Sharing Living Expenses With a Boyfriend or Girlfriend

When living with a partner it is important to have a clear understanding of how the household costs are divided. This guide is about sharing living expenses with boyfriend.

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A girlfriend and boyfriend struggling to pay bills.
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I am an 8 year widow. I have a house in my name. My boyfriend lives with me, but says it's not his house and does nothing as far as cleaning, etc. I am the maid. He thinks $250 a week is too much to pay. I pay the mortgage plus more. He deducts his gas and cigarettes from that. Those are not household expenses. I feel like I'm being used and abused. He does nothing and withholds any $ that are left after his deductions, as punishment. We have no written legal agreement; he wouldn't sign.

    AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

    A different POV on this subject -or- As Joe South said "Oh the games people play, now".

    Scenario:

    ' It was my decision to let this man move in with me. Now, I see that it was a wrong decision. Maybe that wrong decision was an honest mistake, but allowing him to stay up to this point, after finding out his true nature, I did with knowledge and clear mind.

    Hey, that makes me look weak and needy! I can't have that. It's time to shift the spotlight off me and my mistake, and make it look as if it's all his fault. I know, I'll tell a bunch of women how lazy, selfish and freeloading he is. I'll get a lot of sympathy, and advice on throwing him out. Goody! The sympathy wont solve anything, but it's nice to get, anyway. And as for the advice on throwing him out...well, I already knew that long ago....but hey!...it's the sympathy and advice that counts. Right? Right.

    In the meantime, this bum is sitting across the living room from me, stinking up the place with cigarettes, expecting me to empty his ash tray, go get him another hoagie and beer, and draw his weekly bath water.

    Tomorrow and the next day will be just like today, but tonight...tonight I can go to bed (yes, with him, durn it), and comfort myself with the knowledge that I have gained support, sympathy and advice from my sisters around the globe'. Yes!

    Later:

    (Good grief, man. I drew your bath water. You could have taken a bath before you came to bed....and I'll thank you to please get your knee out of my back).

    (Woman, I'll have you know that's not my knee).

    (What did you say, darlin'?).

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    Here's the thing, my BF asked me to move in last month because he couldn't move to my city. He has 4 kids. So I quit my job (looking for a new one in his city now, but he doesn't want me to work because someone needs to stay at home when kids are off) and moved to his house. Before I moved in I offered to pay he said no. But now he wants me to help with all cost. I asked him what's "the cost" he listed: water, gas, electricity, mortgage (he owns 3 places) and car. He said, just pay what you think is fair. Before I moved in he asked me how much do I want to take care of the kids and everyday living. I said no, because I'm not a babysitter and since I'm with him, I will help him taking care of his kids for sure. BTW we are not engaged. To my opinion, it is OK to share the water bill, gas and electricity, but mortgage, it is not my house!

    By Heather

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    It sounds like you were taken for a sucker. He wants a built in baby sitter plus somebody to help with his living expenses. Considering he and his kids use more of all the things listed than you do. I would get the heck out of there.

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    While reading your entry, it totally gave me the creeps with all the red flags. I fully agree with redhatterb, and add my own opinion.

    First, he doesn't want you to work. That leaves you without "your own" money leaving you totally dependent on him. Not a good position to be in. If you ever decide to leave, lack of money can make it more difficult, and delay the decision. Don't put yourself in the position to be beholden to him.

    Second, it sounds like you've already moved to his city. That's isolating you. Another tactic of abusers. (Not saying he is one, but be wary.)

    He's already flip-flopped on his stance of how he wants you to contribute. It probably will likely to happen again and again. Get a formal agreement to help avoid potential problems. If he balks, see that as another "red flag."

    Also, the fact that you put the question out asking for total strangers' opinions tells me that you, yourself, have doubts about this arrangement. Please be cautious. Go on the internet-- NOT at home (use the library, friend's, etc.)--and familiarize yourself with the signs of abuse: domestic and financial.

