Young couples are always warned that one of the quickest ways to break down the relationship is with arguments about money.
And boy, if that isn’t true.
One woman on the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit was able to confirm this when she began arguing with her boyfriend about splitting the bills.
Redditor Puzzleheaded_Job_557 came up with a plan that her boyfriend didn’t appreciate.
So the Original Poster (OP) reached out to the subReddit for outside opinions.
“AITA for ‘making’ my boyfriend pay half the rent?”
The OP aims to save money.
“I’m 27[female] and make about $130k, $30k of that being from a side hustle.”
“My bf of 2.5 years is 28[male] and makes $80k, no side hustle.”
“I’m really serious about saving and only spend about $2500 a month, $1600 of that being rent.”
“Occasionally I do something expensive and fun, like a week-long cruise I went on with friends before the pandemic, but I don’t eat out more than once a month, I buy clothes maybe once every other year, and my car is almost old enough to vote.”
She does not believe her boyfriend does.
“My bf is different. He does have an emergency fund and saves 10% of his salary in his company 401k (and gets a 4% employer match), but that’s it.”
“Everything that comes in goes out. He eats out every day, leases an expensive car, and is always buying things.”
“I don’t know where his money goes and tbh I don’t think he does either.”
“I don’t love his spending habits but I’m okay with it. Saving 10% is more than a lot of people do, and he doesn’t have any credit card debt, so whatever.”
Their conflicting approaches to spending are making it hard to decide how to handle the rent.
“The issue is that he’s supposed to be moving into my apartment next month.”
“He currently lives in a house with 3 other guys and pays $800 a month. If we split the rent on my apartment, he would still pay $800 a month.”
“I think that’s more than fair, but he wants to pay $600 and me pay $1000.”
“His argument is that I make a lot more money than him and expenses should be proportional, and he also says it’s not fair that my rent is going to decrease by 50% and his is going to stay the same.”
“I don’t agree because I don’t think what rent we paid before we lived together really has anything to do with the ‘fairness’ of the arrangement, and he can clearly afford $800/month since he’s already been paying it (I would feel differently if he really would struggle to pay half the rent, but it’s 12% of his salary. Come on).”
“My flat salary is also only $20k more than his; the reason I make so much more is because I sometimes work nights and weekends. He could make extra money doing that too but chooses not to. I don’t really see why I should be punished for it.”
The OP made a suggestion her boyfriend didn’t like.
“I told him I would be willing to compromise with a 700/900 split, on the condition that he took the $100 he was saving and put it aside into a fund for us to buy a house one day (and that money would be his to do whatever he wanted if we ended up breaking up).”
“He got mad and said I was treating him like a child, that his finances are none of my business, and it’s totally inappropriate for me to tell him what to do with his money.”
“I feel like I can’t see this situation clearly. AITA?”
Fellow Redditors weighed in by declaring:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Many pointed out that the OP needs to be with a like-minded individual.
“NTA, but girl… from one saver to another, WHY are you in this relationship???”
“He’s not exactly irresponsible with money, but you are hyper-responsible with yours, and you should be with someone who shares your values.”
“I did some back-of-the-envelope calculations, and your boyfriend is blowing at least $2k a month. That’s after all his expenses are paid, including the car lease. He’s just spending $2k on takeout and random s**t.”
“And that’s fine! Like you said, he doesn’t have debt and he saves some, so he’s fine. But he’s clearly not on the same page as you.”
“And he wants you to pay an extra $200 a month in rent… why? So he can spend an extra $200 on stupid s**t, instead of you being able to work toward your financial goals?”
“Girl. No. He’s trying to make a profit off of living with you. Run.” – eggjacket
“Only places I know that judge your rent price is section 8 housing. You’re place is not section 8 housing.”
“If you are sharing the space 50/50 then that’s how the rent should be split up. Now if you have a room that you only have dedicated for yourself and will not be sharing with him, then I can see you paying a higher split. If not, he’s wrong.”
“Also, the money issue. I don’t know him so I’m going to assume he’s flashy and you’re more humble. I’ve rarely seen this work in the long run.”
“Number 1 issue with married couples is money. I think you see your future. You’re a smart girl. You probably have come on here to validate your thoughts. They’re validated.”
“Good luck to you.” – IGiveGreatAdvice2U
“Another thing to consider as well. Completely aside from sharing the space, her boyfriend sounds like he’s going to have trouble adjusting to HER lifestyle as well.”
“I suspect he’s going to want BOTH of them to eat out every day, and he’s probably going to want to do other things that will ultimately raise her costs as well (such as wanting new furniture, wanting to do costly leisure activities, etc).”
“I honestly just don’t see this going well for OP. His reaction just to the rent is a red flag.”
“My husband and I don’t have the best finances, but at least we can talk about them rationally. And we ALWAYS are in agreement on saving to increase our situation.”
