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How to persuade DP that we should share our wages equally?

(115 Posts)
sunshineandfreedom Thu 10-Jan-13 08:31:08

Hello, really hoping for some practical advice here!

DP and I are getting hitched in August. Currently, we have seperate bank accounts and each pay exactly half of every bill, leaving our 'spending money' seperate. He earns a couple of hundred more each month than I do; hopefully that will be changing very soon but that's the situation as it stands.

I have always believed that we should keep it this way until recently, but it's starting to feel silly. When I broached the idea of a joint account and pooling our wages before splitting them equally, including spending money, he seemed to feel that I was basically just asking for some free money (because I would end up better off out of this, and he worse).

BUT. And here's the but. Although part of me believes in completely seperate finances, the other part believes that in order to be completely equal in partnership what we actually need is pooled resources. From a feminist perspective (with me, there's always a feminist perspective!), it's this:

A) Keeping finances seperate technicaly means we are 'financially independant' from each other (although not true, as neither of us could maintain our current lifestyle withoutt he other paying half of stuff).

B) Pooling our resources means we both have equal amounts of everything, which actually feels more fair in some ways.

So I'm not sure whether to push it or not. I currently feel strongly in favour of B, and think we should sort this out before we have DC in a few years. But every time I bring it up he is negative and seems to basically think I'm trying to take his money (which makes me think he's being childish and quite frankly a bit of a knob).


(X-posting to the Feminist Chat board)

GoldPlatedNineDoors Thu 10-Jan-13 09:33:15

Hmmm...I wouldnt want to live a life like this BUT a last ditch attmept cpuld be to explain it to percentages.

100% joint income, he earns (say) 60% and you 40%. Therefore he pays 60% qnd you 40% of the bills.

Or ask he is going to chip in for his half if he is off sick or made redundant or sacked? Ask him how he expects you to pay your half if you are ever off on marernity leave. The answers to these queations would ve very telling.

beachyhead Thu 10-Jan-13 09:35:42

We do the proportion thing suggested by Cognito above. We put about 60% of our take home into the joint account. We then have some joint savings and some individual savings accounts. When a big expense comes up, we work out who's got some spare and they pay it. I was always told to keep a separate account in case of death or divorce, just makes it easier.

But generally it's pretty much joint with discussions on major purchases.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 10-Jan-13 09:36:25

It is 'ack' if you don't sort this kind of thing out. Weddings are just one day in the calendar. Marriage is for life and - like the man said - "should not be entered into lightly or selfishly.... etc"

DonderandBlitzen Thu 10-Jan-13 09:39:49

When I broached the idea of a joint account and pooling our wages before splitting them equally, including spending money, he seemed to feel that I was basically just asking for some free money (because I would end up better off out of this, and he worse).
God how petty and stingey of him! Does he want to get married or not?

specialsubject Thu 10-Jan-13 09:40:22

this sounds like a lack of trust, without which the marriage is dead before it starts.

the details of who has what bank account don't matter, what matters is the attitude to money. Where there are big things, you discuss before spending, but you don't need 'permission' to buy every little item on the assumption that you are both sensible according to your means.

if this assumption is flawed, stop the wedding.

BertieBotts Thu 10-Jan-13 09:40:37

As I said on the other thread, it is not your place to persuade him of anything. He's a grown up, he can come to a conclusion in his own right. Persuasion risks somebody just saying what they think you want to hear, and not changing their mind in the slightest. You need to find out what his base values are and see if you are happy to live with them or not, because underlying attitudes that people have are unlikely to change.

penguinplease Thu 10-Jan-13 09:41:46

I haven't read all the replies but I just wanted to add what we've always done.

My dp has always earned a lot more than me so instead of me paying half of the bills and ending with much less money we added everything up and worked out how much more % wise he earned more than me and we split the bills that way.
He earns more and pays more in line with that.

Crucially though I do not agree with pooling all your money as a couple, I think that is unnecessary & anyone that is offended by that is just odd & controlling.

