Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

“He Earns More But Wants to Split the Rent Equally”

My boyfriend and I have been together for about a year. In September we began to discuss moving in together. At the time he was unemployed, while I was underemployed (working nearly full-time at a job I’m massively overqualified for making a bit more than minimum wage). When we discussed how to split expenses, I suggested something I read on Suze Orman’s website. Basically, she recommended that each person put the same percentage of their income into an account, and pay all rent and utilities that way. This always seemed pretty fair to me, because a live-in significant other isn’t a roommate. He agreed that if he made more than I did, he wouldn’t want me to have nothing at the end of the month just because we split everything 50/50.

I’d like to point out that this was my idea even though I was making significantly more than him at the time (since he was making precisely nothing). Just before we moved in together, circumstances changed drastically. He got an amazing new job making $3000/month. I’m still at the job I had before, making between $1000 and $1300, depending on the hours I get. Based on his new salary, I agreed that we should rent an apartment he liked that I knew was completely out of my price range if we’d be splitting the rent 50/50. I didn’t think it would be a problem based on our conversation before. But now he’s saying that he didn’t mean for that conversation to be set in stone, and he doesn’t think it’s fair for him to pay more just because he makes more.

If I have to pay 50% of rent and utilities, plus other expenses… There’s literally no way I can do that and get by. I’ve finally gotten him to agree to CONSIDER splitting everything based on income, but now he wants to put a deadline on me finding a new job. I’m upset about this for a lot of reasons. In the first place, I’m upset that he’d want me to pay 50% of everything even knowing that that would leave me completely broke at the end of the month. Who would want to do that to someone he loved?! And I’m also upset that he wants to put conditions on me in terms of finding a new job. I know the economy has gotten better, and the fact that I’ve been getting interviews is very promising, but in the end I have very little control over when I get a new job. All I can do is apply, network, and try my hardest; I can’t force anyone to hire me, or predict when that will happen.

I’ve offered to put in $600/month OR 50% of whatever I make — whichever is more — and he’s reacting as though I’m trying to rob him blind. I’m so hurt. If our circumstances were reversed, I’d insist he pay less, and probably cover a good portion of any entertainment we wanted to do or whatever, too. And again, this whole plan was my idea when I thought that I’d be the one paying more.

What are your thoughts on this? What would be fair? At this point I’m beginning to reconsider the entire relationship. I love him, and I know he loves me, but I don’t know if I can get past the hurt of all of this. — Half Broke Idea

It’s unclear from your letter whether you and your boyfriend currently live together and are looking to upgrade now that your boyfriend makes more money, or if you still haven’t moved in together. If it’s the former, I have to wonder why you’d consider upgrading to an apartment you can’t afford. And if it’s the latter, I have to wonder why you’d consider moving into an apartment you can’t afford with a man who doesn’t seem to value and respect you in the same way you value and respect him. The fact that your boyfriend is only OK with the idea of each of you contributing similar percentages of your income when it’s YOU who would pay more speaks volumes. It means he’s selfish and is more invested in his own needs and comfort than yours. I would think very, very carefully about continuing a relationship with someone like this, let alone moving in with him.

My suggestion is that if you already live together, stay where you are. With you making less than 20K a year, you shouldn’t be moving into a home you can’t afford with a guy you’ve only been dating a year who hasn’t proven himself to be fully committed to you and your well-being. You need to protect yourself and the best way to do that is to keep your living expenses within your means. If you were to move into an apartment with your boyfriend that you can’t afford with the agreement that he will pay more for it — an agreement, let’s remember, that hasn’t even been reached yet — what would happen if/when he decided he didn’t want to pay more any longer? Then what? What recourse do you have then? What happens if you two break up, and he asks you to move out but you can’t afford the deposit at a new place because you’ve been spending every cent you earn to stay in an apartment that suited your boyfriend? It makes no sense.

If you don’t yet live with your boyfriend, don’t make that move yet. Take time to continue exploring your relationship. Enjoy your independence and your own space. Continue focusing on finding a better job (at your own pace and without a deadline from someone else). Don’t move in with your boyfriend until you can agree on how you’ll split rent and household expenses. There’s no “right” answer here; I personally feel that the percentage-of-income contribution is completely fair, but it only matters what you and your partner agree on. If you can’t reach an agreement, then you shouldn’t move in together. And if you can reach an agreement, wait until you have three months’ rent saved (your portion and his) to move in together (and then make sure you keep that money in the bank for a rainy day!). The last thing you want as a woman is to be financially dependent on a man who has no legal responsibility to you, especially when a breach of trust could spell homelessness if you can’t afford the rent on your own.

*If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, send me your letters at wendy@dearwendy.com and be sure to follow me on Twitter.

374 comments… add one
  • avatar

    Amy P April 24, 2012, 9:02 am

    If LW is making as little as $1,000 a month and her boyfriend thinks that she is cheating him by only offering to contribute $600 a month to housing, that’s really selfish and insensitive of him. I think 1) this relationship needs a chance to develop without the pressure of a close financial tie and 2) he doesn’t really sound like a keeper. I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt for a limited period of time (say another six months-year), but if he doesn’t show signs of developing more empathy and generosity, throw him back.

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  • avatar

    artsygirl April 24, 2012, 9:04 am

    So let me get this straight. When you first started talking about co-habitation with this ‘adult’ you agreed that you would pay a percentage into the rent and utilities with the understanding that since you had a job and he did not, that you would contribute the lion share. When his circumstances changed for the better he suddenly decided that not only does he not want to have to contribute more than 50%, and he also wants to upgrade to a much more expensive apartment which would decimate your bank account each month. On top of all that, it sounds like he is making unreasonable demands that you get a better paying job despite the fact that you are interviewing, sending out CVs/resumes, etc…Why the hell are you with this man? It sounds like he has no empathy and was happy to use you when he was unemployed but now that he has a job he doesn’t want to offer you the same concessions (because it isn’t fair *sarcasm). I hope to G-d that you have not yet signed a lease or moved in with him because honestly I would kick his butt to the curb. A man that treats you like this is not worth the time of day.

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    • becboo84

      BecBoo84 April 24, 2012, 10:59 am

      Thank you for putting it all there honestly. LW, I cannot agree with this commenter more! This “man” is not worth your time. Please move on. You sound like a hardworking and generous woman, and he sounds like a selfish sleaze!

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  • avatar

    Taylor April 24, 2012, 9:05 am

    Boo boyfriend! LW, that behaviour would hurt my feelings too. Have you straight up asked him why he was ok with this when you were making more money, but isn’t ok with it when the situation has reversed itself?

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      Muffy April 24, 2012, 9:26 am

      Agreed – LW point this out to him.

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    • Brad

      Brad April 24, 2012, 9:59 am

      Does she really need to? I think it’s obvious.

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      • avatar

        Taylor April 24, 2012, 10:26 am

        Well, she explained it very clearly in the letter. In the bfs case, if he’s emotional about money in some way, he may not see what we saw when we read her letter. Sometimes when people are wiggy about something, they need it laid out very clearly before they can see it too. I think his answer could tell the LW a lot about if money is the core issue, if he isn’t open to sharing things with her, if he’s a douch-canoe, etc.

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      • avatar

        Taylor April 24, 2012, 10:27 am

        Sorry, I missed the “e” in douche-canoe.

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    • avatar

      Timbercat March 30, 2017, 12:24 pm

      Here are my thoughts, because I’ve been in a similar situation where I was the one making more.
      BEFORE you even begin to search for a place, the one that earns less should explicitly state how much they can comfortably pay per month (including all expenses).
      THEN the one who makes more can decide if they want to:
      A) lower their own standard of living so that they are each paying 50% (maybe a 2-bedroom apartment instead of a 4-bedroom house)
      B) raise the standard of living at their own expense, paying a proportional share of their income (for example, if you can afford $500/month and you earn 40% of the income he could choose to raise the household expenses to $1,250 instead of $1,000 at his own expense).

      I don’t think it should be assumed that one partner is going to pay more than half of the household expenses just because they earn more. They should be given the option to lower their standard of living. Reason I say this is because money is earned; it doesn’t generally just fall out of the sky into a person’s lap for no reason. People that earn more generally shed a lot of blood, sweat, and tears for that money–the point of earning more isn’t just to pay more than your partner in household expenses and have the same amount left over as you did before. They should not be punished for it. I also believe that the “proportional share” theory encourages the lower-earning partner to not be more ambitious. Why bother improving your salary when you’re only expected to pay 30% of the household expenses? Many people would be quite content with this long-term, while their partner harbors more and more resentment, waiting for them to get a better job and pay larger share of the household expenses.

      In short, what I think the original poster should have done, is tell her boyfriend upfront exactly how much she could comfortably afford each month for her share. From there, he could have decided whether he wanted to find a cheaper place so they could split 50-50, Or stick with the original apartment in pay the difference out of his own pocket.

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  • avatar

    kerrycontrary April 24, 2012, 9:07 am

    Ugh, it’s the putting a deadline on finding a new job that really puts me off from this guy. Does he know how difficult it is to find jobs in certain fields? That people with advanced degrees and experience are working at Starbucks and Macys just to get by while they compete with 300-500 applicants for one position? If your boyfriend can’t deal with you in a difficult economy, even though you stood by him while he was unemployed, I see no point in staying together. Life will throw a lot worse at you in the future.

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    • avatar

      artsygirl April 24, 2012, 9:09 am

      I have a friend that states that PhD stands for painting houses in Detroit because despite getting a PhD from one of the foremost programs in the country he is working as a handyman because he cannot find work in his field.

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        kerrycontrary April 24, 2012, 9:11 am

        🙁 that makes me sad. I got my Masters and had the hardest time finding a job but thank god I did. The majority of people I graduated with last year are still unemployed (a year later) or working part-time jobs.

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        Christy April 24, 2012, 9:35 am

        Yeah don’t forget the ones who GOT jobs that are either part time and in another state or entry-level jobs that don’t require the Masters. And those are the lucky ones.

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      • avatar

        Muffy April 24, 2012, 9:25 am

        Hey plumbers and electricians make a ton of money! Not a bad trade to get into if you ever need a job and it always comes in handy…before going to law school my bf worked for a landlord for a year doing that sort of stuff. Now he’s the most useful person ever.

        That being said, no one gets a PHD so they can paint houses. The market sucks nowadays and I feel for your friend. I wanted to get a Masters in psychology but then decided that law would be more lucrative and more opportunity for a job so that’s where I’m at now

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      • avatar

        Muffy April 24, 2012, 9:28 am

        that being said there are still problems in the law field relating to jobs but things are not nearly as bad in Canada as they are for young lawyers in the US

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      • avatar

        Francine April 24, 2012, 9:32 am

        I’m going to have to share your friend’s wisdom with my well educated, under employed friends and relatives. If your friend actually lives in Detroit it’s probably even worse than that because there aren’t many of us who can actually afford to hire a handy man! To say the employment situation here is bleak would be putting a positive spin on it! My husband and I both have jobs but his company has moved quite a few jobs to India and we know that any day his could go there too.

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    • Fabelle

      Fabelle April 24, 2012, 9:21 am

      Yeah, you’d think her boyfriend would be more sympathetic considering he was UNEMPLOYED for what seems like a good portion of their relationship?

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  • Fabelle

    Fabelle April 24, 2012, 9:19 am

    LW, your boyfriend is asking something of you that makes NO sense at all. It sounds like he could be high off of his new financial independence, but if that were the only issue, then he’d eventually see logic. It seems as though you’ve already discussed this a lot, though, & he’s still hellbent on his shitty plan. If it were me, I’d tell him to enjoy his new salary & good luck finding a place for himself becauseee I’m gone! (Seriously, money concerns need to be something a couple can agree on.)

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  • avatar

    Muffy April 24, 2012, 9:22 am

    LW. you can’t afford that place at the amount he wants you to pay. Therefore, you cannot move in there (and won’t move in there) or he needs to change his expectations of what you pay. You guys can always look for another cheaper apartment where you can split the rent 50/50. Tell him this plain and simple.

    If I were you I wouldn’t move in together though – finances are a major thing and so far you guys don’t agree. You need to get to the same place about them or this problem is just going to keep recurring.

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    • avatar

      lets_be_honest April 24, 2012, 9:48 am

      Probably the simplest yet very useful advice.

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    • avatar

      cporoski April 24, 2012, 10:10 am

      This is dead on. LW, he is looking at you as a roommate and not as a SO. He is looking after his own financial security and not yours as a couple. You should do the same. Suze also says to make sure you protect yourself financially. They worst thing you could do is over extend yourself and be left with nothing if this relationship ends. Muffy is dead on with this.

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    • avatar

      Rachel April 24, 2012, 10:46 am

      Yeah, this is exactly what I was thinking.

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  • avatar

    Francine April 24, 2012, 9:22 am

    Definitely do not move in together until you can both agree on the terms. It seems logical that if he insists on 50/50 the two of you will have to limit your housing options to places that you can afford. If he insists on choosing according to his own budget then you simply won’t be able to participate if you’ll be required to pay 50% of the rent.

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  • avatar

    Amy B. April 24, 2012, 9:23 am

    The boyfriend sounds straight up selfish.

    For my entire relationship with my now fiance’, he was in school while I was working part time. He did have some income, he owned a recording studio, but had to give that up when he moved on to his masters because he earned a full ride AND payment from the college as a graduate teaching assistant.

    We moved to a new apartment that I panicked about (I always panic about money because I have been financially on my own since my early college years). I knew I could not afford the apartment on my own, but we also knew he would be working before his masters degree and I would be able to save money because he could help a little.

    That didn’t really happen. It worked out for me, we would get in fights, for the exact opposite reason. I was really embarrassed to ever have to ask him to help pay, not because he gave me attitude, but because I’ve always been on my own, so in my mind, I was a failure for running out of money and having to turn to him for help.

    I got over this and realized that he is living WITH me, and should help when he can. He also got really upset that I only came to him when it was a crisis mode and I needed money ASAP. So we worked it out where I would tell him in advance that I would need money and ask him to pay some bills.

    This was all while he didn’t have a job and it hurt him to see me so stressed over money.

    I am on my own again as he is in Colorado working on his masters, but I am able to afford the apartment because I DID save SOME money, but my car payment is also gone. That’s extra money that is saved, and goes towards rent etc.

    The point is, do NOT move into an apartment that you would not be able to afford yourself. It doesn’t seem like this relationship is heading in a good direction, especially if he can’t get his head out of his butt and pay his fair share of rent.

    If you end up in an apartment you can’t afford, put his name on the lease, and not yours, so that HE is stuck with the year long lease and you are free to leave. But I would highly recommend sitting him down, and saying that he should pay more because he earns more.

    If he refuses, then he is a selfish butthole and you should MOA. If he’s this way with just apartment expenses, what kind of a future could you possibly have with him??

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    • avatar

      Amy B. April 24, 2012, 9:23 am

      Sorry, meant to say I was working full time, not part time.

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  • avatar

    bethany April 24, 2012, 9:23 am

    I agree with Wendy- If you hven’t moved in with him yet- DON’T! And if you’re already in a place with him, don’t move.

    I feel like you did the smart thing by discussing how you’d handle the finances well before you moved in together (and btw- I think the percentage thing is a great, fair way to go about it), and at the time it sounded like a good deal to him, because he had nothing. I think it really shows a lot about his character, that he’s willing to put you into financial hardship just so he can enjoy having more money! I could possibly understand if he had some sort of other financial responsibility, like caring for a relative, or paying off some sort of medical debt, but you don’t include that in your letter…

    Whatever you do, LW, don’t committ yourself any further to this man until you guys resolve this issue!!

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  • Budj

    Budj April 24, 2012, 9:26 am

    I won’t defend how he handle the situation…but unless you guys are like…actually in it for the long haul / engaged / married so your incomes are essentially combined I don’t see any reason why you wouldn’t split your living expenses 50/50 and live in a place you can both afford at that rate. I don’t think that is actually a big deal…it’s all the other shit he’s throwing at you after you made a stink about that that I don’t agree with.

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    • Budj

      Budj April 24, 2012, 9:29 am

      If the precedent really was set that you paid more when you made more then dump him….if he agreed to that and didn’t treat you the same now then that’s shitty. But the way I read it you offered it as a potential option that never came to fruition.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest April 24, 2012, 9:51 am

        That’s how I read it too. I agree with both your comments. ‘

        Also, lets be realisitc here (and Wendy mentioned this too)…do you really want to be dependant on him or anyone? Because you will be the second you sign a lease for a place you cannot pay for on your own. THAT is what’s crazy to me.

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      • bagge72

        bagge72 April 24, 2012, 11:04 am

        Yeah I agree with you too, and I think there is somethings missing with this story. She really just needs to tell him that she can’t move into that place, because she can’t afford it, so if he still wants to move in together they need to look for a place they can both afford.

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    • caitie_didnt

      caitie_didnt April 24, 2012, 9:30 am

      that’s fair, but I personally feel that the percentage method is more fair than 50/50. If you’re going to be so distrusting and anal-retentive about money, you’re saying you feel your live-in significant other is nothing more than a roommate that you have sex with.

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      • Budj

        Budj April 24, 2012, 9:33 am

        I won’t be living with an SO unless I’m engaged or married…problem solved. haha.

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      • avatar

        Muffy April 24, 2012, 9:34 am

        Me too Budj!

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      • caitie_didnt

        caitie_didnt April 24, 2012, 9:35 am

        I’m the same!

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      • avatar

        Jessibel April 24, 2012, 10:20 am

        That’s totally the way to go! I always get nervous when people quote the studies that couples who cohabit before marriage are more likely to divorce, but correlation is not causation. If couples would only move in together because they were seeing it as the start of the rest of their lives together, as in the intent to marry is there already, the statistic wouldn’t look like that. But couples move in together all the time for a myriad of reasons, and unfortunately it’s not usually because they want to end up together. The ones that get divorced are the ones that probably shouldn’t have gotten married in the first place, but once they were living together it was easier to stay together than break up/move out. That’s what skews the statistics. Obviously this is not hard and fast of a rule, but whenever a friend of mine starts talking about moving in with a significant other, the question I always ask them is “where do you see yourselves going with this?”

