Only one of us is paying and handling the bills and the other isn’t involved at all. How do I talk to my partner about being fair and frugal?
To be honest, there is really no excuse for only one person in a relationship to pay for everything. However, it is a very common complaint for people in relationships. One partner feels that he or she is much better with money and makes sure that bills are paid. The other tends to be more spendthrift.
When only one person is really covering the expenses, it can quickly lead to resentment. Not only that, but it can lead to additional rifts in the relationship. The only way to fix it is to address it head on.
For starters, you need to sit down together to review your budget. Go through all of your expenses together. This way, you both see where your money goes each month.
If you have a joint account, make sure that all money from your paychecks is funneled into the account. This way, you know your expenses are covered. It also ensures that you are both helping to pay those costs — equally. Add a line item to your budget allowing you to spend money freely. This helps both of you feel that you are still in control of your money. You also get the benefit of enjoying spending it as you see fit.
For some couples, a joint account is just not feasible. It could be due to past issues or really any issue at all. If this works best for your relationship, then that is what you should do. Keep in mind that one size does not fit all when it comes to budgets.
If this is you and your partner, there is a simple way to ensure you are being fair. To start, divide your monthly expenses proportionately based upon your income.
For example, if your spouse makes $3,000 a month and you make $2,000 a month, that is a total of $5,000. If your monthly expenses are $4,000, then your spouse will cover 60% and you will cover 40%. That way, you both contribute the same percentage of your income to the operation of your household.
You can split the bills by just having each person cover certain bills completely. One person may actually write a check to another person for his or her portion of the monthly bills.
Whatever your situation, it is important that you sit down together to figure it out. Just remember to be patient and fair when it comes to talking finances. It is key to a having a good relationship.