Post # 1
Let me start off by saying that I am not even engaged yet – I spend most of my time on the “waiting” boards. 🙂 However, I do know that it’s coming soon.
One source of stress on our relationship has always been money – in that I make almost double what my SO does. I made it clear to him from the beginning that I don’t care about money – I would never be with someone just because they had it and I would never leave someone just because they didn’t. Over the course of the past 2 years I’ve somehow managed to get around his pride a little and he doesn’t really argue or get upset when I offer to pay for things or buy him little things that he needs.
At first, it was a HUGE relief that we finally started to make progress. I explained to him that it’s WE not “I” and “I” and he seems to be closer and closer to totalling getting on board.
Well, now I’m starting to feel weird about it. He is not using me or abusing my offer by any means, but sometimes I feel myself getting irritated if he assumes I’m going to pay when we go out to dinner or asks if he can borrow money until the end of the week.
So my question to any of you who make more than your other half – was it hard for you to let go of the “its my money” thing? I love, love, love this man and want to share my entire life (including finances) with him – I’m just finding it hard at times and I’m not quite sure why…and I feel so guilty about it!
Post # 3
Actually we still maintain separate checking accounts and have a joint savings account. We split up household bills. I buy everything for the cat sanctuary and take care of my own needs. I am a generous gift-giver. He does not seem to mind that I make more money than him.
Post # 4
It is tough at times and sometimes I feel entitled to things b/c I do make more (about 4X my husband) BUT prior to marriage we split most things…. I guess I didn’t live an extravagent life style so it was on par with what he would be doing. If **I** wanted a fancy dinner out, I would pick it up, b/c ultimately my husband wouldn’t have been going if it weren’t for me.
It got easier in marriage. We combined finances so it really is “our” money, and while he might make less he still gives 100%.
Post # 5
We have a joint account, and we are expected to put half of what we make in that account. That helps because its a percentage, so it kindaof evens out? It made the most sense for us.
I make more money, but I also spend more money! lol! Nights out together we use the joint…
Post # 6
I make significantly more money than my DH but neither one of us has really given it much thought. I tend to spend more and he is more of a saver so before we joined our finances we never really felt a difference in our personal finances. Sometimes he would pay for things and sometimes I would. But it never felt like I was treating him or helping him out. We were just both contributing to the relationship.
Now we’ve combined all our money so everything we both make is ours. It was a pretty easy transition for both of us. I guess we’ve thought about the money being “ours” for a while.
Post # 7
We all want to think we are so enlightened and that it doesn’t matter if the woman makes more money than the man. But I think that idea not completely died. His pride might be more hurt than he is letting on.
That said, my husband makes probably 3 times what I do (I know, he’s the guy) and it’s just understood that he pays when we go out to dinner. I’ll pay for a movie or the popcorn because that’s what I can contribute. Also, I never ask him for cash because I budget my tiny salary in case I need my hair done or whatever.
So, I can see why you are irritated that’s he hitting you up for money. He should be able to manage his own funds, no matter what. Definitely a talk is in order to spell out the expectations of the financial arrangement.
Post # 8
I make twice as much as my FH, and although his pride can take a hit sometimes, we manage. I let him know that his debt needs to be handled within the next year or two. I have student loans and he has credit card debt, but his debt hit his credit score much worse. When we first started dating, he was intimidated, but now we don’t have many issues. He believes that when we go out, he pays because he is way more traditional than I am and he still wants to be the “man” in the relationship. We split the household bills and we have our own accounts. When we get married we will share a joint checking and a joint savings, but keep our own accounts for personal spending. To us, that’s the easiest way to go. We’re not taking out any credit cards together until his debt is paid off.
Now about your FH hitting you up for money, nip that in the bud now. Both of you are adults and he should be able to manage his own funds. Buying little things here and there are okay, but if it’s constant then it needs to stop. I don’t want to sound rude, but make sure that your FH isn’t getting too “comfortable” for the lack of a better word. Treating him or picking up the bill sometimes is okay, but it should not be an expectation. Plan date nights on a budget so either of you can pick up the tab.
Post # 9
I literally make 6 times more than my FI, and in all honesty, it is a touchy subject. Between his own pride being hurt, and me being exhausted from working so hard my whole life to get where I am…it’s draining. I actually have a degenerative disease which, in all likelyhood, is going to stop me from working at some point….and that’s where I just get scared out of my mind…
But, I think once you get married, and if you guys decide to have one pot of money, that things will be easier. You need to both look at it like “your” money, and not either one of yours.
