(Closed) How much do finances matter in relationship?

posted 4 years ago in Engagement
Post # 2
1525 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

Honestly, they matter a lot- being house-poor can take an incredible toll on a relationship. That being said, people make it work, and some are still very happy. You just have to really think about it and honestly decide whether or not you would be able to handle this. I don’t think you need to take a break per se, but you need to seriously consider how you want to live and if this relationship is worth the financial stress. I know this sounds cold, but I’m trying to be honest. If you really truly love him and can’t imagine your life without him, try seeing a financial planner to see how you can manage your finances in a way that won’t be so problematic. Sometimes that much love is worth it- its just your call. Good luck Bee!

Post # 3
10315 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: City, State

It’s a pretty big deal, unfortunately. 

Post # 4
93 posts
Worker bee

I bought a diamond for 6 cents canadian ( $0.06) a few months ago online with 3 cents for international shipping. small I3 brown diamond but 6 cents… i had to. worth it? idc. maybe, the worth of a diamond should not determind weather your relationship stays solid. 

Post # 5
662 posts
Busy bee

View original reply
KaliTanisha :  Did you actually read the whole post?

The OP is more concerned about the potential future where she, suffernig from an auto-immune disease, is unable to work and he literally cannot support them. And that having kids will be completely impossible.

This is a little bigger life issue than ‘the worth of a diamond’.

Post # 6
4890 posts
Honey bee

Considering studies have shown that money is one of the most frequently fought over topics and one of the leading causes of divorce…yeah, it’s a big deal.  That isn’t to say that you should only date really career driven people with high earning potential or that people in lower paying jobs don’t deserve love – but you should be on the same page financially, with the same common goals and common agreement on how to handle your finances.  If you’re willing to be very frugal to accommodate his lower pay, that’s great.  But if you can’t agree on a common financial lifestyle and how you’ll treat your money (individually and collectively) such as amount of savings, retirement, amount to spend for fun, what you want to do with your money, well…you’re probably in for a very long frustrating road and you need to decide if that is how you want to live and who you want to be legally tied to.

Personally, I’ve dated guys who were much cheaper/more frugal than me who would never spend on anything other than necessities and freak if I left the lights on when I left the room and it was stressful. I’ve dated guys in lower paying jobs who were living paycheck to paycheck in jobs they loved and it was manageable but stressful at times.  And I’ve dated guys who were very free with their money and not big on saving and while a lot of fun had its own set of frustrations when they couldn’t understand why I stressed about a bill or extra expenses or if I was saving enough or wasn’t willing to spend money on certain activities (it usually meant putting it on credit).  My current SO makes about the same as I do and has a very similar spending/saving philosophy as me.  We share a lot of the same financial values and goals and it is very important to me that we do and makes life easier.

Post # 7
542 posts
Busy bee

Finance and security go hand in hand whether we like it or not. That is how we get by so, yeah, it’s a pretty big deal IMO. 

Is there a reason that your bf is staying in a job that obviously isn’t cutting it? I know that when I was in a job where I wasn’t contributing I felt awful and found something else. It’s one thing if he’s in a job that is better in the long run for you guys, but it sounds like it is what it is. I would have sit down with him and talk about your fears of getting sick and not being able to provide for yourself. 

Post # 8
859 posts
Busy bee

Not only are finances important, but so is ambition. I could personally not be happy in a relationship where my partner had no career motivation/upward drive.  A lot of people find too “much” drive to the exclusion of family time a huge problem, too.  It is about finding the right balance for your needs and relationship.  If you have a health issue that necessitates a partner taking the brunt of the financial responsibility, then yes – it is a huge problem.  That said, partners can pass away suddenly and leave you widowed and unable to take care of yourself. So I would have a fallback plan of self-care and a cushion that did not relate to someone taking care of you – and I mean that wth respect, and understanding of your situation.  I’ve seen others left suddenly without a way to care for themselves after deaths – and it is horrible. Financial stability can also be a point of attraction – that creates or breaks a physical attraction/bond with a partner.  I know, that sounds horrible, but it’s true.  Someone providing “safety” for you (in the form of finances) is attractive, naturally so. If the opposite is the case, I can see it being a mood killer in a relationship. It would be for me.

