sticky financial situation… looking for advice

posted 3 years ago in Money
Post # 3
1549 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

You need to make a joint budget with him for your household expenses as well as your future. He obviously feels inferior that you make more then him. He’s probably just become appathetic about it. Get on a plan together. If you are going to marry him, ALL that debt will become yours. Figure out where you want to be financially in 1 year, 5 years, 10 years, etc and then plan out every dime of your money until you get there. Figure it out like you are married but keeping money separate. Maybe making a plan will help him feel like he’s more equal even with the lower income.

Check out Dave Ramsey. He’s got some great ideas to help you out.

Post # 4
1177 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: February 2014

Where does his money go?  I think his irresponsibility is a HUGE deal.  These are the types of things that will affect your future together negatively for the long term.  I should know, I was irresponsible with money in my early 20s and it haunted me for YEARS and I actually PAID my debts off.  

Him screwing other people over financially is a red flag too.  Not finishing college has ZERO to do with it.  Even if he could only financially afford $25 a week to commit to debts, that’s what he should be doing.  

I think you need to sit down with him and tell him, flat out, that his financial responsibility is a major issue for you and help him make a budget.  List everything and everyONE he owes.  I don’t care if he doesn’t “want to pay them back”.  That’s disgusting to rip off individuals.  I mean, really trashy.  Then figure out what he can afford to pay out each week after he pays groceries/household necessities, puts gas in his car, whatever.  Tell him he can have $x for “fun money” to do whatever he wants with.  It’s not like he can’t do *anything*.

You need to nip this in the bud now before you can’t afford a wedding because he can’t handle the money or can’t buy a house or his credit is shot and he can’t be on an apartment lease.  It *will* affect you.  

If he can’t do it on his own, then he needs to agree to let you handle his paychecks for awhile.  It’s not ideal, but maybe you should be paying his bills and giving him an “allowance” (for lack of better word), but I really don’t advocate parent-child relationships within a romantic one.  

Post # 5
1177 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: February 2014

@Kate0558:  +1  

I second Dave Ramsey, especially if he’s in a lot of debt.  It can be overwhelming and Dave’s books are very motivating.  


Post # 6
11668 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

I think the least of your concerns should be the gift value – if he has so much debt, I wouldn’t want him spending any money on me for a gift.

It’s time to sit down and have a very honest discussion about money issues.  You really need to resolve this and come up with a plan of action BEFORE you tie the knot. Financial reasons are a huge contributor to arguments and divorce.  Good luck!

Post # 7
9412 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

@happyuphere:  If you are getting married, all of the money goes into the same pot anyway so it doesn’t really make a difference. It is not a tit for tat with us and I wouldn’t want to make our relationship into something where a score needed to be kept.


Post # 8
9412 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

@MrsWBS:  +1. A budget would help and if someone has so much debt, they shouldn’t be wasting money on frivilious things likes gifts.

Post # 9
1258 posts
Bumble bee

Maybe a sit down meeting with a financial advisor might be something that helps him realize what’s on the table. How much money is being spent on bills by the household (a.k.a. you), how many debts there are for both of you, etc. It will force both of you to see the big picture of your financial future together. One of the first things they will tell you is to sit down together with all your financial numbers and set up a budget. You both need to see and know where money is going and coming from.

It might be the kick start he needs to see that the two of you want certain things for your future together, maybe one of you will want to take courses or go back to school at some point, purchase a car, a house, set up retirement savings, and what not. 

If you are resenting him now, it’s only going to get worse if you don’t A) talk about it calmly and B) figure out a plan that works for everyone, not just a one-sided plan for the interim. 

Best of luck OP. 

Post # 10
2419 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

@happyuphere:  Budget, budget, budget.

Sit down and make a household budget with all of the bills, including his medical bills, student loans AND the roommates he owes money. Have you combined finances? If you have, YOU take control of paying the bills and have him deposit his money into the joint account and give him an allowance of x per week. It will be better for both of you in the long run if you take control of all the household money and pay the bills.

Post # 11
3009 posts
Sugar bee

@happyuphere:  you do kind of sound like a brat. on one hand, you’re acknowledging that he is in debt and struggles and on the other you’re complaining about the less expensive birthday gift he got you. why does he need to verbally acknowledge that he spent much less on your gift than you did on his. you knew he was not able to spend and equivalent amount- so why not scale back your gift? i make a decent salary, but it is still 1/2 of what my SO makes. he goes all out for my birthday and spends several hundred dollars. the best i do is a gift and a nice dinner. he is competely happy with that.

so, maybe you can pool your money and you handle the finances?

Post # 12
2884 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: March 2013

Previous to living with him, I lived alone, so I was used to paying all the bills on my own. I figured I’d rather pay more bills now and allow him to pay down his debts and contribute to his savings. The problem is he hasn’t started to do either of those things, and he’s constantly coming up short

before i comment i want to know where his money is going? if hes buying some groceries, but not savign money or paying off debts then it must be going somewhere

Post # 13
7 posts
  • Wedding: May 2014

i won’t ask for a gift if he has so much debit. When he has no financial crisis, i believe he would give you the best gift in the world. I asked a gift from my bf once more, and he is poor and has no money for gift. So when i learnt, i gave up my wish for gift. Hope you guys can get through it.

Post # 14
3833 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

As others have – I’d suggest you set a budget and discuss joint financial goals.  Even if he sets aside a small amount as a savings account, it would be interesting to see if he CAN save – set aside – ANYTHING or if he is really and truly unable to do that.  

You say he has been running from problems all his life –  is there a way do address that deeper issue?  That might in turn help out with the financial issues.


Post # 15
11772 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2013

I was in a similar situation. When we first moved in together, DH made 5X what I did (Insurance vs Early Childhood Education).

I said “I know our bills are X (phenomenal amount, we live in Boston). I have 15K in student loans. I can afford to pay you X a month, but I need to pay those loans down before future things happen.”

So every month, I gave him half my earnings (I made 22K a year), and paid between 50% and 75% of what was left over to my student loans every month.

My point is, it’s not a fun situation, but it’s definitely do-able! But both of you have to work at it. You’ve clearly done your part (yay, you!) by accepting what he can pay you and not pressuring him for more than he can afford.

Now HE needs to pay off those loans! I don’t know what he’s spending the rest of his money on, but it needs to stop!

Post # 16
6158 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2013

@happyuphere:  you need to sit down and have an open and honest talk about expenses and budget.


i make double what FI makes, the house we live in is mine, everything inside is mine.  when we are married, it will be ours. when i have a problem, we talk about it until we have reached an understanding and are on the same page.


i know FI can’t afford all the things I can but we manage.


communication and being open about these things is important.  this is who you are going to share your life with.


you cannot be mad about spending $250 on his gift when he only spent $40.  you know he doesn’t have the funds and you made the choice to spend $250.  you could have spent $30 and i’m sure he would have been just as happy.


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