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DH not happy with equal split of money...

(88 Posts)
StampHappy Fri 29-Jul-11 11:27:08

I know, another one of these chestnuts... (namechanger btw)

DH and I have just got married and we have a 2.5 year old DD. Up until now our finances have (probably quite unwisely) been separate. When I was on mat leave and working part time I had far less money than DH, so I would pay for a few bits e.g. groceries, and DH would sub me money. Then when I increased my hours I paid for the nursery fees. We never actually worked out what was fair ratio wise and just carried on like this, but I was permanently skint and DH would give me extra money if I needed it. Then when we got engaged a year ago I went full time and we both saved up the same amount per month towards the wedding.

DH's job became unstable during this time and it has now changed twice which has affected our finances, some costs spiralled close to the wedding date which we weren't expecting, and the upshot is that we have some debt to pay off now. I feel uncomfortable about this and want to pay it off asap, but I'm forever being made to feel guilty by DH like the reason I have debt is because of overspending. Whilst there have been unforseen costs that have come up, I don't think I have been irresponsible, though with the hindsight of the final cost of the wedding I would have reigned it in.

That's by the by now though, we are married and we both have debt (roughly the same amount) that we want to get rid of in order to start saving and move house. I have suggested to DH that we sit down work out finances as he was under the impression that he pays far more on bills etc than I do. He earns £15k more than me. Turns out, I pay £1400 on bills (nursery fees and groceries) he pays £1600 on the rest (mortgage, council tax, car etc). His disposable income is therefore more than double mine.

I suggested that we take both our disposable incomes and split it so we have the same, and can therefore pay the same off our debts so we can clear the whole lot in a few months. This would leave us with roughly £500 each to pay for our work travel, mobile phones and other personal bills (this comes to £230 for me). He is not happy at all and says this is a shit amount. This is far more than I have had to myself each month for a whole year (plus I'm the one who buys birthday cards and presents etc). If we leave it as it is, I literally end up with £0 after bills and debt payments. DH ends up with £1000! He's just telling me he'll have a think about it, but I can't see what other solution is fair? We both work the same hours and have equal responsiblity as a parent. I think £500 each is plenty and we are lucky to have it.

I'm so upset and hate having this conversation. Before DH and I got together I was not at all sensible with money and had a huge debt, which thankfully I cleared. But I always sense he doesn't trust me with money, which in turn I suppose makes me more wary of telling him when I have run out. All I want now as a family is to pay off the money and be sensible about this and above all for it to be fair. I'm not sure it does either of us any good if we can't pay it off but I think he feels like this debt is mine and he's being penalised because of it. The only reason I have this debt is because of the expense of the last year and the fact I have had such little money of my own.

What can I suggest that is fair? And yes, I know getting into debt was stupid but it was unexpected and we'll definitely not get ourselves in this position again

Thanks if you have managed to get the end of this essay...

colditz Fri 29-Jul-11 11:31:43

You're married. He can't withold money from you. It's joint moneywhen you are married, and you've put up with quite enough of his selfish bullshit.

StampHappy Fri 29-Jul-11 11:34:51

Thanks colditz though in his defence we've never worked it out before so I don't thin he realised he was being selfish...I think it's just hit him now the disparity and even though he's just got a payrise, he's ending up with less money...

TrillianAstra Fri 29-Jul-11 11:35:01

If you are married with a child then you should both have the same amount of disposable income (pocket money).

Income should go into a joint pot for household/child-related expenses (and paying off debt if it is joint debt, or saving for holidays etc). Everything left over should be split equally, and neither of you has any right to tell the other what to do with their spending money.

TrillianAstra Fri 29-Jul-11 11:36:06

I may copy this, put it in a safe place, and just C&P it onto all money-related threads.

icd Fri 29-Jul-11 11:36:44

It is important that you find a solution that is fair for both of you. Each contributing equally doesn't mean each contributing the same though!

How about you get a joint account, and in that account you each transfer 2/3 of your monthly income by direct debit. You get 2 debit cards on this account. From this account you pay nursery, mortgage, dinners out (together), debt payments, birthday cards for friends, food... everything that is joint. From your own accounts you buys stuff that is just yours like drinks with the girls, a present for each other, your own mobile phone etc. This way you contribute according to your earnings (and if someone earns more/less the contribution changes) but you can still buy a guilt free pair of shoes if you want/can.

FaultyGoods Fri 29-Jul-11 11:39:26

Well, obviously, the 'fair' thing to do is put both your money into one pot to pay for all your joint outgoings (eg mortage, nursery care, bills, etc), then take what's left and split that equally between you. You are then free to clear your debt and spend on what you want, and so is he.

What does your H think you should do, be beholden to him for the rest of your life? He just doesn't like the reality of having to 'balance the books'.

