Post # 1
My other half and I split mortgage, bills, groceries, right down the middle. Of course I’m sure finances will change when we get married (we haven’t had that conversation yet) but I feel stuck right now.
He makes well over twice what I do. By me pulling half the weight, it drains my bank account. I want to contribute to the wedding but by continuing paying bills like this, I won’t be of much help.
I’ve read the financial guru Suze Orman and she says…
“For most folks, the default answer to the bill-splitting quandary is 50/50. But Suze suggests that it’s almost never this easy (no kidding!). And that for couples where the two spouses earn significantly different amounts (which would be most couples, probably), splitting the bills 50/50 will almost always lead to resentment and frustration.
Here’s the fictional household setup that Suze presented as an example:
Partner #1 makes $7k/month. Partner #2 makes $3k/month. Household expenses total $3k/month.
In the case above, Suze would suggest that the bills be split 70/30, rather than 50/50. This way, each partner/spouse is responsible for an equal percentage of the bills rather than an equal dollar amount. They don’t earn equal dollar amounts, so they shouldn’t pay equal dollar amounts.
After all, paying $1,500 worth of bills (a 50/50 split) drains the $3k earner a lot more, percentage-wise, than it does the $7k earner.”
I am uncomfortable talking money.. I can talk to him about anything else comfortably but I think because of being on my own since 18 I have learned to be very independent and I’ve had to take care of myself. But I want him to help take care of me now but I don’t know how to approach the conversation. I want to help with the wedding but if we don’t change how we share financial responsibilities I won’t be able to help much at all.
What do you bees and your others do/did while engaged and not quite married?
Post # 3
@maypearl: I made 1/4 of what DH makes. I tried to pay half, but ultimately couldn’t.
I think you guys should sit down, preferably while talking about wedding plans, and go “Look. If I keep paying half of the bills, I don’t have enough left over to save for the wedding fund, too. Do you want to be the main saver for the wedding, or can we split the bills 65/35, since you make SO much more than I do, and I’ll put the extra money towards the wedding, and we can both save?”
Post # 4
We originally split 50/50 (I earned a bit more than him) and when he moved into my house he was happy to pay half of the mortage, bills etc. as we knew that we planned to marry eventually.
After living together for a while and getting sick of the whole – can you send me this much for this bill blah blah, we pooled everything into joint accounts. So. Much. Easier. He was a bit reluctant to do this initially as he felt he would lose some independence but when he lost his job that was the catalyst for him to realise it now had to happen. And he has lost no independence – we have an agreement that big purchases are discussed and agreed upon before hand but we are both free to buy things as we wish, keeping our financial goals and values in mind of course.
Post # 5
- Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL
@maypearl: We do the Suze Orman method because it’s fair. We both end up expending the same percentage of our income to bills that way so it’s a much fairer division (I am the one that makes more so I pay a little more in dollars but since I make more that is only fair.) Both of end up with personal spending money at the end of the month so nobody has to beg the other for spending money. We are both also able to put more money in savings. Some months I pay more of the bills because he puts more money into our joint savings.
Post # 6
@maypearl: We live together and are not yet married. We split it based on what each person can afford. I have kids to take care of too. So he pays all the rent and I pay the bills, which is about 1/3 of the rent. We buy groceries based on whoever has more money that week. This way neither of us is left with nothing.
Post # 7
Before we were married we didn’t live together, so we just kept everything separate. My husband usually paid when we went out, but I did sometimes, and then we switched off with groceries (because we did almost all of our cooking together). Then we each took care of our own bills/rent/etc.
Now that we are married everything is combined. I am in school and I have two jobs, but my husband makes a lot more than I do. I have a bit more time, and a lot more flexibility, so I do more things around the house.
Post # 8
We will probably do the percentage thing rather than 50/50. We will probably be earning very different amounts and there may be times where only one of us will be working so it would be very difficult, if not impossible, to each pay the same amount.
Post # 9
my SO and i have 50% of our paychecks deposited into a joint account which pays our mortgage, energy bill, cable, cell phones, groceries and other household purchases. currently we each use the other 50% of our pay for our individual car payments, auto insurance, credit cards, gas, etc.
i make around $500 more a month than he does (take home pay). so technically i am contributing more to our shared expenses. it doesn’t bother me that much since its not a huge difference in our salaries. also he paid more than i did towards the down payment on our home.
sorry that it makes you uncomfortable to talk about it with him. i am sure if you are collected about it all and tell him your thoughts, and the financial math of it, the conversation will go well!
Post # 10
Right now we both make roughly the same amount of money (literally a 1K difference in annual salary) so right now we are fairly 50/50. When I finish my Masters next summer though, I will make about 10K more a year than him and I imagine we will go more of the percentage route. We currently have a joint checking account but separate savings accounts and a joint savings account for big purchases (right now we’re saving up for some home renovation).
That said, when we were living together prior to getting married we were 50/50…and it didn’t work. We would split EVERYTHING 50/50, even though we didn’t make the same then. I was the one making less, so I ended up being the one with a bit of resentment. Coincidentally, I am also the better saver…so when we would be “short” money, I would be the one to have to pull from savings even though I made significantly less. Needless to say, being married & joint is MUCH better for us. In the beginning of our marriage we also kept separate checking accounts until we got frustrated with it and decided to just go joint.
Post # 11
We kind of do that…except we actually just split things so we have equal savings. Idk how much I pay percentage wise. I make like 1/5 of our household income. I guess I pay anywhere from 10%-20% of our expenses. My SO likes me to try to save half of my paychecks and she saves about 1/5 of hers. I’d be bothered that it’s kind of unfair to SO but it’s all “our” money anyway so it seems like I’m saving more but really we’re saving together.
Post # 12
He pays the mortgage, electric, insurance, etc, and I pay for groceries and the water bill, we split the internet bill. We are contributing equally to pay for our honeymoon but the wedding is being paid for by my parents. Our cars are paid off or we would each pay for our own vehicle. When we go out to eat he usually pays the bill and I leave the tip. For vacations we split the trip 50/50. It depends what works best for each couple.
Post # 13
DH makes more than me as I am a full-time student and my income fluctuates through the year. But our income goes into a joint account, I pay the bills out of it, put a percent in savings, we spend what we want within reason and discuss large purchases.
Post # 14
DH pays everything and my money goes to what I want. We never did 50/50 or any other percentage. I manage the money so I just pay as much as I can from his check and then I’ll pay a couple of things from MIT account.
We have always combined money but he makes way more than me. If I have a big modeling job (usually around 3-5k) then it goes to bills or savings. BasicallyI pull from whichever account has the most money which is usually his. After I’ve done that extra comes from me.
Post # 15
Right now, we have one salary (mine) so I pay everything. When we had 2, we put everything into 1 account and used that account to pay for everything. We made almost the same then. If one of us made significantly more than the other, I don’t know what we would decide, but I imagine that person would cover all the bills and the other salary would go straight to a joint savings account. Seems fair to just put everything into 1 pot and share it.
Post # 16
@PrincessPerry: that’s basically what we do. Trying to figure out the “fair share” of what we pay would be too hard for us. We felt like if we were getting married his money was mine and vice versa so why not merge everything. We have separate checking accounts that are linked and the same for savings and then also a joint savings account.
I shop and spend way more than him but we discuss large purchases. I paid the down payment on my new SUV but the monthly payments will come from his checks. The money is ours so I don’t get paying a percentage.
i don’t really get when you a FI are splitting the wedding or honeymoon cost…it’s for both of you. I guess I always grew up thinking once married everything merged so I don’t get keeping things separate.