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Split of costs in a marriage AIBU?

(52 Posts)
Mugofteaforme Sun 17-Feb-13 13:21:38

I've been married to a great woman for seven months (proceeded by a six year relationship). So we can get married I put all the expenses on my credit card (I know I know), and additionally until recently pay all the household bills. My wife has just come to term with her creditors for reduced payments so she's now about £600 a month better off. Out of this £600 she gives me £130 a month so I'm paying the rent + expenses of about £1000 a month and the Wedding costs of about £400 a month. I earn £27000 a year and my wife about £18-20000. If I was a rich man I wouldn't worry, but I'd love to know what a typical split would be. We don't have any children. AIBU to expect more financial help.

Teeb Sun 17-Feb-13 15:35:34

How much did the wedding cost? Why was it decided that it would become 'your' debt rather than a joint debt?

Where did the £130 figure come from? Was it your wife that suggested it, or did you sit down and discuss where you both were financially when she became £600 better off?

morethanpotatoprints Sun 17-Feb-13 15:39:26

My dh wages are half his and half mine, we have separate accounts and a joint accout.
Joint account takes half of dhs salary, he keeps the other, I keep Tax credits and benefit.

All household bills come out of joint account and whats left is for emergencies. We each have our own current account.

We don't have his money and mine though, its all part of the same pot.

AbigailAdams Sun 17-Feb-13 15:45:01

I don't think the fairest way is percentages as the person who earns more ends up with more disposable income every month. And depending on the discrepancy in incomes that could be significant. Either pool it all or contribute everything minus the same amount of disposable income e.g. £200.

Bluemary3000 Sun 17-Feb-13 15:45:45

We have one joint account that both Salaries go into and separate accounts which we put our play money into.
Over the years one has always earnt more than the other, me for many years and now dh as I'm part time to look after the kids.
I don't understand why as a married couple anyone would need to argue over money. What's mine is yours etc. I find it odd and slightly distrusting that do many couples do that. I know out of my group of friends we are the odd ones and they laugh at the fact we get pocket money each month.

PicaK Sun 17-Feb-13 16:26:43

Another voice here that says you need to work out all the bills including travel and boring stuff like contact lens charges etc. Think about saving for holidays. Then split what's left of the joint income between you.

You need to sit down and discuss this like grown ups. If your wife ever goes on maternity leave she'll be reliant on you for a bit then. You both need to get used to being equal partners. But I personally find that I need some money in my own name so I don't have to account for it to anyone - so I prefer the joint account and two separate account options.

SolidGoldBrass Sun 17-Feb-13 16:35:40

I think there's more going on here than you are telling us. What do you mean by your wife 'giving' you £130 a month? And how has she reduced her debt payments to the extent that she now has £600 disposable income a month? I am on a DMP and, while they are not unreasonably restrictive, £600 as disposable income (after rent, bills etc are paid) would be seen as a bit too generous.

IF your wife's debts are massive, do you know how she got into that much debt and whether things have changed? EG, if the debt was due to her being out of work and she now has a job then it might be all right, but if she got into debt because of an addiction of some king (online bingo/shopping can be addictions as well as drink or drugs) then has she dealt with it?

maddening Sun 17-Feb-13 16:36:36

But op - if her income and expenditure showed she couldn't afford that 600 then she should have pretty much no money left - to establish what she could afford she provided her incomings and outgoings excluding unsecured debt - what is left is divided between creditors on a pro rata basis. Before that she was paying 600 more than she was earning each month - she was hemorrhaging money before then if she has had to go on reduced payments.

I still say - get a spreadsheet and sit down with all your bank statements, outgoings, debt commitments (have statements and repayment details to hand and take note of where you are paying interest and fees) and work out where you are together - get a plan, downgrade and set budgets, look for deals and get advice if the figures don't add up - eg if you can't afford it when you see it in black and white.

Prioritise getting debts down - if you have spare cash pay down the debts with the highest interest.

andubelievedthat Sun 17-Feb-13 16:59:49

yes it seems you are getting a raw deal , should ,perhaps be >all money into a pile on the table, all costs out of that and 50/50 with whats left>our way anyhow.

