Author Topic: Spendy Boyfriend/Thrifty Girlfriend: Help!  (Read 14974 times)

sstants

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Spendy Boyfriend/Thrifty Girlfriend: Help!
« on: January 12, 2015, 01:48:29 PM »
So, here's the deal! My boyfriend (age 29) and I (age 24) have a combined income of around $180k + unknown bonus, we are pretty much equal earners. By any standards, we do very well! I certainly spend little, love to cook and have all my savings automated. I could lose my job for a year or two and not break a sweat. I have a money-savvy father to thank for these habits as well as my college education at a private school all paid for in cash, but the boyfriend doesn't share my habits and good fortune and is always stressed out about his personal finances. He thinks the right way to address the issue is to make more money, rather than change his current habits but he doesn't understand that he will just buy more expensive THINGS to adjust upwards when he earns more!!

Here's the good news:

Since we have started dating (about 2 years) he's paid off his credit card debt (about 15k from living expenses in grad school)...I'm doubtful about how many of these expenditures were necessary and it drives me nuts that he paid interest on this stuff...but we move on. He has also started saving a moderate amount each month and has opened up an IRA. I'm hoping that these positive changes are my good habits rubbing off on him :)

Here's are the problems:

I want to buy a house! I want to help him knock out his student loans once and for all! He owes 100k in loans from law school...for all of you out there that are about to criticize taking out that much in student loan debt, please don't! I'm looking for solutions! I've mentioned that I want to help him knock out that debt because I see it as the first step to reaching financial independence and being in a great position to make an investment in real estate. He doesn't like the idea of letting me help as he sees it as 'his responsibility'.

We are not married nor engaged yet, so are finances are separate. We have been together for two years and are planning on getting married in the next few years when I'm a little older.

Have any of you guys out there been in similar situations? How have you handled it? Any other advice?

Thank you in advance! You guys are all great!

hunniebun

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Re: Spendy Boyfriend/Thrifty Girlfriend: Help!
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2015, 01:54:11 PM »
My dh is a spender and I am the financially responsible one (which isn't say much...but at least I have a few cents to rub together).  It is impossible to change someone, they have to want to the make the change for themselves - but you can help him see the light!   If he wants to the pay the loan himself, why don't you let him, but keep saving the extra that you would have been putting towards his loan?  Or why not make a deal that all bonuses for the next few years go for a down payment? Regardless of how big or small?   Does he have a budget? If not can you help him make one to show him where his money is going?  I am don't really have a mustache - just a wannabe so I'll be interested to hear the suggestions!

DeltaBond

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Re: Spendy Boyfriend/Thrifty Girlfriend: Help!
« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2015, 01:54:27 PM »
I've been in similar situations, and I honestly wish I had not helped pay down any of other people's debts.  Moral support is great, but are you wanting to use YOUR money to pay down HIS debt?  Can you wait until HE pays it down, or pays it off, to get married?  I only ask that part because it does seem important to you.  My vote, humbly, is to allow him to pay his own debt off, for both your sakes.  It becomes a very tangled web if you offer that particular type of help, financially and psychologically.

dandarc

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Re: Spendy Boyfriend/Thrifty Girlfriend: Help!
« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2015, 01:59:40 PM »
#1 don't buy a house with someone to whom you are not married.  If you want to buy a house on your own, more power to you, but don't put both names on the paperwork until you are actually married.

#2 don't pay his debts until you are married either.

As far as dealing with the different approaches to money - this is something you need to discuss before getting married.  Not being on the same page about finances could be a deal breaker.  One thing that helped my wife and I was going through Financial Peace University (Dave Ramsey).  It is very much personal finance 101 (come back here when you're ready to start investing), but can provide a good avenue for discussion on the topic.

Future Lazy

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Re: Spendy Boyfriend/Thrifty Girlfriend: Help!
« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2015, 02:14:29 PM »
#1 don't buy a house with someone to whom you are not married.  If you want to buy a house on your own, more power to you, but don't put both names on the paperwork until you are actually married.

Second this advice. In my state, purchasing a house together, moving into it and paying it's mortgage and utility bills together etc... That's taken as common law marriage, and even if you were never properly married, the appropriate course of action for deciding about who gets the house is divorce proceedings.

Be careful.

Imo, do everything as if the BF didn't exist. Even if you think you might marry him sometime later, you're not tied down yet. Buy a house if it suits you, but do it with your money and under your name.

caliq

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Re: Spendy Boyfriend/Thrifty Girlfriend: Help!
« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2015, 02:15:49 PM »
I wouldn't help him in a material sense (ie. actually giving him money) until you are married.  I was engaged once and we did not get married.  It left me in a pretty bad spot financially.  Nothing but that marriage certificate guarantees your "investment."  Especially, don't buy a house with him on the mortgage!

