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    • MSE Sarah
    • By MSE Sarah 30th Nov 17, 1:32 PM
    • 105Posts
    • 56Thanks
    MSE Sarah
    Money Moral Dilemma: Should my husband contribute more to our finances?
    • #1
    • 30th Nov 17, 1:32 PM
    Money Moral Dilemma: Should my husband contribute more to our finances? 30th Nov 17 at 1:32 PM
    This week's MoneySaver who wants advice asks...

    My husband and I have always split bills 50/50 and pay them from a joint account, despite him earning three times as much as me. We recently had a baby, so my earnings dropped significantly. I've claimed child benefit, which is paid into our joint account, but as my husband earns about £60,000 a year, he has to pay a 'high income child benefit tax charge' and says it should come from our joint account. Is this fair?

    Unfortunately the MSE team can't always answer money moral dilemma questions as contributions are often emailed in or suggested in person. They are intended to be enjoyed as a point of debate and discussed at face value.

    If you haven’t already, join the forum to reply!

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Page 2
    • JayD
    • By JayD 6th Dec 17, 9:46 AM
    • 488 Posts
    • 302 Thanks
    JayD
    As so many have said before me on here - I think this should be a marriage, not a business agreement. Joint account, joint responsibility for all expenses that come out of that joint account - no matter who is paying more, or less, into it.

    If you both really prefer to keep finances separate, then have individual accounts from which you transfer your own pre-agreed portion into the joint account which will have all the bills in it. But, in my mind, that isn't a marriage!

    Have you worked out how much your husband should be paying you for childcare, housework, home management, etc etc ???
    • ringo_24601
    • By ringo_24601 6th Dec 17, 9:49 AM
    • 17,098 Posts
    • 27,785 Thanks
    ringo_24601
    We push our child benefit into a savings account neither of us use. At the end of the year it's used to pay back the amount HMRC wants.

    BUT.. We fully sign up to the 'family money' principle. I earn the most, I pay most of the bills. We don't try to do it precise - we just know that there isn't a big definition of what 'my' money is.
    • MandM90
    • By MandM90 6th Dec 17, 9:55 AM
    • 1,344 Posts
    • 6,519 Thanks
    MandM90
    Assuming OP is saying that the amount put into the joint account is just to cover bills, then I think it sounds quite unfair. If you're pulling your weight at home covering childcare, then it doesn't seem fair that he can save more, both in general and for retirement and in the meantime leave you strapped for cash and living at a different quality of life.

    I don't understand the concept of not sharing money as a married couple, unless everything is split so each has equal financial opportunity (for asset accumulation, spending, pension etc). As far as I'm concerned, my husband and I are now living the same life and must make sure that it's an equal one. When we met, I was earning double what he did, now he earns 3X more. Before we married we split bills 50/50 but whoever earned more picked up the bill on more treats/holidays. After we married we got joint accounts and figured out a plan to enable us to save for retirement equally, and have similar spending monies. I can't imagine living with someone, claiming to love them above all others but allowing them to worry about money whilst I have plenty of it!
    I'm a Board Guide on the Marriages & Family,
    Old Style, Mortgage Free Wannabe, Green & Ethical
    boards. I'm a volunteer to help the boards run smoothly, and I can move and merge threads there. Any views are mine and not the official line of moneysavingexpert.com. Board guides are not moderators. If you spot an inappropriate or illegal post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com
    • meknowalot-51
    • By meknowalot-51 6th Dec 17, 10:20 AM
    • 166 Posts
    • 88 Thanks
    meknowalot-51
    Just one thing i'd like to know and that is this,"after he's paid half the bills,what does he do with the rest of his paycheck?"
    • tain
    • By tain 6th Dec 17, 10:27 AM
    • 480 Posts
    • 595 Thanks
    tain
    This isn't actually a person asking for their own benefit, it's an mse made up question. Waste of time. Better off helping those who have posted actual queries.
    Originally posted by 74jax
    Right, and us having to read these kind of boring posts every single time isn't a waste of time???

