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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

heidihole Thu 03-Jan-13 14:18:47

We just have a joint account. His wages go in there, I'm at home with DS and all bills come out and all personal spending money. We both discuss big spends first, but otherwise we just both spend what we want, within reason!

works great.

Adversecamber Thu 03-Jan-13 14:23:01

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

WiseKneeHair Thu 03-Jan-13 14:23:22

Agree with the joint account.
We have had one since we moved in together 20 years ago.
All bills, etc come out, some savings and then what is left is shared 50/50 (easy version)
We actually have a complicated spreadsheet of all ingoings and outgoings, but the bottom line is that we have exactly the same amount to spend on ourselves. DO NOT get into the trap of thinking that you have to pay for all the children's expenses, as some people on here seem to do.
BTW, Over the years, it has flucuated who has earned most. I now earn more than DH and that is likely to continue. It is OUR money and we share accordingly.
If you aren't married, please make sure that you both draw up wills.

WineOhWhy Thu 03-Jan-13 14:25:46

I earn a lot more than DH. We dont have a joint account, never have (apart from a while ago when our previous mortgage company seemed to want it but we only paid in enough to cover the mortgage). We still regard all money as "joint" though, just dont feel the need to have a joint account in order to feel that way. My friends think it is quite funny because DH tends to be the one that pays for us when we go out for a meal or something even though I earn a lot more. But I pay the bigger bills (eg mortgage and childcare). If at the end of the month someone was short, we would rejig who paid what. Has never happened though.

AnneElliott Thu 03-Jan-13 14:28:52

We share all the money and gave done since we got married. All money into one joint account and all bills come out. Large purchases are discussed first, otherwise we both spend what we like.

StealthToddler Thu 03-Jan-13 14:33:47

we have seperate and joint bank accounts. Our salaries are paid into our own accounts but we transfer everything except the same amount of personal spending money each into the joint account from which all household expenses (including saving etc) comes from.

This means we both have the same personal spending money each month.

I will stop work soon and so won't actually have an income, but DH and I will agree a personal amount that is the same for both of us. We don't spend a lot on ourselves anyhow, it all goes on the kids!

HelpOneAnother Thu 03-Jan-13 14:39:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

EuroShagmore Thu 03-Jan-13 14:44:04

Different systems work for different people, but it needs to be something that you both feel is fair.

Our system is:
Work out rough max cost of monthly mortgage, bills and food shop
Divide that between us in proportion to salary
Pay that proportion of salary into joint account
Everything else stays in our own accounts for our own spending

I earn a chunk more than my husband so at the moment I pay more of the joint costs than he does. I also have more left over for my own spending and saving.

As the mortgage has gone down, we've left our payments into the joint account at the same level, so there is often a bit of money in there to pay for one off joint purchase (furniture, house repairs, etc., currently fertility treatment sad).

Startail Thu 03-Jan-13 14:44:59

We've always had a joint account, when we were broke students we we're careful and kept accounts.

For many years I have been a SAHM and DH has been reasonably paid and so long as the accounts in credit no one worries.

DH ever moans at me, I do mutter about too many boxes of computer equipment.

As much because we have run out of space as the cost.

BuffyFairyTopsTheTree Thu 03-Jan-13 14:46:11

We have 1 joint a/c and 2 individual accounts. We each keep the same amount of personal spending money and everything else is pooled into the joint a/c.

The mortgage, bills, household expenses, childcare, work related costs, anything for dd or us as a family comes out of the joint a/c.

larrygrylls Thu 03-Jan-13 14:50:08

Well, I earned a lot more than my wife (think 10x) and have a lot more money in total. She chose to have a monthly allowance (as, at the time, she did not feel that she was good with money). That allowance is for what she needs just for herself including a reasonable amount for contingencies. I pay everything else for us and the children. She has my credit card for any family related expenses that she incurs when not with me. In the last year she also inherited some money, which is clearly hers to do as she wants with.

It works well for us, although would not for everyone. Although, in theory, I have hugely more money than my wife, the reality is that I regard most of it as long term money for the whole family and, when I have gone a bit wild, it has more often been on presents than on myself. However, if someone has control and is selfish, I can see that it could be a big problem.

DottyDot Thu 03-Jan-13 14:51:06

Hmm - to be honest I wouldn't want a joint account, as I know I'm much more frivolous than dp and she might get a shock if she saw just how many times I frequented Starbucks...! smile It's not that I don't want to share what I earn because we do, but I also like the idea of a bit of financial independence/freedom.

jaffajiffy Thu 03-Jan-13 15:30:44

We've always had all income go into one account and then moved an amount to each of our own accts for personal spending. I spend my money on clothes, hair, going out with friends, and gifts for DH. It's nice not having to justify hair costs to him, and he doesn't have to justify his iTunes and amazon purchases. When we are together we use joint cash or credit card. I used to contribute 80% of our joint income and now contribute very little as I'm off work trying to stay pregnant after 3 miscarriages. That was a joint decision and therefore a joint 'hit' to reduce our household income. I think if you're taking huge joint life decisions together like starting a family, it's the only fair approach. Congrats on your pregnancy!

