It’s not easy divvying up the bills when you’re a twosome, married or not. That’s why we consulted a real couple living together in Sacramento, California, to get the scoop on their spending habits over the course of a month. She’s a 37-year-old librarian. He's a cancer registrar. Together, they’re saving to buy a house. Here, how they spend (and save) their hard-earned cash.
Her Annual Salary: $68,400
Her Average Monthly Take-Home Pay: $3,682
His Annual Salary: $63,000
His Average Monthly Take-Home Pay: $2,650
$1,440. We split this bill 50/50 (which totals $720 each), but he pays $25 extra a month for our cat. (He found it and wanted it, so I agreed he could keep it if he covered the cost.)
$170 total a month. This covers gas, electric and Internet, which are all in my name. I pay these bills up front and then we split them 50/50. To keep track, we have a dry erase board on the refrigerator. As I get bills, I list them on there and at the beginning of the following month, we add them up and divide by two. Then, whatever his portion is that needs to be paid is taken out of my total for the rent.
$0. We’re saving to buy a home, so we don’t want to buy anything until we own.
$233. He drives a Toyota Highlander to work, but his commute is only five miles. We also use his car to go to the grocery store about once a week. As for me, I walk to work. I do have a truck, though, and drive it a couple of times a week to yoga on the other side of downtown. I spend $190 on insurance every six months and about $40 (on average) every other month on gas. He spends $142 on insurance and $40 on gas per month.
$230. This covers my student loans.
$800. We work hard to set aside this amount every month.
$30. I get a $50 haircut three times a year and spend about $20 on hair care products a month. I’m not cheap when it comes to buying quality hair products! He spends $20 twice a year. (He has long hair.)
I have a pension and pay $415 a month before taxes. My boyfriend puts aside $800 a month before taxes.
$155. I subscribe to community-supported agriculture that gets delivered to us twice a month and costs about $80 a month. (I pay for the CSA.) Then we spend another $75 a week on groceries. We alternate who pays for this.
$115. His health care is completely subsidized by work. For me, I spend $221 on health insurance through my employer before taxes. But monthly out-of-pocket costs include about $45 a month on copays for the chiropractor and the occasional checkup or visit to the eye doctor. Then, I spend approximately $70 a month on contacts.
$50. I don’t buy too many clothes. And neither does my boyfriend.
$20. My boyfriend pays for any cat-related expenses 100 percent. This $20 covers food and litter.
$20. We don’t buy very many gifts. If we are going to bring someone something, I typically bake or cook something instead.
$0. We don’t ever get takeout.
Going Out (Date Night or with Friends)
$150. We go out to dinner about once a week, but we typically have a Groupon or some sort of discount. Typically, the person who doesn’t have the coupon pays for the balance. We also like to go out for a few beers once or twice a week.
$330. We travel overseas at least once a year and go on another vacation within the U.S. as well. This breaks down to us spending about $4,000 a year on vacations.
$15. I give $15 a month to my political party of choice.
$65. This covers the cost for me. He pays $85 a month for his cell phone plan.
$29. I pay for a Netflix account that we share (about $19 a month), and I have a Spotify account that is $10 a month.
Splurge of the Month
$942. We’re going to the 50th anniversary of the Monterey Pop Festival and tickets were $345 each and we also got an Airbnb for $252.
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