For convincing spouses, I think you have to figure out what makes them tick.  For my husband, he had a pretty upsetting experience when he was younger, in which his parents lacked the cash to capitalize on his athletic abilities, despite wasting all sorts of money on stupid 'toys' (ATVs, classic cars that were never restored, whatever).  This sounds silly and pretty non-mustachian, but he was good enough at a certain sport to be offered a spot on a team in a junior league (you have to pay your own way though), which leads to a full NCAA athletic scholarship 99.9999% of the time, and for his skill level, likely would have led to the pros.  It's still a big sore spot for him, and I shamelessly exploited that once I figured it out -- 'honey, don't you want to be able to have those kinds of options for our kids, just in case we end up in a situation like you were in?'  Probably a little unethical, but it worked.  And realistically, the chances of that happening are pretty low; so we will most likely have all the cash for FIRE.  Even if it does happen, we will have a big portion of the cash for FIRE.

This post was really helpful for me and DH to see how achievable things can be: http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/01/13/the-shockingly-simple-math-behind-early-retirement/

You have to work on the loans before you work on a lot of investing, but say he pays back the loans in 2 years and then starts saving a big chuck of income -- you just have to add 2 years to whatever number is in that table for the % of his income he's saving.

Can you convince him to automate loan payments so that the money is taken out of his account before he really has a chance to spend it?  That might go a long way in reducing extraneous spending stuff like "oh it's only $10, whatever."
« Last Edit: January 12, 2015, 02:26:14 PM by caliq »

Siobhan

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Re: Spendy Boyfriend/Thrifty Girlfriend: Help!
« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2015, 02:20:27 PM »
I had 94k in student loans, paid them off within three years of graduation so it's possible.  But only if HE changes.  Me, I'm the saver of the family, my husband was the spender.  A tidy little spreadsheet that showed what investments could be worth in 10, 15, 20 years did the trick for him...now while he still has no interest (most of the time) in our finances, he doesn't object when I say "it's not in the budget".

HOWEVER!  DO NOT pay off a dime of his debt, or purchase a home with him, until you are married.  Protect yourself from potentially bad scenarios.  He has to make a core change to his behavior and if he doesn't think 100k in student loans is a hair on fire big deal then you should really think long and hard about marrying him

GizmoTX

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Re: Spendy Boyfriend/Thrifty Girlfriend: Help!
« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2015, 02:24:51 PM »
#1 don't buy a house with someone to whom you are not married.  If you want to buy a house on your own, more power to you, but don't put both names on the paperwork until you are actually married.

#2 don't pay his debts until you are married either.

As far as dealing with the different approaches to money - this is something you need to discuss before getting married.  Not being on the same page about finances could be a deal breaker.  One thing that helped my wife and I was going through Financial Peace University (Dave Ramsey).  It is very much personal finance 101 (come back here when you're ready to start investing), but can provide a good avenue for discussion on the topic.

I completely agree!
If you have a joint checking account, only use it for expenses like rent & utilities that you have agreed upon in advance. Everything else should be in separate (single) accounts.

Siobhan

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Re: Spendy Boyfriend/Thrifty Girlfriend: Help!
« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2015, 02:29:28 PM »
As a how we did it, my then boyfriend, now husband had a big part of it.  We moved in together and he paid the rent, I took care of the food, which I could feed us for about 200 a month (which served my husband well since the man can't boil water and was living off of hot pockets and korean take out when we met).  Every penny of my salary then went to paying off my student loans

flyfig

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Re: Spendy Boyfriend/Thrifty Girlfriend: Help!
« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2015, 02:33:33 PM »
Would agree with all the posters- you are not married so keep your finances separate for each of your well being. Do not pay off any of his debts- he's a big boy and can take care of them. Do NOT buy a house unless it is only in your name.

The question you need to ask yourself is "How do I feel about his approach to financial issues and what does that tell me about his suitability as a life partner (and if you both want) and as a parent?"

He can always evolve and change his attitude. You are living together so you should have some idea of how willing he is to change. My DH did when he realized that he wanted to be more serious and valued spending time with me rather than working his whole life. I did buy a condo a few years ago when we got engaged but it was only in my name and has only my money. When we got married, we had a prenup. I will say, because I was thrifty and he was spender, unpacking all our baggage and changing our ways so that it worked for both of us has made our relationship so much stronger.

epipenguin

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Re: Spendy Boyfriend/Thrifty Girlfriend: Help!
« Reply #10 on: January 12, 2015, 02:37:10 PM »
I am in a kind of similar situation - not that my boyfriend is spendy at all but is low income and had got himself in a bit of credit card debt. What I've been doing is trying to be supportive by coming up with free things for us to do, or suggesting that we stay in with a DVD from the library while I cook dinner or any number of low or no cost evening options, while at the same time discussing savings plans for the future. That way, it's HIS responsibility to clear up his debt, but we are also slowly getting on the same page mentally about future plans. I am, however, allowing him to throw more of his salary at his debts because we are not out spending money together. Previously, we would always go 50:50 on dates or dinners - I'd pay one time and he'd pay the next. I had tried suggesting that I pay for every date for a while, or we just go on dates every other week, but he still would try to keep score and even things up. So it is working out better just to totally focus for a while on being frugal while he gets rid of the debt.

