Post # 1
- Wedding: October 2014 - The Loft Reception Center
We were married on October 18th (YAY!!!) and things have been great so far, but we are now getting into the realm of finances. We have always been very open with each other about our financial situations (I have always known about his student loans ect.), but things seem a lot harder than they should be. One of the main issues is our salary discrepency, he makes almost $20,000 a year than me. We bought a house together a few months before the wedding and he’s been paying all of the bill while I put most of my income towards the wedding. Now that all that is over though, we are working on furnishing the house and my contribution to the household money-wise is still pretty low. I think he expected me to be able to help a lot more and is a little frustrated. While we’re not in strife over our finances, things are definently tight. Do any bees have any recommendations on combining finances when there is a large salary gap?
Post # 2
My fiance makes about 6 times more than me but we treat our money as fully joint. Neither of us has more money than the other, and he has never treated me as unequal. We just built a house together and it is our house even though he pays the majority of the bills.
Honestly I find it weird to have seperate money when hopefully a s a married couple you are working towards the same goals.
He actually is the one that encourages everything being joint even though I make so much less.
Post # 3
bridegirl007: I think if you combine finances you have to get past the “who makes more” stuff. To me combining finances means that all money that we both make is OURS, it doesn’t matter who made what.
But I know that some couples like to have shared and individual money- so you could consider having a combined account and separate accounts. You could both contribute to the combined amount based on percentage of income instead of total contribution (so you could each put in 30% of each paycheck, or whatever works). That way it’s proportional, and you can each still have your “own” money.
Post # 4
Not married yet, but we have talked it about it because of all the threads on here, lol.
We are going to have a joint account where all the money goes – savings will be drafted from here, bills, joint expenses, etc. Then have our own separate accounts for play things – not based off a percentage of individual income, but like oh $500 a month each. So I can buy shoes and he can buy video games without having to justify it.
Post # 5
- Wedding: October 2014 - The Loft Reception Center
memorieslff: That sounds like an awesome plan because to be honest I’m a little nervous about just handing everything over. It’s not that I don’t trust him or anything (in fact I trust him with money as much I trust myself lol) but I’ve taken care of my own finances for all these years so letting someone else in is a hard move.
Post # 6
I agree about money being combined. That way there’s no “your” money and “my” money. It’s all going towards the same thing anyway!
Post # 7
I agree with PPs that if you truly want to be on the same page about finances and make it something that you don’t constantly argue over, then you definitely have to stop worrying about who makes more. FI and I plan to completely combine our finances after marriage. (We already coordinate all our bills, expenses, and savings together, but after I get my name changed it will be easier to open our joint accounts). In our experiences, the income is just a number we use for budget purposes. We add it together and then allocate it after that. A certain % goes to the apartment rent, a certain % goes to our emergency fund, a certain % goes to long-term savings for something like a house, and then of course we have budgets for weekly expenses and we allocate money for fun spending. It definitely is a mindset that takes adjusting to, but if you’ve taken care of your own finances for years and don’t want to give up that control, then don’t! There is no reason that you and your husband shouldn’t both be completely and equally involved in the finance and budget decisions. I know a lot of people like to set aside money for each person to spend however they want with no restrictions or needs to validate it, but FI and I discuss any non-daily purchases with each other first. It helps us both stay involved since otherwise he would just let me handle everything, and it’s been a great way to practice compromise. Here’s an example: If he wants to buy a new part for his computer and it’s going to cost $150, then we talk it out. Say I haven’t made a large purchase like that in a while, and he just recently bought speakers that were also a decent expense, then I encourage him to wait on the new purchase. We set a timeline for when he should buy it and what he should try to save up by that time. We do the same thing for my big purchases.
Post # 8
bridegirl007: We have almost the same setup as memorieslff, but without the separate accounts for spending. We did sit down together and used Mint to set up our budget; what all of our combined income is, and all of our combined expenses. And then we have $500 for “fun money” to spend together, plus $250 “fun money” to each spend independently. It works out great for us, and we both look at it as equals.
In terms of income, I technically have a larger take-home salary than he does, but he has really great benefits, and we’re a team, so in the end it doesn’t really matter.
Post # 9
bridegirl007: We’re working our way towards a yours, mine, and ours system.
