To wish my boyfriend would contribute to food costs?

(76 Posts)
UngenerousCow Mon 18-Aug-14 09:39:14

My partner works full-time and rents his house, which he shares with a friend. I also work full-time and rent a house, which I share with my child. Both on very modest salaries. My partner has a debt which is a large chunk of his monthly wage (it will be paid off next summer). This means he is left with very little money every month after bills. I accept this.
As our relationship has been going really well he has started spending most nights round mine, having meals and sleeping over. About 5 nights out of 7. This is lovely and I wanted this to happen, but I've noticed an increase in my online food bill as a result, also he has asked me to order toiletries to keep at mine, which aren't cheap. If we ever pop out for a little top-up shop for a few quid he will sometimes pay. In my head I have worked out that what he isn't spending on food at his house, he is probably spending on buses to/from work when he is at mine ( when he is at home he can walk to/from work).
On the flipside he is a really good man and cooks, cleans, washes up, mows lawn, takes care of my dc and so on without being asked. So in a way he is earning his keep, right? Paying for him isn't leaving me unable to pay my bills or anything, it's just an irritation mainly. We've talked about living together at some stage and that everything would be split 50/50, so in the meantime should I just say nothing and suck this up? I don't want to make him feel bad, as he isn't a freeloader by any means and often feels guilty that he has so little money.
Am I being a stingey, petty, ungenerous cow?

LadyLuck10 Mon 18-Aug-14 09:42:48

I think given that it seems to be balanced on the whole it's fine. Maybe have the discussion about the future and how you intend to split bills when living together. You will know if your feelings are genuinely reasonable or not from his repsonse.

londonrach Mon 18-Aug-14 09:46:53

At moment I think it's balanced as he's doing other things to make up for the food. The fact he buys top up food shows he isn't mean. He does have a debt (paying off) and he is renting so he not spending it on other things. Do you ever go to his and he cooks with his food. If you live together then split food money. Early days maybe just enjoy his company at the moment. Up to you.

UngenerousCow Mon 18-Aug-14 09:48:50

Thankyou - have only eaten at his a couple of times, mainly because he is sharing his house so a lot more privacy at mine also my dc is here etc.

Lucyccfc Mon 18-Aug-14 09:50:08

Just show him the shopping bills and ask him how much he thinks he should contribute.

frustratedashell Mon 18-Aug-14 10:00:09

Maybe ask him for a small contribution? You should be able to discuss it with him. You can say you appreciate what he does to help but that doesn't pay your bills. In a nice way! His debts are not really your problem and you have a child to consider. Good luck

AnyFucker Mon 18-Aug-14 10:07:12

I think if you have future plans together and would share things 50/50, why wouldn't he be ok with doing that now ?

The fact you are wary of bringing it up is a little worrying.

Always start as you mean to go on. You will drift into a live in relationship where it will get harder and harder to raise this and you will find yourself resentful at being used as a cash cow. Not good.

AnyFucker Mon 18-Aug-14 10:07:44

Also, his debts are not your problem.

UngenerousCow Mon 18-Aug-14 10:20:23

I don't think I could expect him to go 50/50 at the minute as he is still paying rent and other bills on his current house.

Tricky one. As you say, you think the food costs balance up with his extra bus costs.

But.... if you feel irritated by it, then I suspect you are trying to rationalise yourself out of a genuine problem. Subconsciously, I think you do feel that he is getting more out of this than is right or fair.

In particular, why does he think it's ok to ask you to order up toiletries for him? If he's at yours rather than his own place, he isn't using any more overall, is he? So why get you to pay for them?

That would be my big niggle on this one. What else will he think it's ok to expect you to pay for?

I think you need to talk to him about finances. Anything that you are starting to ask yourself if you ought to just 'suck up' is a bad thing, and needs to be addressed before you get to seriously thinking about living together, not after.

AnyFucker Mon 18-Aug-14 10:23:55

I didn't mean go 50/50 now. Work out between you what is reasonable how things stand at the moment. If you don't feel you can raise it, you have a problem.

Icelollycraving Mon 18-Aug-14 10:31:36

Just discuss it. I have had experience of being a mug being generous & being pleased to see them. Start as you mean to carry on. Could he move in now & pay 50/50 where you are? If he's there most nights it's not much difference.

