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Partner earns 4x my salary... how do other people manage this?

(62 Posts)
purpleaura Thu 03-Jan-13 13:48:13

DP earns a LOT more than me and neither of us are v good at discussing money matters. We've been together 10 years and have always muddled along, each paying half of everything (I have always been stubbornly financially independent). We are now expecting our first (yippee!!) and we are having to consider our financial situation more carefully. There are just so many different options...

Should we each pay half of all joint costs? Should he contribute more towards the mortgage than me? Or should we just share all our money? I could pay for half of everything, but that would leave very little for personal items- what about if I need a new jumper or shoes?

Basically, I'm looking for ideas and inspiration smile How do other people manage this kind of situation?

Any thoughts much appreciated smile


PS I really hate the thought of me in a threadbare pair of jeans having to ask DP for money to buy a new one!!! Am I just being silly? confused

FunnysInLaJardin Thu 03-Jan-13 13:51:34

we share our money equally and always have since we met 25 shock years ago. Our salaries go into one joint account and then I shuffle the money about to make sure there is enough for mortgage CM etc and then we spend what is left. I tell DH roughly how much we have and keep a close eye to make sure we don't over spend

Alibabaandthe40nappies Thu 03-Jan-13 13:55:07

You need to organise your finances so that each of you has the same spending money left.

DH and I pay everything into our joint account, and all the bills, food shopping, family expenses, stuff for the house, cars and children comes out of that.

We each then have an amount of spending money that we put in our personal accounts and can do what we like with.

You also need to think about house ownership, asset ownership, life insurance, wills and all those other things. You as a low earner with a child, unmarried to a higher earning partner will be in quite a vulnerable position. Is there a reason you aren't married? It is the best way to protect yourself and your baby.

TheFallenMadonna Thu 03-Jan-13 13:55:27

We share, and have done since before we started living together.

BadDog Thu 03-Jan-13 13:56:40

oh fgs just share it!

StupidFlanders Thu 03-Jan-13 13:57:32

Start talking right now. Explain how financial situation will change drastically, ask what he thinks the outcome will be, hopefully he will realise he'll have to contribute more without any drama. It should never get to the stage where you need to wear threadbare jeans!!!

TwoFacedCows Thu 03-Jan-13 13:57:37

we share.

CPtart Thu 03-Jan-13 13:59:12

We each put x% of our salaries into a joint account for all joint purchases and are left to spend/save the remainder individually as we wish.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Thu 03-Jan-13 13:59:53

BadDog - there needs to be a mechanism for sharing though.

Otherwise the OP is dependant on the whim of her partner, who might seem to be a great guy but could in theory turn around a bugger off without a backward glance, or suddenly stop transferring money into her account or all the other shite things that people post about on this forum.

brainonastick Thu 03-Jan-13 14:00:13

One joint account, two single accounts.

Work out your joint bills and agreed savings pots, pensions etc, they go into the joint account. Anything left over is split equally so you have the same spending money (adjusted for work expenses, eg if DH needs dry cleaning, more frequent haircuts, to buy lunch at work etc, then he gets that much more spending money).

Adjust as bills or salary changes.

Easy peasy.

And make sure you've done a will and chosen some guardians for your children before they become adults makes note to self.

BadDog Thu 03-Jan-13 14:01:09


still just share - and have a good marriage ;)

rechargemybatteries Thu 03-Jan-13 14:01:39

Everyone should have the same amount of spending money left over is a great idea.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Thu 03-Jan-13 14:01:51

They are not married though...

BadBuddha Thu 03-Jan-13 14:01:53

Same as Fannys above. I'm currently a SAHM mum with another on the way, so no personal income at the moment. We've always paid everything into a joint account and I'm in charge of it smile (At DH's request - he's useless with money). Your current set up would be difficult to maintain while you're on maternity leave I would think (and wouldn't be very fair either IMO) but sorry if I'm making assumptions. Hope you come to some sort of agreement, oh and congratulations!

