Growing up in an environment where money has always been the center of arguments in the household has got me thinking.
Thinking about the mistakes many people make with managing their household expenses in a marriage or familial ecosystem.
This post is an outline into how I managed to solve the ever-pressing money arguments that took place in my immediate family, and how I intend to manage my household expenses when I start a family of my own.
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Why I Use Percentages To Manage My Monthly Household Expenses
Whether you’re in a marriage or a long-term relationship, I feel it is better to have both a separate and joint bank/savings accounts.
With the joint account being used primarily for paying the bills.
Many may tout this as unromantic, however when has money ever been a sexy issue to discuss?
It is still the number 1 cause of relationship and marriage breakdown.
Despite any unpleasantries, using a percentage structure with the adage “the amount you contribute is dependent on how much you earn” seems to be the most fair and logical method for managing household expenses and creating an effective budget plan.
Causes for concern
Some people stress how ridiculous it would be to adamantly request your partner to contribute a minimal amount (5-10% – if that’s how much their earnings contribute towards the total household earnings) towards the total monthly household expenses.
The second concern comes from those who are stubborn to the core.
They’re usually in favour of a 50% split towards everything in the household, regardless of earning potential. I understand their concern “I earn more, so why should I pay more?”
However, that is exactly my point. You earn more than she does, you’re not actually losing anything by contributing more towards to the total household income.
Nobody is losing out.
The third and final concern I hear from people, is about the probability of their partner becoming jealous from the fact that you have so much more spending power over them.
My response is always as follows, “if you want more money, get a better job, ask for a raise or start a business.”
So what if your partner can buy items at a premium every day of the week? If you want something, and you can’t afford it – ask your partner to help, or buy it for you.
I’d be pretty disappointed if my partner refused to buy me something as a gift (depending on what it is) simply because I couldn’t afford it.
Managing Monthly Household Expenses and Budgeting
There are a total of 4 steps involved for managing the bills and expenses in my household
1. Calculate the total household income
2. Calculate % each income contributes towards the total household income
3. Calculate the total monthly household expenses
4. Calculate the value each person will contribute
Step 1: Find out total household income per month
Step 2: Calculate % each person’s income contributes towards the total household income
Me: 4000/6500 = 0.615 x 100 = 61.5%
Her: 2500/6500 = 0.385 x 100 = 38.5%
Step 3: Total Monthly Household Expenses
- Food: £400
- Gas and Electricity: £120
- TV and Intenet: £70
- Water: £10
- Car Maintenance: £200
- Rent: £600
- Total: £1,400
Step 4: Amount each party will contribute
Me: £1,400 x 0.615 = £861
Her: £1,400 x 0.385 = £539
Me: £4,000 – £861 = £3139
Her: £2,500 – £539 = £1961
Personal subscriptions and direct debits would come off of these final figures above, not to mention savings and other expenditures.
This is how I manage the expenses in my household, and so far we haven’t had one argument about money since implementing this method.
How are you managing your household expenses and bills?
Which techniques and strategies are you using?
Let me know in the comments below.