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Can I ask about your financial arrangements?

(277 Posts)
Writerwannabe83 Mon 07-Oct-13 14:18:38

I hope this isn't of a too personal nature but I'm just curious as to those who live with their partner/husband manage their finances?

When I moved in with my partner a few years ago we agreed I would give him £500 a month to cover half of all the expenses a month and that was fine. We are now married and the arrangement hasn't really changed but now it just sits 'weird' with me. I have spoke to him a few times about it and that surely most married couples have a complete joint account and all finances are shared. He is happy with the idea of having a joint account but says we should sit down, work out the running cost of the house each month and only put that amount of money in the account, 50/50. He said that way, the rest of our salary is ours to spend how we like without feeling like we have to justify our expenditures to each other etc. I am now recently pregnant and so again have discussed having one joint account with all our money in it but he doesn't seem to see why it should be necessary. His parents are not too impressed with his attitude.

To be honest, I'm happy with the joint account for all 'house stuff' and we have the rest of our money to ourselves, but I'm just curious as to what others do?

When I say that most married couples have complete joint sharing of the finances my husband tells me they don't. None of us have anything solid to base this on though, we just both want to be right smile

JoinYourPlayfellows Mon 07-Oct-13 14:52:25

"if we had a joint account he would feel like he was spending my money, not just his."

He is spending your money, not just his.

You are a financial unit and soon there will be a dependant in the mix.

How on earth can he imagine that he can continue to spend so much money on himself when he's about to have a family?

What savings and investments do you have? What kind of contingency fund for emergencies?

FuckyNell Mon 07-Oct-13 14:54:43

I am sahm and all of the money earned by DH is mine. He gets a small allowance.

RevelsRoulette Mon 07-Oct-13 14:57:05

grin Nell

GuybrushThreepwoodMP Mon 07-Oct-13 14:58:08

Joint account. DH twice as much as me (I'm part time) so he puts in twice as much as me. We both put transfer the majority of our salary, just keeping back enough for individual expenditure (truly individual such as me having dinner out with my friends or him going out with his- maybe £100-£200 a month for each of us). All other costs- rent, food, nursery fees, clothes for any of us, bills- comes out of joint account. I suppose we're lucky that neither of us bother with expensive clothes or equipment etc. If one of us did, I would probably expect that person to save up in their 'individual' account to buy it, BUT I wouldn't expect this to have an effect on the joint money (ie if he had expensive taste in shoes, I wouldn't expect him to put less into the joint to cover the cost).
Works for us. We respect each other's contribution and understand that not all contributions are financial. By this I mean that I contribute less financially but my days off are spent taking care of our baby. This is as much of a contribution as him going out to work.

Writerwannabe83 Mon 07-Oct-13 14:59:40

jointourplayfellows - I have savings because I put money aside each month, I doubt very much that DH does that. Probably because he likes to spend his money. I think he might need a bit of a reality check as to how much things will change once the baby comes. I think it will be a shock to his system when he realises his money has got to be spent on much more important things smile

Fuckynell - there is no way we could afford to run our house on my husband salary alone. Ideally though I'd like a year off with the baby but it is more than likely I will have to go back to work when it is 9 months.

HappyAsEyeAm Mon 07-Oct-13 14:59:42

All the money that we earn goes into a joint aount. Everything that we spend comes out of that joint account too - we notionally agree that each month we will need to spend £X on food, £Y on household expenses, £Z on the DC etc, and then we save whatever is left.

DH works full time and I work part time btw. He earns about four times what I do.

specialsubject Mon 07-Oct-13 15:00:56

what is more important is that you have equal attitudes to money. Two sensible savers are fine. two spendthrifts (isn't that a strange word?) will be happy but end up in debt.

one of each ends up arguing.

most couples don't need to worry about the detail as big purchases are discussed and small ones aren't worried about. But it is also sensible to have separate accounts, because a joint one gets frozen on a death. And can be emptied if there is a divorce.

you've got red flags. Now you are pregnant you need savings (because if he loses his job what happens?), wills, guardianship arrangements, life insurance.

Sort all these things, work out budgeting, see what you both like to spend 'play' money on and if you can afford it. The mechanics of the account are least of your worries.

Feckssake Mon 07-Oct-13 15:01:44

Mmmm, I suspect there's a touch of your husband dressing up his apparent anxiety about spending your joint money, so that he gets to maintain the status quo.

