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How should married couples conduct their financial affairs?



  • Registered Users Posts: 491 ✭✭SwimClub

    It sounds like if he coughed up his 50% of all of the family costs the issue would be resolved.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,652 ✭✭✭...Ghost...

    He should, but then again, some people manage to spend every cent they have regardless of their income. The OP could well be one of those people which is why I suggested recording everything she buys. Partners shouldn't be encouraged to supplement poor spending habits.

    Stay Free

  • Registered Users Posts: 8 Weesie

    All I want is to be a team. I don't care about who earns less or more, if I earned more, I would still think a joint pool is what's fair. In regards to which works more or harder. We both work very hard. In terms of qualifications, I have a higher level of education & supported him when he was climbing the career ladder. I am a public servant, so my circumstances are different. I'll never earn as much as somebody in the corporate world, but I am on a professional incremental salary scale. So I don't get why he doesn't see the potential in me or deems me as a separate entity.

  • Registered Users Posts: 34,905 ✭✭✭✭o1s1n
    Master of the Universe

    The amount of people in this thread where both incomes go into a joint account is crazy.

    Yes, have a joint account that the bills and mortgage come out of.

    But both of you have your own account you are paid into.

    Have a monthly budget to figure out what your bills/family food shops come to, both send that to the joint account each month and that's that. Everything else you earn is yours.

    The idea of adults getting some kind of allowance is laughable.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,317 ✭✭✭gameoverdude

    What is the point in this? Seriously?

    Make it believable? Disgusting.

    Op, the person who earns more in a relationship should pay more (taking into consideration after tax earnings).

    Seperate accounts for fun money.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 6 RustyMam

    Hi Weesie,

    I know you posted re how couples managed their finances and, as you'll have seen from the responses so far, people have so many different approaches.

    What jumps out at me from your message is that you aren't happy. And that's something you can start looking at now. Can I suggest that you take steps to get a good counsellor? And yes I know you don't think you have the time or money. (I've made the same arguments in the past !). But you need to make time with an independent qualified professional that will help you figure out what exactly your red line issues are and a plan on how to address them.

    It's the best money and time I have ever spent.

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,397 ✭✭✭FintanMcluskey

    Can't understand that logic.

    It should be 50-50.

    Just because someone has worked themselves into a position where they earn €150,000 a year doesn't mean they need to hand any more than they should over.

    Certainly so if the other partner is questionably spending money.

    Someone on €75,000 gross, paying half a mortgage shouldn't be so broke regardless what hobbies the children have.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,182 ✭✭✭Kalimah

    That’s incredibly sad. Our joint income in the 2010s was about 65k. We managed a family holiday with 4 kids, usually to a campsite in France or Italy. I think your husband is being unbelievably unfair to you and your kids.

    When I was a kid in the 70s quite a few of the men I knew lived the life of a single man while enjoying the benefits of marriage ie they kept most of their salaries for their own benefit. The wives managed as best they could. Disgraceful situation.

    Time to tell your husband to shape or ship out. You’ve put up with it long enough.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,022 ✭✭✭Deeec

    Do you know if he is saving a large amount or is he spending everything?

    If he is saving for the kids futures or retirement at least maybe there is some justification. But if he is spending large amounts on himself selfishly it's worrying.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,491 ✭✭✭Damien360

    Reading all these comments makes me think I’m the odd one here.

    We have one account and everything goes into it. My wife had to stop working once kid number 2 arrived as we couldn’t afford the childcare. My earnings have paid for everything as it’s a partnership. I don’t check and it’s a very ordinary wage.

    We talk about our finances and have equal access to the account to see comings and goings. Again, we don’t generally check although it has got a bit low at times and we had to curb spending to recover. She has spent freely, as do I. Common sense is the control.

    She has only just got back to work as the kids are now teenagers. We save for one big holiday a year, if you consider a family holiday for a week in Lanzarote a big holiday ! We do.

    If you can’t trust the person you sleep beside every night, it is not a marriage. It’s not perfect but not arguing about money is a godsend.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 19,594 ✭✭✭✭Donald Trump

    Methinks you need to look up the meaning of word "ultimatum".

    If she is paying for the cleaner, then stop getting the cleaner. But the cleaning should be his responsibility too! So let him do it.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,022 ✭✭✭Deeec

    Whats your solution when he couldn't be arsed doing the cleaning.

