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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

Fairylea Mon 07-Oct-13 14:21:16

We have a joint account where everything is paid in and goes out of. We split whatever is left over between us and transfer to our own accounts so we have equal spending money. Works for us!

Fairylea Mon 07-Oct-13 14:22:25

Oh meant to add I am sahm and dh works, so despite him in effect earning and me not we both respect the fact we are both working so we both have the same amount of spending money.

eurochick Mon 07-Oct-13 14:22:45

We have a joint account for joint expenses (mortgage, bills, repairs, furniture). We pay into this in proportion to our salaries.

Everything else is separate, but we do discuss big purchases with one another.

If I were ever to become pregnant and be on mat leave, the funding of the joint account would change as my income went down (i.e. it would swing from me funding about 65% of it to him funding most of it).

AcidNails Mon 07-Oct-13 14:23:04

DH and I keep our finances separate. We split bills between us proportionate to our earnings and have a joint savings accoubt.

Works for us, both very independent and private people.

jimijack Mon 07-Oct-13 14:23:26

We have a joint bill & mortgages account.

We have separate salary accounts.

This is very important as we have different interests and this way neither of us have to explain or justify drawing money out.

We have our own money. 18 years on it still works fine.

SoonToBeSix Mon 07-Oct-13 14:23:36

Mu dh and I share all our income , personally I find it very strange that other people don't. Once you have your dc I hope he changes his thinking.

derektheladyhamster Mon 07-Oct-13 14:24:15

We have a joint account which all bills spending money etc comes out of. I have a sole account which my wages and CB go into (My wages are pretty low grin I pay for all food/birthday presents/clothes out of this account. It works for us as we never have any money spare at the end of the month grin and my husband rarely spends money grin grin

Habbibu Mon 07-Oct-13 14:24:33

We have a joint account for bills, food etc, and then joint savings accounts. Money left over is evenly shared between our own personal accounts, so that we have our own spending money. Suits us well.

derektheladyhamster Mon 07-Oct-13 14:24:43

Should of said DH's wages go into the joint account

We have shared since we moved in together. He gets paid into his own account then money gets spread out to where it is needed and we discuss all biggish or unnecessary purchases

peanutbutterhoney Mon 07-Oct-13 14:26:36

We have one joint account, everything goes in and gets paid from there. We trust each other to spend in a reasonable manner and discuss big purchases before we buy (big probably equals over £200).

If you are pregnant you are presumably going to be on mat leave soon. What will happen then? Will you be expected to have only your mat pay? Or will you have to ask your DH for money? I wouldn't be happy with either of those scenarios tbh. I think you need to sort this out before baby comes.

Neitheronethingortheother Mon 07-Oct-13 14:28:02

We both work. I earn slightly more than him. He pays mortgage, I pay childcare. I pay food, Electricity and Gas and car. He pays internet and maintenance for children from previous. We go halves on treats or whoever has money left pays for them.

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Mon 07-Oct-13 14:28:42

We both have our salaries paid into own accounts net of our own pension/ company share scheme arrangements. He pays the joint credit card, keeps back a bit of spends for lunch/ taxis etc and then transfers the rest into a joint account which we both have free reign on. Household bills all come out if that. I keep my salary as savings. Once a month we update one spreadsheet that lists all accounts in either of our names so we look on it as joint. It's just the admin that is a bit of a mishmash.

rollmeover Mon 07-Oct-13 14:32:55

When we both worked - seperate accounts that our salaries were paid into. We transferred a proportionate amount to joint account to cover bills, joint spending and savings. We kept a small amount back to cover our individual spends for the month.

Now Im a sSAHM, dh pays mortgage from his account thentransfers everything elseto joint account that we both have equal access to and from there we calculate our monthly/weekly budget and all bills come out of there.

We try to have a monthly "meeting" where we track our spending (doing house renovations) and make sure savings etc on track. (Its not always this rock and roll in our house grin ).

I couldnt be a SAHM and not know what money was coming in and where money was going (from a financial security point of view)

Writerwannabe83 Mon 07-Oct-13 14:35:10

I think my husband's concern is that he spends more money than me and so if we had a joint account he would feel like he was spending my money, not just his. For example, he has an expensive car that he pays quite a bit for each month, he spends FAR more money on petrol a month than I do, he is more social than me in that he has nights out with his friends, trips to the Races, Theme Parks, Stag Dos etc. He also likes going to Music concerts so has the costs of tickets and travel etc. He also likes the odd bet and a night out at the Casino smile

He says that as things stand, once he has put the £500 to one side (towards urge running of the house) he then has the rest of his money to himself to spend as he likes. Whereas if we had a joint account he feels he wouldn't able to continue his life as it is (which obviously I don't want) because he would feel like he'd be spending my money as well as his which wouldn't be fair.

Trills Mon 07-Oct-13 14:37:04

joint account for all 'house stuff' and we have the rest of our money to ourselves

This, but if you have a child together then "child stuff" should be included along with "house stuff", and you should put in such that you both get equal spending money.

surely most married couples have a complete joint account and all finances are shared Not surely at all. Many do, but many don't. I wouldn't say that most do.

JsOtherHalf Mon 07-Oct-13 14:37:16

We each keep the same amount of 'pocket' money from our salaries for things like clothes, shoes, books, haircuts etc. The rest of the money goes into joint current accounts and savings. Anything to do with DS or household expenditure, petrol, etc comes from a joint account.

Trills Mon 07-Oct-13 14:39:00

I kind of know how your DH feels - I would not want joint spending money because I would feel bad if I bought something expensive, whereas when the money is separate I know that I have (silly example) saved enough to go to that concert because I have been spending less in the pub recently, and that in total I am spending a reasonable amount.

Ireallymustbemad Mon 07-Oct-13 14:40:38

We share everything and all accounts are joint. I used to earn more money than DH but now work part time and earn considerably less than him.

I think your situation is fine when you're both earning with no kids, but how are you going to pay for maternity leave and things for the kids? You no doubt will have a period of earning less, may or may not go back to work, have childcare to pay for if you do.

Are you going to pay all of that cost yourself? His hobbies will probably have to be trimmed too to pay for it surely? How is that going to work? Will he up his payment to the bills account, will he give you an allowance? Personally all joint makes a lot more sense to me.

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

Petrol is something that interests me. My DH currently spends over £200 a month on petrol, I probably spend about £75. As it stands our petrol costs come out of our own personal accounts because again, my husband doesn't think it's fair to come out the joint account when his expenditure on it is far higher than mine.

Writerwannabe83 Mon 07-Oct-13 14:41:41

Exactly ireallymustbemad - why can't he understand that? smile

Crawling Mon 07-Oct-13 14:42:31

We have one account all the money goes in. Then if one of us needs something and we have the money spare we get it.

LaRegina Mon 07-Oct-13 14:44:00

We have separate accounts where our salaries are paid to. We also have a joint account where we both transfer a proportion of our pay monthly to cover all household expenses, mortgage, bills, food shopping, etc. We're both left with roughly the same amount to spend on whatever we like. When I wasn't working when the DC were babies DH transferred half of his 'left overs' to me each month.

None of it is set in stone; if one of us needs more money to pay for something we really want the other chips in, no questions asked. For me its mainly that I like to feel I still have my own account and my own money. Plus it makes sense when buying birthday and Christmas presents for each other - I don't know how else you would keep it secret!

Having said that, I don't think it really matters how you arrange finances as long as neither party is tight not paying their fair share.

RevelsRoulette Mon 07-Oct-13 14:46:22

We just lob everything in together. If it is brought in by either of us then it belongs to both of us. I am lazy and I really can't be arsed with all that you give me £X and I'll give you £Y and you pay the mortgage and I'll pay the gas, I buy the sofa and you get the oven and you buy the bread and I'll get the milk stuff. I'd be sick to death of it within a week. It sounds complicated. I don't want to be bothered with reminding my husband that he owes me for the electric money! Give me the easy option any day! grin.

I do do the budgets though (I have designed an 18 month cash flow forecast on excel. This appeals to my idleness because now it's all set up I don't have to do much of anything.) I then transfer what's needed for the bills to the bill account, transfer what we're saving this month to the savings account and leave what's left in the cash account and from that account, each of us can have what they want, when they want. We don't care who spends what because we just see it as ours.

Unless he spends the last of it and I can't buy chocolate.

If he did that, I'd leave him.


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.

itwasarubythatshewore Mon 07-Oct-13 15:19:19

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.
Often the case, but not always. I took 2 years off and can still earn equal or more than my ex - and we work in the same field. I was able to contribute considerably more to the cost of having a baby in the first year than him. So it can be fair.

Edithmark Mon 07-Oct-13 15:20:37

Same so Revel above, and for the same reasons...can't be bothered with the faff. Everything is joint and paid into our joint account, some is then transferred to our joint savings account. DH is self employed so he has an individual account for his business (sole trader) and a bit is left in that each month for his tax bill etc. We discuss most expenditure over about £30 (on v tight budget) but we have the same kind of views on money so neither would splurge on anything, and we don't have expensive hobbies. £5 for a coffee with a friend now and again is about the height of our extravagance! BTW I used to earn loads more than him now he earns way more than me so it all evens out over time, and whoever isn't working so much at the mo' does more kids/ house duties. It all evens out over time.

Grennie Mon 07-Oct-13 15:20:39

I suppose if you are a SAHM you could charge him for the cost of childcare and house cleaning? After all, you are still working.

higgle Mon 07-Oct-13 15:20:57

We don't have a joint account because the admin of 2 single and one joint is just too much. We divide up the spending so DH pays 2/3 and I pay 1/3 as that is the proportion of our incomes. What is left over after mortgage, council tax, food, insurances, is our own, though we are very affectionate and sensitive and treat each other a lot, and offer to buy bits for the house etc.

WipsGlitter Mon 07-Oct-13 15:25:24

We have separate accounts. He pays for some stuff (food, mortgage, half of the childcare) and then can do what he likes with the rest. I pay for other stuff (insurance on a separate property I rent out, phone and internet) and the other half of the childcare.

It works for us. We have very, very different attitudes to money.

CheerfulYank Mon 07-Oct-13 15:28:53

We just have one account that we use for everything. smile

Isthiscorrect Mon 07-Oct-13 15:29:12

Dh earns 10 times my very small salary! However now, after 20 years all money goes in together. We discuss large payments on a weekly basis, other payments as they arise (2 rental houses). School trips, fees etc are budgeted in advance. Holidays planned by me and paid from joint account. All childcare (as was), clubs fees, classes etc paid by me from joint account. All my clothes and ds paid from joint account. Basically I spend what I deem necessary for us to have a good life. Savings are agreed jointly and held in all 3 names, dh, ds and myself.
But it wasn't always that way. When we met I had debts and a house, living on the breadline. Dh to be cleared all my outstanding bills on the basis I gave him all my bills so he could see where my overspending was occurring. As times changed over the years, we went from separate houses, incomes, bills and saving, via our own accounts plus a joint to pay household bills, both paying the same % of salary, to our current situation. I'm happy I know what is in every account, I depend what I like within reason and we live in a lovely equally shared house. It works for us, but then dh is happy to check every bill and play with his spreadsheet.

AidanTheRevengeNinja Mon 07-Oct-13 15:30:33

We joined all accounts when we got married. We pay for what we need, then everything else gets put in savings. We discuss significant purchases but not everyday stuff.

This works for us because:

- we have the same attitude to spending we are equally cheap

- we have similar salaries

- I manage the accounts so my control freakery is sated.

It does make things simpler but wouldn't be for everyone, particularly if you have wildly different spending habits.

ivykaty44 Mon 07-Oct-13 15:30:49

Op if you pay in 50/50 that is not fair as you will have different wages and different earnings overall.

If you have bills of for example

£2000 per months and your dp earns £1000 and you earn £2000 then your dp would never have any money left after the bills and you would have a £1000 per months - this is just going to build resentment.

Even if your dp earned £1300 a months your spending money at the begining of the months is going to be way different.

It is not perfect but a fairer way is to pay a percentage of your wages into the pot to cover the bills so that you both have the same percentage left - even if that is a different amount.

So the bills are £1000 and you earn £2000 and your dp earns say £1300 so you both pay in 30% of your wages to the bills account and then you both get 60% of your wages to spend.

When working out the bills though you must include things like nursery for baby and clothes for baby, nappies hair cuts, toys at christmas and birthdays.

Or you can pool both your wages - put what you need into the bills account, put some into a savings account for both of you - either an ISA each to make use of the tax free interest or another product. Then give yourself a set amount of pocket money each at the start of the month the amount to be the same for both of you.

JRmumma Mon 07-Oct-13 15:36:18

Before babies, we paid a set amount each into a joint account to cover all joint expenses e.g. Mortgages, bills, food, petrol and some savings.

Now im on mat leave, all except an equal amount of spending money each goes into our joint account. I don't like the idea of feeling guilty for spending 'our' money on things i want, and don't want to be pissed of with dh for spending our money on things just for him such as football tickets and after work drinks.

This works best for us.

You must have a frank chat with your DH about this as whilst it is a good idea that you keep some expenses as just your own, for example if he is using £200 of petrol going to work then its an expense for both of you, but if its going to play golf etc then its his expense, the majority of your money combined must be available to both of you once you are on mat leave and therefore have much less money coming in.

You should NEVER have to ask your partner for money as a rule. And i mean this in both directions.

TheFabulousIdiot Mon 07-Oct-13 15:36:24

"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"

this is exactly how it works in my house.

I am married. DH pays me half of everything straight into my account and then all the bills (Bar one) go straight from my account.

We have separate accounts, we earn about the same. Whatever is left over is ours to do what we want with.

You have to reach a compromise you are happy with but for me personally I don't want to pay my salary into an account that can be accessed by us all. We both like having the freedom of dealing with our own cash.

