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Sharing Living Expenses With a Boyfriend or Girlfriend

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A girlfriend and boyfriend struggling to pay bills.

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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Here are questions related to Sharing Living Expenses With a Boyfriend or Girlfriend.

Question: Sharing Living Expenses With Boyfriend

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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By cdoss [10]04/05/2010

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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By Beth [25]04/02/2010

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.

Question: Sharing Living Expenses With Boyfriend

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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By Donna10/19/2014

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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By redhatterb [1]10/19/2014

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.

Question: Sharing Expenses With Boyfriend

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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By melinda [1]01/05/2014

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.

Question: Splitting Living Expenses With Boyfriend

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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By Benjamin F L.04/01/2015

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

Question: Sharing Living Expenses With an Abusive Partner

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


Most Recent Answer

By Amanda Fry M.02/15/2015

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.

Question: Sharing Expenses with a Live-in Boyfriend

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.

I have been dating a guy for almost 6 years. He wants to get married, but I would lose alimony and my boyfriend does not make a consistent living. He owns his own home, but has rented it out to stay with me. He also has 2 younger kids who come here to stay once a month for 3 days and all holidays. He has his own tree business so his finances are up and down depending on work.

I originally did not ask him for money because he always just made enough to make ends meet. In the last few years though he has agreed to give me $500 a month for expenses. I pay out almost $3000 a month with lake dues.

I always struggle to make ends meet and I get really resentful at times when I don't think things are fair. For example, he went to the Caribbean to do a divemaster internship last year to better himself and possibly get a job in the islands; for both of our futures. I agreed. Just this past Christmas he bought himself another gun (6 now) and I don't even spend the money to get my hair colored and cut. Sometimes he threatens me to just go back and live in his own house. I don't ask him to pay half of the mortgage because he will get no benefit when it is sold.

I am just not sure what is fair anymore and when I bring things up to discuss he just gets mad. He loves me very much and wants to get married, but financially I thought it best to wait until the kids are out of the house. Again I am 47, he is 46, and he does help with things around the house, wood for heating, fixing things, etc., but sometimes that is a chore because he doesn't want to put too much effort in for no reward. Help. Please. What is fair to expect?

By Kim


Most Recent Answer

By Louise B. [5]01/17/2014

I agree with the other posters. This man sounds like he is mooching off of you. I would insist that he contribute at least $500 (I personally think it should be more) to the cost of running the home, groceries, etc. If he is standing in as a step -parent, than he should be contributing to the whole household. If he lives in your house as your partner, he should contribute to the maintenance and care of the home, chores, cleaning, yard work, etc. because he lives there -- NOT as a favor to you. I think he sounds very immature, and I think you would be better off without him.

Question: Sharing Expenses With Boyfriend

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


Most Recent Answer

By ilovesophie [20]02/08/2015

P.S. Sounds like this arrangement may have been planned ahead of time on his part since he purchased his car shortly before voluntarily quitting his job.

Question: Expense Sharing Problems

My boyfriend moved into my apartment in 2010. He had agreed to pay his ex wife $ 2000.00 a month. I was not involved in this amount. I had my 2 daughters living with me in a 2 bedroom apartment. His 2 boys would come over every weekend. Since he paid out so much to her I didn't push the issue.

In 2011 he purchased a house in his name. He was to pay 1600.00 of the mortgage and I pay 864.00. At the time his take home was 4000.00. He was giving 2000.00 to her at first and then lowered it to 1600.00. So take the 1600.00 + 1600.00 = 3200.00. He also had a truck payment of 500.00 so we are at 3700.00, and a trailer payment of 132.00. So he is at 3832.00; that leaves 170.00. I am left paying for everything else. I mean everything, including all the food his boys eat every weekend. He still thinks that he does it all, he always says that he pays for everything and is rude and nasty to my kids.

So here is where I am at, he keeps telling me to get out and that he will put my stuff on the front lawn. Can he do that when I have been paying part of his mortgage? I am going to move out, but since I pay for everything else it is ha