What Is Your Weekly Spending in a Relationship?

Hey guys, I am currently living with my GF for 3-4 days a week. Usually, I cover 90% of spending over 3-4 days. It's roughly 250-300 bucks a week on eat-out and grocery cost. Am I spending too much?


    • +2

      U guys have an awesome relationship 👍

    • +7

      Does it really matter when you're married (legally or de facto)? If you do breakup, you'd each get half of everything you collectively own anyway.

    • +4

      FYI 60/40= 50% more, ozbargainer in you should know better, or maybe you do ;)

      • LOL Thank you for looking out for me. My Ozbargain game is rusty.

    • My wife and I used a similar approach when we were dating. I would pay 2/3 and she would pay the remaining 3rd for large purchases…..but we didn't split it like that for smaller and more frequent transactions.

    • Paying for her doesn't make you a gentleman, it makes you a great person. Why should there be expectation for guys to be a 'gentleman' and pay for so much? Women work, they should pay in other ways.

  • Depends on how serious you are. Do you see yourself marrying this girl?

    • +2

      I agree with this.

      It's chivalrous to pay for things and be the gentleman. However if you are of an older age (26+) and intend on marrying her and she shares the similar opinion, what you are spending now is worth it (although you reduce the eating out).

  • +8

    Yes, and be careful not to stay with her too much or get intimate, otherwise it will become Defacto and she can take half your assets

    • +1

      wow you're thinking really far ahead. but good point, especially if you have some substantial savings or property.

      • 6 months isnt "far ahead"

    • As a single person looking to buy my own home soon, it does seem that, if and when I date again in the future, I'll need to break up with them after 23 months to avoid the stress of future property settlements in any potential family law disputes. Mind you, dating for 23 months is a lot longer than any one of my previous 9 relationships so, extrapolating from previous experiences, I don't think it will be too hard.

      • +3

        I read a lot of articles about the '2 year' cut-off, but it's by no means black and white. A male friend of mine got screwed for this by the family courts after just 6 months.
        It basically means that you shouldn't have any intimacy with a partner or allow them to stay in your property (even a few nights a week) if you have more assets than they do. Otherwise you are at risk of losing your assets. You may even need to pay a spousal payment forever if they expected to benefit financially from the relationship.
        Ironically, there was an uproar in the news the other day because of the rare occasion that a guy tried to do it to his female partner as she had significantly more assets. 'People' could not believe a guy had the same rights as women in this situation. Anyhow, despite the law of 'no fault' separation, she successfully managed to stop him taking any assets by 'proving' he was a bad character to the courts ie. Once drink drove, and was aggressive /scary.

  • Just be careful, if you dial back you might end up watching her fade away

    • +18

      If he cut back a bit and she faded away because of it he dodged a bullet.

    • If there's "fade away", then he's definitely made the right decision.

      Mutual respect is required. If gold digger doesn't want to be fair in contributions, then gold digger needs to be cut loose.

  • If you're buying drinks with your meals then the bill will get up pretty quickly.

  • +4

    It's nice to do nice things for people, but as others have said, the unfortunate reality is that some partners expect to be paid for all the time. And some other partners that might not have always been that way can adjust to that situation pretty quickly and easily.

    Then, when trying to negotiate back to something which is obviously fair, the partner might genuinely take it as an indicator of your wavering interest in them, or might disingenuously use that idea as an excuse to break it off with you because you're no longer paying out like you used to.

    Good luck buddy. Hopefully it works out well. And if it doesn't, just remember you deserve a partner not a dependent.

  • +1

    I see my misus around 2-3 a week. We don't live together but I try to cook when I see her during weekdays and dine out in the weekend. Dining out usually like 50 bucks per meal.. I don't know how u are spending that much on grocery shopping.

  • The spending should be 50/50. There's no need to be chivalrous - can't keep that up forever.
    Don't 'buy' her affection.
    Back when my wife and I were dating we'd alternate.

  • I suppose you are staying at her place, using her things/ showering/ sleeping.
    What you are spending is ok, considering you are using all of her things.

    • OP's girlfriend is staying at his place half of the time, not the other way round.

      • Oops, then is way too much. She should pay the 90% or at least more than half if they enjoy going out to make up spending all the time at his place, also using water/heating etc.

