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Finances and Romance, is there any hope for us?

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New Contributor

Re: Finances and Romance, is there any hope for us?

If it  bothers you now it will bother you later.  You two need to come to an agreement or move on.  I personally think she is not making smart decisions with her money.  At the income she has it appears she'd rather acquire more debt to look good instead of using that awesome income to payoff the debt she already had.

 

Talk with her about what financial goals you want as a couple and see what ideas she has for hitting them. She may see the light on her own.  If not, you need to decide if you are willing to accept that she may not change her view on debt.

 

Good Luck.  

Message 11 of 20
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New Visitor

Re: Finances and Romance, is there any hope for us?

Her long term financial goals are not exactly the same. I take saving for retirement more serious. Her mindset is "we are still young, we haven't even started our life together", more short-sighted. Perhaps some of this has to do with our family backgrounds as well.

Message 12 of 20
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Frequent Contributor

Re: Finances and Romance, is there any hope for us?

Is Jane  making minimum payments on the cc debt or paying larger amounts? 

Message 13 of 20
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Valued Contributor

Re: Finances and Romance, is there any hope for us?


@GatorsFan15 wrote:

I don't want to comment on whether you should remain in a relationship with her because the heart wants what the heart wants and I disagree with your family about the definition of marriage. But, if you look at what I'm guessing is her take home pay, it looks like she's pretty far under 40% DTI and that's against take home, not gross. That's fairly healthy. Also, you mentioned her savings, but does she possibly have a large 401K through her company or something? Or, is she newly arrived at this salary? I have to say, based on the data you've provided, I don't think she needs to change anything. She has experienced great career success and is still young. Presumably she will continue to experience even greater success. She makes plenty of money to service that debt. 


The DTI is deceptive. I'm looking at her expense list in the OP and thinking that's really high, and I make significantly more than she does. 401k alone isn't enough, particularly for people in middle to middle-upper brackets as she is. When one gets used to spending more per month, planning on a minimal Social Security + 401k retirement is going to result in shock when one actually retires and finds they have half their former income overnight. At $175k, maxing out an IRA, 401k, and HSA (if available) is the bare minimum. Taxes and such are also higher, and after withholdings my net pay is only about 35-40% of my gross.

 

The other red flag in here that DTI is a distraction from is the spending habits. Take the BMW as a good example: she bought a car she didn't need as a birthday present, and financed it over 6 years. This shows impulse (car on a near whim) and lack of foresight (6 year financing). If she was of sound financial mind, one of those two wouldn't have happened; she would have traded in her old car to offset the expense or she would have made a much larger down payment to bring the 6 years down to a 4 year loan (and likely with a better rate).

 

If this was a "I got a raise, let's go have fun" expenditure, that shows the impulsivity as well. When success shines on someone, the first order of business should be to save that success for a while, not spend it. Success can leave just as quickly as it came, and someone who immediately ups their expenses in response to an increase in salary exhibits the dangerous problem of never being able to make enough since no matter how much more she may make in the future, she seems to have the mindset to spend more to offset it.

 

The last red flag I'm concerned with is the justifications she's made to herself and is comfortable with. It sounds like she has no intention of changing her habits, and possibly even sees them as deserved or good. She doesn't even have one month's income saved, and she's ready to go out and spend more?

 

Finally, management in particular is a fleeting occupation: those at the very top (owners and CEOs) are one disaster away from losing their business and those in middle management are the "tallest blades of grass" and thus among the first to be cut when cost savings are needed. Before you pull the trigger on this, imagine life with her when she's making half what she does now: how will she handle the debt, the change in lifestyle, and the loss of income?

 

If the OP really loves her, he'll do what he does, consequences be damned. From where I sit though, this is a lifetime of financial stress and arguing waiting to happen. You can't expect her to change, so you'll need to either accept her spending problem or move on. You can certainly kiss financial independence and early retirement goodbye in such a marriage - she'll be working until she's too old or let go.

Message 14 of 20
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Frequent Contributor

Re: Finances and Romance, is there any hope for us?

Iced very eloquently summarized all the issues I see here. 

 

Again, hate to be the bad guy, don't kill the messenger, but this smells like a problem down the road.

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Message 15 of 20
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Re: Finances and Romance, is there any hope for us?

