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Childcare costs when out on dates - what is fair?

(45 Posts)
ConfusedInNorthLondon Sat 11-Jun-16 00:13:40

I need some common sense here, please advise:

I am a single parent and I have been in a new relationship for about six months now. My new partner and I live in different cities, not far, but still a train-ride away.

My question is a financial one as I just can't work out what's fair.

When my new partner and I out in the evening, I pay for childcare (his own child is much older so no childcare costs needed) and it is mounting up hugely.

I usually end up paying for the train fare to his town, my 50% of dinner (we always split it) childcare costs and then taxi back home in my town. He, meanwhile, pays for his half of the dinner, and public transport home, and nothing else.

I recently realised that I was spending around £120 per evening in such scenarios and this is just not acceptable - I simply can't afford it (this is happening three or four times per month).

Should I ask my new partner to split childcare costs with me when we go out on dates? We are otherwise completely financially independent of each other.

This is clearly my own expenditure, but OUR time together that is proving a lot more expensive for me than it is for him. I don't want to spoil the romantic dates, but I simply cannot continue like this.

What's fair?

Froginapan Sat 11-Jun-16 00:16:32

Tell him you simply can't afford this expense on a regular basis and ask him if he would consider coming to your town or even to your place for a romantics night in instead?

Stillunexpected Sat 11-Jun-16 00:19:13

Why are you always travelling to him? Shouldn't he equally travel to your home? Also why do you always have to go out to dinner? Can't you cook for him sometimes or vice versa?

AvaCrowder Sat 11-Jun-16 00:19:20

Tell him.

FeckinCrutches Sat 11-Jun-16 00:22:10

Why can't he travel to you? I don't think you should ask to split childcare costs, not his problem.

MrsBungle Sat 11-Jun-16 00:26:10

He should come to your town. Why do you always go to his? Then you won't have as big a taxi/train cost. You do need to pay childcare yourself though, in my opinion.

SandyY2K Sat 11-Jun-16 00:27:21

No. They are your kids so it's your cost.

BackforGood Sat 11-Jun-16 00:31:30

Agree with others. Your childcare costs / arrangements are nothing to do with him, but I don't understand why you are always travelling there ?

Even putting that aside, why do you always go out for dinner? Why not meet up on a non working day and spend the day hiking or visiting an attraction or going for a bike ride or whatever appeals to you both?

ConfusedInNorthLondon Sat 11-Jun-16 00:41:00

Thanks. Great responses so far. I go to his town because it's better - lots going on, while very little goes on where I live. And he does come to my place lots - bless - and I do cook, and we do stay in quite often too. It's just so bloody boring here that we both much prefer to go out to get some culture, have a meal out. Also, it is just nice to have evenings out just the two of us.

I am not at all complaining about him, and he is great and fair, and by no means taking advantage. I am genuinely trying to do the right thing and just curious how other people would handle this situation.

I noticed I was starting to feel a bit resentful because of the cost discrepancy (not his fault, just circumstances) and am just trying to work out what I think is right and correct, before I have a conversation with him about it. Thanks!

BrightBlueEyes Sat 11-Jun-16 00:46:51

DH used to cover childcare costs for me when we were in the dating stages, but had been together long enough to know it was serious (about a year). It was just part of the cost of going out somewhere nice and he'd always pick up the bill too (he did that from the start of our relationship as that's how he was brought up). Far better than the alternative of cheap evenings in by sneaking him in after DS had gone to bed.

I certainly think it's something you should be raising - it may be that he simply has no idea how much you're paying relative to income or just doesn't know how to raise the topic. If you're in it for the long term then you need to be upfront with finances, and he needs to be prepared for the idea that he'll be expected to help cover child related costs if you get married/live together at any point.

clarrrp Sat 11-Jun-16 01:14:26

Should I ask my new partner to split childcare costs with me when we go out on dates?

Hell no.

Why should he? They aren't his kids. Personally I would run a mile if anyone asked me to pay half of their childcare costs.

GraysAnalogy Sat 11-Jun-16 01:21:39

I would run for the hills if my partner who I wasn't living with expected me to pay for their childcare costs or even had to have the moral dilemma that it might be fair for me to pay them.

You shouldn't be seeing it as a 'cost discrepancy' confused it shouldn't be seen as 'I'm paying x amount for this date and he's paying x' that's a strange few to take to be honest.

It's certainly something you should bring up, he perhaps might even offer to help out. £120 on each date is a lot of money but there's other changes that can be made rather than expecting this. To be honest at this stage it shouldn't be 'boring' just having a night in or going somewhere local and cheap.

Somerville Sat 11-Jun-16 01:45:31

Don't ask him to pay half your childcare. Just don't. For all the reasons PPs said.