LadyStache

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Re: Spendy Boyfriend/Thrifty Girlfriend: Help!
« Reply #11 on: January 12, 2015, 02:40:40 PM »
Your relationship seems really similar to mine when my SO and I started dating. Two years isn't really that long to be together for you to start repaying his loans for him, although I know it's tough to resist. I would wait for things to get more serious if possible. For now focus on things he can do to save money on a recurring basis, and then suggest that he implements those things and pays down an equivalent amount extra towards his student loans every month. Meanwhile, start saving up for that home downpayment on your own.

Once your relationship has evolved a bit more  (and once he's ready to accept your help), perhaps you can create an arrangement where you match the amount he pays on his loans each month above the minimum payment, up to a certain amount. That way he still feels the sense of accomplishment that comes from repaying a loan, while you minimize the amount of interest paid.

TerriM

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Re: Spendy Boyfriend/Thrifty Girlfriend: Help!
« Reply #12 on: January 12, 2015, 02:46:52 PM »
I've been in similar situations, and I honestly wish I had not helped pay down any of other people's debts.  Moral support is great, but are you wanting to use YOUR money to pay down HIS debt?  Can you wait until HE pays it down, or pays it off, to get married?  I only ask that part because it does seem important to you.  My vote, humbly, is to allow him to pay his own debt off, for both your sakes.  It becomes a very tangled web if you offer that particular type of help, financially and psychologically.

+100.  You will have a breakup nastier than any divorce if you help him pay his loans off and don't get married.

Let him pay off his loans, while you buy a house by yourself.  Make sure it's a house you can afford yourself, or yourself with roommates.  If he moves in, ask him to pay you rent just to be fair.  I doubt he'll complain about it, and as a lawyer he should know better than to let you start paying off his loans.   If, in the long run, you get married, then you'll both be fine.  If you don't, you'll still both be fine. 

Static Void

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Re: Spendy Boyfriend/Thrifty Girlfriend: Help!
« Reply #13 on: January 12, 2015, 02:53:41 PM »
Another similar for us.

At one point, I paid off half my SO's 10k credit card bill, in exchange for handing over the card, because I could afford it and wanted to show how it's done. She took care of the rest. Now we're aligned, on target, and married. The way I quip it: we shacked up for love, and then we married for money.

Others have advised "Don't cross the financial streams at all unless married!"

I'd offer a softened version, though. Realize any assistance you give is a gamble and a gift, which might be lost forever, but if spun correctly might be help encourage or incentivize the behavior you want.

In your case maybe something like matching 25c for every $1 he pays down his own debt. Or something.

Seņora Savings

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Re: Spendy Boyfriend/Thrifty Girlfriend: Help!
« Reply #14 on: January 12, 2015, 03:04:13 PM »
He earns enough to pay them off himself and he wants to pay them off himself, which is the only thing you've said about him that indicates any financial responsibility.  Additionally, you're already think that he spends too much; will you feel better or worse when he overspends if you remember the $100,000 you gave him?

I would let him keep paying them off while you save up in your own account.  If you have 100k in stocks and he has 100k in debts it'll be like you paid them off.

minimustache1985

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Re: Spendy Boyfriend/Thrifty Girlfriend: Help!
« Reply #15 on: January 12, 2015, 03:27:27 PM »
I've been in similar situations, and I honestly wish I had not helped pay down any of other people's debts.  Moral support is great, but are you wanting to use YOUR money to pay down HIS debt?  Can you wait until HE pays it down, or pays it off, to get married?  I only ask that part because it does seem important to you.  My vote, humbly, is to allow him to pay his own debt off, for both your sakes.  It becomes a very tangled web if you offer that particular type of help, financially and psychologically.

+100.  You will have a breakup nastier than any divorce if you help him pay his loans off and don't get married.

Let him pay off his loans, while you buy a house by yourself.  Make sure it's a house you can afford yourself, or yourself with roommates.  If he moves in, ask him to pay you rent just to be fair.  I doubt he'll complain about it, and as a lawyer he should know better than to let you start paying off his loans.   If, in the long run, you get married, then you'll both be fine.  If you don't, you'll still both be fine.
So much this.  Save up in your name for a down payment or general investment stash, and let him pay his loans.  Not only does it keep things clean if* things don't work out, but it sounds like he wants to pay his loans himself as a point of pride/responsibility.  It might feel demoralizing to him to have his girlfriend contributing to his loans, especially if he's vocalized that he doesn't like the idea of letting you help.

*I'm not assuming you guys won't, there's just no risk to keeping things separate at this point.  I bought the house my husband and I live in before we were engaged in my name only- now that we're married everything is "ours" now :).

irishbear99

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Re: Spendy Boyfriend/Thrifty Girlfriend: Help!
« Reply #16 on: January 12, 2015, 03:30:12 PM »
I see a lot of what you want (buy a house, help the BF pay off his student loans) and a lot of what he wants (pay off the student loans by himself, earn more so he can maintain his current level of spending), but I don't see anything about what the two of you want as a unit. If your relationship is to be long-term, you have to come together with your wants and needs and develop a shared picture of the future: shared goals, shared desired outcomes. Does he want to buy a house? Do you want to maintain your current level of spending?

