How can a couple who both make different amounts of money divide their costs in a fair and equitable manner? Some partners decide to put all of their financial resources into a single account that they refer to as “ours.” However, what if you do not want to carry out such activity? Even after being married, there are some couples who want to continue treating their finances independently from one another. They both contribute a portion of their income toward the payment of some shared expenditures, such as the mortgage or rent.
However, if the two persons in question have drastically different incomes, the method of dividing up the prices by raw amounts, such as dividing an item that costs $100 into increments of $50 each, is not a viable option. It may be difficult to expect each couple to contribute an equal amount toward the cost of the mortgage if one partner earns $200,000 per year while the other partner earns just $20,000 per year.
When there is a disparity in household income, this might be a source of contention in the relationship, but it doesn’t have to be. You are in luck because there are a few different approaches that you may take that will make the work a little bit easier.
How to Keep Your Accounts Independent While Maintaining Your Fairness
Try using this strategy if you are determined to keep your finances organized with distinct accounts: You should allocate a particular amount of your revenue to each category of your spending. You may, for instance, come to an agreement that each of you would contribute one-third of your monthly salary toward the payment of the rent or mortgage.
The partner with the higher income will be responsible for a greater dollar amount (in raw money), while the partner with the lower income will be responsible for a lesser dollar amount (in raw money). However, the total amount that each couple will pay out of their incomes will be the same. You are able to accomplish this with every item of your budget, including food, utilities, veterinary care, and many more.
To guarantee perfect honesty from the beginning is one of the most important aspects of this approach. Before you can decide precisely who is responsible for paying what each month, each member of the marriage has to have a very good understanding of how much money they bring in and how their finances are structured.
Keep in mind that this piece of advise mostly pertains to couples who want to keep their finances separate while yet contributing equally to joint costs.
That is not the only method that married couples use in order to keep their financial resources “independent.”
The following is a list of other methods that couples may use to maintain their financial lives apart of one another:
- In the presented situation, one partner is responsible for paying a subset of the total monthly expenses, while the other partner covers the remaining balance. One spouse may, for instance, be responsible for paying the mortgage, while the other partner would be responsible for paying for things like groceries and auto insurance. If one person in the partnership earns much more than the other, that person may choose to foot the tab for the more costly of the couple’s expenses.
- Allowance Each partner is provided with their own “allowance.” It is possible for this to be the same amount of money (in terms of raw dollars), or it may be proportionate to the amount of money earned by each individual. This gives each partner the freedom to spend their portion of the money on anything they like while ensuring that the majority of their funds remain in a common pot. If one partner has a compulsive need to purchase while the other tends to be more frugal with their money, this is an especially beneficial tactic to implement in the relationship.
- Spousal Salary: What happens if one spouse is a stay-at-home parent and the other partner has a job outside the home, but both partners desire to keep their finances separate? The full-time parent can be eligible for a “salary” from the spouse who brings in more money. Even when one spouse devotes their whole time to domestic duties, there are instances of successful couples who appreciate keeping their finances separate and have separate accounts. This may seem radical to some people, but there are success stories from happy couples who maintain separate accounts.
- Performance Bonus: One spouse works toward the goal of bringing the most possible money into the partnership, while the other partner, who has a lesser income, works toward the goal of reducing expenses as much as feasible. As a result, the spouse whose time is “worth more” will be able to maximize revenue, while the partner whose income is lower will be able to practice frugality and assist the couple in preserving as much money as they can. The spouse who prioritizes financial savings should maintain a record of the amount of money saved on a monthly basis and may even be eligible for a “allowance” or a “performance bonus” depending on the total amount of money saved. When it comes down to it, every cent you save is a penny you make.
Before making a decision on which alternative to adopt, you and your partner should discuss the aforementioned choices as well as any others that may come up throughout your deliberations and figure out which one would serve the both of you and your relationship the best.