My boyfriend and I are moving in together, and I need some input on the financial stuff.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (41 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
So he makes six figures and I make nothing. I've been living at home and going to school and I've graduated and am about to work. My situation is different in that my family is relatively well off and I have a pretty healthy amount in savings that my parents gave me years ago. The money has stayed pretty consistent through investments, and I'm not a crazy spender. We've been dating for 2 years and I started voluntarily paying for half of whatever we did after the first few dates because it's not financially difficult for me to do so. My parents are always available to me for financial help should I need it, and I am expecting to receive at least one large financial "gift" in the future as well as an inheritance, assuming something doesn't go horribly wrong and they lose all their money.
So my boyfriend has bought a house with a pretty large chunk of his savings as well as all the appliances (with the exception of a fridge, which my parents gifted him as a housewarming present) and some major pieces of furniture. We've agreed that after I move in, he'll continue to pay all of the mortgage (since the house will remain solely in his name) and I will pay half of the bills/groceries/expenses. My question is: who pays for tangible stuff (of a not negligible value) for the house like vacuums, lamps, food processor, whatever? Also fun stuff, like game consoles. It's not exactly romantic, but I'm thinking in the event of a breakup, if we buy those together, how we would split those. Should we alternate who buys? Buy those things together anyway and then if we break up, someone just lays claim to each thing? I should say that more often than not, it is I who wants to buy it but would be used by both of us (like a new vacuum to replace his old, ridiculously loud one).
I'd also appreciate any opinions on whether or not our arrangement is unfair to either party. A lot of my friends tell me I shouldn't even be paying anything 'cause I'm not working, but my boyfriend works really hard for his money and he also takes financial care of his parents, so I don't want to take advantage of him, but I do also like the idea of a man taking care of me, even though that's not "in vogue" in this day and age. I never want to *need* a man to take care of me, and I'm expecting to have a successful career of my own, but I want a man to at least want to do it. So having said that, sometimes it annoys me that he's reluctant to buy stuff the house needs. I would consider myself a normal spender (I don't waste unnecessary money on name brands, but I don't deny myself things I want), and I would say he's frugal. So I think that Starbucks is a normal expense, and he considers that a splurge and overpriced. He comes from humbler beginnings like my dad does, so I already understand, through interacting with my dad, the mindset of wanting to save every penny despite doing pretty well in life. However, I've never had to live that way, so sometimes I do get annoyed. I'm not a proponent of blowing money, but I think if you have enough, it's fine to spend some money if it improves your quality of life.
Another point to consider: once I start working, my salary will probably be about half his salary or even less. It will not be as stable as his, either. I know a lot of people split bills proportionately to their income so as not to cause undue hardship to the lower-earning party, but I'm thinking that doesn't really apply to me, so I am still planning to continue paying half.
And if we got married, would that alter the terms of "fairness"? I should add that if we do get married, my parents are planning to help us a lot with the wedding and honeymoon expenses, and it is already understood that his parents won't be helping at all, which is understandable given their financial situation.
I will talk about this all with him, as we communicate pretty well and he has full knowledge of my financial situation, but I want to first calibrate my sense of normalcy and fairness so I don't put undue pressure on him and put strain on the relationship for no reason.
I'd also love to hear a little bit about your situation and arrangement, if it's at all similar to mine.
You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org, but I'll contact the mods if I really need to comment anonymously.