for spending. We each have the same amount to spend but if one of us wants something in particular we get it out of his money, it more or less works out evenly I guess. Any bonuses etc. we keep ourselves but they generally get spent on family stuff anyway, or one of us will buy both people a nice treat.

I find it hard to say what percentage of the bills we both pay as we just don't look at it that way. Its our income, our bills, our spare cash and our savings - even though its in separate accounts.

IfNotNowThenWhen Wed 08-May-13 10:52:46

If he was a lone parent, he would have to pay a Nanny a LOT to do what you do. You both work. You should share whatever comes in.

I would always have a small account on the side, as a catastophe fund (and wouldnt mind if he did too) though.
My granny always maintained that a woman should ALWAYS have the house in her name and always have some run-away money.
Bit sexist really, and I don't know why she said it as she had two lovely husbands, but that is what I was brought up to beleive.

VinegarTits Wed 08-May-13 10:52:59

I think the bills should be split 50/50, why should he pay more because he earns more? you are both equal, if you were sharing with a house mate you would pay an equal amount, therefore you should pay equal regardless of what you earn, if your not happy then look for a higger paid job?

Millietj Wed 08-May-13 10:54:09

YoniMitchell, do you mean that if you earned £500 a month and your husband earned £1000 and your bills were, say, £300 a month, you'd be happy to have £350 left over while your husband has £850? Or have I misunderstood?

lydiajones Wed 08-May-13 10:55:20

Joint account.

IfNotNowThenWhen Wed 08-May-13 10:55:38

Yeah, that doesn't sound right Yoni!

Millietj Wed 08-May-13 10:56:21

VT, I can't look for a higher paid job as I can only work part-time due to childcare committments.

randgirl Wed 08-May-13 10:57:05

We dont work it out like that, no set thing really. DH earns way more than me, so all the debit orders come off his account and i use mine to buy groceries, kids stuff they need etc. If i need more and he has and i dont I just transfer from his account to mine...

LemonPeculiarJones Wed 08-May-13 10:59:31

You need to pool your money. You are a couple, you have kids - wtf?! If you don't share then it can only cause problems.

But if you want to start calculating, yes he should pay more. Also, he should pay you for childcare, since you do more.

If you're going to be like this, get it in writing, get it sorted, get it agreed.

Otherwise he'll just have more fun spending - on himself - and you'll just drag on doing all the childcare and feeling pissed off.

Have no idea why couples do this. I think it's a sign of a lack of trust in the relationship somehow.

Partner 1 £2000
Partner 2 £1000
Total in £3000.

Bills/savings out £2000
Each partner gets £500

Thats the way we work it. Childcare and housework fill in the gaps of one partner working too much/too little. We are a family and we work for the family as a unit.

Millietj Wed 08-May-13 11:03:31

LPJ, I agree with everything you said.

Obviously that post is made up figures...if only grin

Bricklestick Wed 08-May-13 11:04:39

A joint account where we each put 50% of the household expenses (for we ARE each 50% of the household expenses), and a separate account where we each receive our salaries. I earn more than OH, so I buy more groceries, pay for more meals out etc, but this works for us.

You need to talk to your partner - personally, just because you earn less doesn't mean you consume less in the household, is what I believe. Sorry.

curryeater Wed 08-May-13 11:08:38

The issue here is not the precise way that the bills are paid, or that there is a "right" or a "wrong" way to do this. The issue is that he is taking the piss by treating you and your work as if it has no value.

renegotiate or ltb

VinegarTits Wed 08-May-13 11:10:16

i only read the op so didnt know you also have a child, i agree with what lpj said

flipchart Wed 08-May-13 11:11:11

I'm on ok money. I work full time but DH earns 3 times the amount I do and always has a lot of cash about him.

He has a business account
Access to the joint account
A savings account

I have access to the joint account
A couple of savings accounts.

Each months I put a lump out of my salary into into the joint and the remainder into savings.

I never draw money from the joint AC.
DH pays £300 a week into the joint and a lump into his savings.

We keep about £200 for 'weekend money' each week to please ourselves with.

This sounds mad but it works for us. I'll say to DH can you leave me some cash today and he'll say 'sure, how much roughly do you need?' That way I'm not drawing from the bank.

I am aware that I sound like a 1950's housewife but money isn't a stumbling block and neither of us are tight with money.

If I'm out i'llbuy what ever I fancy or need or book a holiday, tickets or whatever on a credit card and it'll be settled each month.

I like to keep the joint balance at around £2,000 all the time and the credit cards with virtually no

YoniMitchell Wed 08-May-13 11:14:57

Milletj that's always worked for us - we only commit to costs we can both afford adn feel comfortable with so it's never been the case that one of us is on the breadline or struggling.