“This guy can’t even agree to save for a house instead of an apartment. He has emergency funds and a 401k, sure. But is he planning on renting for his entire life?”
“What about if he and OP have kids? His ‘burning a hole in his pocket’ lifestyle just does not sound like he’s ready for the same level of commitment and joint responsibility that OP is.” – KittenSpangles
“You know this isn’t about who pays what; it’s about your future.”
“What do you want in 5/10 years?. House? Marriage? Children? Travel? It sounds to me like you are aiming for future goals and you’re not mad about him paying less but mad that his and your goals aren’t the same.”
“He doesn’t want to put $100 towards building a future with you or saving towards something for you both to have, he is spending his money on him, not your future.”
“If you aren’t working towards the same future goals, then it’s not going to last.” – thenewfirm
A few were also concerned about the boyfriend’s reaction.
“I think this can be simpler put. His “finances are none of your business” so he should be splitting the rent with you in half.” – FairlyIncompetent
“Just run! Run fast, run far. Do not look back. This is serious red flags!!!” – wendybee68
Some also confirmed the importance of shared financial values in a long-term relationship.
“Finances are the number one reason for marriage difficulties. You and your partner have very different outlooks regarding money, which will definitely cause trouble later on. I wouldn’t mix funds or a future with this guy.”
“A couple of side notes. In reference to how the rent is split, it’s pretty clear he wants more money in his pocket, not in a savings account. Also, what proof do you have that he has no credit card debt? If it is only his word, be very careful about surprises later on.” – RionaMurchada
“Once you marry him, he’d ask you to pay more in bills and maintenance, while having his name in the deed as well. And when you retaliate, he will say my finance is non of your concern. Just ditch the guy. I don’t think he will turn around.”
“There are other guys out there who will cherish you for who you are, who will let you have a joint account for entire finance, while sharing the same financial goals.”
“(In my case me and my husband have a joint account, we save to the same account, I diversify our investments and savings, I set up payments for bills monthly, we set aside spending budget per 4 weeks, and stick with the budget.”
“When we spend it’s always when we are out together, or we will ask each other on buying something before using the card, even small money such as tips/bonus/gift, we put it in the savings. We now own a house and we are still doing the same financials with same goal in mind.)”
“Please please listen to the comment and realize the red flags.” – frustratedwithwork10
After receiving this feedback, the OP had another conversation with her boyfriend.
The OP shared her concerns with her boyfriend.
“I told my bf we needed to talk and went over to his house.”
“I wrote down some of the more salient pieces of advice I’d gotten here, and basically just told him that I felt like him wanting me to contribute more to rent while also saying his finances were none of my business suggested he has a real ‘what’s mine is mine and what’s yours is mine’ attitude, and that it makes me uncomfortable.”
“I said that it wasn’t really just about an additional $200/month, it was about how he just mindlessly spent all his money and it seemed like his emergency plan was to just rely on me for everything.”
“I brought up how he couldn’t even afford his dog’s surgery and I had to pay, and that should’ve been a wakeup call but wasn’t.”
The OP and her boyfriend argued.
“We got into an argument where he basically said he works hard and has a good job, so he deserves nice things and to be able to go out whenever he wants.”
“It made my heart sink to hear him say that, because I feel the exact opposite: that when you work hard and have a good job, the thing you deserve is financial security.”
“I knew I wasn’t going to change his entire outlook on money, so I just tried to focus on more concrete things.”
“I said that if he lost his job, I would be able to support him while he looked for something else, but he didn’t offer me the same security.”
“And that if we eventually wanted to buy a house, I’d be forced to pay the entire down payment myself, and then he wouldn’t even be able to contribute much monthly since he’d continue to blow a bunch of money on stuff he doesn’t need or even really want.”
“I said that dating him felt more like having a liability than a partner and that him wanting me to pay an extra $200/month in rent so he’d have more spending money is what really made me realize how unhappy I am with our situation.”
The OP detailed her expectations.
“We argued some more. I could tell he saw my point of view but was also understandably feeling pretty defensive.”
“I eventually just told him that I wasn’t comfortable with him moving in right now, and if he wanted to keep dating me, then we were going to have to have a frank talk about finances.”
“He doesn’t have to live the way I do, but he does have to meet me in the middle. I said I wanted to see him saving $500 a month and for him to only eat out 3x a week, and I’d work with him on creating a budget that worked for him (he’s never budgeted before).”
“I said I understood if he didn’t want to compromise with me on this, but it’s a dealbreaker for me and I need someone who’s going to be more responsible with their spending.”
“He said he’d think about it and I left.”
“Feeling kind of drained by the whole thing, and I’ve made my peace with the fact that the relationship might be ending.”
It’s unclear what will happen in their relationship, but at least the OP had this conversation with her boyfriend before he moved in.