Post # 1
My fiance and I have been together for nearly 7 years now and we get a long great. I love everything about him, but there is just one thing that seems to really get under my skin. He is not the best when it comes to finances. We are totally opposites when it comes to money. I am all about saving, 401Ks and thinking about retirement, but he on the other hand is okay with living pay check to pay check, paying bills late, deffering on his student loans etc. He has the biggest heart I know and will sometimes give his last to help someone else out. People, especially his family, know this about him and I think it’s why they always hit him up for money. They know he just can’t say no. We are getting married soon and all I can think about is our future. I always hear money is the reasons most relationships/marriages fail and I just do not want us to be another statistic. I feel like everytime I talk to him about my concerns I am being a nag. I almost feel like I am his mother the way I have to remind him to do anything or make sure he is paying his bills on time. He has agreed to try and manage his finances better, but I feel like I never see any improvement. It’s like he lives this “care-free”, “in the moment” life and doesn’t seem think too much about the future. I know not everyone is perfect, but is this one flaw that I should just learn to accept? I keep thinking that some day he will get it right. I just need to know am I overreacting? Are there other Bees out there who deal with the same issues? Any advice?
Post # 3
you all cannot afford to ignore this issue. You need counseling and you need it NOW! Perhaps you both might benefit from reading “Total Money Makeover” by Dave Ramsey. I’m very thankful my fiance and I did this. You both need to be on the same page about your financial goals. We waited a bit too long before we got this aspect of our life together, IMO, but still we managed to get through it. I would not recommend anyone get married before getting a handle on their finances. Best wishes!
Post # 4
@Jumpingthebroom2014: Yeah, I agree that you need to be on the same page about this PRONTO. My own brother’s first marriage fell apart for many reasons, the biggest of which was the fact that his wife would help her family out financially leaving my brother penniless to pay their bills.
Maybe you guys could come up with a system for your joint finances. Some people use a percentage method, others contribute $X/month into the joint funds from which bills are paid. Come up with a budget and set clear expectations so you both know who is contributing how much, and what should be done with excess money.
DH & I don’t pool finances much, not that we are opposed, but what we did before marriage was working so we didn’t change it when we got married 🙂 We each are responsible for certain household bills. We save money together for major purchases and vacations. We do have a shared credit card for emergencies. We do not necessarily discuss purchases made with our own personal money, but we do not make major financial decisions without discussing it first.
Hope this helps, good luck!
Post # 5
@Jumpingthebroom2014: I think I would have a really hard time accepting this one flaw when disagreements on finances are the number 1 cause of divorce. Whoever I married had to be on the same page as me when it came to money. If you are unsure about it, I would wait before getting married to see if he will actually work out his finances. If you don’t ever see him getting on your page, I would seriously consider whether or not you want to be in the relationship since this is so important to you. Good luck!
Post # 6
@Jumpingthebroom2014: You aren’t overreacting at all. This is something you should take very seriously. You both need to come to a firm agreement about how you will handle your finances before you get married, unless you want to spend your first few years of marriage fighting about money.
What would happen if you got sick, or were laid off? Would he be able to manage his money wisely and take care of you? Does he have an emergency fund? What about buying a house or raising children someday? He should be saving and paying down his debt so that he can build a future with you. Being carefree and living in the moment might be fun right now, but he’s going to have to pay off that debt someday, and it’s a lot easier now than when he has a mortgage and mouths to feed and his debt has doubled because of interest.
Don’t think of it as nagging, because it isn’t. It’s being a responsible adult. If that’s too much for him to shoulder, you might want to consider combining finances and taking over the bills and financial planning yourself. He could have a checking account with a monthly allowance to spend as he wishes, and agree not to touch the other accounts. Or you could try taking financial planning classes together. If he won’t agree to either of those solutions, I would think very carefully about what you’re getting yourself into.
Post # 7
@Jumpingthebroom2014: You need to address this, and be firm about it. This isnt about pride or sparing feelings…it’s dollars and cents: some people suck at handling money, and if the other party has a better grasp than by all means they should jump in and stop the cycle.
MY FI is a great guy…but he’d been doing the bachelor thing for awhile before we starting dating: going out to nice bars with his buddies, paying full-price for shit I wouldnt buy on sale, etc. This lifestyle resulted in a low amount of savings.
I have always been very responsible with my money and saving, so I took it upon myself as the relationship progressed to make sure we were making smart decisions. At the time, he saw no problem with eating out several nights a week…I taught him the value of making things at home and doing maybe one or two nice dates a month. He thought nothing of buying $200+ jeans…I pointed out that if you watch something for awhile and coupon, you can get really nice things at a severe markdown.
At this point, he definitely is on the same page…but I still handle budgeting. So, you can make this change in your relationship; you’re just going to have to impress upon him how serious the issue is.
