Is my boyfriend being a jerk for demanding that I pay his mortgage? and other news

Published by
Peter Kavinsky

Dear Penny,

My boyfriend asked me to move in together after eight months of dating. I have been honored. Then, when I didn’t renew the lease, we talked about finances. I know the timing was bad.

He expects us to split everything 50/50, which means that I will pay $500 a month more than I do now. He earns twice as much, so his lifestyle is more extravagant.

I had no expectations of contributing to his mortgage when I agreed. I would not receive rent and do not own the house he bought before me. If we dated for a long time, I would pay off his mortgage without any proof.

I asked if we could split based on our lifestyle and income. He strongly objected and felt taken advantage of, as the partnership is, he says, 50/50. I’m uncomfortable contributing to his mortgage and would happily pay a share to keep up with groceries, bills, dates, etc. I should add that my car will be our only vehicle for which I pay in full on a monthly basis in addition to maintenance and repair. repair.

I also cut his grocery bill in half by shopping and couponing while we meet. I assume this will continue. I believe that each of us should pay for what we have and share expenses according to income.


Robin Hartill [ The Penny Hoarder ]

Dear A.,

A 50/50 partnership does not mean that you will pay for all expenses. Rarely will you find a partner whose financial situation is identical to yours, unless you are both equally broke. That’s why compromise is so important. It’s about investing equally in building a life together, rather than following everyone’s lead.

The problem with the 50/50 partnership your guy proposes is that it requires no compromise on his part. Your expenses are rising. His expenses are down. He can lead the lifestyle he wants, whether or not you can afford it.

However, I don’t think it’s unreasonable for your boyfriend to want you to pay off your mortgage. The fact that your payment helps him raise capital does not relieve you of the responsibility of paying rent. Paying off someone else’s mortgage without any proof of equity is exactly what we renters do every month.

This does not mean that you have to pay 50% of the payment, taking into account the difference in income. And since you don’t have a stake in this home, he must pay 100% of the cost of ownership, including home insurance, property taxes, and repairs.

Unfortunately, I do not have a clear formula for what the correct split should be. Things get messy when you move in together and only one person owns the house. A good starting point would be your current expenses. At the very least, be firm that you can’t afford to shell out an extra $500 a month. Ideally, however, you would separate the bills so that each of you has extra money.

If you take this step, accept that your boyfriend will also be your landlord. Unromantic, yes. But it’s important to be realistic, especially if the relationship ends.

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Before moving in, insist on a cohabitation agreement, which is similar to a prenuptial agreement for unmarried couples moving in together. You can specify your financial obligations, as well as how you will share the property that one of you buys for a house while living together.

In an ideal world, each of you would have your own lawyer who would review the agreement. But you can find free templates online that are better than nothing.

Until you come to a compromise that you can accept, DO NOT get back together with your boyfriend. If it is still possible to extend the lease, do so. Otherwise, look for short-term rentals or ask family and friends if they have a spare room you can stay in temporarily. Once you start living together, it becomes much more difficult to unravel your lives.

Refusal to move can trigger the end of a relationship. But if that’s not the case, set limits on your effort until your guy is willing to find a middle ground. Stop shopping at the store and doing other things. Maybe when things don’t magically work out, he’ll realize that a 50/50 partnership isn’t just about paying the bills.

You say that the timing of your finance talk was unfortunate. This may be true. But I often answer questions from people entangled in nasty money disputes after years of marriage and a couple of kids. If your boyfriend refuses to budge, your priorities may not be compatible. If you understand this after eight months of dating, I would say that you timed it very well.

• • •

Robin Hartill is a Certified Financial Planner and Senior Author of The Penny Hoarder. Submit your tricky questions about money to [email protected].

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