Author Topic: Unmarried co-habitating SO finances. How do you do it.  (Read 3948 times)

spartana

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Unmarried co-habitating SO finances. How do you do it.
« on: August 03, 2018, 05:08:00 PM »
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« Last Edit: October 26, 2018, 08:47:24 AM by spartana »

abhe8

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Re: Unmarried co-habitating SO finances. How do you do it.
« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2018, 05:29:14 PM »
My mom/stepdad do it like you do. Separate assets and debts. Split household expenses 50/50. Estate planning is set up so that everything goes to their own children. They've been married about 15 years and it's working pretty well. they did by and pay off their house together. I think they're Estate Planning and set up so that the surviving spouse can live in the house until they pass and then the house will be sold and split 50/50 between their children.

Raenia

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Re: Unmarried co-habitating SO finances. How do you do it.
« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2018, 05:50:35 PM »
When my now-DH and I moved in together, that's about how we did it.  We opened a joint bank account and each set up a monthly transfer for our half of the monthly joint expenses, 50/50.  I offered to do it based on salary, but he insisted on 50/50 (he was the lower earner).  Neither of us had any debt, but all assets were separate, and debts would have been as well if we'd had them.

CalBal

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Re: Unmarried co-habitating SO finances. How do you do it.
« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2018, 07:33:10 PM »
My now ex-BF (5 year relationship) and I did the same as Raenia, we looked at our average bills and opened a shared account and each contributed a set amount of money (equal) into it each month and used this account to pay all household expenses (mortgage, homeowners insurance, utilities, groceries, eating out, vacation spending). Anything we bought for ourselves (car, gas, personal stuff) we didn't pay for from that account. We did own a house together, and the mortgage was held 50/50 as tenants in common (should something happen). We sold that house and moved, and he did a peace out later (while we were still renting in the new city) so at least I didn't have to deal with the house. Because we were not married this made sense at the time. And in retrospect, too. Our incomes were approximately equal though, so it wasn't really any stretch to split things 50/50.

ETA: Neither of us had significant debt during this relationship though. My car was paid off the entire time, and he did buy a new one during the relationship (but paid for it himself). No student load debt or CC debt. Just the mortgage for part of the time.
« Last Edit: August 03, 2018, 07:35:28 PM by CalBal »

DT

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Re: Unmarried co-habitating SO finances. How do you do it.
« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2018, 08:05:57 PM »
My ex and I used to split household expenses 50/50 and have separate bank accounts. In retrospect I think we should have split these based on net income, his salary was about 40% higher. We didn't own any significant assets jointly so when we split it wasn't complicated.

It depends on where you live but in my location if you live together for more than 3 years then all of your assets can be considered relationship property and upon separating you could lose a big portion of your wealth. To get around this you need to visit a lawyer and have a document to protect assets acquired before you start living together. A bit like a prenuptial.

If I did start living with someone else in the future then I don't expect that I would change my will unless we accumulated significant assets together. I don't have children and would still want my nieces and nephews to inherit the bulk of my estate.

stashja

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Re: Unmarried co-habitating SO finances. How do you do it.
« Reply #5 on: August 03, 2018, 08:10:50 PM »
Split groceries using envelope system (yay for family owned grocery stores that prefer cash), 2 properties so one of us pays mortgage/taxes/utilities for the one we brought into the relationship and the other one has no mortgage any longer. major expenses (like our one, 21-year-old car) we pay cash and split. No kids.

monstermonster

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Re: Unmarried co-habitating SO finances. How do you do it.
« Reply #6 on: August 03, 2018, 08:20:15 PM »
No kids with no plans to ever have any, but my SSO is FI and I am not, and he makes about 6x my annual income and has a net worth 20x mine  so we maintain everything separately and split all household expenses 50/50 but he pays higher rent than me ($615 a month va $900 a month) due to his preferred housing being fancier than I would get on my own. We’ve lived together for about 3 years and this works pretty well. The kitty is his officially so he covers all kitty expenses except kitty spoiling (fancy catnip treats, vanity cat beds).

Penn42

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Re: Unmarried co-habitating SO finances. How do you do it.
« Reply #7 on: August 03, 2018, 08:39:23 PM »
GF and I live together and we keep our expenses completely separate.  No kids or shared debts so it's pretty easy.  I make more so I pay slightly more on the shared expenses.  No complaints. 

Honestly, I couldn't imagine what the one pot method would be like.  Our spending habits are somewhat similar, but I feel like any differences would be magnified in the eyes of the person who keeps track of it all (which would probably be me).  Yet I wouldn't want to make a thing out of it.

Raenia

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Re: Unmarried co-habitating SO finances. How do you do it.
« Reply #8 on: August 04, 2018, 05:25:26 AM »
When my now-DH and I moved in together, that's about how we did it.  We opened a joint bank account and each set up a monthly transfer for our half of the monthly joint expenses, 50/50.  I offered to do it based on salary, but he insisted on 50/50 (he was the lower earner).  Neither of us had any debt, but all assets were separate, and debts would have been as well if we'd had them.

