You are in a tough spot, step one I would contact both credit accounts and have them decrease the limit on both accounts to as little as possible so she can't run up anymore.(use the excuse you are getting rid of all your credit and only going to keep 1 credit card for emergencies) Second I would suggest recommending the 2 of you to some type of financial and relationship counseling, explain to her that you are stressed out, and you don't want to be a slave to the lender anymore and want to pay off all your debt including your house as soon as possible because anything in life can happen and you want to be as prepared as possible. I would recommend Dave Ramsey's envelope system for her, maybe it would help her. Do the math if she left you, nailed you for child support till your child was 18, it might be cheaper to keep her. I don't know the whole situation but maybe she feels like money wise she took a hit having your child, taking care of it, and not getting as good as a position because of it. I don't want to seem harsh but maybe you enable this behavior in the beginning of your relationships or you told her about your past relationships and most women know a sucker when they see one. Don't worry I had this problem too with a girl 90% time I would pay and only when I complain she would pay. If this bothers you a a lot when your single again, after 2 or 3 dates if she doesn't offer to pay some I wouldn't date that woman anymore. I have many friends allowing their significant other to do something in the beggining of the relationship and then flipping the script later on and then come to me complaining and I set them straight about how if it was good before and isn't good now, who is changing the parameters of the relationship.
Good going @BBS. This seems like a very good start. I think you should have the payments automatically coming from her account to your account in case she forgets you know.
Good job and may things get better from here on...
Thanks for all of the replies above everyone. Some good points and thought-provoking perspectives. I'll try and reply to everyone individually since there was a lot of information communicated.
Yes-Its-Me: That's a good suggestion. She said for now on the 1st of the month she'll do a transfer from her checking account to mine. I'll let this go for a few months and assuming she has no problems with it let it roll. If she has a hiccup along the way I'll take your advice and get it going automatically. She is responsible with making on time payments on her accounts; I'm fairly confident that since she's committed to this that she'll follow through adequately.
Brutal, because of my own experience with what can happen to bank accounts, I feel it most imperative that she not have access to your bank account information. My bank account was wiped out by my SO when we broke up. My recommendation is not to give her your account info and if you already have done so to close that bank account and open another. My recommendation is writing a check to you, that will be your record of the payment.
Also, please don't allow her to use your son to try to control you to continue accepting her financil irreresponsibility.
I've spoken to her about this a handful of times over the course of the last year or two but nothing ever seems to change. I'm not really sure where to go from here.
That's your answer right there. It's going nowhere, and this relationship is clearly no good for your financial sanity (or finances). Seems like it's part of your pattern, your comfort zone type. Maybe this.. money-minded critera is something you should specifically look for in a partner, or even a partner that isn't financially minded but is WANTING to learn / change from the start of your relationship.
I should add another piece of data to this discussion. We have a son together, which of course makes the option of potentially breaking up less than favorable. We have ZERO support system (family) in terms of help child-care wise, so one of us HAS to be home with him;
I strike my previous comment.
A child together... you are essentially married to each other.
That's really complicated.
I'm honestly not worried about the credit account that we share since it's just Care Credit and can only be used for medical crap. The card has been gone for years; she's just been paying down the account which will be paid off next month. Once it's paid off I will cancel it, though, since it will be of no use to either of us.
She may have taken a "hit" financially when we had our son, but it's not due to her not being able to work the job/position she wanted. She just finished school this past May, something she was doing from the time she was pregnant until she just graduated. As I stated earlier in this thread, she's only worked part time "jobs" never a career as she didn't finish school until a couple of months ago. She definitely did have to cut back on her part time work though, but we all make sacrifies when we have a child. In the past year I've only hung out with the guys 2-3 times. That's my sacrifice which may not be able to be quantified in terms of dollars, but it's certainly a quality of life hit where she is still able to hang out with her friends at least once or twice per week. It's all a give and take; all relationships are. She's been applying for jobs in her career field since graduating and I'm hopeful she'll land something soon which will of course help her financial position.
The problem though IMO isn't the amount of money she makes, it's what she spends. So if her income increases and her spending also increases, we really aren't getting anywhere. I'm working with her now on watching her spending, budgeting, etc. as that's the real issue at hand. Her income at this point is a distant second issue to her unnecessary spending. She's been making progress though since I started this thread, and as long as the progress continues I feel good about it even if it takes a while to get to where it needs to be.
Nothing against the income... I understand school, and kids are expensive (while working you still pay for childcare, which can be more expensive). I was referring more to being financially minded. I'm not, or I used to be much worse than I am (I come to this conversation from that place). But, I am someone who has wanted to change (and I've been working on it, on myself, solo).
I think it's more important that she's into working on this in herself (in her life), to me that trumps income scenerio (which can change over time / life circumstance). Yes. Besides, what if something happened to you? This is good stuff for her to have for pure self-preservation, for her own happiness and for your child.
Absolutely, I agree. When I met her she had her own place and paid all of her own bills. In fact, that was one of the things that attracted me to her as I've had several past relationships with individuals completely incapable of this. So, my point is that I know she's done it before and is perfectly able to handle her own bills and finances. Of course, that was well before she had a child and could essentially work multiple part time jobs whenever she wanted to yield a very healthy income even if they weren't "careers" so in addition to being able to pay her own bills she was able to spend on herself rather liberally as well. I think that was probably the biggest change for her. I feel like I cut back my personal spending significantly when my expenses (child, her bills, etc) went up but she hardly cut hers back at all when her income level went down. Her and I both net less money now than we used to for opposite reasons. Her income went down some, my expenses went up some. I guess where the disconnect comes into play is that as a result of those 2 variables my personal spending went down (essentially to 0) where hers stayed relatively the same or perhaps slightly decreased out of circumstance and necessity.
Thanks, I appreciate the kind words.
She's taken her credit scores from about 600 to 700 in the last year under my guidance which is a very good thing. A year a half or so from now when it's time to buy out her lease her score will be strong enough to do that without me co-signing it, unlike the current situation where I co-signed her lease. She's got one more Care Credit payment to make on the CC that we're both on... so once that happens next month I'm calling up Synchrony and closing that account. One less thing to worry about. As long as she can continue on the path she's decided to take (more conservative with spending) I'm confident we'll do much better as a couple. Arguing about money absolutely sucks, as I'm sure many here know.