BadDog Thu 03-Jan-13 14:02:46

good point

oh christ - get married you weirdo!

Fairylea Thu 03-Jan-13 14:03:57

Household joint account for all incomings from both of you - all bills come from this.

Transfer a set amount of whatever is left (minus some taken off for joint savings) into a spending account - each have half to spend equally.

That's how we do it. I am a sahm and dh earns a reasonable amount. We share.

rubyrubyruby Thu 03-Jan-13 14:04:42

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LaCiccolina Thu 03-Jan-13 14:10:31

U share ur life and possessions but not money? I really don't get why not. Surely u both earn to provide for the whole, ur selves as a unit? Otherwise ur single aren't u just sharing an address and sex sometimes.

U are starting a family now. That means everything should be in one pot. It's not urs or his but ours. Or baby's as usually turns out! U will be providing an essential part of the family, if u don't believe ur worth to this then give up now. There's much more to life than a salary alone, I've found it eye opening and I was a power hungry career bitch once! I'm much more open and rounded I feel since my kids. It's great! And a challenge

Winterwalk Thu 03-Jan-13 14:11:49

But the best mechanism for sharing is to have one big pot. IMO, it's the only way to go. I'm a teacher and DH earns 4x my f/t salary too. We went joint as soon as we moved in together. At that point he only earned about 10k more than me. It is the easiest , fairest and least complicated way. I gave up work when dc1 was born and there was no way i wanted to be going cap in hand. DH completely agrees and finds the idea of anything else weird too.
Some people pay bills then have equal amount of spending money but that also seems strange to me as some months I'd not need and of it and DH may want to buy something pretty big. So just before Christmas he bought himself the new iPad. It would be silly for him to have to ask if he can use all the spending money that month. I knew he'd bought it so I was more carefully. Likewise when I gave up on my awful bugaboo a few months ago and bought a new pram, DH would have spent less.
I cannot see any other way of being a family unit rather than individuals. When you have children involved, especially if you sah, then your money should be family money.

DottyDot Thu 03-Jan-13 14:12:34

that's insane - why do you pay half when he earns 4x what you do?! I earn nearly 10x what dp does (she works very very part-time!) and I pay for everything except the phone and water - so that she has some bills in her name as that can come in handy for proof of ID for stuff. But I also put money in her account every month to cover other stuff like the food shopping, which dp does because she has more time than me.

We have separate bank accounts - we've been together 21 years this year and always have. When we first got together she used to earn about 3 x what I did so she paid for most things - it's just how it is!

Basically we cover everything between us but how that's covered reflects what we earn. Please don't struggle to pay half if your dp can afford to cover more. I like that dp also sorts out things like birthday presents for ds's friends' parties as she's got more time to get things like that and is the 'school mum'.

I also hope that we've both got a bit of slush our overdrafts for treats as and when we can, so I get my own clothes/books/coffees and dp gets hers.

Maybe draw up a list of the big direct debit stuff and go through them with dp, allocating most to him? Hopefully there'll still be money left over each month for both of you to have small treats - I would hate dp to have to ask me for money!

noddyholder Thu 03-Jan-13 14:14:20

Not married and we just share everything. He pays all bills i do food and going out works out equal. We put everything left at end of month into joint savings account

Winterwalk Thu 03-Jan-13 14:14:21

Oh and when he took a year off to go back and do an MBA, there was just my salary and it never occurred to me no to keep one big pot or to ever question whatever he spent. It was always still our family money.

tittytittyhanghang Thu 03-Jan-13 14:14:54

We do the same as funny. Not married though.

DeafLeopard Thu 03-Jan-13 14:16:25

DH earns ten times what I do - he is not mega well paid, I am just a low earner grin

Any money that comes in is family money. DH wouldn't be able to do his job without me being around for the DCs.

Money goes into joint account, we both spend it on what we need.

DeafLeopard Thu 03-Jan-13 14:17:11

But as someone else has said, do think about protecting yourself if you can by getting legal stuff sorted.

There is an AIBU about marriage with some very pertinent points on it.

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