  • +2

    Totally acceptable if you enjoy eating out and trying different restaurants. I eat out with my partner many times per week, before the pandemic we used to explore every corner of the city for different restaurants, we often even flew interstate and overseas for a few days to eat (e.g. long weekends in Japan). They were usually my ideas and I paid for them. Life's too short, carpe diem.

    • +10

      Can I be your partner too? Jesus imagine doing long weekends overseas just to eat.

    • +1

      this is cool!

      but in a way it's also good that Covid put a stop to such un-necessary travel

      we humans were really running ourselves to the ground with non-essential travels like that (I am/was guilty also - and quite OK to stay put for now)

      • +4

        but in a way it's also good that Covid put a stop to such un-necessary travel

        I agree, it's crazy someone could think it's reasonable to use so much CO2 to go somewhere for a weekend to eat

    • +1

      Horses for courses I guess. I assume you earn well above average to afford such a lifestyle. Definitely sounds nice, but not affordable for the average Joe unfortunately.

  • +4

    I'll send Pokimane $100 every Sunday. #LongDistanceRelationships

  • +18

    judging by this, I am too poor to be in a relationship

    • +3

      me 2 brother, me 2…

  • +4

    Well if OP is Asian, then totally normal. If OP is not, love is blind:)

  • +3

    $120 week on groceries for family of 4. Eat out maybe on weekend, maybe $200 a week at a stretch.

  • +6

    Learn to cook. Your GF is more likely to be impressed by your cooking skills than just throwing money at her (I.e. taking her out every time).
    If she insists on going out to fancy dinner, then find another one who appreciates you for your culinary skill rather than how much money you have.

  • +3

    Hmm I'm Asian and 30. Usually spending $500 a week on GF/dating related things (nice dinners, good quality groceries, nice dates, experiences). I think it's completely normal. Considering it as tithe (I'm budgeting 10% of my income on gf/ dating instead of church). As long as you have a budget and stick to it you should be fine.

    • +16

      So you make $5k a week?

      • Ballpark after taxes yes

        • +1

          Can I dare ask what you do for work?
          Good on you!

          • +1

            @camoqs: I'm an ED doctor. Income is half from work half passive (portfolio/ rentals/ investments)

            • @larmesdelhiver: So $500k net income of which $250k net is from your job. Unbelievable that you earn $250k after tax as an ED doctor. Unless you work in one of very few private hospital EDs. I know a senior registrar in a public hospital 6 years out of med school who takes home about 1/3 of that for an exhausting long week (and has huge HECS debts and large professional college fees for ongoing training).

              • @Ponsonby: 250k net. Not 500k net…. 5k a week after taxes in total active and passive. And I'm only a ED registrar so yeah give or take around 200k gross from my job.

        • Looks like your visiting the wrong website.

          oznotabargain.com.au maybe.

          • +7

            @fredk1000: I'm doing FIRE so I can retire early. Ozbargain is great. Why spend more on things you would get anyway when you can save that and invest? I don't understand the sentiment.

            • @larmesdelhiver: No offence, maybe it's nice to enjoy spending the money but everyone is different.

              Ozbargain is for saving a few bucks for something, does not seem like to you need to save a few bucks that is all.

              I am a bit more frugal, spending like $100-200 for a meal that I would forget I ate the next day does not seem to be worth it for me.

              I guess you only live once.

              • +1

                @fredk1000: I have saved quite a bit buying electronics and such from here. Saving money is a hobby in itself. Again I have a budget for everything. $100 saved from buying a set of Sony wf-1000xm3 is another $100 I could spend on a nice dinner or buying some more Apple stock. Not sure why not?

        • +1

          $450k a year. Only spending $500 on girl friend is not normal

          • +1

            @SnoozeAndLose: I think it's quite reasonable. 5k after tax a week. I save and invest 50% of it. 10% on GF/dating. 10% traveling/fun things. 30% for my living expenses. Of course for gifts and special occasions not included. This is an average week budget.

        • That's cool. Well sure, if you're making $5k a week, I can see $500 as reasonable (though it wouldn't really align with my personal values, but each to their own).

      • Let us say the guy is genuine ( most in the position won't state it on a public forum ) lol .
        Take home 5K after taxes is around 3.8% of the population .
        High income earners aren't as rare as Lock Ness monsters :)

        • No it's not, that is simply the percentage of (presumably working full time) individuals in top tax bracket which starts at 156k.

          Given 450k is a considerably increase above 156k, and that many (indeed the majority) of the working age) population in Australia are not employed full time, the figure of 3.8% is a gross overestimate.

          Edit, a quick google have me 60%ish participation rate, and of those, 60% of individuals working full time.

          So 36% of the working age people takes the top tax bracket down to 1ish% of all Australians or less.

          Then we consider that 450k>>156k and we see why 38 of the next 1000 people that walk past you in the street do not earn anywhere near 450k per year.

  • +2

    250 a week on grocceries + 50 per week in misc stuff. Live in situation + i pay all the bills. She pays BC fees. Seems normal to me.

    Everyone is different. You're asking this on a forum where people go too far to save 10 cents

    Depends on how much you earn and your lifestyle. I know guys who spend 1k a week on doing random stuff with partners, gifts etc.

  • I guess you’re not a considerably wealthy man as you, well, are already here giving this post. So even if this is true love, you’re still gonna have to let her pay a bit more bills at least. Yeah, I know. But this is life, and it sucks, especially at this moment.

    If a girl can get through this tough time together with you as always, she’s the one then.

    I agree that if you were a rich arse then no questions asked. But no, we aren’t. So choices must be made. I believe your GF can understand this as long as she watches TV and you’re not lying about your wealth.

    • +3

      What's unclear from your comment is whether there is an expectation that a man should pay more simply because he is a man.

      Or whether the woman is entitled to more because she is a woman.

      Traditionalism when it suits, modern independence when it suits, is an unfortunate inconsistency in the thinking of many young women.

      • Well, I gave it a thought after reading your comment. I believe no one “should” pay more. However, if one is capable AND willing to while the other doesn’t mind, then I think it’s fine. That’s just me, and I completely understand there will be different opinions.

        Ah, I shouldn’t have read this post. Completely forgot where it is and why I am here..

        • +1

          Well I think you're right about nobody "should pay more, and I agree that if one is willing and able then it's a fine choice of how to spend one's money.

          It's the entitlement of some (and definitely not all) people that irks me.

          I actually quite enjoy paying for my friends and family to have a good time. I don't have much use for the money I make otherwise. I have more gadgets than I can use, and have enough whisky in the cabinet to become quite the alcoholic.

          I guess I'm still trying to find a partner who appreciates rather than expects me picking up the bill.

  • +7

    Everyone pays for sex one way or another bro. Even married men. As long as you can afford it and you're both happy, just enjoy it. :)

  • This is very relative question and it has to do with your earning capacity.

    We spend slightly more than that for 2 per week and we eat out almost every meal except breakfast.

    However, we are both busy professionals and I’ve worked out that it makes no sense to spend an hour a day plus time getting groceries to cook.

    If you deduct the actual cost of the food itself, you’d have to earn like 5 dollars an hour normally to make it worth it.

    On top that I feel like I’ve been eating really well all those time. I can choose health options, indulgent options etc etc as I please. If I cooked myself I would be eating pasta half my life.

    I’ve spent that extra time in the last 8 years on pushing harder at work and to be honest, the upwards mobility of just working slightly harder at work has paid multifolds of that amount through promotions. That extra hour or two each day definitely has helped me.

    Think about what’s the most efficient and effective use of your time. Sometimes saving money is not the way to do it… it takes an investment in yourself to move up in the world.

    Let the take away guy use his time to cook for me. He’s better at it and can do it for less money per hour. This applies for hiring a cleaner etc as well.

    Obviously if you think of cooking as something you enjoy that may be something to consider as an activity.

  • +2

    Open a shared bank account and spend everything communal out of that account.

    Now both transfer in equal amounts as needed to keep it topped up.

  • +2

    $300…damn, didnt realise they were this expensive to keep around….

  • +1

    On the portion of how much your partner should pay, again, I look at it slightly differently.

    Throughout our time dating and now married, I paid for the majority of our expenses.

    She has a similar attitude with me in terms of aiming to excel at her job. By making her life easier all these years, I feel like I’ve helped her do that (she wouldn’t have afforded eating out and having a cleaner when we started out). Now she’s in an very established career and her earnings has helped us pay off our house.

    My point is the 250 eating out a week is really 50-100 of savings had you bought groceries and eaten in every meal. That’s 2500 per year… plus a lot of planning and effort.

    Don’t worry about it and think how you can earn that and not how you need to save that. Will help you in the long run.