If you are going to have a baby it's definitely worth you sorting out how things will be split once you are no longer bringing home your full wage. my DH took on the bills and we had a mortgage break until I went back to work.

fuckwittery Mon 07-Oct-13 15:39:42

Everything in joint names once we were married. I had an inheritance and put that against joint mortgage and in joint savings. I used to earn a bit more and spend a bit more, but had 2 periods of maternity leave that reduced income. Now a sahm. Still all joint though.

Writerwannabe83 Mon 07-Oct-13 15:42:11

Thanks everyone for your replies, they have all been so helpful. It has given me a lot to think about and see there are various options we could take. My husband comes out with about £350 a month more than me so in the grand scheme of things our earnings are pretty much equal.

petalsandstars Mon 07-Oct-13 15:43:04

Sounds like he doesn't want to give up his expensive hobbies to help support his family to me. Or that he views money as the most important way to value things, so if you have to earn less ie on mat leave you are not putting in the same value to the family despite doing the childcare to enable him to work.

Vivacia Mon 07-Oct-13 15:44:27

OP I think you both need to sit down to talk about money so that there's more transparency about what you each earn and spend. Once the baby comes along and your individual income decreases I think it's vital for income to be family income.

Before children, our salaries went in to personal accounts and we paid in to a joint account for all joint spending (proportional to earnings). After the children, we went the other way - all income goes in to the joint account and equal pocket money in to personal accounts.

themidwife Mon 07-Oct-13 15:47:16

We have completely separate finances. I tell him how much I need towards household bills & he pays all childcare & extracurricular activities direct. I shared a bank account with my first husband. He cleared it out on the day my pitiful newly qualified salary went in to buy drugs on more than one occasion so I had no money for food, petrol or the mortgage for the rest of the month. We had two young children. Never again.

A joint domestic account that you both pay into is fine but never let someone else have access to the account your salary or benefits go into.

RegTheMonkey Mon 07-Oct-13 15:48:58

I have my account, he has his, and we have a joint one for household expenses. All the bills come out of that one - electricity, council tax, insurance etc. We pay an equal amount each into the joint account. The money in our own accounts is ours.

HeirToTheIronThrone Mon 07-Oct-13 15:50:30

I don't think it's weird - it's exactly what DH and I do. There is a separate current account which we both pay an equal amount into each month - which is in my name, but only because I already had the account from when I flat shared before and we are too lazy to set up a new one. All the joint expenses DD out of this - rent, gas, insurance. We do one big shop per month each. And everything else is ours. I work hard for my money and I do think of it as mine - I have earned it! It seems to work for us. If we had something like a holiday to pay for we'd roughly split it - maybe I'd buy the flights and he'd pay for hotel and we'd both get some spending money. The only issue we've had is when we got married and people wrote cheques to Mr and Mrs Throne which we had to ask them to re-do as my bank won't accept joint cheques paid into a single account.

We are planning on ttc next year and I realise that I might have to give up this financial independence after that, but til then, it seems to work ok.

Writerwannabe83 Mon 07-Oct-13 15:50:41

It doesn't help that we are still paying off our wedding which is £300. We also have loads to do around the house that we want/need to get done before the baby comes. It just seems like there isn't enough money in the world to do what needs doing - but I guess everyone feels the strain at some point. Ideally we wanted the wedding paid off before having a baby (we have another 10 months worth of payments) but as Sods Law would have it we fell pregnant on our first month of no contraception despite the doctors opinion that it would likely take at least 6 months.... grin

I definitely want to have a complete joint account - I'm far more responsible with money than hubby is. I think I'm going to get myself a pen and come paper, read back over all the threads and wrote down all the really good points that have been made. I'm going to give him a point of view that he can't argue with smile

Sindarella Mon 07-Oct-13 15:53:08

I work PT, P works FT.
The house, bills etc are all in my name.
We have separate accounts, he gives me half towards the bills, i buy the day to day bits and bobs but when the dc/house need big things he pays for those.
It works for us as grin

We have separate accounts though I'd prefer we had a joint one.

I've pretty much always seen our money as joint, from when I was earning more than DP/H, through having the DCs with me not earning for a time, through to now where normal situation is I work P/T and he earns more working F/T.

As I have more time and more responsibility for the DC I often spend at least as much as he does, though he does some grocery shopping and pays bills.
He transfers some money from his account to mine, but not enough, so our system doesn't work very efficiently! Will be better when I'm earning again as currently between jobs.

Will be interested if anyone chimes with my experience here!

We ought to talk about finances more, but as it's tended to be stressful we both avoid it.

PlatinumStart Mon 07-Oct-13 15:54:15

Salaries get paid into individual accounts, savings/pensions disappear and then same amount gets kept back (eg. 1k) for personal use all the rest goes into joint account out of which we pay housing/schooling/car/nanny/food etc.

The distinction between surplus in joint account and personal spends is fairly fluid and we don't really have struck rules although I'd probably check with DH for an expense over a few hundred.

This arrangement was very easy when we were both working but has equally worked very well when I was a SAHM and now he is a SAHD (just means whoever is earning more transfers into the others personal account)

flipchart Mon 07-Oct-13 15:54:57

I have been with DH for 23 years.
Over the years our income has been up and down. At the moment I am on a good wage and he earns 3x my salary.
Anyway, we have always done this.

We have a joint account
He has a buisness account
I have several savings accounts and he has as well.

Each month I put £1,200 into my savings account and I put the rest of my salary into the joint account.

DH puts £300 a week into the joint account, a lump into his savings and keeps a bit of cash about him.

When I want cash I ask him to leave me some out, No one is keeping tabs.
If I go out DH will say ' have you got enough money' and will always make sure I have at least £20 more than I anticiapate on spending ( just in case!)

I use my credit card a lot and DH pays all the bills including that at the end of the month.
DH pays £20 a week to DS2 for pocket money and pays for DS1's driving lessons and car.

The only thing that could make things better was if DH spent more money on himself.

readysteady Mon 07-Oct-13 15:55:51

I work very part time and my husband earns over 5 times my salary but that's irrelevant because everything we do is as a unit and a family and working towards the same goal that is a happy family unit so no his/hers its all family money. Infact as DH puts it he earns most of it and I spend all of it on the family needs; shopping, clothes, after school activities, nursery etc and even the odd night out for us my DH spends very little on himself like gadgets etc all our money is for Family. We never argue about money or really talk about it. We both know how (the usual) little or (very rarely) lot we have month to month.

MMcanny Mon 07-Oct-13 15:57:02

We have no joint account. My parents never had a joint account. I don't think having a joint account is 'normal'. I am financially independent, he contributes. Have been together 20 years, have two children. We prob have approx same 'miscellaneous' every month but have different priorities for this.

Vivacia Mon 07-Oct-13 15:57:57

Will be interested if anyone chimes with my experience here! No, it really doesn't Juggling, I would hate to have money given to me by my partner like that, especially if I felt it wasn't enough!

OP what do you mean you are paying for your wedding £300 per month?

Writerwannabe83 Mon 07-Oct-13 16:01:11

Just that on top of our usual outgoings we still have a large credit card bill from our wedding. We pay off £300 a month, £150 each. I just wish it was a financial burden we didn't have right now.

onlytheonce Mon 07-Oct-13 16:01:42

It just seems like there isn't enough money in the world to do what needs doing

Which is why your partner is spinning the yarn about not wanting a joint account because then he would feel guilty about spending 'your' money. He knows that there are other things the money should be spent on but he wants to carry on his carefree life. You need to sort this out now. I don't see joint/separate accounts as being the problem here.

LittlePeaPod Mon 07-Oct-13 16:02:31

DH and I have separate accounts which our earnings go into. As DH earns a lot more than I do he pays a larger percentage or the bills than I do. This is all done from separate accounts.

I personally would not want a joint account because I like the independence of having my own account with my own money in it. I don't like the idea of someone possibly monitoring what I spend my money on, even if it is DH. I am pregnant and will be going on maternity 1st December. When I go on maternity leave DH will be transferring whatever I loss as a result of maternity leave into my account, until I decide to go back to work currently planning to have 13 months off, if I can last that long So effectively I will have the same amount of money I have now whilst on maternity.

The only joint account we have is 1 credit card account, which neither of us use but could if we wanted to.

MadameLeMean Mon 07-Oct-13 16:04:09

Joint account for mortgage food and bills both pay in equal amounts.

Rest of our salaries are ours alone - otherwise I would resent him spending money on his weird hobbies and he would resent me spending money on nice clothes and bags etc.

If we have a big expense like a holiday we each put in 50% of our own money.

If we go out for dinner, we take turns in who pays (roughly, not counting them up or anything lol)

If one of us became sahp, that would change obviously.

But if you are both earning (enough to contribute half to joint expenses and have money left for yourself) think the above arrangement is pretty fair.

If one of you earns less because you pick up domestic stuff, then it's clear the higher earner should contribute more or share their "spending money"

sybilwibble Mon 07-Oct-13 16:04:51

All our earnings go into one pot and we trust one another completely to spend wisely and responsibly. Over the years of our marriage we have gone from being two young professionals earning similar amounts, to me earning everything whilst he went traveling; to me being a SAHM and him earning all our income, to both of us earning again. It all goes in one pot, and we've never ever had a big row about money because we have a very similar attitude to how the money is spent. It's all ours. Not his or mine. The house is also in joint names, even though he brought more into the marriage than I did as he already had a property, but we bought our first house together after our dc was born.

uptheanty Mon 07-Oct-13 16:05:17

We have a shared account. I'm a sahm and dh works.
I put all the bills on his desk...i don't budget anything and he keeps up with all the accounts. He's very pedantic and organised and got frustrated with me when we first got married as i would "forget" to pay thingsblush.

Dh never asks me to justify what I spend and never controls it, although he will ask me to be more careful with purchases when we are saving for a holiday or something.

It is slightly draconian of me i know, my mother is horrified by this and says that if anything ever happened to dh i wouldn't even know who my gas provider is.

My dh never controls or tries to regulate me in an inappropriate way and i basically do what i like...within reason we"re not rich!!

Dahlen Mon 07-Oct-13 16:05:45

I've always maintained separate finances as financial independence is very important to me and I would worry enormously about both of us knowing there was £60 in the joint account so both putting £40 of fuel in our respective cars IYSWIM.

I always thought the fairest and most sensible solution was to maintain separate accounts for salaries/personal use and transfer an agreed amount into a joint account out of which all household-related DDs came out - mortgage, council tax, utilities, insurances, etc. Shopping could then be done alternately to balance out over time, or one person could take responsibility and transfer less to the joint account, etc. What was left in your account you knew you could do with what you wanted. You could also have separate or joint savings accounts.

I never actually did that though. I just paid for everything (mug). Now I live on my own, so it isn't an issue. grin

Maplestrirrup Mon 07-Oct-13 16:06:26

We have a joint account for mortgage and household bills.
We have our own accounts for our wages, and transfer the same amount into the joint account.
I spend my money on my horse - I suspect DP would raise his eyebrows at the exactly how much it costs to keep one. He nearly fainted at the costs of horse shoes when I accidentally let the price slip out, so probably best the money is separate!
Works for us.

Dahlen Mon 07-Oct-13 16:07:17

I do feel quite strongly that being married is legally agreeing to see yourselves as an economic unit of one - with all resources pooled.

Writerwannabe83 Mon 07-Oct-13 16:07:54

I earn about £350 a month less than him (take home money) as I only work 30 hours whereas he works 37.5.

Our prior arrangement was working fine but now that there is going to be a baby I can't help but feel that things have to change. Our money is no longer about what we want to spend on ourselves, but about what we need to spend as a family. I.e getting everything ready for baby's arrival, maternity pay issues, child are, family holidays etc etc. in my eyes I feel that's the focus of our money is no longer on us as individuals, but as a family and that all income should be shared.

MadameLeMean Mon 07-Oct-13 16:09:24

Oh and to add to my post - despite each having our own money as well as joint money we would not be spending hundreds of pounds on anything without discussing

Writerwannabe83 Mon 07-Oct-13 16:09:55

dahlen - that is what my parents-in-law say, hence why they aren't too happy with my husbands views on how our finances should be.

KirstyJC Mon 07-Oct-13 16:10:58

We have a joint account, all money goes in, all money goes out by whoever is spending it at the time. The overdraft is equally shared! It was this way when DH was a student when moved in with me and then when I was a student after Maternity Leave before I got my new job. All household costs are taken from the account. In fact atm we have pretty much equal salaries but that has definitely not been the case over the 10 years we have been married. We have never seen it as 'mine' or 'yours'.

Reading between the lines in your posts, I am a bit concerned that with the current set up your DH will continue to spend 'his' money and you will be left spending 'yours' on the baby.

In all honesty I would be pushing, quite hard, for a joint account with all money pooled. If there is any left over after ALL costs, then you can decide then how to play with it / spend it.

And don't forget to think about what happens when you are on Maternity leave and bringing home less money - the current arrangement might well mean that you can cover household bills but then you are left with nothing, whereas he still carries on as before with 'his' money. That would not be acceptable - it's HIS baby you are taking a pay cut for, he needs to be paying for it too.

Vivacia Mon 07-Oct-13 16:11:23

Do you know, until this minute it had not occurred to me that people would use credit to pay for a wedding. I feel stupid now!

Dahlen Mon 07-Oct-13 16:11:32

Why do you think his view is so different to theirs?

mumtosome61 Mon 07-Oct-13 16:11:39

OP - your husband may wish to have the hobbies he has and not want to cut into a joint account if he's spending more than you, but at the same time with a baby on the way and a credit card bill to pay off, he may have to reign that in somewhat. Although it is certainly encouraged to have hobbies independent of each other, I do see what onlytheonce is saying - make sure it's not him spinning a yarn.

As for us - we're not married. Our situation is a bit skewered; I don't work due to serious illness which I am (hopefully) in recovery from - so yes, I receive benefits which have been endlessly verified. We have separate accounts, but OH wants to go joint. I'm not fussed either way - I don't spend much, and don't expect my OH to buy everything - he pays mortgage and bills, I pay food and smaller bits.

