Money Money Money

what are your "his & hers" arrangements?

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26/11/2010 at 11:05

 I'm not sure it's got anything to do with a 'dominant partner getting their own way'.

Some people just aren't so good with money but may be great in many other ways.... It makes sense for the partner who's better with money to manage the finances, pay bills, keep a handle on what's being spent etc... it doesn't mean that's not a good relationship, or that the other partner is in this situation against their will.

26/11/2010 at 11:06
Good point, Dave, which I guess proves that a system that works for one couple won't work for another couple.  There is no right and wrong as long as both people are happy with the way the finances work.
Nam
26/11/2010 at 11:07

I kind of felt a bit sorry for my younger female colleague.  They live in quite a big place and her 50% contribution to the cost of living costs kind of leave her with very little spare but barely make a dent in his account.

I think I would feel a bit sad if my partner earned 3x what I take home, but would feel aggrieved at contributing a bit more.

But having said that, her boyfriend's argument is that he paid his way through Uni etc, works long hours, why should he pay more than half? 

I have pondered about what Nick was saying about the change away from the traditional joint bank account.  Does anyone feel that to insist on keeping your financial affairs seperate is somehow refecting a lack of committment to the relationship?

I think my ideal scenario would be own accounts and a joint one with 50:50 contributions, but then we earn about the same and while I do earn a little less if you consider his perks, I do want to be seen to be pulling my weight?  I have always had my own money and I think the scenario I would personally struggle with most is if I had no income and felt I wasn't contributing.

26/11/2010 at 11:10
Juliefrazz wrote (see)

Some people just aren't so good with money but may be great in many other ways.... It makes sense for the partner who's better with money to manage the finances, pay bills, keep a handle on what's being spent etc... it doesn't mean that's not a good relationship, or that the other partner is in this situation against their will.

I agree completely.

I'm terrible with money.... my brain just doesn't work well with numbers so OH pretty much looks after the finances. He's a lot more logical than me

26/11/2010 at 11:11

Not sure I agree with the 'dominant partner' comment....that is too simplistic.

If people didnt spend what they didnt have, then we wouldnt have a huge national debt.....sadly we do, because many many people do exactly that. I am not one however.

I think you have to have a pragmatic approach...with a certain amount of flexibility.....given that even though there is still a disparity between gender earnings, it is increasingly probable that the female in a M/F rel;ationship would earn more.

26/11/2010 at 11:13

Agree with you again, their Nam, I'd feel very uncomfortable with a situation where my partner earned vastly more than me or I wasn't earning at all, but that would also be affected by the nature of the relationship.

Devoted2Distance wrote (see)

Call it outmoded, but I still think the man should be the breadwinner though. 

That did make me chuckle... it is a teeny bit outmoded.

26/11/2010 at 11:14

In their situation, Nam, she clearly isn't happy with the arrangement so I would say that it isn't a good one and they should think of a better way to do it.

26/11/2010 at 11:16
I guess it boils down to how generous you are. I earn almost double what MrANTB, so pay almost double into the joint finances. I also buy more bits and pieces, and pay for stuff out of my own account, because I want to. I only more than MrANTB because I work in the private sector, he works in regulation. He works harder than me, without doubt. It's just an accident of circumstances I earn more than him. I know if the situation was reversed, he'd do the same. As it is, I think he spends too much of his very hard earned cash on me and our home.  He does, however, monopolise our car
26/11/2010 at 11:17

Agree with no right and wrong, Mister W.

Myself and Mr M used to have current account each and a joint account that we paid into equally and this covered all joint expenses (including joint holiday as this was a joint expense).  What remained in our current accounts was our own.  I distinctly recall getting gibbery about an expensive frivolous purchase and Mr M telling me that it was my money and I could do what I wanted with it.

Retrospectively, I earned more than Mr M and I think it would have been fairer to have proportional deposits into our joint account based on income but I didn't think of it at the time.  I think if I had a new Mr M and he earned more than me, I'd want him to contribute more than me, so not sure why I didn't think of that at the time doing it the other way around.

What was complicated though was our housing arrangement as the sale of my flat paid a 50% deposit on our house, so we drew up an agreement about how this would be separated proportionally should we split up.  Fortunately, when we did split up the separation of the property was amicable (and I agreed to pay all the fees)

We were not married.

