In Money

Defending why I split everything as 50/50 in my relationship

Okay, maybe “defending” is too strong of a word, but explaining sounded a little too wishy-washy for a title. (So sue me, I like strong titles!)

Obviously I think this sharing method is fair, but just because it works for me, it doesn’t mean you have to do it too.

The main reason why I split everything 50/50 in my relationship, is because of the following reasons:

1. NO ONE FEELS RESENTFUL OF THE OTHER

Say what you will, someone, somewhere in a relationship where they are paying more than 50% will feel a tiny bit of resentment, especially if they’re paying for an extravagant lifestyle that the other is profiting from.

I have been on both sides — being paid for, and paying for someone else, and I resented this expectation that I had to pay for everything deep down inside (even while telling myself and everyone around me that I didn’t).

woman-golddigger-money-cash-bills-rich

I resented having to worry about bills, rent, groceries, clearing debt, making sure everything ran smoothly, and most of all, I resented feeling like a mother to an otherwise grown adult.

Looking back, I hated it. So why would I expect someone else to be put in the same position because of me?

Where I got annoyed the most, is where I’d be busting my hump working more than 8-hours a day, and I’d come home to someone who hasn’t even bothered to look for a job to help out because of ..[insert stupid reason here].. and basically spent the day playing video games and doing jack squat.

Does that sound fair to you?


Maybe for guys it’s different — they like feeling like the breadwinner, the MAN, and the provider for their family, but for me, this was a little more than I could stomach.

It’s not that I wanted to be taken care of, but even having someone just pay 50% of the bills would have been nice.

Instead, every time there’d be a suggestion to “order takeout” or to do something fun, I’d feel my hackles rise at the cost because I’d have to pay 100% for it.

Photograph-Food-Lemon-Tart-Dessert-Eat

 

Even gifts to me, came out of “our” chequing account (read: my bank account), which meant it wasn’t really a gift to me at all. I just bought it for myself.

Now, while being paid for is nice, the other problem is that then you feel like a slave.

2. NO ONE FEELS LIKE A SLAVE TO THE OTHER

I’ve seen this on so many shows like Princess, Til Debt do us Part, Money Moron, and a whole host of other money-related shows where the person who works outside of the home, either unconsciously or consciously treats the one who works inside the home a bit like a slave.

How it normally plays out is that the one who brings home most of the bacon, tends to treat the other one at home a less than fairly and respectfully.

Even if it’s just $10,000 more in gross pay.

For many people, money equals power.

They feel like they should have more say if they pay more because “cash is king” (or queen).

I see this in relationships of casual acquaintances and friends as well, where this one girl pays maybe 15% in the relationship and her boyfriend pays the other 80%. He doesn’t call her a slave, but he makes her:

  • walk, feed & pick up the poop of his dogs (she hates dogs)
  • cook for him all the time
  • cook fancy celebration dinners for friends he invites over to the house (like us)
  • clean everywhere and everything
  • run errands

It’s not that she hates the arrangement, I daresay she’s the one that pushed for such a domestic arrangement where she does it willingly because she’s exchanging the equivalent of work in the home for not having to cover the other 35% of the household finances.

She could work and pay 50%, but she doesn’t want to (she’s kind of admitted this, even going to the point of saying that she desperately wants a baby so she can just stop working).

Photograph-Shopping-Home-Serving-Tableware-Things-Home-House

This seems to work for them, and seems fair… until you hear that they had a huge fight over who should put their name on the deed for the house.

See, he fronted 100% of the down payment and also pays the mortgage and pretty much all the bills.

She only pays for her cellphone, the house telephone & TV, and gives him nominal rent as part of the 15%, and as that rent money was going to the mortgage, she wanted her name on the house deed for 50%.

He laughed in her face and told her that he paid the entire down payment, so she’d have to pony up the 15% of THAT, but not only that, she wouldn’t have her name on the mortgage, which means he’d be responsible for 100% of the debt, and have to give up 50% of the house asset if they split?