Well you all seem very sorted.
I suspect there are others who haven't got it all sorted to their satisfaction, but perhaps are less inclined to post than those who have ?

Vivacia Mon 07-Oct-13 16:12:11

Reading between the lines in your posts, I am a bit concerned that with the current set up your DH will continue to spend 'his' money and you will be left spending 'yours' on the baby.

In all honesty I would be pushing, quite hard, for a joint account with all money pooled. If there is any left over after ALL costs, then you can decide then how to play with it / spend it.

Agree 100% Kirsty

MadameLeMean Mon 07-Oct-13 16:12:50

If he wants to do it that way there needs to be enough in joint acct to cover all baby expenses even if that means him putting in more tbh.

Do you know what his net monthly income is?

turkeyboots Mon 07-Oct-13 16:13:29

We've always had seperate accounts. Bills are split evenly between us (we earn about the same) and family treats, holidays, DC classes and clothes, chilcare et are split evenly too.

We opperate effectively as if we had a joint account, as we are trying to save for a deposit and every penny needs to be accounted for. Anything left over is mad money!

Writerwannabe83 Mon 07-Oct-13 16:15:59

dahlen - with my inlaws, the husband earns a lot more than his wife. They wouldn't be able to have the house and lifestyle they have unless he contributed a higher proportion to the costs than she did, he doesn't mind this at all and that's why they have a joint account. He knows he pays for a lot of stuff but he appreciates that she can't afford to split everything. 50/50 so it all comes from a joint pot.

Me and the hubby on the other hand have very similar wages and because I don't have that financial dependence on him, he doesn't see why we need a joint account when 50/50 is perfectly feasible for us.

Writerwannabe83 Mon 07-Oct-13 16:17:31

madame - is Net income what he comes home with??

tumbletumble Mon 07-Oct-13 16:18:35

I agree with onlytheonce, it's not joint / separate accounts as such which is the issue here, it is your DH's attitude towards money, responsibility etc.

I am a SAHM so have zero income. My DH and I have separate accounts and he pays money into mine, but this doesn't cause any issues because our money is still 'shared' in that we discuss how to spend it and consider it all as 'family' money even though he earns it all (at the moment - I'm hoping to return to work next year but will be earning a lot less than him).

Haven't read everything Writer but from what I have it seems that you are both, but especially your DH, tending to look more at how things are now - whereas with a baby on the way it's imperative that you both try to think about how things might work in the future ? I can see why you'd want to think more in terms of joint finances.

MadameLeMean Mon 07-Oct-13 16:20:59

Yes- take home pay.

Dahlen Mon 07-Oct-13 16:21:26

I don't think being a single economic unit necessarily has to equate to a joint account, but if you have to pay for everything separately and keep checking it's equal it can become very onerous. He may think you don't need a joint account but if he's not that bothered either way it would make practical sense to get one even if you also maintain separate accounts to keep some level of independence. If he doesn't want to do that it suggests he feels more strongly about it, in which case the question is why.

KirstyJC Mon 07-Oct-13 16:23:07

But OP this may not always be the case. On Maternity Leave you may temporarily be financially dependent on him, plus a lot of the time couples who start out the same end up taking different career paths and have different incomes over time. Not least of all if one of them goes part time, which does often happen as the number of children increases! Although I must admit I don't really see it as financial dependence at all - it is a shared resource that a family use as they need to. Not all contributions to a family are money!

So, let's say you carry on as you are - what then? What if, in 10 years' time, he earns twice what you do and wants to move to a bigger house with a bigger mortgage? How will you split the bills then if you are still on your current salary (or less). And if things go the other way and you are the one rolling in it, will you feel like you are subsidising him? Or would he feel that way? Will you be going on fancy holidays leaving him to a week in Butlins?

Now, while you are planning your new future as a family unit, you need to set the foundations - what you start doing now will likely be how things carry on. I really urge you to seriously consider the implications of this for BOTH your sakes - money causes an awful lot of resentment and trouble in marriages!!

JRmumma Mon 07-Oct-13 16:23:36

Writer- its not clear whether your OH expects you to still contribute the same when you are on mat leave? Or whether he envisages keeping it fairly equal.

As, if you say you earn about the same now i suppose it is currently fairly equal and fair enough he spends his money on what he likes. But from the moment you are pregnant you have expenses such as maternity clothes which he shouldn't have a problem with contributing to, but he may still see these as things you should pay for.

Writerwannabe83 Mon 07-Oct-13 16:24:14

madame - I take home about £1'450 a month and he takes home about £1'800.

ProfondoRosso Mon 07-Oct-13 16:25:47

We don't have a joint account. I pay a portion of my salary into DH's account by standing order each month to cover my portion of the mortgage. DH earns a lot more than me, especially now that my research funding has run out and I'm effectively working for nothing. Right now, we've cancelled the standing order because, not earning, I can't afford to pay it anymore. So DH is paying the full mortgage and in the past has always paid more of the rent/mortgage than me and has paid the lion's share of things like holidays. I did clear out my savings last year to put up the deposit for our flat, though. We don't have DCs and tend to buy our own food separately (because I don't want nothin' to do with DH's crazily restricted diet).

Right now, I'm just being careful with the money I've got left in my account. I've always been really independent, always worked to have my own money. I'll hopefully get a job quite soon after I finish my thesis. If I did have to ask DH for money, I know he'd never withhold it from me - he's a great, generous person and it's my own stupid pride I need to get over when it comes to money.

Reading this thread has been quite comforting and humbling. It's great to see how positive and intelligent seeing yourself as a team, financially, can be.

Dahlen Mon 07-Oct-13 16:26:23

Have you discussed these concerns with him? Does he accept that expenses such as maternity clothes, baby equipment etc are joint expenses, and, if so, how does he propose to pay his half?

Writerwannabe83 Mon 07-Oct-13 16:26:53

JRMumma - I have mentioned the cost of maternity clothes to him but I don't think it is sinking in......

Thankfully my maternity pay will be pretty good and up until the baby is about 9 months old my income won't reduce too dramatically. It will maybe decrease by a few hundred pounds and I intended to have the discussion with him about my contributions. However, if i get my way we will hopefully have a joint account by that time!! smile

MadameLeMean Mon 07-Oct-13 16:28:27

So how much spending money do you have left after contributing 50%?

Eg if you have £300 spare and he has £650 spare then id say well nice for him that he has a better paying job and he should maybe pay for more shares luxuries like holidays etc BUT if you are skint and he is living life of Riley that's not fair ..

However that is the current situation and not what it will be like post baby

I would hope that your DH is at least willing to share if not cover cost of lost income when you are on maternity leave?!

Writerwannabe83 Mon 07-Oct-13 16:28:47

dahlen - he envisions us going out and buying whatever it is that we need and if he pays for it on his card then I would just transfer 50% of the cost into his bank account from mine. And vice versa if I buy something. It just sounds like such a hassle hmm

MadameLeMean Mon 07-Oct-13 16:29:56

That does sound a hassle. You need a joint account for joint costs - even if you decide to keep own salary accounts too.

Convexbetty Mon 07-Oct-13 16:31:21

Married for 14 years. Always had joint accounts even when I was sahm. We have 2 accounts, one for bills and standing orders and another for monthly spending like food and petrol etc. We take out an amount of cash to last the month from the spending account and divide it although it isn't each persons money but cash for whoever needs it to limit using cards and overspending. Anything out of the norms we will usually discuss before purchasing. When we were young and poor we had a £15 limit on spending without asking but it's a bit more relaxed now as we are both aware of income and outgoings. I know of a couple who have accounts with standing orders going in so they can save up and buy gifts without the other knowing what they have bought.
Most people who I've spoken to about this and have shared, have joint accounts. I've always thought that buying a house together, having children together but not being totally open about money was a bit odd. I always thought it fell into the married single type of marriage and would def have an issue if my dh was secretive about money and didn't share info with me regarding income. Why would I share everything else but not money?
We are a team and love each other, have made vows to each other so why would I think it's ok for me to have more money to spend on just ME and not share it down the middle? I've often read similar threads and haven't contributed. I've yet to read a good enough argument to sway me.

MadameLeMean Mon 07-Oct-13 16:31:46

Also if you are on mat pay for a year or whatever it's not fair for you to pay half of all the baby stuff while he merrily earns his normal salary! You are carrying his baby and making career sacrifices for that angry

HolidayArmadillo Mon 07-Oct-13 16:32:34

We never got round to getting a joint account. So DH just gets his wages paid into mine grin

Writerwannabe83 Mon 07-Oct-13 16:34:58

As it stands after paying out my 50% of the bills, paying the wedding credit card and then paying for all other miscellaneous I.e petrol, car insurance, pet insurance, work related stuff I probably have about £500 a month left over for myself. Of that remaining £500 I try and put £150 into my own savings account. So I have about £350 a month of spare money, some of which goes on the food shopping as me and hubby take it in turns to do the weekly shop.

My hubby, although earning a bit more probably has about the same amount of 'free cash' a month as he has to spend more on his petrol costs and he has a personal loan he is still repaying.

MadameLeMean Mon 07-Oct-13 16:36:51

Sounds fair at the moment but it should change when you go on mat leave and I think it's kind of weird you don't have a joint account at all, not even for bills.

Writerwannabe83 Mon 07-Oct-13 16:39:11

It didn't feel too weird until we got married. Then it felt very odd that I was handing money over to my husband- I felt like a lodger! smile

Dahlen Mon 07-Oct-13 16:39:20

I know plans might change once the baby has arrived, but what are your plans after maternity leave? Are you going back FT? Is it accepted that you will be the main carer so you will be the one taking most time off is the baby is ill or childcare falls through? All of these things could impact on your earning capacity and future potential.

If this sounds like how it will play out, your DH needs to recognise that he needs to pay financially to equal out what you will be paying for in terms of practical skills and care. It's not all about the actual financial cost of stuff. That's why you should IMO see yourselves as a unit rather than splitting financial costs 50/50.

Writerwannabe83 Mon 07-Oct-13 16:42:17

I only work 4 days a week at the moment....but would love it if I go down to 3 days after Maternity Leave. I guess we'd have to look at how the drop in my income would affect us against the cost of childcare. I couldn't be a SAHM though, I think I'd drive myself around the bend. I love my job and worked hard for my qualification, I don't think I could just give it up.

ZiaMaria Mon 07-Oct-13 16:44:13

We have a mix of joint and personal accounts. I pay the mortgage, he does bills and food (which is about equal). We both have isas and personal savings - but despite being in only one name, we don't view them as his and mine - they're just ours.

I earn over double what he does, but spending money wise we have about the same (I may have a bit more but that's for taxis etc that I have to get with work). The rest goes in savings for joint expenses.

If money was tight, I think we'd do it a bit differently as we'd need to keep a better track on everything. At present though, the current situation works for us.

Suzietwo Mon 07-Oct-13 16:44:42

I pay for almost everything and everything is in my name. We're not married and have 2 children under 4. Works for us.

Suzietwo Mon 07-Oct-13 16:47:47

I should add, he pays all his own outgoings but no family ones.

IShallCallYouSquishy Mon 07-Oct-13 16:52:06

DH and I have our own bank accounts. His salary into his, mine into mine. All bills come from his account. I pay childcare, larger amount of groceries, and my mobile, car ins etc. We have one joint account for food shopping but to be honest I can't remember last time DH used it other then to pay money in!

Before I had DD I gave him X amount each month. I'm only p/t now so I don't.

I do all our family finances though and even though they're separate it's all joint. DH earns considerably more than me and we save a good portion of his salary however again, this is our savings not his.

We could put it all in one big pot but this just works for us!

LittlePeaPod Mon 07-Oct-13 16:55:28

I really can't see what the big issue is with regards holding your own accounts as long as the bills (including babies things/childcare etc.) are split proportionately according to your salaries.

Like I said earlier, I am pregnant and due on ML in December for 13 months. DH and I have separate accounts and will continue to do so however he will transfer what I lose into my account throughout my ML.

What about a compromise op? Why not have separate accounts and a joint account for all other bills. Whatever is left in your accounts is there for you to use individually. Clearly your DH will have to take into account he may need to transfer some money to your account whilst you are on ML.

loveisagirlnameddaisy Mon 07-Oct-13 16:57:33

We have a joint account and pay proportionately according to our incomes (he pays £1200, I pay £800). Child benefit also goes into it. Out of this we pay mortgage, all bills, childminder and food.

It works really well for both of us but it took a few years and a couple of arguments to get to the point where we're both happy. On maternity leave, I continued to pay my share even though my earnings were reduced but that was my decision.

Neither of us wanted to have all our incomes going into a joint account for several reasons. For me, it was because I was 35 when this all happened and was so used to financial independence. For him, it's because he is self-employed and runs a business so his finances are quite complicated. This wouldn't be everyone's cup of tea, but it works for us. That's what's important here.

ShoeWhore Mon 07-Oct-13 17:11:38

All joint here.

When we first moved in together we both had our own accounts and set up a joint account for mortgage and bills that we both paid into each month (relative to salary - at the time I earned more). Over time we gradually started using it for more and more stuff. So when we had children we decided that the joint account was our main account now. We don't use our sole accounts any more.

whatsthatcomingoverthehill Mon 07-Oct-13 17:14:31


I think you might be in for a shock at how much having a kid costs. With paying for childcare (unless you have parents around to help) on your salaries I really don't think there's going to be an awful lot of spare cash floating around. Don't want to scare you, but just to highlight how important this is. There have been people on this board who have ended up getting into debt because their partner doesn't help out or gives them a miserable 'allowance' (what a horrible word). Please don't be one of them.