You probably do need less personal money while on mat. leave, but equally he needs to reign in the child-free fun spending, so that you are comfortable. First you need to establish what is acceptable for you to have as your money while on mat. leave: £500 a month? I guess only you can decide what that figure is. Add that to the household costs, take the total away from your joint income, and voila, that's his monthly fun budget. Naturally you would review this once mat. leave is finished.

That way you get the standard of living you need and it's dealt with in a rational way.

dobedobedo Mon 07-Oct-13 15:03:38

Every penny we earn is paid into a joint account. Bills are paid out of it every month, and whatever is left is both of ours. He spends money on golf and the gym every month, and I spend money on clothes and whatever I'm into. We decide big purchases together. We share everything. Until this month I earned more than him and it didn't bother me - however he's just had a pay rise so now he earns more than me and I'm glad I'll see the benefit of that too - it's not just HIS extra money every month.

I also share bonuses I get at work with him. (high street vouchers etc)

sebsmummy1 Mon 07-Oct-13 15:03:55

Tricky subject.

I was always independent and looked after myself, ran my own rented accommodation etc.

When OH and I moved in together he didn't want me to help with any costs as he earned 3x my salary but I said I would pay for all the food and things we needed for the house. This ate into most of my salary and so when I got pregnant and wasn't going to be entitled to SMP I knew things were going to have to change.

Oh didn't want to do the joint bank account thing as his ex had stolen a lot of money from him through the sale if their house using their joint bank account. However he added me onto his credit card and then down the line I am also on another card meaning I can use them anywhere to shop (previously some places wouldn't take the card I had).

Anyhow I now don't work, I have not mat pay and I am having to lean heavily on OH. I have savings so have to use them to top up, but on the whole the arrangement works ok.

I think you have to consider how yr financial arrangement is going to work once you are no longer working or will you be returning to work do you think? If so will you share childcare costs?

Money is a very contentious subject and I suggest you have the heavy conversations now rather than waiting until the baby is here. You are meant to be working as a team and he needs to realise this.

When we first started out, we both had our own accounts. But when we were moved in together, we kind classed all money as shared regardless of where it came from. We came to the arrangement that the direct debit bills all came out of mine, so we knew howe much they all were. And any living money was out of her account.

We didn't really have any spare money back then, so we had to watch every penny in order to survive. Nowadays, both accounts are still active but the old way of running the accounts has somewhat slackened. It usually just ends up being which cashpoint card we have at the time.

As for spending money, yes I do feel the need to run it by DW if it's anything significant. In theory, so does she. In practice, only if its really expensive will either of us really be that bothered. As long as we're both sensible (we both want the bills to be paid), it works out fine.

underthesky Mon 07-Oct-13 15:06:22

I don't work. I don't have a card for our main current account for purely logistical reasons. I get a substantial amount if housekeeping a week - I asked for this because otherwise I would spend without limit - otherwise he would give me what I want. He also puts an amount into my own personal savings account each month. When I go back to work I will save a certain amount for myself and the rest will go into the family pot.

Viviennemary Mon 07-Oct-13 15:06:52

Separate finances does seem to work for some people but we don't do this. If one person earns a lot more than the other or when one person doesn't earn at all I can't see how it could work very well. Without transferring money in and out of accounts and working out what one person owed and so on. And then one person gets a bonus so who does that belong to.

ziggiestardust Mon 07-Oct-13 15:07:09

We just chuck everything in together. We do have separate accounts, but when all the bills are paid, we just work out how much we have left between us and it's just a question of, when buying something, which card it comes off.

He knows all my PIN numbers and vice versa. It's just a name on a card; the money belongs to both of us.

We are in the unique situation of both earning exactly the same amount of money each month, though.

mumblechum1 Mon 07-Oct-13 15:07:48

Separate here. DH pays some bills from his account (we've paid the mortgage off) and I pay some out of mine.

He then sticks the vast majority of his income into savings, I blow most of mine. Therefore we almost never row about money. His savings pay for the big holidays, I treat him to a few weekends a year away, he does the same.

May sound weird to some people but it works for us. He earns 25X what I do which is why he can afford to save a lot, but then again I run a business on the side and all of the net profits are mine to do what I like with.

whatdoesittake48 Mon 07-Oct-13 15:08:30

We share one bank account and all income and outgoings go through it. We have shared access too. However we have a £20 limit on individual "me" type spending. if we want to spend more - we check with each other. there has never been a refusal on either side unless there has been an oversight and we didn't realise there was no money left over.

