Author Topic: Wanting to start a life together... Need your advice and insight!  (Read 1300 times)

T-Rex

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Hi everyone! My boyfriend has been talking a whole lot about marriage lately... While I enjoy any advice, I particularly want to know about the unromantic side of marriage: finances.

I am a student / military veteran. I am about 2 semesters away from an AA degree, and feel comfortable to move away from this area to get a 4 year degree. I have a credit score 770+ and income which varies greatly, but never below $1550/mo. I have the GI Bill to pay for college, free healthcare from the VA. I pay for my dental care out of pocket. I save hundreds of dollars every month.
Debt: $0 (this part of Mustachianism really stuck with me)
Cash: $9,000
Investments: $74,000 (half liquid assets, half in retirement funds)

My dear BF is a teacher. His credit score is somewhere in the 600s. He makes $30/hr at a 30 hours/wk. He doesn't use a bank account. Often he spends his money before the next paycheck, and he often forgets to pay his phone bill. He doesn't utilize any way of tracking his finances aside from storing dollar bills to pay his rent. He has health and dental insurance from his job. There is some sort of credential that he could earn in college to advance his teaching career, but he doesn't have money and doesn't want to take out another student loan.
BF Cash: -$500 in a bank account (which he does not use for that reason)
BF Debt: A very old $200 debt in collections.
BF Investments: None

We live in the Bay Area. We don't live together.

How does a couple get onto the same page? What do we need to be able to do things like get married, buy a house, and have kids? I don't know when or if I'm supposed to cash out some investments and buy a house. I know that I have access to VA home loan https://www.benefits.va.gov/homeloans/resources_veteran.asp.

TL;DR: BF wants to get married. I have kind of got it together, he is financially clueless. Goals: Both of us get it together financially, get married, buy a house in Los Angeles County, have kids, live frugally ever after.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2017, 07:08:41 PM by T-Rex »
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ixtap

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Re: Wanting to start a life together... Need your advice and insight!
« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2017, 07:09:22 PM »
He needs to be willing to track his money. None of your goals can happen without that first step.

wordnerd

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Re: Wanting to start a life together... Need your advice and insight!
« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2017, 07:22:39 PM »
His response to having overdrawn his bank account was to opt out of the modern financial system? And, he has a long standing $200 debt? Even on a teacher's salary, these should not have been insurmountable issues (though obviously I don't know the story). Taken together, I think there might be going on than cluelessness. If he's not willing to use a bank account or track expenses as a starting point, I would consider counseling to figure out what root issues are at play in his financial life.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Wanting to start a life together... Need your advice and insight!
« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2017, 07:29:50 PM »
How open to conversations about finances is he? There are a LOT of red flags about his finances there, so it makes me worried for you. Do you know for sure there are no other debts? Why has he not resolved them? Is he willing to discuss financial goals with you? What about future plans in general- things like kids, family histories of health problems, religion, all the Big Questions?

For one, I highly recommend working TOGETHER through a book like "The Hard Questions: 100 Questions to Ask Before You Say 'I Do'" by Susan Pilver. If he glosses over questions, or refuses to answer, or becomes defensive or angry about any of them, look really hard at this.

A partner with a financially troubled past isn't a big concern if you're both open, on the same page, and working together. It's a different story if the "team" aspect and openness isn't there.
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GlassStash

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Re: Wanting to start a life together... Need your advice and insight!
« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2017, 07:42:44 PM »
His response to having overdrawn his bank account was to opt out of the modern financial system? And, he has a long standing $200 debt? Even on a teacher's salary, these should not have been insurmountable issues (though obviously I don't know the story). Taken together, I think there might be going on than cluelessness. If he's not willing to use a bank account or track expenses as a starting point, I would consider counseling to figure out what root issues are at play in his financial life.

I echo what word nerd said. The actual dollar amount of the debt he owes is very small, but he chose to respond in an extreme way.

Most folks are not as educated in personal finance as the folks who follow this blog, but your boyfriend has to be open to the idea and willing to learn. If you want to live frugally ever after in a solid financial position, both of you have to be on the same page in terms of knowledge, effort, and vision. If you are not, your finances may divide you.
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T-Rex

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Re: Wanting to start a life together... Need your advice and insight!
« Reply #5 on: December 06, 2017, 08:22:12 PM »
How open to conversations about finances is he? There are a LOT of red flags about his finances there, so it makes me worried for you. Do you know for sure there are no other debts? Why has he not resolved them? Is he willing to discuss financial goals with you? What about future plans in general- things like kids, family histories of health problems, religion, all the Big Questions?

