My Wife Makes More Than Me And It Makes Me Insecure

Sike nahhh. Hahaha! I can’t understand the old school mentality that I am somehow less than a man if my wife earns more than me. That’s ridiculous beyond belief. I am proud that her efforts have paid off and are yielding results. And it motivates me to match her hustle. I hope that by the time my kids are old enough to care about reading their dad’s thoughts that the gender pay and wealth gaps are a thing of the past.

How I benefit from her high salary

My contributions to household expenses are lower – We currently split the cost to run our household roughly 60/40. Its not exactly double (or half) because a large portion of her salary is tied to a yearly bonus that is not guaranteed. And since it is not guaranteed, it does not get included in our household spending plan (aka budget). I also get a teeny weeny bonus that is not included in our plans and we are both free to spend our bonuses as we see fit.

I get to max out my retirement account – Since I am only responsible for 40% of the household expenses, that frees up some cash that I responsibly divert into my retirement accounts. 2019 is the first time in my 10+ working history that I will be close to contributing the maximum amount allowed ($19,000) to my 401k. 

I funnel all my spending through the household accounts – I’d rather starve than eat out when I am by myself. If we’re grabbing a quick bite to eat, we’re doing it together as a family so that it falls into the household budget. If I need clothes, I try to wait until we are shopping for the baby and slide an item or two in for myself. Ok, ok, I may be slightly exaggerating here to make a point. But seriously, I’d rather go to the grocery store and get the ingredients for a sandwich (because groceries are clearly a household item) vs. stopping at a Subway, which I consider to be a personal expense.

Allows me to maximize my student loan repayment – Since my cashflow is a little higher and I don’t spend my own money for anything, I get to maximize the amount of money I put towards my student loans. This is important because I set a goal to pay off my student loans before I turn 40.

Interest-free loans – Two years ago we ended up with a large tax bill due to “miscommunication”. I view any tax liability as a household expense because it is too difficult to separate. My sugar momma eventually used a portion of her bonus to wipe out the entire bill. I added a line item in our net-worth statement to reflect that the household owes her that amount. But with no set date of repayment and no interest!

I think my wife should give me more money

What I mean is that we could and should work better together to optimize our finances and secure our FIRE plans. 

Retirement should be a joint effort – Unfortunately for me (and for the family), our individual retirement accounts are not the responsibility if the household. In other words, it doesn’t make a difference to her if I contribute the full $19,000 this year or if I contribute $0. So there is a possibility that our nest egg wont be as strong as it could be if we approached it as a joint effort. On the positive side, not having it tied to the household calculation allows me to adjust my contributions down or up to meet other cashflow needs or surpluses.  

Pay off my student loans – Before her big salary bump, I offered to roll her student debt in with mine so we can be more efficient. Refinance, consolidate, etc. At the time, her debt was more than twice of what I had outstanding. I don’t know why, but she prefers to tackle her student loan herself without letting me help. She obviously knew she’d be making big bucks one day and didn’t want me in her shine. Although I don’t understand her mentality, I’ve learned to respect that and made my own plans. 

How My Role At Home Has Changed

She probably won’t admit or hasn’t noticed, but I have toned down my level of “nagging”. I wouldn’t blame her if she hasn’t because, if I was at 100 before, I may be down to 70, which is still high. It would be naive to say that this is not related to her being the bread winner. I acknowledge the level of stress her new responsibilities are causing (because a higher salary normally means more work), and I just do shit rather than letting it linger. It could also be that I am learning and growing as a husband and father. 

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