We don't have kids (yet) and both earn good salaries, so we're lucky that it's never been an issue.

When we have a child we'll make adjustments but the basic set-up will probably stay the same (albeit with bigger contributions into the joint account).

IfNotNowThenWhen Wed 08-May-13 11:30:03

The trouble with saying "both partners consume 50 % of costs" is that often with children, one partner (usually the woman) will be earning less because of someone (like OP) having to look after the children, especially when the other, higher earning partner is working outside the home for long hours.
If the childcare/pt working partner went back to work the same long hours as the other partner, would they split the resulting childcare costs equally?
Presumably, so that would take a large chunk out of the previously higher earning partners salary that was not being taken before.
Therefore, if one partner takes on the childcare, at the expense of being able to earn more outside the home, then that has to be taken into consideration.

boxershorts Wed 08-May-13 11:49:00

I have heard couples say putting all the earning in one pot works for them

Things have changed. In days gone by wifes were often never told what their hubby earned.

superbagpuss Wed 08-May-13 11:55:48

OK, I earn more then dh because he earns peanuts but will be sah dad

after many different ways of doing finances, we were both solvent when we got together but I still had student debt I didn't think was his place to pay

we now put all money in joint account, which pays all bills, stuff for DC and joint activities such as holidays etc. also all family birthday or Christmas presents come from this account but we discuss before spending.

we have a joint saving account and individual isa to maximise tax efficiency.

we have monthly amounts put into our own accounts for pin money, is each others presents or if we want to buy something without having to justify it, normally shoes grin I do have more into my account but I have a personal pension coming out of that account so it is kind of fair

its complicated but works for us as a couple

cornflakegirl Wed 08-May-13 12:18:52

We've always had a joint account, but I think the idea of shared money is especially important if either of you are restricted by childcare commitments. (I guess if you're both well paid and have a nanny, for example, that separate money can still work okay). DH and I have similar attitudes to spending, so don't have a problem with everything coming straight from the joint account, but I can understand why separate accounts with equal spending money works for other people.

TeWiSavesTheDay Wed 08-May-13 12:32:31

Totally get why you'd want separate accounts - but really having a joint account for family bills is pretty vital unless you are both rolling in it.

You can do both. Work out what you need in total to pay all bills including food, kids stuff etc, then proportionally split your wages and put enough each in to cover the bills each month. You'll still have money that's 'yours' each, but it'll be the same amount each.

Millietj Wed 08-May-13 12:40:44

Thanks all - really value your opinions. A lot of you have agreed that it should be split proportionately - but do you mean for things like holiday money too? Say you want to take away £600 in total - should that be split percentage wise too or just £300 each????

cornflakegirl Wed 08-May-13 12:47:07

TeWi - but a proportional split doesn't give them the same spending money. If A earns £2k, B earns £1k, bills are £2k, then splitting proportionally, A would transfer £1333, leaving them with £667, and B would transfer £667, leaving them with £333. Personally, I think that paying so that you each have the same personal money - £500 in this case - is fairer and avoids resentment, especially when the earning power of one party is restricted by a decision that both parties have taken.

Wishiwasanheiress Wed 08-May-13 12:48:02

Sorry, your splitting bills? Why? Are you divorcing?

One family, one money pot. End of argument.

Millietj Wed 08-May-13 12:49:31

Wishi.. thanks for taking the time to respond but that's not very helpful.. Different strokes etc.

cornflakegirl Wed 08-May-13 12:49:57

Millie - cross posted with you - I would expect that to be split in the same way that your personal money is split. So, if you each get £500 a month to spend, then holidays would be split 50/50. If your personal money is in proportion to your earnings, then holidays would be proportionate too.

DH earns more than me - it used to be the other way around. We have always had our own accounts and are paid into those. We pay bills proportionate to our wages (ditto saving into a joint account) so we both end up with roughly the same 'left over' cash each month for ourselves.

Really we should have all the wages going into one account and all bills coming out of it, but neither of us can be arsed getting all the direct debits changed over and anyway we quite like the fact that the separate accounts mean that we can buy treats for each other without the other seeing them in advance or what they cost from looking at a joint bank statement iyswim.

We both see all the money coming in as shared money - neither of us has ever had more or less call on it than the other, regardless of who earns what.

TeWiSavesTheDay Wed 08-May-13 12:53:27

Yeah, sorry, I wasn't clear with my use of proportional. Distracted!

I meant, like you - say total income is 3k, bills are 1.5k, so to have £750 each in private account person on 1k adds £250 to joint account and person on 2k adds £1250.