Post # 10
I don’t make 3X or even 2X as much money as he does, but I do make a noticeable amount more (and I’m salaried and he’s paid hourly, but that’s a whole ‘nother story). It was awkward in the beginning for the opposite reason – he wouldn’t let me pay for ANYTHING because “he’s the man”. Once he started letting me contribute we (I) realized it was easier for me to use my credit card when we were out. Now he just gives me more than half of the expected grocery money, plus some extra, and I pay for everything with my card. His contribution usually covers ALL the groceries and dates though 😛
Once we’re married we’ll combine all our money so it won’t really matter any more 🙂
Sidenote: It DID bother him a lot in the beginning that I made more money annually (and in the interest of total honesty…it bothered me too). About 7 months in to us dating he started working SERIOUS overtime to get the extra pay…and it almost looks like he might actually make more than me this year.
Post # 11
@KatyInWaiting: That sucks you feel that way sometimes. It’s almost like a “be careful what you wish for.” All I can say is to try to be open about how you’re feeling at the moment. If you let it fester, it’s not going to be pretty when it blows up.
As for me, it’s not hard to do this “his” and “her” money thing. We’ve discussed it early on so it helps. For instance, I’m in LA and he’s in NY so whenever he’s here to visit, I pay and vice versa. And when we get married, we agreed to have separate accounts for the things we want ourselves but a joint account for household items.
Post # 12
I make more than FH makes but it’s never been an issue for us. We use the same account and my or his money is our money.
I’ve never had a problem with it and as far as I know he doesn’t either.
Post # 13
When DH and I met, I made about 5x what he made. As our finances merged, there was no issue, b/c even though he didn’t make much, I wasn’t all of the sudden living on less b/c he made enough to cover his own cost of living. I don’t think I would have been as happy if I felt like sugar momma. DH worked part time and took care of all of the domestic stuff that I don’t like to do. I loved it.
When that job ended for him, he decided to just “work on the house” for a while, and we started not getting along. Partly it was that he was around the house too much and accomplishing too little, but also, I didn’t like reducing my standard of living to support him.
As time went by, he ended up working full time at a different job, and I was jobless/part time for a while so the tables turned. I HATED making way less than him. He never begrudged me any of the money, but when I was earning it myself, I felt like I had more of a right to spend it frivolously for my own wishes as opposed to worrying about what was best and fair for the team.
Now he makes about 2x more than me and I have not problem spending his money…lol. Actually we’re both FT with good salaries so the difference feels like less big of a deal than it did when we were living closer to the limit of our means.
Post # 14
I will always kind of hate this coversation because I dont understand it I guess. I make at least twice what fiance does. Our money has been combined since we moved in together 5 years ago. What I have he has and vice versa. So the answer is no. He is a part of me and I NEVER think of it as “that is my money”. Has never even gone through my head. And money is an issue for us too… but we work on everything together nothing in our lives is just “me” or “him” I think that is what good relationships and marriges are. Two people joining there lives completely.
Post # 15
@KatyInWaiting:I’m curious how you plan to combine your finances when you are married? On the surface you may be saying it’s both your money but in reality, when you have completely separate accounts, your money can still feel as your own and you feel more who pays for what.
I think there are two most common ways to have joint finances and my thoughts on how those make feel:
- 100% combined. That is, no accounts that are separate and direct deposits go into same account. The only exception to this might be a separate business account or if you have allowances, separate accounts so your allowance doesn’t have to be cash, etc…Maybe school loans but overall, the point is completely combined.
- IMHO, this one makes you feel the most that it’s all both of your money. This one works if you are on the same page about how to spend the money and are respectful of what each other wants to buy or agree on the $limit before it has to have both seals of approval.
- Separate accounts except for 1 joint expense account. This works by splitting the bills based on a percentage of what you earn. (bills can include the house pre-marriage credit card bills, current credit card bills, etc…) Even when you go out to dinner, you would pay out of this account and then both would transfer their half into the joint account from their personal.
- This one works if you may fight about money or how it’s spent/saved, etc… or need to keep it separate for some reason. The one would keep his expenses smaller so you don’t need to float him for the week. IMHO, this one is a good compromise from all or none. I still feel that it makes your money feel like it’s your own though. I’ve seen many couples go this route, some more extreme than others. I have a cousin who had to stand in a 15 min line his wife just stood in for a coke because their money was so separate. I had a coworker tell her husband he needed to start giving her gas money because they always take her car. Some ways around that though would be to consider those joint expenses.
TL;DR – You will likely feel it’s combined when it actually is. When it’s still separate, it’s still separate no matter what you say.
Post # 16
See, I was worried that it would sound like he was “hitting me up for money.” That’s totally not the case – he needed cash for something (he usually uses his debit card for everything) and I happened to have cash on me. If the situation was reversed, he would have done the same thing for me.
I think I just have fleeting moments of “I made the money so it’s mine” and then immediately feel guilty for thinking it. I could never say anything to him, because it has taken so long for him to even accept the idea that he would be the one in the relationship who makes less.