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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)

Numberlock Thu 10-Jan-13 08:34:47

Ditch him, that's what I'd do. Sorry.

melliebobs Thu 10-Jan-13 08:37:53

Me and dh had this little issue cos I was the breadwinner. We have a joint account that his wages go into and that account has all the direct debits set up for bills and it just ticks over without us having to do owt.

My wages goes into a different account and covered food and petrol. Anyway As for spending money we gave ourselves a small amount each month. It was dh that worked it out n gave me more cos I earnt more. Don't know how he did it but it was In proportion to what I earnt. But once dd came along we thought the hole situation was daft n stopped it.

BigStickBIWI Thu 10-Jan-13 08:39:36

The thing about money is that it can create some of the biggest rows and stresses in a relationship. Often people have very different ideas about money and how it should be used.

DH and I are like this. He hates, with a passion, the idea of being overdrawn or owing money whereas I am much more relaxed about it. Therefore if we were to have completely joint finances it would drive both of us mad.

So our solution has been to work out what our monthly joint outgoings are - mortgage, bills, food shopping plus any extras for the family - and then we halve that and both pay that amount into the joint account.

Whatever else we earn, we keep in our own accounts.

This works well if you earn roughly equal amounts. It stops the arguments about money, and also - which I think is really important, it gives you financial independence as well.

However, if you don't earn roughly equal amounts, then it can become problematic, as you will end up paying in more/retaining less. In which case, you need to pay different amounts into the joint account to reflect your different salaries.

And another caveat - you need to be clear with your DP that the money you both bring in does belong to both of you. This is an issue with my DH sometimes - or maybe it's an issue with how I perceive him! - in that it's still too easy for us both to think of 'my' and 'his' money.

I don't think there's an easy solution to this one, but I think you need, before you make any specific financial agreements, to talk, talk, talk about money and your attitudes towards it - and remember the marriage vows "everything I have I share with you" or words to that effect. Ultimately, of course, you are a family unit, and all money that comes into the family should be shared. This will be particularly the case if/when you have DC and if you decide to stay at home. You have to talk about this eventuality as well - before you get married - and agree how this will work, so that you don't end up having to ask him for money and, therefore, becoming subservient to him.

Rosa Thu 10-Jan-13 08:39:37

Evrybody is different but he is sounding like a bit of a knob...... Yes I would discuss what happens if you have Dc and you might be finacially reliant on him.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Thu 10-Jan-13 08:41:06

I would not marry him. This would actually be a dealbreaker for me.

All money considered joint, each of you should have the same 'spending money' for want of a better word.

You need to sort this out now, while you are in a position of relative strength - not married, no children, you are working etc etc. Otherwise you will end up being one of those women who has no money on maternity leave unless she uses up her own personal savings.

Iggly Thu 10-Jan-13 08:41:54

Do you have children?

What we did pre-DC was to split household stuff proportionately

So our earnings were 60:40. Therefore we split the bills 60:40 and paid that in.

The rest was ours.

Then we got married and had kids. All money went into one account as we were earning for the family. We didn't have to ask if we wanted to spend money to go out etc etc but would of course be sensible and any big purchases would be agreed in advance.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 10-Jan-13 08:48:13

I think it's a really bad idea for women to put all the finances in one pot with a man. You're earning similar amounts now but, should you have children one day and your income reduce short or long-term, having 100% joint finances puts you in a very weak position that some men will exploit. If your DP is already suspicious of your motives and regards his money as his, I don't think he's the kind of man you want to trust with 100% of the family money.

So I would suggest a half-way house. Work out exactly what the household budget is, regular DDs, groceries, etc. and factoring in for one-offs like holidays, Christmas, maintaining your home and savings. Divide it by 12 months and then agree to put that amount in a joint account betwen you, proportionate to what you earn. What's left (which should be relatively small) you each keep as your personal cash to spend or save as you see fit.

This sets the principle of sharing expenses whilst retaining some financial independence. Should you go on to have children or your incomes fluctuate for some other reason, you recalculate the contribution.

If you can't agree this simple thing I would seriously question whether you want to go ahead with a marriage. Having been married to a selfish spendthrift myself once who held similar attitudes to your DP I really don't recommend it.

TameGaloot Thu 10-Jan-13 09:01:24

Have to admit I wouldn't marry him
I don't say that lightly
Having been married ten years with money worries being out biggest problem between us there is no way I would marry a man whose attitude towards me and money was as your dps is. It speaks volumes about him and I would fear for those times when. On ml or if you got made redundant. It's a partnership and I would want it so (and not just so I could have his money because I'm sure he doesn't work harder than you, for a start men tend to get paid more for the same work)

Iggly Thu 10-Jan-13 09:04:10

I hear what you're saying Cogito. I guess in my situation, I haven't given up work (have two DC) and I earn pretty well. So I don't imagine being shafted by DH, especially as I earn more now (was the other way around previously)

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

Thanks for confirming what I thought about it, guys. I think I'll broach it with him again tonight from a merging into a family perspective... I actually think that I'd buy less useless tat if our sopending money was shared as it was just 'my money' iyswim?

