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Marriage and finances

(88 Posts)
Tetley08 Tue 03-Jan-17 08:10:40

Going into 2017 I would really like to get our household finances in order. However my husband and I keep arguing about it & can't seem to agree on the fundamentals. I'd like us to come up with a fair solution so that we no longer have this hanging over our heads. I would like us both to be happy with how we deal with our finances.
My husband earns a decent amount of money in a fairly stressful job, he works long hours and travels a fair bit but overall he enjoys it. I was made redundant several years ago when our son was about a year old. I have since retrained and now work for myself. I earn about 25% of my husbands salary. When I decided to retrain this was done with my husbands approval & encouragement. I now try to work 2 full days when our son goes to after school club and 3 shorter days, just school hours. Again I ran this past my husband who at the time said this was fine. On those days I take our son to sports lessons or play dates which I feel is beneficial to him. As I'm self employed there are quieter periods when I don't have as much work but during this time i do household tasks, cleaning, shopping etc. I do pretty much all of the childcare during the week. During school holidays he'll take time off to look after our son the odd day here and there but it falls to me to take the lions share of time off, and for the most part I don't get paid.
Now id really like opinions on how our finances should be split? Or if you have a similiar set up, how do you do it.

DoubleCarrick Tue 03-Jan-17 08:30:51

We have a weird set up since we both have variable income depending on the time of year.

I pay all bills and often we stick food/petrol on my credit card and I try to pay it off.

However, what makes it work is that DH funds household renovations and any time I'm short of money we transfer some into my account.

We literally don't care which account the money comes from as long as it's in the right place at the right time. it helps that we both have a similar attitude towards spending and I'm aware that the way we sort things wouldn't work for all

Joysmum Tue 03-Jan-17 08:37:19

All income is household income and all essential household expenditure is budgeted from that and the disposable income divided equally and goes into our personal current accounts. I don't agree with joint accounts (DH and I have differing spending patterns so we'd have to penny count, keep score and ask if it was ok to buy...which neither of us would want) so bills are divided up with some from him and some from me. That way we can spend or save what we want and know it's fair. If either of us gets a windfall, that's divided equally too. Periodically we reassess and recalculate.

We do not accept the valuation placed on us by employers as our value to our relationship as that has never been equal.

Whilst others see working on a proportion basis as fair, we don't unless both partners have equal disposable income.

Zaya00 Tue 03-Jan-17 08:44:51

OP - why do your finances have to be "split" at all? You're a married couple with a child - surely that means your priorities are the same?
Why would you not have a joint account and go from there? You are married, not flat mates or in some kind of business arrangement.

Ilovecaindingle Tue 03-Jan-17 08:45:14

If you charged him for the child care you do and the household chores your income would be 50/50 likely?
So he needs to put his hand in his pocket a bit more so you don't feel like he is bailing you out when you are a bit short.

dementedpixie Tue 03-Jan-17 08:51:14

We have a joint account. Dh works and I don't. It means I am here for the kids school runs and if they are off sick from school/need to get to after school clubs, etc. I don't have to ask for money as I have free access

JC23 Tue 03-Jan-17 08:53:59

In your scenario I would go for a joint account for all earnings and family expenditure and perhaps each take a fixed amount of pocket money for hobbies etc.
When one parent is earning much more than the other you need joint finances.
I am the higher earner here and all our money goes in one pot.

Joysmum Tue 03-Jan-17 08:56:29

Why would you not have a joint account and go from there?

See my first post.

No way on earth I'd want a joint account. Great for those who are happy to keep discussing money or have similar spending patterns or outlooks, not great otherwise.

plus being on mumsnet has highlighted time and time again that if it all goes tots up, a joint account can be raided and you're left with nothing

MoggieMaeEverso Tue 03-Jan-17 09:04:57

Both of your incomes go into one account.

You set up automatic withdrawals for bills etc.

You also set up automatic withdrawals for "fun money" that goes into each of your individual accounts. You agree on what "fun money" covers, beforehand, to avoid ongoing discussions. You each get the same amount of money to spend as you wish.

This is the only way I can see as being fair.

