Money Moral Dilemma: Should I pay more towards bills?

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  • 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.

    agreed
    I've had flatmates that 'didn't read how much they would have to pay' - perhaps if she is struggling then she did her sums wrong and she should take it as a learning experience to lower her gaze when she is looking at future shares

    perhaps the landlord will let her out of her contract early?
  • Cookie1986
    Cookie1986 Posts: 20 Forumite
    If you are friends and you have agreed to pay equal rent then I do not see a moral obligation to subsidise her living costs.

    I can understand that if one of you has a bigger bedroom, then you may want to apportion the rent or if you have broadband / sky etc and one of you does not really use it then paying a different proportion of the cost would be justified.
  • I agree with most of the above, keep splitting equally, unless one of you has a substantially bigger bedroom or friends over more often, otherwise it can become onerous down the line. Keep in mind that pay is often unequal, this time it so happens that yours is the greater, but just think how you'd feel if the position were reversed and act accordingly. So again, as others have said, if there is a way to help her with bills without it being charity, eg you pay the upgrade difference for the fast broadband, that will both ease your conscience and avoid handouts.
  • JayD
    JayD Posts: 693
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    No, you have a greed a fair arrangement - and one that respects her dignity too.

    Almost everyone else here has said what I feel. Help her in other ways. Buy in extra food, pay for a sky package or Now Tv, or upgrade the broadband.

    She is not a charity case, she is paying her way. Respect her for that.
  • Fujiko
    Fujiko Posts: 150 Forumite
    Of course you do not have any duty, moral or otherwise, to subsidise her share of the rent If she is finding it hard to cope she should really be looking at somewhere more within her means. I agree, the position could well be reversed and you might find yourself with a new flat mate earning more than you. I would guess you would not expect them to subsidise you. I know it may sound harsh but I think where money is concerned it is best to keep everything as formal as possible, otherwise there is the potential to ruin a friendship by with the best of motives drawing attention to the difference in income, which she might find embarrassing. Leave well alone!
    I agree with most of the above, keep splitting equally, unless one of you has a substantially bigger bedroom or friends over more often, otherwise it can become onerous down the line. Keep in mind that pay is often unequal, this time it so happens that yours is the greater, but just think how you'd feel if the position were reversed and act accordingly. So again, as others have said, if there is a way to help her with bills without it being charity, eg you pay the upgrade difference for the fast broadband, that will both ease your conscience and avoid handouts.
  • shoe_gal_84
    shoe_gal_84 Posts: 179
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    When I've rented in a house share situation, the cost of the rent was always determined by the size of the room and we all paid an equal share of the bills. Personally, I think that you shouldn't enter into a house share unless you can afford to pay for it. So I'm sure she wouldn't expect you to pay anything towards her bills.
    It shows that you're a good friend as you've noticed she sometimes struggles and, as someone else suggested, maybe it might be nice to treat her to takeaway or something every now and then to help her out?

    My husband and I earn different amounts of money (he earns more than me), but we still split the bills 50/50 as I feel this is the fairest way to do it.
    Finally, debt free for the first time since I was 18!:D
    First baby born: 21/05/2014
    Second baby born: 04/03/2017
  • tgroom57
    tgroom57 Posts: 1,431
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    I would look for a way that my extra income could be used to reduce the size of the bills - something she is not in a position to do, but which will help both of you.

    For instance, if there isn't a shower fitted and you think you could save by getting one, that's one way.
    Or timer controls / thermostat for the heating.

    I think it's good that you and your friend get along. If your friend moves out because she can't keep up with your joint bills, you might find the new person much less easy to get on with, and if they earn more than you & run up the bills- where are you then?
  • Earning twice as much as your flat mate might mean you spend more on food, heating, water, going out etc., so if this is the case it would be thoughtful to try and balance things out a bit by being more generous from time to time with your money.
  • sulphate
    sulphate Posts: 1,235 Forumite
    No.

    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.

    Agreed.

    It's not up to you to subsidise her, but I think it would be nice of you to perhaps treat her to a takeaway every now and again, and maybe buy a bit more communal stuff ie toilet roll and cleaning products etc.
  • PlymouthMaid
    PlymouthMaid Posts: 1,550
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    No, not you problem although it is sweet of you to consider it. As above maybe treat yourselves to a few bits each month or things for the flat but you can't start subsidising her. Apart from the charity aspect, she may start depending on it and so get used to living beyong her means.
    "'Cause it's a bittersweet symphony, this life
    Try to make ends meet
    You're a slave to money then you die"
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