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,514 ✭✭✭the_pen_turner

    im sorry i dont understand how you can be broke. you as a couple have a combined income of 225k a year😲. thats roughly 135 k a year after tax.

    either you are spending well above your means or you are gettting screwed somewhere. how can you not afford a holiday.

    either way you need some kind of finantial counciler to sit down and see whats happening

  • Registered Users Posts: 19,594 ✭✭✭✭Donald Trump

    Let the place go to sh1te. Why would she keep enabling him if he isn't going to contribute. She can clean it up later after she gets rid of him and keeps the house.

  • Registered Users Posts: 166 ✭✭LaLa2004

    Hi Weesie. Sorry to hear you are living this miserable life. Do you think he will change? Please get some help for yourself, maybe some counseling. This is a form of abuse as you are an unpaid servant in your house. Consider contacting Women's Aid. Don't waste any more years of your life on him. Speaking from experience....

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,859 ✭✭✭growleaves

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,708 ✭✭✭StupidLikeAFox

    I really don't understand your logic "it should be 50/50" - no it shouldn't. Its a family, if you go 50/50 financially then are you not making financial decisions on what the family can afford, you are making decisions on what the lowest earner can afford, and giving the higher earner extra fun money.

    In a family unit this is completely unfair as there there are many important unpaid tasks and sacrifices (typically on the mother's side) needed to raise the family.

  • Registered Users Posts: 223 ✭✭One_More_Mile

    He is making sure he has enough to start again if the marriage breaks down. And is right If ye split up he will be sleeping in tent.

  • Registered Users Posts: 220 ✭✭babyducklings1

    The higher earner should pay more it’s the decent thing to do, a relationship is a partnership and should be built on trust and love and supporting each other.

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,974 ✭✭✭893bet

    Lots of strange logic in this thread.

    I pay 90 percent of the expenses in our house. Lucky enough to be able to afford to do maybe my perspective would be different if I couldn’t afford to pay the way. I work damn **** hard though which my wife facilitates (but sometimes does realise or appreciate that fact). Sure, I could work less and spend a little more time at home. But also when a child decides the want to do a masters that cost 50k or to buy a house and needs a leg up. I will be there. I also remember 10 years ago when my wife carried more of the can as I couldn’t afford it.

    To the OP…..from your perspective does he “waste” excessive amount of money on what you consider frivolous activities? Or if needed that a child needed surgery in the US on Tuesday that he would be able to shell out for it?

    Its an interesting thread. How measured marriages are for a lot of people.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,297 ✭✭✭Count Dracula

    It sounds too bad to be true.

    On 225k PA you would be looking at a combined of around 135 k net PA , that is actually over 11k a month..... net.

    On 75k you should be pulling 4k a month. He should be on around 85k or 7k a month.

    How are you not able to afford a living?

    Are you for real?

    On a combined income like that you would and should be forking out for some serious digs in the more expensive side of Dublin, yet you say that your gaff is worth 450k that is circa 2k per month, I don't believe you are struggling to survive on 3 k a month, even with a few kids.

    Are you for real?

    I assume this blaggard you with is at least paying for half the gaff? What does he be doing with the rest of his money? How could you not know what your husband is doing, how long have you been married? When did his mean streak start, before you bought the house?

    Too bad to be true.

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,845 ✭✭✭YellowLead

    OP I think you are far more concerned about the state of the marriage in general than who pays for what. You’re not happy in the marriage in general.

    For what’s it’s worth it seems a little odd you are struggling despite your husbands salary including the fact you also earn too - expensive tastes on yours, his or both sides?

    Your statement that you thought he would change when you got married is really telling - you knew that kind of person he was before you got married yet you pressed on regardless. Why???

  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators Posts: 10,280 Mod ✭✭✭✭Jim2007

    I’m not a marriage counselor, but as a retired financial advisor, I can say in my experience couples who can’t discuss and agree on their finances almost always end in divorce. Managing your finances is so fundamental to enjoying life that if you can’t agree on it, I’d go so far as to say don’t get married!

    To be clear I’m not talking about the accumulation of wealth here, you can experience the same upset and disappointed over the decision to spend 50 Euro as spending 500 Euro. The difference is that this one gets repeated every couple of days, where as other arguments come and go.