For one, I highly recommend working TOGETHER through a book like "The Hard Questions: 100 Questions to Ask Before You Say 'I Do'" by Susan Pilver. If he glosses over questions, or refuses to answer, or becomes defensive or angry about any of them, look really hard at this.

A partner with a financially troubled past isn't a big concern if you're both open, on the same page, and working together. It's a different story if the "team" aspect and openness isn't there.

He is open to conversations, however in the past he has expressed that he wants me to be the one that handles our finances. I've seen his credit report, bank account, etc. We talk together about house, kids, we pray and go to church together, we talk about personal and family medical history, his family loves me, and my family loves him. He is handy, sensitive, social, and good at managing our schedules. I am the one that knows about things like money, health, and I cook at least 2 meals daily. Before we met, he got a BA with college loans, went through life drinking at bars and eating at restaurants every single night (I think his stove didn't even work), and also didn't know how retirement works. We both live in a high rent area. I think that is why he is in this situation. He hasn't incurred any debt since we met.

Thanks for the advice. I will find that book!
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Bracken_Joy

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Re: Wanting to start a life together... Need your advice and insight!
« Reply #6 on: December 06, 2017, 08:29:28 PM »
Okay, I'm glad it doesn't sound like any major red flags elsewhere (except maybe unequal divisions of labor, but that's hard to suss out online, since people's expectations weigh so heavily). I think GlassStach hit it on the head- it just felt like a very extreme reaction to his financial mishaps in the past that did alarm bells.

If you're part of a faith community, I highly recommend counseling with your pastor/minister/priest also. But this should supplement, not replace, these conversations on your own as well.

Here's a link to that book: https://www.amazon.com/Hard-Questions-100-Ask-Before/dp/1585426210
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T-Rex

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Re: Wanting to start a life together... Need your advice and insight!
« Reply #7 on: December 06, 2017, 08:33:38 PM »
His response to having overdrawn his bank account was to opt out of the modern financial system? And, he has a long standing $200 debt? Even on a teacher's salary, these should not have been insurmountable issues (though obviously I don't know the story). Taken together, I think there might be going on than cluelessness. If he's not willing to use a bank account or track expenses as a starting point, I would consider counseling to figure out what root issues are at play in his financial life.

He didn't know about getting credit reports before I told him about them. His reaction to seeing the debt was to feel scared/worried, and he didn't pay the debt (citing his bank account in the negatives.) It seems like he gets embarrassed and mad when he thinks about finances. I'm not sure of the easiest way to get the ball rolling. I would say his attention span is not great and he tends to avoid doing things that are out of his comfort zone, though he seems to be motivated (and more focused) by clear incentives. I wonder what could work for him...
« Last Edit: December 06, 2017, 08:35:12 PM by T-Rex »
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T-Rex

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Re: Wanting to start a life together... Need your advice and insight!
« Reply #8 on: December 06, 2017, 08:40:56 PM »
Okay, I'm glad it doesn't sound like any major red flags elsewhere (except maybe unequal divisions of labor, but that's hard to suss out online, since people's expectations weigh so heavily). I think GlassStach hit it on the head- it just felt like a very extreme reaction to his financial mishaps in the past that did alarm bells.

If you're part of a faith community, I highly recommend counseling with your pastor/minister/priest also. But this should supplement, not replace, these conversations on your own as well.

Here's a link to that book: https://www.amazon.com/Hard-Questions-100-Ask-Before/dp/1585426210

He has significantly better education / lifestyle / career than his parents. Sometimes I wonder if that is why handling money is unfamiliar and scary. He didn't even know that he had fully paid off his student loans long ago until I showed him his credit report. :|

Thank you, I am pretty newly religious so that didn't occur to me yet. I will see if the priest can help us.
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Dee18

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Re: Wanting to start a life together... Need your advice and insight!
« Reply #9 on: December 06, 2017, 09:16:05 PM »
Just a quick note to say don't cash out those investments to buy a house.  You want that money to grow for your retirement. 

mxt0133

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Re: Wanting to start a life together... Need your advice and insight!
« Reply #10 on: December 06, 2017, 10:07:06 PM »
It seems like both of you have the same goals now it's just a matter of how to achieve those goals.  How is your communication with him?  If you two can take about really difficult subjects and not want to kill each other, then that will help tremendously throughout your marriage.

