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Help be arrange grown up joint finances

(14 Posts)
jointaccount Sun 07-Oct-12 11:31:22

I've namechanged so I can discuss specifics. DH have been married for a long time (10+ years).

Always kept out finances fairly separate. We have joint account which we each contributed to to cover bills and then kept the rest.

Before children, I earnt much more than DH and had a large chunk of capital. DH also does not have good track record with money - he never gets into massive debt but suffers from money burning a hole in his pocket. He struggles to maintain savings as thinks if he's got it he needs to spend it.

I have hefty savings which he knows I have but doesn't know how much - this is because if he knew he would pressure me to spend it.

I put a massive capital sum into our house and we have a small mortgage which we are overpaying.

All fine so far.

However, a couple of children down the line - I am now self employed my income is sporadic. DH works full time. It has kind of been agreed that his work takes priority so I work part time around school hours etc.

However, I feel that we need to change how our finances are organised. At the moment, he puts money into the JA but then has quite a bit left over which he thinks is his to spend as he wishes - normally on his quite expensive hobby. He is like a boy with pocket money.

I however, sometimes have more and sometimes have less but am left to make all decisions (and pay) for household items / kids / furniture etc.

What do you think would be a grown up way to organise?

To be specific (hence name change)
DH's take home is £2,100 a month (plus £250 childcare vouchers).
He puts just over half in the JA, leaving him with about £1k per month.

As I say, my income but on average probably works out a £1700 (gross).'t't
I pay £750 into JS which doesn't leave me with much but some months I can earn quite a bit more. I do treat myself when I do so not totally selfless.

What do you think would be a fair way to organise things.

In reality, I want DH to set aside a certain amount for his hobby, some for monthly spend and then the rest to go into a savings account to buy one-off purchases. eg. DS needs a new bed. We will need a new carpet soon.

What would be a fair %age do you think?

Sorry this is so long but I can't discuss it with anyone in RL and I need some perspective.

MrsSlocombesPussy Sun 07-Oct-12 11:47:25

When I first met DH I earned more than him. He now earns more than me, as I work part-time.

The way we have always done it is to pay both salaries into the joint account. All bills, household expenses etc come out of there.
We both have an allowance which goes from the joint account into a personal account, so we end up with the same spending money, no matter who earns the most.
Any spare money from the joint account goes into joint savings.

I think you would have to decide what comes out of joint money or personal money, and use that to calculate a fair amount of spending money.

jointaccount Sun 07-Oct-12 11:49:59

That's what I would like to do.

Can I ask how much you have each as discretionary?

Fairylea Sun 07-Oct-12 11:53:13

We do exactly the same as Mrs.

We end up with about 300 each to spend on random stuff ... not kids etc as their stuff comes from joint.

jointaccount Sun 07-Oct-12 12:27:13

That sounds perfect Fairylea.

I'm not sure DH will go for it but think I will suggest it.

Think I'm going to say we can't afford to overpay mortgage out of joint account based on current expenditure.

MrsSlocombesPussy Sun 07-Oct-12 12:29:48

About £250.
Any big items to be bought from joint savings, we decide on together.

MrsSlocombesPussy Sun 07-Oct-12 12:35:48

And if we want to splash out on something expensive which would come under personal stuff, we have to save up out of our 'allowance', instead of just raiding the joint savings.
We also have joint credit cards for household stuff, which is paid for out of joint account.
And a personal credit card which has to be paid for out of personal account.
We both get a bonus from work. From that we'll each take the same amount eg £200, the rest goes into family money, or buying stuff for the house.

SilkStalkings Tue 09-Oct-12 16:57:58

I finally convinced DH he had a bit of a spending problem last year so he now pays all his earnings into the joint account and he pays himself an allowance from that. I got him to balance transfer the one credit card we have to an interest free one and he was supposed to cut up the new card hmm. That reminds me it's time to switch card companies again, I shall seize the new card when it arrives!
I also keep hold of the savings account and top it up regularly, luckily he refuses to do online banking so it's all safe.
I don't pay into the joint account as I only earn pennies and receive a benefit. However, that will change if I manage to earn enough to pay tax perhaps.

In terms of pressuring to spend, tell me about it! Managed to convince him an iphone will do everything an ipad does without having the kids all over us (i.e. me) all the time. But it's so much better to keep talking/arguing about these things than to seethe.

NoBrainer Tue 09-Oct-12 20:05:32

We have a joint account and have always paid both salaries into it. At the moment I don't work, so it's just DH's salary and child benefit for 3 kids (although due to lose that soon angry). I keep a spreadsheet of all the bills to pay that month and work out how much we'll have left over. We always put as much as we can on cashback credit cards that we pay off in full each month, this makes it easier to budget and means we get a nice cashback payout each year. For savings in the past (when I worked) we have both had an ISA to take advantage of tax allowances, but tbh at the moment we don't have a lot of savings so don't have to worry about that!! If you can trust each other then it normally works out financially better to have joint finances. We work together - I'm good at making sure we can afford everything and my husband just doesn't spend a lot grin.

NonnoMum Tue 09-Oct-12 20:39:04

We each keep about 20% of our take home pay for our individual stuff... Hair cuts for me, DVDs for him etc etc... All the rest goes jointly...

Jcee Wed 10-Oct-12 08:28:06

We used to have an arrangement similar to yours and my DP is the same as yours with a must spend attitude to all spare cash whilst i am more conservative and i also earn the larger salary. we recently moved house and with a much bigger mortgage had to revamp our finances.

We now both pay everything into joint account and then pay ourselves an allowance of £250 to our own accounts to spend on what we wish - I like clothes and beauty tat and DP has an IT fixation and like buying PC bits - and a travel allowance as I buy train/bus tickets and DP buys petrol.

Everything else - household bills, kids stuff, birthday pressies, nights out together - all come out of joint account.

We were both a bit nervous of changing the status quo as it had worked well previously for 10 years but its working well and we are now managing to save as a family each month for treats and holidays instead of us both spanking the spare cash in our own accounts each month.

Also DP is now much more sensible about his money and he said he enjoys choosing what to buy each month and spend his money on things he really needs or wants whereas previously he'd spend until it was gone on all kinds of stuff.

SilkStalkings Wed 10-Oct-12 08:59:35

The definition of family is dependents (dependence, geddit?) He may earn more than me and I may depend on his income but he depends on me for childcare etc. it just make sense to me to have the household pot first, the personal allowances second. Teamwork.

ginmakesitallok Wed 10-Oct-12 09:11:56

You see even the whole paying each other an allowance out of a joint aaccount makes things too complicated for us. We just have 3 accounts. One which both salaries go into and all money comes out of. One savings account - which nothing much has gone into lately. And an account for paying the mortgage - reminds me I need to change the standing order for it..

cherrybath Wed 10-Oct-12 17:21:16

I didn't work until my youngest child went to school, but did have child benefit and some investment income so agreed a fair split of the household bills, based on how much we each had coming in. This was juggled when our incomes went up or down.-
Perhaps he doesn't realise how much he is frittering away? We each had our own account, but also had a joint account and from this we agreed to pay the regular bills via standing order/direct debit or on one credit card account, so it was absolutely clear how much was spent on these basics. It is very hard when you have no cash of your own, giving/accepting "allowances" is difficult. And it is hard to agree on spending such as childrens' clothes. I think the answer is to agree a figure for these - if he fights it then get him to go out with you to buy them.
We're older now and don't have the joint account (other than for savings) but still agree between ourselves who pays what and every now and again we sit down to make sure that the split is equitable.

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