Forgot to mention, I had a car and he didn't, so he took public transit almost all the time, and if he wanted the car for something, he asked to borrow it and paid gas, or rented a zip-car if I also needed the car that day.  I did add him on my insurance, and he paid the difference.

StacheyStache

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Re: Unmarried co-habitating SO finances. How do you do it.
« Reply #9 on: August 04, 2018, 06:53:58 AM »
Finances are totally separate, I'm a firm believer in no joint anything until marriage.  We're both on the lease and that's about as much as I'm willing to do without a ring.  I pay the rent + utility bills once a month because it's easier logistically and he's more forgetful about due dates than I am.  He writes me a check for his share.  Never had an issue.

We base it on incomes with some emphasis on what we were paying in rent prior to moving in together.  Neither of us are high income earners, but I make twice what he does (think 60k/30k).  Prior to moving in together he was paying about 500 dollars for rent and utilities to split a two bedroom with two roommates (he had the smaller room, roommate and roommate's SO had the bigger one).  He offered to do 50/50 if we found a place within his budget, I said no thanks due to his current abode having problems with rats, cockroaches, ceiling caving in, no gym, no washer/dryer, a pool with an "interesting" shade of green in the water etc. etc. etc.  Meanwhile, I was paying 1350 for rent and utilities for a nice one bedroom in a nice part of town.  When we moved in together, we found a new place and both of us got a major upgrade.  We now pay 1650 total for rent and utilities for a much nicer place in a prime location with all the amenities you could think of.  He still pays 500 and I pay 1150.  More than twice what he pays but it's a 200 dollar discount compared to what I was paying when I was single for a way nicer place.  We're both happy with that arrangement.

Because I pay a little more than twice his rent, we split groceries and going out pretty evenly, putting half of the weekly grocery trip on each of our cards and trading off who pays for dates.  We don't track dollar for dollar but we try to keep a mental note and if he had to make a few extra runs to the grocery store. I pick up the next couple of dates.  I do chip in much more for vacations because travel is important to me and I realize it's not within his budget.  I don't like going on trips alone and would much rather pay more to have him with me than go by myself.  He's a little embarrassed about this but I try to reassure him it really doesn't bother me and I'm just happy to have him with me.

Obviously I'm a fan of the split by income method, but to each his own.


nick663

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Re: Unmarried co-habitating SO finances. How do you do it.
« Reply #10 on: August 04, 2018, 08:04:35 AM »
We have a joint expense account that we contribute to twice a month based on an annual budget.  Contributions are split as a percentage of household income.

Tinker

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Re: Unmarried co-habitating SO finances. How do you do it.
« Reply #11 on: August 04, 2018, 09:11:31 AM »
When my now-DH and I moved in together, that's about how we did it.  We opened a joint bank account and each set up a monthly transfer for our half of the monthly joint expenses, 50/50.  I offered to do it based on salary, but he insisted on 50/50 (he was the lower earner).  Neither of us had any debt, but all assets were separate, and debts would have been as well if we'd had them.
I'm awfully sorry to barge into this without contributing but while i have most of these abbreviations figured out by now, the only sense i can make of DH is "dee husband".
somebody please enlighten me

BikeFanatic

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Re: Unmarried co-habitating SO finances. How do you do it.
« Reply #12 on: August 04, 2018, 09:26:34 AM »
Dear husband, FYI

Tinker

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Re: Unmarried co-habitating SO finances. How do you do it.
« Reply #13 on: August 04, 2018, 10:13:45 AM »
that makes marriage quite the demotion from "significant other"

Tris Prior

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Re: Unmarried co-habitating SO finances. How do you do it.
« Reply #14 on: August 04, 2018, 10:26:17 AM »
We keep separate finances and contribute to the household expenses based on our incomes. I make around $60k and he's a hair under $40k so we do a 60/40 split - we totaled up all of our joint expenses and divided up who was responsible for what based on that percentage. We take turns paying for entertainment/eating out. If it's an event that I have more interest in than he does, I'll offer to pay and vice versa. Basically we just work to make sure that the arrangement feels fair to us both, and we're not shy about asking the other "would you mind paying for that?" if one or the other of us is short that month or had unexpected expenses.

