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Big Difference in Incomes / Paying for ... stuff

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#1 Bedge

Posted 05 January 2013 - 04:08 PM

Hi All,

Here's the story ....

I pay my phone bill, business expenses, do food shopping each week, pay rego & insurance, pay for most incidentals (stuff for our dog, medicines, gifts for family/friends ...) .. I can basically ‘pay’ for myself plus some extras. DH pays my car repayment and our family private health insurance.

Apart from that, he pays for the rest of the bills and rent. He also sometimes helps me out with big bills, like car repairs and such.

Of course I appreciate all of this, he works very hard and we live in a nice home and have nice things.

Although ... there is often an undertone ... and I am reminded, often ... that I should be paying for these things and contributing more .... and that “other couples ........” Which is fine ... once upon a time I could and did. Although circumstances have changed and I do the very best I can. On the other hand, I do the majority of the house work and cooking.

I was just wanting understand how it works in other people homes, when one earns much more than the other?

Added Info:

So .. don't know if I explained this part ...

I have my own small business ... so I have my business account where all my business income and expenses come in and out from. I have had my own biz since we met. As I claim my phone, car and everything on tax, it all just comes and goes from my biz account.

And we haven't really evolved since then!

I don't really draw a wage from my income ... as some weeks are good weeks and some are quite weeks ... so I just live from my business account ..

We have talked about when I become a SATM, and things will be different then which he knows.

It just seems ... now .. frustration that I'm not earning 'more' when I should be ... and semi joking comments about his money and that I should be paying this and that ...

I feel a bit .... frustrated .. for quite a few reasons you have all mentioned.

Edited by Bedge, 05 January 2013 - 05:26 PM.

#2 Stellajoy

Posted 05 January 2013 - 04:14 PM

We have quite a massive difference in incomes but it all goes into one bank account and is "our" money. All of our expenses are joint expenses, except maybe clothes which I spend more on. I do t think either of us have laid personal claim to money coming in since a year after we started dating.

#3 barrington

Posted 05 January 2013 - 04:15 PM

Any money either of us earns goes into a joint bank account and all bills are paid from that account.  There is absolutely no separation of different bills paid by different members of the family.

#4 GoodGollyMolly

Posted 05 January 2013 - 04:16 PM

We pool our income do its "ours" not one persons or the others. This has worked for lots of stages of our relationship from me being a student and earning half what DH earns, to us earning about the same, to me earning twice as much.

We still have (an equal amount) of money that's put into our personal accounts every fortnight for each of us to spend how we please, but all the rest of the income goes into our joint mortgage offset account. We both agree that's our top priority for our income at the moment.

#5 Julie3Girls

Posted 05 January 2013 - 04:19 PM

Both our incomes go into the savings offset account. Everything comes out of that.

There is NO my money or his money. There is NO "I pay for this, you for that"

We've done since the moment we got married. So at first, we were probably on equal incomes. Now, due to me changing to part time, I earn only a fraction of what he does. Thankfully, my husband appreciates that I bring a lot more to our family that just a financial amount, and it's never been an issue.

I could not live with what you are describiing.

#6 ElevenYears

Posted 05 January 2013 - 04:19 PM

We have family money rather than his money and my money.  We discuss big purchases, (of stuff for just one of us or household stuff), before we go ahead with them.

Do sort this out before you have children so that expectations are very clear.  It'd be awful to discover later, for example, that childcare is 'your' expense and suddenly your contribution to the household funds will be considered even lower than it is now.

#7 ///

Posted 05 January 2013 - 04:22 PM

That would be a red flag for me. I have earned and brought more into my relationship financially BUT we are building OUR future together.

Other people do it and I have seen one member of a family struggle whilst the other buys a boat, cigarettes and in the other example motorbikes.

#8 Coconuttie

Posted 05 January 2013 - 04:26 PM

Money in this house is our money. Has been this way since we purchased our house and combined our bank accounts. However, even prior to that we still never considered it as a "yours" or "mine" thing, despite having different accounts. We each worked, sure the pay was uneven, but we both contributed and generally whoever had their card out first would pay.

#9 I'msoMerry

Posted 05 January 2013 - 04:27 PM

I dont know why you would consider having a child in this relationship. You are making a family and home together.
I earn nothing as I am a SAHM. My DH supports me, our child, and my two sons!!

I would think VERY carefully about a future with someone like that.

#10 Guest_AllegraM_*

Posted 05 January 2013 - 04:29 PM

I am a SAHM now but until then, we both worked fulltime and DH earned 8-10 times my wage.

