Author Topic: Has anyone on here broken up with someone because of finances?  (Read 13100 times)

Hoosier Daddy

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Hey all,

I was wondering if anyone on here has actually ended an otherwise ideal relationship over finances? In my current situation, I am dating someone who makes significantly more money than me (double) and is actually saving money relatively easily due to her high income. Before our relationship I was actually saving money at a similar percentage, although obviously much less in dollar terms. However now I feel this pressure to not hold her back and do the things in life that she can afford to do and still save money, even though I can't. We are going on multiple trips a year, eating out frequently, etc. and my savings rate has taken a huge hit.

All I have wanted since finding MMM was to FIRE and take control of my life, but now it seems I won't be able to do that. However, the girl is absolutely amazing and I love every second I get to spend with her. I am not sure if I would be happier working a job I hate with someone I absolutely love to come home to or being free from a job I hate without that person... Has anyone ever had a similar experience? What decision did you make?

Metric Mouse

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Re: Has anyone on here broken up with someone because of finances?
« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2016, 07:09:38 AM »
Hey all,

I was wondering if anyone on here has actually ended an otherwise ideal relationship over finances? In my current situation, I am dating someone who makes significantly more money than me (double) and is actually saving money relatively easily due to her high income. Before our relationship I was actually saving money at a similar percentage, although obviously much less in dollar terms. However now I feel this pressure to not hold her back and do the things in life that she can afford to do and still save money, even though I can't. We are going on multiple trips a year, eating out frequently, etc. and my savings rate has taken a huge hit.

All I have wanted since finding MMM was to FIRE and take control of my life, but now it seems I won't be able to do that. However, the girl is absolutely amazing and I love every second I get to spend with her. I am not sure if I would be happier working a job I hate with someone I absolutely love to come home to or being free from a job I hate without that person... Has anyone ever had a similar experience? What decision did you make?

Sometimes you have to take a short-term loss to realize a long-term gain. Being with someone of her income would actually greatly accelerate your savings rate into the future.

Also, if you hate your job and like the girl - get rid of the first and keep the second. Happiness is key, not some arbitrary percentage of money saved every month.

Kitsune

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Re: Has anyone on here broken up with someone because of finances?
« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2016, 07:40:03 AM »
... Have you TALKED to her about it?

Metric Mouse

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Re: Has anyone on here broken up with someone because of finances?
« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2016, 07:47:39 AM »
... Have you TALKED to her about it?

Breaking up is really much easier if you don't talk about it...

LadyMaWhiskers

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Re: Has anyone on here broken up with someone because of finances?
« Reply #4 on: May 08, 2016, 08:05:17 AM »
Money is a huge, often unspoken, strain in relationships. Two people with 2x income differential alone could be a hard thing, if you don't talk about it. You gotta talk about it. It sounds like you're dating, not living together, and that may be the hardest time of all actually. If things progress, the high total household income will be a boon. In the short term, it's awkward to let the higher earner be the higher dating spender, unless it's an old-timey gender-conforming scenario, which this seems clearly not to be.

Also +1 to ditching the job you hate. That can get harder, once you feel that someone else counts on your income. Face that straight away as well. Work need not suck the life out of you!

Kitsune

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Re: Has anyone on here broken up with someone because of finances?
« Reply #5 on: May 08, 2016, 09:25:32 AM »
... Have you TALKED to her about it?

Breaking up is really much easier if you don't talk about it...

Well, if you don't talk about it, it's pretty much your only option.

But a conversation of "hey, I have X goals, and I find that our habit of doing y and z are making it difficult to achieve that. Would you like to join me in doing a, b, and c instead?" Usually works pretty well for me.


CmFtns

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Re: Has anyone on here broken up with someone because of finances?
« Reply #6 on: May 08, 2016, 09:35:48 AM »
Relationships are much better when your completely open about your goals and finances... Tell her your goals and your concerns with the lifestyle you both are living and come to a compromise... or maybe she will have a light bulb moment too and join you in the path to FI.

norabird

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Re: Has anyone on here broken up with someone because of finances?
« Reply #7 on: May 08, 2016, 10:11:28 AM »
Agree with the above-/breaking up without discussing your discomfort with current spending levels is the wrong move. Get it out in the air and speak about it. Sounds very resolvable to me and it will be a healthy discussion.

meghan88

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Re: Has anyone on here broken up with someone because of finances?
« Reply #8 on: May 08, 2016, 10:18:13 AM »
Have you read this?  http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/ask-a-mustachian/how-to-convert-your-so-to-mmm-in-50-awesome-steps/

I could be the flip side of your coin, as I make double what my SO pulls in.  NW is also proportionate to that after 15 years together.  He's more spendypants than I am, but that's OK, as we have some workarounds (e.g., I do most of the grocery shopping to find the specials).  And overall, I am happy to cover more than my fair share.

