Post # 1
I am currently considering getting engaged to my boyfriend of 8 years (who really wants to be engaged, it’s very important to him), and one of my biggest concerns is financial independence. I am currently in graduate school and still financially dependent on my parents. I live with my boyfriend and contribute a small portion of rent and we pretty much split necessities for the house (food, cleaning supplies, stuff like that). one of my hesitations in getting engaged is I feel like if I am taking it upon myself to get engaged I SHOULD be able to support myself financially, or at least my boyfriend should feel comfortable taking on my expenses (graduate school) if I am unable to do that, or if he wants to get engaged before that is possible.
In short, is it unfair or unrealistic for my boyfriend to expect that my parents will continue to support me once he has asked me to be his fiance? Am I wrong in thinking that if he doesn’t want to wait until I am financially independ myself and able to pay for my own school, rent, etc. that he should be willing to take some of that off my parents’ shoulders? I still don’t even know if they would be willing to continue paying for these things in the case that we got engaged, but if they were willing, my questions is, does that sound right to you?
I really don’t know if i’m being realistic or if i’m totally off base. Would love your opinions or maybe what some of you who were in similar situations did.
EDIT- This whole thing came about and became a discussion because I found out he was actually going to PROPOSE in 3 weeks when we are on vacation with our families in Wyoming. If you get a sense of urgency from my post, that’s because there is one! For those who are saying why not wait a year until i do have that full time job, one of the reasons is that he already had these plans to propose in this location that is extremely special to us (that we don’t get to often) and we will be with both of our families (which will probably never happen again).
Post # 3
I think that when you guys get engaged that you need to be financially independent from your parents. I know it’s tough but work on that first then talk about engagements(:
Post # 4
Why aren’t you supporting yourself? Just get a job (or a second job). I worked 56 hours a week in grad school while taking a full course load. It can certainly be done.
Post # 5
Well.. the only way to know is to discuss it with him.
I agree though, it’s unrealistic to expect that once you get married, the parents will still contribute financially. Honestly I find it a bit odd your parents still give you money when you live with you boyfriend, but who knows.
Since you already live together, not sure if being engaged makes that much of a difference.. but yeah, once you’re married I think that you should pay for stuff as a couple. If you still need parents’ money, you’re not really mature (in a financial sense) enough to marry IMO.
Post # 6
I think as long as by the time you get married you are financially independent, there’s no issue. I think at this time in the world, we’re getting a later and later start because of schooling/job market/loans, etc.
Post # 7
- Wedding: May 2014 - Scottish Rite Cathedral (New Castle, PA)
I think if you’re engaged you should be financially separate from your parents. IMO you shouldn’t get engaged unless you’re ready to be married and I don’t think parents should be supporting their married child. So I would say your fiance should be ready to take on your financial burdens or be willing to wait until you’re handling them yourself. Just my opinion though!
Post # 8
The reason I don’t currently have a job is because I’m in graduate school for teaching and I am doing my supervised field work (teaching full time unpaid), taking classes at night, and doing work whenever I can fit it in. I simply don’t have time for a job right now, but will have one by the spring. my parents are generously helping me finance my graduate school, and the rest of my money comes from past savings.
I don’t disagree with you that I should be financially independent. I’m just wondering IF this happens before the time that I am, what is the right thing to do.
Post # 9
I think you should be financially responsible for yourself.
Post # 10
@jmv2013: Like the others, I also agree that you should be financially independent prior to getting married/engaged. You need to be able to rely on yourself before you rely on someone else. I hate to say it, but cut the strings asap.
Post # 11
It’s unrealistic and unfair to expect him to support you, whatever deal you have going on with your parents is between you and them.
Just get a job and be independent from both your parents and your boyfriend.
Post # 12
@jmv2013: if i were you, I would wait until the spring to get engaged, when you have time to work
Post # 13
- Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA
I disagree with PPs. My parents are paying my 30k in undergrad loans (thanks Mom and Dad!!!!!!!) with money that was explicitly set aside for that way back. That is not changing now that I’m engaged. I pay for everything else – my share of our mortgage, bills, etc. My grad school was free thank god.
Is your bf in a position to cover all this stuff? If he’s not but your parents are (like my situation), and they think this of this as something they want to do for you, I don’t see what the difference is.
Post # 14
@lolot: Yes I have a very similar situation to you, except that I am not paying an equal portion of our mortgage, bills etc. I pay what I can from my savings. In regards to your question about his financial situation, He has had a stable job as a trader in the financial industry for 3 years, owns our apartment in NYC (I pay towards his mortgage which is a whole other issue), owns a car, owns a plot of land in Jackson Hole, etc. He is financially able to do this. I also don’t disagree with the person who said that it’s wrong to expect him to take on my financial burden. the only reason I am at all considering this is because he has stated that it would be worth it to him to do this if it means that we could get engaged sooner. I’m questioning it all because we are not at the decision point yet so i’m trying to feel it out and gague opinions on the situation.
Post # 16
Let me also add, I am going to be a teacher in NYC and he works in finance. In my life with him, I will never be independent in the sense that I will be financially able to kick in 50% based on what our salary differential will indefinitely be. I have offered that if that’s important to him I am totally willing and happy to move into an apartment I can afford 50% of, which he is not willing to do (ie he likes our lifestyle as is).