Post # 9
4495 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

View original reply
KaliTanisha :  What does your I3 diamond have to do with the OP’s concerns? Genuinely confused over here.

Post # 10
657 posts
Busy bee

Finances mean a lot in troubled times so while I think it’s good that you’re thinking “what if I can’t work,” you shouldn’t necessarily let the fear prevent you from pursuing this relationship.

I see that this is a big fear for you but if you can’t work and even if he doesn’t make much, there are assistance programs available (not that you should think of them as a parachute). Plus you can save for the worst of times. Perhaps the bigger questions are whether you want to financially plan and spend the same way. Do you want to save for the worse? Can he cut back on spending if it does come? 

Post # 11
1427 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2021

I need more info on this, is your partner in a low paid job because he lacks ambition? Or is he unhappy and trying to change his situation? Also, you don’t mention your career or salary, are you in a good job yourself or are you relying on him to support you? I feel as though it’s slightly hypocritical to break up with someone because their job isn’t good enough, if you’re in a crappy job yourself. How are your relationship and finances other than this? 

Post # 12
17 posts

I wouldn’t say its the be all and end all, but finances seem to be important to you (and there is nothing wrong with that) so I definitely think there is potential for issues later down the track. As PP said, its one of the most common causes of conflict in relationships and marriages in particular. Does your SO have any way of boosting his income? Would he be willing to undergo additional training or look for better paying jobs?

Post # 13
427 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2017 - State Park

Agreement about finances is probably the most important thing, big picture. And it’s not, “he needs to make gobs of money and be a super ambitious ladder climber.” Just that you need to agree on a lifestyle, how money is spent in a general way, priorities. Even if you keep finances mostly separate, you’ll be able to live a different lifestyle than him and that will get old… and then if you’re unable to work – you’re screwed. 

Dont retreat for a month to figure out what you want though. You need to tell him what you *need* and see if he does anything to rise to that. Again, he doesn’t have to swing super far in the other direction. But if he’s low paid, he needs to look for a higher paying job. If he’s not full-time he needs to ask his employer for more hours or look for a second job. If he’s lacking marketable skills he needs to enroll in a skills based certificate program at a local community college. Can he not make ends meet because the money genuinely isn’t there, or because he’s making bad choices? How did he get by before you were involved?

It wouldn’t hurt to see a financial planner or at least get a book about personal finance to go through together. 

Does he understand that you may be unable to work in the future and that you would plan to rely on him? What are you doing to prepare for that inevitability? Are you paying into short and long term disability? What if you leave him and are shortly thereafter unable to work? What makes that different from your current situation? 

I get it – I’m not super ambitious at work because I have little interest in answering emails at 10pm and working through my vacations or being responsible for others. I want to do my job, and do it well, and leave. But I’m in a position where I earn more than enough money and am fulfilled by my work. Decent  paying low responsibility jobs exist. The Frito-Lay plant near me pays well at all levels, for example, so there’s a solution to the problem here. 

Post # 14
1489 posts
Bumble bee

Yes it is a big factor but are you able to make adjustments to your lifestyle to meet your income so that you are not always worrying about finances? Ie relocating to lower cost of living area, downsizing home, cutting some expenses. I don’t think it should be a deal breaker IF there is a way to work through it first. Does he have potential to earn more in the future? Are there any further training/qualifications he can do to boost his income? I wouldn’t go on a break I would instead work through these issues together.

Post # 15
2593 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

a few Bees have mentioned that you need to be prepared to take care of yourself. Expecting your boyfriend to make enough to cover all expenses, is probably a little unrealistic and a bit demanding. So, how stable are you financially? Are you paying into disability accounts? How’s your savings? If I were in your position, I wouldn’t be looking at that earning potential necessarily but the ability to stick with me through times where I couldn’t take care of myself. Is he the type of person who could physically assist me and emotionally support me during sickness?

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