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How to persuade DP that we should share our wages equally?

(115 Posts)

Hello, really hoping for some practical advice here!

DP and I are getting hitched in August. Currently, we have seperate bank accounts and each pay exactly half of every bill, leaving our 'spending money' seperate. He earns a couple of hundred more each month than I do; hopefully that will be changing very soon but that's the situation as it stands.

I have always believed that we should keep it this way until recently, but it's starting to feel silly. When I broached the idea of a joint account and pooling our wages before splitting them equally, including spending money, he seemed to feel that I was basically just asking for some free money (because I would end up better off out of this, and he worse).

BUT. And here's the but. Although part of me believes in completely seperate finances, the other part believes that in order to be completely equal in partnership what we actually need is pooled resources. From a feminist perspective (with me, there's always a feminist perspective!), it's this:

A) Keeping finances seperate technicaly means we are 'financially independant' from each other (although not true, as neither of us could maintain our current lifestyle withoutt he other paying half of stuff).

B) Pooling our resources means we both have equal amounts of everything, which actually feels more fair in some ways.

So I'm not sure whether to push it or not. I currently feel strongly in favour of B, and think we should sort this out before we have DC in a few years. But every time I bring it up he is negative and seems to basically think I'm trying to take his money (which makes me think he's being childish and quite frankly a bit of a knob).


(X-posting to the Feminist Chat board)

Numberlock Thu 10-Jan-13 08:34:47

Ditch him, that's what I'd do. Sorry.

melliebobs Thu 10-Jan-13 08:37:53

Me and dh had this little issue cos I was the breadwinner. We have a joint account that his wages go into and that account has all the direct debits set up for bills and it just ticks over without us having to do owt.

My wages goes into a different account and covered food and petrol. Anyway As for spending money we gave ourselves a small amount each month. It was dh that worked it out n gave me more cos I earnt more. Don't know how he did it but it was In proportion to what I earnt. But once dd came along we thought the hole situation was daft n stopped it.

BigStickBIWI Thu 10-Jan-13 08:39:36

The thing about money is that it can create some of the biggest rows and stresses in a relationship. Often people have very different ideas about money and how it should be used.

DH and I are like this. He hates, with a passion, the idea of being overdrawn or owing money whereas I am much more relaxed about it. Therefore if we were to have completely joint finances it would drive both of us mad.

So our solution has been to work out what our monthly joint outgoings are - mortgage, bills, food shopping plus any extras for the family - and then we halve that and both pay that amount into the joint account.

Whatever else we earn, we keep in our own accounts.

This works well if you earn roughly equal amounts. It stops the arguments about money, and also - which I think is really important, it gives you financial independence as well.

However, if you don't earn roughly equal amounts, then it can become problematic, as you will end up paying in more/retaining less. In which case, you need to pay different amounts into the joint account to reflect your different salaries.

And another caveat - you need to be clear with your DP that the money you both bring in does belong to both of you. This is an issue with my DH sometimes - or maybe it's an issue with how I perceive him! - in that it's still too easy for us both to think of 'my' and 'his' money.

I don't think there's an easy solution to this one, but I think you need, before you make any specific financial agreements, to talk, talk, talk about money and your attitudes towards it - and remember the marriage vows "everything I have I share with you" or words to that effect. Ultimately, of course, you are a family unit, and all money that comes into the family should be shared. This will be particularly the case if/when you have DC and if you decide to stay at home. You have to talk about this eventuality as well - before you get married - and agree how this will work, so that you don't end up having to ask him for money and, therefore, becoming subservient to him.

Rosa Thu 10-Jan-13 08:39:37

Evrybody is different but he is sounding like a bit of a knob...... Yes I would discuss what happens if you have Dc and you might be finacially reliant on him.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Thu 10-Jan-13 08:41:06

I would not marry him. This would actually be a dealbreaker for me.

All money considered joint, each of you should have the same 'spending money' for want of a better word.

You need to sort this out now, while you are in a position of relative strength - not married, no children, you are working etc etc. Otherwise you will end up being one of those women who has no money on maternity leave unless she uses up her own personal savings.

Iggly Thu 10-Jan-13 08:41:54

Do you have children?

What we did pre-DC was to split household stuff proportionately

So our earnings were 60:40. Therefore we split the bills 60:40 and paid that in.

The rest was ours.

Then we got married and had kids. All money went into one account as we were earning for the family. We didn't have to ask if we wanted to spend money to go out etc etc but would of course be sensible and any big purchases would be agreed in advance.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 10-Jan-13 08:48:13

I think it's a really bad idea for women to put all the finances in one pot with a man. You're earning similar amounts now but, should you have children one day and your income reduce short or long-term, having 100% joint finances puts you in a very weak position that some men will exploit. If your DP is already suspicious of your motives and regards his money as his, I don't think he's the kind of man you want to trust with 100% of the family money.

So I would suggest a half-way house. Work out exactly what the household budget is, regular DDs, groceries, etc. and factoring in for one-offs like holidays, Christmas, maintaining your home and savings. Divide it by 12 months and then agree to put that amount in a joint account betwen you, proportionate to what you earn. What's left (which should be relatively small) you each keep as your personal cash to spend or save as you see fit.

This sets the principle of sharing expenses whilst retaining some financial independence. Should you go on to have children or your incomes fluctuate for some other reason, you recalculate the contribution.

If you can't agree this simple thing I would seriously question whether you want to go ahead with a marriage. Having been married to a selfish spendthrift myself once who held similar attitudes to your DP I really don't recommend it.