People on this thread are saying don't pay off his bills until you're married. I'd take that one step further and say don't get married until you've had discussions about your wants, needs, goals and dreams and ensure you share enough of a common vision about the future. Money is the number one reason married couples fight.

aschmidt2930

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Re: Spendy Boyfriend/Thrifty Girlfriend: Help!
« Reply #17 on: January 12, 2015, 04:23:45 PM »
I wouldn't touch someone's debt (barring emergency) before marriage. Take some time and think through knocking out those loans.

chasesfish

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Re: Spendy Boyfriend/Thrifty Girlfriend: Help!
« Reply #18 on: January 12, 2015, 07:25:17 PM »
Good luck.

I second the advice of buying the house yourself and saving money yourself and not touching his debts until you've been married for a while.

You should also remind him that his debt IS an emergency....every day.  I don't love all of MMM's posts, but that one is spot on.  People don't realize what they don't have the money for. (paying servants to prepare food for you while carrying massive amounts of debt??)

Prairie Stash

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Re: Spendy Boyfriend/Thrifty Girlfriend: Help!
« Reply #19 on: January 12, 2015, 08:50:15 PM »
Invest your money. Investing is as good as debt repayment, sometimes better.

I bought my house while I had student loan debt, it really doesn't matter. What mattered was having the down payment, do you have it?

mozar

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Re: Spendy Boyfriend/Thrifty Girlfriend: Help!
« Reply #20 on: January 12, 2015, 09:03:37 PM »
Do you live together? I say don't even move in together before you have a major discussions about these issues. 29 is old enough to know who he is and what he wants. I'm concerned that getting married "in a few years" will continue to be "in a few years" forever. You sound like you got it together and you are old enough to get married. I recommend reading "love factually."

wtjbatman

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Re: Spendy Boyfriend/Thrifty Girlfriend: Help!
« Reply #21 on: January 12, 2015, 09:32:39 PM »
It becomes a very tangled web if you offer that particular type of help, financially and psychologically.

Um, yeah, it's called being in love and being in a committed relationship. Neither of which are bad things.

Pennsylvanian

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Re: Spendy Boyfriend/Thrifty Girlfriend: Help!
« Reply #22 on: January 12, 2015, 09:58:46 PM »
I'm a bit confused about waiting to get married "until you are a little older." Is that possibly code for some red flags about compatability or an unwillingness of one party to commit?

I agree with other posters' advice: don't pay his debt, don't buy a house jointly and tend your own financial garden. In my opinion, it would be unwise to be make large financial gifts to someone who makes the same large income as you do, though very generous.

If you get married, different situation entirely: legally, financially, emotionally.

Fuzz

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Re: Spendy Boyfriend/Thrifty Girlfriend: Help!
« Reply #23 on: January 12, 2015, 10:17:26 PM »
My hope is that you asked this question on this forum because you know the answer you're going to get and just need to convince yourself.

Don't pay his debt. Save your own money. Don't buy a house together without being married. You have plenty of time.

TerriM

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Re: Spendy Boyfriend/Thrifty Girlfriend: Help!
« Reply #24 on: January 12, 2015, 10:51:05 PM »
It becomes a very tangled web if you offer that particular type of help, financially and psychologically.

Um, yeah, it's called being in love and being in a committed relationship. Neither of which are bad things.

Yeah, some people feel that that commitment is called marriage (and OP used that word too).  So if you're talking about paying of $100K of student loans and buying a house together, but that you're not ready to be married, it's kind of a contradiction.

Future Lazy

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Re: Spendy Boyfriend/Thrifty Girlfriend: Help!
« Reply #25 on: January 13, 2015, 08:29:40 AM »
It becomes a very tangled web if you offer that particular type of help, financially and psychologically.

Um, yeah, it's called being in love and being in a committed relationship. Neither of which are bad things.

Yeah, some people feel that that commitment is called marriage (and OP used that word too).  So if you're talking about paying of $100K of student loans and buying a house together, but that you're not ready to be married, it's kind of a contradiction.

+1, Exactly this.

I'm sure no one wants OP to think we're suggesting she abandon/not support her loved one. That's absolutely not what anyone is suggesting. Advice given here is overwhelmingly to be supportive, loving and committed, but not to put forward monetary support (especially if the SO doesn't want it or can't be trusted to be responsible).

I think there's a lot of married/long term committed mustachians around here that are still struggling to get their SO's finances together for them, who wish they'd known better beforehand to not combine finances with someone unstable, and whom made themselves financially vulnerable without thinking it completely through.

olivia

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Re: Spendy Boyfriend/Thrifty Girlfriend: Help!
« Reply #26 on: January 13, 2015, 09:45:51 AM »
I'm a bit confused about waiting to get married "until you are a little older." Is that possibly code for some red flags about compatability or an unwillingness of one party to commit?

