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Sharing Living Expenses With a Boyfriend or Girlfriend

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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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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

By 3 found this helpful
January 2, 2014

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?

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By sweetsammy

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January 2, 20142 found this helpful

I know the feeling, had the same thing happen to me. The only difference is the house I live in is paid for so he looked at it like free rent. Since the women gets the groceries they get out of paying for them, but are there to eat. I didn't have him on my cell plan, thank goodness.

What you can do is this, take your rent, utilities, food, and ect and divide it by how many people are in the house and that is what he will pay. The cell phone thing, I know you can do this, you transfer his service in his name then you aren't responsible for it anymore. If he doesn't agree, then you tell him, he needs to get his own place. It doesn't really matter, since you are paying for everything anyway.

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If he doesn't figure out it is cheaper to live with you, then you don't need him! If he doesn't care enough about you to help you, then he doesn't really love you. A relationship is give and take, not all take. Men will treat you how you let them. He does this because he knows you won't do anything. Quit letting him use you, you have children to take care of, he is not your child!

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January 2, 20141 found this helpful

It's time to kick him out. You've been supporting him long enough. It sounds like he has a lot of growing up to do. Never be willing to let a guy live with you, or anybody else for that matter without having them pay half of everything and do half the chores.

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By 1 found this helpful
March 30, 2010

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.

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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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April 2, 20100 found this helpful
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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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April 5, 20100 found this helpful
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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..."

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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 0 found this helpful
October 18, 2014

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.

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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 Sernas

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October 19, 20141 found this helpful
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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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October 19, 20140 found this helpful
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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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August 30, 20131 found this helpful

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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August 31, 20130 found this helpful

In my opinion, you are being used by this guy. Not only are you his bed partner, you are paying half his bills, his mortgage payment and feeding his darn kids. And believe me, I know how much teenagers and preteens can eat! And there's no discussion allowed?

Come on, you can do better on your own. Stop pouring your money into this and save enough to get your own little place. If he cares enough for you (which I don't think he does), he'll stop using you like a doormat. Maybe he'll realize what he had when you pack your shit and move out. Come on girl, show some pride and courage! Please don't marry this dictator.

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August 31, 20130 found this helpful

You should pay a certain amount. What are your grocery bills like? You use electricity, water, you watch tv and use Internet, right?

Look at all your bills for the past six months. Average what each would be for each one. Since a 10 or 11 year old cannot kick in towards bills, pay a third on each one. Groceries are expensive, no matter how much you say you have a small appetite. However, it takes very little to spend about 75-100 dollars a week, and with two kids on the verge of puberty, that is going to rise.

Look into how you can conserve energy, clip coupons, and/or go to coupon sites online. Buy groceries that will last more than one meal. Conserve water.

Yes, he makes more than you, but I think you should pay a third on the bills. Maybe you can pay the entire amount on smaller bills and that way paying a quarter on others would help. Average both ways out and see which way is easier for you.

I do wonder though, if money issues have nearly ended your relationship already, why do you think marriage will change anything? When you marry, will you have joint accounts? Will you be able to put aside any money for some extra treat like nail salons, a pair of shoes, etc?

I think talking to a financial planner, or councilor to see if they have a fair solution you both can agree on. His being protective about his money is okay to a point, he has kids to raise, but to the point you cannot talk about money without fighting or even a bit of compromise, maybe living apart for a while is an option.

He has to trust you. You have to be willing to help him without being grudging.

I have been married almost 16 years. We had times we did not have two nickels to rub together or a piggy bank to put them in. Trust is everything, so is compromise. They are both two way streets.

I hope all works out for you.

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September 1, 20130 found this helpful

You already know the answer to your question. Your relationship is "not" working out. Get out now before you also have children by this man and live miserably the rest of your life.

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September 1, 20130 found this helpful

Please, think twice about a relationship with this man. He is using you and he certainly doesn't respect or love you. I agree in today's world both partners contribute to household expenses. However, he should be responsible for 3; the kids are his. The most you should pay is 1/4 of the bills and food. If the house is in his name then he should be responsible for the mortgage. If he insists you pay 1/2 of the mortgage then make sure your name is put on the deed. You can do better than this guy who wants to dominate you.

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September 1, 20130 found this helpful

Move out.You are better off on your own. He's a user.

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September 1, 20130 found this helpful

I'm wondering the gender of KLS. Those views seems to be quite different from the other posts. I too, believe you are being taken advantage of and being used. I certainly hope you end this relationship before he does because when and if you tell him you'll pay only what's fair he will no longer want you as a mate. A loving person wants what's best for his partner and this is not the case. BTW, who's doing the cooking and cleaning in the household? He and his kids are capable of cleaning so fair is fair. Good Luck!

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September 1, 20130 found this helpful

This is not fair at all. At the most, you should be paying 1/4 of the expenses, since you are only one of 4 in the household. Also, unless he is willing to put YOUR name on the house, you should not have to pay toward the mortgage. As well, in any relationship, the one who makes the most money should pay a larger percentage of the costs, based on the size of their earnings.

