(Closed) Who should pay the rent?

posted 12 years ago in Married Life
Post # 48
1407 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

I can somewhat see where your husband is coming from, but I think his attitude about it and the way he is approaching it is way off base. Here’s how I look at it: It’s not “mine” and “yours” – its OURS. I think even if you keep some separate accounts for independence reasons, you should treat your financial life together (household expenses, trips together, etc.) as a joint effort. From that perspective, it might make the best financial sense for you to contribute some of your savings to your joint expenses. But its not at all about paying “your half” like a roommate – its about making sound financial choices that will benefit you as a couple in the long run, as Mouse said.

I think now is the perfect time to sit down together and work out a plan, with an “us” mentality. Think of all your money as a lump sum, and think about – how much do we need to keep in savings for a house? How much do we need to keep for a rainy day fund? Of our regular income (which is right now your husband’s salary), how much of that is getting spent? When you answer those questions, you may find that in order to keep your savings from dwindling, you need to live solely off your husband’s salary. Or, you may discover that hardly any of your husband’s salary is getting saved, and decide that it would be better to use a set amount of your savings towards your expenses than to live paycheck to paycheck. You also might decide that you can live more easily off your husband’s salary without needing to dip into savings by cutting back on some of your expenses, whether that be eating at restaurants or going shopping or whatever. 

I think the most important things here are to: A) look at it from a “we/us” mentality, B) think about what will be best for you as a couple long term, and C) communicate about what your financial goals and priorities are. Good luck!

Post # 49
524 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

Did you explain to him that you don’t feel it makes sense to be using savings to pay bills if his paycheck can cover all the expenses?  Using savings when his paycheck can cover all the expenses is not the most wise investment in the long run. Maybe if you explain that to him, he will come around.  Ask him why he feels you should be paying half when you don’t have a job?  Even though he is the only one making money right now, he should be viewing the money he is making as money that belongs to both of you. Not just him.  Especially since you quit your job in this turbulent economy to move to Texas with him. 

Post # 51
2385 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: March 2010 - Calamigos Ranch

I disagree with the people who are saying your savings is “ours”… if you saved it before you were married, it’s NOT both of yours, unless you agree to have it be (on the other hand, his savings since you were married? that belongs to both of you!). You both need to sit down again and reassess your financial goals and how you plan to get there both now while you are unemployed and in the future, when you are both contributing, or if one or neither of you is. The division you both have going (he pays for dinners out, trips to visit HIS family or to take you along on business trips, but you pay half of the rent whether you have money coming in or not?) obviously isn’t working.

Post # 52
1652 posts
Bumble bee

It sounds like you might be afriad to talk to him.  You talk to your mom, and you are talking to us.  But it soudns like you haven’t yet talked to him.  Finances are big.  But does this run deeper than finances?  I remember your other thread about him moving to Texas with or without you.  Is he callig all the shots and you’re going along with them?  I’m just a little concerned you’re not standing up for what’s fair for you.

I don’t think it’s right for him to expect you to pay rent when you left a job to be where he wanted to live.  (I have experience doing this when I got married.  My husbnad didn’t even consider asking me to help pay.)  Now if your savings was huge and his salary was not great, I could see using it to help.  But I kind of don’t get this.  How much more could you be costing him?  The cost of some food?  If you weren’t married, adn he moved to Texas without you, he’d be paying rent all by himself.  And it sounds like it wouldn’t be a big hardship.  Besides you can contribute in ways like, taking care of household chores etc.  Doesn’t he see value in coming home from work and not having to do those things?

Perhaps there is some other conern on his part, we all aren’t aware of.  Maybe he’s concerned that you’ll stop looking for a job.  That you’ll be content to just stay home, and he doesn’t value that.  Maybe he thinks you’re looking to start a family that he doesn’t want to start yet, and will use not having a job as a “good reason” to go ahead and try.  (I have no idea if any of these are the case.  Just throwing potential issues out there.)

If I were you, at this point, I would have a serious talk with him on what you two expect with regards to finances.  Explain to him why his expectations concern you and ask him why he seems to be so insistent you pay when you agreed to quit your job to follow him.  If you get nowhere with the convo, or you feel like you can’t talk to him about it, I’d seek some professional help.  But for now, my advice would be to hold onto your savings.

Post # 53
2639 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

Maybe reading this by Suze Orman will help you a bit: http://www.oprah.com/article/omagazine/living_suze_o_marriage

I also remember watching one of her shows where she recommends always having separate savings, but also a joint account that you put equal percentages of your income into it (this is kind of how we run our household).  Then, use the money in that account to pay the bills…something else to think and talk about.  Maybe even talking to a financial advisor could be helpful for your situation.

To me it seems that since he is able to comfortably take care of all the bills without your financial assistance, then you should hang on to your money to buy a home.  Is there a reason you haven’t actually started looking for a home yet?

Post # 54
1114 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2011

OK honestly i agree with you…if you moved there for him and you are trying to get a job…and he makes enough to comfortably pay rent by himself…then at this difficult time in your life I think he should pay and not think twice about it…are you helping out around the house? cooking and cleaning and that kind of stuff? if you are then i see no reason why he just doesnt wait till you are on your feet. I have two different sets of FRIENDS that are in this situation right now…one cleans the house as his part of “rent”. I also know that if I was in the same situation with my SO, and he made money enough to comfortably pay the rent…then he would never even think of asking me that…but that is the way that we are…doesnt mean its right or wrong…

Post # 55
767 posts
Busy bee

I might not think it’s right but I think it’s very normal, natural and human for him to want you to pay for the rent. He doesn’t want to be taken advantage of.  He doesn’t want to feel like he’s contributing a lot more than you are. 