Post # 8
Yikes. I could not marry a man like this. The only way I would is if he agreed to give me complete control over the finances. He could have an allowance of “fun money”. And that’s it.
I also recommend financial counseling. I doubt he will change his habits though, at least anytime soon. The only solution I see is combining finances and him letting you have the control.
Post # 9
@Overjoyed: Thank you for the advice. I will definitely look into that book!
Post # 10
@mrssrm: Thank you for your words. Yes. I have definitely considered just taking full control of his finances and giving him a monthly allowance. Lol sounds a bit funny, but whatever it takes to get us on the right path I am willing to do. This might be the best way for now. I am atleast grateful that he atleast acknowledges his faults and has agreed to changing his habits.
Post # 11
@badabing88: Finally a post that gives me hope! I was beginning to feel a bit discouraged. I continue to handle our joint finances, but I think I will take control of his too just to get him back on the right path and until we can get some counseling or outside help and he proves that he can mange his money better. I understand how serious this issue is and I tell him this all the time. I know it is going to take work, but I am hopeing and praying we make it through. I am not ready to give up on him just yet!
Post # 12
@Jumpingthebroom2014: Please get this under control before you get married. You both need to agree on finances. My ex was in school and spenidng his money like an idiot while I was working my ass off to pay the utilities, rent, everything. He was spenidng his money on gym memberships, games, and expensive clothing. Had I married him, I’d be in debt up to my eyeballs.
You need to talk to him about what happens when you combine finances and how much money will be set aside each month for dates, extras, etc. I would ask him for control of the money, especially if he knows he has a spending problem.
Post # 13
@Jumpingthebroom2014: I used to be your FI! I cared too much about keeping up a certain lifestyle in the present, deferred my loans and didn’t have any savings or retirement. My SO helped to put me on the right track and part of the reasoning is that he sees us as a TEAM. It was reassuring to know that he cared so much about our future and wanted us to be financially savvy even before we were engaged. I think that you can approach it the same way with your FI – it’s OUR debt, OUR savings, etc. Make a plan for him to start paying down his loans, take some control over your joint savings and retirement until he gets back on his feet. I still love shopping but knowing that my SO works so hard to save for us, is a good deterrent and reminder for me to be more financially responsible. Good luck!
Post # 14
@Jumpingthebroom2014: Well, whether anyone wants to admit it or not: there is something about ALL of us we do not have a firm grasp on that someone else probably finds unbearable.
In your FIs defense: not everyone is taught from a young age to manage money. I had it beat into my head from the time I was old enough to see every single, solitary birthday/christmas check go straight to savings. It is just something that my father made sure I understood. My mother, on the other hand, has always flown by the seat of her pants with money and therefore never has any. I think, in this country, there are a lot more money role models like my mother than my father. I dont think it’s fair to fault someone on that if you havent given them the chance to fix it.
You’re going to feel like a mom (I used to), but you have to break it down in very simple terms:
“Listen: we eat out 4 nights a week. That is over $400/month NOT including groceries. We can cut that into thirds by cooking at home.” <–some people truly need it laid out for them, or else they may never realize how that spending adds up.
“Babe, I know you want me to get that new purse for myself, and you want those new True Religion jeans. But if we wait a month or two, they will be at the outlet for a fraction of that price.” <–you’d think my FI had never heard of coupon codes or an outlet in his life.
“I know you think it isnt important to save, but even $25 a check is SOMETHING. What if your car broke down tomorrow? Or we had an emergency? It’s not responsible to put that on credit if we don’t have to.”
And the list goes on. Again, you’ll feel like youre parenting…and you essentially are: you’re teaching him something he wasnt taught before. It can take a bit, but this absolutely is something fixable 🙂
Post # 15
@badabing88: Thank you for your wise words and encouragement! 🙂 It is nice to be reassured that not everyone is perfect and though this is a very important issue it is fixable. I will definitely take your advice and talk to him and break his spending down. I think having it all mapped out so he can see how much money is being wasted or what things need to take priotrity will be helpful for him.
Post # 16
@Jumpingthebroom2014: I have the exact same issue as you. My FI is sweet, kind, giving, and loves to take care of others…unfortunately, this means is is loose with his money in circumstances where he should probably let others fend for themselves. I always say that he is “too nice.” Better problem to have than others, like alcoholism, etc.
What I have done is accepted that I will be in control of the finances for the rest of our life together. He does so many other things, like take care of the house, our dog, home repairs that I would otherwise have to spend lots of $$ on…..I try to think of it as a “trade,” like that.
You mentioned he was “care-free.” So is my FI. In fact, that was the initial quality that attracted me to him (we are opposites in that way). So remember, that may have been the very quality that attracted you to him in the first place 🙂