Do relationships work when one is wealthy and the other is in debt??



  • mizzbiz
    mizzbiz Posts: 1,434 Forumite
    What a really interesting thread. With my relationship, my partner and I earn the same at this moment in time but when we met I was on more than him. As we work away from home, he pays his mortgage and I pay our rent and council tax. We share the bills on the rental. When we go back soon we will be going back to his flat, but he refers to it as ours and I get told off when I refer to it as 'his' flat.

    Moneywise, we share everything. We call it 'the same pot'. When we go back I may not get as good a job as him straight away (he has already secured one), but he's not bothered by that. Ultimately, we are a team, and the money is 'ours', not his or mine. I am free to buy whatever I want as long as we can afford it, and there would never, be talk of one of us afforing a holiday and the other not, either both of us go or neither. But then, we are like an old married couple lol
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  • Shineyhappy
    Shineyhappy Posts: 1,928 Forumite
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    Don't forget your parents are at a different stage in a relationship than you sound to be.

    Finances have changed over the years, women work and earn their own cash and we live together without marriage and children much more than our parents and grandparents did.

    I think you should talk to your OH and compromise. If he wants to spend his money on junk then that is his choice at the moment. I was shocked that my OH spent 600 pounds on a camera but he got it reconditioned and saved himself loads but 600 pounds is a lot of money to me. If OH and I marry and have kids then I expect our finances to merge more.
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  • KTjazz
    KTjazz Posts: 688 Forumite
    a bird and a fish may fall in love, but where will they make their home?

    Sometimes a big difference is the wrong place to start from. But in most cases if the feelings are strong enough people won't be able to fight them.

    Every situation, every couple is different.

    I guess what i'm saying is I'm on the fence with this one.
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  • When I first met my OH, he earned significantly more than I did, and obviously in the early stages of our relationship, we always kept our money seperate, paid our own way, and paid our own debts etc.

    When we got engaged, a few months down the line, we got a joint bank account, despite the fact that he still earned more than me and that my debts were higher than his, meaning I was contributing far less to the pot than what he was, but he was happy with this and said it would even out over the long term.

    Now, I only earn about a grand less than him and come Christmas, and then next July, I will earn significantly more than him and will do so for the rest of our careers. I have asked him several times if this bothers him, and he couldn't care less, he isn't one of these men who thinks that only he should be a breadwinner which is quite refreshing.

    I am quite glad that once we knew we wanted to be together forever, there has been no 'thats mine, thats yours' attitude, we are in it together, everything is shared.

    He just leaves me in charge of everything money and trusts me not to waste it :)
  • icka
    icka Posts: 216 Forumite
    I wish our problem were the difference in earnings.

    He doesnt work and does not need too:eek: . I on the other hand have in the past had to work 3 jobs and some times like 19 hour days between all three to keep my head above water.

    So the difference is so massive its hard to comprehend. Trust fund baby I think the phrase is. If you get my drift
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  • KiKi
    KiKi Posts: 5,377 Forumite
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    As many others have expressed here, I think it really depends on your own perspective and pride around finance, and the type of relationship you're in.

    I personally prefer to keep all my finances to myself, but then I've never been in a very serious relationship where I would contemplate anything else.

    My mum and dad, on the other hand, share everything. Money doesn't belong to any one person, regardless of who earned it; they have one joint bank account, joint savings, everything - it's irrelevant to them where it comes from. They don't have any of their 'own' money at all, as they don't ever see it as belonging to either of them as an individual.

    I think that's partly the culture they grew up in, partly their relationship (completely 'what's mine is yours' in every sense), and partly that neither of them sees money as something that should ever be a barrier in their relationship, so personal pride around who earns it just isn't there.

    Completely the opposite of me - but then I'm probably too independent for my own good!

    Fascinating topic, though, and some really interesting replies. :)

    ' <-- See that? It's called an apostrophe. It does not mean "hey, look out, here comes an S".
  • Lucifa73
    Lucifa73 Posts: 7,726 Forumite
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Hi, thought I'd pop on with my twopenn'orth!

    Hubbles and I are now on similar salaries but I have more debt at the moment. I also like to have 'my own' money although if he needed anything it would all be his.

    When we moved in together we decided to have a joint account for house costs into which we put the same proportion of our individual salaries. To start with I contributed significantly more but, since I moved to a smaller firm, the scales are gradually tipping in the other direction. In addition we each have our own current accounts where the balance of our salary sits and we can spend as we please. A lot of mine is repayments but they were my mistakes.

