That’s what (s)he said

My partner spends a lot of time at my apartment. Is it wrong to ask for money to help pay for the food and electricity we both use?


She said:

From personal experience, I think it’s completely acceptable to ask your partner to pitch in for groceries or help out with utility bills if they spend a lot of time at your apartment.

Abbie Reetz
Commentary by Abbie Reetz, Managing Editor

My sophomore year here at UW-Whitewater, I was living in the dorms and my boyfriend lived in an apartment off campus. We’d been together for a year, and I was hanging at his apartment several times a week. He would even let me hang out there and watch TV or play on his PlayStation and eat his food while he was at class or work.

Obviously, I was making things more expensive for him. Instead of buying groceries just for himself, he started buying more because I was eating over so often. Instead of just paying for the electricity he was using himself, he had to pay for the increased bills from the time I spent at his apartment when he wasn’t there.

I felt kind of bad about the extra money he was spending as I unofficially lived at his apartment, so I would make sure to buy groceries when I could and replace the things I used up.

Speaking as a girlfriend who was a bit of a financial drain on her boyfriend that year, it’s totally fine to ask for your partner to pitch in for things they use a lot of. I wouldn’t go as far as demand they pay half your rent if you’re not officially living together, but asking for a little help with groceries, cable, electricity, or water bills is more than reasonable.


He said:

Relationships are filled with unavoidable awkward situations and conversations that are completely necessary. One conversation that is completely avoidable is asking your significant other to pay some of your bills if they are staying at your house often.

Lucas Wimmer
Commentary by Lucas Wimmer, Assistant News Editor

As someone who has their girlfriend at their apartment often, I don’t see the point in asking for help with bills. Since you’re the one asking your significant other to come over, why would they have to help with your bills? When you have friends over, do you make them chip in for the electricity that’s used while they’re there?

There’s another solution to this problem that makes for a lot less hard feelings: Spending more time at your significant other’s house.

This evens out the score as far as bills go, and it can give a nice change of pace if you’re bored of just spending all your nights at your place.

The increase in electric and utility bills is minimal, so if grocery money if what you’re after, there are some other solutions as well.

You could ask him or her to bring over some food of their own. This way, they’re not spending any extra money of their own on food and also not paying extra money for your roommate taking a 30 minute shower and leaving the light on all night.

If you really want to get something in return for the extra money you’re spending on them, your significant other could help you clean up the house or when you cook, they could do the dishes.

To some, this may not seem like a fair exchange, but it’s also not fair to make your significant other basically pay money to hang out with you.

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