Post # 17
@sewn: Are you adding him to the mortgage when you refinance? Is the mortgage payment something that you can handle on your own while he’s making less money?
My SO and I are in the process of figuring this out, since he bought our condo and we just moved in together. Our income distribution is similar to yours except he’s the one making more. So what we’re doing is that he pays for the monthly maintenance bill (no mortgage) which includes cable/internet and parking, while I pay for the utilities and our fun stuff if we go out, like movies or drinks, plus our miscellaneous costs (for ex. I paid for the plumber to come fix our sink). It seems like your husband is thinking along similar lines because he volunteered to refinish the floors and do some other house fixing.
Also I think you mentioned that you’re the one with the school loans while he doesn’t have any. So what you could do is have him be in charge of joint savings. You pay off your loans each month, he has to save the equivalent amount or more for the both of you.
Post # 18
@sewn: DH & I kept separate bank accounts until we were married. When I was working he was making 5x as much as I was (working part time as a nannny). I paid all of my own bills (credit card, insurance, car payment, groceries and both of our cell phones.) He paid everything else. I moved into his house, currently its in his name only but after we have our first child next spring we are going to work on putting everything into a living trust to protect our estate and make sure our assets are protected, etc. DH is really good about looking at finances as “ours” – i think he probably has this perspective because his mom was a SAHW/M & didn’t work outside the home before or after children. Even though DH provides our income, we both generally check in with eachother before spending large amounts of money ($200+) on things that aren’t normal household items (i.e. I bought a dyson bladeless fan last week it was $250, I talked to DH before making the purchase because it wasn’t necessary but more or a luxury item.)
I’m sure if you and DH have an open conversation about how you each see the finances working out you’ll be able to come to a good arrangement. I know couples who maintain separate finances & others who make them joint, there is no right answer, just what works best for you.
Post # 19
I also disagree with the percentage rule, but only because I don’t believe in “my money” and “his money”
Especially if you’re going to join accounts, does it really matter who pays what?
My name is on the mortgage, but we call it “our” house. Both of our paychecks go into the same account and we don’t keep track of whose money pays what bill. The only time we discuss things like that is if one of us is planning to spend a significant amount of money (more than $100) so that we can make sure we agree on it.
But for bills and regular payments (groceries, etc), we don’t worry about who has made what money.
When we were dating, DH made significantly more money than me and helped me out quite a few times. At the moment, I make significantly more money than DH. But he does significantly more chores and housework than I do.
In the end, I figure it all evens out. If we started figuring out exactly who makes how much of the income, it’d be a MAJOR blow to his ego. As long as we’re surviving, I’ll continue to go with the flow.
Post # 20
@sewn: I owned my home before my husband moved in. He is older than me, currently unemployed but with more savings than me in the bank. I can afford everything on my own but I told him before we got married that we would need to split everything in half, that the percentages thing just didn’t agree with me. He agreed so that is how we do things–everything split in half. I feel like resentment is less likely to breed in this way and it will motivate him even more to get a job.
Post # 21
We did the percentage pay thing for a while before be were married and it did its job for a while but eventually i just didn’t really feel like we were a team…. everything was separate. who’s paying for this, you owe me money, thats my money… bitch bitch bitch. We were both guilty of it. The smartest thing we ever did financially and for our relationship was to fully combine all our money. i make more then he does… big whoop…. we just think about what we have TOGETHER and thats all that matters. he works and i work… so what if one person happens to get a higher paycheck. Everything gets paid from OUR account – We make up a budget every month and plan what we are spending etc… if one of us wants to buy something we consult each other and the budget… period. We have a financial plan now. we have goals. but most importantly we are a team and regardless of what happens- it our money and we both suffer together or win together. Best part is… its carried over into every other part of our relationship as well. We fight less because we feel like we’re on the same team now… we win together or lose together.