    Considering they probably get a few thousand of these suggestions a week, I'd be very surprised if they made them up. They simply wouldn't have to.
    • tain
    • By tain 6th Dec 17, 10:29 AM
    • 480 Posts
    • 595 Thanks
    tain
    This is an easy one this week. Divorce him so you get 50% of everything he owns, or whatever the UK equivalent is. Everyones a winner then.
    • HonestJim
    • By HonestJim 6th Dec 17, 10:31 AM
    • 1 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    HonestJim
    My wife and I have ALWAYS had a joint bank account into which both our salaries are paid. It matters not a jot to us as to who gets the higher salary (it has never been an agenda item) but ALL of our expenses come out of the account, both household and personal. We are an equal partnership, and it works.
    • Bellisima
    • By Bellisima 6th Dec 17, 10:31 AM
    • 69 Posts
    • 77 Thanks
    Bellisima
    I find this system so odd. My husband and I (I sound like the queen!) have always had a joint current account where all our incomes are pooled to pay bills etc. I know Martin doesn’t approve of joint accounts, but it works well for us. There were times in the past where only one of us was working and the joint account worked well. We are a partnership and what’s mine is his and what’s his is mine, that’s just the way it is. We’ve been together 35 years so we must be doing something right! I know this isn’t for everyone, and I do have a friend who secretly squirrels away money from his wife, not exactly a great partnership is it?
    • Mal25
    • By Mal25 6th Dec 17, 10:40 AM
    • 9 Posts
    • 6 Thanks
    Mal25
    This sounds more like a financial arrangement than a marriage. Just share everything rather than worrying who contributes what.
    • svain
    • By svain 6th Dec 17, 10:44 AM
    • 228 Posts
    • 403 Thanks
    svain
    Absolutely nothing wrong with separate accounts if done properly. Joint accounts, as is marriage is an outdated concept. Couples can have very happy and successful lives together without either
    • bluebaron
    • By bluebaron 6th Dec 17, 10:56 AM
    • 132 Posts
    • 48 Thanks
    bluebaron
    You would be better off telling HMRC and not claiming the child benefit in the first place, you are effectively claiming it then repaying it in full,

    Ive tried various ways over the years and I always end up bailing my wife out after she over spends every month!

    So much so that I now pay all the bills every month. she keeps her entire take home pay of around £1200 and after I clear the monthly bills am left with around £800. If she over spends now I tell her she effectively earns more than me so tough!

    She's also part time and has Monday and Tuesday off and i expect her to use these days for housework, laundry etc. Thats the pay off but i do get annoyed when she spends the day shopping or riding her horse!

    BB
    • matt_66
    • By matt_66 6th Dec 17, 10:58 AM
    • 91 Posts
    • 211 Thanks
    matt_66
    Absolutely nothing wrong with separate accounts if done properly. Joint accounts, as is marriage is an outdated concept. Couples can have very happy and successful lives together without either
    Originally posted by svain


    Couldn't agree more.

    A joint account is only needed for household bills. We pay in an amount proportionate to our respective incomes. I pay 60% of the bills as I earn more. My wife pays in 40%.

    The rest of our income is to do as we please as long as we each have enough leftover when R&R or holidays need paying more.
    2016 saver #80 - £8,379 / £11,000
    • PipneyJane
    • By PipneyJane 6th Dec 17, 11:06 AM
    • 611 Posts
    • 3,871 Thanks
    PipneyJane
    Yes, it is unfair. You are effectively subsidising his lifestyle.

    I will admit that my last statement may be a bit unfair, without knowing exactly what he pays for in your relationship. When you go out, do you pay your share or does he pay for everything? What about holidays? Treats? Nights out? (Do you have children? Who pays their costs?)

    Married finances is about more than just the mortgage, utility bills and council tax. Start a spreadsheet and list down everything you pay for directly, everything he pays for directly, all the current joint bills, the groceries, etc. When you ask your DH for details, tell him that you’ve resolved to get your joint finances under control in 2018 and am making an early start. If he pushes just say “We earn all this money; it’d be nice to see something from it at the end of the year” and leave it at that.

