(Closed) Spouse help pay half of the mortgage

posted 8 years ago in Money
Post # 3
1212 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

I’m not sure I can help you. I tend to think a married couple is a team and finances are joint. 

What you’re proposing doesn’t seem fair to me. A slightly more fair way would be for each of you to allocate a percentage of your income to a joint household pool of money that gets used for mutal expenses. This way if one of you earns significantly less than the other, it won’t be as difficult for that person to pay his or her share. 

Post # 5
1212 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

View original reply
@urbanmyth2004:  Originally we were planning on using the arrangement I suggested above, but in the end it just seemed easier to completely pool our money.

Before we did though, we had some serious talks about our expectations and worries about pooling our money. I was worried that he would be upset any time I spent money, and he was worried that I would buy unnecessary things even if we couldn’t afford them. By talking through these things, we were able to work them out. 

It also helps that we are compatible, money-wise. We are both savers rather than borrowers and I like to be on top of our finances while he is happy to let me do all the budgeting and bill paying. 

You and your fiancee should have a frank discussion about expectations and personality when it comes to money. I’m guessing that your differences there are causing your arguments. 

Post # 6
9164 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

Whilst I don’t tink what you are proposing is unfair (my husband and I spilt household costs 50/50) I agree with

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@Lemma:  that you guys need to talk about money matters. That both of you need to put forward your individual stance on how finances are handled within a marriage.

If your wife has been raised in a society where males are expected to take care of their wives and wives essentially stay at home and raise kids and keep house then you may never be compatiable on that front. Both of your opinions and expectations count. Though I do think she is bring childish by saing she would take advantage of others in order not to contribute. She needs to compromise as well!

But what is more of a concern for me is that it sounds like you are doubting the intention of the marriage and that you think you will be taken advantage of. If you really do feel this way then maybe the marriage isn’t for you.

Post # 7
9050 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2010

There’s no “you pay, I pay” in my marriage. We save my entire salary (in a joint savings account, it’s just for ease of banking that my pay is direct deposited to our savings and his to chequing) and his pays for everything else. We each have a budget that we stick to for most variable expenses and have an “allowance” for money we dont have to account for (for guilty indulgences or buying surprise gifts) and discuss it if one of us needs more money for something in particular That doesnt fit neatly into a budget category. 

I would say this is something you should have discussed prior to her moving here as that’s a major point of compatibility… Good luck!

Post # 8
741 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

I’m curious, where is she from? I can see if she is from an Eastern culture this is really going to be a deep rooted issue in which both of you will need to address and compromise on what you believe is acceptable given your backgrounds. I would do some readings on intercultural marriages, there are several books out there which might help you get a better understanding of the situation. 

Post # 9
33 posts
  • Wedding: May 2013

Does she speak English perfectly?

If I was her I would be reluctant to agree to anything before I had actually tested the job market.   At this point she does not know how hard or easy it will be for her to get a job, she also does not know how much she will be making.   If she doesn’t speak english well, that will obviously limit her in what sort of job she will be able to get.   There may be certain types of less english-dependent jobs, such as cleaning or childcare, that she is not willing to do. 

Also it sounds like she does not understand how much you make.  She seems to think that you make enough money to support both you and her.   In my opinion it would be extremely hard to support two adults making $8.75 an hour.   I think she may be under the impression that you are better off than you actually are.

If she is really sitting around looking online all day, it also does not sound like she has the mentality that is is her role to maintain the house by cooking and cleaning all day.  In some ways, she is clearly stating to you that she does not plan to contribute much to the household, financially or otherwise.


Post # 10
1137 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

View original reply
@urbanmyth2004:  I agree with pooling all of your money and then using a joint account to pay for living expenses. It eliminates the “you pay for this, I pay for this” mentality. Anything left over goes towards joint savings. You can pay yourselves a small allowance for anything during the month that isn’t “joint”. 

Maybe that will sit easier with her?

Post # 11
6112 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

How many times did you guys meet FACE TO FACE before moving her over here on her K1 Visa? 
I also believe that married couples should pool their money together and pay for things jointly.  I SOLD my own house after I got engaged and moved in with my fiancé (now husband).  He owned a house too.  We added me to the title.  Both of our paychecks go into one account which pays for all our expenses together.

An alternative to your solution – if you are not keen on pooling money – is to do a proportional idea.  50/50 would not work in this case unless you made the same salaries.  It would be unfair to make someone who made a fraction of your salary to pay 50% of their bills.

Tally up the total income you bring in – the two of you.  Now find the percent that is yours and the percent that is hers (I’m going to say you bring in 80% of the gross and she brings in 20% of the gross).

Now tally up the JOINT EXPNESES that you choose to share.  You two will have to decide together what those bills are (aka do you exclude your car payment because she doesn’t drive your car?  Just as an example).

Whatever that JOINT EXPENSES come to – you cover 80% of it and she covers 20% of it.  Whether that 20% turns out to be just the utilities, cable and food, or if you want her to write you a check for the value – you two figure that out.

That seems the only fair way if you chose not to pool your money.


I see a bigger issue though.  I see a woman who believes in a very masculine culture of where women are taken care of.  That right there seems your money values are going to be very skewed and provide many arguments for your future.  Please talk about what you each feel money is worth, what it means, what money values you have, believes – and get it figured out quickly!