I am interested in statement

"...Middle aged male colleague, married, he is sole bread winner.  They have a joint bank account but he also has his own savings account he puts money into he sees as his.  She is at home with 1 kid.  She doesn't have to negotiate purchases "within reason"...."

Should he and his wife split up, does he think that the savings remain his?  In divorce law I'm fairly sure his wife could lay claim on that.

I wonder if the different sets of arrangements are possibly affected by the married/unmarried state of the relationship?

Also how much of the 'pocket money' type statements were meant in humour?  I know several married tradesmen who get 'pocket money', yet if they do work on the side 'for cash' they tend to not tell the wife the whole truth about what they were paid and pocket a little extra before handing over the cash for the pot.

26/11/2010 at 11:17
Nam wrote (see)

I kind of felt a bit sorry for my younger female colleague.  They live in quite a big place and her 50% contribution to the cost of living costs kind of leave her with very little spare but barely make a dent in his account.

I think I would feel a bit sad if my partner earned 3x what I take home, but would feel aggrieved at contributing a bit more.

But having said that, her boyfriend's argument is that he paid his way through Uni etc, works long hours, why should he pay more than half? 

I have pondered about what Nick was saying about the change away from the traditional joint bank account.  Does anyone feel that to insist on keeping your financial affairs seperate is somehow refecting a lack of committment to the relationship?

I think my ideal scenario would be own accounts and a joint one with 50:50 contributions, but then we earn about the same and while I do earn a little less if you consider his perks, I do want to be seen to be pulling my weight?  I have always had my own money and I think the scenario I would personally struggle with most is if I had no income and felt I wasn't contributing.

Nam - I agree that could be the case....however, you could also argue that you have to accept that there is a higher divorce rate now than 25 years ago, and that things like pre-nup agreements and fewer joint accounts are a reaction to this? Ignoring the facts could mean you are considered foolhardy...naiive or whatever? Im not saying it is right/wrong, merely how things have changed.

Im sure most people when they get hitched think 'yep this is forever' etc....but 1 in 3 (?) end in divorce?? 

26/11/2010 at 11:19
I'd be interested what Mr 3X earner would do if they were to have a child?
Nam
26/11/2010 at 11:38

I think the issues with Mr 3x earner run a lot deeper and the money side is just a reflection.  It does sound a little bit like he generally calls the shots and she puts up with everything in order to 'keep' him.  She is often upset at work about things he's done or said, so I think the money is only a small part of the whole story.

My parent's arrangements were that dad was for most part the main bread winner, but a bit useless with reading, writing & organising so mum would deal with all the bills.  It was her responsibility to balance the books.  Dad had 'pocket money'.  Mum never spent anything just on herself, despite my dad often encouraging her.  For a few years when she did have a job she'd somethimes buy herself a little something.  I wonder if she felt when she wasn't working the income was family money rather than any of it also 'hers'? 

I have recently thought how complicated it all gets when two people get together who maybe have different equity in their respective homes, or different debts still to pay etc.  I'm still paying stuff off from 6 years at Uni as I never had a grant, but I'd never think this should be anyone else's responsibility than mine... unless he won the lottery or something.  LOL

26/11/2010 at 11:40

Agree.

Also being married or just living together.

Very interesting, thanks Nam.

26/11/2010 at 11:43
Nam wrote (see)

I kind of felt a bit sorry for my younger female colleague.  They live in quite a big place and her 50% contribution to the cost of living costs kind of leave her with very little spare but barely make a dent in his account.

I think I would feel a bit sad if my partner earned 3x what I take home, but would feel aggrieved at contributing a bit more.

But having said that, her boyfriend's argument is that he paid his way through Uni etc, works long hours, why should he pay more than half? 

That sounds like someone who is house-sharing, not life-sharing.

26/11/2010 at 11:53

"Younger male colleague, newly married, 2 incomes, each have seperate bank accounts for their respective wages and a joint account they put money into for mortgage and bills.  Both pay the same towards house and but they earn more or less the same. "

Our arrangement has always been similar to this, at times when we're both in work, although it used to be that hubby was earning more than I was, so he contributed a little more towards the mortgage and bills - more recently I was out-earning him so it swung slightly the other way and what I put in was greater.

The idea of the 50/50 contribution arrangement when one partner earns a lot less than the other seems harsh to me - with us, the agreement is that we contribute what we can towards what's needed for mortgage, house, bills etc as near as equally given what's affordable from each salary, and anything else is our own. 