Nuh uh.

Huge fight, but eventually it worked out because she gave in and decided she liked her low-key living arrangement too much to leave him. She accepted it and seems happy, but this is not the kind of relationship I want.

MONEY ISN’T EVERYTHING – TASKS ARE SHARED TOO

Those are my two main points why I pay 50/50, don’t feel resentful doing it, don’t think it’s unfair or “roommate-ish”, and am happy to do so.

It isn’t just 50/50 in money that we share either, it’s also 50/50 in household tasks.

For things like gifts or treats, we don’t split it 50/50. It’s a gift or a treat, and it’s given willingly.

Look, it isn’t like I am going to ever tell him to get out (or vice versa) if either of us needs to lean on the other for help, but this arrangement at the very least, eradicates any discussion, resentment or hurt feelings about the other “paying their fair share”.

We just don’t have those problems.

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Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

Millionaire at 36 after getting out of $60K of student debt in 18 months, a little over a decade earlier, using TheBudgetingTool.com. Since then, I have paid my $600K home in cash (my half was $300K), my $180K casr in cash, worked 50% of my career (taking 1-2 year breaks), and quadrupled my income within 2 years of graduating, going from $65K to $260K with an average lifetime savings rate of 50%. I could retire today if I wanted, but love my work-life balance as a freelancing consultant in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). I am all about balance - between time and money, and also enjoying my money. I also post daily on Instagram @saverspender.

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4 Comments

  1. SP

    Did your partner have previous relationships, and were they 50/50? Just curious. It does seem like your first arrangement (100/0?) was very unfair and I can see the appeal of 50/50 after that. Not that 50/50 isn’t valid on its own merit – it just seems your history would have made it hard to do something else again.

    We do the one pot approach, yet we are about 50/50. I don’t know, really. His full yearly take home is now more than mine by about 15%, but mine was more than his for a long time. It’s more of a team based approach when it comes to finances, and over the long haul. There is absolutely not resentment on either side – and we’ve both been the higher earner.

    Also – “He’s been brought up to be the ‘man’ in the house, so I am doing the cooking, cleaning etc.” Not acceptable in my word. My husband’s mom was a SAHM, so we work pretty hard to make sure gendered stereotypes don’t dominate how we share work. We aren’t 100% there, honestly, because both of us hate chores. But we try.

    Reply
    1. sherry@savespendsplurge.com

      1. He was in other relationships, but I do not know if they were 50/50. They probably were, knowing him. 🙂

      2. As long as you both have been in the same boat, I say go for it. 15% is not that big of a jump, and he seems to enjoy (as I am reading) being ‘the man’, which means providing more perhaps.

      Mine has also been brought up with his mom as a SAHM. It has affected how he sees childcare, and I am slowly learning to pointedly and clearly ask: Would you change Baby Bun’s diaper? .. or … Would you entertain Baby Bun while I do this?

      He needs to be told, and he doesn’t resent that, so I have been flexing my asking muscle instead of assuming he can see I am about to die.

      Reply
  2. Ramona @ Personal Finance Today

    Phew, tough.

    We both inherit an apartment (his will be one room bigger). We both run a home based business, right now we have a similar income, but for 3 years I was the main ‘breadwinner’.

    We’re working to restore a village shack that will probably become our future home, once our daughter is old enough to move out into one of the apartments.

    We both contribute money, he pays the bills, I usually cover the business and property development expenses etc. But it’s not something set in stone, whoever has money on that moment will contribute.

    He’s been brought up to be the ‘man’ in the house, so I am doing the cooking, cleaning etc. I do give him errands as well, since it’s not normal to work myself dead anyway, so he’s in charge of vacuuming, he’s doing a lot of shopping for our household, even spends time with daughter, so that I can do some online work.

    Right now we’re collaborating pretty nicely. It does help that we’ve been together for a long time (14 years) and we’re very easy going and flexible.

    Reply
    1. sherry@savespendsplurge.com

      I love that you two are collaborating on this!

      Reply

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