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Best way to split expenses with live in boyfriend

 
 
CarsonD
 
Reply Sun 13 Jan, 2008 10:45 am
Hello-

I am unsure about how to split living expenses with my boyfriend, to be fair to both of us.

I am self employed and make between 60 to 80 thousand a year. I don't have children.
He is a teacher, is divorced, and pays 700 dollars a month in child support.
He works a second job and teaches music to various students.
His income is about 50,000 a year, including all sources.

We have talked about marriage but I do not want to marry him until he eliminates a 30,000 debt he has.

Last month I bought a 470,000 home with money I had made from other houses I had bought, lived in and sold. I also took 150,000 from my inheritance that is really supposed to be for my retirement. However that $ was not in IRAs, I just sold stock. I really wanted this house and to live in a nice place with my boyfriend. The house and all utilities are in my name. If worse came to worse I could afford this place on my own. But I love my boyfriend/fiance and being here with him. I know that it will appreciate over time, and he is very handy with electrical, plumbing, and carpentry around the house.

We now split a 155,000 mortgage which is about 1700 a month, with each of us paying about 850. We agreed to split all expenses, cable, phone, and utilities, and taxes and insurance. So the total for each of us comes to about 1150. I am able to deduct my mortgage and other expenses for my home business.

This is my question. I want to be fair to my boyfriend and be fair to myself. I don't want to pay more than what would be fair, especially since I did put a lot of $ into the house. He could never find such a nice place to live for 1150 per month. He has his own studio, a workshop in the basement, and a nice spacious home. I have a lovely man to live with, and also a man who is willing to save me a lot of money on electrical, plumbing, and handy work. I pay for all the home improvements my self. He just pays me "rent". I would not have bought this place for just myself most likely.

His income is on the low side and his child support payment takes a big chunk of the money he makes. We have had quite few discussions over his lack of $. He is not cheap-just has no $. He has no savings. He hasn't argued over the expenses with me, but I want to be fair.
I want to keep the house in my name and all improvements need to be made by me. I want it to be clear that it is my house for now, until we decide to get married.

Should I just insist that will split expenses? He already is getting a good deal. Or should we split based on income. Or should I ask him to pay minus what I save after deductions. There are a lot of expenses to the house and I have to make them so then I get annoyed if he is paying too little, help!
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Type: Discussion • Score: 2 • Views: 9,632 • Replies: 39
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jespah
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Jan, 2008 10:50 am
If you want the house to be 100% in your name and with no claims by him, keep him off the mortgage payments. He does not pay mortgage. While you hold the deed you could still be setting yourself up for a fight if it came down to that so make it clear that his payments are rent or utilities or whatever but that they are not mortgage.
0 Replies
 
ebrown p
 
  2  
Reply Sun 13 Jan, 2008 11:56 am
This is a relationship question. It is complicated by money (as many relationship issues) but it is primarily a relationship question.

Obviously, as you are talking about the relationship in terms of marriage, the relationship is serious and important to you.

But when you said you didn't want to marry him "until he is out of debt", it got my attention. This puts a dynamic in the relationship where you are in a position to judge... i.e. there is a standard that he must meet in order to meet your criteria.

I worry that this will put a tension in your relationship that will cause problems in the future.

There are two possibilities about his debt. One is that he has a character flaw that you would find unacceptable in a husband. If this is the case then you should quite thinking about marriage until you find a new mate.

If you understand his circumstances and respect his character enough for a good marriage, then you will have to trust him to be responsible, and the current debt is irrelevant (since he will do the same thing whether or not he is married to you). The fact that he is a teacher is a plus for me, and everyone knows that a teacher is not ever going to make tons of money.

Obviously I am not saying that you need to decide about marriage right away. I am only saying that to make anything a pre-condition is setting up a uncomfortable and unhealthy dynamic your relationship that will not help your future marriage.

Yes, talk about it, and decide together about finances. But you need to treat your boyfriend with respect... as an equal (even though you are in a better financial situation) if you want the relationship to succeed.

But remember that if you are seriously considering marriage then you need to move in your relationship in the direction of more acceptance, mutual respect and trust.
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CalamityJane
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Jan, 2008 12:28 pm
I agree with jespah, take care of all mortgage payments, utilities, home improvements yourself, and have your boyfriend pay rent to you. Set up
a legal binding rental agreement and have him sign it. You can tell him
that it is for tax purposes (which is true).

If he's paying $ 1150 in rent to live in a beautiful house he otherwise
could not afford, then you should not have any reservation to take it.

