{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "I recently found a new job and am (finally) making as much as my husband even though historically I’ve made significantly. We’ve recently purchased our home and also have a child on the way. My husband insists that because I now make as much as him, I should kick in half of the mortgage, car loan, and utilities (I pay about 40% now). I feel this is an unfair ask because as head of household, the man should shoulder more of the financial responsibility. He says it’s the 21st century…", "post_id": "61ee3728c1fd24002c1121b1", "reply_count": 209, "vote_count": 76, "bowl_id": "59064a3cb12379001006592c", "bowl_name": "Personal Investment Chatter", "feed_type": "bowl" }

I recently found a new job and am (finally) making as much as my husband even though historically I’ve made significantly. We’ve recently purchased our home and also have a child on the way. My husband insists that because I now make as much as him, I should kick in half of the mortgage, car loan, and utilities (I pay about 40% now). I feel this is an unfair ask because as head of household, the man should shoulder more of the financial responsibility. He says it’s the 21st century…

funnylikehelpful
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You are a married couple expecting your first child. Quibbling over percentages isnt very smart, productive or healthy for your relationship. All of your expenses, liabilities and future prospects/plans are shared. Sit down together and budget everything, including future needs such as a college plan for your child. Then look at your combined incomes, then thoughtfully decide where the money should go/route to cover your needs, 50/50. You dont have to share every expense equally, but you do need to agree on how your shared financial needs will be covered. But your notion of "I expect my husband, because he is a man, to contribute more" is - to be blunt - woefully outdated. Not just socially, but in the eyes of the law, should you ever (hopefully not) divorce. So a mental model where you, as the wife, can somehow set aside a percentage of your income for....what exactly?...isnt how the legal system would view things. If this is really a difficult thing for your both, i would strongly encourage marriage counseling. Once your baby arrives you are both going on a rocket ship ride of relationship stress tests. Best for you both to get out in front of financial obligation issues prior to that. Good luck, hope you can both achieve clarity and be as present as possible for your child.

likesmarthelpful

I agree with other commenters. The view of the man being head of household is something feminists have been working for decades to overcome and this attitude isn’t helping us. I’m a woman, have been the primary breadwinner our 10+ years together, and it is extremely unlikely my husband (who is a civil servant) will ever out earn me. You should be striving toward a “we” and shared finances to handle the bills. You should align on your household and lifestyle savings and spending goals. You should align on how you want your household run and cared for. I’m not sure how else to raise a kid, tbh. Slicing and dicing by percentages seems reasonable to establish an initial plan of how household bills are paid, but it reads as if both of you have different expectations and like maybe you “owe” more for all your years of making less than your now husband. Yikes! I don’t want to feel as if my husband owes me for the months he was unemployed or super, super broke. Yuck 🤮 In our household, we have some of our expenses combined in a way that works for us. We separate direct deposits, lots goes automatically to savings / investments, and we automatically contribute to a joint account to pay all our household bills. I do most of the day to financial management, but we make all big decisions and regularly check in as a team. My husband has access to everything to do with the household, so he could participate more if he wanted to. Over the years, I’ve learned he doesn’t have as much interest in how I get stuff done, but that’s simply a personal preference. He does not contribute 50% of our household expenses because that makes no sense for us financially—I make 3x what he does. He contributes a similar percentage of his take home to our household as I do. We both pool large percentages of our separate incomes to take care of our family. This also means we divide up other benefits. For example, this year his access to a dependent care FSA is better than mine, which means more of his pretax money is contributing to his household and we will likely adjust how much of his take home goes to the joint account, but we will make those decisions together. Doesn’t mean we don’t argue about it, we do! But ultimately, we are a team working toward shared goals!

