I’ve recently seen a trend taking place with couples. I’m sure it’s nothing new. It’s probably just new to me.
I’ve noticed that a lot of couples are splitting bills 50/50, even though the man makes a majority of the household income. Ladies… Ladies… Ladies… DO NOT fall victim to this trap.
You can not allow your partner to treat you like a roommate.
What happened to chivalry? You know… The days in which men took pride in taking care of their lady? As a man who loves a woman, I believe a man should feel honored to pay his fair share.
If you’re the man of the house and you make 65% of the income, you should be paying 65% of the bills, while the lady of the house pays the remaining 35%, since she makes 35% of the household income. This basic formula allows both people to pay a fair share of the bills and be left with money after bills are paid.
If bills aren’t separated proportionally, not only will the person making less money have less money left over, they will build resentment.
Just imagine… You’re the primary breadwinner of the house and you split your bills 50/50. You bring home $5,000 net and your partner brings home $3,000 net. If your bills are $4,000/month the primary earner pays $2,000 towards bills and is left with $3,000 while the secondary earner pays $2,000 as well, and is left with only $1,000.
Can you see how this is a problem? The primary breadwinner has so much more discretionary money to spend, and just imagine how the secondary earner would feel coming home seeing that the primary earner went shopping while the secondary earner just sits back in resentment, unable to enjoy the fruits of their labor.
There’s a secondary component to this formula that is vital.
If you do the math, splitting bills based upon the percentage both parties contribute to the household, the primary earner will still have more money left over than the secondary earner. This doesn’t mean that they should get to go out and spend more discretionary money. They should apply the additional money to their savings account/investments. Here’s a complete breakdown of everything I’m talking about as I believe it should be:
Person 1: $5,200 net monthly income (65% of total household income)
Person 2: $2,800 net monthly income (35% of total household income)
Household monthly bills: $4,000
Person 1 pays: $2,600 of bills
Person 2 pays: $1,400 of bills
Person 1 leftover money after bills: $2,600
Person 2 leftover money after bills: $ 1,400
Person 1 discretionary money: $500
Person 2 discretionary money: $500
Person 1 savings/investments: $2,100
Person 2 savings/investments: $900
Notice that in the above scenario, both people have the same discretionary income. However, the savings/investments amounts are different. This is because the savings/investments is what each person has left over after paying bills and spending discretionary money. The additional savings provided for person 1 allows for fairness on their end by giving them more savings/investment money since they have earned it. The goal is to keep the bills and discretionary spending as equal as possible relative to proportions.
Men… If you do this, I assure you… You will have a happy wife and a happy life. Of course… I don’t want to discount the fact that in some households the wife earns more than the husband, but I hope you can see the point I’m trying to express. The breadwinner can be interchangeable. It doesn’t necessarily have to be the man. It’s whatever reality you have in your household that works for you and your family.
One thing I want to make perfectly clear is this… I am not a financial planner. However, this system works well for me and it can work well for you too.
You’ll find yourself less stressed out about bills, and you’ll find less friction between you and your partner.
One last thing I also want to mention is that I in no way am writing this with the intent of “beating up on men.” I don’t think most men who split bills 50/50 realize the damage it will do to their relationship, nor do I believe they realize that it is unfair, primarily because most women don’t speak up and express a problem with it. Society doesn’t teach us this stuff, so there’s nothing wrong with approaching this issue the wrong way, just as long as you eventually get it right.
And ladies, before you take the plunge and move in with a boyfriend, make sure you discuss how you will split the bills before hand. Don’t let him convince you that you’re splitting the bills 50/50 just because you two aren’t married. Dating is practice for marriage. So if he cheats you now, he’ll cheat you later.
Hopefully you will agree that what I’ve put forth here is the right way to do it. If not, find what works for you, and be sure to keep an open line of communication with your partner about money and finances because remember… Half of marriages that end in divorce are over finances.
I hope this helps those who read it. I’d love to get your feedback. Feel free to comment below:
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