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Is this a totally dysfunctional way to go about finances in a relationship and am I right to be a bit fed up with it?

(30 Posts)
Frombathwithlove Tue 31-Jan-17 18:34:50

This will probably be a bit lengthy, so you might want to grab a coffee!
So, the basics are: DP and I have been together 7 years and live together in a rented house. Both married before, my 2 DC live with us and DP's 2 children live with his ex and her partner. DP works full time and I work part-time (at least 30hrs/wk spread over 3 jobs). I receive maintenance from my ExH and DP pays maintenance to his ExW. I also receive child benefit for DC's.
That's the basics! The rub is this; DP and I pay 50% each of rent & joint utilities. We pay our own individual bills independently (i.e car insurance, credit cards, pension, catalogues etc and we run a car each). We have separate personal bank accounts that our wages go in to - mine also has CB and maintenance going in to it - we have a joint 'bills' account that we pay our 50% in to and the direct debits go out of that.
Alongside this, I fully support my dc with EVERYTHING! From clothes to school trips to Christmas & birthday presents. On their birthdays we all go out for a meal and I pay. DP earns approx. £10,000 pa more than me , he pays maintenance for his dc (as mentioned before) and sees them for 1 day every weekend. If DP, my DC and I go for a coffee/lunch when out, I pay. I buy all the necessary things needed for the home (decorating, furniture when needed, soon to be flooring & carpets too). We also pay an amount in to the joint account to cover food, 50/50 again - it never covers the cost of food though, I always have to add to it.
So, the whole 'separate the finances' came about a few years ago when DP was moaning about what I prioritised when it came to money. I got really cross and worked a ratio of what we should pay, along the lines of: he earns x % more so should pay more (I know that sounds arsey, but it was how I felt). DP didn't like the ratio and said that there were 3 of us (me & DC x2) and only 1 of him so why should he pay more? He said it wasn't happy with it and agreed 50/50.
So, here we are. I feel like a single parent within a relationship! But, actually worse off than a single parent; because if I was truly on my own I would get assistance from the DSS!
Would this annoy/upset you?
(In fact, is it so garbled that you lost the plot ages ago?!)

Frombathwithlove Tue 31-Jan-17 18:45:29

Oh......and DP also gets a bonus every year (sometimes 2). We all go out for the day usually on this, but I never know how much it is (used to be about £1800) and DP decides where it goes.

DorotheaHomeAlone Tue 31-Jan-17 18:52:43

Actually I think he's being pretty fair there. He pays half the bills for the family as well as maintenance for his own kids. You pick up extras for your kids and top up food. Sounds about right.

tribpot Tue 31-Jan-17 18:56:20

In a rented house, why are you paying for decorating, flooring and whatnot? This was the bit that really stood out for me because it seems unreasonable that you have to pay for all that (although I don't understand why you're paying for it all, but putting that aside).

It feels like you'd be better off living separately, less resentment? You're not really living 'together' in the arrangement you have currently.

whereiscaroline Tue 31-Jan-17 18:58:13

I think it depends on what incomes you're each earning to start with tbh. If you're on £10k and he's on £20k, then yes that is quite a stark difference and perhaps he should pay more. Whereas if you're each earning above £50k for example, the £10k difference is less significant and I'd say your current situation is probably fair.

It does seem a bit tight that he never picks up any bills whilst you're all out together though.

dibly Tue 31-Jan-17 19:00:11

I'd say the 50 50 sounds about right but he should pay more into the joint account to cover food, household expenditure and eating out.

Frombathwithlove Tue 31-Jan-17 19:18:26

Sorry, I should have clarified the figures a bit more. My income, including maintenance and CB is approx. £15,000 pa. His income (after paying maintenance for his dc) is just over £25,000.

whereiscaroline Tue 31-Jan-17 19:54:13

I think there's quite a bit of disparity in your incomes and perhaps it could be fairer. I can see your point about the fact you'd potentially be better off financially if he wasn't there. How is your DP's relationship with your DC generally? Does he not want to contribute to Xmas/birthday presents at least? Does he help you out in other non-financial ways, for example with childcare whilst you're working?

Perhaps a fairer thing to do would be to increase the money you each pay into the joint account as a starting point? So that ALL food and household items are purchased from the joint account.

Final thought is definitely that you shouldn't be spending on flooring etc in rented (unless it's Housing Association).

Frombathwithlove Tue 31-Jan-17 20:33:48

It is housing association.

SheldonCRules Tue 31-Jan-17 21:20:55

I think he's being more than fair, 50/50 on the bills (despite there being just him vs three of you) and you each take care of your children's costs.

I don't think purely as he earns more he should pay more, you're not married and he has no legal obligation to support your children. Plus there's no reason he should support you to work part time as presumably that's your choice.

Decorating and flooring if it needs doing vs want new for the sake of it should be joint if both on the tenancy.

Frombathwithlove Tue 31-Jan-17 21:59:53

Wow! I don't expect him to support me whilst I 'choose' to work part time. I cannot work full time due to the hours of my main employment not fitting in around my children, and he cannot help me with childcare due to his job. I work three separate jobs that fit in around the children, if i could work more I would. I think I am obviously living in the dark ages, where a man that chooses to take on a woman & children package, also helps financially. Saying that, I would never expect any man to support us completely, I just think when one part of a partnership has £800 more per month and sees that his partner on significantly less is raising 2 children, he should want to help. I can see from the posts on here that I should think again. As far as the decorating and flooring goes, it is definitely 'need' and not want. I don't think bare concrete is acceptable in any house.

