Would I change my view on money if I made less?

Reader Zan wrote an extremely thought-provoking question for me in my post: Do men prefer women who make less money than they do? a while ago:

If you are your BF started significantly more moneyโ€“like double what the other one makes (and not as part of a transition plan like going back to school) would you shift finances in any way?

Treat each other more?

I was totally taken aback because I just simply hadn’t thought about it before.

Sounds stupid, but it’s true.

Please note that the following is my life and from my own perspective.

You don’t have to agree with me, and you will more than likely have an entirely different view or approach; I’m just trying to show you mine.

From The Millionaire Mind:

Satisfaction with your partner’s financial contribution is strongly related to how you feel about your relationship and whether you will stay in the relationship.

(Dr. Belinda Tucker from UCLA at the 1997 American Psychological Association)

Basically, if you don’t feel like it’s fair between the two of you, you will break up.

If you don’t feel like you can count on them or feel supported, you will break up.

With that in mind, the main thing I want to point out is we pay 50/50 on:

  • rent/shelter
  • food
  • utilities
  • household items

The rest: treats, dinners out, whatever else, is not split 50/50.


When we first started dating, he was making double what I did, but I was making good money just on my own ($65,000 gross a year).

I didn’t feel upset, because I saw it as two independent things: he made X amount of money, and I made half that and I never saw it manifest itself in our spending either.

Even though I was still heavily in debt I saw it as my own “problem” and I never expected that he would ever pay anything off for me. I had never even considered him as an option.

The closest we ever came to me feeling bad, was when he suggested I buy a bike so we could go biking together as an activity on the weekends. I winced at paying $700 for the whole kit and caboodle, when it could have gone to debt instead, but I saw it as a free activity we could do together as a couple.

I do suspect that he might have been treating me more than I realize. He knew I was heavily in debt, so he bought me ice cream and other treats (nothing extravagant) while I was in debt. He was (and still is) a generous person.

He also paid for our 2 week vacation because he knew I wouldn’t go because I didn’t have any savings, but he wanted to go with me.


You may not know this, but BF is older than I am, and further along in his career. I never had an expectation that I would ever make as much as he did, because I was simply younger.

How can I compare apples to oranges? ๐Ÿ™‚ I always expected to make less than him just based on experience.


I’ve always mentally separated income and expenses.

I know this is really easy to say, because let’s face it, I’m not making a normal income by anyone’s standards, not even by mine.

Still, what we make don’t change how we spend especially when you consider that all of our basic needs are met each month, and we keep our lifestyle on the down low.

Our biggest expense is usually Traveling.


So I know how it feels on both sides.

The only way I feel comfortable is if the rules are fair for both he and I, no matter our incomes.

If anything happened to either one of us like an illness, and we really couldn’t make it, the other would step in.

But we don’t need to think or worry about it.

We both have comfortable savings, we spend way below our means, and we each save a lot of money. Therefore, we share the expenses equally.


We like to keep our money in separate bank accounts.

He and I budget very differently. I’m rigid, I count every penny, I log and reconcile everything.

He brings out $500 in cash a month, and when it’s gone, it’s gone.

If we were to merge bank accounts, I would just CRY at the lack of visibility and trying to keep track of where he and I spent things.

So why not a joint account and then separate accounts?

  • Hassle of another account to remember
  • He likes to pay in cash (hard to track)
  • I like to pay on a credit card
  • I like to pay everything off to the penny
  • He likes to just bring out one whole amount & spend it

We are just two different budgeting animals, so we just do the 50/50 with the common budget.


I suppose it all boils down to the fact that we mainly focus on expenses.

Neither one of us is buying or spending more than we can afford, nor to make each other feel bad.

Whether we would make $40,000 a year or $150,000 a year, our expenses stay the same, and this creates a fair and equitable cost of living so to speak.

We would never ask for the other to pay for something they can’t afford. We’re a team no matter how we store our money or keep our finances.

If we can both afford the lifestyle we’re living together, we’re happy, warm, safe and comfortable. I say we’re doing good, no matter our incomes.

Everyone should do their finances according to the way they want to

Whether it’s 50/50, one breadwinner or a percentage allocation based on income, the key is just to talk about it.

Get on the same page.

Agree to something that is fair to both of you.

Make sure you both want the same things in life and you have the same goals.

Don’t let it slide only realize that you’re harbouring some deep-seated resentment for the way things are split or not split at all.

Talk it out and remember:

Satisfaction with your partner’s financial contribution is strongly related to how you feel about your relationship and whether you will stay in the relationship.

About the Author

Just a girl trying to find a balance between being a Shopaholic and a Saver. I cleared $60,000 in 18 months earning $65,000 gross/year. Now I am self-employed, and you can read more about my story here, or visit my other blog: The Everyday Minimalist.