Financial Contribution - Talk About Marriage
Financial Problems in Marriage When financial times are tough, it adds to the stress we deal with on a daily basis. This section is for talking about how financial problems affect our relationships and ways to cope.

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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-21-2016, 12:00 PM Thread Starter
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Financial Contribution

hey everyone

I am partially venting here, but would also like to hear others' opinions

posted here before... briefly my story is that we are married 10 years, 2 kids (8,7). I just recently finished med school at which time I was supporting family with line of credit and scholarships. she worked at a restaurant and made some $, and I was happy for her to keep those $ for herself as my "income" covered expenses.

we had agreed that once i finish school she would contribute her earnings.

This spring before graduating we had a blow up as she didnt know how she could contribute money for our expenses. I will start work as a resident which pays but we were short a bit monthly which is why we needed her earnings.

we figured it out ... sold car and bought cheaper one, cut down bills etc... and she was ok to contribute 600/month... this left her with some personal money and me with 100$ lol

two weeks ago she received an offer she couldnt refuse from ex-employer. Part time work (between kids' school hours) for 40/hour...wow awesome right!!!

She took it!

We sat down to discuss budget again and i proposed a plan where she would handle a proportion of the bills as would I. I thought I made a super fair plan where both of us benefit from earning a salary. She would contribute about 50% of wage and I 75% of my wage and we would have about $1700 each left over a month to do what ever we want - save, clothing, personal needs, etc...

To say the least...she was NOT happy with that.

She was under the impression (and said this) that she would contribute the $600 we had discussed and would get to keep the rest (3000$/month) for herself.

I asked her if she thought this was fair and she replied "well 2 months ago I didnt mind her adding $600, so then why now does she need to add ~1700?"

I am very disappointed that that she feels that me using 100% of my earnings to pay bills and having no money left over while she contributes 15% is fair.

To me that does not sound like team work!

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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-21-2016, 01:25 PM
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Re: Financial Contribution

Personally, we've always just pooled our incomes, with a common plan to increase our collective assets.

My guess is this is the best paying job she's ever had, so she's feeling a bit selfish right now and wants to keep the bulk of her income. This may pass, once she realizes the problem if you do the same thing with your income when it starts to take off. You need to make sure you understand the underlying emotions driving her behaviour.

So, depending how important this is to you, I have two suggestions:

1. Let her keep her "fun" money. It won't be material compared to your earnings in the long term.

2. Set up a proportional system where you each contribute 50% of your income *to the other*, and then make equal payments to your debt, expenses, and investments.

Finally, what are her long term career aspirations? Both kids are in school, so she should be more ambitious than a PT job. You need to have the difficult conversation that, while her income is nice, it's not what carries the household. Perhaps her extra income could go exclusively into retirement savings and you can income split and provide her an allowance? Just some off the cuff thoughts for you going forward.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-21-2016, 01:35 PM
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Re: Financial Contribution

Does she have access to your income or do you have your own account that she does not have access to?
There are many men on TAM who say that their wives seem to think that her money is hers alone and his money is hers as well. I don't get that mindset. To me it is asinine. It is also asinine that men allow this to continue as if they don't have any control of it. You have as much control over your money as she has over her money. What if you decide that you are only going to pay $600 a month of your income towards family expenses? How do you think that would go over? I'm sorry, but this is just ridiculous. Where did she get all this power from? You. She got it from you, because you gave up your power in the relationship. If you want things to change, you're going to have to find your masculinity. You don't have to convince her of anything. You simply take your money and stop paying for anything of hers that you don't absolutely have to.
Whose name are the bills in?

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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-21-2016, 09:51 PM
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Re: Financial Contribution

Sounds to me like she married you, expecting to live the high life on a doctor's income.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-21-2016, 10:11 PM
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Re: Financial Contribution

Doc, you have a much bigger problem than finances. She's not a real partner, and you'd do well to clarify what her expectations of the marriage are, and see how they correlate to your own. The money here is a symptom of that. I personally wouldn't even get into the money issue, I'd go for the big one and see where the conversation goes.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-21-2016, 10:18 PM
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If you're going to do a 3 pot system, then you need to figure out what your total expenses are. Then each person needs to contribute proportionally. If you make 2/3 of the total income, you contribute to 2/3 of the expenses and she contributes to 1/3. Whatever is left goes to your individual accounts.

