Money Moral Dilemma: Should I pay more towards bills?



  • Mark_Beech
    Mark_Beech Forumite Posts: 77 Forumite
    Talent wrote: »

    I don't understand the husband and wife 60/40 split posting.... what's that all about?

    Just what I was thinking. What's the point of being married if you want to continue to live separate lives?
  • Kittykatkat_2
    Kittykatkat_2 Forumite Posts: 1 Newbie
    No you should not pay more! Split evenly all the way. I'm sure you work hard for your money, I don't think you should feel obliged to share it. Saying that, if you genuinely want to, that's a different matter.

    It was your friends decision to move in and I'm sure she would have been fully aware of the rental and bill costs before moving in. If not, she should have been or put more thought into it. Saying that, if she rents a smaller room than yours then I would expect her to pay less in rent, but I think that basis is normally covered when you deist sign up.

    I have friends who earn less than me and when offering to buy drinks (not because they earn less, I would offer regardless of whether the friend is loaded or skint) some have taken it personally. Perhaps your friend might react like this?

    The above might sound a bit harsh and true, she is a friend so perhaps you could offer to lend money if she is short one month (as long as you're 100% certain she'll pay it back? Or if she is happy to speak openly about finances, maybe you could treat her to dinner as a one off as a nice gesture?
  • Kavandclay
    Kavandclay Forumite Posts: 1 Newbie
    edited 23 April 2014 at 6:38PM
    While it would seem like the nice thing to do, I'd go along with the general consensus of a 50/50 split on bills and a ratio split on room size/rent. Occassionally buying a jumbo-size bottle of washing up liquid on your way home also won't go amiss.

    Plus, this idea about subsidising your "struggling" friend can be fraught with danger. She might be paying off past credit-card debts, say. I know of this first hand as having all moved to London after uni, a group of us would regularly subsidise another friend, who kept running out of money each month. This would include entry into clubs, her share of a meal and tickets for gigs. We never really thought much of this until about 5 years later when she let slip that she had recently finished paying off her entire student loan! In turn, she couldn't comprehend how angry we all were at her deceit and claimed that it was something we all should have tried to do. Our friendship never recovered and we've all now lost touch with her.
  • meknowalot-51
    meknowalot-51 Forumite Posts: 237
    Part of the Furniture 100 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    Absolutely not,stay 50-50,this will help her to budget and live within her means.Keeping things as they are will be the best way to help,as she's never complained i feel that her finances are well under control.If her spending got out of control and she couldn't afford to eat you could send her off to the foodbank.This should point her in the right direction about financial priorities.
  • babushkava
    babushkava Forumite Posts: 35 Forumite
    Almost everyone on this forum is prepared to see the friend struggle to pay her share, whilst the better-off flatmate has spare income. As they are friends and presumably trust and openness are a given, surely the better-off one could easily say, let's look at another way of covering our expenses here - and offer to pay in proportion to earnings.
    I don't think a takeaway alleviates any of the strain on the worse-off flatmate and neither do a few extra toilet rolls or occasional top-ups of shopping.
    If the OP wants to continue to live in a friendly and companionable way with her friend, then surely it makes sense to review the spends, look at the options and shoulder some of the other's burden. if the worse-off flatmate declines the kind offer, then I imagine that she will be pleased that it was made.
  • J_B
    J_B Forumite Posts: 6,294
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    Mark_Beech wrote: »
    Just what I was thinking. What's the point of being married if you want to continue to live separate lives?

    But strangely, some people *do* live their 'married' lives like that.
    Not us, but ... hey ho!

    "All thy worldly goods, I thee share"
  • TBagpuss
    TBagpuss Forumite Posts: 11,191
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper
    Given that you are friends and flatmates, not a couple, i would be wary of subsidising your friend. Would you be willing to give her £x a week as a gift? Because if you pay more of the bills etc that is, in effect, what you are doing.
    Would would be sensible would be to sit down together and discuss the financial position, to consider whether there are savings which could be made (for instance, by having the heating on less / lower, buying less expensive brands of shared goods, cheaper packages a for TV/Broadband etc. If you then decide that you want the more expensive ones enough to pay the difference yourself, then you can do so. Equally, if there are differences in the rooms - for instance if one is bigger / has an en-suite, or something of that kind which you feel if objectively worth more, then you could offer to take the larger / better room and to pay a higher proportion of the rent in return.

    I think that paying more without there being some justification is likely to lead to longer term issues. Would your friend start to take it for granted? what if you needed to stop subbsidising her becuase your income fell, or you needed / wanted to save? You could start to feel resentful if she was not appreciative, she could start to feel that she had to make it up in other ways - it has the potential to get very awkward, very fast.

    You could ask her whether she would find it helpful for you to look at her finances together to see whether a fresh eye can help you to identify areas where she might be able to save. Or the two of you could consider whether it might be possible for you to move to a less expensive flat which would be affordable for both of you.

    If you were to offer to pay an extra £100 a month, for instance, ask yourself whether your friendship with this person is such that you would happily give them £1,2000 a year as a gift. If the answer is yes, then give it to them, and they can pay their dhare of the rent. If not, then don't give it to them indirectly by paying part of their rent and bills, either.
    All posts are my personal opinion, not formal advice Always get proper, professional advice (particularly about anything legal!)
  • tallgirld
    tallgirld Forumite Posts: 484
    Part of the Furniture
    Urmmm..... No.
  • Carlovski99
    Carlovski99 Forumite Posts: 13 Forumite
    If you genuinely have the same/similar use of utilities then you should just split down the middle. As has been mentioned though, you should make sure you are sympathetic to your differing levels of income (And the fact you are thinking about this implies you are) when it comes to energy usage and what services you sign up to - upgrading your broadband/tv etc for an extra £10 a month might not be much of an issue for you, but could be for them, even if they don't want to mention it.
  • sugarbaby125
    sugarbaby125 Forumite Posts: 3,335
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts
    What a thoughtful, considerate person you are. As your flat sharer is a genuine friend, sit down and discuss finances with her.

    I am better off in full time employment than my best friend whose family live on benefits. The issue of our different levels of disposable income is difficult. I cannot bear to see her and her children in need, but she has her pride. I did steer her towards Money Saving Expert, eBay and try to give her tactful advice on budgeting issues. I was in her home recently when she received a call to say the grocery shopping she had ordered online could not be delivered, as the payment had not been cleared by her bank. She checked her balance and realised a small DD had reduced her balance leaving her with insufficient funds. My friend was so very embarrassed. I offered to pay for the grocery shopping, but my friend was adamant, so I changed the subject.

    2 weeks ago my friend, had her washing machine in need of a small repair, her tumble dryer stop working and her TV stop working, all in one week and she was in despair. She allowed me to buy her a new tumble dryer, as this was most essential. She wanted to make some kind of payment to me in instalments, but I insisted that she had to accept the gift of the tumble dryer with good grace.

    You cannot always ride to the rescue of less well off friends, as you do not want to make a less well off friend fell humiliated, offended, insulted or beholden to you by your generosity

    Please leave the finances as they stand, unless after discussing the issue with your friend she is happy and comfortable to receive a financial subsidy from you. Good friendships are priceless
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