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      • avatar

        va-in-ny April 24, 2012, 4:08 pm

        Actually, wasn’t it just recently posted that the studies now show that couples who live together before marriage are not more likely to divorce?

        http://www.csmonitor.com/The-Culture/Family/2012/0322/Cohabitation-before-marriage-It-s-no-greater-divorce-risk
        (Note: I have no idea if this site is credible, just the first Google result)

        Though, the stipulation is that the couple must be on track to marry eventually – good thing, though! Since I’m moving in with my significant other in a month!

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      • avatar

        Jessibel April 24, 2012, 4:53 pm

        I haven’t seen that study yet, but yeah, it’s basically what I said in my post, that couples should move in together only if they intend to marry, and it’s not for convenience or monetary reasons.

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      • MandaNoA

        Mandanoa April 24, 2012, 11:44 pm

        I’m on board with you Budj.

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      • avatar

        Muffy April 24, 2012, 9:38 am

        The LW and her bf have different ideas about what is fair when it comes to splitting expenses when living together. Neither idea is a bad one (50/50 vs percentage of income). Maybe he thinks it should be 50/50 until there is more of a commitment such as being engaged or married and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that.

        But they do need to agree on one before they move in together.

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      • Budj

        Budj April 24, 2012, 9:40 am

        And to evanscr’s point below I agree that in drastic situations of income difference that percentage would be more fair, but I do think, early on in a relationship, that that would end up in resentment from either person….so I guess I still default to what we seem to agree on which is wait till things are very serious with tangible forms of commitment before moving in together.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest April 24, 2012, 10:58 am

        Could you explain exactly why you think the percentage thing is more fair? Just curious.

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      • avatar

        Sarah April 24, 2012, 4:53 pm

        I would think it’s because each person is giving the same percentage of their effort (as measured by income). I.e., this hurts each of us to the tune of 30%, rather than this hurts each of us to the tune of $500, which is 10% for you and 50% for me (or whatever). It’s analogous to a sales tax being regressive, in some ways: if everyone pays 10% tax on a package of diapers which costs the same for rich and poor alike, over the course of a year and a year’s worth of diapers, that’s (let’s say) $100 from the poor person and $100 from the rich person. Same amount of money, yes; fair, maybe not. It’s (again, let’s say) three days of work just to pay that tax on diapers from that poor person, whereas the rich person makes the tax-on-diapers money with only ten minutes worth of work. Fair? Or not fair?

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    • avatar

      Muffy April 24, 2012, 9:33 am

      I agree – I don’t think the 50/50 thing is a bad deal – you just need to start looking at cheaper apartments.

      Neither you or your bf make very much money however he does make about 3 times more than you. You need to tell him that if he wants to live with you and split things 50/50 he’s going to need to come down in his expectations for an apartment or get his own because you simply cannot afford the ones he’s been looking at.

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      • bagge72

        bagge72 April 24, 2012, 11:09 am

        Yeah I agree with this too. It’s not like either of them are making a ton of money so what kind of apartment are they looking at where $600.00 doesn’t even come close to covering half? It sounds like they really want to live outside of their means, and that isn’t going to be good for the future when neither has any money in their savings accounts.

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      • Brad

        Brad April 24, 2012, 3:53 pm

        Depends where they live bagge. I near DC, and the bottom of the barrel apartments START around 1,500 a month for a 2BR in this area, and that’s not even in the actual city.

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    • avatar

      evanscr05 April 24, 2012, 9:35 am

      I agree. In fact, I think they SHOULD act like roommates. I found it to be the fairest situation and would remove the possibility of financial resentment by one person paying more for a shared space. Honestly, she needs to tell him the max she is ABLE to pay and if he wants a place that costs more, he goes in with the understanding that he’s paying for the difference. If he doesn’t like that deal, he needs to scale back his expectations of what their housing will be like because, unfortunately, she does not have the income to float the same amount of rent as he does. If he’s unable to get some perspective, he comes across as completely selfish.

      I’d also like to that while I certainly don’t judge any couples for having a financial arrangement based upon income, what does concern me about that kind of situation is the frequency in which things could change (raises, promotions, lay offs, etc. causing changes in their contributions) and the fact that the person making the least would probably be watched like a hawk anytime they spent money on something unrelated to the household. That’s a lot of pressure, particularly for a newer couple. Just seems like they would be asking for relationship troubles.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest April 24, 2012, 9:53 am

        Wish I could like this 1000x

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray April 24, 2012, 10:05 am

        You raise good points about the concerns with that financial arrangement, evanscr05! It could get really messy.

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      • CatsMeow

        CatsMeow April 24, 2012, 10:35 am

        I agree with this completely. I think that couples SHOULD be more like roommates unless they are engaged or married. And they should get a place that one or both of them can afford ALONE in the case of a breakup. If LW still wants to move in with this guy, they need to look for a cheaper place. It’s not like HE makes a ton of money either – $36,000 a year isn’t exactly rolling in dough.

        My ex makes significantly more than me, but if we had moved in together it would have been 50/50. And that was my idea. We would have split rent/utilities/cable and probably groceries 50/50 and then obviously each continued to pay for our own stuff individually (car payments, credit cards, etc.). I like this option because I was taken advantage of the last time I lived with someone and I don’t want it to happen again.

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      • avatar

        Rachel April 24, 2012, 10:56 am

        Yeah, my boyfriend and I do 50/50. I make a bit more than him, but I also have more debt than him, including a car payment, so it would probably hurt my wallet to up the rent I’m paying.

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      • Brad

        Brad April 24, 2012, 3:54 pm

        I doubt she’s considering his 3k a month as his gross. It’s much more likely he’s taking home 3k a month meaning he’s making somewhere between 50-70k deductions, taxes, state, etc. depending.

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    • avatar

      Flake April 24, 2012, 10:02 am

      That would work if they have one account, put all their money in it, and use it to pay for everything. For some reason I doubt that the BF would be OK with that.

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    • avatar

      AndreaMarie April 24, 2012, 10:31 am

      I completely agree. Unless you are committed to the long haul/ are engaged/ or married I don’t think its wise to combine your finances. Both of you should remain financially independant until things get more serious.

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    • Leroy

      Leroy April 24, 2012, 10:46 am

      I think that’s a fair distinction, and it may be at the heart of why the LW feels betrayed here. She seems to recognize this move as indicative of a deeper commitment, while he’s treating it like a rental agreement w/ benefits.

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      • avatar

        cporoski April 24, 2012, 1:17 pm

        This is exactly what they need to talk about. I think this is the real issue! way to get to the root of it so clearly.

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    • avatar

      mf April 24, 2012, 12:06 pm

      Sure, the 50/50 thing is fair. BUT… he was happy to let her pay his way when he made more money. The LW actually says that “He agreed that if he made more than I did, he wouldn’t want me to have nothing at the end of the month just because we split everything 50/50.”

      But when he started making more money, he changed his mind. And that’s what upsets me about this guy. He actually thought it was a good idea to split things by percentage when he was unemployed. He was willing to take advantage of her higher income when he needed it. But when the tables are turned, he won’t do the same for her.

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      • avatar

        cporoski April 24, 2012, 1:18 pm

        I agree with you if they infact live together. I think they had a conversation in theory with this but never actually committed.

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  • caitie_didnt

    caitie_didnt April 24, 2012, 9:27 am

    It’s so great that your boyfriend was totally cool splitting the rent by percentage when YOU were the one paying the majority. Now, he’s coming across as a). an idiot and b). totally selfish. Don’t agree to move into a place you can’t afford on your own. Probably don’t agree to move in with this guy, period.

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    lets_be_honest April 24, 2012, 9:29 am

    Haven’t read Wendy’s or the other commenters’ replies yet, but…
    I don’t blame him! If you can’t do 50/50, then you shouldn’t get that place or you should get a place you can afford on your own. I personally think the whole percentage of income thing is BS (unless you are married).
    I make significantly less than my SO whom I live with, and I have a lot more bills than he does, a LOT. However, I would never want him to pay my way. We split our shared expenses right down the middle (aside from groceries which is whoever is at the store buys, it evens out). Now, if we go out or something, he will usually pay, but thats a different story.
    I’ll get yelled at for this, and don’t mean to sound anti-whatever, but give me a break. We women want to be independent, self-sufficient, don’t need a man, etc., but yet here’s a letter saying ‘Its clear my bf doesn’t love me because he thinks me paying pennies toward our rent, while offering zero other contribution, is unfair.’ I’m looking forward to reading everyone’s comments.

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    • caitie_didnt

      caitie_didnt April 24, 2012, 9:31 am

      That’s pretty anti- feminist of you. Don’t pretend that your way is the best way and you should be able to tell everybody else how to live their life. Percentage of income is THE fairest way.

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        lets_be_honest April 24, 2012, 9:35 am

        I’m not pretending my way is the best, it just seems the most fair to me. I’m also not telling anyone how to live their life, I’m giving my opinion and sharing an example of what I think is fair. I was afraid my opinion would be unpopular, but still worth sharing.

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        lets_be_honest April 24, 2012, 9:40 am

        I just don’t see why her boyfriend of maybe a year should be required to pay her way. And that’s exactly what’s happening when ‘you’ say he should be dumped for being uncaring or not generous if he doesn’t pay her way.

        I hate to say it but I imagine if a girl wrote in saying her BF of a year was demanding that she pay substantially more money for a fancy place he can barely contribute to, maybe we’d look at this a little differently.

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      • FireStar

        FireStar April 24, 2012, 9:52 am

        It’s the boyfriend that wants the upgrade though. Your imagined letter would read the girl wrote in saying she wanted to live in a fancy place but her BF didn’t want to pay half the expenses for it. I don’t know that the answers would be different regarding who should pay the premium on the upgrade.

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        Muffy April 24, 2012, 10:06 am

        then the answer is not to move in to said fancier place with him

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        lets_be_honest April 24, 2012, 10:15 am

        OK, ok, I’m bad at making fake letters accurate enough 😉

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        redessa April 24, 2012, 10:32 am

        That’s pretty much the letter we got. HE wants to move into a fancy new place and expects her to pay significantly more than she can afford. It’s not that he can barely contribute, but it boils down to the same thing. He wants what he wants without regard to her financial wellbeing.

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        lets_be_honest April 24, 2012, 10:33 am

        Well then all she has to say is she can’t afford it. The fact that she can write a letter tells me she’s intelligent enough to say this. And if you are right and he says too bad, then she simply doesn’t have to move in with him and decide whether living together is a must for them.

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        iseeshiny April 24, 2012, 12:38 pm

        I think she’s writing in because she’s hurt at the whole situation and wants input. I think people are more willing to jump on her because it’s about money and they’re attributing her hurt to greed and mercenary-ish-ness rather than the fact that she’s hurt because he, to her mind, has swapped positions to give himself the advantage at her expense. Not because she’s unable to say the words.

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      • bagge72

        bagge72 April 24, 2012, 11:26 am

        How come everyone is assuming that he picked this expensive place all on his own, and doesn’t want to live anywhere else, and expects her to pay half. He found an apartment they both liked, she agreed to it without discussing finances again, and is now mad, because she wasn’t aware of what the terms were actually going to be. Why didn’t she discuss this again before agreeing to get the apartment? She didn’t ask again, because she thought she could get away with living at a place nicer than she could afford without having to pay for it, and now it is coming back to bite her in the ass.

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        lets_be_honest April 24, 2012, 11:27 am

        Ouch! I gotta agree.

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        iseeshiny April 24, 2012, 11:33 am

        That was my thought – she just kind of assumed that they were still on the same page.

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      • bagge72

        bagge72 April 24, 2012, 11:39 am

        Yeah that is what it seems like, and she still seems to being going on with this instead of saying that she can’t afford the place, and if they want to live together they need to find something they can both afford. I think everyone is missing that part, because he is being such a dick about requiring her to get a new job in a certain amount of time.

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        Muffy April 24, 2012, 12:26 pm

        that’s true! she agreed to the place as well. Looks like you’re going to have to back out of your agreement because you simply cannot afford it. LW I believe you are technically below the poverty line or near it – you really cannot afford to be living outside of your means. Explain to him you made a mistake in agreeing to it and you hope he understands but at this time you cannot afford more than X amount in rent therefore you will not be moving in together.

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        a_different_Wendy April 24, 2012, 10:32 am

        No, I think he’s uncaring and ungenerous because when he was unemployed he agreed that percentage of income was the fairest method, but now that he’s making more money than her he thinks it’s totally unfair to expect *him* to pay more. I don’t care what the fairest way to handle money is, but the fact that he did a 180 when his income changed says a lot about how much this guy values his girlfriend.
        When my boyfriend and I got an apartment we just started throwing all our money into a joint account and took out all our expenses from there without really thinking about who it was coming from. When we started doing this I was making more money. Now my boyfriend makes more than I do and we’ve continued with the same method. If he had decided when he got his raise that he wanted us to just start paying 50/50 it would have told me something about our relationship, and I would have felt just slightly used and started having some doubts. I think that’s why everyone’s jumping on this guy as kind of an jerk.

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        Ktfran April 24, 2012, 1:30 pm

        I can’t like this reply enough!

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        Muffy April 24, 2012, 9:44 am

        I disagree that it is THE fairest way. I think it depends on the couple. There might be a lot of resentment that can arise with percentage of income if the person after contributing their percentage blows their money on something frivolous. People break up so often after moving in together that it makes sense that the bf doesn’t want to pay her portion for a sweet apartment.

        That being said he really needs to understand her limit and she needs to stick to it and they need to come down in their expectations for an apartment. There is nothing wrong with 50/50 and there is nothing wrong with percentage of income if that is what the couple agrees on.

        Besides what’s the LW supposed to do? Tell her bf it’s her way or they break up? That’s not fair to him either.

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        Muffy April 24, 2012, 9:46 am

        this was a reply to caitiedidn’t not to you LBH

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        lets_be_honest April 24, 2012, 10:40 am

        Yea, kind of funny caitie says to me “Don’t pretend that your way is the best way and you should be able to tell everybody else how to live their life.” and then continues to tell me her way is “THE fairest way.”

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      • honeybeenicki

        honeybeenicki April 24, 2012, 11:22 am

        I’m a big fan of 50/50 instead of a percentage and I think 50/50 is more fair (but that is just my opinion), but I think the big issue with this LW is that he agreed to a percentage when it would work out in his favor but went back on that when the tides turned.

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        evanscr05 April 24, 2012, 9:45 am

        Just because a person makes more, though, doesn’t necessarily mean they can afford more. I make more than my husband, and did when we were living together before we got married, but we split everything equally that was for the household. Zero money fights. I had other expenses to deal with on top of that, though, so despite having a higher salary, I had significantly more expenses, and more expensive expenses. There is no one way I could have afforded to pay more in rent. It’s definitely not a black and white thing. For some people, paying the same amount is more fair, for others it’s income based. As long as the people involved agree on the method, then that is the fairest method.

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        lets_be_honest April 24, 2012, 10:06 am

        Zero money fights! I’ve liked all of your comments on this one Evan.

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        GatorGirl April 24, 2012, 10:25 am

        You have a very valid point here- just because you make more money doesn’t mean you have more money. I have almost $500 a month in student loans…by fiance has none. He also works a bartending job part time. So at first glance it looks like I make $700 more a month than him…but when you factor in my loans and his tip money…he’s actually making more than me. (We split everything 50/50 right now btw)

        My point is- if you are going to live with someone you are romantically involved with you need to be transparent with your finances and figure out what is best for your relationship. 50/50 or % or whatever thing you come up with- maybe he pays the rent and you pay the utilities….you two both need to agree on it and be happy about it.

        Also- make sure your name is on the lease and all shared utilities. And it wouldn’t hurt to write out the agreement that you make about bills, have both of you sign it, and store your own copy somewhere safe.

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        Jubietta April 24, 2012, 12:35 pm

        Transparent with money! Yes! Yes! Compromise! Yes! Well said!

        I really dislike it when money and emotion get twisted up. Money, though, is power…even in relationships. I hope LW and BF will communicate further and separate the dollar signs from the hearts and use this as an opportunity to build language for discussing similar matters in the future. I think the community here is split on what’s considered fair…an indication that no one way is considered right, even for considerate thinkers.

        I hope the LW will show this content to BF and that the Rental Committee will go back for more discussion to find a win-win situation so that each of them comes away with something they need.

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        lets_be_honest April 24, 2012, 9:55 am

        Also, I’m never going to censor myself or change my honest opinion so that I come across as feminist. That’s really not a title I yearn for.

        Maybe I’m wrong, but I thought a lot of what feminism is about is fairness. 50/50 is as fair as it gets, imo.

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        Addie Pray April 24, 2012, 10:48 am

        I’m a feminist. What’s wrong with that title? I believe women are just as capable as men of being doctors, lawyers, writers, caregivers, lovers, givers, assholes, cheaters, etc. Isn’t that what feminism means? Personally, if Addie Pray is a feminist, then you should be too, lbh. (Logic rules again!)

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        lets_be_honest April 24, 2012, 10:51 am

        I don’t think anything is wrong with that title, if it came across that way. I’m just a person, trying to be fair. I of course think women are just as capable as men! Slap whatever label you like on me for thinking that. 🙂

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        Addie Pray April 24, 2012, 10:56 am

        Can I just slap you and call it even?

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        lets_be_honest April 24, 2012, 12:59 pm

        hoping this has so many likes because it was funny and not because everyone wants me to be slapped :/ i’m having purple thumb flashbacks!

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        Addie Pray April 24, 2012, 1:34 pm

        Gosh I hope so too! Those purple thumbs were so mean.

        LBH, why are we not friends, ahem.

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      • FireStar

        FireStar April 24, 2012, 11:00 am

        I don’t think this is a gender issue at all. I don’t even think this is a financial issue – there is nothing wrong with a 50/50 split if that is what is agreed to. I think this is a character issue that the boyfriend was okay with a percentage when it benefited him but against it when it didn’t.