Finney2 Mon 18-Aug-14 10:39:25

I do think that the stuff he does around the house makes up for the extra food cost for you.

However, you should be able to discuss this kind of stuff with him. He sounds like a decent sort. I'm sure he'd be mortified if he thought it was niggling you.

Bogeyface Mon 18-Aug-14 10:47:05

It doesnt need to be a major issue imo. The next time you are doing the online shop say to him "Oh btw, I need £X towards the shopping every week as we are eating so much more now!" and see what he says.

His reaction will tell you how this is going to play out. The perfect reaction should be "Oh, ok, do you want cash or shall I pay it into your bank?".

BitterAndOnlySlightlyTwisted Mon 18-Aug-14 10:47:06

How much extra is your housekeeping-bill by having him stay over with you five nights out of seven? As you said, what he's saving on food-costs at his own home he's probably spending on fares getting to and from work, so it doesn't sound like he's trying to take advantage of you or anything like that. If you're not happy financing his toiletries, then say so.

It sounds like he's making a decent contribution towards the practicalities in other ways, where some people might not even think about it, so it could be viewed as a swings-and-roundabouts situation if he's not compromising your ability to cover your other bills and whatnot.

ImATotJeSuisUneTot Mon 18-Aug-14 10:52:27

I think its ok. I do think though, that you shouldnt consider moving in together until the 'big debt' is paid off, and there are no reasons for him to not contribute 50/50.

Iflyaway Mon 18-Aug-14 10:54:27

Are you his mother?

His debt is his (previous spending) choice.

The money you are spending on him is actually being taken away from your child. You should be putting that money away for his future.

You don,t know how long this man will be in your life for.
Your child on the other hand...

TheSameBoat Mon 18-Aug-14 10:56:36

I think it sounds balanced. More or less.

holidaysarenice Mon 18-Aug-14 10:57:48

I would probably let it go as down the line when you do 50 50 it will be you and dc. So any inequalities know will balance out as dc will continue to grow, eat more etc. Unless you think he will be asking for a bigger contribution then in which case stay clear.

TheSameBoat Mon 18-Aug-14 10:57:52

But yes to Jesuis, don't move in till you're in a position to pay 50/50.

notinagreatplace Mon 18-Aug-14 10:58:15

I don't think it's straightforward - it sounds like you prefer him to come to yours rather than go to his, so it doesn't seem quite fair for him to pay both the transport costs of coming to yours and also half the food costs.

I would probably ask him to pay for his own toiletries - it makes sense to put them on your online order rather than him buying them in a shop and carrying them on the bus to your house, but I don't think you should be paying for them.

Castlemilk Mon 18-Aug-14 11:07:24

The worrying things here are:

- You are citing his debt - his own problem, which HE created before he met you - as something to be taken into account. It isn't. Don't get into the habit of making excuses for inequalities like this. It will become an accepted part of your relationship.

- He has asked you to buy stuff for him specifically, and not offered to pay? That isn't good AT ALL. Worse, you haven't asked for payment. You've accepted being told to fund stuff for him.

- You are unwilling to raise this with him, despite it being a perfectly reasonable issue. The following would be a perfectly normal, non-confrontational conversation:

'X, we need to sort out the food shopping - you're here almost all the time now and I can't afford the food bill increase. I know you're helping out with other stuff and I realise that a lot of what you're saving on by not buying your food is going on fares to get back and fro here, but I still just can't afford the increase in my own bills. What shall we do - can we cut down the travelling in some way and you contribute to the food bill with the saving you make there? Can you think of a better way we can arrange things? Also, I really need the money from buying toiletries for you for here - it's £xx.'

Suzannewithaplan Mon 18-Aug-14 11:07:42

Asking you to order up toiletries seems a bit much, ought he not to just buy his own and bring them along?

Mandyandme Mon 18-Aug-14 11:08:30

So his extra food bills that you are paying for adds up to his extra bus fare. So you are paying for him to come around and get the privilege of feeding him. Personally are you sure he isn't just living off you until his debts are paid. I would ask for money up front before buying his toiletries. If it is on an online shop then you know exactly the cost.
Maybe being a little pessimistic but I wonder how many times he would be willing to pay out before he finds someone else to feed him.

Suzannewithaplan Mon 18-Aug-14 11:10:18

Imagine that the boot is on the other foot OP, what would you do in his shoes?

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