Over half of 18–24-year-olds want an even split of bills, compared to a third of over 55s, research shows

New research reveals discontent over the divide of household bills as just over three-fifths of couples (62%) don’t share costs out evenly.

The latest data from MoneySuperMarket reveals British sentiments and behaviours towards splitting household bills, highlighting that only 40% of people in a relationship advocate for an even split of household costs with their partner.  

On the other end of the spectrum, almost a quarter (22%) of partners would prefer a more measured approach, believing that bills should be paid proportionally based on income.

Additionally, almost one in five (18%) split their bills proportionally based on income, with a further 14% having their partner foot the entire bill for all household costs.  

Chief income earners are less likely to prefer a proportional split of bills when breaking down attitudes towards household finances by income type. Only 18% of higher earners say they would prefer to split household bills according to income, compared to 27% of lower earners. 

With 38% of couples currently operating on a 50/50 split, data shows discontent over the financial structure in households – 22% wish that their respective incomes were taken into consideration when apportioning monthly bills. 

Further data shows certain insurance essentials are lower on the agenda for many British couples. Insurance appears to be an afterthought with regards to bill splitting as less than a quarter (23%) of couples deem life insurance a cost worth dividing between them. In addition, almost one third (31%) of people admit to prioritising other spending, such as Netflix or a gym subscription, over life insurance. 

Most common methods for British couples splitting bills  

Methods for splitting bills Percentage 
Evenly 38% 
Proportionally based on income 18% 
One person pays all the bills 14% 
No specific split has been decided 11% 
Each partner takes ownership of specific bills 7% 
Other 12% 

Data shows a large generational divide when it comes to attitudes towards splitting bills, as over half (51%) of Gen Z’ers (18-24) prefer an even split, compared to a third (33%) of over 55s. 

Many couples are also currently paying for their significant other’s subscriptions with 42% of Brits covering the cost of entertainment services such as Netflix, 28% paying for their partner’s music streaming services and 19% paying for their other half’s monthly lifestyle subscriptions, like gym memberships.  

Neal Cross, MoneySuperMarket’s life insurance expert commented: “With 77% of couples not splitting life insurance costs evenly, it’s possible that this could create tension within a relationship. 

“With the rise in the cost of living, people may be feeling more on edge about the split of household bills than ever before which is why it’s important that a fair split is agreed by both partners in order to avoid any conflict.  

“Joint policies can work out to be cheaper for couples but it’s important to note that they only pay out when the first person dies. For those looking for a good deal on life insurance, MoneySuperMarket can help you save money and get the best deal on a policy that works for your household.”