I really think that you should reconsider your relationship with this man. He does not sound like someone who treats you with respect or kindness. If he did, he would be helping you with your debts, and not making your situation worse.

And then, as others have mentioned, there is the whole housekeeping and chores issue, which you haven't even mentioned. Again, as they are three, and you are one, and you are working two jobs, they should be doing the vast majority of the housework.

I don't think this is a good relationship for you. Give serious thought to whether there is a good future for you with this man. He sounds very controlling to me.

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By 0 found this helpful
October 31, 2017

Is asking my live-in boyfriend to pay $300 on rent, electric and water too much to ask?

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October 31, 20170 found this helpful
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Any roommate situation including yours should involve a sharing of expenses. A 50:50 ratio for 2 people sharing expenses is totally fair. If there is some reason (like a disability) that they are unable to provide there share and you have some agreement that is totally fine, but otherwise... Your boyfriend should be expected to expect to pull his share! Life is not a free ride! If he's not willing to share the load, then it will only cause you frustration and cause a rift in your relationship so it would be best to move on.

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By 0 found this helpful
September 7, 2016

I am a 31y/o woman living with my boyfriend, who is 56 and succesful in his career. I have lived in his house for a few months now and we've been together for almost 2 years. I knew he had plans for his 32 y/o son, who has very mild autism, to stay with him for a year to help him with his obesity.

I help with the house, I'm the cook, I play as his son's dietitian, exercise partner, driver, I take him to shows and do fun stuff. Also, I have a 4 day a week job as a dental assitant. I love them so much and I know they love me too. My boyfriend is going to retire soon (he worked at a bank with a good position) and he has slowly been asking me for monetary help.

I feel like I work a lot at home and also for both of them and also for myself. I haven't paid anything yet. But if I start paying for rent ($500) should I lessen work at home and get a part time job? I'm also in big debt.
About my relationship with my bf, we talked about marriage before, but with a prenuptial which I strongly agree. He told me all his money is going to his son. Which doesn't bother me at all.

So all this, I feel like I'm not getting anything out of it. I will have to work for my future of course, work at home, and still pay rent? Is it right that I have to pay rent and work as a "full time mother" aside from my job?

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By 0 found this helpful
March 30, 2016

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.

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February 5, 20150 found this helpful

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

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July 11, 20130 found this helpful

My GF of 2 and a half yrs is moving in with me. It was a mutual decision based on us wanting to be together. We are 50 yrs old. She previously had an apartment for which she paid roughly a $1000 a month in rent plus all the utilities that go with an apt (gas, electric, cable, water). I own a home with a $1300 monthly mortgage. Here comes the problem. She agrees to pay half of the utilities, but is having a problem paying anything towards the mortgage. I don't expect her to pay half, but if she pays nothing then she is living rent free which I don't think is right What do you think is fair?

By Bill

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July 12, 20131 found this helpful

I definitely think she should pay something in the way of "rent". If you want to be generous, you could make it a lot less than her previous rent, i.e. $400, $500. But if she balks at that, then I think you should think long and hard about this new arrangement, because unless you are inclined to basically support her (which seemingly is what she is expecting), then I doubt it will work out. Which, when you think about it, indicates some major differences in thinking, which might affect your ability to get along and/or to become permanent.

I moved in with my long-time BF (I am over 50) and in very short order I saw it was not going to work out (less than 2 weeks), I moved out and bought a house. We are still friends.

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July 13, 20130 found this helpful

There are many things to consider in the question you ask. If you were just getting a roommate to share the house - like many students do, you would charge rent that would cover whatever you decided (utilities, mortgage, upkeep, etc.). When the roommate moved out, that would be the end of that arrangement. If the stove broke down, it would be your sole responsibility to replace or repair it. It would be your responsibility to see that the house was insured, and so on.

However, depending on where you live and the laws of your state, province or country, "moving in together" - ie, living common law, is an entirely different kettle of fish. Here in Saskatchewan, if a couple co-habits for two years, they are considered married for all purposes, especially for division of property should they then later separate. Your girlfriend does not think that she should contribute to the mortgage, when, if you should find that you do not suit, after a number of years, she would not have any claim on the property.

Here in Sask, she would have, and so I would say that she should contribute. However, things may be different where you live. You and she should investigate what the laws are. You may not want her to have any claim upon your house, if there is that option. There is a lot to consider. You both need to give the financial aspects of moving in together more thought and more discussion.

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July 13, 20130 found this helpful

If she was paying rent plus all the utilities before it can only be the fact that you are buying your house. May be she can pay all utilities if she won't pay towards the mortgage. If she won't do this I would suggest you re-think the decision to move in together.
If you are together for 10 years will she then be entitled to a share of your house if you split? Get this sorted before moving in together.

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July 14, 20130 found this helpful

Hello - sure sounds like you and your girlfriend should have some long serious talks (before if possible) the move takes place.

