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nancela4's avatar

How to divide finances when living together and he has children?

Asked by nancela4 (6points) April 20th, 2009

I joined fluther based on the answers you all generously gave to a woman whose bf was wanting a den in exchange for her to do more housework. (No, I’m not being accurate but just some words to jog memory). Anyway, my bf wants me to move in soon. He has 2 beautiful kids who stay over every other weekend (Fri-Sun). He is not wealthy but not poor. He said that when we live together we can do many more things since we will be both saving money. (Yes, he takes me out and treats me very well and respectfully). My friends says that I shouldn’t be expected to pay half the rent but maybe offer to pay all the utilities since he will be making more than I will. He knows that I will not be a “roommate” forever. (We have been dating 7 months-he’s 51 and I’m 47). Marriage in the future is not a question. (If it becomes one then I’m outta there). I just don’t want to feel like I am inadvertently helping him to save for his kids college fund. He is taking me west to meet his mother and sister (with the kids) and paying for it. I’m just asking for some guidance. When I was married, it was easy and even living together with my ex… no issues with money.

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25 Answers

casheroo's avatar

You need to sit down with him, and find out what he feels your financially obligation should be. You should go into it having an offer though too, but be willing to compromise.
I you’ll be paying less in rent, by moving in there, then I don’t see what the big deal would be with you paying half.

nancela4's avatar

I guess I feel that this will enable him to save more for his children’s college fund – which is GREAT – but I feel that I am inadvertently supporting his kids.

casheroo's avatar

Well, bu you moving in, you will no longer be paying your rent, you will be paying part of his (which will also be yours) So, he won’t be paying as much rent. What he does with that extra money is none of your business, especially since you said marriage is not an option. So, the fact that he’ll be saving money by you moving in is the issue? Do you think he’s using you??

BBSDTfamily's avatar

Only move in with him if it is better for you. If it were me, I would help with household chores and offer to pay whatever I could. As long as you have less money going out each month you are doing yourself a favor financially. Just decide if the mental stress, if any, of having his kids in your home every other weekend and not being able to escape to your own place if need be is worth the financial benefit for you.

Also… if this isn’t even a potentially permanent relationship, do you really want to give up your own space? What about when you break up?

robmandu's avatar

How much you pay for rent is not typically based on who makes more. It’s based on division of property and space.

If you’re sharing the main bedroom and all other rooms, then you should pay half the rent and half the utilities you share. If you elect to pay less, then he’s doing you a favor. Are you sure you want to be obligated that way?

OTOH, if he owns the residence, then no, you shouldn’t make half the mortgage payment as he’s building equity and you’re not. That would likely require some negotiation.

qualitycontrol's avatar

Not to be rude here, but you sound extremely selfish. You should pay half of the bills, I think it’s only fair. If he makes much more than you do, do it based on a percentage like 60/40 or 70/30. You both work to earn money for living expenses there’s no reason why he should be expected to take care of you, especially since you don’t plan on marrying him and don’t seem to care about his children. Seems like women always wanted to be treated as equals except when it comes to bills and eating out…

elijah's avatar

The kids are only there every other weekend. That’s 4 days a month (taking into account he probably gets them friday evening and they leave sunday afternoon). So basically they won’t be using that much in the way of utilities and whatnot.
Tell him what you are willing to pay. It shouldn’t be more than what you pay now, otherwise it’s not a good deal. If the balance of the bills remaining is more after your contribution he should pay it. He is the one who invited you to move there.
You don’t want your money going to the kids. How do you think the kids feel about dad spending his money on you? It’s a two way street. That money he spends on you could be going to their college education. Stop being so worried about what he does with the money.

nancela4's avatar

@casheroo – Marriage IS an option… I was mentioning it as an fyi only. Marriage is what we are going towards. Yes, both of us.

nancela4's avatar

OY VEY! I’m new to this Fluther (which I was calling Fluffer, roflmao)... I should have checked my response!!!!!! YES MARRIAGE IS AN OPTION! lol lol

Forgive my rookie-ness

casheroo's avatar

Oh I guess I interpreted “marriage is not a question” the wrong way. Sorry!

nancela4's avatar

@BBSDTfamily – I used to live in NJ and then moved to Bklyn for a yr and a half. Nevertheless… I want to be back in NJ with my friends, family, Shul… etc. I’m going back either way. So, I can look for an apartment on my own… as I said we are moving forward in our relationship.

Can I say thank you all for taking such thoughtful time with me? Hugs to all.

elijah's avatar

If you guys get married, you will be the step-mom. You will be responsible to help raise them properly. You never mentioned the age, so I’m assumming they are still young.
Welcome to fluther!