Your respective incomes have absolutely nothing to do with how your money is split. You are a family and you both spend your time and energy regardless of how much you are paid.

My guess is that your husband thinks he should get more money to use for himself, or that he should have more of a say in how money is spent.

GoodyGoodyGumdrops Tue 03-Jan-17 09:18:49

I was a SAHM for 12y and am now a part-time TA.

We have had a joint account since we got married. There is no question of the 'monetary value' I provide to the family.

Our hobbies vary. Sometimes one is dearer than the other. It doesn't matter. I don't think either of us have ever felt hard-done-by. If he feels happy by cycling down a hill and I feel happy by sewing some scraps of fabric together, why would spending more on those scraps of fabric make things 'fairer' or me happier?

We discuss major purchases first. Dh keeps rough track of our expenditure, and once or twice a year we'll sit down together to study his spreadsheet and see if we're both happy with our outgoings.

We don't have quite the same attitude towards how we spend our money, but we do have the same attitude to communicating about it and to ownership of it. I think that's the key.

Fernanie Tue 03-Jan-17 09:28:41

We have the same setup as MoggieMae - one joint account for essentials and other boring stuff, plus two individual accounts for fun stuff. All the withdrawals are made automatically, and we each get the amount in our "fun" accounts even though DH earns more than I do.
Out of interest, does your DH value the work you do around the house and with your son etc, or does he hold it over your head that he earns more than you? It makes a difference (IME) if the higher earner realises that money isn't the only contribution that needs to be made to a happy and functional household!

Kintan Tue 03-Jan-17 09:28:58

We each put half of our salaries in the joint account (we earn differing amounts) and the mortgage, bills and grocery shopping etc come out of that, and the other half of our salaries are ours to do with as we wish.

bearsnumberonefan Tue 03-Jan-17 09:31:25

We each have a personal account and a joint account. Our wages go into our personal account, tax credits go into joint. We each put the same amount of money each month into the joint and all bills go out from there. Everything is 50/50. That's just the way we do it.

Fernanie Tue 03-Jan-17 09:31:54

So he needs to put his hand in his pocket a bit more so you don't feel like he is bailing you out when you are a bit short.

Alternatively, if you don't want a joint account would this be an option? Getting him to actually pay for you for the work you do in keeping the house together / raising your son? I can't tell in my own head whether that would make me feel like my work in the home was valued or whether it would make me feel like his maid...

Leopard12 Tue 03-Jan-17 09:33:14

I don't think fun/personal money necessarily needs to be equal, hobbies and other spends aren't always the same cost as long as you are both happy with the amount you have. We have a joint account count we currently both pay equal amounts into via a standing order which covers any joint expenditures, when our salaries weren't similar dp paid more proportional to his income.

MrsRonBurgundy Tue 03-Jan-17 09:37:15

We put all of our earnings into the joint account. All of the bills come out and then we put an agreed amount on savings. Whatever is left we split in half for our personal spends so we have the same.

My husband earns much more than me but at the start of our careers, I earned much more than him. We have always felt it doesn't make sense for one person to have more disposable income than the other when we're a unit. It works well for us.

RedMapleLeaf Tue 03-Jan-17 09:41:14

I'm very curious as to what your current arrangements are.

user1234567890987654321 Tue 03-Jan-17 09:41:51

We have a joint account where both our incomes go (mine is about 10% of DHs since I'm a student). We use a budgeting app where we allocate money into envelopes each month (like X for groceries, Y for his daily expenses, Z for my daily expenses, H for shopping etc) and each year, and log all our outgoings. It's helped us be a lot more conscious of how those odd coffees and takeaways add up - meaning healthier bank balance + more cooking at home etc in the past 2 years.
All utilities and bills are paid by direct debit.
But, we have a shared mortgage + I quit my job to go back to school and we have a baby on the way, and we wouldn't have felt comfortable embarking on those journeys without having a shared plan for finances and discussing spending etc.

