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Moving in together how to split bills?(9 Posts)
DP and I are looking at moving in together in the next few weeks. We need to have the conversation about finances but in all honesty I'm not sure what to suggest. DP earns twice as much as me but would it be stingy to suggest I pay a third and he pays two thirds? I feel stingy even thinking of suggesting that but if I suggest half and half that means I'll have hardly any disposable income whereas he'll have quite a bit. Neither of us have had a truly equal and fair relationship in the past - I ended up paying everything for my ex and DP ended up paying for everything with his ex wife. I think neither of us really know how to approach it or what to suggest. What do others do?
First, well done for planning to have this conversation - you need to get this right otherwise by the sound of things you'll end up skint and resentful.
I think the fairest is for each of you to pay in proportion to your earnings - so if he earns twice what you do, you'd have a 1/3 and 2/3 split. I'd be sitting him down and saying that you know this is a hot issue for both of you given your exes' behaviour, what does he want to see happening? What would seem fair to him? And then work from there to get something you're both comfortable with.
(Not sure how much it helps you, but in our house we split all bills equally - they sit on top of the fridge, then I bung them on a spreadsheet - but DP also pays me another £350 a month given that we're in my flat and I need his contribution to my bills.)
No-one can give you a definitive answer.
We split everything 50/50 even though boyfriend earns more. But in our circumstances this means we both have disposable income, and we both save, though he saves more which will go on a joint house. However, I came to the relationship with more savings.
I imagine we will have to re-arrange when we actually buy and costs go up, when I might find myself in your position.
Splitting in proportion to income is something many people do. However if you keep this up, it means if the higher earning partner gets a pay rise, they end up paying more for shared expenses, and the lower earning one less (higher would still have more disposable overall). Do you want to change the arrangement every time one of you earns more? Should you benefit if he earns more?
Or you can have a fixed amount each, and pool the rest, but it sounds like you're not sharing finances entirely.
Not clear if you're considering other shared costs too. Could split rent unevenly, but all other things such as food and utilities evenly.
The fairest way is to calculate how much all the bills and food etc come to plus add a bit extra to cover anything unexpected. Each of you have your salaries paid into your own accounts and then the bills all come out of a joint account. Once you know the total needed to cover bills then split it so that you each pay in the same percentage of your net pay each month. i.e he takes home £3k a month, you take home £1k. You would pay 25% towards the bills each month and he would pay 75%. Set up a standing order for this to go into the joint account and then what you have left in your sole account is yours to spend as you wish. This always worked for us when we were in a similar situation with wages.
If not marred then 50/50 is fair. Both will save as it's cheaper to live together usually and share costs.
I'd not be happy to pay 2/3rds unles it was due to illness or job loss. Different when married though. It seems grabby to me. You will both be having the same house, same gas only he's expected to pay an extra 1/3rd?
"Both will save as it's cheaper to live together usually and share costs."
It depends. That assumes both are currently living on their own, which may not be the case.
There are also issues with shared lifestyle. If costs are shared 50/50 is the higher-earning partner willing to live in a worse area or smaller property so that the lower earning one can afford it? Is the higher-earning one willing to go out less with their partner, eat cheaper food, not use a dryer etc because their partner needs to economise?
Will the lower earning partner resent having no disposable income or savings because their partner wants to keep up a certain lifestyle?
Sometimes the arrangement that makes everyone happiest is the unequal one.
Thanks all for your input. I disagree both will save by splitting 50:50. I certainly won't since I currently live in shared accommodation so costs are quite cheap for me at the moment. Also moving in together means my commuting cost increases by quite a bit since I can currently walk to work but won't be able to as he lives about 40 mins away and obviously this would be a cost I'd fully absorb.
Tbh I thought more people would say 50:50 is fair as I do feel kind of grabby even thinking about asking for a 2:1 split but at the same time think I'd resent having no disposable income. We've discussed the possibility of getting a joint account when we get married but that's something I'm personally wanting to do just yet as I had a joint account with my ex and it caused all sorts of problems so I'd rather wait until we have the security of marriage to do that. That doesn't sound logical now I've written it down tbh but it made sense in my head.
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