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to expect DP to pay more rent as he earns more....

(95 Posts)
Jewels234 Fri 04-Oct-13 23:13:25

I have lived with DP for almost a year now. We earn about the same amount.

He has now got a new job and will earn about £20k more than me. We currently split everything 50:50. Friends think that he should pay more now. I don't know what the right thing to do is.

To give some context, we rent, and don't have children. Should he be paying more now? If so how do I broach the subject?

Lweji Mon 07-Oct-13 15:31:46

I think that sounds reasonable, Kenny.

kennypowers Mon 07-Oct-13 12:30:38

I earn approx. double what my wife earns and am currently waiting to hear about a new job that will give me an extra 10k+ per year.
I'm also 'in charge' of the household finances.
The way I work it is proportional i.e. we both have the same amount left over once all of the bills are dealt with (at the moment I pay two thirds of the bills and she pays a third).
If/when my new job comes through, we'll both have more spending money available. Seems fair to me.
One small exception - I don't micro-manage the bills. For example, if my wife buys clothes via a catalogue for herself, I expect her to deal with those bills. On the other hand, we use the Next card regularly, mostly for DS and I include that in the household bills.
I think living together qualifies as a serious relationship...but as others have said, it also depends on both your incomes and financial situation (e.g. personal debts)...

marriedinwhiteisbackz Mon 07-Oct-13 12:20:44

Looking back when DH and I got married moons ago (didn't live together) I was earning more and at that time he was insistent on paying his half of the living costs. Had he done anything else he would have been "freeloading" and I probably wouldn't have respected someone with that nature enough to marry him. We have never felt the need for a joint bank account and have never discussed you pay this and I'll pay that. In the early days we kept a note of the bills and DH paid me half. When I stopped working DH picked up all the bills. When I went back part-time I just picked up the DC's activities, clothes and household purchases. As I worked more I pay a bit more but we don't actually count who pays for what.

comingalongnicely Mon 07-Oct-13 11:38:27

Interesting, does he use more of the house than you? If not, why should he pay for more of it?

If you were financially unable to pay 50% then fair enough, but as you can do so & have been why would you expect him to pay more?

1 rent divided by 2 people = 50%. Anything else would be unfair so YABU

Trills Mon 07-Oct-13 11:36:57

Wow, I'd be surprised too if I heard anyone say that!

I commented on the holiday vs housing ladder thing because I think there is a pretty large in-between area where you have a "decent salary" and can afford to go on holiday, but couldn't get on the housing ladder because a 2-bed house in your area costs 8x or 10x your "decent salary".

I agree that it's unlikely that it has even occurred to him that he might put in more money towards the rent, as has been said the OP is not losing out at all compared to how things were a month ago. I just struggle to think of when would be the appropriate time to bring it up, if not "at the point when one person starts to earn more". In another year or two it would feel odd to say "now we are serious we are going to have a talk about finances" if the situation is exactly as it is now.

LessMissAbs Mon 07-Oct-13 10:59:05

Trills Do any women give up work on moving in with a boyfriend?

There seem to be quite a few, which surprised me. Granted, when I lived in Scotland, I lived in quite an old fashioned area, but apparently the "You'll be giving up work now you're a bidey-in" attitude is not unheard of and I was quite surprised when I learned of it.

Do I think that getting on the housing ladder is equivalent to having foreign holidays? Why are you asking me this? I gave it as a rough example of people of the few young couples I know who struggle financially because both are not in full time employment, through choice, not looking after dependents. Please pick whatever examples you find more equivalent yourself if these do not suit. However when you compare these couples to those on two salaries, they do seem to struggle financially.

I simply find it more polite to give those example than to make assumptions about how they have to budget to pay utility bills for example, as I know that when we invite them to join us on holiday, they can't afford it. Paying £700 for your holiday is affordable and doable if you're on a decent salary, I know though I'd be struggling if I had to pay £1400 for the same holiday, if I had a partner who did not earn any money from working. And yes, if a colleague at work on the same level as you lives in a one bedroom rented flat while most other colleagues are at the stage of buying family sized houses, I should think having a partner not in employment is similarly comparable, as its the same reason behind it. For example, if someone is on a salary of £50,000 and living with a partner who does not earn, that's quite tax inefficient and gives them less money as a couple than two people on £25,000. And its a bit telling if someone on a salary around that mark cannot afford foreign holidays or to buy a small property.

The point is that the OP does work full time and has no dependents, there is absolutely no reason why she should not pay her full share of the rent. She is roughly her DP's equal, despite the difference in salaries. And one year into a relationship is way too short to start talking about an official arrangement for one paying more than the other. I was really shocked to read those "ltb because he's mean" type comments. I should imagine that the her partner's reaction on getting a salary rise was not to immediately adjust his rent contribution! Why some posters think that make him a bad person says more about them than him I guess.

Trills Mon 07-Oct-13 09:24:02

The only ones who struggle to get on the housing ladder, have foreign holidays, etc are the couple where the girlfriends gave up work on moving in with their boyfriends.

I'm very confused by this sentence.

Do any women give up work on moving in with a boyfriend?

