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Blended families - how do you organize finances?

(13 Posts)
Morien Wed 10-Apr-13 15:27:20

DP and I have been together for almost 2 years. He has 3 DCs (8, 4, 2) who are with us almost 50% of the time. I have no DCs. We both owned houses when we met but decided to sell and buy together so neither of us felt we were living in the other's house (I put far more into our house than DP was able to, but I insist that it's our house, and the door is open for DP to up his share in the future).

I earn much more than DP. Moreover, as DP's self-employed, he never knows what'll be coming in in any given month. I knew that when I moved in with him.

We have our own accounts plus a joint account, into which I pay more (standing order) than DP (who drips into it when he can). I'm happy that we both contribute what we can, but the drip-payment system is frustrating as it means I never know if there's enough money in the account; I often find out at the supermarket check-out when the card's refused, so I end up having to use my own account anyway.

I'm not happy with the set-up as I think we need to go further and pool the lot - either we run a joint household or we don't. DP's against as I'd contribute far more, and there's only me, whilst he'd pay much less and there are 3 children in tow. On top of that, he pays child support to his ex and he says he can't imagine paying that from a joint account as it's his responsibility, not mine. I say that whilst I wouldn't pay it for him from my own account, I'm perfectly happy for it to go from the joint account. In a bad month, DP 'can't afford' things which are actually essential, a recent example being new tyres (whereas in a good month he can earn more than I do) - I think it's bonkers that he can't afford things when the household has enough money. We're getting married this summer, and I think I'd find it odd to be married but have the almost completely separate finances we have now (even if merging our finances makes me 'poorer').

I see where my DP is coming from and I really appreciate that this is his attitude, rather than taking it all for granted, but I think he takes it a bit far.

We're tossing different ideas around and I'm just curious to know how other blended families manage their finances. I don't so much want advice as for others to share a few details about how you deal with it. There are bound to be solutions out there that we haven't even thought of yet...

olibeansmummy Wed 10-Apr-13 17:55:33

Well you sound very fair and supportive smile as long as you're happy to share finances that seems to be the best option, you just have to convince your dp now ( who also sounds lovely). Dh has a child from a previous relationship and we have a child together. We completely share incomes and only have joint accounts. He earns a lot more than me though anyway!

Kaluki Wed 10-Apr-13 21:02:17

We have a joint 'house' account and our own accounts. DP earns more than me so he puts more into the joint account each month and he usually pays for extras like meals out, treats etc.
I was like your DP at first, I felt bad that DP paid more but he doesn't really care so now I don't either grin

cassell Wed 10-Apr-13 21:51:41

We have a joint account for household expenses which includes expenses for our joint dc, we both pay into it in proportion to our income - so dh earns 3 x what I earn so he pays in 3/4 of what we need for bills etc and I pay in 1/4. We have our own accounts as well and dh pays out of his account for his dc (my dsc). This seems the fairest way of doing it to us.

glasscompletelybroken Thu 11-Apr-13 08:14:49

We have a joint account and all our money is in one pot together. I earn slightly more than DH at the moment but when we first got married he earnt more than me and it may change again.

He has 50:50 childcare of his 2 dd's and I have grown up kids. Of course I am contributing financially to his dd's upbringing but we also help out my grown-up kids from time to time and two of my daughters got married last year which was a major expense.

I know other people who are married and have seperate finances but it's not for me. We are in this together and everything is shared.

brdgrl Thu 11-Apr-13 15:04:00

We are married; DH had two children already (they live with us full-time; their mum is deceased) and we have a DD together.

We have one joint account and also a personal account each. DH used to provide most of our income, but now things have turned around and I am the main earner.

We are pretty loosely organized, to be honest, and we keep promising that we are going to sit down and create a better budget. But basically, we have the household bills split up so that some are paid from each account, based solely on what we can each afford to pay. I buy my own and DD's clothes, small items, etc from 'my' account and he buys the DSC's from his.

