How do you talk about money with your partner? He makes 40% more than me but we split everything 50/50. I feel I should be paying less but I’m also an independent woman and I don’t want to be seen as if I’m trying to live at his expense. Help!

likehelpful
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My partner and I just moved in together and we worked out a monthly budget spread sheet of all of our expenses that appeared on our mint accounts. Then we took our salaries and used a percentage based system to divide everything up. It ended up being a 1/3 2/3 split because he makes way more. It mainly more for living expense and groceries. We tend to take turns on coffees and like ordering in. I’ve also done the 50/50 split at one point with a previous partner who was making like 170K when I was making minimum wage years ago, and it truly messed up my finances for my early 20s. Just make sure you’re in a place where you can comfortably keep us the lifestyle you both want, but still can save up and have extra cash for your own needs and wants.

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Late to the convo but finding the feedback super interesting. Everyone views the value and role of money differently. That’s what makes this particular topic a tricky one, especially when you’re married. I think the setup should reflect how you both view money, whether that is splitting based on income proportions; having private accounts + joint one; joint one with everything in no matter the contribution, etc. Then how you deal with it on an on-going basis will stem from that - from detailed spreadsheet to it doesn’t matter approaches. It sounds like you’re not comfortable with how it’s set up now so that’s worth talking about. It’s a big topic that sits across everyday life. You’ve got a bunch of ideas above that have worked for others - now you need to discuss with your SO what works for the two of you. One thing to keep in mind though is what Head of Ops 1 mentioned. Everything changes. Look at what’s happened just these past months - don’t rule out that the tables may turn for one or both of you at any point. It’s an ongoing conversation worth making time for. Good luck!

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You should def be paying less. Things need to be even no matter who makes more money. It helped when I showed my SO my income vs my expenses and it made him realize he could help me out by paying more on rent and paying more on some of the bills we shared. Communication and transparency is def key here. A good SO will understand and want to help you.

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Think of both of you as equals. If you made 40% more $, would you pay more? If the answer is yes, then why feel guilty when your partner could do the same for you? I feel lucky to be gay sometimes because those things don’t happen - we help each other out when we need and talk openly, since the gender roles are gone.

likehelpful

The fairest way I have found is to do it on a percentage basis. Add up your salaries together and figure out what percentage each of you make in the total. Then pay for expenses at that percentage. So if you make 40% of the total income and he makes 60%, you’d pay 40%/60% of the cost. This is all assuming that we are talking about a cohabitating level of partnership. But the same should apply for trips and dinners and stuff too tbh. If he has a problem with that, I’d start having some very honest conversations with yourself.

likesmart

This is what we do too.

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Create a spreadsheet outlining all of your shared expenses + what each of you deem necessary for personal spend. Are you are living at the lowest income earners threshold? Use that as a way in to discuss with him. You both need to be contributing/saving in a way that makes you both secure. It will be an easier discussion if you have the facts and numbers to reference. It isn't a black and white discussion solely based on him making 40% more unless he demands that you live above your means at his income level.

likehelpful

Are you living within your means? If you are not you need to have a conversation about what the whole 100% is and how it needs to be lowered. If you are living within your means, I would stay 50/50. My partner makes excessively more than I do, our daily life expenses are within my means. She is very aware that when she wants to do spur of the moment things, that if it's not within in my budget she either pays or I don't participate (which either one is fine).

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My and my partner are the same way, we leave within his means (i make more than double) , but if i want to upgrade the hotel room, I'll pay for it. I'm very aware of how much he should be saving vs spending so I'll fill the gap if I feel like doing something fancy.

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I’m on the opposite end (I make more than 40% more). We split all major things 50/50 but I make more. Are you guys married? I try to contribute more by putting advance payments on our home or buying groceries and not asking to split things 50/50

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Same. I make over 3x more and all shared expenses (groceries, meals out, household items, utilities, dog things, etc) are split 50/50 but we each pay 26% of our salary on our mortgage. I will pick up a grocery tab is we go all out and really stock up or the full Target bill, etc.

I literally just said “this is what I can afford: xxx.” And he said “that’s it?” And I said “well, I make xx% less than you.” And he was like “oh.. you’re right.” And we both just agreed it was logical for him to pay more. And we agreed that if (or when, as he says, cuz he’s convinced I’ll be a CSO one day 😂) i make equal or more than him, we’ll switch.

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Talk about team work. In Spain we have a saying “today for you, tomorrow for me” which means that today he might be making 40% more, but tomorrow you might. Good luck!

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I think it would be nice if the partner making more offered to pay more since there’s an obvious disparity in income. It’s not the easiest subject to bring to the table so it would be nice if they made the effort to bring attention to it and offered to pay more.

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If it’s not financially responsible for you but is for him, you’re essentially subsidizing his lifestyle. I would lay it out (expenses, percent of income) and ask first if he would be cool making lifestyle changes with you so that you’re living within your means...if he doesn’t want to make those changes, the fair thing would be for him to pay more so you’re spending what you can afford. Signed, someone who split bills 50/50 with an employed partner while living on loans in grad school, like a dummy

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60/40 here, and looking to be higher (fingers crossed!) in the future. We figured out how much we would need each month for rent, regular bills, etc and we put that percentage into a joint account on the 1st. Sometimes it isn't enough, and we'll add a little extra at 50/50. I'm so proud of making more that I don't mind picking up the check for dinner though 😁

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Have candid conversation about what you think is fair. My husband makes 4 times as much as me. He pays the mortgage, house expenses, vacays and meals out. I pay for the car, groceries, all the utilities - cable, water, gas, electricity. In my past relationship my ex expected 50/50 even though he made twice as much as me and it became a sore point in the relationship that ended up causing a big rift.

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Consider that you might be in the wrong relationship. In the right relationship, you don’t have this issue and you don’t need to write this post. I should know. I was in the wrong relationship and every dollar was logged, even though I had far more expenses than the guy as a single mom. I broke it off and started dating a guy who made the same as the last guy, but suddenly the discussion evaporated as he pulled out his card to pay for things and when we moved in, generously contributed more than his fair share to our expenses.

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You should be paying less. I’m so sorry.

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We’re the same! We split our rent, and bills (hard costs) 60/40 and the rest is 50/50. If we go on vacation SO usually pays 60% as well for hotel/AirBnB too. We use Splitwise and enter everything there. It’s super simple to change %s in that app too if you decide to split everything 60/40. And it’s nice it’s with you all the time versus a spreadsheet on your phone.

helpful

I have no idea. All our money just pools together and bills get paid. Then we buy things we need and/or want. I don’t see much reason to complicate it. I do get why folks like to divide money, but I feel like pooling it all together keeps money stress away from our marriage.

This.

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likefunny

We are married now but... I make 2.5-3x what my husband makes and when we were dating always talked openly and split things fairly vs even.

Spread Sheet!!! I had a similar but reversed conversation with mine. I insisted, foolishly, to pay for everything 50/50 so that I felt as I had an active rol in maintaining our lifestyle, and I was “compensating” on account of my savings and personal “splurges”. At the end he whipped out a spreadsheet and we balanced it all out. Now days we just share the bank account and its a lot easier.

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