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        Iwannatalktosampson April 24, 2012, 11:07 am

        Completely agree FireStar. He’s a jerk. He has made his priorities very clear. He is looking out for number 1 and number 1 only. Which is fine. But the LW has more of a team mindset with him that he is not reciprocating. So she should MOA.

        And DO NOT under any circumstances agree to live in an apartment you can’t afford 50/50. Sometimes love doesn’t conquer all – especially with this jerk. You also need to be looking out for number 1. Or at the very least put the lease in his name so if you break up (or when you break up) you can move out and you’re not stuck in the apartment you can’t even afford 50% of.

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        iseeshiny April 24, 2012, 11:16 am

        I don’t know – sometimes people do seem to try to take other people’s opinions hostage, saying if you believe x then you’re not y. Not to mention there are like forty different definitions of feminism out there. I disagreed with the accuracy of your paraphasing of what the LW was saying in her letter, but I don’t think it was anti feminist.

        Honestly I think it comes down to ideology. Not to make this political or anything (oh god, I really don’t want to make this political) but is it more fair for a couple with a high income disparity to split costs evenly despite the fact that it’d be more of a strain on the partner making less (flat tax) or is it more fair to split the cost based on income (graduated tax). The analogy isn’t perfect, since, you know, the 99% and the 1% aren’t shacking up, but it all comes down to one’s idea of fairness and what constitutes charity vs. obligation.

        Plus, people get really weird when it comes to money. That’s normal.

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      • Brad

        Brad April 24, 2012, 11:42 am

        “. . . to split costs evenly despite the fact that it’d be more of a strain on the partner making less (flat tax).” Umm, flat tax isn’t a fixed nominal amount, it’s a %. Meaning that everyone pays say 10% of their income. The guy making 10,000 a year would pay 1,000, and the guy making 100,000 a year would pay 10,000. The idea of splitting costs by % of income is to keep both people’s monthly expenses burden equal. Meaning that If I make say 4,000 a month and my hypothetical GF makes 2,000 a month and we both pay 1,000 in rent, then it’s hurting her financially more than me, which isn’t entirely fair to me.

        I personally fall more into the % of income side compared to pure 50/50 split, especially the more established the relationship is. Now I also think that it should be based on shared expenses only and not total expenses (meaning just do the calculation on stuff you’re sharing like rent, groceries, utilities and not on personal debt like student loans).

        The important thing is for the couple to decide what’s fair to them.

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        iseeshiny April 24, 2012, 12:16 pm

        I’m aware of the differences between the two tax plans, Brad, and that it’s not a perfect analogy. I was just saying that it comes down to a difference in ideology – that the people who think that in a relationship where one partner makes three times as much as another they should split costs 50/50 are probably more likely to support a flat tax rate, and that the ones who think that they should split based on income percentage are more likely to think that people with higher incomes should shoulder more of a tax burden, because it comes down to how people view money and responsibility; we’re not going to resolve on this site which way is more fair for a couple to split their finances any more than everyone in the country is going to agree on which way is more fair to tax someone.

        You’re right, the most important thing is that they agree.

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        AndreaMarie April 24, 2012, 11:27 am

        Its not always the fairest way. Situations are different for different people. If the income is like $50k vs $60k it would be fair to say it should be split 50/50. If it was like $30k vs $100k than its fair to say 50/50 wouldn’t work.

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        lets_be_honest April 24, 2012, 11:32 am

        But why should (shoving myself into the example as the weathier one) I have to pay lets say triple what my boyfriend is paying just because I worked my ass off and was lucky enough to land a better job. What if he’s a deadbeat relying on me to work my butt off to cover the vast majority of the bills? Someone that has earned an income of over $100k likely worked hard for it. So because I get a boyfriend and want to live in a nice place, I’m required to pay the lion’s share? Not fair. If I wanted him to live with my so badly, I might consider it but I personally would likely get to the point where I resented him.

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      • Brad

        Brad April 24, 2012, 11:56 am

        “What if he’s a deadbeat relying on me” why hypothetically are you in a relationship with a deadbeat? You hypothetically need to MOA! 😀

        I think what she’s getting at is if I’m say a computer programmer making 100k and my GF is a respectable teacher making 30k, it would not be fair to expect her to contribute the same actual amount as me. If she contributes 30% of her salary to the bills and I contribute the rest we’re both functionally paying the same amount. Combined we would be making 130k and need to budget based off that. So if our rent is 2,000 a month then we owe 2,000. Now 600 might be coming from her portion of the 130k and 1400 from my portion of the 130k, but the rent burden we’re baring is the same relative to our income, which to me is fair (I’m making 70% of the income so I pay 70%).

        Using the tax example stated above, it would not be fair for me to owe the government 10,000 dollars a year in taxes regardless of my income, if the millionaire over there also owes 10,000 dollars. The impact should be equal, not the actual dollar amount.

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        Something More April 24, 2012, 12:13 pm

        This.

        I don’t see why this seems to be so hard for people to get.

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        lets_be_honest April 24, 2012, 12:15 pm

        Listen, if both parties are cool with any arrangement they mutually decide on, then go for it. If you’re in a long term relationship or married, I’d be more comfortable with a percentage based contribution. For me, personally, moreso than my SO, I would not be comfortable with percentage based (and he has significantly more money than I do and way less bills). I just don’t see it as fair. I know I’d resent my SO if I were paying more or at least question his purchases, which is asking for a disaster.
        I guess why I got so worked up on my first comment was because it appears LW is demanding that he pay way more than her. THAT is absurdly unfair to me. They are also in a fairly new relationship which plays into the mess also.

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      • rainbow

        rainbow April 24, 2012, 2:10 pm

        I prefer 50/50 too. I find a percentage based contribution makes it too easy for the person making less money to have no contact with the consequences of their choices.

        Consequences like: If you work two days a week (i’m not saying the LW does this, but it happens) you’ll have to live in a dumpster. Sorry, but that’s how it works for everybody, and that’s why I work my regular job and then spend another 4 hours drawing instead of just working on my comics 12 hours a day. And if I can do it then you can too, and if you can’t pay your own rent because “that would mean giving up your artistic dreams” or work an “uninspiring job” then you’ll have to stay with 11 roommates or your mommy.

        There are lots of informal ways to make a bit more money on the side, I’ve used them when I’ve needed them, you can do it too, and I’d rather use my money to spoil myself than to spoil some man-child who can’t put a roof over his own head, because that’s unsexy.

        I would not mind being the sole provider if my husband wants to be a SAHD while our kids are very young, or is working on his thesis full time for a few months or something. And, to be honest, if I married someone who makes lots of money and they offered to pay my expenses so I can work on my comics all day long I would say yes, definitely. But I would never suggest it. Specially to a guy I’ve been seeing for only a year.

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      • rainbow

        rainbow April 24, 2012, 2:17 pm

        About the last paragraph: It would have to be LOTS AND LOTS of money. I would never sit at home making $0 (unless raising kids or taking care of someone who’s very sick, which I count as making money because that way you don’t have to pay the sitter/nurse) and watch my partner struggle to pay bills because “I have a dream” and I’m not organized enough to work for it on my free time.

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        Muffy April 24, 2012, 12:32 pm

        I don’t think he wants to pool their money together in that way yet though and she needs to respect that. There’s nothing wrong with his point of view except for the fact that it doesn’t align with hers. Now if they were married and this guy was saying that it would be a different story…

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        Muffy April 24, 2012, 12:34 pm

        not only that but maybe he doesn’t see them as a “team” as she does which means that they are on completely different pages. He’s not a jerk. Too often people move in together just to test things out and it doesn’t work out – he wants to protect his own assets. She needs to protect hers.

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        Flake April 24, 2012, 12:38 pm

        What I do not get is, apparently a lot of you would be OK with your SO practically going bankrupt just so everything is split perfectly down the middle?? To me that would be quite a red flag.

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        lets_be_honest April 24, 2012, 12:43 pm

        If it were me and I wanted to live with my boyfriend and he could only afford a studio as opposed to the 3 bedroom I wanted, I would either:
        1. deal with the studio and know its fair, or
        2. pay more and live where I want, but that would have to be solely my decision to pay more. If he asked me to pay more, that would be my red flag.
        3. or decide I want a big fancy place more than him and just break up 🙂

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      • bagge72

        bagge72 April 24, 2012, 12:51 pm

        Or people are saying that they would rather choose a place they could both afford instead of asking someone to pay their way. I don’t see anybody here say that she should just pay half and call it a day.

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        evanscr05 April 24, 2012, 12:54 pm

        I think you’re misinterpreting the 50/50 argument. It’s not a “let’s live high on the hog even though you can’t afford it” argument, rather a “let’s get something that both people can comfortably afford and split household expenses evenly down the middle”. That’s how I feel, anyway. I’ve always made more than my husband, but I would never have expected him to pay a substantial amount of his income to the point of being broke just to get into a nice apartment. I would have scaled back to make it easier on him to cover, which, in fact, we did.

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        Flake April 24, 2012, 4:03 pm

        Yeah, but whatever the case is, even if she did make the mistake of assuming that the income percentage deal was still on, and moving into an apartment that she clearly cannot afford, I would think that if her BF really cared about her, he would be open to the idea of doing the income percentage thing at least temporarily and helping his GF out instead of making her feel like he doesn’t care if she starves as long as she comes up with the exact half of the expenses.

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        Muffy April 24, 2012, 4:09 pm

        I would not be ok with someone going bankrupt. That’s why they need a cheaper place if they want to live together. This place does not work at all for them at her price point with 50/50 split

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        cporoski April 24, 2012, 1:29 pm

        How is it fair to him to be punished because he makes more. They are not sharing finances here-they are dating, not married. Would this be fair for a roommate? I don’t feel responsible to pay more of a bill with friends because I make more.

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        lets_be_honest April 24, 2012, 1:32 pm

        Yes, good point. I make quite a bit more than most of my friends. I love treating them every now and then. If they never reached for the bill again, I’d never treat them again.

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      lets_be_honest April 24, 2012, 9:34 am

      I think Wendy’s advice here – You need to protect yourself and the best way to do that is to keep your living expenses within your means – is excellent.

      I admit I glossed over the allegation that you both agreed you’d pay more when you were in the better position. For some reason, I’m not buying that, or at least not thinking it was said at a time this was really actually going to happen.

      Bottom line is tell your bf you simply cannot afford the place he’s chosen and you would be happy to move to a place that you can afford. If he chooses the better place, then don’t move in with him. And then reevaluate your relationship, and not in a Dump Him kinda way, but maybe he just isn’t ready to move in together after such a short period of time together.

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      • FireStar

        FireStar April 24, 2012, 9:47 am

        It’s the part you glossed over that makes this egregious. If he said from jump “we should be 50/50” then that’s fine – they can move forward on that basis. But if he says – as the LW states – he was okay with the percentage division before he would be the one contributing the higher percentage then there is something wrong with that. It’s hypocritical and selfish. And these aren’t traits that make for a good partner.
        As for not buying what she states – we have to rely on what is submitted – we aren’t there and we always get the one side. Nothing in her letter reads unreasonable to me.

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        lets_be_honest April 24, 2012, 9:57 am

        True about relying on what’s submitted. I just wanted to address why I didn’t use that in my comment. Budj said above a better idea about that which was it was an idea mentioned that never came to fruition and was never set in stone. Anyway…

        If he chooses a place she can’t afford, all she has to say is I can’t afford that so I can’t move there. Lets find another place that I can afford. If he refuses, well, I think its obvious what she should do.

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        Muffy April 24, 2012, 10:08 am

        exactly! or she says “i can’t afford that at the amount you want me to pay. I can afford X amount. Therefore any difference needs to be made up by you. If my circumstances we can talk about it then. We can also look at cheaper apartments which I can afford 50% of the rent”

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        lets_be_honest April 24, 2012, 10:12 am

        🙂 Couldn’t be easier than that, right?

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        Muffy April 24, 2012, 9:52 am

        I agree. You guys really need to start seeing eye to eye on finances before you move in together. There’s no need to break up with the boyfriend about wanting you to contribute things 50/50. I know a couple like this and the partner that made less eventually came around and decided to split things 50/50. However they had to look at a cheaper apartment and both parties were agreed on that.

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      lemongrass April 24, 2012, 9:35 am

      It doesn’t matter if 50% of her income is pennies, it’s 50% of her income. I don’t think she is looking for a free ride whatsoever.

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        lets_be_honest April 24, 2012, 9:44 am

        BUT, she’d be benefitting greatly. Listen, imagine this were a mansion that cost $1mil. Would you really say she’s not getting a ridiculously nice deal or close to free ride by paying a percentage of her small income?

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        Flake April 24, 2012, 10:10 am

        If that is their arrangement that has worked for them before they moved into a million dollar mansion (that is HIS choice, by the way), then no, I wouldn’t say so.

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        lets_be_honest April 24, 2012, 10:16 am

        Even if it was his choice and arranged for ahead of time, its still a very nice deal. You really can’t say otherwise.
        If my income was a dollar, would you really say I’m not getting a sweet deal by paying $.50 for a f’in mansion?!

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        bluesunday April 24, 2012, 12:30 pm

        And why begrudge someone just for getting a sweet deal?

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        lets_be_honest April 24, 2012, 12:33 pm

        There were no lines to read between in the comment you responded to, yet you managed to try and find one. In terms of the definition of fair, a sweet deal where I pay .50 and my SO pays thousands, that’s not fair, its a sweet deal. Hey, more power to you if you get that deal, but its not fair in the true sense of the word.

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        Flake April 24, 2012, 12:41 pm

        If my SO is a millionaire, and I am teacher, I do find that fair.

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        lets_be_honest April 24, 2012, 12:47 pm

        Ok, what if your millionaire SO had bills coming out of his ass? Just because you make more doesn;t mean you don’t have more expenses.

        Would it be fair to ask him to give up his rolls royce that he worked hard for just to pay your share of the rent?

        I’m not saying its wrong, per se, all I’m saying is that it is in fact a sweet deal. You would be considered very lucky in my book if you made 30k a year but got to live in a mansion bc your SO made 1mil a year. Lucky, not wrong or undeserving, just lucky.

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        bluesunday April 24, 2012, 12:59 pm

        Life is rarely fair. But if the millionaire partner wants to split their living expenses 50/50, he better be willing to give up lifestyle he’s accustomed to in order to fit the poorer partners budget. Some might say “I want my mansion AND I want my SO living with me, so I don’t mind him/ her enjoying the benefits of the mansion at no added cost”. And sure, one partner is getting lucky in that sense, but no harm done to anyone.

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        lets_be_honest April 24, 2012, 2:11 pm

        Yes, I’m clearly not doing well with words today. I agree.

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      Violet April 24, 2012, 9:36 am

      I am not trying to sound snarky, but how is $600 out of a $1000 income a month considered pennies?

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        lets_be_honest April 24, 2012, 9:42 am

        In comparison to what he’d be contributing, I used an obviously inaccurate term. Didn’t mean to insult.

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        Violet April 24, 2012, 10:05 am

        I understand. I actually don’t think the LW and her bf sound ready to live together, but he was the one who wanted the more expensive apartment. I don’t know his story, but the LW did not make it sound like the bf had insanely high debts or anything; I am assuming he would want to stay in a cheaper place if that were the case. I actually have no issue with whether people choose 50-50 or income based, but they must agree on it and be comfortable before with the outcome before living together!

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        lets_be_honest April 24, 2012, 10:08 am

        Yes, whatever way they end up deciding is best, just needs to be agreed to LONG before they start looking at apartments.

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        ele4phant April 24, 2012, 9:54 pm

        Exactly Violet. This “Well if he makes millions and she makes pennies” scenarios are interesting intellectual exercises, the truth of the situation is that she can contribute a large, albeit less than half, amount to their shared expenses.

        In this given situation, it is not unreasonable to be contributing the same burden percentage-wise but not 50/50.

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      jlyfsh April 24, 2012, 9:36 am

      I think for me the issue here is that when it was reversed he seemed ‘ok’ with it. Now that it’s her making less and potentially contributing less he’s saying he didn’t think that the idea was set in stone.

      I also think that roommates do often pay percentages for different reasons. For example whenever I’ve lived with roommates one of the bedrooms usually had the bathroom in it, that didn’t have to be shared, and the other person had use of the hallway bathroom that guests used as well. The person in the room with the private bath has always paid more. Whether it was me or the other roommate at the time. I’ve also paid percentages based on room size when living with roommates.

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        lets_be_honest April 24, 2012, 9:45 am

        But like you’re saying, they are getting say, an extra bathroom. That’s what they are paying extra for. LW would be, presumably, sharing the whole place. He’s not getting more for his money, she is.

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        jlyfsh April 24, 2012, 9:50 am

        but presumably when the situation was reversed he was fine with that idea. and he picked out the apartment knowing her income and how much the rent was. i guess that would not be ok with me, to know that we had talked about that before and he was great when it worked for him. but, then when he started making more he wanted to live in a nicer place and presumable based on her letter doesn’t seem to care if it takes all of her income to live there.

        and they are getting something more for their money it wasn’t a great example for this letter but an example of when percentages are used.

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        lets_be_honest April 24, 2012, 9:59 am

        Mentioning the idea of % is way different than actually having that pan out and/or her actually paying more. Neither of those things happened here. I;m sure I’ve seemed cool with proposals before that if I actually had to make a final decision on, I would change my mind.

        I think the easy solution is if he wants a nicer place she can’t afford, she should not move in there.

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    • Kristina

      Kristina April 24, 2012, 9:39 am

      I agree, I think splitting rent 50/50 is best for those who live together but aren’t married. Too many people move in with an SO and it doesn’t work out, so it’s good to have some money saved and maintain independence. But the LW’s boyfriend does sound like a jerk for saying she needs to have a better job within a certain timeframe.