As ebrown said, the $ 30,000 debt did strike me too. Since you haven't
elaborated on the debt or his spending habits, I assume that he's just
overwhelmed with child support and/or alimony payments.

Money is always a huge factor in any relationship, so if you could keep
it separate to appease you both, I'd do it!
0 Replies
 
roger
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Jan, 2008 12:56 pm
Quote:
I am able to deduct my mortgage and other expenses for my home business.


Off topic, for sure, but I don't see how the mortgage is a deduction. A portion of utilities and depreciation as a business expense, yes. Mortgage interest as a personal expense, sure. Actual mortgage payments as a deduction sound quite unlikely.

As others have mentioned, just collect rent sufficient to cover expenses. Do not let him become involved in making mortgage and utility payments. Like the weather and stockmarket, relationships are subject to change.
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ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Jan, 2008 01:02 pm
Are you paying him labor to do the improvements, besides paying for the materials?

I am friends with a couple of people who were married. The wife had already owned a house. The husband was more than handy in carpentry et al and an architect. They fixed up the house - a major renovation with room additions and so on - with him doing all the physical work, and I'm not sure which person paid for the materials. I suspect he did, as he had better financial status at the time. Sometime later she wanted, and got, a divorce, the trigger for that not being about money. He ended up skunked re all his work over what was probably a year or more.
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SULLYFISH66
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Jan, 2008 04:02 pm
You said -
"He could never find such a nice place to live for 1150 per month."

So that justifies his RENT payment.

However, if he is performing work on the house, it should be deducted from the rent. For example, if he re-models a bathroom or fixes the roof, how much would you have paid some other company to do the same work? It will take some bookeeping, but I'd maintain a ledger and document all repairs, etc. with costs.

In the meantime, keep your finances on a professsional basis with this fellow. I've seen too many women lose everything when they sign over homes to boyfriends or adult children. Even if you should marry him, keep the home in your name. (Get an appraisal of the home the week before you get married)

Sounds like you worked real hard to get where you are.
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ebrown p
 
  2  
Reply Sun 13 Jan, 2008 04:25 pm
SULLYFISH66 wrote:
You said -
"He could never find such a nice place to live for 1150 per month."

So that justifies his RENT payment.

However, if he is performing work on the house, it should be deducted from the rent. For example, if he re-models a bathroom or fixes the roof, how much would you have paid some other company to do the same work? It will take some bookeeping, but I'd maintain a ledger and document all repairs, etc. with costs.

In the meantime, keep your finances on a professsional basis with this fellow. I've seen too many women lose everything when they sign over homes to boyfriends or adult children. Even if you should marry him, keep the home in your name. (Get an appraisal of the home the week before you get married)

Sounds like you worked real hard to get where you are.


Sully, I have to say I disagree with you-- and strongly.

Marriage means trust... and if you don't trust someone then you have no business marrying them.

Furthermore I suspect these responses are influenced by the fact the higher wage earner in this discussion is a woman.

Would your reaction be the same if it were a financial secure man who wanted to take steps to ensure the women he didn't trust (but wanted to marry) didn't have access to his finances?

I have a higher earning potential than wife. I would never think of treating my wife the way that you are suggesting this woman treat her potential future husband.

When are women and men really going to be treated equally?
0 Replies
 
roger
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Jan, 2008 04:36 pm
I would give the same advice to a high earning male.
0 Replies
 
caribou
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Jan, 2008 04:41 pm
I see nothing wrong with keeping money separate between couples.

I don't see it as a lack of trust issue.
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ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Jan, 2008 05:45 pm
Let me try to clarify my point... there are two types of "live in boyfriend". Live in boyfriend can imply a relationship leading to a potential marriage (I am using the word "marriage" to mean a hopefully long term intimate relationship involving deep trust). A "live in boyfriend" also can be a roommate with benefits-- i.e. a physical relationship that is not moving toward marriage.

From the post, it seems the relationship in question of the leading to marriage type.My point is the answer to this question involves a potential spouse.

I think it is valid to look at the issue from his perspective.

First, the pre-condition to marriage set by one partner on the other seems to me to be a very bad thing for a successful marriage. If the problem (the debt in this case) is a character problem-- then it gets into the realm of one partner trying to change the other partner-- this is a recipe for disaster. If the problem is a mistake, or life circumstances, then the ultimatum signifies a lack of trust... since what needs to be done is not affected by the marital status than whats the point.