As far as estate planning, we drew up POA and wills shortly after we moved in together and we're the beneficiaries of each other's retirement accounts, life insurance, etc. I tend not to figure in his retirement savings into my retirement plans, though; chiefly because he's not great about communicating how much he has in each and he's got a bunch of little accounts from previous jobs that he really needs to roll over all into one place. I've been on him for a while to do that, but ultimately it's not my decision or responsibility; I can't make him. So I tend to just forget that his money is there and focus on my own savings.

clarkfan1979

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Re: Unmarried co-habitating SO finances. How do you do it.
« Reply #15 on: August 04, 2018, 10:31:08 AM »
My wife and I lived together for one year before we got married. We both made about 45K. Even though we made about the same, I paid for about 60% to 70% of the bills and expenses. She mostly bought clothes for herself. I'm not complaining. That is just reality.

bigchrisb

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Re: Unmarried co-habitating SO finances. How do you do it.
« Reply #16 on: August 04, 2018, 12:32:42 PM »
My now wife and I kept (and still mostly keep) separate finances.  Before we moved in together, we both owned our own places (hers a 2br apartment, mine a house, about double the cost of the apartment).  Our incomes were different (mine about double, but think 200k/100k, so both on good incomes), and my net worth was about 5x  (close to FI, where as she had ~4 years income invested).

When we decided to move in together, she leased out her unit and moved in with me.  We ended up pegging her "rent" in my place as half of the rent she got for her place - i.e. what I would have paid had I moved in there.  I paid all landlord style costs (taxes, water, insurance), and we split tenant style costs (electricity, gas, internet) 50/50.  At the end of the day, we were married and pregnant within 18 months of moving in.  By the time we were married I had paid off the mortgage and we scrapped the rent concept, and split all other housing costs down the middle. 

18 months after that, and we are living overseas deployed for her  job, and the income disparity is the other way around.  I'm not paying rent (the housing is provided by the employer).

I think you need to be flexible to change with life circumstances, and be able to have an open conversation about it.  Our experience is "fair" usually means that both people feel slightly shortchanged.


monstermonster

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Re: Unmarried co-habitating SO finances. How do you do it.
« Reply #17 on: August 04, 2018, 12:47:24 PM »
We base it on incomes with some emphasis on what we were paying in rent prior to moving in together.  Neither of us are high income earners, but I make twice what he does (think 60k/30k).  Prior to moving in together he was paying about 500 dollars for rent and utilities to split a two bedroom with two roommates (he had the smaller room, roommate and roommate's SO had the bigger one).  He offered to do 50/50 if we found a place within his budget, I said no thanks due to his current abode having problems with rats, cockroaches, ceiling caving in, no gym, no washer/dryer, a pool with an "interesting" shade of green in the water etc. etc. etc.  Meanwhile, I was paying 1350 for rent and utilities for a nice one bedroom in a nice part of town.  When we moved in together, we found a new place and both of us got a major upgrade.  We now pay 1650 total for rent and utilities for a much nicer place in a prime location with all the amenities you could think of.  He still pays 500 and I pay 1150.  More than twice what he pays but it's a 200 dollar discount compared to what I was paying when I was single for a way nicer place.  We're both happy with that arrangement.
This is exactly what we do for the same reasoning. I lived in a perfectly fine place for about $500-$600 (rent goes up quickly in Portland) with one lovely roommate, but it was 70's shag carpeting, no washer/dryer, no dishwasher, no bike parking (had to carry my bike up the rickety outdoor stairs), and very dark. But I was fine with all that. The big downside was that my downstairs neighbor smoked like a chimney so the smell came up through the floorboards into the closets and bathroom.

My SSO was living a few blocks away in a studio in a new construction building paying $1600 a month, going up to $1800 a month (fuck portland rental market)- so when we moved in together, he wanted fancier housing amenities (no pool or gym, we're not that fancy! But he really wanted a dishwasher) and could afford it on a mid-six-figure salary, I couldn't swing that on a sub-40K income while saving 50% of my income.  So we made pretty much the same negotiation. Now we live in a 2 bedroom instead of share a studio since we both work from home, which has greatly improved our lives and made sense tax-wise for both of us, but we still maintain the same rent equation.

Also my SSO owns a two-unit rental property and we have to make the justification that his rent is low enough to not just move into the rental property (he has to make more off one of the units than we pay in rent, after accounting for expenses).

He's currently contemplating building a triplex on the existing land he owns (tear down house that's there now) where we'll move into one of the units, and we'll have to figure out if it make sense for me to buy into one of the units, etc. No plans to get married, so I won't have an automatic stake in the building. My big issue is not wanting to put a ton of personal funds into decorating the space (something I likely would want to do if I lived there) without a legal course to recoup them. Maybe need a punk rock version of a prenup, something a lot of my friends did before they could get legally married.

K-ice

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Re: Unmarried co-habitating SO finances. How do you do it.
« Reply #18 on: August 04, 2018, 01:32:24 PM »
His hers & ours.

Ours is used for everything except for personal luxuries or business expenses.

The ours is split 50:50 even though our salaries have varied from about 20K to 40K at the beginning, to a year of unemployment to parental leave to both stable around 80K.
We’ve basically flip flopped with one or the other making double but individually had enough emergency funds to cover.

In hindsight I think porpotional to income is maybe better & less stress but ours has balanced over many years.

