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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 3
    • cassie75
    • By cassie75 8th May 19, 10:12 AM
    • 4 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    cassie75
    My sister has a similar arrangement with wages and separate bank accounts - although she never saved HER money for their babies.


    Most of their rows are about money, he earns more than her, she works part time, she has kept the savings she had when they married, any extra money he gets he keeps. They do have a joint account for bills. Money is always a conversation they have - usually ending badly.


    My husband and I decided early on that all money should be put together - For richer for poorer !!
    He had a few savings, I earned more at the time. He brought my engagement ring, every thing else has been joint ever since.


    We have one bank account where all money goes in, we have a few different savings accounts / ISA's - by necessity in single names, but there is an equal amount in each and we know that all the money is "ours". We have ONE credit card with two cards, we take out a small amount of cash each week which tops up our wallets if needed. My redundancy money went in the pot and I had no problem with that.

    We discuss large purchases and nether of us are greedy so money has NEVER been a problem.

    31 years of happy marriage - we had plenty of rows but never about money :-)


    I really don't understand why someone can commit to marriage for life and still keep so much separate. It would make me feel less secure and worry that they were keeping it separate ready for WHEN they split up.


    It amazes me that the lady managed to save 23k for when she was on maternity leave, that's 2 years wages for us !


    But she said that was what she saved it for so why is she now worried that she is dipping into those savings?


    What she doesn't say is what her husband earns - does he earn more or is she the main wage earner? If he earns more than her and she managed to save 23k they must be really rich. If he does not earn more than no he should not pay more.


    Whatever it is - it is obviously that having more money does not make you happy. I am very glad that I am working, poor and happy :-)
    • Andu
    • By Andu 8th May 19, 10:16 AM
    • 4 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Andu
    yes
    I think if you are married you might as well share your finances. But if you don't want to then I would say that it would be fair if your husband 'paid' you for childcare so to speak. That's what my partner and me did, ie we are not married and we have separate finances, and when we had children then during my maternity leave he would give me half his salary (minus the maternity pay I received) and we carried on paying half the bills from our half each. By having separate finances we avoid all arguments about money, ie each of us can do with their left-over whatever they like without any discussions or resentment, it has worked great for us for the last 20 years.
    Last edited by Andu; 08-05-2019 at 10:26 AM.
    • Wizzbang
    • By Wizzbang 8th May 19, 10:16 AM
    • 4,444 Posts
    • 10,128 Thanks
    Wizzbang
    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.
    Originally posted by Exodi
    This utter rubbish could only be spouted by a man or a childless woman. Who are you to know that these poor women weren't sat with their head over the toilet bowl for months and months? Or regularly passing out? Or any one of a huge number of other complications that can go with being pregnant? I genuinely don't believe that there's a woman alive that has a 'cushy time' being pregnant - for God's sake - they are growing another human being, it's completely knackering, you are running to the loo every 5 minutes, you need to eat more, some women get pelvic pain problems and I could go on and on.

    Your ignorance shows!
    Minimalist
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    • Exodi
    • By Exodi 8th May 19, 10:38 AM
    • 750 Posts
    • 982 Thanks
    Exodi
    This utter rubbish could only be spouted by a man or a childless woman. Who are you to know that these poor women weren't sat with their head over the toilet bowl for months and months? Or regularly passing out? Or any one of a huge number of other complications that can go with being pregnant? I genuinely don't believe that there's a woman alive that has a 'cushy time' being pregnant - for God's sake - they are growing another human being, it's completely knackering, you are running to the loo every 5 minutes, you need to eat more, some women get pelvic pain problems and I could go on and on.

    Your ignorance shows!
    Originally posted by Wizzbang
    In the case of my sister, it would seem that her unblemished sickness report instantly (and I literally mean the same week) took a beating the second she found out she was pregnant - my older sister who is a supervisor at the same place humorously pointed it out to me. In hindsight, instead of laughing at the coincidences, I should have pointed out that no woman has ever taken advantage of being pregnant, she is ignorant and that my older sister must be a man or a childless woman for thinking otherwise. Even if she was bright and bubbly before finding out, has my older sister not acknowledged that she may have been regularly passing out during her lunch breaks? Yeah, I'm sure there's not a single woman alive that has taken any advantage from it. What was it, my ignorance shows? Right.
    Know what you don't
    • Patjan
    • By Patjan 8th May 19, 10:51 AM
    • 28 Posts
    • 52 Thanks
    Patjan
    As has been posted below, whatever happened to marriage being a union of equal partners, so that everything is owned equally between husband and wife? If you and your husband were to divorce, that would be the basis of the divorce settlement. With regard to your house, every penny invested in it would go towards the increase in its value - which both of you would benefit from. And when your child is born, will you also want to divide the financial responsibilty incurred in bringing him/her up?
    • amber_cloud
    • By amber_cloud 8th May 19, 11:23 AM
    • 16 Posts
    • 24 Thanks
    amber_cloud
    Yes he should, or pay half childcare
    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?