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    My boyfriend kinda started staying here 24/7 a year ago, for the first 14 months he didn't help pay for anything. Then of coarse me being single mom of 2 couldn't afford to feed 4 of us so I had to use credit cards to be able to make it. Needless to say I'm now in credit card trouble. He decided on his own he was going to make 300$ a month payments to the card and so would I. He also paid 300$ a month toward groceries and other bills. His cell is in my name so it's 100$ which I been paying for so technically 200$ towards groceries and bills.

    This lasted 2 months then he got angry and started questioning me to where "his" money is going. I told him $300 to the card 100$ to your phone and that leaves 200$ for food and bills. He eats more then 200$ a month. He yelled at me that he didn't eat 200$ a month in food so now we are back to me paying for everything. I don't know what to do, I work 3 jobs to be able to do what I gotta do and I feel used that I have absolutely no time for anything but work, make dinner, clean, and sleep. He works full time and he pays for his car, car insurance, and that's it. He wants to save his money for hobbies and spend it on hobbies for himself while I slave. I don't know, maybe this is the way its supposed to be?

    By sweetsammy

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    Ok you stated he 'kinda' started staying with you, is he actually living with you? 24/7 would indicate not kinda he actually is. Not sure if he is the father to either of your children, but if he is then he should be financially helping you with the care of the child and household.

    He doesn't sound like he is mature enough to understand the importance of things. Buying things he just wants or collects is not being responsible nor showing he cares anything about you or your children. He is just using you, a place to crash and whatever else your supplying him with.."to stop the addict you must stop supplying to the addiction".

    Once he is out contact friends/family with things you may need help with, such as the children, etc. Start cutting coupons to save that extra money to catch up on bills. And if need be move to a house or apartment that is cheaper. Don't ruin your life, children's life and credit due to someone else. Especially if they could careless about you and your children. They always come first. Never a man.

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    My boyfriend of three years moved in with me a little over a year ago due to loss of a job in his city and him finding one in mine. I have two daughters that are 18 and 21 and still live with me. He buys groceries from week to week and spends about $300 - $400 a month but has not offered to pay any rent or utilities.

    How should I approach him to share in these expenses too as he is living with us full time? The house is only in my name. Thanks.

    By Robin from New Orleans, LA

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    You really need to know what the monthly expenses total before you can approach him. That includes everything you pay for and everything he pays for. And to be fair, keep in mind that if you break up, the house is still yours so I wouldn't try to make him pay for a full half of your mortgage. You need to come up with something fair for the living expenses you both share.

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    Talking money is tough. It's one of the hardest things on any relationship. Tell him you'd like to set aside some time for the two of you to discuss finances. Agree on a time when both of you will be fairly relaxed and not running late to some other appointment. Then, just tell him how you feel. Literally say "I feel... " Avoid saying things like "you never..." or "you always..."

    If you have a good relationship and he's a good man, using kind, not accusing wording you should be able to work out a more fair arrangement. Saying something like "I really appreciate your buying groceries. It helps a lot. But I feel that we're not splitting our overall living expenses in a fair way and want to discuss how we could make it more fair."

    In my mind, I would think he should be paying somewhere between 1/4 to 1/2 of all living expenses, depending on what your kids financial situations are (if they're full time students I don't think they should be expected to pay as much as if they're simply working) You may want to figure what the total monthly expenses are before you sit down together. It's honesly possible that he simply isn't aware that 300 - 400 a month isn't his fair share.

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    I have been with my son's father for almost 12 years now (yes still not married). We have been thru the worst times ever to the best times ever. Three years ago I found out he was having a relationship with someone else for 2 years behind my back. Of course I kicked him out and he stayed with her for a few months until I somehow convinced myself to take him back.

    At the time he also lost his job and was collecting unemployment so when he returned to my home I was picking up the slack for all the bills in our house as well as taking care of all of our son's needs. We bicker over everything; one little thing spirals into things that had nothing to do with the original argument and things get extremely nasty. He calls me the worst names imaginable including saying things like "I hope you die". You have no idea how damaging this is to hear especially after all I have given and forgave in our relationship.

