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to think there's a point at which contributing to the bills proportional to your income gets silly?

(69 Posts)
Gabaccia Tue 26-Mar-13 11:24:16

Not sure if my thread title makes sense, but - DH and I have always split the mortgage and bills according to how much we earned, so that we'd have roughly equal money left over for leisure stuff. This started off at 50/50, then changed to 60/40 as he had a few pay rises, and now after another pay rise he's earning twice as much as me. He's suggested we adjust the bills again to reflect this, I have plenty of money to do what I want, I can go out, buy more or less whatever I want (within reason - I'm talking going for drinks and dinner and shopping in the high street, not flying to Paris for the weekend and buying designer bags), doesn't it seem silly for me to contribute less towards our bills, just because he earns a lot? It's not like he has a different lifestyle to me, he probably spends less on himself than I do blush so I'd feel a bit weird about contributing, say, less than 30% towards our cost of living because he happens to have a useful job a job that society values more highly than mine?

We don't have DCs yet and obviously it would be different if we did, as we'd be saving for them and one or both of us would probably be working fewer hours than we do now.

stealthsquiggle Tue 26-Mar-13 11:27:03

Why not make the adjustment, but put what you would have been paying into savings instead (since you won't miss it) - even if you don't need it as long term savings it could mean, for example, that you could pay for a holiday? I think the principle is important, personally.

AmandaCooper Tue 26-Mar-13 11:29:52

If your household earnings have increased won't you be looking at investments or paying off debts, thereby more or less maintaining the amount you contribute?

fackinell Tue 26-Mar-13 11:31:39

In our house (no DCs either yet) my partner earns 800 more pm than me. We split all household costs down the middle except the weekly shop, which he pays for. It seems fair to me but if he wanted to make it means tested, I'd take his hand off grin
I think it's very giving of your DH to offer to do this. If it makes you uncomfortable you could always put the extra money in a savings account and have a nice trip away together each year. Lucky you!!

ginslinger Tue 26-Mar-13 11:31:52

why don't you both keep back some money for personal spends and pool the rest in a joint account and then save what is left over. Really, it's all one pot at the end of the day

fackinell Tue 26-Mar-13 11:32:21

Cross post with Steal. smile

cantspel Tue 26-Mar-13 11:33:03

Use the money to overpay your mortgage or put it into savings/

Gabaccia Tue 26-Mar-13 11:34:25

stealth that's a good idea, I hadn't thought of that at all! Do you mean the principle of paying proportional amounts is important? That's what I'm wondering about really - is there not a point when the fact that he chose a lucrative, useful career and I knowingly didn't means something - maybe if I was a nurse or a teacher or something properly useful and underpaid I would feel differently, but I'm not that useful to society smile

CMOTDibbler Tue 26-Mar-13 11:35:50

I'd do the adjustment, but also start both direct depositing money into savings accounts so that if you do have dc you've saved up for maternity leave/cushioning childcare, and as generally a rainy day fund.

ginslinger Tue 26-Mar-13 11:36:17

I really believe that if you are together then you pool your resources. I am also old.

Gabaccia Tue 26-Mar-13 11:37:47

x post with lots of you. cantspel I think that's a good idea really. I hadn't thought it through like that - that way its not me getting more leisure money, but saving up for both of us. We are already overpaying mortgage as much as we're allowed to.

TeWiSavesTheDay Tue 26-Mar-13 11:38:33

The principle of equal spends is important yes, otherwise many women seem to get stuck paying all childcare bills etc and with no spare for themselves, which is madness.

But I agree with suggestion that your DH put the extra into joint savings/mortgage if you both have decent incomes already.

Gabaccia Tue 26-Mar-13 11:39:37

Alright CMOT and the rest, you've convinced me. I have no head for money or forward planning at all. In my head it was just 'why should I get to pay so little of the bills?'

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Tue 26-Mar-13 11:43:25

Take him up on his offer and put what you don't need into an ISA. No such thing as having too much money.

MrsSpagBol Tue 26-Mar-13 11:50:22

You sound like you have a lovely husband!

