Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

Search
  • FIRST POST
    • MSE Naomi
    • By MSE Naomi 6th Mar 18, 3:17 PM
    • 14Posts
    • 1Thanks
    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 4
    • HornetSaver
    • By HornetSaver 7th Mar 18, 3:57 PM
    • 2,347 Posts
    • 3,775 Thanks
    HornetSaver
    If no children involved and to the larger extent finances are being kept separate, then IMO it should be 50/50 for bills and joint activities such as days out or holidays. You're both choosing to live that lifestyle and should contribute equally.

    More of a moral dilemma if you're jointly saving up for something which will further the relationship (house deposit, wedding etc), because that's a step towards the merging of finances, and there are in my opinion good arguments for either proportionate or equal contributions in those cases.
    I'm standing by my pre-referendum prediction: "Brexit will lead to a recession"

    forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?p=70662330
    • NeilCr
    • By NeilCr 7th Mar 18, 4:03 PM
    • 1,708 Posts
    • 2,286 Thanks
    NeilCr

    If you have been together for 8 years, commit to each other and get married. If you don't want to marry just agree that you will share everything and whatever you have is shared jointly.

    If you don't feel confident enough to do this, then split as you clearly don't have any confidence in your partner.
    Originally posted by Bristow
    Good grief! Really.

    I've got to ask where this eight year rule has come from? That's at least three posters who have mentioned it and I've never heard it before.
    Last edited by NeilCr; 07-03-2018 at 4:46 PM.
    • hellienellie
    • By hellienellie 7th Mar 18, 4:03 PM
    • 24 Posts
    • 16 Thanks
    hellienellie
    Nell
    We have been married for 54 years and when we started out we paid half each . When kids came along my husband took on all the finances ! Once I went back work and was earning less than he we agreed to pay a fair percentage of our income . We are now pensioners and I don't have a private pension he does so we keep it pro rata ! It's a partnership !
    • fatrab
    • By fatrab 7th Mar 18, 4:13 PM
    • 833 Posts
    • 1,849 Thanks
    fatrab
    If you don't feel confident enough to do this, then split as you clearly don't have any confidence in your partner.
    Originally posted by Bristow

    Wow. Just, wow.
    You can have results or excuses, but not both.
    May's targets - Lose 1 stone - 6lbs off, 18/31 AFDs, 12/18 lunches.
    37 x £2 coins (#32) - Wannabe debt free by Dec 2022
    • Pay_me
    • By Pay_me 7th Mar 18, 4:17 PM
    • 153 Posts
    • 109 Thanks
    Pay_me
    This marriage theme that keeps appearing is complete and utter nonsense!!
    • username_unavailable
    • By username_unavailable 7th Mar 18, 4:34 PM
    • 1 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    username_unavailable
    We have been together for 25 years, always had a shared account and always 'pooled' our money. When we were first together I earned more than she did, then she got a better job and we earned the same, then I got a better job and we could afford to put her through a years training where she earns very little. Then I got made redundant and she got a better job. So you see if you are in it together it's swings and roundabouts it is about helping each other out not counting how much more you have or how much less you have
    • crmism
    • By crmism 7th Mar 18, 4:45 PM
    • 103 Posts
    • 63 Thanks
    crmism
    Household expenses
    Of course you should pay more - what kind of relationship do you have that begs a question such as yours? Is it as mercenary as you make it out to be?

    Look at it this way. If only one partner is earning, is it fair to expect the other to pay for the upkeep of the home when they have nothing in the way of income? Likewise, if one partner has a job that attracts higher-rate tax and the other earns a few pounds a week in a cleaning job, is it fair to expect the latter to meet 50% of the household costs? In both examples, no it isn't.
    • maman
    • By maman 7th Mar 18, 5:42 PM
    • 17,897 Posts
    • 107,150 Thanks
    maman
    Of course you should pay more - what kind of relationship do you have that begs a question such as yours? Is it as mercenary as you make it out to be?
    Originally posted by crmism

    IMO there's no 'Of Course' about it.


    I believe it would be very mercenary indeed to go into a relationship expecting the other person to finance your lifestyle. Isn't that where the term gold digger is used?


    I know we don't live in an equal world (yet) but we've just celebrated the centenary of some women getting the vote. It's over 70 years since equality of opportunity in education. Why are we still stuck in this mindset of kept women? or even kept men? I think it's archaic.


    Of course I realise there will be extenuating circumstances but taking the original post at face value (i.e. no illness, disability, pregnancy, redundancy etc.) then my self respect wouldn't let me live with a partner who was bailing me out financially.
    • happyinflorida
    • By happyinflorida 7th Mar 18, 5:51 PM
    • 694 Posts
    • 586 Thanks
    happyinflorida
    Why are you even asking this?

    Surely when your partner brought this up you discussed it or did you get all angry at the thought you may have to give a bit more money when you're earning more?!

    Personally I think if you're earning more then yes, you should contribute more as it's unfair otherwise, IMO.

    When my husband asked me to buy our first home together I said everything should be fair and our money should go in one account and our attitude should be "what's yours is mine and vice versa".

