Money Moral Dilemma: Should my partner pay more towards bills as they earn more?



  • k332
    k332 Forumite Posts: 3
    Seventh Anniversary First Post
    My partner and I have lived together for 7 years, we both work at the same place in different departments.
    when we moved in together we both earnt the same, he has absolutely no interest in going for promotion so has just sat at the same pay grade.

    I have gone for promotion a few times and now earn almost double his wage.

    We go 50/50 on the bills still because I think there’s nothing preventing him getting paid more he just doesn’t want the extra responsibility at work, which is absolutely fine and his choice but I won’t be paying more bills because of it. 

    If he’d tried to be promoted and failed then I’d look at it differently.
    if he had some unexpected expenses out of the blue then obviously I’d help him,I also pay for weekends away and eating out etc occasionally.

    I also have 2 children from a previous relationship who I’m solely financially responsible for and I’ve  been through great financial struggle clearing debts etc to get to where I am so I may be more protective of my independence than most.

    I’d say it depends on your circumstances, if you have small children together etc then I’d look at it differently. only the 2 of you can decide what’s right for you as a couple.
  • Bekki__x
    Bekki__x Forumite Posts: 2
    Fourth Anniversary First Post
    When we moved in together I worked out our total income, estimated bills (now you can use actual) and then based on the % of the total income for each person we pay the same in the cost for the household. Ie if they earn 70% of your joint income they pay 70% of the total bills. It meant we have different left over but it seemed like the fairest way to do it it didn’t seem fair for the lower earner to pay the same amount as (especially with a mortgage) you wouldn’t have that level without the higher earners salary
  • Bonnypitlad
    Bonnypitlad Forumite Posts: 72
    Third Anniversary 10 Posts
    Before I proposed I realised a penny pie would now cost tuppence
    I have no regrets, we have always had joint accounts and shared all costs
    I have never needed a calculator 
  • ngood77
    ngood77 Forumite Posts: 14
    Ninth Anniversary 10 Posts Combo Breaker
    I've never understood how couples can keep their finances separate - our old-fashioned view was that all incomes and expenses went through our joint account so no abitrarily splitting costs and whatever's left is "ours".
    Completely agree.  Hardly a relationship worth having if you can't trust each other.
  • mrjonep
    mrjonep Forumite Posts: 3
    Sixth Anniversary First Post
    When I got married, I insisted on us both keeping our own bank accounts and opening up a separate joint account to pay our bills from. The last thing I wanted was for either of us to have to seek 'permission' to buy things we wanted for ourselves.

    We worked out what we would spend for the complete year, including one-off paymants like insurance, and divided this by 12. I then looked at how much nett pay we each got, to see what we should transfer over to the joint account each month.

    As I was bringing home almost twice the amount my wife was, I thought it only fair to contibute almost twice what my wife did to pay the bills. It didn't feel right to have my wife put nearly all of her money towards the bills if I am left with hundreds of pounds for myself at the end of each month. We are supposed to look after each other and not put a practice in place that benifits one person.

    We've now been married 33 years and still split the bills the same way. Having your own money gives you a feeling of financial freedom and causes fewer arguments or bad feeling between you both. I never wanted to be in the position of having more power in our relationship, which I would have had if we had split our financies 50/50.

    Every couple will have a different way of tlooking at these things, but I can honestly say that we have never argued about money.
  • RCN10
    RCN10 Forumite Posts: 6
    Third Anniversary First Post
    MikeJXE said:
    I've never understood how couples can keep their finances separate - our old-fashioned view was that all incomes and expenses went through our joint account so no abitrarily splitting costs and whatever's left is "ours".
    Absolutely I totally agree 

    No wonder failed marriages are on the up reading some of the comments 

    What happened to share and share alike 
    All very well, but what happens if views on spending what’s left differ, or one partner is a spendthrift / gets into debt?  Better to split contribution to bills, joint expenditure eg holidays, and joint savings proportionately to income, with each partner retaining what’s left of their individual income in their own account.
  • LostDaydream
    LostDaydream Forumite Posts: 1
    First Post
    I think couples should have separate bank accounts and only use a shared account for shared expenses eg going half on utility bills, mortgage/rent etc. The higher earner could spend more on childcare costs, holidays etc. I think the OP should continue to pay half. If costs are too high then they need to look at how to reduce costs eg new wifi, new phone plans etc. I am female and the higher earner (but I don’t earn double what he earns).
  • SnakePlissken
    SnakePlissken Forumite Posts: 150
    100 Posts Name Dropper
    edited 22 February at 9:42AM
    _Sam_ said:
    The post doesnt mention anything further.

    But does the  larger earner pay for other things e.g. holidays, car insurance(s), car servicing etc with person querying paying less or even nothing?

    Its hard to make a comment with out being party to all the information on shared payment spilt or not on all household bills and expenses.

    Only with this information can you comment on it being fair or not.

    Not necessarily - perhaps one way to understand this question is whether the OH's high earnings is the cause of the OP's financial hardship. 

    If but for the high salary of the OH, the OP would have been in receipt of grants/benefits towards energy costs, then the answer would be yes, the OH is responsible for the hardship and should contribute financially to compensate (to put OP in the same position as to the energy costs they would have been with grants/benefits).

    If the answer to the above is no, in other words if the OP would still have not been in receipt of grants/benefits even if the OH had earned exactly the same amount as the OP (for example because their combined income would still have precluded it), then the reason the OP does not currently receive grants/benefits would not be the high earnings of the OH and they should continue equal split.
    And as i said we do not know if other half pays all other bills and if op would be in receipt of grants or not. They mention being in fuel poverty, a lot of people pay over 10% of income on energy and are not able to get grants as they earn above limit on asistance.

    They dont say what their income is, how much they are left with after bills or what else their partner pays for. It may be they qualify for benefits, but we do not know with information supplied

    For me, I do not have enough information to make a judgement and for me that is why i wont make a judgement. 
  • kev1744
    kev1744 Forumite Posts: 138
    Part of the Furniture 100 Posts Combo Breaker
    just out of interest, if it was decided to sort the finances out by each person paying a different percentage of their wages. ie higher earner paying more. what would happen if they got divorced? would the courts  no longer look at it as a 50/50 split and instead say that the person who had paid the higher percentage in should get a higher percentage of any settlement?
  • honestcove
    honestcove Forumite Posts: 67
    10 Posts First Anniversary

    My advice is to discuss this niggle, but to broach it as part of a wider discussion on joint finances to cover planned and unplanned life events e.g. long term illness, that might have a dramatic effect on your individual and joint finances.
    TV adds or “Junk Mail” on,  say, life insurance might serve as a platform to launch the conversation.
    This might then help the two of you to air and address all of your niggles and come up with a plan that works for the two of you as unique individuals and deals with your current (and future) financial mismatches.

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