I was in a similar situation when I married my wife. She was financially illiterate but I thought I could "teach" her.  Turns out she's not interested in finances and doesn't want to change, add to the fact that we still can't have a tough conversation without it becoming a yelling match or someone shutting down really puts a great deal of stress in our marriage. 

Basically don't think you can change your boyfriend, he will have to decide to change himself.

Finances_With_Purpose

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Re: Wanting to start a life together... Need your advice and insight!
« Reply #11 on: December 06, 2017, 10:43:20 PM »
It seems like both of you have the same goals now it's just a matter of how to achieve those goals.  How is your communication with him?  If you two can take about really difficult subjects and not want to kill each other, then that will help tremendously throughout your marriage.

I was in a similar situation when I married my wife. She was financially illiterate but I thought I could "teach" her.  Turns out she's not interested in finances and doesn't want to change, add to the fact that we still can't have a tough conversation without it becoming a yelling match or someone shutting down really puts a great deal of stress in our marriage. 

Basically don't think you can change your boyfriend, he will have to decide to change himself.

I have a wonderful marriage, but I have to agree here.  You can't assume that you will change him at all.  Instead, you need to assume you will both be living the way he does, and make sure you're OK with that.  If you're not, make sure you really address the things that aren't OK, where the lines are, and so on, and have lots of conversation about it.  Set new expectations if needed.  See how it goes for a while. 

This sounds complicated and will require some work - but it's doable.  It just sounds like there are some rather large rocks to turn over, and hopefully you two can work through what's underneath. 

My wife and I share most financial priorities and the like, but some of our differences have still been difficult.  You're talking about a situation where he may be on a wholly different paradigm, or at least you both need to dig into things, including (and perhaps especially) the emotional components.  Some of those emotions and habits can run deep. 

See those resources the others recommended, seek premarital counseling from a spiritual leader/mentor if available, and, if he's up for it, the two of you could try Dave Ramsey's course together and use it as a way to talk through your finances and how you'd budget and spend together.  (That way you're not the one doing any teaching - though still don't assume he'll walk away changed.) 

You have to be willing to accept him where he's at, even if he never moves.  Or gets worse.  You also have to be willing to walk away.  That's why it's great you're inquiring and checking into what to do. 

It behooves you to do exactly what you're doing: asking questions, digging in, and rooting around (with wise counsel around you) to figure out how he actually works today and what's behind it all.

Best of luck to you, and it's great that you're on top of things and trying to address this before you're married. 

macleod7066

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Re: Wanting to start a life together... Need your advice and insight!
« Reply #12 on: December 07, 2017, 09:49:17 AM »
Sorry, but this thread reminded me of a quote about relationships.

A woman marries/dates a man, expecting him to change, but he never does.
A man marries/dates a woman, expecting her to never change, but she always does.

This can be pertained to anything from finance, social skills, emotional depth, and looks.

Not always applicable but it is actually quite true most of the time.

Just a friendly tidbit from someone who was married before.

CheapskateWife

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Re: Wanting to start a life together... Need your advice and insight!
« Reply #13 on: December 07, 2017, 10:01:56 AM »
There are several mustachians that have also found that separated finances is a way to manage these kinds of disparities...That might not appeal to you, but it is always an option.


bognish

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Re: Wanting to start a life together... Need your advice and insight!
« Reply #14 on: December 07, 2017, 10:06:42 AM »
Chiming in to say that my wife of 11 years has the same involvement, interest and understanding of personal finance today as when we met = 0. She is very frugal, so our spending habits align, but she has not understanding of what to do with the cash once it has been saved. I took over the accounts once we were married and all has been fine. This works for us since our division of labor/responsibilities plays to our personal strengths & habits. If either of us was hoping the other would change we would generate relationship friction that would most likely build over time.

So if BF trusts you with his money and you don't mind the responsibility then things should be fine. If you hope to change his ways make sure he agrees and makes positive steps towards the change before walking down the aisle.

lbmustache

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Re: Wanting to start a life together... Need your advice and insight!
« Reply #15 on: December 07, 2017, 10:19:27 AM »
What does your BF do, exactly, and what is his degree in (if he has a degree, I'm kind of unsure about the wording in your post)?

