“I don’t want to be taken advantage of”: my boyfriend moved in during the pandemic and pays me $ 400 a month
My current partner moved in last year in a somewhat urgent situation due to the pandemic and personal issues. He was put on leave from work at the time.
Our financial situations are very different. We’re about the same age (mid-forties, with him a few years older). I have been working longer and consider myself to be comfortable – low debt, equity, strong retirement and other savings – but I also have several dependents who live with me full time, one of whom is a son. disabled adult, and I haven’t always been this solvent.
I am very careful with my expenses and my savings, and have only reached my current income level in the last few years. He, on the other hand, spent a lot more time in school and didn’t start his career until later in life. He has more debt, no savings or assets, and is spending his money more freely. It makes about a third of what I bring back.
Six months ago, after giving him time to get back to work and catch up with a period of unemployment, I asked that he contribute to the household expenses. Originally, I took the total bills (mortgage, utilities, car, and cable / internet) and divided them by the number of people living in the house. That put his share at around $ 400 per month.
âSix months ago, after giving him time to return to work and catch up with a period of unemployment, I asked that he contribute to the household expenses.
Since then, however, we have combined bills in other ways that save him money. His credit isn’t great, so I let him use one of my cars when his car breaks down. It didn’t increase my premium, but it saves her over $ 100 per month.
Likewise, it cost me a lot less to add it to my plan than it paid for on its own. I also think he takes advantage of my financial situation in another way. The low mortgage on my house, which is large and located in a good neighborhood, is due to a substantial down payment.
At the same time, I recognize that the money he invests does not earn him home equity, which I would expect to see in value to increase in the next few years. I am not willing to combine the assets because my first priority is to continue to provide a good life for my children.
I’m not interested in counting beans or making money with him, but I don’t want him abused. I wouldn’t mind if he was more responsible with his money. He has started saving and paying off his debts, but I consider his expenses to be extravagant for his financial situation.
He says he wants to contribute, but his overheads have been subsidized for most of his adult life, and I think there’s a sticker shock to him to finally realize what it costs to support yourself as an adult. I also think he looks at where I am financially and thinks it’s a little petty to take money from him when I’m better.
The cheapest overhead I can imagine in our market would be around $ 700 for rent, plus a few hundred extra dollars for utilities and transportation – and it’s a nicer life situation than what that would allow him.
How do you make it fair?
Before we answer your question, let’s take a proper pause to ask some other more important questions: Do you want him to live with you? Would you have chosen this under normal circumstances? Or is that the only reason he’s living with you now because of the pandemic?
Are you happy that he continues to live with you because you love him there? Or is it because you see how it helps you with your bills and mortgage payments? Or both?
He gets back on his feet. Ask yourself if this is something the two of you would have chosen. This situation was forced on both of you, and now you’re – whether you like it or not – nickel and dark after the fact. Ideally, you would decide that you wanted to live together because you saw a future in this relationship, and before that, you discussed finances. As it stands, you are playing catch-up. But on what?
âYou are already counting the beans. You are frustrated that it has a low cost of living while you have gone above and beyond to lower your costs.
If you’re wondering how much more her living expenses would be if you had a smaller down payment and larger mortgage payments, it’s too late. You are already counting the beans. You are frustrated that it has a low cost of living while you have gone above and beyond to lower your costs. You did all this work, and he just moved in and is enjoying it. It may or may not be true, but that kind of thinking is not a solid foundation for a happy home.
That doesn’t mean you can’t have one, if that’s what you both want, but make sure it’s because you want to be together, not because you two are saving up. by living under the same roof. If $ 400 is a lot of money for him now, $ 700 will also be a lot of money, as is âa few hundred dollarsâ for utilities and transportation. So sit down with him and practice exact expenses and what you believe is a fair contribution. Above all, his income and expenses must also be exposed.
He may be experiencing growing pains and may not understand or appreciate why he should pay more than he feels comfortable with. You don’t want to be a facilitator, paying his share, even if that’s what he expects from the people in his life.
If you think $ 700 is fair based on your bills and your mortgage, and what he would pay in rent, then that’s fair. That’s not a done. He is not a child. He can negotiate and he doesn’t have to accept it.
If he doesn’t like your offer, he can pick up his ball and walk away.
Also Read: Jamie Dimon Insists His Employees Return To The Office – Here’s Why It’s A Bit Rich
By sending your questions by email, you agree that they will be posted anonymously on MarketWatch. By submitting your story to Dow Jones & Company, the publisher of MarketWatch, you understand and agree that we may use your story, or versions of it, in all media and platforms, including through third parties.
Discover the private Facebook Moneyist
group, where we seek answers to life’s toughest money problems. Readers write to me with all kinds of dilemmas. Post your questions, tell me what you want to know more about, or weigh in on the latest Moneyist columns.
More from Quentin Fottrell: