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    • MSE Naomi
    • By MSE Naomi 6th Mar 18, 3:17 PM
    • 45Posts
    • 13Thanks
    MSE Naomi
    MMD: Should I pay more than my partner?
    • #1
    • 6th Mar 18, 3:17 PM
    MMD: Should I pay more than my partner? 6th Mar 18 at 3:17 PM
    This week's MoneySaver who wants advice asks...

    I've been with my partner for nearly eight years and we've always split everything 50/50 (bills, meals out etc). But recently he brought up that I'm earning 25% more than him - so should I pay more?

    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!

    Got a money moral dilemma of your own? Suggest an MMD.

    This Forum tip was included in MoneySavingExpert.com's weekly email!
    Last edited by MSE Luke; 06-03-2018 at 7:42 PM.
Page 1
    • Red-Squirrel
    • By Red-Squirrel 6th Mar 18, 3:22 PM
    • 3,464 Posts
    • 9,286 Thanks
    Red-Squirrel
    • #2
    • 6th Mar 18, 3:22 PM
    • #2
    • 6th Mar 18, 3:22 PM
    Yes you should. After 8 years I have to wonder why you haven't got married and why you don't have shared finances but are still splitting everything like flatmates. Do you have children?

    Oh wait, nobody's going to answer, are they?
    • ska lover
    • By ska lover 6th Mar 18, 3:50 PM
    • 2,872 Posts
    • 7,088 Thanks
    ska lover
    • #3
    • 6th Mar 18, 3:50 PM
    • #3
    • 6th Mar 18, 3:50 PM
    No, why should you pay more towards the household expenditure as a punishment for your success, if he wants more excess income he should earn it
    The opposite of what you know...is also true
    • KxMx
    • By KxMx 6th Mar 18, 3:51 PM
    • 7,472 Posts
    • 10,843 Thanks
    KxMx
    • #4
    • 6th Mar 18, 3:51 PM
    • #4
    • 6th Mar 18, 3:51 PM
    Do whatever works for you as a couple.

    Your partner may well feel you should pay more, discuss the reasoning behind this with them and see where you can meet in the middle maybe.
    • riotlady
    • By riotlady 6th Mar 18, 4:19 PM
    • 107 Posts
    • 280 Thanks
    riotlady
    • #5
    • 6th Mar 18, 4:19 PM
    • #5
    • 6th Mar 18, 4:19 PM
    After 8 years together I would expect a couple to have more of an "our money" approach than splitting everything 50/50, but I don't think it's necessarily a moral imperative.

    I'm curious as to why you wouldn't though- surely you're a team?
    Make £2018 in 2018 challenge-
    £626/£2018
    • comeandgo
    • By comeandgo 6th Mar 18, 4:21 PM
    • 2,208 Posts
    • 2,991 Thanks
    comeandgo
    • #6
    • 6th Mar 18, 4:21 PM
    • #6
    • 6th Mar 18, 4:21 PM
    How sad this is, you have to ask some faceless people rather than discuss this with your partner. Do you never surprise him and take him out for a meal or he you? You say everything is paid 50/50, even meals out.
    Pay more into your pension so that you both have exactly the same disposable income.
    Another thought, if you get more Christmas presents than he does, does he sulk?
    • FBaby
    • By FBaby 6th Mar 18, 5:02 PM
    • 17,000 Posts
    • 41,891 Thanks
    FBaby
    • #7
    • 6th Mar 18, 5:02 PM
    • #7
    • 6th Mar 18, 5:02 PM
    What do you do with your extra disposable income? A bit awkward when you plan a nice holiday abroad and he tells you he can't afford it when you have £1000s in the bank.
    • Gavin83
    • By Gavin83 6th Mar 18, 5:29 PM
    • 5,378 Posts
    • 8,888 Thanks
    Gavin83
    • #8
    • 6th Mar 18, 5:29 PM
    • #8
    • 6th Mar 18, 5:29 PM
    After 8 years together I would expect a couple to have more of an "our money" approach than splitting everything 50/50, but I don't think it's necessarily a moral imperative.

