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Before Shacking Up

April 3, 2009

We got all the way to picking out an apartment $95 above our budget before I thought, “hmm, maybe we should discuss the financial stuff”.  Yeah, I know.  Take away my pf blogger badge.  As I drove home from a long day at work, I illegally talked to T on my cell phone.   [That apartment isn’t for sure, but similar figures will be derived for future apartments.]

SP:  “So, how do you want to split the rent?  In half?  By income?  We never even discussed this!”
T: “I don’t know.  By income, sort of?  Like, you pay $900 and I pay $700?”

This pleases me, because it is exactly what I came up with on my own after running some numbers about 15 minutes earlier.  T makes about half what I do right now (he is still studying, but his earning potential is good).  To do an official “by income” split, I’d pay $1060, he’d bay $540.  This seems a little unfair to me.  But paying $800 each also seems unfair — his rent would only drop by $200, while mine would drop by $625. With 700/900 split,  I still am gaining the majority of the savings, but his rent is quite cheap.  Plus we are both gaining an awesome location (him more than me ).  I’m sure he would pay half if I asked, but I just don’t think that is the most fair situation for us.  [Yes, you read right, the apartment is $1600.  Since we may not be in L.A. forever, we want to live somewhere fun for at least a year.  If we were thinking long term, maybe we’d go cheaper.]

SP: “Ok.  And what month are you paying rent?  I know not for May, but what about June?  Or July?”  He can start moving his stuff in whenever, but probably won’t actually start to live there full time until early June.   He also offered to pay the differential between my apartment and new apartment for May.
T: “Yeah, I can pay in June.”
SP: “And moving costs… I was thinking I’d pay them up front and you can pay me once you move in.”  He certainly has  cash to pay his share.  But he also has had to spend a lot on various things lately (including taxes = $$$$$).  While these things were planned, I know how painful it is to take chunks out of savings all at once, so I think putting the costs off might not be a bad idea.
T: Sure.  Yeah, my finances are a little crazy right now, that sounds good.”

Whew.  That was easy!  Now if only our conversations about whether to try to negotiate, what to negotiate, and how and when to negotiate were as short.  We don’t really disagree, it is just… neither of us has a clue, so we’ve been going in circles.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. April 3, 2009 6:28 am

    $1600 isn’t bad, or is that for a one bedroom? Before we combined finances I paid $2k of the mortgage and Mr M paid $400. All the utilities and food came out to be split down the middle. Now that our money is mingled, who knows what comes from where. It’s good you had a chance to talk about money first and seem to be on the same page.

  2. April 3, 2009 7:20 am

    Hmm utilities and food? Forgot about food! I think we didn’t talk about the money stuff for so long because I just figured we’d be on the same page. But, no sense in not confirming that fact before singing leases. I know he could afford to pay half (he pays more now) but I thought this was more fair. We aren’t ready to mix accounts yet. One thing at a time.

  3. April 3, 2009 9:20 am

    Sounds like you have it worked out. BF and I don’t mix accounts either. He just bills me monthly.


  4. April 3, 2009 11:57 am

    I echo Miss M… $1600 is not bad at all (for 1 bdrm, or especially for 2). I’d love to find something that cheap (but still good size – 700-800 sq. ft).

    M and I have always split the rent down the middle. But he pays for most (all, lately) of the food and most of the utilities (since I dropped to working PT to focus on school, my income is piddly; he makes 6 figures).

    We have 1 joint account (which we both put money in monthly), and then our separate accounts. It works out pretty well 🙂

    I think your system sounds good. To each their own. 🙂

  5. April 3, 2009 2:44 pm

    Sounds like things are moving along well – I’m glad to hear you are both on the same page 🙂

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