I am a sahm (3dc's)

we have many accounts main on is joint all bills come out of this (some in his name some in mine as it helps with id stuff). These are all paid by dd.

we have a second joint account which ctc/ cb goes into to build up to pay larger bills car tax etc.

we have 2 personal accounts which a small amount of personanl spending money is transfered too ( £50 pm) this is our no quibble money for clothes / books / presents etc (Yes it is tiny but we are solvent!)

we have 2 ISA accounts which we do not touch that have a dd for £25 pm going into we are slowly building these up.

we also have a savings account that although it is both of ours it is in my name only as i don't pay tax. This is our v big bills/ problems account. We try to avoid using this but sometimes it is necessary.

I think you both need to sit down together and write ALL your outgoings personal loans, petrol, shopping, baby things everything. Then work out how much you have left over. Work out how much of the left over you want to put into general savings and how much into never touch ever savings. Whatever is left can be split between you for personal use. Atm he is over £4000 a year better off than you which was fine when you were partners but if you are impacting on your career to bring up his child there needs to be a fair split of the finances. His hobbies will be curtailed as will yours (it's the bit of parenthood that is glossed over) you will choose other priorites for your money.

Whatever you do DO NOT hit your savings to avoiding impacting on his finances.

Squitten Mon 07-Oct-13 17:24:35

I'm a SAHM so each month DH transfers a certain amount into our joint/savings acct for household expenses and another amount into my account for my stuff. I decided on what that amount should be - it is generally less than what he has left but it covers me more than adequately and neither of us have large personal expenses. Every month we both transfer what is left in our accounts into the joint/savings.

The general rule is to have an attitude of "family money" in which all money is to cover all of us, no matter who earns what. Nobody should be flinging cash about on expensive stuff while the other is struggling.

BenNJerry Mon 07-Oct-13 17:41:53

We don't have a joint account because 1) DH hasn't got a very good credit rating and 2) I think that money should be kept separate.

DH works full time, I work part time. He earns just over double the amount I do, so he pays the rent and all bills. I pay for the food shopping and we both buy things for DS and childcare. If there is something we need for the house, we usually split it and pay half each. We each have our own savings account and savings account for DS.

People probably think this is strange in a marriage, but I believe in financial independence. If anything ever happened (not that I think it would, but you can't predict the future) I want to know I have my own bank account and money that is mine.

Whatever money we have left we can then buy what we want with. DH usually has more money left over than I do, but he also tends to treat us more, he buys takeaways etc.

I know a lot of people just share their money, and it seems to work in most marriages! I wouldn't want that though, but it's different if you're a SAHM. DM and stepdad are the same way as DH and I, so maybe it's how I was brought up.

MrsZimt Mon 07-Oct-13 17:50:54

We have a joint account where dh's salary goes into and I have my account where my salary used to go into. I'm a sahm now, but I always had my own account. It was used to save up some money (transfered into isas).
Now we only use the joint account, there is just car insurance on my account so I keep it topped up with a few £££.
We have always shared everything. Never had our own spending money. We trust each other not to spend too much, but my dh spends almost nothing on himself, has a cheap hobby.

He has always earned a lot more than I ever did, and that will probably never change.
I'm e one to deal with finances, insurances, etc so I spend some time to get good deals etc.
Whatever is left from the joint account each month nothing is put into an isa.
I couldn't imagine (when we both worked and had small children) to spend half on everything when I earned a lot less.
Surely that can only be fair when an actual percentage is paid based on the difference in earning.
What happens to the money he has left over? Savings? For him to spend on anything or for your family's future?

When we agreed to have children we both knew it would mean I wouldn't have a full-time job until the children are late teens. It is impossible with dh's job. I wouldn't feel happy if he then declined to put the money I enable him to earn in a joint pot.

AnneElliott Mon 07-Oct-13 17:56:52

Just one account that all money goes into and all bills come out of.

Parmarella Mon 07-Oct-13 18:11:00

Please discuss financial arrangements befor you have babies.

It sounds as if he is selfish, tbh, and would not expect to fund you or any maternity leave or childcare.

Sorry but it really does not sound good.

You can each have your own account as well as a joint one, but the joint one should have enough for bills, childcare and food and rent/mortgage. Then you can each have some spending money of uour own for going out.

His strict 50-50 rings alarm bells, as usually men earn more (not how it should be, but that is how it is) and so wants to keep more money for just himself. Am I right?

Ladybird81 Mon 07-Oct-13 18:40:48

Before we had kids we had separate accounts and a joint one that we put in 50/50 to cover house, bills etc.

I now work part time and have my own account still, of which i keep all my money and DH has his own account and earnings in his. We still have the joint account but i no longer contribute anything towards it and DH pays for everything that comes out of that account, but our tax credits and child benefit also go into that account, which i can use if necessary but rarely use and it keeps the account topped up.

With my wages/maternity pay when i was off work, i paid for childcare, food and all my own outgoings, e.g phone, loan etc.

This works well for us and rarely causes problems, but lots of people do like to have just the one account it seems

storynanny Mon 07-Oct-13 18:52:43

Just as an additional point, I did read somewhere, maybe on mumsnet, that whatever the intricacies of the financial arrangements were, in a partnership(married or otherwise) it is totally unreasonable for one of the partners to be financially worse off than the other. If that makes sense.

Writerwannabe83 Mon 07-Oct-13 19:34:26

Thanks everyone for your continued advice. I hadn't really thought about it in terms of looking at our 'take home' payments over the course of a year, him getting over £4'000 more than me a year does sound quite substantial actually. He has got a half day tomorrow so I think I'm going to use the afternoon to sit him down and talk about it seriously.

Parmarella Mon 07-Oct-13 19:35:15

See, thought it would be him earning more...

Writerwannabe83 Mon 07-Oct-13 19:42:14

When I worked full time I earned the same as him, some months coming out with more than him but then I changed jobs and chose to go part time instead (30 hours). He probably sees it as being my choice to take that hour cut/pay-cut, which it was I guess smile

Lipstickpowderandpaint Mon 07-Oct-13 20:11:02

I was sahm and used the child tax credits and child benefit to pay for everything the children needed, I ran the family car(and took it when I left!), paid for the majority of the food shopping, all Christmas and birthday presents for dcs and both our families and anything I needed, he paid the bills. All accounts were separate we had nothing whatsoever in joint names. It appeared to work

mittens0101 Mon 07-Oct-13 20:52:30

We have a joint account for bills (mortgage, childcare and utilities) that we both pay an equal amount into each month. Our salaries go into our own accounts and our day to day spending comes out of our individual accounts too. We split the shopping as we go along. It works for us as we both work and don't have to justify what we spend to each other. DH also has maintenance to pay for DC so it makes sense to keep things separate

I sympathise Lipstick - but I think if a system like that works it's partly luck and partly the woman making it work. I think it's unlikely to be really fair, as it's not been worked through or talked through. We function with a vaguely similar system though DH does put something into my account to help balance things somewhat.
I guess a lot of families could do with talking more about finances, but many find it difficult ? As I said before I'm impressed by how organised many here are too.

MrsMarkCarney Mon 07-Oct-13 21:03:49


I think that situation like this can be fluid sometimes and change when one person becomes a SAHM for example.

However, we have always had a joint account from Day 1 of marriage 30 years ago.

All of DH's salary goes into it and about 2/3rds of mine- the rest of mine goes into another account where it is saved for paying tax- I am self employed.

This joint current account pays for everything- mortgage, food, bills, holidays, clothes etc etc etc.

In addition we each have our own ISAs and some shares. We've saved in these out of DHs bonus each year and any 'overflow' from my own account depending on how much tax I need to pay.

If we ever make a big purchase that can't be funded from the joint account then we take money from our savings - and decide who does this depending on current rates of interest etc.

Having some separate savings accounts each means we are both free to buy ourselves treats or pressies for each other without digging into the joint current account.

We discuss any spending in advance and if one of us thought the other was being reckless we'd say so.

The only couples I know of who each put £X into a joint pot then keep £x for themselves are couples who are on their 2rd or 3rd marriages and want to keep control of their money.

MrsMarkCarney Mon 07-Oct-13 21:08:54

People probably think this is strange in a marriage, but I believe in financial independence. If anything ever happened (not that I think it would, but you can't predict the future) I want to know I have my own bank account and money that is mine.

It doesn't work like that- if you split up, ALL your money would be pooled and shared 50-50 along with the rest of your assets. You cannot hold onto your savings and call them yours. In law the money is 50% your husband's. In a divorce you have to declare your savings and it's an offence to squirrel it away and hide it from the lawyers.

LadyLapsang Mon 07-Oct-13 22:36:52

30 years on and we both still have our own accounts. One thing I have always tried to do is have equal savings even when I was working pt and not earning much. Never argue about money now, more savings than mortgage and v similar attitude to money. Also, both open about money and spreadsheet regularly updated with savings / shares. Also, both no debt - pay off credit card monthly. The way you run your finances definitely trickles down to your children - DS has more money in his current account than me & he is a student!

SockQueen Mon 07-Oct-13 23:00:36

We have a joint account for all household expenses, but our own separate accounts into which our salaries are paid. We currently earn roughly similar amounts and each put the same into the joint a/c each month - this amounts to about 60% of our take-home pay. It's actually more than our usual monthly expenditure, but it's a nice round number and allows us to easily pay for holidays, special meals etc out of that account. The rest of the money is ours to do what we like with - in my case it's either saving or spending on professional exams at the moment!

If/when we have children, things will change in terms of our income, and we'll adjust the amount each person pays into the household account, accepting that both of us will no longer have as much "personal" money as before. All household/child expenses will still come out of that account.

I don't think we have the "holy grail" quite, but have found a near-enough position that works well enough for us now. Though if I had been a bit more knowledgeable earlier on, I might have pushed to do things a little differently earlier when I was on maternity etc.

What we do now is have a joint account, to which we both contribute what we've worked out to be a reasonable amount, which gives us reasonably similar money left over. All joint/kids' stuff (including expenses necessary for work, like petrol & cars) come out of joint funds, and our leftover money is for our own needs, clothes, activities etc. If we have any big expenses and need to add to the joint account, we agree a fair extra amount to put in each - he puts more in as he earns more (I'm P/T). Similarly if our circumstances change, we review what we each put in.

I don't think this is quite as even as having a joint account and then each taking out the same amount for personal spends, but it's good enough for our present circumstances.

However - if I was to go on maternity leave again, or one of us lose a lot of earning power, I would probably push for the joint-account-plus-equal-spending-money option, to ensure we both had enough individual money for fairness, and felt able to spend "our bit" as we wished.

All the other options fall down at the point where one of you is on maternity or otherwise has a big reduction in income. If you are contributing equal amounts, it doesn't work if one of you can't contribute that any more (or feels they have to go into their savings while the other one doesn't). But not contributing and yet getting no money for yourself would not be fair either, when you're off work due to your joint baby!

I also don't recommend the "contributing same proportion of earnings" model, e.g. where you both pay in the same % of whatever you earn. This sounds fair in theory, and it works reasonably well if you don't have a massive earnings gap. But when there's a big gap, or especially if one of you starts earning very small amounts (or nothing), for example on mat leave, it gets very messy, and unfair on that person. At these times, to have any sort of equality it may be necessary for the lower earner to drop or stop their contribution altogether, or actually be given money by the earning partner, to maintain a fair amount of spending money.

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Tue 08-Oct-13 00:20:57

mrs mark that's true, but actually 50% is the starting point not the rule. Also having your own account with some cash in it does stop one partner clearing out the joint account and leaving the other penniless, which they can do legally because funds in a joint account are owned by both of you, not 50/50, so both of you are legally entitled to clear it out and spend it on a week in the Bahamas with your Internet fling any time you want.

There are advantages and disadvantages to every set up but the best way IMO from a combined financial equality, admin hassle,, tax and 'cover your ass' standpoint is a combination of joint and personal accounts.

BadLad Tue 08-Oct-13 07:27:19

Most of our money is separate, but we each transfer 50% of outgoings to my wife's current account every month.

The rest, well, it's at the discretion of the person who earned it. That can mean saving it, spending it on treats or spending it on something personal.

However, we are both savers. If we weren't then I don't think this way would work very well. But I know my wife is very prudent financially. So if she does buy something expensive, I know she has saved up for it.

As for treats, whoever feels like paying for it pays for it. We have similar incomes and no kids which I suppose helps.

Suzietwo Tue 08-Oct-13 08:37:18

It doesn't work like that- if you split up, ALL your money would be pooled and shared 50-50 along with the rest of your assets. You cannot hold onto your savings and call them yours. In law the money is 50% your husband's. In a divorce you have to declare your savings and it's an offence to squirrel it away and hide it from the lawyers

This may be partially true but you are in a much stronger starting position if you have your own money at the point of separation. i.e. you can afford to pay for your own new life. the downside is that you are unable to demonstrate a high level of financial dependence on your husband which might impact on your ability to make a claim for spousal maintenance.

Suzietwo Tue 08-Oct-13 08:38:23

also, there are so many exceptions to 'everything in the pot 50:50 division' that you cant really make assesssments on that level without further detail
a better way of looking at it is
1. meet needs
2. assess whether assets are marital
3. apply sharing principle

MrsMarkCarney Tue 08-Oct-13 09:07:55

I think some of you have slightly missed the point over 'hidden assets' .

A few years ago DH and I were going through a bad patch and I took legal advice, as we were considering splitting up. I had always comforted myself that I had quite a lot of savings which were for 'emergencies' and in my own accounts.

Now whilst it's true that this money would have enabled me to move out, rent a home for a year or more and support myself, ( and I earn much less than DH) those savings would not have been 'ignored' in a final settlement. It would have been taken into account in terms of who got what financially.

So I agree that it's good for everyone to have access to some money in their own name, you can't have, for example, £100K in your own account and expect to keep it with no questions asked if you split up.

thegreylady Tue 08-Oct-13 09:12:38

We have always had a joint account. He has one credit card in his own name which is only used for presents for me. I use the joint account or savings account to buy stuff for him as I am the only one who looks at statements. He says as long as we are in the black he is happy.