Just wanted to comment on this-I started dating my now-husband when I was 21 and he was 24.  I knew we would end up married, but also knew 23-24 is awfully young to get married, so we continued to date and didn't get married until I was 27 and he was 30.  I think it's smart to take your time.

caliq

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Re: Spendy Boyfriend/Thrifty Girlfriend: Help!
« Reply #27 on: January 13, 2015, 09:51:57 AM »
I'm a bit confused about waiting to get married "until you are a little older." Is that possibly code for some red flags about compatability or an unwillingness of one party to commit?

Just wanted to comment on this-I started dating my now-husband when I was 21 and he was 24.  I knew we would end up married, but also knew 23-24 is awfully young to get married, so we continued to date and didn't get married until I was 27 and he was 30.  I think it's smart to take your time.

I'm 23 and just got married -- it is quite young and most of my peers are not exactly on board.  My husband is 29 though, which probably impacted our decision  a bit.  Each to their own, I just wanted to chime in and agree with you that waiting for marriage at this age is what's "normal" -- it's not a sign of a lack of compatibility or commitment.  It's probably a generational thing :)

Edit:  This doesn't change my original opinion up thread though -- just because you are 'sure' you will get married does not mean that you will.  Crazy things happen and I don't think much financial support should be exchanged until marriage, especially not to the tune of 100k.  If OP wants to pick up the dinner tab more often or something, that's probably fine (as long as SO doesn't turn around and spend that "savings" on random stuff!), but that amount of money can buy you a house outright in a lot of places and is a pretty big deal.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2015, 09:56:42 AM by caliq »

eyePod

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Re: Spendy Boyfriend/Thrifty Girlfriend: Help!
« Reply #28 on: January 13, 2015, 10:08:39 AM »
Best way I found it is to find common financial goals. Like "We want to buy a house by 2017. This is our price range. We would need X downpayment. We should both put in half of that amount, so that equals XYZ a month from now till then."

Another option I'd say is YNAB. Using that really put my wife and I on the same page. It's a lot harder to say "I plan on dropping $200 on electronics which will be obsolete by next year" when you see all of the other places you're spending money already, plus all of the financial goals you have (see house above).

I hope this rambling helps some.

DeltaBond

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Re: Spendy Boyfriend/Thrifty Girlfriend: Help!
« Reply #29 on: January 13, 2015, 10:33:01 AM »
Doh, I hope we haven't scared off the OP.  I wanted to elaborate my original statement in that the psychological effects when helping someone pay their debt down are very different when you're not married vs when you're married.  When you're married, you share all the debts, no matter who's name, because you can easily get pinned for your spouse's debts if things don't go well... so they become both your debts, instead of just his debts or just your debts.

Paying someone's debt for them when you're not married is the tangled web... unless that person is paying you back or something, well, honestly, I think there have been volumes of hardback books written on this topic.  It becomes enabling, to put it in a nutshell, and changes your dynamic completely.

What you're wanting to give your boyfriend is the life gift that YOU received when you paid your debts down, because you love him.  But you giving him that is not going to be the same as him earning it.  Teach a man to fish!  Hopefully, by now, he's expressed that he doesn't want you to pay them... and in that note, if he IS ok with you paying them... well, that needs a red flag, as well as his current and past spending habits.

You're obviously a very compassionate and loving person, and I'm sure you've heard the saying about communication in relationships, so talk with him about financial goals, because that IS a big part of marriage, unfortunately.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2015, 10:34:40 AM by DeltaBond »

TerriM

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Re: Spendy Boyfriend/Thrifty Girlfriend: Help!
« Reply #30 on: January 13, 2015, 10:50:01 AM »
If you're an adult (i think we tried to define this in another thread), what does it matter what age you are when you get married?  Why is 25 now the magic age where 21/22 was the magic age back in the 1960s which was when you got out of college, got a job and could support yourselves.  Are we all in grad school now? :)   Putting marriage off until you're older says that there's something about the commitment that you're not ready for.  So what is it?   It seems to me that  sharing large sums of money and buying a house together is quite a bit of what marriage is about.  So either you're ready, or you're not ready.   


Just to be clear, if OP was suggesting paying off the last $2000 dollars of his loan as a birthday present, I wouldn't care as much--that's still a lot of money, but nothing to choke over.  But $100K is an eye popping amount of money to be offering help with.  If that's how much you love the guy, if that's how committed you are, then you're ready to get married.


Ultimately, though, we've gotten off the topic.  We're 90% agreed to keep the finances separate. 




The question is, as people who are dating, what should OP do to help her BF psychologically to pay this loan down ASAP?  Answers have been "It's a serious concern that he isn't seeing the debt as a big deal."  "Have you talked about common financial goals?" etc.  What other suggestions? 

Ynari

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Re: Spendy Boyfriend/Thrifty Girlfriend: Help!
« Reply #31 on: January 13, 2015, 10:56:56 AM »
My boyfriend has massive student loan debt. He is therefore pretty cheap, because he doesn't make $90k a year.

