(Closed) When only one of you has a job, how do you handle spending money?

posted 5 years ago in Money
Post # 3
9681 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

@ForeverBirds:  I always worked when I was in school. However, there was a point when I was laid off for a few months (and my husband was laid off for a few months at a different time). We always try to live off one income and bank the other but I understand that isn’t possible for everyone.

If he is okay supporting you and paying for everything, I wouldn’t worry about it. I personally get stressed over the idea of being financiall dependent on anyone. I would consider baby-sitting, tutoring, dog walking, retail part time, anything to contribute something and have money for the extras (i.e. xmas).

Post # 4
885 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2009

I did not work during my first year of law school, and my husband just paid for everything.  But we have never viewed it as him paying for everything because we see it as “our” money.  If i needed something, I bought it.  I now make more money than he does, and I still view it our money.  We always doing gifts from the two of us, so we just set a budget and stick to it (i.e., if we agree to spend 100 dollars on his parents, the gift will be from the two of us, and we will stick to that budget)

Post # 5
1274 posts
Bumble bee

I think it really depends on how you were handling finances when you both were working if that was ever the case. Did you have separate or joint accounts, did one person pay more bills than the other, was everything split, etc. 

Currently my Fiance is working PT while doing his apprenticeship training and we have a joint account. We always discuss when we are planning on spending a significant amount on things that aren’t rent, bills, gas, groceries, etc. So it’s never really a big deal. I feel like he is more conscious of not wanting to spend as much money on ‘extras’ since he is not putting as much into the account at the moment though – but I let him know all the time that it’s our money and not to worry about it. As long as we stick to our budgets for things we’re all good. 


Post # 6
10589 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: January 2011

We just view everything as joint.  There’s no set amount.  We both spend reasonably, we don’t a specific rule for when to discuss something with the other person, but if it’s a bigger purchase we do.

Post # 7
9954 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

Mr TTR and I are both semi-retired… so our income fluctuates regularly (some months more, some months less).  We have combined everything, as we both truly see Marriage as an ALL THAT I AM AND ALL THAT I HAVE commitment. 

So we are currently using what I’ve nicknamed here on WBee the A-L method.

And it works for us very well.

And after my first marriage, I would never ever want to go back to a Percentage Method again, as well quite frankly that just isn’t fair.

It might look fair in theory, but in reality the higher wage earner always ends up ahead while the lower income earner suffers ultimately in the long run (be that due to having disposible income, or like myself when the worst possible thing happens with a Divorce).  The old saying “He who has the most money / toys at the end of the game WINS” sadly holds true more often than not !!

Never mind, that as women, we are more likely thru marriage to both enjoy a better standard of living (but lose it more / feel it more thru Divorce)… and also we tend to be the ones who take the greatest hit / make the greatest financial / career sacrifices to have & raise kids.  So we have the most to lose.

No wouldn’t recommend the Percentages method to any woman / couple hoping to stay married long term and raise kids.  Just isn’t fair.

You can read more about my experiences with the Percentage Method, and how the A-L Metod works here (mine is Reply # 3)


Hope this helps,

PS… I should also add that I did not combine monies with Mr TTR in the timeframe BEFORE we married.  I just don’t believe in doing that… again cause Women tend to have more to lose in that circumstance… because if we had split up while dating, there is no guarantee that anything you’ve “shared” that legally you’d be entitled to get back (or the difficulty of doing so / court costs… makes it prohibitive)


Post # 8
9139 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL

Birthdays and Christmases are easy.  We both agree on a trip/vacation and then we go as our gift to each other.  No actual gifts to open but lots of great memories and pictures to share.

Post # 9
6123 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

What were you doing when you both had incomes? 

If it were me I’d and not married yet, but living together, I’d just go without and cut everything down to the very basic necessities. 

If I were married, then the money would be combined and we’d discuss limits on fun money, but I’d still keep it to the basic necessities.  That is unless one income is already huge.


Gifts are usually trips for us.  Great experiences and photos to remember them by!


Post # 10
1475 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

@AB Bride:  +1

We don’t view our money as “his” and “hers”, it is just all “our” money. Doesn’t matter who is making more or lesr, we are just on the same page as far as spending goes.

Post # 11
7271 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2013

When I didn’t have a job and Darling Husband did o spent his money like it was my own. We viewed everything as joint and I had a credit card that he paid. There was no “allowance” that I was given. As long as I wasn’t blowing money and we were still saving enough and getting our bills paid Darling Husband didn’t care what I was buying or how much I was spending.

TBH if he did tell me I had a set amount or I had to ask for money I would have been angry.

Post # 12
10366 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2010

Everything is joint for us. I see having to ask for spending money as really insulting and a very out-of-balance power relationship. You guys have a budget – you each can spend x amount of money a month. Nobody has to play beggar/giver.

Post # 13
708 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

Fiance is in law school, so he’s not working during his first year. He has student loans to cover his living expenses. Right now, our money is separate (except for a wedding savings account), but we’ll probably combine finances pretty soon.

Post # 14
3697 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

Were I to lose my job I would continue on as normal, but second guess my more frivolous spending, I guess.  There are some things I buy and tell my husband “Well, I work, so, shut it.”  I don’t need them, so I’d feel more guilty if I he was providing all our income, but probably still indulge in some – since if I weren’t working I’d be at home doing a much better job taking care of him and the house.

If he weren’t working I’d just tell him he better have the house clean and dinner on the table when I got home.  🙂

Our money is that – ours.  We make more than enough right now so we’d easily live off one income.

Post # 15
18637 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2009

I didn’t work for my first year in graduate school but we view money as ours so I just spent reasonably and didn’t do splurges or anything at the time.

Post # 16
265 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

I am interested as well – because I wouldn’t personally be able to handle living on one income. Like Donna Summers sings, she works hard for the money…. and if Fiance didn’t work, I would have a really tough time excepting everything as “ours” and vice-versa. Good for you though if you are able to do that.

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