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    • MSE Kelvin
    • By MSE Kelvin 7th May 19, 4:00 PM
    • 67Posts
    • 189Thanks
    MSE Kelvin
    Money Moral Dilemma: Should my husband pay more towards bills while I'm on maternity leave?
    • #1
    • 7th May 19, 4:00 PM
    Money Moral Dilemma: Should my husband pay more towards bills while I'm on maternity leave? 7th May 19 at 4:00 PM
    This week's MoneySaver who wants advice asks...

    My husband and I have had a baby - it was planned and I am taking a year off work. I knew my maternity pay would be poor so I saved £23,000 from my own salary to cushion the blow. My husband and I still pay exactly the same towards the mortgage and bills, but I'm now digging deep into my savings. I know I'm having the time off, but it's my husband's baby too - should he be paying more while I'm on maternity leave?

    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.

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Page 2
    • elainel
    • By elainel 8th May 19, 6:09 AM
    • 1 Posts
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    elainel
    We would all expect our husbands / partners to support us if req, paying more towards bills or a financial 'top up' when needed...however....saving £23000 while still shelling out on life means you both earn big. Perhaps better financial planing is needed, and a discussion about this earlier would have been better! Surely you must have realised things would be tougher when bringing up a baby.
    Ps- what did you save the £23000 for if your now not happy to spend it!
    Last edited by elainel; 08-05-2019 at 6:19 AM.
    • moneysfab
    • By moneysfab 8th May 19, 6:19 AM
    • 3 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    moneysfab
    You should be a partnership not two individuals
    If he's paying 50% of the bills then I assume he's also doing 50% of the housework and childcare. If that's the case then yes you should be using your savings - if he's expecting you to pick up more than 50% of the childcare and bills then he should be paying more than 50% of the bills.
    It must have been a joint decision to have a baby and for you to take time off work.
    • Nerol
    • By Nerol 8th May 19, 7:28 AM
    • 1 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    Nerol
    I think most people in my generation who are now deciding to have children do actually do it this way.. All bills including mortgage are split down the middle and each has their own savings.
    I think pooling money is usually something of the past and for the older generation as they got married and then moved in together after marriage but Iím afraid it doesnít work like that anymore. I had a property myself at 23 years old which was before my husband and I ever even met so I was paying all bills and mortgage myself and putting towards my own savings so itís something that just carried on that way.
    However My husband and I are now talking about children and we have started putting some money to one side in advance for if we do as stat-mat pay is shocking so we will need some extra savings to cushion the blow of me not being on a full time wage for a year.
    My husband has also already said he will put more into our mortgage and bills whilst I would be off work as he earns more than me which means I could use more of the savings to also not be sat at home whilst on maternity leave... personally i think the husband (if he decides to go to work) should pay more as the woman has carried the child for 9 months and gone through labour.. I think they deserve a year off with the child!!
    • Pinksoxrulesok
    • By Pinksoxrulesok 8th May 19, 7:39 AM
    • 1 Posts
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    Pinksoxrulesok
    Whilst my husband and I share our finances entirely there is an element of how you practically transfer money on a monthly basis and often a wish to have a bit of your own spending money without comment from the other party. You could split it relative to your income (ie if he earns double what you do, then he contributes double what you do to bills and household running - this includes everything for the kids and future savings) or you could flip it, so that both of your incomes are merged immediately for family spending and you each “take out” a small allowance that you can use for your own personal spending. That way you each have some of your own money but contribute more fairly to the family.
    • Pollycat
    • By Pollycat 8th May 19, 7:49 AM
    • 22,651 Posts
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    Pollycat
    I'd be saying 'give your notice in today because I'm going back to work next month. Oh - and I hope you have enough money put by to pay your half of the mortgage and bills'.
    • the_jogger
    • By the_jogger 8th May 19, 8:13 AM
    • 11 Posts
    • 12 Thanks
    the_jogger
    Should husband pay more
    Yes, of course. You are a family now and it is all family money. When I had children my wife didn't work until the younger was five. There was no "my money", it was "our money" for our family.
    • eao
    • By eao 8th May 19, 8:16 AM
    • 3 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    eao
    29
    I note one reply; 'decide about this before conception', why not decide it during conception when the mum-t0-be would initiate a short pause and express her opinion quite strongly,!!
    On the other hand we have a simple straightforward solution; we have a joint account into which the husband pays and not the wife, this ac pays all bills, then the wife has her ac which is solely for her; works well though I know it is not for everyone,
    • pollypenny
    • By pollypenny 8th May 19, 8:25 AM
    • 26,162 Posts
    • 69,215 Thanks
    pollypenny
    You're a family now. Do things, decide things together.