He's the love of my life, so it works itself out very easily.

As others have suggested, sounds like you need to raise the subject.

Noodle

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Re: Has anyone on here broken up with someone because of finances?
« Reply #9 on: May 08, 2016, 01:34:20 PM »
I think the key, especially in a more casual dating or friendship arrangement, is not to just say "No" to things but instead, "Yes, and..."

For instance, if Partner A says, "Let's spend the weekend in Paris" because they want to have a romantic adventure with their special person, just saying "No" means either you both sit at home, or the financially better off person feels pressured to pay, or keep making suggestions until they get a yes, neither of which feels great. "Yes, and although Paris is a bit outside my budget right now, I would be excited to put together a trip closer to home with you" means the spirit of the suggestion is honored even if the spendier version isn't going to work out. How Partner A responds tells you whether you have long-term compatibility or a break-up is called for.

When you are a committed couple with common financial goals, then you can help each other figure out when it is best to say an outright no to spendy ideas and when a compromise is the right way to go.

2Birds1Stone

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Re: Has anyone on here broken up with someone because of finances?
« Reply #10 on: May 08, 2016, 02:43:08 PM »
No, but I've been with my SO since right around the time I started working full time........our relationship and incomes have changed drastically since then.

When we met she was still a student and it was my first partial year of full time work.....she made like $12k that year and I made $25k.

Nearly 6 years later she makes $50k/yr and myself ~$110-125k/yr.

The big thing is, if I want to do something more extravagant, like a weekend trip, nice meal out, etc etc I pay for the bulk of it. I don't expect her to pay half for discretionary entertainment purchases where it's my idea to begin with.

I'm fine paying the check on a nice meal out and she will get the tip. Or I'll pay for concert tickets, use CC points of lodging and she will pay for our meal out and some drinks.

I can see how dating someone from the get go where there are big differences in $$ ideals being an issue. We grew together and don't have $$ issues at all. 

VaCPA

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Re: Has anyone on here broken up with someone because of finances?
« Reply #11 on: May 08, 2016, 03:51:22 PM »
I am not sure if I would be happier working a job I hate with someone I absolutely love to come home to or being free from a job I hate without that person... Has anyone ever had a similar experience? What decision did you make?

Is this a serious question?? Yeah retiring early all by yourself sounds awesome. I think you're a bit obsessed w this website. Keep the girl, find a new job, you probably still can even figure out a way to retire early if she's such a high earner. Personal relationships > FIRE
« Last Edit: May 08, 2016, 03:53:49 PM by anorman79 »

Miiki

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Re: Has anyone on here broken up with someone because of finances?
« Reply #12 on: May 08, 2016, 04:00:23 PM »
Please talk to her first...

You don't have the type of relationship money problems I was thinking of.

I broke up with my boyfriend, but the frequent payday loans hitting our joint account on payday had a lot to do with it.

JAYSLOL

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Re: Has anyone on here broken up with someone because of finances?
« Reply #13 on: May 08, 2016, 05:30:34 PM »
I am not sure if I would be happier working a job I hate with someone I absolutely love to come home to or being free from a job I hate without that person... Has anyone ever had a similar experience? What decision did you make?

Is this a serious question?? Yeah retiring early all by yourself sounds awesome. I think you're a bit obsessed w this website. Keep the girl, find a new job, you probably still can even figure out a way to retire early if she's such a high earner. Personal relationships > FIRE

Lose the job you hate and find something you love to do regardless of the money side of things.  Keep the girl you love and read LifeJoy's guide to slowly and gently converting a SO to Mustachianism - http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/ask-a-mustachian/how-to-convert-your-so-to-mmm-in-50-awesome-steps/

My wife is hardly spendypants by normal standards, but she can still drives me crazy on occasion with how she decides to spend on certain things.  That said, I'm would never leave someone i love because I would have to work a little longer or have slightly less money for it.  The right person doesn't come around every day.

MrDelane

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Re: Has anyone on here broken up with someone because of finances?
« Reply #14 on: May 08, 2016, 06:12:49 PM »
However now I feel this pressure to not hold her back and do the things in life that she can afford to do and still save money, even though I can't.