Trills Sun 17-Feb-13 17:20:04

If you are a team you should each have the same amount of money to spend on yourselves.

After all household and child-related costs are paid for, and after the amount of savings that you have agreed on, the remainder should be split 50/50 for you each to spend as you please.

StuntNun Sun 17-Feb-13 17:35:13

I don't agree with this idea of putting in percentages of income. My salary is substantially lower than my DH's but I have given up a PGCE course so he could do his PhD, lived in areas where it is difficult for me to find work, again for his PhD and now so he can live near his family. And I have taken time out of work to be a SAHM for our children which has also impacted my career prospects. It doesn't seem fair to say that he should have more spending money than me because he earns more. And what happens when we retire and he has a brilliant pension and I'm only on the state pension plus a little bit extra. That would breed a lot of resentment on my part. We pool our incomes and have the same access to our money.

nocake Sun 17-Feb-13 17:41:21

You need to find a solution that works for you or disagreements about money will eat away at your marriage. I'll tell you what we do but this is just an example of what you could do and you need to find your own solution.

DW earns less than me because she's part time (she looks after DD the rest of the time). We have our own accounts and a joint account. We each keep the same amount of our monthly salary and the rest goes into the joint account to pay the bills. Any spare goes into a joint savings account.

Christelle2207 Sun 17-Feb-13 19:27:29

Stuntnun that is a good point we only do it because we earn similar amounts. I will be on mat leave soon and earning almost nothing - but we had a conversation about this earlier and at that point all the money he earns will essentially become joint money.

Bakingtins Sun 17-Feb-13 20:05:34

We do both salaries into a joint account that pays all household expenses, we both get the same pocket money into seperate accounts, any surplus goes into joint savings. If you plan to have kids then you need to think ahead to when one parent is likely to work less, earn less and take on the bulk of childcare. The joint account money is ours equally and DH would never think of it as 'his' because he is currently the higher contributor. We have agreed the sort of things that the jt account pays for (mortgage, bills, food, kids expenses) and we discuss any unusual expenditure. I currently work part time and earn much less than DH but we both get the same frivolously disposable income. It's a good thing to have some money seperate for presents or purchases that are not legitimate household expenses.
Neither of you sound that great with money if you already have big debts you can't afford but have got further into debt for your wedding. You need to sit down together and work out a plan to get out of debt, and a household budget.

MrsMangoBiscuit Sun 17-Feb-13 20:18:01

DH earns more than me, not helped now by the fact I'm part time and haven't built my career as much having children. Before DC he paid a bit more than me, but also had more spending money than me. Now we have a very clear budget, but basically everything gets pooled, all bills get paid, we both have equal spending money, then the rest goes into savings, and paying off the 0% card.

Your current situation doesn't sound fair at all.

Yfronts Sun 17-Feb-13 20:33:17

Pool everything but allow yourself a couple of hundred each for spends.

JackieTheFart Sun 17-Feb-13 20:37:56

It doesn't sound fair.

IMO, you should have a joint account where salaries are paid in and all bills are paid out, by direct debit or standing order. You can set up standing orders for savings as well. Everything else is for 'leisure'.

This is how we've always worked, even when I was p/t and DH was f/t I still earned more than him. I've probably always spent more on myself as well blush because I buy makeup and more clothes yes I'm a walking cliche but neither of us set out his and my money.

LessMissAbs Sun 17-Feb-13 20:42:45

You both have a scary attitude towards finances and debt. Its idiotic to plan a large expensive wedding when one of you has such large debts and doubly so to put it all on your credit card. What a way to start a marriage - you will both be under such financial pressure from the word go. You would hope that one of the two of you would have some financial sense at least. Its as if you have made yourself your wife-to-be's equal by getting yourself into huge debt too.

I don't think it matters how you divide finances in your case, you're going to be in debt up to your eyeballs for the foreseeable future. You are carrying this woman financially and personally I would feel terribly guilty about it if I were her.

