Saturday, July 9, 2011

A Better System

A little bit of background:
BF and I have lived together for two years, and try to split the groceries and household stuff in an equitable way.  At least, that's what we said when we first moved in together.  In practice, what ends up happening, is that I work across the street from a grocery store and near a Target and other shopping venues.  I typically stop there after work to pick up x, y, z, and therefore end up footing most of the bill for these things.  Occasionally, I nab his credit card, and buy a bunch of groceries, but that's a huge headache because I either don't remember to take it when I need it, or I forget to give it back.

BF doesn't have a car and hates shopping, whereas I have a car, and don't mind it too much.  Because I don't mind, and because I think of things more often, I've paid for the bulk of the household supplies i.e. cleaning products, toilet paper, etc over the two years that we've lived together.  I also maintain (though he disputes this) that I've paid for more of the groceries even though I eat significantly less than him, and what I buy for myself is usually ingredients whereas he eats a lot of processed foods, which are much more expensive.

So, how to solve this problem so that I don't keep going broke feeding my man the garbage foods he loves so well?  I've suggested that we get a credit card in both our names to be used for shared household expenses.  Obviously, when I go to the store to buy salad for myself and he goes to buy a bag of chips, we can just pay for those individually, but for grocery/Target runs that include shared items, they go on the shared card.  Then we split the bill 60/40 because he eats more than me.

This suggestion led to him panicking that I'll start overspending his money, since when I currently get his credit card (about every other month) I tend to stock up.  That's where we are right now.  Any other suggestions from the blogosphere as to how to make this work more smoothly?  I think it's a solid plan, but who knows?


  1. The book the Joy Luck Club had a great part of the difficulties of splitting bills.

    My partner and I split all bills that we share 50 - 50. But he earns more then me and we have a child. So sometimes I think it should be me 40 and he 60, to be more equalitarian.

    Others think it's crazy that we don't pool our money 100% since we've been together 18 yrs. But I think of all the past women that ended up with very little when separating. And having strong feminists leanings I prefer we split our costs.

    I look forward to comments on your post and read what your research, feelings and thoughts end up doing. Interesting post!

  2. It makes sense to me, the objective observer, to just have a joint account so that all of the grocery stuff comes out of there rather than your personal accounts. Like, keep your own credit cards and bank accounts, but have one shared account that's just for household supplies and groceries? Maybe?

  3. Seems like the issue here is less about money and more about problems with trust. He doesn't trust you will not overspend on basics? You don't trust he will pay you back? The discussions about money are not often just about the money, they are more about what money represents. Heck, even the back of the dollar bill has the word "trust" on it, though it says "In God We Trust", not in BF or Frugul(er), i suppose.