Author Topic: Moving in with my boyfriend and I'm curious your opinions on a fair rent  (Read 2127 times)

hipposrock

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Hey there! This is my first post, yay!

I've been following the blog on and off for the last few years and grown my 'stache quite a bit. My boyfriend has a decent amount of debt, but he is killing it on the budgeting game and doing great at getting them down. He's not really a mustachian, but we have similar money values and haven't had a problem with it.

But! We have kinda a unique situation since he has a baby with custody over her half the time. They will be moving in to my place in February and I just want advice on if the rent sounds right to you. My place is a two bedroom with a basement. When they move in we will make the office/nursery be just a nursery and move my desk and his to the basement so that baby gets her own space with toys, etc. Rent is $1375 plus $100 for utilities per month. He suggested $800 per month. What do you think about that? I am just struggling with it because I feel necessities should be 50/50 in a relationship, but the whole baby aspect of a relationship is new to me. Currently he pays a bit more of the gas bill since I normally wouldn't be driving to daycare, etc but we do split things like groceries evenly.

Paul der Krake

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Re: Moving in with my boyfriend and I'm curious your opinions on a fair rent
« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2019, 05:23:28 PM »
That amount sounds good to me.

dandarc

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Re: Moving in with my boyfriend and I'm curious your opinions on a fair rent
« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2019, 05:27:51 PM »
$800 sounds fair. Are you struggling with thinking it should be more (living with a baby - a whole lot different than not living with the baby) or thinking it should be less ($800 is more than half)?

Bernard

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Re: Moving in with my boyfriend and I'm curious your opinions on a fair rent
« Reply #3 on: September 10, 2019, 05:45:02 PM »
The fact that (1) he suggested $800, and (2) that $800 is a fair amount, seems to make this an easy decision.

mspym

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Re: Moving in with my boyfriend and I'm curious your opinions on a fair rent
« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2019, 06:31:35 PM »
$800 seems fair to me. When I moved in with my partner, we decided on a 1/3- 2/3 rent split because he has 50% custody of his two kids. We split the food and utilities along those lines too. This was pre-mustache and seemed fair to both of us.

LaineyAZ

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Re: Moving in with my boyfriend and I'm curious your opinions on a fair rent
« Reply #5 on: September 10, 2019, 07:15:28 PM »
I'm wondering if he's also paying child support, and therefore what his true net monthly income is.  And, if the goal is to continue knocking down his debt, maybe a slightly smaller amount - $650? - would achieve that more quickly.

But ultimately it sounds like you have a healthy relationship especially since you are both upfront about the expenses and he's wanting to be paying his fair share.

RWTL

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Re: Moving in with my boyfriend and I'm curious your opinions on a fair rent
« Reply #6 on: September 10, 2019, 07:41:47 PM »
Anything >= 50% is fair. 

hipposrock

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Re: Moving in with my boyfriend and I'm curious your opinions on a fair rent
« Reply #7 on: September 10, 2019, 07:50:21 PM »
I'm wondering if he's also paying child support, and therefore what his true net monthly income is.  And, if the goal is to continue knocking down his debt, maybe a slightly smaller amount - $650? - would achieve that more quickly.

But ultimately it sounds like you have a healthy relationship especially since you are both upfront about the expenses and he's wanting to be paying his fair share.

Luckily for him he is not paying child support right now, but he does pay for her health insurance. He makes around 60k and I make about 80k (contracting so income varies). I guess that's what I struggle with is that he wants to pay his fair share but thinking long term it would be great for him to be debt free.

hipposrock

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Re: Moving in with my boyfriend and I'm curious your opinions on a fair rent
« Reply #8 on: September 10, 2019, 07:52:54 PM »
$800 seems fair to me. When I moved in with my partner, we decided on a 1/3- 2/3 rent split because he has 50% custody of his two kids. We split the food and utilities along those lines too. This was pre-mustache and seemed fair to both of us.

