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How do you non-married couples split your household expenses?

Moderator

Re: How do you non-married couples split your household expenses?


Gunnar419 wrote:

Really interesting discussion. Pizza1, I hope you'll let us know how the situation works out.

 

How they end up splitting expenses (if they stay together) seems like the secondary issue and a question of individual choice. If I were in the situation, I'd go for proportional contributions based on income, mostly because there's such a disparity between what the two make. As others have said, though, that's up to them and they should be talking about it without always ending up in arguments.

 

The real crux of the matter is that he asked her to move in and only AFTER THE FACT decided she should be paying him nearly $1,000 a month. This is not only bad communication, which they seem to have on both sides, but it indicates some sort of agenda on his part. I don't know what that agenda is, but an after the fact demand like that is way out of line.

 

One thing, Pizza. Don't put so much emphasis on her getting a wedding ring before she agrees to that kind of expense split. Whether they're married or not doesn't have that much to do with it. In fact, if they can't work out issues like this now, getting married would be about the worst thing they coul do.


That's where I draw the line on it too; I'm probably a little unromantic in this statement but relationships are all negotiation - any decision which affects the two of us (theoretical lady moving in with me or vice versa) is going to be discussed and that includes in cold financial terms too.

 

Everyone's going to come to a different arrangement - someone moving in offering split food / utilities or better and I'd be happier than a pig in the proverbial fecal matter frankly but that's me; if I were coming from a rental situation in moving in with her instead, I'd probably offer some form of rent too (I do see that as proper personally but only what I could afford) but in my case with my holding my own mortgage too it probably wouldn't be entirely appropriate unless I was renting my own condo out.

 

Just spitballing here, and it's entirely possible there are other arrangements that I might even wind up in when I do figure out what I want in life; however, in any event it will be discussed... that at least, is non-negotiable.

 

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Message 51 of 72
Regular Contributor

Re: How do you non-married couples split your household expenses?

Ok, I as a woman would not move into a man's house without paying my share regardless of whoes name was on the mortgage period. If I rent my name is not on the mortgage. Just because I move in with someone do I think I am moving in expense free. Never would I think that. While paying half might be excessive relative to her income, I would definately figure out how much I could afford to help. With utilities while I know they may not go up a lot I would make sure I at least paid my share for the simple fact that just because I moved in with a man in no way inplies he is supposed to support me. 

 

Now they could work out an arraingement where she buys all the groceries and contributes part to the utilities or if she contributes to everything they either take turns with paying for groceries or whatever works best for them.

 

Same goes if a man were to move in with me. I would expect him to contribute he lives there too and if we were to get married we would be sharing expenses anyways. Might as well get that out of the way and in a habit before hand.

Message 52 of 72
Regular Contributor

Re: How do you non-married couples split your household expenses?

I currently cover all expenses, by mutual agreement in an arrangement that works for us.

 

The RV we're living in belongs to him. The only vehicle we have (the minivan we used to live in together) belongs to me.

 

When we moved to this spot with nearly $700/month rent, he had a full time job with great pay and full benefits. I had just landed my first part time job ever (after being severely disabled by chronic illness since age 16) and was excited about pulling my weight sans SSI (which was only about 700/month income at most and disallowed saving). We split all bills 50/50 and I paid a little extra to contribute to RV maintenence costs that he paid as they came up.

Less than 3 months later, his job fell apart. After experiencing some shocking treatment, including being dramatically fired and then the next day asked to return as if nothing happened (!), he was going down a deep, dark hole. I told him I'd fully support him resigning, that I'd rather take his happiness over financial stability with him miserable. Not to mention that the way the job operated it'd be impossible to attend interviews for other jobs while he still worked there. He resigned and I still feel that was a good decision.

 

We assumed he'd get another job, but after 2 months straight of him applying to an average of 2 jobs per day, we realized we couldn't rely on that happening. Meanwhile my freelance business was thriving, I had picked up a couple more high-end clients and my part time job offered my more hours if I want to take them.

 

I sat my partner down for a talk. I said look, I'm making enough to pay the bills. You're miserable searching for a job in a market that's not curently in your favor. You've been dreaming about making money off youtube your entire life, and keep trying but don't have the time to make it happen. How about I support you so you can pursue your dreams full time?

 

His response: *shocked* "You would do that for me?"

 

I was a bit taken aback. "Of course I would! You would do the same for me!"

