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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)

sunshineandfreedom Thu 10-Jan-13 10:23:17

I think the whole 'proportionate' thing is the point; we both have expensive hobbies and neither of us would want to make the other feel like we 'couldn't' spend on them. Proposing that we make it proportionate would go down better that 'sharing the excess', even though it amounts to the same thing. Does that make sense?

TheSkiingGardener Thu 10-Jan-13 10:26:51

I would go through some scenarios with him. Say you have DC, how would the money work then, who would look after the children, who would pay for childcare, how would money be split then?

I think his answers will tell you a lot.

Trills Thu 10-Jan-13 10:28:12

"Proportionate" is not necessarily the same as "sharing the excess" though.

Proportionate might mean that if you bring home 2000 and he brings home 2500 you share the joint expenses 4:5. That's better than sharing them 50:50 but you would still end up with less spending money.

e.g. if you bring home 2000 and he brings home 2500 and the joint account needs 1800, you would contribute 800 and he would contribute 1000. So you'd be left with 1200 and he'd be left with 1500.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 10-Jan-13 10:29:46

Makes sense to me. What you're aiming for principally is fairness, equality and (I think) to retain some sense of 'mine', 'yours' and 'ours' so that everyone has a little responsibility/freedom for themselves as well as prioritising the family as a whole. To me, it's far more important to get these things established than to agree on what colour the bridesmaids are wearing....

Fairylea Thu 10-Jan-13 10:30:28

I think also things fluctuate so much... disasters happen. Just this yeah dh and I have been through losing a job, our roof needing redoing (thread in aibu) for approximately £3K, I nearly died having a c section bleed and whatever else... all financially straining one way and another. But we cope with it together. There is never any question of who is paying for what and no resentment.

My dh isn't perfect, no one is, but I feel truly blessed that money is the one thing we never ever argue about.

smornintime Thu 10-Jan-13 10:33:32

We have our own accounts that pay goes into and then each transfer into a joint acc that pays the bills. I use this money for food shopping etc.
When we started out we earned more or less the same. The lines have blurred somewhat now I am on my second lot of mat leave but we have the same attitude to the money that comes in being OURS and DH will often top up our joint money if needs be, knowing that I can't but would if I could.
We therefore each still have our own money...but to be honest we don't do that much that isn't for the family.
Neither of us is picky about the difference in our earnings - since I am part time and he was promoted he brings in a lot more than me so I am grateful that we have the same approach.

Think you def need more discussion to both understand what the other expects...especially if you are thinking of children as the balance will certainly shift then.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 10-Jan-13 10:33:37

"So you'd be left with 1200 and he'd be left with 1500. "

This is why family savings and one-off expenses have to be part of the mix. No good just covering off the utility bills and the groceries and leaving individuals with large amounts of spends.

Timetoask Thu 10-Jan-13 10:34:03

Look, you are going to be a family, presumably with plans for the future. Plans usually involve money, saving, investing. Yes, you can also have individual plans (career progression, personal improvement, etc), but when it comes to family planning, money is a big factor. It would be lovely if we could just live purely out of love, but we need to plan finances as well.

I would NEVER marry a man that had the view of what is mine is mine and what is yours is yours.

What DH and I have always done, is put all our earning (regardless of what our outgoings are) in a joint savings account. Transfer whatever is needed for bills to a specific account, and transfer a fixed amount (equal for both of us, and not very large) to our separate accounts to do whatever we want with it, and whatever is left over invest, save, pay mortgage, plan for a holiday, whatever.

I am not working at the moment, we continue the same. DH has never made me feel like I am not entitled to money, we are a team.

BigStickBIWI Thu 10-Jan-13 10:34:56

How can men use more electricity?!

Ambi Thu 10-Jan-13 10:35:09

We had this issue when we got together even though I was earning less and contributing 50% to the bills, I felt like I would be giving up financial independence to pool our funds. I didn't want to account for every penny I'd spent. However upon discussion we agreed that we should have joint funds and it has been the best for us due constant changing circumstances, his redundancy, my maternity leave, his new job at lower wage etc.
Tbh it doesn't work for everyone, but I think your DP does need to accept that your wages are joint even if they are in separate accounts.

sunshineandfreedom Thu 10-Jan-13 10:40:48

I think what I'll suggest is splitting bills and savings proportionately. So...

- We calculate who earns what percentage of our joint income
- We calculate how much we spend on bills AND how much we want to save each month
- This total is then split in accordance with the percentages
- We are each left with a proportionaly representative amount of spending money

How does that sound? That way when I'm on maternity leave/if one of us loses our job it will automatically still be fair, yes? And when we have DC an amount each month to be spent on them will also be part of the percentage split.