    Is your husband stashing up big savings? Are they for himself or for you all as a family? Were you intending to keep these savings?
    Member #14 of SKI-ers club

    Words, words, they're all we have to go by!.

    (Pity they are mangled by this autocorrect!)
    • jinky9
    • By jinky9 8th May 19, 8:43 AM
    • 12 Posts
    • 9 Thanks
    jinky9
    Unbelievable that you had to save on your own for a joint decision to have a baby! Pool all income and share it equally with an account for household bills and an agreed allowance for each is surely the way to go. It`s not just the loss of earnings when you are on maternity leave but future earnings lost - are you going to be the only one paying for a joint decision to have a family?
    • thefishman
    • By thefishman 8th May 19, 8:52 AM
    • 1 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    thefishman
    I always thought that being in a marriage was creating a partnership in which your share things. My wife and I married 34 years ago and opened a joint bank account. Everything we have ever earned has been shared. I regularly go away with mates and the cost is taken from our joint account. If my wife wants anything she is welcome to pay for it out of the joint account. I just don't get having separate accounts. All it causes is issues like this. It took two of you to create the baby so it should take two of you to finance things. What would happen if either of you lost your job. Would the other shoulder the burden as a true partner would?
    • NeilCr
    • By NeilCr 8th May 19, 9:04 AM
    • 3,140 Posts
    • 4,637 Thanks
    NeilCr
    I just don't get having separate accounts.
    Originally posted by thefishman
    I think it depends on the couple and how they work.

    When I was married we started off with a joint account. Unfortunately, my ex could, sometimes, because of psychological problems, go on a spending spree. We went overdrawn and this caused difficulties. She didn't want to have to ask my permission to spend money. I didn't want to be asked but, equally, didn't want us to be overdrawn.

    The solution for us, which worked very well, was to both pay into a "bills account" and then have our own separate spending money. It cleared up all the issues. I suspect I had more to spend but I, also, put more into the joint account.

    We all, have our own way of doing things and if it works it is all good. What I don't get is the people who (not you thefishman) criticise others for how they manage their finances because it doesn't accord with their own practices
    Last edited by NeilCr; 08-05-2019 at 9:24 AM.
    • NBLondon
    • By NBLondon 8th May 19, 9:05 AM
    • 2,799 Posts
    • 13,804 Thanks
    NBLondon
    If the baby was planned - as you say it was - surely finances would have been discussed before now...
    Originally posted by Pollycat
    I'm assuming that it was discussed hence the £23K being saved. Could it be that the cost turned out to be more than planned so the plan now has to be revised? If this couple were capable of discussing what was fair then - they should be capable of discussing again now.

    Then it's not a question of how you arrange the joint account or transfers or splits but what the couple think is fair given the changed circumstances. But that might lead to a new dilemma of does baby have to have everything brand new or will second-hand do the job etc.
    "I spent a lot of money on booze, birds and fast cars. The rest I just squandered."
    • Pollycat
    • By Pollycat 8th May 19, 9:22 AM
    • 22,651 Posts
    • 61,253 Thanks
    Pollycat
    I'm assuming that it was discussed hence the £23K being saved. Could it be that the cost turned out to be more than planned so the plan now has to be revised? If this couple were capable of discussing what was fair then - they should be capable of discussing again now.
    Originally posted by NBLondon
    Well - who knows what the real situation is with these MMDs.
    Probably better not to assume anything that's not stated in the first post.