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OMG. You need to drop this idea of separate money. My wife and I have one account. I’ve always made more. Sometimes a lot more. Money goes into one account bills get paid from that account. One set of investment accounts. One 529 plan for the kids. If someone wants something expensive (and the definition of that changed over the years) we would discuss it together. Generally we don’t say no when the other person wants to spend on something as long as there’s money for it. As for savings, set that on autopilot. Purchase funds every month on an automatic periodic purchase. Then you don’t need to discuss how much to save or spend. Savings happens first. My wife probably spends more on discretionary things day to day but I buy computers and cars that are expensive. There’s no my money, my investments, my retirement fund. It’s all ours. And we have been married 31 years and have 2 late teen kids.

likesmartupliftinghelpfulfunny

Yes, this solves everything… my wife and I combined all of our bank accounts and even credit cards and it’s so nice!

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Yeah what… you are a family why are you even counting percents…

likeuplifting

OP, make sure your husband sees this thread. Actually the whole thread.

likehelpful

My wife is a stay at home mom and she runs the household. I pay 100% of the bills. Is it fair for me to say her lifestyle is chill? Hell no, her contributions may not be financial but they far outweigh what I do

likeupliftingsmart

I would say that since you are married whatever you spend is both of yours and so it makes no difference who pays for it because in reality you are both paying half anyway. I have no intention to get into a discussion about gender responsibilities. That is for you 2 to figure out.

likesmartfunny

Why do you feel it’s unfair to contribute for your half? A bit confused on this one.

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Wait - concretely how is your husband head of household? I.e., what is the rationale for him paying more even if you make ~the same? HoH seems arbitrary - is he making decisions unilaterally? I think that if there was no prior agreement about this (him paying more for some reason), then you should pay your share based on income.

likefunny

This idea that 50/50 financial split equals a “fair” sharing between spouses is just as antiquated as you thing the HH arrangement is. Equity and equality aren’t the same. And, the work it takes to maintain the household is not meaningless. It’s time consuming and exhausting. She is doing 90%. Where is the outrage that he’s not 50/50 on that. Presumably he doesn’t utilize 10% of the benefits from household chores either (eat 10% of the meals, use 10% of the clean house, wear 10% of the clean laundry, do 10% of the shopping, etc.)

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The man shouldn’t shoulder more of the financial responsibility.

likefunnyhelpful

Why?

This is a joke, right?

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For real I think this is legitimately some people’s lives.

Most people didn’t read OPs follow up comment which is the most important part of this equation: SHE does most of the household chores. In what world should one partner pay 50% of bills AND also do 90% of housework? BAD TRADE DEAL, fix.

likefunny

The mental gymnastics you guys will go through to have someone do 90 percent of housework and split bills 50/50. God forbid she does 90 percent of housework and splits 40/60. Frankly, he’s getting to save a lot by her unpaid labor

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The way you described your current financial arrangement with your husband is that of roommates and not a married couple. There shouldn’t be “his money” or “my money” anymore, everything is our money. You need to combine finances.

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If you do more housework and plan to be the primary caretaker of the baby and sacrifice your career growth, then it’s fair that you contribute less financially. NOT because your husband is the “head of household” or “the man”. No more antiquated gender roles please. Men don’t deserve the pressure and burden of being the breadwinner by default. And women are just as capable of taking care of themselves and their family.

likefunny

(continued from post). He says it’s the 21st century and women/men are equal and doesn’t see anything wrong with splitting things down the middle. To be clear, I’m not proposing I don’t chip in at all but I feel chipping in 40% is already pretty good considering that for the 5 years that we lived together, I split the rent and expenses with him 50/50 even though I was making about 30% less. Fishies - what do you guys think? Am I too old fashioned or is he being unfair in his ask? Married couples - what do you do regarding finances? Looking for any tips / advice, thanks in advance!

