(Closed) How to divide finances in long-distance marriage with disparate salaries?

posted 6 years ago in Money
Post # 3
Member
598 posts
Busy bee

Yep, my Fiance is making well over double what I do. I understand your concerns but IMO, his money is not yours until you’re married (legal or common law, whatever floats your boat) so you shouldn’t claim so much. I think it’s fine to take as much as you feel you need to survive. However I don’t think 50/50 is really fair when he’s making most and you’re not married. Sorry, this might not be popular. If need be, my Fiance will pay for parts of my tuition (I don’t qualify for a student loan), but I would never take his money to save up for a car.

Post # 4
Member
3126 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: December 2017

@BrookeBQ:  agreed. 

If I were in this situation, I would continue to do things the way your Fiance wants while you are engaged. Then, while you are married but still in a LDR, I would switch over to your plan which, to me, makes complete sense for a married couple. 

Post # 6
Member
3968 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

I was under the impression she is talking about arrangements for AFTER the wedding: We don’t want to keep totally separate accounts in the long term, but for the duration of the LDR it makes most sense to segregate the finances.

Post # 7
Member
674 posts
Busy bee

I see the logic in most of your plan, but I do agree with others that you probably need to come to another agreement other than 50/50. It makes him unhappy, and it is his money. You are marrying him, but he’s still doing the work to earn the money. Do the math with other divisions and see if those make him happy. I think some moves are smart like paying what you can of living expenses and tuition so you don’t have to worry about more loans, but taking some of his fun money just to save up for a car which you obviously live just fine without at the moment? Eh, I’m not quite so sympathetic to that.

If you take away all of his luxuries that he’s worked hard to earn, then you’re basically asking him to sit at home and do nothing while you’re busy with school. The guy has earned the right to indulge, give him some more wiggle room to do it.

Also, once you’re out of school and have a decent job, spend a paycheck to do something really indulgent for him. He may already enjoy more luxuries at the moment, but make an effort to show him that you appreciate what he did give up to support you.

Post # 8
Member
1750 posts
Buzzing bee

@philodendron:  Its his money. he earns it. I would let him enjoy himself until you actually lived together. I think its fair for him to help you but to ask him to support your education and buy you a car is a bit much. I think you should be able to support yourself and he can help you along the way. Asking him to give up what he enjoys with his extra money to support you seems unreasonable.

Post # 11
Member
2 posts
Wannabee
  • Wedding: May 2005

i think its reasonable

Post # 12
Member
1750 posts
Buzzing bee

@philodendron:  Yes, I think being a stay at home mom is different than your example considering you don’t live together. You said your fiancee was balking because he was uncomfortable with it. I agree I would be uncomfortable too.

Post # 13
Member
134 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: January 2011

We were married last year and are still LDR (until he gets his visa). We agreed that we’d simply maintain seperate households, as we had always done. He pays for his expenses, I pay for mine, just as we did before we were married.

Now, if something comes up that one or the other thinks should be a joint expense, we discuss it, and send money between us if needed. For instance, we discussed my need for a new computer, and he sent me half the purchase price. He needed an MRI, I send him half the cost. I know if I feel I need help, I can ask him, and vice versa.

Once he is in the States, we will combine finances, but for now, this is just much easier.

Post # 14
Member
220 posts
Helper bee

I think once you’re married, finances should be split (if they are going to be split at all) in such a way that the priority is meeting each person’s needs rather than “fairness.”  If he has a problem with the fact that you are contributing less financially at this point, that is probably the symptom of a deeper issue that should be explored more, possibly with a counselor.  

On the other hand, being a student does entail some “luxuries” of its own (like the flexibility to mostly determine your own hours, learn about what you love, and the amentities of a college campus) that people working traditional jobs don’t get.  I could see an argument for him wanting more dinners out or entertainment money since there tends to be a lot of free and cheap entertainment available on university campuses.  I know for me, I could live an equally enjoyable life on probably a tenth of the disposable income as a student than I can in the “real world”

Post # 15
Member
3968 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

I don’t mean to second guess your choice to get married, since I don’t know your situation being apart, I can’t speak to it, but is there a specific reason why you want to get married now (visa issues, etc etc) rather than waiting until you’re together? I’m in a LDR at the moment, and I totally understand how much it sucks to wait, not only to BE with the person, but to marry them! For me personally (I don’t expect this to be everyone’s idea of marriage) I would not want to start the first year(s) of my marriage apart. Finances aside, I guess I just trying to understand why getting married now is top priority if you’ll be separate for years, and this might give weight to what other bees suggest for your financing. Just a thought <3

Post # 16
Member
1627 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2012

I 100% agree on combining finances, etc. once engaged or married.  When it comes to finances, I think if you’re engaged then it’s kind of the same thing as being married (otherwise why else get engaged?).  However, to me, with one partner being a student and one person working and making a considerable amount of money makes things a little tricky.  I would have a hard time taking money from my Fiance for anything in that situation (b/c of the situation); however if I were the one making the money I would have no problem giving it to Fiance.  In the end maybe you can work out something that is not so 50/50 at this point with Fiance, but still allows you to have some more money for your necesseties, but doesn’t cut his down so much.  It might be a nice transition for you guys (him especially) to jointly combining finances since I imagine once you graduate you still will be making less than him, at least at first?

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