As for estate planning.  Get something concrete in writing especially if you have mixed adult families.

I find if the mystery is removed everything is much better for the step children. In at least 2 cases I have seen the partner usually gets some rights to live in the home for upto a year, may even get some cash depending on length of relationships & estate size. Finally, the bulk goes to the kids.



MarciaB

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Re: Unmarried co-habitating SO finances. How do you do it.
« Reply #19 on: August 04, 2018, 03:23:48 PM »
Another His/Hers/Ours couple here. The Ours account is used for all joint expenses and is contributed to equally. All the rest of our finances are separate, and it works (and is really clean, what with each of us having adult children who are listed as beneficiaries on our respective assets). Totally takes any control issues off the table (no one is spending the other's money).

I recently redid my will/trust/legal stuff recently and my attorney wrote a little paragraph into the will that says something to the effect that although I am with Mr Dreamy, I make no provision for him in this will. That felt kind of slap! to me, but she said it was to prevent any palimony issues that might come up.

MrThatsDifferent

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Re: Unmarried co-habitating SO finances. How do you do it.
« Reply #20 on: August 04, 2018, 04:23:33 PM »
Despite income differences, we did the separate finances but joint common expenses split 50/50. I tended to cover more extra stuff, gifts, holidays and entertainment, which was fine. We both felt it important to be equal contributors in the house and we both could pull it off. We were on separate timelines for FIRE and we were going to sort that but moot now.

deborah

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Re: Unmarried co-habitating SO finances. How do you do it.
« Reply #21 on: August 04, 2018, 04:34:19 PM »
SO and I have lived together for more than 30 years.

I have always owned the house. At first he paid rent - he worked out what he thought was fair, and I said it was too much, so we reached a compromise. At some stage, things changed, and he hasn’t paid rent since, but pays all utilities, and I pay rates (local government charges for the property - whatever you call them).

Where I live, everything is split down the middle if you break up after more than a year.

There are also tax implications - if you rent part of your PPOR you can claim rates and utilities off your income tax but add the rent as income. Your house is tax exempt unless you have rented it out for more than 6 years. You can see that the way we agreed to split actually had positive tax implications for us. So I suspect that different arrangements make more sense in different countries or states.

We are both FIRE. Neither of us have children. Both our jobs gave us a small pension, with half reversionary - but only to a spouse or someone who can prove de facto/co-dependance, so no one else is eligible. But if one of us died, and that family disputed our status, they could possibly get that person’s portion of our money and the reversionary part of the pension would be lost. As a result, we now have joint accounts where, until recently, we had completely separate finances. Even though some accounts are joint, we still think of the money as being separate, and use it independently.

We both intend the other to inherit everything, but to split it between both families as it would have been once both of us die. This has been a bit tricky to organise. If some greedy family member spoils it, it doesn’t matter much, because we each have enough to live on.

We were discussing money the other day, and SO made the point that the way we have always done things has meant that money has never been an issue between us. He is better at paying bills, so he pays most of the bills. We both think the split is fair, and each time it has changed we have worked together for a division that we are both happy with and that we both think is fair. If something starts to irk one of us, we work out a way to make it fair.

obstinate

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Re: Unmarried co-habitating SO finances. How do you do it.
« Reply #22 on: August 04, 2018, 05:31:28 PM »
the mortgage was held 50/50 as tenants in common (should something happen)
FWIW, this means that, if someone passes, their interest in the property passes to their kids. Which means their kids could force a sale and turn the other tenants out. Normally if you want to provision for "something happening," in the case of an equally owned primary dwelling (i.e. if you want to ensure the survivor can continue to live in the dwelling), you use joint tenancy.

CalBal

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Re: Unmarried co-habitating SO finances. How do you do it.
« Reply #23 on: August 04, 2018, 06:25:30 PM »
the mortgage was held 50/50 as tenants in common (should something happen)
FWIW, this means that, if someone passes, their interest in the property passes to their kids. Which means their kids could force a sale and turn the other tenants out. Normally if you want to provision for "something happening," in the case of an equally owned primary dwelling (i.e. if you want to ensure the survivor can continue to live in the dwelling), you use joint tenancy.
Hm, neither of us has/had kids, and this is what we were advised. Would it automatically pass to any named beneficiaries then (not children)? It's a moot point for me now, but good to know.

obstinate

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Re: Unmarried co-habitating SO finances. How do you do it.
« Reply #24 on: August 04, 2018, 07:41:58 PM »
My understanding is that it would go to named beneficiaries if it was tenants in common. I just assumed there were kids involved.

