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To think we should be combining finances more by now?

(25 Posts)
AwkwardPaws27 Tue 07-Mar-17 14:10:05

Ok, here goes, first post so please be kind!

DP & I have been together nearly 10 years, & engaged for over a year. Bought a flat together nearly 3 years ago, I put down the deposit (at the time he was on a slightly lower wage & had no savings, whereas I had been saving) & we were splitting everything 50:50 until last year. He now earns almost double my wage (I earn £20k) & last year I asked him to start contributing a bit more towards our joint account - he pays £100 pcm more than I do. I manage our budget from the joint account & deal with remortgage, renewing insurance etc as I'm better with that sort of thing.
I just feel a bit worried that we are still seeing money as "mine" & "his" rather than "ours". How do other engaged/longterm couples do this?
It's difficult as he now pays for treats eg a meal out a couple of times a month because I am still trying to live frugally, & trying to save. £40 is a weeks allowance for me but obviously not such a large amount to him.
I've tried suggesting splitting things proportional to earnings, or putting our wages into the joint account & having an allowance each but nothing has happened.

TeenAndTween Tue 07-Mar-17 14:15:10

Are you planning to get married soon or in the 'engaged' a holding pattern?
Are you planning children together?

I think either of your suggestions is better than current situation, if you were married. It also sets the precedent for if children come along.

However if he sees you as independent adults who happen to live together and has no intention of getting married soon, then I see why he isn't changing.

Bluebell9 Tue 07-Mar-17 14:42:08

My DP and I don't have access to each others money. I'm the higher earner but we split bills 50/50. I currently pay the mortgage as its my house but we are buying together soon so he will contribute more then. It does leave me with more disposable income but I use it to pay for nights out for us, holidays etc. DP is useless at saving so I do all the saving for both of us. DP is happy with the set up, he has enough disposable income and knows if he ever needed money, he can have it.

ExplodedCloud Tue 07-Mar-17 14:46:20

We maintain our own finances and contribute proportionately to a household joint account. We've been married a long time smile

acquiescence Tue 07-Mar-17 14:46:42

It sounds ok, aside from the fact he is ending up with a lot more spare income than you. As you are not married and do not have children this is not that unusual.
We are married and have a child and keep our own accounts. I earn around half of what my dh does and put less than half the amount he does into our joint account. I work part time and do more childcare.

I think it sounds fine for the moment, but if you plan to have a child you would want to review the equality of it.

KatnissMellark Tue 07-Mar-17 14:48:35

All our cash is shared. We have a joint current account, savings and credit card. I earn significantly more than DH but am about to go onto stat maternity pay so things will totally swing around for a year. There is no his and hers. I manage the budget (because I am better at it!) but about once a month we sit down and I show DH where we are and what the outlook is for the next 3-4 months and then probably twice a year I'll do a 1-2 year projection to work out how we're doing. In this way DH is always vaguely aware of our financial situation. Big purchases/holidays etc are always a joint decision. We've been together 12 years, married 5.

AwkwardPaws27 Tue 07-Mar-17 14:48:51

He proposed, quite out of the blue really, so if it is a holding pattern I'd be a bit surprised... I actually slowed down wedding planning etc as I was worried about costs. I said we needed to save up first, I don't want to get into debt for what is ultimately one day.

We've discussed kids but agree that we'd want to be in a better situation before having a child, eg. having moved from the flat to a house and I'd like to finish my degree first (I work fulltime and study in the evenings), so probably about 5 years from now.

My mum was left in a shit situation when my parents split, as they weren't married, so I'd like to get married first for security (I'm not religious). However, I'm a bit worried that he will be unable to break this "his money" mentality.

IamFriedSpam Tue 07-Mar-17 14:51:19

When are you planning to get married? Personally I can't imagine being married and having kids with someone who still saw money as theirs and mine. What if your child has special needs or health problems and someone has to give up work? I also wouldn't like to have vastly different levels of spending money.

I would bring this up in reference to what you are going to do about money after you're married. Personally I'd either have completely joint accounts (this is what DH and I do) or have a joint account for bills and savings and separate personal accounts. All salary is paid into joint account and then every month you transfer a set amount into savings and the same equal amount into each of your personal accounts as spending money.

rollmeover Tue 07-Mar-17 14:52:19

Pre kids we both put in proportionally to the expenses account and we discussed what savings etc we were having. He is having the benefits of you managing his money without having to actually contribute fairly.

AwkwardPaws27 Tue 07-Mar-17 15:28:54

Sometimes I feel like the work I put in managing the money and household stuff is not noticed, I know I bring in a significantly lower salary but I keep on top of the money etc - I've saved us about £350 a month by keeping us on the cheapest utilities, remortgaging, switching insurance plans etc.
I am a bit worried about us having different approaches to money... If you pay everything into a joint account, do you have the same allowance or an allowance proportional to your wage? I'm not sure I'd feel ok with having the same amount as he is obviously bringing in a lot more...

KatnissMellark Tue 07-Mar-17 15:32:06

We don't have an allowance as such as both relatively sensible spenders with similar views- we just buy what we want as and when. FWIW, I bring home significantly more than DH and he is more spend than me in general. I don't mind, we're a team, he works as hard as I do, just happens to earn less and I want him to enjoy the same level of financial freedom as I do/could.