But I think you're going about splitting things incorrectly. Rather than going halves when you go out in his city - which you just cannot afford - you should take it in turns to organise (and pay for) dates in your own towns.

So when he comes to yours you can cook or make a picnic or take him over for friends for dinner or stick a DVD on or whatever.

On his turns you'll travel to his town and he can organise and pay.

My boyfriend has a higher disposable income that me - in large part because he doesn't have kids. He tried to pay for all our dates initially, citing my childcare and travel costs (he too lives in the area with more options for nights out). But that didn't feel right to me - my children were my choice and its me who gets the pleasure of their company. We've fairly easily dropped into a pattern of him paying when we're out in his neck of the woods and me in mine and it works well for us.

MidnightLullaby Sat 11-Jun-16 04:55:04

He's your boyfriend, not your partner, so no, childcare costs should definitely not be shared.

I had a boyfriend a couple of years ago who lived about an hour away. I only saw him EOW because that was when my children were with their dad. I always travelled to him, for various reasons, so bore the burden of driving and the associated costs. But I didn't spend anything or lift a finger when I was there. He paid for everything and cooked for me etc.

It's interesting that you say there is nothing going on where you live. Is this a relationship that's based on going out a lot then? Or do you ever just stay in an watch a DVD/chat/hang out with each other's friends/whatever?

Twowrongsdontmakearight Sat 11-Jun-16 05:18:34

I agree with previous posters that your childcare costs are your responsibility. However I wouldn't be so determined to split everything else quite to accurately. Maybe an expensive restaurant or theatre, he pays; cinema or cheaper meal, you pay. That way you are still sharing costs but it reflects your disposable income more.

Even when DM married my DstepF she still made sure she paid for all costs relating to bringing me up. Of course DstepF made it possible because he paid for most household costs, holidays, nights out etc. But stuff directly relating to me like clothes, school trips, university costs my DM (and partly DF) paid for.

KoalaDownUnder Sat 11-Jun-16 05:20:19

God no. You can't ask him to pay for part of your childcare!

If these dates are getting too expensive for you, you can say just that: 'I'll need to scale it back a bit, as finances are tight; shall we eat in this weekend?'

He'll either figure it out and offer to pay more, or he won't, and you'll have to have cheaper dates.

Isetan Sat 11-Jun-16 05:36:18

It's your preference to travel to and go out for dinner in another town, then you should pay the associated costs of that choice. Your resentment is because you can not afford your 'going out' choices, which simply means, you should be making more affordable choices.

If a bf asked me to subsidise his childare costs because he preferred to come to my town/ city, I personally wouldn't be impressed.

PollyCoddle Sat 11-Jun-16 05:53:39

I think it's better to ask him to pay for dinner rather than Childcare, as others have said. The outcome might be the same but it just seems fairer.

PollyCoddle Sat 11-Jun-16 05:55:00

Presumably you pay for ingredients when he comes to yours, so it's appropriate that he pays for food when you're our.

HangingRockPicnic Sat 11-Jun-16 06:16:58

Good point Polly

lavenderhoney Sat 11-Jun-16 07:29:06

Tell him - my very new friend likes to go to nice places and although I do to, I can't afford it. He knows this - when he suggested dinner out I explained straightaway - so it's either a walk in the park or he pays. I can't spend money I don't have or is set aside for other things, like school dinners. I can't get into more debt ( divorce!)

And I'm on a curfew- I can't afford hours of babysitting!

Just tell him you've been looking at your budget for the future and realised what you've been spending and it can't go on.

QuiteLikely5 Sat 11-Jun-16 07:32:48

Hell no!

Tell him you're struggling and ask since you need to pay the sitter could he cover dinner???

DoinItFine Sat 11-Jun-16 07:37:56

You can't affotd those dates, so as much as yiu like them, yiu need to do them less often.

Your childcare is yiur cost to meet.

NapQueen Sat 11-Jun-16 07:39:55

I wouldn't ask for childcare costs however I would say that with that added on, plus the travel, the dates are rather expensive.

Just start encouraging him to come your way more often or do cheaper stuff, dinner at his (presumably he wouldn't charge you for that!), nice walks etc.

Dozer Sat 11-Jun-16 07:40:03

Your DC, your childcare costs. Especially at such an early stage.

You might both prefer eating out in his town, but sadly you just can't afford to do this very often. You need to be honest with yourself and him about this and work out what you can actually afford, eg even the evening in the other town might cost you £50?

My friend had this problem when dating again with DC. It was hard and she thinks was a big factor in her introducing her new bf to her DC early on, which wasn't ideal. She just couldn't afford it all, and had no help with childcare even from her dCs father. Her DC had sleep issues and went to bed quite late and often woke up. It did work out for her though and her kindly future MiL offered childcare help early on!

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