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Managing money

(108 Posts)
nightandthelight Wed 11-May-16 08:37:51

DH and I have been married two and a half years and have a three month old DS. Before getting married I earned slightly more than him (couple of thousand a year) and we split joint contributions on a proportional basis.

We then had a period after marriage where we earnt the same so all joint contributions were split equally and we had the same amount of money for ourselves each month (we have a joint current account for bills and a joint savings account and then our own accounts).

DH has just got a new job with a significant pay rise (around 10k) and I am on maternity leave so reduced income and will hopefully be returning to work part time so there will be a big difference in our salaries going forward.

I feel that life would be a lot easier and fairer if we put all our money in one pot (siphoning some off into a joint savings account as well) and treated it as family money. DH doesn't feel that this is fair though as we didn't do this when I was earning more before we were married.

I am currently struggling every month for money and any spare I have goes into our joint savings as we are in the process of buying a new house and need money for legal fees, furniture etc. DH on the other hand always has money spare and has his own savings pot which I can't afford to do. He puts the same amount as me into joint savings, any spare goes into his personal savings.

I feel that this is unfair now that we are married and have a baby and our incomes are so different. But perhaps as DH has said I am being unfair as I was happy for it to be proportionate when I was the higher earner.

I suppose technically this should be in AIBU! So AIBU to feel that we should see money as family money now and not keep everything so separate.

Forgot to mention the separate thing is also a hassle as we end up owing each other money for stuff we bought with our own accounts and endlessly swapping money back and forth.

DorotheaHomeAlone Wed 11-May-16 08:43:36

No he's in the wrong here. A baby is a total game changer financially. You are now putting in a huge contribution by providing childcare. Personally I think it's crazy to maintain separate finances once kids are in the picture. Is he going to pay you for the childcare/household chores you do while you're in mat leave and part time? Possibly he's just not thought this through but if he has and continues to insist he should have more money while you look after baby for free he's being an arse.

QuiteLikely5 Wed 11-May-16 08:50:54

Can I ask why you didn't give him extra money when you earned more than him?

I do see his point. Some people pool everything from the get go and I prefer this but for those who don't then this issue is a common one once the baby comes along as it seems very odd to me that two people together don't get to enjoy the same standard of living.

What definitely needs to be taken into consideration is the fact you have taken ML to care for your child which is allowing him to continue in his role on full earnings. Surely he is helping to cover some things?

AliceInHinterland Wed 11-May-16 08:52:34

Yep, you are a family now and all of your fortunes tied together for better or worse. It is not pleasant for him to want the mother of his child to go short while he is living the life of Riley.

jamtartandcustard Wed 11-May-16 08:52:57

I would personally side with your dh as I always feel would should split things 50/50. However - who's decision is it that you should go part time? If it's his then he should help cover your lose, if it's yours is it really fair to make him sacrifice so you can work less? Either way, since the baby is both of yours you both must go equal on childcare and you both have to be prepared to give up a day at work to care for the child is poorly.

nightandthelight Wed 11-May-16 08:57:23

Fair question quite! Because we had only just moved in together and we weren't married really. We weren't a family at the time so neither of us saw it as family money.

Also that is how my parents manage their money so I genuinely believed that was how people did it until I joined MN. I used to watch my dad handing over his share of the cost of the Radio Times that my step-mum had picked up in town!

When we got married I did pay for the majority of the wedding on the basis that I earnt more.

I wasn't fair though so I do understand his point on this. I had about 2 and a half years of earning slightly more and he is potentially going to have decades of earning significantly more which also doesn't seem fair though.

nightandthelight Wed 11-May-16 09:09:48

I hasten to add that DH isn't mean with money, if I need some he will give it to me, I just don't like having to go to him with my begging bowl!

I struggle to see how 50/50 is fair with significantly different incomes jam? Surely it should at least be proportionate? With regard part time it is what I want although I have stressed to DH that it doesn't have to be me. If he wants more time with DS I would support that. However he feels that would be silly as he is the higher earner. However it has made me think that perhaps I am being a bit unfair to him