    I'm curious as to why you wouldn't though- surely you're a team?
    Originally posted by riotlady
    It works differently for different couples, not all would work like this. I've been with my fianc! for 11 years and we still keep our money separate. Works for us. Of course if children are involved I can see why it would work differently.

    In regards to the OP I don't necessarily think so. However given the difference in your salaries maybe the odd treat would be nice.
    • Gloomendoom
    • By Gloomendoom 6th Mar 18, 5:57 PM
    • 14,908 Posts
    • 20,289 Thanks
    Gloomendoom
    • #9
    • 6th Mar 18, 5:57 PM
    • #9
    • 6th Mar 18, 5:57 PM
    I've been with my partner for nearly eight years and we've always split everything 50/50 (bills, meals out etc). But recently he brought up that I'm earning 25% more than him - so should I pay more?
    Originally posted by MSE Naomi
    Suggest he gets a better paid job... or go part time yourself.

    Problem solved.
    .
    .
    .
    Last edited by Gloomendoom; 06-03-2018 at 6:04 PM.
    Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.” - Mark Twain
    • Ames
    • By Ames 6th Mar 18, 6:32 PM
    • 17,629 Posts
    • 31,127 Thanks
    Ames
    Here's my tip - do a forum search for the many, many times this has bee discussed. Much quicker than emailing the forum team to ask them to start yet another thread on the subject.
    Unless I say otherwise 'you' means the general you not you specifically.
    • Gloomendoom
    • By Gloomendoom 6th Mar 18, 7:47 PM
    • 14,908 Posts
    • 20,289 Thanks
    Gloomendoom
    Here's my tip - do a forum search for the many, many times this has bee discussed. Much quicker than emailing the forum team to ask them to start yet another thread on the subject.
    Originally posted by Ames
    I always assumed that MMDs were made up by the forum team to promote activity on slack days.
    Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.” - Mark Twain
    • PurpleGoldFish
    • By PurpleGoldFish 6th Mar 18, 10:39 PM
    • 125 Posts
    • 101 Thanks
    PurpleGoldFish
    My partner and I have been together for years. Both salaries are combined and then divided 50:50 and we split the cost for everything. We chose this way as we didn!!!8217;t wanna be one of those couples that argues about who spent what from the joint account.

    It works for us, he buys PlayStation Games, New Phones, Cigarettes, etc...but it!!!8217;s his money once it!!!8217;s divided. I know we!!!8217;re lucky in that we have £1500+ spare each month, but I wouldn!!!8217;t have it any other way. 50:50 we!!!8217;re a team.
    • Augustus the Strong
    • By Augustus the Strong 6th Mar 18, 11:29 PM
    • 302 Posts
    • 312 Thanks
    Augustus the Strong
    Yes. It's reasonable for each of you to pay a proportion of your income into a joint account to pay household bills.
    What you each do with the rest of your incomes is up to you.
    • Teacher2
    • By Teacher2 7th Mar 18, 6:46 AM
    • 336 Posts
    • 2,593 Thanks
    Teacher2
    After so many years together you don!!!8217;t seem to be sharing your finances. Do you mean to stay together?

    My other half, who has always earned more than me, and I have shared our accounts and our money from the start as it works out better for both of us. We have similar attitudes to money and are frugal savers rather than splurgers. We avoid debt and save and our assets, such as the house and ISAs, belong to both of us. He can trust me and I trust him otherwise this policy would not work.

    It might seem unfair that he earns more but seems to have the same but my pension is now larger than his and I have never been a !!!8216;splurgy!!!8217; wife who insisted on lifestyle and expensive pampering. Now retired, I do domestic jobs, house maintenance, decorating and gardening which would cost thousands of pounds were we paying it with the additional employment taxes and VAT.

