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Old 08-25-2009, 12:47 PM   #1 (permalink)
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I am making him a financial doormat?

Hi everyone,

I've had a huge row with my SO about money and I am looking for other opinions. We have been together 4 years and plan for marriage and kids. However the market turned and house prices here in Uk have gone right down, I bought the flat we share 5 years ago and have an interest only mortgage and he pays approximately half as rent every month and half of the utility bills. The bathroom needs fixing, as the tiling is leaking into the flat below and needs to be totally replaced, and the flooring is cracking and needs tiling too.

I approached him a week ago, as the job will be approx 800+ I asked him if he would contribute 100 as he lives here. He initially agreed but then came back to the subject a few days ago saying I was making him a financial doormat, taking the piss out of him as it's my mess and it's my responsibility.

Am I being unreasonable? I enjoy life and don't save much although I have for this and a holiday we are planning, he seems to think I'm frivolous and silly whereas I feel he is a little tight and would literally never spend a penny if he could help it, despite him being aware that it isn't healthy to be that way.

Thanks in advance for opinions guys.
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Old 08-25-2009, 02:07 PM   #2 (permalink)
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What a tightwad! If you're planning on marriage and family you'd best resolve this issue now or be prepared to live with it for the next 50 years (or divorce court, whatever comes first).

Yes, the flat is only in your name but common sense suggests if you're planning on a significant future together, he should contribute to the repairs.
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Old 08-25-2009, 02:15 PM   #3 (permalink)
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He acts as though he is a tennant, not affianced.

I was going to write more, but I don't want to make too many assumptions about british law and finances. Here in the US, my husband and I are utterly linked financially. Our money and debt are shared and have been since we were married. He is considered a tightwad by many of his friends. He's the kind of guy that goes out to eat with a group of friends and doesn't order a meal, rather he'll eat the bits and pieces left on his friends' plates at the end of the meal. Even though he is extremely frugal, he didn't hesitate when I needed his help to pay a bill while we were engaged. This is because he knew that if I accumulated any debt he would feel it later on.

I know finances are not always this way in families, so I will not outright suggest that your beau is not planning to marry you afterall - but that was my initial gut reaction to your words.
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Old 08-25-2009, 10:43 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Even if you guys weren't a couple I'd say he's responsible for paying at least half for the repairs. He's living there too so he should shoulder some of the responsibility of the upkeep. Since you're a couple and have been together for so long I'm surprised he has such an issue with pitching in. I have to say I agree with genuinegirly with he may not be planning on marrying you.
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Old 08-25-2009, 10:45 PM   #5 (permalink)
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As a couple, presumably you spend time and money on shared activities, meals, holidays etc.?

If you have to pay for the entire bathroom, you have less discressionary cash left.

What is he likely to do with the money he "saves" by not chipping in?

If he's going to spend it on you as a couple, then no problem. If he's going to spend it on himspelf while watching you do without things so you can afford to pay for the repairs, then frankly, that's not much of an expression of love, and there's something odd in hs outlook.

I'd not be after 100, I'd be after 400.
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Old 08-25-2009, 11:12 PM   #6 (permalink)
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If he is in fact paying "rent", then you are fully responsible for everything. What if for some reason the two of you are no longer an item? You go back to your apartment and he goes back to paying rent elsewhere.
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Old 08-26-2009, 05:57 AM   #7 (permalink)
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It sounds as though you have a combination of a couple cohabitating without being married, & a landlord/tenant relationship.

