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Money Moral Dilemma: Should I pay more towards bills?

Former_MSE_Darryl Former MSE Posts: 210 Forumite
Here's this week's hypothetical situation for you to cogitate on:
I earn more than my flatmate - should I pay more?

I rent a flat with a friend. I earn nearly twice as much as she does, but we split bills and rent equally. She's never complained, but she sometimes struggles. Should I contribute a larger share to help her out?
Click reply to have your say



  • ironlady2022
    ironlady2022 Forumite Posts: 1,544
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    If she was your partner - possibly. But she's just your flat mate so absolutely not. Not your responsibility nor has she mentioned anything.

    Use your extra pennies to save up!
  • iclayt
    iclayt Forumite Posts: 451
    Part of the Furniture 100 Posts Combo Breaker
    I have been in this situation more than once, both as the person earning more AND the one earning less. So from experience, I would categorically say no, don't start splitting things proportionally or anything like that. Ultimately paying half the bills and rent are her responsibility and you shouldn't sub her - if she is really struggling she could try to find a better paying job or other ways of supplementing her income. But it's nice that you are aware that sometimes she's struggling so perhaps you could treat her to a takeaway or night at the cinema on you more often, if she's often short for these sorts of things.
  • Forumite Posts: 238 Forumite
    I used to be in a similar situation but we split 60/40 on basis that I had biggest bedroom and my gf stayed over quite often

    That worked for us

    It won't work if you do it out of guilt or pity. Your friend won't want charity.

    Could you maybe do a big shopping trip get a takeaway etc every now and then especially if they've helped out in some way
    POPPYOSCAR Forumite Posts: 14,891
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper
    Yes I agree with others.

    Split 50/50 but every now and then treat her to a takeaway etc.
  • NRTurner
    NRTurner Forumite Posts: 34
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker
    My wife and I split the bills around 40-60 because she earns more than I do.

    I don't see any harm in offering to increase the proportion you pay, if you want to. If she's struggling then it may help her save up for a place of her own. And she may well refuse and insist on carrying on paying half, in which case it's not on your conscience.
  • al223
    al223 Forumite Posts: 32
    Part of the Furniture 10 Posts Combo Breaker
    Maybe only pay more if you are actually running up more than half of the bills, say if you want the heating on more when she'd be happy to wear more clothing, or if she takes short showers to keep the bills down and you have lots of deep, hot baths. Or review what you're paying for, say if you want ultra fast broadband or a comprehensive Sky TV package and she'd be happy with none or basic packages you could pay the difference or downgrade.
  • pc1271
    pc1271 Forumite Posts: 279 Forumite
    If you can find a way to do it without it simply being charity, then yes. Maybe if your room is bigger you should pay more rent. Maybe if you'd be otherwise living there alone you could just ask her to pay the extra 25% council tax. Maybe if you want sky but she's not really fussed, you should pay for it.
  • florere
    florere Forumite Posts: 104 Forumite
    I was in that position once, that is, earning less, it never crossed my mind that my friend should pay more than I did. If you were married, that's different, then I would expect all the money to be in one pot.
  • scoobydoobydoo
    scoobydoobydoo Forumite Posts: 111 Forumite

    If you were life partners then yes of course because all money that comes in is "family" money.

    But she took on a flatshare on the basis that she would pay her half, if she cant then she needs to look at a cheaper share.

    That said, given that you earn significantly more perhaps you could be generous when it comes to food shopping for example, so getting in some stuff for her when you know she is struggling.
  • scoobydoobydoo
    scoobydoobydoo Forumite Posts: 111 Forumite
    Also agree with PP that if she isnt arsed about having Sky (say) or unlimited BB, then you should pay the difference.
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