Post # 1
Just wondering if anyone else is like us. I make significantly more than my boyfriend – I’m self-employed so money is all over the place, whereas he has a lesser paying but more steady job that just covers bills. Which I think will be great when we’re married, but not so great right now! We don’t yet share finances, so I can’t just say ‘what’s mine is yours’ quite yet. He has quite a bit of student debt that he’s trying really hard to get rid of (I’m paying my way through school as I go) in addition to his other expenses, so his disposable income is non-existant and often in the red. I try to make up for it by paying for most of our eating out, any activities we do, gas for his car, etc but I know it makes him feel like he’s not providing for me when I pay for a meal. We had a big discussion today and I felt terrible afterwards – I put a lot of pressure on him over Christmas because he didn’t take any time off, but he didn’t want to tell me that was because he couldn’t afford to not take time off. I felt soo bad after, I didn’t realize the pressure he’s under. Anyone else in this sort of situation? Know how to remedy it without making him feel smaller? 🙁
Post # 3
@rex-tographer: we have a similar situation…FI went back to nursing school, but even when he was working, I made more money than him. This became apparent in college when we chose our majors and so I asked him then if it bothered him that I made more money than him. He didn’t have a problem with it. Fast forward to our adult lives and me wanting to take vacations and fancy dates, etc. At first he wasn’t happy about not being able to contribute (I also take care of the bulk of our living expenses) but I explained to him that I want to spend the money on us, because I want to have these experiences together – now, rather than later. And moreover, one day he will have the means to contribute and take care of me/us (and I am very much looking forward to it haha!) so to let me help him now.
Hope that helps! I know it must be very hard for him (and your BF) to let someone take care of them. I think it would be hard for me if it was the other way around. Whenever he gets down about it, I just remind him that he takes care of me in so many other non-monetary ways.
Post # 4
I don’t make more than he does but I actually bring home more than he does…bec he contributes A LOT to his 401k. He jokes that he gets to spend all my money instead of it being the other way around. It doesnt bother either of us.
Post # 5
I currently make less than fi, but for the first 3 years, I made considerably more.
It somewhat bothered him, and he was much happier when he felt he could “provide” better for us when he got a better job.
Post # 6
Thanks guys — it’s sort of nice to know I’m not the only one.
I feel like I should be happy that I’m getting ahead, but I always just feel bad that I’m more ahead – which is about the most ridiculous thing I can even think of, because who feels bad that they’re doing well?! I know that once we’re married it’ll be fine, and his regular, steady income will be a blessing if anything were to happen to me or if I needed to take time off – it’s just a huge killjoy now!
Post # 7
@rex-tographer: Honestly it sounds like the problem isn’t because hes a man and more because you have so much money with no care in the world and he’s struggling to make ends meet. Its hard to be in a relationship with someone whos floating in money constantly and your too broke to even pay the bills let alone do all this expensive stuff they want to do. Anyone in that situation would feel like a failure…. male or female.
we had a similar problem when we were still living at home. DH paid for EVERYTHING. I NEVER took him out. EVER. I couldn’t afford to. He’s buying thousand dollar toys just for fun and i’m borrowing money from my mom to put gas in my car. I still look at him like he’s spoiled rotten. Ofcourse now i make more then him but I have student loans so that cancels it out really. He still acts like he’s floating in cash when he’s not. I still act like i’m broke when i’m not. I only started earning a good amount more after the wedding though so it all just goes into one account we don’t really care who’s name is on the paycheck.
Post # 8
@Kate0558: I know, I know. It’s definitely one of our only (but biggest) issues. It’s a weird situation, for a long time I was really broke, when we met he was the guy who seemed to have it all together… and it’s only the last 6 months or so that it changed. His student loan payments started coming out the same time he bought a new car, the same time my business really took off. And it was just a lot at once. I’m saving a lot, and trying not to make a big deal of it, but both of us don’t really know how to deal with this change in financial situation.
Post # 9
@rex-tographer: FH makes more than me, but if he didn’t I know e wouldn’t have a problem with it. I could never be with someone who has this sexist obsession with ‘providing’ for me – I can provide for myself, thanks. What can I say? I like being respected as an independant adult.
Post # 10
I did for a while. I had scholarship money that paid out monthly plus other income while he wasn’t working with student loans. I paid off his loans as soon as they started charging interest, we didn’t have joint finances because it was before we were married. Now he has a salary and my scholarships are done.
Either situation hasn’t bothered us, but we would like to be in a position where we are both making good money!
Post # 11
Right now I’m making probably 3 times his income because I have a generous federal scholarship and he went back to college and has litterally no income except a few contracts he still does as freelance here and there when he has time (like during the Summer or Holidays). I don’t think it’s an issue between us, it is a little tiny one for me because I want to think about the future, and I think I definitely should pay more now so he doesn’t get too much student debts. But I also don’t like seeing my own student debts, and my scholarships ends in August 2014. If he had a bigger income, even only a few K more a year, that would allow me to significantly reduce my own debt. I really don’t know which one to choose … pay off mine and let him cumulate debts, or neutralize his debts by paying more (which will benefit us both in the future), but having more debts myself in September 2014 which will absolutely bother me and I’m not in the field with the best incomes either to begin with.
I am really looking forward to him being done with his bachelor, as he will probably make twice my income when we both work. Although my FI doesn’t mind if I have more money right now, I can tell it bothers him not to be able to ”provide” for me (read spoil me) as much as he’d like to. I think we’re fine even though we’re kinda poor right now, but I’m sure he’ll be very happy to have a job in his field and to have the highest income later. He loves to work and he loves his field, me on the other hand … I am scared I will not like my field anymore once I start to work. :S
Post # 12
@rex-tographer: I do, but it’s not so significant that I feel like I truly “support” him. It doesn’t bother him. We split all the house costs evenly so I basically have more spending money, but once we’re married it’s all going to one account and then I’ll still be budgeting for more spending money than him (because my personal upkeep costs more than his hahaha). The way I see it money will probably ebb and flow thruout our lives and no matter who makes more at the time we still need to stay afloat together.
Post # 13
I make more. Sometimes it has been a problem, but I also think I have done things to emasculate him that I shouldn’t have, sometimes I realized it sometimes I didn’t. In general though it’s not so much that I make more money, it’s that we are at different places in our careers.
Post # 14
@rex-tographer: I make more than my FI, but I have way more expenses (he lives at home for free) so it feels like he makes more. He lived at home through university too so he had substantially less debt than I do, although my debt isn’t really that much compared to most people. It doesn’t bother him that I make more (and probably always will, not by a gigantic margin though). He likes it! We’re going to be combining finances eventually anyway so it doesn’t matter. My mom makes more than my dad and it doesn’t bother him at all either.
Post # 15
I completely financially support my husband right now. Rent, food, etc. I am a teacher and don’t make all that much, and he is a grad student with basically no income to speak of. We’re both fine with this, even thought things are tight! But what I mean is, we are fine in the sense that no one’s ego is being offended, and no one is having an existential crisis over reversal of gender roles, lol. I mean seriously, what century do we live in?
And anyway, when we became married it became OUR money. I have no pre-existing debts (rather I had savings!), but he has a lot of student debt that we will be paying of together, because now they are OUR debt. Which sucks a bit, but I am really stongly against the idea of “yours” and “mine” in marriage, personally.
Post # 16
I make twice as much as my fiance. We live together and split responsibilities to the household. We’ve made a system that is percentage based, so that we both have some disposable income leftover and are able to make all of our obligations.