At this point in the relationship, "together 4 years and plan for marriage and kids," he should not hestitate to help pay for the repairs (400, not 100).
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Old 08-26-2009, 06:01 AM   #8 (permalink)
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make sure you sign a pre-nup
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Old 08-26-2009, 06:14 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dlish View Post
make sure you sign a pre-nup
or at least keep this flat in your name. he's not entitled to any profits or gains from it.
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Old 08-26-2009, 06:23 AM   #10 (permalink)
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^^HA! I'm willing to bet 100% that the flat already is in her name alone. What I'm wondering is why people are so quick to jump to the conclusion he's being unreasonable. A passenger in your vehicle is only entitled to compensate your gas, not brakes, oil changes, maintenance etc etc etc! He already pays the utilities and boarding there ... That's enough.
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Old 08-26-2009, 06:26 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xerxys View Post
^^HA! I'm willing to bet 100% that the flat already is in her name alone. What I'm wondering is why people are so quick to jump to the conclusion he's being unreasonable. A passenger in your vehicle is only entitled to compensate your gas, not brakes, oil changes, maintenance etc etc etc! He already pays the utilities and boarding there ... That's enough.
that's correct. So when they get married, she's very much entitled to say,"This is mine, and only mine." In fact, I'd even go as far to move out of that flat, agree to buy another flat 50/50. He'd have to pony up his share of that down payment.

the 400 he's "saving" is going to cost him a lot more in the long run.
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Old 08-26-2009, 06:58 AM   #12 (permalink)
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lol, dude, when they get married, then divorced, it doesn't matter who owns what, she'll keep the flat!!!
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Old 08-26-2009, 09:39 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Well the problem is I'm not planning on leaving him, I'm in for the long haul and would put any money from the sale straight back into a property we buy shared, however with the bathroom in such a state it simply will put buyers off.

I guess I'm thinking what a lot of these guys are saying, I feel it's ours, by law we haved loved here together so long half of it is his although it's in my name, he feels it's mine and I look at that as very worrying...is this the guy of person who will always keep things to himself and not share responsibilities?

I would also say that I offered to put it half in his name,without expecting anything from him and he said he would rather wait until we chose a place together.

:-(
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Last edited by katyg; 08-26-2009 at 09:41 AM..
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Old 08-26-2009, 10:29 AM   #14 (permalink)
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xeryxs, no one's jumping to conclusions, but when a relationship cant stand the strain of a few hundred dollars, its called taking precautions.

otherwise you'll end up in a 'whats mine is mine, and whats yours is mine' type of issue. prenups define these things and i see nothing wrong with that
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Old 08-26-2009, 12:17 PM   #15 (permalink)
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There's two factors here.

First, you do have a landlord/tenant situation going.

Second, you are engaged to be married.

So either choice is valid for him. I don't think it's unfair of you to ask. But then it wouldn't be unfair of him to ask, well maybe we should consider splitting the house ownership.

If he chooses to be the 'tenant' here, then you have to accept it. It would be nice of him to help out, as your boyfriend. Also, it would mean he's looking to the future.

If he chooses to help you, as your boyfriend, then maybe it should be a 50/50 thing. That would also be a way for you both to face a future together.

Either way, I don't think you should just naturally expect him to give you the money. But there's nothing wrong with you asking, if you need the help.

I myself would only make that kind of request if I needed the help, or if we had a previous understanding that our mutual home belongs to us both, not just in theory, but in practice.
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Old 08-26-2009, 02:42 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Maybe there are other reasons he doesn't want to give you the money (e.g. Gambling debts, might be saving up to buy you something really nice). I think it is worth asking why he doesn't want to put any money in.
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Old 08-26-2009, 02:58 PM   #17 (permalink)
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If you're seriously considering marriage, you need to have a long sitdown and figure out the finances. Maybe you should be going to him with your feelings and taking this as your opportunity to find out if he is going to put his money where his mouth is.

You should be able to communicate and share information, and money is a crucial issue. If it's a taboo subject now, it's not going to get easier once you guys tie the knot.

Talk!
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Old 08-26-2009, 03:49 PM   #18 (permalink)
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I think you put him in a bad spot for asking him to help pay for your house repairs like that.