  • +1

    FWIW, my take is that if your relationship is at a stage where you are measuring expenditure like this, then you should only be paying your own way and let nature take its course naturally

  • What matters most is what you think? It’s your relationship & $$

  • -1

    This sounds normal, especially if you aren't cooking together. If you spend $20-30 each per meal across those 4 days, then the figures are reasonable.

    Cooking together is a great bonding experience.

  • +1

    That's quite a lot. More than us and we are a family of four. Trust me, save more invest more when you are young.

  • Mine stays over 3-4 days a week and spend $150-200 dining out.

  • Is this a heterosexual relationship or a homosexual relationship? Or aliensexual relationship? If it’s the later two than too much

  • I live with my boyfriend and we spend $100-150 a week on groceries and eating out. We prefer eating in as we are working from home and split 50/50.

  • What is your reason for asking your question? I don’t want to make assumptions… as there seems to be something on your mind that doesn’t seem normal anymore?

    What were your single lifestyle costs?

    Do either of you cook? If not, eating out might be a more “easy” option, but then again learning to cook together could be a fun way to get to know each other more.

    Are you looking to reduce expenditures when you get married? Hence your question?

    If you cooked/eat-in how much would you have spent instead?

  • +5

    if you're batting above your weight, i guess it's the price you pay

    • +1

      Batting above your average*

      Punching above your weight*

      • Come on man, you get the gist.

        • +3

          What he said and the way he said it, isn't how the phrase is used, or known as.

          So I tried to help with that, because you don't know, if you don't know.

  • Yes.

  • Im interested to read the posts that some users never eat take away. What types and kinds of meals are you cooking from scratch every single day. Does it ever get tiring, or do you cook in large batches to last several meals/days worth.

    • We don't do take away, we either eat out or home cooking.

      I have a plant based diet plus occasional fish or chicken.

      Tonight was a soup with sweet potato, berlotti beans, baby peas, spinach leaves and other stuff. Plus some avocado on toast. I'll have that for lunch twice this week plus some frozen stuff made the week before.

      Last wednesday I did baked salmon steak with roast potatoes, roast beetroot, brussel sprouts and brocollini.

      I also do cheese and spinach pies, risotto, roast chicken. I can cook whatever recipe is put in front of me. I don't menu plan - that's her job.

      At my place I make pizza from scratch, spag bol or other pasta sauces, slow cooked ribs (my adult kids are carnivores), eggs any way you want, Thai curries, Indian food, stir fries.

      I've been cooking since I was 13 (almost 59) and it definitely gets easier as you go, especially if you get some good knives cookbooks that aren't ridiculously complicated. I'm luck y that both my partners have been good cooks as you learn off each other.

      • This might sound lazy, however i find myself cooking less these days. The prep time, cooking time + cleaning of assorted pots and pans just got very time consuming and tiring, especially after a long day of work. I much prefer something to pop in the oven or a healthy-ish takeaway.

        • I can understand your feelings. It's not for everyone. We do tend to make enough for 3-4 meals and freeze them for lazy days.

          I'm a clean & fast cook. I prep on the fly and wash up as I go. I probably subconsciously pick my dishes to accommodate that habit.

          My GF does prep before she cooks but has a lot more imagination (but mainly eats plant based dishes). Between the two of us we churn out some great dishes.

    • Just try and mix it up where possible. Some weeks we get hellofresh/similar delivered to work for a bit of variety. We mainly don't do frequent takeaway because we live ~20mins out of town so whatever we get is usually lukewarm by the time we get home.

  • +1

    It does sound a bit much, but who cares. If you eat out a lot, that's very expensive. It's a choice.

    If you want to start eating out less, talk to your GF. If you want her to contribute more, talk to your GF. If she can't handle a friendly (and not passive aggressive) discussion, you probably weren't meant to be.

  • You'll have to ask the wife…she manages the finances.

  • +3

    3.5 years into a relationship. She earns double my salary. I spend 2-3 nights a week at her place.

    I spend what I feel comfortable with which means I pay for food and booze when we go out ($200 last saturday). Pre-Covid she paid for any tickets to concerts and 2 of our 4 theatre subscriptions (That's ~$1k).
    At her place I buy a dozen wines every 3 months, a kilo of coffee when it looks low and a few other things. I also do some property maintenance if I feel inclined and cook on 1 night (which I enjoy).