TameGaloot Thu 10-Jan-13 09:01:24

Have to admit I wouldn't marry him
I don't say that lightly
Having been married ten years with money worries being out biggest problem between us there is no way I would marry a man whose attitude towards me and money was as your dps is. It speaks volumes about him and I would fear for those times when. On ml or if you got made redundant. It's a partnership and I would want it so (and not just so I could have his money because I'm sure he doesn't work harder than you, for a start men tend to get paid more for the same work)

Iggly Thu 10-Jan-13 09:04:10

I hear what you're saying Cogito. I guess in my situation, I haven't given up work (have two DC) and I earn pretty well. So I don't imagine being shafted by DH, especially as I earn more now (was the other way around previously)

Thanks for confirming what I thought about it, guys. I think I'll broach it with him again tonight from a merging into a family perspective... I actually think that I'd buy less useless tat if our sopending money was shared as it was just 'my money' iyswim?

My parents have a system that it thus: they each get their wages paid into a joint account. The bills come out of it. The spending money is then split down the middle and put into seperate, one-person-only accounts. That could work for us, couldn't it?

brainonastick Thu 10-Jan-13 09:09:56

^^ exactly what cogito said

Don't ignore this issue - you need to get this absolutely sorted before you get married.

expatinscotland Thu 10-Jan-13 09:10:47

I wouldn't marry this man, either, not because of the money but his attitude. You sound more like flatmates than partners. Think about this: if he were to suddenly fall ill and be unable to work for a while, would you be okay with being the breadwinner? If your answer is yes, but you know his would be no, don't marry him.

Trills Thu 10-Jan-13 09:11:57

Did you start this exact same thread in Feminism too?

My parents have a system that it thus: they each get their wages paid into a joint account. The bills come out of it. The spending money is then split down the middle and put into seperate, one-person-only accounts. That could work for us, couldn't it?

I would do this but the other way around - wages paid into separate accounts, then each put what is needed into the joint account, in such a way that you get equal spending money.

You have to agree how much money the joint account needs, and don't forget to take into account things that are not paid every month, like insurance.

brainonastick Thu 10-Jan-13 09:12:14

sunshine - yes, that's the system that we use in our house. (except we do it in reverse - but the principle is that we both get the same spending money whatever we earn).

If you are in this for a lifetime, there will be periods where your earnings are significantly different, so this system gives some financial freedom with your own money, whilst ensuring all the bills and agreed savings targets are covered (pensions, holiday savings etc etc).

Numberlock Thu 10-Jan-13 09:14:01

That could work for us, couldn't it?

Sorry my advice hasn't changed, you describe him as a childish knob who thinks you're trying to take his money. He doesn't sound very nice to me.

brainonastick Thu 10-Jan-13 09:14:22

By the way, if he can't engage with you on an adult level in talking about money, then how on earth are you going to parent together and share a lifetime together? Seems like he needs a massive kick up the arse to me.

It's actually VERY out of character for him; with everything else we talk about it calmly in an adult way and he's normally very reasonable about everything! I think he may have some issues about it because for a long time I was the one earning money and technically aupporting him... Actually, that just makes him sound worse, doesn't it? Shit.

Also: I don't think he's fully adjusted his mind to think of us as a family unit as opposed to two seperate people... Because often we do think of ourselves as two seperate people who have chosen to be together - our lives don't revolve around each other!

expatinscotland Thu 10-Jan-13 09:22:42

'Because often we do think of ourselves as two seperate people who have chosen to be together - our lives don't revolve around each other!'

Is this what you believe marriage is? Lives revolving round each other?

It's a partnership, a team.

I would not marry a person this immature, tbh.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 10-Jan-13 09:24:54

It does make him sound worse. People who are selfish or irresponsible about money are often that way in other respects. All relationships are sweetness and light when there are no challenges, no worries, no big decisions.... it's thing like this that show people up for who they really are. And you must take note and judge accordingly.

We've had more than our fair share of challenges and worries, I'd say. Ack.

Numberlock Thu 10-Jan-13 09:26:52

for a long time I was the one earning money and technically aupporting him

... whereas now he earns more than you, he thinks you're trying to take his money off him...

DeafLeopard Thu 10-Jan-13 09:27:01

If he takes the "my money" attitude now, what will happen if one of you gives up work to care for children?

I would make sure that you talk this through before you get married, as so often there are threads on here from women who feel that they have to "ask" their DHs / DPs for money for badly needed clothes while their DH/P feels the money belongs to the earner and is happy to spend it down the pub and leave the family short.

FWIW DH earns loads loads more than me, as I chose to scale back my career to look after the DCs so cannot earn anywhere near what I used to. All money goes into joint account out of which we pay everything.

badguider Thu 10-Jan-13 09:27:58

We have our wages into our own account then the joint expenses (basically all our actual necessities) go into a house account. We're each left with our spending money - this works for us as we can then see whether we have enough for more bike bits (him) or massage and yoga treats (me) without affecting our necessities or needing to be always discussing/negotiating our leisure spending with each other.
When I stop work for maternity I will just stop paying into the house account and he'll cover it for a while.

Hmmm...I wouldnt want to live a life like this BUT a last ditch attmept cpuld be to explain it to percentages.

100% joint income, he earns (say) 60% and you 40%. Therefore he pays 60% qnd you 40% of the bills.

Or ask he is going to chip in for his half if he is off sick or made redundant or sacked? Ask him how he expects you to pay your half if you are ever off on marernity leave. The answers to these queations would ve very telling.

beachyhead Thu 10-Jan-13 09:35:42

We do the proportion thing suggested by Cognito above. We put about 60% of our take home into the joint account. We then have some joint savings and some individual savings accounts. When a big expense comes up, we work out who's got some spare and they pay it. I was always told to keep a separate account in case of death or divorce, just makes it easier.

