Inspired by a post on Mumsnet where a mom asked if she was being irrational for being irritated by her fiancés investigation into her finances, Parent24 asked local couples how they share their finances.
The UK mom explained that things were great until she went back to work full-time, fifteen months after giving birth, and was offered a pay raise.
She told her fiancé the excellent news about the salary she was on annually and how much it would be increasing, but her fiancé then did a government check on her monthly salary.
To make matters worse, he did not keep the information to himself, and forwarded her the screenshots from the government website stating exactly how much she earns after Tax and National Insurance (NI) monthly deductions.
The unnamed woman revealed that it was their decision as a couple to keep their finances separate. She expressed that she is not entitled to know everything about her fiancé's finances, even though her husband-to-be earns more money than she does.
The household bills are split equally, she says.
"I don't want to seem ungrateful, but he's the one who wants to keep our finances separate - we're not secretive over our pay, we'll describe our monthly pay as 'I've been paid about X amount this month," she wrote.
"I feel like he's just hypocritically invaded my privacy, and I'm a bit miffed off. I've told him this, but he's claiming he thought we were 'close like that'," she added.
How transparent are you?
Even though the post is now deleted from the Mumsnet website, readers were divided over this.
Some users urged her to be careful about the mortgage, while others told her to question her wedding plans seriously.
We asked local couples how they handle their finances in their households, and this is what they shared...
A private matter
Songezo believes that finances are a private matter, especially in a relationship and not marriage.
"I do not care how much my partner earns because it is a private matter how much each of us earns," he says, "What is important is us working together in handling our finances since we are both working and contributing towards childcare and other living expenses."
"We only discuss our finances when there is something that we need to contribute together. We have an understanding about each other's responsibilities. What I earn is none of her business and vice versa."
"Only after we get married then we can be open about our finances in the sense that we disclose each other's earnings, but I feel as though it is not necessary," he says.
Openness is essential
Bongie believes that disclosing information related to your finances is key to avoid snooping around.
"I want the information to be disclosed. Everything to be laid on the table so that we know how we help each other. What we can afford and how to help each other financially. Snooping is not necessary when there is openness. Why pry when you know what you will find?" she says.
On the same page
Mandisi thinks that a certain level of transparency can be established when both parties are on board and have the same goal.
He believes that when you and your partner have the same goal in the relationship, it becomes easy to tackle financial matters.
Transparency is crucial to iron out some unnecessary misunderstanding, he thinks. As such, he would not mind disclosing his finances as long as his partner does the same thing in return.
Open and comfortable
Thandi believes that when you are comfortable with each other and have the same goal, it's easy to run the house.
"We are open and comfortable talking about our expenses. We have the same goal when it comes to savings and how we afford certain things each month. There is no reason to pry around," said Thandi.
"It's important for him to know about my expenses and what is important to me financially."
Beneficial to both
Bruintjies sees no issue disclosing how his payslip looks like and working out a budget each month with his partner.
Bonolo and Sbusiso think that combining finances to cover expenses is even better. They explain that in doing so, they can pay all their urgent bills and share the leftover money among themselves in a way that will be beneficial to both of them, even if it is not equally shared.
Majola thinks that knowing how much money you have as a couple for planning purposes is very important.
Even sharing your debt, he says, avoids the issue of your partner not knowing why you don't have money to honour your monthly obligations in the relationship.
He believes that prying on your partner's finances causes distrust, which you do not want.
What do you think of disclosing your monthly payments to your partner?
Share your stories and questions with us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Anonymous contributions are welcome.
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