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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)

emma16 Sun 13-Jan-13 13:34:55

Married couples who have desperate accounts financially always sparks a worry with me. When u get married your becoming one, as such, and keeping money seperate
, to me, is a way of keeping some single independance?? Or that someones hiding something, not that I'm insinuating that your partner is obviously!! I'm a sahm & my husbands works full time, our & I say our because that's how we both see it, income goes into a current account & then a sum gets automatically transferred into another account which is where all our direct debits come out of over the month. What's left in the other account is 'our' pot of money for us as a family & is used for fuel,food,clothes,lifestyle etc. Neither of us questions the other when money is withdrawn or spent because neither of us wastes money & we trust each other.
Everyone's different but I would really question why my partner is reluctant to become one financially...although I'm glad you've sorted things at the minute, hope everything works out well for you both :-)

notcitrus Fri 11-Jan-13 12:30:06

Sounds like a good plan. Might also be worth agreeing how much you are going to put into savings and what you both plan to save for, before you both spend the leftovers.

As most of my friends get to 40ish and the marriage and baby announcements give way to divorces and a few more babies, it looks like attitudes to money are way more important in relationships than sex or politics.

brainonastick Fri 11-Jan-13 12:29:18

Hooray, glad to hear you've had a good productive chat. Now you can get on with bridezilla training wink

BigStickBIWI Fri 11-Jan-13 12:08:19

Phew! Good outcome, I think. Actually, it doesn't really matter what the specific outcome is, as long as you both agreed it and feel happy with it. Money is one of the most likely things to cause problems in a relationship, so it's good to get it sorted out now.

sunshineandfreedom Fri 11-Jan-13 09:50:46

Thanks funnypeculiar smile

funnypeculiar Fri 11-Jan-13 09:49:39

well done for having the conversation, sunshine - and wishing you a long & happy marriage smile

sunshineandfreedom Fri 11-Jan-13 08:47:24

What we've decided is to both get paid into a joint account, then split any spending money down the middle and transfer it into our single-person accounts so we can spend it as we like.

Thanks for your input everyone, it helped me know it was the right thing to do and after talking it through with him he finally gets it as well!

thanks xx

sunshineandfreedom Fri 11-Jan-13 08:45:20

Not all all like that! Wouldn't be with him if he was! smile

DonderandBlitzen Thu 10-Jan-13 15:39:05

grin Is it the sort of thing he might say? Or is he not like that?

sunshineandfreedom Thu 10-Jan-13 15:15:55

DonderandBlitzen - if he tried to pull that one he's be given what-for.

DonderandBlitzen Thu 10-Jan-13 14:53:12

I think what you plan to say is good, but what if for some reason you don't end up earning loads as a lecturer one day. Might he hold that against you? ie. "You promised that if i shared my money with you then you'd pay it back when you earn loads as a lecturer."

sunshineandfreedom Thu 10-Jan-13 14:29:57

@funnypeculiar grin

funnypeculiar Thu 10-Jan-13 14:21:01

Ooh, yes, the talking conch worked out really well as I recall...can't go wrong there wink

Pancakeflipper Thu 10-Jan-13 13:58:18

We have our own accounts and a joint account. DP worked out what we need to cover bills/ saving for hols/cars etc... And we each pay percentage into the account. He earns far more than me so he puts in a higher amount. We both have the same amount left for ourselves. Works for us.

cheeseandpineapple Thu 10-Jan-13 13:51:24

I think even the most reasonable of blokes can get nervous at the thought of losing their financial independence and to be honest not just blokes. For a long while DH and I pre marriage and early days of marriage had sep accounts, our salaries went into our own accounts and then a fixed amount went into a joint account from which bills and stuff was paid. I earned more than DH and can't remember the proportions. But I was happy with this. Over time and post children, somehow we have evolved to having one joint bank account now for both our salaries and payments. Ironically all our savings are in my former sole accounts and we keep mumbling about making them joint but haven't got round to it although he has Internet access to them.

It can take some people longer to get their head round true financial unity. In some ways it's the ultimate acid test for trust. I think the questions people have suggested and approach you're making is a good one.

I don't think he is unreasonable for having some issues but the way he handles them and whether he is committed to reaching a compromise given how you feel and his outlook for the future as your situation changes will be telling - listen to your instinct on that.

defineme Thu 10-Jan-13 13:26:19

We have had a joint account and split everything since I moved in with dh. I didn't even wait until we got married. The only reason not to this that I can think of is if one person is really shit with money. Dh and I are pretty similar. If either of us had an expensive hobby I suppose we would discuss it with each other before making large purchases, but we discuss most stuff anyway eg if I'm thinking of going away for the weekend with friends I'll have a think about a) can we afford it and b) has dh had much fun recently ie is there a balance of spending so that it's fair-it can't be absolutely equal eg my haircut costs more than his, but roughly fair is what we aim for. The matter of who earns more is absolutely irrelevent:how could that be an equal partnership/kind if that was an issue?

