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Moving in together and the minefield of finances!

(16 Posts)
Gangnam Mon 01-Oct-12 08:31:37

DP and I are talking about moving in together. Our finances however are a world apart. He earns £31k a year and I'm a full time student on a bursary which would be knocked down to £4500 a year once we pooled finances.
He's aware that I have no savings and is willing to lay down the deposit and pay majority of the mortgage, I'll be able to contribute a little each month.

What I'm wondering though, is what would happen about everything else? would it be fair to expect him to completely pool finances when he earns so much more than me? In previous relationships the finances have always worked in a way that the bills are paid and whatever is left is split between us - I feel bad asking for this here and I hardly contribute anything!

Would like some opinions before I bring it up with him. What I don't want is to be having to ask him for money every 5 minutes, I've gotten used to my independence!

eslteacher Mon 01-Oct-12 08:38:58

How have you been financing yourself thus far, in terms of rent/living costs etc? Has your bursary totally covered it all?

QuintessentialShadows Mon 01-Oct-12 08:41:35

How are you living now, and how do you meet your expenses?

Gangnam Mon 01-Oct-12 08:43:20

I get a good bursary at the moment as I have no other income. This was topped up with child tax credits and a bit of housing benefit. So when we move in together, I will lose almost half of the bursary and all of the tax credits etc.

Iggly Mon 01-Oct-12 08:45:38

When I moved in with DP he earned more so we paid bills on a proportionate basis. When we got married we just pooled everything.

eslteacher Mon 01-Oct-12 08:46:24

Sorry for more questions, but do you both have DC or only you? Will they be living with you full or part time?

Gangnam Mon 01-Oct-12 08:49:12

We both have 2 DCs each. Mine live with me full time, his will be staying with us every saturday night.

QuintessentialShadows Mon 01-Oct-12 08:49:39

How long do you have left until you finish your studies? How long have you been together?

It seems to me that moving in together really is a minefield. Especially if you become reliant on him, his salary and his goodwill, and he supports your child. Do you get any child maintenance from the CSA?

Gangnam Mon 01-Oct-12 08:51:38

2 years to go with uni. We've been together about 2 years.

That's another thing, if I'm not working, can my name even be put on the mortgage? could he just chuck us out if things went wrong?

I do get maintenance but it's only £140 a month.

QuintessentialShadows Mon 01-Oct-12 08:58:37

I dont think your name can be on the mortgage if you are not earning a salary considered for the mortgage. My dh had to sign a declaration that he would not stake any claim to the house. So the house and the mortgage is in my name only. This was 15 years ago. Things can have changed so it is worth checking. In our case it does not matter, we are married and have two children, it has not ever had any practical significance.

But I think your situation are very different. It seems your position is not very strong right now. If I were you I would wait until I had completed my studies and was earning a salary before moving in with him.

Buying a property together is a massive commitment. In your situation you will lose your bursary, your benefits, your rented accommodation, to go live with a man whose house you may have nor rights to. If you are even concerned he can "chuck you out" (which I suspect he can), or where will you get money to support yourself and your two children, I would not think moving in together a very viable option right now?

eslteacher Mon 01-Oct-12 08:59:08

Well the fact that y moving in together your bursary will decrease AND the fact that you have DC sounds very complicated. Is your DP aware of this stuff,or do you think he has assumed you will have enough to support yourself and your kids as long as he pays the mortgage?

If I was him I probably wouldn't want to pool all finances at this stage TBH.

QuintessentialShadows Mon 01-Oct-12 09:00:59

Yes, that is a good point. Does he know that pooling your finances in reality means you bringing 5k to the table against his 31K? That is 1/6 of what he earns. Can you even afford to live together?

SammyTheSwedishSquirrel Mon 01-Oct-12 09:12:24

My husband and I have never discussed finances (in 10 years) shock we just kind of fell into what works for us. He's a high rate earner, I'm a church mouse. He pays for everything and I use my pennies when I go out for coffee and cake with friends. On the rare occassion I need to pay for something myself and I don't have enough, I ask him and he gives me what I need.

That said, we both have asperger's and hate going out and socialising. We only go out when we have to and then it's usually together. If I have to endure the horrors of clothes shopping, then so does he grin

DragonMamma Mon 01-Oct-12 09:43:32

I wouldn't even begin to think about moving in until you've finished your studies - I can't see how you can financially afford to do it if your bursary drops, you lose tax credits etc.

My exP is on roughly what your DP is on and I get £250 a month for one dc so I would imagine he should be paying more than that for 2 dcs so your £140 is completely offset already plus the extra.

I would be entirely happy to support my student dp and her 2 dcs on £31k a year, which isn't a massive amount. Your standard of living is likely to drop considerably.

DragonMamma Mon 01-Oct-12 09:47:32


cynicalme Mon 01-Oct-12 12:48:51

The tax credit/benefits system makes it very hard for couples to move in together, especially when there are existing children. In the eyes of the law, your DP would be expected to support your dc instead of getting CTC. It also makes you very vulnerable in terms of housing, because as you say, if the house is in his name he'd be able to ask you to leave if your relationship ended.

When I was in this situation as a student with a higher earning partner and existing dc from a former rl, I told him I wouldn't consider living with him unless we got married and had a joint a/c, etc. Marriage protects women in this situation even if her name isn't on the mortgage. Cohabiting is the worst of both worlds in this kind of financial setup - the DWP/HMRC/student bursary funders sees you in equal terms as a married couple so won't give you any independent income, but legally you don't have the same rights as a wife would and could end up homeless if your relationship broke down.

DH has never had any problems with supporting me and my dc even when I had virtually no income as a student (and no maintenance for the dc at all). He knew that we would have had more if we'd continued to stay unmarried and living separately, but living as a family meant more to him than keeping all his cash to himself.
If you are at the stage of discussing moving in together, you need to think about whether you're really ready to share all aspects of your lives together, because if you both have dc that's what living together will mean. It's not the same as when you are just both single and can just split the bills like flatmates. The reason you'd 'lose' half your bursary and tax credits is because your household will be viewed as a single unit, with your DP as the earner for the household, regardless of who the dc are biologically related to. Have you discussed marriage at all?

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