I got into a discussion with a young woman the other day on Twitter.
She was asking three fairly simple questions that are more important than she realized.
I just want to touch on each one of them.
Should you split expenses 50/50 when entering into a common-law relationship?
If you’re moving in with someone to live in a full-time committed relationship, I sure hope you discussed money before the lease was signed.
Going 50/50 is for roommates. You’re no longer roommates but partners.
One person usually has more earning power and that’s reality. To equally split monthly expenses like rent, food, and utilities could leave one person with nothing and the other with a substantial amount.
Is that fair? Absolutely not.
Is that what a committed relationship looks like? Absolutely not.
There should be pooling of monies– a joint account for all things household. The higher wage earner will end up contributing more than 50%. If you’re a couple, this shouldn’t be an issue.
Respect and trust are key. Pooling funds doesn’t mean a free for all… it means being linked financially, as well as, romantic life partners. It’s all about adulting and being a grown up.
Discuss this openly and honestly before moving in together. If you don’t then there’s bound to be resentment, tension, and eventual fights over money.
Is love enough in a relationship?
Simple question. Simple answer: No.
While it may feel like love can conquer all, it doesn’t put food on the table or pay the wifi bill. I’m not trying to be flip but reality sets in pretty quick when real life comes knocking.
It would be wonderful to bask in the glow of love and lounge around all day feeding each other bonbons but who’s going to flinch first? Things need to get done.
Now the lovely thing about love is that it can grow to be that beautiful warm place of safely and security that you always know is there. It morphs and changes over time and when things like trust and patience are added, it gets even stronger and more reliable.
Is love enough? No, it’s not but it’s a damn fine start. The rest can be worked on if the foundation is solid, real, and trustworthy. The true key will be communication. Go back and read #1.
Do you think money is a big issue in a relationship?
My answer: definitely. Especially if you’re the one without it.
I grew up in a large family with one main wage earner. This was typical in the day and while we never starved and the heat was always paid, there was an imbalance in the home because of funds.
The young lady on Twitter didn’t seem to think money was a huge issue in relationships but I totally disagree.
I know that when I was single, I lived pay cheque to pay cheque. That was my reality until I learned how to manage money and credit.
It’s very easy to dig yourself, or your family, into a hole that’s difficult to climb out of.
Everything from spending habits, debt, expectations, credit cards, payments etc. must be discussed. Don’t rely on dealing with it “later”. Avoiding the subject will just make it worse.
Money can destroy a relationship as it works on eroding the emotional core to form resentment, mistrust, and dissatisfaction.
Never underestimate the power of the almighty dollar. Sad but true.
Again, it comes down to openness and communication. Go read #1.
It really comes down to a willingness to share all of yourself in love, money, home, faith, and trust. Don’t be naive. Do your homework and due diligence before taking a leap into a live-in situation. Communication is key. Open and honest.
You know what you need to do. Do it.