PoutineLover

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Re: Unmarried co-habitating SO finances. How do you do it.
« Reply #25 on: August 04, 2018, 10:44:43 PM »
Just moved in with my partner and we are doing 50/50 split since we have similar incomes. We take turns doing groceries and paying for dates but so far haven't kept super close tabs on it. Debts and savings are personal and neither of us own anything so that's simple. Logistically, we are thinking of getting a shared credit card and bank account for household expenses, but haven't done it yet.

mm1970

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Re: Unmarried co-habitating SO finances. How do you do it.
« Reply #26 on: August 05, 2018, 05:00:32 PM »
I know a few couples that fall into this category.  They refer to each other as spouses but aren't.  They are all of retirement age and not working, and it's less messy to keep things separate.

So, if they are renters, they split the rent.  Each on has their own Social security, pension, and savings.

If they are home owners, then the home owner pays for the home - in these cases, the home is already paid for, but the owner pays for the property tax and insurance and upkeep.  The other SO - never asked if he was paying rent or not, but I'd gather probably not - but he probably pays for food and entertainment.

They both have grown children and their own money, so this means that when they pass on, it's not messy - unless the home owner goes first.

Counting_Down

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Re: Unmarried co-habitating SO finances. How do you do it.
« Reply #27 on: August 06, 2018, 03:42:39 PM »
SO and I are intentionally NOT married for tax reasons (check out marriage penalty), so we keep separate accounts among other things to avoid common law status in our state.  However, since I can admit this in the anonymity of the internet we view everything as one big pot of money and we make decisions jointly. I mean, ahem, we make no representations that we're married nor do we treat our finances jointly.  Income is essentially 50/50 and we're both on board with the MMM biz so that makes things much easier since spending isn't weighted to one partner.

House and bills are in my name.  All banking and investment accounts are separate but we do use Mint and PC as observation accounts where everything is linked so we are well aware of what is spent.  I have a CC SO is an authorized user on, so joint purchases (most all) are put on that (travel rewards for both of us).  Both SO and my bank accounts are linked to paying the CC. 2x per month (used to do it once but it creates wild swings in cashflow) everything is totaled up, divided in 2 and person who owes pays the credit card.  This works well since SO is usually the one who owes since mortgage and bills are auto draft from my checking, and anything left on the CC is auto drafted from my checking, too.  We used to transfer cash back and forth, but the AU CC situation has made things much easier.  We do keep clear records indicating SO paying rent etc to satisfy the "non-common law marriage" justification.

A few things have been less than ideal with our sitch.  House downpayment was entirely me, so I lost compound interest on that in a way SO didn't with their investments.  However, we're true'd up on splitting downpayment due to a later renovation.  When we sell, SO gets 1/2 of proceeds - tax guy will have to figure that out in the future I guess.  I get the mortgage interest deduction and SO doesn't - we've called that even on the compound interest from the down payment, but we're always on the lookout for SO to get a house in their name - our market is just bonkers so it hasn't happened yet.  A joint CC has totally messed up me tracking my own spending in Mint, and I don't have the patience to separate out expenses in our joint account so c'est la vie.  We will get married at some point, when it's favorable due to family or financial reasons, but not sure when that will be since one of us will probably work longer than the other (+1 for marriage), but then it might mess up with utilizing low income for backing out of retirement accounts (-1 for marriage).  So, that's a figure it out later sort of thing...probably with the tax guy. How romantic.

zoochadookdook

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Re: Unmarried co-habitating SO finances. How do you do it.
« Reply #28 on: August 07, 2018, 07:28:22 AM »
26. 3 years in my house
Self employed 30-35k a year/student

Her 25
Nanny. 25k a year.

Literally we just buy our own stuff. I pay the mortgage (my names on the title) and all utilites/prop taxes/insurance. She pays trash and some groceries.

I don't really mind, it's way easier for me to keep track of my own spending and while I've tried to get her to track hers it's more hassle than it's worth. She makes decent money and pays her car payment.

Gondolin

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Re: Unmarried co-habitating SO finances. How do you do it.
« Reply #29 on: August 07, 2018, 09:22:35 AM »
I pay half rent, gas, electric and groceries. SO pays half rent and internet. Not precisely even but I have higher income.

Everything else is separate. As marriage looms I'm conflicted about what, if anything, to change.

BrightFIRE

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Re: Unmarried co-habitating SO finances. How do you do it.
« Reply #30 on: August 07, 2018, 09:34:20 AM »
We've been together 8 years, living together for 6. Last year, we finally combined finances when we decided to open a joint taxable investment account. I'll admit, it's been a lot easier!

I should preface this by saying SO has ADD and we always were at parity with income. He had some CC debt and a low credit score because he never remembered to pay the bills on time. When we moved in, I loaned him the money to pay off the CC immediately and put him on a few of my cards to boost his score. Due to the ADD and personality types, I have always been the money manager.