I am also worried about her ability to find a job too given her status.

Also this sitting around and YouTubing all day worries me as I’m sure it does you too.  How old is she?  Does she contribute to the household/coupledom in any other way?  Like cooking or keeping the house clean?  Is there any team effort there even if she’s not employed?

Post # 12
1876 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

Red flags red flags. I’m sorry but it does sound like she is taking advantage. I also agree with PPs in pooling income and expenses, but it sounds like your Fiance wants to never work and have you pay for everything. That doesn’t make sense. Why does she get to be a housewife? I would seriously reconsider this marriage. Maybe try to date long distance for awhile so she can get on her feet, and maybe if she can get a job here you guys can work it all out and be together. But I don’t think you should marry her so that she doesn’t have to leave. No a safe idea.

Post # 13
11266 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: April 2012

@urbanmyth2004:  i am curious to know if the two of you had this conversation prior to her moving to this country.  hopefully you discussed the future and your goals.  how else would you know if you were on the same page?

if you hadn’t, i would strongly urge you to discuss your expectations.  i don’t think that your request is unfair but was she aware of this?   if this continues, you are going to begin to resent her.  no one needs that.

tbh, if you are not in agreement, it would probably be best to part ways sooner than later.

good luck.

Post # 14
95 posts
Worker bee

I think you should discuss finances before getting married. It’s one of the things that can end a marriage, but fortunately you encountered the problem before the wedding so you have some time to work it out before it is too complicated to do so.

My husband and I are from different cultures, and at the beginning of our relationship we had to work hard to understand each other’s expectations and differences.

Also, consider that once you sponsor her for her green card, you are financially responsible for her for 2 years, which means that if she decides she doesn’t want to work you HAVE to support her, even if you were to break up. I am not saying she is trying to take advantage of you or that your marriage won’t work or anything like that, but it is good to keep in mind all the implications of your choice.

Post # 15
1114 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

Well for one, I think that this should have been a discussion and something you decided on before getting engaged, much less married.

Second, splitting things 50/50 isn’t necessarily ‘fair’ especially if your partner isn’t earning (or won’t be capable of earning) as much money as you, especially since you purchased the house without discussing it with your partner. My reason behind this? Your mortgage and utilities are $770, so splitting it isn’t a whole lot each month. But what if it were more? What if it were say $1500? $750 a month for housing could be a lot for someone just starting out. Plus look at it as a percentage of income. What if your partner can only find a low paying minimum wage job where she only makes say $450 a month. If she were to be spending $385 per month on housing that leaves her $65 a month for food and other essentials, forget any ‘fun’ things or little luxuries!

The other thing to consider is if she any debt (ie: student loans) especially debt with a much higher interest rate than the mortgage, then maybe it’s best for her to be spending her money paying off her debt rather than contributing to the mortgage.

If you’re both earning the same income and are pretty equal in terms of your debt load and what not then yes, each of you contributing equally to the mortgage is fair, but otherwise, it really isn’t. My fiance bought a house before I met him and 1/2 of the mortgage is far more than I can pay. He also earns about 80% of our household income, which is a lot, considering I have a decent paying full time job. There is no way I would be able to contribute 50% of our household expenses. I would actually have to go into debt in order to pay 1/2 of all the bills because I don’t even earn that much! So we’ve worked out something that works for us.

Post # 16
898 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2011

I’m suprised you two made the decision for her to come here on a fiancee visa, if you are working only an hourly-wage job and are having trouble paying your rent. I say this because fiancee visas are not exactly a golden ticket to good employment. Once she has a work permit, it probably isn’t going to be easy for her to find a decent job in this economy.  Are you expecting her clean houses or babysit or work under the table?  Or can you afford to support the two of you until she does find a job?

One of my closest friends fell in love with a girl from Latvia when he was backpacking around eastern europe.  She was a working lawyer (through law school, had her certifications), and when she moved to the US, she coudln’t even get a job as a paralegal without going back to school.  So now, she’s back in grad school here in the US, working to get an international law degree. And guess who is paying for her tuition, her expenses, their food, rent, bills?  He is.  Because he wants her to be with him here in the US and understands that for her to be happy here, she can’t just get a job cleaning houses.  She’s an educated woman and wants a comparable job here in the US, so he’s willing to help her get there.

Are you willing to do that for your fiancee?  And if you aren’t, why are you getting married?

Also, I’m baffled as to why you think a woman would leave her friends, family, and country behind to “take advantage” of a guy making less than $9.00 an hour in the US.  I’m not trying to be mean, but I made more working  a part-time job in college and that was over 10 years ago.  I doubt she’s trying to take advantage of you,

And by the way, I agree that she should not be paying into your mortgage unless she is officially on the mortgage, building up her credit too. 

If I were advising HER, I would tell her to get out of this relationship as quickly as possible. The fact that you think its’ realistic for someone who has no employment currently to soon start paying half the bills and rent you had before meeting her tells me you aren’t ready for this relationship to progress.

I’m not trying to be harsh at all, just realistic.  My own husband and his family both immigrated from another country and his parents are STILL underemployed to this day, and it took my husband 2 university degrees here in the US before he got a decent job.  You need to know this going in.

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