Making 1/2 as Much as My BF is Causing Problems

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 22, 2013 1:13 AM GMT
    I'm getting a bit worried about the difference in pay between my BF and I. I received a pay cut a few months ago right around the time my BF got a well paying job. Suddenly when we were making about the same the financial dynamics of our relationship change with him making 2x more than me.

    Now it's starting to cause growing problems such as short arguments over paying for things and budgeting; nothing big but enough to annoy him. He'll sometimes pay for me when going out to eat but I'll mostly pay for myself and remind I want to keep expenses in check due to a decrease in pay.

    While I'm keeping him reassured on how interviews for higher paying positions went there's only so much I feel I can do to try to match his income. I will find a well paying job but when is causing anxiety for us both.

    I don't want things to get to the point where there's big fights about our differences in pay. He's mostly understanding now because he went through something similar earlier this year and a lot of his friends are struggling also but it really is worrying me. Fights over money breakup a lot of couples and I care too much about ours to let that happen.

    Any advice besides "get a higher paying job"? (which in this economy is easier said than done) I'm sure others have been through this before.
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    Jul 22, 2013 1:38 AM GMT
    Currently I'm struggling to find a relevant job and income so the only thing I can say is that maybe heavy networking can do the trick.

  • mindflex91

    Posts: 13

    Jul 22, 2013 1:39 AM GMT
    Higher paying jobs come naturally with dedication in your respective field. If you already work 40 hour weeks, then spend an additional 10, 20, or 30 hours (if you can) learning how to be better at what you do. This tactic usually only works for profession-type jobs. If you're not yet in a professional job, then figure out what you want to do and self-teach yourself with Google. These are the things I did in my life a few years back and now I'm making double what most people, twice my age, earn. The trick is actually being good at what you do. The money just naturally follows (as long as you put some effort into negotiating it with prospective employers).

    As far as "other" things you can do to solve your relationship dilemma; if there is love, then it will prevail right? I have a buddy that is in a very strong relationship with his wife. When they argue about money, he does NOT allow the heated discussion end until there is a solution decided upon that satisfies both him and his spouse. The solution may mean one person decides to work harder in an area of their life (in your case, maybe the answer really IS trying to make more money). Try this approach with ANY argument (not just financial). He swears by it.
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    Jul 22, 2013 1:41 AM GMT
    Yep, networking is the way to go and how my BF found his position. He has a great resume yet only got 2 interviews after applying to around 50 positions... which also has me worried.

    mindflex91 said When they argue about money, he does NOT allow the heated discussion end until there is a solution decided upon that satisfies both him and his spouse. The solution may mean one person decides to work harder in an area of their life (in your case, maybe the answer really IS trying to make more money). Try this approach with ANY argument (not just financial). He swears by it.


    True, just fighting about problems doesn't solve anything and makes it worse- there needs to be some sort of resolution otherwise (I believe) fighting will chip away at the relationship. Thankfully for us it's been more brainstorming than arguing but we don't need any fights and rarely have them
  • mindflex91

    Posts: 13

    Jul 22, 2013 1:44 AM GMT
    Ehanson saidYep, networking is the way to go and how my BF found his position. He has a great resume yet only got 2 interviews after applying to around 50 positions... which also has me worried.


    Another thing you could do is just updating your resume on Monster. When I recently did that to get my latest opportunity, within two days I had dozens of emails and voicemails from recruiters. Not many people like going through recruiters, but they are great at marketing you to their clients.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 23, 2013 11:43 AM GMT
    Love is unconditional, he should have enough decency not to challenge you on finances and enough honour to support you without arguing with you over finances.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 23, 2013 11:43 AM GMT
    Love is unconditional, he should have enough decency not to challenge you on finances and enough honour to support you without arguing with you over finances.
  • ASHDOD

    Posts: 1057

    Jul 23, 2013 12:00 PM GMT
    somersault saidsorry, but it sounds as if money and "success" are more important to him. As long as you're working, who cares how much you make (in this situation). If this relationship is based on equitable finances, screw him.