I find it interesting that no one asked for clarification on this sentence.
Where is this pressure coming from?  Is it coming from you, or her?
Has she said she wants and/or expects these things?
Or are you just feeling inadequate (which would be totally normal) and putting this pressure on yourself?

Everything comes back to - you need to talk to her about it.
Soon.

naners

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Re: Has anyone on here broken up with someone because of finances?
« Reply #15 on: May 09, 2016, 04:33:32 AM »
DH makes about 2x what I make. Agree with all the advice to talk to her and brainstorm fun, less expensive activities (cooking dinner together, budget travel destinations etc).. When we moved in together and before we got married and merged finances, we paid shared expenses in proportion to our incomes.

firelight

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Re: Has anyone on here broken up with someone because of finances?
« Reply #16 on: May 09, 2016, 07:08:34 AM »
When we got married, DH and I made the same salary. Now one of us makes 2x the other. By your logic, we should divorce due to salary change.

I think you should talk to her and her things cleared about your goals, hers and where you see both of you going.

DeltaBond

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Re: Has anyone on here broken up with someone because of finances?
« Reply #17 on: May 09, 2016, 08:35:29 AM »
Ditch the girl AND the job, as neither are sounding "ideal".  there are many angles to finances, and one thing she's doing is causing you to spend more than you can... whether she makes more or less than you, causing you to spend more is a problem, that shows a lack of compassion, lack of communication, lack of empathy, and a lack of being on the same page as you are with money.

Edit to add... yes, I've broken up over money.  I also divorced over money.
« Last Edit: May 09, 2016, 08:37:16 AM by DeltaBond »

Stupendous

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Re: Has anyone on here broken up with someone because of finances?
« Reply #18 on: May 09, 2016, 09:09:57 AM »
I'd talk to her about. See if she is understanding, etc.

My ex-gf ended things after 4 years. One reason was being too different in finances. I thought we were close enough. Imagine my surprise to hear this after 4 years and her never bothering to discuss that with me. It left me lost afterwards for sometime and felt that was rather unfair. She never communicated the why with me.

Communication is important. Talk about things and go from there.

neophyte

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Re: Has anyone on here broken up with someone because of finances?
« Reply #19 on: May 09, 2016, 09:25:48 AM »
I called it off with my ex-fiance for largely financial reasons.

It doesn't sound like you're anywhere near needing to consider that yet!

I agree with everyone saying talk to her about it.  Maybe she'll be understanding and happy to switch to cheaper dates.  BUT also ask yourself if there isn't really some other reason you're thinking of breaking up and just using money as an excuse, because, at least the way you've explained it, it doesn't sound like a terrible problem yet.
« Last Edit: May 09, 2016, 06:20:06 PM by neophyte »

lbmustache

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Re: Has anyone on here broken up with someone because of finances?
« Reply #20 on: May 09, 2016, 09:47:09 AM »
Ditch the girl AND the job, as neither are sounding "ideal".  there are many angles to finances, and one thing she's doing is causing you to spend more than you can... whether she makes more or less than you, causing you to spend more is a problem, that shows a lack of compassion, lack of communication, lack of empathy, and a lack of being on the same page as you are with money.

Edit to add... yes, I've broken up over money.  I also divorced over money.

I think this is a bit extreme given what the OP has mentioned. I would first talk to her: maybe she assumes that you are ok with that level of spending, especially if you have not said anything. Maybe you two can take cheaper trips, make more meals at home (or utilize groupons more often), and other things to save money.

If I was making more than my partner and he was spending at the same rate as me, I would assume it was okay. Maybe your GF doesn't want to say things like, "are you okay spending money?" and potentially offend you in case you interpret her comments as her thinking you're "poor." I did that once and my bf got huffy that I thought he couldn't afford things which is not how I meant it at all. She sounds like a great GF otherwise so I would not break up over this, unless there are bigger issues or she is not amiable to talking.

Uturn

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Re: Has anyone on here broken up with someone because of finances?
« Reply #21 on: May 09, 2016, 09:48:40 AM »
I have stopped dating someone because they just threw cash around, but it was 2-3 dates and not actually a relationship.  She felt that money was to be enjoyed now and let tomorrow work itself out.  This isn't a difference in opinion, it's a mismatch of core beliefs.

If you are talking to an internet forum and not her, your relationship has other problems not related to money.