Gabaccia Tue 26-Mar-13 11:51:12

TeWi that would indeed be madness! If we have DCs child-related costs will definitely be both of our problem!

Gabaccia Tue 26-Mar-13 11:53:23

MrsSpagBol he is lovely, but sharing bills fairly is pretty much a minimum requirement for not being a selfish knob, surely.

WhereYouLeftIt Tue 26-Mar-13 11:54:18

We do not contribute proportionally. We do not contribute, full stop. We are one financial unit, and all our earnings go into a joint account, from which all our joint expenses are paid. We also have standing orders from this account to our sole accounts for personal spending - we both have the same amount. Once upon a time we earned roughly the same, since then our incomes have fluctuated, but no 'adjustments' were ever neccessary as everything was pooled.

Gabaccia Tue 26-Mar-13 11:58:28

Whereyouleft I agree 'contribute' is probably the wrong word (like 'helping' round the house) but it seemed the clearest way to put it. We both have our own current accounts and a joint account. Our salaries going into our own accounts and we put a set amount each month into the joint account for mortgage, bills, maintenance etc. I like having my own current account where no one can see all the crap I buy. And for secret present buying, obv.

TheMidnightHour Tue 26-Mar-13 11:58:49

If you're thinking of having children, you might want to consider what would happen then - if either partner takes time out to care for the children, they can get a bit shafted in career, pension and savings terms. If you have extra money as a couple now, you may want to over-pay into things like pension, mortgage (as you're doing), savings in order to create a cushion for later on - particularly if you already have a clear idea of who will do what.

Having tried it several ways, I personally think that pay it all in and each take the same allowance (bunging the rest in a joint savings account) is a fair way to do it for established couples, as it handles the times of plenty (quick, let's go on holiday), income inequality (like yours) and times of want (like if one or both of you are unemployed/go back to school/stays home with the kids/takes a pay cut for some reason) without having to renegotiate the whole system from the ground up. But pay-in-proportion can do this too, if you accept that sometimes the proportion will be 0%.

DP and I switched to all-in after being together about 5 years - just in time for a yo-yo couple of years where I'm not sure we've both been in full-time employment at the same time for more than a month...

MrsSpagBol Tue 26-Mar-13 12:01:36

Gabaccia - wow, why are you attacking me?

I was just thinking that it makes a nice change to come on here and see a husband who is
- generous
- concerned about his wife's comfort, equality, spending power and disposable income
- transparent about pay rises and changes in situations
- fair and honest

and you jump on me?

Of course it's a min requirement of a non-knob, and in an ideal world every husband would be like that, but quite frankly spend some time on the Relationships board and you will see a shocking amount of husbands who are not!

I was just saying it's quite nice that you have a good one. hmm


Gabaccia Tue 26-Mar-13 12:02:26

Um, sorry I wasn't jumping on you at all MrsSpagBol!

Gabaccia Tue 26-Mar-13 12:03:37

It was a general statement following on from yours, not directed at you or trying to suggest that you were wrong. Again, sorry!!! You've all been really helpful.

Gabaccia Tue 26-Mar-13 12:06:08

TheMidnightHour I can see how it might be easier in the long term to have one pot and take out the same set amount each month for ourselves - probably more sensible for those times when the proportion goes down to 0%! The whole planning for children thing and knowing who will do what is completely up in the air really, we have no clue what we'll do or even if we'll ever have them. If we knew and had a plan it would be easier.

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Tue 26-Mar-13 12:12:30

I said this on another thread today, so apologies for the repetition, but I think that the principle is more important than the mechanics in these things- i.e. the principle that you, as a couple, are a single economic unit where resources are pooled for the common good - kind of like a bijou socialist utopia grin.

DH and I both get paid into own accounts, then he pays the joint cc/rent, keeps a bit of cash for himself, then chucks the rest in the joint account, where I use it for my cash requirements/ pay bills etc. My salary goes into my account and just stays there- it's sort of ear marked for school fees and Uni. Arguably, most of our assets are in sole names, but we think of them as joint and manage them jointly.

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