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Should my BF pay more rent?(6 Posts)
My BF and I have met at University and we have been dating for 3.5 years. We are both the same age and in our early 20's but we have big discrepancy in our salaries. We have moved in together in July.
My salary is currently 15k a year ( I am an intern and not a very well paid one obviously), I will do another internship in the first half of 2018, which will be paid 30k and then join an organisation and get paid 80k. Everything is lined up and I know that whatever financial problems I might be facing now will be solved in June 2018 when I earn 80k.
My BF earns more, he is currently on a 90k and is likely to change to another job and will earn a 6 digit figure (which will be more than double my 80k salary). So he earns significantly more than I do now, and this situation is likely to remain the same in the future.
We currently pay rent equally, and we are both wondering if this is the "right" situation. I must say he is very open about discussing the matter and this is not a situation where one does not want to pay more, we are just trying to figure out what would feel right
On the one hand, he is my boyfriend not my husband, he has worked hard to earn all this money and does not owe me to pay more rent. We are still very very young and I don't see why he should have to care for me. But on the other hand he is earning much more than I do and I am really struggling to pay rent right now. I am not sure if I would find this acceptable if the situation was reversed.
I grew up, having good grades, going to good universities and I always saw myself as someone who would become a smart and independent woman. Accepting for him to pay means I will have to accept that I have not become the smart independent woman I always wanted to be.
I am just trying to figure out, what would be right and what would be unfair in a situation like this one. Is it fair for him if he pays more rent? By how much should he pay more rent? When I start earning more should he still continue to pay more? How do people deal with these things?
Whist dating we paid 50/50 as it's casual. When we got married we pooled money.
I'd not pay more than 50% of the bills if sharing with a BF unless he was going through short term job loss and wouldn't expect him to pay in return if the situation was reversed.
It sounds like this has moved beyond a casual 'dating' type relationship. You are 3.5 years in and co-habiting.
With the current large discrepancy in salary, I think it would be very fair for him to pay substantially more of the rent than you do, particularly if you are struggling. I would hate to think I had loads of disposable income each month but my partner had none. And for the lower earner, it is easy to become resentful.
You are still a strong and independent woman, just one who is young and starting out on what sounds like a great career. You can re-evaluate how much each pays every time one of you gets a pay rise/moves job.
As an aside, with those salaries, I would be looking to buy as soon as possible. Preferably something in each of your names independent of each other, so you have something to fall back on later on, if needed.
I don’t see this in terms of independence, I see it in terms of a reasonable compromise, taking into account the practical impact of your situation because you live together.
If you were just dating, you would be living separately and would just have different living expenditure (eg you might live in a shared house, he might live in a flat in a more expensive area). But you do live together, and therefore you have to think collectively about a number of things. Like- where you live, the size/quality of your accommodation and things like whether you turn the heating up or down.
You have a good picture of your likely earnings for you both over the next few years, but life has a funny way of not always working out as planned. For example, you might find that your earnings end up outstripping his. Or he may decide to change careers. It happens!
If things do work out financially as you predict, then the impact of you retaining a 50/50 split is that he loses the choice of upgrading your accommodation, or the chance to go on holiday with you, or lots of people their luxury expenditures- all because you cannot afford to keep up the pace with money. That’s not a judgment, by the way, especially as I am in a similar situation!
Instead, we used to split the bills according to % of income, eg if our income was 30/70 then he would pay 70% of the bills. Incidentally, there were times in the past when I was the main earner and so it worked both ways.
This type of split meant that we could have the best lifestyle we could afford, but without it ruining either one of us. And now, years later, we just have one pot and an agreed spending budget.
Don’t look at this as you not being independent. Look at this as you both ensuring that you both have the opportunity to share the nicer things together, like a nice place to live, a holiday or even just a meal out.
There isn’t ‘right’ - every couple needs to find their ‘fair’.
I’d lived with 3 bf before meeting my husband and that’s how it worked:
I was still at uni and only working part time with the first one while he was a few years older with a good career. He didn’t ask for any contribution to the flat or bills at all.
Number 2 was a much higher earner than me but I was in a professional job by then. When I moved in, he just asked to contribute what I’d been paying in rent - which was comparatively little as I’d moved from a rented room to his plush pad.
By the time of bf number 3, I’d bought my own swanky bachelorette pad. He was the lower earner than me so I asked him to pay half the bills.
When I met my now husband, I was going through a rough patch with my career and my income was low while he was doing very well. I moved in with him but he didn’t want me to contribute at all. Once we got to the stage that we knew we were going to get married and live happily ever after, we pulled all money together. We keep the same ‘pocket money’ every month and he rest is ‘family money’ - we decide how it’s spent or invested together.
So as you see - the arrangement was different in every relationship but everyone was happy.
One thing I would say, is that with the massive discrepancy in your incomes, I would hope your bf would contribute more even if you stick to paying the same rent. For example, by footing the bill when you go out or treating you to a holiday. I think I’d consider it a massive red flag if he wanted to split everything 50:50 despite earning several times more.
And I don’t think that’s any reflection on not being an independent woman. You’re working towards your high-paying career and by the sound of it, you’ll have high earnings soon enough.
I'd say splitting it equally isn't really fair, especially if you're struggling. The best thing to do is work a percentage of the rent for you both to pay. for example, 80% he pays and 20% you pay? This means you're still paying your way but it's better for the salary you're on. He surely can't expect you to pay half when he is earning so much more?
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