BertieBotts Tue 31-Jan-17 22:03:06

Is he paying less maintenance for his children due to living with yours or is that not counted unless he's married to you?

Frombathwithlove Tue 31-Jan-17 22:08:38

Yes. He pays less for his, living with myself and my DC's is classed as him having 2 dependent children.

MrsGPie1974 Tue 31-Jan-17 22:08:40

I think he's a bit of a tight bastard if he won't treat you and the kids sometimes.

QuiteLikely5 Tue 31-Jan-17 22:09:21

Any decent man would give you a little extra imo but tbh even if he left and you got tax credits that would go on your rent and council tax

BertieBotts Tue 31-Jan-17 22:12:35

There you go - so they're classed as being dependent on him yet he's not supporting them.

I think you either need to decide if you're a family unit or not - and if you are split finances a bit more fairly, if you're not, well, time for a WTF is happening talk? Seven years is a long time to be living separate lives in the same house. It would be different if you'd been living together six months or something.

BertieBotts Tue 31-Jan-17 22:13:33

BTW I reckon if you posted this in Relationships you'd get totally different answers! Might be worth a try. Even if they all say LTB it's not like you have to.

LooksBetterWithAFilter Tue 31-Jan-17 22:16:33

Dh and I split everything 50/50 bills wise. We pay our own phone bills, car insurance etc. I possibly pay more for luxuries but I have a larger income currently than dh. I tend to pay for most of the decorating and things but he pays more towards holidays and car maintenance so it evens out more.

gamerchick Tue 31-Jan-17 22:30:40

No he's tight and got a pretty good deal hmm

I bring in around half my husbands salary, i don't get maintenance from kids dad and he took them on. We make sure each other is comfortable. If he started being a knob about 50/50 because the kids weren't his I would be suggesting separate houses.

Chasingsquirrels Tue 31-Jan-17 22:33:33

My now DH moved into my house (no mortgage so no 'cost') with me and my 2 kids.
My exH pays me maint for my 2.
DH pays maint to his ex for his 2.
DH transfers an amount per month to me, worked out 4 years ago when he moved in to cover my loss in tax credits and his share of utilities etc. He also has to pay back the child benefit I claim as he earns over the threshold.
That's the extent of our shared finances and I see my children as my responsibility. I meet all their clothing, clubs, school trips etc costs. He used to buy them separate birthday & Christmas presents buy now they just come from us, and I buy and pay for everything.
He probably earns 6 times what I do, I don't know exactly as we never bother discussing it.

BUT he probably pays more for food shopping than I do, he almost always pays when we go out and mostly pays when we take the kids out, very occasionally I will. He pays for Sky as he wants it and I wasn't bothered.
We probably go halves on holidays overall but not on a 50/50 basis just one of us will pay for something and one for other things. We each pay for our own cars, phones etc.

I think the difference to the situation you have described is that I have never felt he resents paying for anything for my kids - meals out, on holiday etc he almost always pays. AND I know that if I needed money he wouldn't hesitate. I was considering going self employed last year and he'd have supported me in that. His view on our retirement has been purely based on what he has to fund it.

I'm sure given time we'd have combined our finances, we married less than a year ago just after (although planned before) he was given a terminal cancer diagnosis and so combining finances hasn't happened.

I think in your situation I'd be upset, not because I'd expect him to fund my kids - I don't, and I appreciate everything - financial and otherwise - that he has done for them. But because he doesnt seem to see you as a joint enterprise.

AtSea1979 Tue 31-Jan-17 22:36:26

I guess it depends how you both view things. If your a family unit then it shouldn't really matter who's money is who's, likewise DC. But your DP doesn't seem to think like that. He wants to keep it all separate. I'd ask him to move out.

SheldonCRules Tue 31-Jan-17 22:44:31

Gamer chick, whys he got a good deal but not the OP. He benefits from shared house costs but in return there are three other people, unlike the OP who gets half costs and just one extra person.

He's paying his way plus supporting his children, he isn't married to very different. Nothing tight about that.

gamerchick Tue 31-Jan-17 22:47:17

Erm he's living in a house he doesn't have to furnish, pays half the outgoings of that house and gets to keep the rest to himself.

That is not a partnership or a shared life. That is the behaviour of a lodger.... with a bit sex thrown in.

ColdFeetinWinter Tue 31-Jan-17 22:54:12

I started typing that your partner shouldn't have to pay more but...actually it sounds like you're carrying more household costs anyway so that should stop.

Plus I think that a relationship needs you both to be equal (or thereabouts) financially. So if I started cohabiting with someone earning less than me I'd expect to be poorer in order to support them.

SheldonCRules Wed 01-Feb-17 07:24:30

He should pay towards the furnishings as I said above as that's the only part he's missing going 50/50 on.

Upto him what he does with his left over salary, they are not married and he has his own children to support. He could be building a nest egg for their future uni etc with the rest.

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