Do you think that "getting on the housing ladder" is equivalent in difficulty to "having foreign holidays"? They are on a very different scale! (this is a separate discussion I suppose, the one about why aren't young people living on lentils ad never going out, until they have a deposit? )

Tailtwister Mon 07-Oct-13 09:16:05

Personally, I don't think it necessarily follows for the higher earner to pay more. We always paid exactly the same into the joint account up until we had children. When I went part-time, I reduced my contribution in line with the reduction in my salary. We have always earned fairly similar amounts though.

LessMissAbs Mon 07-Oct-13 09:05:08

WhereYouLeftIt can you conceive that most people dont have plenty money to go around again, entirely different demographic. Many of the people I know do have plenty of money to go around, but then I would say there is a higher pemroportion of them who both have full time jobs than is usual on mumsnet.

Particularly in the demographic which the OP is discussing - a relatively new relationship with no DCs. The only ones who struggle to get on the housing ladder, have foreign holidays, etc are the couple where the girlfriends gave up work on moving in with their boyfriends.

But then many of my friends come from the same background as me - university, work in one of the professions, pretty quickly if you keep your head down and work hard, you become financially comfortable.

As mentioned above, I also know people who are partners in their business, who make a point of seperating bank accounts and even placing the ownership of the family home in the non business partner's name, in case of bankruptcy.

And if you are going to plan for death, you might as well plan for divorce as well, since staistically its likely to hit you earlier, and seoerate finances will be easier and therefore cheaper to unravel.

festered Mon 07-Oct-13 03:04:41

No straight answer to this, It's subjective.
Personally I think that as a partnership, you should both have the same amount leftover each week/month-so IMO he should pay more, not necessarily so he ends up paying almost all of it, but he has more income so it should make you BOTH better off financially.
But then it could be you both just come to a natural arrangement that now he has more £, he should pay more for other things, rent isn't the only thing he could do-so again, you're BOTH better off not just him. His circumstances are yours too, his fortune should benefit you both.

That's my 2cents though, It's up to you to decide what you agree with.

JumpOnIt Sun 06-Oct-13 07:42:32

YABU-ish. Depends on the situation. My DH earns about 20k more than I do too but this wasn't the situation when we first moved in. We have always paid 50/50 for household bills and still do. The sticking point came when we had kids and I started working part time so I could take them to school. My DH works away for 42 weeks of the year and working part time actually meant i had more money left over than if I had stayed full time and paid for childcare. Which DH refused to help towards. And we're still 50/50. Queue lots of resentment and no quick way of fixing it.

Talk about it before you get that far. If it's on your mind, bring it up. It's much healthier all round!

Oriunda Sun 06-Oct-13 07:08:36

Actually, with a joint account you will be locked out of the account until you can produce a death certificate. It doesn't go into probate, but will still be frozen until the certificate is produced. So always worth having an individual account with at least enough money to cover the essentials.

WhereYouLeftIt Sun 06-Oct-13 01:34:43

" Two generous salaries, one mortgage each - is that really so inconcievable?"
Not in the slightest, LessMissAbs - it was the position DH and I were in when we met. We sold both houses and bought one together, combining finances at that point.

"what exactly is the purpose of joint bank accounts when there is plenty if money to go around?"
Can you conceive that most people don't have plenty of money to go around? Finances are a bit tight for most people, and 'partners' jealously guarding 'their' funds from the family pot can break the partnership. Also, I look to the long term. One of us will predecease the other, a joint account (jointly and severally, either or survivor) ensures that the survivor is not locked out of funds while probate is sorted out. That might not seem important right now, but grieving partners don't need avoidable hassle.

jeansthatfit Sat 05-Oct-13 22:24:25

Everyone's circumstances and personalities are different. There is no one 'right' solution.

A warning - don't use friends' opinions as lobbying material. If your DP came home and told you several of his close friends had decided you were a freeloading lazy woman, how would you feel?

Don't just think about now, if you want to have a serious think about shared finances. Think about (and try budgeting for 10 mins) having a family. You taking x months/years maternity leave. Him taking x months/years paternity leave. how would you divvy things up then?

What happens if he announces he wants to give his job up, retrain and take up a less lucrative but more rewarding job? Would you take over more than 50 percent contribution towards the household? temporarily or for good? would you think he had a right to ask it of you?

If you put your mind to it, would you be able to switch jobs/get promoted and earn more? if not, why should your partner subsidise you? If yes, why should your partner subsidise you?

I suggest this only because the 'you earn more, you pay more' equation is very simplistic, and often short term.

Good luck, and use your friends with caution.

Oriunda Sat 05-Oct-13 21:24:58

Agree with LesMissAbbs. Sometimes financial circumstances are more complex than 1/2 salaries and one mortgage. My DH is a partner in a (family) business and also for that reason prefers that our finances are kept separate, so that if his business ever got into trouble we don't get involved. My DS is only 1 and has already got his own Isa and pension plan. Separate finances can be a good thing. If something awful happened to DH tomorrow, it's reassuring to know I could access money from my own accounts and not have cash frozen in joint accounts waiting for a death certificate.

