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Making More than My Husband and WE are Loving It!

I was reading She Is The Man Now over at Financially Consumed and thought about the history my husband and I have with our money.  I have made more some years and he has made more some years.  I don’t think either of us ever felt bad about making less.  I know my husband is ecstatic that I make more now that I am self-employed since that means that we are taking home more income now than we ever have before.

Our Income History

When we first got married in 2005,  I made more  than Mr. BFS even though I only had a $26,500 annual salary because he didn’t land a teaching position right away.  But he did find a position as an 8th grade science teacher in 2006 and my $30,000-$35,000 income was much less than his $42,000-$43,000 from 2006-2009.  Then he stepped into a new school district as a librarian in 2009 and added to the gap by making $47,500.  I was and am so happy for him.  He actually likes his job and I love watching our savings grow.

Our Current Income

Now it looks like I am making more again in 2011.  I have brought in more than $5000 a month in June, July, and August.  Overall, my blogging income from January-August 2011 has been $28,000.  I made about $15,000 in my day job this year as well.   My husband’s salary is still around $47,500 plus he is a sports official as a hobby job, which bring in another $2000-$3000 a year.  As long as I make $1500 or more a month from here on out, I will be out-earning Mr. BFS. 

Our Take on Income Differences

Does my husband mind?  Nope.  He loves it.  He brags about it to close family and friends.  For example, his grandparents asked us how we were doing and he started going on and on about me blogging full time and using my marketing degree to start an online advertising business.  He then spouted off what I had banked so far this month and he and his grandpa started talking about savings, lol.  In short, our money is our money and we are just happy to have more of it than before.

Does that mean I’m not proud?  No, I am very happy.  I am glad that I am finally earning more than $35,000 a year.  But not because of my husband’s income.  I was frustrated with myself simply since I knew I could do better but was being too lazy to really try.  Then I found blogging.  It just fit.

On a big side note, please don’t think I am saying we are perfect.  We have issues just like everyone else.  For example, my husband doesn’t care if I make more than him, but he has admitted that if I ever get a doctorate, he would want one too.  So he is competitive when it comes to education, lol, just not cold, hard cash.  ;-)

My point of this whole post was to say that my husband and I don’t see any issues at all with a guy staying home with his kids.  We don’t see a problem with a woman staying home with her kids either.  I don’t think it’s about sex.  I think it’s about doing what’s best for you and yours.  Do whatever feels right and works.  That just makes life easier.

What do you think?  Is there anything wrong with a wife out-earning a husband or the other way around?

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42 comments to Making More than My Husband and WE are Loving It!

  • I absolutely agree! The first year that we were married, my wife basically supported us. I was going to school (pretty much full time) and working 30 hours a week to try and help out. She ended up making twice my income. Then she decided to move into non-profit work, which had a low starting salary (but there is huge room for improvement with time) and I found a better paying job. We have no problem with one making more than the other. In fact, I am all for her making more money because that means we will be able to save that much more! Great post!

  • Sometimes I think it’s less about cold hard cash and more about experience and fulfilment from a job. I have friends whose boyfriends earn more than them, but they are unhappier in their jobs and don’t feel as fulfilled as their less well-salaried girlfriends. I think their set-ups breed more resentment and ill feeling than differences in pay packet.

  • My husband and I have also had years where one made more than the other. Although he is paid more than I as a rule, he has had more unemployment as well. But this is the part of your post that tickled my fancy:

    “For example, my husband doesn’t care if I make more than him, but he has admitted that if I ever get a doctorate, he would want one too.”

