(Closed) Inequal Finances – Feeling Selfish or Justified?

posted 7 years ago in Money
Post # 3
Member
2695 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2015

I think your feelings are justified, especially if you have to pay every time you go out.

One thing that I know you have probably already thought about, but something you may want to actually discuss with him is that when you guys get married, you will have joint finances, and it currently sounds like you have two completely different ways of handling money. You seem like more of a big purchase saver, building up to things you really want and need. He seems more like, well exactly what you said, an instant gratification impulse buyer. You both need to sit down and find a happy medium. He needs to learn that he can live without his game for a few months or until it goes on sale and you need to be okay with him splurging every once in a while on something that makes him/you happy.

I think the only way that you are going to happy is talking with him. Let him know that it’s upsetting for you to pay every time you go out somewhere. Let him know that you don’t agree with him spending money on video games when he has a crack in his windsheild that needs fixed. Let him know that you want to be assured that when it comes time to pay for the wedding, it won’t be just you paying. Let him know that you want to feel secure with your financial future.

I hope that everything works out!

Post # 4
Member
6892 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: March 2012

Well something to step back and think about is this – people are not always like-minded financially. Fiance and I are not. We still have our “You do not REALLY need that, FI” talks. And I am in control of our monthly bills getting paid on time, etc.

Also, remember what you said yourself. He has a LOT more financial responsibility than you do right now, so it’s not going to be as easy for him to contribute to the fun things or save. It’s just not. Would you be willing to forego the fun things and stay at home, or would you rather have to shell out your money to go do them? That’s where you have to learn what is more important to you. And neither is right or wrong, they just are. You have to be okay with your choices and not get angry at him for it. You do need to have talks and see if he’s actually trying to get himself a better job. Could be he’s happy where he is and in that case, you’ve got to have some discussions about future finances and contributions, and let it be known that your financial comfort zone is not the same as his.

For the first several years of our relationship, I was in your position. Now, our positions have changed. He makes more than I do. But I am still in control of our finances because I keep up with the bills. He doesn’t enjoy that responsibility – but I do. It’s also been a huge discussion – when we have children, is he okay with me staying home? Am I okay with HIM staying home? (We aren’t fans of daycare and daycare costs.) They aren’t necessarily fun conversations, but they are totally necessary. 🙂

Post # 5
Member
3316 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2009

Unequal finances are manageable.  But wildly differing attitudes about finances may not be.  If you’re carefully saving for long-term goals, and he’s buying on impulse, some compromise is going to be necessary.

One idea to consider is agreeing that a percentage of each paycheck will go into joint living expenses/long-term savings, but that each of you will have some money for “luxuries.”  For example, if you decided that 80% of each paycheck went into the joint categories, each of you would then have 20% of your paycheck to spend as you wanted.  (Notice that this means that the person with the larger paycheck would also have a larger amount available for personal spending or saving.)  At that point, he could spend his 20% without you questioning it, because living expenses and long-term savings would be taken care of.  At the same time, you would be able to buy that second pair of heels if it fit into the 20% without feeling guilty.

But do come up with a plan before the wedding.  Money is one of the major factors that can lead to a divorce, so you really need to have a plan before the wedding.

Post # 6
Member
1798 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2011

I’m in a similar situation right now. My Darling Husband came into our marriage with a lot of debt and is currently unemployed. Meanwhile I have no debt and earn a decent living for us. I think it’s very important to find a solution that doesn’t leave you resentful of your FH. Set aside an amount of money each month for yourself and allow yourself to spend it however you want whether it’s a night out with your FH or new pair of shoes. Also try to come up with more budget date nights with you FH, instead of going out to dinner, maybe you can take turns cooking for each other. So you still get to spend time together, but it costs less.

If you’re planning on combining finance when you get married, it’s a good idea to sit down with FH and talk realistically about your financial situation and goals. This can also help motivate him to be more careful with his money.

Post # 7
Member
14496 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

It’s hard to change someones persepective of money and spending habits.  I’m exactly like you.  I save a lot and feel sort of guilty about buying stuff.  Luckily for me, my husband is a saver also, and we do also make right around the same amount, so unfortunately I can’t relate to your exactly situation.  However, I do think that the problem is not that he makes less than you, but how he handles his finances and you’re totally justified in your fustration.  Naturally it wouldnt be fair to him to say, you make less so you cant buy anything at all, but maybe you two can come to some sort of agreement on mutual savings goal where you both contribe and allowable spending amount.  (I know this wouldnt work for me since I still find it hard to spend no matter what, but this would at least limit his splurges).  If you have a personal savings goal, I also think you should stop treating the two of you to meals out and use that instead to splurge more on yourself.  Do a nice date in… have him cook for you or cook together instead. That way you spend the same amount overall, but you get something for yourself, isntead of feeling like you’re spending it on him treating him to meals and then resenting it for him. 

