Post # 1
I’m a high school teacher so I don’t make a ton of money. Most of what I do make goes to bills and paying off debt. FI makes about 3 times what I do.
Here’s where I struggle – I feel like I never contribute enough – especially when it comes to presents. As he makes so much more than I do, the cost of the presents I get are A LOT more than what I can afford to spend on him. He gets me a Tiffanys necklace or emerald earrings and I get him a sweater or a wine chiller. I know he likes what I get him and he uses what I get him but I just feel bad that I can never spend as much money on him as he does on me. I do try to do the thoughtful/romantic gift as much as I can, but that only goes so far 🙂
What do I do?
Post # 3
I’m sure he understands, he’s aware of how much you make, right? Has he done anything to indicate he isn’t happy with the gifts he gives you?
I’m in the opposite situation, but we usually don’t buy expensive gifts in general so it’s not an issue. LOL, if I opened up my Christmas gift and it was a Tiffany’s ANYTHING I would think he lost his mind, and I certainly wouldn’t want him to go broke trying to buy me expensive stuff.
Post # 4
@Glasgowbound: You guys are becoming one. So he gets you nice things, but it isn’t the amount of money each of you spends to show your love. I make way more then my DH and I am getting him a christmas present this year and he is not getting me anything. Do I resent him or think differently about him for that? Heck no. You are worrying to much about this. Get him something nice that is in your budget. He won’t care how much it costs.
Post # 5
I’m in a similar position and so I can understand where you are coming from. My best suggestion would be to embrace it and don’t let it bother you. There was a high probably my fiance would’ve been in this boat with most potential partners. We’re fortunate to have the means that we do as a couple. My job isn’t as demanding and so there are a lot of things that I’m able to do to help make his life easier. I do the groceries, cooking, laundry, trip planning, etc and I know that one day we will have a family together. These are all things that aren’t monetary but that I contribute to make his life all the happier!
Post # 6
Same here… FH makes 7 times what I do… My pittance of a salary goes straight into savings for the both of us… Okay, what’s left of it after I do a bit of shopping 🙂 Most of which I pay for on my own. FH pays for major things- like the bills, car, trips, etc…
Sometimes I pick up the tab at dinner or at Whole Foods and he gets super excited about it- I’m all chill homie, it’s $35. But to him that means that I do and want to contribute when I can.
As for gifts, I get him what I can. I make sure it’s special, something he would like and wouldn’t get for himself. Last anniversary I got him this gorgeous frame for his desk and a picture of the two of us. He took me out for fancy dinner, and gave me god knows what… I put a lot of thought in to my gifts and that’s what he cares about, not how much it costs. 🙂
Post # 7
@Glasgowbound: I feel this way, too. Well, actually, I’m a SAHM, so I have ZERO income. I squirrelled away a bit of my tax return for gifts & such, but I really have almost no money. My DH likes opening gifts, so I’m making sure to fill his stocking with lots of his favorite things, even though they’re cheap, so that he has a lot to open (cinnamon bears, mini cologne, mini liquors, his favorite shaving cream & body wash, etc). Honestly, though, there’s not much you can do. I heard some people do “coupons” for “favors”, and some guys are into that. I’m not sure if my DH would like it or not. (ETA: I’m also giving him one reasonable sized gift, the stocking is just a nice add on that I know he’ll enjoy opening).
Post # 8
Just keep doing what you’re doing…he knows what you do, so he should understand that you can’t spend a lot. Once you’re married, your combined incomes will let you buy more expensive presents, if i you feel like you must. But as long as you continue to give him thougtful gifts, don’t worry about it so much!
Post # 9
@les105: I heard some people do “coupons” for “favors
Yes! I did that one valentines day… It was coupons for things I absolutely hated doing at the time- like frisbee, hiking (which I now love), arts n craft… things I always gave him a hard time about doing with them. He LOVED it and then he forgot about the coupons so I never had to do any of that stuff anyway, hahaha
Post # 10
I’m in the same boat that my husband makes significantly more than I do. Over the process of moving in together, getting engaged, and married we had several discussions about money and budgets. What came out of those discussions is that he respects that I am capable of living within my means, that now that we are married the expectation is that “living within our means” is our combined income.
