(Closed) Pre-Wedding finances

posted 9 years ago in Relationships
Post # 3
26 posts

Dear EEchick,

This is a tough situation, but you gotta consider that even though he is not financially paying for your education, he is still supporting you by providing you with housing.  If the two of you were not together, you would have to spend money on rent or find another living arrangement.  So I think that even though you do not legally own the house, it might still be fair to contribute to the housing expense – just think of it as rent.  You might be able to make an arrangement where you don’t pay 50% of the mortgage, but perhaps you can pay something that you can afford – maybe it will only be 25% or something that you think is reasonable and within your budget. 

If money troubles are causing you stress, you have to talk it out and come to an agreement that is acceptable to the both of you.  You can mention that you currently are providing services  that benefit your life together – such as cooking, cleaning, etc – may not have a price tag on them, but that they are valuable nonetheless and should be considered as part of your contribution.  If he thinks it’s a woman’s duty to do these things, then you can tell him that times are changing and that in the past it would be considered the man’s duty to provide housing for his family, but that now it is acceptable for a woman to contribute with that – so by the same token, he should either value what you contribute or help out with the cooking and cleaning.

I hope this brings you some perspective.  Good luck talking it out with him.


Post # 4
6009 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: May 2009

That’s a really tough situation, but I totally agree that you shouldn’t just be giving him money for the mortgage without any kind of agreement in place or without your name on the title.  Honestly, I think you are already in a bad position financially.  If for some reason he decided to sell the house, you essentially get no say in moving, with or without him, to a new place; and that place could have higher rent, worse living conditions, higher utilities, etc…  Or, if something terrible happened and you decided to break up, he can legally kick you out of his house with no place to go and no way to pay any rent.  This situation is not a good one for you because you have no legal recourse in case something happened.  What if he died?  What if there was a fire and everything was burned?  I’m assuming you probably don’t have renter’s insurance, which means none of your stuff would be replaced, and you would have to find somewhere else to live.

On the other hand, I can totally understand his point in that right now he is paying a huge chuck of your living costs.  If you weren’t together, wouldn’t you be paying rent and utilities at another place?  So you said that "he pays nothing for (your) life" but that’s not really true.  He is taking a pretty big financial burden off your shoulders by giving you a free place to live.  I can understand how he’d be hurt that you want to take a higher paying job but still not increase contributions to the household finances.

My advice is that you need to draw up a renter’s contract with your bf.  If you believe that your household chores make up part of your contribution to the household finances, that’s fine.  But you really need to get something in writing.  And have a clear understanding about how much money you’ll be contributing to what bills, when it will be paid, and what happens in case one or both of you has to/wants to move out.  You two need to come to an agreement about what both of you can contribute and how you are going to split things up.  If nothing else, it is going to protect you in case of a breakup or catastrophe, but it will also help you both come to an agreement about this issue as well.  Imo, I think helping contribute to the mortgage in the form of a rental payment is the best idea.  This doesn’t have to be much, but a little bit can go a long way, and with small payments, you should still be able to pay down your personal debt.

Post # 5
94 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

mrs. spring and ms. lily have valid points… and if you guys don’t communicate re: finances right now before even being engaged, it’ll be even worse when you are married.  Be clear and come up with a plan where you can afford it as a single, dating woman.  Whatever financial situation both of you guys are in, you take with you when you are married… your debt will become his debt…etc…  maybe you guys can even talk about ways to divide up the living costs (groceries, chores, etc… ).

Post # 6
1023 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

I would really suggest sitting down and talking this through again.

First off, it is true that he would be paying those expenses if you live there or not. But you do live there. If you live in an apartment, you don’t own it, but you still have to pay rent. I’m not taking any sides here, just offering another way to look at it.

But I do think its unfair to expect equal contribution to the household in terms of money since you both are in two different financial situations. Perhaps you could scale how much each of you contribute to the household based on income percentages. And I do think the fact that you do the housework should count too! It’s a lot of extra work that is often underappreciated.

In the end this shouldn’t be about keeping score. It should be about what is best for the both of you as a couple.