Initially, I would keep a running total of what he owed, pay all the bills myself, and he would transfer money from his account to me. But he was basically never "catching up" on his debt repayment to me because he has huge law school debt - and this became untenable when we found MMM in 2016. I realized that for us to really move forward to FIRE as a couple, I had to embrace us being a team financially as well as romantically. So I zeroed out his "debt" (and the idea that he actually owed me anything), we put all of our money toward paying off my small student loan debt, killed that in a few months and started maxing out our 401ks and IRAs last year. This year, we made the accounts joint, although the joint taxable account has my name first, so I will take the tax hit on any dividends. But that's all imaginary since we share all the finances. (Oh, except his direct deposit is still going to his old account because his useless payroll person at work never changed it after multiple requests. Did I mention she's useless?)

One difference is that I am 8 years older than he is and my mother is not set financially. Therefore, if I kick it, the money in my retirement accounts goes to my mom (BOD), whereas if he kicks it, his money goes to me. (Thinking being that he is young enough to earn more if I go first.) My far distant pension even allows for a live in partner to get the benefit, so we don't have to do anything to make that happen.

We do travel a lot internationally, and that is frankly the only reason I think that we may need to get hitched in the future. I wouldn't want to have something happen in a country where I'm not recognized as his partner and would have no rights.

Zikoris

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Re: Unmarried co-habitating SO finances. How do you do it.
« Reply #31 on: August 07, 2018, 10:05:09 AM »
We have joint credit cards which we use for all expenses (except rent), and have separate everything else. We split joint costs 50/50, and pay for our own things. Our exact income split has varied a lot over the years, but I've generally made more - sometimes a pretty substantial amount more, since he spent a good chunk of our early relationship still in school, and recently quit working full time to just do his side gig.

I don't like the business of proportional splitting. Not my thing - I like 50/50. I'm more in favor of scaling down spending to match the comfort level of the lower earner.

use2betrix

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Re: Unmarried co-habitating SO finances. How do you do it.
« Reply #32 on: August 07, 2018, 05:44:00 PM »
About a year after my now wife and I started dating I added her to my credit card account. About a year after that I bought her a good condition, older used Camry after her garbage Xterra wasn’t worth fixing.

We merged bank accounts when we married. Well - she didn’t have much money, but also no debt, so it was more just adding her to my account.

She has sacrificed a lot to support my career and thus she typically doesn’t work. She’s naturally frugal, and respectful of our money so I don’t worry about it.

I’m always amazed that people have such major relationship issues that were obvious before marriage, yet they still continue to get married. Even worse when they know these problems ahead of time, still get married, then complain about it.

MrsDinero

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Re: Unmarried co-habitating SO finances. How do you do it.
« Reply #33 on: August 07, 2018, 05:53:12 PM »
When I husband and I were not married, but living together, we had everything separate but split household expenses 50/50.

Now that we are married, we have most everything separate, but we have 1 joint savings/checking account for house renovations. We split most of the household 50/50, but TBH we stopped keeping track about a year ago.

Cassie

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Re: Unmarried co-habitating SO finances. How do you do it.
« Reply #34 on: August 07, 2018, 07:57:28 PM »
When I met my future DH I was 44 and owned my condo which I could afford alone. My kids were grown. His were Little and he had lost his job and although a engineer working 2 minimum wage jobs because he couldn’t find a engineering job. This is 20 years ago and his ex was making 100k/year in not a high cost of living area.  Child support literally left both checks st zero because he wouldn’t move across country for engineering job. He wanted to be near his kids.  I paid my bills plus his food and his mom paid his car insurance,etc. 2 long years later he got a engineering job at 35 k so judge was happy and he could pay his share of food and his own bills. We married 6 years later and bought a house. Ever since then he paid more as his salary exceeded mine.  Now retired 6 years my income is double his so I pay more.  Bottom line we are more important than the “I” in our relationship.

Lady SA

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Re: Unmarried co-habitating SO finances. How do you do it.
« Reply #35 on: August 08, 2018, 10:10:19 AM »
His/hers/ours too, but with a slight spin on it. We elected DH's account as the account that shared household expenses would come out of (rent, bills, groceries, gas ((shared car)), insurance, etc), so DH's checking account held both "his" money and "our" money at the same time, with a total of 2 accounts, not 3 (his+ours and hers). We were too lazy to open a separate shared account, so every month I simply auto-wired him a check to cover my half of our expenses. We split 50-50; we set a budget for our shared expenses based on the lower income person's comfort level. However, we were pretty close income-wise before we got married, so it wasn't a big deal.
At the time, DH was vastly more responsible than me, and I was happy to have him be the our "point person" and leave all the dealing with landlords, utilities, etc to him. He ended up paying for most things with his credit card and paying the card off with the shared funds in his account.

