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Moving in for the first time - splitting finances & eventually starting a family

(27 Posts)

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llamakoala Sat 23-May-20 12:50:59

If DP’s monthly income after tax, NI, etc is approx 1100 and my monthly income is approx 1400 and we are looking to move in together within a year or so, how would you recommend we split the bills to make it fair and allow both of us to continue saving and would it be feasible that we can afford to try for a family in 2-3 years? No family around to assist with childcare.

Also, I get a very small pay rise every year (approx £300-400 - maybe could be sometimes slightly more if I performed exceptionally) based on my performance. I don’t think DP’s main chosen career path will give him a pay rise like my company does (although he does have a couple of other things he does on the side (perfectly legal! Think arts, etc) that can earn him additional income, although this isn’t predictable and could be £100 one month then nothing the next month.

He thinks one of us should pay for one thing and another for another thing, but I don’t think that would be sensible. Initially I said to split everything 50/50, but worried that could be unfair on him e.g. he will be able to save less. Perhaps a percentage e.g. I pay 55-60% of rent and bills and he pays 35-40% of rent and bills. Then we work out food perhaps pay together for things we both have i.e milk, veg and then out of our own pocket if one of us wants a load of treats (e.g. he likes to buy a load of treats for a binge sometimes and I like to buy special health bits at times).

Would I be expected to adjust how much I’m paying for my share each year based on my pay rise?

On that basis, would he be expected to adjust how much he pays at the end of the year based on his Adhoc work outside of his main job? I’m not sure he’d be happy to do this and think he’d want to save this/put towards something for both of us, e.g. a holiday.

We will be renting. Guessing we are looking at £600-£750 rent pcm - obviously the less the better.

Would really appreciate some thoughts/suggestions on how we can make sure this is fair for both of us, and if you think kids are feasible in 2-3 years or so.

Thank you!

llamakoala Sat 23-May-20 13:33:29


LouMumsnet (MNHQ) Sat 23-May-20 14:10:32

Hi there, OP - we're just bobbing on here to say that we've moved this over to our Chat topic now and we hope you get some useful advice here.

Best of luck. smile

tossacoin1 Sat 23-May-20 14:18:30

Just to let you know how we work things. We have a joint account where all the bills come from and each week we put an amount of money in from our wages. My hubby earns a lot more than me so he puts a lot more into bills then me else I would have nothing left for myself (he also pays for food but he earns over double me). We both put the same amount into savings each week but if he has a good week he will put in extra. We then also have our own individual savings we put into when we can. Hope that helps

Ginfilledcats Sat 23-May-20 14:19:21

My now husband has always earned a lot more than me. We never rented together but bought straight away so slightly different circs. However we pay 50:50 for the mortgage (and would have done for rent if we had done that route) but proportionally for bills. Absolutely everything comes under bills: house hold, food, council tax, Netflix etc. We pay into joint account and have the remainder outselves.

I would make an agreement for the first year then reassess both your positions at the end of the year?

MarioPuzo Sat 23-May-20 14:26:56

Open a joint account just for bills and then each pay a certain amount from your own accounts into the joint account.

Technically, your share is 55% and his 45%, but i advise you to each put 5% more in (so 60% and 50%) so you have a bit of float in the joint account.

This way you are both collectively paying for every bill, but it isn't the huge upheaval of 'family money' while you are first moving in together.

Zoey92 Sat 23-May-20 14:28:31

Me and partner moved in together about 4 year ago, bills are split straight down the middle. We both put £500 in a joint account
My wage varies each month being self employed, he is fully employed so some months if I've had a quieter one he's actually come out with more than me, but we dont adjust how much i put in joint account.
We moved in somewhere we both knew we'd afford and still live comfortably.
Personally i find it easier just splitting it straight down the middle, theres no arguments ever about who pays for what.

Holidays etc, we book usually a year in advance, plenty time to pay off & less stress money wise & i put aside money that i wont be making having the time off (joys of self employment)

& now we are expecting our 1st baby in 4weeks, I'm very organised so bought everything after 20wk scan, money wise again we're just splitting the cost straight down the middle for anything and everything.
To me it shouldn't matter if 1 earns more than the other especially of you're living somewhere you can both comfortably afford.

