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Working out bills/getting married

(10 Posts)
Sarsaparilllla Fri 05-Aug-11 10:42:29

Not sure if I'm being unreasonable or not here but though this was a safer place to ask!

My BF moved in with me about 18 months ago, I bought the house beforehand and it's all in my name. When he moved in we agreed he would contribute towards bills, at the same rate my lodger used to, which was £350 a month (plus we split food bills equally)

That's not actually half of what it costs to run the house, mortgage/bills, actually comes to about £900, but I didn't mind, as it's my house and my mortgage responsibility etc and we weren't married

We earn about the same, but obviously I pay more towards the house so always have less money than him, we're now getting married next year which in my mind means that money should be 'our' money, and we should split everything equally. We set up a joint account but haven't transfered all the direct debits over to it yet, but I feel like this is an opportunity for things to be a bit more equal - once we're married the house is his as much as it's mine, isn't it?

Would you ask at this point to split everything 50/50 or am I being out of order here?

freedom2011 Fri 05-Aug-11 11:10:32

If the house will be half his on the paperwork, then fair enough. I wouldn't pay half unless I had it in writing that a property was half mine, married or not. I also found it helpful talk about my expectations before marriage of what happens when one of you doesn't work, either through redundancy or if you have children. You might not be able to contribute 50/50 in financial terms then. What will you do in that situation? Will you support each other, for how long? Maybe put forward your suggestion in a wider discussion about expectations and finances and ask your fiance what he thinks. And be prepared for him to not have the same opinion. I think if you google questions to ask before you get married there are some good resources on the internet.

freedom2011 Fri 05-Aug-11 11:11:50

I forgot to say - Congratulations on your engagement! Being married is great smile

Ephiny Fri 05-Aug-11 11:22:27

I don't understand why you weren't paying equal shares to begin with, if you both work and earn similar amounts? It seems the obvious way to split things. I wouldn't pay for improvements etc on the house if it wasn't also in my name, but I'd expect to pay half of the mortgage/bills etc regardless of who actually owned the house. Because surely that's what you do when you share a house - whether it's with partner or flatmate or whatever?

That's aside from the wider question of how you're going to manage your joint finances as a married couple though - I agree you definitely need to have a talk about that and make sure you both agree on how it should work! Much better to get all this sorted out before you get married than have conflict later.

Earlybird Fri 05-Aug-11 11:27:27

How long have you owned the house? How much equity do you estimate you have in it?

Does he bring any assets to the relationship/marriage, and will he be signing over 50% interest to you once you're married?

Finally, as far as paying bills - do you earn roughly the same amount? Some couples divide expenses by income, so that the higher earner pays more than the lower earner.

Sarsaparilllla Fri 05-Aug-11 11:47:07

I've owned the house about 5 years, unfotunately as I bought just before all the prices fell I think there will only be a little equity in it.

He lived with his parents before he moved in with me, so no he doesn't have any other assets as such

Part of the issue is that as he lived at home before moving in with me, he really had next to no understanding of the costs of running a house, whereas I've rented since I was 18 before buying so it was a bit of a shock to him in some ways

Thanks everyone, you've given me some good ideas about what we need to discuss - freedom that's a very good point you make about when we have kids or redundancy etc, it's much better to discuss these things now and understand each others opinions on it

Earlybird Fri 05-Aug-11 11:51:20

Fwiw - unless he is very young, I'd be a bit concerned about a man who lived with his parents while earning and has nothing to show for it. Presumably, he had minimal expenses so one would think he'd have saved a good amount, or would have made some investments (pension, property, etc).

How old is he, and how long have you been together?

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 05-Aug-11 18:10:44

Whilst some people advocate 'what's mine is yours' and go 100% joint account the whole way, I favour a more cautious approach. Many people are not good with money and if you row your financial lot in with them 100% you can find you're the one putting the money in the account and they're the one taking it out.

I favour the approach of working out exactly what it costs to keep your family on the road.... all the regular payments plus factoring in for one-offs like holidays plus funding a 'rainy day' savings account.... and then open a joint account to pay for all of those things. If you earn the same amount then you contribute 50/50. If one of you earns more than the other, pro-rata the contribution. What's left over in personal accounts... and if you plan this right it won't be very much... becomes 'spends' to use on personal items. Means you always retain your own money and - even though it's not nice to think about worst case scenarios when you're just about to get married - that can prove to be very important.

Sarsaparilllla Sat 06-Aug-11 10:17:27

Thanks Cogito, yes that's what we plan to do, each put money into the joint account to cover household bills and joint extras for holidays etc but still both keep our individual accounts for spends

fivecandles Mon 08-Aug-11 08:34:47

We have a joint account for bills etc and then an account each. We pay in a proportion of our salaries (50-60%?) into the joint account each month via direct debit and that pays for mortgage, utility bills, telephone and food shopping via direct debit. The rest of our salary stays in our individual accounts for us to do as we see fit. It works brilliantly and we never argue about money now.

But I agree with other posters that once you are married and if dh starts contributing to the mortgage it would be in his interest to get the house in his name also. Perhaps he could contribute more towards the mortgage than you to offset what you have already paid?

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