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November 12, 2009


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Women will continue to close the gap now that more women are earning degrees than men. However in our house I'm an engineer and my wife is a teacher. Where we live teachers don't get paid very well so I earn much more than her.

@FMF - bravo to you two. IMHO you are making a very wise decision by having one parent home with the youngsters.

My wife has outearned me for about fifteen years now. I keep hoping to catch up some day. Not to soothe my ego, just to put more resources in the family coffers.

My wife earns more than me, almost 50% more in fact. We live off her paycheck and save every dime of mine (on top of maxing out both 401k's). She understands the importance of saving, etc., but has absolutely no interest in dealing with it all so it is left to me (thankfully I love stuff like that). I give her a 5 minute monthly updates on savings goals, monthly spending, etc. and that is about it. We both treat everything as "ours" and have never had, or come close to having, an "I make more than you so don't tell me what I can or cannot buy" fight. Thankfully my wife is not someone who feels like that is an acceptable card to play or that would cause great strain. I am planning on getting my MBA when we get back to the US so I can hopefully start closing that gap.

We are about equal in my house - sometimes I earn more, sometimes my husband earns more. Depends on the company we are working for at the time.

We're a single income family. My wife stays home with our 2 year old daughter. Our plan is to have her stay home at least until all children (we're hoping to have another in a year or so) are in first grade. Thankfully we're able to pull this off on one income. I've got a pretty good job and salary with potential for advancement.

At that point she's going to have to decide if she just wants a job or does she want a career. Don't think she has decided yet. Whatever she does make, 25% will probably go to taxes, 25% towards retirement funding and the other 50% will go towards saving for college for the kids.

If she decided not to go back to work at all, we could swing that too, I'd just have to rework our goals.

I made 75% more for the first year and a half and then my husband started his career. He makes about 25% more than me now and he has a hobby job reffing that brings in another $3000-$5000 a year, but we treat our money as a general pot.

My mother retired and stayed at home when my first little sister was born 19 years ago. His mother made more than his father for 30 years before she retired.

Neither of us care who makes more, but we both want a raise.

Currently my wife makes more than me.

When we had a child two years ago I cut my workweek back to three days so I could spend a couple of days raising my child (my wife cut her workweek back to 4 days for the same reason). I run my own business so I had the flexibility to do this, but it did cut into my bottom line. My wife on the other hand went and got a big promotion and entry into a new bonus structure so she's royally kicking my butt in the earnings. We live off her income and save 100% of mine w/ both her 401K and my SEP maxed out.

I make more than my husband...but it was planned that way. He worked to support us the three years I was in grad school. So if I wasn't making more than him, he and I both would not feel like we got a return on that investment.

Since college, I have outearned my wife for the past five years. However, w/ a job change recently and the 20k jump that came with it, she passed me up and I have NO PROBLEM with that! We both agreed to big sacrifices in the next 2 years (no cable, no new clothes, no buying anything we don't need) to pay off our home. If were successful, we'll pay off our home in 7 years we'll both be 30. The plan is for her to stay home full-time if we have kids and w/ no mortgage, I see this being very feasible.

My husband makes 3x more than I do. We both work in the same profession. He works more at the office and I work more doing things to keep the household running. It works very well for us.

I make more than my wife, something that should switch when she moves up the ladder, there is less upward mobility in pastor's salaries.

Also, I don't know anything about Michigan in particular, but all governors stink in times of economic crisis, and they are all brilliant when the economy is doing well.

I earn more than my wife, but I have a BS degree and she doesn't have a degree (college wasn't for her at the time). She makes decent money, but I'm not sure she would get that high up in income in her career field unless she owned a business or something like that. We're planning on having kids in the near future, so career advancement isn't her focus right now.

I don't see why the media keeps making such a big deal out of this type of situation. You see fluff news stories about it now and then trying to play it like the men in this situation will have a bruised ego or something.

Personally, I would be absolutely thrilled if my wife made more than I did, as long as it was due to me losing my job or something of that nature. But the reality is that she will be a much more experienced parent than I will because she helped raise her three nephews before I met her. If one of us is going to stay home with the kids, it would most likely be her anyway. Her job also allows her to work at home, but we're still trying to figure how that situation will work once we hopefully have kids.