Alisvolatpropiis Sat 05-Oct-13 20:52:38


50:50 has been comfortable until now. It is unnecessary for him to now contribute more.

When I met my dp, and now, I simply am unable to contribute 50:50. So we do it in relation to our salaries. However as mine increases, I contribute more. We are moving towards 50:50. Granted less slowly than I would like. But still, that is the aim. I don't like not being able to contribute equally at all. But that's how things are for now.

Your friends sound grabby and this seems to be influencing your thoughts.

LessMissAbs Sat 05-Oct-13 19:30:59

WhereYouLeftItI dont see how sharing your life...can possibly exclude sharing your finances

You need to stretch your imagination a bit then. To include where both spouses are in very well paid jobs, each with a house - one sometime used as a holiday home. In fact, its far more tax efficient on resale if you maximise your cgt allowance in this way.

So stretch your imagination thus far.. Two generous salaries, one mortgage each - is that really so inconcievable?

What on earth would be the point of a joint bank account? If both party is happy with the status quo and doesn't feel the other is taking advantage/not paying their fair share, what exactly is the purpose of joint bank accounts when there is plenty if money to go around?

You can always pay into a third account if you want to pay bills from that - we dont - opened one, never used it, closed it.

I know perfectly well that my DH would be happy to pay my way through life, and I've fought hard not to fall into that particular pit, but to retain my financial independence.

Bearbehind Sat 05-Oct-13 16:57:41

I think the implication from the friend that my OH was being tight made me unsure of what the right thing to do is.

How could your friend possibly have thought your partner was being tight if you had explain his plan to use the pay rise to save for a deposit and then contribute a higher amount to the mortgage payments.

I don't agree with you talking about it in the first place but if you are going do, at least do your partner the courtesy of giving them the full picture.

How do you think he would react if he knew your friends thought he was 'tight'?

Conversations like that have a habit of coming back to bite you on the arse, as does saying you know he has a ring and you are about to get engaged, when it hasn't actually happened yet.

In your partners shoes I'd be proper pissed off that you were portraying him like that.

34DD Sat 05-Oct-13 16:53:33

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

WhereYouLeftIt Sat 05-Oct-13 16:49:38

" i dont see how sharing your life and experienced has to confuse sharing your money."
And there is the fundemental difference - I don't see how sharing your life (as in seeing your future as growing old together; rather than just spending time together, living in the now) can possibly exclude shared finances. And shared finances doesn't mean I can't spend £300 on a coat, we both have personal funds (a standing order from the joint account, we both get the same amount of fun money).

I think Jaynebxl put it well (Sat 05-Oct-13 08:27:49) - "I think it depends on whether you both see this as effectively a flat share but where the two sharers are romantically involved, or whether you are both seeing it as a long term committed relationship leading to kids, marriage etc." I have lived with someone but not seen it as 'forever' - we split 50:50, paying the same amount into a joint account grin (from our personal accounts, into which our salaries were paid) to meet the bills. With DH, both salaries went directly to the joint account with money transferred from there to our personal accounts. Similar, but very different.

But now would be a good time to talk money, to find out his attitudes to it and to explore your own.

Mandy21 Sat 05-Oct-13 16:44:25

I think it depends on individual circumstances. After a year, I knew I was going to end up with H, he was the same, we moved in together. We were both just starting out in our careers, but he was officially a year in front of me (in terms of training). For the first few months of renting together, we were both trainees (so similar salaries), split everything equally, he then qualified and his salary doubled overnight (whilst mine stayed the same). He offered to pay more of the expenses, so we split it proportionately. We carried on like that, paying expenses proportionately to our income, for a couple of years. At points, I was earning more than him so paid more, other times he was earning more so he paid more. I've never expected it, or felt "subsidised", it just made sense to us as a couple. When we bought a house, everything became joint.

On a separate note, I think its very important to discuss finances (and to know what your H earns).

Trills Sat 05-Oct-13 16:28:59

I absolutely would not like to have my "disposable income" be joint.

Jewels234 Sat 05-Oct-13 16:28:16

Thanks all for sharing your experiences.

LessMiss - me and my friends sound the same as your friends. I suppose it was one girl in particular who was very surprised that as we are (hopefully!) about to get engaged we wouldn't just pool everything together. I would hate that for the same reasons as you...if I want to spend £300 on a coat for example I can. I don't have to run it past the OH. I think the implication from the friend that my OH was being tight made me unsure of what the right thing to do is.

Trills Sat 05-Oct-13 16:26:21

My attitude is that how much you earn is down to circumstance and luck more than it is down to "how hard you work", so in a partnership I don't feel that one of us "deserves" to have more money than the other.

I would be happy to go to the "equal spending money" model even though we don't have children, but DP would rather not do that. When we chose to do the "proportional split" model we earned about the same amount. Since then there has been a time when he earned more than me, and now I earn more than him.

jasminerose Sat 05-Oct-13 16:20:43

Everyone does thinks different. Dh and I got 1 joint account after we had been together 6 months and all our money goes in there. Sometimes one makes more and sometimes the other does. Why dont you talk to him about ur

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