But generally it's pretty much joint with discussions on major purchases.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 10-Jan-13 09:36:25

It is 'ack' if you don't sort this kind of thing out. Weddings are just one day in the calendar. Marriage is for life and - like the man said - "should not be entered into lightly or selfishly.... etc"

DonderandBlitzen Thu 10-Jan-13 09:39:49

When I broached the idea of a joint account and pooling our wages before splitting them equally, including spending money, he seemed to feel that I was basically just asking for some free money (because I would end up better off out of this, and he worse).
God how petty and stingey of him! Does he want to get married or not?

specialsubject Thu 10-Jan-13 09:40:22

this sounds like a lack of trust, without which the marriage is dead before it starts.

the details of who has what bank account don't matter, what matters is the attitude to money. Where there are big things, you discuss before spending, but you don't need 'permission' to buy every little item on the assumption that you are both sensible according to your means.

if this assumption is flawed, stop the wedding.

BertieBotts Thu 10-Jan-13 09:40:37

As I said on the other thread, it is not your place to persuade him of anything. He's a grown up, he can come to a conclusion in his own right. Persuasion risks somebody just saying what they think you want to hear, and not changing their mind in the slightest. You need to find out what his base values are and see if you are happy to live with them or not, because underlying attitudes that people have are unlikely to change.

penguinplease Thu 10-Jan-13 09:41:46

I haven't read all the replies but I just wanted to add what we've always done.

My dp has always earned a lot more than me so instead of me paying half of the bills and ending with much less money we added everything up and worked out how much more % wise he earned more than me and we split the bills that way.
He earns more and pays more in line with that.

Crucially though I do not agree with pooling all your money as a couple, I think that is unnecessary & anyone that is offended by that is just odd & controlling.

DonderandBlitzen Thu 10-Jan-13 09:47:26

I think he may have some issues about it because for a long time I was the one earning money and technically aupporting him
Make sure you remind him of that when you discuss it!

Like everyone else has said, you need to talk some more about this & make sure that your financial approach is agreed.I don't think there's one solution - as BIWI says, you need something that suits you both as people. That means talking about what's important to you with money.

It's useful that you've had different situation - you earning more, him earning more - as that opens the door to talking about how you've both felt in each situation. When I earnt more than dh, I know he initially found it hard feeling that he was spending 'my' money on himself, for example - I felt the same when he earnt more than me. We both like to have some separate savings, which give us security - I wouldn't want all finances shared. We've also changed how we work accounts when I've been employed vs self employed. Knowing that was how our financial brains worked helped us design a solution that works for both of us.

There are loads of options - you've heard a few on this thread - but what's important is that it will work for both of you. If you think money is shared, and he thinks money is 'yours or mine' you are going to hit issues once/if kids come along.... I suspect if you google money talk marriage (or similar) it might throw up some questions - I found this, some of them are rubbish, but others might be helpful (esp the last set)

Good luck!

MorrisZapp Thu 10-Jan-13 09:56:06

I disagree. I don't understand the need for joint accounts, never have.

I wouldn't enjoy spending my hard earned cash if I had to do it fairly and equally. It's my bloody money!

I don't blame him for questioning your logic. Why does he have to give you two hundred quid a month because you're married?

I know I'm in a minority of one here, and I don't expect to change anybody's mind. But I wonder if all these feminists would be so keen on sharing, equality etc if they were the higher earner themselves.

brainonastick Thu 10-Jan-13 09:59:43

MorrisZapp "I wonder if all these feminists would be so keen on sharing, equality etc if they were the higher earner themselves."

Actually, yes, I've frequently been in the position of being the higher earner and haven't minded sharing the money in the slightest. Because that's what we signed up for in the marriage. Now I'm PT with the children, so DH earns more. Marriage is a partnership, nothing to do with being a feminist or not.

Agree with brainstick - we have operated the same approach when I earnt more, and when dh did. When we first started doing it, I earnt more, and I drove the change to more joint finances.

Fairylea Thu 10-Jan-13 10:03:48

Dealbreaker for me. My ex h was the same as your soon to be h and it drove us apart. When you live together its impossible in my opinion to manage money separately. For example one of the things we would end up arguing about is the food bill... I would buy the groceries and he would get annoyed and think he could do it for less but his idea of less was buying essentially value pasta and tomato puree and this would be a "meal".

I ended up drawing up lots of budgets and allocating spending money but he would always overspend and never want to save for anything jointly like a holiday or for the house. But he would think nothing of spending £200 on a special edition Xbox game. While moaning I'd brought something small for dd.

You need to share finances, especially when you have dc. You should both have the same spending money otherwise you are not operating as a family. Just flatmates.

My now dh and I share all money, we have a joint account everything goes into and all bills go out of and we transfer a set amount into savings and some into spending - another joint account. We each spend half.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 10-Jan-13 10:04:00

"Why does he have to give you two hundred quid a month because you're married? "

You're falling into the same trap as the OP's fiance. He wouldn't be giving it to her, he'd be making an equal and proportionate contribution to the household expenses. Quite different.

Pooka Thu 10-Jan-13 10:05:37

Before dh and I married and had children we worked out monthly outgoings and then each put a proportionate amount of money into the bills account.

He earned about 10 percent more than me. He paid pro rata 10 percent more of the bills.

After we married we carried on with the same situation. But when I had my first maternity leave, that was when we pooled resources with a joint account.

I've always earnt more than DH (he earns 60% of what I do), yet since the day we moved in together we have pooled all our income.

Trills Thu 10-Jan-13 10:09:19

"I wonder if all these feminists would be so keen on sharing, equality etc if they were the higher earner themselves."

I am the higher earner.

Feminism (if done property) isn't about wanting better things for women than for men, or better things for yourself than for others, but about wanting things to be fair.

pinksomething Thu 10-Jan-13 10:10:01

I think you need to give him a chance to get his head round it to be honest. You've had time think about it and formulate a plan, with consideration for mat leave, redundancy, children etc and then said to him 'I think we should have a joint acc so I an share your extra 200 quid!!' <paraphrasing with tongue in cheek> Before you write him off, just give him a chance to discuss it again - and remind him that you supported him when he needed it!
Is he generous with his 'extra' money? Whether he, for example, would pay for (or more than his share of) a holiday for you both that you couldn't afford or go on hols with a friend because you couldn't afford it, would be very telling.