    There seem to be three common models when it comes to finances:

    • Merge all finances into a common pot with everyone taking as they need.
    • keep everything separate and split all bills down the middle.
    • Merge all finances into a common pot with the adults getting a pocket money allowance the same as the kids

    The third one probably leads to less tension as no one has to account for how they spent their ‘pocket money’. Thus arguments over such things as charitable donations, political donations, a flutter on the dogs etc are avoided.

    Any model works, provided the couple are in agreement and that is clearly not the case with you. And you are right to seek a resolution because if you don’t it will grind you down. However the ultimate solution may be painful as well. Only you can decide what is right for you.

  • Registered Users Posts: 14,523 ✭✭✭✭Dav010

    Op, my sister’s husband is exactly as you describe. It is extremely frustrating for her, their money is managed like an emotionless business where every item expense must be shared. I notice it when we go out for dinner, he will order for her and I can hear him telling her what their portion of the meal comes to, so they can split it later.

    Initially I worried for her, but he is a genuinely really nice guy, treats her well, is a great father, it’s just that he is rigid about money. She told me it had to do with his upbringing, they had nothing, money was always in short supply and he is afraid that one day they would be the same.

  • Registered Users Posts: 74 ✭✭Drog79

    Another here where everything gained is pooled, and everything to pay comes from the pool. For large things, we ok it with the other person in case they disagree. And for longer term, we sit down and agree priorities which gives us a guide for where the big money is going, savings or debt.

    Like someone else mentioned we've both had periods of unemployment where the other carried the can entirely, and of course maternity, another reduced income time. If we had nothing tomorrow we would likely discuss it the same as when we have plenty. I think the counselling sounds like a great starting point.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,510 ✭✭✭Wheety

    I'm the one who mentioned an allowance. Whatever you call it, we each receive a payment from the joint account. My wife gets a bigger payment than me in proportion to what we earn.

    We never argue about money and have never missed a direct debit. If we're out separately for drinks or buying something for ourselves we use our own N26 accounts. But everything family related is on the joint credit card and this is cleared every month.

    Don't know why people have secrets in a marriage.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,652 ✭✭✭...Ghost...

    Yes, the high earner should pay more (just like they do in tax), but that shouldn't be expected to be the normal. In the OPs case, they both have high salaries and servicing a mortgage and other essential items should be easily covered with each partner having a considerable amount left over. My concern on the financial side of things is that the OP is flittering money away and justifying the spend because its on the house or the kids. She buys her clothes in pennies. OK....but that doesn't mean she's not spending a lot in pennies.

    My OH and I don't have a rigid 50/50 model, but it probably works out about half. She earns more as a civil servant. She has my tax credits which made sense when I was a mature student after a career change. She covers mortgage, most of the groceries and the childcare is covered by children's allowance thanks to family setup. She tends to buy most of the kids cloth too, but only because she is the one to go shopping for clothes. We have more kids than OP does.

    I pay for everything else. Bins, Gas, Electric, phones, broadband, cars and anything done to the house, such as decoration or big ticket items like the extension we got done. I end up covering stuff she covers when she overspend on the kids by sending them to very expensive extracurricular activities which I often communicate disagreement over. Its marriage. Give and take and compromise and have eachothers backs even when the other messes up.

    The OP needs to make tough decisions about her marriage, but she first needs to be honest about herself.

    Stay Free

  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Home & Garden Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators Posts: 22,377 CMod ✭✭✭✭Pawwed Rig

    I have my own account as does my wife. We each transfer around 50% of our net salaries into a joint account to deal with household items. The rest I do what I want with it. We are on roughly the same salary.

    I wouldn't like a completely joint account where I may need to justify the rare frivolous purchase

  • Registered Users Posts: 55,649 ✭✭✭✭walshb

    I have never really understood such rigidity and conformance and precision as regards monies between people as close to each other as being married.

    Like an OCD almost. Married persons are supposed to be one unit, joined, together, equal , transparent. That’s really what the bond/commitment is.

    Sorry, a wife or a husband who is so set in their ways here, rigid and exact, and either deliberately not attuned to their spouses’ situation(s), or ignorantly not attuned, needs clear addressing.

    Single most important trait in any marriage, after trust, is flexibility and communication and compromise. And I am not saying independent cannot exist with this.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,646 ✭✭✭Wildly Boaring

    We're very similar here.

    And I would echo the sentiment. Not sure I could have married without that kind of trust