Thanks that's really helpful. Obviously since she's a baby she's not really consuming extra internet and honestly no more lights so I wouldn't want to split utilities differently, but yeah probably I should consider groceries, too!

mspym

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Re: Moving in with my boyfriend and I'm curious your opinions on a fair rent
« Reply #9 on: September 10, 2019, 08:18:11 PM »
I'm wondering if he's also paying child support, and therefore what his true net monthly income is.  And, if the goal is to continue knocking down his debt, maybe a slightly smaller amount - $650? - would achieve that more quickly.

But ultimately it sounds like you have a healthy relationship especially since you are both upfront about the expenses and he's wanting to be paying his fair share.

Luckily for him he is not paying child support right now, but he does pay for her health insurance. He makes around 60k and I make about 80k (contracting so income varies). I guess that's what I struggle with is that he wants to pay his fair share but thinking long term it would be great for him to be debt free.

And long-term you can adjust the rent downwards/split evenly but it is very difficult to reverse that. This is why it would be a good idea *now* while the costs are small to think about how you want to structure your life. It is particularly important given there is a child involved. So this includes - roles and responsibilities when the child is there, who covers what expenses, split of chores, what right you have/will eventually have to set rules for the child.

It is hard to understate what a disruption this will be in your life and it gets exacerbated if there is any underlying feeling of unfairness for either finances or household labour. Because it is a recipe for resentment if you are subsidising your boyfriend's child, never getting enough sleep, somehow end up taking over work because it needs doing, but still can't set rules because you are not the parent after all. I am not saying this to be a gloomypants. I love my stepsons! They are great! It is just a weird situation to find yourself in, in ways that *I* certainly wasn't prepared for. 

Good luck!

calimom

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Re: Moving in with my boyfriend and I'm curious your opinions on a fair rent
« Reply #10 on: September 10, 2019, 08:25:53 PM »
The fact that (1) he suggested $800, and (2) that $800 is a fair amount, seems to make this an easy decision.

+1

Be happy with this, and don't overthink it.

reeshau

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Re: Moving in with my boyfriend and I'm curious your opinions on a fair rent
« Reply #11 on: September 11, 2019, 02:49:52 AM »
I generally agree with the sentiments to take the deal.  It's a good gesture on his part to offer > 50%, even though his financial position isn't as solid as yours.

To @mspym 's point, though, what are your expectations for this arrangement?  Was he in a bind, and you are doing this short term?  Is it indefinite?  Are you on the path to eventual marriage?  However long a horizon you can see, you should spend some time (both of you) discussing what things *will be* like, not just where they are now.  (or, as a shortcut, agree that you will stop and talk through the situation in x months or years)  His daughter will grow up, and intrude into more areas of your apartment:  toys will get all over the place, things will be vomited / peed / pooped on, etc.  There will be loud fits, and challenges to your authority as well as his--how will you deal with them?  If you have some limits or even just doubts, fears, or uncertainty, you should also state them now, before you have already crossed those lines.

I would also ask: how you will cement this arrangement?  Will he be a subletter to you?  Will he co-sign the lease?  While you were supporting the rent yourself prior anyway, you should understand how you will deal with damages that may come out of the security deposit.  And you both should agree to carry renter's insurance; with no legal relationship, your policies won't cover each other.

hipposrock

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Re: Moving in with my boyfriend and I'm curious your opinions on a fair rent
« Reply #12 on: September 11, 2019, 07:21:41 AM »
I generally agree with the sentiments to take the deal.  It's a good gesture on his part to offer > 50%, even though his financial position isn't as solid as yours.

To @mspym 's point, though, what are your expectations for this arrangement?  Was he in a bind, and you are doing this short term?  Is it indefinite?  Are you on the path to eventual marriage?  However long a horizon you can see, you should spend some time (both of you) discussing what things *will be* like, not just where they are now.  (or, as a shortcut, agree that you will stop and talk through the situation in x months or years)  His daughter will grow up, and intrude into more areas of your apartment:  toys will get all over the place, things will be vomited / peed / pooped on, etc.  There will be loud fits, and challenges to your authority as well as his--how will you deal with them?  If you have some limits or even just doubts, fears, or uncertainty, you should also state them now, before you have already crossed those lines.