    She washes any clothes I leave there, menu plans (which I don't enjoy) cooks a heap of food on the weekend and sends me home with multiple dinners and never mentions money. If I thought I was spending too much I'd tell her and she'd be happy.

    If you feel you are spending too much then you need to have a talk with your GF.

    • +1

      A man knows when he's got a good deal going.

      • +4

        Yoga Teacher as her hobby with figure that matches.
        8 years younger.
        Ridiculously intelligent and articulate so we are never stuck for something to discuss.
        TV, movie, theatre & live music junkie.
        Fellow gardener and food grower

        There isn't enough room to list all the positive points.

        It was a pure fluke that we happened to be within the 5km radius we had both set in Tinder as we were from different ends of Sydney. Swiped right within an hour of each other.

        Happy Days.

        • Get a ring on it mate… sounds perfect.

        • You had me at yoga pants.

        • You're one of the lucky ones, hope it stays like that for you.

  • -1

    I cover 90% of spending over 3-4 days.

    10% should be the max you should pay.

  • +1

    I feel like the main issue is the 90% bit, although I think $250 is on the higher side for most relationships.

    Might vary somewhat if one partner earns a lot more than the other, in the middle of trying to further their career,l etc, AND this has been openly discussed, but if not, then it is not fair. The fact that you're asking indicates to me that the money is not an insignificant portion of your income, and she would be aware of that. So to me, she is not trying to pull her weight and demonstrating she is trying to be a partner. Paying 10% is a token effort.

  • Family of 5, we are spending 250-300 a week and thats for everything from lunches to dinner, fruit, snacks, nappies and all- for a full week! Yes, you're spending too much.

  • +1

    Sounds like your GF is living with you, not you living with her. She should be paying 90%.

  • How about you explain to your gf about your finances and long term goals for your relationship? Eg buying a house etc. Once this is set out she can then understand and you two can agree on what to do. Plenty of useful tips above as well.

    If money is a friction issue in terms of how you go about spending it, then it'll be an issue down the line

  • Married to an Asian, I pay rent and bills, she pays all food ($300-350/month each). Took just under 6 months to to hit out resourcefulness goals. Once or twice a month we have a money conversation. Overarching goal is a savings target every 6 months, to support the overall goal.
    Living like this makes the times we do spend on going to a dinner or travel so much better.

    • im confused, dont people get a joint bank account as soon as you move in together whereby you each deposit a portion of your wage and that pays for all house stuff….? I figured this was normal

      • Not our goals, we both didn't want to do that. We both do separate savings, and we both have money in savings that we intent to go towards a house. We tracked our spending for a month, and were able to plan based on that. Now we are tracking monthly using a free app (Im using andromoney on android).

        When it comes to buying a house, that will change. For now, saving separately is the best thing for each of us, and it might stay that way too once we're paying off a house.

        Dont let unwritten rules of money and living together get in the way of your financial focus and goals.

        • Im confused, i wasnt talking about savings etc, just having one account where you put the same amount into which pays solely for rent/bills/food and pretty much nothing else.

          • @JuryWheel: yeah that wasn't going to work for us. Our method is a lot less accurate for who spends what, but our living expense is quite low and we are both able to save well. Talking about finances regularly keeps us balanced.

            • @DarthAntz: Fair enough. We always found it very easy to know within 5% what your bills were going to be, so just made sure there was always enough in that account to cover all of that (didnt matter if a bit more was in it) and that way there was no "i bought this, you bought that" confusion….each to their own.
              EDIT - just saw you are MARRIED (figured you were a newer couple) - i am always shocked when i hear married people have seperate accounts!

              • @JuryWheel: Its been a good conversation, you've made me think more about it too. Before getting married, I always worried that money would become a problem one way or another. My wife was more than happy to keep money separate for the same reasons, and just split our financial responsibilities.

                I think we avoid a lot of simple problems keeping our money separate, but complex problems (such as a house) might be a little something else. In the meantime, we can better prepare and research how to handle complex money situations as a couple for when the times comes.

                • @DarthAntz: Our best spending was done when we had a piece of paper on the fridge where you had to write down EVERY purchase you made over $1…..really showed the other person (and yourself) how much you can spend on crap, and also compare yourself to your partner. Many a query was made of "why did you spend that much on that persons childs birthday present" or "man, you have a lot of 7eleven muffins!".

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