or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › Queer Parenting › Financial Issues with Transgender Spouse
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Financial Issues with Transgender Spouse

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Hi all,

 

I haven't posted on here in quite some time, but in the past I've gotten good advice from the Mothering community about financial issues, so I thought I'd give it a go. I created a new username for this, as it includes sensitive information. 

 

My wife is a male-to-female transgender. She hasn't started to physically transition yet (she isn't out to anyone but me), but in the next year, she hopes to start hormones, start saving for eventual surgeries, and come out. To that end, she suggested we separate our money so that we can both have our own savings accounts and save for our separate expenditures. I wholeheartedly agreed.

 

We have shared finances for six years, so I didn't really have any idea whose money was whose at this point. We set about figuring it out, splitting shared bills, childcare, etc. evenly. The only thing we didn't split was my student loan payment. It turns out that my wife is way better off than me. She makes more than me, and I have a significant amount of student loan debt, so there's a $200 disparity in our individual weekly budgets. To me, this makes perfect sense, and I wish we had done it earlier: I see no reason for my wife to be punished for my student loans.

 

She, however, completely disagrees and doesn't think I should be struggling financially if she's not. I think transitioning is INSANELY expensive and she shouldn't be putting a single dollar towards my loans that could be going to HRT or surgery (not to mention new clothes, make-up, shoes; it's expensive to start over as an adult woman!).

 

In the past my wife has supported me financially when I couldn't find a job and when I was on maternity leave; I see this as my chance to repay her generosity. She says she never intended separating our money to change the fact that we split everything 50/50. We can't seem to come to an agreement on this, and I would appreciate some outside perspective. Obviously we can't really talk to our family and friends as my wife is still presenting as male. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

post #2 of 7
Here's my take on things, as an outsider. If you plan (and expect) to stay together through the transition and afterwards, which it sounds like you do, then I say you got student loans as a way to help you pursue dreams and goals that you couldn't otherwise afford, and she is getting surgery to do the same thing. I'd leave your money together and take on the costs of her transition together and pay off your loans together.
I know not everyone feels that way about marital finance, but to me once we got married my wife's money problems were mine (and very much vice versa) so it was best that we just set about trying to take care of them at once and in order of most importance (by which I mean 'highest interest rate'). She was floored for a while when we did things like focusing on her car payment, but now we're looking at some of my bills as the next item of importance.
The other way that might make sense is instead of doing a straight split on household expenditures, you could do it as a percentage of your incomes--she makes 20% more than you, so she pays 20% more proportionally of everything except your student loans. But to me that feels like a lot of math and in the end you'll still end up financially responsible for each others' expenditures if it came down to it.
Good luck with everything! It's a lot to navigate--I hope it goes smoothly and that you all end up happy with your solution!
post #3 of 7
Prettyisa gave some good advice above. We recenlty worked out our budgets too. We split some things 50/50 and some things proportionately based on our income and budgets. For example, my wife pays more of the rent because she makes more than I do. We split utilities and such 50/50. I pay for my own student loans. We are splitting childcare unevenly based on income and monthly bills. We have one savings account we use to save for joint expenses, but we also have our own savings accounts. We also have joint and individual checking accounts. There are lots of ways to split things up. It makes sense to me to keep splitting things the way you were because it has worked well for 6 years. If you find that the transition does get very expensive and it is throwing off your budgets, you could always reevalute in a few months. Have you found out if her insurance will cover any of the expenses? Would your insurance cover it? This would be a good time to figure that out and see if it makes sense to switch plans or who covers whom. A flexible spending account would also be useful if your wife doesn't already have one.
post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 

Thank you both for the advice!

 

Prettyisa, I think my wife would definitely agree with you, and she might also be willing to compromise for the 20% option you mentioned. I really appreciate the unbiased outlook.

 

PokeyAC, she's on my health insurance; her job doesn't offer it. I definitely need to start looking into that, that's a really good point. She doesn't have a flexible spending account, so I'll have her look into that.

 

Thank you both again!

post #5 of 7
She may be able to open a health savings account at a bank if her job doesn't offer one.
post #6 of 7

More insurances are covering transition-related expenses, so definitely look into that. Even if it'll only cover hormones- that's a really big expense.

 

We're pooling everything now and planning to continue to- we agree on an allowance that goes towards whatever we want without permission, and have to agree on expenses beyond that.

 

 

I can understand where she's coming from about not wanting to burden you with her transition-  but especially because she's been willing to help you with your student loans, I think you two have already established helping each other with individual financial burdens. Do keep in mind, though, that if she helps you with expenses more than you initially agreed- it will take her longer to save up for transition. Make sure both of you realize that.

post #7 of 7
What prettyisa said.

Unless you or she have trouble being financially responsible, I'd vote for combining your money and running your household from a common pool.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Queer Parenting
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › Queer Parenting › Financial Issues with Transgender Spouse