    He is currently working and has been for 6 months now and yet for the last, almost 3 years (a year separated, a year+ of unemployment and searching for a new job) I am still paying everything (well everything but the gas and electric). I pay rent and 1/2 the cable, all food shopping or he will go every once in a great blue moon to get the bare minimum and all expenses for our son unless he buys an outfit or shoes here and there.

    While he was out on unemployment he received a large settlement approximately 12K and he never once asked if I needed money, never said I know you have racked up some credit bills let me help you, nothing.

    Also a few years back he got into a little trouble with the IRS with his daughter's mother (from a previous relationship) as they both claimed her and he had to pay the money back - guess what our taxes three years ago right before I found out he had a girlfriend paid those off.

    Also, once he was caught cheating he came back asking me to marry him and bought me a diamond ring. This was a secret for some time and now that it is out he has yet to speak another word of any kind of marriage. Needless to say I pay almost all of the bills (yes I have said this a few times), do all of the house chores - he will throw in a load of laundry here and there and said he did the laundry, but yet I fold and put away. He will iron his shirts for work, but mumble under his breath that I should be doing it. I cook every night - well not every night, but I make sure we have dinner and we are all feed.

    To shine more light on the situation, his daughter that is now 17 years old wants nothing to do with him and hasn't for some time now. He hasn't paid support for as long as I have known him and when he is around her all he does is tells her what she is doing wrong and all this nonsense - he does this to our son too. He was raised as an only child by his father (who didn't have a great track record himself with women to say the least). To add wood to the fire he has hit me a few times or has grabbed me to the point of marks being left on me. He has broken things in the house (I have too at times).

    I just hate being the one that is blamed for everything and I end up giving so much more into this so called relationship. I guess what I am trying to get at is can someone please tell me if I am thinking correctly and feeling like I am being taken advantage of? I could go on for days and please by no means I am saying I am perfect because no one is. I have my fault ones that yes I have a difficult time admitting, but I believe I deserve so much more in return at this point.

    By TL

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    Hello I am not sure how long it's been since you wrote this.... But - I still wanted to comment. The line above says it all.... Sharing (however you're the one sharing) with an abusive partner.

    From my 20 years experience with relationships. 1) Died at 30 - this one was super sad. I had a 6 year old daughter to him. After that.... downill. 2) BiPolar husband - never did anything to help out. Same situation as yours.... just bad all around. I did have a son with him that is now 17. I went through years of Hell with this man. He was also a Narcissist and if you'll search the term, I am sure some of your boyfriends qualities fall in to the categories.

    I left him when my children were 4 and 8 and never looked back. He never paid a dime of child support after he left. Was in an out of Jail, and when he did pay, he threatened me with taking him forever, so I just dropped the support and took full custody. He no longer had any control over my life. Pray about it. I started going to church... not every week, but when I needed extra support. We made it through.

    My daughter is 22 and my son will be 18 and was just accepted to UF. During this 13 or so years of being single, I only dated a few times, however it seemed as the dates moved forward that I was only choosing the same style of man. My aunt once asked me why I seemed to choose men who were "less worthy" then me. And, she wasn't saying that these men weren't "good people", they just didn't have good actions. And, actions are key in a relationship.

    Compassion, empathy, consistency, fairness, patience, and most importantly love. It sounds to me like he has some sort of mental thing going on. It would most likely be best if you separated and both worked on what is happening. If he is willing to dig deep on his end to figure out why he is putting the "one he loves" through hard times. That is not love. Take care of yourself. And remember - Children are better off with 1 parent who is stable and loving, than 2 parents who always argue. The child will learn the negative behavior and the chain will never be broken.

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    My boyfriend wants to move in with me. We have been dating for over a year, we have had many disagreements ranging from exs to finances. If he moves in, he doesn't want to pay 1/2 of utilities since I currently receive child support. Is this fair? Am I expecting too much from him?

      AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

      No, you are not expecting too much. In fact, you are expecting far too little. Any man who expects to move in and NOT share half of ALL the expenses related to the home (food, utilities, rent, gas expenses, insurance, etc.) is a moocher. The child support is for your child, and has nothing to do with how much money your boyfriend should contribute to the home. If you had 5 teenage boys chowing down, maybe there might be some justification for not sharing groceries. However, if he is moving in and going to act like a "husband", then he should expect to pay half of the expenses, and perhaps more if his income is significantly higher than yours. Do not let him move in with this attitude. In fact, from your description of your relationship, I think you should dump him and look for someone more congenial. People do not fight less when living together; they find way more things to disagree about.

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      I've been with my boyfriend for 2 1/2 years. I have two boys that live with us and he has a daughter that stays 3 days out of the week. 6 months ago he quit a well paying job because he said he wanted to see his daughter more and go to school. Well he never went to school and now he works 30 hours a week at a minimum wage job. His child support was never lowered (and won't be ) because he quit. So more than half of his income goes to child support. He basically has money to get back and forth to work until he get paid again. Which means I'm paying all food, bills, and rent. On top of this he got a new car before deciding to quit his new job so I'm paying his car note and insurance. Would I be wrong to tell him he needs to get a new job so that he can make ends meet? I honestly feel like im doing everything myself. Please help!

      By dm

      AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

      You have become his Mommy and in his eyes, should be taking care of him. Give him the boot, like yesterday. Why should your kids go short so you can provide for Freddie the Freeloader?

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      My girlfriend and I have been together for three years. She rents an apartment and I own a house, but it is in foreclosure so I do not pay rent. I stay with her 3 to 4 days a week, not because I have to, but because I want to spend time with her. I help out with food and other things. The question is, how much rent should I pay her and how much for utilities? Also it is a small apartment, where I have not much room for my stuff.

        AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

        Sit down with your girlfriend and discuss the issue. If you are in financial difficulty, you will have to sort that out as well, and there is no time like the present. If this is a serious relationship, you need to sort out the financial issues before you can move forward. Failure to do so can mean disaster in the future. Many relationships fall apart over financial issues.

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        I live with my boyfriend, he owns the home so I didn't get a say in if it was affordable. However it's not bad either, but he lives there with his 2 kids, 10 and 11 years old. He would have to pay the mortgage anyways, it's not like I am taking up any space being that I share a room with him. Should I have to pay half the mortgage and utilities? How about food? My boyfriend thinks it's fair that I split that cost as well.

        He makes almost twice as much as I do and has no bills what so ever. I'd like to get myself out of debt so we can have a future. I don't think it's fair I pay half of the food when I am only eating 1/4 of it, if that. I work through dinner hours and eat like a bird the rest of the time. His 2 kids eat twice as much as I can and my boyfriend eats 3 times as much as me. His food costs are astronomical.

        Basically I took on a second job to do what he thinks is fair, but I am killing myself and he is saving money. Does any of that seem fair. How can I talk to him? I tried a couple of times and it almost resulted in our breaking up. He wants a girl who can pay half. I am almost positive he is looking at his benefit only.

        By Brenda

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        I can understand how money could be an issue. I came to this thread because I am moving in with my boyfriend and his 12 yr old son. First of all, I apologize for my bad English since I am french. :) 2nd. I hope you and your boyfriend found a resolution but from the situation you wrote about it does seem like he is very irrational and not acting out of love and compassion.

        If he gets an amount from an ex to cover his kids it should go toward the 1/3 of the rent for his kids, their food and personals.

        You should reasonably pay a 1/3 to a 1/2 of the rent or what it would cost between renting a room in a household you would want to live in or a 1 bedroom apartment of your own. (what ever you would have done single). 1/2 to a 1/3 telecommunication (internet, cable, telephone), 1/2 to a 1/3 utilities (gas, electricity) and your food/personal items.

