Moving in together is a huge step. You have to mesh your schedules together and see if you’re compatible in daily life.
Another giant step in moving in together is determining the best way to split costs. Many couples opt for a 50/50 split of expenses, but others prefer to take wages and personal preferences for living space into account when determining what’s fair.
Was I Wrong to Ask My Girlfriend to Pay Her Fair Share?
One man came to Reddit when his relationship ended over an inequitable split of finances. He asked his girlfriend, who makes far less than he does, to pay 50% of all living expenses, and she decided not to live with him.
“Our major issue that honestly is the reason I went ahead and ended things is that she wanted to split bills 60/40 because I made more money,” said the Original Poster (OP).
He described their financial picture and explained why he didn’t want to pay more than 50%.
“I make about 120k, and she makes 40k,” he explained. “I didn’t think it was fair for me to pay more because I worked harder and had a better job when she could just get a better job instead of making me foot the bill because I was dating her. It felt honestly like a scam like she wanted me to pay for the “privilege” of being able to sleep with her and use me like a piggy bank.”
His Choice of Housing
When a couple moves in together and decides to split costs evenly, they must choose a place that fits the lower earner’s budget.
OP also said he compromised by moving to an apartment that was cheaper than his current place but more expensive than his girlfriend wanted.
“She wanted to move into the cheapest place we could find in the area, a studio apartment in the ghetto with an obvious roach problem for $1600,” OP said.
However, he didn’t like that option and strong-armed her into agreeing to a place that would cost her an extra $150 per month.
“2 adults and 2 dogs can’t live in a studio apartment without going insane, at that point, she was just being cheap and ridiculous. We went for the better option, where rent is $1900 because I was trying to stay in her budget. Please keep in mind I left my $2600 apartment for this woman,” shared OP.
Girlfriend Wants More Equitable Split
After moving in, the girlfriend wasn’t happy with the extra financial burden. She kept asking him to do a 60/40 split, but he didn’t think that approach was fair.
“We moved, and she kept bringing up that we need to change the bill split because it wasn’t fair. 50/50 is fair in every sense of the word,” he said.
The girlfriend tried to explain her financial situation to him, telling him the arrangement was maxing out her budget, but he wouldn’t budge.
“She said it would max out her budget and drain her savings because she can’t save money. I said it sounded like a personal problem and she should get a better job or come work at my company where we’re hiring.”
OP Shocked when Girlfriend Leaves
OP couldn’t understand why his refusal to compromise resulted in his girlfriend leaving.
“She went to stay with her friend, which shocked me she would do all of that over a small issue,” he said.
He thinks he decided to end the relationship, but it sounds like she was already done.
“So I went ahead and ended it because she was giving me the silent treatment and not answering calls at that point. When she came back to get her stuff, she had her dad and brothers with her, and they were giving me dirty looks.”
Was OP in the Wrong?
OP came to Reddit to find out if he was wrong after his friends called him selfish.
“Now, some of our mutual friends are saying that I’m selfish, but I don’t see how. It’s 2023, equal rights and what not, so how is 50/50 not fair just because I make more money? I’d like some input and real answers,” he stated.
Yes OP, You’re a Jerk
Most users agreed OP was a giant jerk, not only for refusing to compromise with his girlfriend but for his attitude about hard work as well.
“You were prepared to do everything to accommodate her, except for, of course, compromising in any way, shape, or form,” one user pointed out. “Your income is three times hers – so of course, she is shopping in a vastly different budget to you. You weren’t prepared to split bills with even a tiny bit of bias, so of course, she has to shop at the cheap end of the market. $950 per month is a lot to spend on rent when you only make $40k per year,” they said, before adding, “Your comment about “work harder” is pretty slimy, too.”
“You can agree upon a 50/50 split of expenses, but then you need to be willing to live within her budget. Instead, you whined about your $2600 apartment when she probably doesn’t take home $2600 a month,” another said.
He’s the One Being Unfair
Others mentioned that his behavior is entirely unfair and borderline abusive.
“He says she wanted to use him like a piggy bank, and therefore…she pushed to rent the cheapest available place? What? That is the opposite of using him like a piggy bank. Also, he used to live alone and pay $2600/month by himself? If anything, it sounds more like he’s taking advantage of her here,” replied one Redditor.
“It was intentional. He wanted to keep her broke so she wouldn’t be able to leave him, so she’d be stuck,” guessed another.
Reddit is right. When you decide to live together, you must take the other person’s financial situation into account. It sounds like he was the one forcing her to subsidize his life, and he didn’t even realize it. Hopefully he learns from this and does better next time.
Melanie launched Partners in Fire in 2017 to document her quest for financial independence with a mix of finance, fun, and solving the world’s problems. She’s self educated in personal finance and passionate about fighting systematic problems that prevent others from achieving their own financial goals. She also loves travel, anthropology, gaming and her cats.