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Atypical living arrangements

 
 
Reply Tue 31 Jul, 2012 12:45 pm
I have a house and all that entails bill wise, except no pay TV or internet because I'm gone alot w/work. I spend 10 -14 nights at my girlfriend's house in a month. During the day I usually spend time at my house too. I'm over there because she leaves a dog home and it feels more 'homey', and to use the internet, watch tv, etc.

I do most of the food buying, have given her $ from time to time for things like vet bills and utilities. I've bought a new central A/C unit for her house, a couple of plasma tvs, salt for the water conditioner, supplies to fix her fence (and fixed it), dirt for the yard (and spread it), do routine maintenance on her cars and around the house, cook and clean, buy some household supplies and a lot of other miscellaneous stuff. She is dismissive about most of this - 'well you make more than I do...' She's upset that she can't pay her bills. I realize the a/c or heat costs may increase slightly if I'm there and she's at work and I could understand helping with bills, but I'm not really sure what my responsibility should be. She's on a well and has fixed sewer cost.

If she were out of the picture I'd probably have a less expensive pay tv service and internet at my house, and I used to have both.

She's always had pay tv, and the internet connection is used in her side business and is a tax deduction also.

So we don't actually live together, but I spend alot of my time there. Both of us are single, never married, and no dependents.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 6 • Views: 886 • Replies: 12
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PUNKEY
 
  1  
Reply Tue 31 Jul, 2012 12:47 pm
I'm not telling you what to do but just remember that these things you are giving her and improvements to her home are all "gifts" and will not be returned if you should break up.
0 Replies
 
tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Tue 31 Jul, 2012 01:03 pm
@CAflyguy,
Is there an implied question in this post? Also let me assure you that this isn't that atypical a living situation. This dual home existence is far far more common then you think it is.

How long have you been seeing each other? I'm asking as it seems a bit redundant to have/maintain two homes. But saving money is an important issue for me.

If you have no intention of holding a long term relationship then keep your residence. Ultimately she's responsible for her own big money projects. She choose to live in that particular house so she's responsible for these projects. But keep in mind the consequences. If you don't help then you might give her an excuse to be resentful for "not helping" her while you're in a relationship.

Ask her where she sees this relationship and where it's going. Evaluate it yourself and good luck.
aidan
 
  2  
Reply Tue 31 Jul, 2012 01:09 pm
Well, all I know is that when I lived with my 'boyfriend' before he became my husband, we maintained separate bank accounts and split all the expenses: rent, food, utilities, etc. down the middle. He had his own car and I had my own car and we both bought our own gas and insurance.

Once we made a commitment to each other and got married, that all changed. Firstly, I was working and the only wage earner while he went to school and I was happy to pay all the bills - he wasn't making any money! But then he started a job and made more than me, because I was staying home with the kids and being a mother and he paid all the bills...

If you're worried about the monetary split at this point - I'd call it a day on the relationship if I were you.
0 Replies
 
CAflyguy
 
  1  
Reply Tue 31 Jul, 2012 02:44 pm
@tsarstepan,
The question is 'What is your opinion of a fair amount to pay for utilities?' in my situation.
aidan
 
  2  
Reply Tue 31 Jul, 2012 02:50 pm
@CAflyguy,
Well, if you spend 10 nights/days - that'd be a third (per month).
If you spend 14 nights - be generous - give her half (per month).

Come on....
jespah
 
  2  
Reply Tue 31 Jul, 2012 02:51 pm
@CAflyguy,
If that's your only question, split the utilities with her 50-50. True, you aren't taking 50% of the utilities, but it looks like this will keep the peace and you can afford it, yes?
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Tue 31 Jul, 2012 04:07 pm
@CAflyguy,
Why would you pay anything toward the utilities?

If she wouldn't have the house at a comfortable temp for the dog, she has no business having a dog.

Does she sit in the dark when you're not there?

I say you pay nothing toward her utilities - and you sit down and talk about the entire relationship.

~~~

Money and the expectations it raises fouls up relationships when there is no honest discussion upfront.
0 Replies
 
CAflyguy
 
  2  
Reply Tue 31 Jul, 2012 04:08 pm
@aidan,
Thanks for the input.
Come on...? What?
She's there too. Wouldn't that be 1/6 or 1/4?
Unlike your situation we don't live together.
Also at issue is her unwillingness to stand up for herself w/her business partner who decided she needed a 50% pay cut to shore up the bank account of the business. I think she should be paying her bills before increasing the cut to the business. But I digress. It's complicated.
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Tue 31 Jul, 2012 04:08 pm
@CAflyguy,
CAflyguy wrote:
She is dismissive about most of this - 'well you make more than I do...' She's upset that she can't pay her bills. I realize the a/c or heat costs may increase slightly if I'm there and she's at work and I could understand helping with bills, but I'm not really sure what my responsibility should be. She's on a well and has fixed sewer cost.


looks like you're already in a mess with her

you have no responsibility for her bills
0 Replies
 
Butrflynet
 
  1  
Reply Tue 31 Jul, 2012 04:27 pm
@CAflyguy,
Quote:
She is dismissive about most of this - 'well you make more than I do...' She's upset that she can't pay her bills.


That appears to be the crux of the issue.

It sounds like she is living way above her means.

She would still be unable to pay her bills even if you were not living there for a portion of the month. In fact, her home would be deteriorating because she also can't afford the maintenance and upkeep a home requires and that you've been providing.


Quote:
During the day I usually spend time at my house too. I'm over there because she leaves a dog home and it feels more 'homey', and to use the internet, watch tv, etc.

...

If she were out of the picture I'd probably have a less expensive pay tv service and internet at my house, and I used to have both.

She's always had pay tv, and the internet connection is used in her side business and is a tax deduction also.


On the other hand, you are "freeloading" on her premium level internet and TV service and adding to the wear and tear on her household.

Premium Internet and tv cable service can run as much as $250 a month plus any pay-per-view items you order. Don't forget the additional electricity cost for having the TV, computer and HVAC on for most of the day when she is not there. Is what you are buying for the household on par with that every month?

Does the noise from your TV watching or your use of her internet service prevent her from being able to conduct her side business?

From the sound of it, it seems you spend most of your non-working time at her house rather than your own and your relationship has reached the point where a decision has to be made about whether it goes to the next level. You move in together and combine budget responsibilities, or add more separation to the living arrangement, or formalize and contribute a monthly rent to her for the time you spend there.

The two of you need to sit down and work out a household budget and decide who is going to pay for what each month. If you can't work it out before moving in together, it may be time for you to stay at home rather than spending the days at her house when she isn't there. You can afford your own TV and internet service.
0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Tue 31 Jul, 2012 04:32 pm
@CAflyguy,
I don't think that there's any absolute "pay/don't pay" here. Certainly not that we as people who know nothing objective about this situation can make declarations about.

I think you guys need to sit down and have a really honest discussion about the financial situation.

In my experience both people in these sorts of fairly fluid situations can easily start to feel hard done by and both may very well be functionally ignorant about how the other is experiencing the fairness or unfairness.

It certainly sounds unfair to you from how you are describing it, but we haven't heard from her, and she might quite reasonably have a different view. Or not. You'll never know if you don't talk about it.
0 Replies
 
PUNKEY
 
  2  
Reply Thu 2 Aug, 2012 05:56 pm
If I were you, I'd run.

The handwriting is on the wall: you are going to be supporting this household much more than you realize.
0 Replies
 
 

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