A listener's email started a big conversation on the show
An email came in to Mairead@TodayFM.com from a listener who was looking for some advice. It read,
"My partner and I are about to buy our own house. We’re together over a decade. He has a busy job and travels overseas a lot so we always had our own bank accounts. Now that we will have a mortgage together, I would like a joint account. But he’s not up for it. He ignores the conversations and runs out the door when I bring it up... help!! He earns 3 times as much as me, I would like a 30/70 or even 40/60 solution put into an account for shared bills. Is this a crazy thing to ask? I work 32hrs a week and on my 5th weekday do all the housekeeping. We also have a school going child where I mostly pay for All clothes, school stuff, shoes, sports camps, medical, childcare costs. I’ve never really seen Any of this as an issue but now I wonder, am I mad???? How do other people with different incomes share their bills/accounts etc? Please help!"
Mairead received a huge response from other listeners with stories on what works for the finances in their own relationships, and advice for our anonymous emailer too.
- They should be 50/50 regardless of income and that should be on everything including house work.
- When myself and my now husband bought our first apartment together our solicitor insisted we open a joint account. He didn’t give us an option not to!!
- I've a funny feeling he's hiding something. Like he doesn't want her to know what he's spending his money on.
- He doesn’t want her to know what he’s spending his money on. I’m a man and avoided joint A/C for that very reason. She already has her suspicions if she’s emailing in. This isn’t about money or sharing bills. Barry, Leitrim.
- Myself and my partner set up a joint account when we moved in together, where we both put in a pro rata amount based on what we earn to pay bills, mortgage, kids stuff etc. We both have our personal accounts for our own bits and pieces. It’s a practical way to do it as opposed to constantly having to ask for money to pay bills etc.
- Open a joint account for mortgage and bills. Simples. Have your wages in your own accounts. Transfer the necessary amount to the joint account. It’s not rocket science. If you have a commitment, then honour it.
- The minute we had children it became 'our' money. My wife has taken time out of work now to stay home as luckily we can afford to and I earn all the money but it’s our money, not my money. Patrick in Waterford.
- I had that myself with my now wife. She didn't want a joint account! So she pays the mortgage and shopping, and I pay the rest of the household bills. She's on €10k more than me. It works well. Cheers, Eoghan.
- My husband and I keep €400 of our wages for our own spending in a personal current account. Everything else goes into joint account & savings, regardless of who earns more etc. It’s worth keeping your own financial independence but also operating a joint family account.
- I don’t have a joint account with my wife but I pay for all the bills, mortgage included. My wife only pays for our shopping. It's not because I don’t want a joint account it's just my wife is terrible with money so she leaves it to me to make sure bills are paid. It works for us, James.
- Hey Mairead, that sounds like me. I see now it's far from normal. I spent many years married to a man who would NOT have a joint account. I would advise her to put her request in writing to him. If he still fobs it off and doesn't discuss, read the alarm bells for what they are!? He's not truly committed. He is making his life easier for him to be ready to move on. He needs counselling and then to be properly invested in a relationship. If not let him go. My husband had so many affairs and was living a lie the whole time we were together. I had no idea!! We separated a few years ago.
- One of the first things we did when I got together with my now beautiful wife, was put all our money into a joint account. And we have one credit card account (we have a card each). I earn well over twice what my wife earns but we are a team, and I couldn’t work as hard as I do (and earn what I do) without her support. Everyone is different, but for me, it is the most natural thing in the world to have joint account when you are in a committed relationship with someone. Declan.
Tune in to Mairead Ronan weekdays from 12pm.