Beamur Thu 03-Jan-13 15:36:53

We're unmarried, but have a child and a joint bank account. All our money goes in it, all the bills go out, we each have access to what's left - any big expenses are talked about first. We used to earn the same, but since DD arrived, my income has dropped and his has increased - as if often the way. But we both work both in and out of the home and it seems only fair to share what we have. If he wasn't willing to do this, I wouldn't be willing to live with him. DP is thankfully very kind and generous with money and has no problem with this arrangement.

bamboostalks Thu 03-Jan-13 15:39:49

Get married. Share your money.

nilbyname Thu 03-Jan-13 15:43:00

We share and have done since we got engaged. Prior to that I earned more than DH and I spent more on us.

I have friends who don't split it 50/50 and they argue a fair bit about £.

I work PT earn about 1/4 of what DH earns. We never quibble about money, we just pool it. If I wanted to buy something big or vice versa DH and I would discuss it to see if we needed it and could afford it, but otherwise I spend our money freely and it works for us.

If you go on mat leave, how will you cover your current share? Who will pay for baby things?

I know a woman whose husband makes her cover all the costs of their child to the extent that she is using her pension pot (house sale capital) to do so. I think that is utter madness and could not be with someone so MEAN.

OpheliasWeepingWillow Thu 03-Jan-13 15:46:50

OP marriage would give you much greater financial security than you have now. I say this from a practical perspective.

flowerytaleofNewYork Thu 03-Jan-13 15:50:08

All our money is shared. We make a budget based on total incoming, then work out how much we can afford as spending money each.

We both then transfer into the joint account our total earnings minus the amount we have decided we can afford for personal spending. That amount is the same for both of us, which means DH transfers much more than I do.

PureQuintessence Thu 03-Jan-13 15:57:53

I honestly dont think it is wise to share dna if you cant even share your money. How are you going to parent, if you cant communicate properly?

The best way is to let all money be joint, and you both keep the same amount for yourself for private leisure etc.

For example. If he earns 100k and you earn 10 k. All money is pooled together for the greater good of the family, and you both keep £500 per month private money. That is fair. That is equal. When you have children together it does not matter who earns what, and who earns more. You each contribute, and you get even and equal spending money. smile

In this case, you need to swallow your pride. Or get a better paid job. wink

How do you do with holidays, out of interest? Do you insist you only go somewhere that you can afford to pay half? If so poor him, having this great salary, and be bound by your salary in terms of what great experiences life has to offer.

Or your mortgage? Do you restrict your standard of living and your accommodation to what you can afford?

In my view, this is quite controlling....

I second the "get married". If you have a child, this is vital. Or a good will.
As it would be horrid if your dp died, and his parents inherited him, it would leave you and your child in a very vulnerable position.

Mockingcurl Thu 03-Jan-13 16:10:27

We manage ours the same way Funny does. It's worked for 30 years and is the best thing we ever did. No arguments about money, ever.

sandycloud Thu 03-Jan-13 16:18:43

My dp earns a lot more than me and it all goes into one joint account. We have an offset mortgage so this is the best way to do it but we did before too. When we first got together he was unemployed and paying off debts so I supported him then even though I didn't earn much. I do remind him of this even though it wasn't much money it was all we had between us. We don't ask if we can buy stuff. I don't miss having my own account at all. I sort out all the shopping and bills too so is easier like this.

heymammy Thu 03-Jan-13 16:26:54

After many many years of me 'asking' DP for spending money, which was embarrassing tbh as I'd always worked until being a sahm, we have a joint account for all bills including mobiles, fuel, mortgage etc, X amount is paid in every month. DP also pays X amount into our savings account then the rest is 'spends' divided into three for myself, DP and DC.

yellowsubmarine53 Thu 03-Jan-13 16:35:24

My dh earns much more than me (because I work part-time) and we've never got round to setting up a joint bank account.

Most of the bills come from his account, and I sometimes transfer a contribution and sometimes not depending on what I've bought that month. We tend to take it in turns to buy big things eg I pay for holiday, he takes spending money.

But we live within our means, and have the same attitudes to spending and saving. I think problems arise if things are tight or there are dramatically different opinions on what is a reasonable expense etc.

If you're going on maternity leave, his income basically becomes a joint one as you're raising your family. I agree with the idea that you should put all your money in one pot, account for necessary outgoings, savings etc then split the rest. But too lazy to do it myself!

QueenofPlaids Thu 03-Jan-13 16:40:57

We calculate our joint account contributions based on the idea that we are both left with the same amount of spending money after joint expenses have been paid.

We cover our own cars / other transport & mobile phones, but everything house related, food etc. is covered by our joint account.

This has been the arrangement both when he was earning more and more recently when I've been the one with the higher income.

It works for us. We both work FT, so it seems fair.

We also have bonuses and other random payments but try not to get too focussed on these. Most if the time these will go on a holiday for both of us or something for the house anyway.

BlingBubbles Thu 03-Jan-13 16:43:05

We have a joint account have had one even before we got married. To us it makes the most sense, I can never understand couples where one pays the mortgage, the other groceries etc, that wouldn't work for us. Everything goes into one account and spent from there.

The only time it doesn't work out very well is for birthdays and Christmas when we both know what's coming out.

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