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    • avatar

      Addie Pray April 24, 2012, 9:49 am

      I personally prefer 50-50 splits. Unless the one who makes more wants to pay more for whatever reason. I’m not saying I think this LW should live in the nicer apartment and pay 50% though. I agree with Wendy 100% – she needs to protect herself. No one should pay 100% of their income (or close to it) on rent! She can’t afford that. So that’s what she needs to tell her boyfriend.

      I’m not sure why it ever got to the point where it is now with the LW and her BF – who I think is being a dick, for the record. This is how the convo should have gone:

      LW: “Hey, lover, I can’t live in that fancy apartment unless we split rent based on our percentages because I’m poor.”
      BF: “Well, lover, I’d feel more comfortable if we split things 50-50.”
      LW: “Ok, lover, that’s fine, but in that case I can’t move. The rent is too high – I’d have no money left over for things like yoga and wine.”

      I should be in a relationship with myself – I’m so good at it!

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      • Budj

        Budj April 24, 2012, 9:51 am

        You can also call yourself “lover.”

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        Muffy April 24, 2012, 9:55 am

        exactly! Just tell him that then you need to look at different apartments. And LW if you are hell bent on him paying a higher portion of the rent it looks like you guys might not move in together

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        lets_be_honest April 24, 2012, 10:00 am

        Yes, good points, as always. If there person making substantially more insists, thats a different story (not something I’d be comfortable with, but whatever). I think its quite rude and presumptious for the person making way less to insist that the other pay more.

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        Jessibel April 24, 2012, 11:20 am

        Addie, I don’t know you at all and have never spoken to you, but I think I have a girl crush on you. You never fail to make me laugh!

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest April 24, 2012, 11:27 am

        Join the club 🙂

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray April 24, 2012, 11:41 am

        I LOVE the club! lbh, stop torturing me.

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        Addie Pray April 24, 2012, 11:41 am

        Ahh, Jessibel, I love you!

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      • bagge72

        bagge72 April 24, 2012, 11:31 am

        Yes, that is exactly how the convo should have went!

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    • avatar

      amy April 24, 2012, 10:14 am

      The problem is, HE wants the fancier place, not her. AND he gave her a deadline to find a higher paying job so she can afford to pay half the rent on the more expensive apartment that HE wants.

      What a winner he is.

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        lets_be_honest April 24, 2012, 10:17 am

        All she needs to do is say she can’t afford the place he wants. Its really that simple.
        I agree that he’s an asshat for giving her a job deadline, def!

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray April 24, 2012, 10:33 am

        I’m sort, I should have completed the dialogue instead of implying it / visualizing it in my head. It would go like this:

        BF: “But, lover, I want a fancier place!”
        LW: “I’m sorry, lover, I can’t afford to pay 50% of a fancier place. I’m responsible like that.”
        BF: “Then get a better job!”
        LW: “Let’s break up because you are a bag of dicks. A stupid bag of dicks.”

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray April 24, 2012, 10:35 am

        (Oh, amy’s comment wasn’t a reply to mine. Sorry, my eyes have a hard time following the little indented vertical lines / I’m stupid.)

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray April 24, 2012, 10:36 am

        *And I meant to say “I’m sorry” not “I’m sort” in the reply before last. Ok, I’m going to stop commenting now.

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      • bagge72

        bagge72 April 24, 2012, 11:32 am

        She agreed to the fancier place before discussing the finacial part of it. It’s her fault for assuming somebody would just pay her way off of a conversation a long time ago that never came to anything.

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    • Jess

      Jess of CGW April 24, 2012, 10:44 am

      Just one thing to throw into the fire here.

      To me, this is not a FEMINIST issue. It’s a SOCIALIST issue.

      LW already told us the conversation started when SHE offered to pay more because SHE earned more. Orman’s advice is that each pay according to what they make. It’s not gender-biased. The decision to do that, versus the old 50-50 method, is certainly a personal one. There are a vast variety of ways that couples can choose to entangle their finances (or NOT entangle them). This method does involve risk on the part of the person paying less (the homelessness that Wendy mentions) but I’d just suggest it has nothing to do with being a “kept woman.”

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        lets_be_honest April 24, 2012, 10:49 am

        I don’t know if this adds to anything, but my sister pays pretty much 90% of her and her boyfriend’s expenses (rent included). I think he’s a total deadbeat whose taking advantage of her because of that. I can’t respect that, and I don’t care how much laundry or cooking you do to “contribute.” (disclaimer: this opinion is not applicable to married couples)

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      • Jess

        Jess of CGW April 24, 2012, 10:56 am

        Good example. It’s an economic, power-based, socialist (take your pick of adjectives) issue. Not gender based.

        Money is a sensitive issue so it’s no surprise to me to see people commenting with strong feelings about whether an income based split is fair or whether a 50/50 split is better. Gender may come into the equation but I’m just saying that the options are not gender-based by default. The problem here is that this couple clearly don’t share the same philosophy on it.

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      • avatar

        Francine April 24, 2012, 11:18 am

        LBH…does it make a difference if your sister likes this arrangement? I mean, if it works for them and he contributes more in other areas do you still consider him a deadbeat?

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        lets_be_honest April 24, 2012, 11:25 am

        No, to be honest. Here comes the brutal truth — I don’t give shit how much he “contributes in other ways” because none of that equals her working 10-12 hours days 6 or 7 days a week to support him. She claims to be ok with the arrangement, and its been a long time so she’s clearly somewhat accepting of it. Makes no difference to me and sadly changes my opinion of her so much to the point that I’ve convinced myself she is brainwashed and therefore not responsible for allowing this to happen.

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        lets_be_honest April 24, 2012, 11:38 am

        My “no” reply was answer if it matters that my sister’s ok with it.

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        Francine April 24, 2012, 11:48 am

        Maybe I should’ve rephrased that because I wasn’t really asking asking about your sister specifically. Even if she says she’s okay with things I’m sure you know her well enough to know if she’s actually just resigned herself to it rather than enjoying it.

        Just generally though, if Partner A is, say, a workaholic and puts in long hours making significantly more money than Partner B and Partner B, while having less income, has more free time and runs the household but contributes a much smaller amount financially and they both are happy with their role…do you consider Partner B a deadbeat?

        Sorry about the run on sentence. Hope it was fairly clear. I honestly have no reason for asking other than idle curiosity.

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        lets_be_honest April 24, 2012, 12:10 pm

        Specifically about my sister, I do not think she is happy with it, but puts up with it because she loves him. I could go on for days about that though.

        In general, if they are both truly happy and comfortable with it and totally in agreement, then to each his own and no, I wouldn’t think of him as a deadbeat.
        I think saying you will do laundry and cook is not contributing a fair share, but thats just me.

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      • avatar

        Flake April 24, 2012, 12:18 pm

        This may open a whole other can of worms, but what a hell :))) Do you think that stay-at-home-moms/dads are not contributing a fair share?

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest April 24, 2012, 12:30 pm

        Ha, just answered that elsewhere on here.
        YES I def think they are contributing more than a fair share! For the record 🙂

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        Something More April 24, 2012, 12:18 pm

        lbh: “I can’t respect that, and I don’t care how much laundry or cooking you do to “contribute.” (disclaimer: this opinion is not applicable to married couples)”

        So, if they got married tomorrow, your opinion would change?

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        lets_be_honest April 24, 2012, 12:29 pm

        For them, no it wouldn’t. I guess I threw that in there more for stay at home parents. If they had children and he was home raising them, yes my opinion would change 100%. I just don’t think him taking care of his Xbox remote is the same lol.

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      • Brad

        Brad April 24, 2012, 1:43 pm

        Hey now! Game controllers need love too!

        (not serious)

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray April 24, 2012, 10:49 am

        For the record, I would be a very happy kept woman. Does anyone want to keep me?

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      • honeybeenicki

        honeybeenicki April 24, 2012, 11:23 am

        If you find someone, could you find out if they have a brother? Or a sister? Or a father? Or even a long-lost, well-off cousin? Because I wouldn’t mind being a kept woman either. And my husband’s cool with it as long as I share the money 😛

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray April 24, 2012, 11:30 am

        I’ll try to find a woman keeper with relatives looking for a kept woman. We could be kept DW friends. My ideal woman keeper will be away on business most of the year or living far away – like, I’d be a LDR kept woman. Where can I find a LDR woman keeper?

        Hey remember trapper keepers? This has reminded me of those. I had them in the COOLEST colors and designs.

        Anyways…

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      • avatar

        rachel April 24, 2012, 12:40 pm

        Trapper keepers were awesome. And Lisa Frank.

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      • avatar

        Francine April 24, 2012, 12:44 pm

        Lisa Frank stickers were the devil! My daughter covered herself in them once and those suckers did not come off easily even after soaking her in the tub. Why don’t false eyelashes come with that kind of adhesive?!

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      • honeybeenicki

        honeybeenicki April 24, 2012, 12:56 pm

        I love Trapper Keepers! And I’m so sad that my stepkids don’t know what they are 🙁

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      • avatar

        Francine April 24, 2012, 1:06 pm

        Fear not! The Trapper Keeper lives! My daughter had one for school last year.

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      • FireStar

        FireStar April 24, 2012, 11:41 am

        Are you sure you would be happy? My husband wants to move to Austin and I would end up kept (we live in Toronto now). Scares the hell out of me! We would have to be insured every which way till Tuesday and I’ve never not had “my” own money coming in. I see other women doing it but I have no idea how.

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        Jubietta April 24, 2012, 1:15 pm

        I made this transition, from breadwinner to kept wife, and it took me a long time to come to terms with it. My solution? I always wanted to be a writer and I saw it as the universe giving me that opportunity. The other, I volunteer to round-out my purpose. My next step, culinary school…so I can fulfill my dream of owning a restaurant. My warning? People who work for a living don’t always behave well when they find out about it and I still struggle with how to handle my feelings about it. The one thing I hold on to is that I’m the BM-wife…before money. We had our money melded when I contributed 85%, so I know when he says “I want to share this with you” I remember how I felt when I said similar things to him and I can trust what he says.

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        lets_be_honest April 24, 2012, 1:27 pm

        Interesting? If you don’t mind me asking, has there ever been an issue of ‘Why would you spend $X on that handbag?’ I can’t ever imagine dealing with that.

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        jubietta April 25, 2012, 12:12 am

        In my case the solution is built into to who Mr. J is…he spends 10x what I spend, and that’s a regularly documented fact! (I keep the books.) It’s part of why I harp on the “make sure everyone gets their needs met and an equal number of their wants met” bandwagon all the time. He “needs” more material stuff than I “need” and the same usually goes for the “wants” too. I’m well pacified by a used 3-series BMW, one writer’s retreat a year, and whatever “jumps in the cart” when he’s out shopping and finds something for me.

        And if that doesn’t work, I refresh his memory about how good the chemistry in bed is and he forgets about the dollar signs 🙂

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  • avatar

    TECH April 24, 2012, 9:29 am

    Oh my, LW, he is being incredibly selfish. You two are supposed to be partners, not roommates. You are being completely reasonable in asking for a percentage of income to determine living expenses. Money can reveal deeper character issues about a person. You say he loves you, but he certainly isn’t acting loving or understanding. Actions speak louder than words. I wouldn’t want a future with someone like that.

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  • avatar

    lemongrass April 24, 2012, 9:32 am

    This guy sounds like an asshole. MOA

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  • FireStar

    FireStar April 24, 2012, 9:37 am

    RED FLAG.
    If you both made a significant amount of money – you made $100K and he made $120K I would say percentage isn’t necessary or all that fair in that case – you both make enough to split the expenses equally so the disparity of income wouldn’t matter (all things being equal) but if you barely make enough to get by on and he makes significantly more, then this system doesn’t work.
    I would say that if he wants to live in the fancy apartment then he can shoulder the premium for doing so – but truly at this point LW – your inclination to re-evaluate your relationship is a sound one. Life isn’t perfect and you need a partner that can understand the give and take it requires to have a successful relationship. If your boyfriend is only interested in the take part then this isn’t the boy for you. The fact that he was okay with the percentage division of expenses based on income when he had the lower income but is against it now that you would be the one to put in less monthly speak volumes about his character. Pay attention. Income changes over time but character rarely does.

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  • avatar

    Addie Pray April 24, 2012, 9:38 am

    Personally, I’m not a fan of splitting rent, etc. based on your relative income. I prefer splitting things 50-50. I mean, would you then split meals out and vacation and stuff based on your income too? There’s something about the percentage-thing that seems… petty. Like you’re sitting there and calculating everything and saying “you owe X and I owe Y.” What say the rest of you?

    But of course you have to be comfortable with 50% of the expenses, otherwise, don’t move, no way. And it looks like that’s where you are. (If he’d rather live with you in a nicer place, that’s when he can offer to pay more.)

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      lemongrass April 24, 2012, 9:41 am

      I don’t think most people sit with a calculator to divide it up. Before we shared finances my husband paid the rent, I paid the bills.

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        lets_be_honest April 24, 2012, 10:02 am

        But did you force him to do that, or did he want to and/or offer? I think that’s the big difference.

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray April 24, 2012, 10:08 am

        That’s it, lbh, it’s the “forcing” v. “offering” aspect of this LW’s situation that is off-putting. She shouldn’t force him to pay more. If he offers, great. Otherwise, she should stick to what she can afford. If her BF gets pissed because she’s being a responsible adult, then he *really* sucks.

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      • Skyblossom

        Skyblossom April 24, 2012, 10:23 am

        At the moment he is trying to force her to pay more than she can afford which means he sucks. She would have been just as bad if she had done the same to him.

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    • Budj

      Budj April 24, 2012, 9:42 am

      Agreeed. If he is insistent on upping your rent then he should be covering the extra money…hell…I’m not dating my roommate and when I asked him to upgrade apartments I offered to pay the extra money…of course I got the bigger bedroom, but hey…fair is fair.

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      Addie Pray April 24, 2012, 10:00 am

      And just to be clear, the reason I think the BF is a dick is not because he wants to split things 50-50, but because he supposedly was ok with splitting based on income when it benefited him but not now. Asshole. Plus, the whole pressuring the LW to get a different job or whatever… Just shitty. A shitty asshole. Which I guess is a normal asshole.

      You guys, I have a head ache. I think it’s because I haven’t had my coffee yet this morning. But the coffee is, like, wayyy over there in the kitchen, and I’m on the couch. Budj, could you pass it to me?

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        Addie Pray April 24, 2012, 10:09 am

        Sigh, I had to get it myself. I lead a tough life.

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      • call-me-hobo

        call-me-hobo April 24, 2012, 10:14 am

        Now it’s time to reward yourself with cake. Unless it’s also in the kitchen- I don’t think the second trip is worth it.

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        Addie Pray April 24, 2012, 10:41 am

        Sigh, I’m all out of cake. Last night I had a big ass piece – my 4th or 5th slice in 24 hours – and I said to myself in a strong French accent “ENUFF!! (Not sure why the French accent.) But I was determined to never eat cake again, only I didn’t trust myself, so I took the rest of the cake down to the doorman. I’m regretting that this morning.

        Now, not only did I have to go get my own coffee, but there’s no cake to be gotten. And if there were, I’d have to go get it myself. Tough Tuesday!

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        lets_be_honest April 24, 2012, 10:42 am

        I had like 8 cakes left over from my birthday. Told myself they were gifts and people want me to enjoy them. Appx. 400 lbs later, I’ve finished them all. Then last night I found a box of Lindt chocolates that was a gift. Ugh, my body cannot take this.

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray April 24, 2012, 10:52 am

        lbh, why aren’t we “friends” yet, huh? because you enjoy torturing me? (Confession, when I wrote out “torturing” just now, I first spelled it “torchering” – that I made it so far in life really should be celebrated.)

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      • FireStar

        FireStar April 24, 2012, 11:42 am

        Eight cakes??? I want your friends.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest April 24, 2012, 11:47 am

        I love cake. If you do, your friends should know this.
        🙂
        Seriously though, don’t buy me a shirt I will keep out of feeling guilt in returning and will sit in my closet forever collecting dust. Just play it safe and buy cake. If you don’t like cake, well then you are not someone I want as a friend. If you don’t know what cake I like, play it safer and buy them all. I know what you’re thinking, I give better advice than Wendy sometimes. What can I say?

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      • FireStar

        FireStar April 24, 2012, 12:45 pm

        That makes amazing sense. I get the feeling we could be friends.

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      • bagge72

        bagge72 April 24, 2012, 11:43 am

        yeah I’ve had so much cake this month it has just been amazing! I’ve had two tastings for the wedding, and then a cake for my birthday from my fiancee, and one from my family, and then we had my fathers birhtday, and now my fiancee’s birthday is today, and then another cake tasting this weekend!

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      • Budj

        Budj April 24, 2012, 11:46 am

        I noticed an xmas theme to your gift wrapping in April 😛

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      • bagge72

        bagge72 April 24, 2012, 11:56 am

        Haha I used whatever we had in the basement (leftovers from christmas for our neices)! It was either that or dog and cat themed Christmas paper, but I’m saving that for our anniversary in July.

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      • Jess

        Jess of CGW April 24, 2012, 10:46 am

        I want coffee too and I’m nowhere near it (office building………)

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray April 24, 2012, 10:52 am

        I’m ready for a second cup and I’m betting I’ll have to get it for myself, once again. Sigh.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest April 24, 2012, 10:55 am

        I will make you a kept woman if you agree to deliver me coffee when I ring a bell.

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  • IDreamofElectricSheep

    IDreamofElectricSheep April 24, 2012, 9:51 am

    How a couple approaches, discusses, and agrees on finances is a pretty good indicator of how strong and healthy a relationship is. I have made substantially more than my husband throughout our relationship. I handle our finances, pay the bills, make investments, plan our longterm security, and so forth, while discussing them with my husband. Some people would think this arrangement is very lopsided, but at the end of the day, we both know I’m better at handling finances than he is and we mutually agreed that it was fair to the both of us to handle it this way. And since he and I don’t view our income and expenses and “yours” and “mine”, but ours. Each couple handles finances differently.

