Should My Boyfriend Contribute More Because He Earns More?


Hi Scott,

I am 24 and have been living with my boyfriend for the past couple of years. We have separate incomes and bank accounts but have joint accounts for rent, groceries and bills, which we go 50/50 in. I earn $40,000 a year (working full time in childcare) and he earns around $100,000. Even though I am a Barefooter, I am struggling to keep up, because a dinner out or a grocery shop is a huge chunk of my pay, whereas it does not impact him as much. Then again, he does have an investment property and a car loan, which I do not. Is it fair for me to ask him to contribute more than I do because he gets paid more?


Scott's Answer

Hi Ella,

No, I don’t think it’s fair to ask him to contribute more.

If he chooses to buy you something, or maybe shout you the occasional dinner, that’s just him being a chivalrous dude. There’s no ring on your finger, and you don’t have kids, so you’re essentially ‘friends with benefits’.

The bottom line here is this isn’t about him, it’s about you.

You need to make bloody sure that you don’t try to live a $100,000 lifestyle on a $40,000 income. Trust me, it won’t work, and it will only lead to you eventually giving up your freedom — either by getting into debt with a bank or incurring an emotional debt with a bloke.

So the answer is to say it loud and to say it proud: “I can’t afford it.”

There’s power in saying those words. Not in a whiny, teenager life-is-sooo-unfair tone — but in a strong, confident, I’ve-got-my-stuff-together tone.

Ella, there’s nothing sexier than a strong woman who understands that a man is not her financial plan.

That’s the sort of woman guys want to marry. In fact, that’s the sort of woman I married.