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Valued Member
Posts: 44
Registered: ‎08-30-2017
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My SO's finances are a wreck.

I've always been incredibly thrifty, much to my annoyance of friends. Definitely came in handy when I started grad school. Rarely dine out, never buy anything new, don't drive.

Recently, my income took a big bump—doing some consulting work, plus some inheiritance that has been put into high-yield investments. My spending habits haven't changed, and I'm building up a very nice porfolio. My only extravagance is buying a (used) bike I probably didn't need, but it's a beaut. But anyway, I went from scraping by comfortably to not having to worry if I'm making rent, and I'm incredibly gracious for that luck.

 

My SO, on the other hand, has a bad habit of blowing every last cent of her paycheck within a week. The concept of necessities before luxuries is lost on her, as is thrift. I've been trying to get her to switch to a local CU and open a savings account, but she's now $500 in the red in her checking account, so that's not happening anytime soon. Gave her a referral when I got my Discover card hoping she'd use it to smooth out cash flow; she promptly maxed it out. 

 

She's not spending on extravagances, nor faced with huge emergencies such as medical bills; she's just very, very bad at budgeting and impulse buying, and sometimes I feel the need to pick up the slack, though 90% of the time we split things 50/50. Example: I suggest we take a day trip out of town, nope, too much money for her if we split it. She suggests we go for a nice dinner, and her card gets declined, and I'm holding the bill. She isn't intentionally mooching, she just fears checking her bank balance before making a purchase. I've been there many, many times, much preferring to treat myself than paying the bills, but that isn't the reality of the world. Other times I have to reign her in, and say that maybe dining out every meal for a week isn't financially prudent, no matter who's paying for it.

 

However, I just hope this doesn't turn into mooching. We're incredibly honest about everything in our respective lives, but my income is the one thing I haven't felt comfortable to bring up. Like I said, other than one purchase, there hasn't been any lifestyle creep to give it away, but the time I spend laboring over financial and tax documents might be hinting at it.

 

I'm also torn, becuase I'd much rather spend money on others or for shared experiences than on myself. If we're going to do something or travel together, it'd have to be on my dime, and I'm okay spending that, but I worry that only would train her to rely on me rather than balancing her own books. On the other hand, if I don't, we're spending our weekends watching television and eating leftovers (which, hey, again, I'm totally fine with!) because she couldn't set aside $20 for fun. 

 

Any advice, or even own personal anecdotes, would be much appreciated. 




FICO: 717 across the board. Cards: Disco IT $800; WaFed Amex Cash $2500; BCE $2000
Community Leader
Super Contributor
Posts: 14,744
Registered: ‎11-11-2014

Re: My SO's finances are a wreck.

I won't tell you how to live your life but the signs are right there for you to see.  The two of you are not financially compatible and I don't mean in terms of income. If this is the woman you plan to spend the rest of your life with then try hard to make her see things not only from her perspective but yours also.

 

Refusing to check your account as you keep spending for fear of seeing it in the red is a irresponsible in my opinion.  Sometimes, these habits are very hard to change so all the best to you.

 

 

Established Contributor
Posts: 941
Registered: ‎01-15-2017

Re: My SO's finances are a wreck.

I have been with some who sounds like your so. The first Mrs. Backwoods was the Local President for the Big Bank. Even then 30 years ago she made 6 figures. The only problem is spent 6 figures. She had an Amex gold and her bill was always 3 to 4K.  She kept me stressed out about money even though in theory we had in the shade. i finally had to leave as I was a nervous motional wreck.

 

My next long term relationship was the with the queen of tightwad. Her car was a nice BMW and her house was worth about $5 million dollars.  She was a Sr  VP for a fortune 500 and one of the first in country.  She made about $1 million dollars a year.  House paid for car paid for.  . She tithed quarterly to her Church.  She invited me to move in early in the relationship.   All her clothes she bought used.  She took a sandwich to work.  (No I am not kidding) Dinner was either ramen noodles or hamburger helper mixed with more hamburger helper.  I soon found out living with her meant doing the yard and cleaning. She used no hired help for a 10,000 sq foot house on 5 acres. Most weekends I was busy doing the yard.  All the neighbors had yard service but us.  There were only a few rooms we regularly used so she cleaned those while I did the yard. Her suits did not go the dry cleaners until 3 wears or dirty.  Aside from her tithe over 95% of ner net pay went into savings/ investments. 

She would not spend money for cable. We fought if I even wanted to take her to casual dining costing $10/person. (To much money)   She traveled a lot for work and had massive frequent flyer miles that we used for personal trips every few months.  Her only splurges were  a home office  as she frequently worked at home and and a nice dining room complete with Waterford Crystal and I can't recall China brand as the company had her entertain important clients every so often.  The co paid for food and waiter staff for the night.  After 3 years with her and having saved a ton a money I finally walked away when I met the woman became the 2nd  Mrs. Backwoods.    The 2nd Mrs Backwoods see eye to eye and no stress.  

New Contributor
Posts: 65
Registered: ‎04-26-2017

Re: My SO's finances are a wreck.

After multiple failed marriages I'll give you my painfully expensive and experienced two cents worth...

 

If you can't talk to her at this moment openly and honestly about her financial habits without fear of judgement or reprisal, something else in your relationship will eventually surface and become an issue as well.