I find it curious when people say they're not comfortable discussing spending with a partner - someone you presumably have been with for years and have kids with etc. Whether your finances allow for trips to Seychelles or Lidl should these be things where a couple is on the same page? Not looking to get flamed for this, just curious as to how it works in reality.

goldengrape Tue 03-Jan-17 09:52:48

We don't have a joint account but we view all finances as joint and don't think about who has paid for what, everything is paid for out of 'our' money regardless of who has earned it. I earn a small fraction of DH's salary and the bills come out of his account by direct debit, and we put some into savings in both our names. He always pays when we are out together, and for major expenses like holidays.

He transfers some money into one of my accounts so we end up having equal spending money and I never have to ask him for cash. We don't ask for permission to spend and don't necessarily discuss large purchases unless it's for the household and practical decisions need to be made. Neither of us have any problems with the spending habits of each other.

Tetley08 Tue 03-Jan-17 09:57:42

I would like an arrangement like a lot of you have described. A joint account where both pay in our salaries each month & then from that account all bills are paid, food bought, some into savings, childcare paid for etc. Then remainder split so that we both have equal personal disposable spending money. Anyway I suggested this last night & it did not go down well at all. Apparently because I have a better work / life balance and because 'I choose' this he does not want to let me have anymore of 'his money'. I'm trying to be fair about this and really try to make this fair for both of us but I'm really struggling with his attitude and even if he did relent and go with my preferred scenario I know that he would just end up resenting me (even more, if that's possible), and we'd spend 2017 arguing about money which I just don't want to do....
All of last year, any argument about money I'd get 'well I pay ALL the bills' thrown at me...we do have a joint account from which the mortgage and other monthly bills are paid which his salary has covered. I haven't been able to afford to pay into this account due to low salary and just starting out with my business. That hasn't meant I haven't small salary has covered things like my sons tennis lessons, I paid for his birthday party, I paid for our one family holiday and half of the spending money for that. I've also picked up the majority of the afterschool costs..these are kind of 'invisible' expenses that I have told him about numerous times but are completely I acknowledged or recognised...and once all of this has been covered I've had pretty much nothing left for myself...whereas my husband has circa 1k a month after all bills to do with as he wishes (mostly spent drinking may I add). I am taking in extra work this year which will mean that I can pay money into the joint account at last and I can't wait to do this so I no longer have to put up with being told that 'he pays all the bills' however if I do this it once again means that I'll have no disposable income and he'll have more (he may get a small pay rise and as I'll put more into the joint account he'll be able to put less). I am exhausted by this and when I try to discuss it with him I feel bullied into accepting his way of things because my life is 'easier' than his....

BiddyBooBiddy Tue 03-Jan-17 10:21:45

One joint account since we got married. Both salaries goes in there. No money is divided up. There is multiple savings accounts for stuff like the car MOT/repairs. Hobbies and others.

AttilaTheMeerkat Tue 03-Jan-17 10:27:53

I would think Tetley that your H is actually financially abusive and I would read more about financial abuse. He is certainly enjoying this level of power and control over you.

Tumtitum Tue 03-Jan-17 10:31:26

We have a joint account for bills, household expenses, mortgage etc. We give ourselves an equal amount of "spending money" and if we need extra we take it from where we can! DH earns significantly more than me and as such our spending patterns are quite different with me tending to be more frugal. We do fight sometimes when he makes purchases that I consider to be extravagant, but I know he wouldn't begrudge me the same. So kind of works, most of the time! smile

peggyundercrackers Tue 03-Jan-17 10:31:58

We have our own accounts, I would never agree to a joint account.

Because I'm the bigger earner I pay all the household bills, and also pay for half the child minder. I do drop off and pickups too and deal with all the stuff related to the house because I work from home and it's easier for me to look after. DH pays for food and other half of child minder, the rest of his money is his to do with what he wants. DH does all teas for kids, bathes them and outs hem to bed every day.

TBH neither of us really care about money or who pays for what.

RedMapleLeaf Tue 03-Jan-17 10:40:37

That sounds a dreadful reaction from him OP and I actually don't know how it could be resolved amicably. I don't often think this but I'd seriously be thinking about the future of the relationship over this. His lack of respect and appreciation for your contributions to the family is shocking.

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