Post # 16
Omg, are we engaged to the same man? Are we the same person? lol
I am a saver. I own my house, I drive a car that’s monthly payment is reasonable. My credit score is pretty damn good. I have a great job I’ve been in for 11 years. I’m also divorced from a man who took advantage of me in every way. I NEED financial security. Without it I am an anxious mess. Meanwhile Fiance drives a truck with an OUTRAGEOUS monthly payment. I am talking the equivalent to renting a studio. FI does have a great job but he is a BIG spender and not a saver. His credit score is horrible. I have co-signed for him numerous times for this very reason.
My belief is that if you work hard and can afford to reward yourself, go for it. FI feels you should reward yourself upfront because then it will provide motivation to work hard to maintain said lifestyle.
As you can see we are polar opposites and finances is a reoccurring issue we face. I mean, I’ve been in tears over this time and time again. Lately we have been making headway. Together we have worked to pay off all credit card debt combined between us. I have told Fiance I am okay with him buying his expensive “toys” as long as he can maintain a savings too. I can’t be the only one providing financial security in this relationship. He finally seems on board with this and has begun growing a savings along with eliminating debt. I think we have finally found a way to live in harmony.
ETA: In the four years we have been together Fiance has gone through 3 motorcycles and recently was looking to purchase a new one. When I told him I would NOT be co-signing this time he changed his mind.
Now I am laughing! Just looked at your username. My FI’s name is Mike too. LOL
Post # 17
mikesgirl123 : How would he live without you financing his lifestyle? How did he live before he met you? How would his son live?
I couldn’t be with someone who sponged off me to finance lavish material items.
Post # 18
This is so tough, I’m sorry you’re in this position. First I want to say that you rock! You should be so proud of yourself for your financial accomplishments. I’m on the same page as you are with spending and saving, I drive an old car even though my husband and I have an excellent income. I’ll buy a new one eventually (when mine breaks down completely) but it won’t be crazy expensive because cars are a depreciating asset and not an investment and although I would love to drive a luxury vehicle I’d rather be able to travel and retire early. I didn’t always feel this way though, it took me years to get to a place where I can finally make great financial decisions and maybe your fiancé is in that space, however, the fact that he’s continuing to make poor financial decisions is a little bit of a red flag. I definitely don’t think this is a total deal breaker, but it is a BIG deal (as I’m sure you know). I’m a huge fan of Dave Ramsey and one of his huge messages are that debt is a result of poor financial decisions. I think that you paying off his credit cards was a good decision coming from a math perspective but I don’t know if it was a good decision as far as him learning that kind of behavior isn’t acceptable. I would guess from my own interactions with money that his behavior is coming from an emotional part of him that feels like he needs these things to feel good about himself. I could be WAY off base but for me spending is absolutely emotional. I grew without very much money at all and so when I had my own I wanted to spend it to make myself feel good.
I would recommend that you two take a financial class together or get some pre-marital counselling that has an in-depth finance section included that would help you two get to the root of these issues. Perhaps you can meet in the middle with your spending but I don’t think that the way things are going right now is sustainable, regardless of how great he is. IMO, if you got married tomorrow and things kept going this way it would lead to a lot of resentment over time from both of you and the relationship wouldn’t work out. I really wish the best for you two and hope you can solve it. If his financial behavior isn’t indicative of his real-life behavior then I really think it can.
Post # 19
I know you say it’s just money but…there’s a reason that money is the #1 cause for divorce.
Your Fiance is being extremely selfish, and I think it’s even more troubling that he’s acting this way when he has a child. Not being good with money I understand. It’s difficult for some people. But it’s like he’s not even trying! For me this would be a giant, huge red flag. I’m glad you’ve decided to go back to therapy. Hopefully that will help you figure out where to go from here.
Post # 20
I’m in a similar spot with my Fiance, wherein I’m the breadwinner/financially responsible worrier, but your situation has some read flags that I’d be wary of. It would be one thing if your Fiance was just limited financially because he didn’t make a lot, but it sounds like he’s just doing as he pleases and expecting you to pick up the slack.
If he’s bothered that his son doesn’t have money saved, then HE should fix it. I’m sure you care about his son, but it’s not your job to swoop in and save everyone. That is a terrible burden to put on you and it’s not fair of your SO to do that. If he isn’t willing to change his lifestyle to alleviate some of the financial pressure you’re under, then I don’t think he’s a good partner or worth investing more time or money in. Ultimately, you want someone who will add to your life positively, not drag your finances, security, and happiness down. I hope talking to your counselor helps give you a game plan to address this. Good luck!
Post # 21
mikesgirl123 : You have to say no to the new car. Don’t feel like you’re being a mom – as equal partners in a relationship, you both have a say in household spending and saving – and this is no different than say if the wife covets an expensive designer bag and the husband says no because they can’t feasibly afford it. It seems like your Fiance has a bit of maturing to do when it comes to financial responsibility. Maybe you guys can both do some counseling in this respect. In our marriage, I’m the spender and he’s the saver, and we’ve been able to reach a better place where he’s more comfortable with spending now and I’ve become more of a saver so we can reach our goals. Good luck!
Post # 22
Regardless of how you decide to move forward regarding finances and prenup, I’m concerned for your kids’ future stability after you’ve worked so hard to save for them. Is there some sort of account you can set up that makes the money more or less untouchable in case of a divorce (or to keep Fiance from considering it as a solution for future money troubles)?
In your situation, I would want this issue resolved before I’d be willing to go through with marrying him.
Post # 23
you and your children come first – this man is supposed to be a partner NOT another child. His actions show complete disregard for you and your children. I would make a clean break and continue living your amazing life.