        ***Those may change depending on how many dependents and their ages. 50GB added and higher internet speed cause of an addicted teenager on gaming changes monthly fees. :)

        Once you start sharing money...BUDGET. Use online banking and make many accounts and sub accounts. 1 checking account each, 1 saving account each, 1 shared grocery and 1 utility/telecomm account, 1 vacation account, 1 miss/special account and move money around each week or 2 week depending on pays.

        Have a jar and put 25-50$ each a week in it...Surprises and special supper, date nights come from there. Groupon, coupons and have a familycalendar. Plan meals and make activities.

        Then, for example, who ever does the groceries can take from that account. If there is ever any left over...every end of the month move it to another shared account or split the savings 1/2 and 1/2. :)

        If one person makes more than the other, hopefully they are generous and treat the other to surprises, pretty things and if they feel obliged cover more % of the bills or add to shared savings/trips accounts.

        If one party own the house or pay a mortgage alone, I do think they should give you a discount on the rent until your name is on the deed or you pay a mortgage because they are investing towards their future with that money invested. There is always marriage to share everything. :)

        I guess I answered my own questions. If money breaks many relationship, taking care of it early and fairly will only but be positive in my future.

        Only when both parties feel safe and secure will a relationship work. The basic need of shelter and the eventual sharing of it will always take some work towards a comfortable homestead with another.

        ~Benjamin Lauzon

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        I have been living with my boyfriend now for 2 years. I went thru a divorce 2 years ago after a 20 year marriage which my ex and I have two children from. My daughter is 20 now and my son is 17. When I moved to this town after my divorce I had an apartment and met my now bf. We dated about 2 months and then he begged me to move in because he loved me so much. He has 3 kids. They are 12, 11, and 2 now. The youngest was only 3 months old when we met.

        About a month after I moved in his new child support took affect and the two oldest kids' mom had her child support reassessed. He says he didn't know, but I find that hard to believe. To make a long story short he went from bringing home $500.00 a week to now only bringing home $120.00 a week. His rent is $800.00 a month and cell phones are $200.00 and the grocery bill is outrageous. At the time I didn't mind helping out so much because I felt bad for him. Then that year for Xmas I bought it all, then birthdays, then all the time. My ex and I have shared custody of our son, but he is the residential parent due to school. He doesn't live far away so I see him every day.

        Anyways my bf then started to get upset that I drive to see my son every day. Then he started bringing up how we didn't have money to pay for my son's phone, I can't travel and see my daughter because of bills and he thinks it is not a necessity. As of last week he got fired from his job! Now that leaves me to pay everything. He didn't bring home much before, but at least it paid one bill a month. The rental contract is not in my name. Neither are the bills. I bought his car. And I just bought his oldest kids new TVs and game systems. But no matter what I do or how much I work, he still complains about the amount of money I give my son on a monthly basis. Which honestly is way less than what child support would be. Please any help on the matter or insight would be great. Thank you.
        -Feeling used and alone.

          AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

          As the others stated, 'MOVE OUT', or you will find yourself with absolutely nothing [and you are almost there]. I know this is probably none of my business, but he having 3 kids with the youngest being 3 months when you met would have been the red flag for me, especially when your children are almost fully grown. Also, I don't like the sound of his 'getting upset that you drive to see your son every day; don't have money to pay for YOUR son's phone; can't travel to see your daughter because of bills and HE thinks it is not a necessity'. One saving point in your favor, the rental agreement and bills are in HIS name, so you can walk away free and clear rather than trying to get him out of your place. Run from this situation as fast as you can - you are getting nothing from this "relationship", except money problems that you have to solve.

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          I am 47, divorced, with two teenagers and still reside in the house that my ex and I own. We are co owners, as the judge ordered me to stay in the house. My ex pays me alimony and child support.

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          This could end our relationship. It's been over a year now since my bf of 2years got his own apt. He "stayed" with me about 6 months prior to getting his own place because he wasn't ready financially. But for over a year now he works full time and makes more money than me.

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