He won't let me give him money (for any purpose, like to fund a course he'd like to take or a show we'd both like to see) BUT he will let me DECREASE his expenses.  I find this an excellent compromise, and doesn't run into the same problems that other posters have pointed out.

When we live together, we pay less rent than if we lived apart. We spend less on food since we cook in larger quantities. And because of me, he can float large expenses (like last year when his physics lab went on a business trip to build telescopes...  it was awesome, but his expenses wouldn't be reimbursed until the month after.)

I also introduced him to Mustachianism, so there's that. :)

CommonCents

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Re: Spendy Boyfriend/Thrifty Girlfriend: Help!
« Reply #32 on: January 13, 2015, 12:18:08 PM »
He earns enough to pay them off himself and he wants to pay them off himself, which is the only thing you've said about him that indicates any financial responsibility.  Additionally, you're already think that he spends too much; will you feel better or worse when he overspends if you remember the $100,000 you gave him?

I would let him keep paying them off while you save up in your own account.  If you have 100k in stocks and he has 100k in debts it'll be like you paid them off.

+1

OP, the issue here seems to be more about aligning spending priorities than it does on the actual debt repayment itself.

MrsPete

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Re: Spendy Boyfriend/Thrifty Girlfriend: Help!
« Reply #33 on: January 13, 2015, 12:49:53 PM »
When my husband and I met, our frugal styles didn't match:  He was all about putting away money and investing, but he didn't see the point in economizing on day-to-day things like groceries.  I was already the queen of cheap living, but I wasn't solidly on board with long-term investing strategies.  However, we were both open to learning, and we picked up one another's good habits.  It didn't happen overnight, but it happened.  Win-win. 

The question is, Are you and your boyfriend moving towards a harmonious "improving together" like us, or are you paddling your canoe in different directions? 

You need to be honest with yourself about this because if he continues to be spendy, it's not going to work.  He'll feel free to spend (because, hey, look at our bank account!), while you'll feel resentful because he's not squirreling away money like you are. 

While the above is the most important question, I do agree with the posters who suggest that you should abstain from paying off his debt before you're married.  And if you're sure you want to be married, why are you using the excuse of waiting 'til you're older?  Are you sure that's your reasoning?

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Spendy Boyfriend/Thrifty Girlfriend: Help!
« Reply #34 on: January 13, 2015, 02:52:12 PM »
I'm 25 and got married 2 days shy of my 21st birthday. There being a magic age doesn't seem right, but age is only an indicator of where you might be in life (I had my BS and was about to start graduate school).

Catbert

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Re: Spendy Boyfriend/Thrifty Girlfriend: Help!
« Reply #35 on: January 13, 2015, 03:23:18 PM »
Another person chiming in to say, don't buy a house or pay off his debts until you're married.  If you really want to buy a house then do it in your name only.  Find a house that you can afford on your own or that would be suitable for a regular roommate if your relationship goes south.  Have him pay you a fair market rent which will likely be less than 1/2 of your mortgage.

If you get married and it turns out well then you can work on his debts jointly and add him to the house.  If you split up then he won't have benefited for your relationship at your detriment. 

mozar

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Re: Spendy Boyfriend/Thrifty Girlfriend: Help!
« Reply #36 on: January 13, 2015, 05:42:43 PM »
The reason why 25 is the new "magic number" is because that's when the pre-frontal cortex is done developing. If the OPs boyfriend is really committed he should be proposing on her 25th birthday. Just my 2 cents (of unsolicited relationship advice). It's not a generational thing. Research has shown that cohabitation makes me people less committed over time.

DeltaBond

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Re: Spendy Boyfriend/Thrifty Girlfriend: Help!
« Reply #37 on: January 14, 2015, 07:18:46 AM »
The reason why 25 is the new "magic number" is because that's when the pre-frontal cortex is done developing. If the OPs boyfriend is really committed he should be proposing on her 25th birthday. Just my 2 cents (of unsolicited relationship advice). It's not a generational thing. Research has shown that cohabitation makes me people less committed over time.

Yay, another fan of neuroscience!!!  Why does cohabitation make people less committed?  You can PM me if you like, I don't mean to highjack the thread.

takeahike

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Re: Spendy Boyfriend/Thrifty Girlfriend: Help!
« Reply #38 on: January 14, 2015, 09:28:29 AM »
I don't care if you are married or not.. but do not pay off his debt for him. As lovely as it would be to see zero's in all of the debt columns.. don't do it.  Besides having a pile of life experience under my belt saying no, no, no... there's this little thing called resentment... on both ends. Let him do it. Have more conversations about financial priorities and get this ironed out before buying anything together.  When he pays off half or more on his own, then revisit whether or not he is okay with you helping on the loan.

And, congrats on being so responsible with money at your age. Your dad must be very proud!
« Last Edit: January 14, 2015, 09:30:13 AM by takeahike »

sstants

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Re: Spendy Boyfriend/Thrifty Girlfriend: Help!
« Reply #39 on: January 14, 2015, 09:41:23 AM »
You guys are awesome! I definitely asked these questions for some new ideas/reassurance on things I already know. I think the real question comes down to: 'how do you teach good financial habits to someone who has years of bad habits behind them?'