Post # 24
mikesgirl123 : you both need to attend a class like Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University. You need to be on the same page about money before you get married. I wouldn’t get married without being on the same page as this is the number one cause of divorce!
Post # 25
Wow, first of all, you are amazing. Second, a man that loves you and respects you will work with you to find a solution to this, including signing a prenup. You already pay for most things, so a prenup does not mean you want to take something away from him, but to make sure your marriage contract is balanced and fair from both of your perspectives. I recommend NOLO’s prenuptial agreements book, it’s on amazon and it has everything you need to write your own prenup. My fiance and I are going through it and I will not lie, it’s difficult to talk that clearly about money, but it also has made us closer because now we both fully understand each other’s worries.
In our case, my fiance wanted to keep the house 100% in his name, but realistically, because I earn more, I would be the one paying for everything if we ever have a kid, plus I already pay 50% of the mortgage. Now, my fiance is selfish, a fact that we have discussed before and we are working on, but it was with the help of the worksheets on the book that he was able to SEE how my numbers and his numbers stacked up and how he was being unfair and why I felt taken advantage of.
Even if you end up not writing a prenup, going through the worksheets is a 100% worth it. Some people need help to work through their selfish nature, but it does not necessarily mean they are bad people. Best of luck!
Post # 26
mikesgirl123 : I hope you will be able to go to therapy, and perhaps also a financial counselor or class with your Fiance. If I were in your shoes I’d want to get to the bottom of the fancy car thing – to try to understand why he puts so much value on driving an “impressive” vehicle.
Please consider a prenup. They are generally recommended when there is a disparity in net worth and it gives you and your Fiance the chance to determine how assets would be divided in event of a divorce. Otherwise, a judge will decide – and may not have the same idea of fair as you do.
Post # 27
Is this how you want to spend your life–resenting him and bailing him out of one debt after another? it sounds like he has no incentive to grow the fuck up and manage his finances and take care of his child if you keep coming to his rescue.
I am a lottery winner with substantial assets and when my husband proposed he said he wanted a prenup stating he has no acess to my money, which I thought was ridculous. So we had separate lawyers and a pre nup was drawn up to our mutual satisfaction.
There is no way I could marry, let along RESPECT a man who is so frivolous with money, especially when he has a child. A child who is not your responsibility to provide for.
Post # 28
I didn’t spend my entire adulthood putting myself in a good financial position so I could pay off someone else’s debt and keep them in brag-worthy cars
This says it all to me and absolutely needed to be said to him imo. You’re a saint if you stick around and deal with this for life in my eyes. I personally could not even have fallen for someone so irresponsible because of exactly what you said. I don’t work my ass off to save and plan just to have someone else not give a shit and try to even piss away my earnings too. I have to be with someone whos financial goals at least align with mine and *TRY*.
Post # 29
I want to thank everyone for their thoughtful comments. I have really appreciated it as ive started sorting through this stuff in my head and trying to gain some clarity.
I think it’s a multi-layered problem so we’ve agreed to a multi-layered response.
First, I have made an appointment with my PTSD psychologist. It is a bit of a wait – I went on the cancellation list and I still dont see her until next week – but I have been feeling more triggered. I think managing that anxiety is trickier in the context of a relationship, so I need to better understand how to do that for my own sake. So, that’s work for me.
We have also decided is to go to couples counselling. Not because we’re needing serious intervention but because we know we have different communication styles and we both have a tendency to avoid conflict. Normally we can navigate that but our communication failed us here. So we both want to develop ourselves here.
In terms of actual resolution, we have had some good talks. Fiance is not really a talker; Sometimes we leave a conversation and I think he hasn’t taken in a thing I’ve said because there had been no response. And then he comes back with the kindest, most meaningful action or gesture that shows he really was listening (see point about our different communication styles above).
He is trading in his expensive car. He came to me with numbers — he’d obviously done a lot of thinking and researching and got quotes regarding trade-in value. He is getting a far less expensive (but still very nice) car which will have substantial monthly savings. And he has dedicated a portion of that to retirement savings. That is a huge change in thinking for him; absolutely enormous!
I also know that having a car with prestige is an emotional issue for him. There is history there for him and it is a meaningful item beyond just that of an expensive material possession. Giving that up is not a small thing and i recognise doing this is an act of tremendous love for me.
I also have taken to heart the counsel about talking about some of this. That was an issue for me in my past and I actually think the sense that I couldn’t talk and this was to be kept a secret was an emotional issue for me. It became isolating and I know that being protective of a primary relationship is different than isolating because of shame, so i felt i needed to act on that. So i have spoken with my mom. My mom is a pretty astute woman who happens to be a social worker. She gave some good feedback and insight and support of me and us. Mostly she listened. But it is good to come clean to your support system and that’s what this felt like.
I think we are both feeling very good about how we got through this, however messy it was at the time.
Thank you for all your support and wisdom.
Post # 30
Definitely get a prenup but even with one…depending on your state once you get married as far as the govt is concerned you’re financially One. Make sure you won’t have any nasty surprises the 1st time you have to jointly file taxes.
Do you know all of his debt? His full income? In the premarital course my Fiance and I took we filled out a worksheet detailing all our debts and assets. That is helpful so everybody gets a full financial picture of their potential spouse.
But even more importantly we talked about our financial beliefs/ behaviors. There may be psychological reasons behind how he wastes money and if so needs to be addressed.
Money may seem like a big deal now but once you get married money will become even more important. His behavior need to be nipped in the bud. He needs to make a plan to make back that money you gave him for his credit card debt, he needs to make plans to lower his cost of living so he can contribute to the wedding and the household and provide for his child. He needs to be an adult. Or else, I would really rethink marriage because extreme financial wastefulness and mismanagement is not anything to play with when you have a home and children to provide for.