I would also ask: how you will cement this arrangement?  Will he be a subletter to you?  Will he co-sign the lease?  While you were supporting the rent yourself prior anyway, you should understand how you will deal with damages that may come out of the security deposit.  And you both should agree to carry renter's insurance; with no legal relationship, your policies won't cover each other.

Thanks for all the great advice. This will be a short term solution for 5 months while we look for something closer to where we will both be going to school, so that neither of us needs to break a lease. We have both been in and out of binds during our relationship, for me in particular I lost my job due to outsourcing while I was under contract on a house and then was robbed coming home from the airport. He no longer has a car. We have made it all work, but money wise breaking the leases wasn't wise. Although I have a new job and can afford to live on my own I will be starting school soon and be working more on a project basis making less money. We do talk about the future and see this relationship lasting, but we would wait until his debts are dealt with to discuss timing on marriage and future kids.

He will be added to the lease and we will draw up a contract with our payment plans, I have been in a situation before where I had to write a demand letter to get lease money back. He will definitely have his own renters policy still. I've lived here for 3 years now so I'm not sure how I will do the security deposit, but we will definitely write something into the contract.

So far we have been pretty equal on dealing with fits, etc. Currently, the main battle is how to get her to eat more, which we tackle and discuss together. And I'm definitely aware that it will affect me to be living with a child.

reeshau

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Re: Moving in with my boyfriend and I'm curious your opinions on a fair rent
« Reply #13 on: September 11, 2019, 07:46:06 AM »
It certainly sounds like you have thought this through.  And there's nothing like a bad experience to teach you--the school of hard knocks.

FIRE@50

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Re: Moving in with my boyfriend and I'm curious your opinions on a fair rent
« Reply #14 on: September 11, 2019, 07:47:55 AM »
Before my wife and I got married, we split all of the household expenses(rent, utilities) pro rata based on income. That worked pretty well for us.

hipposrock

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Re: Moving in with my boyfriend and I'm curious your opinions on a fair rent
« Reply #15 on: September 11, 2019, 07:54:38 AM »
I'm wondering if he's also paying child support, and therefore what his true net monthly income is.  And, if the goal is to continue knocking down his debt, maybe a slightly smaller amount - $650? - would achieve that more quickly.

But ultimately it sounds like you have a healthy relationship especially since you are both upfront about the expenses and he's wanting to be paying his fair share.

Luckily for him he is not paying child support right now, but he does pay for her health insurance. He makes around 60k and I make about 80k (contracting so income varies). I guess that's what I struggle with is that he wants to pay his fair share but thinking long term it would be great for him to be debt free.

And long-term you can adjust the rent downwards/split evenly but it is very difficult to reverse that. This is why it would be a good idea *now* while the costs are small to think about how you want to structure your life. It is particularly important given there is a child involved. So this includes - roles and responsibilities when the child is there, who covers what expenses, split of chores, what right you have/will eventually have to set rules for the child.

It is hard to understate what a disruption this will be in your life and it gets exacerbated if there is any underlying feeling of unfairness for either finances or household labour. Because it is a recipe for resentment if you are subsidising your boyfriend's child, never getting enough sleep, somehow end up taking over work because it needs doing, but still can't set rules because you are not the parent after all. I am not saying this to be a gloomypants. I love my stepsons! They are great! It is just a weird situation to find yourself in, in ways that *I* certainly wasn't prepared for. 

Good luck!

Thanks it always helps to hear from someone who's "been there". I have a stepmom so she's given me as much advice as she can, but we were all teens when they got married so it was a bit different. Chores wise we already are falling into good habits and definitely discuss it a lot. So far we've been on the same page with rules and usually if I question something such as her coloring while they are both on the couch he's very good about saying it without making me seem like "the bad guy". You know like "if you're going to color sit here and color on the table" instead of "at hippos rock's house we don't do that" or "hippos rock says that's not okay". Which makes it easier when she breaks those rules around me for me to correct her. It's definitely a learning process for both of us since she's young and he certainly doesn't mind the extra help/opinions.

mistymoney

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Re: Moving in with my boyfriend and I'm curious your opinions on a fair rent
« Reply #16 on: September 11, 2019, 08:28:38 AM »
I'm wondering if he's also paying child support, and therefore what his true net monthly income is.  And, if the goal is to continue knocking down his debt, maybe a slightly smaller amount - $650? - would achieve that more quickly.

