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New Money

How Couples Do Money

Seven conversations about love, trust, and splitting the check.

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Samantha Lepre and Branden Wilbarger
Ages: 25, 28
Jobs: Waitress and Waiter/musician
Incomes*: $26,000 and $55,000
Home: Los Angeles
Together: 4 years

Samantha: When we first dated, in Toledo, it was cheaper. We would go on dates a lot, and he would pay. But now that we’ve moved to L.A., and it’s kind of pricey, and we’re budgeting, it’s just easier if we do everything 50-50. I think that started with the first meal, seriously. But my reaction was like—I understood it.