MorrisZapp Thu 10-Jan-13 10:13:21

Cogito, I'm assuming that op and her fiance can cover monthly expenses and have disposable income left over.

Of course they should pay bills and expenses proportionately, but I'm talking about spending money.

I have a few spending habits that DP finds hilarious. But I don't mind - its my money, I can spend it how I like. Likewise, when DP brings home yet another expensive putter I can laugh and roll my eyes at him, but its his money and his choice.

If we shared our disposable income I'd never enjoy shopping again. I know that joint accounts are the norm on here, but I guess I'm odd or something. I need my own money.

Trills Thu 10-Jan-13 10:17:02

My theories on what is fair in a partnership also hold true for same-sex couples, if that makes a difference. It's not about "men and women" it's about "two people".

Morris - I am suggesting that you do have your own spending money to do what you like with, but that the amount you have should be the same as the amount your DH has. Your description of "expensive putters" is exactly why I think that people should have a joint account and two separate accounts.

If all money was in a joint account I might feel bad if I spent a lot of money on something that DP got no benefit from, or feel annoyed if he bought something that I considered " a waste". With separate spending money you can do as you please. But I feel strongly that if you are a partnership then you deserve to have equal amounts to do this with.

Bonsoir Thu 10-Jan-13 10:17:15

When I was younger (much much younger) I believed that paying bills 50:50 and keeping finances separate was going to be "fair".

And then I realised just how much more men consume in the joint budget) (food, drink, electricity, petrol...) and realised how grossly unfair this was!

Fairylea Thu 10-Jan-13 10:19:55

Morris.. but it would be YOUR money. You would just have the same amount of spending money. Dh and I spend our money on whatever we like without comment from the other but we have the same amount.

How it is fair otherwise? ... you're both working for the family, both sharing the same house etc. It should be equal.

Why should one of you have an extra £200 a month to spend, especially when children are involved that money could really improve quality of life for everyone for a month - days out, treats etc. Why should only one person benefit when you are a family?

Sorry to rant it's just the one thing that absolutely drives me mad.

And it doesn't matter who earns more... I used to earn 35k and dh was on 15k. I gave up my job to be a sahm as I wasn't happy and dh supported me and we now do the same thing regardless.

Butterycrumble Thu 10-Jan-13 10:20:00

It's the attitude I couldn't get past. Since being with dh we always shared money, I was the main earner for years and now it is dh as I work part time. He didn't work at all for a while and over the years we have been broke, rich and everything in between.

Regardless of circumstances we are in it together and both work for the family in different ways. In theory we both control the money but in practice he rarely looks. He once underestimated his own income by hundreds a month... I like this, meet too many men who think they are worth more the bigger their salary.

As for having a few hundred more a month, every month. Both of us would spend it on the other happily or certainly spend it on 'us' stuff. I wouldn't want to be with someone who saw it ad theirs and spent it that way. Illness, redundancy, retraining, family changes either partner could suddenly be a dependent.

ByTheWay1 Thu 10-Jan-13 10:21:46

We have always just pooled the money... we are a team - money in goes into the pot, bills come out, the remainder goes into savings - some in my name, some in his - but it is still OUR savings...

BUT we discussed this before we married, we both have the same views on debt and spending/saving - also on silly little things like present buying and gadgets etc - so we will both discuss any purchase over £50 that sort of thing...

and another BUT... we have "enough" to get by, so are not scrimping all the time - life is easier than for some... it does make a difference.

I think the whole 'proportionate' thing is the point; we both have expensive hobbies and neither of us would want to make the other feel like we 'couldn't' spend on them. Proposing that we make it proportionate would go down better that 'sharing the excess', even though it amounts to the same thing. Does that make sense?

I would go through some scenarios with him. Say you have DC, how would the money work then, who would look after the children, who would pay for childcare, how would money be split then?

I think his answers will tell you a lot.

Trills Thu 10-Jan-13 10:28:12

"Proportionate" is not necessarily the same as "sharing the excess" though.

Proportionate might mean that if you bring home 2000 and he brings home 2500 you share the joint expenses 4:5. That's better than sharing them 50:50 but you would still end up with less spending money.

e.g. if you bring home 2000 and he brings home 2500 and the joint account needs 1800, you would contribute 800 and he would contribute 1000. So you'd be left with 1200 and he'd be left with 1500.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 10-Jan-13 10:29:46

Makes sense to me. What you're aiming for principally is fairness, equality and (I think) to retain some sense of 'mine', 'yours' and 'ours' so that everyone has a little responsibility/freedom for themselves as well as prioritising the family as a whole. To me, it's far more important to get these things established than to agree on what colour the bridesmaids are wearing....

Fairylea Thu 10-Jan-13 10:30:28

I think also things fluctuate so much... disasters happen. Just this yeah dh and I have been through losing a job, our roof needing redoing (thread in aibu) for approximately £3K, I nearly died having a c section bleed and whatever else... all financially straining one way and another. But we cope with it together. There is never any question of who is paying for what and no resentment.

My dh isn't perfect, no one is, but I feel truly blessed that money is the one thing we never ever argue about.

smornintime Thu 10-Jan-13 10:33:32

We have our own accounts that pay goes into and then each transfer into a joint acc that pays the bills. I use this money for food shopping etc.
When we started out we earned more or less the same. The lines have blurred somewhat now I am on my second lot of mat leave but we have the same attitude to the money that comes in being OURS and DH will often top up our joint money if needs be, knowing that I can't but would if I could.
We therefore each still have our own money...but to be honest we don't do that much that isn't for the family.
Neither of us is picky about the difference in our earnings - since I am part time and he was promoted he brings in a lot more than me so I am grateful that we have the same approach.