At the moment hubby is out of work, but still has some redundancy money in savings which he's putting into the joint pot when needed, but my earnings are covering most things (or at least they are for the time being - fingers crossed our situation changes soon, though... ).

But in the past, he was supporting me when I took a full year out of work to go back to uni.  It's a matter of give and take, and we don't 'log' the number of times one supports the other or vice versa.  It's a marriage.  It's accepted that we support each other in times of need.

Both of us trust each other and don't worry about 'permissions' - we're both incredibly sensible with money because we've both been horribly, traumatically ripped off by previous partners and have learnt from the experience.

Different models work for different people.  We're both good with money, although we weren't in the past.

But I know from the personal experiences of some my colleagues that sometimes one person needs to exert control.  One lady I work with keeps her money separate these days - they live in rented accommodation despite the fact she actually owns a house separately that she rents out, because her husband managed to lose their house and a whole load of other joint assets when his business went bankrupt, and he still hasn't learned his lesson.

He's hardly earning a thing now and they're mainly living off my colleague's fairly low administrator's salary, and yet he is still living beyond his means and thinking he's entitled to own and maintain a really expensive Merc despite the fact they're struggling to afford Christmas presents for their grandson.

I can completely understand in her case why she'd want to keep some control of her own money.

That's aside from the fact that there are all sorts of *other* reasons for me wondering why they're still married...

Edited: 26/11/2010 at 11:55
26/11/2010 at 11:56

I agree, Wilkie, especially as it doesn't seem to be working from the partner's point of view.

We've been married for 26 years, joint current account, savings account, mortgage and credit card (which just happens to be in my name). MS does have a seperate business account, which is fair enough. He earns a little more than me (but works many more hours) but I didn't work for 6 months when I had SlugBoy and MS had a period of redundancy so the balance has swung both ways in the time we've been together.

MS is better with figures and also more organised than me so he tends to deal with the finances. We're lucky enough to be reasonably comfortable now, but things were not always thus! There are times when I wished I had a bit of money that didn't have to be accounted for (like when buying pressies etc) but never get rouind to actually doing anything about it! Anyway, then we'd have to start defining exactly what should come out of that account and I could actually end up worse off.

As he earns mainly cash (he's a cabbie), MS does tend to give me my spending money for the week (coffee, lunch with friends, minor purchases) - but I will ask for more or take it from a cashpoint if I need it.

26/11/2010 at 12:04
Nam wrote (see)

I think the issues with Mr 3x earner run a lot deeper and the money side is just a reflection.  It does sound a little bit like he generally calls the shots and she puts up with everything in order to 'keep' him.  She is often upset at work about things he's done or said, so I think the money is only a small part of the whole story.

This doesn't sound like a sustainable relationship... hopefully she'll realise soon enough? Is he particularly attractive/ buy her flashy diamonds with his left over £?
Nam
26/11/2010 at 12:07

Lady P I really like the sound of you arrangement, especially the bit about taking turns supporting each other whilst not keeping 'tabs'.  I supported someone through a PhD once and we just made do with what we had.   I certainly never begrudged it.

I can see though why your colleague has become cautious if he has effectively lost their livelyhood and doesn't seem to have learned his lessons.  I think I'd probably a bit angry if I were her. 

26/11/2010 at 12:07

We have seperate accounts, my wage pays the household bills and his pays for the shopping.  I put a set amount each month into a savings account in my name as emergency money and we have a joint savings account which we both put an equal amount into for holidays.  We have a piggy bank at home for social funds, when we remember we'll stick a tenner each in it or something but more often that not Mr CS will pay if we go out for a meal. 

Agree with Wilkie on the house-sharing not life-sharing scenario your work colleague has going on there.  Feel a bit sorry for her, she must be taking a huge hit to the self confidence living with him.

Nam
26/11/2010 at 12:11
Alybea wrote (see)
This doesn't sound like a sustainable relationship... hopefully she'll realise soon enough? Is he particularly attractive/ buy her flashy diamonds with his left over £?

Nope.  From what I see he appears to be her biggest source of stress and upset (i.e. lots of stressy mobile calls at work etc).  She would like him to come to our Christmas night out (people can bring thier OHs) but he doesn't want to.  I reckon she'll be curfewed like last year, i.e. home by ten so he doesn't get upset.  But never met him so can't say really.  She must have her reasons for staying. 
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