Post # 22
I make more than my husband as well and we both contribute the same amount of money into our joint account to cover the household expenses (mortagega utilities etc.) I contribute more money to savings because I am more into saving than he is. I also pay for the groceries but he pays whenever we go out. So I feel that at the end of the day it balances out. Good luck!
Post # 23
@Jewelieee: I like the idea of having him manage the savings! Especially since he’s a better saver than me. We started discussing this. If we go by percentages based on income, his contribution of mortgage and utilities is what I would like us to be saving monthly for vacation and emergency funds. Since I can manage the household expenses on my salary (and did before he moved in), he is going to be responsible for our savings. We want to try and live on my salary, save his and then he can also buy a car (his is an old beater that’s costing more in repairs and gas than a new-to-us vehicle).
The reason I tend to like percentages for now, is because my current lifestyle is more expensive than his. I would eventually like us to merge our accounts fully, but in a few months to a year while we make adjustments. I also expect that in two years we will make the same.
Thank you for all the feedback. I got a lot of good ideas from here on how to manage finances. I think there is no wrong answer. Just different things that work for different couples.
My dad used to pay all the bills outside of the mortgage. My mom paid the mortgage and large expenditures.
So, I’ve seen it all kinds of ways.
Post # 24
@Kate0558: We’ve started working on our joint budget too. I’m just BLOWN AWAY by how much he spends on food. And, I don’t mean dining out.
Post # 25
@ThePrincessBride10612: Yes. We will merge at some point. I forgot to add that he is taking his first ‘real’ job now. And, hasn’t had a regular income previously. It’s one reason I lean to percentages for now, so he can get used to budgeting and adjusting to a regular income.
Post # 26
@sewn: Yes, whatever works for you as a couple! I’m also the one who likes a more expensive lifestyle. When we sat down to write down our “fun stuff” categories, his idea of fun was saving. Ugh! So we decided that I’m responsible for budgeting/saving for things like fine dining and travel for both of us. So for example, after I pay off my loans, I have X amount for the month for utilities, our entertainment, shopping, travel, and dining. As long as I don’t go over the amount, I get to allocate and prioritize how to spend it. I can set aside $50 – $100/mo for a nice restaurant, $300/mo for travel (and maybe we can take a vacation after 6 mos), etc. If I shop too much, that means less money to set aside for the future vacation.
Post # 28
I sold my house and moved into H’s already owned home. I had my name added to his house title. Only a new mortgage could get my name on the mortgage as well. Since he refinanced just 3 years prior, that was not an option.
While I was closing on my former home, the title guy just did the paperwork right there to get me on H’s title (H had to come in of course). I don’t think we were charged for it, nor do I know if this usually costs month.
Then also we need to get a living will. A will can say the house goes to the surviving spouse, and that’s what putting your name on the title does. Joint tenancy. However, if your spouse is incapacitated, but still living, it takes a lot of work to be able to switch over mortgages and names if the person is alive but unable to consent. That’s where the living will comes in to make things easy.
As for money – we just put all our money in one pot and the bills get paid from that pot. No divvying. H even makes 2x more than me. It’s just all of our money.
Post # 29
We’re older and our sysem works for us – we each have our own bank accounts, but we went into this marriage with the shared commitment to just make sure that each of us does whatever we can, finance-wise, to support our lives together.
We don’t do percentages or anything like that. I’m employed and he’s retired and on Social Security. We own our home together and he does all the maintenance and tends the garden and trees on our 3/4-acre of land. We always have papayas, passionfruit, coconuts and garden-fresh vegetables – and mangos, avocados and grapefruits when those trees are going off. He also grows flowers and makes sure there is always a fresh bouquet in the house.
I pay most of the basic bills, but because my income goes up and down a lot, he pitches in when we need a bit more to cover the mortgage or unexpected costs. He buys most of the groceries (and is a GREAT cook!) Otherwise, whatever he has left over goes into a savings/retirement account we share – there’s not a lot there, but it feels good to have it.
In our 3+ years together, we’ve not had one single argument over money.