A few more pieces of info to respond to some good questions in the thread:

I don't see my relationship changing significantly (or even at all) with marriage, which is why I see things as a 100% partnership now. It isn't something that really means a lot to the SO or to me, so we'll do it when we get around to it, and for now, being unmarried helps me maintain closer friendships with the girlfriends. It gives us some time to save that down payment too so when we do get married we can purchase a home right away. We also definitely don't want to be the people in the friend group who are expected to have a big wedding and pay for everyone to have a big party (no thank you, we'll let other people go first if they want to do that!)  My idea of a good wedding is a morning at city hall, a nice dinner, and a honeymoon camping in the Whites with our dog :)

Also the neuroscience comment made me smile (I majored in neuro in college)! I do want to throw out there that each individual person's neurodevelopment schedule is different and I made some great decisions when I was 14 and some shitty ones at age 24 so far. I wish a developed pre-frontal cortex equated to perfected higher-level reasoning, it would definitely make things easier come my 25th birthday (I joke).

We constantly have discussions about what we want out of our future financially and are always refining what the specifics are. I really don't think I want to have everything totally worked out at the beginning...where's the wiggle room? The goal is always to be moving towards stability.

The SO definitely sees his debt as an emergency, as evidenced by his panicked reaction to it all the time! However, one of the things that I love about him is that he is willing to learn. His downfall is that he wasn't raised with a financial education. How many of our parents really taught us about personal finance and the emotions involved? I got a weekly lesson from the dad on different topics from dollar-cost-averaging when I was about 12 (I remember being so confused) to strategies to take the emotions out of managing personal finances (check your investments as often as you can stand, not too much that you make reactionary decisions...that has saved me a ton of $$). Who else is that lucky? Definitely not the boyfriend. He's a novice at all this stuff and I feel like we (and I'm the worst offender) often put ridiculous expectations on people to behave logically and intelligently when it comes to finances even when they have never learned! His habits have changed SO MUCH since we've been together and he now makes so many more financial choices that are aligned with his goals, I just want to get more aggressive about things!


dandarc

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Re: Spendy Boyfriend/Thrifty Girlfriend: Help!
« Reply #40 on: January 14, 2015, 09:53:40 AM »
If the religious overtones aren't a deal breaker for you - Dave Ramsey is great for personal finance novices.  Maybe check out The Total Money Makeover from the library and see if SO will read it?  One thing he does very well is that fatherly-advice type of tone.

Baby steps 1-3 are pretty darn good in my opinion.  4-7 are not bad per-se (way better than your average american's plan), but may be sub-optimal once he's ready for investing.

caliq

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Re: Spendy Boyfriend/Thrifty Girlfriend: Help!
« Reply #41 on: January 14, 2015, 09:57:08 AM »
Oh I'm so glad you came back and didn't get scared away!  And I was a neuro major too until I switched to molecular & cell bio /cheer

It sounds like you guys are pretty well adjusted on the relationship communication front, so that's great :)  I would still caution you to think before paying off his loans. 

Someone suggested that you invest rather than pay the loans down, and I think that's a great idea.  That way when/if you get married, you will both have a joint head start on investing (starting at your age sets you up for great success!).  I would take it a step further:

1.  He pays off loans
2.  You invest equivalent amount (simultaneous to #1)
3.  Save for wedding/honeymoon/house down payment jointly (let your investments sit and grow while you divert the monthly savings towards down payment fund)

If he really wants a house, maybe delaying the saving for a down payment will give him an incentive?

DeltaBond

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Re: Spendy Boyfriend/Thrifty Girlfriend: Help!
« Reply #42 on: January 14, 2015, 09:58:05 AM »
the real question comes down to: 'how do you teach good financial habits to someone who has years of bad habits behind them?'



Again, you can't teach someone by doing it for them.  You can't learn a lesson FOR someone.  Teach a man to fish, right?  You mention your dad quite a bit here, have you asked him if you should pay down your boyfriend's debt?   You also mention wiggle room in regards to not fully discussing everything, however, you are wanting to leave no wiggle room in your financial plan in saving that downpayment for a house -  to the extent of paying off $100K of debt that is not yours.  That is extreme, to the point of me viewing it as a possible control tactic.  That may not be your intention, I realize.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2015, 10:00:07 AM by DeltaBond »

TerriM

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Re: Spendy Boyfriend/Thrifty Girlfriend: Help!
« Reply #43 on: January 14, 2015, 10:08:51 AM »
The reason why 25 is the new "magic number" is because that's when the pre-frontal cortex is done developing. If the OPs boyfriend is really committed he should be proposing on her 25th birthday. Just my 2 cents (of unsolicited relationship advice). It's not a generational thing. Research has shown that cohabitation makes me people less committed over time.

Yay, another fan of neuroscience!!!  Why does cohabitation make people less committed?  You can PM me if you like, I don't mean to highjack the thread.