All I am saying is that if such a pre-condition were made when I was ready to marry my wife this would have signified the end of the relationship. I would happily be with a partner who was less financially secure if I meant I would be in a relationship where I was accepted and respected as I am.

Second, inequality in a marriage is an big issue. Of course, inequality in financial success isn't an issue... but inequality in ones "worth" and respect is absolutely a problem. It is important that inequality in one aspect of life does not translate to inequality in the marriage.

The idea that one partner could say this is MY house and MY mortgage in a healthy marriage is difficult for me to believe.

Of course a relationship before marriage is different. My advice was saying that if you are moving in the direction of marriage... that you should move in the direction of marriage.

So, I am just trying to look at this from the other side.

If I were in a serious relationship and there were a pre-condition set to marriage that had to do with my personal affairs (i.e. not on the relationship it self) I would quickly start looking to end that relationship and move on. I would far prefer a financially insecure partner who could accept me for myself.

Maybe I am old-fashioned... but a marriage works as a marriage of equals. If you don't share in all things... including money, than whats the point of being married at all?
0 Replies
 
caribou
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Jan, 2008 06:42 pm
I understand and respect what you are saying...

And maybe this is the reason I may never marry.
I dunno. I'd need to think on the subject some more.

But, my first reaction...
I won't co-mingle money with someone else.
So, if marriage means sharing EVERYTHING, then no, I won't be marrying.

I would not want to adopt someone else's debts. I would not want to "support" someone. I wouldn't want to be supported.
That being said, when I have money and my other doesn't, I don't mind sharing. And perhaps paying more than my share without him knowing.

I agree if the poster is planning on someday marrying this guy and sharing everything at that point (as she hints), then why such the struggle now?

Does marriage really mean you share everything? Money, debts, etc?
Legally? Cause I don't seem to know.
0 Replies
 
Rockhead
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Jan, 2008 07:25 pm
In a word, ......yes.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Jan, 2008 07:45 pm
I agree somewhat and disagree somewhat with many. How to clarify, while I work out what I think myself.


I think Ebrown's thing about total trust is naive in this day/age.

At the same time, I'm a prime example of one person paying the bills for years, in trust, with the other catching up somewhat sometime later. I'm divorced with serious financial problems, but I don't regret our marriage. So it goes. I had love and a good marriage for quite a while, not graphible re my paying years and continuing marriage working.

I also was caught a little short about not marrying until the fellow pays off that debt totally. Not clear on it, why would it be her debt? But, while I was caught short, CarsonD seems savvy about money, heh, in contrast to me, and is entitled to her view, perhaps a smart view.
On this kind of debt, I've had friends marry when one or the other was saddled with school loan debt. They worked this out via discussions and got married anyway.

I'm more concerned re apparent differences re Carson and bf/fiance. He chose a career as a teacher. He may not be dumb with money, and seems clearly responsible, re two jobs, and so on - he values teaching past all that. CarsonD is more business oriented, bottom line oriented, I think. I don't know enough to say you two won't get along over time, but I'm wondering on that.

If it was the man with the astute money orientation and the woman the one who chose to be a teacher, would I quibble? Not sure. They might not get along over time either.
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CalamityJane
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Jan, 2008 08:20 pm
There is nothing wrong with sharing financial gain after you're married.
However, I would not expect a boyfriend/future husband to share his
previous wealth with me, or vice versa.

Since the monetary possessions between this couple is so unevenly
distributed and she clearly feels uncomfortable sharing all that with her
boyfriend, she should be allowed to keep her assets without creating
a difficult situation within the relationship.

Whatever you bring into the marriage is not necessarily shared goods,
especially when it is one having all the assets and the other having debts
only.
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ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Jan, 2008 08:29 pm
There is also societal differentiation. The premise that the man will earn the paycheck and the woman caretake is still alive and well. The connection and/or marriage of two adult professionals with separate financial backgrounds is also alive and well. I'm not sure there is any one answer for all.
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ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Jan, 2008 08:34 pm
I also see CarsonD as being more dominant in her wants. As in 'I want us to have this house, I can pay for it and he couldn't live in such a place otherwise'.

He might end up a happier person in an apartment without an future array of expectations.

Not to sound hostile, more musing.
0 Replies
 
ebrown p
 
  2  
Reply Sun 13 Jan, 2008 09:53 pm
CalamityJane wrote:
There is nothing wrong with sharing financial gain after you're married.
However, I would not expect a boyfriend/future husband to share his
previous wealth with me, or vice versa.