HolofernesesHead Thu 10-Jan-13 10:46:43

IMO, it comes down to what you believe marriage is. DH and I hot married in church and one of the vows we said to each other is 'All that I am, I give to you; all that I have, I share with you.' so for us, marriage is a complete pooling of all resources, not just money, complete giving of ourselves to each other. This isn't to say that our marriage is perfect, but this is the vision of marriage that we aspire to.

So for me, the basic question to work through with your DP is what you both believe marriage is, what vision of life you aspire to. If you can answer that one, the 'how to organise our money' becomes a lot easier.

FWIW, DH and I have mostly had a joint account through our marriage, with single accounts for particular reasons, but even then there's been no sense that the single accounts aren't available to the other person, just that one of us has taken responsibility for looking after money for a particular reason.

MirandaWest Thu 10-Jan-13 10:47:26

I think about this a bit. When XH and I were married we just had a joint account. Problem was we never talked about money and between us we made a big mess of our finances. There was never any concept of either of us contributing in any percentages to how much we earned, or joint savings or our own money - it just went in the pot and was used up. And then we used credit cards.

I am now in a new relationship and if it carries on the way it is going then at some point we will live together smile I am wary because I can't work out how money would work out (I work part time but also get some tax credits and housing benefit which would end if we lived together). But I do know that we would talk about it a lot before any living together happened.

Trills Thu 10-Jan-13 10:47:47

That way when I'm on maternity leave/if one of us loses our job it will automatically still be fair, yes?

No. If one of you has your income seriously reduced then one of you could end up with far far far less spending money than the other. I don't see how that is "fair".

Proportionate only works if you have similar incomes.

brainonastick Thu 10-Jan-13 10:49:09

Well, if you do it proportionately like you suggest, then when you are on maternity leave then you will have no, or almost no, spending money for yourself.

sunshineandfreedom Thu 10-Jan-13 10:50:14

Then what do I do? I'm tearing my hair out here trying to think of a fair way to do it without literally saying we share everything. I'd like to think of a way to do that if possible...

sunshineandfreedom Thu 10-Jan-13 10:50:27

Maybe we just need a clause of "while I am on maternity leave / if one of us loses our job then the one of us still earning will support the other, and until such time as we are both working full-time again all resources will be shared"?

sunshineandfreedom Thu 10-Jan-13 10:51:45

(Thanks for all your responses by the way, I'm rubbish at this..)

GoldPlatedNineDoors Thu 10-Jan-13 10:53:11

ASK your dp what he thinks you should do for Maternity / job losses (him as well as you).

brainonastick Thu 10-Jan-13 10:55:34

What you need to do is ask your soon to be DH:

what happens on ML?
what happens when we have DCs and one of us drops to PT, or stays at home?
who pays the childcare?
what happens if one of us gets long term sick?
what happens if one of simply chooses a job that doesn't pay very much?

A poster above linked to the kind of questions you need to go through. It isn't down to you to find the solution, you need to work through this with your DP. Ignore this issue at your peril

brainonastick Thu 10-Jan-13 10:57:47

I would email him a link to those questions, and organise an evening to go through them with him, with a bottle of wine and a takeaway. Not too much wine though, you need to be able to get to the heart of both of your attitudes to money. Because its not just about the money, its the representation of how you view your future life together. It is about what the marriage actually means to you.

SolidGoldFrankensteinandmurgh Thu 10-Jan-13 10:57:51

How come he's telling you he's entitled to more spending money than you when you supported him financially before? Does he think you were mean with money in that period or something? Or is it just that his cock will fall off if he has to consider a woman his equal rather than having an advantage over her?

sunshineandfreedom Thu 10-Jan-13 11:00:55

Or is it just that his cock will fall off if he has to consider a woman his equal rather than having an advantage over her?

Believe me, if that were the case I'd have murdered him long ago, never mind leaving him.

harryhausen Thu 10-Jan-13 11:01:36

Brainonastick has presented all the right questions for you to ask.

Me and my DH had separate accounts while we lived together and even when we were first married. We had a joint account where we both had equal direct debits paid into for rent, bills etc. After that our money was our own.

When we had our first dc things just changed. I'm self employed and work from home so I thought it wouldn't effect me (ha ha ha so naive). However I was naturally working much much less and struggling. It was my DH who suggested we just pool 'our' money. It made so much sense.

Now, we simply have a joint account and a savings account. 'His' money all goes on bills and 'My' money all goes on 'our' treats and extras.

To be honest, it made me feel so much more together and not so alone in worrying about future work etc.

You really need to discuss it properly and what it both means to you.

steppyhen Thu 10-Jan-13 11:04:59

My dh gets more then me a month and I also have debt from.before we met , he has a son from previous relationship which we have almost wages cover all the bills ,debt and dss maintenance. Dh wages is ours to spend on what we please ! I find this works well. Dh is good with money I am not so good , if we did not do it this way financially i would be broke. All acounts are joint what's his is mine and what's mine is his!

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