How do you split common costs with your spouse?

We are married, so in our case we just have a joint account which we both use. It always worked that way for us, no matter if we were earning similar amounts or when my wife was unemployed, maybe because she doesn’t care at all about finances (not that she is a crazy spender or something, she just doesn’t like the topic/accounting/etc.) and trusts me on everything. The only problem is if she wants to buy me a gift - the only way that I don’t know about it is to pay with cash :slight_smile:.

For bigger spending we just talk to each other before, but by bigger I mean really big, like house or car :rofl:.

I think as to literally combine finances in a joint account comes back to the same situation whether to sign a marriage contract:
As long as everything is fine between the two people, there is absolutely no issue with such a account/combined finances, nor not having a contract.

We just prefer to have everything determined in case some things change in life. That‘s why we split our finances and signed a contract.
If these precautions end up not being needed, all the better. I wont lose sleep over the 200 CHF bill from the notary. :slight_smile:

In the case where the prearrangements are needed, we will have a lot less discussions than the majority of couples.

On top of it, we are two independent humans, that aren‘t relying on the other financially, which we both like. :+1:


We do exactly the same and have exactly the same situation!

One element of inequality we missed for years was the different tax tarif:

The person with the higher salary gets the lower tax tarif for married or single parents.

To adjust for that, we run her tax calculations on both tarifs and I pay her 50% of the delta between the tarifs.

You can run them here for ZH: Steuerrechner | Kanton Zürich

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IMO the main driver of this question is who wants/has the higher lifestyle costs?

And who is taking care of the kids?

Same lifestyle + 50:50 child support = contrubutions should be 50/50

Only if one parent takes care more of the kids or the high earner wants a higher lifestyle that should be compensated.

Taking care of the kids = 50% of salary the other parent earns that day (after taxes)

Higher lifestyle = delta from lower lifestyle of other parent.

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in my case it is the lower earner who wants a higher lifestyle (higher relative to my bar, much lower than the average Swiss resident).

Ok so in that case I would only accept a lifestyle she can afford too and so splitting everything 50/50 + compensating the surplus days she takes care of the kids like I wrote above.

For stupid luxury stuff (expensive cars, holidays, etc.) I would even argue that only the person who wants it, should cover everything above the price of the reasonable option).

Doing so you keep some fairness while sharing your salary upside when she stays at home but you limit spendings you dont want and she cannot afford.

Only my opinion though…

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My wife and I don’t have kids yet, and for now just contribute 50:50 to our joint account, from which we pay rent, food, etc. I earn significantly more then her, but we agreed that just because we are now married, this should not change our financial situation.

As she is pregnant, we’ll soon change to a setup where we’ll contribute proportionally to our joint account by % of total household income, as others have mentioned in this thread. I don’t know yet how we’ll cover her extended maternity leave, but half my salary for this time seems to be fair (which coincidentally works out to be about 80% of her salary, which is the same as maternity Taggeld).

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My parents just roughly split it up. E.g. one pays for rent, while the other pays for health insurance, groceries and other smaller bills. Any unfairness then gets fixed by occasionally letting the other one paying for groceries.

My situation is a bit different, but when it will be more stable, I think the things to consider are:

  • All variable expenses are shared 50% (food, house care etc)
  • All personal stuff will be paid by the owner/user
  • If unpersonal but mostly used by one are considered shared ( atm I speak about <100chf/y)
  • Fix (internet,housing costs, etc) should be splitted differently. How?
    – If one works less than 100%, you should calculate as if it’s100% (it’s unfair otherwise. You take the time to do painting lessons and I have to pay more ?)
    – If the reason to work less is for childcare: better to switch both on a different work pensum to share the childcare. If not possible I suppose the idea of splitting the day earnings in two is good, maybe 60/40 (60 for the childcare person)
    – House chores. hard to decide, better to split the work I suppose.
  • Cooking: special category for cooking: it’s “work” but it’s so much more fun

Please take this with a grain of salt. I do just a tiny part of it for now, the rest is brainstorming.

Why a separate category cooking? :thinking:

What would the reasoning be to split the earnings 60:40 in favour of the childcare person (instead of 50:50)?
I’m for 50:50 for simplicity & fairness sake, but I personally (and my partner) actually prefer to be doing a day childcare rather than a day in the office, so in a small way I would even think “more fair” would be 55:45 or 60:40 in favour of the earning person, or something like that actually. Compensating the person doing the less preferred activity.

Childcare is tough, especially when you have more than one and they are small. Most people with children I know swear an average day at the office to be more relaxing than staying at home with the (small) children.



But is “more relaxing” all that this is about?
In the office I spend 9h with people (well 80-90% of them) I wouldn’t actually spend time with out my own free will. In addition I have already spent and can easily spend another 10 years with them (if i want), exactly as they are as people now. I spend 9h doing “physically relaxing” tasks (i.e. sitting/slouching at a desk) which have drained me and are draining me mentally. Tasks which I could do for the next 20 years still.

Or shall I spend time with my children, watch them grow up, in that limited time that they are children in need of simple care. See their excited eyes as you discover “simple stuff” for the first time with them. Bonding properly in the age that those bonds are formed.

Sorry, the latter beats the former, this “relative relaxation” and free coffee in the office IMHO.

That’s why 50:50 of the earnings is generous from the earner’s side IMHO.

Of course not. As you rightly wrote, spending time with your children can be infinitely more rewarding than working. I was commenting on how tiring it is.

I said that exactly to see a discussion about it. I meant it in a more general way, without thinking what’s best between office or child care. The simple reason to give a bit more to the childcare person is that the “job” lasts more than 8h per day. (Disregard commuting :smiley: )

Also it’s much harder to take a proper break, e.g., for lunch or even just the toilet. Well I suppose one can give them iPads or TV…