We generally don't make any moderate-to-major purchases from any account without checking with the other person - I might even text him when I am out shopping if I am about to make an impulse purchase - but that is because we are pretty stretched financially at the moment and are trying to be more careful. Also because in the past, DH made a few big financial decisions without discussing them with me first and he would like not to make that particular error again. ;)

UC Thu 11-Apr-13 18:28:06

We live together (not married), and have 4 DCs between us, 2 50/50 here and the other w 60/40 here.

We have a joint account into which we both pay the same amount every month. It pays for bills, food etc. We both have sole accounts into which our salaries are paid. He pays maintenance to his exW out of his, and I receive maintenance from my exH into mine. If we book a holiday, one of us puts it on credit card, and the other pays them back, or we pay back out of the joint account.

So we only have joint finances for the house and the family basically.

We both save (separately) for pensions - his will be bigger - but we have had the conversation about what if mine is smaller, and he'll support me at that stage. Mine is likely to be smaller because I work part time so that I am home for the kids (all of them, mine and his).

I prefer it this way. My money other than the joint house family money is my money, and his is his. I had totally joint accounts with my exH, and I didn't like it. We argued about who spent what on what, and I was resentful that he spent too much on beer and shirts grin. Both DP and I are careful with our money, and the way we do it means that we don't need to justify anything to eachother. If I want to spend £100 on a hair cut, or go for a massage, I can, and I don't need to check/ask anyone else.

MsIngaFewmarbles Thu 11-Apr-13 18:36:24

I had 2 DDs and DH had 1 when we got together. We ended up moving away for a year and I couldn't find work in the new town whereas I had worked FT before. From that point on all our funds, salaries, CB, maintenance went into one account and we just pay everything out of that regardless of whether I worked, I'm now a student. I do get a bursary but DH pretty much pays for everything.

Works for us. It's all our family money.

Celticcat Thu 11-Apr-13 18:40:48

Dh and I also have a joint account for utilities and own accounts.
Do the people who posted here who have separate accounts for personal spending, for dc etc, keep their incomes secret from their partner?
Mine does sad, even though I'm open about my earnings, and spending for that matter. I always hoped my openness would catch on, but no, it hasn't.

NotaDisneyMum Thu 11-Apr-13 18:48:19

celticcat My DP and his ex managed their finances the way you describe and didn't 'share' information about their salaries with each other.

It backfired big time because they were overpaid tax credits (ex guessed what DP earned and DP didn't check the form when he signed it) which came to light when they split. They were liable for a huge repayment!

Not sure if its relevant to your situation (tax credits, not splitting up!), but perhaps it's another reason for your DP to share?

Celticcat Thu 11-Apr-13 20:38:13

Thanks nota, I'm just a bit resentful as dh and exw had one joint account, thats all, and knew and shared everything. Then she took him to the cleaners when divorcing and I understand his wariness and trust issues.
But it's been 4 years and I'm totally open and trusting and he's still acting as if I'm going to grab the loot and head for the hills!
Frankly, its insulting, especially as we're already in couple counseling, the therapist told me in a one on one session that as his wife its my business to know and I've asked him to share information in an unbelievably diplomatic, non aggressive way. I specifically said I don't want control over his money or spending habits, and will support saving for kids, etc.
He said days ago he'll think about why he doesn't want to share bank info and I'm still least I didn't hold my breath.

Thing33 Fri 12-Apr-13 19:54:22

We have one joint account that all money goes into, so both our wages and cb, and we pay his dd's maintenance out of that pot.
I earn a lot more than dh but that wasn't always the case as he was earning when I was a student.

I wouldn't really like split finances as it seems a faff to me, but I can see why some do it. I certainly wouldn't like to be kept in the dark about how much my partner earns there seems no reason for this.

Lilypad34 Sun 14-Apr-13 08:08:45

Dh and I have a joint account that we both put equal amounts in to for all household bills mortgage etc. we also have our own separate accounts and he pays child maintenance from his personal account.

We are both earning and as long as the household finances are taken care of what's left in our own accounts is our own.

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