When a Wife Earns More Than Her Husband
Despite the difference in our salaries, we have managed to sail through, mostly because I have an understanding husband and logical conversations
I earn almost 25 % more than my husband. But our situation is slowly becoming less unique.
Despite the difference in our salaries, we have managed to sail through smoothly. Most of it is possible because I have an extremely understanding and logical husband. Therefore, most of our life goals are practical and based around logical conversations.
Here are four of those conversations that have helped keep our marriage sane and loving.
#1 We make short-term goals happen together
Both of us have our individual life goals, for which we are willing to save a little bit more.
For me, the goal is to travel the world.
So in order for us to make that happen, I am willing to save my earnings and invest it something I will cherish forever. Even though my husband doesn’t enjoy travelling for leisure as much as I do (since he already gets transferred so much), I pay for most of the elements of the trip.
Our solution: While he does enjoy travelling and makes the plans with me, we may not share a 50/50 percent cost, but he certainly pitches in as much as he can. This means that I pay for the airline, or the hotels and the travel.
But once we are there, we evenly split expenses. So that means he pitches in for restaurants or our small shopping spree or intercity travels.
Now, since he contributes to help fulfill my short-term goals, I contribute to his in non-financial ways. For instance, photography is my husband’s passion, so I help him suggest themes or sit with him for edits.
We learned: By understanding our short-term goals we know what the other likes and how we can work together to make that happen.
Because he knows that travelling is my passion and I am saving up for it, there is no guilt or resentment on his part that he cannot share expenses equally. But he knows that I am always present for his short-term goals.
#2 We plan finances for our long-term goals
We are planning to start a family soon and then later buy a house. Both of which require a major chunk of our income. So when we sit down for our financial challenge conversation, it boils down to two thing – savings for our deposit and planning out the mortgage.
However, we are not sure about our individual contributions to our mortgage in say, 20 or 30 years down the line. Simply because, his salary could eventually overtake mine, meaning we can talk about it once we get to that bridge. Plus, his is a permanent job and mine is not.
Our solution: We collectively decided that since our income are disparate and at the moment I have the luxury to save for the deposits as well as contribute to our short-term and long-term goals, I can lead the charge.
Part of the reason I am extremely comfortable with this decision is because his salary will exponentially increase in just a few years. So the inequality in our contributions will have a shelf-life.
But this is a discussion that we might revisit from time to time based on our current financial situations.
We learned: When it comes to long-term expenses, we can still take our time and decide what we want. Since we are also planning a family, our short-term goal for the next one or two years will automatically shift in that direction (maternity insurance and baby care).
As for our long-term goal, I can continue to save and revisit the discussion later.
#3 Only one of us contributes to everyday expenses
Since both our short-term and long-term goals together require a large deposit and I am saving up for it, our daily expenses are mostly borne by my husband.
With his income, we run the house and manage daily bills, rent, groceries, and utilities. We also spend a little of his income on our own personal expenses like grooming.
Our solution: Since most of his salary goes into managing the house, I have some expendable income (left after saving) that I can use for our personal happiness and small luxuries. For instance, this includes going to an expensive restaurant or watching a movie together.
Sometimes I contribute to buying groceries or basic utilities, but my husband insists that he will take care of that. This is to let me save for our long-term goals.
We learned: Since we live away from parents and are just two, we decided from the very first day that my husband would take care of the house expenses. That was mostly because I was looking for a job in the new city and it was not permanent.
This arrangement works for us since one of us has a steady income. But it’s to each his own and you might like to split the house expenses 50/50 or contribute more to saving deposit like I do.
#4 We don’t think twice before spending on each other
Personal spending is really a way of giving ourselves small happy treats once in a while. For me, it’s about grooming or buying makeup products and clothes. While for my husband it means buying a blue-ray disk or a new PS3 game.
Since these purchases won’t put a dent in our savings, the freedom to buy a something just for ourselves gives us tremendous happiness. This, of course, helps us be happy both together and separately.
Our solution: We had a long drawn discussion almost immediately after we got married about our finances. And we decided to not open a joint account or have access to each other’s saving accounts.
This way, one can treat themselves when they want (don’t worry, both of us know our responsibilities), without having to explain. And this works wonderfully for us.
Yes, both of us know how much we have in our accounts but it’s not something we ‘want’ to know because we have our own individuals desires as well.
We learned: I am an educated and independent woman and I have the power to spend my hard-earned money anywhere I want. Similarly, my husband is independent and level-headed and he knows best where he wants to spend his.
So, we are free and are not answerable about every single purchase.
In fact, it’s enjoyable when the other person buys something for his or her own happiness.
Most importantly, all of this works for us because we love and respect each other’s choices. After all, that is the key to a happy marriage.
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