Living with someone can be one of the most financially difficult things two people can do. Money is one of the main reasons relationships end, be they a friend or spouse. It can be difficult to figure out a system that works best for splitting the bills between the two of you, and it’s really a matter of finding out which system is going to work the best with your lifestyle situation. Here are a few different systems you may want to try on or discuss, and feel free to tweak them to suit your financial needs.
Split Everything 50 / 50
This is the simplest solution, obviously. All the bills are cut clean down the middle and both parties are responsible for paying half of everything. It removes a lot of arguing over who used what portion of which bill because no matter who used what part of which service, the cost for both of you is the same agreed upon amount. This may or may not also include individual expenses such as personal cell phone accounts, Netflix subscriptions, and vacation plans.
Sit Down And Chart It Out
If he uses the cable and you don’t plan to, but you really want to keep a garden in the back yard that would require excess watering, you may agree to pay a larger portion of the water bill and he may agree to cover the majority of the cable bill since he’s the primary user. If you have separate bedrooms or one of you has a craft room or office that they use exclusively, one of you may pay more in rent based on who is using the largest amount of space. The easiest thing to do in this scenario is to sit down and map it all out in advance. This way you have something physical to reference in case you forget later down the line who is supposed to pay for what, which could help save you from any number of future disputes. The benefits of this system are obvious: you’ll only be paying what you personally use. This may also make things more complicated when financial issues arise in which one party isn’t the clear responsible one. For example, if the car breaks down while the husband is driving it but the wife drives it more frequently, who is responsible? Who should cover the bulk of that expense, or should it be split?
Let One Person Handle It
Sometimes it makes sense for one person to handle all the major monetary issues. If one person makes the vast majority or all of the income the two of you may decide that they will be paying for all the household expenses. The other may still have their own account and a smaller amount of money that they use for their individual expenses such as a cell phone bill or travel costs, but everything else is paid by the one who brings home the larger salary.