    He's saving on his share of childcare (presumably you will be splitting those costs?) with you being on maternity leave, so yes, he should contribute more as you're not currently earning. Perhaps calculate how much you'd be spending between you on childcare if you went back to work early, and he can contribute his half of that toward the bills until you're back at work.
    • Merlin2302
    • By Merlin2302 8th May 19, 11:58 AM
    • 2 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Merlin2302
    Togetherness?
    Seems like a case of what is my money is mine & your money is ours!

    Surely as a couple any money whether saved or earned is all part of the household pot. The arrangement you had prior to having your baby may have worked for that time but having children very quickly focuses your attitude to financial affairs. Raising children cost thousands of pounds so both your attitudes need to change on whos money is whos, its both your money!
    I suggest sitting down together and agree any money is combined and a budget is agreed on how it is spent and or saved.
    If you were separated I could understand the dilemma but your together.....arent you?
    • vinnie vaxer
    • By vinnie vaxer 8th May 19, 12:44 PM
    • 3 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    vinnie vaxer
    Money is one of the main problems between couples. My wife & I have never argued about it. We have always had joint bank & credit card accounts.
    • jewelqueen
    • By jewelqueen 8th May 19, 2:09 PM
    • 3 Posts
    • 6 Thanks
    jewelqueen
    Prepare
    If, as a married couple you decided to keep your accounts separate then that's your decision. BUT, you knew that your finances were going to be affected 9 months previously so why didn't you plan ahead? For example you could have set up a joint account to pay for things, having previously agreed how much you were each going to contribute to the pot.
    • Bobbie Marsland
    • By Bobbie Marsland 8th May 19, 2:23 PM
    • 1 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Bobbie Marsland
    Talk to each other
    This is one of those situations where you must wish it had been talked about at the initial planning stage of the project but it is never too late to talk. It seems that you did not realise how quickly the money would flow out of your account. So, it is probably that your husband thinks you are happy to continue paying and has no idea of either how much you have saved or how quickly it is being reduced. Once he understands the reality of the situation he will probably come good. This conversation will probably lead to other things that need some clarification and revision between you.
    I doubt whether he would wish to change places with you at any time during your pregnancy, even taking into account the time you say you are "having off", especially when you give birth! And "time off" ceases to exist after that which again is likely to involve you more than it involves your husband unless he is a really a "hands on Dad". Very Best Wishes to you both. Bobbie.
    • zulujuju
    • By zulujuju 8th May 19, 2:31 PM
    • 3 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    zulujuju
    Erm no
    Firstly how on earth have you managed to save 23K prior to maternity leave, if you have saved this then surely you were in a good financial position to start with.

    All bills whether you are married or not should be split down the middle if you live together. We have a joint account for bills that we both put exactly the same amount in and then seperate accounts for our own spending once everything is paid.

    Yes you are having the time off but whilst you are off, you will actually be costing more in the household by using electricity, gas, water and so on that would never normally be used during the day if you were both at work.

    I've had 2 children and during my maternity leave (both having 1 year off), we planned beforehand with the money and made sure with what went into the bank the bills were paid but allowed ourselves less spending money during this period.

    Your also getting the extra time with the baby, whilst hubby is at work. So make the most of it and be the partnership you
    should be during your marriage
    • onwards&upwards
    • By onwards&upwards 8th May 19, 2:49 PM
    • 477 Posts
    • 854 Thanks
    onwards&upwards
    This utter rubbish could only be spouted by a man or a childless woman. misogynist.

    Your ignorance shows!
    Originally posted by Wizzbang

    Corrected that far you.

    Most people are nowhere near this ignorant regardless of their gender or whether they have kids,
    • pollypenny
    • By pollypenny 8th May 19, 2:56 PM
    • 26,138 Posts
    • 69,134 Thanks
    pollypenny
    This utter rubbish could only be spouted by a man or a childless woman. Who are you to know that these poor women weren't sat with their head over the toilet bowl for months and months? Or regularly passing out? Or any one of a huge number of other complications that can go with being pregnant? I genuinely don't believe that there's a woman alive that has a 'cushy time' being pregnant - for God's sake - they are growing another human being, it's completely knackering, you are running to the loo every 5 minutes, you need to eat more, some women get pelvic pain problems and I could go on and on.

    Your ignorance shows!
    Originally posted by Wizzbang
    Not necessarily.

    A newly appointed Head of Department announced her pregnancy within days. I was second in the very big department and basically ran it from then until the time she gave in her notice the week before she was due back after maternity leave. Of course I only got the temporary promotion and salary while madam was on maternity leave, not the months of sickness before.

    To make things worse, she kept insisting that she wanted to do timetable, class allocation and book order herself. She didn't and I ended up having to do important things at the last minute.

    I've had two children so I do know what's like to be pregnant.
    Last edited by pollypenny; 09-05-2019 at 7:26 AM.
    Member #14 of SKI-ers club

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

    (Pity they are mangled by this autocorrect!)
    • Comms69
    • By Comms69 8th May 19, 2:56 PM
    • 8,671 Posts
    • 9,818 Thanks
    Comms69
    This utter rubbish could only be spouted by a man or a childless woman. Who are you to know that these poor women weren't sat with their head over the toilet bowl for months and months? Or regularly passing out? Or any one of a huge number of other complications that can go with being pregnant? I genuinely don't believe that there's a woman alive that has a 'cushy time' being pregnant - for God's sake - they are growing another human being, it's completely knackering, you are running to the loo every 5 minutes, you need to eat more, some women get pelvic pain problems and I could go on and on.