Suzietwo Tue 08-Oct-13 09:13:28

sorry, i should have made it clear. im a divorce lawyer.

it is far better to have money in your own name at the outset of proceedings and if you do, you have a far better chance of keeping that money (or spending it during the settlement discussions) than you do if you dont have the money.
it is not so simple as everything goes into the pot for division.

Writerwannabe83 Tue 08-Oct-13 09:20:26

It is just so hard isn't it?
I couldn't switch off last night for thinking about it.

I keep flitting between complete joint account where all our money goes into one big pot, or us both putting a percentage of our wage into a joint account and then having the rest to ourselves. I like the idea of that because I like having my own separate savings account and I like the feeling I get when every month I add a little bit more to it. I currently use it for when I need to make big expenditures, for example I recently had to pay out over £500 to get my car fixed. That's a huge amount of money to take out of a joint account if that is the only financial pot we had.

Unless we had a joint account for most things and then a separate joint account? Maybe we could put 70% of our wage in a joint account, 10% of our wage in savings and then we have 20% of our wage to spend on whatever we like??

There are just so many factors to take into account - like the personal loan my husband has is about £180 a month which I think he would feel bad about taking out of a joint account. It wouldn't bother me at all though. I accept that at times I have higher expenditures than him and at other times he has higher costs than me. Our car insurance for example, his is about £15 a month whereas mine is £80, but that's just marriage isn't it? Accepting that not everything is equal.

Suzietwo Tue 08-Oct-13 09:24:43

what does hubby say?

TallulahBetty Tue 08-Oct-13 09:27:41

We share everything. Both wages and CB go into a joint account, and all bills go out. We do have separate ISAs but we don't see each one as one person's money - they're both for us both.

Writerwannabe83 Tue 08-Oct-13 09:27:50

I haven't got to the stage of discussing it with him yet - I want a clear picture in my head of what I think would work best for us and be able to give clear reasons why etc. I'm not the most articulate person sometimes and I don't want it to come out all garbled. I like to have things precise in my mind and then talk about how I feel. I definitely intend to speak to him about it over the next few days, hence why I'm so interested in people's opinions.

Writerwannabe83 Tue 08-Oct-13 09:32:02

I just think it would be nice to have at least some 'personal money' - that way he and I can both do things we like without feeling any shred of guilt about the way our money is being spent. I.e when he goes on Stag Do's, if he wants to go he would spend his own money as opposed to taking £100s out our joint household account or joint savings account. I think it would just make us feel we still had that little bit of independence. I would probably just put my 10% of 'free money' directly into my personal savings to be honest, and treat myself to a beauty treatment every now and then smile Our Joint Savings account would be for things like holidays or if big expenditures do need to be made, I.e car repairs, covering maternity pay loss, purchases we need for the house: new kitchen units, new wardrobes etc etc

MrsZimt Tue 08-Oct-13 09:33:03

No, not everything is equal, but when we got married we agreed that all money and all debt is joint.

Which meant him paying off his student loans into his 30s (I didn't have any as I worked p/t throughout uni) from our pooled money and also all expenditures are joint ones, there has never been any maths involved as to who pays what.

Savings are joint savings.

I would have an issue with is arrangement if dh was useless with money or had a hugely expensive hobby, but as it is I buy stuff for him (he thinks is unnecessary but then loves it) because he doesn't like spending money on himself.

MrsMarkCarney Tue 08-Oct-13 09:38:19

OP- is this about bigger issues such as trust and control?

I know that 'our way' is not the only way, but I wonder why couples who are married and sharing so much still want to live ( partly) as single people in terms of their money.

I have 2 close friends who- maybe rather rarely these days- have never worked since they married- their DHs earn a lot and their wives are happy to keep hearth and home ticking over. There is no question of 'his' money- because clearly the wives have no money of their own.

Taking this as a starting point, is it not better to manage the money as a joint asset and invest it wisely etc etc rather than hang onto some ' what's mine is nearly all mine etc'.

I was not working for a large part of our marriage so it made sense to have a joint account- though I did have my own savings from life as a singleton.

We also saved money in my account (s) because I was not paying tax, or then later only at a lower rate, as DH was a higher tax payer.

Once ISAs came along it didn't make too much difference so we each opened our own.

I don't think doing it be % is a good idea. 50% of £10K for example leaves one person with not a lot; 50% of £100K leaves someone with a lot for themselves.

I think you need to look at your future hopes and dreams and how you joint income can be best used- whether in trust funds, savings accounts for a bigger home or children's education etc.

I know this is just my opinion but arguments over money are one of the biggest reasons for divorce.

JoinYourPlayfellows Tue 08-Oct-13 09:39:24

"I.e when he goes on Stag Do's, if he wants to go he would spend his own money as opposed to taking £100s out our joint household account or joint savings account."

You think it would be acceptable for him to deplete joint savings by hundreds of pounds so he can go on a stag do?

I agree with the people who are saying that this is not about the way you share your money, but about the fact that currently you do NOT share you money at all, despite living together.

He has a very clear sense of what is his and the freedom he believes he is entitled to to spend money on whatever he chooses.

That's not how it works when you have children.

That's what you need to talk to him about.

And not only that, but also, soon you will share a 24/7/365 joint responsibility.

It's not just money you have to learn how to share fairly, it's also time.

MrsMarkCarney Tue 08-Oct-13 09:40:17

OP- you do know that the £100 for his stag do etc is actually legally your money whether it's in his own account or not?
Why would you feel 'better' if he used his account rather than your joint account? In law a married couple's assets are joint.

Writerwannabe83 Tue 08-Oct-13 09:42:19

I wouldn't say DH is useless with money, he certainly isn't frivolous with it and I know that once the baby comes that will be his focus. He has already declined going away on a trip early next year with his friends because he knows the cost can't be justified when we have a baby on the way. At the moment we are lucky that although our joint income (after tax) isn't overly impressive, it does mean we can get bills paid and still have enough to treat ourselves as we feel we want to.

However, I would class myself as far more organised when it comes to expenditure, I have spreadsheets of my costs every month and keep a very close eye on what my outgoings are. I would feel more comfortable if once the baby comes we had a joint account so I could make sure all the bills are being paid on time. We do occasionally get 'Reminder' letters but his response is, "Well they still get paid don't they?" Whereas me, I pay a bill the same day I get the letter!! The first thing I would do with a joint housing account is get the water/gas/electric payments automatically deducted through direct debits.

I just think that when the baby comes we are going to have to have a much tighter control on things by that I mean that I want that control so I know everything is budgeted for and I know we won't end up in any kind if financial sticky patch.

Writerwannabe83 Tue 08-Oct-13 09:44:31

joinyourplayfellows - any stag do costs would have to come out of his own saved 'free money' - not the joint account. I.e if he wants to go on such a trip then he needs to put some aside each month until he can afford it. Thankfully most odour friends are married off now, we only expect another 2 weddings in the future smile

Writerwannabe83 Tue 08-Oct-13 09:48:45

MrsMarkCarney - I can well imagine money being a cause of divorce, it is such an horrendous subject.

In terms of savings being percentage wise me and hubby are fortunate that our wages are very similar so doing it that way wouldn't mean that there'd be a huge difference in what we each have as our 'free money'.

And whoever made the point about married couples wanting to live as singletons when it comes to their money, I completely agree, I do find it very odd. I need to make him understand that I don't care that his expenses of personal loans and cars coming out the joint account would bother me as this is what he seems most hung up on.

JoinYourPlayfellows Tue 08-Oct-13 09:52:49

"I just think that when the baby comes we are going to have to have a much tighter control on things (by that I mean that I want that control) so I know everything is budgeted for and I know we won't end up in any kind of financial sticky patch."

Why not just say that to him? It makes sense and I think it's very sensible.

I disagree with you being in control of the budget though. If you guys can figure out how to do this together, it will be much better for everyone.

You can't have someone moaning about how you never "let" them spend money on the things they like if they know as well as you do that there's no money for petrol guzzlers/stag do's/expensive perfume.

CinemaNoir Tue 08-Oct-13 09:52:58

We have no joint account.

DH pays rent, holidays, food, all bills incl my phone, and a full time help around the house. (We have 4 kids).

I pay stuff for the kids, some food, some flights if I go away with kids by myself, some special stuff for the house (that he doesn't think we need like room scents) and everything for myself (cosmetics, clothes). I am just starting my own business so have a tiny income. So I don't really buy clothes or room scents at the moment.

When DH was out of work for a year I gave him a huge chunk of my salary every month out of my then ft job to pay most of the above. Although he still paid the rent from our savings. I am hoping to make some money some time soon, then I will treat him rotten :-)

JoinYourPlayfellows Tue 08-Oct-13 09:55:29

"I need to make him understand that I don't care that his expenses of personal loans and cars coming out the joint account would bother me as this is what he seems most hung up on."

But you WILL and you SHOULD care whether what those personal loans were taken out for and whether you (as a family) can afford for him to be running expensive cars.

And that is the case regardless of whether it is coming out of his account or a joint account.

You already have joint financial responsibilities and soon you will have a child together and all the planning for the future that involves.

It seems that he wants to retain the right to take out personal loans and drive expensive cars regardless of the effect that has on you (and your baby). That is not good.

MrsMarkCarney Tue 08-Oct-13 09:55:44

So you are saying he is not financially astute?
You might have already said this but how old was he when you married, what was his baggage with money and did he clear his debts as a single person?

This comes down to working things out as a couple. Are you newly weds? Sorry but haven't had time to read all the posts.

What we do is have all the utility bills, mortgage etc paid online automatically.

We have a joint credit card which we clear every month and have no debts except the mortgage. DH is the main card holder due to his higher earnings and he clears the bill each month. I use the card as and when i want for all our shopping, clothes, petrol...everything then we pay it off in full each month.

If we buy something big like furniture and we don't have enough in the current account to cover the credit card then rather than whack up interest we take the money out of our savings accounts and discuss which of us is going to pay- depending on who's getting the best interest rates etc at the time.

On top of this DH might want to buy himself something - like an expensive push bike - and I say ok. In return I might buy myself some clothes or a lovely bag or whatever. On the whole our savings are 'untouchable' unless it's for something we really need. We tend to 'equal' each other's spending.

You need to sit down and decide who is going to be responsible for which bills- make a list and divide it up. By responsible I mean sorting the payment.

You then need to think about medium and long term financial planning- how much can you save each month and where does that money go- your own ISAs are prob the best option.

But if you are saying he is not to be trusted with money that's another issue.

Writerwannabe83 Tue 08-Oct-13 09:57:27

I don't mind the petrol guzzling as it is only for his work - 38 miles round trip every day, it soon adds up across the week. Thankfully though he is a teacher so for 13 weeks a year we would get some respite from that cost smile Mine is cheaper to run to I do sometimes let his use my car for other shorter journeys or we take mine if we are going somewhere together.

Writerwannabe83 Tue 08-Oct-13 10:00:24

His personal loan was taken out about 6 months before we got together in order to improve some areas of the house which we now share. So I certainly don't begrudge him that smile It wasn't a loan for anything frivolous or silly.

We have a joint credit card that we used to finance some of our wedding. We don't use it for anything else. Yes, we are newly weds.

He an be trusted with money, he isn't silly wit h it all, he just isn't as organised as I consider myself to be. He is a very laid back guy smile

MrsMarkCarney Tue 08-Oct-13 10:01:39

When I say we equal each others spending, I don't mean at the same time- I mean that neither of us feels guilty buying ourselves something because on balance we spend about the same amount over a year but on different things. ie my hairdressing bills cost as much over a year as something he might buy himself. we don't keep a count but we both have a good idea of what is acceptable and what would be purely selfish and irresponsible.

I have a 12 yr old car- with low mileage-bought from almost new. I could go out and buy a brand new one today but I'm not bothered enough yet.

If I was into cars and buying new ones every 2years and using up our savings that would be unfair and selfish so I don't so that.

Your DH doesn't seem to be thinking along those lines.

Writerwannabe83 Tue 08-Oct-13 10:03:53

To be fair, he planned to buy a new car this coming February but has now decided against it because of the baby. I didn't even have to raise the issue myself. I have no doubts that when the baby comes he will probably spend all his money on him/her but I still want that security of having a joint account jut so I know how everything stands.

JoinYourPlayfellows Tue 08-Oct-13 10:06:40

"I don't mind the petrol guzzling as it is only for his work"

How is it "for his work"?

He could drive a more fuel efficient car to work.

It's ridiculous that he is wasting so much money on petrol when you have such a modest income.

I wouldn't be OK with my decision about when to return to work from maternity leave being affected by my husband driving a car he basically couldn't afford.

Writerwannabe83 Tue 08-Oct-13 10:09:55

Is a joint take home income of £3'300 a month classed as modest these days?? Blimey shock We actually consider ourselves very luck to have that. Maybe we are happy to have the simpler things in life then. I don't think £200 a month for petrol to get to work (out of over £3'000 a month) to be something that we can't afford.

If he's not frivolous that's a good starting point!

I am a sahm but I am largely in control of the money. BUT everything is filed and in order in plain view dh knows where stuff is. We also both take responsibility for knowing what is in our accounts if he checks he tells me and vice versa.

The cars issue is something that will (ime) disappear with time. As you change them and they become family assets rather than his car and your car , we still have a car we each drive most but in the interest of money saving fro short journeys we both take the smaller and cheaper car if it is available. It's just common sense.

Suzietwo Tue 08-Oct-13 10:12:35

its a good income and 200 pcm on work related travel isnt that much

JoinYourPlayfellows Tue 08-Oct-13 10:14:10


No savings at all.

If you can't afford to put any money aside, you can't afford to drive a gas guzzling car.

And when you have childcare expenses to cover, you have to deal with a drop in income from ML, you give up an extra day of work per week, you'll soon find out how tight things can be on that level of income.

