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To think it's ok not to share money

(183 Posts)
ToooRevealing Thu 20-Feb-20 08:13:01

Right, so this thing about "family money". My DH was one of those, a long time ago, who wanted to keep absolutely everything separate. We got a joint account for bills when we had DS1. Then after two years we sat down and recalculated things because I was always having to ask him for more money each month (I was the lower earner and on mat leave). He was happy to sling me an extra thousand quid every few months ad hoc, but that didn't work for me, I wanted us both to contribute to the children's upkeep more obviously, so he could see clothes trips treats football lessons etc all coming out of our joint money and never have any vague feeling that I'd just "overspent". He was of course fine with this (this isn't a thread about financial control, our communication is fine & power balance good!)

He still says, though, that he has "chosen a higher earning job than me"; which to be fair he did, before we ever had kids or even met each other. So while we should contribute proportionally to our joint family, we should each keep our discretionary money for ourselves. In practice he puts loads in his savings (so I'm sure I'll get it in the end, ha ha!)

But is he right? Part of me thinks yes, as long as neither if you is in financial trouble or hasn't got enough, and if you take the long view, the higher earner can stash their spare cash away in accounts the other has no access to.

But then I think it's a grey area- I'm not progressing as fast in my career as I would have done if I didn't have children, and that's not quantifiable. I am part time, so we know what we save on childcare and the value of that. But... I was part time before kids too! I like being part time & would want to stay that way. He likes being full time.

If we were both full time and both absolutely went for it, he would be earning say £100k a year and I would be earning say £90k a year. As it is, I earn £50k and he earns £100k. So this AIBU isn't about being tight for money. Am I BU wanting our discretionary personal money to be equal; or is he BU, saying that once we've provided for our family together and proportionally, we can have different discretionary amounts for fun and savings, because we have different careers? I think his view is fair, but because he loves saving money, and it's always me who pushes to spend money, that can muddy the waters.

Fairylea Thu 20-Feb-20 08:17:00

For me that isn’t fair. I think a family is just that - everyone being treated equally and having the same standard of living as everyone else in the family. So for me I expect to have the same spending money as my Dh (and this is what we do - we give ourselves equal spending money).

Purplewithred Thu 20-Feb-20 08:17:57

It depends if you have an underling belief that really it’s ‘our’ money just in different names, trust each other and are prepared to spend ‘your’ money on shared items. You and your DH seem to have a good relationship - renegotiating, ‘he was of course fine with this’ etc.

Where the problems arise is when one person wont fund family items or is happy for the lower earners - children as well as spouse - to struggle financially while they have a lovely lifestyle.

The marriage ceremony does have a bit that says ‘all that I have I give to you’ - to my mind not sharing the finances is on the same level as sexual infidelity.

DonnaDarko Thu 20-Feb-20 08:21:36

I don't think 'family money' is as important as having shared values and similar views on how to handle money. I will probably get flamed for this, but I kind of agree with your husband.

DP and i do not share finances at all, for a couple of reasons. I have a lot of debt so having a shared account would damage his credit rating; on the other hand, he has a great credit rating but he wastes a lot of money gambling on those bloody machines in the pub.

We both earn the same and we're transparent about what we earn. I am responsible for the household bills and food shop, so he transfers me his share every month. We each pay out portion of the rent to the landlord separately. Then after that, our money is our own. If we decide to go on a trip, or have any big or adhoc expenses, we agree on a budget and usually split the cost.

I don't see this set up changing if one of us suddenly earns more. To be honest, i will never go part time because I insist on keeping my independence, whether we get married or not. So maybe that's why I agree with your husband. But that does not mean you are not being unreasonable to want the same amount to spend.

user1493413286 Thu 20-Feb-20 08:22:46

I think that before children having your own money is fine based on your DHs theory but I know that my career has essentially plateaued in the last couple of years due to two maternity leaves and choosing positions that work around children and going part time therefore I think that our disposable income should be shared as otherwise I’d be earning far more. I still like to have my own bank account with it in though rather than a joint account as if I feel like treating myself to something I don’t want to justify it (as long as it doesn’t effect family finances)

bridgetreilly Thu 20-Feb-20 08:25:40

I think it's really weird, tbh. Like, when you're going out with someone and they want to do loads of really expensive things you can't afford, it's awkward and complicated. Why would you want that situation with your spouse? What if he wants to go on an expensive holiday that you can't afford? What if you have to spend all your spare money on going out, to keep up with him, so that you never get new clothes? Surely you want everyone in your family to have a similar standard of living, otherwise it's less fun for all of you, not just for the lower earner.

That doesn't mean you have to have everything in joint accounts, but it does mean he has to be willing to share freely for discretionary spending as much as for bills.

CuriousaboutSamphire Thu 20-Feb-20 08:25:41

Have you asked him why he wants / needs to see it as HIS savings?

