QUESTION: Hi Laura,
My wife and I have an large earnings difference...in fact, she makes twice as much as I do. The earning differnce never bothered me as I work half and pay for half of all of the expenses for the house (including the mortage). It has been challenging giving her about 85% of my paycheck every two weeks and only having to ration the remaing amount for lunch and other misc expenses. Lately, she asked me to find a second job so that I can bring in more money but I already have a full time job and it'll be very difficult to find another job on the weekend and spend time with our young child. I can't help but some some resentment developing as she makes twice as much as I do....and asks me to bring in more money when I'm already giving her 85% of my paycheck. Am I wrong to have these feelings?
ANSWER: Hello David,
No, you are not wrong to have these feelings.
I am curious as to why your arrangement is set up the way it is. It sounds like both of contribute equally to joint living expenses, but pay for your personal incidentals yourselves. If this is the case, what does your wife want the additional money for? Is this something that she can pay for? Why not just pool ALL of your money?
Anyway, the decision on how to spend, save and invest your money should be something that both of you enthusiastically agree to.
---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------
QUESTION: Thank you for the quick response! I was paying for half of the mortage and expenses when I moved in with her before we got married. To me, I feel that I should contribute as I am living with her. After we got married, she asked me what we wanted to do with our money coming in and asked if we wanted to pool all the money and I agreed. However, minutes afterwards, she said "but we don't make the same." As a result, I've been giving her money each month.
Perhaps it's time to rethink the way that the two of you share resources, time, affection and everything else. Money is symbolic of something. What does it mean to both of you? What does it mean that you contribute equally? What does it mean that she wants more and wants you to provide that? I think those are the more important questions.