    Then it's not a question of how you arrange the joint account or transfers or splits but what the couple think is fair given the changed circumstances. But that might lead to a new dilemma of does baby have to have everything brand new or will second-hand do the job etc.
    Originally posted by NBLondon
    Then wouldn't the person with the MMD be better talking to her partner instead of asking random strangers on t'interweb?
    • Golightly72
    • By Golightly72 8th May 19, 9:25 AM
    • 99 Posts
    • 351 Thanks
    Golightly72
    Those who keep saying they should have a joint account for bills - nothing suggests they don't? That doesn't solve the actual dilemma, which is how much each should each be paying into it, given that one is currently earning much less than the other.


    I do think the amount put into the bills account should be proportional to each person's income, so while on maternity leave one person should definitely be paying less. Or suggest the other half of the partnership should top up half of all the savings used at the end of the maternity leave so that both are left in the same position, financially.


    I do think that that viewing the baby as the financial responsibility of one half of the relationship will cause further problems down the line - they only get more expensive as the years go by!
    • Cimscate
    • By Cimscate 8th May 19, 9:42 AM
    • 134 Posts
    • 144 Thanks
    Cimscate
    Talk to your husband!
    That is all!!!
    • Exodi
    • By Exodi 8th May 19, 9:44 AM
    • 750 Posts
    • 988 Thanks
    Exodi
    I actually disagree with the financial arguments surrounding this;

    of course he should! sit down together and work out the cost of hiring a full time nanny to do everything you're doing at the moment, that might help him understand the value you're contributing to your family while on maternity leave.
    Originally posted by RockTheShack
    Unless someone is moderately low paid, this isn't always the case. A registered child minder for 50 hours a week costs around £11,500 per year on average. If the OP has managed to quickly accrue £23,000 in savings, they're unlikely to be low paid and it would make financial sense for them to work. Obviously there's the aspect of bonding with the child that I can entirely get behind.

    I do agree that your finances should be split down the middle but only because you're married and now have children together. It's often not appreciated that if there is a very large pay disparity between you and your partner, it can feel unfair. But when you get married or have children, you make commitments that you are one unit and share.
    Know what you don't
    • Lungboy
    • By Lungboy 8th May 19, 9:59 AM
    • 1,739 Posts
    • 1,955 Thanks
    Lungboy
    That doesn't solve the actual dilemma, which is how much each should each be paying into it, given that one is currently earning much less than the other.
    Originally posted by Golightly72
    Easily sorted, they both put in the same %, that way it doesn't matter if the numbers are different as it's still fair.
    • Exodi
    • By Exodi 8th May 19, 10:00 AM
    • 750 Posts
    • 988 Thanks
    Exodi
    personally i think the husband (if he decides to go to work) should pay more as the woman has carried the child for 9 months and gone through labour.. I think they deserve a year off with the child!!
    Originally posted by Nerol
    I have a sister that works full time in a supermarket, she is 18. She recently found out that she is 3 months pregnant and immediately after finding out has taken 2-3 days off a week sick (after being told by her employee that she can take as much time off without question due to being pregnant - huge supermarket chain, likely doesn't want to deal with pregnancy discrimination claims), refuses to do any manual labour (as in, stacking shelves) and frequently refuses to do things as 'I'm Pregnant!'.

    In the last place I worked, we had a young full time accounts lady who also fell pregnant. From around the 8 week mark, we'd be lucky to see her two days a week. This was for 7 months until she was fully off for a year maternity leave, it's almost to the point where we're forgot what she looks like.

    Obviously, these are two pregnancies I've been associated with so they will taint my view. I also appreciate that carrying a child does place physical and emotional strain on women however I think it's bold to plainly suggest that men should pay more as the woman has had to struggle with carrying the child for 9 months (and deserves another year off because f**k shared parent leave right?). Whilst it obviously depends on the circumstances, there are women that have quite a cushy time being pregnant.
    Know what you don't
    • Dadad
    • By Dadad 8th May 19, 10:01 AM
    • 3 Posts
    • 9 Thanks
    Dadad
    For the past 49 years my wife and I have always said to each other 'what's yours is mine and what's mine's my own.


    And it has worked very well.
    • lesbro
    • By lesbro 8th May 19, 10:10 AM
    • 47 Posts
    • 41 Thanks
    lesbro
    Marriage is a partnership all money is shared, in our case one joint account or more if you have a separate savings account.
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