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  • FIRST POST
    • MSE Sarah
    • By MSE Sarah 30th Nov 17, 1:32 PM
    • 106Posts
    • 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 havenít already, join the forum to reply!

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Page 3
    • dmcc0
    • By dmcc0 6th Dec 17, 11:41 AM
    • 1 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    dmcc0
    For all those saying that finances in a marriage should be combined and shared, I couldn't disagree more.

    When my wife and I first got married everything went into a joint account, but then when she stopped work to look after the children things didn't go well. Cash was really tight and she felt as if she had to ask permission to spend anything, saying that because I was the sole earner the finances were my responsibility. To be honest neither of us was (is?) that great with money anyway but with the constant asking for permission it made me feel guilty constantly saying "no" to anything but essentials and I'd quite often give in and allow little treats. Things rapidly spun out of control though and we ended up miserable with quite a large amount of debt. She blamed me for not keeping control of the finances and I blamed her for the lack of support and "guilting" me into letting her spend; in truth we were as bad as each other. We ended up separating shortly afterwards and while finances weren't the main reason I firmly believe at was a major factor.

    Fast forward a few years and I'd managed to clear most of the debt and we grew closer again and decided to give it another go. We've had separate accounts ever since (about 10 years now) and would never go back to a joint account, it just caused too much stress. My wife still doesn't work as she's carer to our 2 disabled kids and money is still tight but we've worked out what works best for us.
    • jjay13
    • By jjay13 6th Dec 17, 11:57 AM
    • 3 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    jjay13


    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.
    Originally posted by matt_66
    This is exactly what we do - it's worked fine for us for 22 years!

    To the OP - why are you asking here? TALK to your OH!
    • NeilCr
    • By NeilCr 6th Dec 17, 12:08 PM
    • 1,102 Posts
    • 1,218 Thanks
    NeilCr
    For all those saying that finances in a marriage should be combined and shared, I couldn't disagree more.

    When my wife and I first got married everything went into a joint account, but then when she stopped work to look after the children things didn't go well. Cash was really tight and she felt as if she had to ask permission to spend anything, saying that because I was the sole earner the finances were my responsibility. To be honest neither of us was (is?) that great with money anyway but with the constant asking for permission it made me feel guilty constantly saying "no" to anything but essentials and I'd quite often give in and allow little treats. Things rapidly spun out of control though and we ended up miserable with quite a large amount of debt. She blamed me for not keeping control of the finances and I blamed her for the lack of support and "guilting" me into letting her spend; in truth we were as bad as each other. We ended up separating shortly afterwards and while finances weren't the main reason I firmly believe at was a major factor.

    Fast forward a few years and I'd managed to clear most of the debt and we grew closer again and decided to give it another go. We've had separate accounts ever since (about 10 years now) and would never go back to a joint account, it just caused too much stress. My wife still doesn't work as she's carer to our 2 disabled kids and money is still tight but we've worked out what works best for us.
    Originally posted by dmcc0
    Yes

    I had something like this. My wife had to give up work because of ill health. We had a joint account (she had an ill health pension). While not having your financial constraints this still caused problems as she would, at times, spend an awful amount on clothes and we would go overdrawn. This led to conflict - I said we couldnít go on like this - she didn't want to have to ask permission to spend money (I didnít want her to have to ask) etc

    We resolved this by each paying an amount into a joint account for bills and keeping the rest to spend as we wanted, It worked very well.