Think you def need more discussion to both understand what the other expects...especially if you are thinking of children as the balance will certainly shift then.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 10-Jan-13 10:33:37

"So you'd be left with 1200 and he'd be left with 1500. "

This is why family savings and one-off expenses have to be part of the mix. No good just covering off the utility bills and the groceries and leaving individuals with large amounts of spends.

Timetoask Thu 10-Jan-13 10:34:03

Look, you are going to be a family, presumably with plans for the future. Plans usually involve money, saving, investing. Yes, you can also have individual plans (career progression, personal improvement, etc), but when it comes to family planning, money is a big factor. It would be lovely if we could just live purely out of love, but we need to plan finances as well.

I would NEVER marry a man that had the view of what is mine is mine and what is yours is yours.

What DH and I have always done, is put all our earning (regardless of what our outgoings are) in a joint savings account. Transfer whatever is needed for bills to a specific account, and transfer a fixed amount (equal for both of us, and not very large) to our separate accounts to do whatever we want with it, and whatever is left over invest, save, pay mortgage, plan for a holiday, whatever.

I am not working at the moment, we continue the same. DH has never made me feel like I am not entitled to money, we are a team.

BigStickBIWI Thu 10-Jan-13 10:34:56

How can men use more electricity?!

Ambi Thu 10-Jan-13 10:35:09

We had this issue when we got together even though I was earning less and contributing 50% to the bills, I felt like I would be giving up financial independence to pool our funds. I didn't want to account for every penny I'd spent. However upon discussion we agreed that we should have joint funds and it has been the best for us due constant changing circumstances, his redundancy, my maternity leave, his new job at lower wage etc.
Tbh it doesn't work for everyone, but I think your DP does need to accept that your wages are joint even if they are in separate accounts.

I think what I'll suggest is splitting bills and savings proportionately. So...

- We calculate who earns what percentage of our joint income
- We calculate how much we spend on bills AND how much we want to save each month
- This total is then split in accordance with the percentages
- We are each left with a proportionaly representative amount of spending money

How does that sound? That way when I'm on maternity leave/if one of us loses our job it will automatically still be fair, yes? And when we have DC an amount each month to be spent on them will also be part of the percentage split.

HolofernesesHead Thu 10-Jan-13 10:46:43

IMO, it comes down to what you believe marriage is. DH and I hot married in church and one of the vows we said to each other is 'All that I am, I give to you; all that I have, I share with you.' so for us, marriage is a complete pooling of all resources, not just money, complete giving of ourselves to each other. This isn't to say that our marriage is perfect, but this is the vision of marriage that we aspire to.

So for me, the basic question to work through with your DP is what you both believe marriage is, what vision of life you aspire to. If you can answer that one, the 'how to organise our money' becomes a lot easier.

FWIW, DH and I have mostly had a joint account through our marriage, with single accounts for particular reasons, but even then there's been no sense that the single accounts aren't available to the other person, just that one of us has taken responsibility for looking after money for a particular reason.

MirandaWest Thu 10-Jan-13 10:47:26

I think about this a bit. When XH and I were married we just had a joint account. Problem was we never talked about money and between us we made a big mess of our finances. There was never any concept of either of us contributing in any percentages to how much we earned, or joint savings or our own money - it just went in the pot and was used up. And then we used credit cards.

I am now in a new relationship and if it carries on the way it is going then at some point we will live together smile I am wary because I can't work out how money would work out (I work part time but also get some tax credits and housing benefit which would end if we lived together). But I do know that we would talk about it a lot before any living together happened.

Trills Thu 10-Jan-13 10:47:47

That way when I'm on maternity leave/if one of us loses our job it will automatically still be fair, yes?

No. If one of you has your income seriously reduced then one of you could end up with far far far less spending money than the other. I don't see how that is "fair".

Proportionate only works if you have similar incomes.

brainonastick Thu 10-Jan-13 10:49:09

Well, if you do it proportionately like you suggest, then when you are on maternity leave then you will have no, or almost no, spending money for yourself.

Then what do I do? I'm tearing my hair out here trying to think of a fair way to do it without literally saying we share everything. I'd like to think of a way to do that if possible...

Maybe we just need a clause of "while I am on maternity leave / if one of us loses our job then the one of us still earning will support the other, and until such time as we are both working full-time again all resources will be shared"?

(Thanks for all your responses by the way, I'm rubbish at this..)

ASK your dp what he thinks you should do for Maternity / job losses (him as well as you).

brainonastick Thu 10-Jan-13 10:55:34

What you need to do is ask your soon to be DH:

what happens on ML?
what happens when we have DCs and one of us drops to PT, or stays at home?
who pays the childcare?
what happens if one of us gets long term sick?
what happens if one of simply chooses a job that doesn't pay very much?

A poster above linked to the kind of questions you need to go through. It isn't down to you to find the solution, you need to work through this with your DP. Ignore this issue at your peril

brainonastick Thu 10-Jan-13 10:57:47

I would email him a link to those questions, and organise an evening to go through them with him, with a bottle of wine and a takeaway. Not too much wine though, you need to be able to get to the heart of both of your attitudes to money. Because its not just about the money, its the representation of how you view your future life together. It is about what the marriage actually means to you.

SolidGoldFrankensteinandmurgh Thu 10-Jan-13 10:57:51

How come he's telling you he's entitled to more spending money than you when you supported him financially before? Does he think you were mean with money in that period or something? Or is it just that his cock will fall off if he has to consider a woman his equal rather than having an advantage over her?

Or is it just that his cock will fall off if he has to consider a woman his equal rather than having an advantage over her?

Believe me, if that were the case I'd have murdered him long ago, never mind leaving him.

harryhausen Thu 10-Jan-13 11:01:36

Brainonastick has presented all the right questions for you to ask.