To be a little harsh – Just because he could afford to support you doesn’t mean he is obligated to and you are freed from taking care of yourself for the rest of your life.  That’s a lot of responsibility to put on someone.  And while it’s definitely a workable situation (you being a housewife) it could only work if he wanted it too.  I don’t think you have a right to it. 

On the other hand, if he doesn’t think his salary is “our” then I don’t know what he was thinking getting married!  That’s part of the legal marriage contract!  If he didn’t want that he damn well should have discussed it with you first.

So discuss it now.

Bring it up to him that if wants the two of you to keep your finances separate he can’t expect you to make decisions that will negatively impact your finances.  So no more things like moving to Texas.  Make it clear to him what this will mean for you life together if you have to always look out for number one. 

Ask him what he expects the financial split to be if he loses his job.

Ask him what he thinks marriage means.  This is a big one.  Because this 50/50 idea has a lot of implication for what both of you think marriage should be like. 

Ask him if he think you are not doing enough to find a job.

This is a major difference in your worldviews that needs to be addressed.  It can’t be addressed by simply getting enough people to agree that he’s wrong and making him change his ways, it can only be solved by the two of you discussing it until you come to an agreement that makes both of you happy.  This is a big deal for you marriage and a big challenge.  Hopefully it’ll be a catalyst for the two of you to discuss each other’s expectations. 

I wish you lots of luck.




Post # 56
767 posts
Busy bee

ETA: Why do you feel like your savings are yours and not “our”?  Maybe your reasons for feeling that way are the same reasons he feel like you should help pay the rent. 

Post # 57
387 posts
Helper bee

I agree with your mom. My Fiance asked me to move to Germany with him. We are not even married yet. I gave up my job and did it. There is no question that the money he makes is ours and I have full access to it and we are equals.

You are right because you gace up your job per his request to be with him and I would be very concerned. To be honest if my Fiance pulled what your DH is doing, he would not be my Fiance anymore. That is just my opinion but I think maybe you need couples counseling because this seems like a huge red flag and a sign of other issues, IMO. I am sorry he is making you feel this way, I know what a huge sacrifice it is to give up everything for someone else.

Post # 58
8375 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2009

Since you guys keep 100% separate money, I think it’s easy to feel the way he does.

Since you each have equal savings (enough for a house, right?) why don’t you consider getting a joint account? You can still keep some of yours and some of his, but it’ll help move towards the “our” mentality. You at least need some our mentality when you’re married! It’s unfeasible to be completely mine and yours for your situation. 

Especially since you gave up everything to move in with him–it’s unfair of him to expect you to monetarily contribute to the rent when you don’t have a job.

Is he possessive about his money in other ways? Maybe he feels like he’s doing you a “favor” by taking care of you….which can breed resentment and depression down the raod. personally i hate being taken care of and I know it’d bug me–it’d be like rubbing salt in the wound. Perhaps he doesn’t realize how much yiou gave up and think that was your duty or something…whereas it’s also a spouse’s duty to not make the other feel like crap!

Maybe a financial advisor or counselor would help, especially sine you guys keep butting heads over the same issues. And your mom’s right–it could be a sigh of things to come because if you don’t resolve it, it’ll just fester throughout everything and it’ll keep coming up

Post # 59
415 posts
Helper bee

I curious to know what you’re saving for. It think it’s important to have a savings, and maybe a joint savings. If you’re saving for a house/emergency- I think you should hold on to your money- aren’t you supposed to have 8 months living expenses according to Suze Orman?

Then again- if you want to make him happy and make all this go away- tell him you don’t want to deplete your savings, (in case of an emergency, saving for a house, etc…) paying half the rent- but you will pick up the utilites…. those don’t cost that much but you’re still contributing and remind him if you ever flip sides and he’s unemployed, you would expect the same- you pay rent/mortgage he pays utilities.

I feel like your savings is your money- just like debts you accrue before marriage are your problem- however, you have a responsibility to compromise as a wife, or whatever, 🙂 so I’d use some- but not deplete all of your savings.

Post # 60
110 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: August 2009

I think that it from where I’m standing- all finances should be equal.  I guess that’s mainly bc I don’t think it’s in the best interest of a couple to have separate finances unless there is a reason, like one of you was married before and you have to pay child support on a percentage of your income, then you wouldn’t want to combine it.

The main reason for couples fighting is usually related to finances and money.  So it would probably just be easier to have combined finances and considering all income as a whole, then you don’t have to say, “..i pay for this.. or you pay for that..”  it’s all the same when combined jointly.

I have friends that have been married for 6 years, (he was married once before) and they have both a joint and separate accounts bc he has 2 kids from his previosu marriage.  In your instance you are requested to pay half, but in theirs, they compare how much eachother makes as a whole (ie. him 60% her 40%) and they base their payments for mortgage and such on that.

For me, if you don’t have kids, why not have combined funds in one account, keeping them separate seems to want to keep one independent, rather than learning to work together to pay for a common thing.


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