DonderandBlitzen Thu 10-Jan-13 09:47:26

I think he may have some issues about it because for a long time I was the one earning money and technically aupporting him
Make sure you remind him of that when you discuss it!

funnypeculiar Thu 10-Jan-13 09:53:53

Like everyone else has said, you need to talk some more about this & make sure that your financial approach is agreed.I don't think there's one solution - as BIWI says, you need something that suits you both as people. That means talking about what's important to you with money.

It's useful that you've had different situation - you earning more, him earning more - as that opens the door to talking about how you've both felt in each situation. When I earnt more than dh, I know he initially found it hard feeling that he was spending 'my' money on himself, for example - I felt the same when he earnt more than me. We both like to have some separate savings, which give us security - I wouldn't want all finances shared. We've also changed how we work accounts when I've been employed vs self employed. Knowing that was how our financial brains worked helped us design a solution that works for both of us.

There are loads of options - you've heard a few on this thread - but what's important is that it will work for both of you. If you think money is shared, and he thinks money is 'yours or mine' you are going to hit issues once/if kids come along.... I suspect if you google money talk marriage (or similar) it might throw up some questions - I found this, some of them are rubbish, but others might be helpful (esp the last set)

Good luck!

funnypeculiar Thu 10-Jan-13 09:54:22

Sorry - forgot the link:

MorrisZapp Thu 10-Jan-13 09:56:06

I disagree. I don't understand the need for joint accounts, never have.

I wouldn't enjoy spending my hard earned cash if I had to do it fairly and equally. It's my bloody money!

I don't blame him for questioning your logic. Why does he have to give you two hundred quid a month because you're married?

I know I'm in a minority of one here, and I don't expect to change anybody's mind. But I wonder if all these feminists would be so keen on sharing, equality etc if they were the higher earner themselves.

brainonastick Thu 10-Jan-13 09:59:43

MorrisZapp "I wonder if all these feminists would be so keen on sharing, equality etc if they were the higher earner themselves."

Actually, yes, I've frequently been in the position of being the higher earner and haven't minded sharing the money in the slightest. Because that's what we signed up for in the marriage. Now I'm PT with the children, so DH earns more. Marriage is a partnership, nothing to do with being a feminist or not.

funnypeculiar Thu 10-Jan-13 10:03:42

Agree with brainstick - we have operated the same approach when I earnt more, and when dh did. When we first started doing it, I earnt more, and I drove the change to more joint finances.

Fairylea Thu 10-Jan-13 10:03:48

Dealbreaker for me. My ex h was the same as your soon to be h and it drove us apart. When you live together its impossible in my opinion to manage money separately. For example one of the things we would end up arguing about is the food bill... I would buy the groceries and he would get annoyed and think he could do it for less but his idea of less was buying essentially value pasta and tomato puree and this would be a "meal".

I ended up drawing up lots of budgets and allocating spending money but he would always overspend and never want to save for anything jointly like a holiday or for the house. But he would think nothing of spending £200 on a special edition Xbox game. While moaning I'd brought something small for dd.

You need to share finances, especially when you have dc. You should both have the same spending money otherwise you are not operating as a family. Just flatmates.

My now dh and I share all money, we have a joint account everything goes into and all bills go out of and we transfer a set amount into savings and some into spending - another joint account. We each spend half.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 10-Jan-13 10:04:00

"Why does he have to give you two hundred quid a month because you're married? "

You're falling into the same trap as the OP's fiance. He wouldn't be giving it to her, he'd be making an equal and proportionate contribution to the household expenses. Quite different.

Pooka Thu 10-Jan-13 10:05:37

Before dh and I married and had children we worked out monthly outgoings and then each put a proportionate amount of money into the bills account.

He earned about 10 percent more than me. He paid pro rata 10 percent more of the bills.

After we married we carried on with the same situation. But when I had my first maternity leave, that was when we pooled resources with a joint account.

GoldPlatedNineDoors Thu 10-Jan-13 10:05:52

I've always earnt more than DH (he earns 60% of what I do), yet since the day we moved in together we have pooled all our income.

Trills Thu 10-Jan-13 10:09:19

"I wonder if all these feminists would be so keen on sharing, equality etc if they were the higher earner themselves."

I am the higher earner.

