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    • MSE Sarah
    • By MSE Sarah 30th Nov 17, 1:32 PM
    • 122Posts
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    MSE Sarah
    Money Moral Dilemma: Should my husband contribute more to our finances?
    • #1
    • 30th Nov 17, 1:32 PM
    Money Moral Dilemma: Should my husband contribute more to our finances? 30th Nov 17 at 1:32 PM
    This week's MoneySaver who wants advice asks...

    My husband and I have always split bills 50/50 and pay them from a joint account, despite him earning three times as much as me. We recently had a baby, so my earnings dropped significantly. I've claimed child benefit, which is paid into our joint account, but as my husband earns about £60,000 a year, he has to pay a 'high income child benefit tax charge' and says it should come from our joint account. Is this fair?

    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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    • Pollycat
    • By Pollycat 7th Dec 17, 2:17 PM
    • 20,182 Posts
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    Originally posted by hairyone
    The door for previous centuries is over there.
    Originally posted by ViolaLass
    As is the door for internet 'shouting' i.e. posting in all capitals - regardless of how you are.
    • MD9ZP2Bornot2B
    • By MD9ZP2Bornot2B 9th Dec 17, 2:17 PM
    • 1 Posts
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    I think this is a gray area and to be totally honest this article spins a different light on this issue

    I am sure this will be a interasting debate

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    • enthusiasticsaver
    • By enthusiasticsaver 9th Dec 17, 10:39 PM
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    This is a moral dilemma thread not a real question but I believe some married couples do this and I cannot for the life of me understand why.

    I earned a lot less than my husband due to having to accept a downgrade to work part time to fit in with childcare responsibilities as my husband travelled a lot for work and could not pull his weight in that respect. When we had children we earned roughly the same but after going part time and taking jobs to fit around the kids my earning power went down considerably even though the children were both of ours. If my husband had insisted on separate finances and me stumping up 50% of the bills in spite of my much lower salary I would either be telling him to get a job to divide the childcare responsibilities more fairly or charging him to childmind our children to make up for the pay difference. Same goes for doing the housework, cooking, gardening, laundry, bill paying and shopping and all the other things I did as I was at home more than him. He always maintained we were a partnership though and we had a joint bank account and each had a separate personal account with the same amount each month going into both for our personal spends.

    As for the child benefit loss yes the husband should pay it as his much higher salary that is causing the benefit to be lost to the child which is what it is there to be spent on.

    How married couples divide their money though needs to be a negotiation. My husband earned more than me but I have had several large inheritances which he has not received but these were spent or saved on things which benefitted both of us. Similarly we have always had a similar amount of personal money to spend on hobbies, clothes etc as I think it is quite unfair for a husband to be able to carry on spending at a high level when his wife is scratching around looking for money to pay for childrens shoes etc. Vice versa of course if the wife is a higher earner.
    Last edited by enthusiasticsaver; 09-12-2017 at 10:46 PM.
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    • Kamelo
    • By Kamelo 10th Dec 17, 5:32 AM
    • 3 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    All this my money/their money comes across as a whole load of faff to me. If you're married with a child then surely it's a family pot spent accordingly. If you keep finances separate how do you measure who contributes what and so keep things split proportionally? What about things such as food, holidays, travel costs, children's clothes, furniture and decorations.etc. Do you split according to earnings or how much you use it/eat?
    Then there are things whereby one party is enabled to do things because of what their partner does. I used to host dinner parties for potential clients but I couldn't have possibly done this without my wife's help. It was a joint effort that hopefully generated income for us. Likewise me being away from home for work sometimes was only possible with her taking on more of the house work and childcare. I would hate to have to try and keep a measure of who contributed what in my own case.
    I'd much rather try to make the best of the whole family pot to generate the most return rather than working a spreadsheet to see who is entitled to spend what.

    individual spending money will lead inevitably, in my mind at least, to times when money will be be spent because it's there and it's 'mine' rather than because it needs to be. This doesn't mean you can't spend any money on yourself from a family pot, of course you should but it should be according to needs, wants and above all ,availability, with the interests of the whole family in mind rather than percentages on a spreadsheet.
    • Sifer
    • By Sifer 10th Dec 17, 9:54 AM
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    'This week's MoneySaver who wants advice asks...'

    This suggests it is a real question just that they asked it direct to the site rather than asking via the forums.

    MSE therefore posted it here since they don't answer the dilema's.
    • Pollycat
    • By Pollycat 10th Dec 17, 10:25 AM
    • 20,182 Posts
    • 54,162 Thanks
    'This week's MoneySaver who wants advice asks...'

    This suggests it is a real question just that they asked it direct to the site rather than asking via the forums.

    MSE therefore posted it here since they don't answer the dilema's.
    Originally posted by Sifer
    I think most regular posters don't actually believe that these are 'real' money moral dilemmas.
    In fact I've seen a response by one of the MSE mods that they are intended as a bit of fun and to generate discussion (but I can't find it).
    • JR2011JR
    • By JR2011JR 10th Dec 17, 1:52 PM
    • 1 Posts
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    Should never have claimed in the first place.
    • The Mighty Gusset
    • By The Mighty Gusset 10th Dec 17, 9:30 PM
    • 147 Posts
    • 202 Thanks
    The Mighty Gusset
    Am I reading this correctly ?
    It seems that you both have separate accounts that you are paid into individually, and a joint account that you both pay into for bills etc.
    Your child benefit goes into the joint account, but because your husband is being clobbered by the tax man for earning a lot, and having bred an offspring (I'm assuming the child is his ?), he thinks you should compensate him for having a child by paying him a portion of your child benefit ?
    Have you thought of killing the selfish [insert expletive of choice] and living off the life insurance ?
    • Ebenezer_Screwj
    • By Ebenezer_Screwj 14th Dec 17, 9:14 AM
    • 409 Posts
    • 226 Thanks
    I don't have an exact answer to this. In our house I pay all the bills and my wife pays for the food and sundry household expenses, and we split holiday expenses between us. It works for us and as we are a couple we would always help each out if one of us had a cash flow problem.
    • jzm9jmf
    • By jzm9jmf 14th Dec 17, 1:33 PM
    • 1 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    1. If he earns 60k there is no point at all in claiming child benefit. - You just have to pay it all back again.

    2. Surely it makes sense for both salaries to go into the joint account.
    You can then pay yourselves an allowance into individual accounts for more Ďindividualí things.
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