Should you pay rent to your spouse when you get married?
This is such a controversial topic, it instantly divides people.
“My fiancé and I live together. I own the house (it’s paid off) and he pays me $500 a month.
The bills for the house are very low and come out to about $300 a month, so essentially he’s paying $200 in rent.
He thinks that once we get married he shouldn’t have to pay rent anymore, and that we should split the bills evenly.
He’s also stressed because he has accrued some debt (about $15,000) since we’ve been together, which is partly why he thinks he should pay less.”
Some more background:
She also believes men should make more money and contribute more <— I definitely do not agree with this
What kind of BS is that, that you want equality in a relationship but then want the guy to make more and contribute more?
Pardon me, equality is simple — EQUAL. Not unequal.
I am not on board with her on that, for the record. I like true equality, and with it comes the good and the bad.
Moving on — I do not know the whole financial budget, situation, etc, only what I am reading, but so far this is what I am thinking:
Of COURSE he should pay something!
$500 a month that covers half of the utilities, and then $200 left, sounds like a great deal to me.
He didn’t contribute to the down payment, or the mortgage she cleared, and quite frankly, where are you going to find a place where you can pay $200 in rent and live?
He is paying basically, for the capital she invested in the home. If they get married and then he basically “pays her back” until it is 50%, THEN I completely agree with him being on the house deed as an equal half, and not paying an extra $200 in rent.
I am imagining myself in that situation, and let’s say I paid $300K for my home and cleared it myself.
Would I want someone to come along and basically take half of that?
Not having saved the money, worked for the equity, etc? NO.
I earned every dollar and I really don’t care what anyone says, I WILL feel resentment that someone just waltzes along and claims half.
I am certain I am not the only one, and you may be a saint if you worked like that and then decided to just let it all be taken.
Love doesn’t solve everything, and just because you are in love, doesn’t mean I am going to forgive everything and be dumb about it.
Maybe we don’t call it rent, but it is definitely “household”
I think it’s semantics. Stop calling it ‘rent’. This is household repayment, that goes towards earning your half of the house, and/or household maintenance and upkeep.
She isn’t “making money” off him as many commenters in that post were outraged by.
If she was profiting, she would have had him pay the whole house and taken half without contributing a dime!
Oh wait. That’s what HE IS DOING.
It isn’t profit until you make money. Her expenses were let’s say $300,000 for the house which she paid.
How is taking $200 a month towards what she paid, and using that money towards household maintenance, taxes, utilities.. considered “profiting”?
She isn’t making anything, frankly.
Most concerning to me is the $15K debt
During the time together, they mention that he racked up $15,000 of debt and is stressed, and doesn’t think he should give her that extra $200 a month for the home she paid for.
I also read something strange about how the bills weren’t equal (??) but I have no details on this and therefore cannot comment.
Bottom line to me – yes he should pay something relative to his income and it shouldn’t be a free ride especially if he is working full-time, and healthy … and bills SHOULD be split 50/50.
What I am most concerned about is money management, or the lack thereof.
$15,000 is a nice chunk of change.
Why? How? Was he paying MORE than he could afford? In which case, I am not on board with the situation, and will reconsider my $200 stance, but was it all just consumer debt for splashy vacations and dinners he couldn’t afford?
Whatever the case is, that debt being racked up is more concerning to me, if you are planning on getting married to someone.
How? Why? Where did it go? Is this going to be like this forever?
If you cannot live with the result of being with a debt-happy spender, when you are a frugal, debt-avoiding saver.. you need to say something.
You need to be on the SAME PAGE. The same MONEY PAGE so that you don’t split or divorce because of money.
Money is all about emotions
If you don’t get your money life in check, your emotions get all tangled up in it.
One person wants to spend $5000 on a vacation because they are stressed and need a break. The other wants that money for a downpayment on a home and are stressed that they don’t own any assets yet.
One person wants a new SUV. The other doesn’t agree and wants a more economical car because of the cost of gas.
You see how none of this is really about money?
The money is there — but the decisions and emotions around it, is the REAL conversation they should be having.
If you know your budget is $30,000 for a new car, let’s say, then you need to talk about how to spend that money.
Do you both agree to spend the entire $30,000 on a new car? Or $30,000 on a used car that is nicer?
Or spend half of that, buy a wreck and run it down, and take the other half and use it towards a home?
The budget of $30,000 stays the same, but the decisions around it, have to do with what you both want out of your money and life. This is what money management is.
Love doesn’t cure all
People change. Relationships change, people become different. You may fall out of love, HE may fall out of love.
Things happen for better or for worse, and hopefully for the better.
Whatever it is, you want to be sure you don’t get into a situation where your house is paid, you want to break up, and he ends up taking half because.. well.. you didn’t take care of your assets before you moved in together by having a prenup done.
The same goes, for the other side with guys.
I have heard many a horror story from men and women alike, of their spouses basically f*&@ing them over.
I know a guy who was paying the mortgage on his own, and his wife walked out on him, but cleverly had her name on the deed but NOT THE MORTGAGE.
He had to take a SECOND mortgage out on the home to deplete his equity, to pay her, what she was owed or “her half”.
Isn’t that some f*#$d up nonsense?
You may think your partner would never do that to you. I think that now of my own relationship, but when you are in the throes of a messy breakup, ugly things are said and ugly things happen.
People start feeling resentful, angry, calling a lawyer, and starting fights you never thought in a million years would happen.
You start wondering how you ever ended up with this person, seeing them in bulldog fight mode. Not everyone is like this, but when you have zero interest left in the relationship or incentive to be kind or generous, things get out of control pretty quickly.
If this has never happened to you where you feel resentful, and/or were ever in this situation of someone trying to take half of what you worked for without any regard, and I sincerely hope it doesn’t, then you are lucky and very fortunate. VERY fortunate.
I have had this happen of course.
Looking back, I was a dumb idiot. I really was. I am only happy it was a small, but expensive-at-that-time lesson to pay, and I got out of it relatively unscathed, because now I am stronger than ever before, and not as naive as before.
It is why I shake my head when people say things like:
What’s mine is yours
Love conquers all
A marriage is a union and an equal partnership of everything!
I agree with the SENTIMENT of the above, but when someone has worked hard and paid a house in full on their own with NO HELP from you, how is that an equal partnership if they don’t also come along and contribute equally to pay back and be on equal footing, not to mention racking up debt in the meantime?
I am also firmly in the camp of that this has nothing to do with love and romance.
Love and romance is all well and good until something goes wrong. Then suddenly, love doesn’t pay the bills, or puts food on the table.
Love doesn’t do any of that — proper money management and careful, unified planning is what does.
This for me, is more a partnership if you are both on the same page, and decide between the two of you what you want to do with your money, be it that someone pays more because they make more, or we are hardcore 50/50 (like us).
YOU DO YOU.
What I don’t love, is people blindly thinking love will see everything through. This to me, is a modern phenomenon, love and so on. We expect so much out of one emotion that we are devastated when it doesn’t live up to what we wanted or expected.
All of this scares the F out of me.
I hope it works out for them, but I am certainly not going to be surprised if it doesn’t, only because they are clearly not on the same money page as each other.
50% of marriages end in divorce.
#1 cause of divorce?
You guessed it —