WHO’S PAYING THE RENT?

brick house

I have yet to speak on the topic of money and relationships, because I know it gets pretty heated. There’s one news article after another pronouncing that money is a leading cause for divorce, and for obvious reasons. Money can be easy to come by, but just as easy to spend up and find yourself strapped for cash. If you’re in a relationship with someone whose financial habits are the complete opposite, things can go south quickly.

A sub-topic in finances and relationships is the debate of who should pay most of the household bills. The conversations I’ve seen mostly come up in social media groups largely populated with women, so it’s often biased in a woman’s favor. The consensus is that a man should pay rent and other household expenses, otherwise his status is reduced to a roommate.

Although I am pro-woman (being a woman and all), I find this “rule” of paying household bills to be harsh. I grew up with my stepdad as the breadwinner, so the traditional gender roles were part of my upbringing. However, I’ve always been independent and financially self-sufficient. After living with roommates on a few occasions, I realized I wasn’t about that roommate life. I got my own place, where of course I was solely responsible for making sure bills were paid on time.

I never lived with a significant other until meeting my husband. When we moved in together, the thought never crossed my mind that only he would contribute to bills. The whole time that we’ve been together, both incomes have gone towards rent and living expenses. This might be a big no-no in the world of relationships and finances, but I don’t think it’s wrong. If he made six figures it wouldn’t be a big deal for him to pay all of the rent. But, I’m in school right now and with his salary, our yearly income is less than $40k. Sometimes it sucks, but it is what it is.

Anyway, I guess I don’t get the point of requiring one partner to shoulder all of the financial burden in a relationship. I’ve come across just as many bums in my life as the next woman, so I’m definitely not advocating for the ones that want to kick their feet up and play video games while the woman works all day. For *me* though, I think if two adults are living under the same roof, bills gotta get paid somehow, and as long as that’s done, I’m good.

What are your thoughts on relationships and finances? Do you think it’s the man’s responsibility to pay all the bills?

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