likefunnyhelpful

Since you were making less while living together as a couple and expected to pay 50/50 then, sounds like he’s saying since you got married and cut you a break, you should be going back to 50/50 since now you’re making more. Sounds like he feels entitled to a discount on his own financial contributions on the basis that you’re now making more money and you used to contribute 50-50 before. Then again if you were OK with 50-50 back then, I’m not surprised he’s asking again, given that that’s the way it was in your relationship before getting married. Now the difference is you are going to be taxed differently from a physical (and emotional) standpoint, and even potentially financially. Let me explain. You need to consider the financial implication of what your company (and his) is willing to pay during parental leave and for how long. Not all companies pay your full salary for parental leave. Have you two talked about the future and what the expectations are for child rearing when the baby’s born? Who is going to be dealing with the daycare until the child is in preschool? If the expectation is that you are no longer going to work full-time or that you will take off of work due to having to raise a child for X amount of time, but he does not, then yes it is unfair. Or if you will be making less during this time than he is, then yes, it’s unfair. You could potentially be losing X amount of money for the year that you could have been earning by working instead. Your time away compared to his (and yes time is money) might set you back career-wise/salary-wise when trying to go back to work much later. The fact of the matter is that having a baby costs more for you in terms of your productivity and earning power given the physical limitations and physical responsibilities that are on the table that don’t have to affect him. i.e., breastfeeding whether at home or your work (potentially losing out on important meetings etc), not being able to drink caffeine everyday (productivity), hormonal fluctuations (emotional, motivational, physical) the list goes on. Until I see the day where it’s common to hear men go, “I wish I was carrying instead!!” I don’t wanna hear a salty man’s gripes about expectations on a “baby making discount.” If they don’t want you to have that discount, they should be well equipped financially to cover the cost of a surrogate, which is upwards of six figures. If you and they cannot, then they shouldn’t be complaining.

Married and combined everything. I have always made less than my SO. 145 & 200 base. Everything is combined and chores and responsibilities are shared equally in my household based on strengths. Our paycheck goes to one account. Savings and expenses are taken out. We allocate equal allowance that goes to separate accounts within the same family account ( so we are that money). We use this for anything we want and if we want to surprise each other. We do the same thing for bonuses: we take 10% each no matter who received the bonus. The other 80% goes to savings.

likesmart

All these people talking of merging finances together and spending from the same pot… I feel like I’m living on another planet. I need to support my parents and broader family with my money every now and then. For her, I can only imagine the feminist saga of looking out for oneself and making sure she is self sufficient. So no idea how this put everything in the same pot works.

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You have to think of yourselves as one unit. Set long term goals. If you don’t operate with the same cash your family unit / joint income will not produce the same results. You are missing out by keeping finances separate.

likefunny

Maybe this is an ethnic background thing, but I’m Indian (born in the USA) and I was (as well as my whole family) raised such that all income is one big pot, and from that pot, expenses are paid/savings are saved. Everyone helps out with what they’re best at—for me, my wife is a far better cook, so she cooks and does laundry. We both clean the kitchen. I do all outdoor work/home maintenance. I sometimes cook too. Reading posts like this reminds me of middle school

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Are you guys splitting the rest of the things 50/50 as well? Like cooking, doing dishes, laundry, cleaning etc. If you’re naturally doing more than him then I wouldn’t pay more than 40% that I’m already contributing

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This will probably be a bit extreme for you, but if you really want him to be the "Head of Household" and do things old school, you should completely merge assets and have him run the finances completely. Of course in granting him that level of trust, you'll also have to convey over your expectations, e.g. explain to him that you would like him to manage the money responsibly by investing for your future, children's future, have an emergency fund, etc. It's what my wife (who makes more money than me) did with me, and she allocates her mental energies towards what she enjoys now. She also uses our credit cards whenever she likes, and sometimes when her spending is excessive, I have to sync up with her and have a family meeting where we discuss and outline goals, and discuss monthly budgets. So far, I've found it to work really well. Of course this required a lot of trust, but she went all in, and our marriage is doing well. She got the idea from a book called "The Surrendered Wife: A Practical Guide To Finding Intimacy, Passion and Peace" by a Laura Doyle.

likesmartfunny

Kind of how we run things here. I make sure my wife has all the access and knowledge about our accounts, but I run the finances for the most part. In some parts of the world and some decades back in the US, the norm was male breadwinner and wife as the finance manager. Eg, husband get his spending money as the wife sees fit. Not advocating that at all, but there are many ways to slice the cheese that work for others.

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I can’t help but think 2 people are going to be in for a rude awakening when they have a baby and need to work together to raise it

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I’ve no clue how much I get paid, it goes into my wife’s accoubt

likefunny

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