Post # 7
14183 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2009

FYI whoever pays the mortgage gets all the equity. Is he trying to make you dependent on him? Because it kinda sounds like it. 

Basically if one person pays the mortgage and the other pays all the bills….and then there’s a split up, well, the first person gets the house. And tough Cookies for person #2, right? Yep, that’s basically it.

If you’re going to pay for part of the mortgage, you better be getting some equity in YOUR name too. Or, you are paying him "rent" and that’s a tax deductible expense for him I believe.

Either way, there better be some sort of contract I think. He shouldn’t threaten you, but he’s right, it IS his house. Like others have suggested previously, a "sliding scale" would work. Obviously if you made more you’d "contribute" more and he is technically supporting you while providing a nice roof (a nice one! a house!) and utilities. Believe me, I pay those bills by myself every month and it is STEEP. But considering you cover most of the groceries, he shoudl acknowledge that too. 

I used to live with my Fiance. He had a nice paycheck and I waited tables and brought home pennies on the dollar. But I cooked, cleaned, and took care of chores. I couldn’t help out financially but I could help out in so many other ways. Now I have a job and I can "contribute" more and honestly, I feel much better doing so. Even if he’s not asking you to pay for the mortgage, which is something you aren’t comfortable doing, why don’t you offer to pay for, say, all the groceries, the cable bill, and the sewer bill? Just pay a few more utilities so you more even kilter. Then he can’t say you’re helping out…after all, you’re paying the sewer guys, right?  

Post # 8
610 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2009

I assume your conversation is in the context of what to do w/ finances in general and not specifically that engagement solely hinges on you paying for the mortgage. The latter would be quite awkward in a relationship point of view.

Every couple deals with their finances differently. If you’ll be contributing to the mortgage, your name should be on the title too. If he does not want u on the title, he should ask u to contribute no more than wuz the market rate for rent. You in turn, can also make sure you be more diligent about not spending too much on groceries or other expenses on him.

The latter option of calculating everything very clearly as two strangers living in a house seems quite loveless but due to financial problems/family inheritance, some couples would have to deal with that plus pre-nups or even file separate tax returns (e.g. the McCains). However, personally, I feel that normally a couple can come to a compromise such that both ppl bear the financial burden *together*: mortgages, personal debts whether acquired prior to or post-marriage. So you’ll be worried about his mortgage burden and would want to help out and he will also be worried about ur student loans and will want to help out. In case one of u loses ur job, the other will be happy to pick up the slack. U guys r in it together. With this approach, a happy compromise should emerge.

Post # 9
1064 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2009

I feel like if your going to be marrying him, everything needs to be discussed and put out in the open, once you get married it’s not his house or your school loans, everything in my mind gets put together, so since your already living together, maybe some of those things need to be recatogorized as both of yours.

Post # 10
2819 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: February 2013

In my mind, since you already cook/clean and buy most of the groceries, that should be enough. Maybe offer to pay half of utilities if he still won’t budge, but it sounds to me like he’s just being a jerk right now.

Post # 11
216 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2009

It doesn’t sound like you’re really concerned about the legal and financial implications of your living situation, but you should be.  You have no legal right to this house right now, and if you were to break up, the fact that  you didn’t contribute to the downpayment and you aren’t contributing to the mortgage monthly means you would really have any other basis for making a legal claim to the equity or the asset.  What about if you agreed to use your new supplemental income in several ways, split up however you determine as a couple

1. paying down your consumer debt

2. contributing some amount to the mortgage (allowing him to save for a ring)

3. saving some so that eventually you can contribute to a down payment on a new house together, that you both own, to which you have a legal and financial stake.  If you saved a couple thousand dollars on your own over the next few years, got married, and bought a new place together, things would be a lot more clear.   

Finally, I would like to comment on your "buying my own ring" issue.  The longer you live with your soon to be husband, the more it will become apparent that even couples who don’t share money still have to negotiate spending, and that if he is saving for your ring, it’s going to affect the financial possibilities for you as a couple.  Look at contributing to the housing costs as part of your relationship’s give-and-take.  You have to be fair and practical when negotiating money with your spouse. 

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