    Only when you have the full picture, can you actually determine if the way you split the bills is fair or unfair.

    FWIW, my husband and I split our bills in proportion to our salaries. Every time one of us changes job, I recalculate the split but, at the moment, It’s roughly 60:40, with me contributing approximately double because I earn considerably more than he does. A very sensible colleague – who managed the finances in her marriage - once told me that her goal was for both of them to have the same spending money/allowance each month, once all the bills were paid. And that is my aim: we each end up with the same play money. (NB: I save more and invest more but that’s OK because it’s for both our futures.)

    HTH.
    "Be the type of woman that when you get out of bed in the morning, the devil says 'Oh crap. She's up.' "

    C.R.A.P R.O.L.L.Z. #47 Official Brain Harvesting Body Counter
    • karinaki
    • By karinaki 6th Dec 17, 11:07 AM
    • 2 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    karinaki
    50/50 imho
    50/50 imho
    • browny5678
    • By browny5678 6th Dec 17, 11:17 AM
    • 9 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    browny5678
    Completely agree with the last few posts! Its totally achievable to work as a team but still maintain some element of your own identity and independence. I'm quite irritated by the idea that my marriage is apparently automatically a bad one because we retain some personal cash.

    We also pay money into our joint account proportional to our take home pay (bills plus some extra to cover joint spending on evenings out etc). We try to each stick to the same personal spending budget and save the rest.

    PipneyJane's idea of a spreadsheet is a good one, we have one that tracks our monthly in and outgoings from our joint account, and have another tab which shows what comes in and out of our own accounts. It's all transparent, but we retain the right to spend our personal money as we wish without feeling guilty.

    As always there's never quite as much information in the original post as one might need to respond, but there's no way i'd be happy to pay 50% of the bills when only earning 33% of the household income, I feel the husband is taking the mick slightly.
    • alggomas
    • By alggomas 6th Dec 17, 11:19 AM
    • 140 Posts
    • 47 Thanks
    alggomas
    Sharing household bills
    Without full facts unable to give good answer but sounds like you have not been married too long and have a new baby and your earnings have been reduced,therefore it would not be impolite to ask if he could contribute more or in a roundabout way sat you find it difficult to contribute 50%.
    You could also take a break from working to look after your child then perhaps work one or two days a week.
    Also with a combined income of at least £100,000.00 it would be a good idea to seek financial advice?
    • Malthusian
    • By Malthusian 6th Dec 17, 11:26 AM
    • 3,444 Posts
    • 5,279 Thanks
    Malthusian
    As they are married, it is completely irrelevant in whose name the account is, where bills are paid from etc. It is all their money.

    If the MoneySaver feels their banking arrangements prevent them from spending as much money as they want or need to, they need to talk to their husband.
    • Lovingwales
    • By Lovingwales 6th Dec 17, 11:27 AM
    • 2 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Lovingwales
    Yes - it should be the same percentage of each of your salaries! Otherwise you are subsidising his 'half' IMO.
    • alggomas
    • By alggomas 6th Dec 17, 11:36 AM
    • 140 Posts
    • 47 Thanks
    alggomas
    Child benefit and splitting household bills
    The whole idea of child benefit is for POOR people so why claim?! Especially if you have to pay it back!
    It could be the woman on high wages.
    We have a small joint account which we rarely use.
    My wife pays all the major bills as she earns more than me. We are in love so we share. Sharing does not mean 50/50. It means getting along and being happy. I pay small bills and we have done this for over 30 years!
    • REJP
    • By REJP 6th Dec 17, 11:38 AM
    • 23 Posts
    • 23 Thanks
    REJP
    Doesn’t seem like a good basis for a marriage if the husband really is this selfish. Women have an extra expense each month, does he contribute to tampons? If you have a prescription charge for contraceptive pills, does he contribute?
    Sorry to be so blunt, but why are you letting him use you as a doormat?
    He is laughing all the way to the bank at your expense.
    I am among the people who do not believe this is a genuine post.
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