Me and my DH had separate accounts while we lived together and even when we were first married. We had a joint account where we both had equal direct debits paid into for rent, bills etc. After that our money was our own.

When we had our first dc things just changed. I'm self employed and work from home so I thought it wouldn't effect me (ha ha ha so naive). However I was naturally working much much less and struggling. It was my DH who suggested we just pool 'our' money. It made so much sense.

Now, we simply have a joint account and a savings account. 'His' money all goes on bills and 'My' money all goes on 'our' treats and extras.

To be honest, it made me feel so much more together and not so alone in worrying about future work etc.

You really need to discuss it properly and what it both means to you.

steppyhen Thu 10-Jan-13 11:04:59

My dh gets more then me a month and I also have debt from.before we met , he has a son from previous relationship which we have almost wages cover all the bills ,debt and dss maintenance. Dh wages is ours to spend on what we please ! I find this works well. Dh is good with money I am not so good , if we did not do it this way financially i would be broke. All acounts are joint what's his is mine and what's mine is his!

Okay, so I've drafted what I plan to say. I'll ask him to sit down with me and talk about it with a glass of wine of an evening, and basically say this:


At the moment, we lives financially as two separate people. When we are married, the law will see our incomes as totally combined. I therefore feel that we should prepare for this.

Ideally, I would like to have a joint bank account. Both our wages will be paid into this, and all bills will come out of it. Whatever is left after bills and savings we will transfer into our single-person card one banking accounts, split evenly down the middle.

I thought for a long time about doing it by percentages, but that means that if one of us lost our job, or in the future when I may be on maternity leave, there is a possibility that one of us will end up with no money for themselves whatsoever – I never want you to be in that position, and I hope that you feel the same way about me.

Our finances have been weird in our relationship, and by no means perfect or even good sometimes! We need to fix this.

When we are married, and actually already, I see us as a family unit of two (plus the cat), not two single people. We are a family. I feel that our finances should be family finances, not split into “this is yours and this is mine”. This will set us up for a secure future together and also make things like saving easier.

Right now, yes, you will be a tiny bit “worse off” out of it, but I ask you not to see it like that. What we earn, we earn for our family unit – as it stands, of two plus cat – we do not earn it for ourselves as individuals. One day I’ll be earning a helluva a lot as a lecturer (I hope!), and we’ll all be better off then!

I love you. I already see us as a family. Just because we don’t have kids yet, doesn’t mean we’re not a family. I want our money to reflect this, and think that if we do this now it will save us a world of trouble in the future. It will also make it easier for us to create some savings, which we can then use to pay off our debts faster and save for travel or a house deposit.

I also think that this will strengthen our “togetherness” as we’ll be “in it together”, so to speak. It will help us to be generally more considerate of each other because we’ll feel more united – an “us” instead of “you and I”.
I hope that you understand what I’m trying to do here. What do you think?


I think that explains it. He probably genuinely hasn't thought about it from that perspective. He can be a bit dense sometimes.

VenusRising Thu 10-Jan-13 11:15:00

Hear hear brainonastick, these are real life situations and need most urgently to be addressed to your satisfaction, and if he's niggle about it, in writing. Try counselling with Relate, as it does need to be sorted before you enter in to a legal contract with him ( marriage).

I would consider financial issues like this to be a red flag for abuse.

Consider also that women earn on average 20% less than men doing a similar job, and factor this into your spending money, and overheads.

Tb quite frank, I don't like the sound of him....... Hummm......

StillSmilingAfterAllTheseYears Thu 10-Jan-13 11:16:25

I agree you need to discuss thoroughly. In my view all money is family money, the risk of the proportionate approach is if you give up work after ML, you put in 0% towards bills but are left with no money to spend on yourself. While partner still has money for hobbies etc. A friend of mine in just this pickle, asking her husband for essentially pocket money.

Your dp's attitude sounds horrid tbh. On relationships board they say often 'when someone tells you who he is, listen'. Your dp is saying he is selfish and not a team player imo. Hope you have a good chat about this. I would see non-pooled resources as a dealbreaker.

Thanks StillSmiling - I do genuinely believe that he just hasn't thought about it properly. It is very out of character and not at all in line with how he is in every other aspect of our relationship.

brainonastick Thu 10-Jan-13 11:19:04

I think that sounds entirely reasonable.

From a practical and credit rating point of view, you might find it easier to maintain your two single accounts, but set up a joint account into which you both pay and from which all the bills and savings come - and work the maths so you are left with similar/equal amounts in your single accounts for your own spending. We have a number of joint savings accounts as well, eg pensions/cars etc, but one non-specific for the 'buffer' for everyday things like a new roof, or just if one of us wants something quite expensive that they can't afford, and we both agree its fine to spend the money.

I also think you should raise future DC and whether either of you have strong opinions on how many/when and very importantly, who looks after them. Many posts on here with angst caused by wanting different numbers of children, or wanting different childcare arrangements or parenting philosophies.

Good luck.

brainonastick Thu 10-Jan-13 11:24:10

"He can be a bit dense sometimes"

I recognise this OP DH I'm thinking of you. Some of us mere mortals are not abusive or mean or selfish. Just maybe a little resistant to change and giving a knee jerk reaction, not having thought things through properly. I would give him a chance to have a proper think about this. If he won't shift his opinion, well, then you've got a problem. But it sounds likely he is just being dense and a bloke.

DC is a conversation we've had and check on very often to see if anything's changed for either of us. It's start trying for the first when we're 27, for now we both want one but are aware that this might change when we have one, I will obviously take maternity leave and when he's home everything will be split 50:50. Our parenting philosophy is the same... Fortunately there I think we're set!

Thanks brainonastick grin

strumpetpumpkin Thu 10-Jan-13 11:26:01

if he doesnt want joint finances, then keep them seperate. As long as neither of you are going short, I dont see the problem. I think seperate finances are much healtheir. Me and dp have always had seperate money and always will. My parents always had seperate money.