I would not take either answer he gives to your request as a sign he is too separate, or a tightwad, or isn't committed, or anything else unless you have asked him why he feels that way. He has already told you some of it. I would ask what feelings and thoughts are behind feeling like a financial doormat and what he thinks of the situation, and your reaction. It might just not be about you. :P
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Old 08-26-2009, 05:56 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Many good points made in previous posts.

Look at it this way:Your boyfriend gives you the half needed to make the repairs to your house. You will be the only one benefiting from the sale of the house since it is only in your name. You guys decide sometime in future to end the whole thing. Will you refund his share, or chalk it up as living expenses that he certainly enjoyed -- while paying rent?

As a legal landlord (owner of the home and collector of rent), you are the one responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of the property, and for providing decent living conditions for your tenant.

If he shells out the money for the repairs, you should refund his money by reducing next month's rent. That way it's all square and no one feels the other has taken advantage. Then, your boyfriend should look for his own place.
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Old 08-27-2009, 08:56 PM   #20 (permalink)
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If he's 'paying rent', then you are the owner of the property, and you are responsible for maintenance, unless he has a lease or verbal agreement to the contrary.

If he's your fiance, and you're sharing the responsibilities and expenses, then he should pay a share of all the expenses.

It sounds like you haven't really defined your relationship, at least as regards to finances.

I guess the thing that strikes me in your message is the fact that he's 'paying rent' - that puts him in a tenant-landlord relationship to you, and I'm not sure that's healthy. Does that make sense?
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Old 08-28-2009, 01:21 PM   #21 (permalink)
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As a couple, presumably you spend time and money on shared activities, meals, holidays etc.?

If you have to pay for the entire bathroom, you have less discressionary cash left.

What is he likely to do with the money he "saves" by not chipping in?

If he's going to spend it on you as a couple, then no problem. If he's going to spend it on himspelf while watching you do without things so you can afford to pay for the repairs, then frankly, that's not much of an expression of love, and there's something odd in hs outlook.

I'd not be after 100, I'd be after 400.
agreed... if I lived at my girls place (or a mates place) I'd epect to go 50/50 on it... or do the tiling myself and go 50/50 on the tiles
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Old 08-29-2009, 01:27 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Dump the bastard immediately. Oh, and raise his rent while he is still living there to help cover improvements!
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Old 08-30-2009, 09:02 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Before I can offer specific advice, I have questions. You bought the flat a year before you two even met? How many of the 4 yrs. you have been together has he lived in the flat? The answer to that question plays the utmost importance in what I would say. Living there 4 yrs. vs. 4 mths. deserves completely different responses. Since he pays half the mortgage and utilities, is it safe to assume he works?

My knee jerk reaction is that you both live there, so how is the damage "your mess"? Then, why would you foot $700 of the bill and only ask for $100 from him? Then again, why in the hell would you asking for $100, make him a financial doormat? Methinks there is quite a bit of info. not being supplied here. If you've saved money for this and a vacation, then perhaps, regardless of him, you should use your money to protect your investment and repair the bathroom. I would like to help but I don't have enough to go on.

As an aside, is it possible that you could re-finance out of your interest only mortgage to a fixed one?
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Old 09-01-2009, 01:05 PM   #24 (permalink)
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We have been together 4 years and 3 months, I have owned the flat 5 years. He has lived with me for the past 3 and half years.

Since posting he has pretty much come around to saying he's okay with giving me 100 towards it but I sense he's still not keen.

I suppose my point of view is that we're practically married, we plan to have kids and buy a house together. The whole debate has worried me a little bit that money is going to become a huge issue with him, I'm a kind of whatsmineisyours person and the debate over this has already made me feel a bit more selfish and a little less inclined to be generous. I feel guilty about that but there you go. I'd like to think if things were the other way around I'd be happy to contribute.

Bah! It's a bugger.
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Old 09-01-2009, 03:04 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Sounds like you still haven't discussed any of the actual issues with him. I really suggest you guys talk about what you think and feel about this. This is not about the money for either of you.
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