    This way we are both happy we are contributing to joint expenditure (mortgage, utilities, car finance (although Hubbles pays petrol and insurance as he gets a lot back on expenses from work), council tax, Sky etc) but have the flexibility of our own money too.

    This is a system that works for us and accommodates our attitudes to money. (I think after seeing my Mum left with nothing but for the goodwill of my Dad when they separated I need the security of knowing I've got my own respoources). If you can sit together and talk rationally about money it helps. Edxplain what you need to cover your personal costs, work out how much you can contribute to the kitty and explain that it leaves you with £x which means you can only go to 1 or 2 things a month. See how he reacts to that (entirely reasonable I think) solution and take it from there.
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    28.1.19/28.1.19 Hubs 0% £400/£2,977 =13.44%
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  • Jacks_xxx
    Jacks_xxx Posts: 3,874 Forumite
    I think that money can be an issue in relationships but money is not the issue.

    Bear with me - I know that doesn't make sense!

    Some people find it really hard to empathise with people in a different situation to themselves, and they need an intensive training course! Their problem can show up in the area of money but money itself is not the problem. Their unwillingness to put themselves into someone else's shoes is.

    Some of us have a lot of pride and don't like to feel that we're "sponging" or obligated in any way if they take more than we give in financial terms - but a relationship is so much more than a financial quid pro quo.

    Some people just can't give wholeheartedly. This will be as true emotionally and sexually as it is with money.

    My hubby paid the lions share of everything for ages when we first got together because I was a student but I painted the walls, sewed the curtains, fitted our kitchen and cooked him meals - and I did it all with just as much love as he paid for stuff with! :D

    If he wanted me to come on a trip he understood enough to know I couldn't afford to keep up with him financially - and he paid for me. He found ways to buy me things and send me on Spa Days in preparation without offending my pride.

    Previously I'd had a boyfriend who had an earthernware jar in the kitchen stuffed with £50 notes (and this was in the 80s - cos I'm old!) If I needed to get a cab home while he was sleeping because I had a class, or I needed to buy booze or food for the meal I was cooking us I was told to take money from there.

    He said he didn't want me to ever feel I had to ask him for money, or for money to ever be an issue between us. If I needed anything EVER and I couldn't afford it I was to take money from there. That money was mine for the use of. End of.

    To begin with I felt a bit like a !!!!!! :o

    After a while I realised that this was his way of never having to have any disruption because he had loads more money than I did. He'd had all the rows before and this was his way of dealing.

    The actual money itself was unimportant to him but all the feelings and unpleasantness it caused had killed off relationships for him in the past - so he'd come up with a solution.

    It wasn't ideal, but the fact that he'd tried to solve it counted for a lot with me. I decided to see the money not as him paying for my needs but as him paying for his own need for less friction in a relationship- and for me to look nice and be by his side at all those expensive events - and we were together for quite a while. ;)

    Ooh I'm feeling all nostalgic all of a sudden! :o

    Love Jacks xxx :D
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  • ceebeeby
    ceebeeby Posts: 4,357 Forumite
    I guess it's a fairly small percentage of relationships that ever start out with both parties having exactly the same amount of money (unless it's none!!!).

    If the relationships meant to be a forever one - then both the debt and assets would be shared equally until you both had exactly the same ... and each other.
  • How interesting is this thread. It's great to see people being so open about money in their relationships, even my closest friends don't reveal as much. They look horrified when I tell them that me and hubby don't have a joint bank acount.:eek:

    When we met 10 years ago he earned 5 times more than me and paid for a heck of a lot. I moved into his home and apart from buying groceries every now and again and maybe the odd weekend away he paid for everything. For about 5 years (OMG I sound like sucha sponger).

    Anyway in 2002 we got a joint mortgage and I paid 1/4 of it, plus water/gas/electric, food and cat food etc. In 2005 I got a promotion and started paying 1/3 of the mortgage. I also seemed to have more disposable income so paid for a number of holidays. Including flying to NY 1st class for our 1st wedding anniversary.:T:T:T

    By 2007 He was only earning 2 x my salary. Girl Power - I'm catching him up!:j:j:j

    But in December I decided to quit my job and go freelance. I am now SKINT. But we both agree I chose to quit so I am just about managing to pay my mortgage/bills with the freelance work I've managed to find.

    WE almost never argue about money - we're both pretty laid back about it I guess. At the end of the day I think it depends what your deal breaker is. My OH is funny, clever, kind and very very understanding. So the fact that he hasn't got his credit cards on O% :mad::mad::mad: and never shops around for the best price:mad::mad::mad: can be forgiven I guess.

    Sorry about the long post.:A
    :grin: Save me from spending...
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