    It worked for my parents and that's what I think is fair.

    TBH I've always given everything and got very little. My husband has always had hobbies, which I haven't and has always spent a lot of money on cameras, hi fi - the old fashioned, expensive sort and other things.

    He's always asked first but looking back, I do think I've let him spend far too much over the years and he's never looked at what is needed, like for the house or garden or whatever first, it's always me that has had to point this out - which now I think has been a bit annoying.

    Possibly it's showing that I've left him get away with too much spending and I've been left with almost nothing and have never spent much on clothes or shoes etc because we've never had it spare, the kids came first but we have never had much money.

    I think I'm digging a hole here.

    Do what you want, if you're happy - fine but if your partner isn't, well that could lead to problems further down the line.
    • maman
    • By maman 7th Mar 18, 6:10 PM
    • 17,897 Posts
    • 107,150 Thanks
    maman
    Why are you even asking this?

    Surely when your partner brought this up you discussed it or did you get all angry at the thought you may have to give a bit more money when you're earning more?!

    Personally I think if you're earning more then yes, you should contribute more as it's unfair otherwise, IMO.

    When my husband asked me to buy our first home together I said everything should be fair and our money should go in one account and our attitude should be "what's yours is mine and vice versa".

    It worked for my parents and that's what I think is fair.

    TBH I've always given everything and got very little. My husband has always had hobbies, which I haven't and has always spent a lot of money on cameras, hi fi - the old fashioned, expensive sort and other things.

    He's always asked first but looking back, I do think I've let him spend far too much over the years and he's never looked at what is needed, like for the house or garden or whatever first, it's always me that has had to point this out - which now I think has been a bit annoying.

    Possibly it's showing that I've left him get away with too much spending and I've been left with almost nothing and have never spent much on clothes or shoes etc because we've never had it spare, the kids came first but we have never had much money.

    I think I'm digging a hole here.

    Do what you want, if you're happy - fine but if your partner isn't, well that could lead to problems further down the line.
    Originally posted by happyinflorida

    Yes, you are!


    Well, you might be....


    From what you've posted, doing what your parents did because it was fair didn't work for you.


    When you let your husband get away with treating himself to all these expensive toys, was it your earnings he was spending?


    Might you have been better off doing as many posters have suggested and just contributing 50:50 to the household bills. Then whatever's left from your own earnings you could have spent on flowers or cushions or whatever you wanted and no need to feel resentful of the hi-fi or the camera.
    • NaughtiusMaximus
    • By NaughtiusMaximus 7th Mar 18, 6:13 PM
    • 684 Posts
    • 1,660 Thanks
    NaughtiusMaximus
    Why are you even asking this?
    Originally posted by happyinflorida
    tbh I have my doubts that these 'moral dilemma' threads posted by MSE staff originate from genuine queries, more like hypothetical questions intended to prompt a discussion.
    • Gloomendoom
    • By Gloomendoom 7th Mar 18, 8:31 PM
    • 13,919 Posts
    • 18,299 Thanks
    Gloomendoom
    I know we don't live in an equal world (yet) but we've just celebrated the centenary of some women getting the vote. It's over 70 years since equality of opportunity in education. Why are we still stuck in this mindset of kept women? or even kept men? I think it's archaic..
    Originally posted by maman
    How do you define a kept woman or man? Somebody who earns less than their spouse/significant other?
    Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.” - Mark Twain
    • maman
    • By maman 7th Mar 18, 10:52 PM
    • 17,897 Posts
    • 107,150 Thanks
    maman
    How do you define a kept woman or man? Somebody who earns less than their spouse/significant other?
    Originally posted by Gloomendoom
    Not the earning less but expecting the higher earner to make up their spending power to well in excess of what they'd be able to afford otherwise. So effectively living beyond your means because someone else is paying.
    • onlyroz
    • By onlyroz 7th Mar 18, 11:38 PM
    • 13,975 Posts
    • 26,741 Thanks
    onlyroz
    IMO there's no 'Of Course' about it.


    I believe it would be very mercenary indeed to go into a relationship expecting the other person to finance your lifestyle. Isn't that where the term gold digger is used?


    I know we don't live in an equal world (yet) but we've just celebrated the centenary of some women getting the vote. It's over 70 years since equality of opportunity in education. Why are we still stuck in this mindset of kept women? or even kept men? I think it's archaic.


    Of course I realise there will be extenuating circumstances but taking the original post at face value (i.e. no illness, disability, pregnancy, redundancy etc.) then my self respect wouldn't let me live with a partner who was bailing me out financially.
    Originally posted by maman
    But we;re talking about an established relationship here. I can see how things are different at the beginning but once the relationship becomes permanent you have to take differences in income into account.

    If one partner is loafing about and freeloading off the other then that;s a different issue entirely - but there is no suggestion that this is the case here.