If he is in STEM, California has multiple programs that help to get a credential in that field. Because of the shortage, I believe there are accelerated programs and some (maybe at the CSU/UC schools?) that are paid for in some way. Forgive the vagueness because it's been a long time since I looked into it, but there's some info here: https://edsource.org/2017/california-programs-to-entice-would-be-teachers-to-the-classroom/581708



TheAnonOne

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Re: Wanting to start a life together... Need your advice and insight!
« Reply #16 on: December 07, 2017, 10:55:46 AM »
I don't mean to be too harsh but, 'wow'.

From a 5 second outsiders position the initial emotional reactions are...

*Doesn't have it together
*Can't deal with issues
*When confronted shuts down (like a 4 year old)

Sounds like he is about to marry a mother to take care of him. Good luck.

** I would be clear with him that he needs to step up to the plate and start showing results. He needs to get external help, do some reading, and makes some commitments.

***Again, he could be a great guy who just had some bad luck, but you didn't portray that image in the OP, to me at least.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2017, 10:57:22 AM by TheAnonOne »

sirspendstoomuch

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Re: Wanting to start a life together... Need your advice and insight!
« Reply #17 on: December 07, 2017, 11:25:28 AM »
You know him better than anyone in this forum.  Maybe he is still a child, maybe he had bad luck, maybe he is a good guy who is bad with money.

The key would be to have a conversation.  Would he be cool if you handled the finances and gave him a monthly allowance? Would you be ok being the sole person responsible for that?  Talking through this before marriage is imperative.

Josiecat

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Re: Wanting to start a life together... Need your advice and insight!
« Reply #18 on: December 08, 2017, 11:50:22 AM »
Recommend you do Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University together before marriage.  This is a program you can work prior to marriage.  Good luck!

CindyBS

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Re: Wanting to start a life together... Need your advice and insight!
« Reply #19 on: December 08, 2017, 01:25:50 PM »
I've been married a long time.  My philosophy of marriage is that you need to like or not care about (like I could care less what sock brand DH wears) 90% of the other person's personality.  You will be able to change 2%, and the 8% of them you don't like you have to be willing to put up with.   To have a successful marriage, your numbers should be roughly equal to those.  You cannot change 30% of someone's personality and you cannot have a successful marriage with someone you don't like 50% of their personality.

The real question is your BF just young and inexperienced with money but willing to learn or is this a personality trait?   If it is a personality trait, then marriage may not be a good idea.   It is very difficult to have a successful marriage with someone who has vastly divergent views on money, even if you keep your finances separate.

CheapskateWife

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Re: Wanting to start a life together... Need your advice and insight!
« Reply #20 on: December 08, 2017, 03:59:03 PM »
I was going to recommend a chat with @G-dog (did I do that right?) 

Side note:  If you @"someone" do they magically appear?  G-dog?


G-dog

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Re: Wanting to start a life together... Need your advice and insight!
« Reply #21 on: December 08, 2017, 04:02:12 PM »
I was going to recommend a chat with @G-dog (did I do that right?) 

Side note:  If you @"someone" do they magically appear?  G-dog?

I feel like a fucking genie summoned from my lamp!!!

I'll read the thread and be back in a jiff!

G-dog

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Re: Wanting to start a life together... Need your advice and insight!
« Reply #22 on: December 08, 2017, 04:33:48 PM »
I'm back -

In this very section of the subforum there is a pinned thread on how to get your SO on board.  https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/ask-a-mustachian/how-to-convert-your-so-to-mmm-in-50-awesome-steps/

There may be some good tips there on how to have these discussions.

You didn't say how much you make, so not clear how much you are bringing in to the relationship, versus his cash flow.  Right now, his cash flow is SPEND EVERYTHING. MONEY IS FOR SPENDING.  Does he pay all his bills first (now) and then spend all the rest (except for phone - which seriously, just put on Autopay)?  Or does he spend and then have the "SHIT! What do I do now?"

My spouse will spend it all - if it is there, is should be spent. That is the purpose of money in his world. And I think that partially comes from his family growing up (lower middle class living paycheck-to-paycheck.  Any and all windfalls were spent.). It also comes from him likely getting no financial education from anyone.