She makes large payments on her credit cards. One is an Amex Platinum, and when she does use that card, she has to pay it in full of course. I have seen her run 8-10K on that card in one month. 

Message 16 of 20
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New Visitor

Re: Finances and Romance, is there any hope for us?

I honestly think her impulsive nature is learned, as her mother is just like her. I have seen it firsthand. Her father also enabled her mother, so again I think some of it is learned behavior. 

Message 17 of 20
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Frequent Contributor

Re: Finances and Romance, is there any hope for us?

Earlier in the thread you posted that you beieve in combining fimances after marriage. She is willing to go with the flow on whatever you believe. Is there any possibility that she would be ok with you being the financial quarterback? My question is colored by my personal experience which I understand is only one anectodal situation.

 

In our house I was volunteered to handle the funds. One day I was approached with you understand this better than I do. You are better at it. You like it. I hate it. You do the bills and money. Just write a check for what I can spend. The rest is not real money. Prior to that time we sat down and determined the amount that was needed to run the house. We each had discretionary funds for anyting we wanted. The discretionary money was not a substantial amount. It worked for us. I was the lower earner.

 

The funds that were referred to as not real money was retirement savings, investments, emergency savings and preparation for anything that may present. 

 

When I posted that I married a spender I'm talking about a person living in a rented appartment who bought a Rolls-Royce on time while still paying for a Mercedes that was the daily. Miracle? Maybe, but people who do things in good faith may be just running on habit not ideology written in stone. 

 

Whatever you decide I wish you well. 

Message 18 of 20
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New Contributor

Re: Finances and Romance, is there any hope for us?


@WFHWarrior wrote:
On one end, all my family has told me she is not a good partner, as they believe marriage is about combining all assets and debts, and until she begins to show a desire to change, she will bring me down with her to financial ruin. On the other hand, I love her, and want to believe she will change.

I somewhat sympathize as I'm in a similar situation with my boyfriend. He has a mortgage with 20 years left on it, $10k in CC debt, $10k in student loans, and around $120k in loans between 3 cars (2 of them being supercars). He wants to get a third supercar - I told him absolutely not. He's between $100k - $200k in income annually, yet has no savings and no investments. Big spender, lives in the moment, not a good planner.

 

Meanwhile I'm 10 years younger than him, make between $60-$70k (started at $54k two years ago), bought a brand new car last year and paid it off in 7 months, after paying off the car have replenished my savings to $10k in 4 months, no student loans by paying my way through undergrad & grad school, have a 401k with my employer that's vested ~$9k, as well as a Roth IRA and brokerage account.

 

I've forbidden him to get another car or trade one in until he pays off all CC debt, student loan debt, pays off at least 1 of his cars, and refinances his house. In a couple months he has paid off $7k in CC debt and $5k in student loans. Making good progress. Thank god I pushed him because who knows what he would have contiuned doing to his DTI.

 

I've thought about the issue of combining finances once we get married. I've always been territorial about money and am very Type A, so like to keep things separate for the sake of record-keeping and to not tread on anyone's toes. However for him, he's the opposite. Being a man he feels an obligation to be the main provider, but also since he was raised in Asia he adheres to the culture of combining assets & expenses (but not necessarily sharing access to / control of said assets).

 

The way I think about it is that his debts for things like his supercars are ultimately his problem. So long as I keep us living affordably, even if his income vanishes I could afford paying our rent/mortgage & utilities & food on my own until he gets back on his feet. Obviously his car payments would be in trouble, but that wouldn't affect my credit. We'd open a joint bank account to pay our bills, and the rest of our money we can keep in our own accounts. If he gets into financial trouble with creditors, they can't go after my bank accounts - only his & our joint account.

 

Have you thought about things from this POV? I don't see my boyfriend dragging me into financial ruin unless I cosign loans for him, etc. Similarly, your girlfriend can't drag you into financial ruin unless you do the same. HOWEVER, I will acknowledge that one partner creating a financial headache for themself does put strain on a relationship.


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Message 19 of 20
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Established Contributor

Re: Finances and Romance, is there any hope for us?

I think the biggest determining factor is whether or not your girlfriend is willing to change and/or be flexible. If she is, then with time and patience, she can become better at managing money. If she isn't, then keep your finances separate. Even with separate finances, it's likely there will be serious stress in the future. 





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