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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

Hulababy Thu 03-Jan-13 16:54:35

DH earns about 13-15 times my salary.

We have had joint accounts since living together. Everything goes into it and we each use the accounts with no issues. Infact, there are some accounts in my name only due to tax planning.

DH has never felt I shouldn;t use "his" money as we don't see the money in that way. He has earned more than me for a long time - I earned more the first couple of years, then similar for a couple of years, then his increased. i then had mat leave and later ob reduced my hours, and now earn far less as have a job earning far less than I used to because it fits in better with flexibility of school hours and working around our DD. We figure that DH is only able to earn such a high salary because I am able to be flexible and work round DD's hours and needs. If I had a similar job to DH then we;d be paying out for more than we now do for child minders, cleaners, and other services.

Basically its a partnership. We each bring different things into the family.

We both mention any bigger sends to one another before buying, out of courtesy and any really big buys we discuss beforehand anyway and make joint decisions. Smaller spends are just bought by either of us as and when. Everything comes out of these accounts.

DH is the one who monitors the accounts, knows how much in each, sorts DD and biills, etc. But that is through choice. I do other stuff in the house and he is interested in financial stuff whereas I am not, I do have full access to all the accounts though and now how to access and see/sort things should I wish.

BadDog Thu 03-Jan-13 16:58:02

lol at competitive times salarying

My h earns 20 million times my salary of 2billion pounds a minute

FamilyGuy22 Thu 03-Jan-13 17:17:17

I earn roughly 15x my wife and it has always gone into one pot. However, neither of us take the mick so is all good smile.

We both decided to start a family so who earns and pays for what is irrelevant. There is no such thing as 'my' or 'her' money except for savings where we max out our ISA allowances each year. This also ensures protection for my wife though so is good that we kind of have identical savings in our own names. Ultimately though, this is also irrelevant as the money is 'ours' at the end of the day.

For us it's the best way as there's no degrading, "can I have some money please". If she wants a treat then she can knock herself out. If I fancy one then great. But like I say, neither of us take the mick so works perfectly.

Good luck!

Glittertwins Thu 03-Jan-13 17:25:59

Another one for sharing it with a joint account and communication/honesty.
We have swapped between who the higher earner is but it all goes into one pot and then moved about for tax in the savings accounts which means oddly enough it is me with most of our assets.

nickelbabylyinginamanger Thu 03-Jan-13 17:36:36

I would work out what the family expenditure is (bear in mind that children cost a lot of money, so you will have to keep revisiting this as you go along)
This means any household goods, food, bills, mortgage, insurance, licences, car tax etc.

build in a decent "what if" contingency budget and then each of you pay a percentage of your income to make this work.

if your Family Expenditure is £100 and he earns yourwagex4, then you should pay £20 a month and he should pay £80. (4x £20)

Keep adjusting this as your situations change - especially if you're going to do maternity leave or extended ,or sahm.

Make sure you both have proper savings plans - make full use of your ISA allowances (and make sure you do the same for your child), and keep a good amount back in a long-term high interest savings account.

Make sure you both also have decent spending allowances - this is something that can be a proper bugbear, if one partner gets 4x as much spending money as the other just because they earn more.

also, just reading Bling's comment about birthday/christmas presents - start a separate fund for those as well.
You can keep putting money into it, but make sure you both put the same amount in, if you're going that way (use the percentage calculations to make it fairer)

makemineahalf Fri 04-Jan-13 00:09:57

DH earns a lot more than I do and we treat all money as family money, although we don't have dc together and I have a DS who is not DH's. We still have separate accounts, but that's an administrative thing to protect his credit rating - we try to keep our finances separate on paper. But I use his credit card to pay for online transactions and we keep a kitty topped up with cash withdrawn from both our accounts (neither of us keep tabs on this, just whoever has been to the cashpoint). All bills come out of his account. We have savings accounts in individual names to make the most of our ISA/tax limits.

Neither of us has to justify purchases to each other and we both have the same attitude to spending so it all works out. Most big spends are household things/holidays and we discuss them to make a decision anyway. There's always surplus left at the end of the month, which we use to overpay the mortgage.

Arisbottle Fri 04-Jan-13 00:13:05

My DH earns around 4times as much as me, although a significant proportion of that is paid out in maintenance so the difference is not as great as it could be. Our wages go into a bill bank, we then pay out monthly expenses and a proportion into savings. A set amount goes into another account for food and then a direct debit for each of us of the same amount to play with.

BackforGood Fri 04-Jan-13 00:34:01

Over the time we've been together, we've been in the situation of dh not earning, while I was, of me being on various maternity pays, or me earning more than him, and of him eraning more than me. It's irrelevant really once you are a unit, surely - it's just the same as with 'chores' or housework or childcare, each person should have equal 'recreation time' they can do with what they want. Well, IMO, each half of the couple should have equal spending power.
What I would do is put all money coming into the house into the joint account, out of which all bills come, then set up a standing order to each of your own personal accounts, for your 'spending money'. How much this is will depend on what you've budgeted for weekly / monthly living expenses + holidays + savings + pensions + emergency savings etc, and of course how much is left after all these have been paid.

nilbyname Fri 04-Jan-13 09:00:40

Where is the op??

rubyrubyruby Fri 04-Jan-13 09:01:53

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

purpleaura Fri 04-Jan-13 10:04:20

I'm here! Wow- totally amazing response. Thanks so much everyone who has replied. It has been incredibly eye opening and stimulated some really important discussion between DP and I. Fascinated to read that so many people share their money, and knowing that makes it much easier for me and DP to agree to do the same.

After MUCH (!!!) discussion, we have decided that it is high time that we pooled our resources and we're gonna mull over the details of exactly how to do that best. I really like the idea of paying things in proportion to our earnings, but actually I think we'd feel like much more of a tight little family unit if we just shared everything.

DP has paid for some big things before now, but it has always been his money and his decision. So from now on, its gonna be our money and our decision and that feels so much better!

I can't believe that we haven't done this sooner blush I think pre-baby, things were just rolling along okay and neither of us had questioned it.

So now, we're feeling buoyed up, tied together and we are investigating the marriage thing. I'll check out that thread- thanks DeafLeopard

Thanks again everyone for being so candid about your finances. I really appreciate your honesty and ideas. smile

DottyDot Fri 04-Jan-13 15:57:59

just to say I talked to dp this morning based on this thread and asked her if she thought we should have a joint account like most grown up people seem to do. She immediately said NO WAY because she'd get too cross at my frivolous spending so it's better for her not to know grin


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