When you are living with housemates, it is easy to manage expenses. Bills can be split evenly between those in the house. Living the same lifestyle makes it a lot easier to understand each other’s position and work things out accordingly.
However, when you are living together with your partner or spouse, it can be hard to separate the expenses. If each of you are on different incomes and are paying off your mortgage, it can be difficult for the one on the lower income. There are a number of ways you can split repayments and bills between you, however, initially it can be a little awkward to work around. Knowing your options and different ways to split bills however, will allow you to choose the one that suits you best as a couple.
A Fifty-fifty Split
This is a very straight-forward yet simple way of splitting your expenses. No matter what each person earns, each pays for the expenses equally and keeps the leftover cash separately. It is a perfect solution for couples who have recently started living together.
Combine Your Income into one
Another way is to combine your total income into one. This strategy works well for those who have their own house and are secure in their relationship or marriage. Mortgage repayments can be made easily via direct debit. Merging the income is an organic process that progresses with the decision to buy a house and getting married. It can be difficult at times because while you can easily split rent or repayments if one person has a more relaxed view on spending habits, there can be conflict between how the money is spent. If this issue arises, one way around it is to document where the money is being spent so that it is transparent between you two, or to put aside $200 a week each for personal spending.
This may not be the right choice for you if you are someone who prefers financial freedom.
Many working couples fall in a different income scale. In this case, you can adopt a pro-rata system. This allows you to split the bills according to your income – down to a percentage rather than fixed amount or for how much you use an item. For example, if one person only uses the internet to check their bank statement once a month and the other uses it for work daily, then the one using the most will pay a higher proportion of the expense.
This is a great option for couples who get frustrated at times when they have to pay for something they have not even used.
Full Support from One Income Earner
There are so many couples where only one person earns an income and the other one looks after the house and children. This method comes with a lot of communication because the spouse providing full support might feel like he or she is being taken advantage of. It can come with emotional stress. Therefore, it is very important to communicate as much as you can, to avoid any complication.
Regardless of what method you use to split or share expenses, what matters is that you stay honest and effectively talk about your concerns as you progress in your relationship. It is not easy to manage expenses even when you are living an independent life. But when you have a partner, you must try to be financially responsible or else it may create confusion and stress. There have been cases where financial issues turned out to be the deal breaker in a relationship. Therefore, develop a system that works best for you and your partner. Be flexible in spending money on expenses. You can switch between any of the aforementioned methods to avoid any uncertainty or issues. Do remember that there are no fixed criteria, nor is there a perfect formula to manage your expenses. You can choose whatever is suitable to your situation.
Chat to Hunter Galloway about advice on how to split bills with a partner now on 1300 088 065 or email Nathan.Vecchio@HunterGalloway.com.au