Tobuyornot99 Tue 07-Mar-17 15:32:47

I have one dc, not married. DP pays all household bills, I buy food and pay cleaner, plus all families presents / everything for dc. It may seem vastly disproportionate to a casual onlooker, but he earns a lot more than I do, and we end up with roughly the same amount of disposable income, so it's fair to us. Every couple is different.

ChicRock Tue 07-Mar-17 15:34:38

I hope you protected the deposit that you paid toward the flat.

flowery Tue 07-Mar-17 15:37:51

"I've tried suggesting splitting things proportional to earnings, or putting our wages into the joint account & having an allowance each"

What did he say to those suggestions?

peggyundercrackers Tue 07-Mar-17 15:39:01

we dont have access to each others money, I earn more than him and pay all the bills for our house, he pretty much keeps his salary to do what he wants with it.

MN is a funny place when it comes to money but there is no right or wrong - you need to sit down with your DP and decide what you want to do as a couple.

ChicRock Tue 07-Mar-17 15:42:37

Fwiw we have joint current and savings accounts and did within about 6 months of moving in together and long before we were married. DH earns 4 x what I do and it was his idea.

TheNaze73 Tue 07-Mar-17 16:00:47

There's not going to be a right or wrong answer here, it's what works for you. You'll see from the range of responses here will all contradict each other.
Joint accounts, mean joint & several liability. They're great until something goes tits up.

IamFriedSpam Tue 07-Mar-17 16:13:44

I'm not sure I'd feel ok with having the same amount as he is obviously bringing in a lot more...

Absolutely your choice but seems odd to me to be married to someone and one of you have a lot more spare money than the other. I wouldn't be happy having spare cash to spend while my DH didn't have the money to buy things he wanted. It doesn't really matter to me who earns more as we're a team and we both contribute different things.

I would also be very cautious about this approach going forward if you plan to have kids. It's very rare for the burden of childcare to be shared equally - it usually ends up that one career takes more than a hit than the other - why should that person be penalised in terms of spending money?

I think separate accounts (with fair monthly allowances) can work well though if you have different approaches to money - one person might want to save up for a big purchase and the other can fritter it away and neither feels guilty.

Cloudyapples Tue 07-Mar-17 16:15:00

DP and I have our own accounts where we have our wages come in, then a joint account for all bills/rent/food shopping/some savings and we both pay an agreed percentage of our earnings into there - percentage makes it fairer I think.

Even though it means he pays in more than me, he still has more than me left over to keep for his own spending because he earns so much more - if we paid exactly the same I would have nothing left to treat myselfsmile

It works out well so far, as we feel like we are both contributing and saving for our future while also still keeping a little money for our own treats/holidays or days out with friends/treat each other etc.

My DP is pretty relaxed about money situations though (we do it this way because i don't feel ready for everything to be joint yet as like some of my financial independence) and would happily combine everything jointly now if I was happy to because as he sees it we plan to be together long term so eventually it is all our money anyway. I think if we got engaged/married then we would just combine everything.

WhatWouldTheDoctorDo Tue 07-Mar-17 16:18:34

Before DH and I got married we contributed to bills and living expenses proportionately. So he earned around double what I did so paid for two thirds of our living costs. He also still had more disposable income than me.

Once we got married it was a different situation and while our earnings are now broadly similar, while keeping separate accounts we've always shared costs out so we both had roughly the same disposable income. Regardless of who earned more, when I was on mat leave, when he got made redundant etc.

AwkwardPaws27 Tue 07-Mar-17 16:27:33

* It doesn't really matter to me who earns more as we're a team and we both contribute different things*

^ I like this.

Thank you all, I think I need to force persuade him to sit down, look at our outgoings etc and show him the options of either having a proportional contribution or paying it all into the joint account and having a set allowance.

I don't really like the idea of one person paying x and another paying y, as if the other person stops paying you might not know until the debt collectors start knocking - not saying DP would ever intentionally do something like that, but if the direct debit was accidentally cancelled or something, I doubt he'd notice!!

FruitCider Tue 07-Mar-17 19:06:03

I earn around 1.5 x that of DP, but it doesn't matter to me. Our money is ours, we decide our budget together, we negotiate new bills e.g. deals on gas and electricity, mobiles, virgin media together, and our savings now go into a joint account (although they were in his account until recently). We have a 4 year old child and it wouldn't occur to me to do it any differently to be honest.

AwkwardPaws27 Sun 12-Mar-17 19:05:30

We discussed finances today. He agreed to consider putting in proportional amounts (about 60:40, taking into account our take hone pay without including his bonus). He said no to putting our salaries into the joint account & taking a proportional allowance each as he was worried about me saying no if he wants to make a big purchase. I'm not sure what to make of that - I've never stopped him spending his money (he recently bought a motorcycle & had a holiday with a friend which I had no issue with at all). I feel a bit annoyed / upset that this is his opinion of me. I put all my savings into the deposit as I saw us as a team building a future together.

QuiteLikely5 Sun 12-Mar-17 19:09:55

Did you protect your deposit? Was it much?

Funny how he didn't mind you being so generous!!

AwkwardPaws27 Sun 12-Mar-17 19:21:23

I didn't, as the legal fees had already ended up higher than expected. It was £9k, & his parents helped with a lot of diy stuff which will have increased the value so it would probably even out anyway.

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