Just remember to put a lot of thought into his gifts (like he does for you). Thoughtful gifts don’t have to mean $$$$.
Post # 11
Too true, the best gifts are those that say I see you and pay attention to what you love. The best gifts I have ever been given were not expensive. My guy – just bought fancy Christmas ornaments for our 1 year versary – I love Christmas.
He bought really ornate gold and red ornaments, they are x-mas my color scheme and something I would never buy myself 🙂 – I love them. He said every year he will get beautiful ornaments for the tree for our versary. I will see those 10 years from now and see he built this thing over the years for me. I’ll most likely get excited wondering what they will look like this year. 🙂 I’ll be like oh you remember that christmas when you got these ones? Romantic doesn’t mean expensive. To me that whole thing said I see my future with you, I know you and I love you. And thats just awesome! He relayed all of that for $8.00.
He doesn’t have a ton of money to buy crazy expensive gifts either. I see that and it doens’t matter to me. haha if the gift price tag was super important to your guy… wouldn’t you question that.
Don’t feel bad, it sounds like you got blessed with a wonderful understanding loving man who sees you and not your money. It sounds like he got blessed with a wonderful woman who wants to give him everything he could want.
Post # 12
Another vote for don’t let it bother you. Especially since you’re engaged! Start thinking about “our” instead of “yours” and “mine”. Then there’s not the big difference between you!
Post # 13
I hear ya! I’m a receptionist and my FI is an engineer making lots more money. To add to that, every dime I have goes to paying my bills and mostly my outrageous student loan for a degree that I am clearly not using.
My FI is the first guy I’ve ever dated that makes me feel like we’re a team and we’re equals, despite the gap in salaries. But I still always feel bad that I can’t afford to help out.
As long as your FI doesn’t give you a hard time about it (which it doesn’t seem like he does), I wouldn’t worry. I bet he LOVES being the bread winner and showering you with nice things. Meanwhile, I bet he loves receiving gifts from you that are more about thought than money — especially if he already has the money to buy what he wants, he is probably looking to get something creative and thoughtful that money can’t buy.
Post # 14
Hey, it’s okay. I’m also in education (school librarian) and my husband makes slightly more than 3 times my salary. We’ve never had an inequality in gifts though, because I have 5 siblings and 6 nieces and nephews and countless uncles, aunts, cousins…so long ago, we stopped exchanging christmas gifts. So now I just buy gifts for 2 people: my mom, and my husband. He buys gifts for everyone in his family still, so we probably end up spending the same amount total.
But honestly? In your situation? I would just enjoy it.
After you get married, you can opt to both put 50% of your respective pay checks into 1 account to pay bills and each use your other 50% to save/invest/spend as you see fit. That’s what we do. So he puts in more, but we put in the same percentage. Works for us.
Post # 15
We’re overseas and I took the only job I could get which happens to be PT. DH makes at least 6 times as much as me plus gets our housing paid for. I never even thought about it until I read your post and holy crap, he sooo makes more than me.
But it’s only temporary and I put ALL my salary into a savings for us. He (for some weird reason) thought I was spending it all and I told him the other night what we had and he was shocked….then showed me the savings the account HE has for US. We’ve still yet to combine finances but it’s on the “winter projects” list.
Post # 16
@Glasgowbound: I don’t work, so basically my FI is buying all the presents. I don’t know how crafty you are, but I get him presents by making them. I’ve made him cufflinks, mugs, little statues of his favorite cartoon characters, cage furniture for his geckos, etc. He also likes baked goods (like cinnamon rolls from scratch on Christmas morning). My FI wouldn’t want it any other way, he loves being our provider.