    That being said, it doesn’t sound like you guys are agreeing on an equitable and mutual arrangement and certainly he is the roadblock. You are willing to compromise, even after his turnabout. However, his “compromise” is based on a caveat (the deadline) on you that is, frankly, a littl immature and controlling, especially since you are looking for a job (meaning, you’re not just laying around being a mooch). Let me warn you about something: if he is not willing to be flexible and acknowledge that the two of you have to find a solution to finances that you are both happy with, it will only get worse from here as larger life decisions approach. If you continue to make less than he does, do you have less say in the type of house you two buy? Will he be allowed to place limits on what you spend or dole out an allowance? Will you have any input or always be treated as someone who has fewer rights in the relationship because you contribute less financially?

    If I were you, I would be out the door. Because he doesn’t sound like a partner who is considerate of you and realize that a relationship involves the happiness of both parties, not just one. Please think long and hard about how is acting and how this bodes for the future of your relationship. Good luck!

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      Muffy April 24, 2012, 9:59 am

      Yeah the deadline for a new job is ridiculous. LW you cannot move in with him now because you guys seriously need to talk about some stuff.

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    • avatar

      iseeshiny April 24, 2012, 12:56 pm

      Best answer.

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      Vathena April 24, 2012, 1:27 pm

      “Will you have any input or always be treated as someone who has fewer rights in the relationship because you contribute less financially?”

      YESSSS. This is what I was thinking. This is huge. And applies now, as well as in the future (NO ONE wants to be married to someone who views them as worth less). The fact that he’s perfectly willing to drive you to financial ruin to support the lifestyle he wants to live…yikes. I agree with the posters saying that the correct response should be “I can’t afford that, so if you want a 50/50 split, it will have to be for an apartment I CAN afford”. But the fact that he seems fine with the LW having *no* money outside of their shared living expenses is very alarming. That’s no coffee out with friends, no haircuts, no new clothes, no emergency repairs for a broken-down car, no baby shower gifts, and so on. And he’s perfectly okay with having her struggle financially, as long as he gets his way and gets to keep his money. If he balks at getting the more affordable apartment and insists you pay half for the apartment HE wants…run.

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    • avatar

      Samantha April 24, 2012, 12:59 pm

      I agree – That deadline is the kicker.
      Couples moving in together are creating a contract, even if it’s unspoken, similar to marriage, and it should be treated with similar seriousness. By putting a time constraint under the terms and conditions of this contract that is outside of the LW’s control, the guy has set this relationship up for failure.
      With my sig. o., I pay more in rent because he moved into my place. Currently, we are looking for a place together. Because I make substantially more and want to live in a nicer neighborhood to cut down my commute, and because I have a car and he does not, I’m still willing to pay more rent. But he also covers his own bills, splits utilities and groceries 50/50 and helps around the house with cleaning and laundry, which I HATE. LBH said above that these contributions aren’t worth the rent discrepancy, but for me, and for our situation, they are totally worth it. But that’s the thing – it’s got to be a mutual decision that best fits the situation for both parties involved! And according to the LW, her boyfriend’s decisions don’t fit that at all.
      LW, if you decide to move in with this guy, sign a cohab agreement if you’re in Canada, or just draw something up and keep it in writing so you have a document governing your living situation. It may not be set-in-stone legal, but it will help provide a stronger foundation than he-said/she-said. Getting it in writing is always a good thing.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest April 24, 2012, 1:06 pm

        See, I guess there are factors that could change my opinion on here now that I’m reading everyone’s comments.

        Obviously (well, I guess not lol), if you personally decide that you prefer to live in a nice place while paying more than him, over a smaller place he can equally contribute to, that’s a fair choice for you to make. Its YOU making that choice. AND, it sounds like your boyfriend is doing more than cooking and laundry (he also covers his own bills, splits utilities and groceries 50/50).

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  • avatar

    Francine April 24, 2012, 9:56 am

    It doesn’t seem like there’s a clear consensus on which way is the fairest but it doesn’t matter. What matters is that both the LW and her bf agree on the same terms. If not then moving in together would be an enormous mistake.

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  • Kristina

    Kristina April 24, 2012, 9:57 am

    I’d just like to point out that too many couples move in together when they clearly aren’t ready. I don’t understand why some people take living together not so seriously. It’s a big step and you have to be ready for all the changes that come your way, including splitting expenses.

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    • avatar

      Muffy April 24, 2012, 10:00 am

      I agree with you Kristina. They don’t HAVE to move in together. They only want to. And it’s clearly not the right time for them because they have not come to a concensus on finances

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    • avatar

      Samantha April 24, 2012, 1:00 pm

      Agreed. If you’re not comfortable discussing finances, then you’re not ready to live together.

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  • avatar

    jlyfsh April 24, 2012, 9:58 am

    Like Wendy said I don’t think that either of you should be moving in to an apartment that you can’t comfortably afford half of the rent for. You definitely don’t want to get to a place where you’re constantly strapped for cash because you had to pay rent.

    When my husband and I moved in together before we were married we paid on percentages. He earned significantly less than I did (we could both afford half the rent at that time if we had wanted to) and so I probably contributed 60% while he contributed 40%. It worked for us, but obviously we’re not you all. And what made us comfortable might not be ok with the two of you.

    Before you move in make sure that you discuss and decide on a concrete plan. It’s not sexy and it’s not romantic but it has to be done. I don’t know that I would move in with your bf at this point (not because of the 50/50 thing for rent, but because of his overall attitude) but, if you do I would make sure there was a written agreement that clearly states what the two of you will contribute. Whether that be 50/50, percentages, etc. That way no one can come back saying I thought we were doing it this way, I thought it was that way.

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  • Skyblossom

    Skyblossom April 24, 2012, 10:18 am

    I consider the change in attitude a red flag on his character.

    The reality is you can’t afford the apartment he wants so tell him you’re sorry you can’t move in with him because you can’t afford it. That’s honest and it protects you. He will end up having to choose between you and a nicer apartment.

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  • avatar

    AndreaMarie April 24, 2012, 10:23 am

    LW- forget about whether or not your BF is committed or being fair. The main issue is you are not in a good place to move in and take on this kind of financial burdon. I don’t care what part of the country you live in, $1000 per month is not a livable salary. Stay where you are. Save up money and create a financial cushion for when you do move out. Concentrate on finding a better job.

    Issues surrounding money are the biggest factor to the breakdown of marriages and relationships. You have only been together 1 year. Why take on this conflict? Work on developing your relationship. Is there a NEED to move in now?

    Take it slow. Its more important to save up some cash and get yourself in a stable financial situation than move in with your boyfriend.

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  • avatar

    EricaSwagger April 24, 2012, 9:23 am

    Yuck. Bad situation. LW, your boyfriend is incredibly selfish and insensitive. You mentioned that you’re going to be live-in-SOs, not roommates, but he’s treating you like the latter.

    Your boyfriend should support you. Yeah, maybe he can help push you to keep looking for a better job, but telling you you HAVE to have a better job in x months or else… Is not supportive. It’s horrible.

    What if something horrible happens and you lose your job all together? Will he kick you out? If the answer is “yes” or “I’m not sure” then absolutely do not move in together. If you guys can’t agree on the simpler things like how to split rent reasonably, you need to seriously consider what kind of person you are in a relationship with.

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  • avatar

    Lindsay April 24, 2012, 10:25 am

    I’d be interested to see how the boyfriend react to the suggestion of living in a place you can both afford. It sounds like he wants to live in a nice place without actually having to pay much. Everyone else already said it. Don’t move in. Besides how bad this makes your boyfriend look, this could be really detrimental to your financial situation. Any couple should choose a place that won’t create too much hardship on either half if someone ends up moving out.

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  • avatar

    Anna April 24, 2012, 10:32 am

    Wendy is right. Don’t move in with him unless you are clearly on the same page about money. There are lot of things you can disagree about when moving in together: decorating, ESPN vs Food Network, craft room VS man cave…money is NOT one of those things. You absolutely MUST agree about money before moving in together. And agreeing doesn’t necessarily have to mean a rigid plan where you split every bill exactly 50/50 or by percentage. During my 8 yrs of living with a significant other, we split the rent evenly but delegated other bills. I paid the electric, he covered entertainment, we both chipped in for groceries, etc. We always kept it pretty even and neither of us was left destitute at the end of the month. It might not have been right down to the penny 50/50 but it was simple and we were both happy with the arrangement.

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  • avatar

    Bossy Italian Wife April 24, 2012, 10:34 am

    You need to trust your instincts here and don’t move in with this guy! You guys don’t share values and this guy has a double standard that is, frankly, a little bit alarming. I don’t blame you for being upset at this situation because it’s infuriating that he would be comfortable with you paying more but now that the shoe is on the other foot, he’s not so cool with being on the flip side.

    DO NOT MOVE IN WITH THIS GUY! This is the best thing you can do for yourself at this point. Let him foot the whole bill for his stupid apartment and see how he likes it. His lack of respect for you needs to get in check! Otherwise you can find someone who is more deserving of your time and your money.

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  • avatar

    lets_be_honest April 24, 2012, 10:36 am

    I think we should all remember that the situation re: double standard is not entirely accurate. They did not live together and she paid more while making more. She merely discussed it, he thought he’d be open to it, but when it came down to it, it never happened. Have none of you changed your minds while discussing options?

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    • avatar

      Rachel April 24, 2012, 11:10 am

      This is a good point. Maybe he agreed in theory, but when it came down to it and he actually calculated what he would be paying, that’s when he balked.

      He’s still an asshat for giving her a job deadline though, and if he insists on the fancier apartment.

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      • avatar

        AmyRenee April 24, 2012, 2:03 pm

        while I think it’s ass-hatty to give a deadline for finding a better job, I can see giving a deadline for paying more rent – that being the length of the lease. As in “ok, since LW is underemployed right now and BF wants to live in fancy apartment and we’ve already signed a lease (its sounds like a done deal from LW saying “just before we moved in together”) we should stick with the % option until LW gets a new job, BUT when the lease is up if LW doesn’t have a new job LW either needs to contribute 50/50 to this place or we move to a new place that we both can afford (or we renegotiate the deal then)”. It’s really stupid if they moved in together without having this conversation, but I personally understand BF not wanting to commit to paying more indefinitely. 

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      • avatar

        AmyRenee April 24, 2012, 2:24 pm

        And the conversation they had before when he was unemployed doesn’t count – that was a purely theoretical conversation. Before pen was put to paper to sign the lease, it needed to be determined who was paying how much and whether that was for short term (while LW was underemployed) or for good. Don’t assume anything – remember, to ASSUME makes an ASS of U and ME

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    • FireStar

      FireStar April 24, 2012, 11:17 am

      Sure. But if someone relied on what I said previously I’m not sure I would be making all kinds of demands on them to suit my needs. No one is saying the girlfriend is locked into a situation she can’t get out of. If this is strictly a financial issues then there are plenty of solutions available – but I get the sense that this is a relationship issue as well and she should look into the WHY behind him changing his mind.

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    • avatar

      Francine April 24, 2012, 12:15 pm

      “She merely discussed it, he thought he’d be open to it, but when it came down to it, it never happened. Have none of you changed your minds while discussing options?”

      Very valid point. At the time they originally discussed this bf had no income and it appears the LW wasn’t making enough to pay 100% of any rent so it’s possible that when he said that sounded good he wasn’t applying it to the situation they were in at the time. Could’ve just been a casual conversation about eventually moving in together and what kind of arrangement they might want.

      Now that the bf has a job that enables him to rent, LW is reminding him that they said they’d move in together and that they’d split the rent according to income. Now he’s saying “Whoa, this whole moving in together thing wasn’t set in stone for me. I want to move and this is where I want to live. If you can pay 50% of the rent I’d love to have you move in with me. I’ll give you time to try to find a way to make that happen but if you aren’t able to by such and such a date, I’m going to move there alone.”

      It doesn’t sound like they were in a position to implement any plan when they initially had that conversation and maybe she was far more serious than he was and didn’t realize it.

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      • avatar

        Di April 24, 2012, 7:12 pm

        Hi there, I’m the LW 🙂 Just wanted to clarify this a little… Moving in together was his idea. I’d been living in a bachelor apartment (no kitchen) I could barely afford, and he thought we should move in together once he found a job so we could have a one bedroom. The first job he got after that discussion paid less than mine, but we weren’t living together yet. It’s true that I could never have paid 100% of a one bedroom here in LA, but if he was making $900/mo and I was making $1300/mo (as looked likely before he got this new job), I was fine with paying 60% of the rent. Of course, if he was making so little we would have gotten a less nice apartment, but that would have been fine for me too.

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    • avatar

      bluesunday April 24, 2012, 12:44 pm

      It sounded good to him when he was getting the free ride- literally free, since he had no income. But once he had to pony up more, he changed his mind. The mind change came with the income change. It’s not like he thought he wanted chocolate ice cream but then decided on vanilla.

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      • avatar

        Francine April 24, 2012, 12:47 pm

        It’s also not like she was really in a position to actually pony up on that free ride either. It was a pretty safe offer for her to make given that her income wasn’t likely to allow her to actually pay 100% of their living expenses.

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      • avatar

        bluesunday April 24, 2012, 1:09 pm

        You know, I actually never really thought about that. It’s totally possible that she got him to agree to that knowing that he was looking for a high- paying job (or at least higher paying than hers). But that’s just a whole other layer complicated that makes my head hurt.

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      • bagge72

        bagge72 April 24, 2012, 12:58 pm

        Who did he get a free ride from? They didn’t move in when he didn’t have a job, it was all just a conversation about what ifs that never happened.

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  • avatar

    emmkat April 24, 2012, 10:37 am

    It doesn’t really matter how a couple decides to split rent and living expenses (could be 50/50, 70/30, 90/10, whatever) as long as it’s something that you both can agree on and discuss in a mature manner. If you can’t talk about this sort of thing without acting like children, you’re probably not ready to move in together, and the LW’s boyfriend definitely sounds childish.

    If you do live together, it should be in a place that at least one of you, if not both, could afford on your own if you break up. My ex and I lived together for a few months before things disintegrated, but the place was way too expensive. Neither of us had the income to take it over alone and we had to pay some seriously hefty penalties to break the lease. Both of us ended up having to move back in with family for a while after that…definitely not an ideal situation.

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    • Jess

      Jess of CGW April 24, 2012, 10:48 am

      Great advice. Exactly.

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    • FireStar

      FireStar April 24, 2012, 11:10 am

      I so agree with you. When my husband and I got our mortgage we arranged for a loan that one of us could cover in case something happened to the other that prevented one of us from working plus we had savings to ensure the mortgage would get paid for X amount of time should something happen to BOTH of us. I know a lot of people who are living large but if something happened to the breadwinner, short of death when insurance would kick in, then they are seriously out of luck since no one is saving since they think the money will never stop.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest April 24, 2012, 11:13 am

        Ugh, wish more people realized this is the absolute safest and smartest move!

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        Iwannatalktosampson April 24, 2012, 11:18 am

        I completely agree with everything you said. You hope for the best but plan for the worst. Maybe it’s not romantic, but it’s real life. Since I am finally out of school we have started looking at new houses since we just live in a small condo now. It is so important to both of us that the mortgage is something either of us could afford on our own.

        To me this is so basic and common sense, but some people just don’t get it. It’s hard for me to even explain it to people because to me it’s not even up for negotiation, it’s what you do. No one wants to think about death or divorce but they both happen. I’m married and I’m not comfortable living within both our means. We need to live within the means of the poorest person. I can’t even imagine moving in with a guy into an apartment one of us can’t even afford when we’re splitting bills. Especially with such as asshole like this guy.

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      • Brad

        Brad April 24, 2012, 1:59 pm

        You really need about a year’s worth of salary in liquid assets to really be close to safe. It actually the center of my internal debate right now for my situation. I’ll probably start a post about it on the forums now that I think about it…

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      • FireStar

        FireStar April 24, 2012, 2:52 pm

        I agree – at the very least.

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  • avatar

    Flake April 24, 2012, 10:46 am

    Put simply, I would move on. It is very telling to me that when the agreement was clearly to his advantage, he had no problem with it. I would probably give him one more chance, as in, explain that you simply cannot afford to pay the rent if he wants a nice apartment, that you find it unfair that he would change his tune just like that, and since nothing is set in stone, how can you be sure that he won’t change his mind again if/when your income will surpass his? To me he sounds a little stingy and arrogant and entitled.

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    • avatar

      Francine April 24, 2012, 12:41 pm

      I understand what you’re saying. But by the same token, she agreed to that plan when she was making 100% of the money but unable to pay 100% of their living expenses. Meaning she agreed to it at a time when they couldn’t possibly implement it. In reality there was no advantage to him at that time. It was just talk.

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      • avatar

        Di April 24, 2012, 7:16 pm

        Hi there, I’m the LW 🙂 Just wanted to clarify this point… When we had the conversation about the income percentage thing, it was never understood that I’d pay 100% of the rent because we weren’t going to move until he got a new job. It was understood that his job might pay less than mine, because I make a little more than minimum wage and good jobs are hard to find. The first job he got after we discussed this paid minimum wage, and I was fine with the idea that I’d be paying a little more because I made a little more. Granted the difference wasn’t so great, but also with him making so little we’d have chosen a less nice apartment.

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  • avatar

    Jessibel April 24, 2012, 10:48 am

    Ugh, I got so mad reading this! LW, I’m mad for you! You BF sounds like he is being so very disrespectful. Please, please don’t move in with him yet, if at all! The part that annoyed me the most was his deadline for you finding a new job. He probably claims that he’s just “giving you the push you need” or he’s “being supportive”, but from what it sounds like is that he is trying to get his way and manipulating you in order to achieve what he wants (the bigger apartment). He wants his cake and to eat it too…he wants the bigger apartment but doesn’t want to have to pay for it. What will be telling is if you get a new, higher paying job, if he says “see, you did it because of my pushing you!” and takes the credit for your getting the better job. If that’s the case, you’ll know what kind of person you’re dealing with: a self-centered one. It’s then up to you to decide if that’s a deal breaker for you.

