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Splitting finances, what's fair?

(17 Posts)
olddogsnewtricks Sat 24-Jun-17 15:03:13

I often read situations on here which seem really unfair when it comes to sharing out the money in a relationship but I am really unsure what is best for us! Would love your input.

DH and I have been married for 13 years and have 3 children. DH works full time and I work part-time which works out great for childcare as I can do almost all of it. We both have no problem with this. When we met I moved in with DH and his flat was only in his name (fair enough). Now we have sold that and bought a flat together: however, my contribution was around 30,000 - all of my savings, but still very little compared to what he put in (money from his flat, basically). He pays all the mortgage. I pay for food, children's clothes and school expenses (e.g. school dinners, trips etc) and anything I need. We both pay for holidays - but he pays more than me.

Here's the problem. He earns a lot more than me so I spend the whole of my salary every month whereas he has money left over. We are both quite cautious with money but I now want to start paying into a private pension and can't afford to unless he does it for me or I cut down on family spending. I really don't know what is fairest here. On one hand, he pays the mortgage and, thanks to him, I am a part owner of a flat and I have a car (which he bought), but on the other hand, I don't really have any of my own money left to do anything with (even something as boring as starting a pension!) What would be fair here? (We can't open a joint account as they are not available where we live). Would love to hear your thoughts.

Joysmum Sat 24-Jun-17 15:21:22

I couldn't bear the though if my dh having less money to spend than me simply because the value our bosses placed on us was different to the equal value we brought to our marriage.

We pool all income and household expositor even and we both get equal disposable income in our own personal accounts so there's no need to discuss money except once a year to review the figures and alter for next year's personal allowances.

No arguments that way and personal autonomy to follow your own priorities on spending.

KatharinaRosalie Sat 24-Jun-17 15:23:32

Pool incomes (that does not necessarily require joint account). Pay mortgage, bills, food, any other household expenses, any kids expenses. Divide the rest between savings and personal money.

Moanyoldcow Sat 24-Jun-17 15:26:53

What Katharina said - its what we do since I went part-time and it works really well. We both have around £400/500 each for personal use.

Joysmum Sat 24-Jun-17 15:28:17

Good point I missed saying katharina

I don't believe in joint accounts so we have separate accounts and each are responsible for different bills but would have the same sort of money left over.

This means I am free to save and then make big purchases, he can spend up regularly each month, and there's no need to keep score as to what is fair.

HerOtherHalf Sat 24-Jun-17 15:35:17

Whether you have joint accounts or one person manages all the bills, for me, is personal preference and who wants to do the admin. What i think is really important is that both partners have an equal amount of disposable/discretionary income, regardless of who earns what. Isn't equality fundamental to the whole point of being life partners?

olddogsnewtricks Sat 24-Jun-17 15:39:44

I agree that equality is fundamental but I am finding it hard to insist on it when he has brought so much more (financially) to the table than I have!

NapQueen Sat 24-Jun-17 15:45:39

Well there wouldnt be a table to bring it to if you werent there providing it for the kids and him.

TheSleeperandTheSpindle Sat 24-Jun-17 15:52:29

We do exactly as pps have said, joint account from which all bills are paid and we both pay the same proportion of our wages into it, leaving us both with the same amount of personal spends. I earn more than my DH, well I did before I went on maternity leave, but that doesn't mean I necessarily work harder. I would hate for him to struggle just because we have different jobs.

It doesn't matter what your DH has brought to the table so to speak, you are a family. What he may have contributed in physical things you have contributed in childcare/allowing him the time to do his job. Both equally important.

OhTheRoses Sat 24-Jun-17 15:53:52

I earn less than one tenth of the household income although nearly 30 years ago I was the one with the home and the equity which may have given us a fairer start.

22 years ago now i stopped working. From that point I bought what we needed, binges the receipts in a box and DH wrote me cheque every month. 22 years ago our outgoings were more closely aligned with what was coming in. Eight years later when I went back to work not so much and my earnings then were miniscule. First thing I did though was sign the form to join the pension scheme.

When I went back to work I told DH I wanted my independence back and we added up the average food bills and other essentials such as school dinners, swimming lessons, petrol, etc and he started giving me a monthly allowance.

We have never had a joint account. I spend on discretionary items generally although I pay for broadband, sky, etc.

For big purchases that I wouldn't be expected to pay for I have a credit card on his account: flights, large household stuff, etc.

Your pension should be your priority and he should be facilitating this. It isn't an optional extra.

Lunar1 Sat 24-Jun-17 15:57:05

Invoice him for 50% of what childcare would be every month. The first invoice backdated since the birth of your first child. The cheeky sod!

KatharinaRosalie Sat 24-Jun-17 15:57:49

At the moment I earn about 4-5 times of what my DH does. Doesn't matter, I married him and it's still all family money. I could not be in a situation where he would have less access to the money and would be skint at the end of the month.

PastysPrincess Sat 24-Jun-17 16:02:56

DH and I pool our resources and then split anything left evenly. He looks after our DS and I work full time. His contribution to the family is just as important as mine.

If your DH can't see that it's a joint effort then perhaps you could present him with an invoice for the cost of the childcare you provide and you can pay your pension out of that.

SheepyFun Sat 24-Jun-17 16:06:58

OP, our starting point was similar - I brought far less in savings into our marriage, and have always earned less. Both of us work part time, and have a full time job between us (we also have a pre-school child), but DH works more hours than me. However since we've been married, all money has been joint, and I have full access to everything bar some savings (ISAs can only be in one name; some are in mine, some in DH's).

What makes this easier is that we live well within our income - I'd have to spend a 4 figure sum to affect what DH could do that month, and that's a long way into 'discuss it first' territory. But we both feel that all money is family money, despite our unequal contributions, both historically and presently.

jacketej Sat 24-Jun-17 16:22:18

Personally I think all money should be pooled. I don't think it matters who earns more as it's a joint partnership! There could be times when roles are reversed and the other person earns more etc.
My DH used to earn slightly more than me, change of career and other circs mean that I am now the sole earner in our house. It won't stay like this forever so it's swings and roundabouts. When I was on mat leave DH was the sole earner.. so it can and does Change.
My wages go into our joint account and our mortgage all bills etc come out of this. I wouldn't have it any other way.

RunRabbitRunRabbit Sat 24-Jun-17 17:14:50

Talk to him about pensions and savings. If his is the only pension will that be enough for you to both live on? If you break up, you will be entitled to part of his pension.

Can you have a joint access savings account for all the spare money?

wherearemymarbles Sat 24-Jun-17 17:46:36

I assume from what you say aboit joint accounts you are not in the uk?

Is pension the most tax efficient way of saving where you live?

I dont think you have to pool spending as such but it does make sense to pool savings in the most tax efficient way

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