Proud Foot

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Re: Has anyone on here broken up with someone because of finances?
« Reply #22 on: May 09, 2016, 09:56:47 AM »
From your description is sounds like you two have a very good relationship outside of what you are feeling.  Definitely do what others are suggesting and talk with her about it.  You may be putting the pressure on yourself to continue spending on things for her rather than her.  Have an honest discussion with her about your financial goals and see how she responds to it.

Hoosier Daddy

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Re: Has anyone on here broken up with someone because of finances?
« Reply #23 on: May 13, 2016, 05:28:06 AM »
Thank you everyone for the advice. You're all absolutely right. I don't know if it's because I'm an INTJ but I tend to not want to "bother" people with issues by communicating them.  However you guys are absolutely right. I took your suggestions and was finally able to have a good solid conversation about this. Im feeling much better about this situation now, so thank you all for the tips. I tend to suck at communication lol.

One responder asked a great clarifying question on the pressure I feel to keep up: to clarify that pressure is totally me putting it on myself. She's amazing and would never pressure me like that; just me being dumb with my own stubborn pride.

Lastly on the job front: I work in Finance for a big company but have been thinking about switching to IT and have started to read various books on it. Really enjoy setting up databases and develop good analytics platforms, like with Microsoft Business Intelligence so hopefully I can begin to steer my career in that direction.

I always appreciate the thoughts of people on this website as for the most part we all share a similar paradigm through which we view our lives. It's a huge benefit to have access to other intelligent people with similar values to get advice from. Thanks so much!

kite

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Re: Has anyone on here broken up with someone because of finances?
« Reply #24 on: May 13, 2016, 05:59:07 AM »
30 years ago, he earned 2x what made.
Now he earns 0 and is disabled.  I'm the breadwinner. 
The one guarantee about the future is that it will be different from today. Change is the ONLY constant. The reason to stay with a person is because you want to experience that future together, come what may. 

DeltaBond

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Re: Has anyone on here broken up with someone because of finances?
« Reply #25 on: May 13, 2016, 07:56:48 AM »
There have been a lot of these threads on this forum since I joined it.  Most of them have been about how many times the OP has tried talking to their SO about money, and how nothing ever changes.  If you have one conversation, and the person actually makes some changes, then they have the potential to really get on board with things.  It seems that this frugal lifestyle is either for a person, or its absolutely not.  I have always liked the sound of it, but until a friend of mine asked point blank waht I earned then upon learning my salaray he put his big scary biker finger in my face and coughed "You should be saving more!" in my face, well, that's when I woke up.

If your conversation turned on a lightbulb for your girlfriend, that is amazing and wonderful... if it hasn't, and she isn't now asking YOU about how to get on board, that's when I'd suggest you accept the reality that you won't ever be on the same page and to keep your finances and spending habits separate forever, lol.  I say "lol", but I'm also serious.

Most people want to see their SO's potential and they waste a lot of time not seeing how they truly are, right now, today.  Learning WHY someone spends a lot of money can help you invision whether or not they have it in them to adjust to a plan for the future or not.  Some spend because their income is new to them and they are thoroughly enjoying that, like I was, some are spending because they have an emotional block on looking to the future and how to plan for it.  I wouldn't knock anyone for either mindset, I would accept it and then figure out what YOU feel you need to do.

Usually these threads end the same way... the OP saves face and claims things have changed, then never posts about it again, or they argue with the answers... or like one of them, the SO actually joined the forum and defended her wonky spending habits as emotional support for her past.  Yeah, good luck to that couple.  And really, good luck to you, this is a good waking up point for you.  So keep her or don't, either way, be real about it.

Beardog

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Re: Has anyone on here broken up with someone because of finances?
« Reply #26 on: May 13, 2016, 08:46:15 AM »
30 years ago, he earned 2x what made.
Now he earns 0 and is disabled.  I'm the breadwinner. 
The one guarantee about the future is that it will be different from today. Change is the ONLY constant. The reason to stay with a person is because you want to experience that future together, come what may.

So true, kite, so true! 

rockstache

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Re: Has anyone on here broken up with someone because of finances?
« Reply #27 on: May 13, 2016, 09:00:18 AM »
I tend to suck at communication lol.