My husband and I make an almost identical salary. But with bonuses I make more money. Of course I only work 3 days per week so that I can be home with our 3 children. My husband is a teacher, so he picks them up from daycare on the days I work and he's home with them every vacation and all summer. All in all, I think it's a great balance. They get tons of mommy and daddy time and we both have some adult interaction.

My wife made twice as much as me before she drastically cut her hours (40hrs/wk to 30hr/month) to stay at home with our son. His childcare will only cost over $2 million, he'd better hope he has lots of siblings to help split the bill.

I used to make more than my husband, but then he got a promotion and I chose to work freelance out of the home. I am here for my children but stil bring in money, the best of both worlds.

Both my children are older, and I started this when my daughter was in high school but I find that she needed me more for that then when she was littler. She is a great kid but high school is tough!

My son is in 6th grade getting ready for jr. high and I am glad I am here to help him through that.

I still go visit clients but it is not everyday. I am lucky that my career as software engineer/web specialist allows me this freedom. On the downside I am pretty much working from 7am - 11 pm but I know a lot of other people have long hours too. I am not complaining, it is just what it is.

I'm a stay at home dad (our first, but hopefully a few more to come!) so my wife makes more than I do :)

My first husband made the same amount as me ($20K/yr), but then I started grad school & my income went down (I got a $10K/yr teaching assistant stipend--this was during the 1980's). I don't recall our various incomes being a problem in our marriage--other issues had far more impact on splitting us up.

I am recently divorced from my 2nd husband with whom I have 2 kids. We both work in the same profession and make almost identical salaries. Strangely, this was a problem *for him* because he felt that compared to almost all of his work peers, he was at a disadvantage in that he didn't have a stay-at-home wife to smooth his life along. Weird.

My wife for years has earned more than me.
She is in a profession she loves and wouldn't survive long without it.
She not domestically inclined whereas I prefer a ship shape house with the skills to do it.
I've been able to get fields of work around her job demands and kids.
If she leaves me , I'm S.O.L. :-)

I earn twice what my husband makes, although being an energizer bunny he always has various side jobs and part-time jobs and things going on that pay cash too. As I said on FZ's blog I come from a household where my mum outearned my dad throughout my childhood too (and continues to today) which was a bit unusual in 70s and 80s Ireland but a good role model.

I wouldn't say I have a problem with this per se, but am very aware that I have a bit less freedom to take a break or step down a rung or two than he does. As texashaze says the college numbers lean towards more of this, among professional couples anyway. Love to hear from stay at home dads so yay Darin!

I always earned a lot more than wife but then I never had to bear three children and stay home and look after them until they were school age. My wife was eager to work, not just for the money, but for the social interaction with people and the feeling of making a contribution to society. In the culture in which I was raised it was always the husband's responsibility to be the breadwinner and the wife's responsibility to be the caregiver and to take care of the husband and the children. This was still the way it was in America during the 50's and how family life was accurately portrayed in the TV programs of that period. My wife took care of the children every evening while I was working hard doing homework and studying for my MS degree and provided a warm and friendly environment in which we all lived very happily.

This has all changed dramatically in today's society. Since I had become used to paying all the bills, taxes, insurance, house payments, car & home maintenance etc. and giving my wife, what was then called her "Houskeeping money" we kept the same system going after she started working. She is as frugal as I am and an equally good saver so her earnings went into her separate savings and she took care of all of her own personal expenses. Today she has her own IRA, her own credit cards, and her own bank accounts. The only thing we merged much later on was her personal taxable investment account was absorbed into our Joint Living Trust investment account. She now has her own pension and social security checks arriving every month into her own credit union account and exerts a high degree of financial independence. When we take an expensive vacation we each pay our own way. When we make gifts to the children and grandchildren they are likewise split 50/50 between us.

It has been my experience talking with other couples that every married couple seems to have worked out a different way of doing things that's right for them. That's the main thing - that it works, as all great partnerships seem to.