    That reminds me that ever since I got my Master’s Degree (hubby has a Bachelor’s) I have been **trying** to get him to call me “Master,” but for some reason, he just won’t cooperate :-)

    I am sure if I went further and got my Doctorate, I wouldn’t get him to call me Doctor either…

  • All of our 10 years of marriage, I have worked full-time while my husband went to school for his MA and now Ph.D. He only worked part-time. Now, I just quit my job and am making money on the side as a VA, staff writer, and blogger. He is now working full-time. It has been an interesting change, but honestly we don’t care who makes more as long as the money comes in. :)

  • I would love it if my gf suddenly made more than me! I had a solid masculine example though. My dad was a labourer who eventually owned his own small business, but never made more than 50-80K a year. My mom rose through the administrative ranks of nursing and always made a solid chunk more than my dad. As a more traditional guy living in a rural area, I know my dad had plenty of friends who would have felt emasculated by the situation, but he was just logical about it. His job allowed him a lot of flexibility, which we needed as a family because Mom’s job didn’t. In the end it worked great. Mom also explained to me one time that if you could put a financial value on all the things dad knew about that saved us money around the house (plumbing, vehicle maintenance, house maintenance etc) he would likely “make” at least as much as she did. Plus, dad actually built the house!

  • The consensus is overwhelming, team first, money-earning ego second. That’s the way I think it should be. Thank you so much for featuring my article Crystal. Relationships and money is a fascinating topic that most of us need to come to terms with. It has broad appeal because everyone has a different story.

  • Thank you, thank you, thank you for mentioning your marketing degree and how you are using it to make your money. Far too many people think blogging is just an easy way to make money. In some ways, it is. But it still takes skill (which you have). You make as much as you do because there are several branches to your online business (advertising, writing, etc.) and you are using your skill sets to their fullest.

  • I LOVE this. I am so impressed that you are able to do blogging for a living and happy that your hubby is supportive. I have written papers on the “new economy” and the gender rift that it has created between couples when levels of income change, sadly not everyone is as supportive as you hubby (which seems silly because more money is good, right?? haha)

    Kudos to you, I need to learn your ways sensei!

  • That’s too funny about the doctorate thing! I think I might do that, too. I can’t see myself ever caring if my significant other made more or less money than me, but if he had a doctorate and I only had a lowly bachelor’s…I might be jealous! I already feel a little less than for not having a master’s, which I know is silly!

  • I don’t think there’s anything wrong with either out-earning the other. Let’s face it: it’s virtually impossible to have the same salary. I think both sides just need to expect it and plan their finances accordingly.

  • Melissa@BrokeTO–after watching how much sh*t he has had to go through to finally defend his dissertation and graduate, I am happy I only have a Master’s! Watching his journey has made me sure I never want to try to get a Ph.D. :)

  • Way to go!

    I have never made more than my boyfriend (now husband) since we have been together. However….this year with my blogging income I believe I will be close to making what he has. Woohoo!

    Once we get to that territory, I guess we’ll see how it goes. I don’t mind at all that he makes more money than me, though I can be competitive. He has mentioned that he thinks I SHOULD make more than him because of my skillset. And he is extremely supportive of my pursuits, which is great.

  • It would not bother me if my wife earned more I do. In fact, she started out at a slightly higher wage when we were first married.

  • Go, Crystal! Recently my husband was quite happy to know that I made an extra week’s earnings from freelancing! He has traditionally made more, but the gap is closing, and it’s “all good”. I think it’s all about the security of the marriage. If money is being used to build a joint future and not used to control the lower earner then it’s OK if the higher earner varies from time to time. There’s my two cents.

  • I’m glad you guys are happy with your income! I love it when men support their wives regarding their income. Some men can be intimidated by it, and can see it as a threat. I made more than my hubby for a while, and he didn’t mind at all. Keep the great work going!

  • I applaud the fact that you’re OK with saying “I was frustrated with myself simply since I knew I could do better but was being too lazy to really try.” This is HUGE – and resonates with so many people who get stuck working crappy jobs, barely getting by. I was in the same boat, especially after the economic downturn. Call me the classic under achiever – until the past year!

    Tough as it may be to realize, so many of us hold great potential… we just have to step out of our comfort zones to unlock the possibilities. Thanks for sharing with us and being totally transparent, Crystal – you are a terrific role model for so many!

  • Thanks for being so transparent about your family’s income. I don’t see anything wrong with a wife earning more than her husband or vise-versa.

  • I think more and more families are finding this to be true. And more & more men are just fine with it. It’s a team effort & what matters is the family/couple.