    Itís not for everyone - but not everyoneís relationships are the same.
    • Crystalsaver
    • By Crystalsaver 6th Dec 17, 12:20 PM
    • 17 Posts
    • 6 Thanks
    Crystalsaver
    Iím shocked at the reponse to this situation. I myself am happily married and when it comes to finances we have, for our entire relationship of 13 years, worked out the bills 50/50 or altered it if the others salary has increased. We have our own bank accounts and a joint saver. My father brought me up to always treat finances this way. Marriage to me doesnít mean that we become one financially, we are both individual to each other. Being financially independent is important even when married. But also making sure that the bills are covered by both is important. I believe it is a loss of identity, part of life is managing your own finances/bank account. No one knows what the future may hold all we can do is make sure that we are able to handle our finances ourselves. In answer to this dilemma I would have an honest and open conversation with him and discuss between you what the new normal will become. Once you have figured it out together it will be a relief to both of you. The money each person earns they have worked hard for themselves. There should be no judgement on a person deciding to have their own bank account or for the bills to be split a specific way.
    • Happy-Chappy
    • By Happy-Chappy 6th Dec 17, 12:29 PM
    • 3 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Happy-Chappy
    Financial Dilemma
    My husband and I have the perfect financial system. It had worked for us for years. He earned the money and I spent it.
    • tain
    • By tain 6th Dec 17, 12:45 PM
    • 480 Posts
    • 595 Thanks
    tain
    Who cares who pays for what, what name bank accounts are in, and who to sue to claim your fair share of the marriage back.

    This is a relationship dilemma, not a financial one.

    As a good husband and wife, we make sure each other is comfortable. And as a good husband and wife, we work hard so the other is never in a position where they need to ask to be more comfortable.
    • batrachophagus
    • By batrachophagus 6th Dec 17, 12:57 PM
    • 43 Posts
    • 11 Thanks
    batrachophagus
    If you really must keep your incomes separate, you should probably pay a % of bills representative of your income share rather than just splitting it 50/50.

    So, if your husband earns 60k and you, for example, earn 20k, he should pay for 75% of the outgoings from the joint account.

    I would be concerned if he had a problem with this....
    Originally posted by starting_again_in_the_sun

    They look like gross incomes, the ratio will be very different for take home pay.
    • ViolaLass
    • By ViolaLass 6th Dec 17, 12:59 PM
    • 5,149 Posts
    • 7,147 Thanks
    ViolaLass
    For all those saying that finances in a marriage should be combined and shared, I couldn't disagree more.

    When my wife and I first got married everything went into a joint account, but then when she stopped work to look after the children things didn't go well. Cash was really tight and she felt as if she had to ask permission to spend anything, saying that because I was the sole earner the finances were my responsibility. To be honest neither of us was (is?) that great with money anyway but with the constant asking for permission it made me feel guilty constantly saying "no" to anything but essentials and I'd quite often give in and allow little treats. Things rapidly spun out of control though and we ended up miserable with quite a large amount of debt. She blamed me for not keeping control of the finances and I blamed her for the lack of support and "guilting" me into letting her spend; in truth we were as bad as each other. We ended up separating shortly afterwards and while finances weren't the main reason I firmly believe at was a major factor.
    Originally posted by dmcc0
    So have your own accounts where you put/keep an agreed amount of individual spending money with which you may do as you please but which does not get topped up again until next pay day. Then no one has to ask anyone for permission.
    • batrachophagus
    • By batrachophagus 6th Dec 17, 1:15 PM
    • 43 Posts
    • 11 Thanks
    batrachophagus
    No it isn't fair, but it is a continuation of the status quo. Perhaps you should already have discussed how you could together fund parental leave. What does he spend all 'his' money on?


    But pooled money doesn't work for everyone. Some people admit they are bad with money. As long as you are not using finances to control someone, I don't see that it is anyone else's business.
    • Scorpio33
    • By Scorpio33 6th Dec 17, 1:18 PM
    • 477 Posts
    • 681 Thanks
    Scorpio33
    I agree in principle that everything needs to be shared equally.

    However, that only works if you have similar attitudes to money. More often than not, one person in the relationship is a spender, the other a saver. If things were split 50/50, it often leads to resentment on the saver as they are left with no money for what they want, with the other spent it already.

    The other aspect is that if you did split everything 50/50, there would be little incentive for anyone to strive to earn more, as they would not be getting much benefit from earning more.
    • batrachophagus
    • By batrachophagus 6th Dec 17, 1:30 PM
    • 43 Posts
    • 11 Thanks
    batrachophagus
    The other aspect is that if you did split everything 50/50, there would be little incentive for anyone to strive to earn more, as they would not be getting much benefit from earning more.
    Originally posted by Scorpio33

    The opposite. If you split everything 50/50 then any pay increase is 100% 'yours'.
    • Scorpio33
    • By Scorpio33 6th Dec 17, 1:41 PM
    • 477 Posts
    • 681 Thanks
    Scorpio33
    The opposite. If you split everything 50/50 then any pay increase is 100% 'yours'.
    Originally posted by batrachophagus
    Sorry, yes you are right.