But to answer your question, most couples I know pay half or thereabouts of the mortgage each and generally keep their own accounts. A few have joint accounts for shared expenses but personal accounts that their own salary goes into first and then direct debit of agreed amount into the joint account.

yfronts "a couple of hundred each for spends" ??? With the debt they've got? I don't think so.

rodandtheemu Sun 17-Feb-13 21:11:26

Yabu posting on here, you should of pretended you were a woman and it was your husband that you were talking about, you would have got a different response. ( pitch forks, screams of 'leave him' and such!)

Sounds as though she is not that great with money so sit down and talk. You both should be paying in roughly the same percentage and having enough 'spends ' each, It's not fair when one spouse carries another. It causes resentment. Now she has some free cash she needs to show some responsibilty.

I could not ever have a joint account for ALL our money ( we do have a billing account tho) as im a saver and DP....just isnt.
good luck

AuntieMaggie Sun 17-Feb-13 21:12:33

We pay the same amount into a joint account each month which the mortgage and all other joint bills come out of regardless of who earns what. The rest is ours to do what we want with and pay for individual bills like mobile phone bills, any other individual debt. We don't have any DC so are both working full time and it works for us.

You deserve more financial help from your DW - £130 a month is our food bill or council tax payment its nothing!

Regardless of the wedding costs you need to talk about splitting living costs more fairly.

ChairmanWow Sun 17-Feb-13 21:21:07

The only fair ways are to either completely pool your resources or to have a joint account which you pay into according to your earnings and debts, leaving you both with the same amount in your own accounts each month. We've always done the latter. At one point my husband earned 10k more than we so if we'd done it by percentages it would have been completely unequal. Now I earn a little more than him.

I never understand why one partner should be allowed to have more money than the other. Doesn't make sense.

thegreylady Sun 17-Feb-13 21:29:04

we only do 'ours' not his and mine.At different times one has earned more than the other but everything goes into a joint account and all expenditure over about £50 is discussed.In addition we each have a credit card which we use to pay for pressies for one another as well as each having a different credit card on one account which is paid by direct debit.It works for us.

MummytoKatie Sun 17-Feb-13 21:36:02

We have a joint account so share everything. It works for us but mainly because neither of us is a big spender or an obsessive saver.

It sounds like your wife may be a bit of a spender so this may not be such a good idea. Friends I have in this situation generally pay all the money into a joint account and then pay half of the spare into each of the two personal accounts. Then the spender can fritter theirs away on tat whilst the saver happily saves up for whatever they want.

So in that situation you'd each have about £300.

Although I do think that your best bet right now would be to chuck as much as possible at your debts and get them gone as if you want kids in the next few years you are going to have real problems.

maddening Sun 17-Feb-13 21:51:29

Speak to the cccs as a couple if you can't get a handle on it.

If her salary is 20k so over 1k per mth after tax and her rent/bills and food are 130 per monbt

maddening Sun 17-Feb-13 22:03:26

Speak to the cccs as a couple if you can't get a handle on it.

If her salary is 20k so over 1k per mth after tax and her rent/bills and food are 130 per month then even allowing for travel expense, mobile phone, food at work and a clothes allowance - and being generous as she is claiming financial difficulty a socialising budget she would have £500 to pay in to her debts (at a reduced atp you are looking at about 1-2% repayment per month so does she have £25-50k debt?

I think you need to see her I&e to see what the atps are based on - she should not be left with £500 after she has paid living costs and her debt repayments - maybe a small allowance for sundries and socialising - so either she does not have the free cash or she lied to her creditors so they stopped the interest and accepted reduced payments based on the fact she showed she was in severe financial difficulties. If she was actually able to afford her payments she is silly to have ruined her credit file to free up extra cash when all she is doing is taking longer to pay off her debts.

If she is still spending as before if she sees this as free money then I think you both need to sit down with a financial advisor and get a handle on the situation. If all is fine then it's just a financial mot and if not then the sooner you do get a plan in place the better your outlook.

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