  • Thanks for sharing! Your blog has really been an inspiration. Bravo to you both – it’s wonderful that you’re both happy and excited with what you’re doing. The beauty of having your own business is that the sky’s the limit which unfortunately isn’t true for librarians (I’m just happy that I finally paid off my library school loans!) so it’s great that your husband is psyched about what you’re doing.

  • Abi

    I think it’s silly when couples care who makes more money-because in my house, no matter who brought it home, it’s ours. But I also have a very supportive husband who isn’t threatened if I make more than he does; which I’m currently not, but someday…=)

  • MD

    I’m not married so I don’t know. I do know that I would hope to make more than my wife one day. If she makes more than me I would hope that it would also mean that she saves a lot. As long as we both save together we can meet our financial goals.

  • That is great that you are out earning your husband. Maybe it will motivate him to pick it up a notch (LOL–just kidding). Certainly you are able to add to your savings at a much faster rate which will benefit you both in the end. Kudos.

  • Heck no! In fact I want you to have a talk with my wife! In a past article on my blog, I estimated that we would be millionaires by now if she continued to work (grrr).

    Kidding aside, I left the decision up to her whether she wanted to work or not. Much to my chagrin, she chose to be a SAHM (although she does work 10 hours a week now, so that’s not entirely true).

    Congrats on killing online :)

  • My girlfriend makes more than I do right now. I told her I think it’s sexy. If she takes a pay cut for whatever reason, I’ll have to find myself another girlfriend.

  • Growing up, men in my parents generation were expected to be the bread winners. Some men in my generation assimilated that attitude and were threatened by spouses making more than they.

    I think it all depends on how the members of the couple handle it. If money is used to attempt control of the other party – whether it be by innuendo, outright dialog or by action, then there IS a problem. It sounds like most of your commenters do not have that issue.

    I earned more than hubby for many years – by a pretty wide margin. He had the stable, dependable job which freed me up to take risks to get raises. At first he struggled with it, but soon figured out that it was good for the family and was cool.

  • Just commented on Hunter’s post. My career has more potential to earn but as I followed my husband to a city with really no jobs in my field my husband has always outearned me. I don’t care, I would love to stay home :) This year along with my blog income I think I will earn more or come close. Either way, as long as there is enough money coming in we don’t care.

  • It sounds like a lot of you have been or wouldn’t mind being in our position either. :-) Cool beans!

    @20′s Finances, I hope your wife is enjoying her career with non-profits – that is so important…

    @Harri, I agree that how much we like our jobs matters way more than what we make.

    @gharkness, LOL. My husband has his master’s and is now thinking about a doctorate, but I don’t feel enticed to go back to school. Between you and me, I wouldn’t call him Doctor either… ;-)

    @Mom’s Plans, exactly, yay for income and who cares who is bringing it in?

    @My University Money, I suck at manual labor, so your dad would impress the crap out of me. Congrats on having a great role model. :-)

    @Hunter, thank you for inspiring this post! It was a hit. :-)

    @Denise, thank you. To be completely honest though, these were skills I already had, which was why I went after the marketing degree, lol. I’ve always liked entrepreneurship and even ran a resell business in high school where I bought gold items online SUPER cheap from “new” auction sites like Bidz.com and resold them for a profit at pawn shops. :-)

    @Shannyn, I think you are doing very well yourself!

    @Melissa, it’s not silly. I found myself feeling inadequate right after my husband got his master’s and then I reminded myself that I hated school and am living my own dream. :-)

    @Jeffrey, lol, that is so realistic…sometimes realism is lost in idealism…

    @Mom’s Plans, I won’t tell Mr. BFS about that unless he asks. That sounds like it would scare him off the idea of getting a doctorate… :-)

    @Amanda, I am competitive too. I think my husband and me “work” simply because he has one hell of a supportive streak.

    @krantcents, and you are retired-ish, right? So it’s not technically generational…

    @Anastasia, first of all, I think you have the prettiest name! Secondly, you are so right. As long as money isn’t used as a control mechanism, it is all good.

    @20 and Engaged, I hope it continues to go as well with your new marriage! You two sound quite perfect together. :-)

    @Lisa, you are such a nice person. It is nice to know someone else was in my silly position…

    @Jenna, you and me both.

    @Maggie, go team!!!