I don't think it's complicated, I actually think it's very simple and what we keep on banging on to the kids about-sharing reflects the love we have for each other and our commitment to this family unit. I'm an individual and I'm a member of this family: you can be both.

Or to put it even more simply: ask yourself is he being kind? If the answer is no then he's not a suitable partner imho.

sunshineandfreedom Thu 10-Jan-13 13:13:34


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

I may have to invent in a talking conch, a la Lord of the Flies wink

funnypeculiar Thu 10-Jan-13 13:05:31

Sunshine - that's a great conversation starter, well done. I love the idea of your little 2 + cat family. When dh and I got married, we talked to my dad about going away for Christmas - as we were nervous what my mum would think if we werent' around. He told me that we were a family now, and the most important thing was that my family was happy - if something worked for dh & I we should just do it. Obv not at the expense of others all the time, but I think it's a good starting place.

One thought. If it were me, I would want the conversation to go this way:
1. Me telling DP how I felt, what my priorities were
2. DP telling me what he felt, what his priorities were
3. Us working together to come up with a soln (that might be me saying I've thought of x and y, but I don't think they'll work, how about z?)

I'm sure you would in RL (you sound very sensible and thoughtful) but make sure you give him a chance to express any thoughts and concerns before you jump to a solution.

LadyKooKoo Thu 10-Jan-13 13:02:19

Once we got married, DH and I opened a joint account and both wages go into that and what is left is split evenly between our own individual accounts and our savings account. All of the bills come out of the joint account even if it is a bill specific to only one of us (my Cineworld subscription for example).

smilingthroughgrittedteeth Thu 10-Jan-13 11:54:04

Just realised that sounds like I have lots of play money and DP doesn't blush

I have a savings account that I try and pay into each month and another account that I pay into each month that covers car tax, mot's and unexpected car related bills, both these accounts are used by both of us but they are in my name as I had them before I met DP, by the time I've paid into those I have the same if not less than DP to spend, I can just budget better

StillSmilingAfterAllTheseYears Thu 10-Jan-13 11:48:51

Do come & update. I am fingers crossed he's just not thought it through.

I can't think how to phrase this without sounding like patronising auntie, but very impressed you're discussing these topics in advance. Will hopefully save much angst in future. I otoh moved in with a selfish chap, had to do maaaajor unravelling to escape. Luckily I broke off the engagement! Money is such a potential for unhappiness and power issues. Sadly how it is shared does matter.

brainonastick Thu 10-Jan-13 11:44:20

Bertie - I agree. And parenting philosophy is definitely a moveable feast. I think mine has gone from Gina Ford, through Toddler Taming and few other thrown at the window books, and ending up as 'more sleep please, and failing that, more wine' grin. I think I meant more that he wasn't expecting the OP to turn into a SAHM, 1950s housewife, as soon as children were in the house. Some men seem to time travel back through several decades once they have children.

smilingthroughgrittedteeth Thu 10-Jan-13 11:43:04

DP and I have our wages paid into seperate bank accounts, we then put the same amount each into a joint account to cover rent, bills, shopping and a bit over.

What's left in our personal accounts remains our own money, I earn more than DP and have less outgoings then him so have more disposable income but if for whatever reason one of us needed money for something then the other would pay more into the joint account that month.

We still see all money as family money but we both have very different attitudes to money and by keeping seperate accounts it means I don't moan about his easy going attitude of spending and he doesn't get annoyed at my need to save, I have a savings account and an account for car related expenses that I pay money into each month and my spending account.

Its pretty much guarenteed that by the last week of the month he has no money left and I cover petrol for both of us.

We don't have children together yet but I cant see it changing if we do, they way we deal with finances suits our relationship BUT the difference is that we have discussed it and agree unlike you and your DP, I don't think there is a right or wrong way but he does sound like he is being unreasonable in not discussing it

QueenofPlaids Thu 10-Jan-13 11:42:39

Oh I see the thread has moved on a bit while I was typing up War and Peace grin

When DP and I first agreed our approach he thought proportional was fairer. Once I explained it, including the long term view (salaries and circumstances can change) he quite quickly 'got it'. He was also just being a bit dense wink

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