BuffaloCauliflower Sat 23-May-20 14:30:53

DH and I always split everything proportionally, and adjusted as things changed, which is it has often. So we had a joint account and paid into that proportionally based on the percentage of income we brought in, which at times as been anything from 75/25 to 50/50. When incomes changed the ratios changed. In the joint account was bills and rent but also the food budget, travel budget - everything that wasn’t spare. When there has been enough to save that’s been decided between us and jointly stored (though technically it’s in my name) we have a spreadsheet that has every outgoing in it so we know what’s what.

Now we just have one account everything goes in and out of. I don’t think I’d have married DH if he’d said ‘no I want to save this bonus money for something just for me to choose’, even if it was for both of us, it would always be decided equally and big purchases like holidays discussed.

So yes I think the proportion should vary as income varies. You’re either a team or your not. I’d also scope before planning babies his attitude to ‘his money’ and ‘family money’ - way too many women here struggling through maternity leave or paying all the childcare because their ‘D’Hs don’t see why they should support their partner through maternity leave or pay for children

disorganisedsecretsquirrel Sat 23-May-20 14:53:14

Don't have a child before you are married unless DP has learned how to give birth and take MAT leave..

If HE doesn't want to marry then he doesn't have enough commitment to you , to be a parent.

OTOH IF you have independent wealth where any pension or income will not be affected by pregnancy/child rearing then crack on...

User0ne Sat 23-May-20 15:09:19

When me and DH first moved in together we split things proportionally based on our wages (initially I earned more, after about 5 years he did).

We changed this when we bought a house together (before we got married and had kids) so that all our money went into the joint account and we both got back the same amount as "personal money". We have the same arrangement now 6 years and 2 children later.

The most important thing is that we discussed things thoroughly in advance each time (including what would happen if our individual earning changed). Those discussions will tell you whether he's a financial d*ckhead or not; then you can make informed decisions about your relationship.

llamakoala Tue 02-Jun-20 17:36:27

Thanks everyone for your input- really appreciate it. Has given us some things to think about smile

FabbyChix Tue 02-Jun-20 17:38:57

How are you going to support both of you on one wage if you have kids and stay at home? Alternatively who will pay for childcare?

Avacadoandtoast Tue 02-Jun-20 18:08:27

Hey - we also do as one of the posters suggested above and Have a joint account where the mortgage and all bills come out of. Because DH and I earn roughly the same amount just now, we put the same amount in and leftover money is ours to do what we want with (though trying to save just now so all ends up in a big pot!).
Before we were married with kids we earned different amounts, so put proportional amount of money into the joint account leaving us with the same amount of spending money.
It’s worked really well for us.

Likethebattle Tue 02-Jun-20 18:28:03

We worked out all our bills including a food budget (£100 a week to give us leeeay if we need to buy anything extra. We actually worked it out as £100x62 then divided by 12.

We then worked out what percentage of our combined wages the bills represented. So if it was 36% we both put 36% of our take home wage into the joint account. We pay for our own phones, Train tickets and contact lenses etc.

We usually have extra money at the end of the month (overestimating food etc) this gets moved to our joint savings account.

DH used to make a lot more than me and he had extra disposable cash but I think that’s fair as if we lived apart I’d have less than him anyway.

Bb90 Tue 02-Jun-20 18:33:49

We have a joint account and put in 50;50 for both mortgage and bills.
He earns double me, but then will pay for "extras" like holidays for the both of us. This works ok for us at the moment but i wouldnt be able to afford half if we had kids and i was on a lower maternity/part time wage.

Megatron Tue 02-Jun-20 18:39:47

We have a joint account. Everything comes in and everything comes out the same account. Apart from savings which are joint savings. I accept that that seems to be old fashioned now but it's worked for us for 20 years.

Allthegoodnamesweretakenalread Tue 02-Jun-20 18:42:00

We have three joint accounts as well as our personal ones.

All money is paid direct to the joint account and all bills are set up to come out of it. A set amount is transferred to a joint savings account and a joint account which we use to pay for shopping/petrol etc.

