My fiance makes roughly $6,000 a month, whereas I only make about a grand or so, if I’m lucky, on a monthly basis. However, we still manage to split our bills equally and fairly without argument and fighting over who pays more for what at any given time. Here is how to handle finances when there is clearly one breadwinner, and how to do so without hurt feelings or arguing.
Do what you can. If you make considerably less than your significant other, pitch in what you can. We pay all the bills equally, yet my car insurance I pay on my own. Likewise, he handles his own car insurance, child support, hunting tags, credit card bills etc, that is not tied to me. When it comes to groceries, he typically does not allow me to pitch in, but I still try.
Don’t hold it over each other’s heads who pays what. My fiance doesn’t get paid as often as I do, so I am very often paying all the bills and he catches up on his paydays. I don’t go on and on about the $300 I forked out yesterday for bills, knowing that he’ll catch up, and then some on next Thursday. In other words, whoever has the money for bills at the time needs to go ahead and pay up, and allow the other party to make it even when they can without judgment.
If you don’t work, it doesn’t mean you’re not contributing, unless you’re NOT contributing. If you are a stay-at-home whatever, you best be keeping that house nice, running errands and doing dishes to pull your weight so the breadwinner doesn’t feel like they have to carry the weight of the whole house.
Make financial decisions together, but still have your own funds for what you’d like. All our major purchases we made together, like his recently purchased $1200 binoculars, even though not a dime came out of my pocket. Just because it isn’t your money doesn’t mean you don’t deserve to know what’s going on. Likewise, I don’t hide my shopping purchases (which are rare) from my guy.
Lay it out on the table. If you’re broke, you’re broke, and somebody’s got to pay the bills. Failing to communicate about your financial needs because you’re ashamed that you’re broke puts pressure on the relationship, at least financially, so be honest about what you can and cannot pay up, and do your best. Some weeks, I’m tapped out, and my fiance has to take care of all the bills, including the ones I have personally just to me. And there are weeks he is dead broke so I take the reigns. It balances out, but we have to communicate.
Don’t “keep track” of what who paid for what. It’s obvious I pay less for groceries, gas, and other necessities than my fiance does, but neither of us keep track monetarily because as much of my funds go toward things we need as his. I can’t pull $6,000 out of my ass, and he gets this. I pay what I can, and somehow always seem able to cover bills when his checks are slow coming.
Be grateful for the help. I am near tears when my fiance comes home with groceries, or tosses me $40 for “fun money” just because he felt like it, which is often. Granted, I go out the next day and buy even MORE groceries to make up for it, and slide his $40 back in his pocket, but the point is I’m grateful that he doesn’t care about the money he makes- to him, all the money we make is “ours” even though I still consider his money his and mine, well, mine. I’m working on the whole sharing money thing.
Don’t hold a grudge because you make more and you feel your significant other isn’t pulling their weight. Hey, we can’t ALL have amazing jobs, and I sure as hell wouldn’t make it on the oil rig, which is how my fiance pulls in his dough, plus landscaping when he’s home. He’s happy I get to work at home and is happy to compensate for it. Be happy you have two incomes, or that your significant other is pulling their weight in other areas of the home, and leave it alone.
And finally, don’t be jealous that you make LESS than your significant other. I love to work, but I’m not willing to do the type of work that pays as well as what my fiance makes. I’m proud of my own earnings, which are similar to what I made outside of the home, and I work my ass off too. It all balances out when you give what you can, don’t hold grudges, are honest about your wages and financial situation, and are willing to help out when it’s needed.