Fuzzywuzzywozabear Fri 29-Jul-11 11:40:02

I never understand "separate money" with married couples

we put all our money together (I earn a fraction of DH) then we take out the direct debits and standing orders (he sorts those) then we work out what I need for "housekeeping" petrol, food, kids clubs, clothes (day to day essential family spending really) - he then gives me that agreed amount and I make sure the books balance each month - when that is all worked out we see what is left and divide it between us - he uses his for sport and beer, going out, dvds etc, I use mine for make-up, going out, aerobics class, clothes etc - neither of us is allowed to question the other's purchases if it is from our own personal money

if we had a debt, that would be factored into the above as well and it would get paid off

StampHappy Fri 29-Jul-11 11:42:19

so icd you agree that because DH earns more he should have more pocket money? I was out of work for over a year when I had DD (coincided with redundancy) and basically had to retrain and start a new career. My earning power has been dented because of this, but I was able to look after DD and facilitate DHs job during this time.
I just don't think this is fair, but DH I feel thinks like you. In my current role I will never be able to earn as much as him, but I bloody well work as hard!
I need to convince him of Trillians point, but he's not at all happy about it and I just don't think that's on. Why has he married me if he doesn't want us to share everything as a family?

nocake Fri 29-Jul-11 11:42:20

There is no "should" in this situation and you need to find a solution that you can both agree to. There's no point trying to force something on your DH because that will damage your relationship.

icd's suggestion sounds pretty good place so maybe it's worth suggesting that to your DH.

HerBeX Fri 29-Jul-11 11:42:51

Um, it doesn't sound like your DH wants to be fair.

It sounds as if he believes that he is entitled to a greater disposable income than you are.

Any reason why? I think you need to root out his sense of entitlement otherwise this will always be a source of conflict between you.

Fuzzywuzzywozabear Fri 29-Jul-11 11:43:45

StampHappy - he may be ending up with "less money" now, but that is the reality of being married and having a child - my DH has no control over "his wages" it is family money, even though he earns the lions share - it is family money and it has nothing to do with hours or amount either of us work - we talk to each other before anything is purchased outside of our "personal money"

StampHappy Fri 29-Jul-11 11:44:17

faulty you are right, he doesn't like the reality because in his head the past year has been fair and he has had substantial money (which to be fair has all gone on the family, but still).
Even if the final result is the same, I find it demeaning to have to ask for money for extra things (e.g. colouring my hair) which I just cannot afford in my disposable income at the moment

BuckBuckMcFate Fri 29-Jul-11 11:46:28

Before I became a sahm was earning over 15x my salary. And we still both had the same amount of spending money each month and not once has he ever made any comment about it.

He considers his money our money and I would say he puts himself at the bottom of the priority list when it cones to what we do with money left over after bills etc.

Your DH is being incredibly selfish.

StampHappy Fri 29-Jul-11 11:47:38

fuzzy this is what I want but what DH seems to be railing against.

I don't know why he thinks he is entitled to a greater disposable income than me, I guess because he earns more and that is that. I am having difficulty verbalising to him why I don't think that is fair.

icd Fri 29-Jul-11 11:48:12

I think the fairest option is to put everything in one pot and then take out equal amounts as pocket money. What I suggest is more an interim solution because you say that he doesn't trust you. So that is why I thought this might be a good way to introduce it...

Boshankles Fri 29-Jul-11 11:49:12

Is he worried about your history of getting into debt?

TheOriginalFAB Fri 29-Jul-11 11:51:25

I earn nothing.

DH pays all the bills.

He gives me money each money and has very little left for himself.

He doesn't mind though as he wouldn't be able to earn what he does if I didn't stay at home full time.

EverythingInMiniature Fri 29-Jul-11 11:51:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

StampHappy Fri 29-Jul-11 11:52:03

boshankles yes probably, which is why i'm struggling on this issue. I KNOW I won't because I have a child now and I'm a different person, but is (qutie rightly) worried...

TrillianAstra Fri 29-Jul-11 11:52:08

Having more spending money because he earns more would only be fair if you had both had exactly equal opportunities, equal luck, and equal choice to freely take up those opportunities. If that were the case then it could be argued that you had chosen the lower-paid job and so the "fair" situation would be to contribute an equal proportion of your earnings. Right now you don't even do that.

That's not the case, you haven't had equal opportunities and equal luck and equal freedom to act on those opportunities, and a part of his success in earning well depended on you doing childcare. Therefore all earnings should be though of as belonging to Team Happy, not separately to Stamp and DH.

Fuzzywuzzywozabear Fri 29-Jul-11 11:52:13

yes, but a sahm mum (or p/t worker) is still "working" it's bloody hard work running a house! if the problem is that he's worried about you overspending then surely the pocket money route is the way to go - why does what he spend his money have to be more important that what you spend your money on? my dh plays golf shudder and I have my nails done - it's what we both want to do with our own money

FaultyGoods Fri 29-Jul-11 11:52:48

It is demeaning, you're not the 'little woman'. You shouldn't need to ask for permission to do things like getting your hair done (assuming your not spending hundreds a month wink). As you say, the fact that you are there to share the burden with him, means he is able to earn what he does.

Fuzzywuzzywozabear Fri 29-Jul-11 11:53:55

Therefore all earnings should be though of as belonging to Team Happy, not separately to Stamp and DH

good point Trillian

HeatherSmall Fri 29-Jul-11 11:54:58

I could withdraw £10k from DH's account tomorrow with no more an explanation than I needed it and he wouldn't bat an eye.
This trust issue needs resolving you've learnt your lesson you aren't a child who needs keeping an eye on.

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