    @Make Money, hi to another librarian! Congrats on the loan payoff!

    @Abi, I love your optimism!

    @MD, why do you hope to make more? I’m intrigued. I hope you find a fellow saver too.

    @cashflowmantra, really no notches to pick up on as a public school librarian, lol. He is paid on a set pay structure…although he did make a few extra thousand by putting in a ton of extra hours this summer…

    @MoneyReasons, tell us how you really feel. ;-)

    @Funancials, I am assuming your kidding since that made me laugh.

    @Marie, I am so glad he worked past his issues. :-) I don’t know if my dad would have cared or not…

  • Carrie

    I’m an accountant and my husband is a stay-at-home dad (because I can make considerably more). You wouldn’t believe how rude people can be when they find out, like it’s the most foreign concept. Regardless, it works well for us.

  • Wow that’s awesome you are able to make that much blogging!

  • Wow..any guy who wouldn’t be able to see the big picture of why more overall income is better for a household has got some serious issues with their own manliness and self esteem. I couldn’t be married to someone who’s not okay with that.

    I flip flop with my husband as well. It’s more of a running joke now and we usually don’t know who comes in ahead until tax time. (Much of it these days depends on whether I make my bonus or not).

  • Good for you! You use your skills and education to benefit yourself and your relationship. That’s great! And, it leads to more and more in your savings account so who could complain about that?? We live in uncertain times so you have to do all you can as insurance that you are secure. It sounds like that’s what you guys are doing.

  • It’s not a burning issue in the Centavos household, as the Mrs. works *in* the home. If the situation were to reverse though, no worries.

  • Hi, I just came across your site when I was on 20 and Engaged which I got there from ChristianPF’s website. You are doing GREAT at blogging and making great money! I had to quit my FT job in June after 24 years b/c the building I was in was making me sick. It was built in the early 1900′s and I now have asthma and allergies. When I would take time off from work for vacation or a long weekend I noticed I felt better but once I was back at work I had itchy watery eyes (could not wear mascara), sneezing (never sneeze at home), coughing and major migraines. Hubby said to quit b/c my health is worth much more than that place. So I am blogging FT too but I am having a hard time getting traffic. Can you check out my site and let me know what you think and what I should do differently? I know to link articles within my blog and to leave comments on others sites but is there something I am missing? I do know I need to work on using keywords. Any help would be appreciated. I need some money coming in. My husband works but we just barely squeak by each month. Thank you. Joan

  • @Joan, I’m glad your health is way better now that you do work from home! With a tips site, you get the most traffic with HUGE deal announcements, giveaways, and glimpses into your personal world. Search engine optimization such as great keywords will help drive search traffic to your site as well. Here is what I suggest for all bloggers (this is my other main blog): http://howimakemoneyblogging.com/my-first-step-building-up-a-blog/

    Good luck!

  • My wife doesn’t work, but I have enough income to sustain the family. But she’ll soon start with her job and she might even start earning more than me, specially she’s double masters and Phd. I am more than ready for that day. As others said before me, it’s team money!

  • I am so glad that you are doing what you love with your degree. I know exactly how it feels to have a degree yet not use it to your full potential. That was me right before I started blogging about finance so I completely understand. As far as the income goes, they say that the number one reason that marriages fail is because of money problems. So I think it’s great that you guys have that under control and he is proud of you. That shows that he supports you emotionally and to me that is so much more important than only supporting financially.

  • [...] Making More than My Husband and WE are Loving It! @ [...]

  • [...] Mike:  I was skeptical at first about actually making money from blogging but over the course of building the site this Summer I’ve felt the pull towards full time blogging.  I’ve always been looking for a way to pursue my many varied interests and this seems like the perfect venue.  Now I can’t start a project without a camera in my hand.   It was a tall order to build a totally custom site but we got there.  The next challenge will be learning about how to monetize it.  One of the blogs we’re drawing inspiration from is Budgeting in the Fun Stuff where Crystal wrote recently about how she is now making more money than her husband. [...]

  • [...] And read about how Crystal and her husband handle this situation now that she is making a killing with her blogging empire @ Budgeting in the fun stuff. [...]

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