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A question for you if you and your dh have a joint bank account and pool income...

(40 Posts)
headfairy Thu 22-Sep-11 19:07:02

If one of you earns less than the other how do you go about deciding what's a fair expense? If for example one of you wants to buy a coat that you know you couldn't afford if you didn't pool your income, would that person go ahead and buy the coat anyway as your pooled resources make it affordable? Even though the other partner won't benefit from it?

Been thinking about this sort of thing for a while.....

RitaMorgan Thu 22-Sep-11 19:11:32

If I need a coat, and we can afford it, I'll buy it.

I don't really understand this question grin

StitchingMoss Thu 22-Sep-11 19:13:50

Yes. I don't work so couldn't afford anything if we didn't pool resources!

Having said that, we've pooled resources for the last 15 years and just kind of work it out as we go along. It helps that we have very similar idea about reasonable expenditure on things, eg. wouldn't spend £500 on a coat!

sneakybeak Thu 22-Sep-11 19:14:05

I think that if you decide to share your income, then you share the responsibility that comes with it. So if DH wants to buy ridiculous stuff for his fishtank, I make my peace with it. If I need a coat, then I need a coat. Simples.

TeamDamon Thu 22-Sep-11 19:16:08

I think you've been thinking about this too much!

If I want something expensive, I discuss it with DH and if we can afford it, I'll get it. But then if he wanted something expensive, he'd discuss it with me even though his income is nearly double mine.

We haven't regarded our incomes as anything other than 'ours' rather than 'his and mine' for years and years. TBH, if we did, it would get really tedious very quickly.

AnnieLobeseder Thu 22-Sep-11 19:16:57

Huh? I decide to buy stuff based on whether we can afford it from the pooled funds. Surely that's the point? It makes no sense for the partner who earns less to constantly be denying themselves things that the higher earner would buy. What kind of partnership would that be?

If you both only buy things that you personally can afford, you're not partners, you're housemates.

headfairy Thu 22-Sep-11 19:18:29

Sorry if I haven't made myself terribly clear... what I mean is do you feel guilty having a bit of a splurge on your joint incomes (if you're the lower earner)?

Dh and I have seperate finances... I earned much more than him for a long time, he was unemployed for 6 months and I supported him completely in that time. I've also put the bulk of the equity in to our house. Now I'm working part time my salary has dropped at the same time as his has risen so he now earns more. I keep thinking joint resources would be easier but I'm trying to work out if I'm just being selfish now I have less money.

MordechaiVanunu Thu 22-Sep-11 19:19:46

All income pooled and all joint. Dh earns more than me as I'm part time.

If I want something and I kniwbwe can afford it I buy it. I never consider the proportion of whose earned what. Seems weird to me.

Dh probably earns 80% of our income and I probably spend 80%.

He's a man of few needs and I'm a woman of many.

He never minds as he always knows I stick within what we can afford.

headfairy Thu 22-Sep-11 19:19:48

TeamDamon would your dh agree if it was something you could afford but was utterly frivolous (to him perhaps) Just something you'd like rather than need?

Well I don't earn, so by your reasoning I would be naked and hungry because DH gets no benefit from my clothes or my food.

We have a joint account. After all bills are paid and money allocated for food, expenses for the boys, and any other things for the month then we split the rest equally and are free to spend it as we wish.
I certainly wouldn't dream of asking DH's permission to buy something from this money.

Now if I want something that costs £1000 for which I would need to raid the savings, that would be a different matter and we would discuss. But equally he wouldn't spend that much without discussion either, because it isn't his money. It is our money.

headfairy Thu 22-Sep-11 19:23:00

Thanks for that Alibaaabaaa... it's really interesting to hear what everyone else does. I think supporting myself for so long (I've only been married 6 years and I'm ancient grin) has given me a slightly skewed take on these things. I can't help feeling I'd be really apologetic every time I bought some make up or other such non essential (though given my advanced years I'd argue it was essential!)

StitchingMoss Thu 22-Sep-11 19:23:14

Nope, don't feel guilty at all. And dh never makes me feel guilty either - we both keep a careful eye on finances to make sure we're not jointly over-spending but we can both 'treat' ourselves when we want to within reason.

headfairy Thu 22-Sep-11 19:23:28

waaaay too many A's in your name Ali... apologies blush

bruffin Thu 22-Sep-11 19:23:53

Same as Rita

We have always had everything in joint accounts, we buy what we need regardless of who earns the most

SixtyFootDoll Thu 22-Sep-11 19:26:20

As Mordecahai says. I earn about 60% of what DH earns, we only consult on major purchases. If I want new boots, coat etc, I just get them. Am not a big big spender and neither is Dh

DH and I have joint everything, bills get paid etc and then we each have our own 'spending money'. Mine is in my own account, he prefers to keep his in joint account. That way we can each buy what we want (and I don't feel he has bought his birthday/christmas presents and vice versa). Both of us are careful with money and feel guilty spending on ourselves, this way we have our own money.

Oh - and until recently I earnt much more, I don't think it makes any difference.

Haribojoe Thu 22-Sep-11 19:28:55

If we've got the money then we can buy it. Woould only consult DH if it was something really extravagant.

RitaMorgan Thu 22-Sep-11 19:31:37

I think I see - do you mean buying unneccessary, expensive things?

If one of us wanted, say, an iPad, we'd have to look at whether we could afford it. We'd definitely talk about a purchase like that though. I wouldn't feel guilty about buying something frivilous because I earn less - I might feel guilty if I was buying lots of frivilous things and DP wasn't though.

No that's fine - A away! grin

Well i think in your case it depends how you behaved when you were the higher earner. Did you have equal access to the money then, or did you keep yours and he his?

Whatever you do, you need to both be happy with.

pinkhebe Thu 22-Sep-11 19:35:05

It's never been an issue, dh doesn't buy many things, and I'm sensible (and we don't have much spare cash anyway)

PenguinArmy Thu 22-Sep-11 19:35:23

we allocate ourselves equal personal budgets. If we want something expensive then we save up from that.

(well did when we had money)

AnnieLobeseder Thu 22-Sep-11 19:37:32

As others have said, we only consult each other on purchases that would actually put a noticeable dent in the monthly budget. DH earns more, I spend more - he still wears the same clothes he had when we met 13 years ago, I like newer things.

Hulababy Thu 22-Sep-11 19:37:44

I earn more than 10 times less than DH. However we have joint accounts and all money is shared. If one of us is going to spend a fair amount in one go then we will check iwtht he other - usually I check with DH more than the other way round simple because he is more likely to know what the finances stand at at any given time. I don't ask permission, neither does DH. Generally thoiugh we just buy what we want/ or need as and when.

TheFallenMadonna Thu 22-Sep-11 19:38:13

In answer to the question in your OP - yes I would, absolutely. DH and I have shared finances for 18 years. I think only in terms of household income and so does he.

RitaMorgan Thu 22-Sep-11 19:38:41

Personally I don't think it is very healthy in a committed relationship to focus on who is bringing in most money. For me the important thing is that the split of work/free time/treats is evenly split.

At the moment DP works full time and I do one day a week, but I do much more childcare than DP. I go back to work properly (part time) soon so will be doing less childcare, DP will be doing proportionally more. We still make sure we have roughly the same amount of time off work/childcare though, have similar amounts of time to devote to hobbies and are able to treat ourselves equally. It doesn't matter that DP will be earning twice as much as me, that doesn't buy him anything extra in our family.

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