I learned before we married that we did not agree in this area - at all. Neither of us handled the discussions well - and the end result is that we kept our money separate our entire marriage (married 30 yrs this year).  But, this was not a mindful decision - this was two stubborn people who couldn't reach a mutually agreement.

As the financially responsible one - I got to handle all the bills. While spouse was in grad school - I also got to pay all the bills out of my earnings.  That has shifted over time - he has acquired more of the household bills, but I still have many (car license & registration; electric & gas; most of the groceries; paid off the mortgage but that was mine; large household bills (like an appliance or bigger); car & house insurance). It's not fun, and sometimes you can feel like the only responsible adult in the relationship. And you can be angry that they spend their money however they want and go buy BIG TOY without ever discussing things with you (and then, another bill may be transferred to their oversight).

So - whatever you do - keep talking. You can keep your money separate, but do still keep discussing how you will spend it. How you will split expenses, what about emergency funds, funds for big expenses coming up (planned and unplanned), etc.

We don't have kids - that makes all this even more complicated.

Several people have His, Hers, Ours accounts - but I think the "Ours" account pays most of the living expenses, and the other accounts are more discretionary spending.

Overall - I, personally, don't think it would be fair for him to just shove all of the money responsibility on to you. That makes you the only financially responsible adult and he gets to wash his hands of it and not worry.  He needs to worry about all of these things too!  If you stay partners, each decision you each make impacts BOTH OF YOU.  He cannot always be in the Debit column and you always in the Credit column when it comes to money.  You can, of course, take on the money responsibility - but he has to stay willing to somehow track his spending, be onboard and supportive with y'all's financial goals (savings rate; emergency fund; investment strategy; etc.) have ad hoc discussions, and have regular financial discussions ("state of the union" as a friend of mine calls them - aka status updates).

Those are some my thoughts as someone that had a hand in fucking this up in my own life!

AMandM

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Re: Wanting to start a life together... Need your advice and insight!
« Reply #23 on: December 08, 2017, 05:56:16 PM »
I'm not sure of the easiest way to get the ball rolling. I would say his attention span is not great and he tends to avoid doing things that are out of his comfort zone, though he seems to be motivated (and more focused) by clear incentives. I wonder what could work for him...

This raises a big red flag to me that has nothing to do with money.  It sounds like he avoids difficult tasks, and you feel responsible for creating conditions that will push him into doing them. That is not a healthy dynamic! 

If I'm misreading, I apologize, and please skip the rest of this post. 

Life will throw many uncomfortable situations at the two of you, and you each need each other to be able to face them.  You need to have each other's back.  If he needs you to create incentives to get him to do what needs to be done, he doesn't have your back.  In a crisis, or a slump, when you can't function, who will do the difficult tasks?

Furthermore, even outside crisis times, one spouse having to manage the other is poisonous to the marriage.  The managing spouse can't help but feel (to some extent) superior, and this corrodes the mutual respect that is at the base of a happy marriage.  Management degenerates into manipulation and resentment builds on both sides.

AMandM

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Re: Wanting to start a life together... Need your advice and insight!
« Reply #24 on: December 08, 2017, 06:00:55 PM »
On the money topic specifically, Michelle Singletary's book Your Money and Your Man might be helpful.  Singletary writes a personal finance column for the Washington Post, and her advice for paycheck-to-paycheck spenders is pretty savvy.  She's similar to Dave Ramsey in that her advice is oriented towards people with bad financial habits, not to wealthy mustachian types looking to optimize more at the peak.

marty998

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Re: Wanting to start a life together... Need your advice and insight!
« Reply #25 on: December 08, 2017, 06:04:42 PM »
Agree with most of the comments above except for this one:


It behooves you to do exactly what you're doing: asking questions, digging in, and rooting around (with wise counsel around you) to figure out how he actually works today and what's behind it all.

Best of luck to you, and it's great that you're on top of things and trying to address this before you're married.

You are obviously not familiar with Australian vernacular...

mustachepungoeshere

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Re: Wanting to start a life together... Need your advice and insight!
« Reply #26 on: December 08, 2017, 06:09:06 PM »
Agree with most of the comments above except for this one:


It behooves you to do exactly what you're doing: asking questions, digging in, and rooting around (with wise counsel around you) to figure out how he actually works today and what's behind it all.