 

And it's true. He's actually offered to in the past.

 

So now I cover everything. And he's pouring hours into his self-employment dreams, putting out a video every other day and learning how to market himself. It might flop, and that's okay. We're still happier living life this way. Perhaps he'll make it big, or perhaps it will be a small side income, and those would both be awesome. But for the immediate foreseeable future, I'm covering everything, because those are the cards life dealt us. We're making it work and we're feeling much more relaxed and stable than we would be if we were still trying to make a 50/50 split of finances happen. Smiley Happy

Message 53 of 72
Valued Contributor

Re: How do you non-married couples split your household expenses?

I totally don't understand how she gets to live rent-free because he already owned the home. Or at least cover an appropriate portion (e.g. so that they are contributing equitably to THEIR cost of living) of other bills. 

 

How is he stringing her along? I hate the notion that all women are just twiddling their thumbs, hanging on hope that a man will finally propose to them. If she doesn't want to be there, she can move (ahem, she never had to  move in!). If she wants marriage and he isn't ready/doesn't want it, she can break up. She is not a victim of him. 

 

I make ~4x what my husband makes and had my place when he moved in after we got engaged. So he should have been able to just pay a little on the electric, gas and water bills plus some groceries? Puh-leeze. That's crazy!

 

eta: I DO think that he was wrong for springing this after the fact. But I still think that there is no 'free lunch'. They should've hammered out the details about bills and domestic duties BEFORE they agreed to live together and she gave up her place.

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Message 54 of 72
Valued Contributor

Re: How do you non-married couples split your household expenses?


pizza1 wrote:

I have a friend who lives with her boyfriend, and he asked her to start paying half of ALL the expenses....mortgage, utilities, cable/internet, food etc..  My reposonse to her was....."when you have a ring on your finger, are married to him, and your name is also on the title to the house, then you can split the mortgage payment". 

 

Im a little upset at him about that, because he has a good job,  makes a little over 6 figures, and she makes a little less than half of what he does.  She buys all the food, and gives him a little money to put towards the other household expenses, and offers to pay a few times when they go out.  She sides in my opinion, but shes afraid that it will eventually cause issues in their relationship, and he will break up with her. 

 

My advice to her was...".if it causes issues now, it will later on too. Its not your house, You occupy space there.  Youre not married to him, no promise of a future with a ring either, and youre not on the title nor repsonsible in any way for that house.  You can buy the food, and split the utilites since you also use the water, electricity, internet, etc..but thats it., but do not split the mortgage'. 

 

Im half way irritated at him for even suggesting it to her, and theyve been dating over a year.  I told her she shouldnt have moved in unless she was engaged to him. He gives her no promises of a future, and she goes along with it all "in hopes that he will see her as a team player in a future marriage". I told her all he will see is a door mat!  After all...after dating someone for a over a year, you should know whether or not you want to marry them, and playing house for a few years only buys him time. 

 

What do you guys think? I mean she could give him maybe a few extra hundred a month, but their mortgage is like $1900? She lived in a modest apartment with a roommate because she was on a budget, and now she will be tripling all of her expenses if she goes along with the halfsies on the mortgage too. Im really torn for her..Smiley Sad

 


He appears to be a player who now has the leverage to control. She's under his thumb.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AJPioTvOS20

 

In later posts you mention she pays for ALL food, a majority of expenses when eating out and splits other household expenses. He knew her situation (frugal living with a roommate and shared rent) prior to asking her to move in. He asked her to move in. It's all upside for him and downside for her. It would be truely unfortunate if she agrees to such terms, is unable to save and has to beg him for money in the future if a critical expense comes up. Now that's ultimate domination.

 

Asking her to pay half the mortgage given her low income and the fact it benefits him exclusively is shameful and disrespectful. She should have stayed put. He had his expenses covered beforehand and she is likely bringing his overall expenses down just by covering food and splitting household expenses. It would have been ok (having her paying rent equal to 1/2 the mortgage) if that had been discussed and agreed to beforehand. That request (sounds more like a demand)- is not ok after the fact.

 

I doubt this relationship will last. Looks like a one way street to the blues.

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Message 55 of 72
New Member

Re: How do you non-married couples split your household expenses?