 

Your concern over what she does is valid enough to post here. I've found that I'm a great 'enabler' when I'm in love. I've recognized finally, after 57 years of both good and bad relationships, that I can't and shouldn't do that anymore... it doesn't help in the end to always be the good guy (or gal).

 

In my very humble internet opinion, I'd muster up the guts to openly discuss your concerns with her and see how she feels about it. 

 

At that point the road forks.

 

Luck to you both =)

 

 

 

Regular Contributor
Posts: 132
Registered: ‎08-20-2017

Re: My SO's finances are a wreck.


Moneyklutz wrote:

If you can't talk to her at this moment openly and honestly about her financial habits without fear of judgement or reprisal, something else in your relationship will eventually surface and become an issue as well.


This is the crux of it. 

 

There are boundary issues here too, e.g. what is my money/what is yours, when do I pick up the slack for you and when do I let you stand on your own?

 

But none of that can be addressed without being able to talk to each other. The financial habit may be one issue in the relationship, and it may or may not be something you can work through, but if you can, trust me: something else (big or small) WILL come up. And you will have to make use of these skills.

 

If the relationship is serious, she needs to know what your income is... You can't be hiding something like that.

If the relationship is serious, even if you aren't splitting major expenses (household bills) yet, you still have to know who splits a dinner bill. And you have every right to say "I am going to stop going to restaurants with you for so long as your cards continue to be declined and I have to pick up the tab - I have to watch my own budget. Can we make a date in and cook with each other?" Or find other creative solutions.*

Regardless, you have to have the courage to approach her, or ANYone you are in a relationship with, and tell them when something is not right for you, small or large.

Pro tip: If you bring something up in the moment or as reasonably close to in-the-moment as you can get to it (hey sweetie, I know it's been a couple hours/yesterday but I was thinking about it and _____) it is so much easier to deal with something than if you wait. The reasons are severalfold... you get more specific with your request which means less fighting in general terms with trigger words like "always" and "never;" you don't let things build up over time and become so frustrating to you that you respond in anger; and you're more likely to accurately remember the details of the incident(s) in question than if you waited weeks, months, or even years to bring things up.

 

I won't speculate as to what the prognosis is for this relationship, as I've seen some in the dumps really pull through. But to pull through, you've got to get this communication skill down. (She also has to get her finances in order, but you have zero control over that, and that is something you also have to accept going forward. It's up to her to stay afloat.)

 

 

* I'll out myself as a lady here. It is very important to me to pay my part of a bill when in a dating scenario, whether I'm in date 1 or 1,000. But it's obnoxious asking wait staff to split the bill, and sometimes they still come back and hand -him- the full bill anyway. (mumble mumble) So my previous bf and I came up with a system that's "fair enough": we'd alternate taking the full bill (so date 1-me, date 2-him, date 3-me, &c.) In your situation you'd have to be ready to pull out of going to restaurants with her the next time a card gets declined. Again: boundaries, and being willing to enforce them. The point is really just to think of solutions that might work in your situation, that might not be perfect (e.g. we didn't charge exactly the same amount each time) but are good-enough.

Ch7 discharged 10/2017. Pre-file FICOs high 400s.
10/2017 EX 580 EQ 579 TU 504
New Contributor
Posts: 50
Registered: ‎07-15-2017
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Re: My SO's finances are a wreck.

In my experience she won't change, at least my ex wife wouldn't change.  Unfortunatly I did and then had to rob Peter to pay Paul.   Durring that phase my credit was trashed.

 

The new Mrs and I see eye to eye, we pay our bills, we save, and then we spend if we want to, but we are usully saving more so that we can travel when we want.

 

So I have seen both sides.   You can't make her change if she dosen't want to, but maybe if she sees how money can be handled properly she will want to change.  

 

 

Good Luck.


Gardening until March 2018.
Established Contributor
Posts: 758
Registered: ‎11-07-2016

Re: My SO's finances are a wreck.


Moneyklutz wrote:

 

If you can't talk to her at this moment openly and honestly about her financial habits without fear of judgement or reprisal, something else in your relationship will eventually surface and become an issue as well.

 


That is why my ex is my ex...

 

Best of luck, OP. Openness is the best policy.


TU FICO 8: 743 (9/17) — Ex FICO 8: 727 (10/17)
Community Leader
Super Contributor
Posts: 14,744
Registered: ‎11-11-2014
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Re: My SO's finances are a wreck.


GrasshopperStudent wrote:

Moneyklutz wrote:

 

If you can't talk to her at this moment openly and honestly about her financial habits without fear of judgement or reprisal, something else in your relationship will eventually surface and become an issue as well.

 


That is why my ex is my ex...

 

Best of luck, OP. Openness is the best policy.


Agreed.

Super Contributor
Posts: 5,815
Registered: ‎10-06-2007
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Re: My SO's finances are a wreck.

You could offer to take over the managment of your SO's finances and give her a budget to work within.  Once she is out of the red you can take baby steps to help her on the road of being stable money wise.  It is not uncommon for one partner to manage the money for both and even if you always have to do that if that is the worst you could say about your relationship you are not doing so bad.

10/17/2017 FICO: EQ 829 TU 830 EX 826
Established Contributor
Posts: 516
Registered: ‎12-21-2009
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Re: My SO's finances are a wreck.

Wow times sure have changed.  Used to be years ago that if a man wanted a woman to have sex with him and give him love and affection and care, he had to marry her. 

 

Now men are irritated at even paying for a dinner for a woman while she gives him everything.  

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