Your Life

Don’t want no scrub: Dealing with a partner who doesn’t pay

- October 14, 2021 2 MIN READ
How to deal with a partner who won't pay

Even if youre with somebody who in all other aspects is wonderful, having a partner who doesn’t pay their fair share is the worst.

By Georgie Koch

Ah, love. Aint it grand? Relationships are great but when youre in one, old or new, bringing up sensitive topics always creates tension. And in this day and age, money is right up there near the top of the list. Especially when one of you has more consideration for it than the other. 

Ever been left with the dinner bill? Shouted multiple rounds of drinks without the offer of one back? Covered something your partner conveniently had no wallet or cash to pay for?

Treating your partner is nice, and something I recommend from time to time. However, if it happens repeatedly with the elusive promise of getting the next one, then Im afraid you might be with a scrub. We all know the term from the infinite wisdom of TLC, but for some clarification, a scrub is a leech, a scab, a downright stingy person. A scrub is a guy who can’t get no love from me. (Sorry you’ve got that song stuck in your head now.)

For the sake of your relationship, bank account and sanity, here are a few tips on how to deal with a partner who doesn’t pay.

Bills, bills, bills (and the apps that split them)

Thank you Steve Jobs and the internet gods for technology.

There are a whole host of mobile apps available these days for splitting the bill. They vary in scope and function, but check out:

Most of the banks also have this type of functionality in their mobile apps, so have a little play around and see what you can find. Then you can forget the bill-arrival anxiety and split the cost like modern human beings.

Communicate about your cash

Plain and simple, some people are pretty vague. They may actually not realise what theyre doing is a problem and is rubbing you the wrong way.

If you can delicately raise the issue and suggest said partner who doesn’t pay stump up more of their share, then by all means do so.

If this cant be done without winding them up, try going about it in a different way. Talk to your partner about your financial goals, whether thats saving for a holiday, a home deposit or finding money to start investing.

If you make it clear youre saving for a reason and cant fritter away your money, it might prompt their more egalitarian nature when it comes to the moola.

The couple that budgets together stays togetheror something like that

If your partner has issues saving their money, or you both YOLO too much, make a budget and treat it like a couples exercise.

Set the budget and stick to it together so you can encourage one another. If you do it together, you’ll also have someone to bitch to when youre forced to buy the cheap wine. If your new couple’s budget saves you some cash, you can put it towards a special dinner or holiday together, going halves of course.

Just remember: guy or girl, you are most likely not helpless or despondent and – apologies to my own sex – especially you ladies. You cant demand to be a mans equal in every other respect, then expect to be treated to dinner. For everyone, its good form to offer to pay your share, and kind of rude to assume it would be otherwise.