I prefer the one pot system personally. My husband and I have shared a joint account since early dating. We each follow a budget and don't make large purchases without consulting each other. It's been working well for us.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-21-2016, 10:35 PM
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Re: Financial Contribution

I just don't get this. When you get married, all the money is split 50% no matter what. If you divorced, it will get split 50/50. All income should go into a single checking account to pay bills. The leftovers goes to investment accounts with both names on it. Many more things to worry about than distributing a paycheck fairly.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-27-2016, 08:56 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all your replies. We will proceed with splitting bills - she takes some and i take some. She will still pay less than her proportion of earnings. But not by much.

She is resistent to single pot system as we used to do that. And we experienced tough times and ahe felt no control over her money and does not want to return to that. Knowing our history i can respect that. She will take care of food, entertainment, kids spending.

Question though. After this ordeal it turns out she might work An extra 3 half days which would turn out to 2k extra monthly. Should we revisit expenses again as splitting more evenly later on would relieve me of some of the expense burden and even things out a bit. Knowing she was combative and not really a team player initially how would some of you approach this. Im looking to approach this in a collaborative manner rather than argumentatively stating proportions etc...
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-27-2016, 09:05 PM
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Re: Financial Contribution

Absolutely you should revisit it. After a few weeks of that, pull out a print-out of the budget, and say 'so which of these expenses do you want to take on with the additional income? Whatever you put in, I'm going to put that amount into a savings account (or college fund, whatever) so we can get ahead.'
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-27-2016, 10:02 PM
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Re: Financial Contribution

Quote:
Originally Posted by familyguyy View Post
hey everyone

I am partially venting here, but would also like to hear others' opinions

posted here before... briefly my story is that we are married 10 years, 2 kids (8,7). I just recently finished med school at which time I was supporting family with line of credit and scholarships. she worked at a restaurant and made some $, and I was happy for her to keep those $ for herself as my "income" covered expenses.

we had agreed that once i finish school she would contribute her earnings.

This spring before graduating we had a blow up as she didnt know how she could contribute money for our expenses. I will start work as a resident which pays but we were short a bit monthly which is why we needed her earnings.

we figured it out ... sold car and bought cheaper one, cut down bills etc... and she was ok to contribute 600/month... this left her with some personal money and me with 100$ lol

two weeks ago she received an offer she couldnt refuse from ex-employer. Part time work (between kids' school hours) for 40/hour...wow awesome right!!!

She took it!

We sat down to discuss budget again and i proposed a plan where she would handle a proportion of the bills as would I. I thought I made a super fair plan where both of us benefit from earning a salary. She would contribute about 50% of wage and I 75% of my wage and we would have about $1700 each left over a month to do what ever we want - save, clothing, personal needs, etc...

To say the least...she was NOT happy with that.

She was under the impression (and said this) that she would contribute the $600 we had discussed and would get to keep the rest (3000$/month) for herself.

I asked her if she thought this was fair and she replied "well 2 months ago I didnt mind her adding $600, so then why now does she need to add ~1700?"

I am very disappointed that that she feels that me using 100% of my earnings to pay bills and having no money left over while she contributes 15% is fair.

To me that does not sound like team work!
You might as well get ready to pay thousands a month in child support and alimony. Geez, what an entitled princess you have there.
Really, you know you're screwed, right?
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-27-2016, 10:14 PM
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Re: Financial Contribution

Doc, you should revisit this, but in context of the wider expectations you both have about marriage. Really, if you keep it just about the expenses, you'll be fighting forever. It's not about money, its about how she sees marriage..its very different than the way you do. If you don't address these differences they will likely become more stark and accumulate as time proceeds, making it far more difficult to resolve.

It's not a good sign when folks argue over $2k a month.

Last edited by Unicus; 06-27-2016 at 10:24 PM.
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-03-2016, 02:39 PM
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Re: Financial Contribution

Doc my man, you've got a tiger by the tail with your future ex wife. I never had problem like these because the one, woman I married is a real partner and two, I would put up with it.
Bottom line is you ain't gonna get nowhere trying to reason with her. You've got to draw a line in the sand. Take a reasonable allowance for yourself, have a smiggin deducting from you check for saving and use the rest for bills. Tell her to make up the difference from her pay, or lose stuff like her cell phone, cable and other stuff she and you can do without. If she threatens to leave, remember there are some really cute RNs in your hospital and when you want to get serious, those hot nurse practitioners rake in some pretty good doe. You being a MD will automatically make you the alpha dog in their eyes.
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