This is what my husband feels about me earning more than him
Despite the difference in our salaries, we have managed to sail through, mostly because I have an understanding husband and logical conversations
I work in the private sector, while my husband is in the military. Naturally, he does not enjoy the simple luxuries of life including a high-income package. I earn almost 25 percent more than him.
But our situation is slowly becoming less unique.
As per the latest 2011 Census data, girls are soon catching up with boys as far as the family’s finances are concerned. In fact, the graphs show a rise of 8 percentage points in ‘graduate and above females’ as the primary wage earners from 2001 to 2015.
So as women continue to get more degrees and higher education, as compared with Indian men, it’s quite likely this ‘trend’ will continue.
But, it’s one thing to talk about the Census data and changing social norms and a whole different thing to handle when it is a part to your actual relationship.
However, 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: Since 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 small shopping spree or intercity travels.
Now, since he contributes to help me fulfil 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.
Continue reading to know about my second important conversation and this one takes up most of our time!
#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 incomes. So when we sit down for our financial challenge conversation, it boils to two things- savings for our deposits and planning out 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 will eventually overtake mine in a few years, so we can talk about this at that time. Plus, his is a permanent job and mine is not.
Our solution: We collectively decided that since our incomes 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 reasons 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 to revisit from time to time based on our current financial situation.
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.
Continue reading to know our next conversation that every couple must have before living together.
#3 Only one of us contributes to everyday expenses
Since our short-term goals and long-term goals together require a large amount of 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 would 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 the 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 because we have one steady income. But its to each his own and you might like to split the house expenses 50/50 or contribute more to saving deposits, like I do.
Continue reading to see our conversation that makes us both extremely happy individuals.
#4 We don’t think twice before spending for 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 blue-ray disk or a cell phone charge or a new PS3 game.
Though these purchases won’t dent out savings or expenses, the freedom to buy a something just for ourselves gives us tremendous happiness. This of course, helps us be happy 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.
If you have any insights, questions or comments regarding the article, please share them in our Comment box below. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Google+ and Twitter to stay up-to-date on the latest from theIndusparent.com