Best of luck to you, and it's great that you're on top of things and trying to address this before you're married.

You are obviously not familiar with Australian vernacular...

Bahahahaha!

T-Rex

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Re: Wanting to start a life together... Need your advice and insight!
« Reply #27 on: December 08, 2017, 06:30:12 PM »
Wow, lots of relies. I'll try to say something to relevant to each of the relies...

We both have low to middle income while living in an expensive place. He has tackled a variety of challenges since we have met, but not money. He has had much tougher circumstances and harder luck than me. For those who asked: his degree isn't in STEM. Whoever guessed about his socioeconomic status, yes he grew up poor, parents with 6th grade education who went straight to work and sent most of their money home to help get food and medicine for their families.

I bought the 100 questions book as suggested. So far he is answering all of them in detail!

I think I will have him take a class or walk him through some stuff (like setting up tracking finances) and if it doesn't work, well keep it separate. I know he wants me to handle all of it for him, but I don't feel like that will work well either unless he gets the basic concepts. Ideally, I'd like to just support him in learning. It really wasn't long ago that I had negative net worth and zero personal finance knowledge.

For anyone worrying he is a general piece of crap: he is otherwise a nice good person that is very ignorant of personal finance. He doesn't borrow money or gamble or anything weird. He likes to encourage my Mustachianism, but he also doesn't really get what I'm doing. Like I don't think he knows where all my money comes from or what an IRA is, but he knows I am doing good things. The "Money" chapter of 100 Questions is going to be very interesting.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2017, 06:40:32 PM by T-Rex »
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Re: Wanting to start a life together... Need your advice and insight!
« Reply #28 on: December 08, 2017, 07:10:03 PM »
I suspect these problems stem from BF's background - if he's never seen any surplus he doesn't have the concepts of managing his money to create one or what to do with it if he had it.  He's also possibly used to debt being an insoluble problem that is always there - and if a problem is insoluble a "head in the sand" response isn't going to make things any worse and trying to deal with it when you expect to be unsuccessful is a useless stressor.  So I think the key for him will be in his creating a financial system in which there is no scope for him worrying about money because it is all so simple and transparent.

In order to get there I think you need to find a source (Dave Ramsey, or your pastor, or a free citizens money advice course from your school, or anything else suggested here) where you can learn together about the basics of managing money.  I think BF needs two basic things out of this: 1) the knowledge and impetus he needs to move on from his current paralysing anxiety about his debts and pay them off, and 2) the concept of managing money to cover future needs: paying bills as they come in and having a little over for extras or emergencies.  I think for him that once the immediate debt issues are resolved it will be just a matter of keeping things very simple and on track: salary comes in, bills are paid, a little is put aside for the future, and spending is limited to what is left.  But like others I do think it is important for him to do the work of paying off his debts and setting up this basic financial system, with you supporting but not taking over.

As to what you do, I would say: put buying the house on the back burner: it's quite possible to marry and raise a family in rented accommodation, and in a high cost of living area such as California renting seems to be the more financially advantageous approach.  Other than that, I don't see any reason not to go ahead with your plans if BF gets his finances in order and keeps them that way for a few months - other than the money thing, which I think there is a way through, he seems like a keeper to me.
Be frugal and industrious, and you will be free (Ben Franklin)

koshtra

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Re: Wanting to start a life together... Need your advice and insight!
« Reply #29 on: December 08, 2017, 07:48:11 PM »
Well, I should confess straight off that I was a total financial illiterate and let my wife take care of everything for twenty years (which she did fabulously.) It worked out great, because she is the best person in any of the known universes, but it was a row for her to hoe. (I was deeply conflicted about money. Long story. Weird inheritance, among other things.) After a VERY long time I began to take an interest. Now, after forty years together, we wrangle spreadsheets together and have a good time talking retirement accounts and tax consequences. But it took a few decades.

SO: he's not necessarily any more hopeless than I am. It's totally doable. But I think it's important that you both understand that if one of you takes ALL the responsibility, that person gets the financial veto power. If you're both fine with it, sure, you're the one who keeps the books and tracks the bank accounts and funds the retirement. But that means that he's relinquishing control. He can't suddenly up and decide unilaterally that he wants a new car or needs to borrow ten thousand dollars to start a restaurant. He asks you, and if you say you can't afford it, then it doesn't happen.