jamtartandcustard Wed 11-May-16 09:51:36

Sorry it really is just my perspective based on my personal relationship with my dh. I understand everyone is different and do things differently and that's great. The reason I've always said 50/50 is because before being with dh I was a single parent. I worked hard to study for my degree with the ou so I could provide a better life for my children and I. My dh left school with 1 GCSE, as no ambition, and is happy working part time in retail refusing to take on any management roles. I don't see why I should work my bloody bollocks off to support another grown up who chooses not to. If either of us wants more spare cash for things then we have to earn it ourselves. We are both capable of doing so. As it is working out though I am actually currently earning a bit less (I only completed my degree last year and was pregnant with dc4 so currently on mat leave too from my part time job). Even when I wasn't working I still paid my share (using tax credits and child benefit) as I never want to rely on a man and I never want a man to rely on me (as I had said I was a single parent first so a very different circumstances to you).
I would never do the whole paying each other back for things bit though. That does seem strange though as you mentioned you had a stepmum so i do think finances in blended families are very different to those in neuclear families

autumnboys Wed 11-May-16 10:14:49

DH and I have been together for over 20 years and split money many different ways. When we were students, our finances were totally separate. When we moved in together we split the rent 50/50 - we were both working full time and kept leap frogging one another in terms of salary. We opened a joint account when we bought our first house and split the bills proportionately to our income. When I gave up work to stay at home with our children, DH took over paying for everything and paid a certain amount across to me as well. That was a SO as I hated having to ask/remind him about it every month, it felt degrading. I got CB in my name, but no tax credits. All that to say - when your circumstances change you need to reassess how you split money. I have worked part time for the last four years but my earnings still mean that DH transfers money to me. Our money management has been okay, but not great. We recently started using YNAB and that has really changed everything for us. I realise we both had a sneaking suspicion that the other was wittering money away - now we can both see exactly where it goes and we have the same amount of fun money each month. DH earns massively more than me - he earns 4/5ths of our income - but he would not have been able to achieve that without me taking care of every single last thing at home. Fortunately he's never really been one for feeling he earns the money so he deserves more of it

nightandthelight Wed 11-May-16 10:19:46

Sorry what does YNAB stand for autumn?

autumnboys Wed 11-May-16 10:24:51

Sorry - You Need A Budget - it's a bit of software. it sounds like a giant buzz kill, but it is very easy to use and has really helped us to communicate about money. They have a free trial period and if you look at their FB they often have guest bloggers who have codes for extended free trials (I don't work for YNAB, but I do think they're great!)

PoundingTheStreets Wed 11-May-16 10:33:28

If you're going to go 50/50, he should be paying you 50% of the going rate for childcare you will be providing while on ML. When you go back to work PT, he should be paying 50% of the actual childcare costs plus a further 50% of the going rate to cover the childcare you're providing by going PT only. He should also be paying what is essentially an additional 'retainer' fee that recognises that you are taking a considerable hit to your future earning potential and your pension contributions by returning PT instead of FT.

Or you could just pool resources and live as a family...

Sharing 50/50 when you're two able-bodies adults with no additional demands on you is completely different to having a child together. He cannot be a father and work full time without your contribution enabling him to do that.

nightandthelight Wed 11-May-16 15:16:32

Thanks autumn I will check that out smile

I think we have come to an agreement that as I had three years of earning more he can have three years of doing so before we switch to combining finances.

Cabrinha Wed 11-May-16 15:28:17

So you've swapped:

3 years of you earning a couple of thousand more when you weren't looking after his baby for him and you were paying for more of the wedding


3 years of him earning £10K a year more

Did you not have a calculator (or your common sense, or perhaps your confidence?) with you when you struck that piss poor deal?!!! shock

QuiteLikely5 Wed 11-May-16 15:34:40


Can you ask him for some of the wedding costs back then!!

nightandthelight Wed 11-May-16 15:35:59

I'm not very confident about these things cabrinha it is true. I like to make people happy which unfortunately backfires on me a lot.

I will be tougher and keep negotiating smile

Chlobee87 Wed 11-May-16 15:43:21

I don't think it's reasonable of your husband to compare the way you handled finances when you were dating/cohabiting with the way that they should be handled as a married couple with a baby.

It's deeply unpleasant that he could be happy to see you struggle for money on maternity leave whilst he has a huge pot of disposable money left each month. If, as you say, he is willing to give you money when you ask for it, why not just share it to begin with? Does he get some kind of kick out of you having to ask? Does it make him feel like the alpha male or some similar bullshit? Or are you expected to pay this money back?

I haven't read the whole thread so apologies if I'm repeating someone else's idea but the fair thing if he insists on splitting money would be for you to charge him his share for your childcare services (I.e. he should pay you 50% of the going rate for full time childcare).