Our paychecks will go into our joint account (which used to be my personal one, we just added him on). Currently just my paycheck goes there and most of the main joint expenditures come out of there.
He’ll get a stipend to go to his personal account each month, and I’ll have a stipend on a personal account each month. These are accounts where we don’t have to justify our spending to our spouse because they only benefit us (clothes, hobbies, gifts for each other, etc). We make different incomes, and the stipends would be equal rather than in relation to our incomes.
We’re still working everything over, but this is our longterm plan for dealing with our finances and it will continue to work that way even if we become a single-income household in the future.
Post # 10
bridegirl007: I feel your pain. DH makes considesbly more than me. I have a higher trajectory, but there’s a pretty big gap right now. Like 3 times your gap. Oh, and I am the one with student loans and he had the down payment for the house and 6 months living expenses in the bank. It made me feel fantastic about my job.
Our solution was to consolidate all finances completely. It wasn’t my money or his money, but our money. We worked together to figure out the right blend of savings and spending and view our marriage as a united front to manage a household.
We have separate credit cards and I normally get groceries and Amazon orders. He pays for meals out and manages the HSA. This approach helps us with chores and other aspects around the house– if I have to work late, he starts dinner or goes grocery shopping. If he’s out late, I do more work.
We also check each other’s spending in the “do you really need to buy X?” kind of way. He buys fewer lunches (I make his) and I cut back on Starbucks. However, even though we check each other, we never judge. Just question. Even when I had a $9000 credit card bill (it was for a new HVAC system and DH thought I wrote a check, not charged it).
We don’t have spending accounts or allowances. If I want to spend money, I do. If iIthaca expensive, I inform him. But it is always a FYI,not permission.
Post # 11
bridegirl007: we combined finances before we were married. I had more in savings, and brought in more when we combined.
It works for us- because I know that my husband gives everything he can toward our finances- and he isn’t a big spender, either. As long as each person is OK with how the other spends money, and talk about larger purchases beforehand, I see no reason why a couple- even with an income discrepency shouldn’t fully combine finances. It almost doesn’t make sense to me to get married and not do it– although I know plenty of couple choose not to.
After reading many stories on the Bee, and hearing from my real life friends– I have learned that the only couples who seem to be happy with separate finances while married- are the ones where they each make more than enough money to not even worry about. The ones who have larger income gaps, and don’t make significantly more than living expenses– it’s like the one who makes more isn’t supporting the lower income spouse– which isn’t a good marriage, IMO.
Post # 12
It’s all joint in our minds. I’m not just handing everything over, as we both have equal access. We both have some money in accounts that aren’t joint, but we try to keep this fairly equal, and we know about all the accounts.
Post # 13
bridegirl007: My FI and I combined finances – he hates looking at monthly statements and would rather me oversee it. I do have a relative, her husband makes roughly 60% more than she does, and they split up expenses somewhat proportionally to their incomes with a monthly contribution to savings.
He pays for: mortgage, property tax, auto/home insurance.
She pays for: my cousin’s private schooling, the utilities, and groceries.
It’s not PERFECT, but it’s kinda proportionate to their incomes. It does let them choose how they use their money (ie savings). Sometimes it’s not about “whose” money it is and about keeping each other financially responsible instead.
Post # 14
What’s his is yours, and what’s yours is his… That is, if your finances are truly joint. Surely he knew he made more than you when you guys started on the house and wedding.
I really only have my parents to look to when it comes to joint finances, but my Dad makes 5-6x as much as my Mom does. She also didn’t work for the first ten years of my life to take care of my brother and me. It has literally never been an issue. He’s the breadwinner, but it is their money. They both buy whatever they want, but generally won’t buy anything above about $300 without at least running it past the other person (My parents are HUGE savers and have always been pretty frugal, despite the money my Dad makes).
Basically, if your finances are truly joint, it should be a non-issue.
Also… 20k really isn’t much of a salary gap! 🙂
Post # 15
bridegirl007: I really believe that finances should be combined completely when you are married and that you shouldn’t have to keep track of who makes more. FI and I already share all of our finances and we are joint on a couple credit cards. We don’t have separate accounts for spending money, that feels a little too much like “allowance” to me, plus we make most of our purchases on a credit card, so having separate cash would not really make sense for us as we pay the cc from the same account. We do consult each other about larger purchases, like anything over $50 or so, depending on what it is.