My parents have a system that it thus: they each get their wages paid into a joint account. The bills come out of it. The spending money is then split down the middle and put into seperate, one-person-only accounts. That could work for us, couldn't it?

brainonastick Thu 10-Jan-13 09:09:56

^^ exactly what cogito said

Don't ignore this issue - you need to get this absolutely sorted before you get married.

expatinscotland Thu 10-Jan-13 09:10:47

I wouldn't marry this man, either, not because of the money but his attitude. You sound more like flatmates than partners. Think about this: if he were to suddenly fall ill and be unable to work for a while, would you be okay with being the breadwinner? If your answer is yes, but you know his would be no, don't marry him.

Trills Thu 10-Jan-13 09:11:57

Did you start this exact same thread in Feminism too?

My parents have a system that it thus: they each get their wages paid into a joint account. The bills come out of it. The spending money is then split down the middle and put into seperate, one-person-only accounts. That could work for us, couldn't it?

I would do this but the other way around - wages paid into separate accounts, then each put what is needed into the joint account, in such a way that you get equal spending money.

You have to agree how much money the joint account needs, and don't forget to take into account things that are not paid every month, like insurance.

brainonastick Thu 10-Jan-13 09:12:14

sunshine - yes, that's the system that we use in our house. (except we do it in reverse - but the principle is that we both get the same spending money whatever we earn).

If you are in this for a lifetime, there will be periods where your earnings are significantly different, so this system gives some financial freedom with your own money, whilst ensuring all the bills and agreed savings targets are covered (pensions, holiday savings etc etc).

Numberlock Thu 10-Jan-13 09:14:01

That could work for us, couldn't it?

Sorry my advice hasn't changed, you describe him as a childish knob who thinks you're trying to take his money. He doesn't sound very nice to me.

brainonastick Thu 10-Jan-13 09:14:22

By the way, if he can't engage with you on an adult level in talking about money, then how on earth are you going to parent together and share a lifetime together? Seems like he needs a massive kick up the arse to me.

sunshineandfreedom Thu 10-Jan-13 09:17:34

It's actually VERY out of character for him; with everything else we talk about it calmly in an adult way and he's normally very reasonable about everything! I think he may have some issues about it because for a long time I was the one earning money and technically aupporting him... Actually, that just makes him sound worse, doesn't it? Shit.

sunshineandfreedom Thu 10-Jan-13 09:19:47

Also: I don't think he's fully adjusted his mind to think of us as a family unit as opposed to two seperate people... Because often we do think of ourselves as two seperate people who have chosen to be together - our lives don't revolve around each other!

expatinscotland Thu 10-Jan-13 09:22:42

'Because often we do think of ourselves as two seperate people who have chosen to be together - our lives don't revolve around each other!'

Is this what you believe marriage is? Lives revolving round each other?

It's a partnership, a team.

I would not marry a person this immature, tbh.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 10-Jan-13 09:24:54

It does make him sound worse. People who are selfish or irresponsible about money are often that way in other respects. All relationships are sweetness and light when there are no challenges, no worries, no big decisions.... it's thing like this that show people up for who they really are. And you must take note and judge accordingly.

sunshineandfreedom Thu 10-Jan-13 09:26:26

We've had more than our fair share of challenges and worries, I'd say. Ack.

Numberlock Thu 10-Jan-13 09:26:52

for a long time I was the one earning money and technically aupporting him

... whereas now he earns more than you, he thinks you're trying to take his money off him...

DeafLeopard Thu 10-Jan-13 09:27:01

If he takes the "my money" attitude now, what will happen if one of you gives up work to care for children?

I would make sure that you talk this through before you get married, as so often there are threads on here from women who feel that they have to "ask" their DHs / DPs for money for badly needed clothes while their DH/P feels the money belongs to the earner and is happy to spend it down the pub and leave the family short.

FWIW DH earns loads loads more than me, as I chose to scale back my career to look after the DCs so cannot earn anywhere near what I used to. All money goes into joint account out of which we pay everything.

badguider Thu 10-Jan-13 09:27:58

We have our wages into our own account then the joint expenses (basically all our actual necessities) go into a house account. We're each left with our spending money - this works for us as we can then see whether we have enough for more bike bits (him) or massage and yoga treats (me) without affecting our necessities or needing to be always discussing/negotiating our leisure spending with each other.
When I stop work for maternity I will just stop paying into the house account and he'll cover it for a while.

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