We each have the same amount of spending money each month which is for fun stuff, clothes etc. Works really well for us.

Before we got married we had one joint account for bills and paid in on a 70/30 split to reflect the difference in our salaries.

Parker231 Tue 02-Jun-20 18:44:01

All income is joint and then an equal amount is transferred to our personal bank accounts to spend as we wish regardless of any differences in income.

Cheeseycheeseycheesecheese Tue 02-Jun-20 18:47:29

No real advice but dh and I work our finances as below.

I work part-time (children) so my monthly bring home is £1000 DH is £1800

Our wages all go into the joint account, all bills come out of here including the food shop and fuel for the car.
£500 goes onto savings.
We both take have an equal direct debit for the month for our own spending.

Before I had our dcs I was earning the same as him, his wage has gone up since then too. His wage covers all bills mine is basically a top up so we can have a disposable income, at the moment the knowledge we don't need my wage helps relieve some stress as there is a chance I may lose my job due to covid.

We rented for a year before we bought our house and divided our wages into 3. Bills, savings, spending (this tended to get saved more often too) . It took us a year to save our deposit of £20,000 but we did start with £2,000 between us though.

SheldonSaysSo1 Tue 02-Jun-20 19:01:25

Whatever way you split things I would probably include food in this. Allow some level of treats/health foods as this will probably balance out. Then anything above that can come out of personal spends. It may just be easier to work with all money from a joint account, but it depends how your relationship is.

nikkylou Tue 02-Jun-20 19:11:13

We technically split proportionally at the moment.

We have a joint account and agreed to pay 50% of our take home pay into it. It currently means that its approximately a 60/40 split with actual proportions but means a)no need to work out percentages everytime someone has a pay rise b)personal funds is proportional to income.

Things like our cars and phone bills are paid from personal funds, and we have personal savings etc. It does mean technically one of us has more disposable income which I suppose creates a little divide if you think about it that way. But it we dont question how the other spends it.

Currently 50% of our respective salaries covers all our bills, food and 'some' joint purchases. But no joint savings. If needed and/or our personal expenditure allowed, we could put a higher percentage of our salaries in.

We don't have children yet, and the 'plan' for joint finances will have to be discussed and will depend heavily I think on expected incomes. If I chose not to go back to work for instance and we go down to one salary, will require a different agreement to if we are both of comparable salaries.

cptartapp Tue 02-Jun-20 19:32:17

DS earns six times what I do so he pays six times into the joint account what I do for all bills, holidays, childcare etc. The remainder of our salaries is for each of us to personally spend/save as we wish, so no interrogating each other about purchases. Set up direct debits.
Worked well for over twenty years. Recalculate with each pay rise.

MrsL2016 Tue 02-Jun-20 19:44:39

Before we had children we earnt pretty much the same so split everything down the middle and used a joint bills account. We also saved together rather than separately. Now we have a child and one of us works part time and therefore less than the other, we agree the same amount of personal spending to stay in our own accounts and transfer everything else to the bills and savings accounts. The only bill we pay out of our own accounts is our phone bill. Our petrol and food shops go out of the joint account too but any booze and snack food we pay for ourselves.

Electrical Tue 02-Jun-20 23:23:15

this citizens advice bureau post about the differences between cohabiting people and a married couple
Ensure that you know all of this, and whether or not you both want to remain legally single, there’s always posts on here from women who are shocked when their relationship breaks down/boyfriend fucks off in to the sunset and they’re now homeless. People who choose to be unmarried have zero protection or rights, you have to opt in to legally being each others family.

SoloMummy Wed 03-Jun-20 07:42:05

I'm going to go against what you propose op. I think that if you intend to not have children for a number of years, that you both should be contributing equally when you're in effect "only" a couple.
That you both contribute the same, but maybe accept that if you for example want a more expensive holiday that you may contribute more towards that.
Then when planning a family you need to review the whole situation long before conceiving. With savings made, planning how to survive on 1 income, childcare costs if returning to work etc.

The alternative is that all of your incomes go into a joint account, so everything is combined, with a savings account for the unspent money. That way it's a household savings, not yours and his, but both having access and spending money.

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