    On the other end of the spectrum, and giving him the benefit of the doubt, I get where his urge to be like this is coming from. When you’re poor or unemployed, one develops habits that die hard when you finally get money. When you’re unemployed, and all of a sudden you have all this money, you go a little crazy in the head wanting to keep it to yourself and not spend it, which might be why if this disrespect on his part is not the norm for him, he may be acting this way. You get miserly and cheap, but don’t always realize it. Not that this is the right way for him to be treating you, but that could be the place where this is coming from, judging from the limited information we have as readers of the letter.

    For example, my fiance grew up in a house where they could buy anything whenever because they were well off. In contrast, I grew up in a family where my parents had to pick and choose which bills they paid at the end of the month to make sure nothing got turned off, and got 2nd notices all the time. This behavior continues into our adulthood, where my fiance will make these rando purchases, but I use things until they’re dead and held together with duct tape. Like, I came home one day to find a brand new TV when in my opinion the old one was just fine, even though the color was warping in the corners. We can afford things like this comfortably, but I still try to spend very little and put off big purchases like a TV until the damn thing has smoke coming out of it. When you lose your job and are unemployed, sometimes something happens in your head where you get all panicky about money and feel the need to hoard it by getting out of spending it…and that feeling sometimes never goes away, or takes a while to go away.

    Your BF makes over double what you make, so no, it’s definitely NOT fair to split things 50/50 especially when he’s attempting to dictate where you live and how much you’d both be spending.

    Bottom line is, as other commenters have posted: Don’t move in to an apartment you can’t afford. If you can’t afford it with the way he wants you to pay, then you can’t move into it. If this type of behavior is typical for him, then you may be dating a douche. If he is just going through a momentary bout of “OMG I HAVE MONEY mineminemine!” as I described above and after talking and realizing his boneheadedness agrees to your original plan (Suze Orman is a Money Goddess…I paid off all my bad debt from following her plans! Lady knows what she’s talking about!) then move in with him after saving the money as Wendy laid out.

    Good luck!

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  • avatar

    Francine April 24, 2012, 10:55 am

    Another thought…is it possible that your bf is having second thoughts about living together and is being a weasel, making it unaffordable for you rather than just saying that he doesn’t want to do it anymore?

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    • rainbow

      rainbow April 24, 2012, 2:34 pm

      I thought that too! What if the conversation was something like:

      LW: Let’s move in together!
      BF: I don’t know… I… uhm… can’t afford it
      LW: I’ll pay your part!
      BF: That’s really nice, I’ll consider it. Look, those two dogs are doing it!

      And then:
      BF: I got a job!
      LW: Great, let’s move in together!
      BF: uhm… but… you can’t afford it
      LW: But you can! You pay for it!

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray April 24, 2012, 3:07 pm

        oh that’s an interesting take on this – I could see that being the case!

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      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark April 24, 2012, 6:06 pm

        Hilarious. And probably very true….

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      • avatar

        Di April 24, 2012, 7:25 pm

        Hi there, I’m the LW 🙂 Just wanted to clarify this… Moving in together was his idea, since he was dying to get out of his parents’ house and couldn’t afford it on his own even once he got a job (the first job he had after we discussed this paid minimum wage). I was kind of skeptical about it because I like living by myself, but he pointed out we could get a better place and each save money over living alone.

        I’m glad he’s got this new job, and if we weren’t living together maybe I’d expect him to spend a little more money on me, take me out and pay more the way I did when he was unemployed. But I would NEVER want him to cover any of my living expenses if it wasn’t a necessity with this apartment, of which he knew I couldn’t afford half.

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  • avatar

    lynn April 24, 2012, 10:58 am

    Oh gosh… I’ve read some of these comments, and I can’t help but shake my head.

    LW – Why would you ever agree to live in a place you can’t afford? That is called living above your means, and while lots of us do it… you’re potentially putting yourself in a position where you’ll be in a world of hurt. When you and your boyfriend discussed living situations, you should have picked a place where y’all can split 50/50 and still have some extra on the side for other expenses.

    Also, I think the “percentage of income” is kind of stupid. We don’t know this guy’s financial situation. We’re going based off of what the LW has said. What if he has student loans or some credit card debt? Yeah, he picked a more expensive apartment, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have any financial hardships. Making less than 40K isn’t that much money. Obviously it depends on the couple but prior to moving in, you should have had a serious conversation about the living situation and how much each would cover. Like someone else said… you should be living like you’re roommates.

    You don’t need to be dependent on anyone. If you’re unable of putting forth at least 50% of the rent, you simply don’t need to be living in that apartment.

    And your boyfriend is a pretty rude for setting that deadline for you. I mean maybe it’ll light some sort of fire (not that you haven’t been trying), but he of all people should know the struggles of looking for a job in this economy.

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    • avatar

      Jessibel April 24, 2012, 11:17 am

      So if it’s the percentage of income thing that he thinks is stupid because he has student loans or something, then they sit down together and make a list of financial obligations and compare and contrast. Then they decide what they can afford on rent and how to split it from there. Reading it again it sounds a bit like neither of them have had an in depth discussion about their finances and are just going on what they think they can afford. THey both need to communicate and not draw lines in the sand about how it’s going to be until they have all information available.

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    • avatar

      GatorGirl April 24, 2012, 11:28 am

      What my fiance and I did was take our remaining income after our individual expenses (credit card or loan payments, car payments, car insurance, health insurance) and figured out the ratio then. It turned out we make about the same after factoring in our individual expenses, so we split things 50/50. We’ve each kept a personal checking and savings account but have a joint checking and savings account too. This way we can both transfer our portion into the joint account and pay all the bills from there and we’re both protected in keeping some of our finances separate.

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    • Brad

      Brad April 24, 2012, 2:01 pm

      Umm I’m not sure where you got the figure of 40k a year, but 3k a month translates to 60,000 a year.

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      • Brad

        Brad April 24, 2012, 2:02 pm

        *after deductions, IRA contributions, taxes, and similar items that is.

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      • avatar

        lynn April 24, 2012, 2:13 pm

        What are you even talking about?

        I said less than 40K. I didn’t say 40K was exact. And if you make 3K a month… 3K x 12 = 36K … Where are you getting 60K?

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      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark April 24, 2012, 2:05 pm

        What? Actually, you are both wrong… 3000 a month a year = 3000 X 12 (12 months) which equals $36,000….

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      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark April 24, 2012, 2:10 pm

        Oh, I get it. We posted at the same time. You are basing your math on what would be left of 60,000 after taxes and all that… Meaning that it would then equal 36,000… I think. Though 60,000 is still a bit high….

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      • Budj

        Budj April 24, 2012, 2:11 pm

        It doesn’t clarify if it is total or take home…I’d guess total though = $36,000.

        Also minimum wage in most areas is what, like $8? 8x4x4 is $1280 so I think she is quoting total income and not net.

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      • avatar

        iseeshiny April 24, 2012, 2:17 pm

        Actually, you’re both right. If he is grossing 3,000/mo, that is, indeed, less than 40K/year. If his take home is 3,000/mo, that’s about 60K/year, depending on what is taken out for insurance, retirement and taxes. Everybody wins since we don’t know which the LW meant.

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      • avatar

        iseeshiny April 24, 2012, 2:18 pm

        Oops. Forgot to / my em. Grossing and take home should be italicized.

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      • avatar

        lynn April 24, 2012, 2:19 pm

        Oh OK, I was wondering where he got 60K from. I assumed the LW meant he was grossing 3K. I was looking at it from the grossing POV.

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      • CatsMeow

        CatsMeow April 24, 2012, 2:34 pm

        What?! When I made that much, my take-home was much more than $3000 per month.

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      • avatar

        iseeshiny April 24, 2012, 2:46 pm

        It really does depend a lot on what sort of withholdings you have.

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      • CatsMeow

        CatsMeow April 24, 2012, 3:20 pm

        And what state you live in. I was in NV where there’s no state income tax.

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      • Brad

        Brad April 24, 2012, 3:48 pm

        lucky you. I loose a lot from deductions, taxes, and all that other bullshit.

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      • MandaNoA

        Mandanoa April 25, 2012, 12:22 am

        It really depends on where you live. I make nearly $3000 a month after all my deductions (taxes, medical, etc.) and my base salary isn’t $60000 a year.

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  • rainbow

    rainbow April 24, 2012, 11:14 am

    I understood the chronology in a different way. I think they had the percentage-of-income conversation and decided to live together, then when they were looking for an apartment he got the new job so they rented a fancy one and are already living there, and now he wants to go 50/50 (this probably came up when paying for the deposit / contract expenses / etc).

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    • avatar

      Di April 24, 2012, 7:28 pm

      I’m the LW, and your chronology is correct 🙂 He kind of lucked into this new job, and before he found it when we were still looking for a place he was making minimum wage.

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  • honeybeenicki

    honeybeenicki April 24, 2012, 11:19 am

    Personally, I’m a 50/50 kind of person. Of course, there may be some months where I contributed more or my now-husband contributed more because of extenuating circumstances but mostly we split everything evenly no matter how much we were each making.

    However, what WE do has no bearing on what you (LW) do. If you discussed this and both of you agreed to do a percentage, then that is what should be done. If he agreed to it when he was making less but now that he is making more won’t agree to it, that’s pretty crappy. That’s why these discussions need to take place (which it appears they did and he changed his mind). I don’t think you should move in with him and I certainly don’t think you should move into an expensive apartment that you can’t afford. If you had discussed it before and he said that he didn’t like the percentage idea and would prefer 50/50, at least you would have known what you were getting in to but that isn’t what happened and now you’re looking at making yourself go broke for an apartment you know you can’t afford. Don’t do it.

    I don’t think there is a right or wrong way to split expenses. It all depends on the people involved and what works in each situation. What I do think there is a right and wrong way to do is discussing splitting expenses. When you discuss it with your significant other, each person needs to be open and honest about expectations. In your case, it appears that your boyfriend was only ok with percentages if it came out in his favor. You need to reexamine your living arrangement ideas and your relationship.

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    SweetPea April 24, 2012, 11:33 am

    It makes for a very poor relationship when one person doesn’t see things as a team effort. That’s why we pair up, is it not? To share in life. In this day and age, there are PLENTY of options for convenient sex. One doesn’t need a significant other to get “some”. And if he simply wants the financial convenience, get a room mate for cryin’ out loud. Relationships (real adult ones anyway) are about having a partner in everything. Although it isn’t a marriage, I feel that through good times and bad times is still supposed to apply.

    As Kerrycontrary mentioned “Life will throw a lot worse at you in the future”… I couldn’t agree with this more. If this guy isn’t there for you right now, would he be if you (God forbid) got really sick and couldn’t work at all? Got laid off? Needed to care for ill parents? Nothing is perfect. And life will certainly not always be “50/50”.

    When my fiancee and I first started getting serious, we had the big money talk. We were both really honest about what we make and what we spend. When I shamefully told him exactly what I make (a little more than our LW here, but not by much), I actually apologized to him. He told me he is not with me for how much I make… that whatever life threw at us, we’d do it together. Yea, I’m sure he’d be pretty annoyed if I sat on my ass and contributed nothing to our lives. But from that point on, what’s mine is his and what’s his is mine. That is a really amazing feeling.

    Now, it is very possible that the LW’s boyfriend is simply young and immature. Maybe with time this situation will improve. But, I would think very hard before taking this step. It sounds like you have enough doubt in your heart to hold back anyway.

    Wendy gave great advice (as usual).

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    oldie April 24, 2012, 11:46 am

    MOA from the selfish bf or at least don’t move in with him. It sounds like you have basic things you disagree about which puts the long-term future of your relationship in doubt. It is good advice not to move in together unless you are engaged or at least have a written agreement what you will do with regard to the lease if you split up as a couple. You don’t want to be paying rent on an apartment you’ve moved out of, or trying to be just roommates with a former bf, because you have 6 months left on the lease and he won’t agree to take the lease on individually. This is another case of you ‘love him’ but seem pretty close to not liking him. NOt a good bet going forward.

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  • mandalee

    mandalee April 24, 2012, 12:19 pm

    I think if the LW’s boyfriend was on board with her paying more when she had a job and he did not, this double standard is very unfair.

    I was in the LW’s shoes three years ago and I’m still pretty much there. My husband has an amazing job, well over six figured, and with my current career aspirations I just won’t top or come close to what he makes anytime soon. When we were dating and moved in together, I paid for groceries/utilities/all our etcs (dining out, fun) and he paid the rent and our cable/internet. If it would have been 50/50, I would not have to been able to move in with them. He thought it was more important to live with me than to make sure everything was 50/50. If god forbid , he lost his job during that time, then I would have take non more jobs to help. I think the 50/50 split is a nice thought, but it rarely is practical if you have two people who make vastly different wages.

    If I was the LW, I would speak about this calmly but firmly and wonder what his priorities and where their future is. If the plan is moving in together as a step toward marriage, is he always going to see their finances as a 50/50 split or is it ever going to be “their” money or equal according to income. Money is a big issue, if you don’t see eye to eye on it, you’ll never last.

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    • mandalee

      mandalee April 24, 2012, 12:20 pm

      holy word/grammar errors. I can’t type on an iPad to save my life. haha

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        Francine April 24, 2012, 12:31 pm

        I hear ya! I use an iPad too and that auto correct messes me up all the time. I could turn it off but then I’d only have myself to blame for all the errors. 😉

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      • mandalee

        mandalee April 24, 2012, 2:32 pm

        Yes, it’s such a pain! I always read my posts after I’m done, and I’m like ughhh not again! I’m just too lazy to turn it off haha

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      SweetPea April 24, 2012, 12:25 pm

      “He thought it was more important to live with me than to make sure everything was 50/50”

      YES! And if the only reason they are moving in together is for financial convenience, then they need to NOT move in together. I thought people moved in together because they wanted to BE together?

      All in all, it seems these two are just not to move in together. Because 1) they don’t agree on key issues and 2) they might be doing it for the wrong reasons.

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        SweetPea April 24, 2012, 12:26 pm

        Me too with the typos. I meant:

        All in all, it seems these two are just not READY to move in together.

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        lets_be_honest April 24, 2012, 12:31 pm

        Totally agree.

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      • mandalee

        mandalee April 24, 2012, 1:49 pm

        Yes and Yes to your last paragraph. They are clearly not on the same page, and don’t seem to approaching moving in together the best way. It doesn’t seem to be “we want to live together, how can we go about doing it?”, which is how it should be when moving in together works.

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    Now a monkey April 24, 2012, 12:20 pm

    I did not read all the above responses..

    I don’t think it’s fair of him to suddenly change your previous agreement when HE wants to move and HE got a better job. There are things you can do to help out instead of just paying rent. When I first lived with my now husband I spent all my savings to move to be with him and did not have a job. He understood and I “payed” by cleaning the apartment, cooking dinner, going grocery shopping and being there for him. When I got a job I contributed what I could, which ended up being him paying rent and me paying bills. My point isn’t to talk about me… It’s to show that money is not the only way you would be contributing to your boyfriends life if you lived together. His reaction and demanding that you get a better job by a deadline is a huge red flag.
    The other thing I need to ask us where is the economy getting better? I’m serious, please tell me. Where I live it went from 17% to 18% last month and shows no signs of improving. Is there somewhere it is getting better we should consider moving to?

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      Jessibel April 24, 2012, 3:08 pm

      Exactly! I mean, if it was the case that couples always had to pay equally, there wouldn’t be any Stay at home moms!

      In the DC area the economy didn’t really get hit all that badly. The only people I know who lost their jobs were in the mortage finance sector. My parents up in NYC got hit pretty hard though 🙁

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        lets_be_honest April 24, 2012, 3:15 pm

        Don’t you think there is a big difference between SAHM/D and couples with no children? I don’t see how anyone can make that comparison.

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        jlyfsh April 24, 2012, 3:35 pm

        I have to say I think no. My husband was without a job for a while after we moved. I didn’t begrudge him staying home and really he did a lot around the house. I didn’t have to wash dishes, do laundry, take the dogs out, etc. Just because we don’t have kids to take care of didn’t mean he just sat around and did anything he wanted to or didn’t contribute to our household.

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        lets_be_honest April 24, 2012, 3:43 pm

        Still that’s quite different. I assume by ‘without a job’ you mean laid off. He wasn’t choosing this, and its was presumed temporary.

        I also can’t imagine where all of you guys live where it takes that much time to grocery shop, do laundry and clean the house. I do all of that too in a fairly big townhouse, yet I have plenty of down time and I work a full time job, and I have a kid I’m running after who is messy.

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        jlyfsh April 24, 2012, 3:50 pm

        actually we moved for my job, so he had none where we moved to. at first it was going to be more permanent and then he decided he was going crazy being at home all the time.

        but, no it doesn’t take that much time to do any of those things. but, it is nice to come home to a house after working where someone has done all the chores alread. so was he slaving away for 8 to 9 hours a day, no. but, that doesn’t mean that he wasn’t laying around doing nothing all day either. he was contributing to our household in a way that worked for us.

        i mean i’m not trying to compare the amount of work a sahm/d does vs someone without a kid. i realize that it’s not comparable. i’m just saying that the person staying home in a no-kid household isn’t just sitting on their but not contributing at all.

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        lets_be_honest April 24, 2012, 4:17 pm

        There’s always going to be circumstances, like the one you’ve shared, that make it different in my mind. Zepp brought up a good one too.
        However, for the few (imo) acceptable reasons, there are a ton of not so acceptable reasons.

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        Flake April 24, 2012, 3:56 pm

        What about a stay-at-home-parent once the kid goes to daycare or school? Are they just laying around on the couch all day?

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        lets_be_honest April 24, 2012, 4:28 pm

        What? I just said there is a big difference between SAHP and a couple with no children. Listen, my point is someone who is capable of working and doesn’t want to be considered a mooch should be working. Really not that difficult or unfair of a concept. Don’t try to make it sound like I am bashing SAHP because I clearly am not doing that.

