Post # 1
My SO and I have been together for 4 years, and the last year has been a LDR (him in CA, me in CO). We have been discussing our future together for a good while and, after I got my BA in May, came to the decision that I would apply for jobs in his area. I came out here to visit for 2 weeks while interviewing, and… yay! I got a job! It is for a major worldwide company, I love the people and the atmosphere, and it will be a huge stepping stone from which to jumpstart my career.
I love everything about it other than the pay… it is definitely lower than what I would like to be starting out at (already tried to discuss this with the company, they wouldn’t budge, and the whole package is too good to pass up). My SO makes great money, but it’s not FANTASTIC or anything… and even he makes $16k more a year than I will and he asking for a raise soon, so that gap will be even more. He knows that I am upset about the $ part of it and concerned about money because I have student loans to start paying off, need to buy a new car, etc.
I have been hemming and hawing about moving in with him without a ring on my finger, but based on our dicussions I think we are on the same page and I just need to actually give him some time and (emotional) space to pull together a proposal. It will happen soon, I think, so at this point I am just comfortable trusting that it will happen when it is right.
Before I leave to go home and PACK on Wednesday (I start on September 4th! Holy fast move!) we need to have a discussion about money. He mentioned several months ago something about splitting rent. Personally, I don’t feel that it would be right to split rent 50/50. I am moving in with him as his life partner, not as his roomate, and I (will be making) significantly less money than him. I think it’s important that I contribute, of course, but I think that I am making so much less should be a factor. He has been paying the full rent for the past year and has no problem making that payment happen, so I feel that if he wants me here and I am moving away from my family and friends there, he should be understanding that I shouldn’t really be paying a full 50% of rent on an apartment I didn’t even choose (can you say bachelor pad? Luckily his rent is up in 6 months and he wants to look at houses together at that point). We also need to discuss how we are going to split bills and groceries.
I am terrible at money discussions. Any advice? Agree or disagree with my feelings on splitting the rent? I need to work up the nerve to bring this up, but want to hear other people’s opinions before doing so… thank you!!
Post # 3
Many people contribute a % of their income to cover house hold costs. So he would be paying more in actual dollars, but you would both be paying the same % of your income.
so if he makes 20% more than you, he would pay 60% of the rent.
Post # 4
I have never done 50/50 with my FI….I make considerably less than him, and need to save money for the summer when I’m laid off (at least 3 pay periods worth)…..
I give him x amount and he uses it for rent, etc…..it’s never been a bone of contention (for the most part) and since he’s almost out of debt, he can then start putting more onto our mortgage…
he knew going into our relationship that I would not make much more than i do unless I go back to school…but more student loans would not be optimal at this point since we are comfortable with both our incomes….His goal is so that I don’t HAVE to work if I don’t want to….which would be awesome…..but of course I would…but it would be gravy to us….
Post # 5
When I moved in with my FI, he still pays the mortgage like he did before I came. But I buy our groceries, and pay at times when we go out to eat, etc. Just talk to him and figure out something you’re both comfortable with.
Post # 6
Okay, so it seems like what I am hearing from you bees is that doing a percentage is not only the way to go, but also more common than splitting 50/50 if you make significantly different amounts.
Post # 7
Yup, you split as a % of your incomes. Otherwise wouldn’t be fair.
Post # 8
@allyouneedislove: One reason (among many) that supports this is if you were living by yourself or living with a roommate where you had to pay 50% of things, then you would likely live in a cheaper location. When you pool two incomes, it allows for a bit nicer place.
Post # 9
I should also mention that when I DID get a raise we decided to put the money into a savings account….then we had a bit of an emergency fund if we needed it…it’s now part of our wedding fund as well…
Post # 10
I definitely agree that a percentage is more fair than splitting 50/50. You can open a joint account and each contribute a percentage of your salary, and use it for rent, bills, groceries, dinners out, saving for vacations together, etc.
I also moved in with my husband (boyfriend at the time) directly from being a LDR and had very different salaries. We decided to combine our finances right away because we felt that was the easiest thing to do and we had no doubt we would be getting engaged and married within a year or two. We opened a joint account and combined our paychecks, and we consider all expenses to be shared and all money to be “ours”. I am a big advocate of combining finances because I feel it was the best thing for our relationship– it requires a lot of communication, alignment of values, and planning for the future. My husband said that “financial intimacy” was an important aspect of our relationship. He is a huge nerd.
Whatever you decide to do, good luck and congratulations on moving in together!
Post # 11
we don’t combine our incomes….I give him x amount to pay stuff then I have my own expenses come out of my account….groceries etc also come out of my account…
I just like being independent….and I think it will stay this way even after being married….I’m on FI’s account for ease if anything happens….
Changing accounts is a pain…I have so many direct withdrawals that i would be a chore….
Post # 12
I don’t really have any advice on how to bring up the topic, sorry! But personally, I agree with you that you shouldn’t be expected to split everything 50/50.
I moved in with DH a year before we even got engaged and I make WAY less than him at my PT job, so it was understood that he would continue to pay the mortgage and household bills and I would pitch in for groceries and otherwise help by doing most of the shopping, errands and household chores since I have more free time. This just made sense because, like you, it was not simply a roommate situation – we knew at that point that we were headed in the direction of marriage.
I hope you figure out a plan that you can both be happy with.
Post # 13
I like the comment above about “financial intimacy”. When my DH and I moved in together we had the following issues: He doesn’t manage money well but has a good income; I manage well but my income is based soley on commission so very erratic. From day one (prior to engagement by 2 years) we opened joint checking & savings accounts and he had his paycheck directly deposited into it. I manage all our income, pay all our bills and keep us solvent and happy. I own my own business and have a small amount of debt. He is not at all interested in who contributes what amount of money. Although I make far less income, I keep us together financially and that has value.
Personally, I’d hesitate to move in with someone who expected me to go halves on expenses he already covered. Obviously I’d contribute with whatever I could, but I wouldn’t want a dollar amount as an expectation. Some couples live on the higher income and use the lower income towards savings and/or fun money. You’re not a roommate – you’re a partner.