The crucial thing is that your combined income is made up of two pretty low salaries. That gives you a lot less flexibility that if one of you earned £27K and the other earned nothing.

MoominMammasHandbag Tue 08-Oct-13 10:15:31

We have been together 22 years but not married. Joint accounts for everything, current, savings, all property and business in joint names. When we first got together I earned more that him. Then I had six years as a SAHM. Now he works much longer hours in our business than me.

We have always just shared our money; if someone wants/needs something and we can afford it, then they have it.

I genuinely could not be with someone who made me use my savings to be on maternity leave. It would not feel like a proper partnership, it would not feel like love.

JoinYourPlayfellows Tue 08-Oct-13 10:16:49

"I genuinely could not be with someone who made me use my savings to be on maternity leave."

No, me neither.

heidihole Tue 08-Oct-13 10:17:37

We have one joint account only that everything goes in and out from. DH works and I'm sahm.

If you go down the route of contributing evenly to bills make sure child expenses are included or you will start buying nappies out of YOUR spending money.

Grennie Tue 08-Oct-13 10:20:19

And remember, there are a lot of extra expenses with a baby/child you may not even have thought of. These should not come out of your spending money e.g. dayting groups/activities for babies/toddlers, birthday presents and cards to take to parties, etc.

Grennie Tue 08-Oct-13 10:22:24

I remember reading one woman on here who said she had been scrimping so she could save up enough money to take maternity leave, and still contribute "her share" to the bills, etc.

The fact that she would be working making a baby, giving birth and looking after the baby, was ignored by both her and her partner. I felt so sorry for her.

wavinggoodbyetomyprinciples Tue 08-Oct-13 10:25:43

We have joint current and savings accounts. We do have some investments and savings accounts in individual names, but only really for tax / admin purposes. It is very much all joint money.

Writerwannabe83 Tue 08-Oct-13 10:25:54

I said that any costs to cover maternity pay would come from our JOINT savings, not my own. And husband actually has over £10'000 put aside in order for us to make a big cash payment off our mortgage in order to reduce our monthly costs.

I feel this thread has gone from being supportive and offering advice to instead attacking me and my husband and trying to make us feel bad that we don't earn more. I'm sorry our jobs and wages are low and unimpressive to you Joinyourplayfellows but we are happy with what we have.

So thank you to everyone who has been helpful but I don't think this thread is being very productive for me anymore. I have certainly taken all the positive comments on board and you have helped me come to a decision that I feel happy with and that I feel will work well within our marriage and financial situation.

MrsMarkCarney Tue 08-Oct-13 10:29:04

That's a very good net (?) income for a young couple when 1 is a teacher.

Are you going back to work full time after you have had your baby? Have you factored in any decrease in your earnings?

JoinYourPlayfellows Tue 08-Oct-13 10:31:22

Sorry, so sorry, I don't want you to feel bad about what you earn sad

There's nothing wrong with it, it's just not a fortune. I don't earn a fortune either.

I wasn't trying to slag you off or put you down, I was just trying to help you see how the things you think you can afford now won't seem so affordable when you have a baby to consider.

I found after my first baby came that I became very worried about financial security in a way that I hadn't ever been before. The responsibility can be quite overwhelming.

Best of luck with working it all out and with your new baby smile

pebbles1234 Tue 08-Oct-13 10:31:29

We each have our own accounts,and contribute a set amount each month to a joint, some oc which pays bills, some into savings. We have a joint credit card which he pays. When I'm not working (on mat leave at the mo) he transfers some extra money to me so I have 'my own money' and puts extra in joint acc for bills etc. Works for us!

Writerwannabe83 Tue 08-Oct-13 10:36:07

Sorry joinyourpalyfellows - maybe I'm just being over sensitive. I think it's because it is stressing me out more than I realised. And nobody likes to hear their situation is less than ideal do they, even if it is the truth smile

MrsMarkCarney - I currently only work 30 hours anyway. I joke about cutting that down further after the baby is born but realistically I don't think we could afford it (but is something we will look into nearer the time) and if I did go back to my 30 hours I'd be happy with that arrangement. Thankfully my maternity pay is pretty good and until the baby is 9 months our income shouldn't be affected too dramatically. I'm actually in the process of dealing with PayRoll to get a written confirmation of what my maternity pay would be so me and hubby can start making plans.

Grennie Tue 08-Oct-13 10:37:09

writer - my comment about maternity leave wasn't about you - sorry. It was about another thread I read on here.

Grennie Tue 08-Oct-13 10:38:35

writer - If you do go for a proportion split in paying into a joint pot, then factor in the day's childcare you will be providing. Basically your DP should be giving you a proportion for what it would cost to put your baby in childcare for that day.

Suzietwo Tue 08-Oct-13 10:38:44

writer i agree, very odd and unhelpful reactions on this thread. dont justify yourself.

MrsMarkCarney Tue 08-Oct-13 10:40:51

I think it sounds a bit odd that on the one hand he is happy to pay £10K of HIS savings ( notice you said his and not 'our') to pay off some of the mortgage, but that he doesn't want to share a joint account.

Surely if you have £10K in savings you need to discuss how best to use that- as a joint decision?

If he wants to pay off a lump sum of the mortgage why wait? Sooner the better.

But if that would leave you with no savings, then that may not be a good move.

The experts say anyone should have 3-6 months savings for life's emergencies- have you factored that in?

I'd say one of the big issues here is that you moved into HIS home when you married and he still thinks of you as a kind of lodger- contributing a certain amount, while meanwhile he holds the purse strings and does as he pleases with his own income.

I wonder if you had bought a new home when you got together if things would be different?

Writerwannabe83 Tue 08-Oct-13 10:42:07

Grenie- don't worry, I know your comment wasn't aimed at me smile

I told him last night he should be paying 50% of the cost of my maternity wear! smile He smiled....I think he thinks I'm joking! grin

JoinYourPlayfellows Tue 08-Oct-13 10:43:46

I really, really didn't want to, or mean to, upset you.

Your situation is pretty close to ideal - happily married, baby on the way, decent jobs. smile

But it's about to change MASSIVELY, in ways that are both exciting and terrifying.

It will still be brilliant, but it is a whole new kind of wonderful that comes with a lot of stress and hard work.

I remember talking to a cousin of mine about having children when my eldest was a baby and she said "Now I think of the time before I had children and I had so much TIME and MONEY. And just just WASTED it all!" grin

And she was joking, but I knew what she meant. When you have just yourself to worry about, your time and money are a different kind of resource.

That's all I meant about it not being a fortune - not that it isn't enough. It's very much enough.

But that things like expensive cars and extravagant weekends away become harder to justify and more onerous.

It's really great that you have so much money put by to pay off the mortgage. Although, it's a lot of money, so be really careful that paying off the mortgage (when rates are so low) is the best use of it.

Could you use some of it to pay off the credit cards? That's what I'd do first. What about the personal loan? Is it fixed term, or could you pay that off first?

MrsMarkCarney Tue 08-Oct-13 10:47:07

If you have credit card debts and a loan with massive interest rates (I missed that!) then it is mad- totally mad- to pay off a mortgage which has lower interest rates.

Any financial advisor would tell you to clear the credit cards and loans first.

These are VERY expensive debts and ideally you should be clearing credit cards each month.

Writerwannabe83 Tue 08-Oct-13 10:50:29

You make lots of good points MrsMarkCarney and ones I have raised myself with him. I have made a few comments about our home and because as it was his when I moved in it will always feel like it is his. He tells me I'm being silly and hates it when I say it, constantly reassures me that it is OUR home but it is less of an issue for me now we are married. I used to pass comment about us buying our home but this house is only 10 years old, in a lovely area, a very nice house and what would be considered as a lovely 'family home' so it just wouldn't have made sense to move - plus how much that would have cost too. The reason the lump mortgage sum hasn't been paid off yet is because we are letting it sit in an account and Han good interest so we can ultimately pay off more, we do need to discuss though that at what point we are just going to pay it.

we certainly don't have 3-6 months worth of savings, hence another reason Wh I think it would be a good idea to have a joint savings accounts as well as a joint household account.

I think it's hard to go from being young, free and single, having money to spend on what you want, when you want to suddenly having to realise that the time has come for a more mature and responsible approach! I think about it more than he does but I think that comments I have been making to him over the last few months are starting to sink in a little bit.

He did buy us a nice new fridge a few weeks ago because he thought we'd need a bigger one once the baby comes. He has also picked out what rocking chair he wants to buy me so I can 'breast feed in comfort'. His heart is in the right place even if he does need some direction smile

Writerwannabe83 Tue 08-Oct-13 10:54:12

joinyourplayfellows - my husband's loan is about £140 a month and still has about a year left to pay. Our Wedding debt is just over £3'000 and we hope to have that paid off in about 9-10 months time. I completely see your point about perhaps paying those loans off with the £10'000, that thought hadn't even occurred to me!! I will definitely mention it to the husband and see what he thinks thanks for the tip. It may be that it just hasn't occurred to him either because we have always had a 'set purpose' for it.

Bubbles1066 Tue 08-Oct-13 11:01:53

We have a joint account for household bills/food/children's expenses that DH pays into as I'm a SAHM. He keeps what's left of his salary in his own current account to spend as he wants and I have child benefit paid into my own account to spend on my expenses. I personally wouldn't want completely joint finances; I think having your own bank account is important for you sense of self/independence. As I'm a SAHM though if I need something for me that I can't pay for myself, DH will transfer a bit of money into the joint account for me to use. I wouldn't want him to buy it for me with his card as it makes me feel a bit child like; so I prefer to use my joint account card.

MrsZimt Tue 08-Oct-13 11:04:25

Yes, to me it seems illogical to pay credit card fees on any debt if you have 10k on the side. These 10k won't be earning much interest anyway.

I am a bit worried about the fact he thought you were joking when you said he should contribute to maternity wear. Of course he should. It's his baby too and he's just the lucky one who doesn't have to go through nine months of discomfort and changing body shape.

Have a good long chat with him, this thread gives you plenty of food for thought.

TeenAndTween Tue 08-Oct-13 11:50:23

I know I'm late to this, but I'll add something anyway.

In your situation I think I would do the following:
- all money in (wages, CB etc) into JOINT account.

From JOINT account pay:
- all current debts
- anything to do with house, food, child (incl maternity wear), cars etc
- if possible an amount each month to go in to joint savings (for washing machine breakdown, holidays etc)
- a set (equal) amount for each of you into SOLE accounts for personal spend (personal clothes, coffees, individual hobbies / night out)

Agree that there's no point in having large savings and debts. Pay off most expensive debts first (eg credit cards). But small savings for the unexpected well worth it.

JRmumma Tue 08-Oct-13 12:07:38

writer don't feel bad that you don't think your DH is not with you on this, i think alot of the problem is that for a woman, you essentially become and,start thinking like a mother from the moment you see that line appear on your pregnancy test. It takes a man a hell of a lot longer than that so at the moment you are waiting for him to catch up with your way of thinking.

Its nice that he is thinking of you and the baby in terms of buying a new fridge and a nursing chair, but you need to try and communicate that he needs to be thinking on a more basic level than that first. This means getting yourselves, as a unit, into a better financial position overall by paying off credit cards and loans so you don't have this added financial pressure once baby is here. You can use some of your £10k to do this and use the time until baby is born to essentially pay yourselves back into your savings.

You sound like me 9 months ago!

MrsMarkCarney Tue 08-Oct-13 12:08:00

Have you worked out how much the interest is on the loans and credit cards?

I'd be surprised if any savings account is paying you more than 2%- and max. 3%. savings rates are appalling at the moment. There was a financial feature in a broadsheet a few weeks back showing how savers had suffered something like 700 interest cuts last year!

On the other hand the interest rate on the loan could be 5% or higher and credit cards are something like 30% interest on outstanding balances.

It's nice he thought to buy the fridge- but again, shouldn't that have been a joint decision and a joint purchase? I'd actually be really miffed if DH bought something like that without my input into what sort I wanted!

petalsandstars Tue 08-Oct-13 12:11:56

Teen's suggestion is how our finances work and imo is the best way with dcs.

Writerwannabe83 Tue 08-Oct-13 12:14:35

Thankfully our Wedding Credit Credit is currently interest free. Interest starts in 5 months, hence why it would be ideal to just get it paid off. I don't know what the interest is on his personal loan as it isn't something I have anything to do with.

Regarding the fridge - it's just a fridge smile To be fair we did need a new one and he paid for it out of his own money and didn't ask for a contribution from me so I saw no reason to make an issue of it. The kitchen is his domain anyway, I'm lucky to be married to a man who is happy to do about 80% of the cooking smile

Writerwannabe83 Tue 08-Oct-13 12:15:27

I agree, Teens set up is kind of how I imagine things to be.

jasminerose Tue 08-Oct-13 12:21:21

All our wages have been going in to one joint account since we were both aged 18. Everything goes out of that.

jasminerose Tue 08-Oct-13 12:28:46

Your both on high wages so Im sure you will be fine. There will still be money for cars and stag nights, the baby and the house on that unless you are doing something very wrong!

MrsMarkCarney Tue 08-Oct-13 13:03:46

I'm not having a go- reallysmile BUT this comment seems to suggest you are not thinking like one half of a couple.

and he paid for it out of his own money

Legally, he doesn't have any money of his own.

Maybe that's not what you really meant- maybe you meant his own savings- but if you are to sort out your finances then you need to talk and think about this 'his' and 'mine' idea!

I think I'd be on solid ground to say that 99% of married couples would buy something like a fridge out of the joint pot if there was enough in it- and if not to discuss where the money would come from.

When I married DH I moved into his house which he had been buying for 2 years while we were dating. I relocated 100 miles,and gave up my job at the same time. As we married relatively late ( in those days) and were keen to have a family sooner rather than later, I only worked for a short time in a temporary job before I became PG. But from our wedding day onward we had a joint account, from which all the household bills and furnishings were bought.

