Living together with your boyfriend can be great – as long as you’re on the same page and willing to share financial responsibilities. It can be exciting to build a life as a couple: setting up a joint bank account, taking out credit cards together, and planning on how to save money in the future. But, as you well know, love, marriage and living together doesn’t mean a happy ending. This is the point in your life that you have to agree on how to share your finances in a fair and equitable way..
Facing Financial Struggles with Your Boyfriend It’s common for people to cohabitate in order to save money, but that shouldn’t be the primary reason you move in together. Moving in together should be a prelude to marriage – a trial run where you see how compatible you are under the same roof. And once you’re under that roof, questions will begin to arise. Do you split expenses down the middle? Does the person who makes more contribute more? Is that contribution based on gender roles or ability to pay? Do you maintain separate bank accounts? Without the right money management strategy – and healthy, direct communication – you could face great financial and emotional stress. Which brings us to the most challenging problems of all: what if your partner refuses to pay his fair share in the relationship? Is your relationship still worth it?
Handling this Relationship Problem It’s pretty stressful to have personal finance issues with your man, especially if you’re the one paying a disproportionate amount of the household expenses. But that doesn’t mean all is lost. Money issues are common in relationships and couples with a strong foundation can often weather them together. Presuming you and your partner value your relationship equally, you can find a way to compromise and come up with a plan that works for both of you. Keep reading to learn how.
- Communication , Relationships , Should I Stay or Should I Go?
FINALLY Find Your Man
We’ve talked about how some women expect men to make more money, even if they make a good living independently.
These are all arguments I’ve made for equality. In this day and age, with women earning more college degrees and masters degrees, it’s anachronistic to expect men to ALWAYS pay and ALWAYS earn more.
But Lisa’s question really cuts to the heart of women’s issues around money. What happens if you’re dating a man without skills, without ambition, and without the desire to be a better provider?
This is my client’s worst nightmare – even though I can’t see any of my clients dating a man with a truck payment and $600 to spare each month. So let me begin, Lisa, by expressing my admiration and sympathy to you. You fell in love with a man based on what’s in his heart and not in his wallet, and that says a lot about your character.
My answer to you will be a gender-blind one, because that’s the way we need to begin to look at financial issues. This is not about who earns more. This is about two things: what’s fair and what you’re comfortable with.
Objectively, this arrangement isn’t fair. But then, in a gender-blind society, who said things had to be fair? I made about four times what my wife made when we met. Would it have been fair for me to ask her to split our rent in half? No, it would not. We split it based on our means to pay. I could have resented the fact that I made four times more than her, but I chose not to. I wasn’t with her for her money or ability to split costs. I was with her because of how I felt in her presence.