- Wedding: October 2019 - Chateau Lake Louise
My FH and I do split proportionately, in a 65/35 ratio. But…
He makes about 2x what I do and has < 15k in debt – most of it, his car. I, on the other hand, have 6 figure student loan debt and make less than $40k a year.
One thing I didn’t really consider when we built our house, that might be useful to discuss here. We secured our mortgage solely on his credit. Adding me to the loan would have hurt our interest rate, and the entire 30% down payment came from him as well.
Which raises an issue we have yet to resolve to our satisfaction.
As a life-long renter, I have never paid property taxes directly. In my current situation, we calculate my portion of the mortgage payment INCLUSIVE of the taxes – which at this point are over $600 a month. Since I am not an owner of record, I can’t deduct property taxes. My argument is I shouldn’t be obliged to pay a portion of them, since he enjoys 100% of those payments as a tax write off.
I think this is on some level a philosophical distinction, because any landlord passes on the cost of property taxes or HOA’s in the rental cost. It was just a dimension I hadn’t considered as a renter, that suddenly seemed salient in my current situation.
I think the most important thing is to talk to each other about your thoughts and expectations. It’s very easy in the excitement of moving in together – and forward in the relationship – to assume you are on the same page with these issues. Starting with hypotheticals makes it a less emotionally charged discussion. As uncomfortable as it is, it can be REALLY helpful to have a line-item conversation about what each of you sees as a fair distribution of financial responsibility; who will cover what and to what degree.
I would present him with the list you made for us and ask him directly; what would you see as a fair breakdown of living expenses? If we were to get married and buy a house together, how much of the proceeds of the sale of the condo would you feel should go to any down payment? Would it be considered a “shared” asset after cohabitation – warranting a 50/50 split of housing costs, or remain solely yours and adjust his contribution accordingly.
In doing so, don’t forget other costs apart from just groceries and utilities – special assessments from the condo board and homeowners insurance are part of those figures as well.
As unromantic as the conversation is, it will be part of determining your compatibility. Even just knowing each other’s attitudes can be helpful in arriving at an agreement that feels fair to you both.