From my wage and rental income I paid the mortgage and rates on my own pre-marriage rental property and paid the rego, service and running costs of my own car and paid my own phone bill. Everything else was pooled with DH and it has always been our money, without caveat.

DH would have been happy to assist or pay all of my bills but it was a matter of pride that I continue to pay them myself as I did as a single woman. Furthermore, despite having a wonderful marriage to DH, I think it is important to protect your assets and show that they were maintained independently by yourself in the event of a relationship breakdown. I paid off my own mortgage prior to becoming a SAHM and the repairs and rates on my own property continue to be paid from my rental income.

Otherwise, what is his is mine. I am pretty tight with money though, so DH has never been in a situation where he has to go all caveman on me and tell me to reign it in.

#11 bikingbubs

Posted 05 January 2013 - 04:30 PM

Everything is our money.  At the moment I contribute $0 and I would be furious if he implied I need to contribute more at any time!

#12 Expelliarmus

Posted 05 January 2013 - 04:30 PM

We also have 'our' money. It's not flawless but it all goes into one account and when we need to pay a bill, we pay it. When we need to buy food, we buy it. If my car needs petrol I put it in, if his car needs petrol he puts it in.

I see very little point in having 'our own bills' because very few of them are truly anything but family bills. It's been this way since well before we got married, even though we weren't living together. If something 'of mine' needed paying he would pay it, especially if I didn't have the funds. (I had a casual job and his was full time)

Usually he earns more than me, for a time I earned more than him. Right now it's about equal. I'm never going to catch up - I spent a number of years as a SAHM, studying or working part time. I would be very annoyed if he was keeping score like that. It's not something that CAN be made even because you never really know when someone is going to go through a period of unemployment, will retrain or who is going to be the at home parent.

It's my experience that 'other couples' pool some or all of the money that comes into the home and that the majority of bills, especially as regards to the house/rent/utilities/food are paid for from the pooled money.

#13 FeralLIfeHacker

Posted 05 January 2013 - 04:30 PM

Yep OUR money here too, years ago when I earned more than dh it was ours, now I don't earn anything it's still ours, when it stops being ours there will be problems.

#14 Klinkalink

Posted 05 January 2013 - 04:35 PM

We have split finances (both due to need as DP runs his own business and it's also how we like it). Our incomes are quite different, but we do have a joint account.

Each fortnight we each pay an amount of money (the same amount) into the joint account, which covers PHI, groceries, utilities, everything for the kids (inclusing childcare), contents insurance, the kids' investment fund contributions and all medical/pharmaceutical things. All of those expenses get paid out of that account.

We each pay for our own petrol, car insurance and mobile phone bills (and I pay the mortgage and rates as the house is in my name - again, this needs to be this way because of DP's business). Anything apart from what we put into the joint account is our individual play money to pay for our own clothes, hobbies, etc..

It works well for us and I love not having to ask for permission to buy something for myself, as is causing a lot of friction with one set of friends we have. One of us has quite a bit more money left over than the other on a fortnightly basis, but that's OK with both of us. One of us worked their butt off living poor at Uni for years to end up with a well paid profession, and the other, well, didn't  cool.gif . The one who earns more does get the 'big' new toys for the household when they're needed though, like TVs, large appliances, holidays, so it evens itself out in the end. They do all the housework and cooking too.

#15 JuliaD

Posted 05 January 2013 - 04:37 PM

Joint account here too - ever since we got engaged 6-7 yrs ago.
Couldn't stand the idea that we had to split costs of everything, when it was "our" house; "our" families, 'our' bills etc.
We negotiate if either DH or myself wants to spend a large amount (more than a couple hundred dollars) on something for ourselves (eg extras for DH's car, clothes/shoes etc for myself), but other than that, it's just our money and we do what we need to with it.

#16 Ally'smum

Posted 05 January 2013 - 04:39 PM

All joint accounts here, everything is ours.

Just wondering why this is only coming up now? Ours were combined once we bought a house together.What discussions do you have about money/shared goals?

We sit down once a month and go through the budget so DH can catch up with everything as I seem to do most of the financial side of things.

If he is holding anything over you I would be sorting that out quickly before it develops into bigger problems.

#17 jkate_

Posted 05 January 2013 - 04:40 PM

We each get our pay split into three lots by payroll - mortgage acct, bills/joint savings acct, personal acct.  

We definitely don't have the same income level so it works out that DP's income pays more of the mortgage (as we are paying a good 1.5 times the minimum), he probably gets slightly more spending money (only because he's had some payrises since we lodged the forms and haven't changed it) but I would say that our personal spending works out equal.  Our contribution to the bills account is exactly the same.  

