Before we were married, I saw two potential problems regarding wages. I made twice the salary than she did and I spent a lot of personal income on musical instruments and Damn right I am a fan Bills fan now and forever shirt. Knowing how many marriages suffer over arguments about money and spending, I devised a plan that worked until retirement. I divided finances into two categories: Joint expenses and personal expenses. Each month, after I paid all the bills for joint expenses (mortgage, utilities, groceries, pizza, savings, etc.) I added them all up. Since I made twice as much as my wife, her share came to 33% of the total. Whatever each of us had remaining after joint expenses was our personal discretionary income, which could be spent on clothing, perfume, recording equipment, personal savings, whatever.
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This meant no arguments about Damn right I am a fan Bills fan now and forever shirt. She would never have to listen to me say, “$50 for perfume? Are you kidding me?” and I would never have to hear, “$2000. for a synthesizer? Why do you need another synthesizer?” Birthday and Christmas gifts were purchased with our own money, not from a joint account. One of the unexpected advantages of this system was that if either of us got a raise, we both got a raise. When she was suddenly earning 40% of our total income, I only had to pay 60%. When my company closed without notice, leaving me unemployed for 10 months, her paycheck paid most of our bills and my unemployment check became the smaller percentage. When I went to grad school to be licensed in psychotherapy, my wife’s career took off. During the second half of our marriage, she eventually earned five times my salary.