Years ago I asked DH and he said it was because he had never had any savings that were specifically his... his mum had taken any he had into the family pot from the first pay packet he ever had. He liked the idea that he had something that was his to fall back on, if needed.

30 years later and I still make sure he has a pot of savings with his name on it. I manage all of our money, he never sees where most of it goes and, whilst he was involved in our late attempt at financial planning, leaves moving any savings around to me.

So if we have a need for his savings pot I will use it, but will ask him frst, as I don't want to repeat the behaviour that started his feelings of financial insecurity! That has proved to be a workable compromise for us.

Basically, the family pot of money (that 6 months of bills we are all supposed to magically save up, just in case) has his name on it.

nowlook Thu 20-Feb-20 08:27:28

It's not how we operate, but if that's what he wants to do, you have options:
- Go full-time and the childcare will get added to the general family spend which you will contribute to proportionately; or
-Accept that he has more discretionary spend; or
-Invoice your childcare to the family budget to get a more balanced picture.

As I said, not how we do it. I don't track anything that DH spends and everything goes into the same pot. But, I do so willingly. Sounds like your DH would be doing it under sufferance, which could be fairly miserable for you.

Lippy1234 Thu 20-Feb-20 08:29:57

I think all money should be joint in the sense that you discuss as a couple how much you jointly have each month and what you’d like to do with any that is left over after bills. So in your example I imagine you working part time makes it easier for the DH to pursue his career and earn his high salary so I don’t think it’s fair he decides he wants to save any excess amount.

Bear2014 Thu 20-Feb-20 08:31:37

I assume you would be earming morebut took a step back for the sake of your DC? If so, I think his argument is a dud. He has more disposable income as he spends more time and energy on work than family. You, the opposite.

I certainly wouldn't begrudge him a few spends on himself but you should be able to do the same as you have sacrificed some of your earning power to be there for the kids. Who are half his.

BertieBotts Thu 20-Feb-20 08:34:43

I can't unvote but I'm not sure what your position is as you state both in the OP.

Since you've sacrificed your career for children that ought to be factored in. Seems like he doesn't appreciate that one of you would have had to. But also I don't like this thing of everything being separate - to me that isn't what marriage is about. Who cares what decisions you did or didn't make before marriage? That is part of what you accept of each other when you marry, possibly what attracted you to each other in the first place, but also irrelevant going forwards. When you marry, to my mind, that is/ought to be a total melding of life, including finances. If you don't want to do this, then you shouldn't get married. You're saying (to each other and the world) not to "count" you as single instances any more but as a joint unit. Therefore it's not the case that things like career decisions are made on an individual basis any more, they're made on the basis of the marriage/family unit as a whole. Whether someone chooses a more draining career at the expense of their mental health, for example, isn't an individual thing but it's where you jointly say OK, what impact does that reduction in mental health of one of us have on the whole family (including him, but not in relation solely to him)? Likewise when you have children, when deciding whether both parents will return to work you (jointly) weigh the impact on household finances with the impact on stress levels, cost/logistics of childcare, any emotional or personal issues you have with the concept of childcare, etc.

Obviously this only works in a relationship where you see each other as equals and are "co-pilots" if you like, with interest in combining your personal preferences and agendas to plot a shared course in life.

R2519 Thu 20-Feb-20 08:35:34

My personal opinion on is everyone has a ‘role’ in a family. Typically the man is the main / higher earner but that usually means the woman does more of the child care / raising, meaning she doesn’t have the same earning capacity but she still ‘works’.

My wife earns a lot more than me and we split the child care outside of child minders etc. I work from home so I do all the cooking cleaning and washing etc and we have a joint account where both salaries are paid into. We both see it as family money rather than mine or hers.

I have to be honest one of my pet hates is guys, and it’s usually guys, who want to keep ‘their’ money and give their wife and children effectively an allowance. Fuck off is usually my response......oh and I’m a guy for what it’s worth!

Stickybeaksid Thu 20-Feb-20 08:36:44

My dh sees it as his responsibility to ensure we have equal money. I earn a lot of money but it’s a lot less than he does. We share everything equally because we are equals in everything else. I took the time out of my job to have kids and it impacted my career path.

Mustardfan Thu 20-Feb-20 08:38:11

I agree with you that it’s not fair, as your career is stunted by the fact that you have taken maternity leave and that you are working part time which helps the family as you do child care. This is one reason why women very often have a lower income than men.

It also sounds like there is a difference between you - he wants to save money and you want to spend it? Other than your children, what things do you want to spend money on that he doesn’t?

BarbaraofSeville Thu 20-Feb-20 08:39:08

Well your situation is unusual in that, if the amounts you've quoted are correct, you earn a very decent wage from a part time job, which is almost unheard of.

The situation would be very different if you earned what is typical of many part time earners, eg £10-20k per year, if that, because you simply wouldn't have enough money to contribute to bills, save for retirement and have any personal money left.