Another one with a joint account from which all the bills, mortgage, direct debits come out of. Out of this also goes some pocket money into individual accounts for DH and me, and another standing order into a savings account for things like holidays and DIY stuff. Works well for us.

AnythingNotEverything Wed 08-May-13 12:55:56

We do what wannabe said. Seems the fairest way to me.

If you've taken a pay cut to look after kids, why should you have less money for personal treats?

Illustrationaddict Wed 08-May-13 12:57:19

In our house we have an account each, like you OP we like to have our own money, but we also have a joint in which 50% of our wages go in and pay the bills. DH earns more than me, but he puts a higher cut in. I work part time, and do more housework, childcare than him, so I think it's pretty faire that his percentage is higher & we then have a bit left each.

I can see if you are a SAHM this would and should be different, my friend looked at it like 'what would I pay a nursery' and her DH gives her a good percentage of that as her everyday spend, which actually is about the same as if she worked (lucky girl;) )

Potteresque97 Wed 08-May-13 13:01:02

As your earning power is constrained by childcare duties then that needs to be compensated for because he couldn't earn his salary without your support or paying someone else for childcare etc. Personally, I think he should be contributing 2/3 to every expense, be it bills or discretionary or come up with a monetary value for what you are losing out on in career terms (salary progression and childcare time)

Cabrinha Wed 08-May-13 13:06:27

You could take another approach - and look at why you are earning less. Do you want to earn less? Should your husband be part time so that you can increase your earnings and develop your career?

My husband (actually, I've started divorce proceedings) and I both earn good salaries, but I'm probably 40% to 60% of our joint income. Because we both have reasonable spending money after splitting bills (equally) there isn't the drive to even things up. We're both fairly relaxed about money too - although I'm an "absolutely will pay my way" (note the equal bills) type. So where we are informal I possibly "lose out". We manage household bills from a joint account with 50/50 share. Personal bills we pay ourselves - for examples, he wanted a flashier car than me, he repays the loan. Because he earns more, sometimes I say "no, can't afford that" - and he pays. Example: solar panels for house. But generally it all works out.

I am happier NOT having what I see as "his" money. But - it causes no resentment, and probably balances pretty well. This will horrify some, but if we eat out, it's either his treat or mine - not from joint. The joint account is administrative expediency really - just fixed household / childcare bills.

As I mentioned, we're divorcing - but that's not to do with money!

Millietj Wed 08-May-13 13:09:58

Agreed that if you pay all bills and then take an equal "cut" of the leftover amount (ie both have say £500 each left) then all future spend should definitely be split 50/50. However, DH pays 63% of bills and I pay 36% and once that's done he has the same percentage more than me left - ie the remainder is £1000 - he has £660 and I have £330 [made up numbers] that's why I feel it's a little unjust (he hasn't even suggested 50/50 - I just want to make sure I'm not being unreasonable for suggesting it) that out of these unequal "spenders" amounts, I should pay the same as he does.....

unebagpipe Wed 08-May-13 13:15:22

Haven't read everyone's posts... But joint account is really logical. That way all money is 'family money'. As a family unit why should your Dh have more money than you? What will happen when you retire? Would your children inherit separately from you and your DH? How do you work out your wills on that basis? Sorry, separate accounts are very alien to me! Just can't understand why you'd want to do this if you are married!

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Wed 08-May-13 13:18:47

You like to have your money and he likes to have "his" but the trouble is that you don't earn as much....if you want the luxury of your own money, then you can't complain....but suck it up....and split everything 50 50.

This is why people have a pot...so that the one who earns less isn't penalised by being a parent who does more childcare.

Illustrationaddict Wed 08-May-13 13:20:52

It's not faire on you, but saying that I guess I loose out too as pay 50% of my wage which is less than DH wage, BUT I guess We do discuss big spends, and he does 'treat me' more than I treat him. The thing I focus on is that I get to stay at home those extra days with DC and see them develop which to be faire is priceless (sorry if that makes people sick) but I do get impression off DH that he does feel he misses out a lot.

Beamur Wed 08-May-13 13:22:40

I have a similar earning difference to my DP too, but we have one bank account, all our respective earnings go into it, we pay all our bills out of it and there is a free for all for the rest of the month! He has never quibbled over money.

We have a joint account, DH is out of work right now but when we were both earning, all salaries/tax credits/child benefits went into the one account, all bills were paid and then everything was spends.

Now I'm the sole earner, but the same applies. DH tends to ask me first before he spends any money on himself, not if it's on the kids though! It's just habit really - I don't care so long as he doesn't go crazy.