Since the monetary possessions between this couple is so unevenly
distributed and she clearly feels uncomfortable sharing all that with her
boyfriend, she should be allowed to keep her assets without creating
a difficult situation within the relationship.

Whatever you bring into the marriage is not necessarily shared goods,
especially when it is one having all the assets and the other having debts
only.


I can't imagine how this would work, Calamity... could you explain how one could live this way?

If your husband owned the mansion (and let you live in it) wouldn't this cause some friction. Would you get to put your Sears couch next to his $10,000 Victorian antiques?

Would you be OK with not being able to drive the Ferrari just because he never drove the Civic?

I couldn't live in a married where all of the assets belonged to my spouse-- and I wouldn't want to live where I owned all the assets either.

Equality is a very important part of a healthy marriage.

Two people on different social levels can get married... but this is only because financial assets are only one of the many assets one brings to a marriage.

I can not imagine living in a marriage where the assets (both financial and other) weren't common property that were shared freely.

Is there any difference between being married, and being roommates who have sex?

If you are are not going to join together to become one-- then what is the point of marriage?
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CarsonD
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Jan, 2008 09:59 pm
ossobuco wrote:
I also see CarsonD as being more dominant in her wants. As in 'I want us to have this house, I can pay for it and he couldn't live in such a place otherwise'.

He might end up a happier person in an apartment without an future array of expectations.

Not to sound hostile, more musing.


No, he is definitely more happy here than living in an apartment by himself. He lived in a not so great place and this is a nicer place for both of us. This house is beautiful and we enjoy ourselves here.

I am defensive about sharing what is mine in a marriage because I worked so hard to get what I have. I do have a feeling what's yours is yours and what's mine is mine. Just about everything in the house is what I have acquired. The laws in this state allow only joint property from a marriage to be split, not assets before entering the marriage anyway.

I have a nagging doubt that he will get out of this debt. And the less he pays off, the bigger the debt becomes. Lowering his payment to me allows me to help him have a little extra to start paying off the debt, that was my reasoning for reducing the amount he pays to me by the deduction I can claim for my home business. I don't want to be responsible for his debt, and if the tables were turned I would not want anyone to be responsible for any debt of mine. It's just that I am already paying so much for all the work that has to be done here, materials and outside labor for other things, that sometimes I don't feel I am being fair to myself. Plus I put all that money into the house, and I don't really have enough to save. I do wish there was more money coming in but that is the way it is. I just resent it a little. I love him and respect him as a person. I just don't respect the way he has handled his finances.

I dunno. Everyone has a different view of marriage and partnership. I will talk to an accountant and get a clear picture of what my deductions are, and do some more research on "living together" contracts. Maybe it would be a good idea to pay him for the work he does around the house by deducting from his monthly payment.

I am not making a judgment about him by not entering into a marriage with his credit card debt-I am being self protective. He is over extended because of child support and education expenses, not really frivolous. I just am not sure what to do though.
CalamityJane
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Jan, 2008 10:15 pm
ebrown_p wrote:
I can't imagine how this would work, Calamity... could you explain how one could live this way?

If your husband owned the mansion (and let you live in it) wouldn't this cause some friction. Would you get to put your Sears couch next to his $10,000 Victorian antiques?

Would you be OK with not being able to drive the Ferrari just because he never drove the Civic?

I couldn't live in a married where all of the assets belonged to my spouse-- and I wouldn't want to live where I owned all the assets either.

Equality is a very important part of a healthy marriage.

Two people on different social levels can get married... but this is only because financial assets are only one of the many assets one brings to a marriage.

I can not imagine living in a marriage where the assets (both financial and other) weren't common property that were shared freely.

Is there any difference between being married, and being roommates who have sex?

If you are are not going to join together to become one-- then what is the point of marriage?


ebrown, you're old-fashioned and naive, sorry. If the wealth between
two partners is distributed so unevenly, you can rest assured that the
wealthy part will protect her/himself. In todays age where almost half
of the marriages end up in divorce, you'd be a fool not to.

When I first got married, we both had squad, so that was easy, and
anything accumulated during marriage is anyways 50/50 - there is no
problem. However the assets someone has prior to marriage, are hers
or his, if she/he chooses to keep it that way.

You enter a relationship strictly for physical and emotional reasons,
why should that change just because the assets are differently defined?
The couple whose assets are separate might be just as loving and
happy as you are in your conventional marriage. Just because you
can't see it, doesn't mean it's not doable - successfully doable.
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