But ultimately it sounds like you have a healthy relationship especially since you are both upfront about the expenses and he's wanting to be paying his fair share.

Wait - what? Why should op subsidize his debt payments?

I'd approach this entire situation with extreme caution. He has a lot of debt, has a baby, and is moving in with notbabymama, when the baby is still a baby. This doesn't indicate a lot of stability here.

I won't tell OP not to do this, her business entirely. But I sure wouldn't recommend that she start to subsidize his life for him.

She can invest that money for herself.

hipposrock

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Re: Moving in with my boyfriend and I'm curious your opinions on a fair rent
« Reply #17 on: September 11, 2019, 08:54:15 AM »
I'm wondering if he's also paying child support, and therefore what his true net monthly income is.  And, if the goal is to continue knocking down his debt, maybe a slightly smaller amount - $650? - would achieve that more quickly.

But ultimately it sounds like you have a healthy relationship especially since you are both upfront about the expenses and he's wanting to be paying his fair share.

Wait - what? Why should op subsidize his debt payments?

I'd approach this entire situation with extreme caution. He has a lot of debt, has a baby, and is moving in with notbabymama, when the baby is still a baby. This doesn't indicate a lot of stability here.

I won't tell OP not to do this, her business entirely. But I sure wouldn't recommend that she start to subsidize his life for him.

She can invest that money for herself.

Solid advice, I will not be subsidizing him and after all the responses I think we are going to stick with the 800, 50/50 doesn't seem right either. Most the debt is a result of a divorce with the baby's mom, they lost money on their house and all. The student loans he's going to stop taking out after this next semester. He's doing a lot to right the situation, but life happens.

BicycleB

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Re: Moving in with my boyfriend and I'm curious your opinions on a fair rent
« Reply #18 on: September 11, 2019, 09:23:45 AM »
You've already arrived at the same decision I'd recommend.

Just chiming in to say, I think the many fine replies isolated the key aspects - that $800 is about right, that by principle he should pay "his share", that it's good he is proposing to do so, etc. Overall, I like the thoughtful approach you're each taking. From experience and observation, I do recommend distinguishing between "boyfriend and girlfriend are separate" and "if we marry, we combine finances." IMHO, both situations in the last sentence are inevitable, so it's good you're keeping a fair balance for now to represent the fair status of the budding relationship. (ETA: Not that marriage is inevitable. I mean, if you did marry, IMHO your finances become joined at that point whether you claim to have separate accounts or not.)

Congrats on getting active on the forum, improving your financial skills, and moving forwards in the fulfilling business of a balanced life!
« Last Edit: September 11, 2019, 05:28:06 PM by BicycleB »

mm1970

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Re: Moving in with my boyfriend and I'm curious your opinions on a fair rent
« Reply #19 on: September 11, 2019, 10:25:39 AM »
I would say it seems fair.  Long ago and far away, I rented a 2BR apt with a roommate.  She paid slightly more than half (and we split utilities) because she had the larger room.

One summer, her boyfriend moved in.   They were "just fine keeping everything the same" but I pointed out that he was now occupying 1/3 of the common areas, so we adjusted the rent so that I only paid for 1/3 of the common areas (based on square footage, yes I am an engineer, but she did math too).  I didn't care about how they split her bedroom costs.

mistymoney

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Re: Moving in with my boyfriend and I'm curious your opinions on a fair rent
« Reply #20 on: September 12, 2019, 07:18:26 AM »
I'm wondering if he's also paying child support, and therefore what his true net monthly income is.  And, if the goal is to continue knocking down his debt, maybe a slightly smaller amount - $650? - would achieve that more quickly.

But ultimately it sounds like you have a healthy relationship especially since you are both upfront about the expenses and he's wanting to be paying his fair share.

Wait - what? Why should op subsidize his debt payments?

I'd approach this entire situation with extreme caution. He has a lot of debt, has a baby, and is moving in with notbabymama, when the baby is still a baby. This doesn't indicate a lot of stability here.

