Household budgeting – Opinions?

posted 2 years ago in Married Life
Post # 2
10384 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2010

I think you need to be honest with them about how you feel. If things don’t change, move out. But, I think it is really important that you stand up for yourself. If you see yourself getting married to your SO, I think it’s really important that you guys can talk about roles, responsibility, and money openly and without resentment or fear. It’s probably one of the most important facets of communication in a relationship.

Post # 3
385 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: February 2015

It sounds like your house needs a chore wheel or something. I’m sure they can change, but you’re going to have to talk about it, and unfortunately, your relationship is probably going to have to go through some growing pains. But if you’re going to marry this guy someday, he’s gonna have to figure out how to pitch in. I’m sorry–it sucks to be in your position. But it can change. 

As for the $250/month thing, tell him that’s not what you agreed to, and (if this is the truth), tell him you can’t afford it. Talk about splitting the rent between you and your boyfriend proportionally to your income. I know it’s normal for roommates to split things 50/50 no matter what the different people make, but you’re not really roommates. Building a life together as a couple calls for more consideration of the other person and more combining your lives together as a single “team.” According to my quick math, you’re earning only 20% of your combined income. It wouldn’t be out of the question for you to pay only 20% of the expenses. My friend put it this way when her higher-earning boyfriend wanted to split everything 50/50: “It’s not about equal contribution, it’s about equal investment.” That is, in a relationship, 50/50 isn’t always fairest. What’s fairest is each member contributing an amount that hurts the same, takes the same amount of effort. If you’re paying $250, almost a third of your income, then you’ll be seriously pinching pennies elsewhere. You’ll have trouble having anything left over to put aside in your retirement savings, or have a pool of money in case heaven forbid you need expensive medical care. If he’s paying only $150, about 5% of his take-home income, he’ll have tons left over. It’ll be easy for him to save. Or buy expensive beer or game consoles or weekend trips with his buddies or whatever he wants to do, without you. For roommates, that’s normal and fine. For a relationship headed toward marriage? Not so much.

Post # 4
2419 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

I think you need to get this straightened out properly. Right now you are paying rent you can ill afford AND being treated like a domestic skivvy. Quite honestly, unless you and your SO can agree on a sensible share of the rent and draw up some sort of rota for sharing chores then you’d be far better off back at your parent’s house. Right now you seem to have drawn the short straw across the board.

Post # 5
12875 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

I’d move back home and let those slobs be on their own.  Why pay money you can barely afford to be housekeeper for these two guys.  Learning to live with a SO (which is sounds like you definitely should do before getting engaged/married) is one thing, but throw in a roommate, why bother.  Unless the roommate is willing to work on things too, it’s just a giant waste of time imo.  I’d move home, and then just stay over on weekends or something.

Post # 6
3217 posts
Sugar bee

Based on your post it sounds as though you and your SO made lots of plans about how much you were going to pay, but was roomate consulted? 

If I was renting and my roomate brought in an extra person, I would expect my share of the rent to go down.  Now instead of 50-50, it would be 1/3 each.  If your boyfriend chooses to cover some of your share then so be it, that doesn’t really matter or affect the roomate.

Also you moved in knowing the house was full of 2 slobs.  If you chose to now maintain a higher standard of cleaning, then I think that is on you.  You can’t expect this roomate to change because some other guys girlfriend moved in.


Post # 7
5773 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2014

It sounds like there are too many agreements going on and none of them include everyone. There is the agreement between the two guys, and the agreement between yourself and your SO. The three of you need to sit down and figure out how rent will be divided (because even though a mortgage is being paid with that money, for anyone other than the person whose name is on the mortgage, it is rent) and how the common areas will be maintained. I would also come to an agreement on how major expenses will be handled: if the fridge dies or the roof leaks, who is writing the check?  It is entirely reasonable for the mortgage-holder to pay for these things, and to be collecting more in rent than he himself is paying on the mortgage in exchange for the increased financial exposure.

Post # 8
101 posts
Blushing bee

Move home. Honestly. It sounds like you have moved into a college frat house. It doesn’t matter how much the roomie makes, he’s entitled to a fair and equitable charge of rent.As for the cleaning, if they didn’t do it before, then it really has no value to them, meaning it can’t be replaced for rent. 

Post # 9
6158 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2013


chevaldame:  either have a sitdown with all roommates involved and discuss rules and the living situation.  or as you said, move back with your parents.


in the first scenario, everyone needs to be on the same page about expectations.