Because people are still in the mindset that they are "trying things out" and there's no sudden life change that helps them break that attitude.  If you ask a cohabitating (and having "premarital bliss") couple how marriage is they say "It's just the same."   If you ask someone who wasn't living together how marriage is, they'll tell you it's completely different.  Most say it's wonderful, but some will say it's a different and a little stressful managing a house together, but there's a lifestyle difference to those couples that makes the marriage commitment much more concrete.

The divorce numbers don't even out between cohab and non-cohabitating couples until about 7 years after marriage.

DeltaBond

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Re: Spendy Boyfriend/Thrifty Girlfriend: Help!
« Reply #44 on: January 14, 2015, 10:17:01 AM »
The reason why 25 is the new "magic number" is because that's when the pre-frontal cortex is done developing. If the OPs boyfriend is really committed he should be proposing on her 25th birthday. Just my 2 cents (of unsolicited relationship advice). It's not a generational thing. Research has shown that cohabitation makes me people less committed over time.

Yay, another fan of neuroscience!!!  Why does cohabitation make people less committed?  You can PM me if you like, I don't mean to highjack the thread.

Because people are still in the mindset that they are "trying things out" and there's no sudden life change that helps them break that attitude.  If you ask a cohabitating (and having "premarital bliss") couple how marriage is they say "It's just the same."   If you ask someone who wasn't living together how marriage is, they'll tell you it's completely different.  Most say it's wonderful, but some will say it's a different and a little stressful managing a house together, but there's a lifestyle difference to those couples that makes the marriage commitment much more concrete.

The divorce numbers don't even out between cohab and non-cohabitating couples until about 7 years after marriage.

Hmm, and I almost didn't come back to this thread, then I rememberd you might answer.  This is very interesting, and I'll have to agree that things are definitely very different.  I didn't realize you meant cohabitation WITHOUT marriage, doh.  I'm married for the 2nd time now, and we're both happy with it, but neither of us will say things are the same anymore.  Definitely not, the relationship changes drastically, and you know pretty quick if it was right for you or not, but there was no way to know beforehand.

Anywhoo, thank you for explaining, and if anyone on this particular thread wants to share anything with me, personally, just send a PM, its all good.  This will most likely be the last one of these threads I'll even read, I normally don't get sucked in to the facade of pretending to ask for help.

I do wish the OP the best of luck with everything, and hope that she will ask someone who actually knows her and her BF about her situation.  :)
« Last Edit: January 14, 2015, 10:20:01 AM by DeltaBond »

Le0

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Re: Spendy Boyfriend/Thrifty Girlfriend: Help!
« Reply #45 on: January 14, 2015, 10:22:34 AM »
#1 don't buy a house with someone to whom you are not married.  If you want to buy a house on your own, more power to you, but don't put both names on the paperwork until you are actually married.

#2 don't pay his debts until you are married either.

As far as dealing with the different approaches to money - this is something you need to discuss before getting married.  Not being on the same page about finances could be a deal breaker.  One thing that helped my wife and I was going through Financial Peace University (Dave Ramsey).  It is very much personal finance 101 (come back here when you're ready to start investing), but can provide a good avenue for discussion on the topic.

I up vote this suggestion. Once your married you can pay whatever you want. Until then use caution. You could offer to cover more of the Monthly Bills if he will put the money he is saving directly onto his debt.

sstants

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Re: Spendy Boyfriend/Thrifty Girlfriend: Help!
« Reply #46 on: January 14, 2015, 01:49:38 PM »
I love the idea of just stashing/investing whatever I was inclined to throw at his loans now and then being able to use it for us (loans or down payment or otherwise) when we do get married. That way the money is 'safe' and useful.

I tend to be a 'fixer' and I always want to act on something right away. Thank you for the sanity check!

ambimammular

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Re: Spendy Boyfriend/Thrifty Girlfriend: Help!
« Reply #47 on: January 15, 2015, 07:20:37 AM »
Depending on the interest rate on his student loan (like lower than 4 percent), you'd be better off investing regardless. He has borrowed that money cheap if you earn 5 or better in stocks.

We're keeping our 3.25 student loan as stretched out as we can, because I'm doing better funneling it into our Roths.

Rollin

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Re: Spendy Boyfriend/Thrifty Girlfriend: Help!
« Reply #48 on: January 15, 2015, 07:56:25 AM »
I've been in similar situations, and I honestly wish I had not helped pay down any of other people's debts.  Moral support is great, but are you wanting to use YOUR money to pay down HIS debt?  Can you wait until HE pays it down, or pays it off, to get married?  I only ask that part because it does seem important to you.  My vote, humbly, is to allow him to pay his own debt off, for both your sakes.  It becomes a very tangled web if you offer that particular type of help, financially and psychologically.

Agreed.  You will get more resentful of him because you are now freeing up more of his money that he can spend on more stuff.  Patience is a virtue in this.  You see his hair on fire (and don't want yours to catch), but that is your perspective - not his.