If you’re planning on moving in with your partner or merging finances, consider how to split bills in a relationship.
Money talk isn’t easy, and things can get awkward because of the emotions involved. But a robust and transparent plan can help you figure out the murky waters easily.
So, let’s get started.
How To Split Bills In A Relationship? – 5 Ways
The splitting in your relationship entirely depends on your dynamics. If your partner is a stay-at-home parent, you can’t expect them to pay. But if you both are working adults, here are the best ways…
1. Split 50-50
This is the most popular splitting style among couples and even friends because there’s no complicated math. You divide the entire amount by two, and it’s done.
It’s time-saving and straightforward. You don’t have to calculate everything every time based on how much you’ve used any services or consumed products.
The process is specifically great for couples that have similar earnings. Otherwise, this can be burdensome for the low-income partner.
2. Split based on income proportion
This one’s for couples where partners belong to different wage brackets. It ensures that neither of you pays an amount beyond your means. However, partners have to consistently calculate the bills before paying so that everything is proportional.
For this, you must first calculate household income percentage.
- Partner X’s household income percentage = (Partner X’s income/Total income of both partners) * 100
- Partner Y’s household income percentage = (Partner Y’s income/Total income of both partners) * 100
Then, find the contribution from each.
- Partner X’s monthly contribution = (Partner X’s income/Total income of both partners) * 100
- Partner Y’s monthly contribution = (Partner Y’s income/Total income of both partners) * 100
3. Choose per-room payment for complicated situations
Suppose you own a home and live with your siblings. Your siblings have two rooms, and you will share one room with your partner.
In this situation, it will be unfair to expect them to pay half or based on their income. After all, they’re not liable to pay for your family.
In this case, split the bill based on private space or even square footage.
If your siblings’ rooms and your room are of the same size, then your partner must pay one-sixth of the bill.
If they use garage space or other spaces, consider that as well.
4. Take care of particular bills
If you’re not into splitting each bill because of the hassle, this approach can help. For instance, Partner X pays for electricity bills, and Partner Y pays for water, and so on.
A few bills are, namely
- Gas and electricity
- Security deposits
- Streaming services
- Trash removal
- Cleaning services
Note: Ensure the assigning of bills is in such a way that it isn’t burdensome for either partner. You may need to review this process as all utilities won’t be used the same in all months and seasons.
5. Use a joint account
In most places, you won’t get the option to split and pay each of your own particular shares. So, it’s better to create a joint account. Each of you can add your own share to it, and then one person can pay it all.
You can also switch to automatic payment options. This way, you guys won’t have to keep track of payments all the time. However, you will need to discuss matters to ensure no money goes to waste.
But that’s not all, so make your money conversations worthwhile with more knowledge here…
10 Things to know about bill splitting in relationships
It’s not enough to just split the payments. You must also have some ground rules to avoid dirty money wars with the love of your life. So, here’s everything you must know…
1. Understand that there’s nothing wrong in splitting bills
Most people wonder whether it’s okay to split bills at all. Sometimes, women assume that men must pay for everything, especially when they earn more. Other times, men’s pride gets in the way, and they can’t have the money talks.
However, if both partners are earning, it’s completely normal to share the bills. Of course, that doesn’t include dates and gifts. But it’s natural to split the bills of basic necessities. So, don’t underestimate money conversations.
2. Choose which will be joint bills
Discuss which bills you’ll pay separately and which will be joint. Invest an entire day to plan things at home and focus only on your finances.
Make sure you don’t split individual bills – these are bills that only one of you is responsible for. Some examples are
- Personal credit card debts
- Other pre-existing debts
- Student loans
Things you both should pay for together are:
- Rent and mortgage
- Household necessities
- Online and offline subscriptions
- Joint acquired debt
- Child care facilities
- Jointly bought pet costs
- Family phone plans
3. Review your joint bills
When you move in, acquire the bills of all the joint payment facilities over several months. Check how much each of them costs on average. Notice if they need to be paid on a monthly, alternate month, or annually.
Now, list all due dates of the joint bills for the next few months. Stick the list on the fridge or put it on a shared online calendar. This way, you both get to track and see when your joint bills are due.
4. Choose who’ll make payments
It might be that one of you is better at remembering due dates and paying on time than your partner. The other one has a better sense of financial management and money saving.
After a few months of moving in or joining finances, discuss your strengths and weaknesses. Figure out how you want to manage bill deadlines and from which account.
It’s better if you put only one of you responsible for the transactions. Or, you can split the responsibilities for respective bills.
5. Check in regularly
Talk about your bill-splitting strategies at least once every month. Schedule a check-in date to ensure things are going smoothly. You can also come up with any issues you face during it.
You can also discuss if you’d like to merge finances or need adjustment with your share. Moreover, ensure you’re both transparent about all purchases and any missed payments.
6. Prepare backup plans for the worst situations
You may face unexpected challenges in your life. For instance, one of you may get fired from work, lose the ability to work from sickness, or break up and have months of due.
In these cases, the other partner has to shoulder all expenses, take loans, or even move out. Plan for such situations ahead of time with honesty.
7. Avoid sharing bills for assets
Some relationships don’t last forever, even if you want them to. So, don’t buy joint assets like cars, property, appliances, furniture, and so on. Otherwise, it’ll be hard to split assets while moving out.
If you pay for the entirety of a thing, you can have it without any drama if you break up.
8. Pay up together with others
Are there other roommates, like family members or friends, that pay for their own part?
If yes, then fix a date when everyone pays their shares in an account. Don’t pay before everyone else.
Otherwise, others may take advantage of the situation. They may expect you to cover the month while they delay or don’t pay at all. You may also have to continually request others to pay.
9. Don’t merge all finances
It’s never easy to start a new life with shared finances. Rather, it feels scary. But remember, you don’t have to merge all of your money. Share only as much as you need for the bills and necessities.
Don’t give up on your own money completely. Set aside your personal bank accounts and keep saving as usual there. You don’t have to be answerable so long you spend consciously and judiciously.
10. Keep records and save money
Record every month’s payments from you and your partner, and if there’s any other roommate. This will help avoid any misunderstanding of missed payments, especially if things lead to a messy breakup.
You can also try using finance management apps. You can record payments, split bills, and manage income. All of it together will help you save a lot of money.
A word from ThePleasantRelationship
Money is one of the tension-creators in relationships. But it’s an inevitable hurdle every couple faces.
If you can’t see eye-to-eye or reach a middle ground, it might be too soon to move in. But if you overcome it, you’ll learn to build your life together. So, let this intimidating phase help you mature as a team and let your love grow!
Surabhi wakes up every day with a drive to craft words that can create a soulful impact. Creatively adventurous, she is always seeking to learn new skills and acquire new experiences. With a hidden soft corner for languages (especially Urdu), she writes poetry occasionally, binges on romantic shows, and LOVES to talk. A hustler, admirer, chaser, Surabhi is just another-someone who refused to give up on her dreams. She says, she is just somebody who’s trying to make herself a writer and for now, she’s just writing...