Post # 10
717 posts
Busy bee

250 is not a third of 800 so you’re already paying less rent than you should.  If the guys pay utilities on top of the 800 and you’re not chipping in there, you are getting a steal.  I agree with the other bee who said if the guy roommate has to put up with a third roommate, he should expect his rent to go down by a third.  If you’re not paying an even third, you should be doing more of the chores to make up for it, especially if you have a higher standard of cleanliness than the guys have been used to.  The arrangement sounds very fair to me and in fact sounds like you’re getting the better end of the deal, especially if the roommate didn’t have a say in whether or not your SO moved you in, making him deal with an extra roommate he didn’t initially agree to.

If you can’t afford it, move back with your parents.

Post # 11
2355 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

Rent goes by bedrooms, not by person. If your SO and you are sharing a bedroom of equivalent size to the roommate’s, then the two of you together need to come up with half. When it comes to utilities such as electric and water, then thirds are appropriate.

In any case, I don’t like the setup you have now. I know that FI would have totally covered my expenses in a situation like this if he was making that kind of money, but we’ve also had combined finances for the last 7 years, so situations like these are foreign to me when it comes to an SO.

Post # 12
266 posts
Helper bee

From what I undrestand your SO is paying mortgage not rent? Does that mean he owns half of the house? if that’s the case. If that’s the case I don’t think the roomate is entitled to have his motrgage lowered to 1/3, he should be paying half and (if that’s what you agreed to) you would pay half of what your SO is paying which would be $200 not $250.  Utilities would need to be shared as well if that’s on top of the rent.

What bothers me is that your SO told u you would either pay $200 or do some of the chores and now once you’ve moved in that amount has increased to $250! Very inconsiderate of him. I am not sure why he would put you in a financial crunch like that, while he is making good money and can easily afford to pay the entire $400!

If it was me I would move back with my parents and save the money I would be paying to SO in an emergency fun.

Post # 13
660 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

I’m sorry, but your income shouldn’t matter in relation to the other roommate, that is totally irrelevant. 

In terms of your SO, I think it’s pretty telling if he feels as though you and him should equally split his portion of the mortgage when you make considerably less money.  I think you need to propose a proportional share of his portion of the mortgage AND both of your share of utilities, based on your salaries.

The utility bills should be split 3 ways, and those 2 portions (yours and his) added to the $400/mo mortgage to come up with the total monthly cost for you and your SO.  Then take that amount and split it proportionally.  If he isn’t agreeable to this, I would get the heck out of there!

Not only does he make more, but he’s also paying towards a mortgage and growing an asset which you are not!  It’s a bum deal.


Post # 14
187 posts
Blushing bee

MsW-to-MrsM:  Rent going by bedrooms is one option, however it is certainly not written in stone. I can think of many situations where rent by bedroom is not fair. Bottom line is that there are more people, and there is more stuff then there was in the house before. All we know is that the other residents (BF and roommate) aske the OP to pay $250, we don’t know the rest of the deal. The other issue is that this is a 3 bedroom home, the arguement could easily be made that the third bedroom is hers and that is what she is renting, her choice to sleep in BF’s room is irrelevant to the roomate. My guess is the agreement of housekeeping for free lodging was between OP and BF, then when the roommate realized he was now living with two roommates instead of 1 he didn’t feel paying half of rent was fair, and BF was not ready to eat the extra rent he would have to pay.

If the split is

OP/FI $250 each, Roommate $300, That seems like a fair split between the couple and the third, and the issue is between the OP and her BF.

If it is OP $250, BF $275, Roommate $275 then that isn’t too bad either from a fair split prespective between 3 roomates. Especially considerin that OP is not contributing to Utilities.

I am all for any agreed on split of Rent and Utilities between roomates and a couple. I believe that $250 is a very fair price given the details she shared. If the agreement is $250 plus all the cleaning then she should probably try to negotiate. If she does the cleaning because the guys are happy in a messier house, then her cleaning may not add value in their eyes.

The fairest way to handle this is for BF and Roommate to sit down and agree to a way to split rent if OP is there, and if she isn’t (sounds like it was 50/50). Then OP and BF can discuss how they split the portion of the rent they owe if she moves in, that part has no impact on the third roommate. If she can’t afford the pay, or doesn’t think it is fair then it is time to move home. Quite frankly $250/month is pretty low, obviously as a student that can be tough to afford, but if you can’t afford to contribute to rent, then you can’t afford to live away from home.

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