Cabrinha Wed 11-May-16 15:44:25

Seriously - if you really want to be accountants about it, that's a totally unfair solution. If you want to offset every penny you had more than him, you need to think about wedding costs, saved childcare costs - and bloody hell, any time random you paid for cinema tickets 5 years ago because you earned more 😒

But it's also just totally odd for a LIFE PARTNER to want a penny for penny adjustment.

You give him 3 years of having all his extra money to himself and I guarantee on changeover day he'll be far too comfortable with that to change it! You'll have taught him that he deserves to keep it cos he earns it whilst you fuck about part time.

This £10K pay rise... Could he have taken the new job without you taking on all the childcare? No, he couldn't.

I earn 3x my fiancé's salary. We're not living together yet, but I already just pay for more things (more of holiday, days out etc). Because we're a team and money is just money.

AttilaTheMeerkat Wed 11-May-16 15:48:43

This is indeed a relationships issue and not an AIBU one.

Re your comments:-
"DH has just got a new job with a significant pay rise (around 10k) and I am on maternity leave so reduced income and will hopefully be returning to work part time so there will be a big difference in our salaries going forward.

I feel that life would be a lot easier and fairer if we put all our money in one pot (siphoning some off into a joint savings account as well) and treated it as family money. DH doesn't feel that this is fair though as we didn't do this when I was earning more before we were married.

I am currently struggling every month for money and any spare I have goes into our joint savings as we are in the process of buying a new house and need money for legal fees, furniture etc. DH on the other hand always has money spare and has his own savings pot which I can't afford to do. He puts the same amount as me into joint savings, any spare goes into his personal savings".

Why are you putting the same amount of money into joint savings, you simply cannot afford to do that currently particularly as you are on maternity leave.

All those comments of yours above are very concerning. I would also think you do not have any direct or free access to any savings pot of his or his personal savings. He basically regards that money as his own.

Its of no surprise either you feel demeaned when you have to go to him with a begging bowl; he is really making you beg here. I'm sure he does give you money, its the very fact that you have to ask him because you are yourself short is wrong. The power and control balance is out of whack here and is well skewed in his favour.

I think you are being financially abused here; he enjoys having this amount of power and control over you when it comes to money.

You are also a people pleaser and that has also played into his hands here to your overall detriment. Its not easy to become tougher when you've been conditioned to make people happy, does your own overall happiness not count then?.

nightandthelight Wed 11-May-16 16:12:28

He is really against combining finances further than we have done already but wants to increase his contributions to joint savings so that the difference between us each month is only around £150.

He is weird with money and it is his only flaw really, he is genuinely a nice guy! He grew up with a SAHM and money being very tight so when he first started earning he went a bit crazy buying all the things he had never had. Got himself into debt and has since swung the other way!

I am the exact opposite, grew up in a financially secure situation and don't place much importance on material goods and am also happy to share my money.

nightandthelight Wed 11-May-16 16:14:04

Just remembered I also paid the entirety of our honeymoon!

nightandthelight Wed 11-May-16 16:15:20

Although I guess that's the same as what he is offering now. He will pay for more but not from combined finances.

Cabrinha Wed 11-May-16 16:19:13

His only flaw?
You know that different attitudes to money is right up there amongst the major causes for unhappiness and divorce?
It's a big flaw.

Why can't the difference be £0?

The thing is, it's not about pennies it's about attitude, and having £150 more is the same bad attitude. That means that your financial equality with each other isn't even worth £75 a month to him!

What does "joint savings" actually mean, by the way? In my (now divorced) joint savings were intended as a permanent offset against the mortgage, held in both names and only withdrawn in exceptional circumstances with both our agreement. (turned out - they became my house deposit on divorce!)

Is he going to still see those joint savings as his, and use them without your agreement? Are they in your joint names?

nightandthelight Wed 11-May-16 16:22:12

Joint savings are in both our names. Once we have bought our house (currently in process of doing) they will be general savings e.g. house repairs, retirement etc. We will also set up a savings account for DS.

Cabrinha Wed 11-May-16 16:24:31

Btw, I've never had a truly joint account and never will.

With my XH (many problems, but never financial!) we had a joint account into which we paid 50/50 for bills and all bills came out of it. Own accounts totally separate.
Joint savings only via mortgage joint offset account.

You don't have to have a single account for things to be equal.

"He will pay for more" is far too woolly. He may not pay a fair amount more. Or he may develop an attitude about paying for everything.

Agree your personal spends and put the rest into a bills account and a savings account. Anything that needs to be paid for by his earnings will be - from the joint savings. So he can see that it's jointly earned money paying for it.

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