I would definitely not pay anything towards the mortgage! If they break up then he gets all that credited towards his home loan. I understand helping with groceries and paying some utility bills here and there. Do not though pay any mortgage unless you’re married and that house is 50/50! Also if someone is worried their significant other will break up with you over money, ask yourself how solid is this relationship? Just my 2cents
Message 56 of 72
Valued Member

Re: How do you non-married couples split your household expenses?

I've been in a long-term relationship for nearly 20 years.  We are not married.  (Though we're changing that this year... go figure)  Our policy is and has always been splitting household expenses 50/50.  For many years, he made more than me, so it was tough.  But we made it work - we both considered it shared space and as such, equally responsible.  Now when it came to eating out, buying groceries, vacations, and things like that?  He'd mostly pay for that stuff.  So while it may have seemed unfair to split bills 50/50 when there was an imbalance in salaries, it all worked out with the lifestyle choices.

 

Now today, we own our home together.  We got our mortgage together, we are both on the title... boy was that a pain.  Especially since my credit score was so low at the time - we had to jump through some hoops which was frustrating on his end because he has excellent credit. But it was so worth it!  We are more equal in terms of salary now, and 9 years after buying our home we are still operating with much the same philosophy.  We have a "house account" which is used to pay all household expenses: mortgage, utilities, upkeep things like new duct work, pool pump, or whatever.  He still mostly pays for dinners and "fun stuff", but I mostly pay for groceries.  We try not to keep up with the **bleep**-for-tat all that much.  After we get married, we'll likely continue operating under the same financial system.  But marriage is irrelevant to the situation.  One should not assume that marriage is a necessary step toward contributing to mortgage payments or even living together.  That philosophy is sadly outdated.

 

In summary, there is nothing wrong with splitting expenses 50/50 but there also has to be some leeway if there are huge salary discrepancies.  In NO CASE should anyone expect to live in a home for free.  (full disclaimer, I read first page of posts then skipped to last)  And in EVERY CASE, before moving in together, these financial expectations should be clearly outlined and agreed upon.

 

**Dang... after all that I realized this is an old post.  Ahhhh!

Message 57 of 72
Valued Contributor

Re: How do you non-married couples split your household expenses?

since the above poster commented on an old post now i will.. its noone's business anyway what goes on in your relationship.. what works for you won't work for anyone else.. all the money issues should be full out on the table, full communication from the beginning. before you move in.. whos paying what how's its getting split whatever.. these decisions should be made.. about everything.. moving in together is a big deal and should not be random..


Message 58 of 72
Established Contributor

Re: How do you non-married couples split your household expenses?


@wrote:
I would definitely not pay anything towards the mortgage! If they break up then he gets all that credited towards his home loan. I understand helping with groceries and paying some utility bills here and there. Do not though pay any mortgage unless you’re married and that house is 50/50! Also if someone is worried their significant other will break up with you over money, ask yourself how solid is this relationship? Just my 2cents

 How is contributing to the mortgage any different than paying rent?  The mortgage would be being paid anyway, so its not like the mortage is getting any special money in the deal.  In fact, *I* personally would feel better paying "rent" to my SO who owned the home rather than having to pay for ALL the utilities and groceries.

 

 Now that I have been married for a few months, we've settled into a pretty good routine.  We each have our own checking and savings that we use for our own purposes... gift giving, personal splurges, etc, but we also have a household checking and savings that we use to pay the household bills (mortgage, insurance, repairs, utilities, savings for vacations and down payments and rainy day fund, etc.).  When it comes to groceries and incidentals, whoever does the shopping pays for it.  Sometimes its me, sometimes its her.  We roughly take turns paying for dinner out, but we don't really keep track.

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Message 59 of 72
Senior Contributor

Re: How do you non-married couples split your household expenses?

I'm not married, not the world's greatest at dating for decades, but whoever lives with me is usually asked to open a savings account and deposit their fair share of rent/utilities/food in that and we can share it on a trip together.  If the relationship lasts I win, if it doesn't, she wins because she'll have a bundle of cash.

 

I have no mortgage (never did) and my utility bills are 100% covered from my rentals so I have no utility bills due either.  My cost of living in my small home is $0 per month but I figure it's worth about $2000 in rent and another $500 in utilities, insurance and all that, so if someone lives with me, I think $1000/month is fair to sock away towards luxury travel.  Works out well for both people since I don't really want their money comingled with my cost of living, and I like to travel a lot with partners because it gets us out of the normal life.

 

My current girlfriend lives more at my home that I do, because I travel solo 60-70% of the year.

Message 60 of 72