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Relationship Health Message Board

Relationship Health Board Index

I am 26 and my boyfriend is 24. We've been together for 5.5 years, living together for over 2. To give you a bit of our background, he is finishing graduate school this month. I make over three times what he does, though that will balance out when he gets a job over the next few months. We have absolutely LOVED living together, and are starting to discuss a wedding for next year or the year after next. This was something we agreed upon from the start, and I highly suggest talking about marriage NOW so that you are on the same page when you move in together! Same with buying a house...we decided we were going to rent until marriage, and we are sticking to that. We're moving into a new, fantastic apartment next month and plan to stay there until we get married and, at that point, will buy our first house or condo.

I feel that a healthy relationship will solve all of the issues you raised without needing any sort of written agreement. We have never had a problem, and take turns covering each other on various expenses. Even though I make quite a bit more, he covers almost half the rent (I pay a bit more because I get the carport). We split all of our bills right down the middle, and add or subtract from the rent, depending on who is writing the check that month. I was responsible for getting our utilities hooked up, so I write that check because it's in my name. Our phone and internet plans are in his name so he writes the check, but we each pay half. When we go out to eat, we usually go back and forth covering it with our cards....we always say "take it out of the rent" but unless it's a big expense we usually just call it even.

As for presents for family members, we are each responsible for buying for our own families, and the other person contributes as much as they want. For example, he bought his sister an i-pod mini for her high school graduation. I paid around %40, which is what I would have spent anyway.

I know many couples fight about money, but I truly believe that if you have a healthy OPEN relationship, these are issues you can work through. If issues arise, don't fume over them....get them out in the open before you get bitter and touchy. It's also a matter of being with someone who handles money the same way you do. Both of us are big on paying off credit cards ON TIME, paying bills when you are supposed to, and enjoying nice things without going overboard. Sometimes he had a hard time when I would buy something nice that he couldn't afford, but the closer he gets to having a job the more he realized that his turn is coming! If you are open about your concerns, expectations, and issues, you will be more likely to avoid problems in the future.

I suggest doing your best to keep things half and half, unless he offers to cover a bit more since he makes more. Then agree on a number, like 60/40. I would also keep separate accounts for now, though we are quickly learning that we might as well have the same account since what's mine is generally his. We are looking forward to sharing an account in the future!

Hope that helps a bit...anything I left out? I'm sure different couples do this in different ways.

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