VS's avatar

It probably wouldn’t work for everyone, but in my house, we all ahve our own individual responsibilities. I pay the mortgage and cellphone bill and my car payment, my husband pays his car payment, the electricity, water, and car insurance for both our cars, and my son pays for the cable TV and internet access. We all buy groceries but do not “split the bill”. It just evens out. The amounts were based on what each of us was earning, and it doesn’t put too much responsibility on any one person. Maybe your BF could continue to pay all the rent, and you could opt to pay the electric bill and another service. This just seems like a much more workable solution than saying you both pay half of everything. Especially in view of the fact that several days a month, he has kids there who use electricity, and eat.

nancela4's avatar

@qualitycontrol – Oh no not all. (I corrected my story – I made a mistake… marriage IS in the future). I do love his kids and get along with them really well. I love to cook and look forward to creating a home with him.

I am asking this question just to make sure that I’m not being taken advantage of… I’m… just cautious… not looking for a sugar daddy.

nancela4's avatar

@elijahsuicide – Oy… yes.. excellent point. Right on target.

I can see where that concern might have come from actually. (Professional hazard – mental health field) <—- let the jokes begin! lol lol.

nancela4's avatar

@casheroo – Noooo, I wrote it wrong… didn’t “check your work, then…answer!) lol

susanc's avatar

Get your own place in NJ and continue to think this through. You aren’t ready for a family.
This isn’t a criticism. You’re pretty honest about this.

Enjoy him and his kids and maintain your boundaries. The fact that you turned to a community of strangers for a sounding board tells me you aren’t sure about this. You don’t have to be!

Give this development the time it needs. No rush. Enjoy.

nancela4's avatar

@susanc – I am actually ready for a family… I just wanted to make sure that I am being fair to myself financially. Perhaps waiting is a good idea.

jca's avatar

I would not rush into this, and i would also consider what BBSTDfamily said, if it’s not better for you then don’t do it. if it’s not better for your financially, and also if you don’t want to deal with the kids too much, don’t do it. I used to go out with a guy who had three teens that he saw occasionally. The youngest boy was jealous of me, and my bf used to try to give him extra attention to make up for it, which meant i’d feel like the outsider when the teens were around. i got to feeling resentful, like i need this like a hole in the head. so if the kids aren’t too into you, and you’re not committed to them, then reconsider whether or not their dad is for you, either. it’s only every other weekend, yes, but it’s also him being obligated and responsible for them in other ways, which does impact you and your relationship with him. do what you want with your relationship, but if it were me, i would not rush into things.

nancela4's avatar

@jca – As I wrote earlier, thank you so very much for all of your input. Really helpful!

jca's avatar

let us know how it turns out.

wundayatta's avatar

It sounds to me that if you are worried that he wants you to move in as a cost-saving measure, then you aren’t sure he really loves you for you. To my mind, this is not about money, but about your uncertainty about the relationship. If you were totally comfortable with the relationship, this wouldn’t be a question. You’d have confidence that it would work out.

You say he treats you “well and respectfully,” but I’m not feeling love here. I’m feeling an economic arrangement. This is fine if that’s what you want. I think it’s a good idea to be roommates “with benefits.” You can even get married, and you can do the mothering thing you want to do. Maybe love will even appear after a while, or strong love.

It is true, at our age, when we’ve had experience with a number of relationships, that the in-love feeling isn’t as strong, and we are less trustful of it. However, I still believe that there has to be a strong sense that you belong together and you will work well together. If you aren’t certain about that, I don’t think that’s a reason not to move in, but I just think it’s important to be honest with yourself about what is going on. It could cause problems later if you don’t negotiate things now, and both of you make sure you understand your boundaries within the relationship.

If there is such a thing, I’d buy a book that is a checklist for issues to negotiate. There must be some out there. Money, of course, is important. And not just current expenses, but the assets you bring to the arrangement. A prenup might be good. Another extremely important issue to discuss is your responsibilities with respect to the kids. Do you get to discipline them? Will he back you up on that? What are your philosophies for child rearing? Do you agree, and if not, can you negotiate them? You do not want to be in a position where the kids run all over you and make your life miserable.

jca's avatar

also, another thing to consider is the man’s relationship with his ex. since he has children in common with the ex, he is bound to be discussing things with her. is it a friendly relationship, or is it a relationship where there’s strife, and aggravation? that may affect your relationship with him, if he fights with her and ends up pissed off. if she’s unreasonable with regard to what she expects him to pay that’s an issue, too. his responsibilities to the kids will affect the amount of money he has available to you (to the “pool”).

Urban's avatar

I would pay half rent and utilities since you’re probably saving on those than living alone anway (I don’t know your prior living situation). He shouldn’t expect you to if he asked you to move in, but paying utilities seems to benefit you way more and since neither of you have brought it up yet, why assume anything – get it out in the open. Splitting living costs are equally great for both parties involved. His children’s costs are his own, but if he’s able to save for their future with this, why would that bother you? You benefit monetarily as well right?

You’ve known him 7 months though, seems to this young fool that you would pose this question to him eh? >_>;

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Fact from fiction, truth from diction. Since you want to avoid the contract of marriage you best get some kind of palamony agreement as to who does what, pays for what, and gets what when you get tired of playing marriage. Then you dissolve like a business partnership and be done with it.

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