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



  • Alnat1
    Alnat1 Forumite Posts: 2,823
    1,000 Posts First Anniversary Name Dropper
    Rather than how much each partner earns, consider how many hours each worksHours worked should include those spent doing childcare/household chores/caring for other family members. 

    Put all income together, take off the sum needed for bills/holidays/contingency savings etc. Divide up the remainder according to number of hours each partner works.

    Seems to me the person who works the most hours each month is contributing most and should get the biggest share of the disposable income.
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  • SnakePlissken
    SnakePlissken Forumite Posts: 150
    100 Posts Name Dropper
    The post doesn't 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?

    It's hard to make a comment without 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.

    Actually, the scenario DOES give this information - at the end of the very last sentence it says: "or is it fairer to keep bills 50/50?" So it's clear they currently split ALL bills 50/50.  IMHO, they should change the split so it's proportionate to their individual earnings.
    I didnt take that from it, again not enough clarity. I took that as electric bills
  • SnakePlissken
    SnakePlissken Forumite Posts: 150
    100 Posts Name Dropper
    edited 22 February at 4:51PM
    _Sam_ said:
    _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. 

    From the OP's post: "With the current high energy prices, splitting bills this way puts me into fuel poverty, as more than 10% of my income is spent on energy. Yet I get no grants or benefits to help with this as my partner's income means that, as a household, we're not eligible."

    The way I see it, the OP is not asking us to confirm whether they would be eligible for grants/benefits. They are asking whether in a situation where the grants/benefits are denied due to the OH's high earnings, the 50/50 split is unfair.

    This question I think could be answered with the information provided, by approaching it in the "all else being equal" way.
    For me its not clear enough, that is just making an assumption, more clarity in post would be better.

    Wheter thats due to mse team member not posting enough or OP not supplying enough i i dont know.

    For me i need information before deciding on advice.

    But we are rather missing the point of this thread if im getting posts saying replying about whether i believe there is enough information for me to make descision on it.

    Perhaps we should start a sub thread on it as it has didly sqaut to do with energy. Maybe tiltled "is there enough information here".   ;)
  • AngelicKaty
    AngelicKaty Forumite Posts: 8
    10 Posts First Anniversary
    wavey12 said:
    I earn more than my partner, but we have a joint account that all our joint expenses come out of and we put in the same amount. Then we have separate accounts for our own purchases, which I think is important to retain some level of independence. You're two individuals as part of a team after all, you don't blend into one. I would calculate your joint expenses up and then halve it. If this leaves your partner with less disposable income, you could maybe look at splitting 60/40 so you're paying a bit more, but I think it's fairer to split evenly.
    Why do you think "it's fairer to split evenly"?  The way you've described your own arrangement is the very same arrangement the OP is complaining about.  It isn't fair, but maybe you think it is because you do better out of it.  There's nothing wrong with the mechanism of how you manage your money - one joint account and two individual ones - but the fact that you don't each pay in an amount to the joint account that is proportional to your individual earnings IS unfair.  I wonder what your partner really thinks about your current arrangement.
  • Springwood327
    Springwood327 Forumite Posts: 1
    First Post
    If you are a couple then it has to be a joint account for all bills. This was the downfall of my son and his wife. One earned considerably more and the other and could not afford 50% of bills and therefore got into debt.  Very sad they did not discuss and share joint income. It was the downfall of their marriage. If however it is just a share house arrangement, that is very different and should be 50/50 split.
  • SocksOnMyDesk
    SocksOnMyDesk Forumite Posts: 1
    First Post
    Not enough information here, and it's not really a dilemma, it's a very personal thing and you need to communicate. This may well be completely fair and you need to suck it up, or it might be very unfair.

    There's nothing wrong with separate finances. I'd probably find it a touch strange if you aren't pooling together if you're married or have kids, but if it works not doing so then there's no harm.

    50/50 on shared essential bills is more than fair if you're not pooling and only if you do not have to cover the other's wants they cannot afford alone and insist on having. Are you paying half a mortgage or more rent to live in an area you only live in because of their income? Is your energy through the roof because of a bigger house your partner insists on due to their income? That's not particularly fair when you aren't pooling finances. Unless you insist on having those things yourself and your partner otherwise wouldn't. Basically, you might be subsidising their lifestyle without them being aware of it.

    I split 50/50 with my partner and I earn a lot more, everything for essential living is down the middle, anything left is ours to do as we, please. That said, if tomorrow I said, I want to fly first class on our next holiday, that should not be 50/50 and I should not expect her to pay for that if I insist she goes. I do pick up extras, if we go out for drinks and food I'm far more likely to get the bill and that sort of thing, as we wouldn't be out as much if my income wasn't what it was. Luckily, despite our income difference, we share a pretty identical lifestyle so it works. If we separated, we'd have to pay the same bills for the same life anyway, our essential living isn't getting any cheaper where we live that's for sure. Therefore 50/50 on essentials works perfectly.

    Communicate! If they insist on 50/50, think about how you might actually be contributing to their lifestyle despite paying in equal amounts. Are you at work all day and is your partner blasting a space heater whilst working from home? They probably should consider chipping in more for the energy, but maybe you're splitting car costs that they aren't using etc.

  • HIA
    HIA Forumite Posts: 65
    Fifth Anniversary 10 Posts Name Dropper
    edited 22 February at 5:39PM
    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".
    Haha. When I married 37 years ago my husband insisted on no joint bank account and that he wanted to pay the mortgage (long gone) and council tax while I was to pay for everything else, this made him feel like the property was his even if I'd have legally got 50% if we'd split. At the time he earned more than me and had savings due to being 6 years older and having lived at home until we married. This is how we continued through three properties and three kids, i paid for all bills, child care and all costs for the children even though I went part time for a few years when the children were young. In retirement he is paying the council tax and I pick up the tab for everything else. The ironic thing is for all his meanness he has little pension and I am better off, he couldn't afford his lifestyle without me. I'm not bothered apart from he still patronises me when I want to spend money on travel even though I don't ask him to contribute.
  • Cacey73
    Cacey73 Forumite Posts: 1
    Name Dropper First Post
    comeandgo said:
    Two people living in the same house sharing costs, to me it’s half each.  Why should he subsidise you?
    @comeandgo why did you conclude that the higher wage earner is a he?
  • Rob5342
    Rob5342 Forumite Posts: 931
    500 Posts First Anniversary Name Dropper
    edited 22 February at 6:19PM
    The way my wife and I see it is that we deal with everything together. We get paid into a joint account, have a pot to cover the bills and a pot for each weeks budget. The weekly money just get spent as we like, as long as we can both buy things that we want we don't worry about who has spent what. When we had children she gave up work to look after them so we were both very busy but only I got paid for it. At the moment I earn 16 times what she does, but she had quite a large inheritance recently. Who knows, one day I might have to give up work due to ill health and has to look after me. As far as we are concerned we both do what we can and we both share the benefits. 
  • phillw
    phillw Forumite Posts: 5,540
    Tenth Anniversary 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
    edited 22 February at 6:26PM
    If you're married then you should be all in. Otherwise, don't get married.

    If you're just living with someone, then you should treat it like a house share.
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