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        Flake April 24, 2012, 4:33 pm

        You just said that cooking, washing dishes and doing laundry is not a ‘real’ contribution to a relationship. My point is that there are a lot more ways to contribute to a relationship other than money

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        lets_be_honest April 24, 2012, 4:40 pm

        No is said its not a fair contribution to a household, not a relationship. You cannot equate cooking, dishes and laundry to a full time job. Sorry. You just can’t.
        Now, if a couple mutually decides than the wife with no kids can be a stay at home wife, by all means. They are lucky in my book. Also, if you are home raising children, obviously a totally different situation. You’re raising fucking kids, not easy! Unless there are extenuating circumstances, like being laid off or moving to be with your SO, I see no reason why both parties can’t equally contribute financially.

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        lets_be_honest April 24, 2012, 4:44 pm

        Simply put, if my SO came to me and said he’s quitting his job, but NBD, he’ll be washing the dishes and vacuuming, I would laugh my ass off.

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        Flake April 24, 2012, 4:48 pm

        But that’s it I guess, to me coming home to a house that is well maintained, and not having to do anything is pretty valuable.

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        lets_be_honest April 24, 2012, 4:53 pm

        My advice for you then is to hire a housekeeper, pay them a couple hundred a week, and tell your SO to get to work. Then you will have a ton of extra money and no work to do at home. This discussion is getting a little crazy to me.

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        Flake April 24, 2012, 4:56 pm

        Why?? You have your preferences, I have mine. And I would rather save that money and appreciate what the other person is bringing to the household or relationship.

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        Flake April 24, 2012, 4:45 pm

        I am sorry, I just disagree. If you compare how much you would have to spend doing all that stuff in ADDITION to working, it will easily take at least 6-7 hours a day. And that is a pretty much full day of work.

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        lets_be_honest April 24, 2012, 4:49 pm

        Huh? I work on average a 9 hour day, 5 days a week. I also keep my home quite clean, do laundry regularly, dishes, take care of all finances, etc. and run after a young child. I still have plenty of time left over on my weekends.

        If its taking you 6 to 7 hours A DAY to maintain your home, you’re probably doing something wrong.

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        Flake April 24, 2012, 4:54 pm

        Well you know what, I am definitely not going to start that argument. I could say that if you do have time to do all that you are probably not doing a very good job, but I will not.

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        lets_be_honest April 24, 2012, 4:57 pm

        How childish of you to turn a nice discussion/argument into personally insulting me. Sorry your argument made such little sense that you had to turn to bitchiness.

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        Flake April 24, 2012, 5:06 pm

        You just told me the same thing!! And again, you have your preferences, I have mine. I simply do not agree that everything one does to maintain a home is worthless in a financial sense.

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        lets_be_honest April 24, 2012, 5:17 pm

        Ugh. Again stop putting words in my mouth. Never said worthless.

        But yea if it takes someone 6 or 7 hours a day to maintain a home with no kids, that’s absurd.

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        iseeshiny April 24, 2012, 5:27 pm

        I have to agree with lbh here – to paraphrase Family Guy, it’s cleaning a house, not a town. Housework, even if you’re keeping it Better Homes pristine, doesn’t take more than a couple of hours. Tidy, dust, run the vacuum, clean the toilet. It’s an important contribution but not seriously time consuming, unless you live in a huge house.

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        Jessibel April 24, 2012, 5:06 pm

        Hmm…I guess I wasn’t clear. I didn’t mean it like that. SAHP and couples without children are apples and oranges, but what I was saying that if there was a world where everyone needed to pay equally in money, no one could be a stay at home parent because the stay at home parent would be expected to PAY equally, which is impossible (unless there’s a trust fund or something like that involved)…I was being slightly off topic by saying that. Actually, in my case, being in a couple without kids, if that happened to us I would expect the SO who wasn’t bringing in money to the relationship to shoulder the bigger housework burden because they have more time. I know for me personally if I was at home all day or doing a job search, I’d shoulder the bigger housecare responsibility as so not to feel like a freeloader.

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        lets_be_honest April 24, 2012, 5:23 pm

        Raising children, to me, is equal to working a full time job in terms of contributing to the home.
        I agree, if I were laid off, you can be damn sure I’d be doing the lion’s share of household duties and wouldn’t feel like a freeloader. However, I would feel like that if for no reason I left my job and told my SO to take care of the bills and expected he thought it would be fair as long as I cleaned the house and cooked dinner. Those are things we both already do, that don’t take much time.

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        Jessibel April 24, 2012, 8:54 pm

        I absolutely agree to your first sentence. Being a stay at home parent is equal to a full time job.

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      Zepp April 24, 2012, 3:21 pm

      I did this too with my boyfriend. I moved to Austria to be with him, left all my furniture car JOB behind to go to a country where I didn’t have a work permit. I did all the cooking and cleaning and errand running and he paid for everything. It worked out for 2 years but I would have died if it went on any longer. I felt like a maid and I hated not having my own money. Thank god I eventually got a work permit and a job. But yea, couples do this.

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      Di April 24, 2012, 7:31 pm

      I don’t know if the economy has gotten MUCH better, but I know that in the last few months I’ve had more interviews for jobs than in the previous year. So that seems like an indicator to me. It doesn’t help that I’m in marketing, which got hit really hard since it was the first thing a lot of places cut when times got tough…

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    RMM0278 April 24, 2012, 12:31 pm

    As someone who recently got screwed by living together with an ex…I have to say Wendy is spot on.

    I’ll only add a couple of things.

    The situation might be rosy now, but that doesn’t mean it will always be. You’ve got a guy who already has no problem making you pay more even though that means you’ll literally be left with nothing. Imagine what he’d be like if you guys broke up. I know it’s difficult, but any divorce attorney will tell you: you don’t know how you’re going to be if you break up and you don’t know what he’s capable of.

    For example, I never even imagined that the guy I would marry would only give me 20 hours to move out. Yes. I also never imagined this guy wouldn’t pay me back the $2K he STILL owes me. But it happened.

    Another suggestion: cohabitation agreement. You don’t have to be a couple to get one. Even roommates can do it! Any family attorney can draw up one, and there’s NOTHING wrong with getting this in writing. The agreement can spell out what you’ll each pay, what happens if you break up, what you’re each financially on the hook for, and any other scenario the attorney has seen but you haven’t. While that might seem like overkill, many couples feel MORE secure moving in together with these terms in writing.

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      Samantha April 24, 2012, 1:02 pm

      Yay for bringing up cohab agreements!

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    lets_be_honest April 24, 2012, 12:39 pm

    OK, question for you guys…
    Let’s say all of the things that made him a jerk (the job thing, possibly going back on his word about the arrangement, etc) were removed frm this equation and they were just intially discussing moving in together and his stance was the 50/50 and her’s was percentage based and she simply wrote in asking what was fair. Would you still say he’s a jerk?

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      jlyfsh April 24, 2012, 12:42 pm

      absolutely not, that’s just a difference of opinion.

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      Flake April 24, 2012, 12:46 pm

      Considering the discrepancy in their salaries, I wouldn’t call him a jerk, but I still wouldn’t consider this a fair deal.

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      iseeshiny April 24, 2012, 12:50 pm

      Nope. But it probably would make them a bad match.

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      bluesunday April 24, 2012, 12:53 pm

      50/50 is best for some couples, percentage of income works for others. Some people value their significant other’s company and well-being above every dollar they spend, so they don’t mind covering some of their SO’s living costs. Some people value fairness and financial independence, and are more cautious about where they spend their money. As long as the couple sees eye to eye, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with either way.

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        lets_be_honest April 24, 2012, 12:56 pm

        A little vicious implying you can only value one or the other. I do 50/50, that doesn’t mean I don’t love or value my SO.

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        bluesunday April 24, 2012, 1:05 pm

        I absolutely did not mean to say you can only value one or the other. But I do think the method you choose speaks to your values. Personally if I was cohabitating without an engagement ring, I would probably do 50/50, because I know anything can happen and I want to protect myself for the future. If i paid his way for 6 months and we broke up, I’d probably be a little bitter. And if he paid my way, I’d probably feel a little guilty and worthless. However, I probably wouldn’t cohabitate without a ring, so that shouldn’t be an issue for me.

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        lets_be_honest April 24, 2012, 1:14 pm

        I’m copying and pasting Bagge’s comment just to clear up/defend the thought that I have warped values. I think he said it best.

        “I’d like to just add that if I made a lot more money than my SO, I would like to pay more because I want to pay more, not because she assumed I would just because the amount I made. If she agreed to move into a place we both liked, and then assumed I would pay for most of it, I would be a little miffed myself. “

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        Di April 24, 2012, 7:38 pm

        I’m the LW 🙂 I didn’t assume he’d pay more just based on the amount of money he made… I assumed it based on our discussion where he said he would. Obviously he saw that discussion as theoretical, while I saw it as making a plan. Obviously we should have discussed it again before we moved in together. But please don’t think I just decided he should pay more and got pissed when he disagreed. Everyone is saying we should have discussed this before moving in together… I thought we DID discuss it, and that’s what I was basing my assumptions off of.

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    • FireStar

      FireStar April 24, 2012, 12:56 pm

      Nope. Both are valid ways of managing/merging finances – you just have to choose a method that works best for both of you. And if you can’t agree on that then chances are you shouldn’t move in together.

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    • honeybeenicki

      honeybeenicki April 24, 2012, 1:00 pm

      Nope I don’t think so then. My issue with him lies in his going back on the original agreement and the whole apartment she can’t afford thing. If they had discussed it and he said “no, I want to do it 50/50 not based on income” and she didn’t want to, well then I guess they would have to work it out but he wouldn’t be a jerk for wanting it.

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      oldie April 24, 2012, 1:28 pm

      Then neither answer is right or wrong, but they can’t move in together unless they agree. The other problem here is that if they agree to split 50-50, then the person with the lower income or spendable cash gets to set a maximum for his/her 50% and that sets an upper limit for what they can pay in rent as they go apartment shopping. The bf in this case picked a place he wanted to live, which was beyond her means, and after the fact changed the agreed deal to 50-50. Obviously she can’t afford 50% of a rent that high and would have rejected the choice of apartment if she understood that she was expected to pay an equal share.

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      Temperance April 24, 2012, 1:55 pm

      Not at all, as long as they weren’t living together first, with her footing more of the bills when SHE made more.

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      Temperance April 24, 2012, 2:01 pm

      Mr. Temperance and I worked out a system where whoever makes more, pays more. Granted, our income situation now is pretty ridiculous (as in, I make 1/20 or so of what he does because I’m a law student who only works in the summer), but he wants us to have an enjoyable life and do fun things.

      I think this dude sounds like a huge douche and he probably wants to spend all his extra cash on X-box games. (I’m not an Xbox hater, but it seems like everytime I see a woman busting her ass because her boyfriend or husband doesn’t want to contribute fairly, he’s the type to buy all the $65 games when they come out.)

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      Zepp April 24, 2012, 3:32 pm

      I wouldn’t say he’s a jerk, but he definitely wouldn’t be viewing their relationship as seriously. The whole ‘we’re one/being a team/partnership’ sort of lends itself to the percentage of income method. That’s just my opinion. But it seems like if a couple was going to be together forever being “fair” about paying 50/50 would be irrelevant.

      Is this bothering you because you and your boyfriend split the rent 50/50 and you think what everyone is saying is implying you guys aren’t as serious/committed as a couple that combines their finances or pays for things by % of income? Just wondering.

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        lets_be_honest April 24, 2012, 3:50 pm

        I agree on the first paragraph. These 2 are only together a year, its early for that.

        As to your second, I honestly can say no. Its my choice to do the 50/50, I’ve had difficulty adjusting to sharing a home and a life really. I was on my own a long time being the sole decision maker, etc. Its a tough adjustment so I am still easing into the money thing, and I find that keeping the money separate for now makes it easier for me to still feel like I have my own thing. We’ve discussed it a lot and do plan to marry, but baby steps, right? I guess the whole losing my independence is a silly way to look at it, because I am and will always be that way, but for now I’m holding onto my own money (probably really dumb given how much he has, but whatever).

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        Jessibel April 24, 2012, 5:20 pm

        No, it’s a rough transition. I get you. My fiance makes double what I make and while I’m putting off the big purchases (still don’t have a smartphone, I’m like the last person in the US) and he’s going “no, get them, I’ll “help” pay for them!” (meaning it’s OUR money now, you’re entitled to some of what I make!) but I just can’t bring myself to do it. I only spend the money that my salary brings in, because I feel like a mooch or too dependent if I don’t. I feel like a strong, independent woman when I can fully pay for everything in my life, and that’s hard to let go of.

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        lets_be_honest April 24, 2012, 5:24 pm

        You’re not the LAST, my mom is!

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        Temperance April 24, 2012, 6:47 pm

        It took me a long time to be okay with it, but Mr. Temperance views our relationship as a *partnership*, so even though I only make 1/20 of what he does (law student working summers only), he is happy to pay our bills and we still do fun thigns.

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    *HmC* April 24, 2012, 12:47 pm

    I think it’s a totally reasonable financial philosophy to want to divide expenses in a relationship according to income. It’s also reasonable to want to split everything 50/50, regardless of income. There isn’t a right or wrong way to split expenses, but there is such a thing as financial incompatibility. As in, if you have fundamentally different ideas of what is a fair way to split costs, and you can’t find a good compromise, maybe you aren’t a good match.

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  • landygirl

    landygirl April 24, 2012, 12:51 pm

    It never ceases to amaze me how people will accept being treated poorly because they “love” someone, as if love is ever enough to make a relationship work. Try loving yourself first, then you’ll never have to question whether or not something is acceptable to you because you’ll know your own self worth, which I suspect you don’t have enough of right now.

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  • bagge72

    bagge72 April 24, 2012, 1:03 pm

    I’d like to just add that if I made a lot more money than my SO, I would like to pay more because I want to pay more, not because she assumed I would just because the amount I made. If she agreed to move into a place we both liked, and then assumed I would pay for most of it, I would be a little miffed myself. You should have talked about how you were going to pay for this place before you agreed on it, you shouldn’t have assumed a coversation about maybe someday was going to hold true today.

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      lets_be_honest April 24, 2012, 1:13 pm

      Said way better than I could’ve. Agree.

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      Di April 24, 2012, 7:40 pm

      I’m the LW 🙂 I didn’t assume he’d pay more just based on the amount of money he made… I assumed it based on our discussion where he said he would. Obviously he saw that discussion as theoretical, while I saw it as making a plan. Obviously we should have discussed it again before we moved in together. But please don’t think I just decided he should pay more and got pissed when he disagreed. Everyone is saying we should have discussed this before moving in together… I thought we DID discuss it, and that’s what I was basing my assumptions off of.

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  • bittergaymark

    bittergaymark April 24, 2012, 1:26 pm

    Eh, this is why I think moving into together too fast is usually a mistake.

    Nearly everybody here is piling onto the boyfriend as expected — as nearly everybody always does. And you all actually have much better reason to do so than usual. Even so, most of you are all doing some seriously fuzzy math here. By the LW’s own admission, she is NOT living up to her end of the bargain. Oh, sure, she is putting up fifty percent of her income. But she is expecting her boyfriend to put up $2400! Which is a whopping 80 percent of his!!! The REALITY is that her boyfriend simply can’t afford to carry her dead weight forever. (Hence — the deadline.)

    Are you all REALLY suggesting that he pay 2400 dollars a month indefinitely? Leaving him with only 600 dollars for the month indefinitely. Especially, when I suppose, since he makes so much more, he should also be paying for most of their nights out, too? This isn’t even just unfair, it’s impossible.

    My only issue with the boyfriend is that he was REALLY stupid in renting such a pricey apartment. Even if you were both making 3000 a month, it would be a bit tight. Ideally, one is not supposed to spend more than a quarter of their income on rent… Clearly, you are both thinking like the vapid cast of GIRLS when it comes to money…

    Again, it amazes me. Women always want to be/demand to be treated equally in every way. Except when it comes to money. Except when it comes to paying the bills. Then suddenly they want to act like silly little 1950s housewives that dabble occasionally in throwing tupperware parties…

    I suppose, in a way, I get it. Who wouldn’t want to have their cake and eat it, too? I know, I would sure love to find me a boyfriend willing to let me share a three thousand dollar apartment when I am only cough up a 600 measly dollars a month. But even if I did, you can be damn well sure he would be pulling in a lot more than three grand a month. Hey, I may be greedy, but I am NOT impractical. At least I can do the basic math that such a cushy situation requires…

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      lets_be_honest April 24, 2012, 1:31 pm

      Is it a full moon?

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      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark April 24, 2012, 1:41 pm

        No, and I can’t even explain my error away to excess wine. Not that it’s too early for wine, it’s just that I loathe wine!!!

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        lets_be_honest April 24, 2012, 1:43 pm

        Well I won’t admit it now that everyone pointed out the error, but I asked about the moon because I agreed with you (oops, I just admitted it). I agree about everything except where you don’t know math 😉

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      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark April 24, 2012, 1:58 pm

        It just made so much sense, right? 😉

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      rachel April 24, 2012, 1:31 pm

      Where in the world are you getting that their rent costs 3000 a month?

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      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark April 24, 2012, 1:37 pm

        Oh, whoops. Somehow I read the rent as also being 3000 thousand. I guess I did that as now that I reread the letter I see that there is no figure listed. This is what happens when I try to multitask, I guess…

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      Tax Geek April 24, 2012, 1:34 pm

      I don’t think it said it was a $3K/month apt. I don’t think the rent amount was provided by the LW.

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      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark April 24, 2012, 1:39 pm

        Everybody is right here. And of course i now can’t edit my post as this system is a pain in that it allows one to do that for roughly ten seconds…

        Oh, well. Sorry folks. It now appears that I also do fuzzy math!

