Woman sparks relationship debate after claiming couples should keep salaries separate

Francesca Specter
Yahoo Style UK deputy editor

A woman has divided opinion after suggesting couples should remain financially independent within their relationships.

Appearing on ITV’s ‘Good Morning Britain’ programme this morning, journalist Rebecca Reid told viewers her and her husband keep their respective salaries for themselves.

“I don’t want to feel that if I’m at the bar and I say to my friends, ‘This round’s on me,’ I don’t want to have to feel like my husband’s paying for that.

“Similarly, I don’t want to have to pay for drinks for his friends. I think it’s having some autonomy.”

Rebecca Reid believes couples should not share their salaries. [Photo: ITV]

Asked by presenter Kate Garraway what should happen if a partner is not working, for instance because they are raising children, Reid said the non-working partner should claim a set portion of their partner’s wages.

READ MORE: 36% of couples sleep in separate beds

“If one person is being a childcare provider and one person is working outside the home, they should effectively draw a salary from your parent’s income and then have their discretion over that,” she reasoned.

Some Twitter users agreed with Reid’s approach of financial independence.

Others disagreed, saying they preferred to pool their collective earnings in their relationships– with one person claiming it means him and his partner function as a “team”.

Should couples share their salaries with one another?

While there is clearly divided opinion about how couples should share their finances or not, relationship expert Kate Mansfield believes either approach can work.

‘At some point in a relationship you will argue about money and that’s completely normal and healthy,” she tells Yahoo UK.

READ MORE: Man charges girlfriend £60 a day for paint job

“Good communication in a relationship is the big thing when it comes to money, as is trust and it really doesn’t matter whether a couple choose to have a joint account or keep their accounts and finances entirely separate.

“As long as you’re both on the same page and agree then there really shouldn’t be the need for resentment or arguments. Couples need to have an understanding of each other’s strengths and weaknesses when it comes to money. One may be a saver whilst the other a spender and that’s fine as long as you’re honest with each other and happy with it.”

You may need to re-evaluate the way you do your finances as you move through milestones in your relationship such as starting a family, Mansfield adds.

“Continue to communicate as situations and relationships grown and change over time so what works for you both now may not a year down the line. Joint goals and aspirations can help put you on the same page with regards to finances so for some having a joint account and then two separate ones may often work best for the relationship. It is important, as Rebecca Reid says, that we are financially rewarded and paid for jobs that benefit the family such as childcare, which if outsourced would cost the equivalent of a salary anyway.

“I think that an important point has been raised in this debate about the sad fact that many women end up in a situation where they need to ask their partner for ‘pocket money’ and are forced into a dependant or childlike role, this is not healthy or fair.”