    Your ignorance shows!
    Originally posted by Wizzbang
    Because you know men never see when their partner is doing well and not so well during pregnancy....
    • Superfast_Gran
    • By Superfast_Gran 8th May 19, 3:03 PM
    • 197 Posts
    • 625 Thanks
    Superfast_Gran
    For Goodness sake! What the devil are you playing at? Either you're a team and pool your resources ie "ours", or you're in a business partnership. Or you don't trust each other and one or both of you are covering your backs in case a get out is needed.

    My husband and I have been married 27 years next month and have totally pooled everything from the get go. There is no mine or his. If either of us need anything, we get it. If it's something substantial, we discuss it.

    Going "dutch" on financial stuff continuously is not something I would recommend for contributing towards a stable relationship.

    Get a grip!!!!
    Struggling too much wears a body out
    • Robisere
    • By Robisere 8th May 19, 3:24 PM
    • 2,699 Posts
    • 3,636 Thanks
    Robisere
    Bravo Superfast_Gran!

    Marriage is a partnership between two people who wanted to be together because they love each other. Totally unlike a business partnership, it is not a commercial undertaking, it depends on each partner treating the other equally, giving and accepting (not taking!) in equal measure.

    What is the point of marriage, whether it be the time-honoured way or a Civil partnership, if there is no intent to share? My wife and I have been married for 30 years this August, second time for us both and for both it is the sharing marriage: joint bank accounts, savings accounts, every expense shared and no secrets.

    I feel sorry for those who keep their earnings and expenses separate. It simply does not work as well as it should, there is no real honesty there and the door is open for keeping things from each other.
    I think this job really needs
    a much bigger hammer.
    • Mattandhel
    • By Mattandhel 8th May 19, 3:37 PM
    • 4 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Mattandhel
    You're a partnership not individuals
    I would say so. When me and my hubby met we earned equal amounts. I'd never had a joint account and refused to have one. When I fell pregnant (only 3 months after we met) my hubby was adamant that we should share as one person would have to take a step back to look after the baby as we didn't believe in putting him in nursery all week. That was 10 years ago and my hubbys income has increased dramatically since then. I went back to work 20 hours a week till the little guy was 3 and then back up to 30 hours. My hubby has always maintained you can't have separate money and be happy if it means one person suffers. He now takes home over 1000 per week and I only 1200 a month. All the money goes into the same account and we share what's left after the bills. I would sit down and have a discussion with your hubby and suggest you share funds and if that doesn't work then maybe suggest he takes some paternity leave then you can head back to work early
    • NeilCr
    • By NeilCr 8th May 19, 3:39 PM
    • 3,127 Posts
    • 4,597 Thanks
    NeilCr

    I feel sorry for those who keep their earnings and expenses separate. It simply does not work as well as it should, there is no real honesty there and the door is open for keeping things from each other.
    Originally posted by Robisere
    Sorry, but I feel this is really condescending. It's this type of post and the one from Superfast Granthat I was referring to earlier.

    I know a number of couples that have separate finances and their relationships are absolutely rock solid and they are as honest with each other as the day is long. My marriage was absolutely fine from the financial point of view (we just grew apart for other reasons) and we worked that way, too.

    Whatever works for you as a couple works for you. Personally, I find the sort of relationship where couples do everything together and know exactly what the other person is doing every second of the day rather odd. But I have friends who live like that and they are happy. I'd never go round saying "I feel sorry for them"

    There is no "better" way of how a relationship works. I think it's a shame that some folks feel theirs is somehow superior to others.
    Last edited by NeilCr; 08-05-2019 at 4:17 PM.
    • Pollycat
    • By Pollycat 8th May 19, 3:43 PM
    • 22,620 Posts
    • 61,198 Thanks
    Pollycat
    Bravo Superfast_Gran!

    Marriage is a partnership between two people who wanted to be together because they love each other. Totally unlike a business partnership, it is not a commercial undertaking, it depends on each partner treating the other equally, giving and accepting (not taking!) in equal measure.

    What is the point of marriage, whether it be the time-honoured way or a Civil partnership, if there is no intent to share? My wife and I have been married for 30 years this August, second time for us both and for both it is the sharing marriage: joint bank accounts, savings accounts, every expense shared and no secrets.

    I feel sorry for those who keep their earnings and expenses separate. it simply does not work as well as it should, there is no real honesty there and the door is open for keeping things from each other.
    Originally posted by Robisere
    From what I've read on here, whichever way you organise your finances can work - as long as both parties are in agreement and don't feel they are paying too much compared to the other partner.
    It doesn't work when you have to ask someone if they think it's fair - because the need to ask the question is a clear indication that you don't think the arrangement is fair.
    • colinlyne
    • By colinlyne 8th May 19, 6:12 PM
    • 10 Posts
    • 17 Thanks
    colinlyne
    I would divorce you if you were expecting that of me!
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