Before we had this system we had individual accounts and would generally say his income pays mortgage and half of some bills and mine would pay groceries and other expenses - similar to what the OP described.  My DP would sometimes make comments about him being the greater income earner but never in a malicious way.  It was easier to think about our income as shared money when we each organised our pays to contribute to each account, we did this after about 12-18 months after moving in together.

#18 Kreme

Posted 05 January 2013 - 04:40 PM

Once we bought a house together we got a joint bank a/c and all of "our money" goes into that and all bills are paid out of it. We've operated this way for 10 years now.
If anyone should be talking about what "other couples" do I think it should be you because in my experience the way you are operating is quite unusual in marriage.

#19 CallMeFeral

Posted 05 January 2013 - 04:40 PM

Our money is combined. There is no he pays for I pay for.

Once we had kids and I was off work/working part time because of this, it's not really fair to split money, as one person's income is heavily dependent on the other person providing the non financial contribution of labour.

#20 marnie27

Posted 05 January 2013 - 04:42 PM

You definitely need to sort this out before kids come along.

DP and I have separate accounts plus joined accounts, but we each have access to all of them. She's always earned more money than me though we came into the relationship with similar assets. We talk about what needs paying first, and that's what happens. Petrol, groceries and stuff for the kids is bought as needed with whichever bank card is easiest/has more money on it at the time. DP tends to buy herself more stuff than I do, when I want things it's usually a big outlay all at once (new camera and lenses etc).

I couldn't be with someone who resented my earning capacity.

#21 KBM

Posted 05 January 2013 - 04:45 PM

If that was how it worked in my house, I wouldnt have a car, a phone, any new clothes, a gym membership, DH would never get any birthday/chrissy presents etc - cos Im a SAHM and I have NO income whatsoever.

As DH likes to joke/moan to people 'I earn the money, she spends it'.  Yes I spend it - on the mortgage, the food shopping, the bills.  I buy clothes for me, DH and the kids.  I buy whatever I want/need.  DH wouldnt have a clue how much gets spend on bills, insurance, rates, mortgage etc.

However, there must be trust in this sort of relationship, I wouldnt dream of making a major purchase without discussing it with him, and ditto the other way around.

that I should be paying for these things and contributing more .... and that “other couples ........

Urgh, this just made me cringe - firstly, you do contribute bu doing the cleaning, cooking, managing the household etc.  If he had to pay someone to do this, it would cost a fortune.  Secondly, I dont know what other couple hes been speaking to, all the 'other couples' I know do not have seperate bank accounts, do not have your bills and my bills.  You are in a partnership, be partners - not two individuals.  Sounds like hes treating you like a tenant and room mate who needs to pay their own way.

#22 RainRain

Posted 05 January 2013 - 04:46 PM

Good topic Bedge...

Well we are probably in the phase of adjusting to that situation. It had always been discussed that if we have a child and I stopped working he would support the family...but personally I'm still getting my head around it. I have always earned quite a lot more money than him and not had to really think about what i spent. I enjoy having financial options while I make a good wage. If that was to stop i would have to give up some of my investments along with personal financial freedom...the idea of asking for money makes me feel really uncomfortable. BUT...this is just where I am in my mind as we transition from ME to US I suppose, life is forever changing.

#23 Escapin

Posted 05 January 2013 - 04:48 PM

Your husband needs to grow up. To be honest, no matter how fab he is in other areas, this is only going to get worse when you have kids. Like a few other PPs, I think you need to seriously consider if this is what you want FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE.

#24 mum850

Posted 05 January 2013 - 04:50 PM

ooh. I would be unhappy about that.

I earn four times as much as my husband.
It's all OUR money.
He works less. He does more pickups of our three kids, more shopping and more cooking. I do more cleaning and all the organising of Stuff. I complain that I do it all but when he goes away for work (often) I do notice it.

we have both been SAHP when our kids were small. Him more than me cos i earn a lot more. Though I had to do the whole expressing at work thing. Nother story.

#25 kpingitquiet

Posted 05 January 2013 - 04:50 PM

All our money is shared, no matter who is earning or receiving it. It's all ours. I honestly think it would be such a stress to divide out who covers what and who contributes more/most/enough. I'm not employed and I control all the finances. That gives him power of earning and me power of financial control. We find it an easy arrangement and low-stress on each of us in that regard. When I go back to work it will still all be our money, even though I'll be out-earning him by nearly as much as he does now. Who cares? The bills have to get paid no matter whose name is on the account. Why not just merge?

Reminds me of that one couple in Joy Luck Club who had a list on the fridge of things they "shared". Everything 50/50, despite him making 3x more than her.

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