    As for kept women or kept men does this mean that I shouldn;t allow my husband to retire, because he must never become a kept man financially dependent on me?
    Last edited by onlyroz; 07-03-2018 at 11:42 PM.
    • xXMessedUpXx
    • By xXMessedUpXx 8th Mar 18, 12:16 AM
    • 17,133 Posts
    • 45,081 Thanks
    xXMessedUpXx
    My bf earns more than i do as i can only work part time due to my disability but when we get our own place we are going to share finances (and truthfully he;s going to be the one budgeting as with bipolar budgeting is far from one of my strengths ).He's never made me feel inferior for working less hours than he does, and im grateful we can be open and honest about money with each other.
    "Life Is Like A Beautiful Melody Only The Lyrics Are Messed Up"
    To see the rainbow you need both the sun and the rain to make its colours appear
    "I just need to be alone right now, i just wanna take a little breather"
    • Gloomendoom
    • By Gloomendoom 8th Mar 18, 12:17 AM
    • 13,919 Posts
    • 18,299 Thanks
    Gloomendoom
    Not the earning less but expecting the higher earner to make up their spending power to well in excess of what they'd be able to afford otherwise. So effectively living beyond your means because someone else is paying.
    Originally posted by maman
    In a situation where a married couple with differing salaries want to go on holiday, how would you suggest that they go about it? Should they each go on separate holidays, one cheaper than the other, or should the lowest common denominator be used and both go on the cheaper holiday together?
    Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.” - Mark Twain
    • riotlady
    • By riotlady 8th Mar 18, 12:45 AM
    • 94 Posts
    • 230 Thanks
    riotlady
    Not the earning less but expecting the higher earner to make up their spending power to well in excess of what they'd be able to afford otherwise. So effectively living beyond your means because someone else is paying.
    Originally posted by maman
    I can understand where you're coming from a bit if the lower earning partner has an expensive hobby or tastes that the higher earning partner is consistently paying for, but most of the big expenses in life are joint (houses, holidays, appliances) so I'd consider the "means" in those cases to be joint too.

    My partner and I don't have a joint account because of his credit score (or lack thereof) but I know that he works hard and that he's not a mad spender- so when I was earning more I was more than happy to foot some of the bigger bills or give him some money to make life easier when I could. And he does the same for me now that I'm on maternity. I can't imagine having a bunch of extra disposable income and not sharing it with him.
    Make £2018 in 2018 challenge-
    £509/£2018
    • fatrab
    • By fatrab 8th Mar 18, 7:04 AM
    • 833 Posts
    • 1,849 Thanks
    fatrab
    I'd look up the definition of a "kept" man or woman before using it in the wrong context on here!

    I think happyinflorida has explained perfectly well why separate finances and equal contribution to the core expenses are a very wise move. It's not about trust, commitment, power or control. It's about equality.

    If the decision has been made for one partner to become a house "wife/husband", whether married or common law, then obviously the other partner will pay the bills and provide housekeeping.

    onlyroz - by the time your husband retires will he have a pension (state or private)? If so he's not dependent on you is he? And I'm assuming you'll have some degree of solvency as a couple by then (e.g. bought house, no mortgage, very little debt).

    In my opinion, which I am entitled to, the basics (mortgage/rent/council tax/energy/home insurance/TV licence) should be equally split, if one of the partners can't afford that then they are living outside their means.

    Holidays, cars, entertainment, socialising etc - as lifestyle choices - can be paid (in majority or in full) by the higher earner, or by the lower earner if they have enough disposable income.

    Referring back to the OP, we're not discussing a couple who have a huge gap in their earnings. 25%. Assuming the lower earner is on the UK average of £28k the higher earner would be on £35k.
    Last edited by fatrab; 08-03-2018 at 8:19 AM.
    You can have results or excuses, but not both.
    May's targets - Lose 1 stone - 6lbs off, 18/31 AFDs, 12/18 lunches.
    37 x £2 coins (#32) - Wannabe debt free by Dec 2022
    • JimmyTheWig
    • By JimmyTheWig 8th Mar 18, 9:35 AM
    • 11,619 Posts
    • 11,231 Thanks
    JimmyTheWig
    I've got to ask where this eight year rule has come from? That's at least three posters who have mentioned it and I've never heard it before.
    Originally posted by NeilCr
    I don't think it's a rule. Just that it was mentioned in the OP.
    • CheroDave
    • By CheroDave 8th Mar 18, 10:00 AM
    • 4 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    CheroDave
    Think about the fact that once all the ESSENTIAL costs are paid (from a joint expense account?) all the remaining cash is "expendible" and may be spent on fun items. So if you earn 25% more, your expendible is probably 3-4 times greater than your partner's! Your partner's might even be negative! So if you want your partner to join you as any normal couple, then of course you must pay a larger share - maybe even all of it!
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

420Posts Today

4,985Users online

Martin's Twitter
  • It's the start of mini MSE's half term. In order to be the best daddy possible, Im stopping work and going off line? https://t.co/kwjvtd75YU

  • RT @shellsince1982: @MartinSLewis thanx to your email I have just saved myself £222 by taking a SIM only deal for £7.50 a month and keeping?

  • Today's Friday twitter poll: An important question, building on yesterday's important discussions: Which is the best bit of the pizza...

  • Follow Martin