After we married, I was comfortable merging finances, so now we have a single shared checking account, single savings account, shared credit cards, and a shared brokerage account. The only separate accounts are our individual 401ks and IRAs. It is so much easier now! No more monthly meetings to figure out how much my monthly check went over or under to account for those variable expenses (gas, groceries).

drachma

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Re: Unmarried co-habitating SO finances. How do you do it.
« Reply #36 on: August 08, 2018, 10:28:05 AM »
Split cost of living, e.g. rent/utilities and grocieries. otherwise everything is separate.

someone wants something that the other one doesn't want (better internet, fancier groceries etc) then they are the ones that pay for it.

haflander

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Re: Unmarried co-habitating SO finances. How do you do it.
« Reply #37 on: August 08, 2018, 10:48:49 AM »
PTF. I'm in a serious relationship and we're talking about moving in together in a new apt when my lease ends in early Dec. We talk about $ a lot and are both frugal. However, I'm 4 years older, so we're in different points of our lives ATM. I'm fully into the salary professional cube life (70k), whereas she's been working in an hourly position for the past year and planning on going to grad school. If I had to guess then I'd say that I make about 3 times more than her right now. After she's went to school and in the working world, I believe incomes would be similar, resulting in mid 100s combined, but could be anywhere from 100-200.

I believe our debts (mid 4 figures each) are about equal as well as our NW (20 each?). I'd like to talk about this and income when we move in together. We came from slightly different backgrounds...eg, her family is a bit better off than mine so her school was paid for. Also, I feel weird for saying this...but from what I've heard, I'd expect her to inherit $ and/or real estate in the (maybe near?) future when elderly relatives start passing away. However, I expect to inherit slim to nil.

We've talked about how we'd split expenses when living together. I'd prefer to do a modified % system, with me doing 60-70% of rent and utilities, or whatever that number works out to when we compare income at that time. I also would like each of us to be responsible for bills that are unequally balanced. eg, I watch more TV, so I'd pay for 100% of that...this would also have the added benefit of me being more likely to choose a cheaper alternative or cut the cord altogether. She prefers to run the AC way more than me, so I think it would make sense for her to be responsible for control of the thermostat AND paying for 100% of it. However, she says she wants to do everything 50/50. This would obviously be a better deal for me personally.

The thing I struggle with is her upcoming grad school. I want to pay more for rent so that she's in a better position to cash flow grad school or at least get as few loans as possible. I'm thinking about the long term effects of these loans and how it would impact future finances after marriage and saving for a house, kids, etc.

gerardc

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Re: Unmarried co-habitating SO finances. How do you do it.
« Reply #38 on: August 26, 2018, 09:40:06 PM »
If unmarried I'd just get a pot roommate-style or joint account where each contributes equally and used to pay for household expenses, at least at first.

If there is a huge income disparity, or a huge stash disparity, or one of the pair is FIREd, I'd still do the same at first and consider any deviation from that standard to be a gift.

If kids come in the picture, I'd increase the joint account size and contributions, still equally. If one parent cannot pay, he should be crucified. No, maybe expenses should be reviewed and lowered to something more affordable, or the more affluent parent can increase their contribution, hopefully not by too much.

If one partner significantly sacrifices their career for the relationship, such as by moving, or taking more responsibilities at home for a long period, they should be compensated somewhat but I don't think I'd encourage that or take on the responsbility of providing for someone dependent in that way.

haflander

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Re: Unmarried co-habitating SO finances. How do you do it.
« Reply #39 on: August 26, 2018, 09:48:55 PM »
Um, I won't say 100% for sure, but it's definitely headed toward The One status. I wouldn't move in with someone unless I thought marriage was a real possibility. I get what you're saying, but I don't think I'd be comfortable merging accounts or anything like that before marriage. I'm definitely open to taking the living expenses burden (maybe even up to 80-90% of it) so she could pay for school. We had a heart-to-heart talk about moving in together and me wanting to pay more for things so she could pay for school and I could tell that really affected her...she teared up.

The other thread terrifies me. Oh, we randomly were talking about $ the other day and it came out that her exact CC debt is only 3k, and that's all the debt she has right now. I thought it was under 10 but I'm glad it's closer to 0 than 10. Mine is under 6 so combined we're under 10. I think that's pretty good for two 20-somethings.

beattie228

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Re: Unmarried co-habitating SO finances. How do you do it.
« Reply #40 on: August 28, 2018, 08:47:43 AM »
Another 'his/hers/ours' couple. We've been together a few years, recently married. This is how we've done our finances since we moved in together a few years back and it works well for both of us. Despite me making more than her, we continue to split household things 50/50 although I'll pick up the bill for dinners and happy hours because I've got more discretionary funds from having a higher salary. We kept all debt, retirement and investment accounts separate from one another. We have a joint checking for living expenses as well as joint savings for potential future house/vacation funds.

Some folks will say a married couple/long term couple should make all funds joint but I simply don't agree with that. Most important factor in my opinion is being on the same page in terms of savings and spending goals. The rest is synonymous with what happens in the bedroom, what works for one couple may not work for others.