    +1
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 23, 2013 12:30 PM GMT
    I'm a financial analyst with Schwab... lots of couples don't make exactly the same amount of money penny for penny.. You should as a couple pay a percentage of your salary towards bills .. ie Rent or Grocery's ... He should not expect to pay 1/2 when clearly your income doesn't justify that..

    IF your constantly fighting about money, the problems aren't just money unless he's cheap... I tend to make a lot more money then guys I date seriously and always do the percentage game so they feel they are contributing and I feel they are doing what they can

    good luck
  • Nonesuch

    Posts: 13

    Jul 23, 2013 12:40 PM GMT
    When my spouse and I started out, his salary was significantly more than mine. We decided that major joint expenses like vacations were paid on a proportional basis which worked out to about 35/65. Everyday expenses we split 50/50. At that time I was paying him rent which covered 1/2 of the mortgage. Now that we've been together over 15 years and my salary has come up closer to his, everything is pretty much 50/50. Honestly though, neither of us keep track too carefully any more.
  • camfer

    Posts: 892

    Jul 23, 2013 1:19 PM GMT
    Open a single joint checking account together. Each month the two of you each contribute an agreed upon amount to this account. It doesn't have to be the same amount, just whatever the two of you agree is equitable. Then use this joint account for all your joint expenses, including rent if you are renting and live together, vacation expenses, going out to eat, other entertainment expenses, etc. Once this is set up, there's no way to argue about who's paying for what. You agree that this account is only for joint expenses and not for personal expenses.

    It's a good idea to sit down with him and draw up a budget so you are both in agreement on what are joint expenses and what are not. Stick to the budget.

    Finally, I don't care how little you make, be sure to save something from every paycheck. Pay yourself before you spend all your money on daily living. You'll need it someday.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 23, 2013 1:24 PM GMT
    Ehanson said
    Any advice besides "get a higher paying job"? (which in this economy is easier said than done) I'm sure others have been through this before.

    Income can go in cycles, and at 27 you're still early in your earning career. I wonder what your BF will do if your income bounces back, and his takes a downturn?

    That's why most couples of my experience, including myself, view living together in an LTR (which you seem to be doing) as different from merely dating. In dating I do think 2 guys should tend to spend equally on their activities together. Yet I don't think that need extend to their full living expenses once they combine their households.

    Straight couples have accepted an uneven income arrangement from time immemorial. Though maybe that's why 2 men might not want to go that route, and want things more equitable. Still, I only think it's a real problem if one partner is a total freeloader, and doesn't carry his weight at all. Or is squandering his partner's resources for his own selfish purposes.

    But if he's covering at least his own expenses then I've been content when I've been the bigger earner, figuring his merely being in my life is enough compensation for me. I'm certainly not spending more than I would have done alone. And even when his income faltered I accepted that it was a temporary situation that would eventually correct itself, and it always did, while I took up the slack for a time.

    I don' have any advice to help you make more money. But until you do, and even afterwards, maybe you both need to be working on dealing with income disparities. Because until you do this issue may continue to be the Achilles heel in your relationship, and resurface later down the road, when you'll be going through this problem all over again.
  • Nonesuch

    Posts: 13

    Jul 23, 2013 1:32 PM GMT
    The joint account works well when your relationship has reached that level of commitment. Honest conversation and mutual agreement is essential. If your BF is mildly annoyed now, then there may be lingering problems that need to get aired out.
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    Jul 23, 2013 1:59 PM GMT
    I don't understand why you feel you have to match his salary and why that's even important. My ex-bf is a doctor and he makes 5x more than I do. When we dated, we never argued about money because he knew my salary and how much I can contribute. We made it work! When he felt like splurging, he paid for the majority of the expense. Did that bother me? No, because we had an agreement.

    You said the following in your original post:

    He's mostly understanding now because he went through something similar earlier this year and a lot of his friends are struggling also but it really is worrying me. Fights over money breakup a lot of couples and I care too much about ours to let that happen.

    If you're still worrying, then that tells me there's a lack of communication and understanding between you and your BF when dealing with personal finances. Perhaps you two need a financial counselor who can help point the specific problems and hopefully discover a resolution.