I do not believe the present arrangement will ever "sit" right with you and that could cause many problems and unhappiness.

There is counseling available for this but it could be expensive. There are probably good reasons why you are not discussing marriage (financial reasons probably) but it does appear that your girlfriend thinks that she should not have to "help" you pay for your house.

Seems like she is getting the very best of this arrangement and does not feel it should be a "share and share alike" situation. Can you really settle for that?

It does appear that a 50-50 arrangement would be more agreeable (except for the mortgage) and certainly more fair. The mortgage could be set up on a 70-30 agreement and then both of you could realize some financial gain instead of her receiving all of the benefit.

I am a counselor and I really believe (from past cases) your present arrangement will go sour in short period of time.

First and foremost (since you own your home) you should find out about the co-habitation laws in your area as this (very much like marriage) is a very serious move. The laws may surprise you and may even take into account the entire time (or part of it) you have been "dating".

I wish you the best of luck but make sure that both of you sit down and put your pros and cons on paper - with financial figures on separate papers so that both know exactly what is happening here.

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July 14, 20130 found this helpful

If she is not willing to pay 1/2 of both the rent and utilities (she still ends up saving lots and is in a house, not an apartment) then don't do it. Suppose you both rented a house for $1300 a month and split everything in half. What is the difference. Seems she wouldn't have a problem with that but she doesn't want to contribute to your home. Does she not realize that you made the sacrifice to save the down payment for the house and have been paying everything on your own. You should treat her financially just as you would any other roommate. If she doesn't like that deal, don't do it.

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July 15, 20130 found this helpful

Have her split the utilities, but pitch in for groceries 50/50. I would have a problem contributing to a mortgage if my name was not on the deed also. And if you love each other, what's the big deal? I was able to contribute greatly to my families income during the past 25 years, I got sick and now I don't have much financial contribution. My husband loves me and does not care. It's not about the money. Don't nitpick, you might lose her.

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By 0 found this helpful
June 25, 2015

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?

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By 0 found this helpful
July 15, 2015

I have lived with my girlfriend for 4 years now. She moved into the house I was renting and she bought it two years later. I'm still paying the same amount I was when I was renting from my former landlord only now I'm paying my girlfriend. With our arrangement she owns the house, has a mortgage of around $1600 and between what I pay her, and our tenant who rents out the basement, she is only paying $450 a month for her mortgage. So buying the house was a great deal for her. Especially considering she was paying $1600 for a rundown one bedroom apt before she moved in with me.

We split all the bills 50/50 and we alternate turns on buying the groceries. She has a car, I don't. Whenever we go places I end up driving her car because she usually doesn't want to. Lately we have been sharing in the car repairs, but here is where it gets contentious.

She got her car in 2001 and barely drove it anywhere as she lived in a very urban neighborhood and walked or took public transport. I started dating her in the fall of 2009 and the car had only 31,000 miles on it after owning it for 8 years. As of today, July 14, 2015 it now has 72,000 miles on it. We aren't as urban as her former neighborhood so it is 1-2 miles to the grocery stores and shops so she has put a little bit more mileage on the car than she would have had she not moved in with me.

Two summers ago I used her car for part of a job where I had to visit people's homes in the evenings to take measurements for installing our product. This went on for about 7 months where I was driving it about 20-25 miles a night, 3-4 nights a week. It was then I agreed to pay half of the car repairs. We take turns on filling up the tank although I was filling up the tank most of the time that summer as result of my using it after work which is fair as I was using much more gas than normal.

I'm currently unemployed. I have been since October 2014. Between September 2014 to last week we have spent $4944 on car repairs, half of which she expects me to pay back to her when I'm working again. The blue book value places the car at around $2500-3000, much less than what she has paid in repairs for the car in the last 7 months. $800 to fix the AC, $500 for the brakes, $150 to replace the interior door handle after it broke, $1757 to replace the charcoal canister, etc. Basically, it is death by a thousand paper cuts.

The car is not in my name so if she were to break up with me tomorrow I would have absolutely no ownership in the car. Sometimes when we get into a fight she will even pointedly and repeatedly remind me it is her car. When I try to address my concerns about this, the value of the car vs what is paid out in repairs and my not having any ownership in the vehicle, she gets hostile and says how she doesn't believe that I think like that. She is unwilling to have a calm discussion about this. She brings up how I used the car two years ago for my job inconveniencing her and then accuses me of being a taker and a user. Needless to say my resentment over the issue is growing.

Admittedly, I do use the car when I do the grocery shopping every other week and every two weeks I pick up my daughter for the weekend, but that is pretty much it. The rest of the time I end up driving the car for her when we to go visit her friends and family or her daily visit to Starbucks. She doesn't like driving at night so when we go out, I am the one behind the wheel.

I am all for a fair arrangement, but I do feel that the balance is off on this matter. Am I in the wrong for having these reservations regarding the mounting car repair bills or am I getting sandbagged here?

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