Retire-Canada

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Re: Unmarried co-habitating SO finances. How do you do it.
« Reply #41 on: August 28, 2018, 09:07:08 AM »
We split costs 50/50 and keep separate finances. My GF pays me a discounted market rent to live in my house. No plans to ever co-mingle money. We have a co-habitation agreement to formalise this and so we don't automatically become common law in BC.
« Last Edit: August 28, 2018, 09:30:26 AM by Retire-Canada »

gerardc

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Re: Unmarried co-habitating SO finances. How do you do it.
« Reply #42 on: August 28, 2018, 09:17:28 AM »
Another 'his/hers/ours' couple. We've been together a few years, recently married. This is how we've done our finances since we moved in together a few years back and it works well for both of us. Despite me making more than her, we continue to split household things 50/50 although I'll pick up the bill for dinners and happy hours because I've got more discretionary funds from having a higher salary. We kept all debt, retirement and investment accounts separate from one another. We have a joint checking for living expenses as well as joint savings for potential future house/vacation funds.

Some folks will say a married couple/long term couple should make all funds joint but I simply don't agree with that. Most important factor in my opinion is being on the same page in terms of savings and spending goals. The rest is synonymous with what happens in the bedroom, what works for one couple may not work for others.

Do you have a prenup? If not, the accounts you now think are separately owned may in fact be joint by law (e.g. if you co-mingled funds since marriage).

beattie228

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Re: Unmarried co-habitating SO finances. How do you do it.
« Reply #43 on: August 28, 2018, 09:28:50 AM »
Another 'his/hers/ours' couple. We've been together a few years, recently married. This is how we've done our finances since we moved in together a few years back and it works well for both of us. Despite me making more than her, we continue to split household things 50/50 although I'll pick up the bill for dinners and happy hours because I've got more discretionary funds from having a higher salary. We kept all debt, retirement and investment accounts separate from one another. We have a joint checking for living expenses as well as joint savings for potential future house/vacation funds.

Some folks will say a married couple/long term couple should make all funds joint but I simply don't agree with that. Most important factor in my opinion is being on the same page in terms of savings and spending goals. The rest is synonymous with what happens in the bedroom, what works for one couple may not work for others.

Do you have a prenup? If not, the accounts you now think are separately owned may in fact be joint by law (e.g. if you co-mingled funds since marriage).

Yeah, we have a prenup. Mainly because of a family inheritance on her end but also states our individual accounts stay separate in the event we go splitsville.

Johnez

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Re: Unmarried co-habitating SO finances. How do you do it.
« Reply #44 on: August 28, 2018, 10:22:17 AM »
Right now I make all the money, so income/expenses are basically 100% on me. She's raising the kids (toddler and infant), which is saving us a ton of money. She's pretty apprehensive over the fact that I'm the income source and does not like being in the position of having to ask me for money. I'm probably going to direct deposit enough money in her account to take care of the groceries and have enough money to pay for stuff she and the kids need without having to ask me. In the future I think it'll be kind of messy as she goes back to work and we have to figure out daycare/preschool costs and expenses so things are fair. I'm thinking we'll focus on "leftovers," basically split costs in a way so that we get about the same amount leftover every month. It seems the only fair way really.

RamonaQ

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Re: Unmarried co-habitating SO finances. How do you do it.
« Reply #45 on: August 28, 2018, 12:54:14 PM »
My SO and I have been cohabitating for about 5 years?  I think?

We have a joint account but basically just use it for transferring money back and forth to each other.  Everything else is separate.

The house and mortgage are in his name only.  Any capital improvements to the house are his financial responsibility only.  He pays the mortgage and property taxes.

I don't pay rent, but I pay basically all the other bills (utilities, groceries, gym membership, etc.).  When added up, it works out to both of us paying an amount of joint expenses that is roughly proportional to our incomes.  (He makes over 3x what I do).  Things like cars/transportation, hobbies, etc. are our individual responsibilities.

It took some trial and error to get to this point and it's far from scientific, but it works pretty well for us.  The positives:
- My SO pays less than he would if he lived alone, and I pay less than I would if I were renting an apartment, so it's a financial benefit for both of us
- My SO hates paying lots of little bills and I don't mind, so he doesn't have to deal with all the fiddly little bills.  And we don't have to do a lot of ongoing calculations - you owe me X for this or Y for that - which we both would find annoying
- We both trust each other that we'll pay what we are responsible for
- We were both kind of uncomfortable of the dynamic of me paying him rent or contributing to a mortgage for a house that wasn't mine, so this setup avoids that.

As far as long-range planning, we are each other's beneficiaries on life insurance, retirement plans, etc. (split with our parents).  Neither of us have kids and we don't plan to, so that simplifies matters.

Before we moved in together we drafted a cohabitation agreement.  I'm sure it's not legally binding or anything, but it was good practice for us to hash out scenarios that might come up.  What if his dog needed surgery? (Our answer: we each would make decisions and be financially responsible for the pets we brought into the relationship.)  What if we broke up? (Our answer: I would have 60 days to move out and would continue paying whatever bills I had been paying during that time)