Post # 8
Member
5993 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: May 2010

in a relationship before my hubby it was very similiar, i was making more, spending more while he didnt even have a job when we met (did get one within weeks of hooking up) and would cry poor, would not try to get a better job but would spend money on little things/himself while ignoring the bigger picture

if you can find a balance to live with this then please try, me personally – i couldnt face the thought that i would have to live like this for the next however many years of my life.  dont get me wrong, he was a nice guy but now a few years forward and knowing what i know – there is no way in hell i would be sitting her happy and content if i had his financial burdens and lax attitude strapped around my neck

my suggestion is do not get married until you have had counselling in regards to finances and future expectations and he proves his intent by making changes now by getting a better job/saving etc. 

i dont mean to be doom and gloom but finances are such a huge issue/cause of problems in a relationship and they dont get better with time unless you both work at it – goodluck

Post # 9
Member
2442 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2011

You are justified in buying what you want with your money.  That is not selfish.  I wouldn’t want to treat my guy to everything and I would not like that at all.  I would insist that he treat as often as is reasonable considering his salary compared to yours. What really concerns me is that he is okay with you doing that and I strongly feel that this is a sign of how your (meaning the two of you) finances will be after you’re married.  If he is willing to let you control the money (his and yours) it seems doable. If he controls the money or continues to control his money, the responsibility of paying bills etc. will likely be on you.  The two of you need to come up with a plan and then he needs to show you that he can follow that plan.  Him just agreeing to it is not enough. Anybody can say they will do better. Make sure he proves it to you.  Good luck!  

Post # 10
Member
126 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: February 2012

I think you would benefit from rebudgeting your money.  It’s not fair that all your pocket money is going towards your outings together… we all deserve to buy things we may need or want once in a while.  

Out of your “recreation” money… set aside some for just you for shopping and a separate amount for date night.  If you can only afford $20 a week for dates, then either your partner helps contribute, or you can stay in instead of eating out.  Don’t overextend yourself on outings if you’re not really enjoying them.  After a $50 meal you really aren’t left with much to show for it, except perhaps a few extra calories anyway.  😉

You can’t force your fiance to rebudget his finances or find a higher paying job, but you do need to come to an agreement as to what each one should contribute.  If he’s broke, he probably cannot contribute much to $30 dinners or movie night once a week.  I would certainly be concerned that he doesn’t have his priorities straight if he’d rather buy video games than fix his car’s windshield.  A lot of guys like treating their ladies even if they don’t have a dime.

I don’t think you’re being selfish, I just think you perhaps have more concern for money than he does and don’t like having to pay for everything that is a benefit for the both of you while he gives himself his little wants.  It’s understandble…. but once you’re married everything is shared, so better to try to get him on good habits now and not spoil him that you’re always going to pick up the check.

Post # 11
Member
6892 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: March 2012

Oh, and something that works for us is that we ALWAYS split date-night in some way. We alternate who pays, and the other gets the tip. Always. It’s become tradition, we don’t know any different. Also, whoever’s “turn” it is is aware that “Oh, Saturday is date night, I shouldn’t spend too much if I want SO to have a nice night out like we had last time.”

Post # 13
Member
14496 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

@dragonlover:He keeps no food for “us” on stock at his apartment (despite me even asking if I purchase food items, can we find a place to store it for us to eat)

Does he not have room or a refridgerator?  I dont understand why he would not have a place to store if you just brought over groceries?  I think that is rediculous.  If he really makes just enough to get buy and have a tiny bit of spending money, then he should at least be helping you to save by having food and not going out if you ask him to.   You even OFFER to buy and bring over food and he cant accomodate that?  I’m sorry, but something is really wrong with that. 

You can keep your accounts seperate after getting married, but if you want to buy a house with him, you will either need to be able to get approval for a mortgage on your income only, or if you need his income for it, his credit score will come into play.

I agree that some spending and enjoying your money is healthy.  True, you cant do anything with it if youre dead, but you always want to be able to live without worrying about if something happens!  What if he lost his job tomorrow.  Does he know what he would do with no savings?  What does he plan on doing for retirement?  Does he plan on working till the day he dies?  Does he just plan on having you worry about it and take care of him?  These are some questions he should be able to answer and that you two see eye to eye on.

Post # 14
Member
2695 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2015

@dragonlover: It’s really not fair for you to be doing that. I really think you guys need to have a serious conversation. Finances are not something that can just be worked out afterward, you know? It’s really something you have to be on the same page about, especially if you are planning a wedding.

Post # 15
Member
2142 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

I’m very sorry you are feeling this way. But I see a lot of me, me, me in your post.

It seems to me that you are putting pressure on yourself on this whole money situation. It seems to me at least that you’re not being fair. You make 30K more a year than him. Yet you live at home so you have none of the bills he does from having his own place. You can afford to live outside or with him but you choose not to so that you can save your money. So imo it’s not really fair to get pissed off at him that he can not afford to treat you to the things you want. Yes, he should probably have better money management. So that he can at least afford to treat you to dinner once a week.

From what you have posted it sounds like he is contributing 50% to the wedding? That 50% he is contributing is taking a MUCH bigger toll on him than he is on you.

I’m sorry but imo if you want a nice weekend in NYC for the two of you but you can’t stomach paying for him as well, then yes, you are being selfish. Because you would rather spend it on a new pair of pants and shoes for yourself than for something the two of you can enjoy together.

When my husband and I first started dating he had a full time job and I only had a work study. We moved out together junior year and I was able to split rent with him and for the most part utilities. But he never said a word about having to pay for most of the grocery bills or every time we went out to eat, which was not often. Because we were a unit and he’d rather I concentrate on my studies than get a full time job and have my studies suffer. Imo a unit makes sacrifices for each other.

Frankly if it were me and i was making 30K more than him a year I would have no qualms about paying for dinners out when I lived at home and had none of the bills he does. But if you do , then by all means have a conversation with him. Otherwise I feel like this resentment will keep building up in you and will ultimately harm the relationship.

Money is not everything but for many relationships it’s a big thing.

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