How to effortlessly split your bills based on income

Money is a source of stress for many couples in the UK. Here, we’ll share how you can split bills in a way that works for you. Keep reading to learn more!
Split your bills based on income

They say money is the root of all evil. And squabbles, arguments, quarrels, and so forth. Money is the number-one undisputed champion of things couples fight about. It’s unromantic, but money plays an increasingly-hard-to-ignore role in relationships. As housing costs remain sky-high, many Brits admit that a partner or potential partner’s housing situation has a significant impact on their relationship.

Having someone to split bills with goes a long way for making life more affordable. However, it’s not always as simple as ‘you pay your share and I pay mine.’ After all, with infinite possibilities of income levels within a relationship, determining ‘your share’ and ‘my share’ itself is no simple task.

Here, we’ll dig into how you can split bills in a more equitable way, and share some other things to keep in mind as you search for the best way to divide up life’s expenses.

Because splitting your bills evenly isn’t working

If you’re reading this, it’s probably because splitting your expenses straight down the middle isn’t working for you and your partner. Splitting your expenses this way can work just fine if the two of you have similar incomes, but if you don’t, it can be burdensome and unfair for one person. For example, one person might feel like they’re being economically controlled compared to their partner, whom they could perceive to be ‘benefiting’ from them.

Plus, splitting your expenses clean down the middle often fails to account for discrepancies in consumption and usage of certain things. For example, if one person works near a grocery store, they could pick up miscellaneous grocery items here and there, all of which adds up over time. Likewise, both people could be paying for a streaming service that only one person watches.

So, splitting your bills down the middle isn’t working. What’s the solution?

Split your expenses by household income

You can also split bills according to each person’s contributions to the overall household income. Let’s say your household income totals £50,000. One person earns £20,000 and the other earns £30,000. In this scenario, one person would be responsible for about 40% of most bills, while the other would be responsible for about 60% of most bills.

Go ahead and try this with you and your partner’s household income with our calculator.

Split bills by income with our calculator

Income-Based Bill Split Calculator

Many people see splitting bills by income as a more equitable method of tackling household expenses. However, while you may prefer it, keep in mind that not everyone views it the same way. Some may perceive it as invalidating their efforts and contributions to the cost of living. So, always start by getting on the same page as your partner.

Make adjustments as needed

Splitting bills according to your percentage of the household income can make your shared finances more fair, but divvying up each bill can be tiresome. You naturally don’t need to split each bill according to income. You may find it’s easier to simply assign each other certain bills that add up to roughly the right percentage.

For example, you might end up paying for groceries, WiFi, and a share of rent, while your partner might end up paying the energy bill, entertainment subscriptions, and their share of rent.

Make payments easy

Consider establishing a joint account to pay shared bills like rent, energy, WiFi, and the like. This will eliminate the back-and-forth payments that make splitting bills tedious.

If you go this route, keep in mind that no matter how you split payments, you’ll both be held equally responsible for keeping the account in good standing. For example, if the account is overdrawn, it will impact both of your credit scores. So, it’s essential that you both understand the implications of opening a joint account.

Keep the conversation going

Whether you split your income straight down the middle or by income, one thing holds true: the more you and your partner communicate, the better. If splitting bills evenly isn’t working and you’re considering splitting costs based on income, make sure you account for other points like the following:

  • Where do you keep things separate? From hobbies to mobile plans, there may be costs that you and your partner choose to keep separate or exclude from your calculations.
  • How do your bills impact your credit? If you want to improve your credit score, putting certain bills in your name and taking care of them could improve your payment history and boost your credit score.
  • What are your financial goals? If you’re saving for a house or a car, how you split bills will impact each person’s contributions to that goal. Likewise, if one partner has debt, the other might temporarily pay more bills so the other can eliminate their debts, improving the couple’s chances of being approved for credit down the line.

The bottom line: Experiment and see what works for you

Whatever way you choose to split bills, you’ll likely find flaws with it. And that’s perfectly alright. The important thing is to check in with your partner regularly, make adjustments as needed, and keep your goals in mind.

Want to learn more about improving your financial wellbeing? Check out our extensive library of resources on building and protecting your credit, getting out of debt, and making informed financial decisions.