I kept my own savings accounts as did DH and I kept my own credit cards as well though we also have a joint one for all our household outgoings.

I do see where you are coming from - moving into his home- as I did that but I also think you need to establish a more equal footing and protect your interests because when your baby comes you won't have access to as much of his income as you might need, unless he allows you to access it.

Suzietwo Tue 08-Oct-13 13:21:55

mrsmark i was wondering whether you have any legal qualifications? youve made several references to what the legal position is which are wrong.

some of your advice is sensible financial planning but ultimately it comes down to a question of choice

i make all financial decisions entirely independently of my partner. we have been living together for 5 years and have 2 small children. this does not mean anything other than it is the way it works for us.

gintastic Tue 08-Oct-13 13:39:42

We pay our salaries and CB into a joint account. All DD's go out of this, including things that either we both have (mobile phones, contact lenses) or things we have agreed are mutually beneficial (into a pension for me as my works one is worth less than DH's). Swimming lessons and kid stuff comes out of this account as well. At the end of each month we split what is left into thirds, one third into each of our own personal accounts and 1/6 into ISA's for each of us. Then we each have our own money for meals out with friends, clothes, hobby bits (usually about £200/month each unless big car expenses or something else), we each have savings and there are no rows about who is paying for fuel or food. I earn about 60% of what DH does.

Writerwannabe83 Tue 08-Oct-13 13:46:49

I think because at the moment we don't have a joint pot it IS seen as him having his money and me having mine - which is exactly what I want to change smile

Does anybody know how much child benefit a family receives? Is it dependent on salaries?

Inertia Tue 08-Oct-13 13:51:32

If he is expecting you to pay the costs associated with your pregnancy and still contribute 50% while on maternity leave, have you considered invoicing for the child care you will be providing for his child on the 2 days he works? 50% of nursery fees would be reasonable.

Inertia Tue 08-Oct-13 13:52:07

You lose CB if either of you is a higher rate tax payer.

Writerwannabe83 Tue 08-Oct-13 13:57:38

Inertia - that saw by I like the idea of us putting money into our joint account based on a percentage amount, because then as my pay goes down with maternity my contributions will also be reduced, which he will then have to 'top up' from his wages in order to ensure our finances still remain stable.

I do think though that in terms of our own 'spending money' we would agree a equal amount as opposed to a %age of our wage as I don't think it's fair I be punished because I'm staying at home with the baby whilst he continues with his well paid job smile I think someone up thread said she and her partner have about £200 each to themselves, sounds about fair smile

TeenAndTween Tue 08-Oct-13 13:58:24

The loss of CB for higher rate tax payer is I believe on a sliding scale.
start losing it ~50k, all gone ~60k. The higher rate person has to either register for self assessment, or choose not to claim.

Inertia Tue 08-Oct-13 13:58:57

And our system , as you were asking:

Joint account to pay all bills and direct debits, and savings standing orders come from this account as they are predictable.

DH's account was converted into a joint account when I became a SAHM so that I had access to spending money- still joint now.

I kept the account which was in my name, as it was registered with payroll and my part time salary is now paid into it- this money is generally spent on work on the house, DIY, car servicing etc. It's not treated as my money (DH didn't want his name added to the account).

We set up a separate account and credit card for baby related purchases, and the CB went into this. The CB was used exclusively for things the children needed (clothes, shoes , baby items).

We have a savings account which covers Christmas and birthday presents through the year.

VoiceofRaisin Tue 08-Oct-13 14:01:40

Sharing bills 50:50 and then each keeping the rest of your earnings as personal money if you are also contributing 50:50 to the rest of the household - cooking, shopping, childcare. Soon, I imagine, you will doing a lot of childcare (at home on ML) and DH will be doing only round the edges. When that is the case then he needs to contribute more cash.

I favour TeenandTween 's suggestion as being the fairest and easiest.

Congratulations, by the way smile You sound very sensible about money so I am sure it will all be fine. Good planning to address this before you stop work, too.

VoiceofRaisin Tue 08-Oct-13 14:02:05

oops, missed an "is fine" in the first phrase

MrsMarkCarney Tue 08-Oct-13 14:14:17

suzie no I haven't. Please feel 100% free to correct me because if I am wrong then I've been misinformed by a lawyer whose advice I took at one point. If you wish to clarify anything then do go ahead! Be good for everyone to know what's incorrect.

idococktailshedoesbeer Tue 08-Oct-13 14:18:26

We live together and have separate finances and it's never been an issue. I pay him £350 a month towards mortgage and bills, a token amount really but he earns a lot, a few times as much as me.

I think having a joint account would drive me crazy as IMO he wastes money. It's within his means but he's a member of two golf clubs he barely goes to, the most expensive gym around (I go three times a week to my much cheaper Virgin one and he's never seen at his!), subscribes to loads of expensive magazines every month which he doesn't read, loads more... just thinking about it makes me irate!

Suzietwo Tue 08-Oct-13 14:27:53

mrsmark im not going back over the particular references but you imply that assets which belong to either party in their sole name are in fact beneficially owned by the parties jointly by virtue of their marriage

this is not true

as a question of property law, assets held in either parties names are assets belonging to that party. in the event of a marital dispute resulting in financial remedy proceedings, the assets held in either parties sole name might be shared to achieve fairness (not equality as you say with the 50:50 ref) but they might not, depending on the prevelant circumstances.

legal advice given to one individual cannot be applied to other circumstances.

Dededum Tue 08-Oct-13 14:46:55

Everything goes into big pool, joint account and joint savings (I wish). I brought more in, flat and generous family, used to earn more than him but now he is very much the biggest contributor.

He is good at making money but terrible spendthrift, not helped that he travels a lot for work and gets horrendous credit card bills. The only way it works is if I am in charge of everything.

It has been a long journey, but after 15 odd years I think that we are finally getting understanding between us. It has been the major source of conflict in our relationship.
Advice in retrospect, talk about it a lot and don't let the little things get away.

MrsMarkCarney Tue 08-Oct-13 14:55:35

suzie are you a divorce lawyer? I only ask because a friend of mine is going through a divorce with a top city legal firm, which handles high profile and high cost divorces - and paying £500+ an hour for the privilege. She doesn't work and has always assumed that as a starting point for any settlement, half of what her DH owns ( eg company shares) is hers and the starting point for a division of assets which may be 50-50 , or 60-40 or whatever.
In other words as a non-working wife she believes that whatever cash is in the bank, in property and in shares etc is equally hers until divided otherwise.

Suzietwo Tue 08-Oct-13 15:06:52

im not quite sure whether youre telling me that to try and intimidate me into accepting your words or to offer me work!

if you'd like my credentials, i am a divorce lawyer and i work in a similar firm for similiar clients to your friend (mostly fighting about sums in excess of £5m) and am listed in legal directories for central london for 2013. the only slight difference to what i do is that i work for on a flexible basis and am self employed so am able to charge much lower fees to my clients (£260 p/h).

your friend does not own any of her husbands assets. it would be totally impossible for the commercial world to operate if she did. she owns the things which are in her name, or in joint names with her husband. she is not beneficially entitled to the things in her husbands name.

she may obtain a settlement which includes value derived from those assets but that will be because the court determines she is entitled to a share in them. slternatively it may say that some of them are not marital property and therefore she isnt entitled to a share in them and their value is ringfenced before determining the division.

the percentage division will depend on all manner of things including whether one party takes riskier assetsand/or non cash assets, the length of the marriage and ages or the parties

even if she were to achieve a 50:50 division, that does not mean that half the husbands assets were 'legally hers' as you have put it. it just means the court (or some other dispute resolution forum) has determined that she is entitled to a share of his assets.

but we digress

MrsMarkCarney Tue 08-Oct-13 15:14:53

That's good to know suzie. No of course I'm not trying to intimidate you. what would be the point in that? And yes their assets are above those you quoted. What I was trying to ask which is pertinent to the OP is that my friend has always lived and behaved as if the income her DH earns, is half hers. When he talks about 'his income' and 'his shares' that are part of his salary then she is quick to tell him they are not 'his' but 'theirs'. This is because she ( and I) have always believed that the law considers all assets to be jointly owned in principle even if, like a bank account in 1 name only, they are not.
So if we have both been living under a rock all this time thank you for making it clear.

Suzietwo Tue 08-Oct-13 15:18:59

when it comes down to it, the husband and wife will prepare a schedule of assets. they will each have a column showing what s/he owns. that is the bottom line

MrsMarkCarney Tue 08-Oct-13 15:23:21

well there will very little in her column- but she was told to expect a 50-50 split and 2 years' maintenance.
Thanks for the clarification.

Suzietwo Tue 08-Oct-13 15:24:49

i wish her luck. she may well get one.

Vivacia Tue 08-Oct-13 16:04:00

OP I would go with Teenandtween's suggestion.

I wonder if it would be worth you getting in touch with the Money Advisory service (it's called something like that, and is a free service). The fact that you have loan repayments and £10000 sat in savings waiting to be taken off the mortgage indicates you could both do with a bit of guidance.

Writerwannabe83 Wed 09-Oct-13 09:27:00

Well we had the conversation last night and it didn't end well!!

He asked me how many times we are going to keep having this conversation and I told him that things are going to have to change now there is a baby on the way. I said it is no longer about him spending his money on whatever he likes and me spending my money on whatever I like, but a case of us working together to make sure that as a family we have everything we need. I said that us as a family and the baby is the priority now when it comes to our finances and he needs to stop acting as though he thinks nothing has to change. We sat down and calculated how much my maternity would pay and asked him to explain to me how he saw things 'working out' if we didn't have a joint account. He just sort of shrugged his shoulders, said he hadn't really thought about it and that we'd just 'manage at the time'. I told him that wasn't good enough, we need to plan ahead, we need to know that we can finance maternity leave and it is something we can just deal with with when the time comes. I think he started to take things a bit more seriously at this point. He did however continue to say that he doesn't like the idea of not being able to spend money how he would like to without feeling guilt-free I.e if he fancied a night out with his friends he wouldn't feel like he could. I then spoke about us each having some of our own spending money but he got the huff with that, asking me what amount I planned to 'budget' his spending too. By this point the conversation was getting less productive and I was getting upset and stressed so we left it there. He ultimately did agree to the joint account of one big pot but he certainly isn't 'on board' or see the need for it, he just agreed because he can see how frustrated I am about it. It was an agreement given in the "you'll just keep going on about it until we do it anyway so just do it" sense! So I don't class the chat as having been a success really. It hasn't been spoken about since and things were a bit frosty last night.....

JoinYourPlayfellows Wed 09-Oct-13 09:32:40

"he doesn't like the idea of not being able to spend money how he would like to without feeling guilt-free"

Well then he shouldn't have got married or made his wife pregnant.

Boo hoo hoo! Now I'm an adult with adult responsibilities I can't just carry on living my life as though they don't exist hmm

I think, given his attitude that his money belongs to him and that he shouldn't have to change his life at all just because you are having a baby, that you are going to have some SERIOUS problems when this baby arrives.

Well I think you absolutely did the best you could by raising the subject, even though it was difficult. And you made considerable progress in that he agreed to the joint account concept.
So well done to you !

I think he was a little immature in asking how many times do we have to have this conversation ...
What the one about finances ? .... As often as necessary and especially when circumstances are changing ? Regularly ? Until things are sorted as well as they can be and to both our satisfaction ? ...

I do sympathise as we (DH) always finds it a difficult conversation to have, so we often avoid it (too ?)

Ireallymustbemad Wed 09-Oct-13 09:44:36

Well I'm glad you had the conversation and whilst he was getting pissed off with it, he did actually realise that it's a serious situation. And at least he's agreed to the joint account even if he's not actually on board.

To be honest he just needs to grow up, hopefully when the baby is actually there it will make him see his responsibilities and rise to the challenge.

Good luck OP smile

Writerwannabe83 Wed 09-Oct-13 09:56:36

joinyourplayfellows - that's pretty much the speech I gave him, about his responsibilities etc. smile But, at least he has now agreed to it so I know that once we have actually set an account up all money will be accessible.

Thanks juggling - it was the first time we'd had 'The Conversation' since the pregnancy, but we'd had it a few times previous. He is still adamant that 'no married couple he knows has a joint big pot!!' hmm At least I have said my bit now, I will let the dust settle for a few days then raise it again in terms of making an appointment with the bank smile

sebsmummy1 Wed 09-Oct-13 09:57:11

Yup, I'm afraid I could see that one coming OP BUT you were absolutely right to broach it and do not under any circumstances start back tracking. I honestly think many men (expects flaming) are less grown up as adults than their contemporaries were. It's all a little bit sulky and bottom lips sticky outy.

That's what becoming a family does, it changes things!! Suddenly it stops being him and her and becomes us. My OH has been exceptionally lucky as I am a total tightass and I do everything on the cheap. But assuming you might not want second hand everything he had better get used to shelling out some money and quickly.

Writerwannabe83 Wed 09-Oct-13 10:01:13

Tracks Ireally - I think once he has time to digest everything that was said he will see it all makes sense. Men just don't like to be told these things do they? smile

Writerwannabe83 Wed 09-Oct-13 10:04:34

Thankfully sebsmimmy I'm quite happy with second hand good when it is safe to do so smile We were talking about all the things we were budgeting for and I said that at least for the 6 months the baby doesn't really need much, just breast milk and nappies and he said, "What about the food it will eat though?" He was genuinely surprised that babies that age don't have meals like the rest of us, haha. It was very sweet smile He has never been around babies so I think the whole experience will be a very big shock to his system smile

JoinYourPlayfellows Wed 09-Oct-13 10:07:15

He is still adamant that 'no married couple he knows has a joint big pot!!'

Whether they do or not is irrelevant to the question of whether a married man with children should be able to spend his money as he sees fit without considering the rest of the family.

DH and I have only recently opened a joint account (when I gave up my job) but we have shared all of our money since we began to conceive of ourselves as a unit, as a family.