EvenIfYouSeeAPoppy Thu 10-Jan-13 11:27:08

Dh and I have had joint finances since we moved in together 2 and a bit years into our relationship (and 2 months before we married) and for the last five years or so have only had a joint account. Our financial positions relative to each other have changed a lot over the years. We had a stint where I was working FT and he was a SAHP; then we were earning roughly equal amounts for quite a while, and now he earns quite a bit more than me. We pay for everything, including personal expenses, from the one account. We are both fairly sensible with money, which helps; I am the one who does the budgeting and so dh will ask me whether or not we can afford something, or sometimes he will suggest a purchase and I will veto because I know what's coming up, but that's fine; it has rarely caused an argument.

Tbh I can't imagine why anyone would make the commitment of getting married but not be prepared to share finances (I'm sure there are situations in which keeping things separate can make sense, but not in the normal run of things). Marriage is not just a romantic day, it's a legal contract, ideally for life, with significant implications. I can't help feeling there's something flatmate-like about a committed relationship where there's such a defined sense of ownership over his/her money, to the extent of paying each other back when one partner covers more of a particular expense or assigning areas which 'he' and 'she' pays.

brainonastick Thu 10-Jan-13 11:27:26

Well that sounds positive at least. Have you discussed what happens to the finances if you decide not to go back FT (PT or SAHM) once you've had a DC, and if he is OK with that? IME you can't really plan for what you will feel like, and everyone is different. Also what would happen if you have problems conceiving - ie if you are on the same page re IVF/cost of many tries/adoption. All less likely scenarios, but worth bringing up before you tie the knot.

brainonastick Thu 10-Jan-13 11:28:51

Sorry - that was very sexist of me - he could be the one not going back PT and covering childcare of course!

BertieBotts Thu 10-Jan-13 11:36:53

IME parenting philosophy goes out of the window fairly quickly - better to know that you can discuss emotionally heavy topics respectfully smile

QueenofPlaids Thu 10-Jan-13 11:38:14

We use the approach that we're both left with the same amount of free cash at the end of the month. The joint account gets a budget for food, utilities, mortgage etc. plus a buffer for repairs. I am the higher earner.

Your partner's response would make me very nervous given the difference at the moment is relatively small (I could maybe understand if you are unmarried and the difference in take home was thousands of pounds). What happens if the differential grows for any reason? Yes DC could be one, but there are others.

Put it this way - 5 years ago DP and I earned almost exactly the same amount. 12 months ago, through luck (good and bad) and a few good moves on my part, I was taking home significantly more than him and our outgoings were massive. If we split things the way you do, we could literally have had very different standards of living in the same house, or had to make joint purchase decisions based on what the lower earner can afford (I know couples who operate like this, but frankly I think it's bonkers!).

Is he otherwise generous? When you go out together, does he get out a calculator for the bill? grin. If he expects absolutely everything split 5050 he sounds a bit mean!

We can definitely do that, Bertie - as I say, this topic really is an oddity! I feel much better about it now I have a discussion plan smile

Our thinking for the future is that everything is subject to change - the important thing is to be open and honest with each other about how we feel about stuff, because that way we can have a good dialogue about things, and if there's a bit deal we can talk through it.

QueenofPlaids Thu 10-Jan-13 11:42:39

Oh I see the thread has moved on a bit while I was typing up War and Peace grin

When DP and I first agreed our approach he thought proportional was fairer. Once I explained it, including the long term view (salaries and circumstances can change) he quite quickly 'got it'. He was also just being a bit dense wink

smilingthroughgrittedteeth Thu 10-Jan-13 11:43:04

DP and I have our wages paid into seperate bank accounts, we then put the same amount each into a joint account to cover rent, bills, shopping and a bit over.

What's left in our personal accounts remains our own money, I earn more than DP and have less outgoings then him so have more disposable income but if for whatever reason one of us needed money for something then the other would pay more into the joint account that month.

We still see all money as family money but we both have very different attitudes to money and by keeping seperate accounts it means I don't moan about his easy going attitude of spending and he doesn't get annoyed at my need to save, I have a savings account and an account for car related expenses that I pay money into each month and my spending account.

Its pretty much guarenteed that by the last week of the month he has no money left and I cover petrol for both of us.

We don't have children together yet but I cant see it changing if we do, they way we deal with finances suits our relationship BUT the difference is that we have discussed it and agree unlike you and your DP, I don't think there is a right or wrong way but he does sound like he is being unreasonable in not discussing it

brainonastick Thu 10-Jan-13 11:44:20

Bertie - I agree. And parenting philosophy is definitely a moveable feast. I think mine has gone from Gina Ford, through Toddler Taming and few other thrown at the window books, and ending up as 'more sleep please, and failing that, more wine' grin. I think I meant more that he wasn't expecting the OP to turn into a SAHM, 1950s housewife, as soon as children were in the house. Some men seem to time travel back through several decades once they have children.

StillSmilingAfterAllTheseYears Thu 10-Jan-13 11:48:51

Do come & update. I am fingers crossed he's just not thought it through.

I can't think how to phrase this without sounding like patronising auntie, but very impressed you're discussing these topics in advance. Will hopefully save much angst in future. I otoh moved in with a selfish chap, had to do maaaajor unravelling to escape. Luckily I broke off the engagement! Money is such a potential for unhappiness and power issues. Sadly how it is shared does matter.

smilingthroughgrittedteeth Thu 10-Jan-13 11:54:04

Just realised that sounds like I have lots of play money and DP doesn't blush

I have a savings account that I try and pay into each month and another account that I pay into each month that covers car tax, mot's and unexpected car related bills, both these accounts are used by both of us but they are in my name as I had them before I met DP, by the time I've paid into those I have the same if not less than DP to spend, I can just budget better

LadyKooKoo Thu 10-Jan-13 13:02:19

Once we got married, DH and I opened a joint account and both wages go into that and what is left is split evenly between our own individual accounts and our savings account. All of the bills come out of the joint account even if it is a bill specific to only one of us (my Cineworld subscription for example).