I had an interesting conversation today in the supermarket of all places. I was next to a nice old man that told me he was 90 years old, though he didn't look it to me. He was a WWII veteran that fought in Italy under General Patton but was out doing the shopping because his 84 year old wife is bedridden. He had been married 63 years and reiterated my belief that marriage is the way to go and that divorce can really mess things up.

I earn almost 75% more than my wife and all of our benefits and 401(k) come from my company so all included, I earn probably twice as much. I'm an engineer; she works in a small public affairs company (read: her and the owner). So I make a lot more now, which is not atypical of starting engineers vs. starting (fill in the blank), but she has much more room for growth as her boss has basically already told her she would end up owning the business if she so desires.

And I have absolutely NO problem with that if she wants to take it on. I'll just be the stay at home dad! :-)

FYI, we're 24 and 25 yrs old, so it's early on for us. Also, I think our age makes a difference in how we view gender roles, so her earning more money or me being a stay at home dad are non-issues for us.

I’m not married yet. (But I will be next year!) I earn a bit more than 2x what my fiancé earns, and it hurts his ego. He admitted two weeks ago it took him a long time to propose because he didn’t know if he could deal with a wife earning more than he does and is more financially savvy. He felt he should be the traditional man taking care of his family, someone everyone goes to for finance related problems. (Some people hoard utensils; I hoard money. Others find joy growing vegetables; I find joy growing money.)

Now that I know how easily his ego is bruised, I need to be more careful in the future and let him know how much I value him. It’s true. If he’s not around I could easily turn into a workaholic working my way to an early grave. Since I have him and maybe kids in the future, I have a reason to want to get off work.

I WISH my wife earned more than me. If she did, I think I'd probably buy a Bentley Continental GT with no guilt :)

Oh yeah, and of course, another vacation property, but in Hawaii of course!

My ex wife earned more than me while we were married. I don't know where she is or what the heck she's up to these days. But I hope that she is earning lots more money than I am. Why???? Because when I go to collect social security the amount I'll recieve depends on my wages. Or...if your spouse makes more you can use thier earnings instead to collect a bigger amount. Provided you were married at least 10 years ( we were) .. so wherever she is I hope she's getting rich....

@FMF what part of the wonderful state of Michigan are you from?? I'm in SW corner.

My wife finished grad school a year before me and entered into industry pretty much right away. I got burned out after grad school and ended up working for a non-profit as a "fun" job for a while, and then the economy started to turn and we had plans to move, so I wasn't able to get into a real job under those constraints.

Now that we have a baby on the way, I'm planning to be a stay-at-home dad. It actually fits both of our temperaments very well -- I love kids, and my wife loves working. Thusly, my wife earns about 5 times what I do right now, will always be the primary breadwinner in our family, and we both love it that way.

I earn 8 to 10 times what my wife does. It would be awesome if she earned more than me.

There is no financial need for my wife to work under this circumstance, it's just to keep her skills honed and challenged through the week.


Billyjobob --

Grand Rapids area.

I earn 3x what my husband makes. Which makes you think about where the woman primary earners noted above (and myself) would be if we weren't still earning less for the same work. (Depending on where you look, that amount might be anywhere from 79 cents to 88 cents per dollar earned by a man, after controlling for education, experience and occupation.)

I would LOVE to have my husband making as much or even more. I want to change careers to something I'm passionate about that will not pay nearly what my current high-level IT job pays, but can't because we need my income. If he would just meet me half way, we could make it work.....

I earn more than my husband does. I'm bad at remembering the exact amounts, but I think it's ten or fifteen percent more (gross). I have no problem with it, although I think that my husband would be making just as much as me if he were more aggressive and had a different manager. I know he doesn't mind that I make more money than I do, but I think he gets frustrated when I get promotions and he doesn't, because he certainly deserves them.

It will be interesting when we have kids, though - we agree that one of us should quit or work significantly less, and I'm curious to see if it'll be me because I'm female or him because I make more.

i, the woman, currently earn more than my sweetheart because the recession lost him his job. i hope i still make more than him in the future when we decide to have kids, because he wants to be the stay-at-home-dad (and i have no problem with this, seeing as it means me not having to do it!) at least until the little ones are in school.

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