The important points, as far as I can see it, is NOT the joint account, but his acceptance of the fact that he can no longer spend money on himself without it having an impact on you and your baby.

If he doesn't like that, tough shit. Because that's reality.

And that's why a budgeted amount of spending money makes sense - because at least within that limit you can do as you please without having to think the money would be better spent elsewhere.

sebsmummy1 Wed 09-Oct-13 10:07:17

He owes it to you to let you enjoy this pregnancy not spend your time worrying about finances because you haven't pinned down exactly how things will work out once baby gets here.

sebsmummy1 Wed 09-Oct-13 10:09:53

Sorry for my lack of punctuation lol!!

coldwinter Wed 09-Oct-13 10:13:07

There will be other costs OP. Prams, car seat, baby clothes, etc. It all adds up surprisingly quickly.

Writerwannabe83 Wed 09-Oct-13 10:25:08

We made a very, very, comprehensive list last night of all his personal outgoings and my personal outgoings and added them to all the day to day costs of running the house/life, bills, mortgage, petrol, car insurance, etc etc and after looking at our income we will have about £900 a month spare to spend on what we want. I told him that that 'freedom ' will be great when we are buying things for the baby before it is born and whilst I'm on maternity (for the first 6 months anyway when my pay will still be good) etc but that it won't go very far when we start looking at childcare costs smile Not that I actually have any idea how much childcare costs but I'm sure it will be somewhere in that area....

MrsZimt Wed 09-Oct-13 11:01:09

Well done for talking to him. Maybe the idea of spending money will be appealing to him once he thought about it. £200 each and £500 into savings sounds very good to me.
Childcare varies and depends massively on where you live. £900 would buy you full time nursery where I live.
Maybe start contacting nurseries and childminders to get an idea of costs.

pizzaqueen Wed 09-Oct-13 11:06:16

We do exactly as your DH described and it works really well for us.

we each contribute an equal amount to joint account for bills, food, ds, holidays etc.

the rest is ours to keep. we pay our own phones and car expenses from that too.

It works because we each earn the same amount if one of us starts earning more then we'll contribute more to the household pot.

Writerwannabe83 Wed 09-Oct-13 11:12:43

Pizzaqueen* - to be honest when we were looking at the list last night which included his outgoings I was thinking that by not sharing a pot I would actually be better off smile

Writerwannabe83 Wed 09-Oct-13 11:15:28

Mrszimt - I work 4 days a week so would be looking for childcare for those days between 08.30-17.30. So about 36 hours in total. I think I would prefer a childminder but it isn't something we have really talked about - and I suppose the downside then is that when the childminder and her family to on holiday it would leave us in the lurch, or if they had a family emergency etc. I suppose nurseries are more reliable...

JoinYourPlayfellows Wed 09-Oct-13 11:16:04

"to be honest when we were looking at the list last night which included his outgoings I was thinking that by not sharing a pot I would actually be better off"

Well no, you wouldn't be.

The only thing that would make you better off would be if he decreased his outgoings.

Which is not to say that he should, or could, decrease them.

But the money your family has available to it isn't affected by who puts what in which account.

Writerwannabe83 Wed 09-Oct-13 11:16:30

And can I ask pizzaqueen how did you manage your money/costs when you were on maternity leave and you couldn't contribute your half?

JoinYourPlayfellows Wed 09-Oct-13 11:20:00

"I suppose nurseries are more reliable..."

The first year my DD and my sister's DS were in childcare, she was with a CM and he was at nursery. They were both babies.

He was constantly picking up bugs and nursery and then she wasn't allowed to bring him baçk until he was better.

DD was not around so many children so she didn't get sick anywhere near as frequently. Also, when she was sick (not D&V, but that never happened) the CM was happy to take her as long as she wasn't really unwell and needing a parent's undivided attention.

Having to cover a couple of weeks a year of CM holidays has always seemed worth it to me for the advantages of a childminder, especially for a baby.

ShoeWhore Wed 09-Oct-13 11:20:30

Well done for having the conversation OP.

I think your dh needs to get his head around the fact that having a baby is going to change his life and not just in terms of money!

Children are expensive full stop and get more so the older they get ime. That money has to be found from somewhere and it's difficult to cut back on essentials so most of us have to sacrifice some of the discretionary spending. Thankfully it's worth it grin

sebsmummy1 Wed 09-Oct-13 11:24:17

OP make sure you don't underestimate how much you may want to stay at home and raise your child. When I was working I too thought is be able to just pop him into childcare and go on my way. It really wasn't as easy as that. I didn't earn enough for it to be financially viable and actually the thought of heading him over to someone at a stage where he is doing his 'firsts' would just break my heart.

So as it stands I am off work and we are meaning the finances stretch.

Just wonder if it might be worth doing the sums if you decided to become a SAHM or take a longer mat leave than you intend right now.

Writerwannabe83 Wed 09-Oct-13 11:33:02

Ideally I would love to take a year off for Maternity but I just don't think it is feasible. We couldn't afford to run our house/lives on just my husband's wage either. At the minute we have it set in our minds that I will return to work after 9 months but depending on how are finances are I might see if that can be extended nearer the time. I have considered returning to work but cutting down to 3 days a week, but again, I don't canoe if we could manage that. I think the decisions will be easier to make once i have been in touch with Payroll and can get the true picture of what my Maternity Pay will be as opposed to making estimations.

sebsmummy1 Wed 09-Oct-13 11:47:18

Good idea. If you absolutely have to return to work, then it's a no brainer. But it definitely becomes much more difficult to go back when you are working to pay someone else to raise your child with little left over at the end of the month.

TheFabulousIdiot Wed 09-Oct-13 11:53:52

They won't be raising your child, just looking after him/her - and if you choose carefully they will be doing a really good job of teaching him/her all sorts of lovely stuff.
I can't fault my nursery and the people there who my son has formed strong attachments with. Never regretted him being there so really do your research and make a decision you are happy with.

Definitely get the finances sorted though.

JRmumma Wed 09-Oct-13 11:55:44

Don't get fooled into thinking the baby wont cost much in the first 6 months! You might not be able to breast feed (i couldn't) so needed bottles, breast pump, formula etc. You might also need things you haven't bought in advance which were unforeseen too and these do mount up!

I think your DH is overestimating how much he will be able to go out, as well as how much money he will have to spend on said nights out!

Writerwannabe83 Wed 09-Oct-13 12:01:37

He has actually been pretty good actually as he is Captain of our local football and cricket team and a few days ago he handed in his 'badge' for both teams and told them that as off next season he won't be playing for them anymore. He said that he'd always known that when he became a dad that would be his priority and he wanted to spend his weekends with me and the baby. He wants to take us out to farms and zoos apparently smile I would say that quite a bit of his social expenditure was on after-match and after cricket drinks (Saturday and Sunday) so at least I know those costs will no longer be there... smile

There's a chance I might not be able to breast feed for medical reasons but I'm trying to remain positive and am not allowing the alternative to factor in my plans at the moment, lol smile

HanShotFirst Wed 09-Oct-13 12:06:34

All money goes into a joint account, which all expenses come out from. Any big purchases are are discussed, but otherwise we just spend as we wish. (I am a SAHM if that makes any difference)

sebsmummy1 Wed 09-Oct-13 12:10:17

Sorry TFI, bad turn of phrase xx

pizzaqueen Wed 09-Oct-13 13:33:29

writer before mat leave I had saved a wee pot of money to live off. I had also put down a big deposit on our house which dp wasn't able to do at the time so during my mat leave he contributed more to the joint account as he saw it as 'paying back his share.' Although I couldn't care less whether he paid it back or not

we're ttc no2 now and have been saving like mad to afford to cover my half of the bills while I'm off work. We've both contributed to the savings pot (not equally, me more than him). DP will also take extra shifts to top that up if need be.

Although we will save a fortune on childcare for ds1 and my commute whilst I'm on mat leave anyway...

You need to work our what will be best for your family and your circumstances. Splitting household costs down the middle (including childcare) and keeping the rest for ourselves is what works for us.

CloverkissSparklecheeks Wed 09-Oct-13 15:08:04

Complete joint account for us, we have an amount left over for just going out which we share as and when we need it then bigger purchases come out of our joint savings we put away each month. The reason we did it this way is because I was on maternity leave then a career break so wasn't earning. I now work as well but it seems so much easier to keep it that way.

DH has his own business so has a business account and sometimes he uses that for buying extra bits or additional weekend trips etc. I have no idea what is in it but he would be happy to tell me and if I needed some that would be fine too.

CloverkissSparklecheeks Wed 09-Oct-13 15:15:24

I didn't contribute anything during my career break but I don't think it would have been fair for me to be given an 'allowance' as I was not working due to looking after the DCs so we shared all of DHs wages and just spent what we needed.

Vivacia Wed 09-Oct-13 16:36:34

pizzaqueen how does fifty:fifty work when your income decreases due to maternity leave? Why have you been busy saving in order to pay your way later?

pizzaqueen Wed 09-Oct-13 17:27:21

We use savings to cover my half during mat leave. DPs wage alone wouldn't cover all of our outgoings so we have been saving to make sure we can cover the shortfall whilst I'm off work. If we haven't saved enough DP will take more shifts and pay in more. We are both contributing to the 'baby fund' but I've added a little more than him as my parents often give me gifts of money and dp has paid for some extras recently like holiday spending money and his car needed work which ate up his extra cash.

Whilst we both earn roughly the same we both contribute the same to the household pot. Obviously we'd need to review this if one of our incomes changed dramatically.

Vivacia Wed 09-Oct-13 19:05:02

Ah, so it's not just you saving for maternity leave, you both are? And it's both of your savings which will cover the shortfall?

pizzaqueen Wed 09-Oct-13 19:34:08

Yes exactly vivacia we're both saving for mat leave. We don't even know if i will take the full time off I might take 6 months at the beginning and dp take 3 or 6 months on the end. Depends how bf goes and how much I want to go back to work. Dp wants to stay homewith kids as much as I do. Shame its a necesnecessity for us both to work. Our system works well for us but it won't be for everyone.

Writerwannabe83 Wed 09-Oct-13 22:34:33

Things may have improved by taking a direction in the same way you have pizza

New plan: We each put in £800 (as a rough guide) into a joint account for the mortgage, all utilities, other house costs, food costs and baby purchases. The rest of our salary is our own. Hubby is aware that as my pay is reduced due to maternity leave then my contribution to his pot will dramatically reduce and his salary will bear the brunt. However, alongside this, we pay off our £3'000 Wedding Bill with the money we have sitting to one side that was originally planned as a big mortgage payment. We currently pay off £300 a month of that bill so the idea is that we still put £300 aside each month (£150 each) and keep it in a separate account and this will be our 'Maternity Cover Fund'. That way, by the time the baby is 4 months old we will have at least £3'000 saved. Up until the baby would be 6 months old my pay won't be dramatically affected so at least having that £3'000 (and more if we can contribute more on some months) it will make things much, much easier for the planned time off when the baby is 6-9 months old. Who knows, we may even be able to afford for me to stay off for a whole year if we really cut back.

Then, once I'm back at work and on full pay we will re-assess our outgoings and name amendments to our joint income contributions as needed.

It's the rough outline anyway and something we would both be happy with which I think is important when it comes to financial issues.

Vivacia Thu 10-Oct-13 06:29:56

Sounds as though you've sorted this out well. My only concern would be when your pay falls and his contribution increases. Will you still end up with the same amount of personal spending money each?

MarjorieAntrobus Thu 10-Oct-13 07:18:49

after looking at our income we will have about £900 a month spare to spend on what we want.

Quite a bit of that £900 spare each month will go on childcare. The maternity leave period is only the start of the issue. It seems like you have a plan in place for your maternity leave, and that is good, but you really need to be talking about the reality of living with less money to "spend on what we want" once your maternity leave ends.

Writerwannabe83 Thu 10-Oct-13 08:03:48

Yes Vicacia - it was part of the clause, I'm only happy to compromise if he meets me half way smile

After all this stress and worry I honestly don't understand how some people afford even one child, let alone more grin

Writerwannabe83 Thu 10-Oct-13 08:05:01

I reckon it will come as a far bigger shock to his system than mine marjorie - I look forward to the realisation dawning.... smile

MarjorieAntrobus Thu 10-Oct-13 08:23:21

Eek, all the best to you with that conversation then. The one about childcare costs, I mean. Be aware that it'll all feel quite emotional when it comes to leaving your pfb. I am not being patronising at all. The business of finding the right nursery (or CM) to leave your baby with is fraught enough without having to grapple with a partner who has only just realised how much money is involved.

jasminerose Thu 10-Oct-13 08:25:29

If you bf baby will cost a few hundred first year. Other than nappies and a couple of baby bundles I didnt buy much. Its cheap having a baby.

jasminerose Thu 10-Oct-13 08:27:24

I have 2 in childcare and it isnt that emotional leaving then in childcare. Your only gone for the day not forever. Its never bothered me, and I havent ever cried or got upset about it.

MarjorieAntrobus Thu 10-Oct-13 08:41:19

Oh, OK, jasmine, I found it emotional though. I was very happy to be back at work once I had got over the initial hurdle, but I did find it difficult at first.

ShoeWhore Thu 10-Oct-13 09:22:20

I'm not sure about that estimate of the cost jasmine - do you mean after you've bought the big items like the pram, car seat, cot etc?

A biggish pack of nappies is about £5-6 so that's £250+ before you've thought about clothes, food (it's cheap to feed them yes but not free!), toys, highchair. We had noone to pass things on to us so had to buy everything ourselves and it can easily rack up.

jasminerose Thu 10-Oct-13 13:28:59

I didnt have a cot. I had a sling until she was 6 mths then a £30 stroller from mothercare. The sling my friend gave me, baby bundles of clothes are a fiver on facebook. I did end up buying a travel cot off there for 20 quid, but other than nappies I didnt yse anything else.

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