Sunshine - that's a great conversation starter, well done. I love the idea of your little 2 + cat family. When dh and I got married, we talked to my dad about going away for Christmas - as we were nervous what my mum would think if we werent' around. He told me that we were a family now, and the most important thing was that my family was happy - if something worked for dh & I we should just do it. Obv not at the expense of others all the time, but I think it's a good starting place.

One thought. If it were me, I would want the conversation to go this way:
1. Me telling DP how I felt, what my priorities were
2. DP telling me what he felt, what his priorities were
3. Us working together to come up with a soln (that might be me saying I've thought of x and y, but I don't think they'll work, how about z?)

I'm sure you would in RL (you sound very sensible and thoughtful) but make sure you give him a chance to express any thoughts and concerns before you jump to a solution.

I may have to invent in a talking conch, a la Lord of the Flies wink


defineme Thu 10-Jan-13 13:26:19

We have had a joint account and split everything since I moved in with dh. I didn't even wait until we got married. The only reason not to this that I can think of is if one person is really shit with money. Dh and I are pretty similar. If either of us had an expensive hobby I suppose we would discuss it with each other before making large purchases, but we discuss most stuff anyway eg if I'm thinking of going away for the weekend with friends I'll have a think about a) can we afford it and b) has dh had much fun recently ie is there a balance of spending so that it's fair-it can't be absolutely equal eg my haircut costs more than his, but roughly fair is what we aim for. The matter of who earns more is absolutely irrelevent:how could that be an equal partnership/kind if that was an issue?

I don't think it's complicated, I actually think it's very simple and what we keep on banging on to the kids about-sharing reflects the love we have for each other and our commitment to this family unit. I'm an individual and I'm a member of this family: you can be both.

Or to put it even more simply: ask yourself is he being kind? If the answer is no then he's not a suitable partner imho.

cheeseandpineapple Thu 10-Jan-13 13:51:24

I think even the most reasonable of blokes can get nervous at the thought of losing their financial independence and to be honest not just blokes. For a long while DH and I pre marriage and early days of marriage had sep accounts, our salaries went into our own accounts and then a fixed amount went into a joint account from which bills and stuff was paid. I earned more than DH and can't remember the proportions. But I was happy with this. Over time and post children, somehow we have evolved to having one joint bank account now for both our salaries and payments. Ironically all our savings are in my former sole accounts and we keep mumbling about making them joint but haven't got round to it although he has Internet access to them.

It can take some people longer to get their head round true financial unity. In some ways it's the ultimate acid test for trust. I think the questions people have suggested and approach you're making is a good one.

I don't think he is unreasonable for having some issues but the way he handles them and whether he is committed to reaching a compromise given how you feel and his outlook for the future as your situation changes will be telling - listen to your instinct on that.

Pancakeflipper Thu 10-Jan-13 13:58:18

We have our own accounts and a joint account. DP worked out what we need to cover bills/ saving for hols/cars etc... And we each pay percentage into the account. He earns far more than me so he puts in a higher amount. We both have the same amount left for ourselves. Works for us.

Ooh, yes, the talking conch worked out really well as I recall...can't go wrong there wink

@funnypeculiar grin

DonderandBlitzen Thu 10-Jan-13 14:53:12

I think what you plan to say is good, but what if for some reason you don't end up earning loads as a lecturer one day. Might he hold that against you? ie. "You promised that if i shared my money with you then you'd pay it back when you earn loads as a lecturer."

DonderandBlitzen - if he tried to pull that one he's be given what-for.

DonderandBlitzen Thu 10-Jan-13 15:39:05

grin Is it the sort of thing he might say? Or is he not like that?

Not all all like that! Wouldn't be with him if he was! smile

What we've decided is to both get paid into a joint account, then split any spending money down the middle and transfer it into our single-person accounts so we can spend it as we like.

Thanks for your input everyone, it helped me know it was the right thing to do and after talking it through with him he finally gets it as well!

thanks xx

well done for having the conversation, sunshine - and wishing you a long & happy marriage smile

Thanks funnypeculiar smile

BigStickBIWI Fri 11-Jan-13 12:08:19

Phew! Good outcome, I think. Actually, it doesn't really matter what the specific outcome is, as long as you both agreed it and feel happy with it. Money is one of the most likely things to cause problems in a relationship, so it's good to get it sorted out now.

brainonastick Fri 11-Jan-13 12:29:18

Hooray, glad to hear you've had a good productive chat. Now you can get on with bridezilla training wink

notcitrus Fri 11-Jan-13 12:30:06

Sounds like a good plan. Might also be worth agreeing how much you are going to put into savings and what you both plan to save for, before you both spend the leftovers.

As most of my friends get to 40ish and the marriage and baby announcements give way to divorces and a few more babies, it looks like attitudes to money are way more important in relationships than sex or politics.

emma16 Sun 13-Jan-13 13:34:55

Married couples who have desperate accounts financially always sparks a worry with me. When u get married your becoming one, as such, and keeping money seperate
, to me, is a way of keeping some single independance?? Or that someones hiding something, not that I'm insinuating that your partner is obviously!! I'm a sahm & my husbands works full time, our & I say our because that's how we both see it, income goes into a current account & then a sum gets automatically transferred into another account which is where all our direct debits come out of over the month. What's left in the other account is 'our' pot of money for us as a family & is used for fuel,food,clothes,lifestyle etc. Neither of us questions the other when money is withdrawn or spent because neither of us wastes money & we trust each other.
Everyone's different but I would really question why my partner is reluctant to become one financially...although I'm glad you've sorted things at the minute, hope everything works out well for you both :-)

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