I've been dating with my girlfriend since almost 4 years. In the beginning, I was paying for both of us when we went out, so all of the couple-related expenses were covered by me. For example, if we went out for dinner or to the cinema, I was paying both dinners or both tickets, but if she wanted to buy a new dress she liked, then she should have paid for it.

After just a few months, we decided to split equally (50/50) the couple-related expenses. This decision was taken because we were both students and I had no income, just as she didn't, so it seemed more fair to us to head this way.

Now I completed my studies and found a well-paid job, but she is still a student and will continue studying for at the very least more 5 years. We previously decided to split the expenses because I had no income, but since this precondition is not valid anymore I want to pay the couple-related expenses.

However, I don't think my girlfriend would like to depend economically from me, or from someone else. In fact, her parents don't give her any pocket money; she only need to ask them to obtain the money she needs, but she really dislikes to ask for money, so I bet she would dislike that I pay everything for her too.

I was thinking of giving her pocket money, so that she can manage those money and will be able to pay her half of the expenses and probably to save something too. I'm not sure if that's appropriate and how much money should I give her.

Can such an idea be considered appropriate? Or am I expected to just pay for her? And should I give her pocket money, should I just give her what she needs to pay the couple-related expenses and let her ask for money to her parents to buy other things, or should I give her a little more than what she needs, to also allow her to save money?

Thank you in advance for your opinions :-)

closed as off-topic by OldPadawan, Flo, sphennings, Em C, scohe001 Jul 28 '18 at 15:18

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  • 2
    Have you asked her how she thinks the both of you could or should handle these kinds of expenses in the future? – Flo Jul 28 '18 at 14:18
  • @Flo no, I didn't, I want to approach the argument when already having in mind a possible solution – RaffoSorr Jul 28 '18 at 14:30
  • 3
    Hi RaffoSorr, unfortunately asking us to pick a solution for you is off topic, so your question is likely to be closed. If you'd like to ask how to have a conversation about who pays for what with her, that would be more on topic. Also, could you be more specific about what expenses you currently share? You say "couple-related" but it's unclear to me what that means. Do you live together? – Em C Jul 28 '18 at 15:10
  • In another comment you state that your girlfriend is 16 years old. What does engaged means to the both of you? Did you make wedding plans when she was 12? (When I got engaged to my wife/gf and I had more money I just paid for everything, because it would make little difference if the money became hers anyway once we were married. We were only engaged for a year though...) – Hans Janssen Jul 28 '18 at 15:46
  • I'm not an English mother tongue, this could have been misunderstood: I mean we are dating since 4 years – RaffoSorr Jul 28 '18 at 15:49

Splitting costs

Sounds like you both managed quite well those last years. Why do you think that your getting a job changed anything for your girlfriend?

As long as you don't start picking up more expensive free time activities, she should be fine. If you really want to do something special and more costly, tell her "I want to give this to you." Make it a gift so it's clear that she's not required to pay half the expenses. Just don't make it a habit or she might feel indebted to you.

If you plan on buying something big and very expensive, talk to each other beforehand.

Pocket money

Sorry to tell you, but if someone offered me to pay pocket money I would feel insulted. Pocket money is what you give children, but you are both adults. Your girlfriend might react especially bad since she doesn't even ask her own parents for money.

If you really want to offer her money, talk to her. Don't decide on your own or secretly transfer money to her bank account. That's the surest way to a big fight.

Instead, explain to her that you feel kind of bad for earning good money while she does not. Tell her, you'd like her to receive subsistence from you. Hear her arguments for or against your idea, discuss your own arguments and come to a mutual agreement.


If she absolutely declines receiving money from you, but you absolutely want to offer her money, choose a more subtle approach.

You could have a place with a small money reserve (like a box or bowl). Make it clear that this is no "emergency money", but rather "convenience money" so you don't have to go to a cash point too often. You both are entitled to take this money and make use of it.

That way your girlfriend has the chance to take money from you without asking for it or feeling indebted.

  • She is 16, that's the reason I thought at pocket money. She asked her parents for pocket money, but they prefer just giving her money when she needs it. However, having a small amount of money coming in every week without she having to ask is preferable for her. I just thought that if she wants pocket money but they are not giving her it, I could be giving her it. But your idea of "convenience money" sounds just better ^_^ – RaffoSorr Jul 28 '18 at 14:26
  • Pocket money can definitely come off as insulting. The way I sometimes give my girlfriend money is for example; She uses public transport. But she is pretty bad at managing how much credit is on the payment card. So sometimes she tells me she has no credit on it, and I put €30,- on it. That way I know my money will help her, and she's grateful that I thought about helping her. Instead of just throwing some money on her every week/month. – Daan Jul 30 '18 at 14:56
  • OP is obviously not a native English speaker, which would imply that when he says he would offer "pocket money" he doesn't mean specifically "pocket money", but some equivalent in his native language, assuming his GF shares the same language. So arguing that the term "pocket money" would be insulting is moot, since he obviously will not use that specific term, but something equivalent in his language, that can possibly be non insulting. ;-/ – msb Sep 7 '18 at 1:39

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