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Splitting finances once I'm on maternity pay?

(11 Posts)
ThePartyArtist Sat 30-Jul-16 17:42:50

We're expecting our first child next year and just wondering how our financial arrangements might need to change. Currently we both pay into a joint account which covers rent, bills and food shopping. I pay in slightly more in reflection of the fact I earn slightly more.

We are buying a first house and expecting a baby and are unsure how this arrangement should change. When I got on maternity leave my salary will reduce to about a third of what it is now, so should my contribution to the joint account reduce accordingly? What's the best way to manage it - I don't want to have to be asking DH for hand outs to go to baby groups, go out for coffees with other mums etc.

We both like the idea of continuing to have our salaries / the mat pay paid into separate accounts because it works better when - for example - one of us wants to buy something just for them, means we don't have to ask the other's 'permission' etc. However obviously my income will be reducing so it feels like this needs rethinking but I am just not sure how. It would feel unfair if DH got to build up savings while I took the hit of the lower income whilst on maternity leave.

How do others do it?

Silvertap Sat 30-Jul-16 17:47:32

I'd turn it around and put both salaries into the joint acc then after bills are paid including savings I'd split the difference & put it into your separate acc

tribpot Sat 30-Jul-16 17:57:14

Really which way the money flows is less of an issue than solving the question of how to have equal disposable income. Even if you don't intend to, I would raise the question of your DH taking at least some of the parental leave, this would actually make more sense given you are the higher earner. This will help to usefully focus his attention on the fact that you are both earning money for the family rather than as individuals once the baby is here smile (And indeed it is genuinely worth considering as it shares the burden of the hit on your career trajectory, plus allows him to experience the highs and lows of being at home with the baby).

Whichever way you look at it, your household income will be reducing by x. Your household outgoings will be reducing by y (as there will be costs associated with you going out to work, e.g. petrol, lunches, clothing and so forth). In reality your household outgoing may increase when you factor in all the clobber for a new baby. So between you, you have to figure out how to make the new total income cover the new total outgoings. What is left over, as Silvertap says, is shared equally between you. It's fair to treat commuting costs as a household expense, i.e. your DH shouldn't be using half his 'fun money' on petrol to get to work, but you shouldn't be having to use yours on things for the baby - and you definitely shouldn't be having to ask for handouts.

Choceeclair123 Sat 30-Jul-16 18:43:51

When I was on maternity leave my MP along with DH salary got paid into a joint account. When my MP stopped DH continued to pay his salary into joint account.

JustHappy3 Sat 30-Jul-16 20:47:07

Yup - you've got it the wrong way round. You need equal frivolous spending money/equal savings. You need to adjust your approach to thinking about earnings - make it family money. The yours/mine thing is going to go out of the window tbh when baby comes along.

HeyMacWey Sat 30-Jul-16 20:49:05

Yep - all money into joint account then split the balance for spends after taking out anything for savings.

WhereYouLeftIt Wed 03-Aug-16 10:50:56

We have all income going into the joint account, and ALL joint expenses (including going out to restaurants, childcare, holidays, son's clothing, etc.) coming out of that. There are also two standing orders, one to his sole account and one to mine. Whilst the amount of this standing order has varied from time to time, depending on whether we were flush or skint, the two standing orders have always been for the same amount.

You are a family, a single financial unit. Your contribution to the pot will be switching from earned income to time and caring. If you didn't make that switch either he would have to, or you would both have to fund an astronomical childcare bill. You both need to regard your time and caring for your joint baby is a joint expense that you both meet.

"It would feel unfair if DH got to build up savings while I took the hit of the lower income whilst on maternity leave."
It would feel unfair because it would be unfair. The baby is his too - so the 'hit' is his too. We have a joint savings account which is our 'real' savings. Our personal money (the standing orders to our sole accounts) sometimes builds up a bit , but I tend just to see that as being available for a bigger personal 'spend' rather than savings.

I think you need to stop regarding salaries/any income as yours/mine. That's appropriate when you are girlfriend/boyfriend but not when you are spouses/family. All income is family income.

paulapantsdown Wed 03-Aug-16 10:54:29

you are a family - one pot of cash, spent/saved as you both agree/need

it is irrelevant who earns what and what % of your income this is - you are one unit and it is ALL family money

NeedAnotherGlass Wed 03-Aug-16 11:49:00

I don't understand separate pots for each of you. Is it ever reasonable for the two of you to have different standards of living? Whose responsibility is it to pay for things for your baby? What if things for your baby also involve you (baby & toddler groups)?

Put all income in together and pay for everything jointly. If you really can't manage without having individual spends, transfer an equal amount to each of you.

oliversmummy26 Wed 03-Aug-16 11:59:59

Just seen this as my fiancé and I will be going through the same when we finally have a baby.

Currently, he works away during the week, all the bills/rent comes out of my account and he pays me a contribution to this.

However, I far prefer the idea of putting everything into once pot and then take out so much for savings and and equal amount each for personal spend. I guess everything which is for the family unit (rent/bills/food/petrol/baby clothes/toiletries etc.) would come out of the joint pot, but if I fancied going out for a coffee or lunch with some mums, this would come out of my personal spend...same as if OH wanted to take up a gym membership, that would come out of his.

Genious idea and I don't know why I didn't think of it, will be discussing it this weekend when he comes home! grin

Badbadbunny Wed 03-Aug-16 12:52:10

Separate finances are fine when you're just starting out together, but you've got a major commitment (a child) which will bind you for the next 18 years. It's time to get everything equally into joint names. You put both your salaries into a joint account, from which all bills are paid, and then any balance can be jointly saved. You also need grown up discussions on what each of you spends on personal things - not just a figure allocated to each of you to spend as you please - things have moved on. Your child is now the focus and you have to work together and agree finances together. You can each have "pocket money" but bigger things like gym memberships, cars, holidays, big ticket purchases, nights out etc need joint agreement now.

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