My oh and I moved in together over a year ago. We each have our own houses/mortgages. I wanted to protect my position and independence so only asked that he share the bills. He lives effectively rent free and rents out his house. This had not been a problem but I am now ready (I've worked through my issues!), and am ready to take the leap into joint finance. But I want to go in to this not reliant upon him for directing how we do this. Do you have any advice on what's fair?
Although I make more money my mortgage is higher and I have loans from doing the house up so I have very little left over after I pay the bills so I can't builds up a savings.I feel greedy thinking if asking him to contribute equally. Am I?
It's vital you contribute equally because it's all about setting a precedent and demanding respect. Work out the genuine household costs, both the regular costs and the irregular ones (holidays, Christmas gifts, groceries), consider a provision for some joint 'rainy day' savings, and then work out your respective incomes factoring in the rent he gets for his property and the cost of the property to be fair. I'd then suggest you retain your personal accounts for personal expenses but open a joint account to pay for all these shared costs and each make a standing order every month to put a pro-rata amount into it. The idea is that, after everything has been paid, you both retain a similar amount each to spend or save as you please.
Don't worry, getting someone to pay towards a mortgage and bills does not mean they own part of your home. Unless you're married, they're just a glorified lodger
It might look weird (and I agree with you there about the precedent having been set as it is) but, if nothing changes, he's not only living rent-free he's coining it from his rental property as well whilst the OP goes short. I think it's worth looking weird ...
We discussed it openly at the start. I wanted him to move in, did not want to move in to his, and did not want to share the costs of living because of a previous relationship. So there is a precedent. But we also agreed that in the future it might change and that time is now approaching, I no longer feel the need to be so self protective.
I don't imagine this conversation going badly, we get on really well, I just know that my tendency is to give way before a conversation starts so I want to go in on top of this.
I think the feeling greedy comes from preferring to stand on my own and to not need anything - I'm working on that!
Just wanted to add that it's all sorted. Thanks everyone, we had a very straight forward conversation. OH actually said I just do what you ask me to do - and it's true, he wasn't taking advantage, I was willing to pay an outrageous ammount for my independence. As of next month we'll be paying as per our incomes. Phew, why does money raise so many anxieties?
Why does it cause anxieties? In your case - and I empathise completely as a lone parent - money is very personal & private to you representing independence & security. If you assume others feel the same way about it then you are hesitant to start a conversation because it can feel intrusive. If you also take pride in being self-sufficient then 'asking for money' feels wrong... as you say, greedy. However this is now a partnership, a business arrangement almost, which means taking a step sideways from the emotional relationship you have and looking at it as a dispassionate accounting exercise. Love's love but money's money etc.
Don't know if you have DCs but, if so, when they get older they'll need to contribute to household running costs in turn. There's another conversation a lot of people find awkward for some reason.
That is really insightful cogito, yes that's it exactly, asking for money feels like a loss of independence. As I think of it that way I can see that "asking" for money doesn't result in a loss of independence but is merely respectful of what is my fair contribution.
If you had advertised for a lodger you'd have zero hesitation producing bills for rent, utilities and so forth. It's a business arrangement, it doesn't make you dependant and it doesn't mean the lodger owns part of your home or that you have any obligation towards them. Your partner (you're not married?) is a glorified lodger.
We're not marriaed and won't be, neither of us want that. So we will have to have wills and such, but you're right, I wouldn't have let a lodger stay. I have reconciled the difference between my independence and ability to manage with fairness with repsect to my financial standing. Thanks so much for your help. I'm lucky the issues were all onesided and that he is ok about it.