I won't tell OP not to do this, her business entirely. But I sure wouldn't recommend that she start to subsidize his life for him.

She can invest that money for herself.

Solid advice, I will not be subsidizing him and after all the responses I think we are going to stick with the 800, 50/50 doesn't seem right either. Most the debt is a result of a divorce with the baby's mom, they lost money on their house and all. The student loans he's going to stop taking out after this next semester. He's doing a lot to right the situation, but life happens.

And we can certainly wish him, and you both as a couple, well going forward! I do hope it works out for you all.

But also - from the relationship longevity perspective, it is best to let him figure out his best path forward financial. Advice is good if he is interested, picking up the slack, especially early in a relationship, can sometimes have a negative effect on the relationship itself.

Good luck!

hipposrock

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Re: Moving in with my boyfriend and I'm curious your opinions on a fair rent
« Reply #21 on: September 12, 2019, 09:37:50 AM »
I'm wondering if he's also paying child support, and therefore what his true net monthly income is.  And, if the goal is to continue knocking down his debt, maybe a slightly smaller amount - $650? - would achieve that more quickly.

But ultimately it sounds like you have a healthy relationship especially since you are both upfront about the expenses and he's wanting to be paying his fair share.

Wait - what? Why should op subsidize his debt payments?

I'd approach this entire situation with extreme caution. He has a lot of debt, has a baby, and is moving in with notbabymama, when the baby is still a baby. This doesn't indicate a lot of stability here.

I won't tell OP not to do this, her business entirely. But I sure wouldn't recommend that she start to subsidize his life for him.

She can invest that money for herself.

Solid advice, I will not be subsidizing him and after all the responses I think we are going to stick with the 800, 50/50 doesn't seem right either. Most the debt is a result of a divorce with the baby's mom, they lost money on their house and all. The student loans he's going to stop taking out after this next semester. He's doing a lot to right the situation, but life happens.

And we can certainly wish him, and you both as a couple, well going forward! I do hope it works out for you all.

But also - from the relationship longevity perspective, it is best to let him figure out his best path forward financial. Advice is good if he is interested, picking up the slack, especially early in a relationship, can sometimes have a negative effect on the relationship itself.

Good luck!

He has come to his own conclusions about how to deal with his debt. I'm offering encouragement, and helping him stick to his budget, but I'm not helping him financially.

Rosy

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Re: Moving in with my boyfriend and I'm curious your opinions on a fair rent
« Reply #22 on: September 12, 2019, 11:27:35 AM »
When I moved in with Mr. R. our incomes were so different that 50% would have crippled me financially.
He already owned a paid for house so there was no need for rent or mortgage payments to be split, instead, we agreed me no longer paying rent gave me the extra income I needed to deal with my finances at least until I was finished with school/tuition.
Between that and receiving a grant I had no student loan debt.

We kept our finances separate although I took over our cell phone bill, reduced our grocery budget by half, took over all the cooking and cleaning and handled a big interior renovation project single-handedly, not to mention painted the house and supervised a roofing project, overhang replacement and replacing rotten beams etc, established a garden (veggies and herbs) and landscaped the property to enjoy al fresco dining and our weekend brunches along with creating a dedicated entertainment area for the seasonal football parties with his friends.
In other words, I might not have had money at the time, but I had skills that changed his life and his place for the better.

He has never paid any of my bills nor I his, but as far as furniture or vacation, we discuss it and sometimes one of us pays all, sometimes we split 50-50, sometimes one of us only contributes X, depending on what else is going on with our budget. If I take a two-month vacation to visit family and friends in Europe that is all on me, if we go out to eat he generally pays, if we need new linens, new coffeemaker or computer I pay. 
He has never had a budget but is very frugal - I would be lost without a budget and a plan, it all works well for us - we've never once had an issue. 

There are as many ways to split costs or not as there are people. Fair, in my opinion, is a pro-rata split of all expenses based on your incomes. If you come into the relationship with debts and obligations those debts and obligations remain yours alone.

Twenty years later my income is equal to his and we are both significantly better off for combining our assets and skills. It also means we will have a comfortable retirement together. He can afford to retire earlier than expected ...

Good Luck:).