I earn half what my husband does and it has never been an issue.

Spottybra Mon 07-Oct-13 15:09:19

Would he give you most of 'his' money towards the baby? Or would he expect 'your' money to cover you and the baby?

Can't relate as we have a joint account and he knows its all mine I'm afraid - that is unless he wants me to stop cooking/cleaning/running a taxi service/and start expecting him to come along to shoe fittings/school shopping/party gift and party outfits shopping/winter clothes shopping etc.

scallopsrgreat Mon 07-Oct-13 15:10:20

When me and my partner first moved into together we both put the same amount into a joint account to cover bills/food/mortgage and then the rest was ours. I bought and ran the car (I used it the most - he had a motorbike and did the same with that).

Then it became apparent that I had loads more savings than him so we changed to proportional amounts i.e. I put more in than him as I was earning more and sorted out the savings a bit.

Then we had children and now we both have the same amount of spending money left in our own account. The rest goes into the joint account. I no longer run (or buy) the car alone even though I use it more because I also use it more to ferry the children around. All savings are considered joint too. When I was on Maternity leave I put in as much as I could per month. We both saved up to cover it and so dipped into the savings as and when needed and obviously I used more of the joint account for stuff I needed during that time.

You need to be careful that he isn't so much worried about spending 'your' money as not being able to spend 'his' money i.e. he doesn't want his spending habits to change. So just make sure that you are not required to fork out all the expense for the baby out of 'your' money. Because that definitely wouldn't be fair.

And definitely ask the question of what he is going to do to help cover your maternity leave.

JoinYourPlayfellows Mon 07-Oct-13 15:11:22

It sounds like he has some very expensive habits and spendthrift ways and it concerns me that he thinks that he thinks his spending has nothing to do with you.

If he squandered less money on petrol, expensive cars and going out all the time, you would be in a far better financial position.

As it stands your savings (i.e. your lack of spending) is the only buffer you guys have to help you through a maternity leave.

It also concerns me to hear a man with a baby on the way talking about how he intends to continue spending large amounts of money on frequent social trips.

Parents of small babies tend to save a lot of money, because the ones who are doing it properly aren't constantly out on the pop blowing the family budget on booze.

Grennie Mon 07-Oct-13 15:11:42

We share all of our money. And when you have kids, I don't see how else you could do it and be fair. We all know mothers pay a premium for being mothers and thus earn less than childless women. So if you don't share money, you are simply replicating this inequality in your relationship.

I think both partners should have the same amount of money to spend on themselves e.g. hobbies, chocolate, pubs, magazines.

Lavenderhoney Mon 07-Oct-13 15:11:48

I have my own account ( with not much in it tbh, and i never use it) and dh had his but I am joint on his. I do all the online banking and mortgage, savings etc.

I have a year cash flow on excel and I keep it up to date. Everything comes out of dh account as I am a sahm. Couldn't manage otherwise.

I wouldn't be happy with being given " housekeeping" which includes all the house costs, childcare etc, and he keeps the rest as his for his spending and hobbies etc. somehow that is a bit master and servant to me.

itwasarubythatshewore Mon 07-Oct-13 15:14:34

When I was married we had separate accounts and paid the same amount into a joint account for household expenses or split them equally. I earned more than he did though and was able to contribute equally for a year maternity leave and then another year as SAHM. We are split now and there are no maintenance payments in either direction. The only important thing is that both parties have the same expectations and no-one is being abused in any situation.

underthesky Mon 07-Oct-13 15:15:50

Just to add - the housekeeping I am given is mainly for food and out and about. Anything else is extra and I take out of my housekeeping fund (and gives me it back) or I use our joint cc.

jacksgrannie Mon 07-Oct-13 15:17:41

Joint account here since we got married eons ago. Everything we earned went in and all expenses came out - it was all family money. Only exception was when DH had his own business with business account. He still put his "salary" into the current account though. We both trust one another about money - would never spend on big items without discussion and agreement first.

However, my parents-in-law and my parents were very different in their attitude to money. Their finances were kept quite separate (FIL had to pay back MIL if he borrowed from her). I found it quite weird.

motherinferior Mon 07-Oct-13 15:18:49

We have very different attitudes to money - I'm a cheapskate, he's a spendthrift. So we have complicated separate finances plus a joint account that we both pay into. Works for us. I would hate to share our money.

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