    As I say, approach depends on mutual trust but I recommend it.
    • Primer
    • By Primer 7th Mar 18, 6:48 AM
    • 4 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    Primer
    Yes I think it's fair that the higher wage earner pays a bigger proportion, that's what I do anyway, we've been together for 12 years, married for 8yrs and split the household bills 50 50 from a joint account but I also pay for the car loan for our cars which is virtually the extra I get paid per month. My wife often insists that it's not fair I do this and she should contribute towards it but I tell her it's ok as I earn more.

    My ex wasn't like that, she paid less towards the bills from day one and then when she got a good promotion and earnt more than me she still only paid the lower amount and didn't see why she should change what she paid, hence why she is an ex, funny though as she demanded a 50% split when we broke up.
    • buzzard
    • By buzzard 7th Mar 18, 7:31 AM
    • 219 Posts
    • 3,020 Thanks
    buzzard
    If my partner wasnt prepared to share everything they had with me I would feel there was something wrong in the relationship. Do you have different attitudes to spending and saving and if so can you reconcile these or will your relationship be at risk from this long term?

    If you agree that major spending decisions are taken together then you should share what you have with anyone you love.
    • kate335
    • By kate335 7th Mar 18, 7:37 AM
    • 1 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    kate335
    I have lived with my partner for nearly 4 years and when we moved in we agreed an amount to pay into a joint account to pay for the household bills and joint enterprises. Any additional bills we split 50:50.


    I know that at the time we earned roughly similar amounts and what his pensions are etc when we sorted wills but I know nothing more about his finances since then and he does not interfere with my finances , what we do with our spare cash is up to us as long as we pay for our responsibilities. Both of our wages have changed in the meantime......and yes we do intend to stay together. We both use the same household facilities therefore we pay the same amount as far as we are concerned.
    • sal1960
    • By sal1960 7th Mar 18, 7:47 AM
    • 21 Posts
    • 60 Thanks
    sal1960
    Teamwork
    We have always pooled our resources and consider ourselves a team. Sometimes Mr S earned more and sometimes I did - all our money went into the team account for both of us to use. I think when you have children and one of you stays at home to look after them it would be difficult to maintain a your money/my money approach.
    We took the view that both contributions were equally important
    Works for us .
    • ayresm
    • By ayresm 7th Mar 18, 8:11 AM
    • 2 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    ayresm
    Consider your income after tax & essentials
    I earn a little more than my girlfriend who is a few years younger. When we go out, we generally split the bills and I pay 2/3 and she pays 1/3. If our salaries were more equal we’d split more evenly.

    Our view is that after tax and essential costs (rent, heating, broadband etc.) the acual disposable income I have to spend on non-essentials is actually a lot more, so it only feels fair (in our personal circumstances) that I take more of the burden for us to both enjoy the finer things together.

    Simplified example - lets say she earns £2000 a month and I earn £2,500. After essential costs of £1,750 a month each, she has £250 remaining and I have £750. So a 50/50 split meal out of £100 (£50 each) will use 20% of her budget but only 7% of mine. By splitting it £33 and £66 it hits her non-essentials budget by 13% and mine by 9%. So limited impact to me but a big help to her.

    This is what works for us because we’re both happy with the approach, but it probably wouldn’t work if it felt like charity.
    • onomatopoeia99
    • By onomatopoeia99 7th Mar 18, 8:21 AM
    • 4,708 Posts
    • 10,754 Thanks
    onomatopoeia99
    Normal advice on here to a woman when the man earns more is you should both have the same amount left over once the household bills are paid. We're 20 posts in and that hasn't come up now, as it's the woman earning more. Strange (not strange).

    You will get a reactionary contingent saying that if you don't merge your finances then you don't intend to stay together, which is of course errant nonsense. I have few friends but I know couples that have been together decades and have grown up children that have never merged their finances. I don't know where people get these ideas.

    Ultimately it's what works for you both, the rest of us should keep our noses out.
    INTP, nerd, libertarian and scifi geek.
    Home is where my books are.
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