I don't want to pick on you but would encourage you not to let this go. We all have flaws, and you have self-identified one here. So why not begin to make small steps to change it? Get a few library books, have some heart to heart talks with a therapist for practical suggestions, ask a few friends you trust for tips...whatever. Becoming a good communicator is a life skill that will aid you in relationships both personal and professional. Good luck!

norabird

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Re: Has anyone on here broken up with someone because of finances?
« Reply #28 on: May 13, 2016, 09:18:52 AM »
Very glad you had the conversation! Keep talking with her about how pride pushes you into pressuring yourself into more spending as it occurs, and work on it in yourself, and you're on a great path!

Playing with Fire UK

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Re: Has anyone on here broken up with someone because of finances?
« Reply #29 on: May 13, 2016, 09:22:01 AM »
I nearly had a relationship ruined by finances and then sorted it by talking about it:

SO and I met at college and were long distance for years after, I lived on base and SO with parents, so when we had free weekends or holidays together it was a special occasion and we'd pay for meals out and hotels away so that we could get some space (this was pre-MMM), we earned similar amounts, talked about how much we could afford on dinner or hotels, how close we were to payday and money (although neither of us had much) wasn't an issue. We'd also buy or make each other little presents to show that we were thinking of each other while we were apart.

Then I got a better paid job and bought an apartment, SO took a slight pay cut 18 months later to take a job near me and we moved in together. We had serious, compassionate, grown up conversations about how to split household bills, whether SO should contribute towards the mortgage on a place in my name and thought we were doing well. (Both of us ended up thinking we should pay more as we'd both saved money by living together).

But we still kept living as if everyday was a vacation; I felt like I should be paying for treats as I earned more and SO then bought more for me to even it out. This got crazy, we'd eat in fancy restaurants every week, go shopping as an activity (buying handbags or computers as random (not birthday) presents), kept going for weekends away even though we had a perfectly serviceable and private bed at home. We were both quietly uncomfortable about it but thought it was what the other one wanted and it became habitual.

Eventually we had a credit card declined* while trying to pay for an over priced dinner. In a drunken state we both 'confessed' that we were concerned about how much we were spending but felt that it was what the other one wanted, or that saying 'no' to a dinner out was the same as saying 'I don't love you enough'. We both thought that we were naturally a saver but being spendy because of the other one - ie we were both being idiots, because we hadn't spoken properly about it.

SO and I are still together, wildly happy, and now have sensible conversations about money; but this could have gone horribly wrong.

*The best bit - the card wasn't declined because it was overdrawn - there was fraud on the account so the bank had put a hold on it.

Cwadda

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Re: Has anyone on here broken up with someone because of finances?
« Reply #30 on: May 13, 2016, 09:37:22 AM »
If you really like this girl, and it sounds like you do, then it's definitely worth at least talking about it, no?

elaine amj

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Re: Has anyone on here broken up with someone because of finances?
« Reply #31 on: May 13, 2016, 09:48:08 AM »
Glad you talked to the girl!!! :)

Sounds like it's a case of your putting too much pressure on yourself. If she's as great as she sounds like she is, I'm sure she won't want you to derail your goals just to spend more on her. It sounds like she's willing to adjust her expectations of dates to your income level. In the meantime, since you don't want to "hold her back", genuinely be OK if she decides to splurge on the both of you once in a while. When things get more serious, you'll be able to look into the long term and your joint financial future sounds bright.

Cassie

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Re: Has anyone on here broken up with someone because of finances?
« Reply #32 on: May 13, 2016, 10:00:12 AM »
Kite: if you live in the US and your hubby is disabled I hope he has applied for SSDI based on his work record he could receive a monthly check.

MMMWannaBe

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Re: Has anyone on here broken up with someone because of finances
« Reply #33 on: May 13, 2016, 07:47:08 PM »
My relationship with my husband started out very similar.  I made about twice what he did.  I enjoyed traveling and fine dining so I wasn't the model MMM.  I believe that we probably behaved socialistically and I picked up what was proportionate to my salary.

We both had one common goal and that was to max out our IRA and our 401K.  As my starting salary was $30K that was not immediately achieved.  We are now 45 and 46 years old and sitting on $1.6M in investments.  We are still a little baffled on how that happened.  Indexing + compounding = magic.  Today we are FI - we have kids and I work part-time earning a shadow of what I used to make. I work to pay for the trips I love and to avoid digging into our nest egg.  As long as you put your retirement accounts first (and throw a little to a taxable account for car purchases, house down payment, etc.), you are fine living a little with what is left over.  This may not be in the spirit of MMM, but I have  no regrets.  There is a book, Your Money or Your Life, that may be an interesting read for you.

I wish I would have discovered MMM at your age.

Good Luck!