Feminism (if done property) isn't about wanting better things for women than for men, or better things for yourself than for others, but about wanting things to be fair.

pinksomething Thu 10-Jan-13 10:10:01

I think you need to give him a chance to get his head round it to be honest. You've had time think about it and formulate a plan, with consideration for mat leave, redundancy, children etc and then said to him 'I think we should have a joint acc so I an share your extra 200 quid!!' <paraphrasing with tongue in cheek> Before you write him off, just give him a chance to discuss it again - and remind him that you supported him when he needed it!
Is he generous with his 'extra' money? Whether he, for example, would pay for (or more than his share of) a holiday for you both that you couldn't afford or go on hols with a friend because you couldn't afford it, would be very telling.

MorrisZapp Thu 10-Jan-13 10:13:21

Cogito, I'm assuming that op and her fiance can cover monthly expenses and have disposable income left over.

Of course they should pay bills and expenses proportionately, but I'm talking about spending money.

I have a few spending habits that DP finds hilarious. But I don't mind - its my money, I can spend it how I like. Likewise, when DP brings home yet another expensive putter I can laugh and roll my eyes at him, but its his money and his choice.

If we shared our disposable income I'd never enjoy shopping again. I know that joint accounts are the norm on here, but I guess I'm odd or something. I need my own money.

Trills Thu 10-Jan-13 10:17:02

My theories on what is fair in a partnership also hold true for same-sex couples, if that makes a difference. It's not about "men and women" it's about "two people".

Morris - I am suggesting that you do have your own spending money to do what you like with, but that the amount you have should be the same as the amount your DH has. Your description of "expensive putters" is exactly why I think that people should have a joint account and two separate accounts.

If all money was in a joint account I might feel bad if I spent a lot of money on something that DP got no benefit from, or feel annoyed if he bought something that I considered " a waste". With separate spending money you can do as you please. But I feel strongly that if you are a partnership then you deserve to have equal amounts to do this with.

Bonsoir Thu 10-Jan-13 10:17:15

When I was younger (much much younger) I believed that paying bills 50:50 and keeping finances separate was going to be "fair".

And then I realised just how much more men consume in the joint budget) (food, drink, electricity, petrol...) and realised how grossly unfair this was!

Fairylea Thu 10-Jan-13 10:19:55

Morris.. but it would be YOUR money. You would just have the same amount of spending money. Dh and I spend our money on whatever we like without comment from the other but we have the same amount.

How it is fair otherwise? ... you're both working for the family, both sharing the same house etc. It should be equal.

Why should one of you have an extra £200 a month to spend, especially when children are involved that money could really improve quality of life for everyone for a month - days out, treats etc. Why should only one person benefit when you are a family?

Sorry to rant it's just the one thing that absolutely drives me mad.

And it doesn't matter who earns more... I used to earn 35k and dh was on 15k. I gave up my job to be a sahm as I wasn't happy and dh supported me and we now do the same thing regardless.

Butterycrumble Thu 10-Jan-13 10:20:00

It's the attitude I couldn't get past. Since being with dh we always shared money, I was the main earner for years and now it is dh as I work part time. He didn't work at all for a while and over the years we have been broke, rich and everything in between.

Regardless of circumstances we are in it together and both work for the family in different ways. In theory we both control the money but in practice he rarely looks. He once underestimated his own income by hundreds a month... I like this, meet too many men who think they are worth more the bigger their salary.

As for having a few hundred more a month, every month. Both of us would spend it on the other happily or certainly spend it on 'us' stuff. I wouldn't want to be with someone who saw it ad theirs and spent it that way. Illness, redundancy, retraining, family changes either partner could suddenly be a dependent.

ByTheWay1 Thu 10-Jan-13 10:21:46

We have always just pooled the money... we are a team - money in goes into the pot, bills come out, the remainder goes into savings - some in my name, some in his - but it is still OUR savings...

BUT we discussed this before we married, we both have the same views on debt and spending/saving - also on silly little things like present buying and gadgets etc - so we will both discuss any purchase over £50 that sort of thing...

and another BUT... we have "enough" to get by, so are not scrimping all the time - life is easier than for some... it does make a difference.

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