I’m Not the High Earner Anymore


Dear Barefoot,

For the last 16 years with my partner I have been the higher earner, and at times he has been unemployed. We have always pulled through together but I have mostly carried the financial burden. This year he has nailed a great contract and will earn 50% more than me. I don’t know how to begin a conversation about where that money is going to go. I don’t want to sound like I am holding a grudge, but I also don’t want him building a tidy nest-egg while I have little to show for the sacrifices I have made. What do I say?


Scott's Answer

Hi Delia,

Just blame me.

Seriously, here are the exact steps you can take.

Step 1: Buy a copy of my book.

Step 2: Announce: “I’m reading this book and it says we need to go on a Date Night to discuss our finances.”

Step 3: With a beverage in hand, say something like “for 16 years we’ve been a team ‒ we’ve looked after each other financially ‒ but for the first time in our relationship I feel financially vulnerable”.

Step 4: Tell him, “The book says one way couples in long-term committed relationship can work through this is to open a joint transaction account, with a no-questions-asked pre-agreed spending limit. The book has instructions on the best account to set up, and we can do it before the entree arrives.”

Step 5: Then stop talking. Listen to what he says.

Bottoms up!