It absolutely should be the case that if one partner works part time, or takes a step back, that their efforts in running a household and looking after joint DC - they are his responsibility too remember, are recognised, and the financial hit they've taken is accounted for.

The lower earner should still be able to take their own pension savings out of the joint pot, which should also cover all joint household essentials such as mortgage/rent, bills, food, childcare costs and other child related expenses, a car where it is needed (obviously not high end or expensive if not affordable, but fit for purpose) or other work/DC travel costs, and only after all joint essential expenses and savings have been covered should the leftover money be split for personal saving and spending.

Maybe the higher earner should have more if they have genuinely made more effort, but it will be a rare situation where they are truely 'putting more in' once the unpaid labour of the lower earner has been properly accounted for.

NewNameEveryWeek Thu 20-Feb-20 08:42:16

This is so confusing. Is the AIBU:

"AIBU to think it's ok not to share money?"


"Am I BU wanting our discretionary personal money to be equal; or is he BU, saying that once we've provided for our family together and proportionally, we can have different discretionary amounts for fun and savings?"

I'd say YABU to the first and YANBU to the second.

BottleOfJameson Thu 20-Feb-20 08:42:28

Personally I can't imagine being in a relationship where one person has more spending money than the other. We're a team, if one person is a higher earner the other person probably does a lot more childcare and stuff around the house to support that partner.

In our house we sit down and decide our budget, how much we're going to save and how much will be left over to spend. The spending money and savings are both of ours shared equally. Since neither of us are big spenders anyway we keep spending money joint but I wouldn't object to having separate accounts for spending money (so one person could save for a big, personal item while the other could fritter it away on little treats if they wanted etc.)

I guess the exception would be if the kids were grown up an one person wanted to work hard and have more money and the other person preferred to work part time and have less money.

Batqueen Thu 20-Feb-20 08:43:32

I could see that it would grate on him if you were part time before kids that you get an equal amount of discretionary spend as you aren’t as career focused in general but that doesn’t mean the extra you do for your children shouldn’t be recognised. Can you discuss this and find a way that he is sharing more with you all, there are ‘official’ family savings but that he still gets discretionary spend that recognises his career dedication?

bbyj2019 Thu 20-Feb-20 08:46:16

Personally I think you are being unreasonable, it would be one thing if he never payed his way ie family/household bills and necessities but as he is and is happy to give you money when your short, whatever’s left of his money should be just that, his money. A 100k Salary wouldn’t of been earned easily if you want similar get yourself back on track with full time work when your child goes to school

QueenofmyPrinces Thu 20-Feb-20 08:46:44

When it comes to monthly take home pay my husband brings home just over double what I do. He is full time and I am part time.

Both of our monthly pays gets paid into our joint account and then 12.5% of that total is direct debited to my personal account and another 12.5% is direct debited to my husband’s personal account.

The remaining 75% is then is then split between our monthly living costs and savings.

My husband would never suggest to me that he have a bigger share of the money because he earns more.

Nanny0gg Thu 20-Feb-20 08:47:05

So if you paid for holidays individually, for example, he could afford exotic long haul and you could afford two weeks in Benidorm.

Not how a family works imo

MadameMeursault Thu 20-Feb-20 08:47:28

The AIBU is confusing. I would say that it’s not fair that he has more money to spend on stuff for himself. You’re a lower earner because you do more for the family and at home. Even though you deny it, this is a form of financial abuse. You’re a family, everything should be shared.

CherryPavlova Thu 20-Feb-20 08:48:49

I don’t understand people calling it a partnership when there is no equality or sharing of finances.
In a traditional wedding he endows you with all his worldly goods because even when the traditional vows were written, it was recognised that men tend to be the higher earners and so bring more money into the shared household. It stops being his money or your money on marriage.
You are being treated unfairly and him ‘giving you’ money belittles the impact that raising children has on a woman’s career.
All in one pot. Equal personal spending rights.

bbyj2019 Thu 20-Feb-20 08:49:46

I actually can’t believe how many of you feel so entitled to your husbands money from having children, very backwards thinking in such a ‘woman power’ era

IceCreamAndCandyfloss Thu 20-Feb-20 08:49:57

I agree with him too. You were part time before children and have remained so as it was your wish so there has been no sacrifice. He chooses to work more so should benefit more from the money.

I don’t buy into this “sacrifice” anyway, lots don’t have a career to start with and many spouses get no say in whether their partner goes back at all or just part time and are just expected to finance it.

I expect a partner to be able to meet their half share of the bills if we lived together and wouldn’t expect a man to pick up my share as I’m perfectly capable of doing that myself. It’s not about “family money” but a work ethic for me, I couldn’t support a partner that chose not to work.

I only ever joined finances upon marriage, however we both work full time and have similar attitudes towards money and spending or I still wouldn’t have done it.

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