TeWiSavesTheDay Wed 08-May-13 13:26:58

If your spends end up being proportional too then I definitely think that things like holidays should be split proportionally as well. As you say 50/50 in that situation is not fair.

Millietj Wed 08-May-13 13:34:04

NMZD - I don't understand your post - on the one hand you're saying suck it up but on the other saying it's not fair to penalise the person on a lower wage???

chickabilla Wed 08-May-13 13:37:53

I earn less than DH due to only working part time normally and on maternity at the moment. Even when we earned the same we got paid into the joint account then had some personal money transferred into our individual accounts. We dont bother anymore and just spend from the joint account. We are not frivolous so it is fine.

Inertia Wed 08-May-13 13:44:56

Well, you're working fewer paid hours than him, but more than making that up to full time by doing the childcare. You could try calculating how much it would actually cost him if he had to pay for the childcare you provide (hence allowing him to work his paid hours) - however, if he genuinely begrudges spending "his money" on family expenses, I can't see how you'd resolve it.

lljkk Wed 08-May-13 13:58:36

If you're determined to have separate money then you need a 3rd joint account which is only used for joint expenses (house, children). You could both pay into it say 3/4 of your salaries.

Much easier just to have a single joint account, though.

TigerFeet Wed 08-May-13 14:04:48

I earn way less and woh far fewer hours than dh, I do most child wrangling and household stuff. All money, salaries, CB, anything else that should come our way (if only) goes into a joint account out of which all household expenses are paid. We each get an equal small amount oaid into our personal accounts to squander as we see fit. Works extremely well as we both have visibility of household in and outgoings but don't have to justify spending our own cash. Anything left in the joint account goes on family days out, put aside for big household expenses, that kind of thing.

2beornot Wed 08-May-13 14:17:50

DH and I do everything completely joint and they works for us. But it doesn't seem as if its the best fit here.

You should absolutely have the same amount of spending money each. I would say have your own accounts, then every month transfer across your contribution, leaving a set amount in your own account (whatever your budget allows). This way you can spend from your own accounts on whatever you like but it's fair.

2beornot Wed 08-May-13 14:19:48

Basically, what tigerfeet said grin

We have always (ie since marriage and graduation which were pretty much at the same time) had a joint account and separate personal accounts. We have always pooled income and had equal "fun money" transferred into personal accounts.

It's a model that works well for us and is very popular on Mumsnet, partly because it is practical, and partly because it is fair.

CPtart Wed 08-May-13 14:34:02

My DH earns almost five times what I earn. He is a spender, I a saver. We each put x% of our salaries into a joint account for all bills, holidays etc, and the remainder is left for each of us to do with as we wish.

elQuintoConyo Wed 08-May-13 14:43:31

How about you both put 2/3(or whatever) of your salary in a joint account, what's left is your own. You've both paid in the same percentage and you have still got money for gym/clothes/chocolate etc.

Haven't read whole thread, sorry if I have repeated a pp.

2beornot Wed 08-May-13 15:02:44

But elquinto why should her OH have more spending money?

Zalen Wed 08-May-13 16:08:37

For the first 21 years of our marriage we always pooled our money and each had a set amount of pocket money paid into separate personal accounts. Then my husband decided that we should separate our finances and I've never been so relieved in my life. Now we each have our own accounts and each pay half of the total required for bills, mortgage, shopping etc into a joint account then whatever remains is ours to spend as we wish.

To me that is the only fair way to do it. My husband has no idea of the value of money. For someone who thinks money is supremely unimportant he sure loves spending it! When our money was pooled I always felt guilty when he was short of cash so always let him have whatever extra he needed. Now I no longer have to do that and it's an immense relief, he no longer gets to spend all my money and I don't resent him half as much.

50/50 seems the only fair way to me however as you have the situation where one partner's earning potential is reduced by childcare considerations you could maybe go with something along the lines of you earn £x, if you were able to work full time you would earn £y extra and it would cost £z in childcare. Therefore he owes you £y/2 per month or if he prefers you can go back to full-time employment and his share of the bills will increase by £z/2.

ivanapoo Wed 08-May-13 16:36:47

We have a joint account and every month pay all of our salaries bar £250 each into that. The £250 stays in our own, separate accounts.

The £250 pays for anything beyond mortgage, bills, savings pot, baby essentials and grocery shopping - so everything from coffees with friends, petrol, meals out, clothes, mobile phone, gifts, etc.

We only did this after getting pregnant with DS though. Before, I earned a bit more but not loads so we split things 50:50 and I just tried to be generous eg paying for meals out, buying DH the odd piece of clothing, and so on.

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