    I was going from the perspective that everything is split 50/50, not just bills.
    • alittlemadam
    • By alittlemadam 6th Dec 17, 1:48 PM
    • 52 Posts
    • 71 Thanks
    alittlemadam
    Own v Joint Accounts
    Myself and my husband each have our own bank accounts and also a joint account which we each pay the same amount into on a monthly basis.


    Out of the joint account comes mortgage, bills and anything that we need for the house ie renovations, replacement of homewares etc. Holidays we pay half each and this is paid from our own accounts and also car insurance, MOT, Petrol etc.


    When we go for meals out, nights out to the pub, cinema we still always put half each its something we did when we first met and its just something that's carried on


    I earn more than my husband and have often said Ill pay a bit more but him being old fashioned wont hear any of it, so now I don't even ask. Its not that we don't trust each other or hide anything that we do buy, but I certainly don't expect a man to pay for me
    • ViolaLass
    • By ViolaLass 6th Dec 17, 1:49 PM
    • 5,149 Posts
    • 7,147 Thanks
    ViolaLass

    The other aspect is that if you did split everything 50/50, there would be little incentive for anyone to strive to earn more, as they would not be getting much benefit from earning more.
    Originally posted by Scorpio33

    Not so. The partnership, of which you are a member, benefits.
    • Solomon200
    • By Solomon200 6th Dec 17, 1:50 PM
    • 1 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Solomon200
    I am over 70yrs and have been married over 44yrs. We have always pooled all earnings, paid the bills and then decided via discussion and agreement on savings and additional spending. This method makes for happy, solvent families.
    However, for those adamantly opposed to this method, perhaps the fairest way to proceed is to contribute to the family pot on a % basis ie. 50% of £60,000 p/a income -contribution £30,000 p/yr., 50% £20,000 p/a income-contribution £10,000 p/yr. ( obviously you would choose the % to apply but this method is the fairest way to share the cost of living).
    • Wizzbang
    • By Wizzbang 6th Dec 17, 2:34 PM
    • 4,154 Posts
    • 9,042 Thanks
    Wizzbang
    This sounds like a really healthy marriage! 0_0
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    • ex3402hux
    • By ex3402hux 6th Dec 17, 2:43 PM
    • 2 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    ex3402hux
    Whose house is it Answer Ours
    Whose baby is it Answer Ours
    Whose bills are they Answer Ours
    Whose food is it Answer Ours
    Whose money is it Answer MINE

    Spot the odd one out
    • Kim_13
    • By Kim_13 6th Dec 17, 3:40 PM
    • 1,467 Posts
    • 1,752 Thanks
    Kim_13
    I'm another one in the more proportional split of the bills camp, but at the very least the husband should pay this charge in its entirety. With bills split 50/50, it doesn't sound as though the wife is benefiting from his higher income at all. If she is to be doing the bulk of the childcare over the next few years, then she can't focus on advancing her own career either. If they are going to pay for childcare 50/50 then it doesn't sound as though she will have much left for 'pocket money.'

    I've never known a poster pop up and say that this is their MMD, but there's every possibility that this is a reader's true circumstances. There is a link in the weekly email to suggest an MMD and presumably people are more likely to suggest something that has cropped up in their lives.
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    • Mojisola
    • By Mojisola 6th Dec 17, 3:43 PM
    • 28,649 Posts
    • 72,977 Thanks
    Mojisola
    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.
    Originally posted by MSE Sarah
    Is he this selfish in other areas of your life?
    • olliedog
    • By olliedog 6th Dec 17, 3:46 PM
    • 40 Posts
    • 24 Thanks
    olliedog
    We have been married over 40 years. We took out a joint account when we first married and everything goes into into it and everything is paid out of it. There is no mine or yours it has always been all ours.
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