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      Flake April 24, 2012, 1:39 pm

      Can’t argue your basic math skills, but your reading comprehension is a bit questionable…

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        Flake April 24, 2012, 1:45 pm

        Yeah… moving on now 🙂

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      Francine April 24, 2012, 1:40 pm

      “But she is expecting her boyfriend to put up $2400!”

      How did you figure out what the balance of the rent was?

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        Francine April 24, 2012, 1:41 pm

        Nevermind. I see that was already addressed.

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      ebstarr April 24, 2012, 4:16 pm

      “Again, it amazes me. Women always want to be/demand to be treated equally in every way. Except when it comes to money. Except when it comes to paying the bills. Then suddenly they want to act like silly little 1950s housewives that dabble occasionally in throwing tupperware parties…”

      I’ve never posted here before, but it is really just… gross that you would say this. First of all: this is one woman. Second of all, she never said anything about being a feminist, so even if she DID want to be a housewife, there’s no hypocrisy there (however else anyone might feel about that desire). Thirdly, she said she would have wanted to help support him, and planned to, if/when he was making less, so she clearly doesn’t think being financially supported is somehow her birthright as a woman.

      So basically you just used this one, lone instance of a woman who naively expected a certain “imbalanced” financial arrangement based on what she herself would have done in the guy’s place to go on some insane rant about, I guess, the contrast between all those uppity women who want to be treated equally, and all those other phantom women who want to throw Tupperware parties on their menfolks’ dimes.

      It’s so illogical, so unrelated to this situation, and so unnecessary. And I’m sorry that my first post here is so negative. To the LW, I’m really sorry that you find yourself in this position. Your boyfriend sounds awful and selfish. You probably should have checked on the arrangement before “agreeing” to rent this apartment – I assume that means you’ve signed a lease, which sucks – but it is sad that you should have to be so distrustful of your own boyfriend. Best of luck.

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        Nadine April 24, 2012, 5:38 pm

        Welcome to Misogynist Logic 101.

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      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark April 24, 2012, 6:33 pm

        Eh, in my defense I made the post you just quoted using decidedly faulty math. I thought that while the woman would wind up paying 50% of her income the guy would have been paying 80% of his. This was due to a stupid error on my part — thinking the rent in question was 3000 dollars. Meaning that her measly 600 left him holding the bag for $2400. My mistake was quickly pointed out to me and I quickly went “Whoops…”

        My initial posting (which I could no longer edit) was a reflection that I was simply amazed that so many on here were taking the LW’s boyfriend to task for something that seemed so absurd to me at the time. Him paying 80% or his income versus her paying 50%. How could that not make anybody cranky? It seemed very double standard to me…

        Frankly, I remain unclear as to how this went unnoticed by you… (As three people immediately jumped in a called me on it. I then said, oh, my mistake! … Unless — of course — like I, you were simply reading too fast… 😉 In my follow up post, I pretty much suggested she dump him…

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      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark April 24, 2012, 6:38 pm

        PS: Hey, even letsbebonest (not my biggest fan) initially agreed with me as she hadn’t done the math herself and simply went along with my mistake… Going with the faulty logic, my argument would be very much sound. Sadly, the letter in question didn’t follow my faulty logic. (I hate it when that happens… 😉 )

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        ebstarr April 24, 2012, 7:00 pm

        Haha, welllll, I did see all that before posting the first time. I don’t think that math excuses the blanket misogyny, though I see why this particular situation seemed unfair under that misreading. And I agree that she should probs dump him 🙂

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        ebstarr April 24, 2012, 7:05 pm

        And I apologize if I was too antagonistic, given that you were also antagonistic largely due to a misreading!

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      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark April 24, 2012, 7:07 pm

        I don’t see how it would be misogyny to call people on the carpet for expecting a man to put 80 percent of his income to the bills where the woman is only expected to cough up 50 percent of hers… But whatever.

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        ele4phant April 24, 2012, 9:18 pm

        Its misogynistic because you said:

        “Women always want to be/demand to be treated equally in every way. Except when it comes to money. Except when it comes to paying the bills. Then suddenly they want to act like silly little 1950s housewives that dabble occasionally in throwing tupperware parties…”

        Which as ebstarr pointed out, even if your faulty logic had in fact been correct, this is an an unfair conclusion to come to based on the experiences of ONE woman.

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      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark April 24, 2012, 9:43 pm

        It wasn’t the one woman, I was was talking about. Or that got me so riled up. But rather everybody else in the thread who I thought (erroneously) was agreeing with her by all saying more or less that the man should indeed pay the lion’s share of the rent. Which by my mistaken math at the time would have been not only 80 percent of his income and as well as 80 percent of the rent.

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      Di April 24, 2012, 7:44 pm

      Hi, I’m the LW 🙂 I just want to clarify, and I know you already realized your mistake with numbers, but our rent is $1250/month, which is VERY reasonable for where we’re living (Los Angeles). Including utilities I expect our expenses will come out to around $1600. I can afford $600 TOTAL, I cannot afford $800. Even paying $600 will only leave me with $600 at the end of the month. He’ll have $1500 at the end of the month even after putting in his half (we’re figuring in the extra $500/month for food, since we shop, cook and eat together).

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      • Brad

        Brad April 24, 2012, 8:27 pm

        haha, so it is after tax 3000, score! I should go buy a lotto ticket tonight.

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      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark April 24, 2012, 9:50 pm

        See, this is why it’s good to put all the details in your letter! As the amount of difference you are talking about is so negligible it makes your BF look like a cad!

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    Francine April 24, 2012, 1:52 pm

    So now that we’ve clearly come to a conclusion about whether 50/50 split or percentage of income is more fair (sarcasm), what should he LW’s next move be given that it appears they already have moved in together?

    😉

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    • bittergaymark

      bittergaymark April 24, 2012, 1:56 pm

      She should find another job. Clearly. Either to placate her boyfriend. Or so she can simply find herself her OWN apartment that she pays for…

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    Zepp April 24, 2012, 3:25 pm

    I think getting a cheaper apartment where you can both pay 50% is clearly the right decision here. Paying % of income to me, comes with a “we’re a unit/team” attitude that is an intense commitment. It seems like the LW have that attitude/view on things and her boyfriend doesn’t.

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      Zepp April 24, 2012, 3:36 pm

      Also I want to add, my boyfriend financially supported me for 2 years, and it did make me feel like he really really valued my company. I felt very loved and like he was super committed to the relationship and us being a team (I sacrificed a lot too to be with him, thus needing to be financially supported).

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        Jessibel April 24, 2012, 5:11 pm

        Yay, he sounds great!

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    fortexd April 24, 2012, 3:43 pm

    And THIS is why you wait to move in until you are absolutely sure that you’re with the right person. Moving in should not be your first opportunity find out how selfish and money-pinching your SO is. If you are surprised that he is showing signs of selfishness, you don’t know him well enough to live with him!!

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    Jazzmine April 24, 2012, 4:01 pm

    My boyfriend and I are in a similar situation. While your boyfriend’s attitude on some topics(deadlines for a new job which repulsed me, reneging on a “previous” agreement though it was hypothetical) irritates me, his behavior I can understand. First off, why are you moving in together? Some couples move in because they’re basically living together anyway and it makes more sense. My boyfriend had his old apartment for SIX months and didn’t sleep in it AT ALL. It was ridiculous when I could use that rent money. Also, you don’t explain what’s happening on his end of the bargain; where was he living before? If he didn’t have a job and was living at home (i.e. parents were paying his bills), and now he has this AWESOME job, did his student loans kick in? Did he have to get a car? Additionally, his past experiences (or those of others) could play into his mindset. Maybe he had a girlfriend whom he shared a joint banking account with and it went into the crapper, or his parents constantly fought about money so he doesn’t want to combine them. I’m not toting on how awesome the boyfriend is (since the attitude could use some work, that deadline just bothers the crap out of me), but there could be extraneous bills that this letter doesn’t convey.

    I make a lot more than my boyfriend does, however he has more debt than I do. So when we moved in together (since I had already been covering all of my living expenses when I was single), we split it down to I pay rent, he covers cable and groceries. We split birth control and gas, and I pay for car expenses since the car is MINE in my name and he rarely uses it. We occasionally buy each other alcohol, but otherwise, we go Dutch for dates and trips, he’s responsible for his beer and I’m responsible for my cigarettes. This is a temporary situation; he has paid off a LOT of his debt in the past year and wants us to get to 50/50 in the household when his debts are settled, but right now, I’d rather him pay off the debts than worry about paying me since I am more than able to pay for myself.

    He hasn’t always been responsible with money, which is how he got into debt in the first place. And the whole begrudging when he pays for something that I “can’t” afford? Sure, that happens, but we discuss it, and he knows why I’m so stingy because I keep us on track and handle our finances. His extra spending has decreased greatly than it was a year or even six months ago.

    LW, if you’re already living with him, I would buckle down and save whatever you can. If he’s not budging on this, I would save then get out, or even ask someone if they could financially help. It sounds like you’ve already moved in, which hurts me. However, remove your emotions and “fairness” out of this. If you can’t afford it, YOU CAN’T AFFORD IT. Period. End of argument. FOLLOW THE MONEY. Explain that to him and if he still wants 50/50 or whatever this elaborate scheme is, tell him you love him but you cannot have the fancy apartment and need to look for something more in your price range.

    What other commenters said is true; if he wants both you and the fancy apartment, then he can pay more in order to keep you within your personal budget. I personally would NEVER rent/own a place I couldn’t afford on my own, regardless of whom was living with me, be it a roommate or a spouse. It’s my own financial well-being and peace of mind. I trust my boyfriend, but I’ll be damned if I’m “beholden” to anybody!

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      Di April 24, 2012, 7:54 pm

      I’m the LW 🙂 To answer a few of your questions…

      Before we moved in together, he was living with his parents. We moved in together because we wanted to be together (so I thought) and so we could both save money on rent. Now that I think about it I think part of it is that he was desperate to get out of his parents’ house and couldn’t afford it on his own. Which might not be the best reason for moving in with someone but… This is Los Angeles. It’s crazy expensive here, if we both waited until we could both separately afford our own place, we’d be waiting for freaking ever.

      As far as debt is concerned, I have more debt than he does. He has no student loans etc., I’m still paying off an emergency room bill from a few years ago. He does have a car payment, which I do not have, but I still think my debt is a greater percentage of my income than his is.

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    Lucy April 24, 2012, 4:18 pm

    A couple of comments:

    1) LW, your bf sounds like he might be kind of an idiot about money. He was recently unemployed, so his first step after getting a great new job is to start spending a bunch of money on rent? No. Dumb. What if the new job doesn’t work out and he ends up unemployed again? Then the two of you are stuck with a lease you can’t afford. He should be spending very conservatively right now to build up a cushion. This economy is nowhere near out of the woods yet.

    2) His attitude toward your money is extremely selfish. He wants to live larger than you do, but he wants you to pay half? No. Asshole move.

    Not only should you not move in with him, I think you should step back from the relationship. He’s not a grownup and he’s not ready to live with anyone.

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    LW April 24, 2012, 6:18 pm

    Hi guys, I’m the LW! Thanks so much for all your input. Everyone has given me a lot to think about. But I feel like there were a few things I didn’t make clear in my letter…

    1. We live in Los Angeles. The rent for the place he likes is $1250 AND considered to be very reasonable, especially for the area, which is close to where we both work. The apartment isn’t fancy or extravagant. The only type of place I could afford on my own would be a studio, which is what I was living in before: $750/month for a bachelor with no kitchen in a horrible neighborhood. Even at that price I could barely make ends meet, and one reason for moving in together was that it was supposed to save us money. I could afford maybe $600/month including utilities, but the type of place we could get for that would suck. I was willing to live in a sucky apartment but he was not. Before we moved in together I reminded him I could only afford $600 including utilities.

    2. We didn’t live together when we had the discussion about how to split rent, but we’ve already moved in together at this point, into the apartment he liked. My name is not on the lease, so I can leave if I have to, but then he’d be stuck will all the rent and that will be difficult for him, so that’s kind of my last resort. It was crazy stupid of me not to discuss money with him again before we took the place, but I saw our previous discussion as a plan, and he apparently only saw it as a possibility. I wasn’t supporting him while he was unemployed, but I did pay for everything when we went out (food, entertainment, etc).

    3. I don’t expect to be taken care of, and OBVIOUSLY I would prefer to be financially independent. I’m not sitting at home all day expecting him to pay for everything, nor am I taking an unemployment check and just hoping someone will drop a job into my lap (not that there’s anything wrong with being on unemployment, and honestly I’d probably make about as much as I do now if I was unemployed). I work hard, full time, and dedicate a lot of my free time to searching for a better job. Financial independence would be awesome, but In Los Angeles it’s not realistic for many people, which is why we teamed up in the first place. We wanted to leave the city, but my dad got sick and now I don’t want to move away from him.

    4. Since moving in, with my understanding being that I’d be paying less rent than he would be, I’ve gone out of my way to make up for that in other ways, including cooking, cleaning, running errands for him while he’s at work, etc. Those might be stereotypical “women’s jobs” but I don’t see it as a feminist issue, just as a fairness issue. I want to pitch in any way I can if not financially.

    Wow, sorry that was so long! Thanks again for all your input, and please let me know what you think now that I’ve clarified those things 🙂

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    • bittergaymark

      bittergaymark April 24, 2012, 7:40 pm

      That’s actually pretty reasonable for an LA apartment. The difference in what the two of you are paying now makes him seem rather petty. Much more so than the apartment had been, say, 2000 dollars…

      One thing you should both factor in here is that You now both live close to work — meaning you are actually saving a TON of money these days with regards to the sky high price of gas and the endlessly long potential LA commutes. Here in Hell-A, living further away in a crappy neighborhood to pinch pennies could actually very easily COST you even more money…

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      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark April 24, 2012, 7:46 pm

        The fact that you are “cleaning house” doesn’t strike me at all sexist here. As I took from your letter that you are simply often be working less hours than he is. “Depending on my hours” made me assume that you are working part time as is SO easy to do here in LA… So, it would make sense to me that you would see fit to contribute in these others areas… But he should be made aware of your efforts here. I sure wish I had somebody cleaning my apartment and running errands for me. That you do these things should easily make up for the difference in money you are paying in my opinion.

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        Di April 24, 2012, 7:58 pm

        I work between 30 and 40 hours a week, depending… I like to say 35 and that I work ALMOST full time. So I’m home a little more than he is. Also I work nights, mostly, while he works days, so it’s easier for me to take care of errands etc. while all the businesses are open. It just makes sense to me, that this is a way I can contribute so that when he gets home from work he can just chill and not worry about much.

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      • Brad

        Brad April 24, 2012, 8:16 pm

        “I sure wish I had somebody cleaning my apartment and running errands for me.” You and me both…

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        lets_be_honest April 24, 2012, 10:08 pm

        Oh god yes. I can’t believe this is over $200?!?! Well, if he’s treating you the way you said e was in your original letter, I’d be tempted to advise MOAing. $200, sheesh. And you work 40hrs a week? This is certainly one of those wish-you-put-these-details-in updates. Good luck.

        Anna, I would kill for rent prices like that!

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      Anna April 24, 2012, 8:06 pm

      It’s $750 for a studio with no kitchen in a bad neighborhood?! SMH. I’m glad I’ve found a potential roommate for my future move to California, otherwise I’d have to live in a cardboard box there! Here in Ohio, my 2 bedroom apartment is only $475/mo and comes with free satellite TV package, including all the premium channels and 2 hardcore porn channels. I’m prepared to pay more than that in San Diego of course, but I couldn’t afford $1250/mo on my own.

      Also, cooking and cleaning aren’t “women’s jobs.” They are jobs that are necessary to sustain a civilized life. It’s good that you are chipping in extra in that way to make up for your financial situation, and it’s even better that you spend so much time looking for a new job. I hope you get one soon. I know it’s tough out there but keep trying and someone will hire you at the wage you deserve!

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        Calle April 25, 2012, 1:04 am

        Holy Shit I’m jealous of your rent. My old place in LA (nice neighborhood, but very close to the 101 freeway) was a tiny 300 sq ft studio in an old building with the paint half peeled off with a miniscule closet and street parking. The air conditioner never worked and the hot water was touch and go. Granted, the building looked shitty but it had kind of a romantic vibe to it as there was a ton of bougainvillea, oleander, some sort of climbing ivy, and morning glories in front of it and climbing up the walls. No WiFi, no cable, no utilities except water…I paid $900 a month and everyone thought I had a fantastic deal.

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        Anna April 25, 2012, 6:09 am

        Do you know why it’s so cheap to live in Ohio? Because living in Ohio sucks!!!!! The economy mega sucks, job market really sucks, and the weather sucks most of the time. To date, I’ve always had something keeping me here. First, it was school, then my relationship…now you could say I’m free. So despite the higher cost of living, I aim to find happiness on the west coast.

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    • Brad

      Brad April 24, 2012, 8:11 pm

      I still think his giving you a better job deadline was uncalled for since you’ve been actively applying for jobs and doing more of the chores. I also think you should be on alert for other signs of potential selfishness. Only you are able to determine if he is or not. I’m not saying he is at this point, but depending on the level of pressure he’s putting on you to contribute more financially I’d say to just be careful. I hope you don’t make plans to marry him for at least another year or two so you have more time to learn his character. As many commentators above have mentioned, wanting a 50/50 split doesn’t make him a bad guy. But if he was OK with the idea of a % of income plan before he was working and after getting a decent pay check he had a change of heart, I’d say it’s a yellow flag.

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      Jc April 24, 2012, 8:47 pm

      He clearly doesn’t care about what creates a headship for you, so why do you care if moving out creates a hardship for him?

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  • bittergaymark

    bittergaymark April 24, 2012, 7:09 pm

    deleted by bitter gay mark as it was redundant.

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    Christelle July 13, 2017, 3:37 am

    Get the hell out of the relationship. He is selfish and it is only going to get worse! Trust me! It happened to me..

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